Savor Your Accomplishments

Dance 2 resized largeI’ve accomplished a lot in my years on this earth, but rarely do I ever take time to savor those accomplishments.

As a toddler I learned how to walk and how not to pee in the bed. As a kid I learned to roller skate, go fishing, play the piano, and French braid my hair. As a teenager I learned to drive, kiss boys, use a sewing machine, become an avid reader, and write a lot of poetry. As an adult I worked various jobs, received a college degree, created a career, received a marriage license, given birth to children, bought a home, and published a novel. And that’s just the short list.

We all have huge lists of accomplishments that have shaped our lives, yet we forget to honor them. We don’t take time to bask in the glow of them or be in harmony with what they’ve taught us or how far they’ve brought us. So this past weekend I took time to bask in the knowledge of who I am, why I am, and how far I’ve come. To savor those things that have helped me become…me.

I think we all know life is just a string of events and accomplishments, mixed with highs, lows, twists, turns, and amazing detours. Yes, sometimes we get stalled and can’t seem to move and other times we are moving but feel kind of stalled. But did you ever consider that sometimes, maybe, we should just be still and savor what we’ve accomplished—from birth to now. Give honor to all the nuts and bolts that built us into the magnificent people we’ve become.

It’s often said we’re so focused on trying to get to where we’re going that we don’t appreciate where we are or where we’ve been. Well, I’m here to say I appreciate where I am, even though sometimes (most times) I’m anxious to get to where I’m going. And from now on I’ll try to honor my accomplishments by savoring where I’ve been. 

January Has No Power (re-post)

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 and achievements which God has intended.

NOTE: This blog post is a re-post of one of my favorite past postings. I found it a much needed reminder for me (and hopefully for you) as we venture into 2015!

Watercolor Photo by Stuart Miles

Do You Recognize Yourself


In life as you mature, change, grow, and evolve you become unrecognizable to some of the people around you.

They no longer see in you who you used to be and they become somewhat uncomfortable—even seem to dislike the new and improved you.

It’s natural for the people who know you to be leery and skeptical of your growth, and to find the “new you” hard to accept. Hard to believe.  And rightly so, because what once was, no longer is.

We’re all creatures of habit—we want things to stay the same. But change is inevitable and there’s always a price to pay during our transformation. Values change, priorities shift, and relationships slip, stumble, or fall while new ones are formed.

The people who are unable or unwilling to recognize who you’ve become and who you’re becoming are the very same people who stunt your growth. If your growth gets stunted, you tend to stand in the same old spot year after year.

How long can you stand in your same old spot?

So here’s the thing: becoming unrecognizable to the people around us is a good thing. It means we’re growing and transitioning into who we’re meant to be. It’s not our problem if the people around us choose NOT to recognize our growth or our worth, and want to stay complacent in who we used to be.

As long as you recognize yourself, no other recognition matters.

Stay true to you.

Photo by Scott Chen

And the Winners are…

The virtual publicity tour for my novel Sifting Through Mud was a success. Hooray!!!

I’d like to thank Pump up Your Book tour company who did all the coordination, promotion, and the organization of the giveaway (also handled all the annoying emails I sent). :)

To any authors looking for a touring host, I highly recommend you consider Pump up Your Book as a touring option. They’re a bit pricey, but they also offer deep discounts to fit your promotional budgets. (Discounts aren’t publicized so you’ll have to inquire about them to receive them.)

Also, I’d like to thank the many bloggers, fellow writers, friends, book buyers, readers, and social media players who participated in spreading the word and supporting my debut novel. Each and every one of you made this book tour a success. I’m extremely humbled by all your support.

Now that the tour is over (ended last Friday on Halloween), it’s time to share with you the winners of the Giveaway.

With 134 total giveaway entries (way more than I was expecting), the winners are:

1st place winner:  Wendy H.  ($25 Amazon Gift Card)

2nd place winner:  Sue A.  (Free Sifting Through Mud ebook)

My deepest gratitude to everyone who participated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(NOTE:  Winners were selected randomly by Rafflecopter via Pump up Your Book tours. Winners were contacted yesterday, Nov. 3, by the touring company and have 48 hours to claim their prize.)

Photo by Cool Design