#NewBeginnings by: Julie Wicker

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#NewBeginnings by: Julie Wicker

#NewBeginnings by: Julie Wicker
I can’t believe summer is gone. I was so blessed with my career move that I was able to have five weeks off with my children. Many days were just spent relaxing at home. My husband and I also took time this summer to teach them how to be entrepreneurs.

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#firststep by: Deborah Ard #mustardseedfaith by: Julie Wicker

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#firststep by: Deborah Ard  #mustardseedfaith by: Julie Wicker

#firststep by: Deborah Ard
I enjoy writing and writing for God is my passion. God has instilled in me a dream of one day writing a book. I had planned on working more intently on writing for my book this summer. But I haven’t. I had intentions of writing a blog post at least once or possibly twice a month this year. But I haven’t. In fact this is my first post since January.

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#shoppingsolo by: Julie Wicker #home by: Deborah Ard

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#shoppingsolo by: Julie Wicker  #home by: Deborah Ard

#shoppingsolo by: Julie Wicker
I went grocery shopping solo on a Friday night which is rare, normally I have two 13-year-olds with me. I saw a few college students home for the weekend, grocery shopping with their moms. These moms were glowing with a joyful heart. Here I am in my rushed schedule, excited to go grocery shopping solo, while these college moms are cherishing this time with their children. It made me fully aware that in 4 ½ short years that will be me.

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#NewKindOfResolution by: Julie Wicker #nottoolateforresolutions by: Deborah Ard

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#NewKindOfResolution by: Julie Wicker  #nottoolateforresolutions by: Deborah Ard

#NewKindOfResolution  by: Julie Wicker

New Year’s Resolutions tend to be long forgotten by Spring. January comes, and we are ready to try the latest diet to help us loose the extra pounds we gained at Christmas. As our calendar begins to fill up again and we get lost in our busy routines we quickly loose site of the goals we have set.

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#equippedforHisglory by: Deborah Ard #LivingWater by: Julie Wicker

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#equippedforHisglory by: Deborah Ard #LivingWater by: Julie Wicker

#equippedforHisglory by: Deborah Ard

WOW! What a weekend I have had. And it’s all God’s fault!
Our women’s group at our church sponsored a women’s retreat called Refresh and Renew. This retreat was begun many years ago and we had not had it for several years after one of the ladies that led it passed away. Around this time last year Julie and I felt God calling us to step out of our comfort zone and co-chair the retreat for January 2018. As the name of our blog suggests, Julie and I desire to be “water walkers”…women who step out of their “boats” and walk on water in the name of Jesus Christ. Our desire is to trust Him and allow Him to use us for His glory. So speaking up and volunteering to lead R2, short for Refresh and Renew, was a huge step of faith for us. Both of us had attended R2 in the past but neither of us had been a part of the planning or carrying out of the event before. So how in the world would we be able to pull this off? Well not to spoil the ending, but we didn’t pull it off?

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#Life’sInterruptions by: Deborah Ard & Julie Wicker

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#Life’sInterruptions by: Deborah Ard & Julie Wicker

#interruptionscanbeblessings  by: Deborah Ard
Interrupt: stop the continuous progress of (an activity or process)
Interruption: an act, utterance, or period that interrupts someone or something
Let’s face it, we humans do not like to be interrupted. Whether we are working, reading, relaxing, on the go, etc., we do not like for our current path to be changed or interrupted.

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#LetsRejoice By: Julie Wicker

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#LetsRejoice By: Julie Wicker

#LetsRejoice by: Julie Wicker

My word for 2018 is “Rejoice”
My Mantra is “Be Brave”

REJOICE, a reminder to carry the Christmas spirit with me 365 days this year. What better way to do this but to meditate on “Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thess 5:16-18‬ ‭CEB‬‬

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#2018wordoftheyear By: Deborah Ard

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#2018wordoftheyear By: Deborah Ard

#2018wordoftheyear  by: Deborah Ard
And here it is…the end of 2017. It is so hard to believe it is here. As 2017 draws to an end and look toward 2018 I have reflected, prayed about, and settled on my word for 2018: HOSPITALITY. Hospitality is defined as friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers. The Bible instructs in Romans 12:9-13 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. “
There is an entire industry devoted to hospitality. Colleges offer hospitality degrees. My favorite vacation spot, Disney World, has perfected the business of hospitality. So how do I individually obey this command to practice hospitality?
When I first think of hospitality I think of inviting others into my home. Therefore in 2018 I will make it a goal to open our home up to others to share a meal, play family games, or to roast marshmallows around our fire pit.
My second goal will be to show hospitality in my actions toward others each day. Hospitality calls us to love everyone, including strangers. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” What a phenomenal passage of scripture! When we show genuine hospitality to a stranger we may be helping an angel! Hospitality is the Velcro that joins us together. Hospitality comes from deep within your soul. It is a symptom of the joy that is in your heart. When you hold the door open for someone, help an elderly person with their groceries, offer to babysit for free, buy the person’s food behind you in the drive-through lane, or any act of kindness, the reaction is almost always the same. The person that you have helped will usually say, “thank you,” and they will feel good deep inside their soul because of your kindness. Doing good for others many times makes them want to do good for someone else too. It feels good to serve others. Serving others makes them want to be around you more and it makes them better people too.
My last goal will be to model and instill the virtue of hospitality in my children. Here is a list I found that I will use to guide my children in hospitality in our home.
Always offer to take coats and belongings.
Always offer guest a drink or snack.
Always let guest go first.
Always direct guest to the seating or play area.
Always let guest choose the activities.
Always be attentive to guest needs.
Always share, share, and share more.
Always clear table for guest after a meal.
Always assist guest with gathering their belongings.
Always thank the guest for coming and ask them to come again.
Always walk guest to the door when leaving.
Showing hospitality doesn’t have to be anything grand or elaborate. It can be as simple as smiling at people you pass in a hall or speaking to people you meet along your way.
A pineapple has been deemed a symbol of hospitality. In early America the Native Americans would place a pineapple outside their hut if they were receiving visitors. Even today, in many hotels and inns, a pineapple is carved on a sign outside establishments. A carved pineapple or a facsimile of one can be found carved in head-boards, on bed posters, or armoires. In dining rooms, pineapples can be found on the backs of chairs, on wallpaper, cupboard doors, and woven dining linen. Casts in the shape of pineapples are used as hot plates or on the end of silverware, all to impress upon guests that they are welcome.
My word for 2018, HOSPITALITY, will inspire me to be a pineapple…May I stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside!
And what about you? What will be your word for 2018? What will inspire you to set goals to aspire to for the year? What will be your mantra for the year? Take some time today to pray about, ponder and discern your direction for 2018. I would love to hear from you about your word for 2018! deborahpard@gmail.com

Here are some scriptures on HOSPITALITY:
Luke 19:1-10 Hebrews13:1-8, 15-16 Genesis 18:1-15 Isaiah 25:1-9
John 13:1-17 Acts 2:42-47 Mark 14:22-25 1 Peter 4:1-11
Romans 12:9-18 John 6:1-21 Luke 14:15-24 Mark 10:13-16

#Prayer #Intentional by: Julie Wicker
Father,
Thank you for another year of blessings. As we close out 2017 and enter into 2018 open our heart and minds for what you have in store for each of us. Lay on our hearts a word or mantra that reminds us to act with intention and not repetition. Interrupt our plans with divine appointments. Prompt us to show hospitality to others & extend the love of Christ Jesus.
In the name of Jesus
Amen

Upcoming Events!! 

We would love to invite all of you to experience the upcoming Women’s Retreat at Herbert Memorial UMC. A time for Refreshment and Renewal, Water for the Soul.

Save the date, Friday January 19th & Saturday January 20th. Registration Form Below:

2018 Refresh & Renew Registration Form

#Wordoftheyearpart2  By: Deborah Ard #Flexibility #Sacrificeofpraise By: Julie Wicker

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#Wordoftheyearpart2  By: Deborah Ard #Flexibility #Sacrificeofpraise By: Julie Wicker

#Wordoftheyearpart2  By: Deborah Ard
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” John 17:13
Last December we challenged you to choose a word of the year for 2017. Many of you texted or emailed me the word you chose. I encourage you to use this last couple weeks of 2017 for self-examination.

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