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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

The Best Friend Interview by Deborah Bode

A New Children’s Book For Those Who Have Experienced Loss

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If you ask a child today who her best friend is, chances are her answer will probably be different next week. Children have many “best friends,” “good friends,” and “acquaintances.” Sometimes they form a special bond with someone and that friendship can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, situations can change and the friendship may end because a child moves, different interests develop, or even the unfortunate case of death of one person.

Losing a best friend can be devasting to anyone, especially a child. The main character in the book experiences the loss of her best friend. She tries to cope with the situation by replacing her. She soon realizes that no one is capable of replacing her best friend. Instead of finding a replacement, the mother in the story helps her daughter validate her feelings of sadness and loss. She encourages her daughter to find a special place in her heart to remember her best friend and keep the wonderful memories alive that they shared together. Mom’s advice reinforces the idea that if you are fortunate enough to have a true best friend than one should consider oneself lucky. The main character comes to the realization that even if a friend is no longer in one’s life for whatever reason, that friend can remain in one’s heart and never be replaced.

This book is incredibly near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. My beautiful sister wrote this book as a tribute to her best friend who had her life taken much too early this summer in a tragic domestic violence incident. That incident also left her three children behind with no parents.

From my sister: On July 6, 2016, my best friend, Michele Sabia was shot and killed tragically. Her husband shot her multiple times outside their home on the front lawn. Her three children now ages 15, 12, 10 witnessed this horrific scene and as you can imagine have suffered tremendously. After barricading himself in their home for hours, her husband then shot himself, taking his own life. As a result, the children lost both of their parents that horrible night. They are currently living with the maternal grandparents, who are both close to 70 years in age. Michele’s entire family is amazing and the love and support they have provided for her children is incredible. However, one can only imagine how all of their lives have changed tremendously. The children are currently in counseling but are struggling emotionally. A Go Fund Me Account has been set up to help the children financially, and fortunately, to date $81,659 has been raised. Michele and I became friends when we were just three years old. Our fathers were friends when they were growing up so you can imagine our families share a lot of history. Michele was my best friend and will always be my best friend. She truly touched the life of everyone she met. I’ll never forget the day of her funeral as we left the church and drove to the cemetery a few towns away. There was a police escort that led us and numerous roads were blocked off as we entered each town to her final resting place. The procession of cars was close to 75 long. I had never seen anything like it. She was truly being honored and it was obvious how highly she was thought of and loved by the entire community. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Michele, her children, and her family. I’ll never forget watching the news on Channels 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11 that night and next day and trying to understand what had happened and why she was gone. I wanted to do more to help and decided to write a children’s book based on memories of our friendship growing up. My purpose in writing this book is to honor Michele and help her children. All the proceeds from the book will go to benefit Michele’s three children. I’m sharing this story because having a best friend like Michele was truly a blessing. If you would like to help her children, you can purchase the book, “The Best Friend Interview” on Amazon.com. Thank you for your help and support. Now an angel in heaven, Michele is watching over her children. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by us both. – Debbie

The outpouring of love after MIchele’s death by her family, friends, church family, and community was a testimony to a life well-lived. My sister wants this book to be nothing more than a blessing to her children and a way to honor Michele’s life.

Would you please consider purchasing this book? This is a beautiful story for children who may have experienced loss. In a world where there is so much darkness, we can do something to bring light!

Thank you!!!

You can buy it by clicking below:

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mental clutter, simplifying, Simply...Living For Him

Categorizing Your Clutter

I’ve been thinking a lot more about practical ways to reduce clutter lately and have categorized them into three areas each for both physical and mental clutter. I hope this helps you to understand how physical and mental clutter can affect us and perhaps it will help you to evaluate how to handle both. Once we recognize how balanced or unbalanced our stuff is, then we can begin to take steps to start simplifying.

Physical Clutter:

LEVEL 1: Basic Items to Live

If you think about it in levels, there can be three tiers to our clutter. At the foundation of physical clutter would be the stuff you need. Or shall I say, the stuff you really need; which actaully is much less than you probably think 😉 We can get kind of minimalistic on this but let’s just say we won’t take it to extremes, but there are the basics in your home-furniture, clothes, basic supplies, etc.  Also, all of these things have a definite purpose and without them your life would be different or even difficult.

LEVEL 2: Things That Bring Us Joy

The next level would the extra stuff we love and those things that bring us joy. They are not a burden. Perhaps these would be things like electronics, books, some toys for kids, a few sentimental objects, but mostly everything in this level still provides some level of purpose. They also add beauty to our life in some way. However, we could live without them if we had to at some point. These things do not add stress to our life but provide comfort or delight.

LEVEL 3: EXCESS CLUTTER THAT BECOMES BURDENSOME

Lastly, there is the extra stuff that we really don’t need and truly isn’t providing much of a purpose. This is the stuff that tends to get moved from one pile to another, and never really goes away, yet never really helps us in the long run. These things end up being stored up, and the sight of them may cause stress.These things are often difficult to part with because we might need it “someday.”  Although, 99% of the time, someday never comes. This level of stuff should be absolutely smaller than the first two, but for some reason, it seems this pile is growing. We constantly are trying to find new ways to manage this stuff, yet we never really deal with the stuff in the first place. 

Mental Clutter:

LEVEL 1: His Truths

Then there are our thoughts and they can also be categorized much the same as material items and physical clutter. At the very base of our levels for mental clutter would be what we need the most- His Word and truths, lovely thoughts, and pure thoughts. This is integral and many times this level is seen as an add-on later, when really this is the level which should be so full, because out if it, everything else flows. Our very being, every fiber of our soul, should be woven with the Truths of His Word. Out of those truths, we allow other thoughts in and are able to truly discern what should come into our mind and what should leave. This is our most essential level and should constantly be overflowing with His truths. Remember, our thoughts will determine our actions in life.

LEVEL 2: Purposeful Thoughts About Real Life Issues

The next level will be those things we need to deal with in life. We may fill our minds with problems to solve, or interesting books, ideas, etc. We have our everyday circumstances to deal with. Yet the most important thing to remember is that without the first level being full, this level can get out of balance. We aren’t able to deal with these in the proper perspective if the first level isn’t in check and full.

LEVEL 3: Mindless Chatter and Useless Information (Ends up in Overload and/or Anxiety)

The last level, and the one that should be most guarded and kept free of clutter, is the useless chatter- the mindless information and myriad of things all vetting for our attention these days, that are often meaningless. Sometimes we may numb our minds because we don’t want to deal with the important. These things often come from the internet, television, and even other’s voices. For me this level often causes anxiety- it’s the thoughts that I often feel weighed down by or can’t escape. Once again, when I realize that the first level (His thoughts) have not been filled properly, this level gets out of control.

Now that we have broken down what comes into our homes and our minds, may we move forward recognizing our needs versus our wants, or truths versus useless information. May this helps us to all simplify in some way, these areas of life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you feel you are balanced or is one level toppling over? Are you keeping the third levels much less than the others? How do you keep things in their proper place? What are you struggling with? Let’s encourage each other!

 

Learn more about having less stuff and MORE JESUS this summer!

Grab a ticket now before prices go up!

simplyretreat2017

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

Simply...Living For Him

Clearing Clutter in the New Year and Beyond

It’s the time of year when it’s out with the old and in the with new. The calendar says its a new year so we make plans, hoping for a fresh start, a time of new beginnings. Although nothing has really changed beyond the flip of the calendar page, we have the illusion of new beginnings. 

Many of us make resolutions that we will finally get rid of clutter, or we will get fit, or finally organize the house. This is the year we find simplicity. This will be the year that is different. This will be the year where we clear the clutter of life once and for all.

Yet, somehow the next calendar year rolls around and we find ourselves in that familiar place again, flipping the calendar page and resolving for simplicity.

Round and round we go. Year after year. 

At one time in my life, I realized that this life was moving forward, quickening at a pace that was a little out of my comfort zone and speeding up quicker than I knew how to keep up with. It became real that the calendar page that flipped each year was less of a do-over and more of a reality that time was moving forward.

All of those do-overs will run out. It is time to fix my eyes ahead and realize that there is only one shot at this life.

The times of do-overs are gone. The time for living is now. The time for facing life head on is now.
I don’t want to spend my life making resolutions and repeating them year after year. I want to live each moment, fully aware of the fleetingness of time.

We can not hold onto this life any more than we can hold onto the wind, but because there are so many tangibles here, we are under the illusion that holding onto them means holding onto life.

Last week, when I was faced with the reality of my own mortality, I knew more than ever this was not a time for resolution but a time for steadfastness and perseverance and motivation to push forward. Not to repeat the same cycles over and over again.

Whether it is clutter you are resolving to end for this year or to find simplicity, or whatever it is, may you realize that change begins with facing the truth of life.

What are you living for?

Who are you living for?

Are your eyes fixed on eternal?

Or are you consumed with the earthly?

Are you seeking God first in all you do? Do your decisions, your life choices, your actions all flow from a heart that is fixed on Him? Or do you make choices and then seek Him afterward?

Is God your first thought or an afterthought?

I truly believe there is no complex answer to living simply. There is no secret 10-step program to organization. I believe the remedy to chaos and clutter is so simple we can miss it.

The remedy to chaos and clutter is Jesus. The more we desire Him, the less we desire of this world. It is that easy.

Seek Jesus. 

Desire less.

The world and all its treasures become much less desirable when we find our purpose in life is to glorify God, not ourselves.

So as you being this year, resolve to stop revolving year after year, ending in the same place just a year older. Resolve to make the most of every moment in this life for Jesus.

 

Join Me January 14th!

I will be giving two presentations, one which is titled The Remedy to Chaos and Clutter!

There is still time to register!!

 

Learn more about having less stuff and MORE JESUS this summer!

Grab a ticket now before prices go up!

simplyretreat2017

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP