Photo by Mallory

Photo by Mallory


Today is another day on our life's journey.

Perhaps here you can find encouragement

for wherever your journeys may take you.

Welcome to my thinking place where you can

read insightful posts.

ADD_THIS

Monday, November 28, 2016

Do You Prefer Reality or Dreams?


To know things as they are is better than
to believe things as they seem.”
—Tom Wicker, American journalist (1926-2011)

I'd like to break down the above quotation with some definitions. Things as they are would be reality. Things as they seem would be a dream. 

So, with the above definitions, the quotation would read: To know reality is better than to believe a dream. 

Who hasn’t at some point in life wished they could swap unkind reality for a dream? Sometimes life is just not lovable and on those days we’d like to go back to bed and get up when things had improved. But we can’t turn back the clock or stop time.

Facing reality is how we learn so many life lessons. Dreaming of things as we would wish them to be can only last so long.Sooner or later we must pack away our dreams and face what’s real: people will disappoint us, grandparents will die, and experiences will teach us to learn the hard way. 

I knew a dreamer. From all outward appearances, this person never took life seriously but, instead, always looked forward as if life would have a happily-ever-after ending. Measured by our world’s standards, this person never achieved success, never amounted to much. But on the happy scale, this person ranked at the top—always had a positive outlook, trusted everyone, and was okay with his lot in life.



Now, who’s better off—this dreamer or the person who never dreams, never focuses on anything but harsh reality? The answer to that question would be like comparing two characters in Winnie the Pooh: Eeyore who is a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, old gray stuffed donkey; and Tigger who is cheerful, outgoing, competitive in a friendly way, and has complete confidence in himself.

To smooth out the bumps in the road, we all would probably benefit from having a workable mixture of reality and dreams. But, then, there are some days when we must choose reality over dreams in order to survive—we must face what life is.

I try to gain encouragement for those days of reality from this Scripture verse: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV).


NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



My latest novel has released - Tidewater Summer! Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book here. You can read the beginning of the book on my website.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Can Life Be Easier?


Life is easier to take than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without
the indispensable and bear the intolerable.” 
–Kathleen Norris, American author (1880-1960)

Most of us on any given day would probably want life to be easier. Easier to cope with the frustrations that seem inevitable, easier to battle the innumerable delays to our plans, easier to absorb disappointments and get up again to start another day.

In the above quotation are three biggies that Ms. Norris mentions as a way to make life easier. Let’s look at each of them.

Accept the impossible. If something is truly impossible, it would seem natural that an impossibility would not even exist and, therefore, we wouldn’t have to accept it.

Do without the indispensable. By definition, indispensable means “extremely important and necessary” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). We cannot survive without some of those extremely necessary things in our life: eating, breathing, and sleeping.

Bear the intolerable. Of course, if something is intolerable we cannot bear it—we wouldn’t survive living at the North Pole without suitable clothing, and we couldn’t live in the desert without water.


In life, we sometimes feel frustration, failure, disappointment, anger, defeat. My high school principal told the senior class: "When you feel like you've come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

So, in my opinion, what Ms. Norris means in the above quotation is that if we could accept the impossible, could do without the indispensable, and could bear the intolerable, yes, life would be easier. Of course it would! But we can’t do those things, and life won’t get easier.

There's a solution that would help life to be better—not easier, but better. We can react to the impossible, the indispensable and the intolerable with a loving attitude and our days can improve. If we believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will dwell within us. Then, guess what the fruit of the Holy Spirit does? The Holy Spirit will produce in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). 

Notice that the first three things we can have through the Holy Spirit are love, joy, and peace—necessary things to possess when facing life with all its ups and downs. All these attributes—gifts from God—mentioned above in the Bible verse will enable us to better meet the unfavorable things of life.

How can you have the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Find a Bible, read John 3:16, and become a whosoever. Believe and obey God and He will give you love, joy, peace… They are His gift to us. But, as with any gift, we have to reach out and accept it.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.




My latest novel has released - Tidewater Summer! Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book here. You can read the beginning of the book on my website.









Monday, October 31, 2016

Do Women Really Talk More Than Men?



“Talking comes by nature, silence by wisdom.”
—Author Unknown

Yes, it does—talking does come by nature. Do you remember the excitement you experienced when your children said their first words? And more excitement when they began to string those words into sentences!

Then some days when their toothless smiles have turned into what we say in the south—they’re talking up a blue streak—and you may wonder that those peaceful days of relative silence have disappeared.

According to The Daily Mail online, February 20, 2013, research claims that women speak 20,000 words a day—some 13,000 more than the average man. Research also shows that girls learn to speak earlier and more quickly than boys.

So, ladies, research and our development shows that we really didn’t have much say-so about our gender being the talkative one. Therefore, should we give our significant others a little slack, instead of complaining that they won’t talk and share with us as much as we want?

But the second part of the quotation above—that silence comes by wisdom—is the significant part of that statement. I can attest to that. An incident from many years ago when I spoke my mind too quickly still bothers me. Words can so easily slip past our lips before we think. Once we speak our words, they’re out there forever; we cannot retrieve them or wish them away.

But the incident I mentioned above gave me some measure of wisdom for the future. Wisdom to weigh my words and opinions carefully before sharing them. Yes, silence is golden, and sometimes we truly should be seen and not heard, even as adults.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



My latest novel has released--Tidewater Summer. Here is the cover and below is a bit about the book. On my website, you can read the beginning of the book.

Will Rose find the solitude she seeks during her island summer or is solitude what she really wants? 

A compelling story of one woman’s pursuit of restoration from physical abuse at the hands of her fiancĂ©. Rose Marie Henley’s Great-Aunt Clara convinces Rose to spend the summer at her South Carolina beach house. 

Aunt Clara’s handyman sends his nephew to repair Rose’s water heater. A year ago, Rose would have been excited to see his over-the-top handsome nephew, Frank Sutton. But now she doesn’t want any man in her life again. 

Frank has an instant attraction to Rose. Can he break through her defenses? He’ll do anything to protect her, but will she open her heart to trust him? 

Monday, October 17, 2016

First a Dream


As you dream, so shall you become. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time, a dream.
–From As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, British philosophical writer, 1864-1912 


Thank goodness for dreams. Where would we be without them?

I can imagine the Wright Brothers’ parents and teachers were concerned because the boys perhaps daydreamed instead of doing homework and chores. Probably not many believed the boys would accomplish such lofty dreams. Who back then would have imagined we’d be flying nonstop across oceans just because the first airplane started as a dream?

First air flight by the Wright Brothers

Maybe Thomas Edison dreamed of having sufficient lighting by which to do his tasks. Then he put his dreams to the trial-and-error tests of invention. Because of Edison’s dream, we can now illuminate 100,000-seat arenas at night, using them as if it were the middle of the day.

Moving a dream from the stage of being a dream, over into reality, requires decision-making. Making the decision to be willing to pay the price. Have you ever wondered what a dream costs? But, you might say, dreams are free, aren’t they? It doesn’t cost anything to dream.

Correct, but what’s the cost of a “dream come true?” Perhaps one price the Wright Brothers paid for their dream was the scoffing and ridicule from those unbelievers around them. 

Dreams come in all sizes and in all areas of our life. Sometimes we go after dreams we shouldn’t. And sometimes we turn loose of worthwhile dreams. We can realize some dreams easily, others are more difficult to reach. The price of my dream is not the price of your dream, and vice versa.

We’ve all probably had dreams for ourselves, our family, our community, our world. Have you ever realized a dream? Have you ever had a dream die?

Dreams are hopeful things. They challenge us and keep us growing. 

Carl Sandburg said, “Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



You can keep up-to-date with my writing by signing up for my mailing list. You'll receive a free quarterly e-newsletter and timely announcements about happenings of interest. I have a monthly drawing among those who sign up for my mailing list for the first time, and the winner receives a free eBook copy of their choice of one of my books.

On my website, you can read the first chapters of all my novels and novellas.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Change in Schedule


Two years ago this month, I started Lifelines blog and enjoy spending time with you. Beginning this month, instead of posting here each week I'll post less frequently, hopefully twice a month.

Those of you who are subscribed to this blog by email will still receive future blog posts in your inbox. I hope you will continue to read my posts, although they will not appear weekly. Thank you for your loyalty and understanding!

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



You can keep up to date with my writing by signing up for my mailing list. You'll receive a free quarterly e-newsletter and timely announcements about happenings of interest. I have a monthly drawing among those who sign up for my mailing list for the first time, and the winner receives a free eBook copy of their choice of one of my books.

On my website, you can read the first chapters of all my novels and novellas.

Monday, September 26, 2016

How Long is Childhood?


It takes courage to grow up
and become who you really are.”
–E. E. Cummings, American author, 1892-1962


How long does a childhood last? Is the duration of childhood the same for everyone?

During World War II, the military draft interrupted some childhoods when young men barely past eighteen were yanked away to serve their country. Many went to foreign lands where they witnessed the atrocities of war and lost their childhood years of innocence.

At the same time, because all able-bodied men went into the military, our women filled their jobs at many places, especially in the plants where war supplies were made. These women also had to grow up and become what they’d probably thought they would never be—the primary wage owners.

Even today, without our government activating the military draft, our young men and women are serving in distant lands and coming home different than when they left. They display the courage to grow up in adverse situations.

Did you experience a growing-up time that required you to have courage? The few times America has been at total peace, did you see incidents where folks were forced to become grown-ups?

When responsibilities of life hit us like a load of bricks, growing up becomes essential. We must face our circumstances with courage unavailable to children. We have to shed the cloak of childhood that protects us from accountability.

On the brighter side, we can always refuse to grow up and, instead, be like the chimney sweep in the movie, Mary Poppins, played by Dick Van Dyke. He danced and sang with children and penguins, seemingly without a care in the world. 




Remember in that movie when he, Mary Poppins, and the two children left the carousel on their ponies and galloped away? Do you ever wish you could do that?
  
An old song sung by the Statler Brothers goes like this: “Life gets complicated when you pass eighteen.” The song tells of the adult lives of members of a high school graduating class—how well some have done and also how some have led miserable lives. 

The truth of that song is that life does get complicated when you outgrow your childhood. And to become responsible citizens, we must at some point, leave childhood behind. However, through the small children in our surroundings, we can sometimes experience childhood again, if only for brief periods of time.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.




You can keep up to date with my writing by signing up for my mailing list. When you do, you'll receive a free quarterly e-newsletter and timely announcements about happenings of interest. I have a monthly drawing among those who sign up for my mailing list for the first time, and each month the winner receives a free eBook copy of their choice of one of my books.

On my website, you can read the first chapters of all my novels and novellas.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Do You Think You're Normal?


"Normal is nothing more than a
cycle on a washing machine."
--Whoopi Goldberg


Bernice Kanner spent two years asking Americans questions about their life, and put her research in a book titled, Are You Normal? Below are some of the questions she asked, followed by the responses. Just for fun, read on and see if you’re normal.

How long does your shower last? Most of us think it takes about ten minutes; the average actual shower takes only four minutes.

Do you know how much your spouse makes? Three out of ten wives and husbands don’t know.

Do you floss your teeth? Four of every ten Americans surveyed claim to floss daily. One in five admit they never floss.

Do you put the cap back on the toothpaste tube? Most people say they do.

Do you let sleeping dogs lie…with you, that is? Just under half of all dog owners welcome their dog onto the bed, though they claim they hate the bouncing.



Can you snap your fingers? Thirty-two percent of us can’t. Southpaws and Southerners have the most trouble.

Do you give away gifts that were given to you? More than half of those asked admitted they did.

What do you and your significant other fight about the most? Money. Twenty-nine percent of couples said they argue more about their mate’s spending than anything else.

Do you skip meals? More than one in five skip lunch while less than one in ten passes up breakfast. A normal person spends just over an hour a day eating.

If you could change anything about yourself… More than half said they would drop some weight. Another thirty-two percent wanted to alter their bodies, their age, or their intelligence, and a fifth of us would love to change our height or our hair. Twenty-five percent of men admitted they yearn for a full, healthy head of hair so much they’d consider giving up five years of their lives in exchange for that.

Among the numbers above, did you find yourself to be normal or do you agree with the opening quotation that infers there is really no normal person? What about the last item? Anything you’d like to change about yourself?

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.