Mini Post Monday

Life and Happiness, Writing

Last Thursday morning I got up as I do every day before and set about my work day from home. Sometimes it gets a bit tedious and I’ve found myself straying a bit from God, my morning devotionals and also from taking care of myself. So before I dug into my work, I decided to take a walk with my pup. Many times I get too busy and don’t get proper exercise in my day so I wanted to be sure I accomplished it this time. I dug out my headphones, pulled up the music on my phone and set out. I have a set playlist that I really love on my phone (Pitbull, Iggy Azalea, One Republic, JLo, Jessie J… tunes to get you moving), but that morning I thought, “No, I’m going to try out some of my old tunes.” Boy was I happy I did! I listened to ABBA, Garth Brooks (I’m kind of on a kick since we saw him last weekend in concert!), Michael Buble, and even Selah (who sang our wedding song: Blessed the Broken Road). My step had some pep baby! Max and I ended up walking almost an hour around town and I felt energized, awake and inspired. I had two blog ideas come to me (for my A to Z Challenge – if you want to join in check it out!) and even encouraged to work more on my short fiction novel (which I hope to publish within the next month or so!)

Sometimes it’s good to break out of your comfort zones, get out into nature, and loosen up a bit.

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This past weekend was one of my favorites. It was my 6th Wedding Anniversary (which included dinner out at a new restaurant- pay attention – I might do a review!) and Mother’s Day. I got a small cake from a local bakery that was a replica of our wedding cake – lemon cake with raspberry preserve filling – and we celebrated our marriage by just trying to spend some time with one another. I got to spend my time with loved ones just enjoying love and each other. We also spent some time with friends by a nice outdoor fire, chatted about the ups and downs of our lives, sipped a few tasty drinks and relaxed under the warm May evening. It doesn’t get better than that.

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One last thing: If you’re a writer and are looking for an awesome conference to attend, meet some nice people, and hone your skills across the board – check out the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference in Grove City, PA (near Pittsburgh – very close to Ohio!) This conference really has something for everyone – fiction, children’s writers, non-fiction, how to get contracts, how to self-publish and includes terrific fellowship and time with real authors, editors and publishers to share ideas and get your foot in the door. You won’t regret signing up for this all-inclusive conference! Hope to see you there!

Check back this Wednesday for my 2nd guest blogger! You’re going to love her!

Have a great Monday!

You can also find me on Twitter @suefair48 and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page (I have two actually – here’s the other one!)

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Wisdom Wednesday

Life and Happiness, Wisdom From The Word Wednesday, Writing

Today I’m surrounded by writers. A few of us found this great local coffee shop, with a lot of space and wonderful Christian music playing throughout, that we all (or most all) agreed to meet. There is even a fireplace that we are spread out around with our notebooks, and laptops. There is idle chit chat happening as well as in-depth “writer chat” occurring. We talk about our latest writing, what novel/script we just sent out into the abyss, and even what our pets or children are up to.

This type of get-together is important. It helps us grow as individuals, as writers, and to fellowship together as Christians. How can we write and explore the world within our stories if we contain ourselves to our own little worlds? How can we dig deep into our characters when we only see ourselves in our everyday existence?

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Last night, I participated in a conference call with my up-line for my Simply Said business. After a day of discouragement with that business, it felt good and uplifting to know that someone else was having similar troubles. We swapped sob stories, but also brainstormed new ideas and, at the end, I felt transformed and encouraged. I am ready to try again.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Holding each other up? Pushing one another and encouraging each other in love to try it again? Reach for the stars, grab that brass ring, and make your dreams come true.

I thrive now on these interactions. I live for them and feel like I’m empowered when I come away from them.

So today – reach out to someone else. Tell them your troubles and listen to theirs. Encourage. Lift up in prayer. LISTEN.

You will be blessed by it.

Singing with the Choir

Life and Happiness

Well, we survived our evening with the six year old! Her parents dropped her off about 4 pm last night and we dove right into some craft activities and coloring.

She started with some sand art that she brought along. We ended up making several Christmas presents for family from the set – complete with some red and green ribbon I had on hand for bows. She started off full of vigor, but soon told Uncle John “I think you should fill the things John. I’ll just tell you which colors to use.” I responded “Yeah, like a supervisor. A supervisor is a good job Megan. Way to think big!” John scowled at me whilst trying to maneuver the small bottles and the tiny grains of sand.

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I didn’t catch one with his tongue hanging out in concentration…. darn it.

When the time came to go for our church dinner, little Miss Megan was excited as they come. She was going to sing in her own choir!

But when we got to the dinner, she sat grumpily in her chair. I looked at her with concern. Perhaps the activities were too much – we had worn her out before her big debut! Or maybe she was anxiety-ridden thinking about her performance. I tried to engage her in conversation, but she said she was tired. But soon food filled her plate and she smiled at me with a mouthful of dinner roll (who doesn’t love a good potato roll after all… it will lift anyone’s spirits) (The sugar filled punch probably helped too…) so my own anxieties started to lessen.

Uncle John then made sure she had a gigantic piece of peanut butter pie for that extra sugar boost she needed. (Uncle Dave ended up coming along and finishing it though – she didn’t want to fill up her tummy too much!)

The choir director came over to make sure Megan was ready to go and let me know I would be joining the kids (along with one of the grandma’s) in order to “keep order” and make sure they sang along. Megan was overjoyed that Aunt Sue would accompany her onstage – for it looked mighty frightening from where she sat. (Because who doesn’t need that reassuring nudge from behind sometimes?) And I was glad to be there for that little bit of encouragement she needed.

The kids did great – and Miss Megan sang her heart out the loudest. They sang “Away in a Manager” and “Happy Birthday Jesus.” Afterwards, she got many compliments from the audience. She smiled her toothless smile and accepted their love with a smile.

We also had a professional singer after the kids and she did a wonderful job. (Check out Danelle Cressinger Music – she’s awesome!) Megan watched her in rapt attention throughout each song with her little hands clasped tightly to her chest in adoration of this wonderful Christian chanteuse. When Danelle lastly sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem” she invited everyone to sing along and I could hear little Megan’s voice behind me, sitting on Uncle John’s lap, clearly singing each verse! It made the moment, and the words of the song even more special hearing them from the mouth of a child.

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

Afterwards, John said “She knew all the words! I was floored!” (Megan – not Danelle of course. We expect the professional would know all the words…)

As we walked back home, Megan skipped part of the way. Her joy was contagious. It felt so good to be part of this little one’s life, to share in her achievements and experience her passions and desires. She obviously has a song in her heart – I’m so glad that the song is one for Jesus and that she knows His love for her through this music we share.

When I gave her a Hershey kiss for doing such a good job on her singing, she said “Sissy loves Hershey kisses – can I have one for her too?” (*heart melting, tears forming*)

Obviously, God’s love has infected this child.

After we sent her off with her Dad, we lay in bed and John said “Hey! We survived almost 5 hours with a 6 year old! And so did she!” I laughed and agreed, but it was easy with this one – she is already living a life Jesus would approve of and I am so proud to say I know her.