How to Leave a Review for a Podcast in iTunes

How to Leave a Review for a Podcast in iTunes

One of the best ways you can support Slices of Life Podcast (in addition to subscribing and sharing with friends) is to write a review on iTunes. Your review helps people, not familiar with our show or Circles of Faith, to decide if they want to listen to the Slices of Life podcast. It also tells iTunes how to rank our podcast, higher rankings means higher visibility to those looking for new content.

Here are simple steps that walk you through leaving a review.

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Hospitality and My Sexy Bean Dip

Hospitality and My Sexy Bean Dip

Our mission as a family includes having a home in which others feel welcome. We enjoy having people over to break bread and share stories. We host small groups for our church, backyard movie nights, and even enjoy last minute guests. One of the best ways to head off anxiety about hospitality is to have simple, go to recipes, on hand. I haves a few but my favorite is Sexy Bean Dip.

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How to Help Calm Our Kids’ Back-to-School Anxiety

How to Help Calm Our Kids’ Back-to-School Anxiety

The start of a new school year is an exciting time for many, but it can also stir up apprehension and anxiety even in the most confident child. Over the years, I have seen firsthand how the fear of the unknown can steal the joy of going back to school. 

While the Word of God is the most powerful tool we have in combating fear and anxiety, we can do a few things to help our kids prepare for their first few days of school.

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This Month: Learning what the Bible Says About Unity

This Month: Learning what the Bible Says About Unity

This month I am focusing on the topic of Unity with my children.

When I hear the news, my heart breaks over the endless number of things that divide us, such as culture, race, politics, and money. I may not fight on the front lines, or blog thought provoking words like a wise woman I know but I am teaching the next generation, namely my kids, what it means to let go of pride for the sake of unity.

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Harnessing the Power of Peer Reviews for Your Next Family Retreat

Harnessing the Power of Peer Reviews for Your Next Family Retreat

Knowing a peer review is such an incredible tool in the workplace, I wondered if it was something that would be useful in our home. I love team building activities and personal development so the thought of us discussing these things made me giddy. Conversations like this don't just happen organically so I knew we’d need to set a time and create an environment where our kids felt safe to share. It would require intention and focus from all of us. So I planned a family retreat.

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You Don’t Have to Be a Grown-up to Make a Difference

You Don’t Have to Be a Grown-up to Make a Difference

The Bible tells us that we are to serve others with the gifts we are given. Service to others is one of the primary ways we demonstrate God’s love. It also shows gratitude for the gifts, talents, and resources we have been given. Plus, it prevents entitlement from creeping into our lives. I am over at FaithGateway talking about working with our little ones to help make a difference in the world. Join me there... 

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Building Skills and Creativity in Your Child

Building Skills and Creativity in Your Child

The desire to create, build, and restore is not unique to our family. Throughout the Bible, and even today, God invites His people to co-labor with Him in restoration, both physical and spiritual. My kids may not be rebuilding physical walls but, like Nehemiah, they are learning to plan, persevere, and collaborate as they create their virtual worlds.

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Road Trip through America - Top 5 Reasons to Road Trip

My family loves a good road trip. Every summer we pack up the RV and head out on a multi-state vacation this includes sight seeing, amusement parks, museums, and trying new local foods at great restaurants. No matter how long or short the trip, it’s always fun-filled and educational.

I am over at Faith Gateway sharing the top 5 reasons road tripping might be a great vacation for you. If a road trip isn’t possible this year you can still take a tour of America right in your own backyard with the resource I mention. Click here to read more... 

Encouraging Your Teen To Grow in their Faith PLUS a Giveaway

It took years for me to learn that getting to know God isn’t hard or boring at all and spending time with Him doesn’t look the same for everyone. There is no one-way to do it. In fact, the way I spend time with God looks different in every season of my life.

When talking to my daughter about getting to know God, I ask her to consider how she became so close with her BBFs. Then I explained to her that it’s not very different from getting to know God.

Join me over at More to Be as I talk about how to encourage your teen to grow their faith. Leave a comment and be entered to win  A Little God Time for Teens: One Year Devotional.

An Alternative to the Summer Bucket List

An Alternative to the Summer Bucket List

This year we’re trying something new. Instead of a summer bucket list, filled individual things we want to do, we created a list of summer project list. The key to making these ideas stick is getting the kids involved. They came up with the ideas and together we brainstormed to determine what each would look like.

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Apps I Love

I love technology AND my smartphone. I especially love apps that allow me to connect with friends, increase productivity, and keep track of details. The apps below are the ones I use the most. They are pretty basic but useful. 

For Communicating

Facebook Groups app is an easy way to stay connected with the groups you are a part of without being distracted by your personal Facebook feed. I’d hop on for just a few minutes and next thing I’d know an hour has passed. I was tempted to give up FB all together but didn’t want to leave the life giving communities I am a part of. This is a wonderful solution to that.  

When I have a too much to say for a text and too lazy to write and email I use Voxer.  It's a messaging app with live voice, text, photo and location sharing. It's kind of like a walking talkie but way cooler. It’s improved communication with my family and made it easy to collaborate with team members at Circles of Faith.

 


For Convenience

 

We live just miles outside New York City and visit often. The BestParking app is a life saver. It picks up your location and tell you where you can find FREE and metered street parking. It also shows you where the nearest parking garage and the cost to park there, and including Coupons, discounts, and reservations. It's easy to find the best parking near our destination. 

I don’t drink coffee but occasionally I go to Starbucks for tea, to meet with friends or a space to write. Not only can you pay for your purchases with the app but you could avoid the line and order ahead of time. Once I found that out I downloaded it immediately. Now before I leave my driveway, I place my order and what I want is waiting for when I get there. 

 

 

When our family takes road at trips we love to stop at restaurants featured on the Food Network Show Diners, Drive-in, and Dives. The Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Locator by MapMuse makes it easy to add these locations to our itinerary. It also finds you on the map and shows you featured restaurants nearby.


For Keeping Track 

 

Period Tracker The name of this app is self-explanatory. I keep track of my  current and future period dates with this app’s calendar. For those using natural methods of birth control, ovulation and fertile days, your moods, symptoms, weight and temperature. The graphic on the landing screen changes to indicate your monthly fertility window.

Goodreads This is the place where I can find book recommendations, keep track of what I want to read, and rate and review what I have read. Because it functions like social media, I can also find out what my friends people I follow are reading.  You can follow me on Goodreads HERE.


For Calculating

 

Fractions Plus As an interior designer this one comes in handy. I have also found it useful when helping my kiddos with my middle school math homework. Even though I hadn’t completely forgotten how to add, subtract, multiple, and divide fractions, this app helps me to check my work along the way and find mistakes in multi-step problems. 

Photo Math This one was recommended by my daughter's 6th grade math teacher. It allows you to use the camera on your mobile device to scan, read and solve mathematical problems. Great for checking homework. 

The Positive Impacts of Long Distance Dating

I am thrilled to announce that I will be writing over at More To Be on a regular basis. It is an amazing site founded by Elisa Pulliam. The mission: to equip women with the Word so they can impact the next generation with relevant truth. It is such an honor to be a part of the team. I encourage you to head over to the site and have a look around. 

My husband and I lived in different states when we met. While it was tough not to see each other as frequently as we would have liked, there were many advantages to dating long distance. One of them was how every step of our relationship was intentional. I am over at More to Be talking about it. I would love for you to join me there... 

This Month: Learning what the Bible Says about Patience

This month I am focusing on the topic of Patience with my children.

There has been a bit of bickering around here lately. I think it is because we have been cooped up in our house during a longer than expected renovation and a chilly spring. We could all use a reminder to be patient with one another. 

Because the Holy Spirit is on the inside of us we can walk in love, which is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). When we have patience we'll have great understanding, unlike the quick-tempered man who shows just how foolish he is (Proverbs 14:29). It’s easy to give up being patient, being kind, and doing what is right, but we should persevere. Eventually, we'll see the good results (Galatians 6:9). We don’t have to go it alone and trust in our own ability to be patient and endure, God’s power is made available for us to help (Colossians 1:11).  


If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my blog and download the starter set of the Read It Pray It scripture cards for FREE.  All you have to do is CLICK HERE. and enter your email address.  However, if you prefer the convenience of receiving these cards professionally printed, trimmed, and delivered to your mailbox, you can purchase them in my Etsy shop. You can also find new scripture cards available in 3 month, 6 month, and 1 Year subscriptions available in the form of a digital download or printed product.

How Life Coaching Helped Me and My Blog

I bet you’ve noticed some changes around here. Back in April of 2015 I shared on the blog my identity crisis.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing online, I was busy there but not really focused.

My attention was everywhere. As the managing editor at Circles of Faith I was curating content, editing copy, and planning events for our readers. I was occasionally writing around the web, and regularly at Faith Gateway. Plus I was working part time as an interior designer.

At the time, I labeled myself a Jack-of-All-Trades. I was discouraged because I wanted to do something, anything great, instead of being known as the person that could do many different things. Graphic design, writing, editing, interior design, organizing, Need something? I’d just learn how to do it? No money to spend on an expert? I’d figure it out.

I desperately wanted to know my ONE THING. 

After attending the Allume conference the previous October I realized that what I started blogging about, Lessons I’ve Learned from my Little Ones, was no longer what I was writing about. Instead, I was posting about various topics such as:

I thought the answer was to find a branding specialist, someone who could look at everything I was doing and tell me who I was. I wanted a quick fix. I searched the Internet but didn’t find what I was looking for.  Then Elise, my partner at COF, told me about Carey Bailey.

A life coach? It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, however, I loved the idea of someone coming alongside me to help me achieve my goals.

So, as a birthday present to myself, I invested in a package of life coaching sessions.  It is one of the best decisions I ever made.

Over the last year and a half we have:

  • Talked about and outlined my values.
  • Examined whether or not my calendar and the choices I made reflected those values.
  • Uncovered the lies I believed about my abilities and myself.
  • Discovered patterns in my life that prevented me from achieving my goals.
  • Put together a plan to launch my Etsy shop.

Eventually, I:

  • Let go of things that I thought gave me value and embraced my value in Christ.
  • Slowed down enough to discover what really brings me to life.
  •  Incorporated Sabbath into my week.

AND

  •  Recognized the things I wrote about and did weren’t random at all.

The process allowed me to realize that what I was doing pointed to one thing – finding creative ways to live intentionally.

I also unearthed a desire to empower others to creatively live a life of intention. 

I believe creativity comes out differently in each of us. I love to write, design, and organize. My husband creates order at work through calculations on spreadsheets. My kids… well, their list seems never ending.

Living in the Sweet Spot has always been about discovering the sweet spot of God’s success for my life. In the beginning, I shared simple faith lessons I that I learned on journey. Over time, I began to include the creative and practical ways I lived that out. I will continue to do the same, but in a way that is more useful to you the reader.

I look forward to what the future holds on my little piece of the Internet. I hope you will come along on the journey as I create blog posts, newsletters, and products that will encourage and inspire you to creatively live a life of intention.


If you haven't already, you can subscribe to my blog and download the starter set of the Read It Pray It scripture cards for FREE. As a subscriber you'll receive encouraging and inspiring blog posts, book reviews, and tips on teaching your kids about money sent directly to your inbox. All you have to do is CLICK HERE. and enter your email address. 

Connect with me on social media:  Facebook | Twitter |  Instagram | Pinterest

This Month: Learning What the Bible Says About Grace

This month I am focusing on the topic of GRACE with my children.

Because of grace, my kids are able to live in and embrace the righteousness that they’ve already received because of their faith in Christ.

God’s grace has saved them. It doesn’t come from anything they do. But it is God’s gift. (Ephesians 2:8) And because of it, they can they approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so they can receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) How sweet is that?  

Not only that, God’s grace equips and empowers them with all that they need, in abundance, for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8) Even in their weakness, His grace is sufficient, In fact in their weakness, God’s power is free to operate. (2 Corinthians 12:9) It makes up for their lack and allows them to use the gifts and talents they have been given, coupled with God’s resources, to serve and impact others for good.  


If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my blog and download the starter set of the Read It Pray It scripture cards for FREE.  All you have to do is CLICK HERE. and enter your email address.  However, if you prefer the convenience of receiving these cards professionally printed, trimmed, and delivered to your mailbox, you can purchase them in my Etsy shop. You can also find new scripture cards available in 3 month, 6 month, and 1 Year subscriptions available in the form of a digital download or printed product.

On Motherhood and Expectations

Have you ever tried to live up to an expectation of motherhood you weren't meant to meet? I have, it's not fun!

As a young mom, I was constantly on edge. I lacked the kindness and compassion I knew was important in building healthy relationships with my children. I was easily angered and then I’d beat myself up for losing my temper. I set high expectations for myself, yet continually failed to meet them. I woke up each morning hoping this would be the day that things would fall into place and I would get this mothering thing right.

“God, how do I change? I need Your direction!” I was surprised at what He showed me. 

I learned motherhood looks different for all of us and there is no one way to do it. Join me at FaithGateway to read about how I got unstuck and found freedom in the mother God created me to be. 

Discovering What Sabbath Looks Like For Me

Discovering-Sabbath.jpg

You may begin to think that every Sabbath has been an effortless and beautiful experience for me, but it hasn’t. After a few successful days under my belt I thought for sure this Sabbath thing was going to be a breeze.

The previous week I enjoyed a day of decorating my daughter’s room. This week I had nothing planned. Sounds glorious, right? That’s what I thought. After dropping my kids at school I took my time tidying up the house. I watched a You Tube video on hand lettering and practiced a bit. Then I sat down on the couch, in a sunny spot, and read my book. Eventually I took a nap.

To many, this sounds like the perfect day. However I am an extrovert, which basically means I am energized by being around other people. I rarely spend large amounts of time on my own with nothing to do so I no idea the impact it would have on me.

During the week when my kids are at school and my husband is at work I am busy working, volunteering, or meeting with my partner in Circles of Faith. Also, during our seven-month renovation various tradesmen have been in and out of my house daily. I not used to being alone with nothing to do.

I still had time to kill when I woke up from my nap. I felt drained and even lonely. I couldn’t wait until my kids came home.

I should have known better. I decided the following week I would:

  • Have a plan.
  • Invite a friend for lunch or tea.
  • Read my book at the library or Starbucks. I’m likely see into someone I know and potentially strike up a conversation.
  • Do something crafty and creative from my Pinterest DIY boards.
  • Go for a run or walk.

Finding rest in the Sabbath looks different for me than I imagined. For so long I kept myself busy and thought doing nothing sounded dreamy. I was wrong.

Knowing what feeds our souls and refreshes us is an integral part of discovering who God uniquely created us to be. <<Click to Tweet

In the handful of weeks that I have been on this journey I have been surprised to learned:

  • Sabbath is possible when intentionally planned for and committed to.
  • Creativity fills my soul.
  • Being around other people energizes me.
  • It’s okay to have a plan.
  • There are many different ways to draw close to God and discovering who He created you to be is one of them.

I had no idea that regularly taking a day of rest, as God commended, would be so fulfilling but also so enlightening.

You can follow me on Instagram where I post about the things I’m up to on my day of rest through the hashtag #DiscoveringSabbath

What you do on your Sabbath and what you have learned?