Professional Growth

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I am back at Mount Hermon’s Writer’s Conference for their 50th year celebration. There are over 300 authors, agents, editors and publishers in attendance.

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Last year, I wrote about honing your craft.

This year, to improve my writing skills and grow professionally, I am attending Janet Holm McHenry’s major track called The Nuts and Bolts of Non-Fiction. We are learning  about the various non-fiction gendre.

One technique I took away from fellow bloggers is that they post twice a month. Currently, I post a weekly blog. In order to keep with current trends, I will begin posting every other week.

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I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a screenwriting workshop where I learned about Hollywood televion story formulas.

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Also, I tried something new offered. It’s called a labyrinth where you can have structured quiet time with the Lord at various reflective stations. The one shown above had a quaint water feature, pens and paper to take down thoughts that come to mind.

It is a gorgeous Spring weekend here in the Santa Cruz mountains and I am thankful to be here.

Do you attend classes, workshops or conferences for personal and/or professional growth?

Blessings, Rebecca

 

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Farewell Friend

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My husband Randy had the honor of officiating a friend’s memoral this past weekend.

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About three years ago we met this family who are residents where Randy works. Their kids hung out with our kids.

Unfortunately after battling cancer for a couple of years, her body finally succumbed to the treacherous disease.

My heart aches for her widower, son, daughter-in-law, two daughters and two granddaughters.

One of her daughters chose a beautiful ocean venue for the service.  They rented a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was stunning!

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View from balcony

Their closest family and friends came together to laugh, cry, comfort one another and share stories.

We were blessed by the love she shared with our family during her time with us and we enjoyed listening to stories of how she impacted the lives of others.

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I learned more about her love, encouragement, inspiration and open door policy.  Man, what a role model!

Attending something like this reminds me to live life to the fullest and embrace the people God has placed in your life.

Blessings, Rebecca

Taking a (Spring) Break

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Does your life ever get too busy? Our does at times.

For instance, last Thursday I dropped the kids off at school and went to work. A couple hours later, I picked Alicia up from school to take her to her doctor’s appointment.

After I returned her to school, I went back to work for a couple more hours. Then, I picked up Austin from school to take him to the DMV.

Later that day, I made a spaghetti dinner for us and checked on homework assignments.

Although both kids are involved in after school activites such as sports, academics and work, Thursday was not a typical day or else I would probably run myself ragged.

This week is Spring Break and we’ve decided to do a staycation. Here’s three ways we are catching up on our rest.

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1. Sleep

Sunday, we all four slept in and made it a PJ day.

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2. Watch TV

Saturday, we watched a good wholesome family movie on Pureflix.

We also watched reruns of Wipeout a show where contestants compete on a wacky course to win prize money. We enjoyed some harty laughter.

My husband enjoys educational programming; especially archeological findings.

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3 Read/Write

Throughout the weekend we found time to read our Bibles, books, newspaper, etc.

Also, I enjoy writing my blog.  My daughter enjoys writing fiction short stories or in her diary. We also keep journals.

I especially like our thankful journal where we capture all the good things God has done in our lives for the year and read it together as a family at Thanksgiving.

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Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of ways to rest, but it helps us decompress from life’s demands.

What are some ways, you find rest?

Blessings, Rebecca

Lose Something?

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Have you ever lost something? I can’t stand to misplace my wallet or keys.

This past weekend my daughter asked me to hold on to her purse at church so she could join her brother at youth group. Afterwards, I accidentally left it on the pew. When we arrived home, she asked for her handbag. My gutt sank. Oh no! “I left it at church. I am so sorry honey.”

Immediately I called the church office and left a message.  The four of us held hands in a circle and asked God to help us get her purse  back with all her belongings.

The next day, I woke up and rushed back to church while the kids lay sleeping.

Thankfully a couple we know was hosting the information booth. I explained the situation to them. Unfortunately, the purse was not in the lobby lost and found.

Then, one of the church admins asked what we were looking for. “I left my daughter’s purse here last night,” I said.

“Oh, is it black with a gold chain,” she asked. My heart started racing, “Yes! That’s it!” She quickly retrieved it from the office and brought it to me. “Thank you so much!”

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When I got back home, we held hands in a circle and thanked the Lord it was turned in with Alicia’s student ID, wallet with cash and candy.

There are stories in the Bible about lost items too. One of them is the parable of the lost coin -Luke 15:8.

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Jesus loves us so much and He rejoices when we draw near to Him

Blessings, Rebecca

Waiting

Yet, those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.  – Isaiah 40:31

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Ever find yourself waiting for something or someone? Waiting is a part of life. We wait in lines for gas, groceries, amusement park rides, etc. We wait to go to college. We wait to start our career.  We wait to get married.  We wait to have children. We wait to buy a car or house. We wait for plants or gardens to grow.

I often cling to this verse about waiting and gaining strength, because for me it’s the opposite.  I get discouraged when I have waited a long time for something I really want, but have received it.

I have learned in those times of waiting God teaches me two things.

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1. Trust

Our family has experienced loss of job, finances and our home. In these difficult times, we learned to trust God for provision day by day, hour by hour and sometimes minute by minute.

I will never forget about a time our cupboards were low and two friends stopped by with a trunk full of groceries from Costco. Thank you Lord for touching upon them to bless us.

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2. Character

God has been working on building my character. I am not the same person I was several years ago. I am much more aware of my surroundings. For instance, I now understand when a mother says, “Wow, this milk costs $6.” Before I would have shuffled by, not paying any attention. But I get it. She may a limited funds and still has to buy bread, meat, cheese, etc. for her children. Thank you Lord opening my eyes to the needs of others and allowing me to help when I can.

So, be encouraged if you are waiting upon someone or something.  Don’t give up. Keep praying.  We too are waiting for breakthrough in a few areas of our lives and are trusting God to open the doors only He can in His timing. We do our part and let Him do His.

Blessings, Rebecca

Spring Routine

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I was searching the web for other marriage and family blogs and came across Life Really. She shared her Fall Routine with her audience and it resignated with me; dropping off and picking up school aged kids. So, I thought I would share it with you.

As Spring approaches, I thought to myself, What is our routine? Here are a couple of things…

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1. Spring Cleaning

There is something true about the adage of Spring cleaning.  In fact, Spring still nine days away. Yet, I found myself deep cleaning our cabin this weekend and tossing a bunch of stuff.

My husband and I talked about joining the next local flea market to sell some items we no longer use to gain space. It feels good to me to have clean and organized place.

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2. Go Outside

Our family loves to explore our community.  We have awesome redwood forests and Pacific coast nearby. Here’s my daughter Alicia making wishes with dandelions in a field; simple pleasures.

We enjoy walking together places. Randy and I walked to town for a cup of coffee this past Sunday. Alicia and I walk around shopping and running errands. My son Austin and I like to hike local mountains and walk the creeks. All four of us walk the beaches and parks frequently. It will especially be nice this year, because we’ve received over 50 inches of rain.

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Do you have a seasonal routine you’d like to share with us?

Blessings, Rebecca

Date

While our kids attendend high school camp at Lake Hume, my husband Randy and I decided to go on a date.

On Saturday, we got to sleept in. Ahhh, what a trea!

We then walked over to one of our local coffee shops, grabbed a couple of mochas and muffins.

As we savored our delicious drinks by the cozy fire, we thought of fun things to do for the day. We decided to head to Carmel.

We drove one hour south to explore the Monterey Bay Peninsula.

First stop was Pacific Grove. We drove along the scenic coast and noticed no cars parked along the cliffs. We later learned Warner Brothers was filming a movie and had reserved spaces. Pretty cool!

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Lovers Point

We decided to stop for lunch. So, we Googled restaurants near us only to discover a little hole in the wall clam chowder house that was delicious.

Afterwards, we walked down the street and popped in an antique shop.

We hopped back in the car and headed further south to Carmel.

We stopped at the main beach entrance and peered over the cliffs for a bit. I love the smell of fresh ocean air and watching the waves crash on the shore.

We wanted to see some new sights and  found a street called Scenic Road, parked and walked for about a mile along a coastal path. It was a gorgeous day.

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A peek at Pebble Beach Golf Course

We stopped half way, sat on a quaint park bench and soaked in the sun and surf.

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At the end of the day, we jumped back into our car and Randy noticed his phone was missing.  I called our phone carrier to find out how to locate his phone and possibly report a lost phone. After I hung up, we prayed and asked God to help us find it, because it has his chaplaincy contact info and personal photos.  We then called his phone and a gentleman named Alex answered and said he found it on the trail. A few minutes later, we met up with the European tourist and he returned Randy’s phone. We thanked him for his honesty and treated him to a coffee.

On the ride home, we reflected on how nice it was to hang out together, sight seeing and agreed we need to do it more often.

How about you? What dating ideas do you have? I’d love to hear about them.

Blessings, Rebecca

What Does The Bible Say About Family?

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Marriage and family are a key to a society’s structure. After asking myself last week “What does the Bible say about marriage,” I asked myself “What does the Bible say about family?” As I combed through the concordance, there are many references to family. I have selected a few to share with you.

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1. Honor

Moses gave the Israelites 10 Commandments from God. One of them is found in Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

This particular verse is interesting, because it doesn’t say to love your parents. It says to honor or respect them. Not everyone grows up in a healthy family. So, some people may not love their father or mother, however, they are admonished to esteem their folks.

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2. Compassion

Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. – Psalm 103:13

I believe this verse could be misconstrued that we must be afraid of God, however, when I think of the fear of the Lord, I think of it as having reverence for a holy God.

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3. Teach

We can teach a great deal to our future generations about the lessons we’ve learned.

Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and grandsons.  – Deuteronomy 4:9

These verses are just a few I discovered on family relationships.  I encourage you to search for ones that apply to your unique family dynamics.

What principles is your family built on? I would love to hear about them.

Blessings, Rebecca

What Does The Bible Say About Marriage?

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Marriage and family are a key to a society’s structure. So, I asked myself this weekend “What does the Bible say about marriage?” As I combed through the concordance, there is many references to marriage, husbands and wives. I have selected a few to share with you.

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1. Binding Contract

Marriage is a covenant between a husband and a wife.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14

This particular verse has meaning to me in that I wanted to marry a man with the same faith values as me, because I knew there could be disagreements about such things as going to church, reading the Bible, prayer, etc.; especially when it came to raising our children.

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2. Purity

Faithfulness to one another is key.

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. – Hebrews 13:4

I understand this verse can be countercultural if you watch various films and television programs where partners live together before marriage, spouses cheat on one another, etc. However, I believe God is protecting the sanctity of marriages as it is a holy union between husband and wife.

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3. Blessing or Curse

As wives, we can either be a blessing or a curse to our husbands.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones. – Ephesians 12:4

I look back on a time when a friend shamed my husband in front of me and the kids. I remember how awful he felt. Unfortunately, we had to end that unhealthy friendship, because we understand the importance of wholesome relationships.

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4. Respect

It’s important to respect one another and our marital positions.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

I know this verse is not very popular in our American culture today; especially with the feminist movement.  However, God is a God of order and He is above all and places the husband as head of the household.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; – Ephesians 5:25

In addition to the huge responsibility of being head of his family, a husband is given the duty to love his wife sacraficially.

Frankly, I appreciate this covering from my husband. Now, is it always easy to submit, “No.” I grew up very independent, career driven and didn’t marry until 35 years of age. So, I am learning what that looks like.  As a result, I believe God has blessed our marriage of 17 years.

These verses are just a few I discovered on marriage.  There are many more in the Bible. I encourage you to seek for yourself.

What principles is your marriage built on? I would love to hear about them.

Blessings, Rebecca

Mother and Daughter

Alicia and I attended our third annual Mother and Daughter conference at Mission Springs. 

Although it rained cats and dogs, we enjoyed quality time together.

We attended a DIY bath bomb class.

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During a break in the storm, we took a hike.

We decorated journals with friends.

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The meals were delicious.  We especially enjoyed Sunday brunch with quiche, cheese/meat tray, tator tots, salad and donuts. There was something yummy for everyone.

We walked up the hill to enjoy outdoor activities such as ax/knife throwing, archery, petting zoo, etc.

All in all, it was a very nice girl time. If you haven’t tried a parent/child camp, I highly recommend it.

How was your weekend?

Blessings, Rebecca