News Updates

It’s been kind of quiet at this blog lately, but there’s good reason for my lack of presence around here. You’ll understand those reasons later in this post. For now, here are two pieces of news I’d like to share.

Parenting News

Me and my teenage son at the lake for a day of family fishing. Yep, I see the hat.

My fifteen year old son and high school jock (football player) has his driving permit. Now, I know this isn’t considered substantial news to others, but it’s substantial news to me. Where did the time fly? It was only yesterday he squirted baby pee in my face when I changed his diaper. Only yesterday when he’d poo in the tub when I gave him a bath. Only yesterday when I had to pry plant leaves from the roof of his mouth because he kept eating the house plants.

Now he’s driving, and his driving is driving me bats! Let’s not even talk about how he’s already hit our garage wall while backing out my car (scratching the bumper and denting the wall). And this could’ve been avoided had he stopped when I yelled, “STOP!” from my position in the passenger seat. But let’s not talk about it. Like I said, my son’s driving is not substantial news for you, but for me it’s a daily headline. Nevertheless, I’ll end here with two words that’ll always rattle a mother’s nerve: Teenage Drivers.

Publishing News

Photo by: Master Isolated Images

Here are two more words rattling my nerves: Debut Novel. Yes, you read correctly. My first published novel is releasing in August. For the past several months not only have I been overwhelmingly busy finalizing the book (thus, my blog absence), but also the impending release date has been rattling my nerves. The good kind of rattling, that is (unlike my son’s driving).

This kind of rattling is a courageous blend of excitement and trepidation. Excited because it’s been a long time coming, and FINALLY (yes, FINALLY–it’s about darn time) I’ve made it to this point in my literary career. Trepidation, because it’s new ground to walk on and I know the path can get rocky. However, I’m ready for the peaks and valleys of being a published author. I’m also ready for the favorable and not-so-favorable book reviews that comes along with the territory. I’m ready for these things because I have two secret weapons stashed in my pockets: (1) God to sustain me, and (2) the following quote to ground me.

“There are those who will like me too much and those who will hate me too much, yet I don’t put much stock in either. I know my ‘sense of self’ is balanced between those two extremes. That’s where strength of character and self awareness lies—between the extremes. We have to balance ourselves between the norm and the ab-norm, and realize who we are is not determined by others’ opinions. Nor by who or what they choose to love or hate.” —Demetria Foster Gray

 

Tune in next week for the official book release announcement. And as Bishop T.D. Jakes says, “Get ready! Get ready! Get ready!”

 I’M READY!

 

The Discomfort of a Hand-Me-Down Life (Repost)

My story isn’t that different from anyone else. My need for self-empowerment and growth stemmed from being sick and tired of a hand-me-down life.

What’s a hand-me-down life?

It’s sort of like an old sweater passed down to you from an older relative or sibling—a hand-me-down. This sweater is stretched out of shape and unflattering.

It’s filled with lint balls and loose threads. It wasn’t originally intended for you, but you make do with it anyway. Trying to make it fit, while all along wishing for something new. You wear it by default, instead of by design.

If you’ve fallen into a hand-me-down life that wasn’t designed for you, you’re not alone. Our circumstances sometimes throw us off into directions we’ve never intended to go. We involve ourselves in careers, activities, friendships, and marriages that doesn’t necessarily fit who we are (or worse, doesn’t fit who we’ve become), yet we stay in them by default. Too afraid to change. Not sure how to redesign. But that’s exactly what has to happen—a redesign. Otherwise we’ll stay stuck in that ratty old sweater. The lint balls will suffocate us and the loose threads will entangle us.

For me, my redesign came when I first cracked opened a powerful resource book several years ago called “You’ll See it When You Believe it,” by Dr. Wayne Dyer. This opened up a whole new perspective for me and sent me feasting on all the knowledge I could get my hands on that would empower me to design a life that fits who I am now.

I burned that hand-me-down sweater. Made some changes in my career and in my marriage. Said, “no” to activities that no longer suited me. Got rid of hindering friendships, gained uplifting and supportive ones, and held on to the good friends already rooted. I’ve renewed my commitment to my inner spirit, and recharged my faith.

Phew! It’s exhausting and a constant daily struggle, but the point of the matter is this; I’ve decided to take part in the design of my life instead of letting my life be handed down to me by default.

Yes, some things are out of our control, but all the other things are open for design.

Photo by: Africa

NOTE:   I previously wrote this post in 2012. I’m re-posting it because it’s one of my favorites and because it serves as a healthful reminder for me to keep
redesigning my life. I hope it’s a healthful reminder for you, too.


You Can’t Solve Life

You know how life can sometimes shake us up like loose change in a pocket? How we get rattled, and stirred, and tossed about? How we sit in our circumstances and putter around for answers? Well, here’s what I’ve learned from all the bumps and bruises—there are no answers.

All the rattling, shaking, and puttering is the answer. The experience is the answer. The journey is the answer. You can’t solve life, you just have to live it. One day, one moment at a time.

Therefore, what I’m hoping to do—because I know life will shake me—is try my best to not get stirred. Once I get stirred up or fired up by the trials of life that’s when all the “crazy” comes out. So instead of getting stirred, I’m trying to laugh a little longer, pray a little harder, build faith a little stronger, and breathe a little deeper.

We only get one life to live. Live it.

 

(Reminder: Postings to this blog are done once a month)


January Has No Power

It’s the New Year and everyone’s revved up about new changes for the year ahead. We’re setting new goals, burying old habits, creating new pathways, and building better futures. The month of January (particularly January 1st) inspires in us a sense of revival and renewal, which makes us feel we can conquer the world (or at least the forthcoming year). Yet there’s only one problem.

There’s an oversight we fail to see in January that becomes vividly clear to us in February, March, and so on. That oversight is this…

“God doesn’t alter His plans in our lives just because January comes around.”

 

That’s why come February, March, and so on; our goals, resolutions, and well-laid-out plans start to fade, or fall by the wayside. The blistery winds of life blow us back into reality. And the reality is, whatever season of life we’re experiencing is ours to “grow” through. It can’t be altered, dismissed, or placed on hold. It’s here for our good, though sometimes it doesn’t feel so good.

Waving our magic wands in January doesn’t change the status of God’s plan in motion. Though there’s nothing wrong with allowing the New Year to inspire us to set new goals, make resolutions, or bury old habits. We should always motivate ourselves to be the best we can be. However, the key is not to get caught up or be totally reliant upon our self-made plans. There’s a higher plan in motion, which takes precedence over anything we can conjure up for ourselves.

Therefore, instead of putting all our eggs in the January basket only to fall flat on our faces come February; we should allow the year to unfold for us the growth which God has intended.

    __________________Please Note The Following Change__________________

Photo by Stuart Miles

Year End Shout Out: Author “Reese Ryan” Brings the Heat

My good friend and author Reese Ryan is steaming up the place. Her second novel Love Me Not releases TODAY! I’m excited for Reese and thrilled to give her this year-end shout out!

Here’s what people are saying about the book:

“I’ve waited impatiently for this book since I learned it was going to be Jamie’s story and it far surpassed anything I was hoping for…Miles was sexy, romantic, sensitive and an incredible lover (be prepared for some serious, serious steam) and had enough imperfections to keep him real. I loved how Jamie’s transformation unfolded and developed, as well as the realism regarding her romance with Miles.” ~ Jonetta (ejaygirl), The Book Nympho

“I really enjoyed this story and all the multiple layers to both Jamie and Miles… I don’t want to give too much away because I think that Reese Ryan reveals elements of her characters so beautifully. You really need to read the book to appreciate who these characters are and what they go through in order to be together. At the end, you will believe that they are meant to be.” ~ Contemporary Romance Writers

Synopsis:
Read a summary and an excerpt here.

Free Giveaways:
Win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card, a $10 Starbucks e-Gift Card, and digital copies of Reese’s novels. Click here for more information.

Buy the Book:
Order your copy of Love Me Not at one of these fine booksellers:
Amazon | B & N | B-A-M | iTunes | Amazon United Kingdom | Audible

About the Author:
Reese Ryan is a novelist, freelance journalist, and hopeless romantic. She writes sexy, contemporary romance featuring a multi-cultural cast of flawed, but lovable characters. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides in Central North Carolina with her husband and young adult son who tolerates her propensity to sing and dance badly.
Visit Reese online at ReeseRyan.com.