No Effort to Attain Something Beautiful is Ever Lost

“Do not think of today’s failures but of the success that may come tomorrow….  Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.  Sometime, somewhere, somehow, we shall find that which we seek.”

- Helen Keller

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Just what I needed to hear today, Ms. Helen.

As a Writer, Are You Crazy?

youre-a-writerYou know you’ve always been a bit different.  But then normal is highly overrated, right?  You’ve been a writer since the beginning of time.  Even before you could write, you were a writer, bursting with stories you’d tell your dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, or the air, just to get them out there.

You’ve questioned yourself over the years as to what has made you a writer.  You’ve questioned yourself if you really wanted to be a writer.  Did you choose it?  Or did it choose you?  You don’t know who you are without writing.

Are you a writer, because you have a tortured soul?  Do you have so many voices talking inside your head that you just have to get them out before you lose your mind?  Or were you already crazy?  Does being a writer make you crazy or were you crazy all along?

These are just the top 10 reasons (out of maybe 100) why, as a writer, I think you (and I) might be crazy.

1.  You have a dream.  Or maybe more of a dark and colorful, exhilarating, brilliant nightmare.  Oh, you thought I meant a dream of being a writer?  No, I mean, in the literal sense.  You have this dream and you have to get up immediately to write out the voices and movie playing inside your head.

2.  Movies that you’ve never seen play inside your head.

3.  You get up at 2am to write.  Yes.  I said two o’clock.  After having said dream, your heart is beating fast, and no matter how much you would love to go back to sleep, you’re wide awake and have to get up right then and write.  Sometimes you’re happy to skip the sleep and are just oh so eager to jump up and write it all down.

4.  You hear voices.  You listen to the voices.  You have to write everything down immediately that the voices are saying.  Sometimes they are talking to you, screaming at you to write their story, and other times the voices are conversing with other voices.

5.  You talk to the voices.  And sometimes the voices talk back.

6. You talk to yourself.  You question yourself.  You answer yourself.  You have long drawn out conversations.  With.  Your.  Self.  And sometimes, you laugh at/with yourself.  Could this be schizophrenia?

7.  You talk to ghosts.  You have (or think you have) conversations with J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and H. G. Wells.  Could this be delirium?

8.  You channel spirits.  Or you think you have after having said dream that’s something remarkably similar to something out of Tolkien.

9.  You write 4 books simultaneously.  You are working on Book 1 and 2 of a fantasy/sci-fi series, a work of non-fiction, and this dream you just had is the new Book 1 of the series you thought you were writing, as a twist just occurred that gives it a whole ‘nother back story, sort of like The Hobbit before Lord of the Rings.  What particular manuscript you may be working on in any given 30 minutes or 2 hours is whatever the muse/inspiration/voices tells you to work on.

10.  You are silent.  If the voices aren’t talking, neither are you.  You’re depressed.  You’re lonely.  You miss the voices.  Call this writer’s block.  Call this laziness.  Call this depression.  You wait around for the voices to return as if you’re some high school chick with a silly crush waiting by the phone for that cute guy to call you.  He said he’d call.  And you wait.  And you wait.  And wait.

So, I ask you, being a writer, are you crazy?  Or is it just me?

 

 

 

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“My child has taught me more about living, forgiving and loving than I could ever teach her.” – Carol Blake Sessums

“The most important thing you can ever do in this life, your most profound purpose, is to make a positive difference in the life of someone else.” –Carol Blake Sessums

Quote for Motivation

A member of a group I participate in asked a question and this is what another responded (below).  It really resonated with me and I needed to hear this today.  I hope it helps you, as well.  We can learn soooo much from each other!!

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“Luck is spelled W O R K — we make our own “luck” and we make our own choices in life — hopefully, they will be the right choices.  I challenge each of you to take time to help others reach their goals.  I promise you that in return you will reach yours as well.  Also, choose to be happy every day, even when your circumstances may not be what happiness is made of.  Even if you have to fake happiness to put that smile on your face — eventually you will realize that you are no longer faking it.  That “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy really works — look, act and feel happy/successful/healthy/etc. and you will be happy/successful/healthy/etc.  I experienced my highest highs and lowest lows when I was in commission-only sales — that’s when I learned to set goals and move above my comfort zone.  Everything worth having will require work to acquire.”

-Sandra Smith

Where Is God? Where Did He Go?

questionDon’t misunderstand.  Many miracles have been performed in my short life so I know God has shown up.  I have much to be thankful for and I’ve been showered with blessings — my daughter, my mother, true friends, our homes, our land, the vehicles we drive, different interesting and fun jobs, the ability to work from home so I can raise my child, forgiveness, love and laughter — just to name a few.  But as many struggles take place in our lives, I suppose our faith (or lack of) is tested.

I realize we weren’t promised a rose garden.  We were warned this life wouldn’t be an easy one.  We are asked to believe in God and in Jesus and what Jesus did and still does for us.  I believe all that without question.  Miracles have transpired to cause me to believe in God.  I’ve never questioned Jesus.  I have a great love for him.  And it’s not that I don’t love God.  I do.

A friend brought up some relevant questions concerning God that have me questioning his intentions.  Actually, I had already been questioning.  While I understand we are not supposed to question God and we do not have the capability of ever understanding his reasons or intentions of why he does what, isn’t it the human condition to question when it comes to things that are so tragic and impossible to understand?  I mean, it’s in our nature to want to understand, right?

We are expected to have blind faith, to rely on God, to trust in him and not to worry.  We are not to worry about tomorrow because it’s not here yet.  But what about today?

What about the person who lost their home because they didn’t have enough money to pay their mortgage?  And they didn’t have any family they could stay with until they got back up on their feet?

What about the homeless man that’s too far away from a shelter or food pantry to eat or sleep?

What about these horrific acts of terrorism that abruptly and senselessly steal the lives of hundreds and even thousands of people (men, women, children, infants)?  How are we to make sense of this?

How are we to send our tiny innocent children to school when a crazy person might show up and change our lives forever, breaking us, tearing away pieces of our soul?  We are not supposed to live in fear because exhibiting doubt, worry and fear is to not fully trust and have faith in God?  How can we not live in fear when all this is going on around us?  Our God is bigger?  Bigger than we can understand?  Bigger than all these tragedies?

We are supposed to pray and petition God daily.  We are to put our faith and trust and reliance in him to take care of us and to answer our prayers.  All we have to do is ask and trust and believe.  That’s what the Bible tells us.  But the Bible was written by man, yes?  By several different men, in fact.  It’s been translated so many times, has it not been twisted to distort or even completely eradicate the truth?  Some words and meanings in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek (the original texts) do not even have correct English translation.  Just something to think about.

I read Matthew 7:7 (NIV) all the time:  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  As well as Matthew 21:22:  “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  And Mark 11:24:  “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  While I realize when we ask God for something (and yes, I know he’s not Santa), his answer to a prayer can be no, don’t these verses say “it will be given to you?”  And I know that it’s in his time, not mine.  I’m glad he waited on some of the answers he’s delivered.  Sometimes, he’s been lightning fast to answer, which I’m also happy with, thank You, God, by the way.

What about the other stuff?  How are we to make sense of these things that make no sense?  God has a reason for everything.  I understand that.  But what are we to do with that?  How do we get out of bed in the morning when we know what could be potentially waiting just outside that door?  How do we let our children out of our sight for a moment?  Why does he wait so long to answer when we do need him right away?  Why does he perform a miracle to cause a non-believer to all the sudden believe but not do this for another?  He doesn’t give us more than we can handle?  What about the person who just committed suicide because she just couldn’t take it any longer?

At times, I’ve felt God turned his back on me.  I know deep down in my heart that it’s not true.  He’d never do that.  Even though I can be filled with bitterness, anger, resentment and blame and even scream out at him with what can be a trash mouth at times, he does not and will never turn his back on me.  I have found great comfort in this.  At other times, I feel the need to turn my back on him.  Yes, I said it.  I feel a bit of guilt admitting this but I’m just being real.  How many of you have felt the same?  And I consider myself a Christian.  I am a Christian.  I am also human and filled with human emotion and feel the need to express myself to God and to Jesus.  I know they understand my heart so I feel a little less guilt for being real.  God appreciates authenticity more than fake respect/reverence.

No, I’ve not read all of the Bible, yet, but I’m working on it.  I also know the devil can tempt you to do bad things and maybe it’s the devil tempting me to question God.  But maybe it’s also my humanness to question.

Don’t you question?

What do you believe?

How do you deal with all the struggles of daily living and all the evil that’s in the world, just outside your front door?

How do you deal with not knowing?  Not understanding?

How has your faith been tested?

And how do you stay faithful?

Do you believe it’s sinful to question God?

 

 

(Photo courtesy of mashable.com)

Shiny Pennies

Carol B Sessums:

This is so true. Let us know if this resonates with you.

Originally posted on adoptingjames:

us-pennyYou probably do it too.

The cashier says, “That’ll be $16.18.” You dig through your wallet or purse and you pull out a twenty, a dime, a nickel, and three pennies. But as you’re digging through your pennies, you see that you have three dingy, rusty ones, and one brand new, perfectly shiny one, minted in 2012.

Which three do you use to pay for your food?

The three old rusty ones, of course. It’s better to hold onto the shiny one. It’s prettier.

It’s shinier.

That’s what we do with the Gospel, isn’t it? Let’s be honest for a minute.

We want to fit in with our coworkers, so we throw in a few dirty jokes to get their approval. That’s a pretty dingy part of our character we’re spending on them, holding back the best part of us – the Christian part of us.

The part of us…

View original 153 more words

Take Away Tuesday

calendar So, I was working on my August calendar filling in all the days with Hallie’s PT, my writing (for fun and work), contracts (other work), cleaning, mowing days, Girls Nite, etc. and I thought to myself, “Self, others may benefit from these little handy dandy calendars, so why not share?”

You can print them and write in them.  You can type in them and print them.  You can change colors of fonts or highlight appts so it’ll stand out.  You can post them to your fridge, pin them to your office bulletin board, fold it and stash it in your pocket or purse.

So, here’s July for that last minute planning, as well as August so you can get a head start on your planning.

Let me know what sorts of printables and checklists, etc. you may be interested in.  Honey, I have a checklist for everything under the sun, planning Thanksgiving, planning Christmas, you name it!

Jul Template Proj Cal 2014

Aug Template Proj Cal 2014

Enjoy.  ;)

- Carol

(Photo courtesy of mashable.com)

Moses, with the Power of God, Parted The Sea

Exodus 14 (paraphrased)

The Lord told Moses to have the Israelites camp out by the sea.  Pharoah will think they’re wandering around in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.  God said, “I will harden Pharoah’s heart, and he will pursue them.”  What do you think this means?  He forced Pharoah’s heart to be hardened?  Anyway, when the king of Egypt realized the people had fled, he changed his mind and wanted them back under his thumb.

Pharoah took 600 chariots along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.  All Pharoah’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops overtook the Israelites as they camped by the sea.  When the Israelites saw the Egyptians approaching, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord.

They accused Moses of tricking them and bringing them to the desert to die.  They claimed to be better off where they were, serving the Egyptians than to die in the desert.  Moses told them to not be afraid, stand firm and the Lord would fight for them.  Then God asked Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?  Tell the Israelites to move on.”

He told Moses to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea to divide the water so the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.  How freakin’ cool would it be to have seen that?!  God said he’d harden the hearts of the Egyptians so they’d follow in after them.  Then the angel of God, who’d been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them.  The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.  Throughout the night, the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.  So cool!!  I don’t think I knew this.

Moses did as God asked and the sea was divided, the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on the left and right.  The Egyptians pursued.  During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.  He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving.  And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites!  The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”  

Then God instructed Moses to stretch his hand over the sea so that the waters would flow over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.  So he did and at daybreak the sea went back into place.  Not one of those Egyptians survived.  When the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared him and put their trust in him and in Moses, his servant.

Who’s Up For Checklists, Calendars and Printables?

Are you a checklist sort of person?  Do you live out of a planner every day of your life?  Have a project calendar for Project A, B and C?  A different calendar for your family?

I am an avid list maker, have a planner, click in appts on my smartphone, have a family calendar on the fridge and a project calendar hanging in my office or attached to my planner since I work in the living room more often than I do the office.  Pitiful, right?

Well, if you are always on the lookout for checklists and printable calendars that are easy peasy to print and write in or type in from your computer and print, I have a free item or two to offer you for what I’m calling Take Away Tuesday.

Interested?  Check back tomorrow on Take Away Tuesday.

What types of checklists are you looking for?

Happy planning,

Carol