Monday, March 3, 2014

Living like sheep {and free books!}

New Zealand. August 2009.

Holley Gerth taught me something about sheep this past weekend as a dozen of us gathered around tables with her and spilled our God-sized dreams into real-life conversations. Sheep are defenseless when they're alone. They can't protect themselves against predators unless the single sheep is disguised in a group that confuses the predator. They flee when they're scared and band together because there is safety in numbers.

Photo by Nasreen Fynewever.
Perhaps we really can learn something from sheep.

I gathered with women I'd never met in real life this past weekend. While we shared meals and stories, my soul felt protected. The same goes when I gather with my friends in my everyday life. Protection comes as emails, texts, phone calls, lunch dates, trips to the park, and parties.

Life is best when we're coming together and communicating. Like those sheep. I know my herd of people often direct my heart and soul right to the Shepherd himself, the one who gives dreams and grace.

Together really is the best way to experience life.

Jenn and I talked the whole 5 1/2 hours from Murray to Branson and then again, along with Sonya who joined us for the trip back, which took longer than usual because of some icy roads in Missouri. Sonya is an encourager who asks good questions. I stayed up later than usual talking with my roommate Kelli who quickly became my friend. Elise drew me in with her stories. Deb's quietness gave way to wisdom. Jennifer and Michelle gave us their time and perspective of the publishing world. Cathy cared for the details and our hearts. Kim cracked jokes at perfect times and shined a sweet spirit. Sarah gushed with excitement. Nasreen led us with love, truth and laughter. Holley opened her heart and her words both to the group and to us each individually.

{You can see more photos on Facebook.}

In addition to these ladies, the weekend was possible because of the generosity of Revell BooksDaySpring and (in)courage. And, yes, there were free books. In fact, I brought home two sets of the free books -- one for me and one for you!

GIVEAWAY :: Use the Rafflecopter below for various ways to enter to win. On Friday I will pick five winners. Each winner will get one of the books -- "You're Going to Be Okay" by Holley Gerth, "A Millions Little Ways" by Emily Freeman, "Rethink How You Think" by Dr. David Stoop, "The Smart Woman's Guide to Planning for Retirement" by Mary Hunt, and "Everday Confetti" by  Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer.

UPDATED to CONGRATULATE Holly C. Wyse, Jennie Woelpern, Beth Stiff, Stephanie Hoffpauir, and Chrissy Montes on each winning one of these books. Winners, you've been emailed, so let me know if you don't have a message from me in your inboxes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I'm sharing this post with communities I adore at Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party and Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday

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  1. Emily Simmons3/03/2014 2:15 PM

    I've had "A Million Little Ways" on my to-read list for a long time! I adored "You're Going to be Okay." Such practical, love-filled encouragement for my soul.

  2. KristinHillTaylor3/03/2014 2:17 PM

    "A Million Little Ways" has been on my Amazon list for awhile now too. I'm glad to have it in my hands ... now I just need lots of time to read! :)

  3. Oh my word! I started "You're Going To Be Ok" from the library and am so bummed that I can't answer the discussion questions in the book itself. Would love the opportunity to own this book. :)

  4. KristinHillTaylor3/03/2014 9:43 PM

    Thanks, Jenn. Your mom's ministry is so encouraging - I hope you found childcare!

  5. KristinHillTaylor3/03/2014 9:43 PM

    That's a good reason to own a book - I'm often underlining, highlighting or making notes. Thanks for entering.

  6. Oh. my. goodness. These are some fantastic books! "Every day Confetti" is a book I need to buy in hard copy and "Rethink How You Think" would be an interesting read!

  7. Mindy Ashby Estes3/04/2014 8:15 AM

    I am always up for new books! Even if I dont win I am writing down the titles to try and get!

  8. KristinHillTaylor3/04/2014 8:15 AM

    I'm glad you're excited - I think they're some fantastic books too. I'm looking forward to reading more of them all! Thanks for entering!

  9. KristinHillTaylor3/04/2014 8:15 AM

    I always am too. :)

  10. Sounds like a meeting to feed your soul!

  11. Tabitha Myers3/04/2014 9:00 PM

    They all look great, but I think I would most like A Million Little Ways, Rethink How You Think, or Everyday Confetti. They look like things I would most enjoy. Glad you had a good trip!

  12. KristinHillTaylor3/05/2014 7:06 AM

    When I realized I could bring home an extra set of books, I knew who I was sharing with! :) I'm glad you entered, Mindy!

  13. KristinHillTaylor3/05/2014 7:06 AM

    That is definitely true. Such a refreshing time.

  14. KristinHillTaylor3/05/2014 7:07 AM

    Thanks, Tabitha! Everyday Confetti is so you. :) I haven't looked at the others as closely.

  15. So good to be with you Kristin...and looking forward to more! While we're on the subject of books, if you've got a favorite to share don't forget to linkup or comment with your latest favorite book at xoxo

  16. KristinHillTaylor3/06/2014 7:51 AM

    Good choice. Holley and her words are treasures. Thanks for entering!

  17. KristinHillTaylor3/06/2014 7:52 AM

    So good to hug you in real life, Elise! So I know Cirlces of Faith posts reviews, butwhat is this link up/comment you mention about books? :)

  18. Living like sheep.... well I just love that thought and it is SO true. "Together really is the best way to experience life." I've really come to know the truth of this through my writing friends (like you), church friends and others standing by me through this time without my husband. Love how we do life together! It's a beautiful thing. Your weekend sounds just FABULOUS. :) Love you.

  19. KristinHillTaylor3/06/2014 9:28 AM

    I wasn't sure where Holley was going when she started talking about how she had been reading about sheep, but I LOVE the point. Community is one of my favorite parts of life - both online and in my everyday real life. I'm so glad we're going to get that in-person hug and conversation sort of soon!

  20. I so wish I could have been there with y'all! I am so blessed to have those in my life that love and encourage me. Life is much better with other sheep. :-)

  21. KristinHillTaylor3/06/2014 9:46 AM

    I wish you had been there too, Melissa! Thanks for coming by here today!