Life or Something Like It

Review and Giveaway Church People

Review and Giveaway Church PeopleReview and Giveaway Church People Movie

This is a Review and Giveaway Church People Movie.  Please like or comment on this blog or any of my social media links.  Must enter by March 16th for me to submit your information.  I will be randomly drawing a winner for a free digital copy of this movie.  Please respond to me, if you win, so I can get the information to the “powers that be.”  Thank you!

About Church People

Weary from the showiness and materialism that has overtaken his ministry efforts, Guy (Ramsey) goes on a journey to get back in touch with the heart of ministry and be a real role model to his youth group kids. He makes the difficult decision to cut short his speaking tour managed by his money-focused agent (Faison) after realizing that his reputation has become more fame-based than Gospel-driven.
But when Guy attempts to return to regular youth ministry, he is thrust into the throes of dissuading the youth group from performing a strange and potentially blasphemous stunt for the upcoming Easter service, starring a young, zealous new believer, Blaise. In attempting to manage his youth group while navigating an unexpected love interest in the Senior Pastor’s daughter (Cahill) and being a new father to his grown daughter (Manfredi), Guy ultimately rediscovers and puts on a powerful presentation of why we all need to put our hope in Jesus and not in ourselves.

Thoughts

“WWJD”…what about “What Has Jesus Already Done.”  Powerful statement.  “God loves the mess we are right now.”  “God’s love is bigger than our mess.”  Stephen Baldwin’s character, Chad, wow.  Thought-provoking.  Joey Fatone is hysterical.  You can definitely tell which are trained and which are not.  Reminds me of Faith Like Potatoes and Fly Wheel.  Great movies if you can get past some of the actors.  Excellent message.  Music is great.  The scenery is great.

Is it sad that I, personally know, 2 pastors that are just like the megachurch pastor in this movie?  So into the next big thing.  Lying to kids, parents, and whoever watches them online.  Congregations buying them vehicles that cost more than my first house.  Once I saw the person behind the pulpit, I knew that they were not all they claimed to be.  So many people being misled.
Slightly idealistic about adoption and finding that long-lost father.  Once found, it all seems perfect.  That can be very triggering to children who come from hard places.  This is what they dream of and this movie fits the bill.  I know that it is probably mute and most people do not understand.  As an adoptive mom, I get it.  As good as this movie is, I will probably not let my younger adopted kids watch this.  It could be very triggering for them.  That makes me sad, though I do see the point.

Rediscovering Your Passion

This is a Christian comedy about the megachurch mega-production subculture and getting back to the simplicity of the Gospel.  It stars Christian comedian Thor Ramsey, Hallmark Channel’s Erin Cahill, Stephen Baldwin, Donald Faison, and NSYNC’s Joey Fatone.
This movie is a powerful message about rediscovering your passion for Christ and learning to surrender what you hold dearest, all told in a redemptively humorous way.  We could all use a good laugh right now, and Church People is a movie your whole family can LOL to!

Social

Church People Trailer

Website for Church People

Press Release

Endorsements

“CHURCH PEOPLE was a complete surprise for me. I had no expectations whatsoever, and I was totally
shocked when I absolutely loved the movie. I was inspired. I laughed, and then I laughed some more.
Thor Ramsey was phenomenal and his performance brought light to the dark times many of us have
been going through. I can’t recommend this movie more. As a matter of fact, if you’re going, buy me a
ticket and I’ll go see it again with you.

Chuck and I have always believed that Christian film needs to elevate it’s game. That it needs to be
great. It needs to be fruit that if you lay it at the altar, God would be pleased. I believe that CHURCH
PEOPLE has accomplished this. No higher compliment could I give this movie than to say for 90 minutes
I was able to get away from the world, and was the better for it. Christopher Shaw’s directing work in
CHURCH PEOPLE showed passion and love not only for the material but for the cause of Christ. As
filmmakers, Chuck and I we’re inspired by it.”

– Cary Solomon & Chuck Konzelman (Writers & Directors of God’s Not Dead and Unplanned)
“I loved CHURCH PEOPLE! It made me laugh out loud but more importantly, it has a message that
leaves a true impact in your soul.. a perfect watch for this Easter season. If you are seeking something
fun to do with the whole family, make plans to see this movie!”

– Jenn Gotzon (Actress & Producer of “The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland”)

Disclosure: Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Review and Giveaway Church People

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True Beauty from Within the Ashes

True Beauty from Within the Ashes

“True Beauty”

Do You think that a California girl is supposed to have curls and wear a jean size 3?
All the curves in all the right places, spray tanned faces like on TV?
And we read in the gospel of Vogue that we’re all supposed to dress and move and be
Visions of perfection
Such a misconception
‘Cause the real connection is deeper than the eye can see

This reminds me of a post that I wrote about the little squares of life.  We do use social media to compare ourselves to others.  Anyone can control what they specifically present to the world.  What you don’t see is the chaos behind the phone and in the background.

Chorus

What’s inside of you
What’s inside of me
The hands that made the moon and the stars
The mountains and the seas
Made you wonderful, beautiful, marvelously
Let the whole world see your
True beauty

Aw, Psalm 139, about how God created us.  If you haven’t read it, you should!

World Versus Truth

Don’t know much about Dolce and Gabbana
Seems like a lot of drama to me
And you can keep all your red high heels
And open-toed shoes – I’m good in my bare feet
Lets get down to the nitty gritty
Enough sex and the city
What about purity?
Skin is just the surface
The passion and the purpose that’s burning down inside us
Is really what we need to see

Purity is a rarity these days.  How sad is that?  It is such a slippery slope when you fall in “lust” with someone else.  Even if that someone is your forever.  Everyone can fall prey to their emotions.  It is natural.  We just need to be wise, be held accountable, and don’t be alone with the opposite sex.  Saves a whole lot of hurt, even if you are engaged!

Chorus

What’s inside of you
What’s inside of me
The hands that made the moon and the stars
The mountains and the seas
Made you wonderful, beautiful, marvelously
Let the whole world see your
True beauty

Love and Peace

Doesn’t come in a bottle, doesn’t come in a box
You can’t spray it on, you can’t wash it off
You can’t nip and tuck, you can’t sew it up
So don’t waste your time
It’s the love in your heart, the peace in your soul
The hope in your smile lets the whole world know
This little light – you gotta let it shine

Love in your heart, peace, hope, smile, and shine is so important.  This is can also be so hard to accomplish.  As a person, that deals with mental illness, it can be really hard.  This is just something that we all need to work on.  I need to put sticky notes up that remind me of these things.

True Beauty from Within the Ashes

This song, True Beauty, is one that I have not heard in years.  When this album came out, I bought it.  Listened to it faithfully.  Then, life happened and over the years, things get misplaced.  I was working on my “Worship” playlist that I listen to often from Youtube.  Shackles is a song that I love and that was what I was looking for.  Then, I found the album.

Thought that since I am working on my blog and feeling the urge to write, I would listen to it.  I heard this song and it felt like warm water was poured over me.  It speaks to me on a completely different level than it did way back when she released this song.

Events of Today

As I was ministering to a heartbroken young lady, today, we talked about beauty from ashes.  This is in Isaiah 61:3.  It is one of my favorite verses.  Her voice has been stifled for so long.  From the abuse that she experienced to what is to come, she has been silenced.  In her eyes, broken.

We talked about how the Lord has a purpose for all that went on and is going on.  One day, she was going to find the strength to use her story to help others.  She would, indeed, hold the hand of another and walk them through the ashes to help them find their beauty.

Encouragement

I hope that you find encouragement that you are not alone.  You are loved beyond measure.  Regardless of your past, current, or future circumstances, God loves you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!  You have to do nothing to gain His love.  Also, you can do nothing to lose His love.  He loves you yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every day till He calls you home.

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Life or Something Like It

Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show

 

Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children ShowReview and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show

This is a Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show.  Please like or comment on this blog or any of my social media links.  Must enter by March 10th for me to submit your information.  I will be randomly drawing a winner.  Please respond to me, if you win, so I can get the information to the “powers that be.”  Thank you!

Well, first off, I just about choked on my fruit snack when I saw the Cubekin framed photo of Jesus.  Their little eyes remind me of those stuffed animals that were so popular years ago.  Furby is the name, I think.  There are some educational things that they talk about. Also, teaching aspects of responsibilities.  I enjoyed the cartoon feature of the scenery.  The colors are engaging as well.

Cubekins

Cubekins is a wholesome, small-town tale of a rambunctious, seven-year-old boy named Kip exploring his ever-changing world while learning more about his never-changing God.

this is a new Christian “Faith-based” Show for Kids, like Veggie Tales set in Mayberry.  It is fun, family-friendly, and faith-based content for children ages 3-8!  The best thing, for me, is it is created by two homeschool dads and their families.

You can buy/rent Cubekins Ep. 01 Invasion of the Cubecumbers on the Cubekins website (or other available streaming platforms).  Also, check out exclusive member content.  There are coloring books, bonus videos, and more.  You can view this by becoming a fan member at cubekins.com!

Dove

By going to Dove, you will see this review (and others) that are family-friendly.  “Cubekins is a great kids show—children will be entertained while learning morals from a Christian perspective. Parents need not worry about negativity or inappropriate themes. When looking for a wholesome way to teach and occupy their children, parents can trust Cubekins to fulfill those needs.”

Includes…

A link to watch/stream our 22-minute Cubekins Pilot and Bonus Songs Content
A digital download of our “Kip Loves God” coloring book.
A digital download of our full color “Kip Loves God” Reader.
Access to our Members Only section of the Cubekins website
Access to future Membership perks

Press Releases/Media Hits

Dove Article

Testimonials

Faith Talk Live

PaxTV Livestream

Christian Casting

Faith Talk Live

Social Media Links:

Cubekins Gallery

Cubekins Song Lyrics

Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show

Disclosure:  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post

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Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie

Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie

Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie

This is a Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie.  Please like or comment on this blog or any of my social media links.  Must enter by March 14th for me to submit your information.  I will be randomly drawing a winner.  Please respond to me, if you win, so I can get the information to the “powers that be.”  Thank you!

Thoughts

No language.  There is no violence.  There is a sleazy lawyer in it.  It does have some deep themes.  Themes such as loss, grief, decent, theft, lying.  Also, this girl’s parents die in a water accident trying to save a dolphin.  The 2 sets of grandparents are both wanting custody.  This movie, I would consider, is PG due to the deep themes involved.  It is not for children under 10 years old.

All About Dolphin Island

This is a fun, colorful adventure for the whole family to enjoy!  There is a FREE downloadable Family Discussion Guide to spark meaningful conversations.  These are can be conversations about courage, forgiveness, and/or faith.  It is a heartwarming of love and accountability, entertaining for the whole family.

This movie has been awarded Winner of Best Feature Film at the Christian Film Festival 2021.  Also, it is Dove approved for all ages!  You can purchase Dolphin Island after its on-demand release.  This release will be on Tuesday, March 2nd.  Then, you can watch from the comfort of your own home!  You can also buy links by clicking on THIS LINK.

Trailer

Other Accolades

Kids First says: “5 out of 5 stars.”  Also, “Recommended for ages 7-18, plus adults.  It is family-friendly and highlights the importance of family.

The Dove Foundation states that it is “a heartwarming tale of love and accountability will be entertaining for the whole family.”

Disclosure: Many thanks to Entertainment Squad for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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**Only North American winners are eligible.**

Large Family Happenings

Family Update January 2021

Family Update January 2021

Family Update January 2021

I believe it is time for a large Family Update in January 2021.  SO much has gone on with everyone in my house.  I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  Honestly, I do not remember the last time *I* deep cleaned my house.  Sleep is not my friend, my emotions are on edge, and I have gained weight.  Also chopped my hair off, but that is a different story.

January

We started off the year with no school.  Really, no different for us because we were already doing virtual school.  This involved getting Daniel enrolled in high school.  He was coming off of being gone for several weeks and we had to enroll him.  There was a lot of togetherness.  We were all pretty much sick of each other.  Let’s be honest, we’ve been sick of each other since Covid19 and quarantine began.

We had the baby shower for Charleigh.  Again, not what we wanted but what is necessary due to the pandemic.

Counseling Continued and Began for Some

I continued on with counseling through January.  Honestly, it is nice to talk to someone but still frustrating.  I want to see more results, heal more, resolve more.  The boys also started counseling.  Honestly, the jury is still out on it.  They are with the same group as I am, but 2 different fellows.  We shall see how this pans out.  I hope it is successful.  We have goals.  There has been on revelation type opinion that we are further seeking out.

School

Again, it has not been the best experience.  I know the teachers are doing their best, but it is so hard for the students who struggle with special needs.  It’s almost like they are just continuing to ignore and let these kids fall through the cracks.  Just get by.

The kids do get the opportunity to retake homework and such to better their grades.  Yet, one of my kids needs more.  He struggles but no one sees it because he can work really hard and make passing grades.  The invisible disease of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, possible autism, and a host of all the other things make education hard.

I am not impressed with the level of care the administration has for my son.  They said that there is nothing really that they can do and I find that disturbing.  Hunter is doing well, for the most part

Technical School and College

Job Corp is still not open, so we are in limbo.  The county that this particular school is in has to go “orange” in order to open.  College is going well for my son.  In the fall, he will begin going to Murray State.  He will start his junior year.  Where did the time go?

Health

It’s been a hard month OMS-wise.  The shaking is pretty significant in his hands.  His behavior is hard.  Schoolwise, he is doing really well.  Jude had one seizure this month.  We did up his meds for epilepsy.  He has not had any more Non-Epileptic Seizures.  The Functional Neurological Disorder stuff is a work in progress.  Daniel is transitioning home fairly well.  It has been an adjustment with him being home.

Family

Bart is okay.  Work is a struggle.  Covid19 sucks.  Bug and Ben are well.  The baby is doing great!  I’m so excited to meet her.  Alyssa and Arkie are engaged.  So, there’s that.  G … life as it happens.  Noah is good, busy, but good.  I pretty much gave the update on the younger boys.

As for me, I’m tired.  Old.  Tired.  Trying to find time for self-care.  This level of parenting is so different.  It isn’t physically exhausting as much.  For me, it is mentally and emotionally exhausting.  I just want to be and do all the things for all the kids.  Sadly, I can’t.

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Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

To Care for Others, First Care for Yourself

The Rank Card Game be sure and use the code BRANDICRUM for 20% off of this fantastic card game!

Life or Something Like It

Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

I have never been able to have a review or a giveaway for a card game.  We are completely stoked over here!  With that being said, here is the Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game.  You can purchase this game from Storyastic Website.  You can put in the code BRANDICRUM for an additional 20% off!

Card Packs in this Game

Included in this game:  Everyday Life, Adulting, and Leisure Time.  Also included are the scorecards.

The expansion packs can be bought at the above website for $15 each.  They include Risky Business, Sports and Outdoors, MORE Adulting, MORE Everyday Life, MORE Leisure Activity.  Also, Culture Vulture, Faith Pack, Girls Night Out, Relationship Goals, Guys Night Out, and Make my Own.

Included in this giveaway is a sneak peak of a full round of Storyastic’s new game, Brandish.

Here is what 3 of my many kids said about this game.  There was a lot of giggling going on.  I am anxious for the rest of my kids to get here so we can all play this game.

Sav (18):  Really fun but even better when you when 3 times in a row.  5/5 stars

 

Jude (14):  It is fun and entertaining.  5/5 stars

 

D (16):  It is interesting and fun to learn things about other people.  4.5/5 stars

ABOUT

The Rank Game is the game about you and your people—your likes and dislikes. It’s a card-based game that gamifies how well you know your family and friends. The ranker ranks four items, and the guessers guess how you’ve ranked those items to achieve points.

GAME PURPOSE

From founders Chip and Dana Brown

You’ve probably seen statistics or news stories about how technology, screen time, advertising, and social media are eroding our ability to simply be together face to face. You’ve probably even experienced this first hand in your own life. Even when we want to quit tech and spend more having real experiences in authentic relationships, it’s kind of hard to do. It’s awkward. The truth is, all of us need at least a little bit of help to succeed at this. That’s why we made THE RANK GAME.

THE RANK GAME is easy to play at home, on long car trips, on the beach, at a restaurant or bar…ANYWHERE! The game quickly gets us off our phones and TALKING with one another in eye-to-eye, real-world gameplay. So, we get to know each other better.

THE RANK GAME is a really fun way to learn more about the people we feel we know already (friends and family) and also is outstanding as a way to make for great conversation and “break the ice” at social gatherings and even work. Oh, and also, it’s competitive, fun and really funny!

FUN FACTS

Kickstarter funded in 48 hrs
Toy Fair 2020 favorite pick

OVERVIEW

Product category: game
Title: The Rank Game (by Storyastic)
Campaign focus: game giveaway promotion with affiliate partnership
Release: limited availability nationwide; available in select independent retailers

GIVEAWAY CONTEST

You can like this post or any of my other social media posts in order to be eligible to win.  If you win this giveaway, you will receive:

  • The Rank Game
  • 1 winner per participating blogger.
  • Only US-based and Canadian-based winners are eligible due to shipping limitations.

Social Links

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

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To Care for Others, First Care for Yourself

To Care for Others, First Care for Yourself

To Care for Others, First Care for Yourself

 

We are all walking our own paths, and the road to healing isn’t always easy. One thing we all need to remember is that in order to help others, we must first ensure that we are maintaining our own light and keeping ourselves mentally sound. In other words, To Care for Others, First Care for Yourself.  Here are some tips for keeping your mental energy in the right spectrum and walking the path of healing as we move into 2021:

Heal your mind.

Mental health and self-care practices are two sides of the same coin. There are numerous studies and research that indicate the connection between self-care and mental health. Self-care is the act of increasing self-awareness, which includes mental processes. Practicing self-care can then help you recognize your own emotional patterns. This means that when you become more self-aware, you can avoid the things that make you feel bad, and recognize the things that make you feel more relaxed or calm so you seek those things out.

Another way to take that step toward healing your mind is to assess your goals and how you can accomplish them. Focusing on the end result of your mental health journey can be helpful, especially if you break the journey into smaller steps that you can surmount bit by bit.

Heal your sleep.

Sleep is a huge part of your physical health, but it can help you maintain a mental balance, as well, so striving to get a full cycle of sleep every night should be included in your self-care routine.

Cultivating a space that is conducive to good, quality rest is an important part of creating a healthy sleep schedule. You should transform your bedroom into a sleep-inducing space by using comfortable sheets and pillows, avoiding light disruption, and keeping the noise down. In addition, starting a pre-sleep routine (e.g., having nighttime tea, reading a book, dimming the lights, etc.) can help signal your body that it’s time to rest.

Heal your body.

Mental and physical health has been shown to be inextricably linked. Eating healthy foods as part of a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and exercising are all ways to get your physical health in the right place — and they all provide a key component of mental health, as well. Practicing good eating habits and a regular daily exercise regimen is part of self-care.

Heal your home.

An integral part of self-care is the maintenance of the environment around you. Creating a sanctuary out of your home is essential to finding inner peace and re-calibrating, even when the world seems unwelcoming.

Creating a positive atmosphere at home is an important step in the healing process. Decluttering, cleaning, and letting fresh air into your home can help you create the kind of sanctuary that will go a long way toward getting your mental energy in the right place.

There is a connection between clutter and the stress hormone cortisol. In other words, when your space is too messy, negative thoughts can spike. So keeping your space clean and clutter-free contributes to the positive vibes you need.

Heal your connections.

Staying in touch with the people you love most is also a form of self-care, and that’s especially true for families. Spending quality time with family members strengthens bonds and helps keep you connected, even when it takes place virtually. The biggest part of maintaining close connections comes from making friends and family a priority and putting time and energy into those relationships.

Focus on you to focus on others.

Use these healing tips to put greater emphasis on self-care and your own mental health journey. Once you are healthy and whole, you can turn your attention to others who may need help in this area.

For more faith-based, family-centric content, visit barefootfaithjourney.com.

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Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

In this Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon, my guest blogger remembers her brother who died of cancer 6 years ago.  What a thing for a family to go through.  The loss of a child, grandchild, brother, and friend.  He was a few days shy of turning 19 when he met Jesus face to face.

Lord, bless this family.  Bless them with peace and sweet memories as they navigate this difficult week as they remember this sweet boy.  Please give them the knowledge that he is healthy, happy, and hanging out with your Son, Jesus.  He is waiting for them to all be reunited, one day.

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

 

Dear Z,

It has almost been six years without you, and I don’t feel that it has gotten any easier. This is a wound time is taking forever to heal. I miss you so much, and naturally, I wish you were here with me. This is my least favorite time of year. I know you are watching over me and taking care of me.

I Wish You Could Answer Me

I’d give anything to have one final conversation with you or to give you one last hug. If I could go back and change things I would. I would have stayed by your side through it all. I think about that all the time. Does it make me a bad sister for leaving you there? I could have taken whatever our step-father threw at me, just to stay with you.

Missing All The Things

My mom told me a few years ago that you asked for me every day.  That you asked when I was coming back from dad’s. You know I like to take care of people.  I took care of you for the longest time. Honestly, I miss waking up at 3 in the morning to refill your feeding pump. I miss helping you walk around, even though you protested the entire time. For six years I have been waiting for you to appear in front of me.  Just to give me a chance to tell you my final goodbye.  To tell you I loved you just one more time.

It Hasn’t Happened so I’ll Keep Waiting

I think I can finally start to let go of the regret I’ve had for the past six years. It’s time. You know I love you more than words could ever describe. I know your biggest fear in death was being forgotten, but you are so unforgettable. You made an impact in everyone’s life. I will never forget you or the things you did for me.

You were one of my best friends. I promise you my kids will know what an amazing man you were. They will know how strong you were, and how hard you fought. They will know that you are my hero, and I aspire to be as strong and as brave as you were.

After Six Years, I Can Let You Go and Let You Rest in Peace

That doesn’t mean I will forget about you, It just means I don’t have to worry about you hating me for leaving. I know you loved me as much as I loved you. I know you weren’t upset about us leaving moms. I’m just upset she wouldn’t let you stay with us.

I am letting go of my regret because it wasn’t my fault you got sick. Honestly, I was a child and I know it wasn’t my responsibility to take care of you. I am moving on and trying to start the new year off right. Thankfully, I know you will be with me and watching over me every step of the way.

Love,

S

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Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Well, here we are in a new year.  Can you hear the angels singing?  I sure can.  For this year, I am going to do a Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021.  Really, that won’t mean a lot to my readers, so no big changes for you.  Working on color schemes and themes and such.  Checking broken links, photos, rewriting some things, deleting duplicate posts, and such.  Just cleaning up.  After 10 years of blogging, it is time.

What Would You Like More Of?

Is there something you would like more of?  I’m really working through self-care and emotional healing from trauma, so that is at the forefront of my mind.  Healing through the trauma of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, all the big T and little t traumas, so to speak.  Really focusing on the metaphysical reasoning behind some physical ailments.  From family to friendships…transformation.

Food and Lifestyle Changes

Also, we are having to get serious about our food around here since all the new medical stuff has come up.  Good times.  Big Daddy has had a new diagnosis.  Jude has had a couple.  I’m struggling with some foot and shoulder issues.  Blah blah blah.  Part of it is getting older (for us parents), part of it is nutrition, and part of it is just, again trauma.  So maybe some trial and error recipes and such will appear.

Working Towards Minimalism

Yes, there is that word again.  I have sorted and plugged away for years.  That is how I work through things but geez, with all these kiddos, things continue to accumulate.  I continue to sort, throw away, consign, and donate.  It is a work in progress.

Honestly, I want to get to a point where when Bart and I start getting older, I don’t want my kids to worry about things.  Health and death tend to bring out the “best” in people and I want to eliminate as much stress as humanly possible for them.  Morbid, I know but necessary.

Family Growth and Changes

So many things happened in 2020.  We are not the exception to the many families who experienced trials and tribulations during a horrible year.  There were some glorious moments, but man were there some sucky ones too.  Our family is continuing to shift and change every moment.

This year, we are adding 2 new additions to our family.  We have one daughter having a life-altering event with a fella she met.  Another daughter is having another life-altering event welcoming our first grandchild into the world in March.

We have kids moving out and moving on.  Kids finishing school and growing and learning more about themselves.  Lots and lots of things happening.

Posting

So, if you see a lag in posting, think nothing of it.  I’m working on the backend of the blog.  If you see broken links or no pictures, send me an email at barefootfaithjourney@gmail.com  I will get it fixed.  I hope to continue to do reviews and giveaways, as well as, guest blogging.  Of course, we have a multitude of medical issues that I hope to educate others on.

Just wanted to give everyone an insight as to what is going on in my world.

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Keep the Season Merry and Safe

 

Keep the Season Merry and Safe with Innovative Takes on Holiday Gatherings

Keep the Season Merry and Safe.  The 2020 holiday season poses new challenges for parents trying to balance family life and health concerns.  However, with caution and creativity, it is still possible to enjoy some seasonal socializing. Families who have already experienced stress or loss over the past year may especially benefit from the opportunity to laugh, interact, and even celebrate. Whether you plan an online meet-up or a small in-person party, a little innovation can go a long way.  This goes towards keeping the spirit of the holidays alive during difficult times. Barefoot Faith Journey invites you to consider the following ways to celebrate safely.

When health concerns are paramount, online might be best.

The easiest way to keep a gathering safe is to host it remotely. By now, most of us are familiar with many of the technologies for online interaction. With applications such as Zoom, Skype, and Facebook Messenger readily available, families can choose which best suits their personal preferences and tech capacities. Communication and planning are key to hosting a good remote party, so everyone knows when and how to join.

Families that are used to online meet-ups for work or school responsibilities might consider making their virtual gatherings more festive by adding costume themes. For smaller children, think about themes from superhero movies or their favorite animated series. Older children and adults might find a period dress a fun way to step out of every day. If everyone prepares snacks and beverages in advance, you can chat.  Also, maybe even play games and enjoy some holiday treats.

Online Activity

As always, when engaged in online activity, make sure you protect yourself and your devices against cyberattacks. Use a secure network, set up strong passwords, and avoid clicking on any dubious links.  Also, be aware of downloading any applications that you haven’t carefully vetted. And never give away private personal information online unless you know you are dealing with a secure and trusted source.

If it is safe to do so, consider hosting a small in-person event.

Depending on weather and public health regulations in your area, you may be able to host a holiday event.  Even if it is just for a few close friends and family. Always check the recommendations for your state and county.  Do this before making plans.  Invite people you can trust who will abide by precautions as well as communicate clearly with you about potential risks. In general, outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor ones. Ask that your guests bring masks, and set up a small hand-sanitizing station near a point of exit and entry. As much as possible, everyone should provide their own food and drink, and avoid sharing utensils.

Colder Climate Ideas

For colder climates, firepits and outdoor heaters might be a good option for creating a comfortable outdoor space. Just be sure to follow your area’s rules and recommendations for fire safety. Add fairy lights and tiki torches for ambiance, and plan games or entertainment that don’t involve interpersonal contact.

Indoor parties might still be possible, but remember to take precautions.

For those in areas with reduced risk, indoor gatherings are still possible. When meeting up inside, it is preferable if all guests have already been sharing a quarantine bubble.  Also, minimizing outside contact. Travel over long distances for social events is generally discouraged, but those who feel it is safe or necessary should heed these travel safety tips suggested by experts. Even when gathering with others in your quarantine bubble, avoid unnecessary physical contact.  Also, check temperatures beforehand, and remember to wash hands frequently.

It has been a difficult year for many of us. You can still celebrate the holidays with friends and family, this year just requires a little more creativity. Even if you have to arrange your events a little differently this time around, remember, some things haven’t changed.  The holidays are still a time for celebrating the relationships that make our lives richer.

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