5 Apps I Use EVERYDAY

1Here are my “go-to” apps and why I love them!

1)Dwell Bible App – FINALLY! This app reads to you with real voices but that isn’t the best part. My favorite part is that on top of bible plans that read books of the Bible to you, they also have “playlists” based on theme. For example, if you are struggling with your identity in Christ, there is a “playlist” that reads Scripture to you based on your worthiness in Christ. Or if you want to be remembered of God’s love – the “list” reads Scripture to you on His extravagant love for us. Y’all this has helped me in SO many areas lately especially dealing with doubt, fear, and anxiety – now I just go to the “playlist” of my current struggle and listen to what the Word of God has to encourage me in that area. Game Changer.  *there is a cost to this app but this link has a discount right now!

2) Wunderlist – This is the best to-do list I have ever used. Bonus, it syncs with other people on your list and you can give people tasks to complete.

3)Kindle with notes– I love my kindle for so many reasons but one of the main reasons is that any note I highlight I can go back and copy and paste that highlight from read.amazon.com/notebook. This saves a ton of time and also helps you remember what you read – I often go back to books I have loved and read the highlights to remember. You can also add notes at any point in a book to record your thoughts etc. There is even a way to make flashcards from what you are reading – hello and thank you very much but where was this when I was in college?

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4)Canva – I use this for everything – I have created E-Book covers, Instagram (follow me @realtalkwkasey), Bible studies, lesson plans, etc. If you want to create it – this will give you the template to do it. You are welcome.

5)Marco Polo – Snap Chat for adults! You can use this to stay in touch with people on your own time and it is more personal because it is a video. You do have to get over seeing yourself on video but it is just great. You can create groups and have all the fun. I love my Marco Polo and the way I can keep up with old friends and connect with new ones!

 

 

5 Books to Read Right Now

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1)How to Stop the Pain – My counselor “assigned” this book to me and I am so thankful she did. I have read and re-read. LIFE CHANGING. “The fixer always finds himself being misunderstood. As fixers, we have all these good intentions. After all, we’re doing it for their good, right? Yet we are not valued.” “Regardless of our motive, we will simply cause pain.” Anyone else a “fixer” out there? 

2) Fight Like a Girl: The Power of Being a Woman – Having deeply struggled these past two years with the question, “why did you make me this way?” This book answered this question and many I didn’t have the words to articulate. It was refreshing and comforting to hear Lisa give God-honoring words to my identity laced doubts. Thank you Lisa B. A few quotes to whet your appetite for this book, “Then why are we so afraid to reveal ourselves as such? Why have we doubted this truth and cloaked ourselves in the armor of men? Why have we adopted Adam’s voice and swagger? What drives us to fight in this awkward guise when all too frequently we lose our truer selves in its trappings?” “For you truly are not a man, and there are yet battles in the spirit for the sons to fight, and there are yet battles in the spirit for the daughters to fight. Begin to call forth the daughters; cry out for them now. Call the daughters to wage the wars only they can win, and to fight the battles as only my daughters can because truly the enemy fears this revelation more than he fears any woman who fights like a man.”

3) The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love that Reorders a Life I initially found this book by recommendation of Shauna Niequist. If she reads or suggests a book, I immediately buy it. I was not disappointed and have since ordered this book had delivered to many friends, don’t y’all just love Amazon? Two days and it is at their doorstep. “I’ll suggest that our bad habits, addictions, and dependencies are the things we use, attach to, or love in an effort to cope with the pains of life.” “I’ve experienced to be at the root of all addiction—pain.” I could quote this book all day but one more, “What is the problem underlying our coping mechanisms? They do something for us.” I hope you read and wake up to His love the same way I was able to experience it. 

4)New Morning Mercies– This devotion hits my tender points and struggles EACH DAY. Consider this from Jan. 11th. 82383259_10162832706400147_7143262733373276160_o.jpg

5) The Bait of Satan – A friend unexpectedly texted me this one morning, “been thinking and praying for you and wondered if you had read this book, The Bait of Satan.” She said they had just read as a church staff and she thought it would be helpful for me YES, YES. Thank you, Shelley. “We construct walls when we are hurt to safeguard our hearts and prevent any future wounds. We become selective, denying entry to all we fear will hurt us. We filter out anyone we think owes us something. We withhold access until these people have paid their debts in full. We open our lives only to those we believe are on our side.” OUCH. 

Please tell me what books you are reading that are life-changing.

*** I am assuming that the Bible is a regular life source for you and it why it is not included in this list. This list is in addition to frequent Bible Reading.

Scars

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For our twentieth wedding anniversary Brad and I spent two weeks in Hilton Head. Beach tradition is that you rent bikes and ride everywhere you go. Often you find yourself one on one with a car. Having not ridden a bike for a good ten years, I hurried across the street and tried to make a sharp right turn. This effort was to stay on the sidewalk and off of the road which was filled with large SUV’s. I did make the turn but I also sliced my leg on a protruding wooden wall in the yard directly in front of me. A scrape of skin came off in a nice horizontal line that immediately bubbled up. Putting on a brave face I wanted to enjoy each moment with Brad so we rode on through neighborhood after neighborhood admiring the houses with beachside pools and outdoor kitchens while enjoying the hot sun and the salt filled air conditioning our bodies. My cut stung every now and then but for the sake of our vacation and my pure enjoyment of my location, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and just kept riding. 

The following morning I turned over in bed with a view of the golf course and realized that I could not move my leg without some degree of pain. I was shocked to look down and see the depth of my cut and the extreme bruising that had occurred only the day before. I immediately texted a picture to of the damage my sister who was a nurse practitioner and she quickly let me know that it was infected. It turns out that salty sweat isn’t the best for an open cut. She gave me instructions for taking care of my cut and so I basically put ointment on it and covered it up for the rest of the trip. If it hurt, I just took an Advil and continued on with my vacation. Who wants to ruin a dream vacation for a cut that covers most of right thigh? 

One year later I have a scar on my leg that rivals music artist Seal. It is a consistent reminder of that day. 

It cautions me to remember what happens when we leave our wounds open to the elements of life and we do not adequately take care of them.

It warns me that one quick slice of a word or action can inflict extreme disfigurement if not properly cared for. 

The scar notes that facing the hurts that we either inadvertently slide into or run straight towards must be attended. 

The deterioration of our souls is too great to cover up with physical anointment and bandages. 

We need One who attends to our wounds with His own. He is God Enough for our healing and He is God Alone who haunts us till full healing occurs. 

Dangerous Concert of Grief

384236DF-8BC9-4B29-943F-904487B02123Sometimes grief is loud and obnoxious like a toddler with a new toy that makes noise. And yet sometimes grief builds up slowly and often it is with just a silent note. 

There are careless conversations

A diagnosis is looming 

Friendships are fading…. 

Jealousy is budding 

It feels like children are scheming 

Pride prevails 

Sin is shaming 

Notes of hurt underneath an outwardly calm life erupt in a private orchestra concert inside your head. Hurt dances daily to the beat of twirling offenses.

Here lays the danger – the concert of pain is repeating inside your soul and no one knows it is playing. Calling to “Alexadoesn’t turn it off. The record just keeps spinning and spinning, getting louder with each new song of tears. 

When our grief is public and demands attention, it is the new hit song on the radio and everyone is listening and singing along with you. But as the new hit fades from attention and when life strikes in small venomous bites, the song is unheard till disaster creates a new beat. Grief builds up and we often react negatively so others will take notice and just listen to our private dance of pain. 

But there is another way – there is One who knows the lyrics your heart is singing and He is waiting for you to allow Him to choreograph a new song in your soul. Tell Him all the words to your secret lullaby; belt them out in the shower and to the heavens, freeing your lungs to share the sorrow with the One who heals. 

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3

 

 

 

3 Health Changes I Have Made this Year

Last year at this time:This past weekend:

1) Continued CONSISTENTLY using BeachBody On Demand Workouts – Most of 80 Day Obsession (2x) 21 Day Fix Extreme and a few yoga and 30 min exercises when I was bored

2) THIS HHG gel – turning 40 I FELT it and this helped with ALL THE THINGS – get it here – especially sleep and my middle area!

3) WATER and Fat! (Keto)

Tuesday Teen Challenge

Last week we challenged marriage – this week TEENS

*Teach them something – how to cook a meal, RINSE A SINK (this is my goal to teach the boys how to rinse out a sink every time they use it – it only takes a second but makes a huge difference – can I get an AMEN?), use a vacuum.

*Show them unconditional love each day in one significant way – when the homework doesn’t get done (pull up a chair and help) – watch my reaction during confession (show them how Paul said “I do what I don’t want to do and what I want to do, I don’t – make that verse real to them) Show them the struggle with sin. (Rom. 7)

*Ask questions that require more than a one word answer – Pinterest has tons of examples

*Give them grace – my dad has always said, “If I am going to err, let it be in grace” and he always has – there has never been a doubt in my head that I could not come to him with all manner of folly. This is one thing you can offer your kids and remember that it is Jesus’ “kindness that leads to repentance” Grace is scary because it gives up control but remember He is has full control so we don’t have to. You will never regret a response of grace.

Monday Marriage Challenge

It’s a new week – will you join me in weekly marriage challenges?

Here is your challenge – should you choose to accept it?

* Praise your spouse

*Willis (our dog) Greeting – when our dog greets us, no matter if we entering from a different room or have been gone a week – he wags his tail and jumps all over us in happiness – do the same for your spouse.

*Irritation Reversal – when the slightest thing irritates you – make the CHOICE to let it go

*Irritation Discussion – choose a different time (preferably in public and when things are good) to discuss and tell your spouse how they can show you love (do. not. expect mind reading and then allow and vent frustration when expectations are not met) Start with I feel . . . I need . . .

Let me know how these challenges are changing you and your marriage!