Little by little, more endorsements are coming in. I have received two very cool book endorsements from friends of friends this week. One of these people I have met. He is very close to our pastors Trish & Jack & Matt & Clair. In my opinion, he is a very big deal~! (But he is kind and modest, so he would shrug off that statement, or maybe make a joke.) He is a leader of a whole network of churches in England. He has spoken at our church a number of times. His messages tend to be very practical and easy to apply. His take on Fortify My Life is super (see it below)…. obviously this man makes things make sense.
The second cool endorsement is from a person I have not ever met. Brook and I were having dinner with our friend Lulu. I was telling her that I am in the process of recruiting endorsements for the book. She thought for a minute, and then said, “I have a friend who might be interested in endorsing your book.” So, the three of us emailed, and I now have an endorsement from a Moody Bible Institute professor, and fellow author. Jamie and I have had such nice interactions. She seems very lovely~! I really like what she wrote about Fortify My Life~!
Fortify My Life is a creative and refreshing book. It brings three important strands together. Firstly ‘stories’. In today’s world stories are what people love to hear and what better stories than Bible stories. Secondly ‘Interaction’. This book opens doors for discussion and personal evaluation. And thirdly ‘purpose’. The interesting thread of “40” takes the reader on a journey that I believe really will ‘strengthen lives and activate destinies’! Recommended reading!
~Stuart Bell. Senior Pastor, New Life Lincoln, England and leader of the Ground Level Network of churches.
“Fortify My Life is not like the Bible stories you might have heard at church. With her witty sense of humor and fresh, conversational style, Laurie Hayden Bergey will show you how God has changed the lives of people in the past and how He can change your life today.”
~ Jamie Janosz, Moody Bible Institute professor and author of When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up
This is a cute story told by a 6 year old.
She has drawn sketches to go with the story.
I am impressed by this collection. I wonder what she will be like as an adult. When I asked Cailey’s mom if I could blog her story, she said, “Sure! Especially if you ask your readers to pray for us both, lol.” I think this Mommy has a smart and adventurous child to guide into adulthood~!
Mommy came downstairs from work and saw Dylan sitting on the couch eating Cheezits and asked “Who said that you could have Cheezits?” Dylan replied “Cailey told me that you said we could have them.” Mommy said “Where is Cailey??”
Cailey was happy playing outside on the patio when she heard Mommy calling for her inside the house.
Mommy was very upset and said “Cailey, you know you’re supposed to ask for food, and you know that you’re not allowed outside without an adult!” Cailey was sad.
Cailey cried, sad and alone, on her bed during her timeout.
After her timeout, Mommy came into Cailey’s room. Cailey apologized and Mommy reminded her that she needs to ask permission for her safety and to help her learn how to make good decisions. They gave each other a hug and kiss. Then they ended with their familiar exchange: Cailey said “I love you” and Mommy said “I love you more.” Cailey replied “I love you most.” And Mommy said “I love you MORE than most.” It went on like that as they walked down the stairs together.
Please leave comments below~! I love them~!
Walking out to the mailbox I see this (the 1st photo)~! Wow~! Andy Warhol has taught me to look for things that are unexpected, like 1 red shoot on an otherwise green shrub. But, I can’t really give Andy the full credit. Actually, I am wired that way. As I pray each day, I have noticed that I almost invariably start by thanking God for the beautiful tree across the street, or the flowers, or the birds in the bird bath. I find myself thanking God for His creation. Then I can’t help but recognize that I am also a creative person. See, God has made mankind (male AND female) in His image. So, we are supposed to be a reflection of His nature. But, God isn’t as simple as that. I find that I connect with those aspects of God that are in my specific wiring. To me, God is Creator; I am creative. God is good and merciful; I am called to be good and merciful. Now, ask yourself, who is God to you? There is a connection: who God is TO you, He would like to be THROUGH you. These are hints as to your strengths and destiny. I’d like to encourage you to rise up to your purpose, otherwise we’re ALL missing out~! We need you to actually be who you were created to be. Don’t worry. God will help~!
(A helpful Bible Quote from “The Message” translation (I find this translation makes some Bible verses clearer, like the writings of Paul): 2 Timothy 1:11-12 – This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.)
This second photograph is of the same shrub 1 month ago. This picture shows me that it is possible to be in several seasons of your life simultaneously. We can be blooming in one part of our lives, sending up new shoots in another part, and all the while something else might be dying off. Give yourself the grace to grow and bloom into new things as you shuck off the old stuff.
Brook and I went to visit some friends last night.
It was the perfect kind of night that one just must have from time to time. These people are great at entertaining. The conversation flowed for hours. Great food. An awesome dog to bring extra entertainment to an already dynamic scene. It is the kind of night I wish for all of you to have. Makes us feel good to be alive~!
The icing on the perfect night cake, as it were, was the killer fire pit. These guys always have some cool item that we especially admire. It isn’t like they are super rich (yet… probably will be some day), but they make good choices. The fire pit they have has a set of benches that curve around it. Metal, can’t catch on fire~! So, they made a fire. It was a nicely crafted fire, the kind an eagle scout would make. They bought a bag of those jumbo marshmallows, graham crackers & chocolate… we made smores~! We got sticky, and laughed like kids. Oh, another cool gadget they had was metal prongs for roasting the marshmallows that extend extra long, so you don’t get burned.
Time spent in friendship is part of what makes this time on earth so precious.
Make time to invite people over to your house. Make them feel special, as these people did with us. In doing so, you add LIFE to their lives, and your own as well.
I went out with 2 friends last night. We had Kenyan food. It was new to all of us. So we all ordered something we’d never eaten before, and each tried everyone else’s flavors. It was fun to learn something new. (This is a happiness tip~!) While we ate, we talked about all kinds of this & that.
I was expressing how much I would like to do a mere 15, or so, minutes of stretching and core strengthening exercises each day. I do ride my bike 2 to 4 times per week, fairly long rides (today was 22 miles). Seriously, it is the most humane form of exercise, and is often quite fun. But, I am not doing much of anything for my core or my arms.
One of these friends is very into yoga (& has the body to prove it), so of course she had valid suggestions. The other does a good assortment of exercises. That 2nd friend recommended the Arms/Abs/Buns of Steel workouts. She said they are 15 minutes each, and she rotates them. That seems reasonable.
I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing yet, and how I’ll squeeze this into my daily routine, but I really DO need to get the middle of my body stronger. It is not fair to my back and spine, and ultimately to myself to let this get a tiny bit worse each year. WELL…. good news. I looked around youtube.com today and found hundreds upon hundreds of exercise videos waiting for me. I admit, I was amused to sit and watch exercise videos, and fast forward through them, too. But, I’d like to find my own perfect custom mix of stretches & core strengtheners. I thought you’d like to know that youtube can be a great resource for adding new or varied exercises to your daily routine… for FREE~!
A Perfect Day for Dreaming…
The weather is perfect today.
Daytime high was around 70 degrees. Light breeze, blue sky, flowers blooming. Perfect.
I am dreaming of having a vacation. I think I’d like to go to Cape May, NJ. I have been to the Jersey shore a good number of times. But, I have never been to Cape May. We need to stay in a place that will allow dogs. We also need an accessible room. Our schedule is very busy coming up. We’ve been looking for a chance to make a short escape… to leave our busy-ness & our business behind for a few days. I wonder when we can make that happen? I hope soon. But, in the meantime, I am getting a lot of mileage out of just simply dreaming about the vacation to come. Gotta enjoy the PROCESS…. relish each day, the dreams and hopes, as well as the planning, then the anticipation, too~!
Most of life isn’t the vacation, but the days in between.
How to remember a friend…
A most precious person in my life gave me forget-me-nots a number of years ago. We planted them together in a garden in my back yard. It was a special day with a great woman, who has been a heroine in my life. The seeds have spread, and these pretty blue flowers are blooming crazy in my back yard. Do I need to mention that I am most definitely remembering her~!?!
Isn’t this a great way to keep a friendship alive in your heart. Plant a memory~!
I have always hated the idea of plastic storage bins…. until recently. My main objection is that I keep shoe boxes, which come free with every pair of shoes I buy. I have tended to use these to store all kinds of things. They are practical, and the price is great, but I can’t tell which box is which, the boxes aren’t very cool looking, and they are all different sizes, so they stack & store inefficiently. Recently, I read something about making small reasonable investments in my own happiness. I also read that being organized in a practical way can add to my happiness. So today, I went out and bought 10 clear tubs. The funny thing is that they were $2.97 each, so I really didn’t spend very much money. I think I will get a lot of aesthetic organization for such a small price. I am please with my “happiness” investment. Tomorrow I have a project to get them into use.
I am working on proposal letters for the “Fortify My Life” book. The part I am working on is the chapter descriptions. I have 40 chapters, so this is a pretty big project. But, I am having fun, and falling in love with my book all over again. I really CAN see what a special book this is. I am amazed at how it can be both “cute” and powerful. I really feel like this book is going to help people make big changes in how they live their lives. I can’t wait for it to be published so people can experience what God can do in their lives~!
The bad news is: I have a sore throat & fever.
The good news is: I am self-employed, so I can take the day off.
The bad news is: When I don’t work, I don’t get paid. No paid sick days for this girl.
The good news is: I am reading a really good book… and that makes me happy.
Oh? What am I reading?
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I’m very likely to post quotes from this book. I find myself laughing and thinking as I read it. It has plenty of secrets for how to get more enjoyment out of our everyday lives by making small simple adjustments. Very Cool~!
Here is a website for more information: //www.happiness-project.com/