Conntecting the Dots

Wanna Be an Influencer for My New Book?

Hey — my latest book, 10-Minute Time Outs for You and Your Kids was released by Harvest House earlier this month. If you want to be a woman of influence, now’s your chance to jump on board in a practical way.

If you go to my website, you can read a sample from the book, see the cover photo, and read the list of endorsements. If you like what you see, get a copy of the book and use it with your kids. Then tell everyone you know about it — children’s ministry directors, other parents, Christian school principals, homeschool families, and even camp program directors (it’s ideal for camp counselors to use for bedtime devotionals with your kids). Write a review for amazon.com or amazon.ca. I would love to have your help in spreading the word about this book as a valuable resource for our kids’ spiritual development.

As women, there are lots of ways to influence our families and society for good and for God. This is just one practical way to do so. Let’s go to battle for our kids’ spiritual growth and well-being!

A Joyful Heart

On my desk sits a perpetual calendar filled with wonderful quotes. Today’s quote is from composer Joseph Haydn. He said, “When I think upon my God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.”

Sometimes we allow real-life problems to weigh us down and steal our joy. But Joseph’s words remind us that thinking upon God gives us a cheerful heart. I’ve found that to be true. When I focus on circumstances that are less than desirable, my joy fizzles. My spirit is left feeling like a withered balloon. And what does my countenance reflect? Let’s just say it ain’t a pretty sight. A woman with a positive influence? Forget it.

But when I think upon my God and His control over my circumstances, my heart is once again filled with joy. It’s never a bubbly, giddy feeling. Rather, it’s a deep-settled sense that everything’s under His control and I can rest. I can know that He’s at work in my situation, and I’m at peace. My countenance reflects my heart condition, and a smile is a natural overflow.

The next time we feel empty or discouraged, let’s think upon our God. Guaranteed, those thoughts will fill our hearts with cheer and enable us to serve Him with a cheerful heart. Therein lies the secret to being women of influence.

(Maybe this God-talk sounds foreign to you. Perhaps the only reference to God you’ve known is negative. Let me assure you, that’s not the case. If you want to know more about who God is, drop me a note!)

Know you are loved,
Grace

The Power of a Smile

I recently heard a woman tell about her encounter with a grocery store checkout clerk. As the woman — Judi — unloaded her groceries onto the conveyor belt, she noticed the clerk’s facial expression and body language. Everything about her screamed “Stress!” When the time came to pay, Judi handed her check to the clerk, smiled, and said, “Thank you for serving me so well this morning.”

The clerk stopped short and stared into Judi’s face.

Judi’s smile broadened and she seized the moment. “I really appreciate how you rang my groceries through your scanner accurately, and how you’ve taken the time to bag them.”

Consternation crossed the clerk’s face, and then her expression softened. “No one’s ever said that to me,” she said. “Thank you — you just made my day.”

We know nothing about the clerk’s background or home life. We know nothing about the personal struggles she may have been facing that day. But we know she found encouragement in Judi’s smile and comments.

Judi is a woman of influence. That morning she was sensitive to another person’s body language and by responding with kindness, she made a difference in the clerk’s day. How can we make a difference in someone’s life today? Maybe it’s by smiling and expressing appreciation to our husbands when they come home from work. Or by speaking positive words to the coworker who doesn’t say much and always looks sad. Or by encouraging the widow whose kids and grandkids live far away. Or by telling our kids that we love them. Or by telling the pastor and his wife that we appreciate their ministry. The list is endless.

Smiles and kind words are free. Let’s practice giving them away!

Welcome!

We’re a week into the New Year, and I’m determined to fulfill at least one of my resolutions. So here I am, nosediving into the world of blogging. This is yet another learning curve for me, but that’s okay. Learning curves make life interesting, right?

As I’ve thought about my blogging topic, one theme comes to mind. I want this to be a project that encourages women worldwide to discover their giftedness and develop their God-given potential so they can impact the generations to come. I envision including thought-provoking quotes, short interviews, and stories about women whose lives have made/are making a difference. I want to explore the character qualities their lives possess and learn how to emulate them. I want readers to share life lessons that others will find valuable, and for all to be challenged to a deeper faith walk.

Join me in this venture! I’ll kick off with a quote from Mother Teresa: “Let’s be willing to smile at one another, because a smile is the beginning of love. And once we begin to love one another, the desire to do something for one another more naturally follows.”

Imagine that! Sometimes we think we have to do something noteworthy and grand before we’re considered a woman of influence. But Mother Teresa’s words indicate otherwise. We simply need start with a smile. Sheesh — that’s easy. And it can be life-changing for a child whose home is filled with anger, an isolated senior, a frustrated teenager, or a lonely neighbor.

Whatever our schedule holds, let’s be sure to include a smile for those around us. The simple gesture might just lift someone’s fallen spirit, and it will fan the flame of love in our hearts.