Friday Finds: Grace For Gayle

I met Gayle all the way back in 2000! She went to a local rival high school and then we both attended the same college. It’s always nice to catch a familiar face when you are in a new place. This past year Gayle launched a brand new dream and website and I would love to share it with you today. Gayle was kind enough to submit to a mini-interview so you could get to know her and a little bit about her heart. Read it and then make sure to bookmark or subscribe to Grace For Gayle!

gayle

1. Tell me about your title, “Grace for Gayle.” What’s the story behind it?

I have been blogging since 2004; writing and photography have been a hobby and passion of mine for a long time.  However, around 2009, some especially challenging things cropped up in my life.  Things that challenged my faith, and ultimately threatened my life in a very real way.
The Lord is many things, but one thing that He is the most clearly to me is my Redeemer and Rescuer.  By the end of 2011, I had given up; I honestly and truly had completely given up on God, myself, and life itself.
 
On January 3, 2012, I experienced a radical change in my life, when God freed me from the strongholds and bonds that had taken over my life — He not only broke those chains, He shattered them.  Hallelujah!
As God and I started rebuilding my life from the ground up, I felt like He was prompting me to return to writing and photography.  I wanted to share my joy with anyone who would listen!!  So, I stopped writing on my previous blog, and started Grace for Gayle in March 2012.  I chose the name “Grace for Gayle” because I RECEIVED GRACE.  I received redemption.  I received mercy.  I received rescue.
 
I am reminded of the story of the prostitute who washes Christ’s feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair.  She so desperately needed Christ’s forgiveness that she didn’t care what the onlookers thought.  He said:
 
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” {Luke 7:47}
 
Those who have been forgiven much, love much — it is our human nature.  The reality is, I am alive today because of God’s mercy and grace, and I want to share that with the world, one blog post at a time.
 
2. Who is the target audience of “Grace for Gayle”?
I believe I am here to be an encourager.  I connect most with women, but I have a deep love for all people who are hurting and feel hopeless.  I write posts about a variety of things, from fashion and makeup and decorating, to embarrassing moments and funny things that happen in daily life.  But, all of it is through the lens of my faith, and I do my very best to weave God’s truth into everything I do.
 
There are soooo many hurting people out there, and a lot of those people are women, and a lot of those women are online!  I want to write about topics that interest women from all walks of life (moms, young marrieds, single folks, students!), and encourage them in any way I can through my writing.
 
A couple things I do consistently is Wednesday Wisdom (a faith-based post pretty much every week), I have a place for submitting prayer requests (anonymous is fine!), women can sign up for G-Mail (receive encouraging notes from me, via snail mail!), and many other ways to build community on my site.
 
3. What should we know about you?
First of all, I absolutely love you.  Cheesy, no?? ;) But in all seriousness, I love people, and would love to know you, personally. :)
 
Now that I hopefully have thoroughly convinced you either that I really do love y’all, or that I’m a little nuts (both?), I suppose I should tell you some other fun facts about me!  I was born in Indiana, raised in Texas, and have lived in Dallas almost my entire life, except for college (where I met Ginger!).  I currently live in McKinney, with my two dogs and two cats.  My profession is in Human Resources, but I dream of being a counselor someday.  I love working out (yoga, pilates, strength training), reading, blogging, and I’m addicted to podcasts, especially sermons.  I love to read, but rarely have time.  I love kids, especially hanging out with my friends’ kiddos.  I’m currently single, and currently not “looking” — and praying for contentment in that area!  (He’ll come along when he comes along, if he comes along . . . )
 
I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl: I either give something my all, or it completely falls by the wayside; I’m working on a little something called “balance”.  I am an introvert in an extrovert’s body, and treasure my alone time almost as much as being around those I love.
 
4. What’s something on your Christmas list this year?
Talk about planning ahead!  Christmas lists are hard for me, but something that is definitely on my list is a new DSLR camera, mine is starting to show its age!  I also have a whole slew of projects I’d like to complete at my house, so a shopping spree (or a gift card) for Lowe’s would also be fantastic. :)
 
5. And finally, what are three books that shaped or continue to shape your spiritual walk? (Aside from the Bible)
Having walked away from God for several years, I’m finding that I’m in need of re-learning things that my mind and heart used to know so well.  In the past, the books that I loved the most are The Unique Woman (Edwin Cole & wife), The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts (Gary Chapman), Sex, Love & Happily Ever After (Craig Groeschel), and my daily reads are Jesus Calling (Sarah Young) and Praying God’s Word Day by Day (Beth Moore).
What are you waiting for? Head over to Grace for Gayle and start reading!
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Happy Friday!
Ginger

Friday Finds: A Method for Dating

I’m excited to have such a great resource to share with you this week.  A personal friend who happens to be a phenominal Biblical teacher and engaging writer started a blog this summer talking about… well…

A Method for Dating

because dating happens…and it doesn’t have to be horrible

Matt Lantz

Who would have thought there could be so much good and practical advice on the topic?  Here’s the scoop from the author, Matt Lantz:

My friends, my students, and now even my wife have all told me that I should take the time to write down my philosophy on dating and publish them into a book.

Yuck.

The publishing part, I mean. Who wants to bare their sole in a manuscript only to send it off to a publisher to get torn apart or, more likely, thrown into the trash can? Even if it did get picked up, it would take forever to get published and then money would be involved, contracts, obligations, deadlines… yuck.

Then, one of my friends suggested that I should write the book via a blog instead of publishing it into a book. A blook? Now that sounds way more intriguing to me. Not only could my posts be media rich (video clips, links to other materials, etc.), but they could also be interactive. Readers will be able to watch the book take shape and participate in the chapters that are produced by leaving comments and engaging with the author as the book is being written.

So, that’s what we have here. This will be a blook (?) about dating. Each week I will make a post and categorize it into one of the ‘chapters’ of the book (see the navigation on the sidebar). Since there will be multiple posts per chapter, the title of each post will begin with a number: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and so on. So, even if you’re finding this site after the book has been written, you can easily go back to the beginning of the book and read from the start.

Obviously I’m publishing my thoughts here for free – mostly because that’s how they came to me. If you would like to reproduce or distribute my thoughts, please feel free to do so, but please do not change my words or make other people pay for them. In whatever reproductions you make, please include the following statement and include a link to this website: © Matt Lantz, 2011 | www.matthewdlantz.com

You hooked yet?  You should be!

And then you should get your sweet self over to http://thedatingblook.wordpress.com/.  Read, follow, jump in on the discussion.

Following,
Ginger