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Helpful New Resource For Moms Who’ve Ever Lost Your Temper #TemperToolkit



Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 | 1 comment




Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs on the planet.


I also believe it’s the best job on the planet, and I can say now, from where I sit as an Empty Nester, it’s beautifully, thought sometimes brutally, worthwhile and satisfying.

My three children are becoming the humans I prayed and hoped they’d become, but it was not without a thousand misfires during the years they were daily under my roof.

Some days I didn’t know if I would make it to the next.

Some moments I didn’t know if I would make it to the next.

Some seconds I didn’t know if I would let them make it to the next.

Parenting isn’t easy.

But we parented hard and on purpose, making the best decisions we could with what we knew. We read books and even took parenting classes at our church. Thankfully, we had a strong community of young parents walking the same road shoulder to shoulder.

The internet wasn’t yet a thing when they were young, or at least not what it is today. There weren’t bloggers and websites and social networking that connected you to “experts.” For us there was Dr. Leman and Dr. Dobson, and the good parts of the Ezzos.

But there were wise parents a few years ahead of me, families I could observe. When I saw older kids who seemed to behave the way I hoped mine would eventually, I took note. I watched those mamas and daddies to see if there was anything I could learn from them. They had no idea.

Fast forward to now, and there’s a wealth of parenting resources out there. It’s a “chicken and bones” kind of thing – pick and choose what works for you, keep the chicken, toss those bones. 

I’m excited to tell you about a new “chicken” you’re going to want to eat:

The Temper Toolkit, a special parenting resource from my friend Lisa-Jo Baker. Many of you will already know Lisa-Jo as one of my (in)courage writing sisters, and as a blogger and author, she’s been encouraging moms for years (if you haven’t yet read her book, it’s a GREAT addition to a mom’s library–and on sale!). The beauty of her Temper Toolkit is she has lived this in the trenches. She’s consolidated helpful practices she’s learned over time into a video series that is sure to encourage mamas of younger children (and even those tweens and teens). There’s a reasonable price tag attached to her content; and it’s only fair to compensate her for her time in pulling this all together to make a beautiful, truly helpful resource for you.




From Lisa-Jo herself:

I’ve packaged up everything I’ve learned about my mom temper (the hard way) over the last decade of parenting and everything I teach at my workshops so that you can put it into practice in your own homes. And I’m calling it The Temper Toolkit.

The Temper Toolkit is a labor of love from me to you — a collection of practical strategies, honest stories, and Biblical resources from one mom to another to help you take control of your temper BEFORE you lose it. 

It includes: 7 teaching videos, downloadable audio (so you can listen on the go) and key takeaways from each lesson beautifully designed as phone lock screens, computer wallpapers or a print so you can choose which format is best to help you take the lessons with you on the go. 

And there are a 5 bonus videos including how to talk to your husband and how to talk to your kids about your journey with temper. And what 6 daily steps you can take to defuse. 
The Temper Toolkit includes real life tools for real life change. Because what you don’t need is more guilt. What you need are the tools to get you through.

By the end of our time together I hope that by sharing my own (embarrassingly) honest temper stories and coping strategies I will have convinced you of three things:

  1. That you’re not a bad mom.
  2. That a good God is using your kids to transform you into His image.
  3. That temper is not an incurable disease, but a treatable condition.  

All for the cost of one exhausted drive-through dinner with the kids after a day of meltdowns.


AND…if you’re one of the first 50 people to purchase the Temper Toolkit, you’ll get a FREE copy of Surprised by Motherhood!!

I’m convinced if you’re struggling as a mom, if your temper sometimes flares, if you just wish you had some help or wisdom from someone a few years ahead of you, you’re going to gain some insights and tips to help calm your spirit and reduce the chaos.

You’ll have to act quickly! Lisa-Jo is only going to keep the Temper Toolkit
available for purchase for five days (today through Monday, February 6th.

I hope you’ll share this post with every mama you know could use some practiced advice.
(easy share buttons are at the bottom of this post)
If you have questions or need help with the course, please email



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Christmas Tree Toppers – Does Yours Come With a Story? (Angel, Star, Bow – DO Tell!)



Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 | 11 comments

Madame Alexander Christmas Angel

I waited a long, long while to find her, but the moment I saw her, I knew she was the one.

There was never any question about what I wanted to top our Christmas tree; not a bow or a star or but an angel. That decision was forged by the time I was five, my mother’s DNA pressed into me from the outside in, a small but lasting impression of what you’re supposed to do when you’re grown up.

So much of who we become is seeded in early memory, the things we remember, of course, but also the things we don’t even realize we remember.


Mama topped our tree with an angel, so, of course, that’s what you were supposed to do.

But I was picky. I couldn’t find an angel I liked. For years I settled for a big, colorful bow. Then one day I walked into Belks and I saw her, and the heavens opened amid a chorus of glorious hallelujahs.

Or maybe something a little less dramatic. And more quiet.

She was pricey. You are not going to get a Tuesday Morning deal on a Madam Alexander doll at Belks. I thought twice…three times. Probably four. But…

her red hair…

those green eyes…

her crooked wings…

She was absolutely, positively imperfectly perfect. 


Madame Alexander Angel Tree Topper


I know I know, she’s as far removed from a Biblical description of an angel as possible, but she represents the one who brought good news 2000 years ago. She’s visual reminder of a spiritual reality.


One thing that makes her more special today than when I found her +/- 20 years ago is I cannot find any Madame Alexander angel toppers today. When I searched images (and Amazon), I couldn’t even find another version of her (though, admittedly, I didn’t scroll beyond the first few screens of images).


It’s been forever since I’ve hosted any kind of a link-up, and I know it’s a busy time of year where I hope you’re offline more than on, but I’d love to see what tops your tree, and if there’s a story behind it, I hope you’ll share (either by way of a blog comment or even write about it and link a post below. You can also link a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter image).

Christmas Tree Topper - Link-up

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National Coffee Day: FREE COFFEE, Fabulous Art and Revealing Statistics for Our Favorite Morning Jumpstart



Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 | 4 comments

National Coffee Day Graphic and a fun post by Robin Dance

It’s how over half of us Americans start our day, so it’s no wonder there’s a national holiday to commemorate it: National Coffee Day. It’s the fuel that powers many a writer and worker. The chart below confirms that, indeed, the majority of Americans drink it daily. And if you don’t believe that, I was stunned to discover almost 25,000,000 – 25 MILLION! – coffee-tagged pictures on Instagram. Good grief, we’re an addicted nation.


A few national and regional chains are offering free cups of Joe today to celebrate, with the odd mermaid logo one remaining conspicuously quiet on the subject (at least on their website).

Check with your local coffee shops, too; they have room to be much more imaginative, plus, it’s always best to support local friends.

If you’re a real coffee lover, you’re going to need at least one of these fantastic pieces of art–

Chalkboard Coffee Print

{J’adore chalkboard art!}


Its Coffee Time

Isn’t it always?


I Drink Coffee for your protection

This is true for a few people I know…and myself on (rare) occasion.


Hot Coffee is best

We don’t want no stink in’ iced coffee!

Coffee vinyl wall sticker

This is hardcore, but I love it!


Four fun coffee signs

These are fun & would make GREAT gifts for your coffee lover friends!!

You cant buy happiness but you can buy coffee

Madeja smile, didn’t it?


Coffee-espresso-cappuccino-latte print{Yes, Yes, Yes & Yes, please!}


Coffee Canvas

{Don’t you love the tangerine and Tiffany Blue?}


And All Posters has an incredible library of fun and/or artistic prints–


And on my wish list is the best automatic espresso machine on the market.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 10.55.30 AM

This one is a Philips Saeco and it has ALL of the bells and whistles.


After living in Germany a year and having WONDERFUL European coffee…we were spoiled. Any advice on good, affordable automagical espresso makers? DO share in comments!!



Disclosure: Affiliate links used. If 10,000 of you click through and buy anything on Amazon, I might be able to buy a machine. Or at least a cup of coffee after free day is over :).

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Around/About: The “Let’s Read & Early Christmas Gifts” Edition



Posted by on Sep 27, 2014 |

A collection of links I love, sites I like, things to do and interesting reads.

Around-About GREAT Book Recommendations and Early Christmas Gifts


Just in case you were wondering, there are 88 days until Christmas. Some of you will bless me and some of you will curse me for that little reminder.

I wanted to share a few special reads and great deal; take a minute now to get out your credit cards so you’ll be ready 🙂 —

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift - A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann VoskampHighly anticipated and a book I cannot wait to get my hands on is Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. It’s #1 on Amazon for a reason: it’s a significant and meaningful exploration of the Advent season, providing a simple way for your family to celebrate together.

List price is $24.99. Use my link while you can get it for $14.99! Available now for pre-order, grab a copy for your family while you’re picking up this gift for everyone on your list!

Want to really reinforce this message? There are two collections of companion Greatest Gift ornament sets:

The Greatest Gift - Sculpted Resin Ornaments– If you’re willing to make a timeless investment for your family, buy The Greatest Gift Sculpted Ornament set. The price tag might deter you at first, but when you consider you’re receiving 25 high-quality resin ornaments that combine to tell a magnificent story, it’s absolutely worth it! Your children can handle them (carefully) and “touch” part of the story. There will be a limited number produced, so please don’t wait til the last minute.

The Greatest Gift Paper Ornament SetMore of us will be able to afford The Greatest Gift Paper Ornament Set, and don’t you dare consider it sloppy seconds. Yes, you’ll have to handle with care, but they convey the same message at a more accessible cost. Either way, it’s win-win and will only add to your reading of the book.



For Such a Time is This - Stories retold by Angie Smith with illustrations by Breezy BrookshireFor Such a Time as This: Stories of Women from the Bible, Retold for Girls by Angie Smith. Angie will bring stories to life for your daughter with her words, but it will be Breezy Brookshire’s illustrations that seal their memory. I can’t wait to see this one, too. List price is $14.99 but you can get it for $10.11 for at least the time being.






Four books by friends with strong, important messages,
all of which I’ve completed or am currently reading:


Great books by Christian authors
Lets All Be Brave by Annie DownsLet’s All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have, Annie Downs. This is a battle cry, a call to courage, a mostly gentle kick in the pants to do that thing you’ve been afraid of. This is Annie’s first book written to adults following her previous two speaking to teens and the college set. Why you should buy and read it: You will suddenly see long-buried dreams coming to life and you’re going to want to do something about that. Highly motivating and easy to read. UPDATED: On sale for Kindle for just $3.79!! (Not sure for how long so grab it while the getting’s good!!)


I Want God by Lisa WhittleI Want God: Forever Changed by the Revival of Your Soul, Lisa Whittle. Where Annie’s book is a battle cry, Lisa’s is a beggar’s plea.  One of the funnest aspects of reading this book is having heard Lisa talk about it before it was ever finished. She wasn’t sure how it was going to go (what most authors discover) but I *think* she nailed it. Why you should buy and read it: Lisa is passionate about our need for revival and the way she speaks to the heart of the matter is inspiring. It’s hard not to want more of God as you consider how this fundamental desire shapes your faith.

Speak by Nish WeisethSpeak: How Your Story Can Change the World, Nish Weiseth, forward by Shauna Niequist. If you’re a follower of my posts at Deeper Story, you might recognize Nish as the site’s founder. Nish is young, strong and bold and she’s a champion of Story and Storytellers. She lives what she professes. Why you should buy and read it: Speak feels more like a conversation than a book and you’ll plow through it quickly because of it (I almost finished it in one sitting). You’ll come away realizing your story is of value, and through it, you can impact your little world and our big world.  UPDATE: Another WOW Sale! Only $3.99 for Kindle! Don’t let this get away!

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurstThe Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, Lysa Terkeurst. For years I bowed to the tyranny of the urgent and the idol of Busy. I didn’t think this book was for me because I’m on the other side of those challenges. I was wrong–Lysa’s message is so strong and clear, there was plenty more for me to learn. Why you should buy and read it: You’ll begin seeing more clearly the differences between “better” and “best” in your own life, and it will empower you to move beyond the paralysis of indecision to the power of making right decisions.


Lisa Leonard Weekend Instagram SaleLisa Leonard has just passed 30,000 followers on Instagram so she’s offering a weekend sale on a few of her favorite things. Click this link to see the qualifying items and use the code “insta30” at checkout. (There are also items in her sale shop, some of which are 50% off–wowza. The code won’t apply.) I love Lisa’s taste, style and the way she’s living her story, so I hope you’ll support her shop. (And that kite bracelet on the top left image? The PERFECT gift for any Kappa Alpha Theta on your list!!)

Please note that when you click through and purchase I’ll earn a tiny percentage through my affiliate links. This in NO WAY increases what you pay, it’s a thank you from the etailer for my referral. And…this is one of the few ways I’m compensated for writing in this space, so I’m incredibly grateful for your support and ANYTIME you use my affiliate links!

Typically my weekly round-ups are not related to e-commerce but I’m particularly excited about the books I’ve shared. I hope you’ll find something you can’t do without :).

Your turn: What have you read I might’ve missed this week?
Whether a book, a great blog post or interesting article, please share!

Robin Heart Signature - Green

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The incredible gift everyone – EVERYONE – wants (and probably needs)



Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 | 5 comments

Your soul sparkles - Celebrating You

My sister gave me a gift last week and it made me so happy I screamed.


We were alone in my house sitting on my youngest son’s bed, for a reason I can’t recall now. She handed me a package neatly ribboned and wrapped in the brown paper sack from the gift shop explaining, “I’ve had this forever but kept forgetting to give you.”

I clawed off the paper and grinned, already judging this book by its cover.

Celebrating You book - image by Robin Dance

My sister thought she was giving me an 8″x8″ gift book;  but as STINKIN’ DARLING as it is, the book itself wasn’t exactly the biggest part of her gift.  No…planted among its pages was a magical treasure, undetectable by eye, discernible only by the heart.

Her gift was in seeing and knowing me in the deepest ways I long to be seen and known.


I shrieked lunatic-crazy after every single page–think “wolf howling at the moon” and you’ll get a close approximation. Ask her if you think I’m kidding.




Counting each double page as a single (one illustration with a companion sentence), there are just 27 pages (aka 27 screams). Thankfully, or the neighbors might’ve called the police.

Possibility - Celebrating You

We’re just 16 months apart but she’s always been the boss of me. I think she felt this was her God-given right and responsibility when we lost our mother so young. Or maybe it’s a first-born thing. Whatever it is, I’ve always accepted it and at times even appreciated it.

(It just occurred to me that she has known me longer than anyone else alive. Whoa…I’ve never thought about that before this very minute.)

One of my best childhood memories is sitting across from one another in her bathroom – her, on the toilet (lid down), me on the edge of the tub. She was my eager audience of one and I delighted in entertaining her…Edith Ann and Jimmy Carter impersonations (my Georgia roots showing), and I don’t know who else.

Her laughter was my paycheck, her approval, a bonus.


Quote for the best gift to give - Robin Dance

Even though sometimes she is maddening, she’s always been my biggest cheerleader.

Adventure - Celebrating YouLike when I was an upcoming high school freshman trying out for cheerleading and I suffered a major groin injury doing a split but not sufficiently warmed up (red hot knife searing pain that left me in a puddle in front of the judges). Back in the coach’s office, my sister gave me a “pep” talk:  inches from my face she screeched GETCHUR ASS BACK OUT THERE AND FINISH YOUR TRYOUT!

I thought she was cool to say “ass” in front of grown-ups. Bad to the bone.

I hobbled back to the gym, finished my tryout, and made the squad. Thanks to her.

While we’ve had our differences through the years, she’s still my cheerleader and champion. I suppose it’s not that difficult to understand how she could see me and know me so well, what with our history and sheer amount of life together.

And then she sings it back to me by way of a gift in a gift.

The pages in this little book spoke life and love and affirmation and beauty.

She told me I already am who I long to be.

Strong - Celebrating YouAnd though I know we are intimately known and loved by the God of the universe, sometimes a girl needs it in human form. On the very best of days He is gracious to find the perfect person to deliver the message.

My husband knows me and loves me in a way that she never can, but it’s she who has spent my entire lift knowing me in a way he never can–her blood runs through my veins.

It is wired in our DNA, this desire to be known and loved. And I believe each one of us has the capacity to give this gift to someone in our lives who so desperately needs to receive it.

Will you take a moment to consider the people in your life who might thrill to your notice?  Will you follow through and find a way to express it to them?

I don’t know if Celebrating You will be a conduit you can use to encourage another, but for less than ten bucks, if you know someone whose love language, like mine, is words of encouragement, it might be perfect.

I’m curious now…what makes you feel well known and most loved? I guess it centers around your love language.  If you’re willing to share, I’d really like to know what could turn you into a howling wolf…:).


Robin Heart Signature - Green




Affiliate link used for Celebrating You.

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Like Crazy Bargains? Don’t Miss These!



Posted by on May 23, 2014 |

As you may remember, I get a head’s up on big sales from the companies for which I’m an affiliate; we got word from DaySpring  that they’re having a BIG Memorial Weekend Sale! Fifty popular items are discounted 30-60% PLUS you can save another 20% off using code MEMORIAL20.

I CANNOT believe the price on this wall organizer; I’ve came close to buying it ages ago when I saw it at my friend Dawn’s. This weekend it’s more than half off and I’m buying two–one to keep and one for my niece who just graduated from college and needs wall decor for her new apartment.

Redeemed Family Organization Center
, Normally $129.oo but today $59.99!!!!

Redeemed - Truly Blessed - Family Organization Center

You can check out ALL 50 of their Memorial Day Sale Items by clicking this link!  Remember to use the code Memorial20 to save an ADDITIONAL 20% on EVERYTHING in the DaySpring online store including some of their most popular collections–

{My personal favorite, Lisa Leonard hand-stamped jewelry.}

{A lovely remembrance of the hymns of my youth.}

{Dayspring’s new entertaining line.}

And Words Matter Art Prints Words Matter- Art Printsit is SO FUN to see words extracted from blog posts of mine and made into ART! I flipped out when DaySpring asked permission to use these (you’ll have to click below to see which ones are mine :).

Words Matter Art Prints from DaySpring


Amazon isn’t going to miss out on the stream of steady traffic; they’re offering great prices on popular items, too.


Will you be shopping over the Memorial Day weekend?  Tell me about YOUR favorite bargain destinations, online or off!


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