Yesterday we were treated to a guest post by Deidra Riggs, author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are.

 

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Today, I have the opportunity to share a video interview with you, as well as my own review of Every Little Thing, PLUS offer a giveaway from Baker Books and Dayspring! Such a great week!

Firstly, allow me to introduce the lovely Deidra:

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Deidra Riggs is the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are (Baker Books). She is managing editor at The High Calling, and a monthly contributor to (in)courage.

Deidra and her husband live in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are the proud parents of two adult children, and happy inhabitants of an empty nest.

Follow Deidra on her blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.​

 

 

I had such a wonderful time recording the following video with Deidra. She is the real deal.

Listen below as Deidra shares words of wisdom and encouragement for all who question their significance in this life:

 

As you can see from this quote I read in the interview, Deidra cuts straight to the heart in her book:

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These are difficult questions. Questions worthy of a long pause and serious, soul-searching reflection.

In fact, the whole book will make you stop and think long and hard about how you view your own purpose and influence in this world.

In her book, Deidra tackles subjects including fear and trust, obedience, significance and surrender, and what it means to live out the gospel.

She weaves biblical examples throughout the chapters, illustrating from Scripture how we can relate to the characters in the Bible and glean from their experiences with God.

One thing I appreciated about Every Little Thing was how easy it was to read. I found myself caught up in Deidra’s storytelling as if she were sitting across from me at a coffee shop. She is engaging and easy to relate to. In spite of the many challenges it poses, this book is inspiring and motivating, not burdensome. It left me feeling bolstered and spurred on to pursue the good works that God has planned in advance for me to do.

If you’re questioning your significance in this world, this book is for you.

If you wonder whether your life is making a difference, this book is for you.

If you doubt that your small contributions have any impact whatsoever — read this book, and be encouraged.

 

Favorite quotes (warning: there are many!):

“Could it be that the biggest obstacle to receiving grace is refusing to admit our deep and aching need for it?”

“We build trust in God by taking one small step in his direction and finding out he will always be there to catch us.”

“Many times God’s invitations are not at all what we’d expect them to be.”

 

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

 

If you missed Deidra’s guest post on God in the wilderness, click here. Here are a few of the many lines that struck me from that chapter:

“As much as we want to resist it, in the wilderness of our lives, God works to transform us more and more into the image of his Son and a reflection of his character.”

“When we’ve allowed the wilderness experience to strip us down to ‘simply me,’ we are just the right size for God’s big plans.”

“God walks every step of the wilderness journey with us, and he shapes us as we make our way through.”

 

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The chapter entitled, “Breathlessness” was one of my favorites.

What are you striving for? What lies have you believed from the world about grasping for significance and meaning in this life? What do you need to release and surrender in order to find true significance in Christ?

 

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As you can see from the many quotes above, you probably shouldn’t read this book unless you’re prepared to be both challenged and changed — in a good way.

 

ViBellalogoIn conjunction with the release of Every Little Thing, Deidra has partnered with ViBella Jewelry, a fabulous fair trade company that employs artisans from Haiti and Mexico. ViBella’s mission is to bring hope and healing to the artisans, their families, and their communities.

Here’s one piece featured in the Every Little Thing collection. It’s called the Alexandra Bracelet

 

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ViBella also has the Kyla bracelet, which is available here:

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And that’s not all! There’s a giveaway!

Baker Books, publisher of Every Little Thing, and Dayspring are offering a copy of Deidra’s book PLUS this beautiful Everlasting Light Shine necklace to one winner!

 

Click here to order the necklace from Dayspring.com while it’s still on sale.

Enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway closes at midnight EST on Sunday, November 29th, and is only open to those with a U.S. mailing address.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

 

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My firstborn turns ten this week.

I might be a little sentimental about the whole thing.

Okay, fine, I even wrote Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Mom as a result of all this recent retrospection.

 

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Since we’re celebrating ten years of life this weekend, I thought I’d invite y’all to the party with this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt:

 

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Ready? GO.

 

Ten years ago this week, I pushed with all my might when the doctor gave the command, and still you refused to budge. Never even dropped. Stubborn as they come.

So they cut you out of me, and then I sat for three days, reclining in the hospital bed with my knees raised, memorizing your tiny form as you rested on the pillow in my lap.

I birthed you in a land foreign to me, but through you, it became my own. You gave me a sense of belonging. Of purpose. I became more than just the American missionary, or the girl who married a South African man.

 

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With the help of God, I brought forth life on African soil. And it became our home.

Your stubborn beginning remained. Now you work it in your favor. Persuasive you are, and you know your power. You employ every imaginable argument to win your case, and make sure to flash that dimple on your right cheek for good measure.

Persuasive and stubborn, but oh, so smart and compassionate.

I tried to push you out in that labor ward, but instead you’ve pushed me out of my comfort zone time and time again.

 

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You taught me how to crochet. How to braid. How to ask (and answer) questions.

You even have me training for our first 5k next week. <gasp!>

You’re motivated and driven, always cooking up new ideas and plans of action.

I call you my kitchen manager, for obvious reasons.

 

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You started walking at ten months, talking at eleven, and haven’t stopped — unless your nose is buried in a book. Which is often.

 

 

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You’re double digits now — but you still squeeze me tight and ask me to sing for you every night when I tuck you in.

And I’ll keep on singing until heaven runs out of songs.

 

STOP.

 

Before you rush off, I can’t let you leave without telling you about this great FLASH SALE from Dayspring!!

Because, you know, we’re celebrating a birthday this weekend, and we can’t have a birthday without gifts! (Well, we could, it just might not be quite as fun …)

NINE (count ’em … NINE) items from Karen Kingsbury collection at Dayspring are on sale through the weekend for only $4 each!!

Check out these lovely gift ideas, like this organizer box, magazine file, and pencil holder. Only $4 each!!

 

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I’ve got my eye on this journal and this handy weekly planner:

 

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So, there you go. Go ahead and treat yourself to a little something. You have my permission.

Then come on back and link up your own five minutes of free writing on the prompt, TEN!

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Wow, you guys SHOWED UP last week to write on the word HOPE!

I loved scrolling through your beautiful, hope-filled words. Such an encouragement! Keep up the great work!

New to Five Minute Friday? Read all about it by clicking here.

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So .. three weeks from today, I’ll be in Nashville! Yay!

FMF Retreat 2015 logoRegistration is still open for our first-ever Five Minute Friday Retreat!

The planning committee has all sorts of exciting things planned — if you don’t have your ticket yet, act fast! Day visitors are also welcome on Saturday.

More details about the retreat can be found HERE.

 

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Speaking of registration, the sign-up form for ROUND 7 of #fmfpartysnailmail is NOW OPEN! But HURRY! The final day to register is Friday, July 17th.

Time to stock up on some boxed cards from Dayspring!

Get this box of 12 encouragement cards for $6.99:

 

 

This set of 12 Praying for You cards is only $5.99!

 

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Check out tons of other boxed card options from Dayspring here! Such beautiful choices!




Read all about the awesomeness of #fmfpartysnailmail by clicking here.

 

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This week, our Five Minute Friday prompt is:

 

free

 

Ready? GO.

 

In twelve days, we put over 2,500 miles on the car.

It was fabulous.

We hit the major historical sites of New England — an educational tour, of sorts.

We gazed up at the Statue of Liberty in all her glory.

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We stepped into history in the halls of Ellis Island, where numbers upon numbers of bodies packed in, peering over shoulders and foreheads in hopes of glimpsing a better life.

 

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We stood solemnly before the 9/11 memorial — a sobering and moving experience. We arched our necks back and gaped at One World Trade Center.

And we remembered.

 

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We walked miles in one of my favorite cities, keeping our feet on the red bricks of Boston’s famous Freedom Trail.

We stepped on battlefields in Concord and on Bunker Hill, where lives were lost, and some spared.

 

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We sat in Old North Church and heard the Declaration of Independence read aloud on the 4th of July. We caught the fireworks from a rooftop deck and oohed and aahed over the booming show.

 

It is for

 

And all the while, I thanked my God — not only for soldiers willing to sacrifice their lives and fight for our freedom, but most of all, for the gift of His Son.

 

STOP.

 

Show us what you’ve got! Link up your own five minutes of writing on the word, FREE.

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You may have read a version of this story before, but what can I say … It was one of those defining moments in my life.

It was the time I stumbled and fell over an innocent, four-worded question.

To her credit, she waited until I had stowed my carry-on in the overhead compartment and settled into my seat before she launched into the obligatory small-talk.

We were, after all, about to spend twelve hours with our elbows touching, and I’d never even met the fifty-something woman who had scored the aisle seat next to me.

“Are you heading home?” she asked.

And that’s where I tripped over my tongue.

My mind.

My heart.

I hesitated.  A little too long.

Then finally, “Um … yeah.  Well, no.  Uh … I’m not sure.”

I wouldn’t have blamed her if she’d flagged down the flight attendant right then and there.  I can picture the hypothetical conversation now: “Um, excuse me, miss, but this girl doesn’t know where she’s going.”

How embarrassing.

“My mom died this morning,” I blurted out, the aircraft still grounded on the Cape Town runway.

The kind woman gushed condolences and well-intentioned words of sympathy before I could attempt to redeem my earlier fumble.

“I’ve been living in Africa for the past eight years and my mom just died in my hometown in MIchigan.  So, I guess I’m heading home.  But not really.  I mean, my husband and kids are still here in Cape Town, so …”

My voice drifted, and I realized the answer to her original question hadn’t become any clearer for either of us.

Was I heading home?  Or not?

The conflicting voices of my heart kickstarted a long-lasting soul search.

Where was my home?

 

 

That conversation happened three years ago.

In the meantime, I’ve thought and even written a lot about the concept of home.

And what I’ve come to learn is this:

This is not it.

This life, this living in between, this sojourn … it’s all temporary.

And there is an eternal.

Ever since my mom died and I’ve started thinking a whole lot more about heaven, I’ve made a more conscious effort in my thinking, my praying, my writing, my parenting — to remember that every day is one step closer to eternity.

 

 

And hopefully the next time I step onto a plane and get asked the same question, “Are you heading home?” … I’ll be able to answer with confidence, “Yes.  Yes, I am.”

Not because of my earthly destination, but because of my hope in eternity.

 

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Today I’m thrilled to announce a brand new product line brought to you by (in)courage … It’s called the Words Matter Letterpress Blocks.

Aren’t they so great?!

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incourage-LetterpressBlocks-main1And the coolest part is that you can click over to this interactive interface and build whatever word you want, then share it on social media.

What word would you choose?

ALSO (!!!) … This weekend (October 2nd-7th) I’ll be hosting a giveaway right here on this blog for one winner to receive a voucher for these beautiful Letterpress Blocks.

So come back to visit and enter for a chance to win!!  (In fact, enter your e-mail address in the sidebar above and the giveaway announcement will come straight to your inbox! What more could you ask for?)  😉

See you all this weekend, and until then, remember: Words Matter.