Hey Friends —
I’m curious…what is it you are most afraid of?
When I was in elementary school, I peed my pants at school often. (TMI? Sorry.)
I was too afraid to raise my hand in class. The thought of everyone looking at me was just too much for this shy, insecure, red haired girl.
After I came to know Jesus, I sensed the Lord wanted me to share my story of addict to overcomer.
I was terrified.
The thought of getting up in front of a room full of women and talk about my former rebellious lifestyle made me want to lose my lunch. Literally.
However, the thought of going to this conference TERRIFIED me, and I chickened out. I couldn’t do it.
Friends, it took me 4 years to gain the courage to face my fears, until finally in 2007, I attended the Speak Up Conference for the first time.
Can I just tell you….the Speak Up Conference changed my life. Literally.
Would you believe I’ve been back to Speak Up every year since?!
The tools, instruction, encouragement, and presentation pointers have been crucial to me in my ministry and personal life.
And not only do I attend every year, for the past seven years I’ve been a part of Carol’s Speak Up leadership team, and have the joy of teaching workshops and encouraging fellow speakers.
(This year I’ll be teaching three workshops, leading one keynote devotion, and meeting with lots of speakers 1:1. I’d LOVE to spend time with you!)
You can tell I don’t have fun with this amazing group of leaders at all.
Kidding. It is a highlight of my ministry year always! (I may or may not bring confetti wands with me.)
Sweet friend, if you dream of speaking or writing, I’d love for you to prayerfully consider attending the Speak Up Conference this July 13-15, 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI.
Whether you sit in PTO meetings, serve in your local GEMS Girls’ Club, lead your local Bible study, dream of writing a book, or simply want to be more comfortable talking in front of others—I think everyone can benefit from the principles at this amazing conference. You will learn, laugh, network, and come home equipped, inspired, and empowered!
You can learn more about the details of the amazing Speak Up Conference here.
If I could, I would pay for everyone I know who senses God is calling them to write, speak or lead in ministry to attend. Since I’m not able to do that (bummer), I can go to Bonnie (the Speak Up Administrator) and ask how we could help interested participants attend.
I’m thrilled to announce I have a $200 partial scholarship to giveaway!
Can I get a woo hoo?!
To Win my Speak Up Conference $200 Scholarship Giveaway: Please leave a comment in the comment section answering this question:
Why would you like to win a $200 scholarship for the Speak Up Conference?
•Follow my blog *She Sparkles*
•Share about this giveaway on FB
•Tweet about this giveaway including a link to this post
Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.
RULES: Starts today, Monday, May 1st and ends Friday, May 5th at 9 PM. Winner will be contacted the week of May 8th.
If your email address is not connected to your ID, please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at email@example.com with the subject “Giveaway”.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, *She Sparkles*! God’s richest blessings to you!
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this review (I just love the Speak Up Conference) and, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are fully my own.
Hey Friends —
One of the hardest challenges for me as mom has been navigating social media— especially with my gang.
As you know, John and I are blessed with 4 kiddos— ages 13, 14, 15 & 22.
Most of our daily conversations go something like this, or so it seems:
- “Phones away, please.”
- “Ahem. Phones away.”
- “I said, ‘Put your phones away.'”
- “No screen time until your chores are done.”
- “If I see your phone one more time, it’s gone for a week.”
Am I the only one?!
I’ve spent much time studying, implementing, reworking, praying, talking to other moms, pinning, & praying more. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
3 Tips for Surviving Social Media with Kids
1. Set Boundaries
If clear boundaries are not set, my kids would text/watch Youtube videos/face time all day long. AHHHH!
Boundaries we’ve set include:
- Time limits (chores first, limited time, etc.)
- No technology in bedrooms
- Phones/iPods go in Mom’s basket when friends come over (have you ever noticed you’ll have 4 kids together and they’ll all be texting each other rather than talking.) Crazy!
- Sign a Social Media Contract. I found a great one here. (You can download it for free.)
- Passwords must be known by a parent at all times, and yes, I will check, read, be in your business, and stalk you on-line. Get used to it. 🙂
2. Stay Involved
As I mentioned, yes, I read their texts, posts, Instagram pictures, etc. I am that mom.
It drives my kids crazy—but, yes, I do stalk my children.
I’ve also found it very helpful to discuss social media with other involved moms to learn about apps to stay away from, websites to watch out for, etc.
In fact, last year over ice cream we read this book together as a family. Good stuff!
What ways have you found work best to stay involved with what your kids are doing on-line? I’d love to learn from you too!
3. Share Kindness
In our “selfie generation,” (read this!) I’m trying to survive social media by reminding my gang to use social media for good.
Rather than only playing games and taking selfies, I remind my kids to share kindness through social media. I’m asking,
And yes, they usually roll their eyes at me—but I’ve also seen them leave some group chats that were headed south quickly.
And remember “The Grandma Rule”: “If you wouldn’t show it, say it, or text it to grandma, don’t post, type, or send it!”
Additionally, I’ve learned I need to model healthy social media skills myself.
For more Social Media Strategies with Kids, check out my Pinterest page here.
Your turn, friends!
How are you navigating the ever-changing world of social media, especially with our children?
Are there apps you’ve found to be helpful— or not so much — with your kids?
Do you set time limits or boundaries? Stalk your kids on-line? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks so much for stopping by, sweet friend! Have a wonderful, joy-filled week!
Hey Friends —
Happy April! How are you these days? Really?
True confession time.
My life is a little bit nutty these days.
Ok. More like big time.
Our full family calendar + my new full-time job at GEMS Girls’ Club (which I love) + full March speaking calendar + making meals (why do we have to eat dinner every night) + book launch stuff + one million emails (or so) + trying to figure out what to wear to work every. single. day (how do people do this?) = one frazzled, overly committed mama.
But no more.
Instead I’ve been intentional and prayerful about creating different choices and habits for 2017.
God knew I would be entering into this full season, and I trust He’ll give me wisdom moving forward. And as I prayerfully reflect on the life of Jesus, I’ve noticed 5 things that Jesus didn’t do, and maybe I—maybe we—shouldn’t either.
1. Jesus didn’t worry about what everyone else would think.
We don’t see Him wrestling with people pleasing. Jesus was never like, “Oh no, they’re going to be disappointed if I don’t have coffee with them, FB message them back, or bring a meal.”
Jesus made choices He knew would not please others. He was intimately aware of His specific purpose and calling, focusing on His specific Kingdom assignment, He didn’t need the approval and admiration of others.
2. Jesus didn’t compare Himself with others.
Jesus wasn’t on FB or Pinterest thinking – “I wish I looked more like Peter (built like a rock), or had fast running legs like John.”
Jesus’ days were not filled comparing or competing, but only completing the work God assigned to Him.
3. Jesus didn’t overfill His days.
We don’t see Jesus running from need to need, demand to demand, sun up to sun down with too much to do and no space even to take a breath.
His pace was one of purpose, not persistently hurried and rushed.
Jesus took time to rest, pray, celebrate, breathe, and enjoy the company of those closest to Him.
He said “no” to good things to save strength and energy for all the God things to accomplish.
4. Jesus didn’t fill His days with “should’s.”
Isn’t this good news? I couldn’t find even one “should” in the Gospels (not even in the original Greek). Never did Jesus say….
- I should serve since no one else is willing.
- I should try and return every FB message within 24 hours.
- I should send out one more email.
Jesus was closely connected to His heavenly Father, and He knew what assignments were His to complete. He did so joyfully—letting go of all unrealistic expectations and “should’s,” even if it meant that He would disappoint others. (ouch)
5. Jesus didn’t do everything Himself.
In the Bible, we observe Jesus training and equipping others to help Him complete His work.
Would it be perfect? No. Clearly His disciples were still learning. Yet Jesus saw the value of involving others to help, and experienced the joy of watching His disciples use their gifts and talents for His Kingdom work.
In other words, yes, my kids should cook dinner for now on. 🙂
Ok friends, your turn.
As you look over the WJDD list, are there any surprises?
Which is the hardest for you to carry out in your everyday life?
What one strategy could you implement in your life this season? I’d love to hear from you!
Let’s pray: Oh God, thank You for Your love and grace in our lives. Thank You for Jesus and His perfect example. Help us, Lord, to learn from His pace of purpose, and pursue a life of intention and peace. For Your glory alone. In Jesus’ Powerful Name. Amen.