My Fitness

Friday, December 14, 2018

30 days to understanding the Bible - free copy

I am so excited to be reviewing this book!

A couple of years ago I went through an older version of this book and I am glad to see a new version. When I was asked to review it I thought it would be fun since I've read it before.

Skimming through the newest edition, I love the new font and the new lay-out. Also, unexpectedly, Max actually signed my copy. How nice is that!

Seriously though, this is the best introduction to the Bible that I've read. I would love to lead a group of women through the book and incorporate The Bible Project's videos, too. That would be a great combination!

Each chapter has a summary and a self-test. The answers are given and straight-forward. There's no tricks and no need to watch an extra video or listen to a podcast for the "real" lesson. It's all right there. You could do this with a group or by yourself.

If you want a copy, for free, let me know! First comment wins.
Everyone else:
Promo video link:
Official website:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and 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. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

giving locally!

Shop local! Shop small!

I am local. I am small. (well, relatively speaking.)

This is a gift going out to a local lady who asked for a copy of my book that I happen to have on hand! I'm so excited that I'm able to share it with her. I have a couple more copies on me. Let me know if you want one.

I'm hopeful that anyone who wants a copy will be able to get a copy. I have endless copies of epub versions. So if electronic reading is your thing, I've got you covered. Let me know!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

stop looking for the helpers

This is going to come across as bitterness. But I'm not bitter. I'm passionate and feel like no one is telling you that you need to be helping others. Please read this with the grace that you would want to be extended to you. Give me the benefit of the doubt and let me erase that doubt with assurance that I'm not bitter. I'm passionate and my heart breaks. Read this as from someone who has been deeply hurt and wants that to not happen to others. Passion. Not bitterness.

Many of you know about the toxicity of the last church was that we were members of. To give you an idea, when I was desperate and begging for help, a couple I didn't know hardly at all wanted to help. A leader at that church said that they didn't need to do that since they didn't know us. A leader. At a church. Where we were members. Said don't help those who need help. 

I feel like I shouldn't have to explain how anti-Christ that statement is, but just in case you don't know how evil that statement is, I'll share a few Bible verses.

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Matthew 25:44-45 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty...and not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'

Galatians 5:13 through love serve one another.

Luke 10:25-37 THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN, where Jesus answered who is my neighbor, who should we love and show mercy, with "everyone who is in need."

Is that enough? One More?

Matthew 7:12 aka The Golden Rule; So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.

Fred Rogers was an awesome man and helped so many people learn to love their neighbors. He wasn't God but he was a reverend and God used the man. He's known for a saying in times of trouble, "Look for the helpers." 

Stop it.

That is a great sentiment for children. But some of you guys act like you've never grown up. You're an adult now. Stop looking for the helpers and help. 

Fred Rogers would want you to now be the helpers. He didn't mean for you to continue to sit around waiting for others to help. You need to help. You don't need to advertise how you've helped. You don't need to report to me. But if you walk past someone in need and say, "I always look for the helpers," God is speaking to you when he says,  "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." 

Is it your job to help every time? Yes. Every time. What if you're not able to help? Then no, it isn't. Every time you are able to help, it is your turn to help. How do you discern if you are able? Pray about it for 10 seconds then start figuring out how you can help. 

I felt like shaking people at my old church every time I saw a need posted and a meal train created. It was so painfully obvious who was popular and who wasn't. I would get on the group and say, "Hey! Look this person who I don't know is needing help. You need to sign up to help them even though you don't know them." I am not sure if it's just a Denton thing or a Southern thing. When I was Mississippi it would happen similarly. "Why is no one helping that family?" "Well, they are kinda rude." Funny how God didn't say, "Help those who are nice." He said, "Help those in need."

He also didn't say, "Help those who have helped you." No one I helped at that church returned the favor. It made me really bitter for quite awhile. But God specifically tells me and you, "lend and expect nothing in return." I am so ashamed of my bitterness. I could have helped even more people if I wasn't so butt-hurt over being neglected and unloved by those people. I know now that the church was being lead by toxic individuals and the congregation didn't even know that God wanted them to be loving, kind, and helpful. They didn't know that they should love the stranger. I was a stranger to them and they didn't owe me anything. They made sure I knew it. I've forgiven them and I have received forgiveness for my bitterness. 

Helping can be as easy as having someone over for lunch. Not once at my old church did we receive any such invitations. But we were faithful to extend those invitations. Not once did an established member introduce themselves during the service's "meet and greet" time. But we were faithful to do so. It's easy: You look around, see someone you don't know, get over yourself, and say hi. Ask if they've been coming here long. That's how I know everyone I spoke to had been members for years longer than us: I started talking to them. I initiated. Every time. 

IF YOU ARE SINGLE, YOU ARE STILL PART OF THE CHURCH. I hear so many complaints from single adults about not being treated like they are full members of the church. But when someone needs help, where are you? I can tell you that the times that I needed help, no single person on their own came to help. One time one gal came along as a married woman gave me a meal. And one time a single gal came to watch movies with my kids as I mowed my lawn. Isn't that sad? If you can't handle tiny responsibilities, what makes you think you deserve big responsibilities? 

There's a parable about that. Matthew 25:14-30. Go read it. I'll wait. 

You might be reading this thinking, "Sheesh, Lauren, you're so bitter. I'm not going to listen to anything you say." I'm not bitter. I'm passionate. It breaks my heart seeing people in need. I'm trying to help but I can't do it all. I need you and they need you. You are needed. You are wanted. 

Stop looking for the helpers and help.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

new bible reading plan

Someone mentioned Professor Horner's Bible Reading plan. It's ten chapters a day. That's quite ambitious for a homeschooling mother to think that she might be able to read 10 chapters of anything in a day.

"Just wake up earlier." You don't know my baby. Lucas can sense when I'm being productive and wakes up early too so that he will interrupt whatever I'm doing. But I'm going to try anyway.

I should be on Day 4 today but I decided to write down my thoughts in a journal. So, I'm starting over. I KNOW! I'm crazy to think that I will not only be able to read 10 chapters but also write down anything.

Oh well. We'll see what, if anything, happens. Hopefully, I can do it.

Originally I made videos for my kids, but that was way too ambitious. After 3 videos, I gave up. I was thinking, "What if I die? Then my kids can have these videos of me reading the Bible to them." Nice thought. Not practical.

Find that plan HERE.

On a giant plus side, I am constantly trying to get back into my reading for the day so I am wasting a lot less time browsing Facebook and Instagram. -which incidentally might mean I missed your post. I'm sorry about that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

get a copy for free (or not, your choice)

I want you to read my book because I think it will help you in your walk with Christ. This is especially true if you haven't been a believer for long or if you feel stagnant in your sanctification process.

(That might have been a bit too much Christian jargon. Your "walk with Christ" is your new lifestyle that has changed since deciding to follow the God of the Bible. A "believer" is anyone who submits to Christ as ruler of all. "Sanctification" is the process of becoming more like God and less sinful.)

But first, look at these pics my mom sent me of my bridge from NYC. Some people call it The Brooklyn Bridge, but now you know it's actually my bridge. I cried when I saw it again. I haven't been back to the city in a long time...since before I got married. I feel like Israel wandering in the desert wanting to enter the Promised Land.

Ok, so if you want my book, but don't want to pay for it, message me on Instagram or Facebook (or text me if you have my number). If you think $5, is nbd, follow THIS LINK and grab your own copy off Amazon.

Once at Amazon, you might see that there's a Prayer Journal also for sale, which has previously been shared on this blog. You are welcome to a free copy of that as well, just message me. Or you can buy it for $5 from Amazon following THIS LINK.

If you are local, I have a couple of physical copies that I can give away. Let me know if you want one. I share on Facebook the other day how I went back and started reading my own book and thought, "wow, this is really good. I should write this down." True story. Luckily, I had already written it down, and published it. ha!

I've got my next book ruminating in my peripheral thoughts so follow me on Amazon to know when it gets published.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

beloved devotional

When I was first approached about reviewing this devotional
I immediately thought of my student, Chloe. She's being raised in a good home and is well-loved. And I thought she might enjoy a devotional that was written especially for young women.

From Zondervan comes Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women:
Relationships, inner beauty, and chasing your dreams are all topics on the top of a teen girl’s list. So give them great Biblical role models to admire as they grow and understand who they are. Beloved is a topical devotional that uses the inspiring stories of girls and women in the Bible—such as Ruth, Esther, Mary, and Abigail—to encourage faith and confidence in today’s young women. Perfect for everyday use, Beloved will resonate with girls searching for truth and guidance.

Check it out here:   

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ellie Claire Gifts - ART JOURNALS!!!!

Today I am so excited to show you some beautiful journals. I'm really excited about them. I have 3 to show you. They are great gifts. Check out Ellie Claire Gifts on Instagram!

 The first book you should buy is the Faith & Lettering Journal. What is wonderful about this journal is that it takes someone like me, who is artistically minded and mildly talented but lacks instruction. I love lettering. I love journaling. But I don't know what I'm doing.

THIS Art Journal has a "How to Use this Book" section and when I saw it I breathed a sigh of relief because, as I said before, I didn't know how to use this book! It is designed to be a safe place to practice prompts, try your hand at different styles, and grow in your lettering skills. Plus, they used the Oxford comma, so you know these guys are legit and intelligent! Also, there's bonus points for the pen elastic on the binding. I love that!

The next book you need to buy (or reverse the order) is the Illuminate Your Story Journal.
This is another beautiful art journal. It took me through a brief history of illuminated letters then listed suggested supplies followed by its own "how to use this journal" section.

If you're like me, you might remember that old meme about how to draw an owl. "First draw a circle, then finish the owl." It's a joke depicting the hopeless feeling a lot of us feel trying to follow art directions. Rest assured, these are NOT like that! You can do this!

Think of how awesome your Christmas cards can look once you practice in these journals!

The final journal is my favorite! The Illustrated Word is more of your standard journal except it's beautiful. Each page has an embellishment from historic religious artwork and several coloring pages that are inspired from that artwork. It is beautiful!

Go to to see a full selection. Pick up a set for yourself as well as for the aspiring artist in your life. You can even use this as your homeschool art class. Every journal has nice thick pages which work well for pencil, pens, and markers.

The Illustrated Word journal

Faith & Lettering journal
Illuminate Your Story journal