Too Busy to Talk to the Potter

For the past couple of months, I’ve been overloaded, too busy and too distracted to spend time with The Potter.

It reflected in everything I did: my eating habits, how I related to the kiddos, how I related to The Man…and in my laundry pile.

Image Credit: Colin Broug

After a couple of month’s of frustration with the overall discombobulation of of my life, I decided to get back to basics: my journal, my pen, and my Bible. I started with baby steps, waking up a couple of minutes earlier than usual, and basically ranted to God about everything on my brain. Then I read some verses to hear what He had to say back to me. Many times, my readings didn’t directly relate to how I felt at the moment, but I left those God sessions feeling refreshed and empowered. As a result, I zoomed through my day, attacking my ‘to-do’ list with a vengeance, getting clear ideas on how to meet the goals I’ve set for myself. It was awesome.

So the next day, I did it again. And again. And again.

Funny how all my inner angst could be solved with some sessions with the Potter. He’s the Author and the Finisher of my faith, and so it would behoove me to tune in to His station to see what He wants to say. Yet I often get caught up trying to do things MY way or the way all the experts recommend. In the end, working apart from His plan left me tired, bedraggled and crabby.

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

 (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

How about you? Are you spending daily time in prayer and meditation? If not, what could you do to set aside 15 minutes each day for Your Maker?

THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN – Kindle Fire Giveaway & RSVP for 8/7 Facebook Party!

The Butterfly and the Violin
Welcome to the launch campaign for debut novelist Kristy Cambron‘s The Butterfly and the Violin. Romantic Times had this to say: “Alternating points of view skillfully blend contemporary and historical fiction in this debut novel that is almost impossible to put down. Well-researched yet heartbreaking. . . .”

Kristy is celebrating the release of the first book in her series, A Hidden Masterpiece, with a fun Kindle Fire giveaway and meeting her readers during an August 7th Facebook author chat party.


butterflyviolin-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 7th. Winner will be announced at The Butterfly and the Violin Author Chat Party. Kristy will be connecting with readers and answering questions, sharing some of the fascinating research behind the book, hosting a fun book chat, and giving away some GREAT prizes. She will also be giving an exclusive look at the next book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin!

 
So grab your copy of The Butterfly and the Violin and join Kristy on the evening of August 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

My Review

This book is AMAZING. Kristy Cambron is a powerful wordsmith. I couldn’t put it down. Every word was divine. I was swept into this story and I couldn’t put it down. I loved how she wove together two time periods: WWII and the modern day. The story is both heartbreaking and beautiful, and it truly resonated with me.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you pick up a copy.

My Review of Penny Wise by Dave and Neta Jackson

Penny Wise by Dave and Neta JacksonPenny Wise | A Windy City Neighbors book

Michelle Jasper doesn’t have much time to hang out with her neighbors—not with thirteen-year-old twins, another teen with hoop dreams, a full-time job as a caseworker, volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, and heading up the women’s ministry at Northside Baptist. Her husband’s constantly changing shifts as an air traffic controller at the world’s busiest airport—Chicago’s O’Hare International—and responsibilities as a trusted deacon at Northside only add to the juggling act at the Jasper household.

Her new neighbors, Harry and Estelle Bentley, mean well with their friendly efforts to bring people together, but how can she deal with neighborhood concerns—like Greg Singer, who lost his job and is now trying to recruit sales reps from the neighborhood for his new venture—when she’s confronted with tragic family situations daily in her job? Like little Candy and her baby brother Pookey, victims of neglect . . .

With the “tyranny of the urgent” crowding out the important, Michelle is blindsided by danger involving her own kids—and a personal crisis that calls into question the very values she holds dear. How could this happen? Does God even care?

As her life unravels, a missing penny—and a “penny from heaven”—give her a shred of hope. But will God just laugh at her penny test?

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Dave and Neta Jackson

{MORE ABOUT DAVE AND NETA JACKSON}

Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.
As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Find out more about Dave and Neta at http://www.daveneta.com/.

My Review

I fell in love with Dave and Neta Jackson’s writing when I read the House of Hope series. (Their Yada Yada Prayer Group series is next in my queue!) I read all three books in like three days. (A book a day!) Penny Wise did not disappoint. This story offers a realistic view of what life is like for a mother of teenagers who also lead very active lives in their church. It’s firmly grounded in Christian principles, but it’s not preachy or judgmental. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series.

 

Simple Ways Parents Can Nurture Their Creativity

Nurturing your creativity takes time and attention, but as I’ve found out, it doesn’t take as much time as I had originally figured.

Thirty minutes a day can do wonders for a creative person. It can create a proverbial garden of inspiration.

Creative Life

In thirty minutes, you can:

Write a full page of your book (that’s about 250 words)

Edit a half a page.

Knit three rows of your latest project.

Sketch a part of a drawing.

Practice a couple of songs.

Go for a walk. (Daily walks are the best for clearing your brain and getting those creative juices flowing.)

Draft a blog post.

I used to thing I needed long, uninterrupted stretches of time to nurture my creativity. Well, my lifestyle doesn’t always allow me such luxuries. In fact, that last time I have a long, uninterrupted time to do anything was when I had an unexpected 11 hour layover at the Atlanta airport. (After getting over the grumpies about my layover, I didn’t think twice about getting to work on my latest project!)

Times When Busy Parents Can Nurture their Creativity

Before the children get up

While the children are eating.

When the children are busy playing.

NAP TIME!!!

Right before you go to bed.

This tiny snatches of time add up, but when we are in the midst of our days it can often seem like the exact opposite.

Time for you: Do you long to pursue a passion? Have you learned to snatch up minutes to nurture your creative life?

Easy Ways for Children to Unplug From Technology

My family needs to unplug from technology, but I have to confess, I am the main culprit behind our media saturated lifestyle. I often plop my children in front of the television in order to get things done.

Have you done that too?

(Crickets…)

It’s a quick fix but often comes with disastrous results. After spending time watching a movie on television, my children’s tempers flare up easily.

Does this happen to you?

(More crickets…)

Y’all need to speak up before I feel like the MOST.INCOMPETENT.PARENT.EVER.

Since my children are so young, they are still shaping their view of the world. Do I really want Disney and Dora to be the main conveyors of truth?

Nope.

media

I got to thinking about the path I’d like my children to walk. I’d like them to be grow up and become purveyors of truth rather than recipients of people’s propaganda. I’m taking baby steps to accomplish this:

To unplug from technology, I’ll expose my children to living books.

Charlotte Mason, a pioneer in the education of children, coined the term living books. To her, living books were written by an author who knew their subject very well. The author tends to write from their passion for the subject and this enthusiasm enables them to write in such a way that ignites the imagination of his/her readers.

To unplug from technology, I’ll limit my children screen time.

This is where I need to focus the majority of my efforts. For me, it comes down to managing my time better so I can stop doing this:

unplug from technology

And limiting their screen time doesn’t mean they NEVER EVER watch TV. It simply means I need to be more purposeful by scheduling it in and not using it as a crutch. Crutches can be disastrous. Just read about the time when my two year old walked out the front door!

To unplug from technology, I’ll give my children lots of outdoor play.

I recently read an article from NPR which said that Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills. This article propsoed that, as the generations passed, children’s capacity for self regulation (aka, self-control) decreased.

Playing in nature ignites a child’s capacity to imagine. I believe that our capacity to imagine is a gift from God. Something that I, as a mom, don’t want to squelch.

 

How about you? Do your children spend lots of time in front of a screen?