The roll out of each new year brings with it a sense of anticipation that the upcoming year will be as good or better than last year.  Here are a few SIMPLE things that can help move your life, relationships and business or ministry forward in 2019. If you lay a strong foundation in your personal life it will reflect  positive results into your professional life. In addition to what we share in our 7 Simple Skills for Every Man or Woman books, there are a few traditions and tools that help Bill and I make forward movement each year:

adventure pam farrel verse 2016Pray for God’s Heart: In January, we completed a “seek week” where we step out of our “normal” schedule and take a little more time to pray, worship  and explore scripture.

I have found ANY week of the year that you create more space for God can be your “seek week” and God will grant you wisdom and insight from heaven’s view point.  My goal at the end of seek week is to have a verse for the year that I can hang my heart on.  This year, God lead me to my Word of the Year: Adventure, because the road ahead is bringing a lot of change. We are currently packing to place our home on the market. We will then downsize and move our home (and our Love-Wise ministry) nearer Bill’s aging parents.  (Read the details on how and why I selected My Word of the Year  and  the powerful results that can happen by using a Word of the Year to focus your energy.)

I am a woman who loves the outdoors  and  I have learned on these adventures that  a positive attitude, an inspired heart, a determined spirit and a flexible plan can help you overcome ANY challenge turning OBSTACLES into ADVENTURES.

As I prayed over a few verses I thought might help me “Embrace Adventure”, my friend, Vicki Heath, the President of First Place 4 Health, and author of Don’t Quit, Get Fit,  recommended one I had already been pondering:

“…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things God has in store for those who love Hipsalms 55 22 bible artm.” (1 Cor 2:9)

Paint the Promise:  Last year I began Bible art journaling. One day in a quiet time, I read Psalms 55:22 and then dug into my Logos Bible software to study deeper meaning. What I discovered is when we “hurl” or throw our “burden” God sustains us. It is interesting that the word burden can also be translated gift, assignment or allotment.  So things that we think are heavy burdens, God sees as a gift to our life! And the word “sustain” means God will “nourish” or “nurture” us so we can achieve that heaven-sent assignment.  In SIMPLE terms, this verse is a promise that God will uphold both us and our ministry or calling. God will uphold YOU and YOUR ASimple Skills Pam Farrel Quote changeSSIGNMENT!  That is Good News for a New Year!

Plan Specifically:, I will have the joy of leading a workshops on my new book 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together. One of the activities I enjoy most is leading woman through the process of creating her own personal plan of success. Part of that plan will be to help her identify her word, verse and theme for the year. We will then put feet to the dreams by setting some goals so she can  make progress in her life. You can download the goal setting YOUR BEST YEAR YET worksheets Bill and I use to help you set some key goals for 2016. (for couples /  for women)

Project Success: Next, work your goals into your daily life. One way we do this is by sharing breakfast together, pray over our days and once a week we use a worksheet to talk through what we believe God wants us to accomplish that week. (Click here to download Weekly Meeting: Marriage Unity  worksheet) We often go to a Christian bookstore and buy other items with our word or verse of the year on them adventure mug scrabble(mugs, journals, art or plaques).

Prepare a Team. Each day at 3:20, we pray Ephesians 3:20 over our life, our family and those I might be with. We have recruited a team who also pray Eph. 3:20 over our life and ministry too. So as I close this business minded blog, I am praying God’s blessings and vision over your ministry:

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us

3 20 alarm phone

 

 

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author (or co-author) of 44 books including her newest, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success In Keeping It All Together . Pam and her husband, Bill, are co-Directors of Love-wise.com  and in 2016, after they reach their goal of relocating, want to begin traveling and speaking in the countries that represent the 15 languages their books have been translated into.

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christmas pam bill moveYou learn a lot about yourself and why you hold on to things when you move! We are downsizing significantly to a simplified #midlifeadventure home. Yes, we will have an office and perhaps a smaller lakeside cabin one day, but for now my time has been spent sorting, selling or finding a home for all the “things” that have made our house a home. And for two authors, the THOUSANDS of books we own are a big part of what makes our place “home.” Read More →

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Maureen pic from booksigningIt is poignantly fitting that National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month occurs in the same month as one of our most memorable holidays – Thanksgiving Day. Alzheimer’s is a disease that robs people of their memories. Thanksgiving Day is an occasion when people gather to celebrate, give thanks, and weave conversation from past to present to future memories. Photos, videos, and audio recordings will be made during the festivities. And some of these will make their way sometime in the future into the lap of someone who once participated and remembered, but now needs to be gently coaxed to even recognize the people, frozen in time, smiling up at them from a photo album.

As authors, we use our memories all the time. Even if the stories we write have nothing to do with what we’ve experienced in the past, we call upon certain elements of our lives to flesh out and inform our work. And it is here that my CAN blog for this month focuses. How do you capture things and people, places and events as you experience them? How do you recall them? Are they now as they were then? Or, has time colored them differently or your experience from then to now given you fresh perspective.

One example of the fragility of memory came, for me, rather unexpectedly (and humorously). Years ago, when sack lunches were PB&J and chips, there were those cupcakes. Ah, you know what I mean. Those chocolate cake, chocolate frosting-with-a-swirl-of white cupcakes that made sitting through boring classes worthwhile.

When news came months ago that those cupcakes would disappear from store shelves, many were devastated. But, they returned – to great fanfare and acclaim. So it was that I found myself scouting store shelves for those cakey, sweet treats of “yesteryear.” And, I found them!  But were they the same as before? Alas, no.

Or, perhaps they were the same, but I had changed. Adult now, and very conscious of eating healthfully, instead of ripping open the package and digging in, the first thing I did was locate the label – calories, sugars, carbs…yup. Then, I secured a napkin and contemplated a fork, not eager to make a mess on the placemats I’d just laundered. Only then did I nibble on the cake. The taste was there, and the delicious combination of frosting, creamy center, and cake. But I have to say that my inner grown up had squelched a bit of the inner child by approaching the grand moment as I did.

We might do the same thing when we re-read our journals, revisit old pictures, or try to get a sense of an historic venue or person. That is, what we remember might change a little, twist and bend a little, because we are approaching the memory not with the eyes of fresh experience, but with the years – and events – that have washed like waves on the sand. Something is bound to have faded or disappeared, but something new is in its place.

In a work of fiction, part of individualizing characters means understanding their present and their past – and what memories they carry with them that influence and inspire them. Another layer to this is to understand whether they remember things exactly as they happened, or do they skew them a bit because of who they are in the present?  Differences in memory can certainly flame conflict, especially if a character insists that someone did something or something happened one way, when it actually happened another.

The things a character remembers can tell much about who he or she is. Do they remember colors over shapes? Character over mannerisms?  Do they forget eye color, but remember how someone smiles or waves?

For many, the holidays, particularly Christmas, are rich with inspiration. Throughout these next few weeks, when you put on a writer’s “cap” and marvel at how many new elements you have to put into your work, think a bit, too, about how you will remember, and what you feel is most important, in your heart, to never forget.

Blessings and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

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Maureen Pratt, CAN Member-at-Large

Maureen Pratt

Hello, again!  Maureen Pratt here for my monthly blog post. And what a month it’s becoming! No doubt many of you have multiple works in progress gracing your keyboards, computer screens, notebooks, and imaginations. Some deadlines, too. The life of a working writer. And then…something happens. How do we handle health and other emergencies and keep our writing in mind and heart, too? We are writers, after all, and writers, well, we write.

As I write this, I am in the midst of a significant family emergency. One minute, I was working on a new magazine article, and hours later, wham!  Still consumed by the situation, I have come up for a bit of air – I know that other writers experience the same thing. Certainly those of us with ongoing health conditions have experienced “life intervening,” fracturing the fragile status that we create in which we pen our work. So, with this in mind, I have some suggestions for us working writers “when something happens, and especially how we can keep our writing skills going along the way:

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Jeanette Hanscome

Happy New Year from Jeanette! I’m just getting back into my routine after a fun week with family and a wonderful Christmas. I think it seemed even more wonderful because it almost wasn’t.

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