Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life

I'll admit...I'm a procrastinator.

 So, when I got the chance to review a book called "One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life," I figured it might help me break some of those bad procrastination habits.

The back cover summed me up pretty well: "Are you suffering from "someday" syndrome--always waiting for someday when your schedule calms down, your finances improve, or your kids grow up so you can begin to live the live you've always dreamed of?"

Well, true to form, it has been a year, and I'm just posting my review now.

Don't blame it on the book. It's an excellent book. It has a lot of good advice. It is well-organized and thorough.  But...it takes dedication to work through it.  My procrastination gene overwhelmed the dedication gene, and instead of working through one chapter a day, I would pick the book up once a month or so and read a chapter or two. I didn't do the assignments at the end of each chapter (yet), so I don't think I got the full benefits from this book.

The book is broken down into 30 chapters that address four principles of life change: Living Passionately, Loving Completely, Learning Humbly, and Leaving Boldly. For each chapter, there is a paragraph of questions to make you think about what needs to be changed, more questions to direct you on how to "make it count" and some 'homework' questions to help you "Make it last for life."

This book isn't a magic pill to show you how to get rich, skinny and famous in thirty days. It's an excellent handbook to help you focus on what you need to change in your life -- what should stay and what should go, what's important and what's filler.  It takes commitment to prayerfully and diligently work on it each day, doing the homework and keeping a notebook to keep yourself on track.

There are inspiring stories at the back of the book - people who have taken the 30-day challenge and made a real difference in their lives. I look forward to going through this book again, the right way, and making my own inspirational story.

I received this book from Waterbook-Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Movie Review & Giveaway: "This Is Our Time"

This week I got the chance to review a new family-friendly movie from PureFlix called "This is Our Time (To Seize God's Calling)." It's the story of five young people who graduate from college with high hopes for making a difference in the world for God.

About This Is Our Time
The movie tells the interwoven stories of Luke (T.J. Dalrymple) and Alé (Erin Bethea), who marry right after school and move to India to serve as missionaries for Embrace A Village, a ministry that cares for those afflicted with leprosy and their families; aspiring financier Catherine (Kate Cobb), who joins a prestigious financial institution determined to make an impact on corporate America; Ryder (Matthew Florida), who lands an impressive job in social media and can’t wait to use the powerful medium for a greater good; and Ethan (Shawn-Caulin Young,) seemingly the odd man out, who struggles to find his God-given-purpose and feels sidelined by God.
“What they all come to learn is that it never really was their time,” Arnold said. “It always was, always is, God’s time.”

This movie is so relevant to young people today - as they seek to find where it is they should serve God with their lives, why God allows bad things to happen to those who are serving Him, and what the true meaning of success is. 

I loved the movie and felt that it had valuable messages for people of all ages. I appreciate the way the movie-makers portrayed a tragic accident without any of the blood and gore that are so much a part of movies nowadays. 

I also loved the fact that the movie showcased an actual ministry! In the movie, Luke and Alé go to India to serve at a ministry called "Embrace A Village". Embrace A Village is an actual ministry that exists to transform the lives of leprosy patients and their families. Fifty percent of all proceeds from this movie will go to the "Embrace a Village" ministry. You can read a blog about the making of the movie at the Embrace A Village Website.

I think this movie would be an excellent addition to any family's video library, and I'd say it's a must for church libraries (that's where my copy is going!). I'm having a giveaway - just click on the Rafflecopter logo below, leave a comment, and you're entered! You can enter once a day! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Setting Goals for this Month

Wow! It's April! Time is flying by.

My New Year's Resolutions fell to the wayside months ago, so with this new month, I am starting anew. This month, I have some very specific goals.

1. To Lose Ten Pounds
2. To Log 50 miles of walking
3. To stick to a budget and keep grocery purchases under $500 this month
4. To use up the yarn in the ottoman
5. To raise $100 for new basketball uniforms through sales from my PenguinPlace shop

Okay, there they are. Now to explain a bit!

The first one is pretty self-explanatory. I've fallen off the diet and exercise bandwagon, and it's time to hop back on. Ten pounds in one month is doable. I just need to get back to eating healthy and exercising.

Hence goal #2. I keep telling myself I don't have time to exercise.
When the day's mail at work contains a stack of envelopes like this, it's easy to say there isn't time. For the sake of my health, however, I need to make time. Half an hour walking, biking on the recumbant bike in the basement, or on the elliptical, 4-5 times a week. I need to cut out some unnecessary stuff and get my workouts in.

Goal #3 - I love to shop. I love matching coupons to sales and getting bargains. That is why my cupboards and freezer are a bit too full right now. I need to plan meals that use up what I have on hand and back off from shopping for a while.

Goal #4 - Okay, here's what the inside of the ottoman looks like:

I would like to use up enough yarn in there that I can put in the ziploc bags of scrap yarn. That way, the scrap yarn would be easy to get at, but hidden from view. It looks rather messy in the basket next to my chair.

All that knitting leads up to Goal #5
My youngest daughter Bethany is getting ready to shoot a foul shot here.

The uniforms my daughter's school basketball team wear really need to be replaced. The numbers are falling off. They're stretched out from years of use. They're older than the girls on the team. The sizes are limited, so some girls who should be wearing a small have to use safety pins to keep their XL shorts from falling off. We're been working to raise money for uniforms through various fundraisers, and now we need $300 more to meet our goal.

For the month of April, all sales of my knit and crochet items from my Facebook or Etsy shop will go towards new uniforms. This will help me keep my inventory from taking over the closet (see below), and help the girls get one step closer to getting new uniforms!

I have a little bit of everything... from Character Cup Cozies ($4)

 To Beautiful Ruffled Scarves ($8 - $10)

Stop on by and look around, and help the Lady Falcon on their way to some jazzy new uniforms! (and ask me how well I'm doing on my other goals! I need to be kept accountable!)

2013/2014 Update:
Here are the girls in their new uniforms.