Need Your Assistance!

I’ve recently started working on a book that I’ve tentatively entitled “Devotionals for Depressed Souls.” Basically I’m trying to align the false ideas that run rampant in my head with the truths of the Bible by working my way through the text and jotting down every instance of God’s love for humanity.

It’s a daunting task to be sure, but I feel compelled to do it not only for my own well-being, but because every time I mention this project to someone they say things like, “I’ve been depressed for years. I’m very interested in reading your book!” or “I feel like your book will help a lot of people.”

It’s humbling and exciting at the same time. I realized that I am obviously not the only person to have depressed thoughts and negative feelings. I don’t know the exact percentage of people who battle depression, but I can honestly say that about 90% of the people I’ve told about this project have told me they have battled it at some point in their life.

In addition, there was recently a study that showed most people today are less optimistic about the future than they were several years ago. I want to bring about change in that statistic. There is a LOT to be hopeful for, but we often don’t see it as plainly as we do the negative stuff.

Everyone I’ve spoken to about it feels that it would help out a lot of people – so I’m determined to make it work.

My one major hurdle? Overcoming my own negative thoughts (like: I can’t do this) and pushing onward. It’s very easy for a negative individual to give up on things. It’s very simple to just say “Oh, forget it” because it becomes difficult when we try to delve deeper. I know I’m in for some soul searching here and for some “ah ha!” moments.

The task is to compare a false thought (For example: God doesn’t love me) with a true statement (like: God sent his son for me.) But I need some help!

Calling all my negative nellies! I need the false thoughts that are ruining your mindset or the untrue statements banging around in your noggin. I know, after speaking to so many folks about this book, that it might be a collaborative effort. I want the book to benefit others and, hopefully, dispel some of your negative thinking along with my own.

But I need those thoughts to get started.

So… come on. Let me have it. Don’t be shy. Give me your negative thoughts and let’s see if we can turn them around. All comments welcome – you can use an alias if you want.

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Fall Friday

I don’t know about you, but I love Fall. It’s almost my favorite time of year except for one thing: the colder weather. But despite all the chillier days and evenings (some of which are nice if there is a warm fire to sit next to and good friends to chat with) I truly love the colors and decorations. Besides Christmas is it the only holiday I decorate my house (albeit sparsely) for and I love to see others decorations around town. When the SITS Girls put out a blogging challenge for Fall photos I thought “Yep. I’m on it.” So instead of a bunch of words this Friday – let’s just enjoy some pics!

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Okay – I’m not one for dressing up on Halloween… in fact I quite hate the holiday. All those little kids dressed up as scary beings… knocking on my door, begging for candy… ugh. No thanks. BUT my friend Meg has this cool party in March (‘Cuz, you know, the outfits are cheaper AFTER Halloween) and last year this was my getup. And I loved it.fall1My next door neighbor’s tree. Absolutely gorgeous in the Fall. The thing is HUGE. Glad those leaves don’t fall in my yard…

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Our local park. Really lovely in the Autumn.

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My kitchen decorations. I love, love, love that “vase”. It’s actually metal and square. I think you’re supposed to put a candle in it, but I love my fall flowers in their instead.

There you have it – a few Autumnal colors to start your weekend. If you don’t live somewhere that experiences the turning of the leaves I suggest you try to get to a spot at least once in your life. It’s truly magnificent to see God’s splendor bursting forth all across his world.

How about you? What’s your favorite thing about Fall? If you have some photos to share – share a link!

 

 

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Ten Things I’m Thankful For

The gals over at theSITSgirls prompted me with this post today and, even though it’s a day I don’t normally blog on, I really wanted to put this out there. I started working from home this week and it’s been harder than expected, but despite the stress of it all, I want to take this opportunity to list out the things I’m most thankful for.

So here goes.

I’m thankful for:

1) Being a child of God and being saved.

2) Being married to one of the most wonderful, encouraging, good-looking men on the planet.

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3) Having parents that have been there for me every minute of my forty + years.

4) Having in-laws and sister and brother-in-law who are equally encouraging and loving.

5) My church family.

6) Friends who support, encourage, push, respect and love me.

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7) My adorable pooch.

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8) Music that soothes the soul and energizes the spirit.

9) Our neighborhood – couldn’t ask for a nicer block of folks.

10) My Coach bag! (because it reminds me that I had to sell a story to get it!)

This list could go on and on because I am very blessed and so thankful for a multitude of things in my life. Take this day – or even this WEEK – and remind yourself how much goodness is going on in your life.

What about you? Tell me what you’re thankful for in the comments!

~ You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram ~

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Tips on Being a Freelancer

The last three days have been exhilarating, exhausting and exasperating all in one. I became a freelancer on Monday. I’m three days in and not sure where this is all headed and, yet, I want to keep going.

I compare it to the mother’s lament about how 9 months of being pregnant and, often, the multiple hours of birth are all “worth it” once you have your little one in your arms. I’m not a mom and I won’t ever be – at least to a child. But for every word I write and every editing job I complete, a new little baby is put forth into the world and I smile.

So here is some advice I’ve gotten over the last few days that I want to share with anyone else out there who is venturing into the world of freelance.

1) “Working from home is feast or famine. It IS scary. But SO rewarding.”

I agree. My first few days started slowly. I kept at it, plugging away, trying to build my brand online even though there wasn’t much work. At the end of each day I’ve been thrillingly exhausted. I’ve put every ounce of who I am into what I’m doing and it’s totally worth it.

2) “Guard yourself against yourself. The reason you are successful is because you are hardest on you. Find as much scripture on how we are made in his image and how wonderful his creation (us) is. Post them by where you work, on the bathroom mirrors anywhere and go and remind yourself that if God has given you the passion for it he has already equipped you to succeed.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself. As we saw in #1 – it’s off and on. One day might be packed full and another might be quiet as a mouse. Take it all in stride as well as call on God for strength and purpose. For me, I wouldn’t be here without Him and I’m not moving forward without Him either.

3) “It doesn’t happen overnight. Turn negatives into positive, forward moving decisions.”

This one is hard. I want to be successful NOW, but it does take time. Be willing to put in the effort and keep moving forward.

4) “I prayed for you before the crack of dawn. Peace, no panic, today.”

It’s important to have people who support you in your freelancing. I’ve had nothing but support and it’s been terrific. But I can only imagine how hard it would be if I didn’t have the encouragement, and prayers, of others. You have to do it for you, but supportive friends and family certainly help in the process. Plus, they can pick you up on those slow days and go for lunch. :)

5) “It’s hard to find work/life balance. That’s my biggest obstacle.”

I so appreciated this advice and I received it from a LOT of folks. I took time for walks, lunch and to snuggle my dog. When my husband came home I made dinner and spent time with him. It’s easy to just keep working and working, but the whole POINT is to NOT do that and to have a better quality of life. Carve out and schedule time for doing nothing if you have to, but do it. It’s essential.

I’ve only begun on this journey so maybe I’ll have more sage advice soon. I’d love to hear your advice though as well. If you’re a freelancer show me some love in the comment section and give me examples of your best and worst days.

 

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Blogging Opportunity! Check this out!

I just signed up for this! Check it out!


Bloggers 2014 Holiday Gift Guide Sign Up

Bloggers sign up Today to get listed on the “2014 Holiday Gift Guide” that will roll out full force Oct 25 thru Dec 25, 2014 . Many bloggers will be participating so its going to be huge !
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** Where will my Link to my Blog Be Seen **
We will have a page specific listing ” PR Friendly Bloggers ” on the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide Web Site – Visible to all on the landing page and other guide pages. Your Link will be linked to your blog or media kit page ( your choice). This Gift guide will be promoted by many bloggers, as well as the businesses on their sites and social media too during the 2 months. Also we may even feature YOUR Blog in our Special Mailings from time to time.


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So this just happened…

I quit my job today.

Yep. You read that right. Quit. I gave up 12 years as an insurance agent and I’m not looking back. Over the past year I’ve felt a longing, a calling perhaps, to venture out on my own and pursue my dream of being a writer full-time. This is it. The time has come… it’s today.

My freelance editing has started to take off (being a relative term… I’m not making enough to pay any kind of bill yet) and my husband recently acquired a new job (which helps with the bill paying aspect of things.) We talked long and extensively about this decision. Many tears were shed (by me, not the hubs) as I struggled to make sense of the inner struggle between striking out in this new venture or keep on keeping on with the everyday ho-hum of the insurance industry.

I talked with close friends who all pushed me to do it. In a way, I wonder, if I’m not fulfilling some sort of dream for all of them. Every single person has been supportive. I’ve never experienced that before. Never.

As I spoke with more and more people, everyone kept saying “I think this is your time.” Today a friend said “God has been leading you to this moment. Think of all the things in the past five years that have led to this: you and John deciding to not have kids; John being unhappy with his job and getting this new, better position; all your recent published things. You have so many ideas – now is the time.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

God has led me here. I would never, EVER, fathomed that I would work from home – even though it’s something I’ve dreamed about for years now. My low self-esteem kept me from moving forward. My lack of confidence almost caused me to just… let it all slip away.

Because I was (am, let’s be honest here) afraid of failure.

My parents were a large part of the equation. In the past, I have made dumb decisions and they have supported me… although I always knew they thought I had chosen poorly. I’ve let them down and failed so many times. Their opinion this time meant a lot. I didn’t want to fail again – it’s too late in life. I expected silence from them, maybe a shake of the head… maybe even a “what are you thinking?”

But no. Instead, my Dad nodded, my mom’s eyes teared up and they just … told me they wanted me to be happy. I was floored. Not what I had expected. They’ve always supported me, but they almost have never seen the vision of my life the way I have… until now.

(Today when I asked my mom what Dad really thought she said “We think you’re going to be so successful. We love everything you’ve written. You’re a good writer.” My parents are not expressive people so I don’t often get a “you did good” type of speech. I was nearly bowled over from these words today.)

I won’t lie – I’ve had major panic attacks this last week. My stomach is in knots even as I write this. I haven’t eaten well, slept decently or been able to conjure up a coherent thought in several days. Friends birthdays have passed by, people have had their own life events that I missed… it’s not been a good week.

But this is right. I feel it with every fiber of my being. When I look out into the future I see happiness now. God is leading me in a new direction and I’m excited/scared/frightened/joyful/overwhelmed… the list goes on. But when God says “Step out” – it’s time to step out.

And I did.

So that happened today.

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A Small Break In The Action

Sorry – no long post today folks. Major changes coming my way and I’ve been too preoccupied to write! But all that changes on Monday! Check back then to see what new and exciting things are happening.

* If you live in my area (North Central PA) you can catch me tomorrow (Sept. 20) at the Milton Harvest Festival in Milton, PA. I’ll be selling my Chicken Soup for the Soul book along with a few of my fellow authors selling their great books. Come harvest a book – signed and everything!

* Our writing group was interviewed last night by the Williamsport Sun Gazette for a feature piece about our upcoming writer’s conference. We’re big news! If you haven’t signed up yet – go here to do so! Discounted registration ends tomorrow! (But you can still register after that…) Plus check out our feature story in the October 5th edition of the Sun Gazette!

Keep checking in with me to see all that’s going on – big things are happening!

Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Instagram too!

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