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Lies the Kill Zone Tells You

Learning to surf at thirty-something requires a willingness to sputter like a toddler in swimmies and a healthy dose of humiliation. It also demands mental toughness to defeat the wave’s wallopings. Now doesn’t this sound vaguely like life?

I thought I was reasonably ready for my first surf lesson. Yoga has improved my balance, and I did burpies to help prepare for changing stance from lying on the board to going vertical. Points for a good pupil, right?

But like so much in life, preparation can’t top hands-on experience.

With great anticipation, I plunged into St. Augustine’s waves. That’s when the words kill zone took on a whole new meaning. Forget getting on the board and trying to surf. First, I had to get past the barrage of breaking waves.

To read about the rest of my surfing adventure and takeaways, visit DailyPS.com. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my story. Much like breaking waves,  lies can pummel us at times. How have you fought past them, and how have others spoken truth into your life in those situations?

~ Kristen

Tweetable

Lies the Kill Zone Tells You – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

 

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Though She Fall: Takeaways of a First-Time Surfer

I’m Florida born and raised, so learning to surf needed to happen at some point. The well-meaning worriers assumed I would be eaten by sharks. Good news is that didn’t happen, but I did gain a new respect for the sport and the life lessons it teaches.

Watch, Learn, and Surf Humbly

There’s a YouTube video that explains the top 10 mistakes first-time surfers make. If you’re interested in watching, click here. I’m pretty sure I broke all of them multiple times.

When we’re growing up or learning anything new, people typically tell us: “Now don’t do this or that. You don’t want to make the same mistakes I did.”

Truth is, I would much rather learn from others’ mistakes than make my own, but in this crazy life, that’s not always an option.

My takeaway: Watch the videos. Listen to the advice. And surf humbly, because you’re going to tumble, eat the surf, scrape your knee, get hit on the head, and so many more things you wish you could just bypass in the learning curve.

But that’s the reality about surfing and life. There’s no “skip the rough stuff” button. However, I trust God who says He’s never going to leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).

His Word promises in Psalm 37:23-24:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand (NKJV).

I’m going to fall in this life, and so are you. The real question is: Who’s going to lift your head when you’re sputtering for breath? I trust the Lord Jesus Christ who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Next time, I’ll share about the kill zone and the lies it wants us to believe. Who knew surfing was so mental? There’s a clear takeaway for real life wallops, too.

Has life ever pushed you down? How did your faith uphold you through those times?

~ Kristen

Tweetables

Though She Fall: Takeaways of a First-Time Surfer – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

I’m going to fall in this life, and so are you. The real question is: Who’s going to lift your head when you’re sputtering for breath? – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

Christmas in July Book Sale


Happy Christmas in July, friends! If you’re looking for some summer reads before the school year ramps up again, enjoy my first young adult suspense trilogy at a special discount (Kindle version only). Available on Amazon.

Fighting Fear through Fantasy

At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I met author Emily Golus, whose young adult fantasy, Escape to Vindor, won the Selah Award for its category. I was instantly drawn to her sincere, winsome personality and looked forward to reading her novel.

Last week, I read it. Yes, the story is incredible, but beyond that, I was moved by how much it personally challenged me.

Summary

Megan Bradshaw can defeat a sphynx when she’s imagining her alter-ego Selena in the fantasy world of Vindor, but in real life, she bombs oral speeches and dreads the idea of moving to a new school. If only she could be Selena all the time!

But when Megan gets her wish and finds herself transported to Vindor, she’s in over her head. Vindor faces a growing threat from a mysterious Shadow, and unless she can find the real guardian Selena, Vindor might perish. She, Megan Bradshaw, is a sham, and it’s only a matter of time until everyone finds out.

When reality hits that there is no other Selena to rescue Vindor, Megan must confront the Shadow and her own fears to save the world and creatures she loves.

Review and Take-Away

Golus’ writing, world building, and characterization are masterful, but what I loved even more was the theme for readers to apply to their own lives. When Megan discovers that the Shadow feeds on fear, she sees how fear controls her life and the lives of others. She develops self-awareness for the root cause of her fears and the lies they tell her.

We readers have seen the theme that love conquers fear before, but the way Golus develops Megan’s journey of discovery, climaxing with her understanding of the ultimate Love, truly touched me. It challenged me to identify and confront my own fears and take them to my God who is so much greater than them.

The spiritual thread runs seamlessly through the story in a quiet but confident way. Middle school and older readers will enjoy this book. I’m adding Golus to my favorite author list.

Return to Vindor

Perhaps the best Instagram news from last week was Golus’ post that there’s going to be a sequel. Readers can return to Vindor in 2019! You can follow the author for updates and more at worldofvindor.com.

What’s your latest favorite read and why did you love it? Share your thoughts in the comments. Happy reading!

~ Kristen

 

Tweetables

Fighting Fear through Fantasy – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Escape to Vindor: YA Fantasy Book Review by @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Finding Center in Life’s Turbulence

In my recent travel adventures, I noticed the flight crew now refers to “turbulence” as “rough air.” I’m not sure why. “Rough air” sounds no less pleasant. Regardless of how we spin it, turbulence remains a reality for air travel and, honestly, for life in general.

Sometimes, we don’t even have to be in the air to experience it. My last travel experience involved being grounded in a plane for two hours before the airline allowed us to disembark (due to weather).

As I waited in the crowded plane, just ready to be home, I felt a rising frustration at my helplessness. I closed my eyes and tried to pray, but my emotions were less than Psalm 23 worthy.

I typically can find the positive in the negative. This is a first-world problem. At least the AC is working, and you’re sitting next to your best friend. But despite all these happy thoughts, an unrest clung to my spirit like gum to a shoe. Have you ever felt that way?

In the grand scheme, this was just an inconvenience that taxed my tired travel nerves. However, God used this low moment in my life to remind me that circumstances shouldn’t control my emotions but that He should be my unshakable center.

To read the full post, visit BigSisterKnows.com. I’m grateful to my friend, author Ashley L. Jones, for the invitation to share on her blog this week!

~ Kristen

Tweetable

Finding Center in Life’s Turbulence – @BigSisterTweets and @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

3 Habits of Satisfied People

More than likely, our lives have or will turn out differently than we plan. Even so, we can know the satisfaction of a life well-lived. The deciding factors have less to do with mountain-top moments and more with our everyday habits.

Last month, I had the opportunity to share with Alpha Omega Academy’s graduating class some habits that will help them live meaningfully, and I don’t think these practices are just for teens. They’re ones I have to work on intentionally every day. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

Habit #1: Guard Your Priorities.

We might be able to multi-task, but we can’t do everything. Or, if we try, we’ll do less well. Guarding our priorities means saying “no” to good things so we can “yes” to better ones.

By “better,” I don’t mean in terms of importance but in terms of our calling. Is this task or responsibility part of our God-given assignment? Is it something we should do or just something we could do?

The truth is that guarding our priorities sometimes means letting go in order to respect our commitments. But in the end, honoring our calling is more important than pleasing everyone.

To read about the other habits, click over to DailyPS.com. I look forward to your comments. 

Have you implemented these habits into your life, or what habits would you add to this list?

~ Kristen

 

Tweetables

3 Habits of Satisfied People – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Honoring our calling is more important than pleasing everyone. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

The Revolutionary Liberate The Captives Rogues, Book II, by Kristen Hogrefe After being sentenced to a labor camp in Rogues Book I, The Revisionary, Portia Abernathy’s story continues three months later, in a coal mine. [You can read my review of The Revisionary here] The Revolutionary—I was hooked by the opening paragraph. The rest of […]

via The Revolutionary – A Book Review — Betty Thomason Owens