UNPLUGGED

I’ve decided to unplug for awhile. I’m not sure what that will look like since I’ve never really done it. But I know that I need to place this blog and some other work activities on hold until further notice.

Blessings! Karen

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Num. 6:24-26 NIV)

 

7 Days until “Countdown to Christmas” – Gift Ideas, Recipes, Crafts, Storytelling, and More

Too soon to think about Christmas? Countdown2Xmas.pdf.110714

I can’t believe Christmas is ONLY eight weeks away! I know–I haven’t even planned for Thanksgiving either.

When my friend, Mary Larmoyeux, asked me to plan a Countdown to Christmas workshop with her, I realized the holidays were slipping up on me again. So, I thought this would be a great way to get a jump-start on some of my holiday planning.

I hope you will join us!

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
Workshop and Lunch

Friday, November 7, 2014
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

10 Remington Drive
Little Rock, AR 72204

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

I think you will enjoy this fun-filled day of gathering ideas for the holidays. Yes, you might even discover a few ideas for Thanksgiving!

What will you glean from this workshop?

  • Craft and gift ideas
  • Holiday recipes
  • Tips for storytelling
  • Delicious lunch
  • Unique book to help you connect with the kids in your life

Be sure to register by Tuesday, November 4, so we can prepare a place for you at the workshop.

Hope to see you there! Here’s a link to for more information about this special holiday workshop.

How are you planning to Countdown to Christmas this year? Be sure to leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Tempted to Quit? Keep Moving!

My legs quiver as I step onto the sidewalk in front of my home. How can I launch out for a walk feeling so weak?

Photo/KarenJordan

I take a second step, determined to go forward with my plan to regain my health by exercising.

Obstacles. My motivation to exercise overpowers my temptation to stop. I gain strength in each additional step, as I begin my lesson in perseverance.

But it will not be an easy journey. There are obstacles to overcome and goals to reach. Can I make it?

Resistance. Exercise, like other worthwhile endeavors, demands strength and stamina. The first morning I attempt my new exercise program, everything within me resists it, like opposite poles of two magnets.

I would rather do just about anything other than exercise. So, on my first day out, I let temptation win. I stay home, and I feel guilty the rest of the day.

Failures. By the next morning, my previous day’s failure serves as my primary motivating force. So, I lace up my walking shoes, purchased just for this occasion, and jog slowly out of my garage. My first goal has been accomplished. And the next thing I know, I’m crossing the street facing the next block.

Intimidation. Okay, this is going to be a breeze, I think. But by the time I turn the corner, another fear presents itself, as if to try to stop me in my tracks. An all-male construction crew building a house nearby alarms me because of the recent crimes in my neighborhood. I’m fearful of walking in front of them. But I hold my breath and walk on. I move this obstacle out of the way, as I change my route and proceed in another direction.

Distractions. As I walk uphill, I become short of breath. When I slow down to breathe, a gray squirrel catches my attention. He’s busy burying an acorn in my neighbor’s yard. I watch him as I walk by. When I look up, I’m already at the end of the street, about to turn the corner to complete another block.

Goals. I continue to accomplish small goals as I walk. In a short while, I’ve gone far enough, and I decide to return to my home. My mind is cleared by the fresh air, but my body is affected by the exercise.

When I arrive home, I’m exhausted, but surprisingly refreshed. As I sit down for a cool glass of water before I shower, I recall the distance I’ve covered. I feel good about myself, and I’m grateful that I resisted the temptation to quit.

Strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul tells us that the Lord’s “power is made perfect in weakness.”

I find that to be true as I confess my weaknesses to the Lord. Somehow,  I find strength as I face my weaknesses each day.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak … those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength … they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Is. 40:29-31 NIV)

Where have your faced resistance in your life? How did you overcome it?

Photo/KarenJordan

Choosing the Things That Matter Most

Do you struggle with choosing the things that matter most in your life? Are you wandering through your wilderness of chaos?

Photo/KarenJordan

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my struggle with focus as a writer, and I invited others  to consider my “40-Day Challenge: Telling the Stories That Matter Most” on the WordServe Water Cooler. Since I struggle with this problem in other areas of my life, I wanted to share my recent WordServe post on my personal blog.

In your busy life, how do you determine which things matter most?

A close examination of our priorities helps a lot. But often in the process of prioritizing, we realize that we’ve neglected some of our greatest concerns—like our health, marriage, children, or faith.

Prayer for Family Unity and Reconciliation

Does unity and reconciliation seem impossible in your family?

Photo/TaraRossMy family is separated by distance, and we have often also been divided by some of our differences—interests, opinions, lifestyles, ages, economy, and some pretty serious disagreements.

My mother longed for unity in our family, and she always grieved over our physical separation. Now that my children are grown with families of their own, I understand Mother’s concern. But I also understand the need for my children to find their own paths, which often includes some difficult times of being apart.

With each family member going their own way, I will admit that I’ve often lost hope for unity and reconciliation. And I’ve wondered if I would even recognize when the answer to this particular prayer comes.

What does unity and reconciliation even look like?

I’m looking forward to teaching a storytelling workshop at the Good Shepherd Retirement Center in Little Rock this fall.

Date: October 14, 2014
Time: 02:30-04:00 p.m.
Event: Storytelling Workshop: Good Shepherd Retirement Center
Topic: Telling the Stories That Matter Most
Sponsor: Good Shepherd Retirement Center
501-224-7200
Venue: Good Shepherd Retirement Center
501-224-7200
Location: 2701 Aldersgate Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72205
USA
Public: Public

Facing the Mirror

It all started with my mirror ….

Photo/MilesRoss

I didn’t like what I saw–gray hair, wrinkles, and an extra chin. I could only see my faults—weaknesses, mistakes, and failures–nothing worthwhile.

But that’s not the worst part. I found myself focusing all the negative things around me, too. And I almost missed it.

Check Out Dena Dyer’s Blog!

Check out Dena Dyer’s blog this week. Why? Because I think you’ll enjoy it. Plus, I want you to read my guest post, “First, Do No Harm: Lessons in Life and Nature.”

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Photo/DenaDyer (denadyer.com)

MEET DENA DYER!

I met Dena Dyer a few years ago on my way to the CLASS Christian Writers’ Conference. I’m not sure Dena remembers that moment, but I sure do.

My daughter Tara and I sat across the aisle from her on the plane on our flight from Dallas to Albuquerque.

When I realized that Dena had already published a book, I quizzed her about her journey to publication. [Sorry, Dena!]

Enough! Considering the White Space of Grace

As I considered all the changes I needed to make awhile back, the word “enough” seemed to keep rolling out of my restless heart and consuming my anxious thoughts.

Photo/Jordan

Where do I begin? 

Do I work on one of those book proposals? Do I need to write another blog post? Do I have a speaking event scheduled this month? Do I need to work on my website?

I don’t know where to start! Enough!

At first, I thought this mental confusion might be an emotional reaction to stress. Soon, I realized that I needed a divine revelation.

I needed some white space!