Countdown to Christmas — Day 10

w_png_picture

Welcome to Day 10 of our Countdown to Christmas!

I love doing the act of kindness scheduled for today!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness:

Donate to a bell ringer. Drive to where one is on purpose to do so.

I honestly would love to be a bell ringer volunteer one day. I haven’t had the privilege of doing so, but I know you can sign up to be a bell ringer here: Register to Ring.

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

bellringer

Today’s Scripture:

Luke 2:7, TLB:

And she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

Today’s Song: Away in a Manger

christmas-hat2

Tweet This: Click here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Countdown to Christmas – Day 9

af_goldenautumn_bow2

Welcome to Day 9 of our Christmas Countdown!

I’m excited about this day because it features my favorite song!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness:

Visit someone in the nursing home.

I realize this can be uncomfortable for some folks. But just think how uncomfortable it is for people who have to live there day after day in loneliness and feelings of abandonment? Many have lost all their friends. And younger members of their family are busy raising their children.

If you don’t know anyone you can visit, consider baking or taking treats to the nurses who work there. Nurses are angels on this earth. There’s no occupation I admire more.

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

angels-of-the-sick

Today’s Scripture:

Luke 2:6:

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.

Today’s Song (My Favorite Christmas Song!):

twitter-bird-in-a-santa-hat

Tweet This: Click here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Countdown to Christmas – Day 8

51035fa154ea8faf8feeb544c97cac43

Welcome to day eight of the Christmas Countdown! Today’s Random Act of Kindness is one of my favorites!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness:

Tape change to a vending machine or a bag of microwave popcorn to a video vending machine!

Doesn’t that sound like such fun? Only thing is, I’d want to hide in my car and watch people’s reaction. I might just do that! Please comment below if you do the same!

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

64_lovely_little_acts_of_kindness_body_6_2x

Today’s Scripture:

Luke 2:1-5:

About this time Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation.

(This census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration.

And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home—journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth.

He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time.

Today’s Song:

1_0twitter-christmas

Tweet This: Check here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Countdown Day 5

fm-bt-nov-element-1

Welcome to day five of our Christmas Countdown!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness

Donate canned goods to a charity of family in need.

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

kindness-1

Today’s Scripture:

Luke 1:38: 

38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.” And then the angel disappeared.

Today’s Song:

What a moving video. Puts all life into perspective. And the absolute meaning behind this holiday we celebrate as Christ-followers.

1_0twitter-christmas

Tweet This: Check here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Day 1 Countdown to Christmas – The Christmas Jar

12-days-of-grumpy-cat-christmas-1-12960-1355164759-2_big

I’ve been in a bit of a cranky mood this Christmas for various reasons. And I’ve learned through the years that the best way to get out of a funk is to concentrate on someone else.

That’s how I came up with the idea of encouraging my readers to participate in a random act of kindness each day in December along with an Advent Countdown to Christmas reading. Check back each day in December for a random act of kindness idea, a song to enjoy (via YouTube, maybe by next year I’ll have my own Christmas album ready), and scriptures to read to the family.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Random Act of Kindness Day 1:

Start a coin collection in a box or jar. Put cash in it each day. On day 25 of December, give that cash to someone in need.

jarofcash

Scripture: Micah 5:2 (Even though I love the KJV best, I’m posting these scriptures from The Living Bible so that children can better understand the language):

 

“O Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are but a small Judean village, yet you will be the birthplace of my King who is alive from everlasting ages past!”

 

Here’s your song for the day!

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

christmas-hat2

Tweet This: Check here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb Cheesecake? Yes, please!

ka

I love cheesecake and I love desserts. And probably the best part of being on a low-carb eating plan is this delicious treat! You can make it as fancy as you want, but what I’m sharing with you is a very fast and quick cheesecake recipe for when you’re having an emergency craving that won’t go away.

You can add other sweeteners such as agave, honey, xilitol or stevia. But for my family, it’s more cost-effective to use Splenda. I know it’s not the healthiest choice, but for a once-in-a-great-while treat, I don’t mind using it.

I hope you enjoy my throw-together recipe!

 

Karla’s Low-Carb Emergency Cheesecake

karlas

For the crust:

1-1/2 c almond flour or meal

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons of Splenda (or other non-liquid sweetener)

 

 

For the Filling:

3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 Cup of Splenda (or other sweetener)

 

Mix the crust in a pie pan. Press it down on the bottom and sides with a fork or your hands.

Mix the filling. Pour into the pie crust.

Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until golden brown and cracked on top.

If you don’t want a crust, just pour into a greased pie pan for a simple custard-type desert.

Serve with fruit topping if you wish! Enjoy!

For fancier low-carb cheesecake recipes click here: Food.com

twitter-logo-birddfd

Please tweet: Low-carb cheesecake? Yes, please!

Interview with Debut Author and Cancer Survivor, Barbara Britton!

barbara

When I met Barbara M. Britton online, I had no idea I’d met such an amazing Strong Girl. But as my recent interview with her on YouTube progressed, and she revealed her journey with and triumph over cancer, I was in complete and total awe of her courage and tenacity.

She’s also a pastor’s wife and a Pelican Book Group author. How is that for kindred-spirit-sisterhood?

000pel

 

00000building
As my regular readers know, I, too, am a pastor’s wife and my first book, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots was published by Pelican!

I know  you’re going to be inspired by Barbara’s story. Scroll down to the video, grab a cuppa and kick back and enjoy!

twitter37small

Tweet this: Strong Girl Barbara M. Britton writes inspiring strong girl fiction!

 

Spunk & Sass — Part 1 of FEAR NOT!

fear-not

godslightcc.com

Are you afraid of getting out of your comfort zone? Fear not!

If we stay in our comfort zone, we don’t grow. The only way I’ve been able to grow as a writer, wife, mom and teacher, is to be uncomfortable and receive input that might not feel so good. And yet, just as the Word promises, when we humble ourselves, God lifts us up.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” James 4:10, KJV.

Being a student teacher, as I am now for 16 weeks, is humbling indeed. But I know I need to go through this period of time in order to reach my goal of being a full-time public school teacher. In due time, God will put me in the position He wants me to be in.

Being a writer is humbling as well. In order to grow, we must be able to accept criticism. It can be painful, but without pain, I will not gain as a writer. I will not become the excellent writer I dream of being.

I hope this  episode will encourage you to dream big and pursue the goals God has placed in your heart. It’s not all about you. It’s about someone who needs you to be there living the dream.

I don’t doubt that for a minute.

What dreams do you have that you’re afraid of? Share them with me!

pink-motorcycle-bird-final-1

Please tweet: Fear not! God is for you not against you! Find out how.

To make your dreams come true, it’s up to you…

dreams

“If it’s to be it’s up to me.”

I know that as a Christian this quote isn’t exactly right. But there’s a lot of truth in it. Other than the fact that indeed, we must line up our dreams and plans and goals with God’s purpose for our lives, no one is going to make sure we hit the mark but ourselves.

mark

Six years ago I decided to pursue two life-long dreams. To continue my college education and write books. Since then, neither of those dreams dissipated. And now I find myself in the middle of one of the hardest parts of the journey physically for me: student teaching and editing a book I’ve sold to ready it for publication.

images

During my journey to today, no one ever asked me if I had my homework done or if I had written anything each day. No one pushed me out of bed in the mornings after staying up until two or three in the morning. No one made my tea or asked me if I was making my deadlines.

I had to learn to say no in order to say yes to my dreams. Saying no is hard for me. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve been conditioned to worry about what other people think. I’ve still not mastered the concept of forging ahead without a thought to others’ opinions, but I’m getting better. I mean, sometimes it’s good to hear other opinions about things. I’m still figuring out when to listen and when to tune out.

op

The point is this. More than likely no one has a passion for your dream like you. No one wants it as bad as you do. And you’ve got to muster up all the courage you can to climb that mountain and reach the top. It’s called ambition. And its cohort is grit.

You can do this dream thing. But be prepared to encourage yourself a lot. Be prepared to forge ahead when others wish you’d just slow down and take a breather. When your friends look at you funny because you need to stay in and write or study instead of going to the game or out for a night on the town, you can have the backbone to know that you’re in a different season than they are. You’re in the season of mountain climbing, and you need to suck up all the oxygen you can.

climb

You can do this. Dreaming is a solitary thing. And sometimes, making dreams come true is solitary, too. But as Christians, we’re never alone. Isn’t that wonderful? Imagine having to do it alone. We don’t have to. We have the Great Teacher with us and in us. We have the mind of Christ. We have someone Who never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Give Him your dreams and He’ll help you carry them. He’ll even carry you when you’re too tired to take another step. Ask me how I know.

twitter30small

Tweet this: Dreaming + Grit = Mountaintop views

Autism: Not Different Enough

41LCZ1PxCdL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Click to Buy

When I read Gloria Doty’s book about her daughter with autism, I felt a great kinship with her. As you know, my twin adult sons also have a diagnosis of autism. As we venture into adulthood with them, I found this book an absolute comfort. It helped me realize that I’m not the only one experiencing all these new adventures in many of the same ways.

If you know someone with a child with autism, I hope you’ll share this interview with them. It’s such an important one, and helps parents understand the importance of getting guardianship for their adult child with autism.

This is a beautiful book, and I enjoyed reading it. It reads fast, and it feels like you’re sitting with Gloria and having a chat. I loved it so much I had to do an interview. What follows is the delightful time I had with Gloria discussing this gem of a book.

twitter23small

Tweet this: Autism grows up: a cautionary tale of hope and victory