Unlikely Merger’s SAM List

Caribbean Beach2It all started on a Love Boat Cruise to the Caribbean. You might wonder how Mercy Lacewell ended up on a cruise like that with her semi-invalid father…

Well, that’s the kind of thing that happens occasionally, even in real life. It seems like the wrong place, at the wrong time, when it could just be wrong place at the right time. Or right place, wrong time. Anyway, Mercy went on a cruise with her dad. She met a young minister named Brent Teague and something happened to her heart. The almost-romance softened her heart a little and prepared her for what was coming next.

What was coming next–

Back home, Daddy and his assistant, Madeline, decide Mercy needs more life experience. They send her out as acquisitions analyst for Lacewell Limited. Her job: to assess the companies and businesses they find, and decide if the businesses are a good investment for the company. Sounds like fun, right? Except that it’s something Mercy has never done, never thought about doing, never wanted to do. She’s perfectly happy in Denver, taking care of Dad.

First trip out: wouldn’t you know they’d end up in Texas during a freak ice storm? Mercy and Lacewell Limited’s other acquisitions analyst (Dustin Rogers) never actually make it to the destination, but they find something better, and are able to add it to the list. And Dustin gets added to Madeline’s SAM list. What’s a SAM? Single, available male (remember that).

Next stop, Watkins Glen, New York, to check out an inn. This adventure includes snow, sledding, and Landon Gates. Now we’re ready for a warmer climate. How about San Diego, CA? Nice, very nice. And once again, Mercy bumbles through her first meeting with the owner of Montoya Olive Oil–yes, that’s MOO for short. Enrique Miguel Montoya, “Ric” for short–doesn’t seem to mind. He makes her feel very much at home among his clan in their beautiful home. Mercy learns not to bite an olive fresh from the tree, no matter how ripe it looks. Ric is a welcome addition to the SAM list.

alligator-439887_1280Staying with the warmer weather, Mercy is headed to Titusville, Florida, and a gator farm. Yes, you read that right. Adventure. For this one, she takes Uncle Thomas along. I don’t blame her. Mr. Mann welcomes her–Gabe Mann. Great name, huh? After a full assessment and a medical procedure, she says goodbye to Titusville, but Gabe finds a place on the list.

Headed north, Mercy stops in Madison, Alabama for a quick look at Diana’s Burger Bistro. Will this be a good investment? She has a rather unfortunate first meeting with the chef, a surfer-type named Talon Hawthorne. But he makes a nice save by cooking a meal that pleases her palate.

Fourteen Quarters Repertory Company is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. And Douglas “Digger” Grant is the contact. Chemistry! Mercy learns all about small productions and develops a nice friendship with a man named Icky. You’ll need to read the chapter to understand that one.

Chapter Eight takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, where Mercy looks at McBride Mortgage. She feels uncertain about this one and tries her best to talk Uncle Thomas into accompanying her. But…ends up on her own with the formidable Mason McBride, until she meets IT director, Levi Shepherd. Mercy was more than happy to spend quality time getting technical with this guy. Another addition to the SAM list!

Great Barrington, Massachusetts is Mercy’s next stop, to look at a trucking company. Ahhh, New England in the spring. Rob and Steve LeClerc of LeClerc Trucking, at your service. Mercy falls pretty hard for Steve. Or 9cb57-shutterstock_40179583maybe his dog.

All the way back across this wide country of ours, Mercy lands at LAX and hits the road for Santa Monica, CA. She quickly learns there is no avoiding L.A. traffic, but that’s nothing compared to the crankiness of St. Andrew. She ends up trapped in a very small room with Reuben Miller. For three hours. Kind of a crash course, ending with Rube Miller on the SAM list.

So that brings us to the final stop on Mercy’s itinerary–in Lexington, KY–land of blue grass, beautiful horses, and Knight-Link & Associates. After a near head-on collision with someone she believes to be a handyman or plumber, she meets with Philip Knight, the owner of the architectural engineering firm. He introduces her to his nephew Daniel Knight, aka handyman/plumber, who turns out to be a designer of equine habitats. And his cowboy charm wins him a place on the list.

11112210_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_oFinal chapter, readers’ choice. One of the ten handsome, young fellows you met in the above summary has won the chance to woo Mercy. Our readers voted for their favorite. Who is it? Well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out. Today, and for the rest of the 4th of July holiday weekend, you can download it absolutely free. Don’t have a Kindle? Did you know you can get a free Kindle app on your phone or computer? Just go to Amazon Kindle and check it out.

If you miss out on the free download, Unlikely Merger be available through the remainder of July for just 99 cents.

LandingRelated articles, blogs, and posts…

Write Integrity Press: Book Release Day – Free on Kindle!

Jennifer Hallmark: 3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Hallmark

            Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Suzy Moore

Write Integrity Press: One Moose of a Summer

Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Jennifer Hallmark

        Write Integrity Press: That’s When the Crazy Started

Jennifer Hallmark: Collaborative Projects by Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Fay Lamb

Another Meet-Cute Adventure

MomandDad

My Mom & Dad

After I posted Book o’ My Heart, with the story about my parents (pictured here), I received a comment from a friend telling me of her parents’ similar experience. This involves someone who was very important in my life–my pastor during my teens and early adulthood. He presided over my wedding and witnessed many important events in my and my parents’ lives. He and his first wife and my parents had a lot in common. I wanted to share it with you as a follow-up to the earlier post.


When I read Betty’s blog recounting the “meet-cute” story of her parents’ relationship, it reminded me so much of my own parents’ story! My father was raised on a farm in middle Tennessee with no electricity or indoor plumbing. He always says they did have running water, because his mother would say, “Roy, run down to the creek and get some water!”

My mother was a small-town Kentucky girl. She was voted football queen, won state awards in Glee Club, and had a large group of girl and boy friends. After his military service, Dad attended Murray College to study to be a minister. One day he was walking across campus and saw my mother standing in a line. He says he knew at that moment she was his wife. He wasn’t sure how to meet her, but when he went to the mandatory chapel, his assigned seat for the year was next to hers. I don’t think Mother had the same “this is the one” feeling that he had, but they dated steadily that semester.

Her Mom & Dad

Her Mom & Dad

Dad drove her to her home at Christmas break and met her family. However, during the break, she dated several of her former beaus, and the boys gave her wonderful Christmas presents. She told Dad she wanted to make sure he was really the one she loved! When she got back to college, Dad must have convinced her that he was “the one,” because they went to Mississippi to elope on January 6th. When Mom called her family to tell them she had gotten married, they were shocked and didn’t get all the details. They had to phone her back to find out who she had married!

Mom and Dad ministered as pastor and pastor’s wife for many years in both Kentucky and Tennessee. They were married for nearly 57 years, until my mom’s death in 2009.

Dad told the story of seeing her for the first time and knowing she was ‘the one’ many times from the pulpit. Mom would always laugh and say, “Oh Roy, you did not!” I don’t know if she ever believed it, but I do; for my Dad, it was love at first sight. –Contributed by Teresa Stanulis

TeresaLamberthTeresa Stanulis is an artist who creates with a sewing machine, embroidery machine, and knitting needles. She has an Etsy site at Stitchin’ Gal, a place you really need to visit.

Teresa is a stay-at-home mom of two sons. She’s been sewing and knitting since she was about 9 years old, and she loves fabric and yarn. In business since 2001, she makes personalized gifts for babies and for the home.

Here are a few of her creations:

StichinGalQuilt StitchinGalKnit StitchinGalBibb

Stitchin’ Gal @ Etsy


Read the story–

Annabelle's Ruth FRONT final CoverNow available in paperback and on Kindle!

Annabelle’s Ruth, Book I Kinsman Redeemer Series

Click here to purchase.

Even If

By Amanda Tru

Amanda headshotDon’t you love stories of miracles and how God answers prayer? If that’s the type of article you are looking for, I must apologize because this is not that. In my life, I seem to get a lot less of the miracles and a lot more of God answering not in the way I want, His silence, or His flat ‘no’s’.

So, what do you do when God doesn’t answer your prayers?

Not the Right Answer

A few years ago, my husband hurt his back to the point that he couldn’t work and could barely move. We were praying for him to be healed, but the prospects didn’t look good medically-speaking. No treatment came with any kind of guarantee. After multiple doctors and physical therapists, it looked like his best option was surgery—not exactly the answer we were looking for. However, seeing it as his only medical option, he had the surgery. Before he made it out of the hospital, the disc in his back re-herniated, with this time being worse than the first. Two weeks later, he underwent a second back surgery.

Throughout this experience, came the questions: Even if my prayer for my husband’s healing wasn’t answered the way I want it to be… Even if he isn’t able to work… Even if that vow ‘for better or worse,’ has a lot more of the worse than the better… Will that make a difference in my faith? Will I still believe?

God’s Silence

bubble-806972_1280After a very difficult year, my husband and I sold our house. The problem was that it sold faster than we anticipated, and we didn’t have anywhere to move to. We found a house that we loved, we prayed about it and felt that this was the house God had for us. Then we put an offer on it, and it was rejected. Suddenly, we were very confused. We had really thought this was our house, so why hadn’t things worked out? Shouldn’t God had paved the way for our footsteps if He was directing?

A common idea is that God’s will is a smooth path lined with roses, when in the Bible, there are countless examples of the opposite. While I struggled with this idea, I also wanted a “for sure” answer. So I prayed and prayed. And fasted. And prayed some more. I wasn’t praying that we’d get the house. I was praying that God would in some way answer—that He would speak in a clear way that let us know what direction we should go. I agonized. I begged. I just needed something from Him.

And what I got…. was nothing. Seriously, you could have heard crickets chirping in the vast void of God’s silence.

And I was a little ticked. I mean, it didn’t seem like a big request to have the God of the universe blink once for ‘yes,’ and twice for ‘no.’

It may not seem a big faith test, but it was. And I was again faced with the question. Even if God stayed on mute and didn’t ever answer my question, would that make a difference in my faith—would I still believe?

God’s No

Last Fall, I was expecting our fourth child. We’d had a nightmarish year that had included my husband’s diagnosis, surgery, and treatment of thryroid cancer, unexpected hospital stays for our children, and unbelievable ‘bad luck.’ But now, with a baby on the way, we were so very excited that something good was going to happen!

But at twelve weeks, I started to lose the baby. I lay in bed in excruciating pain and begged God to let my baby live.

How would I explain to my three other children that they weren’t going to have a baby? How would I handle it, knowing my sister, who also was pregnant and due at the same time, got to keep her baby and I didn’t? What if this was it, and I never had another baby? I love my three boys to an indescribable degree, but I’ve always had the dream of a daughter. What if God never granted that desire?

And through all the questions and pain whirling through my mind, came the question… Even if?

Even if my baby died. Even if all of those questions were answered with God’s ‘no,’ would that make a difference in my faith—would I still believe?

Even if…

No.

mourning-360500_1280The answer to all of the questions is ‘no.’ Even if my prayers are not answered in the way I want. Even if all I hear is God’s silence. Even if He says ‘no,’ lets my baby die, and never gives me another…

It will not make a difference in my faith. I will still believe. Even if.

Why? Because my personal experience does not change who God is. His existence is not determined by if e answers my prayers. In fact, His existence is not determined by me or whether or not I believe.

It’s kind of like how a baby discovers object permanence. Does an object exist even if I can’t see it? Even if my worst nightmare comes true and He doesn’t answer the way I want, even if I can’t see Him, even if He tells me ‘no,’ that doesn’t change who He is. I believe, not because of my experience, but because He is.

I believe He is still there, I believe He is still good (Psalm 100:5), and I believe He has a plan for my life (Psalm 139, Romans 8:28), whether or not I can hear or see it at an individual moment. Why? Because His Word tells me those things about Him, and I have to believe object permanence applies to God too.Even if I can’t see those things at a given time, that in no way determines their existence.

I think we don’t get the “right” answer a lot in regards to health issues. Instead of the healing we pray for, we get surgery or medical treatment. And sometimes we just get strength to make it through the day. In regards to my husband, he recovered well from the second surgery, though it is unlikely the nerve damage will ever be completely repaired. Thankfully, he was able to eventually return to work and life settled into a resemblance of normal.

In this instance, unlike many of the others in my life, I was able to see a glimpse of God’s purpose behind His seeming inadequate answer. During the time that my husband was hurt, I wrote and published my first book. Had I not had the stressful question of not knowing if he would ever work again, I might not have ever had the motivation to do what I love and what has become a wonderful career. Fourteen books later, I am beyond thankful that I get to share exciting stories of unique characters that somehow manage to echo my own walk with God.

We bought the house. It was not easy. At no time did we ever feel the certain answer we desired, but we made the wisest decision we could. We paid more than our initial offer, and there was no shortage of stress and drama, but we eventually had an offer accepted.

It still seems like God could have eased my anxiety some and just given me an answer. But I’ve come to realize my peace of mind might have been a small price to pay for a silence that might somehow build my faith. If we were already on the path of His Will, why would He need to confirm that? Instead, I lived out an ‘even if,’ and realized that in God’s silence, I still believe.

Our baby died. It was a nightmare that I still cannot think about without crying. After the horrible pain of miscarriage and surgery, I was left completely empty, experiencing an ‘even if’ I would never wish on anyone. God said ‘no.’

Nine months later, my arms are still empty and there is little hope that they will be filled again. And yet, God’s ‘no’ doesn’t change that even in this, I still believe.

Prayers are often not answered, and more often than not, we don’t know the reason why this side of heaven. But the bad things that happen don’t change who God is. I don’t know why some things happen, but I do know God is good and He has a purpose in all my even ifs.

Everyone has struggles. No one gets through life unscathed. For those of you who are living through an ‘even if,’ take heart: God still is. He loves you and has a purpose for you and all your tears. So I pose a question to you: Even if… ?

For me, my even ifs have not made a difference in my faith, but my prayer is that they will make a difference in yours.

FigTreesThough the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habukuk 3:17-19

Author Bio

AMANDA TRU loves to write exciting books with plenty of unexpected twists. She figures she loses so much sleep writing the things, it’s only fair she makes readers lose sleep with books they can’t put down!

Amanda has always loved reading, and writing books has been a lifelong dream. A vivid imagination helps her write captivating stories in a wide variety of genres. Her current book list includes everything from holiday romances, to action-packed suspense, to a Christian time travel / romance series.

Amanda is a former elementary school teacher who now spends her days being mommy to three little boys and her nights furiously writing. Amanda and her family live in a small Idaho town where the number of cows outnumber the number of people.


ys1_9781939603722_cover-300Her yesterday was five years ago. What will her tomorrow bring?

When Hannah Kraeger saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago.

Each trip Hannah takes through time changes the timeline and her own life. With help from Dr. Seth McAllister, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before the strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life.

YESTERDAY is a thrilling Christian Romantic Suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance.

YESTERDAY is Book One in the YESTERDAY SERIES.

Click here for more information and to buy the book.

Book o’ My Heart

oldtheaterMy mother and father had a “meet-cute” — an event that brings a “fated” couple together for the first time, usually in a cute, romantic way. She worked at the candy counter in a movie theater in Seattle. He was a cocky, slightly inebriated sailor, just in from Korea.

He flirted with Mom’s best friend, who already had a steady boyfriend, one who was due to walk through the door at any moment. Mom to the rescue. What are best friends for? She stepped over and distracted the handsome but too happy young sailor. Her mission accomplished, she felt pretty good. When the young sailor sobered up, he came back. Several times. And then they eloped.

They eloped all the way to Biloxi, Mississippi. At the end of Dad’s furlough, he left Mom with his family in West Tennessee. My dad was not totally honest and up front with his young bride (she was only seventeen, he was nineteen). He talked long about his home (as in long, tall tale). He told Mom that his mother and step-dad lived on a ranch in the rolling, green hills of West Tennessee. They had horses and cattle.

IMG_4622In actuality, they were sharecroppers who lived in a rickety house. The cows weren’t theirs, and the horses–work horses that pulled a plow. And that house–no indoor plumbing. A fireplace for heat. Bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Grandma cooked on a wood stove. And they raised cotton and corn and everything they needed to live. They worked hard all day long, every day.

No rolling, green hills either. Flat. Dirty. Muddy. Mosquitoes. Snakes. Yuck.

My Mom was from a broken home. She lived with her Mom in urban Seattle and spent summers at her Dad’s in urban L.A. They were middle class. She dressed well, ate well, and was popular in school.

Culture shock. Dad went back to the Navy. Mom stayed with his eldest sister and her husband and young daughter, in a slightly better abode closer to town. With summer came heat and humidity the likes of which, Mom had never experienced. And she was pregnant.

I’ve wanted to tell this story for a long time. I’ve wanted to write it, but each time I tried, I failed. Not long ago, after I had finished re-reading the Book of Ruth, an idea popped into my head–a “what-if.” What if this happened in more modern times. What if I set it in West Tennessee…in the 1950’s? I could combine the two stories I loved so well.

I talked about it–a lot–to everyone I knew. Mom shared more memories. My older brother (the baby in the above narrative), helped me research it. I got excited about it then sat down and began to write.

Last week, it released. Annabelle’s Ruth is that book of my heart. Inspired by the biblical Book of Ruth, and also by my mother’s early experiences.

But wait–I don’t want to leave you with a negative idea of West Tennessee. Seen through Mom’s young eyes, it was not her favorite place, but she spent most of her life there and ended up loving it. My dad could never be far away from it, especially while his mother lived. And it’s roots are deep in my heart. I don’t live there anymore. I live in Kentucky with my husband of more than forty years. I love it here, but I still like to visit West Tennessee. I have family there, and it holds precious memories of Grandma, and the aunts, and numerous cousins.

It gets under the skin of my heroine in Annabelle’s Ruth, too. She finds a reason to love it, sets down roots, and stays.

I hope you’ll love the story I’ve woven from these two threads.

If you’d like the chance to win a free copy of Annabelle’s Ruth (Kindle or print — winner’s choice), then leave me a comment here, or on my Facebook author page (you can also enter the GoodReads contest on the right).

Annabelle's Ruth FRONT final Cover

 

Robin Lee Hatcher – Authorview

Award-winning, multi-published author and speaker–just a few of the words I found describing Robin Lee Hatcher. She has written many beautiful stories combining faith and romance, both historical and contemporary. I am honored to have her as a guest at Authorview.

Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher

I am a…Woman of faith who writes fiction.

You would like me when I’m…In a silly mood.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m…Suffering from too little sleep.

What qualities I like to see in others:    Generosity, great sense of humor, a love of worship.

Favorite way to spend an evening: Curled up with a great book.

Who I love to spend an evening with:  My husband, Jerry.

Am reading (or want to read): The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.

If I had a hammer…I’d hit the nail.

My favorite genre is: Inspirational romance (either historical or contemporary).

My work-in-progress: A new contemporary romance.

My favorite food is: Hard to choose. I love a perfectly cooked steak. Stir-fried peppers and onions with chicken that my husband prepares to perfection. Lemon-pound cake with a glaze frosting (and just about any other dessert).

I’m a collector of:    iPhone apps.

My favorite happily-ever-after:    Jerry’s and mine.

Betty: I love that, Robin!

Thank you so much for participating in Authorview.


Robin’s Bio:  Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of more than 70 books, is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her 2015 releases are Whenever You Come Around (May 2015) and I Hope You Dance (June 2015). She and her husband make their home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family, her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat).

Whenever You Come Around (A Kings Meadow Romance)

Whenever You Come Around     Will writing a romance help this author find a real-life hero?

Charity Anderson turned her back on Kings Meadow years ago, with good reason, and has avoided visits to her hometown whenever possible. But with her house in Boise damaged by floodwaters and a book deadline bearing down, staying in her parents’ empty home seems her only option. However, being in Kings Meadow dredges up a painful secret, and old fears threaten to overwhelm her.

Charity’s former high school classmate Buck Malone never left town, instead sacrificing his dreams to take care of his family. Now he enjoys an uncomplicated life as a wilderness guide and confirmed bachelor. The last thing on his mind is settling down.

When Charity’s dog causes an accident that leaves Buck with a broken ankle and wrist at the start of prime tourist season, Charity has little choice but to render aid while he recuperates.  Soon Buck becomes the inspiration for Charity’s hero, both on the page and off. Can he also help her face and overcome her fears so they might find their own happily ever after?

Purchase links can be found on the book’s page on my web site:

http://www.robinleehatcher.com/books/whenever-you-come-around/

Readers can learn more about Robin and her books at:

http://www.robinleehatcher.com

Unlikely Merger – In Progress

11112210_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_oHave you ever worked for a company that was swallowed up by another company? Acquisitions can be painful. Sometimes even fatal (to your job). In the collaborative novella Unlikely Merger, the heroine works for an acquisitions firm. Mercy Lacewell has to learn to choose the right businesses for her father’s company to fund or buy. A wrong decision can cost the firm a lot of time and money. The stress of the position nearly grounds Mercy before she gets started.

I worked for a small civil engineering company that was bought out by a larger architectural engineering company. The buyout was a relief for the owners who were nearly at the end of their rope financially. The employees were dubious. Would we be fired to make room for corporate replacements? If we were retained, would we like our new bosses? What other changes were in store?

These are all concerns that our heroine needed to address when she sat down with prospective companies. What did this acquisition mean in dollars and cents to the employee? Bottom line–what did their future hold? She was inexperienced, but her natural abilities pushed her through this exhausting process.

One of the most difficult requirements of her new position is travel. Based in Denver, she has to fly all over the country to interview and assess the prospective businesses. Each of our chapters deals with a different location. And of course, she meets a different eligible bachelor each time. But Mercy keeps her distance, because she’s a professional, and she’s sort of an introvert. Merger? Unlikely.

IMG-20150130-WA0008But one of these guys will end up as Mercy’s forever. Once again, Write Integrity Press is releasing one chapter a day on their website. Once the last chapter is released, the readers will be invited to vote for their favorite. For more information, and to read the chapters, click the link here:

Write Integrity Press: Unlikely Merger Chapter Two

On July 1st, you can download the book, with its final chapter–the proposal–absolutely free on Kindle. It will remain free through the 5th of July and then, it’ll be 99¢.

AND at some point during the month of June, something BIG is happening here. On this blog. So watch for it. You can also “like” my Facebook author page–right over there (see right margin)–to keep up with what is happening. If you ask me in a comment, either here or on Facebook, you may win a special prize. But you have to ask.

Bonus Materials! Follow the links below for more personalized information about the key characters in Unlikely Merger.

Marji Laine:  Human Icicle

Julie Arduini: If We Could Have been Part of a Company Merger

            Carole Towriss: Dustin’s Detour Bellview Texas

            Jennifer Hallmark: Sacred Journeys by Carole Towriss

Fay Lamb: Meet the Heroes of Unlikely Merger: Dustin Rogers

The Importance of Being Earnest

According to dictionary.com, the word earnest means: serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous.

On Purpose StickyLast month, I blogged about living life on purpose (with purpose). I will admit, it isn’t easy. I’ve had a post-it note stuck in front of my nose for days to help me.

In my decisions: choose to make a difference in the lives of others. Whenever possible, I’ve made an effort to spend time with my family instead of holing up with my latest work-in-progress. That might mean babysitting or conversing with my school-age grandkids whenever I’m blessed with the opportunity.

To maintain this intent and purpose, I’ve needed to spur myself and stir up the zealousness when I only wanted to retreat. You see, we make a daily choice, whether by habit or intent, to get out of bed and go to work. We go because we need a paycheck, or because we know our work is necessary for the good of others.

school-teacher-148135_1280I had dinner with an elementary grades teacher last night. She takes her work seriously. She’s earnest in her calling. She’s inspiring young minds and helping mold their future. Those aren’t just cliches to her. They are her purpose. It’s not always easy. I’ve spoken to teachers suffering from burn-out. They were discouraged, and had lost their zeal for the work that once described them and gave them purpose.

So it’s important to maintain our purpose. That’s the real importance of being earnest.

Did you wonder from my title, if I was going to reference Oscar Wilde’s play by the same name? Well, you’re right, I am. The subtitle of Wilde’s original work is “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.” The play was originally performed in London on Valentine’s Day, 1895. It was originally described as a “satirical farce.”

I had read the thing a number of years ago, but it had fallen by the wayside in my memory until spurred by the 2002 movie with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth (among many other brilliant and funny actors). If you’ve never seen it, it’s worth a watch. It’s cute, lighthearted fun, though it does carry a message and an obvious play-on-words.

So, in closing, what changes would you make to your life, in order to pursue a more earnest, purpose-driven lifestyle?

Maybe you’d need to be more present in your own life. Put away your phone, tablet, laptop, etc., and make actual eye contact with your loved ones or coworkers. That droning sound you hear as you’re texting a smiley-face to your best friend? That’s your spouse talking to you about his day. Wake up and let him know you care about him and what happened to him.

ripplesStop what you’re doing, whenever possible. Touch your child’s face and make eye contact. Respond to their need for attention with love, instead of impatience. Be earnest in your affection. Make a difference and you’ll hear a splash and see the ripple effect on the surface of your life.

I don’t play accurately – anyone can play accurately – but I play with wonderful expression. — Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest