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    Loving Well: A Valentine’s Giveaway

    It’s that time of year when love is in the air. Whether Valentine’s Day makes you giddy or makes you nauseous, there’s no stopping it. Flowers. Chocolates. Mushy, gushy Hallmark cards. They’re everywhere this time of year.

    And whether you like that sort of stuff or not, I think we can all agree that underneath all the frills is something we can all get behind.

    Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love.

    To do just that, I’ve joined forces with some awesome romance author friends to do a special LOVING WELL giveaway.


    I was trying to decide which aspect of LOVING WELL I wanted to cover on my blog, and I think the one that hits home with me the most right now is LOVING WELL when life is distracting.

    Can anybody else relate to that?

    I don’t know about you, but life is hard. Not only are we going through some personal things that leave me wrung dry and distracted most days, my to-do list has grown into this unwieldy, frightening thing.

    And I was thinking the other day, am I loving well in the midst of this season?

    You know, I wish I could say that I was. But honestly, I think I fail more times than I succeed. To which all I can say is thank the Good Lord for His grace. He truly lavishes it on me.

    My point?

    This post is every bit as much for me as it is for any of you on the other side of the screen.

    So without further ado, here are three super simple things that can help us all love well when life is distracting:


    This word shows up 71 times in the Bible, and many theologians agree that the word means To Pause. I just love that, don’t you? It’s such a great and simple thing to do, and believe it or not, I’m a strong believer that pausing helps us love better. It gives us a chance to take a  breath and consider the people God has blessed us with. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget. Sometimes, the first step to loving well is simply remembering that we aren’t alone in our busy bubble. As we pause, as we selah, why not take a moment to think of one or two simple things we can do to show our people love?

    Eye Contact

    Oh, you guys. I need to remember this! My six year old son grabbed my face the other day and said, “Mommy, just look at me!” Talk about a knife to the heart. I had been staring at my computer screen, trying to squeeze in a few more things. He was in the room talking and I was nodding and making all the appropriate “I’m listening” sounds. But I wasn’t really. There’s a time for multi-tasking. And then there’s a time to stop. Let’s remember to carve out small moments throughout the day to give our people our full, undivided attention.

    Look Out

    And I don’t mean, “Look out, there’s a ball flying at your face!” I mean look outside of yourself. This goes along with taking a pause. I don’t know about you, but in the midst of  stress and consuming life circumstances, I often forget that other people are struggling too. We can get so introverted in our hardship, can’t we? There is something so freeing about taking the focus off ourselves and our problems, and looking out. Realizing, as you selah, and as you make actual eye contact with people, that they have hurts, too. They have stress. They have burdens. Offer a hug. A hand squeeze. A prayer for a friend you  haven’t seen in or talked to in awhile. If you have the time, offer a listening ear. It’s one of the best ways to love well.

    What simple things do you do that help you love well?

    Be sure to visit each of the Valentine’s Giveaway blog stops and you’ll be able to collect a word on each page that will add up to a ‘secret sentence’ by the final stop.  Enter the sentence into the entry box at the final stop and be entered to win a special prize.

    My word is WELL.

     Upcoming Blog Hop Stops:

    Feb 5th visit Dani Pettrey by clicking here

    Feb 6th visit Rachel Hauck by clicking here

    Feb 8th visit Lisa Wingate by clicking here

    Feb 10th visit Susan May Warren by clicking here

    Feb 13th visit Becky Wade by clicking here

    To enter the giveaway, simply complete the form below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Super Bowl Commercials: The Award Goes To…

    footballI spent last night sitting shoulder-to-should with my main squeeze, watching the Super Bowl and eating taco soup.  As I watched, I thought it’d be fun to do some awards, commercial-style.

    If there was an award-show for Super Bowl commercials, here are six categories I would include and the winners of each category, in no particular order …

    Best Soundtrack: Budweiser (1st Half)

    Never mind the adorable puppy, I’m now completely obsessed with Sleeping At Last’s version of I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Such a great tune.

    Biggest Plot Twist: Fiat

    Seriously thought I was watching a commercial for Viagra.

    Biggest Head-Scratcher: Dreaming with Jeff

    Still not completely sure what in the world this one’s about. You’d think, if you’re going to spend millions on ad space, that you’d at least make sure the viewers know what you’re trying to advertise.

    Most Successful: McDonalds

    Congratulations, McDonalds. I haven’t eaten your food in years. But you’ve completely convinced me to become a customer. Job well done.

    Most Clever: Coca-Cola

    This one had me wanting to spill some Diet Coke on my awful HP laptop just to see what happens.

    Most Shocking: Go Daddy

    A Super Bowl Go Daddy commercial ad without half-naked women!? Say whaaat?

    I can totally picture it. A bunch of businessmen and women sitting around a conference table, brainstorming ways to stand out. One guy jumps up and says, “Hey, I know! We can throw everyone off by being serious and heartfelt this year.” Little did they know, that would end up being the running theme of Super Bowl commercials in 2015. A for effort, Go Daddy. A for effort.

    I couldn’t find a video for this one. Basically, it’s a man working hard at his desk, committed to hosting life-changing websites, or something serious and heartfelt like that.

    What awards would you hand out if Super Bowl commercials had an award show?

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    This Frazzled Mom by Jill Lynn

    JillWhen I first went to Katie Ganshert’s website and saw her bio, where she calls herself slightly-frazzled, I instantly knew we could be friends.

    I, too, am a frazzled mom. Though I could probably drop the slightly part. I’ve often beat myself up about this fact. I am the mom that forgets the days at school that the kids are supposed to dress up or wear a certain color.

    Lunches. Homework. Projects. You name it, I’ve forgotten it.

    I have gained a bit of a reputation at school for this. But I love my school mamas. They take care of me.

    I receive texts like this… (I’m the blue.)

    Beach day screen shotBeach Day 2Screenshot

    I have often held money out of my window in the morning for whomever I owe for whatever gift was purchased that I contributed nothing but funds to.

    At the first conference of the year, I tell the teachers straight out: I’m not room mom material, but if you remind me enough, I’m willing to help.

    I once offered (reluctantly) to sort-of be room mom for pre-K, and the teacher (a friend of mine) suggested we wait and see if anyone else volunteered first. Love her. Thank God someone else did!

    In carpool line, my son’s teacher has yelled across the lines of children: “could you please unload his folder? It’s getting pretty full.” Which is code for: You haven’t taken papers out of his folder in a month.

    Most things I let go of, knowing I’m a disorganized mom. But there’s always been one thing that bothered me. Ever since my kids were little, I regretted not having a measuring chart where we could track their growth and ages. We had one growing up, and we were always comparing to our older siblings and where they were at the same ages. Since I’d already missed so many years, I would just beat myself up about it. It felt too late, like I’d missed out on so much already. Why start now? But finally, that’s what I decided to do.

    I decided starting now is better than never starting.

    I went online and ordered a roll of white paper for about 6 dollars. My plan? Hang it behind the coat closet door. I got it, measured it out, and taped it up.

    I stood back and checked out my masterpiece.

    Of a white piece of paper.

    With a few black lines on it.

    Sort of crooked lines.

    It looked… not great. The next day, the tape popped off the door and the top corner started curling down. The day after that, the other side did the same.

    Why hadn’t I ordered a premade, pretty measuring chart? What had I been thinking?

    That week, I saw a friend offering homemade measuring boards on Facebook. A no brainer. Not only is it gorgeous, I’m supporting a mom’s business. I snapped one up, and now I’m the proud owner of this.


    I didn’t make it. But I did make it happen. Finally. Now these two cuties have their first measurements written on the board. Yes, they’re older than I wanted them to be when I started doing this, but I’m just going to wipe my brow, forgive myself, and cling to the fact that I finally accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do.

    Are you a frazzled mama? Or are you the one taking care of another frazzled mama? I’m so glad you organized moms are out there. I simply wouldn’t survive without you. And for those of you who are like me, take a breath and forgive yourself for missing out on something or forgetting something. The world needs us to, we’re just not sure why all the time.

    What about y’all? Is there something you want to accomplish and have been beating yourself up about?

    It’s not too late. (I think. Although I’d probably have to check with a friend to be sure.)

    Jill Lynn writes inspirational romance. Her debut novel, Falling for Texas, will be available from Harlequin Love Inspired in February 2015. Pop over to www.Jill-Lynn.com to find out more, or find her as Jill Lynn Author on Facebook.



    Hey friends, Katie here! My talented and beautiful friend Jill is giving away a copy of her book to one of my fabulous readers! See the box below for details on how to enter!

    Cover- Falling for Texas - Jill Lynn

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