Category Archives: Author

Stellar Stocking Stuffer Idea for Any Stressed Mom… And Please Dash to Peggy’s Gifts in Lexington this Saturday 12/15!

Friends! Got any stressed moms on your radar this season? I’m flailing my hand…It’s mid-December, and so far our tree is up, but still sitting miserably undecorated. Sigh…

I’ve got good news for ALL of us. Yes, it happens to be a book, and it’s pocket-size, ready to stuff someone’s stocking ASAP. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and grab copies for all the stressed out moms you know of Debora M. Coty’s book, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms.

This book is your ticket to stress relief, laugh out loud knee slappers, AND timely encouragement and advice. Deb often admits her mom failures and show us what we can learn from her. (Secret: all three of my daughters-in-love are getting copies in their stockings, as well as some of my friend’s daughters who are moms or moms-to-be. Shhh, don’t tell.)

Set up in four sections with twenty-five chapters, you could read this each month as a devotional, one chapter at a time. Take home value is at a premium, you may wish to have a journal handy as there are many pearls you’ll want to read and re-read and record.

I have several favorite chapters from each section. From Section 1, don’t miss “PMS: Pretending Mom’s Sane (Motherhood Mayhem)” and “I’m Not Crazy—I’m Crazy Busy”, which include ideas for how to prioritize, plan, and pace yourself. Deb shows us why “should” is a dangerous word, being a “stress-filled, pressure-packed slave driver.” Amen to that having sulked over the shoulda/coulda/woulda scene time and time again.

Section 2 favorites include “Too Blessed to be Obsessed (Letting Go of Mom Guilt) and “Chocolate Caulks Relationship Cracks (Forgiveness)

Each chapter begins with a Scripture verse. Chapter Eleven offers Ecclesiastes 6:11 in the NLT:

Chapter eleven is loaded with ways to combat our accuser, a/k/a Satan. Deb quotes Charles Spurgeon who said, “The devil never kicks a dead horse.” In other words, we who are still drawing breaths in this world are all marching around with targets on our backs. We’d be wise to “don the armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

We also gain…


Another bonus of each chapter is Deb closes with four excellent, thought-provoking questions called “Navigating the ‘Hood” (short for motherhood). One of my favorites is, “Need a good meme to remind you to pray for your kids? Try Lamentations 2:19 in the NKJV:


Favorite chapters from Section 3 include: “Zombie in Sweats (Finding Elusive Rest)” and “My Hair Stylist is from Oz (Confidence)”. Finally, Big Drum roll: hugely fav chapter from Section 4 is: “Morphing This Worrier into a Warrior.

One of my bigger sins is worry. I know, I know, it is NOT GOOD. But, good news! Deb gifts us reader with TEN simple ways to “rejuvenate your prayer life. Don’t miss these!

Let’s close with this quote to make you think, smile, and savor each day:

Start making your list for who you’d love to bless with this book!

And if you’re anywhere near Lexington, KY this Saturday, December 15th, please come do some Christmas shopping at Peggy’s Gifts. They have everything and then some. I’ll be signing my book from 10:00 a.m, to 2:00 p.m. and Peggy tells me they’re having a trunk show too. Double the fun!

http://peggysgifts.com/
112 Clay Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502

‘Til next time!

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When a BAT Swoops Over You at 5:00 a.m., PLUS 1 of 2 Stocking Stuffer Ideas…( Perfect combo’, right?!)

Friends! What do you do when you’re trying to fly outta town super early, you go to close up the porch, and, “Whoosh!” A BAT scares the willies out of you?

Happy to report this didn’t happen to me, but to my better half. He admitted he didn’t want to be battling a bat at 5:00 in the morning. “But…” I whined, “Think of what we’ll find upon our return!” (Envisioning a dead bat and it’s remnants all over our newly recovered porch cushions. Because of course it’s all about the new porch cushions?!) Oh ye of material mind….

One attempt, armed with a tennis racket, John reported, “No sighting.” Stay tuned to what we will find in a few days. Sigh…

Moving on to better things to fill your mind with(!!!), allow me to give you a stocking stuffer idea this week and next. Both are books (shocking) and both are pocket size to where you could stuff them in a friend’s or a family member’s stocking.

My friend Jane posed a thought provoking question this week: “What gift will you offer to Jesus this Christmas?” Stumped, we let Jane offer her answer first.

“I want to extend grace to all who cross my path this season, not to just those I’m partial to. After all, Jesus gave us all more grace than we deserve, how can we not do that?” she said.

To which I said, “Big ditto!”

Our friend Gwen answered, “Id like to offer Him worship.”

Which made me think of an awesome book by one of my all-time favorite worship leaders and songwriters, Chris Tomlin. He co-wrote the book with pastor Darren Whitehead.

The book? Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change the Way You Worship

In addition to the book, Chris just released a new cd by the same name. Every song is excellent, but “Is He Worthy?” makes me come unglued. Every. Single. Time. Several of my buddies and I were blessed to hear him sing many of the songs at Southeast in November.

Recently, Pastor Darren Whitehead, of Church of the City in Nashville, preached a sermon on “The Seven Words of Praise”, explaining the “different words the ancient Hebrew people used to express their praise to God.”

What’s so mind blowing about this, is the different meanings of the words because in our English language, we only have ONE word: “praise.” Wait til you read the seven chapters. Each will open your eyes.

Not only educational, both Chris and Darren are also engaging to where you’ll say to yourself, “Why didn’t we know this? This is a game changer.”

Let’s take one of the seven words: “Yadah,” which means “To revere or worship with extended hands…” This is one of the seven. Get this: It’s “found over 111 times in Scripture.” What?

One fun point re: the format of the book is Darren begins teaching us the Hebrew words and Chris answers with a song and the story behind its origin. You’ll know the songs and love discovering their very own stories.

Each chapter offers additional Scripture to look up for “reflection and discussion.” Chris and Darren invite us readers to become a part of the “holy roar.” Chapter Seven is on the word, “Shabach,” which literally means “to raise a holy roar.”

Do NOT miss Chapter Six, where you’ll learn how Darren, who’d been in Christian radio, came to America from Australia. As a pastor. You will fall out of your chair. Only God.

Ah, you know what’s next! Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Holy Roar. Your worship of the Lord will forever be changed and whoever you bless with this as a gift will love it!

Next week we will discuss another neat little book that packs a punch, “Too Blessed to be Stressed” by Debora M Coty. Bundles of fun a la Deb and pearls-a-plenty of wisdom.

And if you’re anywhere near Lexington on December 15th, you’re invited to a super fun Saturday. Please come shopping and join me and the gals from Peggy’s Gifts. I’ll be there signing books from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Peggy’s has something for everyone. (I got into a little trouble there a couple of weeks ago. Sorta bought some Christmas gifts as well as fab flannel PJ’s for Santa to give, well moi.) There will also be a trunk show, so double the fun!

http://peggysgifts.com/
112 Clay Avenue, Lexington, KY 40502

‘Til next time!

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Thanks for a GREAT Launch! Come SHOP at Two Chicks Louisville this Saturday, December 1st!!!

Friends!  WOW. Just wow.  Monday night at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) was a dream come true!  Did it really happen? To God Be the Glory.

THANK YOU to ALL of you who came.  What a fun crowd!  Liz Curtis Higgs was the bomb to kick off our night with beautiful, funny, and hope-filled words.

Nancy Tinnell, from MUMC, and all the gals of Branches Book Club pulled out all the stops and put together quite the celebration.  Huge thanks. (Please keep Nancy on your prayer list as she got a new knee the morning after our Launch!  Healing hugs, Nancy! She told me she comes home this Thursday.)

One of my many favorite take-aways from Monday night was seeing y’all savor Bonnie’s Butter Bride story we shared from the 4th stop in my book.  Thank you, Bon Bon, for letting me include excerpts.  Y’all can truly picture the Butter Babes hearing this for the first time! Unstoppable laughter!!!

One thing I forgot to share with you is that on the second page of my book, where all the copyright info is, you’ll see “Interior Art by John Hoagland, Jr.” Yes, dear friends, that is our oldest son!  He did all the sketches at the beginning of each chapter.  Don’t miss them! Way-2-go, Johnny! (He was home putting Claire to bed Monday night.  He said she was out by 7:01 which is about the time Lizzie launched my book.)

Another highlight happened Monday afternoon when Jane Chilton and I got to go on Rachel Platt’s 4:00 LIVE newscast, on WHAS 11.  We were both Nervous Nellies, but Rachel’s welcoming demeanor put us at ease and we had a blast.  Jane made her famous pound cake to share with the folks at WHAS. (Recipe’s on my website! Go to: www.elizabethhoagalnd.com and click on  “My New Book” , then  “Recipes”.  It’s “Pound Cake with a Boatload of BUTTER.”)

Next up?  Oh, the super fun girls at Two Chicks Louisville have invited me to come sign books this Saturday, December 1st, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pop in and see all their fabulous Christmas gifts, among other goodies, such as jewelry, baby gifts, foodie gifts, etc. I’ve already been in twice since they decorated for Christmas and have found great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. (A dress jumped off its hanger and landed in my arms. Imagine that!) Maybe grab lunch at the Cheddar Box and shop at Two Chicks before or afterwards?

http://twochicksnandcompany.com
1212 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

Finally, allow me to close with the beautiful words by the late Eugene Peterson. He wrote the Afterword in his wife, Janice’s new book six months before he died. The book is:  Becoming Gertrude:  How Our Friendships Shape Our Faith.

Everyone is in a process of becoming. More gradually than rapidly, we grow into the unique people we were created to be, throughout a lifetime of learning in Christ and practicing the way of Jesus…

Even eighty years is still a relatively short time to prepare for citizenship in the Kingdom of God…

We need the companionship of fellow disciples as we make our way on our lifelong pilgrimage. Such companions, have holy agency:  Our lives are healed and shaped by the people whose company we keep.”

THAT is a perfect depiction of friendship.

Hope to see you Saturday!

‘Til next time!

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Come Help Me Launch My New Book! Bring a Friend and Travel to MUMC, 11/26 @ 6:30 p.m. Liz Curtis Higgs will Kick off the Evening!

Friends!

Guess what? My first book is here and the girls from Branches Book Club at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) are throwing a party! Call up a friend and join us Monday night, November 26th at 6:30 p.m. to launch this baby. (It’s been a very long twenty-seven months in the making!)

Another highlight that evening will be when my friend, mentor, and well-known author, Liz Curtis Higgs, kicks off the Launch. (She wrote the Foreword, God bless her.) You’ll learn why she had such an integral part in the birth of my book.

I’ll share with you some crazy anecdotes from this journey as well as do a reading for you. We’ll be meeting in the newly remodeled Connections Center.

We will have books available Monday night and I’ll be tickled to sign them if you like. This is a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming-scenario for certain!

You can also find my book and Kindle format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and www.christianbook.com. Locally, The Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church is selling my book as well as both the Frankfort Ave. and Bardstown Road locations of Carmichael’s Bookstore. (My website has more info on the “my new book” tab and more recipes! More fun things coming soon.)

Many of you will know my friends who wrote beautiful treatises in the book as well as who gave me fabuloso recipes! Two prominent and favorite restaurateurs also graciously gave me recipes: Nancy Tarrant from the Cheddar Box St. Matthews location and Kelley Ledford from Uptown Cafe. These would be great to try with your friends.

I pray my book becomes a fun resource for you and your friends on many levels. (There are questions for Book Clubs as well as questions for your small group for a mini-Bible study.)  I hope to see you Monday night the 26th! Please RSVP to Nancy Tinnell at (502)245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

FYI: Before Liz kicks off the launch, we will have a short, mini-book club discussion about our November selection, Merry Hmbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday Romance by Sandra Bricker. If you’d like to participate in the ornament exchange, please bring a wrapped ornament with you. I’ve received the cutest ornaments the last couple of years from this exchange!

Have a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving and I’ll look forward to seeing you next Monday!

‘Til next time!

P.S. My friend, Jane Chilton, and I will be on the 4 o’clock news LIVE on Monday the 26th on WHAS 11 with Rachel Platt to chat about my book. Oh, I see you laughing.  We are too, believe me! Please pray we’re able to say something that makes sense in some wild way.😍

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When You Get to be Cinderella for 2.5 Hours… (2 Louisville Artists You MUST Know!)

Friends! Have you ever found yourself luxuriating in the Land of Denial?  Then POOF!  Back to reality?

Paralleling one of my all-time favorite stories, Cinderella, Yours Truly was blessed to escape for two and a half hours recently.

Why, you may be asking? I’ll blame it on my writer friends who strongly suggested I have a professional photo taken for a head shot for my upcoming book.

I’m beyond blessed to share with you two, count ‘em two, crazy talented artists right here in Louisville.  One’s a make-up and hair artist and the other’s a professional photographer.  These incredible people happen to be friends with our children.

Both of these young adults are completely in their sweet spot.  They could be a case in point in Max Lucado’s book, Cure for the Common Life—Living in Your Sweet Spot.

First, allow me to introduce you to these artistes extraordinaire, and then I’ll show you a little trick to see if YOU are in your sweet spot.

The first miracle worker (!) is Carley Brooks.  Her company is Carley Randall. www.carleyrandall.com She does hair and make-up primarily for weddings and has teamed up with two other gals, one who’s a photographer, and one who’s a wedding coordinator so they can take wedding parties thru’ the entire event, sans angst.

Our kids went to Christian Academy of Louisville with Carley. She’s also great friends with our daughter-in-love, LT, and even helped choose LT’s wedding dress when she worked at Rebecca’s.

When LT gave me Carley’s number, I called and asked if she’d entertain such a “pushin’-60-project” as myself and she said, “No problem!  I can have you outta here in 90 minutes.”

My visit to Carley’s adorable studio was a blast and seemed to last nine minutes, not ninety. Complete with false eyelashes (a first), I could hardly see to drive home.

Enter artist #2, gifted photographer Lang Thomas. www.langthomasphotography.com   Lang and his wife, Kate, who’s also an accomplished photographer, shoot weddings together. When you book Lang for a wedding, it’s like getting two for one as he and Kate are shooting photo opps all over the wedding venue.  It’s wild seeing them in action.

 

Here they are with their two beautiful daughters, Leonelle and Dolly. Our little Claire was mesmerized by both of them at church on Easter Sunday.

Lang and Kate shot Woody and LT’s wedding, and several other of our friend’s kid’s weddings.  He was recently named “one of the top wedding photographers in the country” by Martha Stewart Weddings. The Thomas Duo also take family photographs, and even grandchildren.  Oh, yes.

This is one of my favorite shots Lang snapped before Woody and LT got married.  They didn’t want to see each other before the wedding, but wanted to pray together. (Note the plaque on the wall.)

Hair and make-up tackled, I got home in time to meet Lang for the photo shoot.  It was a dreary, cloudy day, so most shots were taken inside.  It was over before I knew it. Alas, my glass slipper turned into an Asics tennis shoe.

Here’s a sample of one of the shots which I’ll use for my website once my book is out. (Working Title:  Let’s Be Friends—What My Sister-Friends Taught Me About Faith, Food, and Fun. Stay tuned!)

Happy to report my Cinderella moments weren’t all lost as Hubster and I dashed to Bonefish for dinner. Eating out is more our m.o. than eating in, thus the shots Lang took in the kitchen should have the caption, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

Thanks again to two of Louisville’s finest artists, Carley and Lang.  Y’all are WAY in your sweet spots and our gracious Lord is smiling over you.

Speaking of sweet spots, see if YOU can write YOUR “S.T.O.R.Y?”

Max Lucado spells this out for you in his book Cure for the Common Life and here’s a peek to get you rollin’:

“S = Strengths: how you get things done using your unique gifts. The verbs you use to describe your activities reveal these strengths.

T = Topics:  what you want to work with. You feel completely absorbed when you get involved in this, whatever it is—be it a person, a group, a car, a concept, food, music, fabric, furniture, or anything else in God’s creation. The nouns you use reveal these topics.

O = Optimal conditions:  the conditions in our environments that make things best for us. For example, some people work best under pressure; some need challenges; some like structure; some like an audience. What triggers you, gets you started, sustains your drive, defines the tasks, and provides the setting for you to feel highly motivated to effectively accomplish the task is part of your optimal conditions.

R = Relationships: what kind of role and relationships to others you seek in the task.

Y = Yes! You achieve this joyous affirmation when you fulfill the purpose for which you were designed. At that moment your sweet spot experience tastes ever so sweet!” (From Part One:  The First Step Toward Finding Your Sweet Spot)

‘Til next time!

P.S.  Thanks to Val Manley, who gave me Max’ book in 2006!  The BEST!

 

 

 

 

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