Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tough Choices

Life is about choices: good ones and bad ones, easy ones and tough ones. This year started out with a tough choice--am I or am I not planning vacation Bible school (VBS) this summer?

Our church is very small and there are very few children right now. The children are also spread out in ages. We have a teen, a tween, two preschoolers, and an infant. Sunday school has become a challenge because the church needs to have in-depth and meaningful lessons for the older kids, but it also needs lessons that are easy to understand for the preschool kids.

Though our numbers are few, VBS has always been important to our ministry. We used to spend months planning VBS, but now it only takes a few weeks. We've gone from five days down to three days. As I looked at my calendar this year, considered our numbers, and pondered the age gap, I came to the decision that after more than 30 years, our church would not be holding vacation Bible school this summer. Yes, my girls have always loved it, but it is time to focus our attention on other outreaches.

It seems like the right choice, and yet, I struggled with it. Does canceling it this year mean VBS at our church is done forever? Is this just one step toward the closing of our little church? Though faithful, one can't help but consider how this one choice impacts the future.

Please pray that we follow God's direction and that He continues to bless this little church.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Teen Devotional:One God, One Plan, One Life by Max Lucado

In One God, One Plan, One Life, bestselling author Max Lucado offers teens an accessible way to connect with their Lord. Daily devotions address such topics as faith and obedience but also offer wisdom on topics that teens battle, such as purity, bullying, alcohol and drug use, and self-image. Each day includes a short devotion and accompanying scripture as well as a take-away application that will inspire and challenge teens to trust in God and His plans for them.

Number of Pages: 400
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 1400322634
ISBN-13: 9781400322633

Purchase here!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Goals for 2015

It's that time of year again! Is is crazy that I look so forward to setting goals for the upcoming year? Even though I often fall short, I'm happy to keep checking my progress throughout the year.

My previous update for 2014 was in October. Here's where I stand to close out the year:

Daily Bible reading between 8 and 8:30 a.m.

I stuck with this goal for a while, but as soon as I started working it fell by the wayside. Though I've read several times since my last posting in October, I'm not reading daily.

Reduce blogging/reviewing duties.

This was an easy goal because I am out of the house so  much I don't get a chance to read as much as I once did.

Complete the first draft of my middle grade historical Amelia's Mission by February 28th.

I'm disappointed that I couldn't meet this goal, but I have plans for 2015 (see below).

Research one new publisher/agent a month. I want to submit more often.

I didn't follow through with this one enough, but I am slowly checking out names and places.

Complete editing projects.

This was an addition in the latter half of 2014 once I received word from these clients they were proceeding. I am currently working on these two projects, but they will overlap into the new year.

2015 Goals

Since I already know that the main focus for 2015 will be on expanding my real estate business, my other goals are very trim. If I find I have more time, they can be expanded.

Daily Bible verse reading.

As long as I read one verse a day, I'll be happy.

Complete editing projects.

Two projects came in at the same time: one moderate and the other substantial. I plan to be done with them by the end of January--God willing.

Complete Amelia's Mission by May 31st.

I have surgery coming up in February, so I'm thinking I might be able to use some down time to complete this story. I'm 15 chapters in, so I really feel that's doable.

Reconsider blogging duties. 

I started two new blogs in 2014 that I would like to post to at least twice a week. I also plan to keep The Book Connection and The Children's and Teen's Book Connection going. I'm considering getting rid of The Busy Mom's Daily or making it strictly posts to its Facebook page.

As far as real estate goes, I've set a monetary goal and I have a business planning meeting all set for next week with my manager. I would like to hire a part-time marketing assistant to help me get my name out there. I've got two listings now--one that will close in January--and another listing on the horizon. I'm also working with some buyers, renters, and landlords, so I know I want to focus on the meeting and greeting end of the business. A marketing assistant will free up more time for me to concentrate on that goal.

Hope you had a wonderful 2014. Feel free to share some of your accomplishments and challenges. Are you setting goals for 2015?

Happy New Year! Blessings of peace, joy, and happiness.