Category Archives: Guest Posts

Muscles Like Popeye?

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Hi, all! I am so happy to see nice weather here in the middle. If you have kids on spring break, I hope you are enjoying your time together. Spring is wonderful, truly. However, with the season comes lots of busyness – weddings, showers, graduations, school programs, and more. Everyone is ready to emerge from inside and do things. Aren’t we blessed to have things to do, people to do them with, and the means to do them!

Last week, I guest posted at a site of writer friend, Sheri Zeck. Sheri writes sweet stories of people she knows and admires, and her life in Iowa. She is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Read my article and get to know Sheri at:

http://www.sherizeck.com/my-blog/guest-post-magic-or-muscle

And, I hope in the midst of the busyness, I will be back again soon.

Take Care!

Hally

 

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More Than Enough

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Hi, again! It is unusual for me to post two times so closely together (especially recently), but today I’m sending you to another blog hosted by a new friend in the blogging/Christian writing world. Her name is Cate, and she shares all sorts of good stuff at her site “The Fabulous Wife.” I know life is super busy, but there is a lot of great information available online. If you have some time, check-out a few sites. I like to “sample” a few each week, kinda like I would at the dessert table for church fellowship meals.

My article at Cate’s site is a little encouragement for all who have felt inadequate at one time or another, and that’s just way too many of us. As we start a new year and are considering self-improvement, keep in mind that we are “enough.” Setting goals for better health and more productivity is admirable, as long as we remember we have all the tools needed to do just what He made us for.

See more of my post and take a taste (I mean a read) at The Fabulous Wife:

http://www.thefabulesswife.com/2015/01/guest-post-power-of-word-by-hally.html

Blessings!

Hally

My Story at Made to Mother

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On this Thanksgiving Day, I have an abundance of things to be grateful for! I am blessed to have family and friends, my husband and children, my church family, good schools for my children to attend, a home, health, and infinitely more. I thank my Heavenly Father for these, and, most importantly, for the promise of salvation and an eternal home with Him.

Some, however, are sad or sick today – physically, emotionally, or spiritually weak or broken. As I offer thanks to God today, I will pray also for those less fortunate than I.

Now, for future reference…

Today is a day of celebration, but there are those times throughout the year when there seems to be no reason to be festive. So, for those days, here is a link to a very cool site. Check it out if you need a little lift or a reason to do something special. It’s a very comprehensive list of all the monthly and daily holidays and observances:

http://www.brownielocks.com/

This month is National Adoption Month, and fellow blogger, Wynter Kaiser, has featured adoption stories throughout the month. She graciously shared mine yesterday, and I would love you to take a peek at my story and at Wynter’s site:

http://madetomother.com/2014/11/26/national-adoption-month-series-hallys-story/

By the way, who doesn’t think her name is cool? Cool name, but be assured her writing is in no way cold. She writes with great warmth and wisdom, and I think you’ll enjoy what she has to share.

Be Blessed!

Hally

Buffets and Blogs… And, a Guest Post!

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Blogs are like a buffet. There are lots and lots of choices. I don’t know how many – thousands, tens of thousands, millions. Whatever the number is, I know there are countless out there.

I am not a buffet kind of chick. I also do not enjoy shopping in large department stores, and I have never pursued the goal of building a home with my husband. Why? There are simply too many choices for me to deal with. Too many food options, too many dress racks, and too many possible cabinet/counter combinations. It’s overwhelming for me. I fear my head may explode!

However, I am also not a foolish person, and I understand that this problem of mine – this temptation to overdue, tendency to get overwhelmed, all-or-nothing mentality is an area in which I need to improve.

Having said that, I do subscribe to approximately a dozen blogs. I have checked out a considerable number of them, considered the benefits, and carefully selected a reasonable number to follow.

Like the food choices at your favorite buffet (again, I do not have a favorite), there are menu items with considerable substance and value. The protein and veggies at the buffet are good for our bodies, and the blogs that make us think and furrow our brow in a good way are good for our minds.

Buffets always offer comfort foods. The macaroni-and-cheese, the mashed potatoes, the chili and soups provide warmth and satisfaction. Likewise, some bloggers make us feel good and filled in a spiritual, emotional or cerebral way.

Typically, there are novelty or new items scattered about at a buffet. Like the excitement and adventure of a trying a new food, some blogs bring us new ideas and information we’ve not considered before. We may become introduced to an interesting hobby or a new perspective. That may merit a bit of your plate, and a bit of your time.

Finally, there are the sweet treats. Abundant at the buffet, who can resist enjoying some delicious fun at the end of your meal? Here’s a secret about my church and fellowship meals… Many of us enjoy the desserts so much, we shamelessly visit the dessert table while waiting to go through the line. Some blogs provide pure fun, humor and entertainment.

I’ve said all of that to introduce you to a buffet (I mean blog) that I visit regularly. My writer friend, Alecia Simersky, writes about the “something different” in her life as a Christian. Alecia shares thoughts about parenting, faith, life’s challenges, and more. And, yesterday she posted my tribute to teachers at her site. Take a peek at a favorite teacher memory of mine and her plate-worthy blog at:

http://www.aleciasimersky.com/2014/09/heres-to-mr-c-and-teachers-everywhere.html

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!

Hally

Fitness is More Than Looking Good

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For any of us who have ever struggled with depression or anxiety, fellow writer and blogger Alecia Simersky candidly shares  her experience with perhaps one of the more powerful “drugs” we have at our disposal. After hearing from her here, visit Alecia at her home site (http://www.aleciasimersky.com) or at God-sized Dreams, where she is a regular blogger  (http://godsizeddreams.com/).


For me fitness had always been about looking good in my shorts or jeans. My momma-got-back booty had to stay in shape or it would enter a room 5 seconds after I did :).

I lived for the compliments of, “You’re so skinny!” or “Oh my gosh, what do you do?”

I treasured the number on the scale when it told me a number I was pleased with along with the number size on my jeans.

Fitness was all about looking good, period.

And then I starting experiencing depression and panic attacks and I knew exercise was more important than ever.

But when you are feeling low, the last thing you want to do is get your sweat on. More like put the sweat pants (or yoga pants) on and sleep.

After one of my visits to the doctor she said “I know you don’t feel like it, you’re tired, but you need to walk or do something. Don’t concentrate on the scale or your weight; focus on feeling better.”

I took her advice to heart.

I’ve now been doing a workout program for 6 weeks. And you wanna know my motivation? How it makes me feel when I’m done…amazing! It’s the only reason I keep doing it.  I have to literally force myself every day to work out and make no excuses. It’s on the calendar like any other appointment.

It feels good to pay attention to how I feel rather than the scale. I’m no longer distracted and discouraged by the numbers.

When you concentrate on losing weight for vanity sake, you will hit a wall. I’ve heard it a thousand times from workout specialists, but didn’t believe it. Why on earth would anyone want to work out other than looking good and getting attention?!

Now looking good and wearing cute clothes is an added bonus. My real motivation is to have a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

God wants us to live life fully and abundantly and that means, spiritually, physically, mentally, and sexually. (John 10:10)

Full Life. Alecia Simersky

I want my kids to see a mom that even though she has been struggling she still shows up each day to do everything in her power to do what she needs to do to  feel better.

I’m still struggling with the anxiety and depression but it is getting better, and exercise has been one of the main reasons.

I’m learning more and more what being “healthy” really means. What kinds of foods are best for my body and which ones to stay away from. I’m also teaching my family as I go.

While I don’t wish panic attacks and depression on anyone, the silver lining that I’m finding in it, is that I never would have taken these steps to focus on my health from this perspective if I hadn’t had them.

The feeling I have after I exercise is what keeps me coming back for more. Now when someone mentions working out being more powerful than an antidepressant I know what they mean! Because I know first-hand they are right.

What healthy steps can you take today? Do you find it hard to exercise when you aren’t feeling your best?

Today, if you are feeling depressed or lousy about your weight, self-image, marriage, kids, etc. Try taking a walk for just 15 minutes. Don’t focus on how many calories you are burning or how you look in your tight exercise pants and how uncomfortable that sports bra is. Go outside and focus on the sun, the green grass, the trees and birds and pretty flowers. Thank God for all the little ways in which you are blessed.

I know the very last thing you want to do when your depressed is get up, get dressed, and work out. Even the thought of doing all that moving around exhausted me and called for a nap.

But I think when you get to a certain low; you know that you know, something has to change. And if exercise will help, you do it!

When you come back your mind will feel refreshed and you will be excited to do it again tomorrow. And if not, do it anyways!

It’s worth it, I promise!


Alecia's Photo

Alecia Simersky is a Southerner by birth (and grace) and a gypsy by marriage (she’s moved 7 times in the last 13 years). She writes to encourage Christians to live differently because of the grace we’ve been shown through Jesus. She has a heart to encourage others to get off the rocky shore of self-doubt and sail into the life Christ has waiting for them. She is quiet by nature, introverted, quirky and fiercely loyal (she becomes Mama Bear when someone messes with her people). She will share her heart, story, struggles and her pain; just don’t ask her to share her chocolate! 

You can connect with her at her blog There’s Something Different , Twitter, or Facebook.

Confessions of a Perpetual People Watcher

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Today, I am posting my very first guest post, and I am happy to introduce Sheri Zeck to you. Sheri and I met several years ago at a writing conference, and we both continue along in our writing journeys. We now participate in an online critique group together. For those that have or have had young drivers, you will appreciate this story!

Hi. My name is Sheri and I’m a people watcher. There, I’ve said it. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I just can’t resist. It doesn’t matter if I’m at the mall, sitting in church or waiting my turn at the doctor’s office. I like to observe people. I notice their mannerisms. I wonder about their stories.blog - sheri's post #2 - May 26, 14Last week I had yet another opportunity when my oldest daughter and I stopped by our local driver services facility. Now that’s a people-watcher’s paradise. One step inside and you’re “trapped” in a giant room full of strangers.

We stepped up to the counter. “My daughter needs a permit.”

“Take a number.”

Emily and I glanced at the paper … number 50.

Across the room, a lady’s voice yelled above the noise. “Number 38?”

Oh well, I thought. May as well make ourselves comfortable. I took a seat and checked out my surroundings.

Sitting nearby, a petite grandma adjusted her glasses and squinted at some paperwork. I pictured her driving, perched on a pile of pillows and straining to see over the wheel.

Standing in line, a bald guy stroked his long, braided beard. Interestingly, the stretchy rubber band he’d chosen for his beard looked much like the ones I find all over my house.

Across the room, a teenage boy flipped through a Rules of the Road handbook. Every now and then, he’d run his fingers through a mop of greasy hair and tug at the back of his jeans, which relentlessly slid down his backside.

A few seats over, a young boy with bright red sneakers sat by his mom and kicked his legs back-and-forth. When he grew tired of that, he turned around, propped his chin on the back of his chair and stared at Mr. Braided Beard.

And then there was the young lady sitting next to me. I loved watching her. In fact, I’ve been watching her for years.

At one time I watched her stretch little arms out to me when she took her first steps. I watched her ride a bike for the first time. I watched her lug a Princess backpack up the wide steps of a big, yellow bus. I watched her get teeth, and then later, pull those teeth. I watched her get braces, and then later, get rid of those braces.

I’ve watched this girl go through fifteen years worth of milestones. And today was another.

“Number 50?”

We stood to our feet and stepped up to the counter. As Emily finished her eye test, I noticed a box of pens on the counter. I took three.

“Mom!” She looked at me like I’d committed a crime.

“What? They’re free – and I need a couple extra for my purse.

“This is a government building,” she said with a smile. “There are cameras everywhere. You’re probably being watched.”

Probably, I thought. Seems like wherever you go these days, somebody’s always watching.

Sheri Zeck head & shoulders 2013

 Sheri Zeck enjoys writing creative nonfiction stories that encourage, inspire and entertain others. Her freelance works include stories for Guideposts, Angels on Earth, Farm and Ranch Living, and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Sheri lives in Illinois and writes about her faith, family and adventures of raising three girls on her blog, Writing from the Heart. Visit her website at: www.sherizeck.com.

 

Master Plans

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Sisters share a lot. My sister and I were born twenty months apart; I am the older. We share the same parents, the same upbringing, and the same childhood experiences. We have the same brown eyes and the same solid work ethic. We both lack any ability to sell anything – we are without a sales gene. And, we’ve shared our joys and sorrows in …

Today, I am sharing the story of how Tim and I came to meet at triplebraidedlife.com . Brenda Rodgers, author and blogger, writes for single women. She advises them on how to “do singleness” in a Godly and healthy way, which can be difficult in our world. Learn more about Brenda and my story at:

http://triplebraidedlife.com/2014/05/master-plans-a-guest-post-by-hally-franz/

And, coming up next week…

I will be posting each day on a different topic, and each day there will be a drawing for a give-away. Those who comment on my blog or subscribe to it will be entered into the drawing. I will post the full details later this week, but I hope it will be lots of fun, and I hope you’ll encourage friends to take a look at bloombondbuild.com.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!

Hally