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.

 

11231315_988150481206433_8134394812170856421_n-2

 

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:

EveryLittleThingDeidra

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:

11999073_1205671039450349_2298296421265281290_n

 

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.”

 

12032970_1007860032568811_8287137241982701450_n

 

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?

 

12027657_1214500915234028_3204051610850627331_n

 

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

 

AlexandraBraceletModel01

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

KylaBraceletPicture

KylaBraceletModel01

 

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. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

She stood at the front of a small auditorium in the basement of the Five Minute Friday Retreat house.

We all sat, silent and captivated as she told story after amazing story.

She told us how it all started with one womana woman who dared to believe this dream was possible.

A woman who believes in a big God who can achieve big things for His glory.

 

11934934_10208237605524122_8890402900121755147_o

She shared pictures of radiant faces, beaming with newfound hope.

 

12096242_10208237606524147_2199842368138988596_n

 

Women whose lives have been transformed, because someone believed it was possible.

Now, the dream that became Vi Bella Jewelry, employs artisans in Haiti, Mexico and the U.S., with the vision of giving people a chance at a beautiful life.

People in extreme poverty have been lifted up. Children who weren’t in school are now able to attend. Women who were desperate have found new purpose.

Vi Bella recently launched a brand new catalog.

 

2015CatalogLaunchMarquee (2)

 

Amy Breitmann, who joined us at the Five Minute Friday Retreat, shared about a new line called Beloved.

 

12006087_10208197878810979_6881008452463494458_n

 

 

Amy’s name means “beloved,” and for a long time she struggled to see and believe that’s who she really is — beloved in Christ.

 

Photo Credit: Amy Breittman, belovedinbluejeans.com
Photo Credit: Amy Breittman, belovedinbluejeans.com

Now, as Vice President of Marketing for Vi Bella Jewelry, her life is being used to show others just how beloved they are — and how they can lead beautiful lives because of Jesus.

 

NewCatalog02 (2)

Find Vi Bella Jewelry here:

Website: http://wwwvibellajewelry.com

The catalog can be found online here: http://issuu.com/vibellajewelry/docs/vibella2016collection

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ViBellaJewelry

Instagram: https://instagram.com/vibellajewelry

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViBellaJewelry

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vibellajewelry/

 

This is Day 6 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Click here for more posts in this series.

Oh my goodness, there are so many exciting things packed into this post, I can hardly contain myself.

First of all, WELCOME! Have I told you lately that I love you? (Did you just hear Rod Stewart singing that to you?)

Seriously. I do. Some of you were not impressed by my choice of prompt last week, but you bit the bullet, took on the challenge, and you wrote.

And I was so impressed.

(I knew you could do it, by the way. Even if you didn’t think you could. I never doubted. You guys are amazing.)

If you’re new here, then an extra special welcome to you!

Five Minute Friday - 4Click here for more info on what Five Minute Friday is all about — but be careful — most fall in love at first sight. We hope this is the first of many visits to this fabulous community.

While you’re at it, go ahead and follow along on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest — and don’t miss the Twitter party every Thursday evening at #fmfparty!

And you’re DEFINITELY not going to want to miss #fmfparty next Thursday, because …

live video chat

 

The FMF Retreat Planning committee will be coming at you LIVE from the retreat venue!

Follow Holly Barrett, Mary Geisen, Jen Daugherty and me if you want to catch us live on August 6th from 8:45-9:30pm EST!

Speaking of the retreat, did you catch the guest posts from our retreat sponsors this week?

I loved reading the heartfelt words from Dan King at Fistbump Media and Amy Breitmann from ViBella Jewelry.

fistbump-media-header2Dan shared the heart behind Fistbump Media, and how his passion is helping people like you and me get our voices out there, to be a blessing to others.

ViBellalogoAmy shared about her recent trip to Haiti with ViBella Jewelry, and how she loves telling beautiful stories.

AND (!!!) ViBella is hosting a GIVEAWAY!! Click here to enter to win the beautiful ViBella necklace below!

WIN ME!

ReagenNecklaceThumb (2)

And psst … one more thing — as your friend, I feel it’s my duty to tell you that Dayspring is having a crazy good SECRET SALE!

Sshhh .. don’t tell anyone — just click over and snag all the goodies before they’re gone!

 

Dayspring Secret Sale 2

 

Okay … I don’t know if I can write after all that excitement, but I’ll give it a shot.

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

TRY

Setting my timer for five minutes, and …

GO.

 

My kids had their second belt test in karate this week.

In this particular karate school, in order to advance to the next belt, students have to break a board.

One of the visiting instructors took a moment to explain to the parents why they include this element in the test:

“It’s a confidence builder,” he said.

“You’re going to face many obstacles in life that need to be overcome.

Nobody thinks they can break a board the first try.

And you know what? That’s fine. It doesn’t have to break on the first try.

But you have to keep trying.

You’re in a fight with a board, and you can’t let it defeat you. It doesn’t matter how many attempts you make — you just have to keep going.”

I don’t know about the kids, but I was motivated by his speech.

How true his words were for all of life. 

It’s like the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of trying.

Tired of trying to check all the things off my To Do List. Tired of trying to defeat the same sin in my life. Tired of breaking up the same arguments between siblings.

Like I’m pounding the same fist on the same board and the wood just won’t break.

The difference for us, as Christians, is that we have a secret weapon.

We aren’t laboring in our own strength.

If Christ is in us, we have His strength, His energy at work in us.

 

_TO THIS END I LABOR, STRUGGLING WITH

 

He is the reason we can do what we do.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14).

He is the reason we overcome.

 

STOP.

 

Don’t forget to enter the ViBella Jewelry giveaway before you link up your own blog post below!

 Loading InLinkz ...

The Five Minute Friday Retreat is just over a week away!

ViBellalogoToday, it’s my pleasure to welcome Amy Breitmann, Vice President of Marketing for our retreat sponsor, Vi Bella Jewelry!

Amy recently traveled to Haiti with Vi Bella, and has some moving words and pictures to share with us from her experience — AND she’s offering the Vi Bella Reagan necklace to one winner in the giveaway below!

***

I have always been a storyteller.

At ten years old, I coerced my brothers and cousins to dress in costumes, and I directed mini plays with this small cast of characters. About that same time, I began scribbling thoughts and poems in my diary.

My mother gave me an appreciation for the history of our family recipes that have been passed down for generations. I loved to lean close and hear the story of how my grandmother made dinner at noon for the farmhands.

Antiques and vintage linens were always present in my home and I saw their weathered parts as pieces of a beautiful tapestry.

 

Even scratches, scars, rips and tears told a story worth pondering. They whispered bits of history.

 

 

In eyes of those I meet, in the intricate patterns of the summer leaves, in the hands of women that I work alongside.

 

20150681

DSC00377

DSC00378

 

I returned from my first trip to Haiti more than a month ago.

My main role was as a storyteller, traveling as the VP of Marketing for Vi Bella Jewelry.

We visited Vi Bella’s two centers located there, taking supplies and training our artisans on some new skills for jewelry pieces that will launch this fall.

We also celebrated with the artisans and their families that employment has been consistent for them for four years. Their children have been fed and their living conditions have vastly improved.

All because of employment making jewelry.

All because someone believed in their story.

026

boy1

 

I still haven’t processed all the stories. There are so very many.

Some stories will live forever in my heart, pressing quietly against my longing for a comfortable life.

Some stories have fueled me with an even greater passion for my part in moving Vi Bella Jewelry forward to employ more artisans in Haiti, Mexico, and right here in the United States.

The trip to Haiti confirmed in me why I was called to be part of this ministry.

Why God wove my life in such a way that I would meet Julie Hulstein, Vi Bella’s Founder.

 

If you are not familiar with Vi Bella Jewelry, this company exists to employ artisans who live in extreme poverty.

156

 

The business began after Julie Hulstein was part of a mission trip to Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010. When her story intersected with those in this poverty-stricken country, her life was forever changed. As was theirs.

Vi Bella means “beautiful life” and that’s just what Julie and the entire staff at Vi Bella has set out to do: create beautiful lives and communities by providing jobs and education. We now employ 33 artisans in four Vi Bella-owned centers.

 

157

 

I’ve come to understand something as a storyteller:

Their story becomes part of your life’s tapestry, and your reaction to their story becomes part of your legacy.

I want to be a voice of hope and healing in the stories of brokenness.

I’d love for you to join us in telling beautiful stories.

 

logo

 

Would you follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook?

I’m certain that once you meet the beautiful artisans and see their creations, you will be changed and inspired.

 

DSC00433

 

You will be part of their story of redemption.

P.S. For those of you that will be attending the first FMF Retreat in Nashville ~ I will see you soon and can’t wait to share more stories with you!

 

Amy headshot (2)Amy is a writer, dreamer, and visionary. She is the Vice President of Marketing for Vi Bella Jewelry, telling stories of hope and redemption through this jobs creation ministry.

Her name means “Beloved” and she’s on a quest to believe it. Her boots carry Midwest soil, but now she kicks it up in the south where she weaves marriage, ministry and motherhood together. As a cancer survivor, she was the Co-Founder of The Lydia Project, an international ministry for women facing cancer. She also is a lost-sock finder, a keeper of secrets for the best cheesecake recipe, and gets grace in the ordinary. The words that tumble out on her blog Beloved in Blue Jeans are balm that the Spirit speaks to quiet her soul.

Find Amy on her personal blog, Vi Bella Jewelry’s website, or be social on Facebook, or Twitter @AmyBreitmann.

 

 ***

Want to be part of the Vi Bella story? One way you can get involved is by hosting a gathering in your home, church, or workplace. Click the image below for more information

HostAGathering-602x196

Another way to support this work is by shopping Vi Bella!

Check out their gorgeous range of jewelry by clicking the graphic below:

ShopOurCatalog_(2)-602x197

Plus! Enter below for a chance to win this beautiful Reagan necklace:

WIN ME!

ReagenNecklaceThumb (2)

 

Giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, August 2nd. Only available for entrants residing in the U.S.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey everyone!

How are you this week? So glad to have you back for another round of Five Minute Friday — the flash mob of writers who huddle together each week for some good old fashioned free writing and encouragement.

This week’s prompt is: 

 

blue

 

Ready? GO.

 

Your eyes were blue when you were born.

I thought it was genetically impossible, since mine are hazel and your dad is black.

 

pic2

 

pic3

 

But they stayed blue for several months before gradually melting into a gentle hazel, melting me along the way.

Today you’re eight years old.

My youngest. My baby.

You breezed into our family and taught me what the phrase “all boy” looks like. If you have a stick and a patch of dirt, you’re content.

 

 

Your first word was “ball.” You slept with a tennis ball in one hand and a cricket bat tucked under the other, for months on end.

 

 

You make me laugh every day. Ouma nicknamed you Brains when you were about one, and you’ve lived up to the title.

You think deeply, love deeply, feel deeply.

 

pic4

 

You’re compassionate and hilarious. Quick-witted and eloquent. Stubborn and determined. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

You challenge me to notice.

You ask deeper questions than I’ve ever considered.

Your strong will works in your favor more often than not. You’re not a people pleaser. You don’t follow the crowd. You have a mind of your own — and once it’s made up, I’m hard pressed to persuade you otherwise.

 

pic1

pic5

 

May you use these strengths and qualities for good. May God continue to show you how to use the gifts He’s given you for His glory.

And I’ll always be grateful for the gift He’s given me in you.

STOP.

 

***

This week I have a special treat for you … I managed to round up the entire FMF Retreat Planning Committee for a video chat!

Don’t miss this message from Holly Barrett, Mary Geisen and Jen Daugherty:

 

 

 

ViBellalogo

 

fistbump-media-header2

Special thanks once again to our sponsors, ViBella Jewelry and Fistbump Media!

 

 


Also thrilled to Skype with Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig, authors of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts (Masters in Fine Living Series).

 

 

 

***

Here’s what the schedule looks like for the retreat weekend:

 

retreat schedule

 

Limited spaces are available so book now!

 

 

Join us with your own five minutes of free writing by linking up your blog posts below — and don’t forget to visit your link-up neighbor with a friendly comment!

 

 Loading InLinkz ...