This Monday I’ve decided to try something new. I’m a new follower of Rebeca’s blog, Books and Messy Buns. Today she has posted her Highlighted Monday Challenge and I’m going to join in on her literary fun today. The practice of highlighting good pieces of writing is all part of becoming a better writer so I am excited to try this out. Join me if you will!
Highlighted Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Rebeca at “Books and Messy Buns”. Anyone can join, you just have to do the following:
- Pick up the book you’re currenlty reading (be it a physical or eletronical copy)
- Find a sentence you like (because it’s funny or cute or mysterious or whatever you find interesting)
- Highlight the sentence
- Make a post in your own blog where you share your highlighted sentence and link back to the blog as the host
- Share the link to your post in the comments’ section here for the book community to see
Here is my highlighted text:
I’m currently reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman.
This highlighted sentence may not seem like much outside of the context of the story, but as a reader of this charming novel it meant so much. The main character is learning about the people she thought she knew. Her worldview is being stretched beyond what any normal seven year old could possibly imagine because of circumstances outside of her control. In this quoted passage the main character, Elsa, is understanding that people aren’t always as they seem
The Ameri Brit Mom
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Season. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
I’m an Ohioan. All my life I’ve resided within a thirty mile radius of metropolis Ohio, but enough on the outskirts to enjoy small town Ohio life. One reason I’ve chosen to keep my feet firmly planted in Ohio soil is my love for the variation of seasons. (Family is the first reason why I’ve stayed close to home weather in no way trumps family.)
Every few months in Ohio we experience the miracle of the changing seasons. And, if we’re extra lucky sometimes we experience all four seasons in a week. Okay, that was sarcastic.
But I truly have grown to love the way the ice melts and brings forth flowers, the way that the trees shed their leaves as the morning frosts make an appearance, and the way it cannot be winter in Ohio without a few snow storms and the cancellation of school as a result. The different seasons are all beautiful in their own unique way promising something that the others cannot.
Today, I look at the calendar and see that it is December fifth and that we have yet to experience a flurry or any evidence that winter is on its way. Over the past week temperatures have been all over the place: Low 40’s with frigid wind; high 50’s with sunshine. Ohio weather is bipolar if nothing else.
Despite the unpredictable conditions Ohio still promises an impending winter. I am looking forward to the first snowfall, but I would be fine with a winter much milder than those of the past few years.
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Bacon, an odd choice but I’m going for it. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
What is the bacon craze, America? Seriously, a fatty, greasy, and unhealthy portion of pig is becoming quite our obsession. I’ve never really understood this insanity. What is appealing in this cholesterol-packed delicacy? Bacon has gone from breakfast food to pizza topping in a matter of years. Yesterday I even ordered a salad at a restaurant and bacon came standard on top. I’m having to order all meals with the concluding statement, “hold the bacon.”
Growing up bacon was tolerable. I would occasionally encounter bacon at breakfast time, but only if I was dining out. Mom never made bacon, and for that I am truly grateful. When I was pregnant in 2012, I quickly picked up an aversion to anything with bacon. I developed a sixth sense and could smell bacon from a mile away. The smell alone made me nauseous at that point in time. Postpartum, things didn’t really change too much between me and bacon. The only difference is that bacon became more present in society: on burgers, pizza, salads, and now you can even get chocolate covered bacon at cafes and candy shops. What!?!
I know this post won’t win me any popularity contests. I realize I am an outcast in my own society. I cringe whenever my husband awakes on a Saturday morning and pulls out the frying pan to make bacon. I desperately wanted my daughter to hate it as I do, but alas, she favors it quite well.
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Green. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
In the color of green I see new life.
A clean slate. A new start. Everything made right.
In the color of green I feel clean and pure.
Green earth. Green foods. Healthy for sure.
In all the things fading, aging, dying…
The color of green is no where thriving.
In the first green of spring hope springs forth;
After a winter locked up and now bringing new birth.
Green is alive with a heart all its own.
For green is the start of all that is grown.
This is just a silly poem about the color green and the feelings that this color invokes within me. Thanks for reading!
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Trust. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
This week I’ve had to trust the Lord in many different ways. First of all, my Great-Grandmother has continued to have struggles in her health. What a blessing it has been to have extra time to spend with such a wonderful and beautiful woman! Last week I wrote about the miracle God performed for my family as we saw my 90 year old Great Grandmother miraculously healed after being pronounced dead twice by two different doctors at two different hospitals. (For more on this miraculous wonder check out my post Five Minute Friday: Family Miracle) She has continued to be our miracle girl as she has held on another week. Many of the family members have had an opportunity to see her once again and we will be forever grateful for those opportunities.
This entire situation has taught me that God is able to do anything. If he can raise my Great-Grandmother from the dead then surely he can answer my prayers (as long as they align with His will.) There is nothing that God cannot accomplish. He is encouraging my faith and the faith of those around me and re-teaching me what it means to trust Him.
Also, as the end of the first grading period came to a close today I had many demands for my time. I spent every second of each school day this week 100% devoted to getting things checked off my to-do list. Down time has not existed. Planning time has been an oxymoron. At times it seemed like I would never get through all the things that needed done. In the past this would have led me to an anxiety/panic attack, but I’ve kept myself and attitude focused on God and trusting that He has led me out of that phase in my life. And here I am on Friday afternoon: all items checked off the list while staying calm, cool, and collected.
Lately, I’m learning what it truly means to trust God and to put my faith in Him and not myself.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
This is the final installment in the writing link-up: On Being a Writer on Kate Motaung’s page. These discussions have been centered around the book, On Being a Writer by Anne Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. The final topic is limit.
One important lesson I am learning about writing is the necessity of setting limits. Life is full of demands and we must all learn the power of setting priorities if we are going to be successful at anything in this life. I’ve learned that I need to limit my time spent doing any single thing in order to maintain a healthy balance. I have goals of writing for thirty minutes a day whether that be blogging or journaling. I’ve set aside two hours every weekend to solely focus on my novel writing, but the daily practice of blogging and journaling is helping to push me toward further writing goals.
In order to execute these goals I also must limit other things in my life. God and family are my top priorities and if I am going to accomplish my potential in any area I must set aside time to focus on those two things. As a family, we have set aside Thursdays as family time. We vowed to not make plans on Thursdays so that we have that day of rest. Some days that means even cutting out my writing time. In order to be productive at writing my mind must be at ease and that doesn’t happen readily when my mind and body have been going at warp speed for days on end. Instituting a family night at home (most likely watching Netflix) has helped me to stay sane amid the constant pull for my attention elsewhere.
Take time for you. Take time for top priorities. Everything else will prosper when you take time for these.
I am joining a group of writers who are linking-up twice a week through the month of September to discuss some of the foundational ideas in writing. The topics for this link-up come from the book On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. This link-up is being hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog entitled Heading Home. Today’s topic is Rest:
I’ve had a busy schedule as the school year has begun. I’m still working on a way to be sure not to lose my writing momentum that I worked hard to create over the summer. It’s insane how quickly demands can add up, but it is important to take time to rest. Without adequate rest one is prone to burn-out and more susceptible to illness. Neither of these conditions are things that sound appealing to me so as the first few weeks of school have come and gone I’ll admit that they came with a little rest from the regular schedule of writing. I’m looking forward to getting back on track in the next couple of weeks and plan to return to my regular routines fully by October. One thing I’ve learned from my journey of writing, however, is the importance of rest.
If I’m not well-rested my brain turns to mush. My words are futile and I can spend an hour staring at a blank screen. My purpose is weakened and my desire to pursue my passion wanes. Rest is one of the key components to writing, at least for me.
I’ve also been learning not to be too hard on myself. I set goals that I always intend to attain, but sometimes life gets in the way and that is okay. Writing is a passion and a purpose of mine, but it ultimately doesn’t define me. There are days when my writing must take a backseat to real life, relationships, and rest which I’ve come to accept as okay.
One goal of this blog is to write routinely in a positive environment. I feel that even though the months of August and September I have produced less unique content than months in the past that these were still successful months for fulfilling the purposes of my blog. I’m looking forward to what October will hold as I settle into a new groove. I appreciate all of your tolerance and continued readership during this period of re-adjustment. This much needed period of rest has renewed my drive to continue chasing dreams and I’m grateful for each and every reader who has continued to support me. Life moves in phases and sometimes we all need a little more rest to catch up on lost time. I’m excited to move on from this point, but am not naive to think that the coming months won’t have demands of their own. Life is all about balance and that’s why I rely so much on Christ and positive influences.
Be sure to make rest a priority!