Potential: Five Minute Friday

Every week I like to jump in on the prompted fun over at Five Minute Friday. It is here that I am able to link-up and meet other Christian writers from the blog-o-sphere. Every week our host, Kate Motaung, gives a prompted challenge and each of us that choose to participate must write for five minutes on that topic. The final post is to be unedited and a raw account of your writing. This week the prompt is Potential. Here is my post:


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I have the potential to do a lot of damage with my words.

The things I choose to pass from the dormant floor of my mind to the living world through the passage of my lips can destroy others quicker than it took those words to form on my tongue.

I possess a tool that when used just right can pierce the heart of another.

And it is because of the great danger that lurks within me that I must keep my focus on the good.

That same mind that births the dagger of words can also produce life-giving fruit.

The place where those words are shaped mirrors the condition of my heart.

When I’m seeking the right things like beauty, encouragement, and goodness then the objects of my pursuit come out in my words.

But when I choose  to sulk in the darkness and give my mind permission to linger in the negative the things that spill from my mouth are not good.

Whenever I cross paths with another they will be affected by the shape of my heart.

Lord, may I never forget that the impact I make with my words is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of me.

May I always be aware of the influence my heart possesses.

For there is life in the words of the faithful.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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One Was Lost: A Book Review

Title: One Was Lost

Author: Natalie D. Richards

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Copyright Date: 2016

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When Sera pictured her senior field trip she never imagined that she may never make it home. Her school required her to choose a service project and a weekend in the woods away from Lucas seemed like a perfect choice…until he showed up.

A flood divides the school group and Sera’s teacher, Mr. Walker, instructs her team to set up camp for the night in the middle of the woods.

The next morning, Sera and three other classmates awake to a ransacked campsite. Their belongings are gone, their memories wiped, and their wrists have large labels scrawled across them like tattoos. They soon learn that Mr. Walker has been drugged and as they try to reach the rest of the group they learn that someone dangerous is hunting them.

But, why?

As they all question each other’s innocence each of the classmates gets to know the other on a deeper level. Those that Sera thought she’d known for years she gets to see in a new light. In the flooded woods she learns that the labels she’d placed on each one while in high school was unfair.

Jude is deceptive. Emily is damaged. Lucas is dangerous. Sera is darling.

Will the clues left behind help the quarry find their hunter before it is too late?

Over the past year I’ve read almost every book by Natalie D. Richards. I did a review of Gone Too Far and while on maternity leave I read We All Fall Down. Next, on my Natalie D. Richards list is Six Months Later.

Not only is she a great YA author, but she is actually from Columbus too and we both belong to the same SCBWI group out of Upper Arlington, Ohio. One day I hope to meet her at a gathering and learn from her writerly wisdom.

Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading next!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Complete: Five Minute Friday

I’m really looking forward to this week’s link-up with Five Minute Friday. I’ve had a tough week and knowing that I can plug in with a family of positive writers is exactly what my soul needs. Every Friday we gather at Five Minute Friday and create short posts on the same topic. This week the topic is Complete. It’s a hard one when I’m feeling fractured in so many places this week.

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The road before me is so unclear.

I tread each step with strength and fear.

The fog surrounds me as I drop to my knees.

It’s only there where I am complete.

 

I’m worn out from pushing through.

It’s not easy to talk to you.

But if I’m honest it’s what I need.

Lord, help me pray. Make me complete.

 

My heart is aching.

My hands are reaching.

I’m in need of healing now.

There’s so much hurting.

And it all surrounds me.

I want to help, Lord, show me how.

Canada Stole My Coffee Dates

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The past few weeks have been tough.

We said “See You Soon” to my youngest sister as she set off to study a year abroad in St. Catherine, Ontario. No one could blame her for accepting a FREE opportunity to pursue her master’s degree while also getting the experience of teaching at the university level. However, that doesn’t make it any easier.

Thank God for the technology age! Since her departure we’ve been able to stay in contact via FaceTime and social media, but nothing will replace our usual weekend coffee dates that I’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

We both share a passion for reading, writing, and coffee. Each week we would catch up on life and good books while warm mugs and rich aromas fueled our conversations. We’d show up and forget about the stresses in our lives as this habit became a time we both looked forward to every week.

Our coffee dates look very different now.

I’m eager to make a few migrations northward over the next year. It’s been several years since I visited the Niagara region, but from what I remember it is beautiful. She is blessed with the opportunity to live only miles from the beautiful landscapes of the falls. I cannot wait to reunite soon and drink coffee while the mist dances around us. All will be right in the world when we can talk about authors and essays and recollect all the months of missed time.

If you track with me over the next year I hope to keep you informed about my travels to St. Catherine. Canada truly is a beautiful place. It’s a perfect destination for an Ameri-Brit family like mine because the *culture is a true assimilation of American and British tradition.

I’m learning alongside her.

I’m learning to embrace a new chapter. I’m learning to branch out. I’m learning to break free of the things holding me back. And I’m learning that even though you place six hours and a couple Great Lakes between us that sisters will continue to have a bond that cannot be broken.

The Ameri Brit Mom

*I am also learning from my sister that “Canadian Culture” doesn’t actually exist. The Multicultural Act has aimed at dissolving a “Canadian Identity” in order to place value on immigration.

Crowd: Five Minute Friday

Here I am…another week of showing up late to the party. I had the best of intentions to post before school on Friday, but a six-month-old had her own plans for my morning. So here I am, Saturday afternoon, in my office space, drinking in the silence of a resting household and joining my crew of positive writers over at Five Minute Friday. This week the prompt is Crowd. Here is my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing:

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My eyes follow the crowd of students gathered in the hallway. Glancing from left to right I catch a glimpse of half a dozen wanderers. Our vision locks if only for a split second, but that time tells me all I need to know.

Some of those eyes crease to smile back at me. Some drop straight to the floor. Others quickly glance away pretending that they never locked with me in the first place. It’s easier that way. If they can pretend no one saw then they don’t have to share that pain they carry like the backpack on their shoulders.

But I see through all of that.

Those who want to be seen–I see you. I celebrate all that you are and I dream for you and all you will be.

Those who look down–you are not just another face in the crowd. You are special and I won’t let you slip through the cracks.

Those who pretend that they didn’t see me–I know the weight of this world and I can help you bear it.

May the students I come in contact with every day know that they are cared for and loved. May they know that though they stand in a crowd that they are one-of-a-kind. May they fight the urge to look away. May they let our glances meet for a moment and may my heart say a prayer as eyes meet.

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Indigo Roads

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This is my friend Heather.

She is one beautiful woman that I am thankful for having crossed paths with in life. The first time I met her was in a Small Group that we visited years ago, and then we’ve continued to develop our friendship on the sidelines of soccer fields and basketball courts. Our kiddos are all close and we now attend church together as well. Heather is a beautiful soul who gives her ALL in everything she does. Her love for the Lord is also evident in the way she raises her boys and serves the children and families of our community.

I could go on and on about how much I admire her. She’s pretty fantastic.

Today, I want to give some love to her newest venture. Heather is the creative mind behind Indigo Roads Boutique.

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Heather designs and creates earrings using genuine leather and a Cricut machine. Her designs are beautiful and fun and I just cannot get enough of them. Browsing her website has become one of my favorite pastimes. The things she can do with a little bit of leather and a blade blow my mind! When I think I’ve seen it all she comes out with a new design.

Over the past few months I’ve built up a collection for my daughter and I…

All of her earrings are lightweight, comfortable, versatile, and gorgeous. Whenever I wear them I get so many compliments. Of course, I carry around her business cards and hand them out whenever someone brings them up. I’m all about helping a friend in her small business and Heather makes that so easy with her awesome products.

Some of my favorites currently in her albums…

How to Buy

If you want to browse Indigo Roads Boutique join her Facebook Group. Live sales are done frequently or you can purchase through commenting on a photo “sold” within her albums. Once you comment on a photo she will get in contact with you about payment via Paypal and will need your address for shipping. It’s a very simple process.

If you like what you see here please consider supporting Heather. Click on any of the links provided in this post and head over to her Facebook group. Let me know if you end up buying any of her products as a result of this post!

Which pair do you love most?

The Ameri Brit Mom

Rain: Five Minute Friday

It’s Friday and I’m up early in order to write alongside my favorite linkup before work. Five Minute Friday is a group of writers and bloggers from all over the world who join together once a week to write on a common topic. The topic this week is rain. Below is my five minutes of uninterrupted writing on the topic.

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The air is thick and beckoning the clouds to let loose. The ominous skies tempt us to believe that rain is on the way. Soon the bright orb of the sun breaks through and all signs of precipitation vanquish. Air has never felt this heavy. Come, rain, bring us relief!

This past week we lived in constant anticipation for rain. As the temperatures climbed, so did our desire to see the clouds break open. The weathermen even took our hopes captive as they promised rain. But the week is nearly over and not one drop has fallen in my little corner of the world. The grass withers outside my window and my allergies are acting up.

I’m hungry for relief. If the rain would fall (if even for a few minutes) maybe it would feel like September.

The Ameri Brit Mom

September Plan With Me: Bullet Journal Updates

August was a big month for me. I returned to work after a lengthy maternity leave, I arrived back in the USA after a month abroad, and my oldest daughter started kindergarten. With all of these additions to my schedule over the past thirty-one days I am pleased to say I stayed pretty consistent in my Bullet Journal routine.

Over the past few months my journal has been a refuge for me. Planning, scheduling, and making lists as a form of creative release has benefited me in so many ways. I worried that getting back into a busy routine would cause me to use my bullet journal less, but as I look back over my August pages I can tell that I still kept it a daily priority.

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I filled in my Habit and Anxiety trackers everyday! I also added a page for Arianna’s soccer season statistics and another for Bible Study notes as I read through the book of Jonah. I love the way these pages all turned out.

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This month my pages were made using the following tools: PaperMate Flair pens, Veritas metallic glitter pens, Tombow Monodraw pens, brown and navy Cardstock, images from the Cricut Design App, and the Cricut Air 2.

September Theme: Football Friday Night

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On my title page for this month I used some metallic pens in gold, brown, and blue to create a sketch of my theme. The school colors for my local team are gold and navy so I used those colors to set the scheme for the month. This is a simple title page that highlights my lack of sketching ability.

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My weekly pages follow the color scheme for the month and include space for planning each day, journaling, and recording my meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to make sure that as the school year starts that I am still eating well and one way that motivates me is to keep record of what I am eating. Having to write down a horrible meal is reason enough to skip it for me. I used my Cricut to create embellishments this month. I’ve never used cardstock in my journal so I will see how well I like it.

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This month my Anxiety tracker takes the shape of a goal post. I added the cardstock football to help clarify what shape I was intending for the anxiety tracker. Each day of the month has a line on the goal post and I will color each according to my level of anxiety each day throughout the month.

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My fitness log follows the same outline as the past few months. It’s working well for me to track this way so I’m going to stick with it.

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I love the way this Weekly Review spread turned out. Each week this year I have recorded highlights from the week and something for which I am grateful.

One of my goals this month is to create a recycling plan for my family. Once I’ve established that I will post a picture. If your family recycles I’d love to hear tips and ways to make it fun for kids. I’m also looking for ideas for my October pages.

The Ameri Brit Mom

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Book Review

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Copyright Date: 2008

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London is recovering after the war and Juliet Ashton is looking to change direction in her writing career. She found success writing inspirational pieces during one of the darkest times of British history. Fate would have it that just as she began her search for a book idea that she received a letter from a man who found her address written in a secondhand book. Dawsey Adams lived on the English Channel island of Guernsey which suffered under German occupation in World War II.

Their correspondence piques Juliet’s interest. Dawsey tells of the restrictions placed on the residents of the island and the small literary society formed as a result. Desperate for companionship a group of islanders gathered weekly to share food, drinks, and books. And it was at these meetings that his dear friend, Elizabeth McKenna shone brightly.

The war took so many things from the islanders: wealth, dignity, safety, food, jobs, and worst of all Elizabeth McKenna. Their brave friend was shipped off to the continent leaving behind her daughter whom the society members took upon themselves to raise. Desperate to reunite with their missing member the rest of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society enlist the help of their newfound friend, Miss Ashton.

The letters begin to flood in to Juliet Ashton and before long she commits to visiting her pen pals to witness the devastation herself. She left behind her agent, boyfriend, and apartment to pursue her inspiration on Guernsey.

I first heard of this book over the summer while in England. A movie based on this novel was released recently and every bookstore shelved this title with their best sellers. Once I returned to the states I started to see the book everywhere. Online people were talking about it as well. And then Netflix released the movie in America.

I must say that after watching the movie this was one of those rare cases where I preferred the movie to the book. I did enjoy the book, but I found the format in which it was written to be a little less exciting than the cinematic interpretation. It is written in letter form. The pro–it’s a quick read. The con–because most of the story is a retelling of events from different character perspectives it lacks some suspense and is relatively limited in dialogue. I highly recommend this novel for many reasons, but I do think the movie warrants a viewing after the fact. Major differences do occur between the two, but I found the film enjoyable and I was able to understand the logic behind most of the changes to the plot and characters.

Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading next!

The Ameri Brit Mom