Friday, December 9, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #16, "His Love...Our Greatest Gift of All"

As an author, there is so much to write about, especially around the Christmas season. It is so easy this time of year to reflect on all the goodness surrounding us and the spirit of thankfulness left over from Thanksgiving. However, as I look around at all the busyness, it gives me a feeling of discontent. People are shopping from store to store to buy gifts for each other. To some, it doesn't matter what they buy, just as long as there are presents to open. Some or most of the gifts probably end up in a drawer or closet, forgotten about. 

In the past, I often found myself thinking how I would afford Christmas. Christmas shouldn't be something to afford! As I drew more toward Christ, I realized that Christmas would be what I made it..loving! Gifts were nice, but not the most focused and important part of Christmas.

It makes me think of the Wise Men. They traveled a great distance bearing extravagant gifts for the Christ-child of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They wanted nothing but the best for the baby who was born as a Savior to save the world. But, they had it all wrong. Do you think that Jesus would have thought any less of them if they came to greet and welcome Him with only the smiles on their faces? No, of course not! That isn't who Jesus is. Besides, he was a baby and babies love to look at people smiling at them and acting like a child!

He is the one who loves us just for being in His world. We are His greatest treasures! Yes, He created us to be thoughtful and caring givers and receivers, but not of material items that won't matter the next hour or day. He created us in His image to be givers and receivers of Love..HIS LOVE...OUR GREATEST GIFT OF ALL, and the way He intended us to celebrate His  birth on Christmas.

The Three Wise Men are a good example of elaborate giving. In today's society, the theory of, the more expensive the gift, the more people will appreciate it, is misconstrued. This has developed more and more over the years and people have been misguided. As I recall when my daughters were toddlers, they received so many big and costly toys. We lugged these toys to my parent's home when we visited, and wouldn't you know it, all they wanted to do was for my Mother to get out all her pots and pans and wooden spoons so they could BANG on them! A perfect example of "the simple things in life." That is what is truly important..focusing on the "simple things." 

There were the Three Wise Men who were kings, dressed in velvet robes and wearing crowns of the most precious jewels, and giving a wealth of gifts.....and then came a little poor boy up to the manger who had nothing to give the Baby Jesus.  All he owned besides the worn clothes on his back and his donkey...was his drum. So, he played a song on his drum as a gift. That dear little boy gave from his heart..the only thing he knew how to do.

Put away your busy thoughts for a moment and think about your life and all the precious time you have to look forward to with those special loved ones around you. Instead of buying all the latest technology or electronics, plan a special event for your family to share in..a drive to see the Christmas lights, a walk in the snow, playing a guitar or piano and singing Christmas Carols, reading Christmas stories, baking cookies or enjoying a candlelit dinner. There are endless possibilities. Go back to the days of old and create your own treasured memories. 

Bask in all the Glory around you this Christmas season and remember to give the true gift of Love to all those around you. Smile a lot, hug a lot and be especially kind and considerate to those who mean the most to you.  GIVE the Abundant Love of Jesus this Christmas and RECEIVE the Richest Blessings in return!

Merry CHRISTmas to you all. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #15, "Preparing for Rain..Get Ready, Get Set..GO!"

In life, as in a race, we have to get ready (focus on what we want to accomplish), and get set (prepare for what is ahead), and GO (with earnest). We must "prepare for rain" in order to see God at work in our lives. In one of my very favorite movies, "Facing the Giants," there is a scene that goes like this: "I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain, and both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out into his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?...The one who prepared his fields for it. Which one are you? God will send the rain when He's ready. WE NEED

This is a wonderful and insightful analogy of how God works in our lives. He only asks that we do our share and prepare for His blessings.

It all begins with PLANTING THE SEED. When we get a passionate idea that excites us about our future, and we think to ourselves, "What if?" Then, our mind begins to wander with the wonderful possibilities of that unique, passionate idea. We are planting the seed for that idea to take root. Then, we go out and make the choice to make it happen!  Making it happen is when our faith and motivation sets in and we then pursue our goal to the end.

This is where the excitement happens! When God steps in, seeing our earnest, He begins the numerous blessings in our life. He paves the way for each step to succeed, seeing it through to the end..where abundance in all its glory prevails!

I began this very process with a simple thought for a story. I wanted more than anything to become an author. Not just any author, but one whom God would be proud of. I planted the seed for this to occur.  Then, I began to write my series, "Bibletoons." I wanted God to approve of every word I wrote, focusing and letting my words flow. I was preparing my fields for rain.

When I completed my manuscript and submitted it to Tate Publishing, I knew I did my very best for God. Then, I was at the next step of my dream. A few weeks later, I received word that it was accepted and would be sent to production soon, making the publishing date for January, 2012. My manuscript, now edited and polished, is being sent to Layout and Design, where it will soon become my very first book, "Adventure With Noah." I am now blooming where I am planted..becoming an author and working on the next book in my Christian children's series.

Abundance is here for anyone who has an idea and puts it to work. Plant your seed, prepare for rain and bloom where you are planted! God is always with us to guide us along to our well deserved abundance. Share your passion for success with Him and He will show you a life you've always dreamed about. Make it happen..Get Ready (Prepare for Rain), Get Set (Plant the Seed), and Go (Bloom).

If you haven't already seen "Facing the Giants," I highly recommend that you do. It is a wonderful story of facing your fears with the faith of God's guidance and going against all odds to accomplish your dreams.

Besides "Facing the Giants," other Christian movies by Alex Kendrick, Owner/Director/Actor, Sherwood Pictures, and Associate Pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia, are "Flywheel," "Fireproof" and his brand new awesome film, "Courageous." You will want to watch them all! These films will encourage you, as they did me, to build courage and step out in faith to an abundant future. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #14, "Engaged in a Wonderful Life"

There are different definitions for the word, "engaged."  It is an adjective meaning:

Employed, occupied, or busy.
Committed, as to a cause.

Pledged to marry; betrothed: an engaged couple
There are many ways in life in which we are engaged. We can be engaged in our work, engaged and occupied in our activities, or engaged and busy with our every day schedules. These types of engagements keep us diligently pressing toward a future of promise.  We press forward with much effort, gaining accomplishments, taking care of our families and earning pay to make it all possible.  It is good to be engaged in our every day events, as long as we focus on the positive results and making each moment count.  

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in these types of engagements, that life somehow passes too quickly, and we haven't stopped for a moment to reflect on all the goodness around us.  It is so essential to relax once in awhile, to sing, laugh, enjoy little things, stop to see a friend, and simply marvel at our lives.  Look at your life as a blessed opportunity to reach out and do something good that you normally wouldn't do, or maybe that you do all the time!  Most importantly, have FUN with your life.  After all, it is what you make it.  Choose to make it more rewarding, which leads me to the next definition of "engaged."

Being engaged or committed to a cause is a spectacular gift that you give others.  Participating or being active toward a cause gains much self worth.  There are endless causes in the world that need our attention.  Good causes help us develop compassion and love in our lives for others.  Joining a cause helps us stand up and lend a helpful hand to what we believe in.  It gives us strength and builds incredible character.  God blesses us with treasures in heaven for all the good deeds we do down here!  Lending a hand to a worthy organization, whether it be through fund raising, sports, comfort or feeding the hungry, it engages us in a whole other aspect of life and increases the love inside of us...which leads me, again, to the final definition of "engaged."

Being engaged also means to pledge yourself to someone with unconditional love.  It is a sacred promise to the special person you love saying that you want to spend the rest of your life with them, and that you will always be there for them to share all of life's experiences, caring for them in a way that no one else can.  It is so important that when you're engaged to be married, you center your commitment around the nine "Fruits of the Spirit," as listed in the Bible:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians:5-22). Any marriage formed on these principles is sure to succeed.  Always practice these special qualities each and every day to live an abundant and happy life full of love and caring.

This post means so much to me because I recently became engaged to a man whom I've shared the past ten years with in a long distance relationship. (One hour away).  We've grown together as a loving couple and cherish every moment ever spent together.  I love the way Tony always makes me laugh, and his calm spirit allows him to always speak with a pleasant voice.  He gets up happy and goes to bed happy! He prides himself as an insurance agent and has a great friendship with his boss.  He always encourages me in all that I writing, web designing and anything that is important to me. (We are even writing a Christian novel together!)

Most importantly, he has always been loving and kind to my two daughters, never raising his voice to them, but teaching them life's valuable lessons and always praising their accomplishments.

My family thinks the world of him because he treats them all with respect and caring.  Being the oldest of nine fun-loving sisters and brothers, Tony has gained a title of "authority," being lovingly pulled in all different directions, and not having it any other way. He is a fabulous father to his two sons, who have grown to be responsible and hard-working young men.  He became a grandfather this past February, and his new, sweet little granddaughter is the apple of his eye! He learned how to treat people from his loving parents.  

Tony is like all three definitions that I've explained the positive side of.  He always takes time out to enjoy life, and enjoys life in whatever he's doing.  He is a Rotary President and helps give back to his community through amazing charitable events and contributions.  He also carries with him all the fruits of the Spirit, he really does!  I am so excited to be engaged and in a commitment that goes beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and with my very best friend whom I love and adore who has taught me through the years to be the best possible person I can be through God.

Make life all it can be with these valuable lessons and choose to be aware of the little things, lend a helping hand, and love unconditionally.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #13, "Let Abundance Flow Into Your Life"

Looking back on my childhood, I can see now how God had His hand on my life from the start.  I lived in a beautiful home, had nice clothes to wear, attended good schools, had fun neighborhood kids to hang out with, a big sister whom I looked up to and kind and loving parents.  Money was never discussed, it was simply always in great supply.  My Dad worked hard running his machine shop and Mom taught school off and on while we were growing up.  Life was fun and carefree.

When we were old enough, we got jobs to add to our spending money.  Then, my sister graduated and went to college and I followed a couple years later.  Life as we knew it began to change as we changed. After college, we went out on our own in separate places to begin new lives, and for the first time in my life at that point, it was my responsibility to earn my way.  It was a difficult task that had more disadvantages than advantages.  I was pretty dependent on my parents for so many years, and it was like a slap in the face having to depend mainly on myself.

Life today is somewhat repeating itself, only not exactly the same circumstances.  I am a single mother of two college girls and trying to make my way in the world, not only for myself (being last on the list) but mainly for my daughters.  I want so much to give them everything I had growing up, but is is difficult with only one income in our family, although their father has been a great provider, which has helped immensely.  Still, however, bills and mortgage payments have been challenging each month. Jobs have come and gone in order to try and get a little further each year.

Through the journey, my strength has grown and God's favor has increased.  Then, the tuition payments began.  The past three years have been the most challenging years financially, and yet the most rewarding years at the same time.  I couldn't be more pleased at watching my two girls grow and blossom into beautiful, gifted young ladies.

So, I am saying that, although times can get challenging and unnerving, look to the good in your life that God has placed smack dab in front of you!!  Treasure each and every moment of each and every day.  Expect great things to happen.  Keep your eyes on the Lord and see the good in people.  Be aware of what you say and how you speak to others, especially those in your family.  Make a point to encourage someone each day.  The more you practice these simple acts of honor, the more abundance will flow into your life.

For the past eleven years, I have owned WorldHorizons WebCenter and design web sites for businesses.  I love my work and enjoy the people I meet.  My work has paid the bills and continues to open me to new and exciting places.  I have remained faithful throughout these eleven years, and God has blessed me each month with being able to make enough to stay afloat.  And then there's Tony, the incredible man God placed in my life who makes everything bearable, keeping me on the right track with his words of encouragement.

When I turned fifty last November, I wondered if I would ever make enough to do all the things I needed to do..repairs for my Dad's home (where I grew up), needs for my daughters, new furniture, etc., etc., as well as keep the mortgage and tuition payments up.

I continued to pray, remain faithful, and expect the flow of blessings.  Now, at the precise time in my life that God has chosen, I have become what I always had dreamed of..a signed author.  The first book in my Christian Children's Chapter Book Series: "Bibletoons," is to be published in January, and I have a renewed hope on the horizon.  2012 is certain to be what I have been building up for my whole life!  A new start, a new chance to challenge myself, and a whole new outlook on life.

Has God taken His own sweet time?..Maybe.  But it is just that..His time.  At any rate, I CAN see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel, because I've lived the kind of Christian life that I think God is proud of, and because I expected it.  

Mind you, things aren't all fun and games.  There have been endless set backs and bumps along the way, but all in all, I've made it to a wonderful place where I'm excited to be.  Now, I'm praying.."God, help me make it just a few more months!"  I know that I'll be working harder that I ever have promoting my book, etc., but I say, "Bring it on!"

I'll always maintain my web business, enjoy writing books, and most importantly of all, watch my girls prosper, for the love of God is so great, and His promise to all who remain obedient and faithful is for that endless abundance to flow right into our streams of income, health and family.  Remember, we WILL all see the strong hands of God at work if we believe!!  Have a peaceful and restful night knowing that God is in complete control of your life. Is there anything better in the world!?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #12, "Choose to Live a Positive Life of Victory"

This is YOUR life, and you can CHOOSE how it goes!  Think about it.  Everything in life is a choice.  When you get up in the morning, you can CHOOSE to be happy or you can choose not to be.  You can CHOOSE to walk around with a skip in your step, an excitement in your heart, a successful attitude and a motivational direction, or you can choose not to.  Whatever you CHOOSE, your life will follow.  Success will  follow achievement.  Abundance will follow gratitude.  Victory will follow determination. Happiness will follow perseverance.  Promise will follow joy.  Blessings will follow faith.

Your mind is a very powerful tool.  Condition it every day with positive thinking, and positive results will follow.  Go around each day knowing that God made you to be EXACTLY who you are...a child of the most High God.  Be FAITHFUL to live and love in obedience.  Practice wisdom and enlarge your knowledge by learning new and exciting things that interest you.  Be kind and caring to those around you. 

Press on to new challenges.  This will keep your life full of joy and excitement.  Keep going until you've reached your goals, even if you have to strive with baby steps to get there...but know WILL get there! 

Refering to my book, "Adventure With Noah," that will be published in January, 2012, Noah CHOSE to obey God.  He CHOSE to keep an open mind.  He CHOSE to remain joyful in the midst of adversity.  He CHOSE not to let others influence his feelings.  He CHOSE to practice wisdom.  He CHOSE to remain obedient to God.  And, he CHOSE to stay in faith.  He used his God-given talents to build an ark, not just any ark, but an ark that would house two of every animal and creature of every species on Earth, as well as himself and his family.  He endured all kinds of negative feedback, but pressed on with determination and excitement.  He was kind and caring to his enemies, and was blessed beyond imagination by God in return.

CHOOSE to be the kind of person that God intended you to be.  Love your family and friends.  Help those who need encouragement, loving your neighbors and all those around you.  Rise high in achieving your goals and dreams.  If you do this, God will witness your actions, and He will be there to lift you up new and much deserved levels of success.  It is His ultimate promise to you.  He wants you to succeed and do the things in life that He created you for.  This is your purpose in life.  Now, go and proceed on to excellence!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #11, "Through Constant Faith and Expectancy"

I want to tell you how AWESOME God is!  He wants to guide us to fulfill all our dreams, however he wants us also to realize HOW we got there.  For THIS is the greatest accomplishment.  My excitement is not in the fact that I am getting my first book published, the actual success.  My excitement is in the journey that God brought me through.  It is in His work in the long process, blessing me in every step along the way.  The KEY? remain in CONSTANT FAITH AND EXPECTANCY.

I did not write my book, it is an inspired work from God, and I give Him all the credit and Glory.  This is what must happen to become truly successful.  Using God as your teacher in all things and staying in tune with Him is a must.

On my road to becoming a signed author, I took an online children's writing course.  The first thing I read in the course manual as an introduction was not to get your hopes up to get published on the very first submission, and that you have to submit your manuscript to several publishing companies first before you become noticed.  I also read how not to personalize your query (cover) letter and just get right to the point. I sighed and thought, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." "I know I can beat these odds." I started to believe and began planting the seeds of success.

After that course ended, I concentrated on my manuscript that I had begun some time ago.  I rewrote parts, editing it until I was pleased with the words.  I then wrote a "personal" and from the heart query letter.  Now, I needed a publishing company.  I prayed for God to guide me to the right one.  I got on the computer and Googled Christian publishing companies and Tate Publishing was number one on the list, being one of the top Christian publishing companies in the country.  I thought, "Okay, why not go with the best."  I researched their web site to the max and loved everything about them...  Especially when I read, "Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover and market unknown authors."  "Join the Tate Publishing family today and make your dreams a reality!"  I thought, "Oh, this could work."  My faith told me that God brought me to them for a reason and I was at rest with my decision. Then, I read, "We receive tens of thosands of submissions and author inquiries each year, but we choose to accept only a small percentage of the authors who submit manuscripts to us."  Wow.  More doubt, but still pressing on through faith, shaking that doubt off. 

I went on to complete my manuscript, and the next step before submitting it was the most important step.  I held my manuscript, got down on my knees and blessed it, asking God to direct it to the right people who will love, nurture and accept it. THEN, and ONLY THEN was it ready for submission.

I received an email right away that confirmed they had received it.  Then, I waited about two weeks and received another email saying that it had been given to an Acquistions Editor who was assigned to me and she would be reviewing it within the next few days.  All this time in waiting, I continued praying, having the distinct and confident feeling of faith and expectancy that I would become published.

Finally, on a Tuesday night around 7pm, the doorbell rang.  I thought, "Who could that be at this hour?"  I opened the door and the UPS man was hopping back in his truck.  Inside the door he had left a Next Day Air envelope from Tate Publishing.  I immediately knew my manuscript had been excepted.  Why else would I receive such a package?  I opened it and read the words which began, "We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to issue you a formal offer for your book "A Man Named Noah." and that my book was "chosen on the basis of writing ability, concept and most importantly - marketability."  I then read the words written below by the Acquisitions Editor, "I enjoyed receiving your chapter book!  Great fit for Tate Publishing." ...and God knew it would be, all along!

Excitement and joy spread over me.  All I could think of was to thank God for His promise, which I did, and I wept tears of happiness for the blessings I had received.  I ran into my daughter's room, who, at my appearance, thought something was tragically wrong.  I handed her the letter and she danced around the room with me in great joy.

Always remember not to let doubt from the enemy creep in through negative people stating things against what you're working toward.  "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."  I, very humbily, became published with my very first submission, and with a "personalized" query letter, through the Grace of God and the people he led me to.

So, you see, it isn't the actual success that is exciting.  No, the REAL excitement lies in the relationship gained with God through the whole process.  You see, He will work for our good if we succeed and obey for His good..and when you DO succeed, let others know the incredible way you got there..with God, first and foremost leading the way. Our true success is knowing Him and letting Him become the author of our life.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #10, "Life is Like a Box of Chocolates.."

"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get," as quoted in the movie, Forrest Gump, is so true, and one of my favorite sayings.  To elaborate on this quote, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get", but you can set yourself up for great things!   When you put your trust in God, All things are possible and you know your "gonna get" abundant blessings!

When you live a life of expectancy, favor follows.  Live every moment of every day in awe of what God is blessing you with.  Be observant of His goodness.  Thank Him often.  Speak words of encouragement over others, sharing compliments at every opportunity.  Love those around you, especially those who matter most.  Thrive where you're at in life and God will bring you higher.  Pray continuously for strength, wisdom, power, and health.  Bloom where you are planted.

You never know what God will bless you with in this life.  But, if you keep your options open to God's ways, you know that things can only get better.  He wants you to live a life that will please Him..a life that He has perfectly molded to what He created you for and what He created you to be.

As an author, God gives me the inspiration to pour out my heart into my work.  I feel that is what I'm meant to do and to be.  I want my words to enlighten and enrich the lives of my readers, to bring hope, healing and a special knowledge of God and all He can do.  My life is becoming richer in spirit, faith, prosperity and joy.  New ventures are up ahead and I'm so excited at the path God is directing for me.

So, keep your mind pure and good, thinking nice thoughts.  Watch uplifting programs, read books of the heart, learn valuable lessons.  Think of ways you can help others and make a difference in this world, one random act of kindness at a time.

You, too, as many of you are already experiencing, can live in the splendor of the moment by becoming aware of what is around you, all that is good, and keep your faith right out in front of you.

I have become acquainted with dozens and dozens of fellow Christian authors lately that have spoken words of encouragement and praise to me.  It has given me a whole new sense of worth, and a whole new outlook on things to come, a feeling that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"  Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV).  Thank you, for giving me that renewed hope in my life.

We're all in this together..this life of striving to succeed.  Let your ventures begin with the face of Our Almighty shining through your lives and bringing you to the place of your dreams.  When you do this, you'll always get "the chocolates" you most desire.

Keep writing or doing whatever God has brought you to do, keep smiling (it is contagious), and keep me informed of your wonderful progress!  Love and Blessings to you all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #9, "In Memory Of..."

As I reflect on this somber weekend, I think back to my history books and the teachings of all the memories of past wars that our brave American troops fought in, and knowing that none of those who lost their precious lives died in vain.  We think of all those who survived the war, but have since passed on.  We think of all those who were injured, some beyond repair, who live with those injuries.  We think of all those loved ones who have gone before us and the thoughts, dreams and influence they had on our lives.

As a writer, I look beyond the ordinary thoughts of yesterday, going a step further to emphasize all the faded moments when their lives were rich and thriving, humble and distinguished.  I look beyond those thoughts of ideas, dreams, and excitement they once knew, that we must keep alive for the sake of our children and the ones who remain.  I look beyond to a place of complete tranquility, that rests on all of what they stood for here on earth, a place which remains in our hearts as treasured memories.

If we trace back through the years, dating back to the American Civil War from April 12, 1861- April 9, 1865, we remember that the casualties out-numbered any other war fought in our country.  620,000+ lost their lives in battle, by disease, and in enemy camps.  The many individual battles had devastating results of casualties, like the most horrific being The Battle at Gettysburg (51,112), the 2nd being The Battle of  Chickamauga (34,624).  3rd, The Battle at Chancellorsville (30,099), and the list goes on and on...Spotsylvania, Antietam, Wilderness, etc.  

We think of the many wars and hundreds upon hundreds of battles fought like the Revolutionary War,  The World Wars, Vietnam, War of 1812, and the many other wars that Americans participated in, including the war in Iraq and those who perished on September 11, 2001.  The past history of our Great Country, One Nation Under God, makes us proud and sentimental to our leaders and soldiers in the military, and those who led our country to the best of their abilities.

There are also so many in our thoughts, our loved ones that we miss.  I think of my treasured Mother who went to be with the Lord in August of 2007.  I feel her presence each day, her exceptional spirit guiding me into my future.  She was always my encouragement, and still is, even more so today, with whom I dedicate this post to, and also to Nicholas A. DiLeva, Sr., my fiance's wonderful father, a unique and inspiring man who was one of the greatest influences in my life, and truly one of the kindest people I ever knew.  His family, including Tony, means the world to me.

Memories of those we loved from the past, whether 100 years ago or 1 day ago, will always give us a feeling of thankfulness...being thankful that they graced our lives with their smiles and thoughts.

As we look back, we seek rest.  May it give us great comfort knowing that our lives are better and more fulfilled having known them. Let us also know that their lives are greater now, living at the right hand of God in the most splendid of places.  May all our beautiful soldiers, spouses, mothers, fathers, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers and acquaintances live on in our hearts, minds, spirits and souls forever and ever until we meet again.  God Bless You All on this Memorial Day and always.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #8, "Cleansing..Out With the Old"

Last time, I spoke about planting seeds for your future.  Well, another idea in making those seeds flourish is to cleanse out the old, which will, in turn, bring in new challenges, new hope and new promises into your life.

I cleaned my garage last week and got rid of "STUFF" I honestly didn't use.  It felt great!  Now, as I go through my home and look around my basement, I'm thinking, "How in the world did all these things accumulate!?"  I felt like I needed to call CLEAN HOUSE, the TV show!  Anyway, as I made myself begin to clean the cellar, I felt the house become lighter and less cluttered, throwing away junk from my past.

That is how God wants us all to become...less cluttered and letting go of the past so that He can bless us with the promises of our future.  We have a very difficult time "letting go" of things, so we hold on to them, thinking that one day we might need them.  So, all these things that we hold on to become reminders of things from our past.  What we need to do is look toward the future instead of living in our rear view mirrors.  

Now, as I reflect on this, it is easy to breeze through the "JUNK," sifting out my past and getting rid of the burdens and chains that have been placed on me.  I feel a renewed sense of joy and know that my future is up ahead and very bright!!

Today, I had to watch them haul away something very dear to Mom's car..the Lincoln she had so loved to drive.  It was something in her life that she enjoyed so much.  She gained pleasure from driving us all around all the time...and it was in my care for almost four years, since she had gone to be with the Lord.  I know it was just an object, but when I drove it and sat in it, I somehow felt closer to her, as if she were there with me.  I kept it for sentimental reasons, and spent a great deal of money keeping it running. 

Her Lincoln, a beautiful, cream-colored car to look at, was in good running condition.  However, the bottom, which was not visible to the eye, was rusting.  It is kind of like you and me...we may look great on the outside, but on the inside, we may carry heavy burdens that aren't visible to the eye and that make us less valuable to those around us.  We need to let go of these burdens.

I knew that I couldn't afford to keep her car, and not knowing what would need to be repaired next,  I sold it for so much less than I put into it.  However, I knew that it was good to us.  My daughter learned to drive in it and we had some goods times taking it around.  But, needless to say, it was holding me back.

I had tears in my eyes as I lifted my camera and took one last picture of it, before I watched it slowly disappear out of sight.  I had a sad feeling of emptiness, as if part of me had gone with it, and at the same time, had a feeling of relief.  As I thought about it, I realized that it was only an object and my Mom's spirit lives on in everything around me.

Cleansing...out with the old, in with the new, gives one a sense of renewal, knowing that better things are around the corner.

As an author, I can write about new ideas, new dreams and the new ventures up ahead.  To me, getting rid of clutter unfolds new possibilities, looking at my life as just beginning.

Unload the junk, clutter and distractions in your life today.  Let yourself feel lighter, lifting your burdens.  Let Go and Let God.  Thanks for listening!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #7, "Planting Seeds"

Don't you just love the Springtime?!  Everything seems new and fresh..nature is becoming green again and new life is creeping into the world.  As I reflect on this past winter, I become more aware of another new season.  A fresh new season of hope and splendor, and with it, comes new horizons.

Have you ever wondered why this season is called "Spring?" I like to think that it is because it gives you a renewed sense of motivation, putting a "Spring" in your step, "Springing" forward to new experiences that life has in store for you.  "Spring" into your life now, in this most perfect season.  How, you ask?  It's simple!  BEGIN BY SOWING SEEDS!  

This is the season for planting SEEDS and watching your earnest effort flourish into beautiful growth.  Well, you can also plant seeds of goodness in your life.  A seed is easy to plant.  All you need to do is take an idea that you are passionate to fulfill and ask God to nourish it.  When your idea comes into light with answers to prayer, that is when your seeds are prospering.  

Think of all that you want out of life; every idea that you've put on the back burner, dreams that you've tucked away and that you bring out every once in awhile, saying, "Someday, maybe." Well, get all those ideas and dreams back out.  Think hard about them.  Pray about them.  And, that is when you'll be PLANTING SEEDS for your future.

When I was working on my manuscript and praying along the way, I was planting the seed for success.

When I was thinking on the idea of becoming an author, I was planting the seed for accomplishment.

PLANT SEEDS in YOUR life today and then watch them sprout!  Just the mere thought of something you want to bring about is planting the seed.  That is the first step to MAKING  things in your life happen.

Make your list of seeds today and share them here.  I'm proud of you all!  Until next time...I gotta go water my seeds.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #6, "Focus"

As an author, or anyone who has a dream for that matter, you must remain focused and aware of all that is around you.  That means, stay in tuned to your thoughts and surroundings so you can create wonderful ideas.  This is the main ingredient in writing.  Fresh new ideas that you gather from life will help you become a great "thinker."  Write down any interesting thoughts that come to mind.  Even names you like, places you like to go, and people you may meet along the way.  As you will see, when you begin to put all these thoughts and ideas together, you will possess the makings of a great writer.  Let your mind take you to places you would love to visit, or make up beautiful places in your mind.

Also stay in tuned to what is true and good, obeying God's word, so that you will be blessed in every endeavor.  Then, as your book begins to take shape, so will your life.  You will become all that God has created you to become, and rich, wonderful blessings will follow you everywhere you go and in all that you do.  Have a good night's rest, friends, and I'll talk to you again soon with more uplifting thoughts.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #5, "God, the Author of Your Life"

Well, it's Monday night, the day after Easter.  I hope everyone had a chance to reflect on beginning again with a new YOU!  Easter is a very humbling day of rest, knowing that on this day, all those hundreds of years ago, Jesus died on the cross for you and I, taking all the sins of the world on His shoulders so that we could live a free and cleansed life.  What will you do for Him today in return?  Do something personal for the Lord today..something He would be truly proud of, and make this an exciting habit.

God is the Author of your life, of all our lives, for that matter.  He has already written the book of your life and He's watching you play it out.  He knows that you'll make mistakes and blunders, but He also wants you to learn from them.  Try your best now to be smart with your decisions and always ask yourself in every situation, "What would Jesus Do?" Make Him proud and you will be blessed beyond belief!

Let the Spring bring about wonderful new beginnings. Writing about things in your life is a great way to start your career.  Keep a journal of all your thoughts.  This could, indeed, help you decide what you could put into a book.  Keep a clear conscience and a clear mind for some awesome ideas!  Until next time...thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #4, "Maundy Thursday"

Just wanted to write a quick note on this Maundy Thursday of Holy Week.  I hope you've been enlightened so far with my posts and that they have helped some.  After reading them, now go have fun with your life!  Become aware of every moment of each day.  Don't get caught up in all the busy times, but stay focused in all the beautiful moments you can create by simply being yourself!  Notice things around you that you haven't noticed before and SMILE!

Reflect this weekend on the goodness of God.  Recognize deeply what Jesus took on the cross with Him on Good Friday all those many years ago so that we would live a life free from sin.  Have a wonderfully blessed Easter everyone!  Bless you all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #3, "Steps"

Hi again and welcome to my third post!  I'm staying in Faith that several of you will see my blog and want to be a part of it!  I have so much to tell you all!

The other day I spoke of my story and now I'd like to continue on with the steps before resubmission of my manuscript.  There are many pages to work on besides the Main Text.  Below, you will see what they are, in the order they are to appear in your book with descriptions of each:

Title Page- Includes the Title, any Subtitles and your name.
Dedication- To whom your book is dedicated to, usually someone near and dear to you who has touched your life and has been a source of encouragement.
Acknowledgments- Anyone whom you want to acknowledge as being a major influence in your success.
Table of Contents- All the Chapters are listed here.
Foreword- Often, a foreword will tell of some interaction between the writer of the foreword and the writer of the story.
Preface/Prologue (Introduction)- A short introduction of your book, promoting excitement to the reader, and a description of yourself. A preface generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or how the idea for the book was developed.
Main Text- All the story text in your book.
Epilogue- A piece of writing at the end of your story's text to bring closure to your work.
Afterword- Placed at the end of your book describing how the idea for your book was developed.
Appendix- Added at the end giving reference to any related material used.
Index- A list of words or phrases as to where useful material relating to that heading can be found in document.
End notes-  End notes are collected under a separate heading at the end of a chapter in a book or a document.
Bibliography- Works sited.
Biography- About you, usually on the in-covers or back cover.
Endorsement- A testimonial written by a professional, famous person or public figure endorsing or promoting your book.  One who would have good appeal to the marketing of your book. Found mostly on the back cover of your book.  (You must go out on a limb with this one..write a letter to someone in the public eye!)

These are important steps in order to maintain the flow of your book into production!  Of course, all of the above pages may not pertain to your book, or are not necessary.  Therefore, you are to choose which ones you'd like to include in your book.  Title Page, Dedication, Preface, Main Text are essential, however.

The above pages must be edited until you are completely satisfied.  Remember, they are to be put into your book for millions to view!

I hope this helps you begin the final process before production.

Remember, also, that all this information is written not only to inform you of the steps for a possible future book you may be working on to be published, but it is also meant to motivate you into getting the work accomplished, too!  Until tomorrow...bless you all!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #2, "My Story"

Well, here I am again, and as promised, here is my story..

Actually, I didn't try that hard to succeed, banging my head against the door..I simply spent my time wisely, little by little persevering.  I began writing my manuscript about 3 years ago, however, I put it on the back burner so many times, that I forgot how much I wanted to be an author!  Something always got in the way, something called LIFE.

Out of the blue one day while visiting with my sister, she handed me an advertisement from a magazine for a writer's aptitude test as part of a promotion from a literature school to draw more students.  I was intrigued and gave it a shot.  I wrote a story of a funny childhood experience, and was accepted to enroll.  I took the 12 month course online, with a leave of absence for a few months when my Mom passed away.  I graduated the next year, with high hopes of beginning a writing career. 

On and off I worked on my manuscript, putting it down for a week or two, picking it back up as time permitted.  Then, one day I got a sudden urge to finish it once and for all...and I did, revising it over and over again until I was satisfied. I should mention, right here, that when God shows His favor, things begin to take root.

I then began to research Google to find the perfect Christian Publishing Company and clicked on the first one that came up.  (God's favor!)  I researched their web site thoroughly and loved them!!  I had heard, as told by my course instructor, that no one ever gets published after submitting their very first manuscript, but rather you'll have to submit it up to 20, 30 or more times!  They didn't want to get anyone's hopes up!  When I heard that, I didn't believe it.  They couldn't make that determination, I thought. I could make anything come about with prayer..after all, that wasn't God's rule!  I GOT my hopes up!

I called the publishing company I was interested in submitting to so I could find out more about them.  Personal contact is so much better than email or letters for a first impression---remember that!  The girl on the phone was so enthusiastic and told me to personally send my manuscript to the Acquisitions Editor, rather than going through the web site!  (God's favor!)  God directed my steps all the way, as I remained totally faithful to Him, and He kept His promise of success to me, that I knew would be just a matter of time--His Time!  Remember, there are two kinds of time...our time and God's time...and ours doesn't count!

This is the most important part and the key to my success...just before the time came to submit my manuscript, I got down on my knees in prayer, asking God, intimately, to bless my manuscript and to guide it into the right hands and to also bless everyone at the company.  I felt so confident.

I submitted it and waited.  About a week later, I got the response that my manuscript was directed to an editor that had been assigned to me.  I waited again, this time for about 2 more weeks, until I received another email from my editor that she was in the process of review and would be contacting me within one week.  This was it, I thought.

At 7pm on a Tuesday night the following week, the doorbell rang.  I was baffled as to who it could be.  Going toward the door, I heard a truck's engine start up and drive away.  I opened the door and a Next Day Air Package fell inside the door.  I looked and it was from my publishing company!  I knew, right then, that it had to be a contract.  If it were refused, I would have gotten a simple email.

My heart was in my throat as I opened it and read an incredible letter accepting my manuscript, and saying that it would be an honor for them to make it into a book!  I was speechless.  I ran into my daughter's bedroom with an astonished look on my face.  She panicked thinking something was wrong.  Then, I began screaming and jumping around as I handed her the letter.  She immediately stood up and we danced around her room for awhile, yelling and screaming in excitement.  Then the phone calls began.  She began calling people, because I was crying so hard in joy.

Picture a similar circumstance in YOUR life.  Picture how you want it to play out, making it happen little by little with prayer.  God listens to our hearts and knows what our dreams are.  He wants to bless us if only we'd ASK...Ask, and it shall be given unto you, seek, and you shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7 (NIV)...words to live by!

Let your excitement rise now.  Tomorrow, I will tell of my progress getting my manuscript ready for resubmission,  and preparing it for production.  By the way, for all of you who have already succeeded beyond your expectations, I'd love to hear your stories, too!  Please share them, responding  right here so you can also inspire others to improve their lives and get out of their comfort zones, feeling comfortable in other places and loving it!  Tune in tomorrow...thanks for reading!  "How do you change the world?"...One Act of Random Kindness at a time!"

The Author Post, Blog #1 OK, Here I first blog.

OK, so this is my very first blog ever!  So, WELCOME! 

I just want to say that, if you have been waiting for a really long time for things to start happening in your life, rest assured.  I think that when you here my story, you'll begin to feel a hopeful sense of relief come over you, and when you let your belief take affect, you'll begin to have an assured feeling of renewal that your life, as you knew it yesterday, is gone.  A new beginning is about to take shape.  See it, feel it, imagine it, taste it, pray for it and BELIEVE it!  Yes, if you can imagine it, that's the first step in making it happen.  

I want this blog to turn into all kinds of successful stories from all of you telling me how, step by step, you are accomplishing your dreams.  I want a day by day or week by week account of each of your accomplishments as they happen...and they WILL happen.  I want to get you so psyched up for your future that you will keep pressing on, as you begin to see miracles take root in your life.

If it can happen for me, a single mother, living on my own income as a web designer and raising two teenage girls, it will also happen for you.  So, I chose to explore other avenues.  Don't get me wrong, my web business is going strong and it pays the bills, however, I didn't want a life of just enough, but, I wanted a life of more than enough.

That is one reason I began writing.  I've always loved to write, ever since I was a little girl growing up in the country.  There were so many interesting things to write about, and so many fun things to do.  It was peaceful, pleasant, intriguing and the perfect place to let your mind wander.  This is your first step.  You can use your mind to think anything you want!  Let it flow freely with ideas, notions, wholesome fun!  Direct your mind to the beauty in life, and you, too, can come up with a simple thought.  Then, center other thoughts around that one thought.  Soon, you are orchestrating all kinds of cool thoughts that begin to transpire into actions and happenings. 

Whether you are a writer and want to become a published author, or an engineer wanting to invent something, or a stay at home Mom wanting to seek out a creative way for a tremendously advanced income, it all begins in your mind.

Sit down by yourself for awhile in a quiet place where you enjoy being and close your eyes, letting your mind take over.  Think of what your passions are in life that you would really love doing.  Then, think of all the exciting ideas as happening, and you CAN make them happen!  You may not think you are capable of anything BIG.  But, I am here to tell you that "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!"...and that, my dear friends, is where my story begins.

Now that I have your attention, and have gotten your heart beating a little bit faster and your pulse rising some, I want you to walk with a skip in your step tomorrow, hoping, thinking and knowing that you are a child of the most high God and that you will have a true, rewarding life.  It is God's promise to you.
Read me tomorrow and I'll tell you my story of how I have become a signed author.  Have a wonderfully blessed night!