Just because it happened long ago, doesn't mean that it isn't relevant today.
It was put on the hearts of the wisemen, the shepherds and men, women and children worldwide for centuries to follow the star; To receive the love of the baby born in the manger and be forever thankful of the peace and love he still tries to bring to the hearts of nations.
The holidays are upon us again and it feels like it gets more difficult to find the birth of Jesus as the reason for the season. This truth gets swallowed up in shiny lights, catchy songs and shopping.
Don't get me wrong, I participate in all the above. I love Christmas for all of those reasons, but I am also very aware that I have been forgiven and offered a new life because this baby grew up to be a man and died for my sins.
This holiday season is a great time of year to show others the true meaning of Christmas.
It is also very stressful at times. Feelings of loneliness, feelings to fit in, to buy more, to impress others, to be everywhere and participate in every thing. The pressures we put on ourselves!
Guard your words, be gentle with your actions and live the life you have chosen for the world is watching... little eyes are watching too.
The holidays can sometimes bring out the worst in people as we feel the pressure to fit in with what the world says is Christmas. And we must take care, as we bring up our children, that we may love to spoil them with gifts. (Gift-giving is definitely one of my love languages!) And we may decorate trees with lights and shiny ornaments. We may sing the praises of flying reindeer and dancing snowmen, and we may eat four-too-many cookies... but let us not forget to teach our children in our actions, our words and our attitude what it means to truly have Jesus in our heart. Not just at the holiday season, but all through the year.
Use this time of the year when Jesus is most accepted and "allowed" in conversation, in music and celebration to introduce and re-affirm why we celebrate His birth.
Teach those around us with our actions and attitudes to "follow the star."
I am happy and proud to say that my newest novel is now available on Amazon! It is the third in the Bakersfield Series but also able to be read on its own. I've included the synopsis below and a link if you should like to purchase. This is a perfect book for the season as the weather starts to cool and we are lured indoors with a good book, a comfy blanket and maybe a hot cup of tea...
Now available from Amazon!
By Elizabeth Bourgeret
The newest addition to the Bakersfield Series.
Guinevere Collins was living a pretty great life. She was the Artistic Director for the Bakersfield Fine Arts Centre, working with her very best friend, Evelynn every single day. She was happily married to her "opposite" which, in her mind, gave her life balance. He was everything she wasn’t. And finally, they were preparing for a family. A child of her very own. A new baby was her only missing piece. If she could have a child, her home and life would be perfect. She knew her path. Everything was mapped out exactly according to plan. A lovely, straight line.
When a series of diversions unravel her timeline, she is thrown into a spiral of denial, anger and loss.
Will she be able to push through these trials by sheer determination using “focus” as a crutch to get back to her neatly, color-coded life or will she succumb to a new path... trusting a higher power to guide her through a detour.
Sometimes to find our way home we have to trust, even embrace the
unexpected changes in our direction.
All roads may lead home, but sometimes our definition of home changes along the way.
Part of the Bakersfield Series
Waiting for the Sun
Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21 (NLT)
We all lead hectic lives and sometimes we can get so bogged down with everything that life throws at us, that we can lose our way. Our direction.
Have you ever taken a trip and were completely dependent on your GPS? I live a mobile lifestyle and am literally lost without my GPS. It helps me find my next stop, my way back to family and friends, it even points out the nearest grocery store. As much as I hate having to be dependent on technical devices to get where I'm going, I also have to trust that it is going to get me there safely and the most direct route without fail.
I simply have to put my destination in, and it will give me step by step instructions on how to proceed. It let's me know of possible dangers, the names of streets and mile markers I need to be watching out for and will let me know if I made a wrong turn. Then it gently guides me back to where I am destined to go.
To me, that's how the Holy Spirit moves in my life. It helps to guide me and point out mile markers that let me know I'm going in the right direction. And on those days when I am completely overwhelmed and feel like stopping, I find a quite place and look for the directions the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me.
Sometimes, I just plain don't listen, because I think I know better. Sometimes the noise of the world drowns out my inner compass. And sometimes I am gleefully just going wherever I am lead.
But just like the GPS in my truck, the GPS in my heart will send me cautionary nudges and when I have gotten completely off-track it will remind me to make a U-turn and get back on the right road. Jesus said, "I am the way" and He knows the best routes that we should take so He sent the Holy Spirit to be our GPS. We can be confident that we will hear a word behind us and know that that is the way we are to walk.
And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
The Leading With Love series is the culmination of how I feel that God is using me and the gifts he gave me of teaching. We all have specific gifts that He expects us to use to our best ability and I knew for the longest time that teaching was mine. I just didn't know how to put it to use. I knew the message, but didn't know the vehicle. Until now.
Children, teens are my calling. I love to work with them! But there was more. If any of you know my story, you know that I believe love saved me. I think it can do the same for everyone. It has been a long time coming, but finally, the Leading With Love Series is in motion.
I have taken my love of workshops and extended it into a book and coaching series. Leading With Love is now all encompassing. Whatever your learning style, I can accommodate.
While I love the interaction and the emotion that happens at a live event, I understand that not everyone is comfortable in that environment, therefore I have created the book set. (The first in the set Love Begins With You will be released Nov. 1, 2016!!) It will have an accompanying workbook to help deepen and personalize the principles.
And for those who need more, a group coaching program is in the works. You will be in the privacy of your own home, but can connect with me three times a month while we look deeper into the love principles and how we can use them in our life every day.
I am so excited about this series and would love to offer a free sample of the new book Love Begins With You in the form of a Seven Day Email Challenge!
Each day for seven days, an email will come to you and give you a small sampling of one of the chapters from the book along with an Action Plan that you can put into effect immediately. I believe you will feel instant results.
There is no charge for this challenge, and it won't take up a lot of your time, but the benefits can last a lifetime. Please, take advantage of the Seven Day Challenge and let me know what you think! Your feed back is most valuable to me!
Click here to join the challenge!
Or click here to find out more about the Leading With Love Series!
Thank you so much for being here with me! I hope to meet all of you in a workshop as I travel from city to city! This is quite an adventure for me! I hope you can come along!
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” —Psalm 46:10 ESV
Have you ever been so busy that you feel guilty for taking some "be still" time for yourself?
I don't know about you, but I get so caught up in all the tasks that I have to do on a daily basis that most times, I'm quite sure I'm running on auto-pilot. Getting just enough sleep to be able to get back up and do it all again the next day. Checking things off my list, but feeling no joy. No accomplishment. Just one less thing...
It's only when I get completely flustered, and at the end of my rope; when my emotions are dangerously close to the surface, that I finally feel that tap on my shoulder. God is reminding me that we haven't spoken in a while. I forget to "be still" and listen for His direction. His encouragement. His peace.
And when I DO take the time, it feels SO good, so pure... so... rejuvenating that I don't understand how it regularly slips down the priority list!
So this is me... reminding you to pay attention. He's tapping on your shoulder. He wants to connect with you and your crazy life. Give yourself permission to have a conversation. Be still. Empty your mind and fill your heart.
You'll thank me later... or, you can thank me now if you'd like! :)
Speaking as a mom, and grandmom, a business owner, author, speaker, relational coach, and creator of the teen event, Total Truth Workshop... I understand busy! Lol
Invest in you. All your relationships will be blessed when you nurture this one.
This is a Facebook page that I started for tiny doses of love, laughter and kindness that I thought you might want to follow. It's not very old and whenever I've had a blah day or even an unhappy one, I can spend hours scrolling through the posts and I will end up smiling.
So, if you need some extra love in your life. (and who doesn't?) please like the page and watch as it grows into a movement.
Click here to see and like the Leading With Love page! And let me know what you think! Share with friends!
Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us of this:
"Engrave this on your heart, that every single day, shall be the best day of my year."
No one lives a great year all at once. Or even a great month, week or even a great day all at once. What we do have are moments. Great moments. We string those great moments together to form a great day. Wash, rinse and repeat and before you know it, we have a great week, month and year. And when we look back on those great moments, it had the capability to take our breath away seeing all that we are able to accomplish.
My wish for you this day, comes from another quote. It's one of my favorites by Erma Bombeck. She says, "When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I have used everything You gave me."
We often over-estimate what we can accomplish in a day, yet underestimate what we can accomplish in a year. Enjoy your moments. Enjoy looking back and seeing what those moments have become. But for today... strive to make it the BEST day of your year!
Here we are at the precipice of another twenty-four hours to use as we see fit. Did you take this daily miracle for granted?
We just assume that when we lay our heads down at the end of the day that there will automatically be another one coming back around in a few hours.
It's like having our refrigerator filled and we never have to make a list. Or having our bank account fill back up without having to make any effort!
So we take this daily miracle for granted. We don't appreciate it every day for exactly what it is.
Oh sure, there are a few special days that we take notice. Our birthdays, anniversaries, moments in history... The mere fact that you woke up this day, in this place is the result of milieu of events that had to happen to get you where you are today. If there had been even the slightest detour, you wouldn't be here.
The sequence stretches back through our timeline as far back as even to the beginning... parents, grandparents, great-great-great-grands...
The slightest variation would have landed you someplace entirely...
Yes, this is what kept me awake last night. So, please, justify my sleepless nights by being grateful for having another twenty-four hours at your fingertips. Don't wish it away. Don't spend it in anger. Make the most of it, because we don't know if we will be given the same gift again.
Thank you for spending your morning with me! Go seize the day and be thankful!
We were created to never be satiated. If you are here, reading this, then you already know that about yourself. Do you have new ideas wake you up? Do you see something and automatically think, I can make that better? Do you have story ideas swirling around your head day and night? Is there a new business plan inside you just bursting to get out?
If you answered yes to any of those, you already know that you will never run out of ideas, or plans or stories...
We have been given more talents, ideas, gifts, and dreams than we could ever use up. But here is the question: Are you using those gifts? Have you given in to the excuses your brain and the outside world give to distract you? Are you stretching your creative mind and talents to strive for the next level of excellence? Or...
Have you grown comfortable. Satisfied. Decidedly "okay" with being average?
The world wants you to believe that living an average life is all that we should strive for. That it's good enough. You hear people say, "Not everyone can be good at everything." "Someone has to come in second."
That may be true.. but think on this:
You may not be the best at everything, but everyone is excellent at something!
You have very specific gifts, talents, skills that you were meant to be excellent in!
We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
Here is the point: If you "settle" for average, comfortable; you will never realize your full potential.
Sometimes we reach a point where we think we have gone as far as we can go. The world whispers that you can't have everything you want. You may have faced a series of set backs.
Sometimes we reach a point where everything feels "just right" and we want to stay there. But we know that can't happen either. Everything is always changing...
We go through life in seasons. There are those seasons that are so trying you just can't wait for them to pass, but when you look back some of the best lessons were learned and shaped by going through the hard times. Other seasons are so wonderful and you will look back on those time and time again to keep your soul warm through the sad times. Even other seasons don't seem to have much impact until you look back and see how things have built upon other things to get you where you are today.
You were given your dreams and talents for a reason. You don't want to look back and see that they were wasted. Take hold of the season you are in and make it mean something! In the book of your life, make this an exciting, life-changing chapter!
"When i stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I have used everything you gave me.'" -Erma Bombeck
Take a moment to write down those dreams and goal that keep pestering you. Those are the ones that need your immediate attention. Let's write them down and she what kind of future they have in mind for us!
Go chase down those dreams!
I wanted to interrupt our usual Morning Motivations to show case a book that recently went up on one of my Book Club pages.
As many of you know, I'm a big fan of journaling and getting those thoughts out of your head and down in a usable form whether that be on paper, you computer or even a few quick notes on the iPhone. (I use the Notegorical app for all of my mental ramblings)
I saw this book as thought that it would be a great tool to help those who may be new to journaling, or even new to seeing life with a grateful heart to get them started. To be honest, I have not purchased the book as yet, but from reading the summary and what we do around here, we seem to be on the same path.
So, if you are so inclined, take a look and see what you think. I'd love to hear your feedback.
Check out H.A. Fraser's post by clicking here.
Elizabeth Bourgeret is a life coach, author and she is the creator of the teen life skills event called Total Truth Workshop and the Leading With Love Series of books, workshops and coaching.