Marisa

Born and raised in Kenora, Ontario Canada, Marisa was a teen mom who has overcome incredible circumstances in order to provide the best life she can for her small family. Avid reader, blogger and a God-loving Christian, are just a few of the titles Marisa holds. Reading the Word and learning about God and His plans for her life are her current mission.

Feb 012017
 

G&L Guitars at M F are absolutely beautiful and come in soooo many colors! I personally love the traditional wood but the greens and blood reds are absolutely amazing and beautiful and unique choices!

These guitars are definitely investment pieces that will be cherished for generations.

My dad’s old electric guitar he worked his butt off to purchase as a teen was well loved by him, then me, my brother and now my own children and it is still going strong! It’s amazing how the quality was back then and I am certain you will get that same built-to-last experience from these beautiful pieces!

Feb 012017
 

Timbales is a word used in Cuba for kettledrums which were brought into the country in the early 1900’s! They are often used in part of wind orchestras.

Now, Guitar center is carrying a variety of these percussion instruments for you to create with all on your own, whether you want to use Timbales in a traditional sense or you want to use them for your own musical vibe, Guitar Center has your back!

I am going to make a big assumption and say that these are likely used in school orchestras and bands which would make these a wonderful gift for your child as we have just met the halfway mark in the school year. Perhaps they would love to practice at home and now they can!

Looking for another instrument? Guitar Center probably has that for you too! Check out http://www.guitarcenter.com/Timbales.gc and let me know what you think about their variety!

Jan 062017
 


I have been disconnected feeling for so many years, from myself, from others, and worst of all, from God. And, when I have had the opportunity to connect I have pulled away, recoiled like a snake stepped on whose only reflex is to tangle up on itself.

I have purposed this year with my OneWord365 to be “intentional”. How that is going to play out, I don’t know. But, I am excited to be intentional with my children, my parents, my boyfriend, and of course my relationship with Christ -my God.

The desire to connect to myself and to others, especially the One who created me, has overridden the desire to pull into myself and hide from the world the way I used to. I want to, no I need to, live life in the love that was ordained by Christ Himself when He spoke to us saying “And a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” He didn’t add in an “if, and, or, but, unless” etc to the command, so I am going to live with the intent to connect through Christ, to connect in love and to work at connecting with my soul and strive to reach my potential.

I love connecting with each of you every week as we flash-mob write. As we tweet about sports and justice and chocolate and ask for prayers. Connecting through our own words and the Word of God, the words in the books of our dear friends as they follow where they are to be lead.

I am excited to see who will join us this year and who I will connect with and what we will connect over, maybe a favorite dish, children the same age, mentors or a friendship that makes no sense to the naked eye but simply feels natural and right.

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
$15.99 USD
Dec 302016
 

I stare at the cursor flashing black on white and the words blowing around in my head don’t want to flow to my tongue, or to the fingers that place them on the screen. I’ve never written while happy. I have never been happy, not for more than a fleeting moment or two anyway.

This is new territory for me and at every corner fear creeps in and I wonder how long happiness can last. I doubt myself and wonder if I am good enough. Scripture tells me I am plenty good. That when God was finished waving His finger creating the world, He looked down and saw that it was very good. I know this includes me, and you and everyone yet to come.

We are all a part of the original plan, His plan!

How do I shake those relationship fears though? How do I be safely me while for the first time in my life I am loving on someone who isn’t my child? How do I not mess things up?

The answer seems to be simple, and yet it’s one that I often fall away from during the good times and like so many, hold tight to during the hard times only; looking to Christ.

The Truth is:

If I seek the Lord, he hears me, and he will deliver me from ALL my fears! ~Psalm 34:4~

And,

I should not be anxious about anything, and in everything through prayer and petition and with a heart of thanksgiving, I must present my requests to God and the PEACE of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus ~Philippians 4:6-7~


And, while the outside looks like it’s been attacked by Elsa having a tantrum my heart knows only the warmth of love and beats excitedly in happiness and joy and I know that my verse for 2016 – All things are possible with God – has proven to be true and I will embrace each moment as they come.

I will love deeply and fully as Jesus has ordered me to do.

I will pray hard and often about the direction my life is taking and I will live in the hope of the Lord because I have come to realize that when I try and live without hope, I am living in fear and anxiety and that is not living at all.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”
~Psalm 42:5~

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'”
~Hebrews 13:6~

 

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
$15.99 USD

 


 

Dec 172016
 

Let Worry Go! #FearFightingBook

I woke up in the middle of the night, my mind tossing and turning worse than my body had been ten minutes ago.

Everything hit me at once: I’m not taking care of my family well enough. Good moms make their kids homemade meals, they don’t buy the boxed variety in the aisle’s of Trader Joe’s. They aldo don’t have picture ornaments hanging on their Christmas trees without the faces of their loves ones in them. Most of all they don’t forget birthday parties and gym day at school. Not only this, they don’t leave their houses complete wrecks; they tidy them. I’m the worst mom. I’ve got to do better. I can’t do better though, there is hardly any time for anything. My kids are bound to hate me one day.

Worry is like a spin cycle that never ends. It turns and turns and turns and turns until you are nauseous from its movement.

I should know; I sit in worry often. Do you?

The worst thing about worry is that all its circles get you nowhere. They clean nothing up, they spic and span no dish sitting in the sink and they fix no task before you.

So, why do I worry so much? You may be asking yourself the same question.

I’ve sat up countless nights circling this question. Kelly, why are you worrying? Why are you shredding a good night’s sleep with this stupid process? And, why can’t you stop thinking about what you are thinking about?

Nothing of value is ever accomplished in one’s mind in the middle of the night. I’ve determined this.

So, what is a peace-hungry woman supposed to do?

Finally, brothers and sister, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8

That’s what! Do you know how it looks for me in the middle of the night, when the sneaky enemy prowls around like a ravenous beast?

It looks like me saying the ABC’s of God’s goodness.

It goes like this:

A is for Always by my side, God will be.
B is for Before me, God goes.
C is for Carry me He will, when I am weak.
D is for Delight in him, he will give me the desires of my heart.

Can I tell you all something I’ve never made it all the way through the alphabet.
Never. Ever. Ever.

I’ve always fallen asleep – in peace.

When you focus on the goodness of God, you find the good thing you were always after. When you trust him and his ways, he leads you to the best way. When you stop worrying that you are worrying, you make space to start praising his name.

It works. It works anywhere at any time in any place. Start singing. Start thanking. Start noticing creation as you drive on a traffic-filled street full of cars that will never let you arrive at your destination. Still, it works.

With this, tonight, rather than dozing off to the doozy that is my motherhood-style; I’ll doze off to the truth that God has good in store even in the center of all I cannot control.

About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:

Author and speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her boo, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s cousel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.FearFightingBook.com

About Kelly Balarie:

Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear at www.FearFightingBook.com

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
$15.99 USD
Nov 262016
 

Like millions of people I have spent the better part of a year waiting on Gilmore Girls to be revived. I counted down days over the past month knowing that while all my friends south of the border would be doing Black Friday shopping that I would be sitting at home watching this show I have anticipated for YEARS. So, now that I have watched all four “seasons” – Winter, spring, summer and fall, I have some thoughts.


The first thing I noticed was they seemed to make Lauren Graham or Lorelai, look older than she is in real life or on the show at times which made me feel a bit sad, because she looks amazing and through all the seasons of this show even at her most disheveled she never looked so not-pulled together. Perhaps this was her getting back into the swing of a fast talking, fast moving show with so much crammed into each hour and twenty-minute episode?

The next was that they made Rory a relatable character and while she was never nonrelatable in the original series, she was gifted and as the show ended she had taken a position with the Obama campaign trail as he ran for his presidency and now she is a “30 something” without a job, money, or any real direction. I do appreciate that they took her to writing the story of her and her mother, but that’s a far cry from the New York Times or being a modern journalist. While I am sure they mentioned what types of work she had been doing over the last several years, I can’t recall, so maybe her dreams of being a NYT journalist did work for awhile?

gallery-1476795808-gilmoregirls-1sht-spring-ukPaul Anka, the dog, is still alive and well. I can’t recall how old he was off hand when Lorelai rescued him or in which season, but he wasn’t a puppy. With an 8-9-year hiatus, this dog must be ancient! I excepted from the previews that he would be Paul Anka the 3rd or 4th. I have no clue if this actor was the original or not since I don’t know his actual age when he first appeared on the show.

There were some minor slip ups in the script. Perhaps this goes to me having watched so many darned mystery type shows where details matter, but let’s face it details really matter! At one point, they say that the fire hydrants will remain red until they can get approval for colorful ones but the fire hydrants in the town are yellow. Again, a very small detail but one that I noticed just the same!

It seemed like there were a lot of filler moments during this reboot. From elaborate town plays to Rory babysitting, and the awkward poolside moments with boys holding parasols over Lorelai and Rory, and of course while Emily is grieving her role really seemed to be there just for the sake of her being there, which was unfortunate because she wasn’t the Emily Gilmore we had all known and loved/hated.

Coffee, there really wasn’t enough coffee, it was joked about a lot and seemed to be ordered but there was more alcohol then there was coffee drinking and for many of us coffee was something we could relate to!

I really appreciated the voice overs and images of Richard. That was a beautiful homage to a man who died too young and wasn’t able to return to a show that helped raise so many of us!

Rory being Logan’s mistress while he was engaged and then living with his fiancé seemed so out of character for this good girl and the beautiful young lady she was when the show ended. Yes, I know years change a person, but she was 16 when the show started and that good girl who was career and education focused surely couldn’t have vanished after all those years? This reboot in a lot of ways felt like the rut she had when she quit Yale and Lorelai had to perform her own version of tough love.

Finally, and I think the saddest part of the entire reboot is Lorelai’s relationship with Luke. They still weren’t married and after YEARS upon YEARS of torturing us we finally see them get married. Only, the fanciful gown that Rory would have worn was replaced with what looked like Lula Roe leggings and a tunic, and Lorelai said “I do” in a simple black dress. The entire wedding from proposal to finished took about a half hour and I can’t help but feel let down, especially with how big of a fuss was being made when Lorelai and Luke had planned their wedding in the past. I don’t even think Emily showed up, even after the HUGE show she had put on about Lorelai and Christopher getting married in Paris in the original series. This was a storyline generations of us have been asking and wondering about since the series ended and we were given such a lackluster finale where the bride and groom didn’t even really leave together.

Overall, it was worth watching and I will likely watch again. However, I really wish the show would have put more emphasis on the relationships that its focus was on all those years before.

It was nice to see so much of the original cast and sets that really made the show feel like home. I am excited and hopeful that they will do another year in the life in the (near) future so we can get caught up and hopefully see our beloved characters more often.

And then, the last four words are said…

Rory: “Mom?”
Lorelai: “Yeah.”
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”

Questions I would love to see answered in the future:

Do Lorelai and Luke pursue another child now that they are married? Did they honeymoon?

How does Rory’s book go? Does she land a job being a journalist or maybe start a successful lifestyle blog?

Does Emily remarry and does she decide Nantucket is where she really wants to be?

Does Logan marry that girl or come to his senses and realize he and Rory are end-game?

Who is Rory’s babies father? Logan, Wookie, Paul?

I am sure I missed a ton of things in my little recap, but I didn’t take notes and I’m working off memory. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on something and to let me know how you feel about this reboot! I would love to know your favorite moments and what you think will happen next!

Check out this devotional by Mary Carver inspired by her love for Gilmore Girls!

Gilmore Girls was a TV show known (and loved) for its fast-talking, pop culture-referencing, coffee-chugging characters, but it was also a show devoted to love of family and community. These themes – as well as topics like forgiveness, kindness, and gratitude – partner well with lessons from the Bible. Christians who loved this show will be encouraged and inspired to follow this “season” of daily devotions, reminiscing about their favorite Gilmore Girls scenes and perhaps seeing them from a whole new perspective. When life makes you say, “Oy with the poodles already!” grab your mug of coffee and settle in for a conversation that will warm your heart and feed your soul.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

And, don’t miss out on Lauren Graham’s autobiography!

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

$28.00 USD
Nov 242016
 

Yeah so sometimes you feel hesitant at the top of the world while looking out at the sun set from 13 stories’ up, or while sitting in a window overlooking main street watching the lights into the night. And while you watch out you wonder when the bad will come because as good as something may seem you have that pit in your stomach that your very own Babylon will fall and you not so secretly hope it’s sooner rather than later because later is a waste of time.

And then conversation gets awkward. Things happen that you try and fight away but feel powerless over and maybe because you expected it since you aren’t surprised when the nice has left and has been replaced by random accusations that don’t make sense to the logical world and you hit block before you let your resolve be stolen from you.

Instead of stooping down low you bend down on achy knees and you hand it all to God knowing you didn’t do anything wrong and there is no way to make things right. I refuse to be petty because pettiness leads to being hurt and I won’t allow my soul to be destroyed by negativity.

Life shoots enough bullets at the soul that I don’t have to let someone else’s issues cause an abscess to fester and leave new open wounds. This realization has shown me that I have grown a ton, it’s also shown me I have a long way to go. Don’t we all?

I have caused pain that I can’t make right. I have apologized. I have explained. I have cried over relationships forever changed, but I have no regrets. I have been lonely. I have been tired and worn. I have been living in fear and yet there is a tiny part of me that knows that no one can do to me what hasn’t already been done, unless they kill me. So, I am trying to step out in faith knowing that the only thing to fear is fear itself. If my life was a horror movie I would be the survivor girl.

I live in love and I love deeply and completely and while circumstance may change, love never does.

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