Candy blogs: I am just now coming out of one of the busiest seasons I have ever experienced. I’ve been driving full force since December and it has been unavoidable. The “D” or “lion” part of my personality has literally pulled me through these months. I have missed the “I” or “otter” part of my personality and have missed interacting with many of you here. I hope to be getting back to weekly posts now.
I’ve been reflecting over these past months. Here’s what I’m thinking.
I went through my first bookkeeping year end in ten years in January. It left me dazed and traumatized. I had to re-educate myself about deadlines and multiple state rules. There are so many more options now with online submissions, etc. It was a nightmare for this out of the box bookkeeper. I do know what I’ll be doing differently next year … purchase forms and envelopes on January 2, forget using the IRS forms, look into free IRS online submission options way before deadline. Most important of all, do not fill in any of those blank calendar squares in January with anything besides year end deadlines.
My Father-in-Law’s Passing
After several years of ill health, my dear father-in-law passed away in January. With honor and joy, I planned and officiated the service. Since he passed away in another state, we spent a lot of time on the phone and texting with our step-mom to offer as much support as we could. As our family gathered together, we spent time remembering Dad and had very meaningful conversations about life and death and family dynamics. His legacy is strong in us. We miss him.
My schedule was clicking away smoothly until one day I made a phone call that had nothing to do with my bookkeepig business. As it turned out, I found a new bookkeeping client that is a match made in heaven. It was good news but it put my carefully controlled schedule into a tizzy. I have wondered about the timing because of the burden of the very tight schedule but, as Dave Ramsey says, you have to work hard for a dream. My dream and calling is to speak full time. As the dream builds, we still have to meet some current financial needs and goals. So for a season, I’ll be working hard and I’ll get tired. But hard work never hurt anyone. God is so good.
The most active times for speakers are spring and fall. This spring has been no exception. I have been so privileged to have had such a full speaking calendar! It has been a joyful whirlwind! Some travel has been with my husband and included other friends and family in conjunction with speaking engagements. And I have also traveled alone. One of my favorite things about speaking is the blessing of meeting many lovely new friends. My gratefulness to my Lord Jesus Christ for allowing me to be living and serving in my strengths and passions in this way almost cannot be contained.
Local Church Ministry
During these past months, ministry in my local church has continued. I did cut some things but other things had to increase. One thing I am passionate about is facilitating Dave Ramsey’s course, “Financial Peace University”. This class changed our lives four years ago and it’s a privilege to share it with as many others as possible. If you’re struggling with finances, I encourage you to click the links above. Find a class nearby. There is hope for you.
I am grateful for a healthy, alive church and a small group within that church who challenge me to walk the deeper path.
Since I speak very publically about the importance of self care, I made a conscious effort to practice it during these months. I made time for girlfriends, got consistent sleep, took consistent work breaks during the day, enjoyed peaceful music in my office and burned beautiful candles. These things helped me breathe in rest and refreshment and helped me continue in the busy season.
Time for Rest
After my last scheduled week of speaking in the middle of April in Colorado, I’ll be settling in to await the birth of our first grandchild. It’s time to help feather the nest, recall my own moments of early motherhood, laugh and cry with our beautiful daughter and her dear husband, and dream of what God may have planned for our little grandson.
There will always be unavoidable busy seasons. But they should never be the norm. Never allow your busyness to overtake your needed perspective or your intimacy with Jesus.
Jesus says to us in these times …
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Bible
Candy blogs: Perhaps it’s a silly, shallow thing but an encouraging one nonetheless. Today we welcomed our 300th Facebook Ministry Page friend, Rebecca Carrell! She is a new friend and I’m looking forward to getting to know her and her minisrty. Rebecca, I would love to send you a book written by another online friend of mine, Christy Bower. It’s called “Best Friends With God: Falling in Love with the God Who Loves You“. She has written other books as well. Christy is a deep thinker and her writing is easy to follow. I know you’ll enjoy it as I have. Please email me with your mailing address and I’ll get it sent off to you right away! Thank you so much for encouraging my speaking ministry, Rebecca!
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to encourage others here and other online places but my heart is full to overflowing from the blessing of being encouraged by so many of you. Thank you. I love your comments on this blog and would love the opportunity to partner with you in building the Kingdom of God. My summer newsletter will be coming out soon! Don’t forget to sign up!
“When your words came, they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16
Candy blogs: Retreat Update … I am back from speaking at women’s retreat in Sun Valley! It was a wonderful time of worship, friendship, laughter and Truth. I always enjoy sitting at a new table for every meal. We can look into each other’s faces that way. Such great fellowship!
God turned some lights on in our hearts and minds. He’s like that. I so loved the strong heart connection with the ladies, and meaningful conversations and prayer times. I left with a full heart and many new friends.
I am now praying that God will expand the ripples of Truth from this weekend, that lives will take another course because of that Truth.
Your prayers mean everything to me.
with a grateful heart,
Pray for the Retreat:
… the leadership team who will work hard physcially and spiritually this weekend.
… that God will break down barriers to the ladies attending.
… for safe travels and open hearts.
… that God will let the ladies know their life stories have impact and meaning.
… eternal value from this retreat for these precious ladies.
Pray for Candy:
… clarity as I trim a couple of the talks.
… physical strength as there are stairs to climb and a lot of uneven ground for loading/unloading the car (my poor knees!).
… energy in presentation.
… connection with women’s hearts.
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Joy Stuff … “No unhappy or tragic situation in one’s life can alter that assurance, so joy can shine, even through tear-filled eyes.” Shirley Bertholf, Eager to be Free
Candy blogs: As I’ve been preparing for speaking at this upcoming women’s retreat, I’ve been browsing through time a bit. The theme is Because Everyone Has a Story. I thought I would re-post this piece from 2009.Lately I have been slightly lost in time. I’ve been remembering the past and dreaming about the future. There have been times in my life where I think I’ve actually experienced “visions” (sounds creepy, I know, but I mean it in the most normal way possible). When I was a Creative Memories Consultant and started developing talks about family photographs, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a photograph of my grandparents when they were first married. The picture was taken in a logging camp in northern Idaho, where they lived when they were first married. My grandmother was wearing a HALTER TOP!
I don’t need to tell you that I had NEVER imagined my grandmother in a halter top. To me, she was always a “Grandma.” She was always old, walked with a painful limp, seemed to be ill frequently, was a fabulous cook, and had the beautiful gift of hospitality. She loved me unconditionally and I loved her very much. But this picture opened up a whole new world of Blanche Bertholf to me. I began to think about her as a WOMAN instead of a grandmother.
Grandma sang soprano, was a church bookkeeper, hosted Sunday Schools in her home, put on fancy dinners and events for young people, didn’t have the modern conveniences until late in life, recycled-repurposed-reused way before the green movement, loved cookies and vanilla ice cream, was always kind to animals, and was a gamer before gaming was cool. She was once young, beautiful, vibrant, healthy and passionate about her man! What a woman!
I had a similar revelation when I realized my mother was a person … a woman and not just a mother. Years ago when I was going through some counseling and learning to move on from a difficult childhood, the counselor helped me realize that I could look back at my childhood from an adult perspective and see it for what it really was. I could also look at my mother in this way, realizing that she made the best choices she could in the times she lived in. She is a whiz at English and grammar and punctuation, is a very talented and innovative musician, was a great cook (loved her fried chicken dinner the best), has a strong administrative ability, loves the computer and looks younger than she is. She taught me to sing harmony and play the piano by ear. What a woman!
The other day my married daughter was over visiting and we talked until late. About halfway through our conversation I was absolutely stopped dead in my tracks again. Our topics of conversation were no longer about simple girlie things as in the past. We talked about career choices and children and finances and friends going through marriage struggles. Now we were talking about adult things … woman to woman. My DAUGHTER was now a woman! And what a woman she is! She is a fabulous photographer, talented musician, is confident and strong, accepts people as they are, doesn’t follow blindly, and gives great advice.
So I’ve been rather floating between the generations of late, enjoying the memories of my mother and her mother and feeling grateful for the things from them that make me who I am. And also cherishing my own adult daughter, feeling pride in who she has become and knowing that she carries pieces of me in her that make her who she is. I am thankful for this “timeline”. Grandma, mOm, Abbey and I are all part of the ages, after all. We are all passing on our faith, influence, character traits, values … our legacy.