Waves of life

DSC03586Have you ever noticed that life comes at you in waves? You’ll experience waves of joyful moments and then some stronger waves of pain might wash in, sweeping you off your feet and dragging you through the sand and whipping you around as you choke and try to get your head above water.

We experience both kinds of waves in life–the fun ones we can play and surf in, and the tidal waves that wring almost everything out of us.

Fall brought several rogue waves into my life. You can read more about them on my other BLOG if you want. But what I learned is that kindness trumps all, and that even bad times can bring blessings. We just have to open our eyes to see them. Continue reading

Return and Succeed

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I’m reviewing a motivational book for returned missionaries today over at my other blog (since that caters more to the audience I see reading this book). It’s called Return and Succeed by Robert R. Shallenberger.

I absolutely loved this book (even though I’ve never gone on a mission). The author is the CEO of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, a worldwide leader in corporate training and development, and Mr. Shallenberger’s tips for success were very motivating and inspiring. I took notes like crazy.

Hop on over to ThatWhichBringsJoy.com to read my detailed review and to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book and $25 Amazon cash. Good luck.

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Christmas Cheer

I love this season of the year. It’s fun to see the kids all excited and the lights on the houses in the neighborhood at night. It’s my favorite thing to wait in an hour long line at the post office to buy stamps for my Christmas cards (just kidding–that’s one thing I could do without), and seeing all the Christmas decorations up in the house. So pretty!

But one of my favorite things is finding amazing songs celebrating Christ’s birth and life. These are some of my favorites I’ve found this year. I hope you’ll enjoy them too.

Lindsey Stirling’s Hallelujah

I love her comments at the end about searching for the beauty around us; and not passing it by. Continue reading

Holes in the Highway

file2431291017257My latest story I’m working on has to do with a ranch, a highway, and hope. It’s been fun to write, even though I know it will have to be reworked here and there after I get it back from my first-readers. As an author, I get super close to my story and I’ll admit, I get trapped into certain ideas and can’t see beyond what I write at times. That’s when it’s nice to have others read it and give me their honest feedback to help me climb out of certain holes where my story catches and makes readers fall.

Readers describe those writing ‘holes’ in different ways. Continue reading

Blessings or Burdens

DSCN9570It’s spring! How can I NOT be happy? Seriously. There are green buds on the trees and tulips and blossoms on the fruit trees. My grass is looking alive again after having the tromped on, beat-up look of winter. I’m working on revisions and edits for another story that keeps me smiling because there are all new characters and plot twists from what I’ve worked with on the Bending Willow Trilogy for the last five years. Life is good.

My cute daughter who’s in South Korea wrote me yesterday and made me smile even more. It helped that she sent pictures of pretty flowers in Korea so Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Smile

Picture-034_thumb.jpgThe most beautiful smile I ever saw was my Grandma’s. It wasn’t Hollywood beautiful—you know the so called ‘millionaire’ smile with perfectly straight white teeth you pay a mint for, or lip augmentation for those perfectly shaped lips, or a cute dimple to catch the eye. No, it had none of those so called ‘perfect smile’ characteristics. Grandma’s teeth were kind of crooked and yellowed with age. She wore no lipstick nor surgical enhancements to give her smile that extra charm, nor did I ever notice a God-given dimple. Continue reading

No more whoppers

In the past, I’ve had great fun coming up with whoppers for New Year Resolutions—not as in the yummy Whopper burger from Burger King, but rather whoppers that are far-fetched lies that can’t possibly be accomplished.

My whopper goals made me feel SAFE. There was no way I could accomplish them…so I didn’t even have to try, fail, and feel bad. It was just a joke, right?

Well, this year, I’m going to live a little more dangerously and make lofty, but attainable goals. No more playing it SAFE.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ― Michelangelo Buonarroti Continue reading

Magic in a Moment

P1030971Life is made up of moments…lots of them. We flit about like bees (if bees flit) from one activity to the next…but how many of these moments are magical to us?

Today I have a guest poem by my friend’s daughter, Gabbi. I love this poem’s message. When I read it, it touched me a lot, and I wanted to share. Gabbi hit the truth right on the crayon’s head!

Read it and see if you agree.

*** Continue reading

Lessons from a Bee

I love bees (even though one stung me on my toe when I was a little girl). Bees are amazing and do so much good. Here are some interesting facts that I bet you didn’t know.

Each beehive contains 20-60,000 bees.

To produce just one pound of honey, the bees must collectively visit millions of flowers and travel the equivalent of 2 times around the world. 

A bee’s life span is just a few weeks to 4 months. Continue reading

The Magical Box

Growing up, my mom’s closet was full of boxes—orange & apple boxes, falling apart boxes…and a magical box.  The magical box didn’t look special, except that it had circulation holes in it (I think it had once been an orange box).  It was filled with old, unwanted toys my mom had grabbed from our rooms.

Amazingly, after a month or two in that box, all those stashed away junk toys became the objects of our desire.  Magic!

I remember sneaking peeks with my brothers and sisters to see feet, eyes, wheels or fur of some toy through the holes of that charmed box.  We’d sigh as we glimpsed those ‘treasures’ and wish we could get them out to play with again.

Time passed and those boxed-up toys became our obsession.  We would beg Mom to please, please, PLEASE get those amazing toys out of that box.  Life would not be fun until we could play with them…like in the good old days. Continue reading