Content from this blog has moved to www.michellerayburn.com.

10.16.2016

We've Moved!

Life is pretty complicated sometimes, and keeping up with multiple blogs is, well something someone with a full-time marketing career just can't do! But I still want to stay connected.

To make it simpler, the content from this blog is migrating over to www.michellerayburn.com where you'll find occasional posts. If you'd love to see more current posts, Facebook is a great place to stay in touch. Connect with me on my writer/speaker Facebook page.

12.02.2014

When Life Hands You Crumbs...

I saw this basket of cookies at a place called Mana Sushi Teriyaki Wok in Port Orchard, Washington and it made me smile. The "misfortunate" cookies are broken fortune cookies wrapped in plastic. 

Isn't that a perfect example of what we can do when life hands us crumbs? We can choose to get upset, feel discouraged, or quit. Or, we can turn it around into something clever.

That's a #repurposed and #upcycled life!

12.01.2014

99-Cent Cyber Monday Sale on 'The Repurposed and Upcycled Life'

The Kindle version of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life is on sale on Amazon for Cyber Monday (December 1) for 99 cents.

It's a Countdown sale, meaning the price will increase in increments over the next few days until it returns to the regular price of $5.49.

Click here to download at the sale price


11.19.2014

How Many States Have You Visited?

Have you ever calculated how much of the United States you have visited? I just returned from a long road trip, and thought it would be fun to do the math. I'm not certain if I traveled through additional states as a child, but these are the states I have visited as an adult.

Someday, I will visit the East Coast!



Create Your Own Visited States Map


 How about you? Where have you traveled?

8.28.2014

I'm So Sorry for Your Loss...

Have you ever wondered what to say when someone has just experienced the death of a loved one? I'm not even sure what I would want someone to say to me, but here are some well-worn lines that often come to mind when words elude me:

  • I'm holding you in my thoughts and prayers.
  • We're praying for you at this time of great sadness.
  • I'm so sorry for your loss. 
Worn out phrases, but heartfelt, I promise!

That leads me to wonder; just how do the ones left behind express their experience to others? How can they begin to capture and describe the life-changing event?
  • My daughter passed away...
  • My mother went to be with the Lord after a long battler with cancer...
  • I lost my husband last year...
I once heard a well-meaning pastor give his analysis of that last phrase. His response to a widow who used that very expression was, "Oh, did you misplace him? He isn't lost! He has gone on ahead of you, but he isn't lost if he knew Jesus." 

He explained how we ought to avoid expressions that refer to death as a loss, and instead we should look for alternatives to express our sympathy.

An attempt at lightheartedness, I guess. No malice intended whatsoever. But...

I've thought about this often. He meant well, but I have to wholeheartedly disagree. After watching several close friends and family go through the painful process of outliving a loved one, I can't think of a better thing to say. 

I'm an outsider looking in. So, I could be completely off-kilter with my observations. However, death is a loss. Yes, I have hope knowing the truth of what the Bible says about eternal life. I know exactly where Jesus-followers go after they die. Of course, they aren't misplaced. 

But for the ones left behind, it's still a loss.

Death is a loss of communication. It's the end of conversations and tender words.

It's the loss of daily phone calls to mothers and sisters, and friends. Fathers, brothers, and sons. 

It's the loss of dishes done side-by-side and glances across steaming coffee cups and warm apple crisp.

It's the loss of mundane banter about weather and politics, newspaper articles, and reality TV shows.

It's the loss of potential resolution for tangled up relationships and harsh words.

It's the loss of possible restitution and redemption. For wrongs to be righted. For restoration.

For many it's the loss of the other half. The part so entwined with our own selves we can't tell where one begins and the other leaves off. 

It's the loss of future road trips, laughter, and family reunions. 

The absence of knowing smiles. 

The loss of plans. 

It is a loss. 

Let's call it like it is. When someone dies, we suffer a terrible loss. But in the midst of it, we have great hope. And that calm assurance is what makes the loss bearable. 

It's what makes it possible to smile even when everything is shaken. When hearts are broken. When we're torn up inside.

In the midst of the great emptiness of loss, there is also great possibility. For it is when we are the most empty we have room for God's love and hope to fill the void.

If you've lost someone dear to you, I can't begin to fully understand. I'm guessing you don't understand it all either. I care. I might not say the right things at all. But please know my heart breaks for you as you discover new losses each day. I'm so sorry for your loss.


8.27.2014

Free Kindle Book - 30-Day Praise Challenge


This book looked interesting to me, and it's free right now on Kindle, so I wanted to share it with my readers. 

The 30-day Praise Challenge by Becky Harling published by David C. Cook

From the book description:
Discover the Power of Praising God When Becky Harling was diagnosed with cancer over ten years ago, she begged God for healing. A friend of hers had another idea. She challenged Becky to spend twenty minutes a day in praise. Becky thought, What if I’m not feeling thankful? But as she intentionally praised God, she began to experience new joy—and her relationship with God has never been the same. Now, in The Thirty-Day Praise Challenge, Becky guides you in praising God for twenty minutes every day for one month. Arranged topically, the book includes music selections to enhance your praise journey and creative ideas for continuing the habit of praise. As Becky writes, “If you take this challenge, your faith will grow more than you dreamed possible. You will experience more joy, less insecurity, more courage, less anxiety. Thirty days of praising God. Are you ready?”

7.25.2014

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