A New Look and A New Adventure

new adventureHey friends! If you’re here, wondering what looks different, good eye! Thanks to my fabulous web designer, I did some redecorating.

I’m not completely finished, so it’s sort of like you’re coming over mid renovation. There are some tweaks I’ll be making and some things I’ll be adding over the next few weeks, so come back often to have a look around.

I figured the remodel was a long time coming. First, because my hairs got longer. And second, I really needed to get with the times and make my cyber home mobile friendly. So there you go. That’s me up there in that header. That’s what I’m looking like these days. Scratch that. Most days, I’m in sweats and without makeup. BUT! The hair is the right length.

You may have also noticed this whole K.E. Ganshert thing (it’s more obvious if you go to my home page). And under books? What is THAT!? Young Adult? I promise to share more about this new adventure soon (I’m crazy, giddy excited about it). For now, just know that it isn’t a typo. I am going to be coming out with some young adult fiction under the nom de plume, K.E. Ganshert (I know, super mysterious, right?). If you’d like to stay up-to-date on the latest (and be among the first to see cover art), please subscribe to my K.E. Ganshert mailing list.

Now to the newsletter sign up. Something else you may have noticed.

In the past, I’ve collected email addresses and sent out a welcome note and complimentary devotional. I’ve decided to forgo the welcome note and devotional and send out a quarterly newsletter instead. Each will include a message from my heart (whatever God’s putting there), a Bible verse that’s been ministering to me, a book recommendation, as well as any good deals/sales that I think my readers would like to know about. And, of course, pertinent book news (new releases, cover art, etc). There might be one or two other things. I haven’t fully decided yet. The first newsletter will go out in April. I’m pretty giddy about this, too! I think you should sign up. ūüôā

Two more things really quick:

Have you heard of The Grove? It’s a new website/blog that I’m incredibly honored to be a part of. We’re all about finding our stories at The Grove. The real-life kind. Not the fictional kind. I shared about plot twists last Tuesday and my friend Beth Vogt shared about beginnings on Thursdays.¬† You should hop on over and say hello.

And if you have the time, I’d love your feedback on this very quick survey. My marketing director and I are trying to figure out which social media sites my readers like best. It’s a quick and easy survey, I promise, and the data will be of great help to us. Thanks in advance!

I believe that should cover it. Wishing you all a fabulous Monday!

What new adventures are YOU starting these days?

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.

Valentinesbanner

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:

Selah

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‚Äôs Giveaway blog stops and you‚Äôll be able to collect a word on each page that will add up to a ‚Äėsecret sentence‚Äô 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:

k
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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?