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)

 

Live Rare in a Medium-Well World

This coming Friday, I’m honored to give the virtual commencement address for my school, Alpha Omega Academy. The best part? Since it’s virtual, you can attend!

Many of you know I enjoy a good pun, but the title I chose for my address has a serious point. How can we live meaningfully when the world wants us to settle for status quo?

To join the live stream, click here and find the specific event for the graduation. The event starts at two o’clock Central time (or three o’clock for all my East Coast friends).

Plus, join me on Twitter during my address to answer a lighthearted (but related) poll.

To the Class of 2018, congratulations! I pray God will use you in wonderful ways.

~ Kristen

Tweetable:

Live Rare in a Medium-Well World – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

AOA Teacher Authors Message of Hope

The following article was featured in my school’s company newsletter, and the editor who conducted the interview graciously gave me permission to share it here with you. I’m so blessed to work at a place that supports my writing! 

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The genre of dystopian young adult fiction has become highly popularized in recent years with blockbuster novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Giver; however, Alpha Omega Academy teacher Kristen Hogrefe knew she wanted the genre to offer more than just entertainment.

“I wanted to offer hope,” the first-year AOA teacher said in a phone interview from her home in Spring Hill, Florida. “Dystopian novels are oftentimes so bleak. Maybe the heroine survives, but the cost is so severe that it hardly seems worth it.”

Published on June 6, 2017, The Revisionary is Hogrefe’s fourth novel and the first of a new Rogues trilogy with Write Integrity Press. The novel’s protagonist is Portia Abernathy, a 19-year-old girl who must overcome a physical handicap to rebuild her unraveling world.

“She’s on a quest for truth, and she’s trying to rescue her brother from exile in a prison camp,” Hogrefe summarized, “but she discovers that what’s going on in her world is actually a lot more complicated than she thinks. She realizes it’s not just about her world.”

Hogrefe estimated that she wrote The Revisionary over approximately eight months. She anticipates that the second book will be released in early 2018 with the final book out at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

“I’m excited to keep working on things,” she said. “It’s a rigorous timeline, but I’m a planner. I know where I want the plot to go, but at the same time, I can’t be too rigid with my outline because as characters develop, sometimes things have to change.”

Although meeting her writing deadlines while teaching has made for some busy days, Hogrefe said she has greatly enjoyed her first year at Alpha Omega Academy.

“It’s been great,” said Hogrefe. “There’s a lot to learn at any new job, but everyone has been so helpful, and the students are wonderfully polite, at least most of the time. I really enjoy the one-on-one teaching at AOA. It’s less like teaching and more like tutoring.”

The Revisionary is available in paperbook for $14.99 through Amazon. The novel is also available on Kindle. Hogrefe said most retailers should also be able to request the novel even if it’s not on a store’s shelves.

In the end though, Hogrefe knows the impact of her writing goes beyond how many copies her books sell.

“The publishing world is a competitive market,” she said. “I try to look at each sale as an opportunity to touch a life. I have received some feedback from readers, and I know I am touching someone’s life. Whether it’s through enjoyment or challenging a reader to think more deeply, it’s a privilege to have that part in somebody’s life.”

– Article by Glynlyon Editor, Reproduced with Permission

Tweetable

AOA Teacher Authors Message of Hope – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Jamestown Lessons on Faith and Government

There are so many places I could share with you from my trip to D.C. and Virginia, but today, I want to leave you with just one more: Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America.

The second day of the Alpha Omega Academy trip took us to Jamestown, or rather, the scale-size model of that first community that sits on the opposite side of the James River where the actual excavation site lies.

There, we encountered replicas of the three ships that brought the first settlers to American soil: the Godspeed, the Discovery, and the Susan Constant. Next, we explored a Powhatan Indian village and the fort itself, including the church where members, according to our tour guide, were required to attend several times a day or risk severe punishment.

You see, the church of Jamestown was a transplant of the Anglican state church of England, and other types of worshipers (including Puritans and Catholics) were prohibited.

In other words, the “freedom of religion” guaranteed to Americans today was not available in this first community. However, in 1791, the first amendment of our Bill of Rights made that freedom not only possible, but also a Constitutional right.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …

The reason for “separation of church and state” is not meant to take God out of government. Rather, it is to ensure the freedom to practice one’s faith and prevent America from following England’s example of a state church.

Still, despite the restrictions Jamestown imposed on religious freedom, the colony reveals how important faith was to the early settlers. It was not something to be taken lightly but a vital and integral part of life.

Parting thought: Thankfully, no state church requires us to attend mandatory services. However, Hebrews 10:25 admonishes us not to neglect church fellowship, because it’s essential to our spiritual growth. Do you take church for granted? What benefits do believers reap from spending time in God’s house?

~ Kristen

 

Tweetable

Jamestown Lessons on Faith and Government – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Announcing the Flag Design Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Brianna Ford for her winning entry of the fictitious ASU flag, which will be featured in The Revisionary.

I want to thank all the participants for their outstanding designs. It was an honor to share your creativity with my website readers.

Here’s some extra exciting news! My editor and I were so impressed with the submissions that we’re going to publish the runners-up in a special spread in the back of the book. All participants will have their names and designs in print.

Having these Alpha Omega Academy students be part of my book makes it all the more special to me. Thank you again to all who submitted designs and also to everyone who voted.

The Revisionary will release June 6, and the Kindle e-book is now available for pre-order. Those who pre-order will receive a special bonus feature, the prequel to Portia’s story, when they email their Amazon confirmation order to freebookforpreorder@gmail.com. For more information, click here.

Again, congratulations to Brianna and all the Alpha Omega Academy artists!

~ Kristen

 

Tweetable

Announcing The Revisionary Flag Contest Winner – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

Flag Design Contest: Vote for Your Favorite!

What teacher doesn’t enjoy seeing her students’ creativity? I sure do!

I’m privileged to teach English for Alpha Omega Academy and invited our middle and high school students to design their version of the ASU pennant (the fictitious flag of the dystopian society in my new young adult novel).

Today, I’m posting their designs here for you to vote on your favorite. The winner’s name and design will be published in The Revisionaryavailable for pre-order next month.

Below are the submissions, and I’m honestly glad you’re choosing the winner and not me! They are all outstanding and meet the submission guidelines: to design a flag that includes a child, scroll, and olive branch. From there, the students let their creativity take over, and I’m so proud of their hard work.

Each submission is numbered, and that number corresponds to a survey below the designs. Choose the one you like best, and vote by Saturday, April 29.

#1 – Design A by Brianna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 – Design B by Brianna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 – Design by Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 -Design by Enoch

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 – Design by Gabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 – Design by Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

#7 – Design A by Kyrah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 – Design B by Kyrah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 – Design C by Kyrah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10 – Design by Nikole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vote on your favorite

Complete the survey by choosing your favorite submission. The winning entry will become the flag design for the dystopian society in The Revisionary and will be published in the book.

You may select only one choice.

I am grateful to my editor Marji and Write Integrity Press for making this contest possible.

Next week, I look forward to sharing the results with you right here!

~ Kristen

 

Tweetables

You decide my book’s flag design – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

AOA students display creative talent in art contest for YA fiction novel – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)