A Time and a Season

Sunday October 23 2016 8:37 pm | Comments (4)

Hi Friend!

I hope this finds you enjoying the beautiful changes of this season. I love God’s handiwork in painting the landscapes I’ve seen this week as I travel.

fall-leaves

In the past month, God has orchestrated many changes in my life too.

In early September, our youngest son, Gabe, flew the coop and moved about two hours south of us. We moved him into his own apartment in Onalaska, WA. Now he is closer to Ryanne, his girlfriend (now fiancé) of three years. They were engaged on September 20, 2016 and are busy planning a September 2017 wedding.

Now we are truly empty nesters.

We have so many memories in this home as we watched our sons¬†grow. Gabe’s room looks so empty. I must be brave every time I walk past it. I know that soon new memories will be made in that space. But I choose not to focus on the hard part of this change.

Life is like that cycle of fall. Some things have to die to allow new growth.

Because of another precious change that happened this month, that empty room will fill with grandchild chuckles as Avery and Ellison spend overnighters with Nana and Papa. And when she is old enough, our newest granddaughter, Marlowe June, born September 22nd to our son, Zane and his beautiful wife, Kelsey will join in the overnighter fun. She is beautiful. I already have a crib ready for when she wants to visit.

As part of a big layoff at D+H, where I’ve worked the past seventeen years, September 30th was my last day. ¬†I am on a new journey that requires bravery.

The blessing in all of this is I finally have time! Not that I have any more hours in a day than I did before, but now I have more freedom to choose how I spend that time.

  • Time to spend with my grandchildren.
  • Time to write that Bible Study¬†I’ve been thinking about for about ten years.
  • Time to finish my novel I started two years ago.
  • Time to create more journals to help people document the events of their life.
  • Time to blog more often.
  • Time to travel with Gabe and be free to relax rather than work while on the road.
  • Time to prioritize my health. I’m walking again and I plan to get back in shape.
  • Time to seek God’s best plan for my life.

There is a time and a purpose for every season of our life. This is very exciting even though I’ve never been this way before. I trust that God will show me the purpose in every change I face.

The God-Given Task

9¬†What gain has the worker from his toil? 10¬†I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11¬†He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12¬†I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13¬†also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil‚ÄĒthis is God’s gift to man.

14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.

I trust God. He knows the days ahead of me. I trust one day at a time. And I’m trying NOT to fill my days with busyness.

He knows the days ahead for you too, beloved. I pray you will trust Him for direction in those days.

Have a blessed week. Let’s trust together! Please comment if you’d like me to pray for a specific change you are going through. It is always my pleasure to pray.

Gigi

A Million Miles in A Thousand Years

Hello Friend!

I hope you have had a fun summer.

I had a great summer¬†and I’m sad to see it end. It is hard to believe we are nearing the end as fall begins in just a few days.

Over the summer, I made a list of books recommended by Michael Hyatt and started reading. The first book I picked up was Donald Miller’s,¬†A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story.¬†

a-million-miles-in-a-thousand-years

Where was I when this book was published in 2011? Somehow I missed this gem until now.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a book about taking action to edit the scenes in our life stories. Donald Miller found himself in a funk after writing several books including his best seller, Blue Like Jazz .

As he created a screen-play for Blue Like Jazz, Miller was challenged to look at the structure of his own story and decided to make some changes in his life.

This book includes many personal stories from Donald Miller’s life as he made the choice to live differently. He got off the couch and started riding his bike. It wasn’t a ride down the street, but a ride across America raising money for water wells in Africa.

He rode miles with friends in kayaks and unexpectedly met Bob Goff (author of¬†Love Does – Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World.) Donald and his friends spent eight hours with the Goff’s in a life changing experience of irresistible love.

One touching story relates to his struggle to decide whether to contact his father who abandoned him when he was young. He shares the real ebbs and flows of choosing to do the difficult things that might just change the trajectory of our lives.

As an author, I also related to this book because the elements of story are used to help Miller look at scenes from his life and determine to make some changes. I enjoyed his reference to story structure.

I was definitely challenged by this book to take a look at the story of my own life.  Am I living he story I want to live? I want to put myself in more situations that require me to get out of my comfort zone.

The timing of this book coming to my attention was perfect. Last week we moved our son Gabe to his own apartment two hours away. And he took his service dog Ruth with him. The house is so quiet. A new chapter of my story begins.

This Thursday I will get to meet my new granddaughter who will join Avery and Ellison. I can hardly wait for this exciting part of the story.

In two weeks I will finish my seventeen year stint working at D+H (originally EZTeller, then Harland Financial Solutions, then purchased by D+H.) I will be laid off on October 1, 2016 as a part of a reorganization of our company. I will miss the people who were part of that story but I’m excited to swee what’s next.

Some¬†of my life adventures are completely out of my control but I’m sure they will bring a spark into the new season ahead of me.

Steve and I are on a new adventure of living in an empty next. I hope to write and speak more. I want to spend more time with my grandchildren. I’d like to travel and enjoy the beauty of God’s country. I¬†hope¬†to go on a mission trip.

What bucket list items are you ready to check off?

Is there something about your life your’d like to edit?

I pray for you as God directs your path for whatever is around the corner. I know I’m listening closely for directions and I know it will be a great adventure!

Bless you friend as you edit the story of your life. Make it beautiful!

Gigi

 

SpeakUp Conference Recap

Monday July 18 2016 10:31 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , , , ,

Hello friend,

I’m excited to tell you about the SpeakUp Conference I attended in Grand Rapids, MI from July 7-9, 2016. It is difficult to decide what to share because I got so much out of my time invested. ¬†Carol Kent and the staff of SpeakUp did a fabulous job in every way.

Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from the weekend.

S РSweet Worship led by Kim and Brian Tabor. Their love for Jesus showed through as they escorted us into beautiful worship each day.

P РProfessional atmosphere in each devotional, keynote, and breakout session. Every session I attended was taught by highly qualified teachers and speakers including founder, Carol Kent, her sisters Bonnie Emmorey and Jennie Afman Dimkoff , Cindy Bultema, Anne Denmark and Suzanne Kuen (Suzy Q)

E РEquipping sessions for my future as a speaker. There were takeaways to implement right away.

A –¬†Atmosphere of hope for the nearly two-hundred attendees seeking God’s vision for their writing and speaking life.

K – Key elements for a fabulous speaking career shared in every¬†session I attended. Energetic and motivational speaker, Becky Harling challenged us to know our message is to be shared “For Such a Time as This.” Powerful!

U – Unlimited opportunities to meet agents, editors, life coaches, prayer warriors and mentors. I also made some wonderful new friends to encourage along the way.

P РPrayer covering over every participant and every need. The prayer corner was always available for any need presented. I enjoyed a session with HopeLifter, Kathe Wunnenberg who helps spread hope when life hurts.

This conference was truly a blessing at a time when I needed it most. When I arrived I was filled with questions about my future.¬†“Lord, What is next for me? Show me how you can use my gifts and talents through the classes I attend and the people I meet.”

That question was answered in many ways as the weekend unfolded. The Lord confirm the desires of my heart and confirmed that I am a messenger of HOPE.

God is truly good.

As I continue to pray for wisdom and revelation, I know God is doing a work in my life to point me to the place where I can be used to bless others. He is doing the same for you, friend!

Life Coach Anne Denmark

Life Coach Anne Denmark

Kathy Wunnenberg

Kathe Wunnenberg is  a HOPE lifter!

My Wonderful Speaker Critique Group

My Wonderful Speaker Critique Group

I learned so much from Cindy Bultema!

I learned so much from Cindy Bultema!

Wow. SuzyQ was so helpful!

Wow. SuzyQ was so helpful!

I hope to gather a contingent of friends for next year’s conference. I’m already signed up for the July 15-17, 2017 weekend.

We all have a story. Maybe you are feeling that nudge to use writing or speaking to share yours. Please pray about joining me at this conference next year.

Bless you as you write and speak for His glory.

With HOPE,

Gigi

Speaker and Author and Messenger of HOPE

One Strand Marketplace

Hello Friend!

I’m excited to be a part of One Strand Marketplace in Snohomish, WA on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Here’s the scoop:

Shop over 60 Crafters and Etsy artists. Enjoy the cafe with signature sandwiches, the coffee bar, and specialty food items. Listen to live music, meet authors and find a new book. Experience organic beauty products and services. Be sure to get your tickets for the “Inspirational Night Out” immediately following the Marketplace.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Cafe 11am-4pm
Marketplace 11am-6:30pm
I’m especially excited for you to see my newest Journal the Journey book – LOVE Journal & Coloring Book. I’ll also have the HOPE Journal & Coloring book as well as my Caregiver’s Devotional at the signing table.
LOVE Journal & Coloring Book - Available in 8 x 10 Perfect Bound or 6 x 9 Spiral Bound

LOVE Journal & Coloring Book – Available in 8 x 10 Perfect Bound or 6 x 9 Spiral Bound

 

The venue is amazing! Come just to see all of the antiques! This event center is a great place for any event. I fell in love with it’s old world charm as I walked through it the other night.

Venue Details: 1011 2nd Street  Snohomish, WA 98290  

I will be signing books from 12-1 as a featured author. How fun is that?

I'll be right there in front of that TV at a table signing books.

I’ll be right there in front of that TV at a table signing books.

In the evening we will have music and sharing from my friend Cheryl Door with the debut of her book, Jesus Send the Rain.

I hope you will join for some fun. Come for a little while or stay all day. It’s free up through the evening which will be wonderful too.

Come to an
Inspirational Night Out
Jesus Send the Rain
Register soon! Seating is limited
Decadant Desserts
Guest Speaker and Guest Vocalist
Saturday, April 30th 2016
Meet, mingle and get coffee:
6:30-7pm
Guest vocalist and guest speaker:
7-9pm
Come early to shop the
craft marketplace
Tickets for the evening only…$18

Blessings!

Gigi

Easter is full of HOPE and LOVE

Easter Blessings of HOPE and LOVE sent your way!

E_Easter_Lily_Basket__08801.1362069051.1280.1280

Photo Courtesty of www.Marvelsflowers.com

There is nothing like the giggle of my granddaughter as she hunts for hidden plastic eggs throughout our home. In Seattle, sometimes the egg hunts don’t make it outside. Yesterday was one of those days because of the rain.

But we all had a great time despite the rainy weather.

Avery excitedly searched in every room to find the many eggs hidden earlier in the day. She opened each egg carefully to see the surprise inside.

These are the lessons we can teach our children and grandchildren as they open each egg:

When the egg is empty, it is a reminder of the empty tomb, and the resurrection life we receive because of Easter.

When the egg is filled with candy, it reminds us that God is the giver of good gifts, the best gift given to us on Easter – life everlasting.

When the egg has a coin in it, we are reminded that God is our provider. He knows our needs and provides the way to meet them. (And Disneyland is one quarter closer!)

Three Eggs

Yes, Easter is so much more than egg hunts, bunnies, candy and gifts. It is about the gift of life everafter given to each of us as we trust in the One and Only, Jesus Christ.

Not because we did anything to earn this gift, but just because he Loves us. It is about HOPE and LOVE for today and tomorrow.

It was a doubly special day for my family because we also celebrated our oldest son, Zane’s, birthday. He is another reminder of God’s good gifts. I am beyond blessed to be his mom.

Birthday Blessings

On this Easter Monday, my heart is full of HOPE and LOVE. I hope yours is too.

My prayer for you, dear friend, is that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can HOPE in God’s LOVE for all of your todays and tomorrows. He loves you more than you know.

I do too!

Be Blessed.
Gigi

Exciting News!

We had a fun weekend with my family. Our two grandchildren came over for a visit. There is nothing like Christmas through the eyes of a child.

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I felt like a kid when the UPS man showed up at our door late Sunday afternoon. The journal I’ve been creating since mid summer arrived hot off the press.

Gigi with HOPE Journal

It is beautiful! I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it.

This is not only a journal. I share a bit of my story of HOPE. You’ll learn about my mom’s journal that is now seventy-eight years old. Interspersed throughout are inspiring quotes and Scriptures to point you to hope.

There is plenty of space to write your thoughts, hopes and dreams. (And frustrations too РI journal it all!)

FullSizeRender (5)

A separate section to track prayer requests helps you remember the prayers of your heart. Updates help you see the hand of God at work. The gratitude section is a great place to record thanks each day.

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And, just for fun, I’ve added some coloring pages. The¬†coloring pages are floral or abstract designs – mostly tulips. I tell you the tulips story to explain my love for the beautiful flower.

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It is available here on my website NOW. It will be up on Amazon in the next few days.

I hope you’ll consider joining me to journal the journey.

We’ve discounted the book through December 31st. The retail price is $14.95 but we are offering it here for $10.00. Click on the book section to order.¬†Purchase Here

The proceeds from this book benefits Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE – a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to bring encouragement and hope to those we serve.

I pray you will find HOPE in the manger this Christmas. He came to earth as a baby…just for you and for me. Bless you with encouragement today.

Gigi

Journey of HOPE – First Sunday of Advent

Monday November 30 2015 7:14 am | Comments (0) Tags: , , ,

Hello beloved one~

Light a candle and let it shine as a reminder of the HOPE available to all of us.

This week is the first week of Advent. As we count down to Christmas let us remember where our HOPE comes from.

HOPE

THE CANDLE OF HOPE

Charles Colson said it best:

¬†‚ÄúWhere is the hope? The hope that each of us have, is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. And that‚Äôs where our hope is in this country. And that‚Äôs where our hope is in this life.‚ÄĚ

I shared in a previous post that my new Journal the Journey — HOPE book is about to hit the press. I am delighted to share a few stories of how HOPE has kept me going during challenging times of life.

My prayer for you today, as we end November, is that you will know where your hope comes from.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Bless you with HOPE today,

Gigi

Journal the Journey

Hello Friend,

I’m very excited to share that the first book in my new Journal Series – Journal the Journey of HOPE is about to hit the press. I spent the summer working on this creative journal~coloring book.

I chose the theme HOPE as the first book in this series because I believe we can all use a little HOPE these days.

Throughout this 160 page journal, you’ll find a few stories about how I’ve maintained a HOPE-filled attitude. I will also share some of my journal writing techniques. Quotes and favorite Scriptures that have pointed me to HOPE are found throughout the journal pages. For relaxation and fun, I’ve added a few coloring pages too.

This journal will leave the hands of Dochas Publications and hit Amazon at the end of November.

BUT I have good news for you. If you pre-order from me, you can get the journal for $10.00 vs the $14.95 price at Amazon. (Tax and $5.00 shipping and handling will be added.)

Hopejournal Front Cover

I’m excited for this whole series of journals. In January we will release Journal the Journey of LOVE and in March Journal the Journey of FAITH.

Hopejournal Back Cover

Also, if you order from Amazon, we would appreciate it if you would use the Amazon Smile account that gives a donation to Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE.

This journal will make a great Christmas or Birthday gift for the journaler in your life. It will also be a great tool for learning to keep a journal.

Come back to my website for more details as we get closer to the release date.

Bless you in your journey.

Gigi

What A Difference A Year Can Make

Wednesday July 22 2015 8:01 pm | Comments (6) Tags: ,

Hello my friend,

It’s been too long since I’ve written a blog post.

After working part time for fifteen years, I am now working full time. ¬†I’m still with D+H (Formerly Harland Financial Solutions) and I enjoy the challenge.

Working full time, being a grandma to two beautiful grandchildren, and occasionally traveling with our son Gabe has limited my spare time. What little time I have has been dedicated to drafting my first novel.

I’m excited to apply the writing lessons I’ve learned in online classes, retreats and conferences as I craft this first piece of fiction.

The book is tentatively titled –¬†Behind The Smile.¬†

The story is about Kit Stevenson. A supermom who has successfully managed to keep her head above the rising waters of her chaotic life. Kit, like many of us,¬†has hidden her challenges behind her notable smile. But when she is forced to deal with her secrets and her pain, she learns the power of being vulnerable and authentic — something she wished she’d learned years earlier.

And-all-her-feelings-are-hidden-behind-that-smile

Oh how I relate to Kit. Do you?

One year ago on April 14, 2014, I checked myself in to The Center – A Place of Hope desperate to find answers for the discouragement I couldn’t shake.

No one knew. Or so I thought.

I was sure my smile hid the pain so well. I was on top of it, wasn’t I?

You know, the typical work, family, marriage and health issues.

This was no different than anyone else, right?

I soon learned I was kidding myself when a very good friend called me out. We were talking on the phone one afternoon. She mentioned depression and prayed for me to get some help.

About a week later, I found a book in my mailbox – “Turning Your Down into Up” – by Dr. Gregory Jantz.

NOT ME! I said. I’m on top of it. I’ve got everything under control. Don’t you see my smile?

Depression is all about my grandma, and my mom and my sister. Not about me!

My friends and my counselor asked great questions that pointed me to an understanding that my busy life was a coping mechanism. Going a hundred miles an hour in every which direction kept me from dealing with the truth.

When I took an honest look at my life, I admitted I was suffering from depression and anxiety. I was too proud to admit it.

For years I hid my pain behind the smile.

I’d known it for a long time. But I was afraid to be honest with myself and my family and tell the truth.

I am thankful for honest friends and counselors  to speak the truth in love and point me to HOPE.

Six weeks of individual and group therapy dealing with the whole body approach to health uncovered a mountain of issues I finally understood. I was challenged to face a few things head on. I learned tools for daily living. I realized my life is worth taking time to heal.

As difficult as it was, I am a better person because of what I learned.

I’d like to come¬†along your side to encourage you in your journey as I share more about mine. Would you like to take this¬†walk with me?

Take the first step — Share in the comments about a time where you hid behind a smile.

Smiling with Truth,I'd hidden my painBehind the Smile

Gigi

 

 

Perfect Timing

Tuesday November 4 2014 9:06 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

Hi Friend,

What time is it? Have you asked that question a few times this week?

Pocket watch with timing signI’m still adjusting to Daylight Savings time but I’m thankful for the extra hour of writing time. I’d love to hear what you did with your extra hour.

We had a mild weathered start to fall this year. But now, the nights are crisp and the leaves are beautiful shades of gold, crimson and burnt orange. There is no mistake, fall is here.fall-leaves

 

During this beautiful season, I often find myself wondering which leaves get chosen to fall off the tree in any given moment.

Each leaf hangs on until the perfect timing for it to fall freely to the ground.

Perfect timing.

I feel I’m in a season of watching God’s perfect timing play out.

I’d been praying about¬†ways to make more money to help¬†pay for the van we want to buy for our¬†son, Gabe. It will allow him to drive and gain much more independence. We’ve been thinking about this van since Gabe as sixteen.

Toyota SiennaNow he’s twenty-four¬†and gainfully employed as a motivational speaker.

Recently he was approved by the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to help him with the adaptations, but he will purchase the basic van.

This all came about at the same time I was able to  increase my hours at work. This was another answer to my prayer to help Gabe.

Perfect timing.

This week I’m in Portland for training on some of my new responsibilities. Think about this, on the heals of completing a weekend class on writing a novel, I’m asked to spend a week in Portland¬†for work.¬†It happens that this is also the first week of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month which occurs¬†every November.

NanoWriMo

 

My evenings are free to write the story that I’ve been thinking about for almost twenty years. But I wasn’t ready twenty years ago.¬†I’m ready now.

Now I call that — Perfect timing!

Sometimes I can get discouraged when I don’t see a quick answer. But this month I’ve remembered to give it all to the creator of time and watch how He decides to work it out.

Philippians 4:6 “4¬†Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5¬†Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6¬†Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7¬†And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Are you waiting?

My prayer is that you will wait in peace.

Let me know if I can pray for you as you wait.

God bless you.

Gigi

#NaNoWrMo

#WheelsForGabe

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