Friday, October 27, 2017

Stay The Course


The past forty-eight hours has not gone smoothly for me. This becoming a new author at 58 has been a challenge to say the least. I have great "ideas" for books to write but the publishing process is challenging. Every step the past few months or so has been a new adventure. This must be why so many people quit.

I am not going to quit.

And considering I am a person riddled with self doubt, I am amazed I am going to finish this journey. But I knew in my heart that this book, Not Really A Princess, had to be written. And I have been continually amazed how with each new step I have been shown what to do and how to do it. And as it has become clear now that it really will actually happen--there are still many steps laid out before me that I am not familiar with doing.

Between marketing, social media, publicity and edits... I feel like I am learning a foreign language. However, I am good at foreign languages.

I have had a date of November 1 for all the content edits to be complete. Yes, that is next week. The past couple weeks I have felt a bit of pressure but still kept up with home and church responsibilities. Yesterday I began panicking. How could I possibly add my final touches if I am still waiting for the content editor to finish the last set? And the REAL concern is -- have I included all God has intended for me to include? Is there something that I should include that someone hurting desperately needs to hear? Have I used the right Bible passages? Is there anything I shouldn't include? I have prayed for these things for months if not years.

I was close to tears last night working at AWANA at church. But tried to focus on the kids. I put tissues next to my bed in case I woke up at night. I slept soundly. As I sat outside with my chocolate lab, Ginger, this morning. I felt a sense of calm. I will stay the course. I KNOW God will take care of every step just like He has the past year. He has assured me repeatedly that He wants this done. He has blessed me over and over. And I feel He has pushed it ahead as if to say, "Look, I've taken care of it," or maybe there is someone out there who needs it soon. I have no idea why but there have been so many things that have happened that tell me I am on the track He wants me on.

The day was not without challenges but I received my edits and truthfully--IT IS ALMOST DONE. My editor says this book is EPIC! Such great words to hear. A few more tweaks then off to the copy editor next week. Yes, I am still having some tech issues tonight but it will get done.

Stay the course. Don't give up.

#notreallyaprincess

Publish date April 1, 2018. Yay!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness

Guest Blogger: Jessica Everett

Jessica is a mom of three. She loves music and is an avid reader of anything and everything.


The constitution of the United States guarantees every man, woman, and child the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Well I agree with this statement in the fact that you can only pursue happiness not achieve it. Happiness is a fleeting thing. Here one moment and gone the next with only a small change in circumstances.

And frankly, happiness isn’t what we should be pursuing anyway. It is an unattainable goal. You can hear your favorite song on the radio and feel happy, you can get a free lunch or a promotion at work and feel happy. But the minute you are cut off by another car on the way home or step through the door to one child whining and the other crying that happiness is gone. What was the value in it but for that brief moment.

However, you can CHOOSE joy. It is a moment by moment, day by day decision. A conscious decision that takes boldness and strength to make but a choice you CAN make no matter what. Joy is achievable and is not fleeting. It is grounded in the ultimate joy that we are given through Christ and our hope and joy in our eternity with Him. It cannot be taken away. It does not flee with the wind. It cannot be changed. We can have this joy even in the deepest holes and the darkest of circumstances. But we must CHOOSE it.

It does not come as a feeling like happiness. It comes from the knowledge that God has us in the palm of His hand and will never let go. Will never forget us. Will never forsake us. It comes from knowing that His Truth is all that matters. Circumstances and people can strip you of everything. Your wealth, your family, your reputation, your job, your things, your health. But NOTHING can ever strip you of God’s Truth and the JOY that comes from that Truth!

This joy, this hope in Christ is what I cling to when I am struggling, when I am loosing that pursuit of happiness. I remind myself that He has given me the choice every day to have joy and that He has surrounded me with small blessings each and every day. A good parking spot, a kind smile from a stranger, an encouraging word from the Bible. I can CHOOSE JOY. That makes all the difference.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Loving October

October. Love October. Driving along streets lined with bright golds, oranges and reds makes me want to stop and take a photo every block. I can't help myself. I am an artist and a lover of our Great Creator. So I pull over, take a picture, go on my way. I am trying to capture the beauty. Maybe I will post it later to share some of the moment with dear friends.

The beauty of creation is something that always beings a smile to me. It doesn't have to be trees. Sometimes its a doggy in a car, ears flapping in the wind with the biggest smile, feeling free. Or maybe its holding a grandbaby with their chubby little fingers holding tight to a bottle or toy.


We continually hear of fires, hurricanes and earthquakes. Creation is also powerful. We are overwhelmed with it as it surrounds us.

I have been to many other countries. Places with huge mountains, islands surrounded by oceans, fabulous waterfalls and rolling hills. I am so amazed by the diversity of it all. It doesn't have to be a fancy place but even the fall leaves in my very own neighborhood make me enjoy the beauty.

It's true that I will be raking those leaves very soon but I want to enjoy them. And when October turns to November and the weather gets colder, there will be beauty in that too. Someone please remind me of this in January...

I always feel like I accomplish a lot in Winter. It is not my favorite season but I appreciate the time inside. It has its own beauty. Then I am incredibly thankful when Spring comes and once again I am outside.

I live in a four season state. I definitely appreciate the variety. So right now I am relishing my time outside on lovely fall days. Stopping on my walks to take pictures. Closing my eyes to imprint them on my mind.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nothing To Squawk About

I never did post this blog. I thought it was such a common occurance that I wondered if it was perhaps not interesting enough to post. This morning I decided that not all blog posts will be out of the ordinary but should really exist to help us through the day to day life.

I did, by the way, make it to my destination. A little bit late but it was not much to squawk about. The following was written last weekend.


Sitting at an airport this morning with my flight delayed. Then delayed again. My connection has now changed three times. I am hoping that I really do make some sort of connection today. It is easy to feel discouraged or irritated. Two hours ago I was very frustrated but now...not so much. I mean I hope I am not stranded here forever but I know that I will eventually get there.

I think this is true of many things in life. We initially get irritated at things in life not lined up just the way we wish. And sometimes life just "happens" and plans are tossed aside. Or changed or delayed.


I was lined up (multiple times) at the gate kiosk. After changing flights and needing to yet again...I was told all flights to my destination are full. Even to other nearby airports. The representative from the airline even called me, of course he told me to just go a different day. Not helpful. But then a very helpful gate person said to just get to my first destination and get on standby for the next flight and try for each remaining flight. She said she thought for sure I would get on one.

Hope. So nice to have a plan and have hope. I am not sure what is going to happen the rest of my day. But I know that I won't remain here. I will get on my first flight, make attempts at other connecting flights. Until I get on the next plane. Persistence.

Don't give up, dear friend. Keep up the good fight. Stay true. Stand firm. Patiently await good things to come. They may not come when we wish but they Will come.

"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course, I have kept the faith" II Timothy 4:7


Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Other Love Chapter

Growing up on a small horse ranch in Western Washington with unsteady income and going through some fiery trials as a child, I have grown to feel the need to help others. Living with a widow with no income as a teen I learned to be so thankful for any little helps from others. Consequently I feel very burdened for people as an adult.

In my study of 1 John chapter 3 the past couple weeks I discovered that this chapter is really the essence of a true believers heart. If others cannot see our love for others then are we truly following God? He is all about love and if we are to be like Him then love and compassion should flow from us.


In referencing this passage this week in my Bible study I gleaned a few quotes from my MacArther Study Bible. These come from verses 14-24. "Christian love is self sacrificing and giving, Christ giving up His own life for believers epitomized the true nature of Christian love...A practical love that finds motivation in helping others. Where it does not exist, it is questionable that God's love is present...A lifestyle of love in action is demonstrable proof of salvation...Love in action is the true test of a Christian profession...When a Christian recognizes in his life the manifestation of love in deeds and actions, it results in confidence about his relationship with God. Since love is the heart of obedience to the law, its presence shows a life evidence submission to God which He blesses by answered prayer."

We sometimes have very good intentions to help those who we know have needs around us but sometimes "life" just gets in the way. Business, downtime, family time and just plain laziness sometimes thwart our best goals. I know that sometimes someone will come to mind and I have a great plan to encourage or help someone but I just forget.

But being a person of action demonstrates our true love for others. Being a doer. I need to work on this in my own life. Verses 17-18 say it all, " But whoever has the world's goods and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

NO MATTER WHAT!


I drove into the mountains along the scenic Payette River to a ladies retreat on Friday with my daughter and her 6 month old. Being at a mountain retreat is a favorite thing of mine. What could be better than visiting with other women, sharing meals together and listening to an amazing speaker? And the music. Love. Hearing dozens of voices in harmony. My daughter was playing bass. There was also a guitar, keyboard and a friend of mine on violin. She doesn't ever use music with her violin but plays by ear as if the violin is a part of her. One can just shut their eyes and listen to all the parts.

The speaker shared about not just loving God above all else but that we also need to love our neighbors. Really love them. Not get irritated because the neighbors have 10 cars or their dog barks all day. A more practical approach like learning all their names, making sure they know they can count on you if they need to and truly showing you care. NO MATTER WHAT.

I have to admit it is so easy to go inside, close the door and not want to talk to someone but that does not show compassion to them. In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus answers the Pharisees when they are trying to put His knowledge to the test. He answers them by saying, "You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Hmmm... that is pretty strong instruction to us. Clear and concise. Right to the point.

I have some work to do. I know a few on my street, but only half. I am going to pray for opportunities to show others Christ's love. It may take awhile but I can at least improve. I would encourage you to reach out to those around you. Meet at least one new person this week. It's great to learn when we hear an encouraging speaker talk at a retreat or conference but we need to apply because we so soon forget. Blessings to you. Let me know ways you have reached out to your neighbor.


Timeframes

       Do you feel like you have lost a couple months? I do. Yesterday I went to the grocery. I met my oldest daughter there with her kids. ...