There Are Some Seasons…

When pursuing your goals, it is important to remember how nature works.

Spring brings seed-planting.
Summer brings intense sunshine.
Fall brings the harvest.
Winter brings quiet dark moments, which help tulips eventually to bloom…signifying spring is here and the cycle is ready to begin again.

Don’t get out of cycle. Don’t expect the winter of your life to bring forth beautiful blooms. It won’t work. In all projects, there are times of impasse, times of quiet, times in which growth does not occur.

Again, there are some people who do try to work out of season. They demand evidence of goals working, they insist on seeing fruit before it’s time.

Are you doing this with your goals? Because if so, it will lead to frustration.

Instead, simply go to work each day. Work on your dream, your goal, your desire. And surely as surely the sun rises each day, the seed you plant and water and feed will one day grow. Its bloom may be lavender instead of pink, but the flower and fruit you receive will be well worth the wait.

Remembering the power of seasons and nature’s natural cycle, and you’ll be more patient and more consistent in your efforts to bring your dreams to fruition!

Great quote!

Just saw this in an email post by someone who didn’t leave their name. But I loved the quote anyway!

“Increase fluency and confidence by writing every day.” Margaret Turley

On another note, I’d had to take a hiatus from blogging for the past few months. But I’m back now with little snippets of various interests of mine. :0)

Getting and Keeping a “Garden”

I must admit…I am a dreamer when it comes to gardening. I want to have one of those gardens that feels like the Garden of Eden, full of honeysuckle scents and delicious fruits.

But do I want to work that hard to get it? I’m ashamed to say no. Of course there are good reasons. I’m busier than I’ve ever, ever, ever been. Some days the schedule of life overwhelms me. I’m trying to keep it at a reasonable level, but if I’m not careful the hectic pace of my life threatens to bring me to a state of hyperventilation.

That’s why I loved this article. Perhaps I could have a garden…albeit little…after all.

:0)

Free Genealogy Classes

With all the new TV shows about family history research, now there are free online genealogy classes (such as reading German handwriting and other cool assortments)! More than 20 classes are offered–without charge. What a beautiful thing. The online genealogy workshops last from 6 minutes to nearly 30. Here is an article that explains where and how to find the classes. Check it out!

I’ve recently signed up with Ancestry.com and am stunned how addicting all this is. OK, well, addicting is maybe the wrong word.  But still, it’s been so exhilarating to learn about my ancestors that it’s like . . . I dunno, exquisite chocolate or something. You just want more. :0)

Again, here is the link for more information on how to get started.

Life Works…When You Work

It’s an expression that bears repeating again and again and again…

“Life works…when you work.”

Don’t be a quitter. Read some of the previous posts. Get a journal. Document your feelings. Set goals and review your previous journal entries.

Life really doesn’t have to be hard. Yes, there are setbacks. Those of us who work on this blog have experienced the death of a child, the repeated loss of jobs, betrayal of friends, tight budgets.

But none of that means we need nor should give up our dreams. In fact, it’s like writing exquisite poetry. Talk to any professional poet. Often they will tell you it is when they are writing to the tightest forms of poetry that their work shines the truest.

So no matter what you’ve faced in the past, you mustn’t give up. You can’t! The world needs you. We need you: your perspective, your creative works, your gifts, your talents.

When faced with despair or difficulty of the largest kind, please do remember this: life works when you work. And when you show up each day ready to at least try, THAT, my friend, is when the pain will ease and when you can find love and hope and balance once again.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just got back a little bit ago from my daughter’s voice lessons. I’ve sung professionally and it’s been a treat to sit in on her lessons. I love her voice teacher.

Today my daughter had an hour lesson, in lieu of her normal 30 minutes. And wow, was she exhausted by the time she was finished…this is how excellent her lessons are. True singing can very easily be compared to fine athletics. Complete focus, engaged musculature, etc.

What a treat it was to sit there, observing, and then accompanying her for a time at the piano while the teacher worked with her further. And it reminded me of something I read over at Sally Evans “Embracing Creativity” blog. She spoke of how good practice is simply teaching the body good habits, thereby getting rid of bad habits. And it takes effort.

I thought during the lesson how true this is. A lifetime, even for a youth, can be full of sloppy habits when it comes to singing. Nothing but focused efforts can replace lazy muscles with energized ones that contribute to beautiful sound. And again it takes effort, effort, effort. Which is why my daughter came home tonight fatigued. :0)

But wow, the sound coming out of her mouth by the end of the lesson. She was glad to be done, but I was thrilled to have been present to see the effect of practice, practice, practice. (Which applies to nearly every other category of life.)

[P.S. Here is a link to Sally Evans’ blog. It’s fun to read and full of great things to muse on for days.]

THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE – Review

Karen Hoover is an author with a heart of compassion and inventive playfulness, all wrapped up in delight. I met Karen Hoover at an event for writers several years ago. At that time, she told me of a manuscript she had worked on for years, but was having trouble finding a publisher.

Imagine my delight when this year I heard her happy news. THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE: Book One The Wolfchild Saga had been picked up by Valor Publishing. Recently I received an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) to review here. I received the copy for free and when it came in the mail, I remember holding it and thinking back to my discussion with Karen so long ago about her two characters in this story, and how long she’d been nursing them to life.

Before I mention more, though, about the book or the author, I want to share a quote she’d given recently at Valor Publishing’s own blog spot. When asked what her advice was for young writers, Karen shared a favorite quote from author Ginny Smith:

“God has plans for your writing, and they are better than any plans you have for yourself. Let Him be in charge and let Him delight you with what He has in store.”

Karen Hoover’s inspiration comes from her God and it shows in her writing. Not that THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE is a religious book. Far from it. It falls squarely in the category of fantasy for teens and pre-teens alike. Here is the information from the back cover:

“It has been 3000 years since a white mage has been seen upon Rasann.

“In the midst of a volcanic eruption miles outside of her village, Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother’s wishes, she leaves for the mage trials, only to be kidnapped before arriving. In trying to escape, she discovers she has inherited her father’s secret–a secret that places her in direct conflict with her father’s greatest enemy.

“At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the Sapphire Flute and told not to play it. The evil mage C’Tan has been searching for it for decades, and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak.

“The girls’ paths are set on a collision course . . . and C’Tan will do whatever it takes to keep them from fulfilling their destiny.”

My first impression of the book came from my children. My son in particular was fascinated. We began reading the story out loud together. But soon, he was carrying the book everywhere. He read it once. Then he read it again. Then he read it again. And when he wasn’t reading it, he was carrying it everywhere (we put a stop at it coming with us to church).

Is this a book to recommend to kids? Absolutely! I am thrilled for Karen. Her story which had been nestled for 17 years in her heart now is in print for many to read. Here is where you can get your own copy.

The only qualm or quandary about the book? It is a seven-book series…which means that not all plot twists are resolved (obviously) in the first book. So Karen, please get those fingers typing as fast as you can. We want to know this story from the front of it . . . all the way to the very end!

Yeah, yeah, I know…get organized :0)

Get organized. It is the symbol of a life well-tended.

Your organization can start with the smallest corners of your world. Organize a drawer. Organize a closet shelf. Organize your stationary. Just pick something to organize and do it.

And while you’re cleaning out that glove compartment, or the mud room, or your kitchen pantry, notice the feeling that comes when you work at something until it is finished.

All too often we stop before we’ve felt the glow of success. And we miss out on what that emotion can do to recharge us for today. Getting organized in the tiniest of ways teaches us we can work hard, we can do hard things, we can finish what we start. And that, my friend, can be amongst the most glorious of feelings.

So start today. Pick the tiniest of tasks and go organize it. Sensate the experience. Enjoy it. Then tomorrow pick a tiny bit bigger of a project. Etc. Soon enough you’ll be soaring through the most difficult of challenges with confidence. You can do hard things. You know what it is like to be a finisher.

All because you picked something today to organize. So go to it!

(And then write us and let us know how it felt.)