Solitary Day

Oh today was such a great day. The temperature was a wonderful 66 degrees with no wind and I spent almost the entire day alone. Glorious! I did all the things I love: finished a book, went to the library to get a new book, played piano, worked a jigsaw puzzle, went for a walk, surfed the internet. I enjoyed myself so much just hanging alone. I wish more of these kind of days would float by and I could grab them up.

Children’s Book competition

Today I did a big thing! I took one more step towards my dream of authorship and submitted two manuscripts for a competition. I’m really excited and I’m using positive visualization and seeing myself becoming a finalist. I was really on the fence about this because it carried entry fees. I think to myself that millions of people get books published without paying any money. But then I thought about competitions. There is normally a entry fee for any competition. My niece Ashlynn is competing this weekend in a basketball contest and had to pay $4 herself. So, I bit the bullet and paid the fees. After I become a finalist (positive self talk) I have to hit the internet campaigning for votes. The winner will be chosen by votes on the internet. I can just see it, my name on a book! Wish me luck.

Prayer and Fasting

Today is my first day after completing a 21 day fast. Although it was based on the Daniel fast with strict guidelines, I modified it to fit me for no meats and no sweets. Although I imagined today to be a frenzy of gluttony, I can’t seem to bring myself to endulge. I hope that I have been able to break the strongholds that sugar and sweets have held me under and to be able to move forward with a healthier lifestyle. I almost feel like an addict who knows if they take that first drink, smoke, hit, bite whatever….it will be downhill again. Through this, I only lost 5 pounds, which averages out to about 1.5 a week. That is a healthy loss. But the goal was not weight loss but rather for me a commitment to God fulfilled and bringing myself closer to Him. My prayers could definately have been more intense and frequent, but I’m one step closer to Him in my heart.

Painting

Last night and today I have set out to do some painting in the house. The bathrooms have not been painted since we lived here for the past 3 years. It is easy to tell after a bit, that the previous owners had the entire house painted a aqua/turquoise blue. Some of the paint has chipped in places revealing this color that was obviously “in” I hope, at one time. Also, when I look at the ceilings I can vaguely see this color bleeding through, wanting to come out of hiding.

I have chosen the color “Crisp Toast” which just goes lovely with “Indian Summer” and “Golden Harvest” that is in the rest of the house. When I told my mom over the phone the name of the color, I could see her shudder. She hates browns or neutrals of any color. But sometimes, a girl just needs a little neutral in her life. Especially when she’s married to a cowboy who would like the walls done in leather!

I haven’t finished my job yet, I’m waiting on the paint dry. So rather than watching paint dry I decided to write a little blog about it. I’m off now to go do some touch-ups.

WANTED: Children’s Author

I am so very inspired by our visiting author who came to our school today, Susan Stevens Crummel. My dream is to be an author and as she stood there encouraging the students to continue to write, she encouraged me even more. She told about being invited to go to China and speak and also being invited to the White House to read for an Easter event. She looked at the children and said “That could be you one day” I dream that it is me someday.

In this day and age with technology so advanced, it sometimes seems that books will become obsolete. I hope not. I love them so. She told the children that she’s getting old and all the authors who wrote all the books that were lining the library shelves are getting old. If we don’t write, there won’t be any new books.

I have tried so many times to fit writing into my day, with the best of intentions, only to find life gets in the way. I have submitted 3 different manuscripts to publishing houses all over the place and received my many rejection letters. Now the publishing houses don’t even take the time to send a rejection slip. It’s just if you don’t hear from us in 6 months, just assume we think you stink.

I gathered up my courage to tell her I am an aspiring children’s writer. Her advice: Join the SCBWII chapter, which I let my subscription go, and find a chapter where I can go to meetings, get peer critiqued, and put my manuscript into an agents hand there.

Well, my dream has been rekindled today thanks to this author. I only hope I can get a spark growing just enough to light a flame that will spread like a wildfire.

Surprise!

Yesterday I learned yet another exciting tidbit about myself. I am not a flexible person. I have always thought of myself as flexible, I’ve even added this as a bonus on my resume. But after much soul searching, I discovered that I don’t like surprises, having anything sprung on me or being unprepared. Now, I need to do something about this since life has a way of being oh so unpredictable. I guess I’ll just have to start rolling with the punches. I only hope they don’t hit too hard.

Firstfruits

I’m probably not far off in thinking when people think about tithing, it usually involves the 10% rule. Not many people think of titheing with their time. Now I’ve heard of this before, that we should give to the Lord our time and talents, but the other day I received a new perspective. Titheing is actually giving the Lord our firsts right, firstfruit as the Bible refers to it. Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted because it wasn’t his first, but Abel’s was. So in regards to time, we should give the Lord the first of our day. How many times do we have a crummy day only to realize that we hadn’t had a quiet time to pray yet. Martin Luther is known to have gotten up 1 hour early every day to pray, except on days he knew was going to really busy……then he’d get up 2 hours early to pray. Since I heard this take on it Sunday, I’ve been trying to give God the first of my day and it just turns out that I’ve had a pretty good week. You should try it.

Fire starter

There is definitely an art to starting a fire and don’t let anyone tell you differently. My first attempt at building a fire in our wood burning stove was such a flop, that in order to prove to my husband that I’m a “real woman” and get one going, I had to look it up on the Internet……see the Internet is good for somethings.

So tonight was my second attempt and after about 3 books of matches and 9 newspapers I am enjoying the red and gold embers as the flames dance. Enjoy your evening.

Beautiful Advice

Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn’t happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.
1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest

18. Eat right.

19 Get organized so everything has its place.

20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good ‘Thank you Jesus .’

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego

33 Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.

35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36 Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.

GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31)