Patience when Discouraged

handsgardeninkI was discouraged. That may be hard to believe that I would get discouraged but I was. I volunteered to write too many posts too close together. There was a deadline and my family’s needs weren’t moving over for me to feel that inspired. You probably read the post I wrote last Friday about Jesus taking care of his mother from the cross. That one I was able to post early. Then I went ahead and volunteered to write one entitled “Put on Compassion” for the following Monday. That was a hard one to write and I almost gave up. I was burning out and I felt it. I was about to ask someone else if they would write the 3rd post I volunteered for on Patience but my husband said that it was only one more post and he knew I could do it. So I didn’t give up. I held on.

Then a friend sent me a message telling me that she noticed I sounded discouraged in one of my comments in the group and she had prayed for me. Then she shared with me a verse that came to her mind while she was praying for me. I made the above picture from the verse she gave to me. 

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

That verse gave me the encouragement I needed to not lose heart and I managed to write my 3rd and favorite post for this month on patience.
Have you ever felt like you needed more patience? I have. 

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3, KJV)

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV)

If you would like to learn how to improve your patience, check out my post 5 Steps to Improve Patience over at Ask God Today Ministries. That is the last post I am signed up to write over there for this month.

So I’m going to start my Frequently Asked Questions series here at Rock Solid Family this coming week. Do you have any questions you would like me to answer? let me know in the comments or by email. I’m looking forward to sharing more about myself and my family with you.

 

 

EmailShare

Improving Little by Little

IMG_20150320_160019

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.

EmailShare

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”.

christiansoldiers

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

EmailShare

What is Tribe Writers?

image

Some of you may have noticed the changes that have taken place in my writing over this past year.

In July of 2006 I started a little blog called “Thoughts from Stacie”. I wrote sporadic posts about things going on around our home. You can see how I left it at http://asmile4ever.blogspot.com. I had changed the name from “Thoughts from Stacie” to “Rock Solid Family”. I probably should take it back to looking like it was when I started but how I left it shows the transition.

I also wrote a few pamphlets, gospel tracts, and bulletins for our church.

I really wanted to make a difference with my writing.

I took a Children’s Writing course but I wound up dropping out. Discouraged after a few years at my slow progress, I was stuck and unable to see past where I was at.

Then in October of 2012 that all changed for me. I joined Tribe Writers.

Let’s take a look back over how far I have come.

This year I stopped waiting to be a writer and started calling myself one. I made myself business cards for my first writing conference.

I have found my writing purpose to help encourage and strengthen families.

I have written a book Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment. You can download it for free here.

I am in the process of writing an expanded edition of my little book. I also have several Children’s book written that I want to get into print in the near future.

I will be launching an exclusive newsletter on January 1, 2014. I will share a once a month anecdote of what is happening behind the scenes at Rock Solid Family. I want to keep my blog pertinent to my passion but still have a place to share what we’ve been up to with my serious followers.

Thanks to the boost I got from Tribe Writers, I am now daring to dream bigger dreams.

So… Why am I telling you all this?
I feel you have a message to share too.

Do you desire to find your audience and spread your message to your Tribe? Then Tribe Writers is the place for you!

Click on the picture below or on any of the Tribe Writers links to find out more.

Tribe Writers blog badge



*All of the Tribe Writers links are affiliate links. Which means I get a commission if you join through one of my links. The money I earn will go into producing more books and resources for you.

I would highly recommend Tribe Writers even if I didn’t get any commission. That’s just an added perk for Tribe Writers’ alumni. :-)

Come join the community and see what Tribe Writers can do for you.

EmailShare

Three Steps Toward a Happy Marriage

sselephantsDuring the early years of our marriage, my husband and I had to learn to work with each other. We also had to learn how to communicate. It wasn’t always easy. I mentioned in my last post that since divorce was not an option we could either learn to live together for life as two miserable individuals or we could work hard to learn how to have a happy marriage.

Today I’m going to share a few steps my husband and I took to build a happy marriage.

1. Don’t give up!

First, we did not give up. This is very important. We may have had moments where we felt like giving up.

“He won’t listen to me!”

“She isn’t paying attention!”

“What is so hard about putting away a simple dish?”

“Why won’t he take out the trash?”

These were all questions we internalized. It would have been pretty easy to keep all those problems internal and not even try to communicate. Neither of us like conflict. If we kept our feelings pent up inside then we wouldn’t have to risk making the other person angry.

But by giving up, are we the only ones truly affected? Will the feelings that I think is being kept on the inside really not affect my relationship with my husband? When I have a problem, I can’t give up and hope it just goes away. I have to be proactive and work with my husband not distance myself from him.

2. Read books on marriage.

This is one thing that my husband and I did a lot of. We really liked self-help books and would read and read. There were some books that I remember really benefiting from. Then there were others that left me crying and feeling hopeless. My husband looked at the ones that made me feel bad and he said not to listen to those. You have to consider the source. Some people are writing from a selfish world view. Even if they are popular books that does not mean they are good.

Some books that helped me were

  1. Wife After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George
  2. Opposites Attract Attack by Jack and Carole Mayhall
  3. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  4. Making Love Last Forever by Gary Smalley
  5. The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly Lahaye

Those are just a few of the books that impacted my life. I may think of more but those are the ones that come immediately to mind.

From these books I learned that it is a good thing to do whatever you can to show your spouse that you love them. Don’t be selfish with your love. Learn their primary love language and find ways to show them you love them not just in your own preferred way but how the way they like to be shown love.

For instance if your spouse loves to be given gifts and your preferred method to show love is quality time. Then find someway to put the two together. Perhaps you can save up your money and invest it in quality time shopping together for something you specifically need or want. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift to show you care.

3. Show you care about your spouse’s hobbies.

Do things together. Does your spouse like music. Find an instrument you can enjoy playing along on. Art? Find ways to be creative together. Writing? Find ways to help. Exercise? Put aside your pride and sweat a little.

I had problems with this early in our marriage. I worried over everything. Is taking karate classes with my husband very lady like? There weren’t very many other women in the class. Most just sat on the sidelines. I don’t want to get hurt. I’ll just watch. But just watching and actually taking part are two totally different things. I’ll talk more on this in a future post.

I also had a problem with learning the guitar. My husband was teaching me how to play the guitar. He was impressed with how fast I learned and how well I remembered chords. I was afraid what if I got better than him at guitar? I didn’t want him to feel bad if I was getting that good at it. So I quit trying. I backed off. Then I read, I believe it was in the Opposite’s Attack book, that my husband actually wants me to take part in his activities. He isn’t jealous if I get better at it than him. In fact, he finds it something worth bragging about.

scottstacieocarinasThat little piece of truth had me crying. I told my husband what I read and he said that it was true. He likes it when I take part in what he is doing and isn’t jealous of my learning something faster than him. He is just thrilled that I am willing to join him in the fun.

Now I play chess, take karate class, play various instruments, draw, and write. Any activity that my husband is interested in, I now take an active part. I play games with him. I go outside my comfort zone and take short term mission trips with him. Even shy little ol’ me took a picture with an elephant giving my hair some extra conditioning. (At least I’m not describing what I got in my hair in the above picture. My expression should tell it all.) :)

Right now our biggest project together is my writing. He has been painting some really beautiful pictures to illustrate anything I write. We’re partners and best friends.

Did you find resources that helped you get through the hard times? Do you have a hobby that you enjoy with your spouse? Please share with us in the comments.

This was Day 16 of 31 Days Building Commitment.

Tomorrow, I am honored to share with you a guest post by a childhood friend of mine, Jill Luna. Jill will be telling us how she found love and commitment even after experiencing failed marriages.

EmailShare

Dear World, You Need A Lesson On Commitment

I am joining several other writers to reply to Josh Irby’s “Open Letter Challenge“.  On his blog he asked us to answer his free download an open letter from the world with a letter of our own. I thought it would be fitting to start my 31 Days of Commitment with this letter.

scottstacieDear World,

It is scary writing this letter when I don’t know how you will respond. I know you say that I have a message that you need to hear. Sometimes it is awful hard to give you that message. I know some people will respond positively to what I have to say but then again they are not of this world.

If I could get one message across to you and change one person’s life in the process, I would do my best to give you a lesson on commitment. That is the biggest problem you seem to have. You are very selfish. It is hard to see what is best for everyone else if you are only concerned about yourself and what you want.

You want someone to love you. You don’t necessarily want to love them back. You are looking for someone to meet your needs. It’s too much work to meet there’s.

Life is not all about you. Life is about commitment. You have to think of other people and how your actions will affect them. This is a lesson that you cannot learn in a normal school. This is a lesson that you will only learn from the example of others that live commitment out.

Look at someone that are committed to their spouse and refuse to stray from their commitment and you will see a good example to follow. I know it is hard to find people that are committed. It is beginning to look like it is really getting scarce in our society.

momkidschurch

 

“Where is commitment to be found?” you ask. I understand your concern and it is very valid.

Preachers and their families should be a good place to look to for modeling commitment in marriage. After all the Bible says they are to be examples.

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having [his] children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);” – 1 Timothy 3:2-5 NKJV

Yet every time I see another preacher’s wife leave her husband for another man, or a preacher that runs off with another woman, I cringe. I realize that no one is perfect but preachers’ families live in glass houses. I know you are watching us to see if we fall. 

We are suppose to be the ones that you can look up to as an example of how God would have us to live. But if preachers don’t have commitment figured out, who will teach you.

That is why I am here. This is why I am writing this letter. I will love my husband and model true commitment for you.

If you will read what I have to say I will teach you. Even when you get mad at me. I will keep giving the message God wants me to give. 

Now take your fingers out of your ears. I know this is hard to hear. It’s hard to give up the things you enjoy in order to do what is right. That takes real commitment. But if you would look ahead at what the future could hold if you would only be committed to what you set out to do.

scottpreaching

Life is so much better when you put out the effort to get along with your family. I realize everyone has different circumstances. I’m not saying you have to be a doormat to get along. You can be strong. It takes a lot of strength to be faithfully committed. Especially with the mess you are in the midst of right now.

This is a hard letter to write but I realize you needed me to write it anyway. How will you ever know what you need if no one ever tells you? I will keep on writing. You need to hear what I have to say.

“Where [is] the wise? Where [is] the scribe? Where [is] the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” – 1 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

Sincerely,

Anastacia Maness

What would you like to tell the world? Will you strive to be committed? As always feel free to share in the comments.

Tomorrow I will be continuing to write on building commitment for the next 31 Days. Don’t worry I won’t be writing every post as a letter. :)

If you haven’t gotten your free copy of my book yet, you can download it here. My posts this month will be expounding on what I have written in my book. 

Thanks for listening!

~~ Anastacia ~~

EmailShare

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

EmailShare

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.

EmailShare

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. 

 

EmailShare

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!

 

EmailShare