New Years Note from Author Mary Byers

12 01 2010

Happy New Year! I love January because it offers a fresh start. With memories of the holiday behind us, we can look ahead to the promise of a new year.

And this year does, in fact, hold promise. What’s ahead for you? More of the same? Or is there a hope or dream or goal you’d like to pursue?

When I was 25, I was in a seminar when the facilitator asked, “What’s the one thing you would do if you knew you would not fail?” She asked to write our answers down without censoring them. I wrote, “Write a book.”

It took me over a decade to find the time and figure out how to make that dream come true. But I can tell you, it was worth the wait.

What’s on your heart? What are your hopes for this year? The very best thing about life in this country is that we truly do have the power to write our own story and influence the ending. So what’s holding you back? It’s worth taking the time to honestly answer that question and then to figure out what you can do about it.

What’s the one thing you would do if you knew you would not fail? Don’t censor your answer. Write it down. And make it happen.

All the best,

Mary Byers

www.marybyers.com

www.makingworkathomework.com





Shine, Brave One. But Not On Your Own.

22 12 2009

Sometimes we’re asked to do some very brave things, things that we would never choose to do on our own but because of circumstances we are called to step out of our comfort zone for a greater good.

Have you been in a situation, perhaps recently, where your capacity for coping has been stretched to the max?  We reach a point where we collapse and ask God how we can possibly have the strength to continue.  What is the point of this trial, this suffering?  Why can’t things be easier, why must this time or situation or problem be so extremely difficult?  Whether its troubled teenagers, a hospitalized spouse, financial uncertainty, a strained marriage, or depression -life can be overwhelming.

Ladies, I cannot help thinking of Mary.   She graciously accepted one of the most challenging things ever asked of a woman.  Then again, the peace of God must have rested in her heart as she moved forward with the responsibility of being the mother of God’s son.  Despite the ridicule and shame of being an unwed mother, I imagine that she had a quiet confidence as she carried Jesus in her womb.  With her belly swelling in the passing months, perhaps she had unshakable faith that ,as part of God’s will, everything would be fine in the end.  Personally I would have been rather freaked out knowing that I was responsible for God’s son.  But Mary, I think she was made of firmer stuff, even at such a young age.

The lesson I take away from how Mary responded to God’s request of her, being the mother of Jesus, is that I need to have faith that these brave things we are called to go through are ones we are not meant to face as Lone Rangers.  We are not left alone and abandoned -not by God- when Goliaths or floods or affliction or challenges come.  I know Mary did lots of leaning during her time as a mother, leaning on God’s promises and his character.  She realized that, especially as a parent, she had her responsibility and God had his -and unlike how I often act- she wasn’t going to try to take over God’s job or tell him how he ought to be doing things.  She just trusted.

Mary was brave, not just when she carried the Son of God as an unwed mother, but all through raising him and on through his brutal crucifixion.  Hers was a life of faith.  She was constantly called to be brave, to trust God’s plan, to hold on to his promises when she saw her baby ridiculed, hated and mocked -even tortured.  Her reward?  Seeing her son raised from the dead, resplendent in glory, and receiving the gift of eternal life.

I want to be like Mary.  A woman who shines through adversity, one who trusts and leans on God during heartbreaking and patience-exhausting times.  God knew that Mary could handle this awesome task -but not alone.  He stuck by her even more than she stuck by him.  Can’t you just imagine Mary leaning into God, asking, “How can I do this?”  Wrapping love around her, he tells her to rest.  He’ll give her the strength, he says.

He tells the same thing to each of us.  In this heartbreaking or exhausting time, my dear sisters, you are called to be brave, but -more importantly- you are called to rest and be refilled.  May God shine through you during this time as you release your worries, your need for control, and most importantly  your fear as you let God be God and you his daughter.

Merry Christmas, all of you  Uncommon Women.

With Much Love,

Kelly





Healthy Holidays -the photos!

20 11 2009

 

Laura Arnold of At Table shares healthy holiday tips!

Laura illustrating the finer points of a good balsamic vinegar.

Herbed cheese, radish and cucumber tartines.

Delicious tartines -the perfect appetizer. So versatile!

Laura creates elegant food with fabulous flavor, packed with nutrition!

Creating "faux" whipped cream using Greek yogurt and a dollup of heavy whipping cream.

What a treat!  Laura Arnold of At Table treated us all like queens with delicious recipes perfect for making the holidays healthy and scrumptious!  Our taste buds were in heaven, plus the time to connect with such an amazing group of women was priceless!  I love our monthly meetings!  If you haven’t joined us yet, mark your calendars and plan to attend December 11th from 7-9:30pm for more fun and inspiration!

Thank you to each of the uncommon women who attended this evening, and a very special thanks to Laura Arnold for sharing her passion and talents (and food!) with us!





Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner For HEALTHY HOLIDAYS?

17 11 2009

Laura Arnold of "At Table" -cooking instructor, restaurant owner, uncommon woman!

This Thursday we’re in for a major treat. And when I say a “major treat,” I’m talking about a red carpet roll out kind of put-your-party-dress-on and invite your best friend kind of major treat.  Because guess what?  Laura Arnold of At Table will be one of our guest speakers!

Pulled right from her website, here’s just a taste of who this amazing gal is.

“Laura Arnold expresses her love of food and people through her company, At Table. Laura’s vision is a “return to the table” where meals and entertaining are a warm and memorable experience.  Laura has worked as a caterer, a line cook and in local bakeries.  Today, Laura owns two restaurants in Austin with her husband, Russell. With At Table, Laura enjoys teaching others about the pleasures of good cuisine and connecting people through food and the arts of the table.”

Cooking up a few of her favorite recipes perfect for holiday entertaining, Laura will be sharing with us how we can provide nutritiously for our family during the festive seasons, make things ahead to save our sanity, and focus on enjoying the experience of entertaining!  And she told me that she’ll be doing something ridiculously delicious with strawberries, balsamic, sugar and cream.  Nobody should miss THAT!  Plus -yes, there’s another plus- Laura will be bringing gift certificates to Zuzu’s, one of the restaurants she and her husband own!  Be a lucky winner and come!

Our second guest is SGT Patton, an active duty, 3 time war vet with so much fitness expertise that it makes my head spin!  SGT Patton will share how to get started on an exercise routine or challenge yourself further in your current fitness level, offer examples of incredibly effective and efficient exercises you can do anywhere with little to no equipment, and debunk many nutrition and fitness myths that we are constantly bombarded by.  Plus he’s really cute so come just to oogle, if nothing else.  Well, and for the food, of course.

Having trouble finding a babysitter for the evening?  Bring your kid(s)! You don’t want to miss out on this fun, festive and informative event.  It’s going to be our best monthly meeting YET! 

Please email for directions uncommonwomengroup@gmail.com





Healthy Holidays -Recipes You MUST Try!

15 11 2009

Valerie WhitmoreValerie Whitmore, founder and creator of CDKitchen.com, gave Uncommon Women a list of delicious holiday favorites made “light!” We’ve created a page just for these recipes where you can click, cook and enjoy!

Check out these delicious recipes -they’ve got me drooling and ready to cook!  I guarantee you’ll love them!  Thanks, Valerie!!

orangedot2Healthy Holidays Recipe Page


Healthy Holidays_edited-2And remember, this Thursday, Nov. 19th from 7-9:30pm is our monthly meeting!  “Healthy Holidays:  Enjoy the Season, Lose the Guilt!” Jumpstart your healthy lifestyle before those holiday pounds creep up and leave you feeling flabby on New Years.  Let’s take care of ourselves, respect our bodies, and enjoy some fabulous girl time with terrific guest speakers!  ALL FREE!





Grateful

8 11 2009

A truly Uncommon Women, Crystal King,  mother of 6 and pastor’s wife in Southern California shares about family, homeschooling and her epiphany of gratefulness.  It’s inspiring, hilarious and encouraging.  Plus there are some really cute kids in the pictures.  Read on!

“Homeschooling has challenged me as a mother and simply as an individual.  Not much of a planner and usually rebellious against structure I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to follow the curriculum.  But like I learned on the Prism weight loss program, structure and committment are keys to accomplishing our goals….”  Click here for more!

 





A Smash Hit! An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale

8 11 2009
Simply Homemade 3

Tastefully Simple and BeckyMae Designs

The First Annual “An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale” was a smash hit!  Fabulous vendors, wonderful products and services, delightful guests -and incredibly festive!  Many, many thanks to our wonderful women in small business, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, and all of our guests!  You made this event uncommonly wonderful!

Tastefully Simple

Tastefully Simple

Silpada 4

Silpada Jewelry

Scentschips 3

Scentchips of Georgetown

Novita Spa 2

Novita Spa

Mosaics by Marlene 9

Mosaics by Marlene

liza Lynn 2

Liza Lynn

Illusions 1

Illusions

Grace Academy1

Grace Academy

Favor Cakes 1

Favor Cakes

DT Outsourcing 1

DT Outsourcing

Custom Cakes 8

Custom Cakes by Mandy Major

Chocolate Baby 7

Chocolate Baby

Cameo Chocolates 2

Cameo Chocolates

BeckyMae Designs 8

BeckyMae Designs

Angry Baby 4

Angry Baby

Usborne Books 1

Usborne Books

HS&S 11

Shopping Galore!

HS&S 9

HS&S 7

HS&S 5

HS&S 14

View the complete set of photos from An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale! via Flickr link!

Personal reflections on An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale