Feb 24, 2010

Time in the Sun

My book release is getting closer and closer.  I'm honestly not sure what to expect.  I've been busy with promotion, while still trying to keep up with my writing.  I've just about got my next book done, and I'm feeling pressured to get it turned into my publisher.  I struggle to keep up with my blog and all the other blogs I follow, as well as facebook, and trying to figure out twitter.

I didn't realize how much work it is being a published author.  I'm seriously the kind of writer who feels most comfortable hiding behind my laptop.  But I'm realizing I can't do that.  I recently heard a poem that explains how I  feel.


I would stay here
Close to roots
That fed me
Close to
Cool shelter--

Always close
I would be.

I'm afraid.

Have you seen
The pitiful
Small green
That grows
In shade?

From Beginnings and Beyond by Carol Lynn Pearson
 Shortly after discovering this poem, I received a note from one of my good friends on facebook:
My friend,

You are about to experience your place in the sun. Nobody deserves it more. Look at all the well wishes you are getting about your book. Wait till they read it. Your star will rise, and I will be here to enjoy the light and watch you shine. Congrats and enjoy. I knew you could do it, and you knew it too. 
I'm getting the message that it's time to come out of the shade.  It might feel safe, but staying safe limits personal growth.  I know an amazing chance at growth stands before me.  Pass the sunscreen.  I don't wanna get burned.      


Feb 23, 2010

A Christ Centered Relationship

I attended a meeting recently where one of the speakers, a marriage and family therapist from BYU, spoke on having a Christ centered marriage.  It was an amazing presentation.  A true/false checklist was handed out for each of us to assess how Christ centered our own marriages are.  It was divided into two sections:  doctrine and actions.
1)  I believe eternal marriage between man and woman is ordained, or set up and sanctified by our Father in Heaven.
2)  I believe eternal marriage is possible for every son and daughter of God, and is a promised blessing to everyone that is faithful to God's commandments.
3)  I belive I can have an eternal marriage that brings joy to both spouses.
4)  I believe woman and man were divinely created to complete and complement each other.
5)  I belive that no earthly struggle, trial, disability, or injustice can prevent a person from receiving eternal marriage if he/she trusts in the Lord and keeps His commandments.
6)  I believe in the principle of being equal partners in marriages.

7)  I speak positively about marriage and the opposite sex.
8)  Those closest to me would see me as a defender of eternal marriage between a man and woman.
9)  My spouse would say that next to my relationship with my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ, our marriage is my highest priority.
10)  My spouse would describe me as an equal partner, including parenting and domestic responsibilities.
11)  My spouse and I have regular scripture study, regular couple prayer, and attend the temple together.
The speaker also presented an image similar to the one below:

If you picture the man and woman in this picture, each becoming closer to Christ and rising up the sides of the triangle, they automatically become closer to one another as well.  This visual image solidified something in my mind that I realized I already knew.

I know there are many out there who probably find these words about marriage difficult to read.  Believe me when I say, I understand.  I lived through a very difficult marriage for 19 years.  I'm a happily married newlywed now, but I know that trials are inevitable, and if we both strive to become closer to the Savior, we can make it through the difficult times and come out closer in the end.


Feb 20, 2010

Proud Mommy!

My two oldest children are gone to Preference tonight.  Here's a picture of them before they left. 

Aren't they cute?

There are many reasons why I'm proud of these two.  They are both great kids, make righteous choices, and set a good example for their friends.  Tonight, I'm particularly proud of my son. 

Preference is a girl's choice dance.  One of my son's best friends is a darling girl.  We tease him about having a girlfriend, but they are just really good friends.  We all assumed she would ask him to the dance, but before she could, he was asked by a girl who goes to his school that is mentally handicapped.  She is a very sweet girl, but every time she's asked a boy to a dance, she's been turned down.

Without even hesitating, my son agreed to go to Preference with her.  It may not have been his first choice, but I am so proud of him for considering another's feelings.  His best friend (the other girl) was a great sport about not being able to go to the dance since my son was already taken, and she apparently didn't want to take anyone else.  She even made their corsage and boutonniere, and brought him a special treat before he went.  Good friends make all the difference. 

It was cute when the girl picked him up.  She was so excited when he gave her the corsage.  I took lots of pictures, and I can't wait until he comes home so I can hear all about his date.   I don't know what I did to deserve such great children, but I thank my Heavenly Father for trusting them to my care.


Feb 18, 2010

A Personal Look at the Prophet

This week, I had the privilege of attending a meeting where Ann Dibb, the second counselor in the Young Women's general presideny, spoke.  She is also the daughter of President Thomas S. Monson. 

She talked about a variety of things including self confidence, problem solving, overcoming temptations, and embracing virtue.

She also presented the 100% challenge, and said that simply following it 100% of the time would make a distinct impact on our lives. The challenge includes three things:

1.  Pray morning and night.
2.  Read 5 minutes in the scriptures each day.
3.  Smile

I can do these.  I'm putting them on my to do list--I'll let you know how it goes.

Sister Dibb bore her testimony of the importance of having a prophet on the earth who is mindful of our needs today.  At the conclusion of her meeting she opened it up for questions about her father, the prophet.  It was fun to see him through her eyes.

Ann said she is a whiner and often feels sorry for herself and that her father is constantly trying to help her look on the bright side.  He often counsels her to let things go when there is no resolution.  Ann joked, "I do--after a few years."

She shared the fact that she often has the desire to go shopping on Sunday,but that she doesn't because she knows she would run into someone and get caught. President Monson reassured her that was not the real reason she doesn't go. It was refreshing to me to hear that this strong, amazing woman had a weakness like this. It made me respect her more.

I learned many fun tidbits about the prophet such as chocolate calls to him, and he whistles when he's happy. He has pigeons, loves musicals, fishing, springer spaniels, and going to the Utah Jazz games.

The question was asked if she could call her father anytime she wanted to talk to him. She said she's respectful of his time, knowing he has many important meetings to attend, but that she can call him when she needs him. She joked about the fact that she has to be conscious about leaving her ringer on so that he can call her. She said he leaves funny messages when she doesn't answer. "I just keep leavin' these messages . . ."

Her display included many candid pictures of her mother and father and said President Monson loves pictures of his wife. She said if you want to watch TV like the prophet, watch Perry Mason, Antiques Roadshow, Lawrence Welk, sports, and the news.

She closed by emphasizing that her father is not perfect, but she loves him anyway, and expressing gratitude for the example he sets of making others feel important and loved.

The evening with my daughters was one well spent. Sister Dibb's thoughts were very inspiring, and I left the meeting determined to be and do better, but also with the realization that I really am on the right path.

Feb 14, 2010

Our Song

It's my first Valentine's Day being married to the love of my life.  To honor our relationship, I'm posting the words to our song, "Then" by Brad Paisley.

I remember, trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
And three weeks later, in the front porch light
taking forty-five minutes to kiss goodnight
I hadn't told you yet
but I thought I loved you then

And now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl
Like a river meets the sea,
stronger than it's ever been.
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

And i remember, taking you back to right where I first met you,
You were so surprised
There were people around, but I didn't care
Got down on one knee right there once again,
I thought I loved you then

And now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl
Like a river meets the sea,
stronger than it's ever been.
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

I could just see you, with a baby on the way
And I could just see you, when your hair is turning gray
What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more
But I've said that before

And now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl
We'll look back someday, at this moment that we're in
And I'll look at you and say
And I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then
I thought I couldn't love my husband any more than I did the day he proposed, but by the time our marriage date arrived, I realized that I loved him even more. And now, my love for him increases every day. He does so many little things to show make me feel cherished and protected. I couldn't ask for a better man to share the rest of eternity with.

How about you? What's your favorite love song and why?

Feb 9, 2010

My Cover!

I've been patiently (sort of ) waiting to see the cover for my new book, I'll Know You by Heart.   I was busily rushing around yesterday and didn't check my email until late last night, and little did I know, but it was sitting in my email inbox most of the day. 

I've received some interesting feedback, both positive and negative.  Let me know what you think.

Feb 8, 2010

The Week in Words

Since I started following The Week in Words, I've been more aware of how many amazing words are around us every day. I have read so many inspiring things this past week, it's difficult to know what to share with you.

I belong to a writing group called LDStorymakers. It's a very supportive group of like-minded writers. This week one member asked how to overcome a writing slump. She received tons of great advice, but I would like to share one bit of wisdom from Linda Garner that spoke directly to me.

"And don't forget to pray. Ask Heavenly Father why He gave you the gift of words and the tools to use them. Ask Him what He wants you to say. You'll find your voice, again."

What great advice! In any area of your life, ask Heavenly Father why He gave you your talents and what He would like you to do with them. To see other blog posts with The Week in Words, visit Breath of Life.

Linda Garner is the author of Some Secrets Hurt. To read more about the book and Linda, check out her website.

Feb 5, 2010

Friday's Fave Five!

My current life circumstances have given me more time to spend in blogland.  I've met some amazing people I never would have met without the internet, and they've brought untold blessings into my life--mostly unbeknownst to them.  You never know how your words will affect someone else's life.

One of those new friends is Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.  She holds a fun meme every Friday, called Friday Fave Five.  If you'd like to participate, you can read more about the details here.  In short, think back over your week and post your five favorite things from the week.  It can be anything--quotes, posts, pictures, recipes, internet finds, etc.  Then go back to Susanne's blog where you can read other bloggers fave five lists and add your link to Mr. Linky. 

Here are my fave five for the week:

1)  I found a great website that has over 500 FREE scrapbooking and handwriting fonts.  You can check it out here.  You'll be glad you did.  The new fonts on my blog came from there.

I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts

2)  I got glowing reports from my children's teachers at Parent Teacher conferences this week.  Makes me feel like I might just be doing something right as a parent.  Or they just came that way.  Probably the latter.

3)  I woke up this morning to a clean house.  Okay--a ten and eleven year old's version of a clean house, but nevertheless, cleaner than it was when I went to bed.  My son is getting baptized tomorrow and we have oodles of people coming over for lunch afterward, so their efforts were much appreciated.  Thanks, Josh and Dakota!

4)  My cute friend, Ali, keeps me smiling with her new Ask Ali Vlogs.  Check them out here.  She's so creative and talented.

5)  I'm grateful for the hours from midnight to three a.m.  It's the time when the house is quiet, and I can snuggle in my husbands arms as we talk over the day.  The lack of sleep is oh-so-worth-it.  It makes me feel that all is right with the world.

I hope your Friday is as fabulous as mine seems to be so far.  :)

Feb 2, 2010

Honest Scrap!

My darling friend, Elizabeth Mueller, recently gave me two awards, Honest Scrap, and The Lovely Blog award.  For those who don't know Elizabeth, check out her blog.  She is super talented.  Her blog posts always inspire me, and she throws in plenty of fun as well.  Not only is she a great writer, she is an amazing artist.  You can see some of her artwork here.

For the Honest Scrap award, I'm supposed to share 10 honest facts about me.  I'll try to come up with things you might not already know. 

1)  I LOVE reality TV.  I know it's a big waste of time, but I can't help myself.  Currently, I'm watching The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser, and American Idol.

2)  If I'm at home, I'm usually wearing pajamas.  Okay, I admit, I wear them to Walmart too. 

3)  People often think I'm snotty, but I'm just uncomfortable in social settings, so I avoid people if at all possible.  (Any tips on overcoming this are more than welcome.)

4)  I love colorful, crazy socks.  My husband tells me they don't match what I'm wearing, but I don't really care.

5)  I sometimes feel guilty that I don't seem as passionate about writing as some of my friends.  I like it--I really do--it's just not my first priority.

6)  I'm a high-school dropout.  Gasp!  Okay, I finished later and even got a Bachelor degree, so that makes up for the follies of my youth.  Right??

7)  I generally get along better with men than women.  I don't really have any girl friends I can just hang out with.  (Working on this one, though!)

8.  I love being with my teenage kids and their friends.  They make life fun and interesting.  Maybe I just need to grow up?  Ya think?

9.  I am Directionally challenged.  I would get terribly lost without my darling husband.  Never take me into the middle of a city and drop me off.  I'd be lost forever.

10.  I love, love, love to learn new things.  If I'm not constantly trying to figure out something new, I go crazy.  My latest attempt is trying to learn html so that I can make all my blogs cool.  You'll be seeing some new blogs from me as I practice all the new things I'm learning.

Now I get to pass this fun (??) award on to 5 unsuspecting bloggers:

(Okay, I cheated!  These are the members of my critique group.)

And one more:
C.L. Beck (Cuz she's so dang funny!)

Feb 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Heather!

Today is Heather Justesen's birthday.  I've known Heather for almost two years.  She is a member of my Super Edits critique group.  If you don't know her, you should really put that on your list of things to do.  She is one AMAZING WOMAN!!

I'm not exactly sure how she does it all.  She's a wife, works two part-time jobs, fixes computers, bakes and decorates unbelievable cakes, and moonlights as a zookeeper (dogs, cats, geese, fish, ducks, chickens, turkeys, guineas).  I'm really not sure how she manages to find time to write, but she does--in copious amounts, and extremely well.  Not only that, she drives and hour and a half each way to attend our critique group.  Is she crazy? 

Maybe so, but all her hard work has paid off.  Her debut novel, The Ball's in Her Court, was released in October and has been a huge success.  You can read my review of it here.  Her second novel, Rebound, is slated for release in the summer of 2010.   

If you want to learn more about her, or wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you can visit her at her website or blog.

Happy Birthday, Heather!  I'm grateful for your friendship.

The Week in Words

Because of this meme, as I read this week, I paid closer attention, looking for things that were inspiring that I could share with you.  I found many, but wanted to share the one that was most meaningful to me.

"There are a lot of distractions in the world. We have people telling us left and right how we should be. What we should think. That we should act or dress a certain way to be accepted. We listen. We participate, trying to fit in. Into what? Why? Because the one thing we want more than anything else is to feel accepted, appreciated, included—that we are loved. The reality that often eludes us is that we are already loved and accepted in the most divine way—by God—completely and forever. What can top that?"

Cynthia Legette Davis from Peace in Us

I've done a lot of self-reflection over the last few weeks.  Because my book is coming out, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm going to have to promote myself--in public--gasp!  It is so far out of my comfort zone, and I know I'm going to need my Heavenly Father's help to do it. 

This quote reminded me that He loves me exactly as I am.  Does that mean He doesn't want me to stretch, and learn, and grow?  No.  In fact, He knows exactly what I'm capable of becoming.  I pray with His help I can do all that is ahead of me and come out knowing that I've made Him proud.

To see more inspirational quotes from this weeks' Week in Words, visit Breath of Life.
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