Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm Ready

It's a new year! A new opportunity is upon us. Possibly, if you read my blog, you are either a divorcee, or have been through some other traumatic experience that left you in a space and time where you needed to start from the beginning, again. Maybe, you needed to look at your life as a blank page and see some possibility there, then figure out how to make something with what you had after the storm. I have been there, and am still in the middle of the message. I am still working out my miracle!

That is what every day of my life is about - trusting God to make a miracle out of every one of my tests which have become testimonies and my trials which have becomes triumphs. He will do that for me, and for you because He has never respected people, caring for one of us more than another. But He requires something from us - we have to do the work with faith.

So, you don't need any resolutions today. What you need is a made up mind and a modicum of faith that God will take care of you. You need to be sure within yourself that there is something worth developing in you that must come to fruition; that God will not stop manifesting the evidence of those things not seen but surely hoped for; until the day of their completion.

There are so many ways for us to be ready. This year, I am going to concentrate on helping to get us ready. I am going to focus on introducing us to all of the concepts and elements that are helping me rebuild my life. That will include some writing, some video broadcasts, and even some fun giveaways.

We have an exciting year ahead of us! I am ready to embrace it and all it has to offer. Hey 2012 - I'm Ready!

Friday, December 16, 2011

And this just in...

The non permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of summer and winter seasons.
                                                        Bhagavad Gita
Recovering from any traumatic circumstance can be a daunting process. Whether it be illness, divorce, death or even financial ruin, there is surely going to be an assault on your mind and your Spirit if you dare to mend and live again. It is part of our destiny that arrows will come by day and by night - if we dare to stand.

In this past year, there have been tests and testimonies, trials and triumphs, the nature of which I never imagined, in my life. Me: always independent, worker, studier, faithful to a fault; caregiver, provider, fixer of things in general wherever they seem amiss - sidelined by a somewhat mysterious illness with no real known origin and no definitive cure. One of those hidden diseases that allows me to look normal everyday (okay, NEARLY every day) even while uncontrollable symptoms rage through my nervous system producing incapacitating pain.
There really are some things that are beyond my control. Who knew? At some point, my very own body has turned traitor and revolted. Fibromyalgia will do that. This disease has rendered me unable to work, and sometimes not able to pay a bill that before was a routine task. Some days, I have even doubted myself whether all this is real - how could a perfectly healthy woman go through two years of illness and come out in this condition? God knows this was not my plan for my life.

I find strength in the fact that this too shall pass. Tomorrow promises not to be the same as today. 3 months from now will certainly not present the same circumstance or pomp as this present moment. We have the promise that right now God is working out something in us that will be for our good and for the good of others.

I've had to learn to accept the goodwill of others, while also knowing the difference between goodwill and burden. No matter how much people want to help you, you can only be a receiver for so long before it becomes a burden. I have embraced the knowledge that I can give of myself in so many other ways than I previously knew. I've mustered up a seed of faith and watched it snowball into a garden of fortitude. The hope that makes me not ashamed and keeps me pushing forward is that I have this treasure in my earthly body that must be revealed.

I may have to defy my doctors to get back to work, because a man that doesn't work doesn't eat. Yep, I know that word really pertained to men in the gospel story, but in our society it pertains to everybody. In the mean time, I am building my health, my character, my Spirit - all to fulfill the promise that is within me.

I have a lot planned for 2012, including a methodical plan for success.  
How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When I review children's books, I look for a couple of elements that make them acceptable for my children. If they can pass muster in my family, then they are good to recommend. It's kinda the Litmus test for Readable Books for the Towns family.

How amazing is it when the issue of a child's heart is gratitude? Anthony DeStefano's This Little Prayer of Mine not only entertains our children, it teaches them how to pray and expresses gratitude to God, among other things.

A book has to have a purpose to make it past round one in our house. This Little Prayer of Mine finds purpose in teaching all children that prayer can be simple, is accessible to them, and is an international method of communicating with God. This little book is packed with purpose.

Next, the book should pronounce it's main message simply and make it easily understood. DeStefano more than meets this requirement by providing a rhythmic cadence and words that my 8 year old finds familiar yet new again in this setting. He gets the simple message: prayer is talking to God.

Finally, the book has to have excellent illustrations. Little Prayer of Mine offers detailed illustration of children from all nationalities with primary and bold colors that cause the reader to linger on each page. Bothy my son and I spent time just looking at the pictures and talking about them.

Little Prayer of Mine passed our litmus test with flying colors. We have read and re-read many times already. This is a book that will find a permanent place in our library, and in our hearts.

Find out more about the author on his website: Spirituality Made Simple.

Note: This book was provided for me by Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes. The thoughts and ideas expressed here belong completely to me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Diamond Candles Company Giveaway Opportunity

Have you experienced a soy candle with amazing aroma that inspires and makes your holidays go smooth and relaxed? Have you seen anything like waiting with anticipation what's going to be peaking out of the hot soy liquid while the candle is still burning? If not, then Diamond Candles Company would like to invite you to Review and Giveaway their Precious soy candles. Why "precious" you'll ask?

Well, each candle harbors a ring valued anywhere from $10-$100-$500-$5000 each. It's anticipation that really gets you going! What kind of a ring am I going to unveil from the glittery pouch hidden inside the soy wax?

The Criteria for Your Participation can be found at Celebrate Women Today. Hurry over and find out more!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Consider, Review and Revise: Vision Casting

Once I decided that I would be healed from the wounds of broken vows and this broken relationship, I knew I had to have a plan for recovery. There is no way to sustain healing without a plan to live healed. I had to consider the best ways to help myself and my children through divorce and create an atmosphere of wholeness and healing for them. That included having a working relationship with their father. That took planning.

While I was on the path to divorce recovery, I got sick. Not just flu or pneumonia - disablingly ill. For nearly two years I battled illness in addition to awesome nature of this huge life change, going from having a husband and a full nuclear family to being a divorced woman with children.  I had actively engage as a  focused advocate for my family AND advocate for myself in a sea of doctors, specialists and human resource people for my health and our financial livelihood.  It took a plan.

Annually reviewing the outcome of my choices, I question whether I've lived up to the standard I set and if my life is in a desirable condition. Am I living how I want? Did I achieve anything? Was I a good parent, sister, daughter, friend, servant of the Lord? Did I do all that I could to represent Christ on this earth? Was my stewardship equal to the mandate of my Christian life (did I spend my money, time and gift accountably?) Did I do anything to bring something good into the world? What do I need to do going forward?

At this very moment you are sowing seeds that will bear fruit in the next season of your life. You reap what you sow. In order to influence what your gonna reap, you have to be cognizant; aware of what you've planted and plan to plant better or differently. I call this process Vision Casting.

"Choice, not chance creates our destiny."
Bishop C. Garnett Henning

Consider springs preparation for summer - what an easy correlation. We all know the idiom that April showers bring May flowers; or that Spring comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. These both suggest that a certain condition (rain, wind, temperature) affect another condition (vegetation, temperature, bounty).  There is a connected process; real evidence that its a cause and effect thing. What nature does in the spring affects the conditions of the summer.

For my personal vision casting, I block out uninterrupted time to give it my full attention. Get a room in a nice hotel, put out the do not disturb sign and try NOT fall asleep, but focus on the task at hand. (Yes, I have so gotten a room for the weekend with this intention and spent most of that time sleeping. Hmm...being a woman is hard in an ADD world!) Get some comfy lounge wear, pencil and paper, nice comforting music and energy food, and go for it - dig into it. Start with a free flow of writing about the year in review.

You could Vision Cast without reviewing, but I believe the results are just better if you know who you are. To know that is to bear in mind from whence you came. Talking or writing about the successes and failures of this past year gives a tangible, concrete picture and positions us for new growth.

Intrinsically, I know the value of looking at the past before making a new plan. One of the most credible reasons for review is supported by the very existence of the Bible - a look at the past of our Christian faith to show us how to live in the right now.

We live in a world of situational attention deficiency - there is just too much going on. Our fast paced technologically sustained world and the constant situations that arise won't allow us to effectively store the detailed plan in our minds. To move steadily through an experience like divorce we need the presence of peace and purpose with a steadfast hope for those things to come.

The word of God plainly mandates us to record our visions to make them understandable, which will give us the strength to stay focused in fulfilling them. Writing it down, taking it from your mind and making it tangible, takes some of the chaos out of living.

Do you do something similar to vision casting in your life? How has it helped you? Do you believe that not making a plan is still the same thing as making choices about your standard of living? What have you read, heard or experienced that helps you manage your life? Share it with me in the comments section.

Although this is not a contest posting, there may be a gift for fruitful comments. Make sure to include your email address in your comments!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland Giveaway!

Welcome to the Winter Wonderland Giveaway Event. We have partnered up with lots of different and wonderful bloggers to bring you some fabulous prizes, just in time for the Holiday Season! Giveaway starts December 2nd at 12:01 AM EST to December 15th at 12:01 AM EST. Giveaway winners will be announced through the Rafflecopter widget and notified by email by the end of the day on December 17th, 2011. Winners must reply to email notification within 48 hours of delivery, or a new winner will be chosen.
Participating Blogs that made these giveaways possible:

Pink Dandy Chatter
Outnumbered Mama
PS Mom Reviews 
Pawsitive Living
Spilled Milkshake Thrifty Divas
Indiana Coupon Savings
Social Studies Momma 
  The Frugal Mom Debs Dealz 
Mamalou's Gems 
  Magical Mouse Schoolhouse Disney Contests and Sweepstakes
$uper $avin' Momma 
  Personalized Sketches and Sentiments Half-Pint House Handouts
Chitown Cheapskate  Get Outta My Head Please 
Capturing Magical Memories Finger Click Saver
  Tenuous Thoughts of Candy Reading Teen
  Sober Julie Doing Life One Busy Moma
All In One Mom Luv Saving Money
Jenny At Dapperhouse
My Secret Home
Black, Divorced and Virtuous A Gal Needs...
Sweeping The USA Between The Lines
  Mommies and Beyond Crunchy Beach Mama
  Savin' It Up 
  Mayra's Secret Bookcase
The Working Writer's Club
Counting My Kisses 
Lily's Laundry 
Thrifty Mommas Tips 
  Yummy Boy Mummy

* Winner will receive one Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display Kindle Touch
*This giveaway is open to the US Only

*There will be 1 winner chosen to win this giveaway
* Winner will receive one $50 gift card to use at
*This giveaway is open to the US Only

*There will be 1 winner chosen to win this giveaway