Quiet Time Book Giveaway

CONGRATULATIONS TO LEIGHANN H.
WINNER OF THE BOOK GIVEAWAY!
You have been notified with a message to the email address you provided. PLEASE RESPOND WITH YOUR MAILING ADDRESS WITHIN 5 DAYS AT:
hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com
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It has been awhile since I have done a giveaway… so let’s do one now!

This is a great time of year to start new routines. Some of my goals are to journal daily, organize my home, etc. On March 1st, I will give away the following package of books:

(Total Value: $40.00)

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ENTER TO WIN:

~(Mandatory) Comment on this blog post:

What are your quiet time goals for 2017?

~(Optional) View/Like Heart Treasures Facebook Page

Click on the Rafflecopter Link Below to register your entries!

Terms & Conditions:

1. Entries will be accepted until midnight Tuesday, February 28, 2017. One (1) winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted.

2. The top of this post will be updated with the announcement of the winner and I will attempt to contact the winner by the email they provide.

3. Winner must e-mail me with name (first & last) and mailing address within 5 days of announcement otherwise the book will be sent to a new winner. hearttreasurescontact@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This is a free giveaway at Heart Treasures Blog’s expense, therefore, Heart Treasures Blog is not responsible for loss or damage of the giveaway item(s). Giveaway open only to residents of the United States (unless you have a US Military address such as APO, FPO, etc.)

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Talk: 52 Weekly Devotions

This book by Lois Walfrid Johnson is a devotional geared towards middle school aged girls and is a part of the Faithgirlz series. It is divided into 52 sections; one section for each week of the year. Each week has a scripture memory verse, a story, 7 days of journaling prompts with blank space to write, and a prayer. The stories cover a variety of subjects that girls may encounter in middle school: embarrassing moments, mean kids, friendships, boys, modesty, choices, attitude, responsibility, etc.

I like the layout of this book and that there are daily journaling prompts for the entire year. I like that the weeks/days are not actually dated so someone could start this book any time of year. I think that this book would appeal to girls in the middle school stage of life who are wanting to build their Christian faith. The stories are relevant to this age group. Scripture memorization and journaling are encouraged. The correlation between the stories and truths found in scripture are easy to understand and apply to everyday life. My oldest daughter is 10 years old. I think some of the stories are applicable now however many of them are probably more appropriate for an older girl. I plan to keep this book and give it to her later.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKids provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Girl Talk: 52 Weekly Devotions
By Lois Walfrid Johnson / Zondervan

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My 2017 Goals!

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, which most often are broken, last year I decided to make a list of Goals. Goals may change throughout the year or they may carry over to the next year. Still, they can be a reminder of the direction I would like to see my life go in the next twelve months. Due to unforeseen circumstances (surprise pregnancy and related health issues), most of my 2016 goals went to the back burner of my life. This year I have  again made 10 personal goals for my life. They are not listed in any particular order and I have made most of them vague. Not being completely strict in my goal setting will allow for some flexibility and will allow for some grace should things not go exactly as planned.

  1. Journal daily

  2. Read my Bible more frequently.

  3. Spend more quality time with my husband and children.

  4. Increase my Norwex business.

  5. Organize and purge my house.

  6. Keep up with book reviews for publishers.

  7. Budget monthly.

  8. Finish craft projects.

  9. Try something new.

  10. Keep a prayer journal.

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What are your top goals this year? Post them in the comments!

Character: Discipline

66022_1_ftc_dpA couple of weeks ago, my ladies Bible study continued with Session 2: Discipline in the book:

Character: Reclaiming Six Endangered Qualities, InterActions Series
By Bill Hybels / Zondervan

You can read my post on the previous session here: Session 1: Courage

The key passage for Session 2: Discipline is:

Proverbs 1:1-7 “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Because it was used a couple of times in the key verses, I looked up the definition of prudence. It is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason, shrewdness in the management of affairs, skill and good judgement in the use of resources, and caution or circumspection as to danger or risk. I think that knowing this definition helps with understanding of the verses.

This session focuses on four areas of personal discipline: Spiritual, Physical, Financial, and Relational. In each section, it has us reflect on how disciplined we think we are in these areas.

The Essence of Discipline… Delayed Gratification

The author describes delayed gratification as “the commitment to schedule the pain of life first so we can really experience the pleasures of life that follow.” So in our areas of personal discipline, delayed gratification might look like the following:

Spiritual: Waking up a little earlier or going to bed a little later in order to commit some time to spend reading the Bible, praying, and having quiet time with God.

Physical: Committing to exercise on a regular basis and making healthy food choices.

Financial: Creating a savings plan in order to slowly set aside money for a big purchase, vacation, and/or retirement.

Relational: Make an effort to have heart-to-heart talks with a friend or family member you desire to have an authentic relationship with.

The Practice of Discipline… Advanced Decision-Making

Once deciding that delayed gratification is essential to discipline, we must take the next step. This involves making decisions ahead of time about how we will practice discipline in our lives. If we have a plan set firmly in our mind, then when temptation comes to ignore the plan, we will be more likely to stick to the plan. Some plans might look like the following:

Spiritual: Committing to be involved with a local Bible study group and making time to do the homework before each meeting.

Physical: Scheduling time several times a week to go to the gym and/or workout at home.

Financial: Creating a monthly budget and sticking to it.

Relational: Make time to regularly call, write, and/or meet a friend or family member.

The Rewards of Discipline

When we are able to commit to delayed gratification and advanced decision-making in order to be disciplined in our daily lives, we start to see the benefits of being disciplined. Rewards could be as follows:

Spiritual: A growing and mature Christian life and a close relationship with God.

Physical: A healthy body, increased energy, and increased self-worth.

Financial: Being free from debt and not having to live paycheck to paycheck.

Relational: Having a flourishing marriage, family life, and close, significant friendships.

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I have had enough experience in my life to know the downfalls of not being disciplined in each of these areas. I think that I am pretty disciplined in my planning and organization. However, putting my plans into action is a different story. In all of the areas we discussed, I have some work to do. Being disciplined in each of these areas requires constant attention, perseverance, and prayer!

How can you put discipline into practice this week?

Character: Courage

66022_1_ftc_dpI attend Community Bible Study during the school year but I was missing the fellowship and in-depth study this summer. So, in an effort to meet some new neighbors and spend quality time with some friends, I started a summer Bible study in my home for a few ladies and myself. We are reading and discussing:

Character: Reclaiming Six Endangered Qualities, InterActions Series
By Bill Hybels / Zondervan

Yesterday, we met for the first time and discussed Session 1: Character. I thought that I would share each week what I have learned here on my blog. This study was written for men and women. However, I am facilitating this study for ladies so I will be using female terms.

The courage session focuses on courage in every day life versus the big once in a lifetime acts of heroism that we hear about in the media. The type of courage that it takes to be a wife, mother, and friend. The Bible passage for this session is:

1 Timothy 1:7-12 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”

The author uses Paul as a Biblical example. Through his trials, suffering, imprisonment, etc., Paul is someone who exhibited every day courage because of his faith in Jesus Christ. I want to point out here (even though it is not mentioned in the book we are reading), that it is a pet peeve of mine when Christians say “God will not give us more than we can handle.” This is not Biblically based at all. It is misconstrued with God not allowing us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and that there is always a way out of temptation. However, Paul is the example time and time again that a Christian can and will go through trials, suffering, pain, hardship… even to the point of death. Paul says in

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”

Through our hardships; God wants us to fully rely on him so that he can deliver us and heal us. God wants to draw us into a closer relationship with him. He will always rescue us but sometimes it is in the midst of our hardships. He doesn’t always remove us from circumstances but allows us to go through them in order to draw us nearer to Him. And he can always use our testimonies to impact other people and draw them into His kingdom. It takes great every day courage to keep our faith as we go through hardship.

This session is divided into three sections: Spiritual Courage, Moral Courage, and Relational Courage.

Spiritual Courage:

The author points out that we often hear from non-believers that Christianity is for weak people, cowards, and is a crutch. He uses the example of non-believers who are confronted with their sin but who do not have the courage to admit their sins before a Holy God. They justify themselves by saying that they are a good person and the sins they have committed are just little mistakes. They falsely assume that God will allow all “good” people into heaven. He says that it takes much courage for someone to become a Christian, admit that they are a sinner, and follow Christ in a secular world.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [emphasis mine]

When speaking of a non-believer deciding to follow Christ or a Christian continuing to follow Christ in a secular world, YES, it does take great courage. However, I went a different direction with my thoughts on this. I AM weak but because of Christ, I am made strong in spite of my weakness. Without Christ, I am nothing and can do nothing of value. With Christ, I have the ability to do great things and stand strong in a fallen world.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Moral Courage:

The author gives several examples of areas where it might be easy to fall into temptation… even as a Christian. Income taxes, sexual purity, bending truth to avoid conflict, etc. How do we handle the temptation when it comes knocking at our door? How do we react after giving into temptation and being caught?

Christ calls us to have integrity and courage even when no one else cares or notices. We should have the courage to be truthful in all things, to have integrity behind closed doors, and to exhibit Christ to all people we encounter (in person or on the internet).

Relational Courage:

The author focuses on marriage and parenting but this also applies to friendships. It takes courage to be vulnerable in marriage and admit when things are not going well. Sometimes counseling, meeting with accountability partners, and/or sitting down to have a serious discussion are important to help repair a marriage. It takes courage to discipline children when they need correction and to train them in the way of Christ even if it is not popular to do so in our entitled, government knows what is best society.

Have you seen a marriage fall apart because of adultery, pornography, alcohol, abuse, or just plain selfishness? Many marriages end in divorce because one or both parties just give up and go their own way with out consideration of the effects their decisions have on their children and future.

On the flip side, have you seen marriages recover from any of the above circumstances? My marriage has recovered from extreme circumstances and I have witnessed other marriages recover as well. Almost always, the common denominator is Christ. When both spouses are willing to admit that they are wrong, when both spouses are willing to forgive each other the way Christ forgave us, when both spouses are willing to get the outside help needed, then there is a good chance that a marriage can recover from extreme brokenness. This takes courage because most often it is a long road to recovery. It takes courage to stand strong when society says to just take the “easy road” out.

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Overall, I have learned to be more aware of areas I can exhibit courage on a daily basis… even if it is not recognized by others. One of my group members said that sometimes it takes courage just to get out of bed in the morning! I want to be like Paul and show courage in the midst of trials and suffering but I also want to be able to show courage in all things even when everything is going well.

How can you show courage in your every day life this week?

My Vision Board

As some of you may know, I am a Independent Sales Consultant with NORWEX. This past weekend, I attended the Norwex Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. I had an amazing experience connecting with new friends who share the same passions. We learned so much about the Norwex company from a global perspective and great tips, tools, and steps that will help us be successful in our businesses. There are several things that I want to share with my blogging community that I think are great tools for any home business or of great importance to every day life (whether or not you are familiar with Norwex). So, I will be blogging about them on occasion this month!

For those of you who have never heard of Norwex, the Norwex mission statement is as follows:Mission_Statement_Web_Design

One of the things we heard over and over at the conference, is to dream big and set goals. I am sure that these two things are mentioned at any direct sales business conference but these apply to anyone in any situation. If we have dreams and goals for our lives, then we will actively pursue them. We will work harder to accomplish the things we want to accomplish. During one of the sessions I attended, the speaker suggested creating a “Vision Board.” Basically, something that you will see every day that will be an encouraging reminder of why you do what you do and a reminder of the goals you have. You do not have to have a business to create a vision board. Maybe you have a family goal, or a workout goal, or a vacation goal. A vision board could be created for pretty much any type of dream or goal you have. Right now, my goal is to be successful in my Norwex business so that I can provide financial “extras” I want for my family.

I have a large bulletin board already mounted in my office/guest room. I decorated it in a similar way for both of my exchange students that we had. I just left it a blank canvas for them to do what they wanted with it. First, I chose wrapping paper and ribbon that matches the theme I am going for. In this case, blue and green since they are the colors of the Norwex logo. I cut the paper to fit the board and stapled it only around the edges (you can use a knife to trim the edges after you staple the paper). It does not have to be perfect because the ribbon will cover any imperfections on the edges! Then, I cut the ribbon to create a border. I use a 1 inch ribbon because I know it will cover up the staples. I use flat push pins to pin down the ribbon. This allows for easy change if I decide I want a different color at some point. Then I cut several other pieces of ribbon and pin them in a crisscross pattern. I weave them over and under the other ribbons. I used regular push pins to pin where the ribbons cross. This gives me something to hang things on. You can use all the same types of pins or mix them up!

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After the foundation of the board was complete, I started adding things that I thought would be encouraging for me to see every day!

My name badge from conference:

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My immediate financial goals:

[Side Note: In case you are wondering, I over estimate for trips in case there are financial set backs such as car trouble, airline delays, extra hotel expenses, etc. If I have money left over from a trip, it transfers over to the next financial goal. So if we only spend $750 on our Iowa trip then the left over $250 will go towards our Tennessee trip.]

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Lyrics from my all time favorite hymn:

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My Career Plan:

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I am a Sales Leader and my goals this year are to work towards Executive Sales Leader and Senior Executive Sales Leader:

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And some other little things to complete the project!

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I did leave some room because I am planning to add the Norwex mission statement and a family photo since they are the reason I am pursuing my business goals. With this type of set up, I can continue to be creative by adding or changing out things like ribbon color or Enviro cloth color. There is plenty of room to do whatever I want to do with it!

Do you have a vision board?

I would LOVE to hear about yours! Comment below!

Send photos to have the opportunity to be featured on my blog!

hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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Want to know more about NORWEX? Feel free to message me at the email address above or check out my business website:

www.alysasawyer.norwex.biz

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My 2016 Goals!

Happy-New-Year

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, which most often are broken, I have decided to make a list of Goals. Goals may change throughout the year or they may carry over to the next year. Still, they can be a reminder of the direction I would like to see my life go in the next twelve months. I have come up with 10 personal goals for my life this year. They are not listed in any particular order and I have made most of them vague. Not being completely strict in my goal setting will allow for some flexibility and will allow for some grace should things not go exactly as planned. Maybe in December, I can post an update on how these goals panned out!

  1. Read my Bible on a regular basis.

  2. Pray for my husband and children daily.

  3. Keep the same day planner all year (I tend to change day planners every 4-6 months).

  4. Journal regularly.

  5. Blog way more frequently than I did last year.

  6. Stay caught up on my book reviews.

  7. Have household decluttering and cleaning routines.

  8. Be more consistent and successful with my Norwex home business.

  9. Write more letters and cards to mail to family and friends.

  10. Visit somewhere I have never been before.

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What are your top goals this year? Post them in the comments!

 

Video Of Woman Giving Her Opinion Of McKinney Chaos

The woman in the video below is on point. The whole situation would not have happened if the kids respected authority from the beginning. I am not at all condoning what the officer did to that girl (I saw a different article saying that he resigned). But there was A LOT more going on than what was being shown in that 7 minute viral video and that it seems that it did not even cover the initial reasons that cops had to show up in the first place. Right from the beginning it was recipe for disaster. A situation that never should have escalated to the point that it did.

In the videos that I have seen, it appears that it was the black kids who are arguing, talking back, and being aggressive. It does not appear that the white kids are doing those things (not saying they didn’t though). The situation probably did not start out as a race issue, but if the majority of arguing and aggressive teens are of a particular race then of course the accusations become that it was a race issue. The cop could have been more gentle with that girl but several of the neighborhood residents (black and white) (who actually live there and witnessed the events) say that the cop presence was definitely warranted and needed to control an out of control situation that the teens/party started.

On a personal note, this is why we will have strict rules for our kids when they are older so that hopefully they will never be in a situation that gets out of control like this. We do have a taste of experiencing teenager rule breaking so it isn’t like I am just wishfully planning… The past 2 years we had 2 exchange students who lived in our home for 10 months each. We had strict rules with them as well but we had some major rule breaking & lying issues with one of them and we had to confront and correct her.

We will also teach (and have been teaching) our girls respect for authority. Even when we sometimes disagree, there are proper ways of dealing with disagreements. [For example, if you feel a parking, speeding, accident, etc. ticket is unwarranted, you can go to court and dispute it]. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach children to respect authority and teach them that their actions have consequences. I hope that when my girls are that age they will have the sense to know to respect cops instead of arguing with them AND maybe have the wisdom to stay away from situations that lead to cops being called in the first place.