Priorities, Choices, and Doing the Hard Thing

Life is about making choices, setting priorities, and sometimes doing the hard thing.

Such has been my days this last month. While my tumor was successfully removed (mostly–there are remaining fragments that will have to be watched in the years to come), the fatigue still plagues me.

Most of that is due to my poor eating habits and consequently my weight. So not only will I be doing lots of writing in 2017, but I will be doing less eating and more moving (ie exercising).

The hard thing. Shew. I hate exercise. I hate eating right. I like soda, chips, and cookies. They make me feel good. Temporarily. But in the long run, if I don’t cut them from my life, I will suffer the consequences of allowing them too much access to me and too much control over my future.

Sin is the same way. It seems pleasurable for the moment (and it is), BUT it separates us from our rightful place as a child of God. In the long run, if we don’t cut the sin from our lives, we will suffer the consequences.

Except the consequences for sin last for eternity. The consequences for my bad eating habits are only temporary, though much more obvious.

But it’s ALWAYS our choice. God is a perfect gentleman. He may nudge you once in a while to do the right thing, but He will not force Himself upon you.

I have never made good eating a priority. Exercise either, for that matter. It just wasn’t important to me. But my children are getting older (I’m not, btw, haha), and soon I’ll have grandbabies to love on. I want to be here for them, to spoil them (and then send them home) and love them like only a grandmother can. In order to do that, I have to take care of myself. And that starts now.

I would love your advice or just a note on your experience with losing weight when over 40. I realize not every eating plan works for every person. I’m really looking for something that I can maintain long term. And if you have an idea on how to make exercise more fun, I’m all for that, too. 🙂

PS. My latest book released yesterday. It is a step in a different direction, as this one is a historical novel instead of my normal contemporary. It’s still romance, though, so I hope you’ll take a chance and give a read. Here’s the low-down:

Desperation drives Neva MacKinnon to marry the handsome, but fierce Alexander Chisholm, Chieftain of the Chisholm Clan. Without him, she won’t survive the harsh Scottish winter. With him, she fears for her heart.

Alexander Chisholm needs a wife to provide an heir, and soon, in order to remain chieftain of his clan. He’s not looking for love, but his bride has to be someone he can trust. A song in the woods draws his attention and when he sees the raven-haired beauty with the eyes of pearl and full of fire, he knows she must be his.

Can Neva and Alex overcome their trust issues to admit their love for one another or was their marriage doomed the moment he invaded her life?

Available at Amazon. For now, it’s only available on Kindle. I hope to have it in print soon.

Blessings,

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Silence is Golden… or Is It?

I’ve been quiet here for most of 2017. It’s not that I have nothing to say, but that I’ve not been led to say it.

I’ve been very open about my health issues. God has been gracious to me, and my doctor is astounded at my recovery. I think I mentioned it here, but after discovering the type of tumor I had, he did not expect my sight to recover, much less completely. Which it has. I had an MRI a few weeks ago, and he said it looks better than the one taken six weeks post-surgery. From his tone, I expect that is not the norm. God is working.

He’s not only working in my health, but in my writing. I felt led early in January to set aside writing for a time. I thought maybe a week, at the most two. Two turned into six. While I have written off and on in the last week or so, I have gotten out of the “habit,” so I am struggling with my schedule. That is something I’m working on today. Maybe you can help.

Here’s my tentative schedule…Most of my days are consistent (ie boring), but my biggest issue is that I write BEST in the morning–not just in the morning, but FIRST THING in the morning. But that’s not possible. I get up and fix my husband’s breakfast and lunch (prior to the schedule start time). THAT precludes me writing first thing. Clear? Probably not. My mind has to go STRAIGHT to writing. If anything else comes first, then I have a hard time directing my thoughts to my story. I try. SO hard. I just know if I START writing first thing, I can get words down near to twice as fast as at other times.

I’ve considered getting up early, like 5am early, but then I feel like I need to have my time with God first, which means I’m not writing FIRST THING. Does God understand if I write before spending time with Him? Yet is this not the way HE made me?

Do you see my predicament? Writing, God, and exercise are all things I NEED to do first thing in the morning or they won’t get done. BUT I can’t do them all at the same time. Thus my struggle. EVERY DAY!!!!!!!! And to be honest, the exercise and writing haven’t been happening–which then leads to my need for a schedule. ARRGGHH!!!

Anyway, I’m aiming to do better. That’s the first step, I guess.

And what does any of this have to do with SILENCE? Well, now you know PART of why I’ve been so quiet these last weeks. And you’re probably wishing I’d have stayed that way.

Many blessings,

 

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Review: Fatal Mistake, Shadow of Suspicion, and Time Search


Each day could be her last…but not if he can help it.
Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan–to stay alive for another day. She knows he’s coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months–to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf’s bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person who can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. He must protect Tara at all costs, and they’ll both need to resist the mutual attraction growing between them to focus on hunting down the bomber, because one wrong move could be fatal.

Review: As always, Susan writes an excellent story. Lots of suspense and danger, hints of attraction, and a wonderful happily-ever-after. Twists and turns kept me reading long past my bedtime and anticipating the moment when I could pick up the book again.

Rating: 5 roses


FRAMED

First, computer specialist Laney Ryan’s accused of kidnapping her neighbor’s daughter—and now someone’s trying to kill her. The police don’t believe Laney’s story…except for Detective Mark James, whose instincts say Laney isn’t guilty. Together, Mark and Laney must figure out who really abducted the teen and uncover why they’re framing Laney. But when their search for the truth turns deadly, Mark realizes his feelings for Laney aren’t strictly professional and that he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe. With a dangerous suspect swiftly closing in, can they find the missing girl and clear Laney’s name…before their possible future together is fatally cut short?

Review: I love Christy Barritt books. And this one is no different. Laney’s life turns upside down, and she reacts the way most of us would–for a minute, and then she pull up her big-girl pants and fights back. Thankfully, she has someone on her side. They figure it out, but a few twists and turns in the middle, and a touch of attraction, took hold of me and wouldn’t let go until I finished the story.

This is, of course, another novel ending with a happily-ever-after, ‘cuz if it’s romance, I want happy in the end stories.

Rating: 5 roses


In the wake of a recent wave of violence, TEMCO employees are left reeling. While some of the staff are put into hiding, others are left behind to discover the true identity of the mysterious nemesis who is determined to destroy them all. While Crystal, Marc, and Zeke search for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for TEMCO’s missing leaders. It’s a race against the clock! And as the hours and seconds tick away, it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first. It’s a classic battle of good versus evil, and the stakes couldn’t be higher!

Review: This is a new author for me. I enjoyed the story a great deal, but because it is part of a series, I was often confused as to the dynamics of character relationships (of which there are many). And while it ends with a satisfying discovery, it was NOT the end of the story, which sort of bummed me out.

It took me several chapters to get into the story, probably because of jumping in mid-stream of the series. I highly recommend getting the first two books before trying to delve into this one.

If you like sci-fi/fantasy/time travel stories, I do recommend this series (though I’ve only read the one book). It is clean and well-written.

Rating: 4 roses

~I received these books from the authors/publishers for the purpose of review, which was not required or compensated in any other way. The above reviews are my honest opinion.

Happy Reading,

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January 16, 2017 – A New Year, a New Purpose

Can it be possible that two weeks have passed since we heralded in a new year?

The older I get the slower and faster time seems to move. If I’m doing something I love, time flies. And yet, some days seem to wear on (and on and on) for decades, and bedtime can’t come soon enough.

I haven’t posted in a while. It’s not that I have nothing to say, but that I need to quit whining and complaining about things I can not change, and do something about the things I can.

What can’t I change?

  • my body’s need for rest
  • my inability to write
  • other people

What can I change?

  • how often I rest
  • my outlook on WHY I can’t write (it’s a temporary issue; I have faith to begin again soon)
  • my attitude toward people who get on my nerves
  • my activity level–i.e. I need to exercise more
  • my diet

So this year I have a new purpose. Take care of me. Four-sevenths of my kids are adults. I shouldn’t have to worry about them constantly. The other three are old enough to fend for themselves for a while (16, 14, 12). They can all make a meal or two for themselves. For the last 25 years I have been a mother who was needed at all hours of the day and night. I gave up time, sleep, exercise, time alone, etc., etc. for my husband and children. This year, the things I do will be about me (well, honestly, that’s not entirely true because I’m just not wired that way).

  • I will exercise and eat right so I feel better.
  • I will write because that is the calling God has placed on my life, whether or not I have any support from those around me.
  • I will cook good food that I enjoy or looks good to me. (Well, that could be debatable. Some of my attempts have ended up in the trash and the children had cereal for dinner.)
  • I will spend copious amounts of time with God–learning about Him and about who I am because HE is my father. I want to be more like Him.
  • I will spend copious amounts of time reading because I like it.
  • I will love on my kids–even the ones that have moved out.
  • I will encourage everyone around me to the best of my ability.
  • I will notice their pains and pray with them.
  • I will not be afraid to take a step of faith.
  • I will not hide behind my introversion.

What will you DO this year to BE the person God has called you to be?

Blessings,

 

 

 

PS. I will be bringing back Writer Wednesday soon (I think). I also plan to make some changes on my website, so if you come and find things a little wonky, it’s probably because I’m trying out some things to see what works. 🙂

 

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Merry Christmas

Isaiah 9:6-7

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”

He is no longer the babe in the manger, but a King residing on His throne in heaven. Let us remember it is not a child we worship, but the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. He is worthy!

Have a blessed Christmas,

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