Start Each Day with God {Inspiring Women Series: Catherine Galasso-Vigorito}

Friends, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite authors. Catherine Galasso-Vigorito is a truly inspiring and uplifting writer who you need to know! I am honored to welcome her as the first in my posts in the Inspiring Women Series for 2013. This is the first of two parts. This is a wonderful guest post for the New Year and next week I will be sharing Part two which will be an interview! I found Catherine’s book “A New You” a few years back and fell in love with her wonderful style of sharing faith based wisdom. Catherine has just released a brand new book called The Open Window: 8 Weeks To Creating An Extraordinary Life which I am hoping to read soon! Details are below.  It is my honor and pleasure to introduce you to the lovely Catherine Galasso-Vigorito.

“But this thing I did command them: Listen to and obey My voice,
and I will be your God and you will be My people;
and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you”  (Jeremiah 7:23).
There was once a man who brought love, joy and hope to everyone around him. Although the man had his share of challenges, he was always optimistic, and daily looked for ways that he could be a blessing to other people.
One afternoon, an acquaintance who had observed all the good the man had done in his community, questioned him, “How are you always so helpful and happy? What is the secret to your continual joy and optimism?”
The man smiled at his acquaintance. And with an angelic-like voice, the man spoke, “My mother was a great positive force in my life. When I was a young boy, my mother asked me to make her a promise.”
“Well,” the man continued, “I probed, ‘Mom, what is it? What do you want me to promise?’ But, my mother wouldn’t say anything until I gave her my word that I would always carry out what she asked.”
The acquaintance hung on the man’s every word, waiting in anticipation, anxious to hear the rest of his story. “So,” recalled the man, “I assured my mother that I would do as she requested and she looked at me with love in her eyes and said, ‘All I ask is that you promise me that you’ll start your day with God.’
With tears in his eyes, the man declared, “Carrying out the promise that I made to my mother has completely changed my outlook on life, for starting the day with God is the secret to my joy.”
Each day is a gift. So let’s spend a few minutes each morning giving thanks to God. Let us devote time praising Him, pondering on the great things God has done in our lives, and all the joys, friendships, and opportunities that await in our futures. In the Bible, there’s a narrative of two sisters named Mary and Martha. One day, Jesus stopped by their home to visit. Instead of visiting with Jesus, Martha was actively working around the house; while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to him talk.
Martha objected to the fact that she was left to do all the work and was frustrated that her sister, Mary, was not helping her. Hence, Martha went to Jesus and complained, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 38-42). What Mary chose to do was of more importance. For all that was needed to be done, was to sit at His feet and hear His Word.
Accordingly:
·         Take time to pray: God loves you. He hears your prayers and wants to give you the desires of your heart. Today can be a new beginning. Thus, ask boldly and believe for new blessings in the days to come. God is leading you forward to your breakthrough, and He is with you every step of the way. John 14:14 says, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
·         Meditate on God’s Word: Choose a short passage and throughout the day think about its meaning. You have the potential to accomplish great things, and you’re close to seeing your dreams come to pass, so don’t give up nowJoshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful…”
·         Call to mind past experiences of God’s faithfulness: If God has brought you through difficulties before, God’s goodness will carry you through successfully again. God has not finished His work; He has more in store for you. Hebrews 10:32 says, “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.”
In spite of what you are facing, trust that God will come through for you. Do your part, giving your best effort, and then put your confidence in Him. For with God, all things are possible, even during a moment in time when your hopes and dreams for your life seem distant.
A dear friend of mine recently had some medical tests and the results were cause for concern. After he heard the adverse health news, he refused to give into worry. Rather, he followed the doctor’s recommendations and remained his same positive self, keeping his thoughts and words faith-filled and optimistic. A few weeks later, when my friend returned to the doctor’s office for an examination, he was told that his new tests came back normal. The doctor said, “Whoever your angel is, keep him! And continue doing what you’re doing!” Overjoyed, my friend exclaimed with thankfulness, “What I do, is pray to God every morning.”
Daily, take hold of the peace, joy and victory that God can provide. Trust His capable hands. Praise and bless everything and everyone. There are amazing possibilities ahead. And this joy will last and last and… last.


The Open Window 8 Weeks To Creating An Extraordinary Life
America’s bestselling author and inspirational columnist Catherine Galasso-Vigorito brings practical Biblical advice and true, modern-day stories to serve as illuminating encouragement in the face of life’s challenges.

Filled with encouraging true stories, rich Biblical passages, and pragmatic words of wisdom, The Open Window provides workable suggestions and concrete ways to help deal with the challenges of life. This unique devotional offers strengthening principles for difficult circumstances, as well as stories of encouragement that reveal how times of adversity can become windows of opportunity—if we can see that a window is open.
Featuring eight weeks of daily guidance, The Open Window will show how, with faith and trust in God, one can take focused steps to look beyond present difficulties and find the Light that is shining inside. In a captivating voice, Catherine Galasso-Vigorito shares personal moments from her own life as intimate examples of persistence. Recommended for individual or group study.

                  *Free Downloadable Teachers Guide available Here: Turner Publishing-Guide 

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Calendar Consecration (A Special New Year Guest Post by Kim Jackson)

Credit
God’s handwriting is on your calendar. 

Well, not literally. But ponder this: 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”  (Ephesians 2:10). 

If it’s true God has plans for me,  I want to know what they are. Don’t you? 

One way to show God we’re serious about discovering His handwriting on our calendars is to have a calendar consecration. I’ve been doing this every December for a decade. It’s always meaningful and powerful. Why not join me?

Here’s how to consecrate your calendar: 


·   Set aside a block of uninterrupted time. 
·   Write Ephesians 2:10 somewhere in your new calendar. (If you use a technology-based calendar, tweak these ideas as needed.)
·  Place your calendar before God. 
· Pray. 

I pray along these lines: 
Dear Jesus: 


I praise You for giving me life. Thank You for the promise in Ephesians 2:10 that says You have good works for me to do. I want to know what those good works are and be faithful to perform them. 

I’m looking at all these pristine squares on my calendar. Soon they’ll be covered with scribbled appointments and reminders. I believe You have good works planned for me, so don’t let me miss Your handwriting on my calendar because I’ve already filled up my days with my plans.

I commit the days You have given me on this planet to Your purposes. I want to live a life that makes You smile. I want to be on Your schedule, fulfilling everything You have in mind for me to do in the minutes and months of my life. 

I ask that You would guard my heart from distractions that would hinder me from doing the good works that you prepared for me to do. Keep me aware and awake to Your Spirit’s promptings. 

Jesus, if I run ahead or behind of Your perfect plan, I claim the promise of Romans 8:28 that even in my missteps, You will work all things together for good. 
Please teach me what it means to“number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Jesus, empower me by Your Spirit to live my life with my eyes focused on what matters to You. 

Lord, if You tarry and I am still walking this earth on January 1, 2014, may I be able to look back over the filled-in pages of this calendar and rejoice, knowing that I have lived well for Your glory. 

I love You, 

Kim

I want to give Kim a very special thanks and shout out for allowing me to share her writing here today! My prayer is that you will be as blessed as I was when I read her Calendar Consecration Post. She has been officially inducted as an Honorary Member into the Inspiring Women Series based on this wonderful New Year Post which will help us all start and end our 2013 well. 
  

Kim Jackson is a writer, speaker and advocate for homeless elderly in Romania. Her Wow Dee Wow blog, from which this post is used with permission, is a weekly Brag on God Blog. Follow links within her blog to learn more about her work, Elder Orphan Care, and her speaking ministry,Kimmunicator.!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);









Missional WomenBlog Post Hop



The Detailer-The Adaptable Personal Organizer {Product Review}

The Detailer has interchangeable covers!
In the never ending quest of simplifying life and organizing the details which help us to do so, I am sharing with you, my friends, my most recent tool and companion, The Detailer Day Planner. I was very grateful when I received the Detailer in the mail from Gail Nygren the creator of this planning tool. Gail graciously sent me the planner with the Companion to get me started in exchange for an honest review. She also made herself available to coach me through e-mail and phone calls to make sure I was clear on getting the most out of my new planner. I am a big planner advocate and rely on mine to keep me organized with various commitments but also for managing contact and communication information- especially on the go. I am always ready to refresh myself and learn how to better manage myself with regard to maximizing my time and appreciated Gail’s passion for clarifying and patiently sharing a system she fully utilizes and believes in! 
Pictured here is my Detailer and Companion.

There are many features which make The Detailer an excellent partner for the woman on the go. First of all the lightweight, durable cover and potable size make it easy to carry along in a pocketbook or other bag. I appreciate the week view as that is how I tend to plan and look at my schedule. There is also a small month in view calendar included for planning and schedule perspective. Keeping contact information available and accessible when I need it is always a challenge. Gail has devised an excellent system  to help manage information on an ongoing basis. 

The weekly sheet view pictured with handy mini sheets
 which are are helpful for  prioritizing to-do’s or reminders.
The Notebook and Reference System includes three full sized sheets, grey, yellow and white to help organize information, lists and interests. At the back of each alphabetical index there is a clear
plastic filing pocket for storing tickets, coupons, receipts, etc.
Or if you are like me you can make a mini-scrapbook page! 

 I had to use one of the filing pockets to express my creativity!
I used it to scrapbook the Daily Bread picture and verse for Fall!
These are useful little pockets!
One of the features which is a great information management for Phone/Addresses option is the mini sheet system which allows you to easily organize the info in a way that makes sense to you. Name and Phone number is easy to see, additional information can be listed. The Companion allows you to store sheets which may be seasonally used or not needed on the go. 
A mini-sheet with address/phone/e-mail info
Plenty of room for birthdays, names of family members,
other info
Gail has some very helpful videos which explain how
 to implement this lovely planner at her website.
Be sure to stop by and visit!

2013 is just around the corner-Is it time for a new planner?
I will be featuring a Planning Series in the days ahead, as I share my attempt to  
simplify and order my days. 

You can find details on The Detailer at http://www.detailerplanner.com/!

Pictured is my transferring ,setting up and personalizing
my Detailer in Mid August.

The Master Planner {Guest Post-5 Minutes For Faith}

I am a planner. 
You will rarely find me without my trusty little companion which I dote over 
painstakingly planning the days and weeks ahead like a master chess player
 strategizing each move in a championship game.

It’s no surprise then when I see my day unravel, 
like a stray ball of yarn discovered and enjoyed by a playful kitten, 
I get a bit miffed. 

Will you join me over at 5 Minutes For Faith and continue reading there? 

I’ve turned off comments here so we can meet up there! 

Just When You Think Your Ducks Are Safe

Photo Credit
Now listen, you who say, 
“Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, 
carry on business and make money.” 
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. 
What is your life? 
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 
Instead, you ought to say, 
“If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 
As it is, you boast and brag. 
All such boasting is evil
There I am with my ducks lined up. 
I am starting to think that all things are possible. 
I’m so busy looking at my ducks and lining them up, 
I don’t realize my downward gaze. 
My shortsightedness. 
Well, they were lining up nicely. 
Until suddenly someone came and blew those little ducks right out of the water. 
I am standing, soaking wet feeling silly for my foolishness. 
Humbled in a moment.
 Why must it always come again and again to this? 
And there I am longing for heaven, right in the midst of the mess. 
Wondering how the messes seem to mold themselves into
 the perfect storm for the season of my life. 
I forget. 
Oh, I despise that I forget His promises in an instant.
 Forget He is sleeping just below deck. 
And I am watching the waves and cursing the storm, all to my shame.
 He rises and rebukes the wind and the waves, 
yet I am not so easily calmed.
Because ducks are supposed to line up, right?
Then I realize I have been so busy planning that it is 
Wednesday when I am reading my Monday devotional and dumbfounded, 
I read the words…
“You will not find my peace engaging in excessive planning: 
attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. 
That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief. “
~ Sarah Young in Jesus Calling
I sit straight, the words stinging me upright.
I absorb the blow.
Am awed and humbled.
I have been planning and lining up my ducks and missing something.
Unprepared, though He wanted to prepare me
 in my quiet time for the storm brewing, 
unknown to me.
The Eye of that storm Sunday, settled over our home by Tuesday 
and I was taken by surprise.
Because I was busy with my ducks. 
How they were lining up so nicely.
Now they seem so insignificant really.
Because the Maker of ducks and me, 
really is in the business of lining up the ducks just right.
And sometimes when I am lining them up, 
He needs to blow them right out of the water to set them aright.
I want it to be easier.
I want it to be neat.
I want those ducks in a row.
I want the peace that comes from my planning.
I want the security of seeing my ducks in a row.
Yet I know it cannot be so.
Because I am not guaranteed tomorrow.
And sometimes ducks are distracting.
So I lift my gaze to the one who has ducks, 
storms and all in the palm of His hand.
He leads me again and again lately to Psalm 121.
It’s as if He is really asking me to own it in my heart.
That I might truly believe from my core that which I profess. 
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Oh, Lord I know better.
Forgive my unbelief.
 Perfect love casts out fear. 
Help me believe where I doubt.
You are faithful.
You are perfect. You are love.
Lord, help me to trust You, in the weak places, 
where I rely on self instead of your grace.
May you help each one today who is trusting in anything 
else but your grace, to be free of that which hinders them
whether, doubt, fear or unbelief. 
In Jesus Name. Amen. 

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