Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Speaking

My desire is to share the joy I've found in Christ with others through teaching the Word of God, telling stories, and giving personal testimony. My absolute favorite audience this past year, was a mother daughter retreat where I spoke to mothers and their 7-14 year old daughters! We ended our last session with a dance party, and those smiling girls grabbing their moms and pulling them up to to the front of the room to dance made my night! 

 Colossians 1:28-29 says, "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." What a joy it is to get to partner with Christ in building up his people! 

It would be a privilege and honor to speak to mothers, daughters, adults or children! I'd love to talk about living a life of faith in action, contentment and generosity, raising young children without losing your mind, embracing and overcoming depression, becoming a world changing believer, and even something as simple as how to study your Bible. I have a Master's Degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary where I was privileged to study under the late, Dr. Howard G. Hendricks and many other great professors there. You can contact me at april@newliferanch.com! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Roxy Board Coat Giveaway


Here's the thing. I don't really want to give my coat away. I love it! A few weeks ago, my family and I had a great time hiking around the Rocky Moutain National Park. When I found this coat at our local goodwill for $4.50, we had no plans to visit Colorado, but it sure came in handy! Freezing cold winds across snow covered trails, and my Roxy board coat layered with a light adidas sweatshirt kept me fairly comfortable. On the fashion side, I have to say that I have received dozens of compliments from complete strangers on the coat several while in Estes Park, one while hiking, another at a trendy sourvenir shop, and another from the employee at the movie theater there. I'm thinking Aztec prints are in!
Here's a link to a similar coat that gives a bit of the description. http://www.pacsun.com/roxy/jetty-3n1-jacket-2784270.html?start=18&cgid=roxy-womens-jackets I don't know what my coat was priced at new, but this one is $199. Mine is long slim fit, size medium, and is definitely waterproof.

So what you really want to know about is the giveaway right? Well, since I really like my coat, you're going to have to do something for me. A few weeks ago, I had the incredible priviledge to meet the founder of a school in Uganda. This woman, when she was in her mid-twenties, followed the Lord's leading and moved to Uganda with $300 in her pocket to start a school for orphan, foster, and underpriviledged children. Today they have over 450 students, and the founder, Rebecca has 20 foster children that live with her! Just incredible to see how God has used this woman of faith! I have a friend who has actually visited My Father's House, so I know it is legitimate. My Father's House has a goal to add 20 child sponsors by the end of the year. I want to support this cause. So....if you decide to sponsor a child with My Father's House for a year, I will send you my coat. Just visit their website, sign up to sponsor, send me proof of your sponsorship (like an email confirmation from My Father's House to mommyape@gmail.com), you name and address, and the coat is yours, or at least the first person who does this gets my coat. The rest of you will have rewards eternal in heaven for your investment! :)

Ready, Set, Go!

Here is the link to My Father's House:

http://www.myfathershouseintl.org/about/

Here's a GREAT video highlighting their amazing ministry to kids in Uganda:





Friday, September 26, 2014

Jeans and funky flowers

     There's risk involved in posting here. It is in posting pictures of myself in clothing finds like this great cute blouse from the Goodwill, but it is also in the writing. "Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, 'listen to me'." I'm going to take the risk. And I am going to keep writing. Why? Because the love of Christ compels me. 2 Corinthians 5:14 say, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 

    Everything we do influences those around us. My desire to spend less and give more is impacting my children. Yesterday, my girls told me they needed jeans for this winter. You know what they asked me? They asked to go look at the Goodwill for jeans. They are understanding the reasons behind spending less, and they are on board! (They found 4 pairs of jeans and some boots, plus a few items I added, for under $50.00!)


Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Comparison Trap


It's embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes get stuck in the comparison trap. I let myself get so distracted comparing others' successes to my own, that my focus is completely wrong. It's not the way I was intended to live. 

The movie, Mom's Night Out is cutewith a valid message. But, at the end of the movie, the main character writes a blog post. We learn she has gone from 3 followers to 260 followers, seemingly over night. She's a mommy blogger! I found myself comparing myself to a fictional character! I'm not even sure how to add followers to my blog, but if I did, I'm sure I wouldn't grab 260 followers over night! 

I found this great blog created by actual women. It's call (in)courage. Basically it is a group of 36 women who have been writing on it regularly for the last 3 years, and they have over 32,000 subscribers! They take guest posts every week, and I began beating myself up for never submitting a guest post, even though I just found out about the blog last night. 

Comparison is not supposed to be my life. This is not a trap God intended or wants for me. As much as I want my writing to be noticed and to make an impact on others, my identity cannot be wrapped up in it. I don't want it to. I want Jesus to be my minute by minute focus, not my children's book. I want to be consumed by thoughts of Him. I love my Lord. I hate these distractions. Out on my back porch this morning, drinking my coffee, these verses came to mind:  

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
He leads me beside the quiet waters,
he restores my soul
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake
Psalm 23:1-3

Comparison is being in want. My job is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. He gives the direction, peace, hope, and encouragement that I need. As long as I am honoring Him in all that I do, comparing myself to what everyone else is doing can't affect me. He quiets my soul. He restores my soul. He guides and protects me. I am content and secure in the arms of my shepherd. It's a much nicer place to be than the comparison trap. 

The comparison trap only makes us feel small. Get it? :) 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The $5 Ann Taylor LOFT dress

If you follow my posts, you know that I recently made the decision to stop buying brand new clothing for a year. But that doesn't mean if I need something I can't stop at the Goodwill and buy a super cute Ann Taylor LOFT dress for $5! Here it is:

Because it is starting to feel a bit like Fall, I wore it today with this black shrug. Every girl should own a black shrug. You can seriously put it with everything, and it allows you to wear your summer dresses year round! 


And because my cat wouldn't leave me alone and wanted in the picture, I kept having to throw him out, which of course my daughter couldn't resist capturing in photos. 


Last summer, our great friends, Michael and Beth Ann came to visit. You know you have a great friend, when you can sit around together reading and laughing at your ridiculous blog posts! 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Kissed Old Navy Goodbye

Don't get me wrong. I love Old Navy as much as the next girl! Lots of my clothes have Old Navy tags. But I'm trying something new. Here's the thing. There are a lot of needs in this world: clean water, education, medicine, Bible translation, and global missions. I'd like to be able to give more. Even though I don't spent a huge amount on clothing, buying less is one simple way to cut back and be able to give. So I am committing to not spend any money on brand new clothing for a year.

Instead, if I absolutely need clothing, I will shop resale instead. Since I started shopping for clothing at thrift stores, resale shops, and Goodwill, I've actually gotten more compliments than ever before. I just say thank you and think "If they only knew," except that one time at my niece's wedding when all the bridesmaids were ogling over my dress, and I proudly proclaimed it was from Goodwill. I have to admit, there was a bit of strange silence afterwards.

So, there is it. No more Old Navy, Gap, American Eagle,  or Target (Oh no, I forgot about Target!) If you see me shopping in one of those places, it might just be for jewelry or sunglasses.