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Thanks for joining me here where we can talk about faith and family. I'm excited to share some encouragement and resources with you.

Mona from Arizona

A Ready to Roll Checklist

A Ready to Roll Checklist www.monahodgson.com

I was ready to roll. To the gym.

Workout clothes. Check.

Nylon backpack. Check.

Membership card. Check.

Off I went.

Upon arrival, I parked in a space close to the glass door so as to guard against over-exercising before I ever reached the treadmill or the mat. I dug my key fob, membership card, and phone from my purse and dropped them all into the side-pocket on my backpack.

Ready!

I popped the car door open then turned to step out onto the asphalt. That’s when my feet came into view. (more…)

12 Go-To Helps When Heartache Hits

15 Go-To Helps When Heartache Hits www.monahodgson.com

Friends, heartache hits all of us. At one time or another.

Sometimes it feels like we’re still riding one wave of heartache when another wave hits. Seems like we may never again glimpse a peaceful shoreline.

If we live long enough you and I will stare down many harbors of heartache. The burial of a loved one. Betrayal. The loss of a career. A chronic illness. Financial disaster. The list is long.

If we live long enough you and I will stare down many harbors of heartache. Click To Tweet

Right now you might feel stuck in a season of sorrow. Or have a friend who is camped in a hurting place. This resource is for you. (more…)

Embracing Your Values Cuts Out the Confusion

Embracing Values Wins Over Making Resolutions www.monahodgson.com

Am I the only one who has broken out into a sweat while trying to spit out a “No” and hold back a “Yes”? Sometimes getting it right feels…impossible.

You and I have recently crossed the threshold into a whole new year of decision making. Sigh! January provides a timely motivation to review what’s most important to us and why our values matter. That’s why I’m offering you another look at a popular post from last year, written by Becky Turner, a Personal Coach and Coach for Non-Profit Executives.

Becky Turner speaks into our decision-making process with some tips on how to cut out the confusion and angst when it’s time to voice our yes or no. (more…)

Stuff: Nose Hair Trimmers and Closet Organizers

Stuff www.monahodgson.com

Sometimes a hefty dose of healthy frustration is good for us, right?

No doubt you can relate to a tidbit from a recent page in my journal . . . .

July 15, 2019

According to the calendar, I’m 65 today. I don’t know where or how to begin to wrap my head around that fact.

My mother-in-law suffered a stroke nearly five weeks ago that stopped us in our tracks and turned us in circles. I was finally on a writing retreat facing a couple of days away to write on the novel. I haven’t looked at it since the call.

She was in the hospital for six days, the rehab center for twenty days, now she’s been in the assisted living home for one week. Having sold her mobile in the past two weeks, I’ve nearly emptied it and both of her sheds.

I’ve seen my mom, my step-dad, and now my mother-in-law suddenly separated from their former lives and their stuff as the result of disease and the need for more directed care. In each case, I found myself sifting through every photo, squirreled away bread wrapper, birthday card, to-do list, and unused stamp. (more…)

Freeing the Cross From Clutter

Freeing the Cross from Clutter www.monahodgson.com

In April, I returned to one of my favorite places to retreat–Mount Hermon Christian Camp, nestled in the California redwoods. Home of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference held annually the weekend before Easter. I was there this year as a mentor for children’s writers.

Early Palm Sunday morning, I walked to one of my go-to sites for retreat on the Mount Hermon grounds. Victory Circle. (more…)

Do Your Shoes (Activities) Match Your Purse (Values)?

Embracing Your Values Cuts Out Confusion www.monahodgson.com

Friend, do you ever teeter or stumble in your decision making? Ever break into a sweat while attempting to spit out a “Yes” or “No”?

Many thanks to Becky Turner, my friend, coach and virtual assistant, for speaking into our hectic schedules and harried lives with this post. She’s leading a cheer for you and I to add breathing space and intentionality into the choices we make.

Do Your Shoes Activities) Match Your Purse (Values)? www.monahodgson.com

Blogger: Becky Turner

Do Your Shoes (Activities) Match Your Purse (Values)? 

I remember when it was a huge fashion faux pas to go out in public and not have your shoes match your purse.

Brown heels meant a brown handbag. Silver slides meant a silver clutch. White flip flops meant a white tote bag. If time got away from me and I didn’t have time to change my purse, I was usually doing it in the car. And then heaven forbid if I showed up to an event with unmatched accessories. I felt totally not put together and disconnected.

I encountered this same feeling in my late 20s when my daily activities did not line up with who I was or wanted to be. (more…)

5 Ways to Encourage a Caregiver

I’m welcoming my friend and fellow Books & Such client, Sarah Forgrave, back to my blog. Sarah is the author of Prayers  for Hope and Healing. and Prayers of Hope for Caregivers, her latest book.

Caring for someone with health needs can be emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. Sarah has spent considerable time, both as someone struggling with serious medical issues and as the family member of a chronically ill patient, and she understands the many challenges caregivers face. I’ve asked Sarah to share a few ways we can best come alongside a friend or family member in a caregiving role.5 Ways to Encourage Caregivers www.monahodgson.com

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Encourage a Caregiver

by

Sarah Forgrave

Eight years ago, I supported my sister through a heart transplant and housed her in the month afterward. Three years ago, my son faced a life-threatening infection that sent us to the ICU. In both cases, I poured out care for those I love—family members facing incredible need—but I also carried a huge amount of needs myself.
(more…)

7 Questions to Help You Define Your Dating Relationship

7 Questions to Help You Define Your Dating Relationship www.monahodgson.com

You’re not married, but you’re dating. Or you’re thinking about going out with someone. You’ve crushing on a guy. Or maybe you have a gut feeling you shouldn’t be seeing the guy you’re seeing. Let’s chat.

Who you date or hang out with can determine who you marry, which dictates the direction your life takes. That decision is huge and life-changing.

Who you date or hang out with can determine who you marry, which dictates the direction your life takes. Click To Tweet

So I have seven questions worth considering in any dating relationship. These points to ponder help push fluttery feelings into the backseat for a bit, turning the driver’s seat over to some fundamental facts. I hear you: “Where’s the romance in facts?”

Well, here’s a fun fact … I actually write inspirational historical romance novels. Love stories are my favorite. I’m a romantic at heart. But here’s a little something I’ve learned in my nearly five decades of marriage to Bob … real romance isn’t fashioned out of feelings, but reinforces the foundation of a healthy relationship.

The dating, courting, going out with kind of romance often lives and breathes in a dreamy (or needy) state of mind. That phase might prompt all kinds of romantic gestures. Roses. Salted caramels. Table manners. Wearing a clean shirt. Trimming the mustache.

The dating kind of romance often lives and breathes in a dream (or needy) state of mind. Click To Tweet

All of that is good stuff, but is it reliable evidence of a guy worthy of a wedding dress and marriage vows? Or breakfast?

Nope. (more…)

12 Verses to Pray Over a Hurting Friend

12 Verses to Pray Over a Hurting Friend www.monahodgson.com

Your friend is hurting, and you feel helpless. If you’ve passed your eighth birthday, you likely know what that feels like. And it seems that I daily find myself looking for ways to best serve a hurting friend.

One friend recently returned to the ring fighting cancer in a third round of chemo. Another friend navigates a new normal after burying her husband last year. Yet another writes her son in prison. One friend battles betrayal. Another takes it one day at a time in a rehab center. Yet another wrestles with crippling anxiety. And the list goes on.

We can’t fix their hurting or erase their heartache. But that doesn’t excuse us from doing what we can to ease the pain. Some. Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.

In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about a variety of things we can do to reach out to the broken, but today let’s zoom in on prayer.

Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” (more…)

Owning Your True Value

Owning Your True Value MonaHodgson.com

I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Sharon Jaynes. I’ve asked my sister from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) to share truths with us regarding the disparity between how we see ourselves and owning our true value, our identity in Christ.

Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Do you remember the day you came to saving faith?

Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus.

Or perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him.

For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.

When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.

But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away. I was still a girl who felt worthlessness. When I made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, those feelings did not dissolve like springtime snow. (more…)

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