Dream Come True

I have written and published three books.

It’s hard for me to grasp that the statement above in red is in fact true.  It’s an accomplishment in which I take great pride. Writing a book had been my dream since I was a child of ten. Through my hard work and dedication, I made one of my dreams come true.

Since I wrote my first book, many people have made the following statement to me: I wish I could write a book.

I believe these people have confused dreams and wishes with one another.

To me, wishes are requests or command given to a person or sent out to the universe.

Example of a wish given to a child: I wish you would make your bed without me reminding you.

Example of a wish sent out to the universe: I wish I would win the lottery.

You can make wishes all day and all night, but they won’t come true on their own. There has to be some action to go along with the wish. That’s where the dream comes into the picture. When you make it your dream, you begin to put an action with the wish.

Taking the examples of the wishes above, this is what can happen when you make them your dream.

To the child: Let me show you how to make your bed so that you can make it every morning after you get up.

To the universe: I’m going to buy a lottery ticket so I can win the lottery.

If you wish you could write a book,  make it your dream, then start writing!

Finding Peace…Again

I have  finished writing Peace; Book Three in the Kerry Series! It should be ready for sale by the end of May if I can light a fire under the person who is formatting my book! 🙂 Once it is formatted, I can then put it up for sale. However, I can’t relax until all of this is completed! I keep feeling like something is going to go wrong with the whole process. In other words, I guess you would say that I am not at peace with the process right now.

I do try to accept God’s peace in my life, but lately I haven’t been as successful as I’d hoped. This year, I have directed our church’s children’s choir with the help of my daughter-in-law and a good friend. I took on this responsibility out of love for my granddaughter. I want her to have the experience of performing. That is why I agreed to direct the Children’s Choir Spring Musical. This is where God’s peace began to elude me.

Let me explain. The children in our choir range from four years old to eleven years old. If you have never worked with children, I can assure you that it is not easy to work with this wide range of ages. What will entertain a four year old will be boring to an eleven year old. Therefore, you have to find appropriate music that will engage all in that age range.

My solution was to go with fast-pace Christian music with movement and motion. It worked! The kids were dancing and singing and having fun doing it. I should have been satisfied with just the singing and dancing, but I decided to bring the whole thing together with a musical play with parts assigned to actors.  Big mistake on my part!

Since we only meet once a week, it has been difficult to find time to practice the acting part of the musical. They’ve got the singing and dancing down for the most part, but the actors in the play have not gotten their parts down as well as I had hoped. Since they are young and cute, the audience will forgive them for making a few mistakes here and there. It’s when I brought them all together– the actors along with the singers and dancers– on the stage that I began to feel God’s peace leave me.

I’m going to use Dixie as my example to bring back God’s peace back in my life. She used the following scripture to find God’s peace in her life.

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27(NIV)

Just reading through this scripture one time, I begin His peace returning.  Now, taking a deep breath, I’m no longer troubled by what could go wrong with the Children’s Choir performance.

 

 

The Gift of Peace

I am currently writing my next book which I have titled Peace. After Forgiveness and Hope, it seemed to me that Peace should come next.  There are several definitions of “peace”. Merriam-Webster clarifies it for kids with these four explanations:

1 : a state of quiet
2 : freedom from upsetting thoughts or feelings
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of peace between governments b : an agreement to end a war 

I know that my daughter and daughter-in-law who have young children running around the house yearn for that first definition of peace.   My oldest daughter who has a daughter who will soon be a teenager would like to have the third definition of peace in her life.  I am one who worries way too much and wishes for the second meaning of peace in my life. I know that all of us pray for the peace given with the fourth definition.

This brings me to the scripture I have chosen for my next book. It is probably the most quoted scripture concerning peace. Jesus leaves us with these words about peace:

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27(NIV)

The Message give us this modern translation of this scripture:

“I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.” John 14:27 (The Message)

In this scripture, Jesus leaves us with peace that we can find in Him and through Him if we trust and believe. In my book Peace, I’m telling the story of how Dixie struggles to hold on to the peace that Jesus offers us. She faces challenges that she never imagined would come into her life. But, her friends and her faith in God will help her find that peace.

I pray that this Christmas and in the New Year you will find the peace that Jesus offers us all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Carol

Sixty-Seven Years Old And Still Worrying

As of today, I have lived sixty-seven years. I find this fact extremely disturbing. It’s not that I’m disturbed by my age, but I’m disturbed that life isn’t as easy as I thought it would be at this age. When I was a younger woman, I looked at those women who were sixty-plus years believing that their lives were so much easier than mine. I remember thinking how lucky they were to no longer be stuck in the that endless cycle of worrying about their child or children. I’m not referring to that crazy kind of worrying that some parents do with their children where they never let their child out of their sight. I’m referring to that normal worry that comes with raising a child.

Now that I am actually one of those sixty-plus women, I understand just how misguided my beliefs were. I blame my mother and aunts for this. I don’t ever remember them warning me that worrying about your children, even when they are grown with children of their own, never stops AND that the things you worry about seem even bigger than when they were in your care.

The thing is that since your children are not in your care any longer and you know in your heart that they are making the wrong choice, you are powerless to stop them. You can’t put them in timeout. You can’t send them to their room. You can’t take away their favorite TV programs. You can’t take away their phone. You can’t ground them. You can’t take away their car. You can only stand back and watch it happen as you pray that it will turn out differently than you fear it will.

If you are lucky enough to have that relationship with your child where you can actually voice a warning and that child stops their path of destruction because of your warning, or your adult child has never made a wrong choice, then count your blessings because you are among the few and blessed. The rest of us try to pick up the pieces and help our child rebuild, that is if they will let us help. Sometimes we have to sneak in our help or make it look like something other than us helping them. No matter which is the way it goes, you will worry.

So, today I want to give a warning to all of those fine young women who are looking to us older, more mature women thinking that life is easier for us now that our children are grown. My warning is this. There is never a stage in our lives that is free from worrying about our children and that can be a good thing. It means that you love your child and want the best for their lives. It means that God blessed you with a child to love unconditionally for the rest of their lives and with that love will most likely come worry. That’s just going to be a part of the rest of your life!

 

Finding Peace

I have working on my third book, Peace,  for a couple of months, but I am not finding much peace each day when I start my writing this book. If the past few weeks are any indication of what I should name this book, it would be named Doubt! 

Webster defines DOUBT  when used as a noun as a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction. When used as a verb, it is defined as fear; be afraid of.

YEP! My mind is using both definitions as I sit down to write each day. I give myself little pep talks to boost my confidence and keep that doubt at bay before I type the first word.  I tell myself things like:

Remember when you weren’t sure you could even write one book and look what you’ve done. You’ve written and published TWO BOOKS!  You’ve got this, Carol!

BUT THE DOUBT IN ME SAYS

Two books! I bet that’s all you’ve got in you, Carol. You’re pushing it thinking you can write three books and don’t even think about writing that fourth book you have planned!

SO THEN I TRY PRAISING  MY WRITING

You’ve had complete strangers who don’t even know and love you say that they enjoyed reading your books and can’t wait for the next one! Just think, your writing has provided them hours of entertainment.

BUT THE DOUBT IN ME SAYS

They’re probably going to be disappointed in your next book. It can’t be as good as the first two.

I could keep going back and forth with this, but then something else happens that gets me through those doubts and leads me to continue with writing this third book.  I bow my head and say a prayer. It’s usually a short prayer, but each and every time I ask God to bless my writing.  I ask Him for peace from those doubts that clog my mind and keep me from showing through my writing how God’s love and constant presence can carry all of us through life’s toughest challenges. Then I put my fingers on the keys of my laptop and begin that next chapter with renewed faith.

Thanks be to God for His many blessings….even for a late-in- life author!

The Blessing of Friendships

Years and years ago when I began to have the longing to write a novel, I knew from the start  that the theme of my novel would be the power and blessings of the friendships of girls/women. I knew that it would be about women friends depending upon women friends to make it through the trials and rejoice in the good times in life.

I have been blessed with girlfriends throughout my whole life. My girl friendships began when I was an infant. In elementary school and high school, those girl friendships continued and expanded. Those girlfriends helped me grow from a child into a young woman. I still count them all as my girlfriends over sixty years later. However, it was in college when I began to understand what a life support girlfriends were.

When I left the comforts and familiarity of hearth and home to attend college, I learned how my girlfriends could became my family. It was those college girlfriends who made me laugh so hard that I couldn’t get my breath. It was those college girlfriends who put me back together when the boy who I would eventually marry broke my heart. Those girlfriends were there through thick and thin, the ins and outs, the highs and lows. What a true blessing those girlfriends were and continue to be in my life!

It was after I left college and went far away from family and the girlfriends that I’d depended on that I developed the women friendships that would carry me through the rest of my life. It was the women who became my friends as an adult who have helped me along my life’s journey to be a better wife, a better Christian, a better mother, a better teacher, a better writer, a better person, and a better friend.

When I finally did sit down to write that novel I’d dreamed of, I brought along all of my girlfriends that I have had throughout my life and made them into four special friends known as the Fearsome Foursome. It is through the power of all of my girlfriends that I have been able to write the Kerry Series. God has truly blessed me with awesome girlfriends throughout my sixty-six years of life! Thank God for girlfriends!

I hope God has blessed your life with awesome girlfriends!

God Bless My Friends Old and New!

 

Holding Onto Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 (NIV)

We all have hopes of a good life for ourselves and our loved ones. What has been a challenge for holding onto my hope has been when life throws something at me that I  never imagined would be a part of my life.

At twenty-one years old I thought that I was one of the luckiest people in the world.  I had a husband who loved me, a precious baby daughter, and was living in Colorado Springs in an apartment with the awesome view of Pikes Peak.  Life was about as good as it could be until I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome,  a condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. I was left totally paralyzed.

I had never imagined myself as a quadriplegic. I could no longer do the things that I had taken for granted.  My world, my family’s world, was shaken to its core. I slowly began to lose hope of ever having a good life for myself, my husband, or my daughter.

That was until I looked beyond myself and stopped putting “me” at the center of things. It was when I looked to God for my strength that hope came back to me. I began to hope that I would walk again. I began to hope that I would hold my daughter again. I began to hope that I would embrace my husband again. I began to hope for a good life again.

God helped me find hope in what I thought was a hopeless situation. He had not given up on me even though I was giving up on Him. God was with me the whole time. He showed me how to hold onto hope.

That has been my motivation for writing the Kerry Book Series. I am writing four books about the four women who go through some tough life challenges, but with the help of God and each other they find forgiveness, hope, peace, and joy.

 

Problems Promoting My Book

I have discovered something about myself.  I am not good with updating my Facebook page or my webpage or my blog. I have found that writing my books has been much easier for me than promoting my books. I simply don’t feel comfortable with the part of the process where I need to be convincing people that they should read my book! Promoting my own book feels like bragging, and I’m not comfortable with that.

I don’t remember my parents ever telling me that I was not supposed to brag about any of my achievements, not that there were that many, but somewhere along the way I got the message that it was wrong to “blow my own horn” as the saying goes. It could be that I absorbed that message by watching how they handled their accomplishments, which were many. From my vantage point as their child, I never heard either one boast. I watched as they would shrug off well-earned praises with an “Aw, shucks, it was nothing” reaction.

I am in no way blaming my parents for the fact that I find it hard to promote by own book. However, I do have to acknowledge that I have a problem with telling the world that I have written a book that I believe other people, not just my family, will enjoy reading.

Just now as I wrote those words, I had the overwhelming urge to delete them! I need help! An article I recently read in Psychology Today, suggests that I may have a problem with not believing that I am worthy of praise, even when it is praising myself. The article goes on to explain that the problem may be due to the fact that I never praise myself.

You know what? I think this article hit the nail on the head. I don’t know how to praise myself. Therefore, I don’t know how to promote a book that I created all by myself.  It all makes sense, but it still doesn’t solve my promotion problem unless I take a deep breath and actually praise me, or rather my work.  So, here goes my first effort—please bear with me.

I have written a book that others seem to enjoy.

Forgiveness is an interesting, engaging book.

You will enjoy reading my book, Forgiveness.

Buy my book, Forgiveness.

That’s all I can do for now. The next challenge for me is to post what I have just written. Will I be brave enough? I guess you’ll know the answer if you actually see this post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Is Good!

I have been trying really hard not to feel discouraged. I have been busy working on my second book, Hope, in the Kerry Series. I am not writing as much as I should on this one, because I am worrying about how my first book, Forgiveness, is being received. Then something that I consider truly amazing happened. I walked away from my computer trying to clear my head to get some creativity churning while pleading with God to help me out. When I came back to my computer, this image with the message was on my screen! No one was in my house who could have put it up there, and when I left my computer only the words from my book were on my screen. This has to be a message from God to me. I can tell you one thing, it was certainly the message I needed. God is good!

 be-still-and-know

Dreams Do Come True

When I clicked on the “Publish” button for my first book Forgiveness to be published on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, it was a dream come true that began when I was ten years old.

I was in fifth grade when I realized that I loved to write. My teacher, Mrs. DeBusk, asked us to bring an inanimate object to life through our writing. I can remember looking around the room thinking of how the different lifeless objects would react if they were brought to life. I am not sure what everyone else in the class wrote about, but I finally decided what object I would bring to life: Dr. Davis’s false teeth.

Dr. Davis was the only doctor in our small town of New Market, Indiana. He had a tiny office just off of Main Street close to the fire department. It had only one examining room, but most examinations took place in the reception area.

I am not sure to this day if Dr. Davis actually had false teeth or not, but in my story he lost his teeth when he was young in a bicycle accident. The story I wrote ended up being six pages long. I’m not sure how many pages were assigned, but once I started writing I could not stop until I felt the whole story had been told.

Mrs. DeBusk was not a teacher who would ever had out compliments to make her students feel good about mediocre work. She had high expectations and none of us wanted to disappoint. I was stunned when I was handed back my paper with an  A and Great Story! written across the top. That was the best grade I had ever earned for a writing assignment. I took the paper home to show my parents. My father read it and declared to my five siblings that I should be a writer. My dream was born right there on the spot.

Now, fast forward to the present. It took me over fifty years to realize my dream, but I did it. I wish that Mrs. DeBusk and my father were still here to share in this extraordinary  experience with me. I like to believe they are watching me from above along with Dr. Davis and his false teeth!