I Go With the Flow

dog-708376_1280Roll with the punches! Go with the flow (hand wave). Yes, these are dreaded cliches–the bane of a writer’s existence. But these two cliches illustrate a point I hope to make.

It all started with a funeral. Or rather, a celebration of a life. The man who died is connected by marriage to one of my sons, but had been part of our life for years. One of his grandsons gave the eulogy, which was touching and beautiful. One phrase stuck in my mind and touched me deeply.

“He lived his life on purpose.”

family-11883_1280This man did many good things. He worked hard and excelled in his career. He raised an awesome family, all of whom grew up to do well. He had a fifty-two-year happy marriage. He spent time with his wife and family. According to his grandson’s eulogy, he never went anywhere alone, but always desired one or all of them with him. They vacationed as a family. When he ran errands, he took one or more of the grandchildren along. He enjoyed their company.

Beyond family, he served his church. He visited and ministered to prisoners. And many other things. He did these things on purpose. To serve and show his gratitude and love. Not to receive a blessing in return, but to be a blessing, whether he ever received any recognition at all for what he had done.

On purpose and with one purpose in mind: to serve his God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Why did this strike such a chord with me?

I’ve always rolled with punches. Gone with the flow…which reminds me of my Aunt Jenny, who always had a smile, a chuckle, and a “Jenny-ism” to add to the conversation. She’d do a little dance, usually a few cha-cha or swing steps, wave her hand in the air and say, “I go with the flow. My flo’ lin-o-le-um.”

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Aunt Jenny

Her antics never failed to elicit a smile, a chuckle, or an outright belly-laugh. Everyone loved Aunt Jenny, and she loved us. But looking back, I think she lived life on purpose. She served out of love. She’d received forgiveness and wanted to make sure everyone knew how they could receive the same gift. On purpose.

When you serve others, are you only fulfilling a requirement, expecting a return on your sacrifice? Or do you serve on purpose, with purpose, to be a blessing, no matter what comes of it? Maybe no one ever thanks you. Maybe you never receive any recognition. Do you go anyway–keep on serving those who are hurting and in need?

Are you simply surviving life, just getting by, living but not really alive? You may think there’s nothing you can do. But small acts of kindness can add up to a lifetime of good, if done on purpose. My mom writes letters to her friends and family. They’ve told me what a blessing it is to receive a letter from her. She’s always so upbeat and positive. Those letters are like little rays of sunshine. That’s purpose.

You may never travel to a foreign country to help dig hurting souls out of earthquake-torn buildings. Or help restore flooded homes. But do you allow someone with fewer items to pass in front of you at the grocery? Do you hold the door and allow others to enter a building before you? Do you smile and greet visitors when they enter your church? Make them feel at home? On purpose, with one purpose in mind–to be a blessing. To serve God, be His hands and feet in the world.

I think it’s okay to “go with the flow,” as long as you live life on purpose when it really counts. When you can fill a purpose or a need–do it. I hope the words of that eulogy stay with me for a good long time and prick my conscience when I desire to ride the waves instead of serve a purpose.

So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. (2 Corinthians 8:10-20 The Message)

Katie Weiland – Authorview

Authorview welcomes K.M. Weiland, writer, mentor, teacher of writers. Whenever I meet a new writer who’s struggling with the basics, I send them to K.M. Weiland. Not only am I certain they’ll be welcomed and helped, but her growing library of “how-to” workbooks almost guarantees success to those who are willing to put in the required work. Welcome to Authorview, 2015.


K.M. Weiland

Author/Artist Name:  Katie Weiland
Pen name (if different from above):  K.M. Weiland
I am a…Writer, a fighter, a child of God.
You would like me when I’m…On a story high, after reading or watching something wonderful. The crash afterwards? Not so much!
You wouldn’t like me when I’m…Stuck on revisions, with no clear path forward on a sticky plot problem.
What qualities I like to see in others:  Tenacity, self-respect, conviction, kindness, humility, generosity.
Favorite way to spend an evening:  Eating pizza on the couch while watching a movie, then eating chocolate truffles and reading a wunderbar book.
Who I love to spend an evening with:  My family.
Am reading (or want to read):  Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesteron, Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander.
If I had a hammer…I’d probably put a nail through the wrong place in the plaster and have it rip out from underneath a painting in a few years.
My favorite genre is:  Fantasy.
My work-in-progress:  Wayfarer, a historical superhero story, set in the underbelly of Regency London.
My favorite food is:  Chocolate and coffee!
I’m a collector of:  Hats, scarves, and the occasional bit of Snoopy memorabilia.
My favorite happily-ever-after:  Disney’s The Kid.

  • Thanks, Katie!  Important information about Katie (K.M.) Weiland:

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.
Books by K.M. Weiland

Award-winning author K.M. Weiland’s previous book, the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, showed writers how to embrace outlines in a way that makes the writing process fun, inspiring, and easy. 

Now it’s time to put those lessons to use! Building upon the principles you’ve already learned, the Outlining Your Novel Workbook presents a guided approach to getting the bones of your story down on paper, identifying plot holes, and brainstorming exciting new possibilities.

 “I have long wished for a book like this. Structuring Your Novel is so much more than a writing craft book—it’s a recipe to help writers structure a deep, meaningful journey for their hero that will captivate readers from beginning to end.”— Angela Ackerman, Author of The Emotion Thesaurus

“There is absolute gold in this book—and I am grateful that the author has a real talent for distilling some of the somewhat clunky information found elsewhere, into really simple-to-understand and easy-to-follow techniques.”—Robert Scanlon

“This book shows a writer how to structure their novel from beginning to end in a no-nonsense manner. It’s fast and easy reading, and MAKES SENSE!”—Carrie C. Spencer 

Next Month on Authorview: Rachel Hauck

Linda Yezak – Authorview


Linda Yezak

I am (what you do): An Author/Editor/Speaker/Coffeeholic/Manager of the Nut House
My best trait: My amazing ability to walk with a foot in my mouth
My bad habit: My amazing ability to put my foot in my mouth. Sometimes both.
Qualities I admire: Tact.
What I like to read: Just about everything
What I write: Romantic comedy, chick lit (a term no longer used. Sigh.)
What I watch: Food Network, Hallmark channel, UP Entertainment, Inspirational Channel—and Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Bluebloods.
My family: is my most precious God-given gift.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: I like junk food—hamburgers, hotdogs, tacos—and downright trash, like Cheetos, Fritoes, and anything containing chocolate. (Bet you thought I was going to say “coffee,” right?!)
What I love to do: have one-on-one time with family and friends
What I admire: Talent
What makes me happy: Being loved
What makes me sad: N/A (the answer would be way too long)
Betty: Thanks, Linda, for taking part in Authorview!
Linda’s Bio:

Over twenty years ago, after a decade of life as a “single-again,” author Linda Yezak rediscovered God’s love and forgiveness when He allowed her a second chance at marital happiness. She is now living her greatest romance with her husband in a forest in East Texas. After such an amazing blessing, she chooses to trumpet God’s gift of second chances in the books she writes. Linda’s novels are heart-warming hallmarks of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

Linda’s Books — 
The Cat Lady’s Secret  
Emily Taylor loves to help people, loves to ease their burdens and make their dreams come true. But when a conman ruins her reputation, she discovers that helping others is safer and easier from behind the scenes.

When one of Emily’s gifts captures the attention of an avid journalist, her identity as the town’s anonymous benefactor—and her renewed relationship with her high school sweetheart—are threatened.

As her private life begins to unravel, she realizes the one hope for regaining control lies behind prison walls.


You can find more of Linda’s delightful books here.


Julie Arduini – Authorview


Julie Arduini

Julie Arduini’s passion is to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. She knows it has to start with her so she admits she’s surrendering “the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate.”

Nickname or “wannabe” name—If you don’t have a nickname, you can choose one you’d like, that tells us a little bit about who you are:  Julie. My given name is Juliann (Julie Ann) but no one pronounces it right. Julie it is.
I am: A chocoholic.
My best trait:Encourager.
My bad habit: That chocolate thing.
Qualities I admire:Honesty, being real, overcoming spirit.
What I like to read:Contemporary romance, romantic suspense, historicals, biography.
What I write:Contemporary romance.
What I watch: Crime shows, Once Upon a Time, NCIS and spin-offs, Parenthood, Blue Bloods.
My family: Full of giftings, laughter and imagination.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Anything milk chocolate.
What I love to do: Be with family. Nurture girls of all ages.
What I admire:Transparent, teachable people who hunger for the Lord.
What makes me happy:My relationship with Christ, time with family.
What makes me sad:Sickness, death, lies, manipulative people.
I believe: There is hope for everyone no matter what. If they would take that first step of surrender in Christ, the freedom is worth it.
Julie’s Bio:
Julie Arduini desires in her fiction to not only bring hope to those struggling with surrender issues, she wants to highlight the various Upstate New York settings she enjoyed for over three decades. Entrusted, Entangled and Engaged pay homage to the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.
Julie is also one of the authors in the sequel to A Dozen Apologies, The Love Boat Bachelor.
She holds a BA in Communications from the State University of New York at Geneseo and is a graduate of the Christian Writers Guild. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the 2011 winner of the JournEzine Christmas Contest. Every other Wednesday she blogs at the popular site Christians Read. She enjoys reviewing books and encouraging others at www.juliearduini.com.
When she’s not writing, reading or blogging she enjoys taking amateur nature pictures and nurturing youth. With a heart to encourage others, she enjoys interacting with readers through social media and can be found throughout social media @JulieArduini.
She resides in NE Ohio with her husband and two children and is blessed to be a step-mom to two adult children and son-in-law who reside in Wisconsin. All of them know not to mess with her chocolate stash.
Entrusted is NOW available! CLICK to buy! 

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.
 

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.
Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.

As she endears herself to the seniors at the center and creates a vision full of ideas, programs, and equipment, she ruffles Ben’s plans to keep Speculator Falls void of change, including the store his grandfather built.

The two work through community events and shared heartbreak only to face off in a town council meeting where Ben publically rejects her proposal for the senior center, causing Jenna to react out of her fears about belonging.

She returns to Ohio where she realizes she needs to surrender her plans for the center and fears about belonging and trust her Heavenly Father when facing fear, change, loss, and love.