Finding Family from the Cross

Today I have a post up at Ask God Today. Here is an excerpt:

Have you ever gone through something extremely painful?
I’m not sure about you, but when I’m in pain I tend to think about myself and how to get out of the painful situation. If I saw my family, I would want them to help me feel better.
Jesus was dying a cruel death of pain and suffocation on the cross but He didn’t focus on how to relieve His pain. Instead, He looked down from the cross and saw His mother.

Cross on Hill w:text

Watercolor painting by my husband, Scott Maness

You can find family throughout the Bible, even while Jesus was dying on the cross. You can read Jesus Shows Love from the Cross over on Ask God Today.

This coming week I’ll be sharing my first FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) post. Feel free to ask me any questions. You can ask them in the comments or contact me by email.

Monday, I will have another post going live at Ask God Today. I’ll be sharing that link with you as soon as it is available.

I pray you have a blessed weekend celebrating Christ’s resurrection with your family.

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Improving Little by Little

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Our younger 4 children think they are improving our front yard. :)

We are experiencing growth here at Rock Solid Family.

In the past couple of months I have experienced what it is like to have a Consultant. Brenda McGraw is an excellent Mastermind and Consultant and if you have goals and dreams in your life that you need help to reach without giving up everything else important to you I highly recommend you contact Brenda. Because of Brenda’s help I plan to have my book finished by this summer. I will give more details on that in a later post.

Also in events over the past month we went as a family (minus our oldest daughter) to the World Missions Seminar. If you haven’t read those posts we are planning to move our family as Missionaries to Argentina as soon as God provides a church to send us. I learned a lot from WMS and will write another post soon with more about it.

And finally I want to share a book called The Art of Work by Jeff Goins which he is launching this week. If you are looking for your purpose and calling in life you will really like The Art of Work. It really changed the way I look at the things I’m doing and how it all ties together with my and my family’s calling. There is no reason we have to settle for less than what God wants us to do. The book launches Tuesday but he has a special going on for pre-orders. You can go to ArtofWorkBook.com to learn more about this special deal and the bonuses that go with it. This is the last day to get his book for only the cost of shipping plus the bonuses that come with it so I thought I would share that with you all.

I wrote a blog post for Ask God Today last Friday but was so busy over the weekend I didn’t take time to post about it here. So if you want you read the devotional I wrote entitled Barak: Reluctant Faith .

Oh and one more thing that I forgot to mention… For my homeschooling friends there is a Sonlight Curriculum Give-A-Way taking place. You can register for free and they will give you a special link to share with your friends. For every person that registers under your link you get another entry for the drawing. And yes if you register under my link I will get an extra entry too.

Finally what can you expect in the future from me and my Rock Solid Family? Thanks to some of the people and resources mentioned above I actually do have a plan.

One of my plans is to start a series of posts of Frequently Asked Questions. I’ll make a page to go along with this series so anyone can find the questions people frequently ask us.

Do you have a question for us? You can ask it in the comments or send us an email. Your question could turn into a blog post.

Thank you all for joining us as we improve and grow little by little through this year. We are all excited about what lies ahead.

Note: I’m an affiliate for The Art of Work book which means that if anyone purchases something with my link I may receive a portion of the proceeds.

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Five Minute Friday: Fight

I have a lot going on this month. Did I mention that I joined a 31 day challenge to write 500 words everyday? And today it was suggested that those of us doing the challenge try writing freestyle. That is no editing or correcting. I thought of how I used to do Five Minute Friday just for fun and decided I would go to Lisa Jo Baker’s site and give her Five Minute Friday a try. Since it is Friday and all.

The rules to Five Minute Friday is no over thinking and no editing. Today’s word is “Fight”.

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Jonathan, Hannah, and Elijah dressed in their Christian Armor during our Vacation Bible School in 2013.

Set the timer and GO!

Fight. When you can think of anything else to do.

Fight. When the battle seems too hard.

Fight When you know you need to work on a task.

Fight. When you can’t see the end.

Fight. When you know you are right.

Fight. When you want to be heard.

Fight. When you can’t see the end.

Fight. When you can’t think of anything else to write about. Fight. This isn’t working for me.

 

What am I doing. I feel like I’m wasting time trying to think of something to say about Fight. Hmmm…

So I’m aimlessly typing to see how many words I can type in 5 minutes. I don’t think I’m doing to well.

 

I need to just forget Five Minute Friday and just write something that I was thinking about today. Like Childhood memories. That would be interesting.

 

I can’t think of anything fight related right now. I reckon I might could think of something if I really tried but we are suppose to be writing this without over thinking it or editing it. So I may not post this anyway..

 

I will not fight the words that are coming out of my finger tips right now. I will not fight the urge to just type aimlessly and I only have 47 seconds to go. I will fight and move on for all of the 29 seconds remaining.

I will never give up. I will not surrender. I will fight writers block. I will win! And…

STOP!

Yep, that was all I had. I tried it again and it only got worse. So I am giving you my first unedited complete with typos post. It’s better than nothing, right? However after I wrote this post I decided to go ahead and write on that childhood memory. I will share that story later after I have a chance to actually edit it. Today’s post was just a freebie. I thought I would lighten things up a bit and do something fun.

If you would like to read other Five Minute Friday posts you can check them out here.

Thanks for following my blog. What would you like to see from my blog in 2014? I will be writing 500 words everyday. Some of them will be blog posts and some will be towards books.

For a little added fun, (I like to have fun.) is there something you would like me to write about? Tell me any subject you would like to see and I will do my best to write something for you. It may be serious or as silly as this Five Minute Friday. Go ahead leave a comment and give me a try. 

I’m just a little excited about this little experiment. :) Happy New Year! 

~~ Anastacia ~~

Linking up at:

Five Minute Friday

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Life is Like a Boat

You may be wondering where I have been. Well, life has been pretty busy lately and my blog has been down for right around a whole week. I have finished my book and will be sharing that with you tomorrow. But today I wanted to describe what my life is like.

My friend Pamela Hodges asked on her blog ipaintiwrite.com what life is like to us. She plans to put all submissions into a book. You can read more about her plans on the post “Tell me what life is like and be in my book“. I have been describing my life as a boat for a long time. So I’m going to share it with you today. And since I haven’t blogged in quite a while (try a whole month!!!) this post is very fitting as a prelude to my book launch tomorrow.

Art Credit: Scott K. Maness (2004)

Art Credit: Scott K. Maness (2004)

My life is like a boat. A leaky boat. It keeps taking on water.

I run over to one part of my boat realizing I neglected an area. I work diligently to fix the holes and bale out water.

Ah! Smooth sailing…

Then suddenly I look behind me… Oh, no! Another leak. In the process of fixing one area of the boat I forgot to see the damage in another area of the ship. I then have to run over there and fix that leak and bale out more water. 

There fixed! Life is good.

Uh oh! Yep, you guessed it. I’m constantly running in circles to fix up this rickety ship.

One day it’s the dishes starting to pile up. I get so upset about the mess that I work very diligently to get that mess cleaned up. It may take a few days but I’m back on target with the housekeeping. 

Then I turn around. Sometimes I don’t even turn around just someone warns me. You have a problem over here. Maybe it’s a problem one of my children are having. I leave everything else behind and focus on that problem. Great that child’s problem is solved. Even if it took a few weeks to resolve the issue, I’m happy with the results. 

But oh, no! I planned to have a book finished and given to you, my faithful followers, by the end of August. So I rush over to that part of life and try to get that resolved. I have so many things planned for my little part of cyber space. 

Anyway, you get the picture. And that is what life is like for me. I’m still on this same old rickety ship called “Life”. I’m beginning to see that it will always be this way.

I used to get very upset at the tipping and tossing by the waves. Once I accepted this ship that God has given me, I can now enjoy the ride.  

How about you? What is life like for you? Do you have trouble keeping everything in balance? Please tell me about it in the comments

Where am I at today on this boat? Well, the dishes are clean. The kids homeschooling got off to a pretty good start.

Where are the holes? Well, you have just witnessed me patching one up right now. I am finally posting this blog post after a month of neglect.
Over all? Life is pretty good since I have great ship-mates like you to share it with. :)

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.   ~ Mark 4:37-39 

~~ Anastacia ~~

 

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If I Only Had One Day Left

The latest picture I have of my Papaw holding his great grandson Jonathan born November 4, 2007.

The last picture I have of my Papaw, Clyde Clark, holding his great grandson Jonathan born November 4, 2007. Papaw passed away July 11, 2008

I recently read a book that was given to me by a friend and fellow Tribe Writer, Eva P. Scott entitled “20,000 Days and Counting: The Crash Course in Mastering Your Life Right Now” by Robert D. Smith.

It was a very good book. I can’t quite apply all the concepts because I’m in a different time of life than he was in the writing of his book.

For instance he was past his 20,000th day when he wrote the book. I am currently on my 13,324th day. (If you want to figure out which day you are on you can go to his website day calculator: Here)

I’ve got young children that still need to be raised. So I have to keep my situation in mind while reading his book. Not everything will apply to me.

But one of the things he mentioned in his book that really got me to thinking was to imagine everyday as if it were your last. 

If I really imagined that everyday was my last day to live, I’d never wash another dish again. I’d hide all the dirty clothes in a closet. Those things aren’t on the most important list for me. But they are things that have to be done and I cannot neglect them. 

It did get me to thinking though. What legacy do I want to leave to my children, grand-children, great grand children, great great great great great…? Okay, you get the picture.

Will I have a great-great-great…grandchild one day that will be just like me. Will she be going through the same challenges? Will she even know who I was? Do I know anything about my great-great-great…grandparents?

My paternal grandfather, Clyde Clark, wrote his story. He wrote his memories down during the years right before he passed away. I found the document he typed the other day. I could hear his voice in my mind as I read it. I want to turn his story into a book. It will be a book that many generations from now will read.

I’m not stopping there though. I want to write my own book. A book for my children and beyond. I want them to be strengthened long after I am gone. A continuing legacy of building a Rock Solid Family.

That brings me to my current plans. I must say that I feel like I’m always in the planning stage. It is hard to move from planning something to actually making it a reality. Well today is the day… No more procrastinating.

I have finally started my book. And you, my faithful followers, will be the first to read it when I’m done.

The working title right now is “Don’t Give Up: A Rock Solid Manifesto of Commitment.” I say working title because the title may change.

This summer is incredibly busy with family and church commitments. So I’m going to set a tentative launch date for the end of August. That will give me a month between the time all the summer activities end and the homeschool activities begin.

What do you think? Does the subject I plan to write on interest you? Is there anything you would like to see me include in my book? How about a future book? Is there a subject you would like me to write about? Please let me know in the comments.

I’m making my writing goal public as a challenge from a blog post by another tribe writer, Bryan Hutchinson of PositiveWriter.com. He encouraged writers to “write a post about starting on your path to achieving your dream, and then post a link in the comments.” You can read more about the challenge and his great advice here.

 

~♥~  Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~

“Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!”

–Job 19:23-24

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A Poet That Knows It

This was our last week of Co-op classes for this school year. I really enjoyed teaching creative writing this semester. This week I taught the children about Poetry using the talents of my friend, Anne Peterson.

I wrote a review of her recently published book “Real Love: Guaranteed to Last” about a month or two ago. You can read my review here.

Currently Anne is working on a book of poems for children and  was gracious to share them with our class.

Today, I have Hannah, my 8 year old here helping me out by answering some questions about our Creative Writing class. She will give some of her thoughts on Mrs. Patterson’s Poetry. She also wants to share a poem she wrote in our Creative Writing class.

A picture of Hannah and myself trying to both fit in a picture on my phone after karate class.

A picture of Hannah and Mommy. We were laughing because we were having trouble fitting in the image viewer on my phone.

Which poem did you like the best in our Creative Writing class this week?

“I liked the one about the baby at the laundromat. Or the one about the fire where she says, ‘You’re God. I’m not.'”

What did you like about those poems?

“Um… The whole thing.”

What do you like about poetry?

“It’s fun. It’s good practice for writing.

It’s easy. I like doing it.”

So what did you think about our Creative Writing class at Co-op?

“It was fun. I want to take it again.”

I would say that means our class was a success. :-) I am very grateful to all my friends that helped me out by sharing their talents with my students.

Hannah has written a poem and drawn a picture about it.

 

Basketball Acrostic by Hannah

Basketball Acrostic by Hannah

Basketball

Basketball is fun

A lot of friends

Shouting cheers

Kids play together

Everyone likes to watch

The teamwork

Bouncing the ball

Around the gym

Leaping for the net

Look at them play

~~Hannah Maness

A basketball drawing by Hannah.

A basketball drawing by Hannah

Are you a poet? Do you have a favorite poem? Have you ever written a poem? You can tell us about it in the comments.

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A Brave Experiment

It’s that time again! I’m joining the Five Minute Friday link up again. This time I’ve been asked by my friends the Cash Cow Couple to try adding a new challenge to my 5 minutes. What if I wrote without any pause or backtracking at all in my writing?

Normally I have brain freeze while I’m trying to write. It is also hard to not back track while typing. So I’m going to try this time to meet the challenge.  I have absolutely no idea where this may lead as I will be completely free writing.

Here’s the rules from Lisa Jo’s site:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

 
Alright, I’m a little scared to start but today’s word is…

Brave.

Brave Jonathan

Timer is set… 

GO!

It is very fitting that today’s word is Brave. I have actually been having a lot of conversations this week with different people about fear. Okay… It’s hard to not erase).  I have had to face some fears this week in that I submitted three articles as possible book contributions. 

I was afraid… What if they don’t like it? What if I’m the only one not accepted. I wanted to hide and sometimes even wanted to quit trying. But then I was brave. There was nothing to lose and I submitted the articles anyway. 

Now I had a verse that I wanted to blog about and it just happened to be about fear as well. It tells how that if we do what God says then we have nothing to fear. We won’t have to be afraid of evil things that might happen to us. I like how comforting that is. God is here for us and will protect us every step of the way. There isn’t any reason to not be brave when we remember that.

I thought about how my own fears get in the way of doing what I know would be good things.

Stop

Hmm… I tried harder this time. I am either a slow typist or not doing very well at not stopping. And it’s almost impossible to not delete typos. How long is five minutes of writing suppose to be? I might try that again.

Do you mind waiting 5 more minutes while I experiment? Okay, I know it’s a bit cheating but I’m going to try again but this time I’m going to try not to stop at all for the 5 minutes. That may mean I type “Brave, Brave, Brave” over and over during the hesitating moments and there will be a lot of mispellings but here we go.

This is hard!

Timer Set…

GO!

Okay, writing for 5 minutes and not hitting the back botton is realy hard. Here is an example of beign brave. I am sharing every typo and mispelling while writing for five grueling minutes. Even though it is hard and I won’t stop I’m doing it anyway. That is being brave. I could easily give excuses to not write today. I’m on vacation. I could say. But I’m not backspacing and I’m not quitting for five minutes. My spelling is atrocious but I’m bravely moving onward anyway. Oops. I backed spaced fo fix the word anyway. That’s okay. I won’t do it again. I just want ot know what it loos kike to write witout stopping at all for Five minutes. How many words shoutld that be if I’m just wriing and not correcting. This is looking really ugly now. Everyone might laugh. You mihgt wonder how I could possibly write with that many terrible spelling. Wow! She can’t type at all. No wonder her words are so short when she types on here. But I don’t care. This is an experiment. My firends will understand that this wis what it will look like if I didn’t ocrreccct or edit at all. For a very very very long five minutes. Thies is a very brave moment for me. I am wondering if the time is up. Normally the time is up much faster than this. Normally it goes off as I’m typing my thoughts and I wonder if I’ll ever get a complete thought out there. Now I’m wondering will 4 minutes ever end.. Yes that was suppose to say 5. I am doing an aamazing job not overhtingk.

STOP

Ha ha! Okay, see what I mean?  LOL It wasn’t much longer than my first try where I hesitated and corrected things. 

I’m not exactly sure what that means. 

Alright, what do you think? Do you like my free write without corrections? Or the more thought out hesitating one where I tried to keep my free flowing thoughts somewhat neatly arranged? Let me know in the comments. Your answers could affect my future Five Minute Friday posts for better or worse. 😉

Now are you brave enough to try Five Minute Friday? Let me know if you participate and I’ll check out your post. Thanks!

Five Minute Friday

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Creative Writing: Science Fiction

This week in my creative writing classes I featured a couple of stories shared with my class by a dear friend of mine, Laura McCoy.

Laura and I met through an online writing community called Tribe Writers. She enjoys writing Science Fiction pieces. I wanted to cover different forms of writing with my students so I asked Laura if she would help me out by providing a couple of stories for the kids.

photo (1)The children loved her stories which sparked their imagination and creativity.

One of the interesting aspects of writing Science Fiction is that a writer needs to have an understanding of science to make the story believable.

To help my students understand a little more about the Science behind the stories I read to them, I showed them some videos from the Canadian Space Agency. The videos were taken on their Space Station where they show students how different things work in space.

They show how they prepare food, eat, exercise, cry, and sleep in space. Those are just a few of the short videos we watched.

The older class did a writing exercise. I set a timer and we each wrote for about 2 minutes. When the timer went off we passed our papers to the person next to us, who then adds another couple of minutes worth of writing to it. By the end we each got the paper back we had started.

Here is the page I got back. There were 3 of us in the older class that contributed to this story. I’ll put “…” where one person’s writing stops and another started.

The space cadet floats into the room. He can’t decide if he is hungry or tired. His stomach doesn’t quite feel right. He decides to start with some food.

He…gets some space food and decides to start getting ready to eat and as he puts it in his mouth someone bumps into him and the food starts floating. He grabs it up and starts eating it up and he tries to keep a positive attitude and when he was done eating…

He floated over to the other space cadet and asked him why he bumped him so rudely. The space cadet told him that he was sorry and it really was an accident. So they forgave each other. And it was just in time too, because just then, they rose above the earth. One of the space cadets ran to go get his camera. The space cadet that stayed shook his head.

“That crazy kid!” he said. “He won’t stop taking pictures!”

 

photo (3) I thought we did pretty well for not having brainstormed much before beginning.

I had my younger class draw pictures of what they imagined it would be like to go to outer space. One student drew a rocket ship. My daughter drew the outer space basketball game played on Mars. And my 3 yr old son visited our class and drew his idea of outer space.

Laura’s stories were fun and educational. She provided some discussion questions at the end. My younger class determined that they wouldn’t want to live in Space but they might like to visit some day. 

Two of Laura’s favorite classic Science Fiction authors are Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert.

photo (2)Do you like Science Fiction? What are some of your favorite Science Fiction stories or authors?

Please leave a comment and let Laura know what types of Science Fiction you like.

Laura is currently working on writing Science Fiction pieces. You can find out more about Laura and her German Shepherd Edel at http://germanedel.blogspot.com. You can also follow Laura on Twitter @lmccy. If you follow her let her know you found her through my blog. 

 

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What is the Purpose to Life?

 

Have you ever wished you could go back in time to ask questions of someone wise?

I am guest posting today on Teresa Parker’s blog.  There I take you back in time to interview King Solomon.

King Solomon was one of the richest and wisest kings. He had everything he could possibly want. During his reign he went on a quest to find out what purpose there was in life.

Take a look at what I found out from King Solomon by clicking here.

Gift of Purpose

 

Teresa wrote a book about the Gift of Purpose. It is a wonderful reminder about this gift God has freely given us.

Check out my guest post

And be sure to sign up to receive her free book while you’re at it.

You won’t be disappointed!

 

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The Cat Who Writes

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In my latest homeschool co-op creative writing class, I taught my students about perspective. Who better to help me teach perspective than Pooh Hodges, The Cat Who Writes.

When I first introduced Pooh’s blog to my children, Hannah, my 8 year old was a bit skeptical that a cat could write. I explained that he dictates to Mrs. Hodges and that she types for him but Hannah wanted proof. I told Hannah she could ask Pooh how he does it.

Pooh not only answered Hannah’s letter, he featured it on his blog.  You can just click on the words “Hannah’s Letter” to read that post.

Pooh dictates to his typist Pamela Hodges who has her own blog at “i paint. i write.”  In fact that Bold Blue Toilet seat you may have noticed in the side bar of my post is a link to her site as well. When your done checking out Pooh’s blog, you should really check her’s out as well.

I brought our pet fish, Peachy, to co-op and Peachy’s presence really opened up both classes to some great discussions. I had the older class write on their own what they thought Peachy was thinking. The younger class I had tell me what they thought he was thinking. Then we had Peachy write a letter to Pooh. Peachy was in a strange environment and was a bit nervous of his surroundings as you can see in his letter. 2013-04-22 11.12.30

“Dear Pooh,

What’s going on here? I am scared in this strange place.

I am hungry. Thankfully my people brought food for me.

If you were to visit our class, please don’t eat me.

I want to be friends. Will you send me a letter too?

Have you ever eaten a fish? You wouldn’t eat me, right?

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Love,

Peachy”

I hadn’t shared this letter with Pooh yet. You may want to follow his blog to see if he decides to write Peachy back.

Now I want to hear from you. 

Do you understand your pet? Do you find yourself putting words in your pet’s mouth? If you don’t have a pet do you find yourself talking for any other animals?

Please share. I’m curious how many of my friends do that too.

Check out both Pooh’s blog the cat who writes and Pamela’s blog i paint. i write..

And you can find out more about why I have a blue toilet seat on my blog by clicking on this picture.  the blue toilet seat

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