Archive by Author

Five Secrets to Become the Best Mom

7 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged May 7, 2022

May 6, 2022

I went down on one knee. “Look at me, honey.” I turned my four-year-old Joe’s face toward me. “What’s in your mouth?”

“Nothin’.”

As the youngest of three, he never knew a mom with sight. A retinal disease robbed my sight when he was much younger. And my family’s adjustment was painfully inevitable.

I took him by the hand. “Is that chocolate I smell? It’s before dinner. C’mon young man, let’s spit it out.”

Outwardly I seemed in control. But I still questioned my ability as a blind mom. I fretted about their possible lack of confidence or even shame because of my blindness.

Mothering without sight was daunting.

The tasks challenging. I questioned my ways. Did I do too much? Not enough? Did I fail my sons in the way I corrected them? Was I too strict? Too lenient? Insecurities lay on the pillow beside me at night.

But along came David to save the day. Remember him as a boy? He was scrawny, a bit of a shy kid, the youngest of his brothers. And probably voted the least likely to succeed in the senior class of the local Shepherd high school.

And when Goliath showed up, David seemed inadequate, unprepared and way too weak to defeat the giant. But God knew different because He chose him. Skinny David held not a trace of insecurity, doubt or worry. He put on the backpack of courage and gathered five stones. But those stones weren’t what would defeat the big guy. But rather, David’s secret weapon called bold faith became the weapon to bring him victory.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…” (1 Samuel 17:44)

That’s the same way we come against insecurities in our mothering, in our doubt of our abilities, regret for what we did or failed to do. As we come against all of that in the name of the Lord, we put on our bold faith and gather our five stones. Even in these turbulent times, they are the secrets to succeed and be the best moms ever.

  • The stone of courage to stand firm and secure enough to know we have Christ’s power to silence the lies that whisper doubt and insecurities.
  • The stone of reassurance that God is with us every moment of every day to defeat fear, worry and anxiety.
  • The stone of wisdom, God-given wisdom to choose our words, direct our steps and guide our path.
  • The stone of trust to know God has His eyes on our kids. He will keep them safe, guard their lives and trace their steps.
  • The stone of joy to erase gloom, sadness or disappointment.

This Mother’s Day let’s celebrate not so much the perfect moms, but those who are perfectly devoted to Christ. Not the moms who have all the answers, but those who believe God has them. Not the moms who have it all together, but the moms who admit their weakness so God can make them strong. Not the moms who are raising stars, but those who teach them to rise above hard times. Not the moms who cover her kids with the latest fashion, but those who cover them with prayers.

God chose David. And He chose you, too. He hand-picked you to be the mom to those kiddoes. He didn’t leave David to bring down the giant on his own. He’s not leaving you alone either, as He’s already handed you the stones, He already given you the victory—in His power, In His might and in His name.

Let’s Pray

Father, may Your Word remind me You are watching over my kids, guiding them when I fail, teaching them when I don’t know how and protecting them when I’m not near them. In Jesus’ name I pray.

Which stones will you gather this Mother’s Day?

Janet

______________________________________

I invite you to dance with me—celebrating one of my books, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy HERE and tell your friends, too.

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Three Steps to Live the Best of Life

30 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by SIght

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged May 1, 2022

April 29, 2022

Some years back, a sweet surprise waited for me in the airplane trip to Mexico. I settled in the seat beside the window, folded my white cane and stuffed it in the pocket of the seat in front of me.

Shortly after departure, the flight attendant made his way down the narrow aisle handing immigration forms. “One per family please,” he said.

After the initial announcements ended, I reached up and pressed the light to call for assistance.

“Could you please help me fill this out?” I asked the flight attendant who answered the call.

“Sure. Come with me.”

I gathered my purse, my bag, and my cane and followed him to the front of the airplane.

“You can sit here,” he said.

I settled in the seat, spacious and comfortable. I stretched out my legs, plenty of room. We finished the form and he asked if I wanted to stay in that seat. I was in first class.  “Are you kidding?” I said with a silly grin, “Sure, would love that.”

Unexpectedly Delightful

After I stretched out like a queen, I began to compare. Rather than getting the medicine-size cup of water I would get in the other section of the plane, I got a fresh, cold bottle of water. Rather than the tiny bag of peanuts, I got my choice of appetizers. The trip was, well, unexpectedly delightful.

In the airplane of life, I had made that same transition. When sighted, I took tiny doses of happiness. Sampled a bit of peace now and then, received only a taste of fulfillment and tiny amounts of joy. I was stuck in second-class happiness.

You might also find yourself there on occasion. During this ugly pandemic, you might have felt stuck in that same second-class kind of world. The chaos around, the uncertainty ahead, the troubles from all sides planted you in the section where the best is not served.

But Resurrection Sunday is almost here. The majestic event shouts the truth that Jesus is alive. Not only alive, but He’s holding His hand to guide you out of the coach section of gloom into the first-class of His glory. The glory not just reserved for heaven, but for right now, right here.

When you accept His offer to occupy that seat in the VIP section of His love, the journey is secure. Even when facing painful turbulence, nothing can shake you. No event can rob your peace. No adversity can remove your security. He’s the pilot. He has the navigation of your journey in His hands. And He expects your every worry to leave your heart and be placed in His instead.

During the long journey, worry will not come back, fear will die and stress will vanish. They will because when we remain in the VIP section of God’s will, we welcome the best of life as we:

  1. Change our perception. Recognize we don’t find happiness; we create it. We craft it by turning the key to unlock our heart and receive the joy God offers. His desire is that we live in complete joy. And when happy moments, happy relationships, and happy results come to an end, joy remains.
  2. Celebrate the promise God gave. During tough moments, painful stages, it’s not our strength, but His power that lifts us up and carries us through. Relying on that guarantee is what revives joy once again.
  3. Call upon Him when sadness, gloom or fear draws near. Calling the powerful name of Jesus silences destructive thoughts of self-pity, loneliness and discouragement. With them out of the way, joy will glow again.

Happiness ends in time. But joy lasts as long as God’s love. He promised: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-11).

Let’s Pray

Father, not human happiness, but your joy is what my soul hungers for. Thank you for the promise, thank you for the joy that fills my days no matter what comes my way. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What will keep you in the first-class kind of life?

Janet

______________________________________

A Note From Onisha: As I was uploading Janet’s post, I was listening to a fascinating podcast about a future cure for retinal blindness. As you may know, Janet’s blindness is due to a retinal disease. A plus for me is that the experiments for this cure are being conducted in the zero gravity of space! Here is the link, Houston, We Have a Podcast.

I invite you to dance with me—celebrating one of my books, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy HERE and tell your friends, too.

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Visitors…Furry is Not my Friend

28 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our daughter drove up from Florida over Easter, making a stop on the way to spend a couple of days with a college friend. We enjoyed spending Easter together before she drove over to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to spend a few days with an old friend. They both love rollercoasters and were looking forward to some thrill rides.

Rebekah and her dad enjoying coffee on the porch before Easter service.

The big, black bear is definitely back. As I mentioned last week, It was first sighted at a neighbor’s home so we made sure to bring in our bird feeders at night in hope that the bear would not visit. It seems our plan did not work. So far we have recorded him twice on our game camera. His second visit, we were in bed, but not yet asleep when we heard a noise and ran to look outside.

Our family, cousins visiting from Florida heard the same noise we did but decided to stay safe and snug in the bedroom. After seeing the video from the game camera the following morning, it took some coaxing to convince them they would be safe on the porch during the day.

Our cousins have visited several times before, and I knew that they enjoyed exploring and driving back roads. I remembered a quaint church we discovered a couple of years ago, just a few miles away. Saint John’s Episcopal Church. It is a small lovely church surrounded by graves dating back to the 1800s.

While we were there, a volunteer was tending to the church needs and shared the history. We were surprised to learn the congregation meets outside in good weather. Our previous visit there was in summer. This visit the blooming dogwood trees changed the whole atmosphere.

Over the winter our daughter’s much loved friend, Mia the cat died.As she emerged from grieving she began praying for direction in choosing a new companion pet. Ideally, she wanted to adopt one that was given up due to the owners inability to no longer care for it. She was open to a cat or a dog. She brought a carrier with her, to be ready just in case. One day on a grocery run she saw a sign for a shelter with a website listed. She found two dogs, brother and sister that had been surrendered and were available. They were two years old, part dachshund and chihuahua. By the time we arrived the following day, the female was adopted but the male was still available. I think it was love at first sight.

HIs name was chewy, which I thought was a bit ominous, but so far he hasn’t lived up to it. Our daughter has always wanted a dog named Ollie and is in the process of training him to recognize it as his new name. Has anyone every changed a pets name?

The weekend before she returned to Florida, she helped me pot some flowers, which she is good at and I am not, and climbed the hill behind us to anchor a flower basket. I love seeing the petunias waving at me as I sip my morning coffee on the porch.

She also supervised her dad hanging a sign over the door to our porch. It was a Christmas gift and I had waited all winter to be home and have it hung. I enjoy it every time I see it.

Sadly, our time together with our daughter was drawing to a close. She had really wanted to have a campfire one evening and on her last night, the weather was perfect, warm with a touch of cool.e could have toasted S’mores if I had planned ahead. Living a low carb lifestyle would have meant I would have needed to make both marshmallows and graham crackers. We substituted with mango ice cream and Razzle Dazzle coffee. The coffee is from a local Florida roaster and has a delicious raspberry flavor.

5 Steps to Live Without Heartache and Sorrow

23 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged April 23, 2022

April 15, 2022

What was I thinking? While friends at church stuffed Easter eggs with candy, I had stuffed sorrow in my heart.

The loss of my youngest son had me living in the Friday of heartache. The day of darkness. The time similar to the Friday when Jesus was put on the cross, endured horrific pain and shed His blood.

But then something happened, something changed. Something surged, miraculously and supernaturally. Jesus didn’t stay on the cross; He rose in full glory, full triumph displaying sweet victory.

So, crazy gal that I am, why would I dismiss this victory and stay on the Friday of pain?

Jesus washed all the grief with the blood He shed on that cross. He cursed sorrow, rebuked pain and declared it all finished.

That’s why our self-pity and heartache have to also finish. It ends.  And thus, we welcome the freedom to begin relishing in his glorious victory.

Time to celebrate.

The resurrection of hope has arrived. And with the rebirth of new joy, comes a new beginning—our own, personal Easter Sunday.

We then put on the new outfit of healing, of freedom and renewed gusto. We get busy creating a new joy-filled life.

Never looking back, we focus on the road ahead, to the message our life would give and to the legacy we leave behind.

When the day comes and our chair is empty at the dinner table, what will our family say about our life? While they scoop up a second helping of mashed potatoes or more slices of ham, will they remember the way we dreaded our Calvary or will they recall how we lived our Easters?

How about you?

Have you reached your own Easter of triumph for others to see? Whether we display sorrow or serenity, we’re subtly creating a legacy, weaving memories and painting strokes on our own portrait. The one our family will hang on the wall of their hearts.

And for the Easters to come, the portrait will showcase the life we lived, the values we held and the conviction that danced in our heart when we answered these questions:

  1. Did we sink under the weight of our cross?
  2. Did we keep moving with the strength of hope?
  3. Did we relish on our own Easter of joy?
  4. Did we choose to see life beyond circumstances?
  5. Did we look for tomorrow with passion, or did we sink into today’s trials?

No matter what the answer, there is no cross of pain that can hold us down. No suffering that can keep us back because Jesus is alive, declaring He overcame all.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Let’s Pray

Father, I thank you for the triumph. And I pray your everlasting love nourishes my desires, goals and dreams. I ask for wisdom to leave a legacy that honors you, resonates with my children’s children, and reflects my obedience to your precepts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What legacy is your life preparing today?

Janet

______________________________________

I invite you to dance with me—celebrating one of my books, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy HERE and tell your friends, too.

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:

Comments: I welcome your thoughts; please consider leaving a comment. Just scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and look for the word REPLY. You can post your comment there. Please note: Everyone leaving a comment must first log in using the link provided. If you haven’t yet signed up, this link will also walk you through the steps.

An Opportunity for You

If God spoke to you through these writings, would you prayerfully consider joining us in spreading the goodness of Christ Jesus to those who are lost and hurting?

With immense gratitude, JC Empowerment Ministries welcomes your tax-deductible donations.

One click will take you to the place for your gift. You can GIVE HERE.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Moving On…Almost on Schedule

14 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our target date for our annual migration from Florida to North Carolina was April 4th. Our actual leaving date was April 6th. A two day delay is almost a record for us as we seldom leave on the planned date.

We managed this even with two surgeries and an emergency hospital admission for my husband. We did have to promise to return in June for medical follow ups.

Saturday, April 2nd was the annual Fox Lake Spring Craft Fair. For our area it is a pretty big event and our daughter had secured a table to sell books. Of course, I wanted to remain in Florida for that! The weather forecast was almost 100% rain and even though her table was under a large pavilion, a day of wind and rain didn’t sound good for sales. Regardless, the event was on and we went early to set up. Fortunately, there was an overseer making sure everyone was in the correct spot.

Our set up was simple. A table cloth, banner and books. I enjoyed watching the other vendors set up. It was obvious they were well acquainted with craft fairs. Most had help but the vendor next to us set up her whole table alone and did a great job. One thing I will say though, books are heavy, even with a hand cart.

Vendors spaces were not limited to the pavilion. There were a lot of vendors on the outside. I didn’t realize how many until we were leaving for the day. I was too tired to take pictures of them. I did snap these pictures early in the day of a few vendors set up close to the entrance of the pavilion.

Besides my daughter there was another local author there, Jay Heavner. I bought two of his books a few years ago and was hoping he would be there. He writes murder mystery novels set in our county. When people stopped at our table we would ask what type of books they enjoyed. If the answer was murder or mystery, we told them there was an author in the far corner with just what they were looking for. On a side note, since people are moving to Florida in record numbers, his books give a local’s perspective of Florida. Check him out.

I walked around looking at the different crafts for sale. Man, there are some talented people in the area! I was drawn to two of my favorite things, quilts and wreaths.

A man stopped by our table carrying what looked like twisted wire. And that is exactly what it was. Twisted aluminum wire made into art by a retired electrician. Our cousin, Roger, is a retired electrician and I promptly took a picture and emailed it to him with the text, you can do this!

As the day progressed we kept checking our phones for the hourly rain forecast. Little by little the expected rain time pushed further out. With each delay we said, “thank you, Jesus.” The event was supposed to end at 4 pm. Around 2:30 the skies took on a threatening locker and some vendors began packing up. At 3 pm, we decided to pack away most of the books and leave one or two of each title on the table. We were making ready for a quick departure. Hauling books in the rain would not be fun. My daughter scoped out the vendor parking field and found an empty space next to the paved road. I don’t know how she did it, but she maneuvered her car into the space. When we decided to pack and run, we wouldn’t have to pull the cart in mud.

Being in the pavilion recalled to mind memories of church picnics there as well as the year the high school Band Parents association ran the kitchen for the MacDonnell Douglas company picnic. It was a hot, hard work, fund raiser, but when you have kids, you do these things. It was mind boggling that 32 years had passed since then.

The crowd, which had been quite heavy began to dwindle as the clouds became heavy and dark. We decided it was time to go. We almost made it home when the skies delivered the promised rain. Once home, we left the books in the car and made a dash for the house. We were tired, hungry and happy that the day went well.

The following day, my husband and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. We are blessed. And now we are settling into our home in the North Carolina mountains. The hummingbirds arrived two days ago and unfortunately a bear did too. My neighbor captured a photo on his game camera of one a bear sniffing around their children’s trampoline. The neighborhood is hoping that if we all bring in our bird feeders at night the bear will move on. It’s kind of creepy seeing a bear on the porch like we did last year. He made multiple visits.

The following day, my husband and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. We are blessed. And now we are settling into our home in the North Carolina mountains. The hummingbirds arrived two days ago and unfortunately a bear did too. My neighbor captured a photo on his game camera of one a bear sniffing around their children’s trampoline. The neighborhood is hoping that if we all bring in our bird feeders at night the bear will move on. It’s kind of creepy seeing a bear on the porch like we did last year. He made multiple visits.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

10 Steps to Turn Chaos to Calmness (Part 3)

9 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged April 9, 2022

April 1, 2022

We look at the world and see unrest, turmoil, and threats to our future. But all inside us changes when we look at the power of God. His declaration that states He has the victory and He has the path to our triumphant life.

Here are the last three of ten steps to follow and reach that kind of life.

As a reminder, the first six steps were: (1) Make God a priority, (2) Set a time and place for you and Him alone, and (3) consider the rewards, (4) Choose, not the good, but the best, (5) Plan ahead when you’re away from home, and (6) Stop to listen.

Please see the March 4 and March 18 posts to read about these steps in their entirety.

Find His presence in hectic moments.

She gritted her teeth. “I’m so stupid! I left my cell at home. Now my son can’t call me to pick him up.”

Those words echoed the same self-deprecating phrases I used when things suddenly went wrong.

Who can blame us? We’re conditioned to put the focus on the part we messed up and lament the consequences.

But it’s in those moments that God’s voice calls us to take a deep breath. And even for a minute or two, ponder on His goodness, reflect on His solutions, and declare our trust in Him.

That’s because when frustration happens, a minute in His presence keeps us from being shaken.

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:7-8)

Practice silent prayer before making all decisions.

It’s been said that we became addicted to the hurry habit. I’m waving my hand in the air because that was me. When my boys were all in elementary school, those words were repeated more often than others, “C’mon guys, hurry up. We’re already late. Hurry up and eat, we need to go. Hurry, your brother is already in the car.”

“Mommy, can Danny and Mike spend the night?”

Of course, I was probably in a hurry when he asked that question and, in my rush, I said yes. UGH! What a mistake. That was the night before a baby shower at my house.

So, from then on, the answer was, “You need to give Mommy a few minutes to think about that and then I’ll give you an answer.”

When we take a minute aside to look to God and ask for wisdom,

we avoid regrets and we rejoice instead.

It’s in that hurried kind of life that I made my dumbest mistakes.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

Evaluate activities.

“I think the world is crumbling on top of me,” my friend said on the phone.

How often I’ve felt that same way. And when I sought prayer, a friend gave the best suggestion ever.

“Check all the activities you’re involved in.” she said. “Is all that busyness pleasing the Lord?”

I swallowed hard. Of course, it wasn’t. In an effort to do good things, to be involved, I took on responsibilities at my kids’ school, church, the neighborhood and even my book club.

But when I reviewed the list, one by one, I scratched off what infringed on my priorities which were my time with God and my time with my family.

In order to take the right path, in silent prayer, I asked God to replace busy with blessings. And rather than choosing my own good works to do, I asked for him to reveal to me the works He planned and prepared for me.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

End your day with a heart of gratitude.

When my three sons were small, exhaustion followed me to bed every night. And when morning came, the race started all over again.

Adding to my chaos, stress would chase me mercilessly. It did because I focused on the chores to be done and on the responsibilities as a mom and wife.

But when my pastor challenged us to embrace an attitude of gratitude, the stress disappeared.

I chose to take moments to stop my day and give thanks for whatever came to mind. When my sons began to quarrel, I thanked God because they were healthy. When I wiped the kitchen countertop for the umpteenth time, I thanked God we had food to prepare on it.

When dishes piled up, I thanked God I had hands and energy to get them done.

And before closing my eyes at night, a few moments of gratitude for all the good in my life filled my thoughts.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

God’s blessings come in health, opportunities, provision and the fullness of life. But we empty that fullness when, in the busyness, we neglect quiet moments before Him.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for giving me the path to live with a calm heart filled with gratitude and expectation of good and beautiful things. In Jesus’ name.

Janet

______________________________________

I invite you to dance with me—celebrating one of my books, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy HERE and tell your friends, too.

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

It’s Been a While

22 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I knew it had been awhile since I wrote a blog, but I am kind of shocked I haven’t written anything since last January. February first brought pre-op visits, surgeries, post op visits, loss of a family member and a lot more, I think you get the picture.

But good things happened too. A twenty year broken family relationship was restored and my heart is dancing with delight. Only God could have healed done it.

I wear funky old people sunglasses that fit over my glasses because I am not responsible enough to remember where I put the glasses I take off to wear shades. Due to an eye condition I have to wear sun shades that do a great job at filtering UV rays and they are expensive. To my dismay I realized my sunglasses were fraying and needed to be replaced. I took them to the optical office where I had purchased them in 2019 to order a new pair and received a wonderful surprise. The glasses were covered with a lifetime warranty! I filled out an online warranty claim on March 18th and received a new pair on March 21st. Amazing! The brand name is Cocoons and I highly recommend them.

Coccoons

Monday was promising to be typical of most days since the first of February, appointments and a tight schedule. I had the day planned. The first item of my to do list was a failure. The office where I needed to drop off my tax paperwork was unexpectedly closed until noon. (note on door). Fortunately our daughter was off work for the day and volunteered to drop them off later. The second and third tasks went pretty smoothly and I thought the 4th one had gone smoothly too, but not so much. The fourth and final errand before going to an out of town doctor appointment was to stop at Publix Grocery. A quick grab and go for some fresh green beans for our supper. My husband is on special diet and can’t eat much, but he can eat green beans.

The grab part went well and my husband agreed to snap the beans while I put laundry in to wash and made his lunch. Then I pulled the beans from the package. G R O S S. They looked fine but…they were slimy. My first thought was I don’t have time to go back to the store.

My second thought was, I’m calling Publix. For those not familiar with the store, they are a great grocery chain and take pride in their products. I wanted to alert them to the problem since I wouldn’t be taking mine back for at least a day. When I spoke with the manager she offered to replace them, which I knew they would. I told her I had a tight schedule and couldn’t return to the store in time to prepare and serve them. She offered to have them delivered right away. Wow!

Probably less than 15 minutes passed before there was a knock on the door. Too soon for Publix I thought. Our daughter answered the door and there stood the produce manager of the store, with a grocery bag in one hand and flowers in the other! Who does that?

The rest of the day went smoothly. We made it to the doctor appointment, took out a loan to fill up the car with gas (joking about the loan.) and even ran the car through a free car wash. My husband had green bean for his supper and I was happy that the doctor had told us the end of his restrictive diet is near.

Life happens with its joys and difficulties and sometimes my mind is too muddled to put coherent words together. I am thankful for my fellow bloggers, dear friends who keep the blog going.

Today is a new day with new challenges. I don’t think the day will end with flowers, but, you never know what sprinkle of joy God has planned for us.

10 Steps to Turn Chaos to Calmness (Part 2)

19 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged March 19, 2022

March 18, 2022

You read the first three steps. And now your life still needs a little more nudging. We all do. And God provides what we need, what we long for, and what we anticipate.

These next three steps will lift you to a place where you can taste His peace and relish in His goodness.

(As a reminder, the first three steps were: (1) Make God a priority, (2) Set a time and place for you and Him alone, and (3) consider the rewards. Please see the March 4 post to read about these steps in their entirety.)

  1. Choose, not the good, but the best.

Guilt bombards the heart when we fail to follow through with our commitments to be still in His presence. And other times, a different guilt pops up when we leave certain household chores undone.

What is the answer? Two sisters give us a hint and set the example. Martha chose to get busy; Mary chose to be calm. Martha chose what was good. Mary chose what was better.

Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-42)

  1. Plan ahead when you’re away from home.

Some people always like to plan. And detailed schedules can become more intricate when families go on vacation.

When the boys were young, I didn’t mind all that planning because I also relished the time away. But sometimes restlessness nagged. Our boys misbehaved and impatience won, even frustration visited from time to time.

That’s when I learned that taking vacation from the daily routine can’t mean taking vacation from those rich moments in the Lord’s presence.

Instead of neglecting this special time, I made my own plan to find my own moments of spiritual delight.

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:16)

  1. Stop to listen.

Sometimes as Moms, we have a sixth sense. We can sense when our kids are up to something. When they’re hiding something. Or upset. They don’t have to say a word. We know, we just do.

But even when we know, life happens. It’s way too busy, so we forget the vital part and that is to listen. Oh yes, we listen, but often it’s with cell in hand, checking posts, lured by social media, or texting messages. Our minds are on the task, our heart is partly with our kids, and our attentiveness to what they’re saying is reduced to nearly zero.

The task is challenging because in order to listen, really listen, we need to sacrifice—stop the activity. Put away the phone. Make eye contact. And lean toward the person. This is the best way to convey they’re important.

And when it comes to listening to God, the same approach is needed. To put all else aside, turn all our heart toward Him and listen—to His whisper, to His guidance, to His instruction.

I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. (Psalm 119:58-59)

Let’s Pray

Father, how often I’ve been distracted by the world when emptiness aches in me. Thank You for providing what I need to fill the void, and bring me secure, lasting peace. I praise You, Lord. In Jesus’ name.

What distracts you from receiving God’s peace?

Janet

______________________________________

I invite you to dance with me—celebrating one of my books, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy HERE and tell your friends, too.

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

10 Steps to Turn Chaos to Calmness-Part 1

5 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged March 5, 2022

March 4, 2022

A few years back, the plane landed in Quito, Ecuador. I had packed excitement and anticipation in the suitcase of my heart. What joy it is to have the opportunity to address hundreds of women in this beautiful city.

And, as usual, I prepared my trip by calling the airline ahead of time. “I’m blind and I’ll be traveling alone. Can you provide an escort for me to navigate through the airport?”

They did. And once in Quito’s airport, the friendly escort led me through immigration, luggage claim and to the exit door. “My friend should be here any minute to pick me up,” I said.

We waited, and waited. No one came to pick me up. What would I do in a new city, with nowhere to go, no cell phone service and unable to see my surroundings?

But peace remained because that morning I had prepared my heart before leaving the house. I put on headphones, heard Bible verses and pondered in their meaning. God was in my heart, filling me with peace, with reassurance and confidence.

I carried all that as I waited for someone to pick me up. Two hours later they did.

It had become a habit for me. As I travel alone across the U.S. or abroad, these are the ways I manage to keep that calmness only God can provide. (NOTE: This post contains the first three of ten steps. The remaining 7 steps will follow on March 18 and April 1.)

  1. Make God a priority.

“How do you do it?” my friend said to me when she called to ask for prayer. “I try to make time for God, but life is so hectic.”

I smiled. I’ve been there. Kids’ demands the moment they open their eyes. Schedules need to be followed. Chores to do, places to go, husbands to please. When do we find time for God?

“It’s a decision,” I said. “It begins with the mind, the thoughts, and the resolve.”

When you set time for Him first, God will give you all you need. He will give time. He will give peace. He will give wisdom. That’s why the Bible says to…

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

  1. Set a time and place for you and Him alone.

I was a bit envious when my friend described the special place in her home for her quiet time with the Lord. She set a table by the window, placed a beautiful lavender candle, her Bible, a pad of paper, pen, and a group of cards with her favorite verses. She sat on a comfortable chair, making that spot the silent, quiet place to spend with the Lord.

Not me. Our home was so small that the place for me when my kids were little was the bathroom. With the door closed, it was only I and God.

God doesn’t look at the physical surroundings as long as our heart can be still enough to allow His precepts to penetrate our heart and His Word to seep into our soul. That’s when peace washes over us knowing that He not only sustains us but He’s the one who fights our battles.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)

  1. Consider the rewards.

“I’m addicted,” my friend said. “Sometimes I even take my phone to the bathroom. I’ve got to check what’s going on, what my friends are up to, and post stuff myself.”

She tried to go into a Facebook fast. But it didn’t last. She tried to put her phone away; that lasted half an hour. She tried to find a friend to make her accountable, but the friend also struggled with the same social media madness.

That’s when she chose to exchange. She put aside the small rewards that social media brought. And, instead, she relished in the sweet joy that moments in the presence of the Lord gave her.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)

Let’s Pray

Father, from now on, my life will find moments in stillness before You. I thank You for the beautiful gift of peace you offer. In Jesus’ name.

What do your moments before the Lord look like?

Janet

______________________________________

I invite you to dance with me—celebrating one of my books, “Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety.” Get your copy HERE and tell your friends, too.

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:

Comments: I welcome your thoughts; please consider leaving a comment. Just scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and look for the word REPLY. You can post your comment there. Please note: Everyone leaving a comment must first log in using the link provided. If you haven’t yet signed up, this link will also walk you through the steps.

An Opportunity for You

If God spoke to you through these writings, would you prayerfully consider joining us in spreading the goodness of Christ Jesus to those who are lost and hurting?

With immense gratitude, JC Empowerment Ministries welcomes your tax-deductible donations.

One click will take you to the place for your gift. You can GIVE HERE.

Thank you for helping the ministry reach souls!

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

From Dreaded to Delightful

24 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Since January I have been ignoring a date on my calendar. February 23, 2022. For months my time has revolved around caring for my husband. Taking him to doctors, finding a specialist, sending medical reports, coordinating appointments and managing the “arranging” of life. I didn’t feel I had time for February 23rd and truth be told, I was a bit afraid.

At my annual checkup with a specialist in January, the doctor suggested I undergo a diagnostic procedure, as a precaution. My initial thought was I don’t have time for this. Then I remembered that a cousin close to my age had died from a cancer my doctor was concerned about. I agreed to the test but pushed it until late February . I was just too busy.

The day before the procedure I was feeling all grumpy. In the past when my husband or I had to go to this particular diagnostic center, it seemed an appointment time was merely a suggestion. My procedure required nothing to eat or drink after midnight and I don’t do well without food and morning coffee.

Photo Credit-My husband taken at The Ark Encounter

Mid-afternoon the center called and asked if they could move my time to 7 am. Along with not doing well with the hangries. I am not an early morning person. I would have to wake up at 5:30 am.

Ark Encounter

Just as I was about to say no way, sanity hit me. 7 am would make me one of the first cases. No hours wait because they were running behind schedule. I could give up sleep for that perk.

From the time I woke, February 23rd turned from dreaded too delightful. I woke before my alarm and spent some time reading scripture and meditating on it. That always makes my day better. My daughter drove me to the diagnostic center in a nearby town. Traffic was light and we even had green lights at most of the traffic signals.

Once at the center, the staff was friendly and on time. Even the IV line went in smoothly. Not a bit of bruising either. The procedure went well and no signs of cancer were found. Hallelujah! And get this, next to the diagnostic center was a Dunkin Donuts and I really like their coffee.

After my coffee fix, I told my daughter I felt wide awake and let’s run her errands and have some fun. Our first stop was a discount store we had been wanting to visit and look for bargain books. We found some bargains but didn’t buy a single book.

Then it was back in the car to drive to another town to pick up a ship to store order. My original cup of coffee was history and we were both wanting more and as luck would have it, there was a coffee cafe, Bold Cup Coffee a few stores away from where the ship to store item was picked up.

I think it may have been new as neither of us had seen it before, We decided to give it a try and I am glad we did. We asked the barista what drink was her favorite. She recommended her families special brew, a Peruvian cafe con Leche. It was really good.

I think the caffeine was holding off the post-procedure sleepiness and I was ready for the next errand on my daughter’s list. So back on the road to yet another town to have her car serviced, washed, vacuumed and fill the gas tank. Oh, and the car dealership had free coffee, a brand named Jittery Joe. I had to try it but it didn’t come close to the flavor of the previous coffees.

With the errands complete we began to think about lunch. We didn’t see any place interesting along the interstate as we drove home so I decided we should splurge and dine at our local and famous seafood restaurant, Dixie Crossroads.

There was a twenty minute wait and the day was so beautiful, with a gentle breeze, we decided to wait outside. The restaurant has a small pond loaded with fish and turtles. The turtles were taking advantage of the beautiful day to get some sun.

My dreaded day became a delightful day shared with one of my favorite people.

I have become addicted to local roast. Who needs big chains? Well, except I really did enjoy my cup of Dunkin Donuts. Tomorrow we plan to try out a local coffee roaster close to our home. Can’t wait!

PS: Once we were home, I began to feel the effects of my morning anesthesia.I changed in Pjs and enjoyed a two hour nap!

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with over flowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life,

Philippians 4:6 The Passion Translation

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

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