My Small Things

Let’s talk about your routines, Let’s talk about the mundane. Let’s talk about all the little things in your life that if left unattended to can bring you the greatest pain. Let’s talk about the little things in your life that if attended to, can bring you the biggest joys.

I’ve been reading again. Trust me, ya’ll. This one is good. Author Melanie Shankle released a new book this month and it’s all about appreciating the small things. Melanie  knows what it’s like to get so caught up in wanting something to take our breath away that we lose our amazement for every breath we take. In Church of the Small Things, she invites us to view our daily tasks as the holy and precious callings they are. As we see how real life meets eternity every day, we can let go of the pressure to experience big moments and delight in the small ones instead. Continue reading “My Small Things”

How Do You Dance?

DANCE?

Don’t you love it when a reminder of your youth enters your life 20 years later and reminds you of all the lessons learned from the original experience? Let’s go on a journey, shall we?

The year was 1989. I was approaching my senior year in high school and unlike most of my friends, I spent my Friday nights watching television shows that were part of the TGIF lineup on ABC.

One of those shows was Full House. And one of the stars of that show was Candace Cameron Bure. When the show began, I only knew her as Kirk Cameron’s (of Growing Pains fame) younger sister. What I appreciated was that she was close to my age in real life and her character of D.J. Tanner represented the quirky and trend setting parts of adolescence that many people hide from.

While D.J. Tanner was a great character, it was Candace who I was a fan of. She was grounded, her family was very involved in her acting career, she did not succumb to the pressures of drugs and alcohol, despite having to publicly deal with typical teen hormonal weight gain.

Many things have changed in my life since the late 80s, however imagine my surprise when I discovered that Candace, now a married mother of three, was going to appear in Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars.

I knew that she had gotten married and had kids about the same as mine, and I had read one of her earlier books, Reshaping It All. But her casting on Dancing With the Stars meant that she would be in my living room twice a week for a television season.

As a dancer, Candace did not disappoint. Her hard work paid off and she actually made it to the semi finals of the competition. While she didn’t take home the “Mirror Ball” trophy, she learned how to use opportunity to grow physically stronger while remaining (and being tested) in her faith.

In her latest book, Dancing Though Life, Candace writes about her experiences on the show, and more importantly, how those experiences enhanced her relationship with God. You see, while Candace was on the show, her faith was tested many times, and more often than not it became an issue.

From the dance costumes, to the sexy routines, to the bumps and bruises on her body, Candace was under attack. The overly religious accused her of not being Christian enough since she was on the show. The non-Christian audience called her a rude and thought she was making a big deal of out nothing when her faith was discussed.

And in the book, Candace outlines all of this and how she overcame the adversity while dancing on the show. Believe it or not though, this book has many lessons for those of us who are’t dancing in front of millions every week. Here are some of the things we can all take away from this book:

1. Keep Your Eyes Focused on the One Who Guides You
2. Always Give Everything You Have
3. Be True to Yourself
4. Enlist Prayer Warriors
5. Listen if There’s a Pause in Your Spirit
6. Submit to Leadership
7. Choose to be Known for Your Good Works
8. Attitude is Everything – Choose Joy
9. Use the Right Fuel (if we put garbage  in our bodies and our minds, garbage will come out)
10. Let Your Words Build Up, Not Tear Down
11. It’s Okay to Lean on the Arms of Others
12. Life is a Balance of Routine Laundry Moments and High Profile Red Carpet Moments

This book is definitely a must-read  as you wind down 2015 and prepare for 2016. One thing we can all be sure of is the fact that our faith will be tested  in the coming year and Candace Cameron-Bure has the best advice when it comes to dealing with it. After all, it’s how she dances through life.

As a Lifeway Blogger, I was given a free copy of Dancing Through Life in exchange for my honest opinion. If you are interested in reading the book, I am giving away a copy. To join the fun, enter your name and mailing address here. If you’d rather buy the book yourself, click on this *ad for the book here.

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From Jesus Girl to Kingdom Woman

one mom makes a transition in her walk in faithLast year this time I was a Jesus Girl. This year, I am a Kingdom Woman. I used to refer to myself as a Jesus girl because…well…I frankly, because I was a Jesus Girl. I believe in the power of Jesus Christ. I pray about Jesus, I think of him often. I teach my children about Jesus.

But this summer, I decided to upgrade myself. I became a Kingdom Woman. And being a Kingdom Woman means that I’ve grown up a bit. I take my love of Jesus Christ and I apply biblical principles to my life to the glory of God. Like the Proverbs 31 woman.

Stop hyperventilating. It’s not all that.

That lady was good. And she did do a lot. But we don’t need to compare ourselves to her because we will automatically freak out and say we can’t do it.

What she did do that we can do is embrace the season and the path of life that God currently has us in. If we do that to the best of our abilities and give 100 percent, then we’ve done it. We’ve become Kingdom Women.

My friend Chrystal and her father wrote a book entitled Kingdom Woman where they tell you more about becoming a Kingdom Woman and why it’s important. Chrystal’s dad is a well-known minister here in Dallas. He is a great teacher of the Bible. I think I’ve heard him say something to the effect that it’s our reference manual or rule book for life. Chrystal is a wife, a mom of 5, a homeschooler, and a meal planner. She does all of those things because the Lord guided her to.

In the book, Dr. Evans uses scripture and biblical teaching to tell us what the bible says about this Kingdom Woman and the kind of life we should lead as such. Chrystal compliments his teachings with her real-life practical knowledge and experiences with accepting her current season and doing what she should to embrace it. She talks about the good, the bad, and the literal dirty laundry in her house.

The Kingdom Woman movement has led me to a much better place in my own life as a woman, a mother, a friend, etc. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me use hashtag Kingdom Woman a lot. I read the book at its launch and am still referencing it in my life daily. I think I may have said to some misbehaving tweens I know, “The worst thing I could have done to you right now is read the Kingdom Woman book. It inspires me to ALWAYS call you on the carpet and make sure you are accountable for all your actions.”

Even though they know Chrystal, they weren’t too pleased when I made that comment. Ahhh….they’ll get over it.

So here’s what I’ve got for you! Don’t you just love prizes?

I’ve got not one, but 2 copies of Kingdom Woman that I want to give away. I want to share the book with you so you too can join the movement and annoy your kids live the potential in your life that God has called you to be.

To join the contest, do one of the following things :

1. Comment below and say “I WANT THE BOOK”

2. Follow my Facebook Fan Page located at http://www.facebook.com/everythingisbloggable

3. Follow me on twitter: @toniblogs

4. Email me: toni [at] toniwilliams [dot] org

You only need to do one of the four things, but the more you do, the greater your chances of winning. The contest will close Saturday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. So get those entries in!