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Going Higher

Spring has definitely arrived and Jayme Hull, my guest for today’s blog, writes of picnic time in the spring.

Going Higher

By Jayme Hull

Picnic time is just around the corner. Everyone has a favorite cookout smell that brings back good times and memories. One of my Dad’s favorite sandwiches is a good ol’ American hot dog.

Last year, while Dad was visiting, we planned a special picnic get-together. When I went to the grocery store I had forgotten how large a selection of hot dogs we have to pick from! One brand caught my eye in particular, the “Hebrew National.”  Even more profound than their brand name was their slogan:

“We answer to a higher authority.”

I chuckled, “Hey, so do I!” Of course, my curiosity converted me into a consumer—I bought the dogs. I have to admit the hot dogs were juicy and delicious.

So, here is today’s question: “What is your slogan?”

Do you answer to a higher authority?

If Christian women of today would live like we answer to a higher authority, our lives and families would look different. This is what mentoring is all about. Helping woman realize they are blessed and privileged to answer to a higher authority.

 

You may be asking:

  • How do I mentor others?
  • What does mentoring look like?

Here is an example:

Young Woman: I just don’t understand how to hear God’s voice.

Mentor: No worries, this is a common question. I can give you an example. I am married and I spend all my time with my husband. I communicate with him and I know what he thinks and how he lives his life. When my husband calls me on the phone, he doesn’t have to say, “Hi honey. This is your husband.”

You see, the minute he says my name I know who he is because I know his voice. I have spent quality time with him and know him inside and out.

As you spend more time in God’s Word you begin to learn His character. You will recognize His commands and His love.

Before I end my time mentoring I always pray over the young believer and encourage her to seek and answer to the higher authority in Jesus Christ.

Even more exciting—as a mentor, you will walk away renewed in your own faith. Scripture says as you refresh others, you yourself will be refreshed. Be encouraged as you mentor the next generation of believers. God will bless you as you pour your life into others.

Jayme Hull Bio:
Jayme’s ministry is focused on mentoring others with a clear and strong biblical foundation. She is a graduate of New York University, and currently a Bible Study teacher, piano teacher and mentor to numerous women of all ages. She and her husband, John, currently live in Nashville, TN.

Visit Jayme at: www.jaymeleehull.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.

All other standard copyrights apply.

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National Arbor Day

Today my guest is Hally Franz who suggests our families celebrate National Arbor Day by making memories!

 

Plant a Tree, Grow a Memory

By Hally Franz

Road trips and vacations have always been great memory-makers for families, but let’s not overlook the potential to build memories in the simple, everyday activities that occur right at home. Memories are often made on steamy afternoons spent cooling one another with a hose or water balloons, or by building and playing in crunchy, colorful leaf piles. When children finally get that coveted snow day, they love exhausting themselves in the white stuff. And, here’s another thought—make Arbor Day special in your home. It’s a great way to spend quality family time, teach, improve our environment and serve others.

Here’s How 

National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April; this year that happens to fall on April 26th. The Arbor Day Foundation will send a set of trees at a nominal fee, and your state may have programs through 4-H that provide free trees for planting each spring. Order your seedlings in advance, so that you are ready for the big day.

Gather your gardening tools and assign jobs for each family member; one will dig, another place the tiny sprig, another water and so on. If you order a group of trees, you may find some surprises in the batch, and you may not know exactly what you’ve planted until it begins to grow. That’s all part of the fun.

 

Make it An Event

Prepare snacks that come only from trees (nuts, fruits, figs and olives), and discuss Bible times and what their diet may have been like. Or stop by a woodshop beforehand, and pick up some wood samples to share with your family. Think about colonial life and how these woods may have been used. The possibilities are endless.   

 

An Opportunity to Serve

If you don’t have a large yard or if it is already full of shade, offer to plant the trees at your church or for an elderly neighbor or friend. Your family will have an added bonus of making another person’s day.

 

Watch it Grow

My family’s tree survival rate is approximately 50%, still pretty cheap entertainment at about $1 per tree. It will take some years for your trees to be standing tall, but simple occasions like these may make memories to comfort and sustain you and your children for years to come.

 

 

About the Author:

Hally Franz writes about her observations on family, faith, parenting and people. A former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom, Hally is a 4-H leader, and she serves as her church secretary and a Bible class teacher. She enjoys traveling with family and monthly book club meetings with pals.

 

 

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.

All other standard copyrights apply.

 

 

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A Reading Tale

I am delighted to have Kathy Carlton Willis as my guest today. Kathy is the owner of Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. Today she writes of her rite-of-passage to reading. Enjoy her post and share your rite-of-passage in the comments section!

APRIL – Library Snapshot Month

 

A Reading Tale

By Kathy Carlton Willis

I’ve always been a lover of books—the opportunity to visit a new world, a new time, a new way of life. What’s your rite-of-passage reading story? I’ll start with mine.

As soon as I started school, Mother encouraged me to learn to read. She was a voracious reader, eager for me to develop the same love of books. This Chatty Kathy enjoyed every form of communications since my first spoken word. The written word was no different—I took to it like gravy goes with biscuits. Remember those Weekly Reader magazines (oh, the delicious smell of the ink and paper!)? The SRA Reading Lab inspired me to read not just for speed, but for retention.

When I received my first public library card around age 6, Mom walked us to the library several times a month. Yes, it seemed like it was two miles uphill both ways, but it was worth it! Our little town of four thousand was blessed with a Carnegie library (built in 1905) full of well-loved books. Mom taught me how to follow my favorite authors—I read all their titles. I knew how to thumb through a card catalog and recite the Dewey decimal system. By the time I outgrew the children’s section, I had read every book and graduated to the “grown-up” shelves.

Most avid readers say their idea of a time-out from stress and life involves curling up with a good book—claw-foot tub or blazing fireplace optional.

My favorite reading tip is this: Don’t waste time on a mediocre book. When reading for recreation, remember that you aren’t in school anymore. You aren’t being graded for reading every word. So if a book doesn’t appeal to you, put it down! Grab a different one. We have only so much time in life—definitely not enough time to get bogged down with a boring book or confusing storyline.

Just because a book earned rave reviews doesn’t mean it’s the right book for you, any more than gorgeous size 7 shoes will fit size 10 feet!

Think about your own reading tale. What was it like when you learned to read? When did you discover your local library? Do you recall the favorite authors of your early years? Who inspired you to read more? What challenges you today in your reading? We all have a story—even a reading story!

Kathy Carlton Willis Bio:

Kathy Carlton Willis gets jazzed speaking for women’s events and writers conferences across the country. She’s known for her practical and often humorous messages. Kathy enjoys fiddling with words as a writer and also coaches others. When not reading or writing books, she serves as a happy pastor’s wife.

Web: http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com

 

 

 

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.

All other standard copyrights apply.

 

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Eight Gifts You can Give to Your Young Child’s Brain

My guest blogger today is Sandra Sunquist Stanton. April is the Month of the Young Child and there is no one more important to invest our time, our lives, in than our young children. Sandra offers wonderful advice on how to help our young child develop a healthy brain!

April is the Month of the Young Child

Eight Gifts You can Give to your Young Child’s Brain

By Sandra Sunquist Stanton

Nothing brightens my day like a baby’s contagious laugh. We can give them what they need to be happy, without breaking the bank. April celebrates the young child. These tips might help you, parents and caregivers, guide your little ones toward healthy brain development.

1. Security

You create his world. If he feels safe, he will be willing to try new things. If he is fearful, he may withdraw, refuse contact and choose to protect himself.

2. Touch

Loving touch soothes the central nervous system for both you and your child. It communicates safety and love. Enjoy snuggles, massage, and rocking while reading to her. These times are short.

3. Fuel Food

His brain doesn’t store the fuel it needs to operate. An infant’s brain uses 70% of his body’s energy. Every day it needs water, fresh fruit, and omega 3 healthy fats. These building blocks create and strengthen connections between his 100 billion brain cells.

4. Music

Both sides of her brain are active when she enjoys music. It’s a workout for her brain. She forms stronger memories when many parts of the brain are involved.

5. Movement

Your child’s vestibular system coordinates sensory input to send to his brain. Dance, skip, clap, and let him help you in the kitchen and garden. These activities provide the movement that gives each experience depth and dimension. His learning becomes multidimensional, richer and easier for him to remember and build on as he grows.

6. Reading and Language

Talking and reading with your child prepares her for reading and learning. Time with you is the best way to help her learn language patterns and support early social development. Does reading the same book over and over again get old? Remember repetition is exactly what her brain needs to learn.

7. Rest and Sleep

During quiet times his brain gets a chance to process his mountain of experiences. When he’s busy, his neurons are busy taking in sensory information. His brain’s original cells still need to be connected to one another. That happens during these breaks.

8. You!

Enjoy your time together. Give her face-to-face practice matching your expressions and language with everyday activities. Electronic media cannot substitute for time with you. She learns that she matters when you respond to her. Enjoy this together time and make some memories.

Sandra Sunquist Stanton Bio:

Sandra Sunquist Stanton NCC, LPC, BCC, translated, means she is a National and Wisconsin Counselor and Nationally Certified Health/Wellness and Personal/Life Coach. She served as school counselor for 25 years and is nearing delivering her 100th brain coaching program. Her clear descriptions of everyday neuroscience applications help others find their best lives.

See: www.ourbrainbuddies.com

 

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.

All other standard copyrights apply.

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Math and Marriage

My guest today is Deb DeArmond and she has written a wonderful piece on math and marriage.  Enjoy!!

April is National Math Awareness Month

 

Crazy Math

By Deb DeArmond

Marriage is a two-for.

You know what a two-for is, don’t you? You buy one, get one for free. When you marry your sweetheart, you actually get more than just one free. You get an entire additional family. What a bargain!

April is National Math Awareness Month. Apparently, some of us weren’t paying attention when that celebration rolled our way. Mama told me, “Marry the man, marry the family.”

But the marriage math doesn’t end there. “And the two shall become one flesh. Since they are no longer two, but one” (Mark 10:8 NIV). Do the Math Awareness people have that one figured out? I doubt it.

God planned this unique mathematical equation: 1+1=1. If it sounds impossible, it’s not. But it’s not simple, either. I’ve been married 37 years. When people ask how we’ve managed to stay together, happy all these years, I reply, “I travel a lot.” We joke that after all these years, Ron’s concluded it’s “cheaper to keep her.” A sense of humor probably doesn’t hurt either. We’ve agreed to take marriage seriously, and ourselves less so. It’s hard to stay mad when you’re laughing.

God knew it wouldn’t be easy for us to set aside our “me first” human nature and put things in biblical order. God expects to be first, and wants our spouse to be next in priority. Romans 12 reminds us, “in honor give preference to one another.” That puts me in spot number three in my life, running contrary to my selfish nature. But if I prefer my husband and he prefers me, we are each well cared for and the relationship is in order as together we submit to God. But if I get just one item out of order—my job, or friends, even my kids—the math equation begins to come apart.

The good news is that God is there when we forget how to add it up. And since He created marriage, He has provided the manual on how to care for it and how to repair it when needed.

So go to the author of the instruction manual on marriage. The one who believed it possible, if not easy, to create one from two. “Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (Matthew 19:6). Although this sounds like a warning against outside influences, it’s also a reminder to couples that even we do not have God’s approval to blow up our marriages when things get tough.

Marriage. Crazy math. Questions? Go to the great mathematician. He’s got it solved.

 

Deb DeArmond Bio:

Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb focuses on topics related to the family and women. Kregel publications will release her first book in early 2014, focused on relationships between women-in-law. Read Deb at http://debdearmond.com

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.

All other standard copyrights apply.

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No Housework Day!!

Over the next month, I will be hosting clients of Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. Today I am delighted to have Robin Steinweg as my guest. Robin has written a very funny blog about International No Housework Day. Although the official date has passed, this blog was too funny not to share. On Monday, I will be hosting Deborah DeArmond. Enjoy Robin’s blog!

(During this month, I will be revamping my blog. Stay tuned for updates!)

April 7 is International No Housework Day

No Housework Day

By Robin Steinweg

I used to be queen of procrastination. I abdicated that throne.

Now you can call me Sisyphus.

That’s right—the mythological Greek who was forced to roll a boulder uphill all day, then watch it plunge back down at night—only to start again the next morning. And the next, and the next.

Anyone whose responsibilities include the daily round of family meals, dishes, laundry or floor-care could relate to Sisyphus. A recurring nightmare might go like this:  a mountainous meatball lumbers down the stairs toward my kitchen, spraying a trail of spaghetti sauce, grated Parmesan and a few unruly noodles. It gains momentum. It lurches straight toward my freshly shined sink.

“Nooooooo!”

The meatball takes a deliberate turn. I hear its sneering tone as it threatens me, “I’ll roll over you. You’ll be flat as a sheet.” The meatball leans over me menacingly, looking strangely like my husband—

“Roll over, Honey. You’re dreaming. And you’ve got the flat sheet all to yourself.”

The average American woman scrubs her house for at least seventeen hours a week*. That means if she lives to be eighty years old, she’ll have spent over eight years of her life cleaning house!

I’d like to slice a sliver out of that perennial pie. April 7 is International No Housework Day.

Put down your mop

Hang the broom

Watch dust bunnies gather in every room

Don’t let your youth just fade away

Take time to celebrate No Housework Day

 

Put off till later what needs to be done

Cooking and housework aren’t much fun

Take the day off. Augment your sorrow—

Every mess, every job will be there tomorrow

 

Dishes will litter each horizontal space

Oatmeal will harden at an alarming pace

Slog through the clutter? You’ll be confounded

As tasks pile up with interest compounded

 

Hm. That didn’t go quite like I thought it would.

It could be that the statistics of the average woman’s housecleaning would change in the wrong direction. I’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If I take a day off, how many extra hours—days—months—will it take me to catch up?

Maybe I’ll be queen of procrastination one more time—

—and put off celebrating No Housework Day!

*According to a 2008 study by the University of Michigan.  

Robin Steinweg Bio:

Robin Steinweg finds life sweet in the middle of writing, teaching music students, caring for aging parents, adjusting to having adult children, and nudging life and home to a state of order. She, her husband and sons live near Madison, Wisconsin.

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.

All other standard copyrights apply.