At long last…pictures from BRMCWC

Hello readers,

I am home from my research trip to the Plain communities of KY! It’s good to be home. I finally have my photo taken last month at the writer’s conference in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mtns. of NC. The first is of my editor, Kim Moore, at Harvest House, yours truly on the left, and another lovely writer on the right, whose name escapes me at the moment! The second photo is of the ACFW Ohio chapter gang that all sat together at the final night banquet. I assure you…a good time was had by all and plenty of wonderful lessons learned at BRMCWC.  Have a super week, everyone!


Words to live by

Good morning readers,

I just finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and have been meditating on this one line in particular. If I might quote Ann…All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends. What profound words. How often do we dwell on limitations, and lack, and our dificiencies, instead of focusing on our strengths and the abundance that God lays on our doorstep every day.  Thank you, Ann, for your wisdom. I hope to remember those words tomorrow, and each day for the rest of my life.

Seems like I just got back from Ridgecrest, and soon I will be off again to research the Old Order Amish of KY in preparation to start Living in Charm. (book 3 of the New Beginnings series.) Wish me luck that I don’t get lost, don’t run out of gas, and find as many helpful people in KY as I did in Maine and in Missouri. Look for Living in Harmony, first in the New Beginnings series in about a month.

Before I forget, the e-book version of The Way to a Man’s Heart will be on will be on promotion from June 29 – July 9. All eBook distributors will be offering the book at $2.99 including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and the Sony Reader. If you haven’t read The Way to a Man’s Heart, now would be a good time. Happy summer my faithful readers. Look for an update to my website very soon.

Seeking Serenity in Life

Since coming home from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mtns I feel overwhelmed with things on my to-do list…bills to pay, laundry, shopping and of course, writing. Today I dug out an article I wrote on prioritizing tasks and re-read it. Hopefully, I can restore some sanity if not serenity to my life. Take a look-see if you’re feeling as stretched in all directions as me…

#1 Schedule your time. Make a weekly calendar so you don’t miss a doctor’s appointment, dance recital, or the neighborhood cookout. Keep certain times “off limits”. Don’t sign up for meetings, exercise classes, or volunteer work if it interferes with the family dinner hour, Sunday church services, or other events you hold sacred. Make sure each day includes personal time, whether it’s a solitary walk or rocking in the porch swing. Figure out how to manage housework, yardwork, laundry, etc. (a little every day, or one day for each task, etc.) Don’t allow Internet surfing, answering e-mail, chatting on the phone or texting to steal too much time. Set limits on “time-robbers” or your sense of serenity will suffer.

#2 Prioritize your tasks. If you work outside the home, discover ways to do errands during your workday, such as shopping for gifts ast lunch or chatting with mom during the commute. Shop for groceries and stop at post office or dry cleaner on your way home to prevent extra trips. If you work at home, treat it like a job—schedule work hours and stick to them. Otherwise you won’t get any “free time.” Regarding your social life…pick and choose carefully. Don’t feel you must accept every invitation, volunteer project or committee meeting. Learn to say “no” unless you truly wish to devote the time and energy.

#3 Multi-task, but only if it’s productive. The only time I dust is during phone calls. I check voicemail while walking the dog. I group errands into one trip to free up uninterrupted time for writing. But don’t make the mistake of balancing your checkbook during your son’s ballgame if he’s expecting you to watch him play. You will fail at both tasks. Be sure to allow “down time” every now and then to watch a sappy movie, read a book, or play a game of checkers with a child. If you’re feeling stressed, recharge your batteries.

#4 Lower your standards. I can live with weedy flowerbeds as long as my bathrooms are clean. I don’t like clutter but dust doesn’t bother me. I take store-bought brownies (dusted with powdered sugar) to parties so I have time to write stories about women who love to cook. You can’t do it all. Repeat that as a mantra every morning. Give up the notion you can do it all and compete with the Food Channel gurus. But if cooking happens to be your pleasure, find another area to be mediocre in and don’t apologize.

#5 Release the outcome.  Put your future in God’s hands instead of looking too far into the future.

Ahhh, yes. I feel a little better. Have a great weekend, readers!