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Body, Mind, and Soul: November 2014

Body, mind, and soul (and everything else)


Aging, NaNoWriMo, and little hinges… these are a few of the things that have been on my mind this past month. Thank you for joining me for another edition of body, mind, and soul (and everything else).

*Please note, some links in this post may be affiliate links. Clicking these links and making a purchase may provide me with a small compensation. Thank you for helping to support this website.*


Less than a month away from 40

Yes, it’s true… I’m less than a month away from turning 40. As the day gets closer I keep on reciting… “It’s just a number. It’s just a number.” Seriously though, I’m not anxious about my age. I try to look at every year as a blessing – why resent that we’re aging?! It’s a gift… another year of life! We need to be thankful for it.

That being said, 40 needs to be celebrated! I want to do some great stuff this year. I’ll let you know when I come up with my fantastical plans. Any suggestions?!


Okay, I know I already told you about this but I just have to reiterate how MUCH I am loving this Stay-At-Home-Yoga program! I am doing yoga more than I ever have in my life. It’s awesome! Jennifer offers a 30 day free trial, if you like yoga, you really should check it out!

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It’s hard to believe, but I finished NaNoWriMo! What a journey this has been! I pushed the boundaries of imagination and perception in that:

  • I used my imagination to envision scenarios in order to tell this story.
  • My previous perceptions of what I can and can not do were altered with every page that I wrote. I didn’t think I could write fiction… but I did it and it’s done! Woohoo!

I’ll  be taking a break from Where She Wandered but will begin editing in the new year! If you haven’t read the excerpt yet from Where She Wandered, you can do so HERE.

I won NaNoWriMo!


“Big doors swing on little hinges”
I recently heard this quote and I have fallen in love with it. This is life. We are “little” people but we can do big things. Our one prayer can heal a major hurt. Our one action can have a huge impact.

However, as a Christian I like to think that God is the one who swings that big door and I am the little hinge. He uses me to accomplish his will. Sometimes I’m a little squeaky or I may need a good push but ultimately I pray that I can be used by Him and for Him.

"Big doors swing on little hinges." W. Clement Stone

Reading the Bible

I have been reading the Bible every single day for a few years now. Recently I realized that my retention isn’t what I would like it to be. I recognized that I needed a push and a strategy to read and retain what I read. So I started a study by Kay Arthur, entitled Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days. I’m loving this book and the practical skills it is teaching me to help me read and retain scripture.

I think my biggest take-away point so far is how I often try to “cram in” as much Bible reading as I can. I do this as opposed to reading and dwelling on small bits of scripture. Don’t we often hear the value of quality over quantity? I think this book is teaching me that this same principle applies to my reading of scripture.

Lord, Teach Me To Study The Bible In 28 Days - by Kay Arthur

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Another Bible study?
Yes, I’ve also started another Bible study! I recently purchased the complete Emotionally Healthy Spirituality study by Peter Scazzero. I am LOVING this study and it has revolutionized my walk with God and the way I interact with others.

The premise of the study is that we all come into our Christian walk with humanistic baggage. That baggage and the way we handle it can have a huge impact on our walk with Christ. The book’s tagline expresses its content so well:

“It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

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Past hurts can create future obstacles in our walk with Christ. This program helps to teach Christians how to properly release those hurts rather than suppress them. Often the suppression of feelings leads to a vicious cycle of hurt, frustration, guilt, and self-condemnation. I have completed one full week of the study and I am loving it! The program that I purchased included: the book, an accompanying work book, a DVD set of mini-sermons, and a devotional entitled Daily Office. Every component has been fabulous but I am completely loving my Daily Office breaks.

Everything Else

Family novel study

If you follow me on social media, then you most likely already know about our homeschooling family novel study of The Tale of Despereaux. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this process. We’ve been reading The Tale of Despereaux together and have been attending a weekly meeting at the office of our homeschooling association.

The weekly meetings are complete with discussions, activities, and presentations. My daughter even got to learn some steps from a “scripted” sword fight! We are having a blast and I’ll be sad when this session comes to an end. I’m hoping that over Christmas break, I can investigate a new novel study option for us.

The Tale of Despereaux - Family Novel Study Class

A new animated short
My talented hubby has done it again! He created a sweet 30 second animated Christmas video and I just adore the simplicity of it. It you have a moment, please take a look and share your YouTube love!

If you can’t see the video, click HERE.

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How’s your body, mind, and soul (and everything else)? If you ever want to join me in this blogging series, please do (just make sure to let me know, so I can read your musings as well)! While you’re at it, feel free to grab a badge to put on your post!


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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care. 

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47 thoughts on “Body, Mind, and Soul: November 2014

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      I absolutely love Stay-At-Home-Yoga! Her savasanas are absolutely DIVINE! I feel like I’ve spent a morning at the spa afterwards (I kid you not)!

      Thanks for the warm congratulations Echo. Truthfully, I’m glad it’s over – what a process! Now onto other things… like living life, and CHRISTMAS!

  • Ceil

    Hi Jennifer! Congratulations on completing your writing challenge. Awesome! No wonder it’s been on your mind so much :)
    I can see that Bible study is also on your mind these days, and how great is that? You read the bible every day? That’s so wonderful. I know what you mean by rushing though. I can read passages and think “Hm. That’s interesting!” and then go about my day like I never read it. Ugh.

    Sounds like the book you are doing with your homeschool group is great too. So much to be thankful for ( we are heading into the USA Thanksgiving week). Thank you for sharing all your blessings. It will help me see my own too :)

    Happy Monday,

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      One thing I REALLY feel is when I don’t read my Bible every day. I get so lost without it. Time with God through prayer and scripture… that’s my beacon for the day. That Kay Arthur study is EXACTLY what I needed to slow down and really absorb scripture.

      Thank you for the warm congratulations Ceil. I’ll put the manuscript away for the holidays and come back to edit it in the New Year.

      Wishing you a blessed day my friend.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      I love his animated features and I love sharing them. He’s super creative!

      Thanks for the warm congratulations! I’m setting it aside for December but will begin the process of editing in January and hopefully be sending it off to publishers by March. If all else fails, I could self-publish, right?!

  • Tamara

    I saw on Facebook about your novel writing! I liked it there, but I’m giving you a huge thumbs up here too.
    What a lovely little video that your husband made.
    I have never read the Bible, because I’m Jewish mainly. I heard a really good quote recently, though, about how everybody should read it. Especially if you ever want to talk about it or even argue it, as some people do. The quote was saying that you have no right to do that unless you’ve read it. Maybe one day I will!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      Thank you for your warm congratulations Tamara. I truly appreciate it. I look forward to not thinking about the book for a month… then I’ll dive into editing in the new year!

      I was so proud of Evan’s video – it’s so sweet. I’m glad you enjoyed it… thanks so much for watching.

      That’s such a good point about the Bible; thanks for sharing!

  • Rebecca

    My Adobe flash player keeps screwing up and I cant see your husband’s creation! Stupid computer. I am going to try on my phone, I cant wait to see it!

    I love the big door/small hinge metaphor and agree that we are the small hinge.

    I still have to get on the yoga bus! It’s officially a new year resolution of mine..as of two seconds ago lol

      • Rebecca

        LOL If by commenting queen you mean I’ve caught up on your posts..and your posts only. Shh! Don’t tell the other blogs I’ve neglected!! Including Tamara…Jennifer H…Danielle..Echo…Becka..and about 40 others. Sorry guys! I’m trying!

        <3 and LOL @ bus/train

  • Brittany Bullen


    You did it! Yay! I’m so amazed that you actually wrote a whole book in just a month. How was it? Did you enjoy it? Do you think you’ll do it again?

    It seems like things are going well for you. I’m so glad. What are your plans for the holidays?


    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      Whew! Yes, I did it! My tailbone is sore, my spine in mush, and I have a coffee hangover but I did it!

      I loved the deadline aspect of this… I work best under stress and with tight time frames. I’m surprised it went as well as it did (especially given this was my first attempt at writing fiction). I can see myself doing it again but just maybe not next year. Perhaps every 2-3 years. The thing is, producing that amount of work in such a short time frame, there is a lot of editing to do. It will probably take close to a year for me to edit it to read the way I want it to (although I’ve told myself I want it edited by the end of March 2015).

      Holidays? Hmmm, are you asking about Thanksgiving? If so, our Thanksgiving was in October (we’re in Canada). However, it’s almost December which means my birthday, my brother’s birthday, Christmas, New Years, my oldest daughter’s birthday, then our anniversary… whew, I’m glad I’m not celebrating Thanksgiving this week! It’s going to be a busy two months.

      Thanks for stopping by Brittany!

      • Brittany Bullen


        It’s funny. The internet feels so cozy sometimes I forget not everyone is my next door neighbor! Sorry I forgot. :) well, either way, whatever you’d like to celebrate at the moment, I hope you have a great time!


  • Jaime Buckley


    I’m not sure what to say on this post–other than I like to see more sides of your personality. Not like you need anything from me, but I knew you could write 50K in fiction. You’re a creative family =)

    (nice short there, Evan…)

    BTW, if getting ‘more mature’ is ever an emotional problem for you, I promise to drop by the site, be incredibly childish and sweet, point out all your timeless features that I admire and get your mind off the stress, cause that’s what friends are for.

    …so until you find one, I’m here for you.


    BTW—when is Evan gonna write something so the guys can interact too? HmmMMM?? Not like I’m feeling self-conscious or anything, but you ladies can get pretty intimidating you know.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      Wait a minute – you can’t pull the “Women are intimidating card” Jaime… your home is dominated by women! Hmmmm? Hey?! Just admit it, you want to get to know Evan more because he just “may” be cooler than me. He totally is by the way. I mean come on, the guy writes books, creates music, draws comics, animates, and even does mini-documentaries. Yeah, his cool factor is WAY bigger than mine.

      I’ve been asking Evan to do a guest post. Maybe he’ll do one for my 40th birthday *wink*. Yes, I plan on milking the big 4-OH for all it’s worth.

      Thank you kindly for your visit and for making me laugh (as usual).

      • Jaime Buckley

        You mean HAVING a home full of females couldn’t BE intimidating?

        How do you know that I’m not chained to my desk?
        Maybe my daughters are behind my even now, with electrical shock devices of cruelty attached to me, just waiting to throw the…


        • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

          LOL – oh Jaime….

          If you thought this post showed more sides of my personality, wait until tomorrow. I had two dear blogging friends nominate me to share 7 random facts about myself. They did this over two months ago and I’m FINALLY responding! Life has been a blur lately I tell you!

  • Yvette Howie

    Congratulations on finishing your story! As a fellow writer I understand what a difficult journey it can be transribing thoughts and ideas into a story or book. It is no easy feat! Again, congratulations and I look forward to reading your work.

  • Tiffany-A Touch of Grace

    I’m enjoying reading my Bible, but I feel like I need some sort of Bible study instead of just reading it through. What would you recommend for a newby Jennifer?
    So so happy you finished your 50k words. That is quite an accomplishment my dear.
    And 40?! There is no way. I mean, you have got to be like 35…maybe. Excited to see what the next year holds for you.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      You should definitely check out the Kay Arthur book that I recommended in this post. It gives you the tools to really put scripture to heart. It also guides you through sample exercises. It’s a four week program – which it nice.

      I’m delighted I finished but I’m kind of dreading the editing process.

      At for looking 35 – I’ll take it!

  • Cindy Hasko

    Wow! So many cool things. First of all, my son just sat on my lap and watched the video that your hubby made with me. He was smiling so big. He said “Ohhh, that’s so cute!!” ha ha! We both loved it!! HI JENNIFER’S HUBBY… THAT VIDEO IS SUPER COOL AND CREATIVE!!!!! Also, I am applauding you for all the work you did on your book. AWESOME WOMAN!! Where did you hang your cape!? Geeezzz, that’s a lot of work. And, Yay!! You got the Kay Arthur book. I hope it helps ya. It has helped me so much with my Bible study. I have all different colored pens next to me when I read my Bible now, ha ha!!! It works though. So weird, right!? I keep thinking about what I have read a week later and I am thinking “OMG!! I remember who and what cities and their fathers name. WHAAAT!? lol I love what you typed about us and God and little hinges. THAT IS PERFECT!! Well said!!! big xoxo to you!!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post Cindy and thank you so much for watching Evan’s video!

      I’m delighted to be done my book… for now. The editing will be the real challenge.

      Yes I’m loving the Kay Arthur study. Thank you for sharing that… I’ve been thinking about it ever since!

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    I will be 40 on my next birthday, too. Do me a favor and read my post “Why I’m Not Stressed About My Birthday” on your birthday, would you? It will change your perspective. As I am dealing with a very stiff and sore neck and shoulder, I am reminded that I really need to get back into yoga. It makes me feel great. I am so impressed that your finished your book. You are such an inspiration to me! That Kay Arthur study has been on my wish list for awhile now. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings to you and yours, my friend!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      LOL – okay I will try to remember to read it. I’m really not feeling anxious. Every day from God is a blessing… I don’t want to be unappreciative of any aspect of it.

      I love my yoga practice – it really helps heal the body and slow the mind. Have you ever tried doing Bible study immediately after a yoga practice?! Amazing. Your brain is so receptive to the Word.

      I now have the huge task of editing my book… that will undoubtedly take way more than a month.

  • Farrah

    Such wonderful accomplishments and practices happening! I love that you’ve found a more long lasting way to study the Bible. How did you first get started reading it everyday?

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      Thank you Farrah! The first thing I do in the morning is pray and read my Bible. I have a great devotional bible that has little devotionals after every couple of pages – so I love reading scripture and then enjoying a devotion. I’m really working on retention though… so I’ll be slowing my pace (which is totally and completely okay)!

  • Debbie

    Hi Jennifer, I’ve fallen behind on my blog reading recently, but I am so happy to hear that you have finished your NaNoWriMo challenge and will hopefully have the pleasure of reading it one day!

    Turning 40 is seriously just an age, no biggy. I think turning 40 made me feel all grown up, but that’s about it. I did nothing special to celebrate, but I did what I wanted to do and that was to watch It’s A Wonderful Life and eat chocolate, I’m a low maintenance kind of girl!

    I do use some yoga stretches after a run or workout and know how much it would benefit my flexibility, but have never quite gotten into it. Maybe one day I will find the time to have a proper go at it, but I enjoy other forms of exercising too much to have the time to do yoga properly.

    I think it’s great that you are so dedicated to everything you do and believe in. Never change!…xx

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      I know! We’re two weeks into December too. I’m wondering if I missed a week somewhere in there.

      Thank you for your warm congratulations. I have a long editing journey ahead of me but I look forward to publishing what I wrote (positive thinking… right)?!