In my life I ALWAYS celebrate the small stuff.. I make little goals and update them often.. When my son said his first 2 word “sentence” at 5 years old ? We celebrated.. Then I set my goal to using a “sentence” every day. When my daughter read her first book solo.. at 5 years? We celebrated… then we set our goal to reading a book (solo) everyday. When my son told me he was mad .. Instead of melting down? YUP!! We celebrated! (I admit my son looked confused when his mom laughed and hugged him for saying “I’m mad at you.”) We celebrated and then talked about what made him mad.
When my daughter stood up to the bully who had pestered her for years..? Ok.. that was a BIG thing.. but still we celebrated.
Big goals sometimes take too long to accomplish.. and admit it.. If goals are too hard, sometimes we give up. So by keeping my goals small? My milestones achievable? Yup.. I tend to celebrate a lot.
Which is healthy…at least I think it is…
As an author, I celebrate each milestone too.. especially with book selling! Yesterday Shadows broke through the ranking of 100k on amazon’s best selling ranking. Doesn’t sound that great really, lol. I know.. I know.. it sounds like Shadows is barely floating. But to me it is a small goal. Ranked #100,000 out of a million books? It’s the top 10%.. To me that’s great..
SOO.. Yesterday I celebrated reaching my milestone…
Today? Today I set my next goal to keep my ranking up to 100k..
What am I celebrating today?
Today I am celebrating that I am only 16 “likes” away from 200 followers on my facebook page.. Once I meet that? Yup.. keep aiming higher…. one teeny tiny step at a time..
I love celebrating the small stuff..
Interesting in checking out Shadows? Here is my Amazon link.. and where you can get a free sample.
One of my readers informed me that they could tell a lot about my personality from my book… Ha ha… I think that this is especially true by reading the sections of Shadows with Mark and Seth. I think that my greatest gift in life was siblings.. not only brothers but my sister as well.. Unfortunately, Emma’s story just didn’t lend itself to having a sister in it…
Enjoy the following sample from Shadows….
When the vegetables were almost tender, Emma went out and rang the dinner bell. “Everythin’ will be done by the time they make it in from the field,” she figured.
“I made it in time fer dinner?” came a voice close by.
She turned in the direction of the road to see James walking toward her. Emma laughed at the hope in his expression. “It’s like you’ve a clock in yer belly.”
“Is yer family still in the field?” he asked.
“Yea. I canna leave my bread bakin’ ta take them lunch today,” she explained. “They should be in shortly.”
“Anythin’ ya need help with or should I head out ta meet `em?” James asked.
Emma thought about his question. “I’ve only the wash tub ta refill, if ya want ta make sure my Da and brothers heard the dinner bell ringin’,” she suggested.
“Seth can hear that dinner bell over any sound, no matter how quietly ya ring it,” James said with a laugh. “Let me go check ta see iffen they’re headed in, then I’ll fill the wash tub fer ya.”
“Thank ya,” Emma said. She returned to the kitchen. She could smell that her bread was done baking, so she pulled it from the oven and set another loaf in its place. Then she drained the vegetables, replacing the lid to keep them warm until the menfolk came in. She had just set the plates around the table, when James came in toting a bucket full of water for the wash tub.
“They are headed in. Should be close ta the front field by now,” James reported as he headed out the door with the empty bucket.
“I’ll dish it up when they come in.”
“It sure smells good,” James said eagerly.
Emma laughed softly, “Now ya sound like Seth.”
James laughed too, as he left through the door.
When James returned again, her father and brothers were with him.
“Sorry ta make ya come in fer dinner. I couldna leave my bread bakin’,” she explained to her family.
“We were needin’ a break from the sun, Emma girl,” Da answered.
“This smells better than a picnic lunch anyhow,” Seth decided, inhaling deeply.
Emma met James eyes and they laughed. Seth’s words were almost the same as the ones James had used earlier. Da saw the shared joke and raised his eyebrow at James. Emma had turned back to start serving up the plates and missed the exchange.
Once everyone was seated, her Da blessed the food and everyone started eating heartily.
“We noticed the raccoons are back in the fields. They did a fair amount of damage ta the cornfield by the woods last night,” Da told Emma. “So we’ll probably be sittin’ out there tonight.”
Nodding in understanding, Emma started planning what food she would send out with the boys.
“Ya interested in joinin’ us, James?” Mark added.
James agreed easily. “Wished I woulda known earlier, I could’ve jest stayed on inta the night.”
“We could send Emma inta town with a message fer yer Pa,” Seth suggested.
“I’ll not ask her ta make that trip in this heat,” James said. “Besides she’s bread ta bake.”
Emma gave him a thankful smile. She was already dreading the trip to the mercantile that she knew was coming up. An added trip was not appealing to her.
“Speakin’ of bread,” Seth said suggestively. “Can I have a slice with my dinner?”
Emma put her fork down and pushed her chair back from the table. Reaching for a loaf that was cool enough to slice, she heard a whispered comment that made her smile.
“Rotten kid. Let her eat her food while it’s warm,” James said.
“Jest asked fer bread,” Seth responded confused.
Their father laughed at his expression.
“It’s fine,” Emma insisted. Setting the plate of sliced bread on the table, she sat back in her chair.
Just as she was putting a bite to her mouth, Seth asked with a impish smile, “Could I have butter on mine?”
Emma froze mid-bite, just in time to see Mark smack Seth in the back of the neck. James slid his chair back and retrieved the butter crock before she could even respond. She tried to keep her smile hidden as Seth rubbed the back of his neck. “Never dull at mealtime,” she thought to herself.
**DISCLOSURE*** No brothers were harmed in the making of this book…
(If you would like to read more… Click here for links to BUY Shadows.)
One of my nephews is 3 years old.. Bright blue eyes, amazing smile.. Generous heart and so funny. And he has a tumor behind his right eye. It’s not cancerous. So, although it is scary for us (his family), it isn’t really life threatening. But he still has to endure chemotherapy treatments for 18 months. Treatments that could save his optic nerve from further damage.
6 months into chemotherapy treatments..? I have learned a great deal from watching this boy and his parents. You see this boy..? This little warrior? He has to do a great many things that are hard.. Hard and painful.. And sometimes just not fun. But he does them. He gets cranky, tired and restless … But he does them…
This little warrior accepts what he has to do .. And just does it..
Because his daddy and mommy tell him that this is the way to keep his eyesight.. And although it is hard (for all of them) they have to do it because they love him.
And through eye exams, MRI’s, chemo port installation, long doctor visits, hospitalizations, painful port accesses… I have seen tears in their eyes more than once. But they keep on moving forward .. Having faith that everything will be beautiful in its time.
Why does this boy just accept all this as necessary?
Because his parents told him that this is the way it has to be. That in the end? In the end being able to see .. will be beautiful.
Does that mean he never asks “why?”
Does that mean he never cries?
Does that mean he never states he doesn’t want to go for more tests?
But he still does.
Jesus tells us that he wants us to have faith like a child.
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17 NIV)
I didn’t understand that verse clearly until this year. I didn’t understand it until I watched the faith this child .. This little warrior ..has in his parents.
You see my nephew trusts that his parents know what is best for him. He trusts that this is the best plan because they told him it was. And no matter how much he doesn’t enjoy it, he trusts that his parents know that everything will be perfect in the end.
Is my faith like this child?
Ha.. I wish it was.. I want it to be..
But sometimes my heart cries out “why Father?” Why does my son have to struggle so? Why does my nephew have to suffer these treatments? Why do things happen that make me sad? Why?
Then? Then I always pray that God will take my doubts from me.. Take them so that I can just move forward and know that everything will be good in the end.. So that I can trust that my Heavenly Father knows this is the only way. That my Father knows everything will be Beautiful in the end.
Only when those doubts are replaced by total trust.. Only then will I have faith like a child.
THAT is what I have learned from watching my little warrior.
I love to read! And I read everything.. YES I really mean everything!! I read children’s books, I read teen fiction.. I read fantasy, I read young adult.. I read self-help, I read non-fiction… I read historical fiction.. and non-fiction.. I read futuristic sci-fi.. English literature… Old lit, new lit….
I read anything…
I don’t LIKE everything I read.. but I still have to finish..
It is actually addictive. My first and only real addiction. An addiction that, at times in my life, keeps me from being productive and functioning. I had to learn to control it.. and believe me there are NO nicotine patches to help Reading Addicts. No Readers Anonymous groups. Some people (maybe even you) think that I am funny to even try to curb my addiction. However, I KNEW that I had (ok.. ok.. I HAVE) a problem.. and I KNEW that I needed to control it. And control it I have.
Now, I can’t give up reading.. that would be like asking me to give up breathing.. but I have learned to keep it to free time.
Through my years of reading I can honestly say TWO things..
FIRST.. Students miss out on so much History because we insist that they learn all the “dates”. I honestly can’t tell you the exact month and day the civil war ended. But I can tell you why the Civil War started.. why it was important to our history.. and why it was different than any other war we fought. I could tell you that they used Maggots for Medicinal purposes.. and that the North was over dressed. Students can learn so much from our History.. but instead most of them hate it… Is this our teachers faults? Absolutely not.. it is because the schools rely on test results for funding. And what are ON those tests? Exactly… Dates!
SECOND.. Fact is stranger than fiction. In point of truth.. all my research shows that History? OUR History… is stranger than fiction. Strange weather phenomenons… wildcat attacks in Michigan… a trend to abduct the girl next door so she would be forced to marry you? These are all facts. And shoving maggots into gunshot wounds during the civil war? While turning my stomach.. I still find it interesting that this FACT saved so many lives..
In fact, when you read about all the things that pioneers in this country did? When you read about the things they saw.. what they lived through? It makes my life seem so boring.. so sheltered. And while the pioneers’ lives were much shorter in 1860? While the Civil War soldiers may have died fighting for what they believed in at a young age? They still lived much fuller lives that I am…
So my goal this year is to go out and actually LIVE my life .. as fully as they did their short ones. And hopefully encourage others to do so as well….
Everything sounds better with the echo of a still small voice.