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

Hello, End of Summer, Thank God You’re Here!

Summer is winding down and though most people are dreading the end of the season, I’m pretty happy and stoked for its departure. Now that the kids are back in school, I can finally get back to my normal work routine. No more of the constant interruptions summertime brings.

As a kid, summer was my favorite season. As an adult, not so much. I dislike being hot, sweaty, and sticky every time I step outside. I dislike the bees buzzing around my front porch ready to attack me. I dislike the spiders and their massive webs and the plump, red mosquito bites that keep me scratching all day. I dislike what the humidity does to my hair and what the extreme heat does to my attitude. I’m also not a fan of all the happy summer lovers who can’t seem to understand that not all of us love summer.

Another weighing factor of why I’m not in love with summer is the fact my kids are out of school, which is a conundrum in itself. I then become a deranged taxi driver for said kids—continually carting them from Point A to Point B—in order to keep them from lying on the couch playing video games and eating Cheetos all summer.

No, I’m not a summer lover and so glad the end is near. And even though I do enjoy a good pair of flip-flops and sandals; cookouts and ice cream; and, of course, trips to the beach, spring and fall are the seasons I covet. They are the beautiful seasons which bring me peace and restore my soul.

Goodbye summer, see ya next year.

 

NOTE: Thanks to Alexandra Caselle, Melissa Kinnel, and Melissa Maygrove for their blog shout outs of my debut novel Sifting Through Mud. If you missed their posts, click on their names to check it out. (If there are other blog posts I’m unaware of, please forgive my oversight.)

FYI: My initial blog tour has been rescheduled for October. Details to come.