Goodbye July Thoughts

Can you believe it? This is my final post for July! It seems summer only just arrived. In two or three weeks, depending on where you’re from, school will open and summer will officially end for families with children. I need to get busy having fun!

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Thanks so much for stopping by.

I’m getting ready for a book launch! Amid all the work and excitement, I tend to turn retrospective. It’s not always a bad thing. I’ve read a lot of posts lately about self-esteem and self-image. Writers releasing books often have to put on their “happy in my skin” masks so they can market themselves with a positive image. After all, who wants to buy a book written by a depressed hermit? Not me.

Not that I’m depressed, or a hermit. My teen years were spent trying to hide the fact that an emotional trainwreck lived in my body. I had such low self-esteem, I wouldn’t even attend my senior prom. The real reason for that? All my friends would show up looking gorgeous, and I would look dowdy and ridiculous. You see, my opinion of myself did not match the image in the mirror.

I look back at photos taken of me in those days, and I wonder why I thought I was fat. Why could I not enjoy those years? What blocked my joy? Self image. Low self esteem.

I can’t blame my parents. I now know my mother’s lot was not much better. To this day, she tends to pick at herself. Too-big ears, ugly feet, unattractive legs, and unruly hair. Looking at her, I see none of those things. She is only twenty years my senior. In grade school, my teachers assumed she was my sister.

She was slender and beautiful and attracted attention everywhere we went, mostly because of her smile. Okay, maybe she IS the reason I felt so dowdy. I did not inherit her body type. I was not slender. I have normal ears and straight hair that was never difficult to arrange, but that wasn’t really enough to make me feel beautiful. I realize this is normal among teens in general and in teen girls especially. Over the years, I’ve come to accept those parts of myself that I can’t change. Even so, there are still times when I look in the mirror and cringe.

How do we overcome a negative self-image?

Maybe by moving our attention to others. Be a friend/wife/mother/etc., who loves at all times. Shoulder their burdens, be in the present with them. Laugh with them, cry with them. Maybe by not caring so much what others think about things like clothing choices or our ability with the comb and makeup brush. Or, how high that little needle points on the bathroom scale.

I mentioned above that I need to accept the things I can’t change but I do need to change the things I can.

I need to make good decisions when it comes to my health and what I take into my body.

I need to make sure I drink plenty of water and get the exercise I need.

Another thing I can change is my stress level. Sometimes I just need to breathe. I need to back away from things and take my hands off the steering wheel (but only when I’m not the driver!). Laugh and enjoy life in the moment (as in the above photo!).

I know I’m not alone in this, and things that work for me may not work for others. So, how do you cope with self image? What are your favorite scriptures to bolster those low times?

Sometimes I just need to breathe. I need to back away from things and take my hands off the steering wheel (but only when I’m not the driver!). Laugh and enjoy life in the moment–Click to Tweet


The official release date for Annabelle’s Joy is August 7, 2019. Meanwhile, join me on Facebook for the pre-release fun, activities and giveaways!

– AND –

You still have a few more days to enter to win a free year of reading from Kindle Unlimited. You can enter here: https://www.writeintegrity.com/sweepstakes

A Day in the Life

Hello, Thursday Morning! I usually say a word about the weather here. Like many of my readers, we’ve had an abnormally wet beginning to summer. This week has been a bit drier, but all this sunshine after all that dampness, creates humidity. I’m not complaining but I am staying inside (mostly).

My day begins early, since hubby leaves the house before six a.m. I have two part-time bookkeeping jobs, so a couple of days a week, I’m away from home. The rest of the week, I’m home, but working. And summer brings grandkids, at least once a week. So, the days seem to fly by at the speed of sound. I’m so amazed that we’re already halfway through July.

I spend about eight hours a day at least three days a week, working on the bookkeeping chores for two companies. Factor in my position as treasurer of a good-sized writers conference, and you have another few hours a week. I feel a little like a juggler at times. I confess, sometimes I worry, lest I fumble and drop everything.

Oh, and by the way, I write in my “spare” time. Such is the life of a writer. Sometimes I envy those who have entire days to dedicate to their craft, especially when a story is bubbling in my imagination and my fingers itch to write it. But I’m being real here. If I had that entire day to write, I’d be dawdling. I’d be chasing my thoughts amid myriad distractions, kind of like the flitting path of a butterfly.

Those who have an artistic bent can definitely identify. If you’re highly disciplined, you can take a day like that and create a masterpiece. I’m not saying I’m undisciplined, but I am sometimes unfocused. That’s putting it nicely. When I finally get a day “off” I have so many things I want to accomplish, I end up finishing—nothing.

So, you may be surprised that I’m ever able to finish a book at all. I continue to surprise myself by doing just that. I’ve finished two different series in the last five or six years, and I’m as amazed as anyone.

I’m sponsoring a contest with some of my fellow Write-Integrity authors:

Click the Meme to enter (ends July 27, 2019)

 

Hello Thursday Morning Devotion

Hello, Thursday Morning! We’re a little soggy over this way. How about you?

It’s summertime, and for many of us, that means VACATION! Later today, I’m headed to the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. I am honored to be a part of the planning committee, so I know this is going to be a great one.

For me, one of the high points will be time to visit with a couple of my favorite devotional writers, Harriet Michael and Shirley Crowder. I hope you enjoy today’s devotional, written by Harriet.

    “I Can’t Do It!”

Read: Amos 7: 12- 15

“Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, ‘I am not a prophet, not the son of a prophet, for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore trees.” Amos 7:14 (NASB)

“Lord, I can’t do it!” Have you ever said this to God? What has He asked you to do that you think you cannot do? In this passage, God asked Amos to do something new; something Amos had never done before.

Every now and then a verse of scripture strikes me as a little bit humorous. This verse did that the first time I read it. In this verse, the prophet Amos tells Amaziah that he is not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. Amos claims to be nothing more than a herdsman and a grower of sycamore trees. I think Amos’ comment is funny, perhaps because I can relate to it so well. How many times have I perceived God asking me to do something for Him, whether it was to go on a mission trip, write a devotional, or teach a Sunday school class, when I have told God, “But God, I am not a teacher or the daughter of a teacher…I am just a housewife and a grower of tomato bushes!”

May we learn to offer God a willingness to do what He has called us to do. May we trust that just like God made Amos into a great prophet, He will also equip us to do whatever He has asked of us. Let us be willing to do more than just taking care of our herds and tomato bushes.

Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, we know you are able to accomplish all that you desire, even through inexperienced and insecure people like us. Grant us willing hearts and capable hands to do your work. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thought for the Day: Offer God a willing heart and you may be surprised at how He uses you! [Click to Tweet]

About the author: Born in Nigeria, West Africa, as the daughter of missionaries, Harriet E. Michael is a writer, wife of nearly 40 years, mother of four, and grandmother of two.

She holds a BS in nursing from West Virginia University but has discovered her passion for writing. Since her first published article in 2010, she has now had hundreds of articles and devotions published.

Harriet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Louisville Christian Writers. She is the author of several books, Prayer: It’s Not About You, a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith book contest, published by PixNPens Publishing Company, The Whisper of the Palms published by Olivia Kimbrell Press, Glimpses of PrayerPrayer Warrior Confessions also published by PixNPens. She has more books slated to be released in the next few years.

A Morning on the Lake

Hello, Thursday Morning Readers! I love when friends stop in to visit. Will you join me in a cup of coffee? Hot tea?

It’s not quite summer (technically) but there is nothing so inspiring as a morning at the lake. Writing this, I’m sitting on a balcony overlooking Lake Cumberland in Eastern Kentucky. It’s early morning, so the only sounds I hear are birdcalls and the chatter of squirrels.

The view from our balcony at Lake Cumberland.

The big trees that line the cliff in front of me are alive with wildlife. I see constant movement among their branches. Early morning and evening, a single deer passes by, dropping from sight on a hidden trail down the face of the cliff. A sign warns, “Caution! 200 FT cliff. Supervise children at all times. No pets allowed in this area.” I guess that doesn’t apply to deer and raccoons. I saw both go over the side.

There’s another sign at the entrance to this State Park that says, “Watch for Resident Wildlife.” I have to ask you, are there non-resident wildlife? Should I watch for them, too?

Rainy morning at Lake Cumberland

We’ve enjoyed a couple of beautiful, relaxing days here. Turns out, relaxation is good for you. 🙂 The patter of rain on the metal roof early this morning eased my soul. It also cleared the air. It wasn’t enough to deter serious fishermen, though. They were out there, gliding close to the rocks, casting their lines and hopefully leaving with a great catch.

This lake is full of trout. We visited the fishery yesterday at Wolf Creek Dam. It was interesting to see the fish in various stages of life, preparing for release in the lake.

Sunrise on the water.

Well, the sun’s back out to lend sparkle to the ripples on the water. This deep, green lake beckons to me. I’m going to pack up my laptop and move on to the next destination. I hope your summer includes a respite, vacation, lazy weekend, or maybe even a full summer of fun.

All too soon, we’ll be back on a schedule. Bob & I made a lasting friendship with this lake, though. We will definitely return (God willing). Besides being less than three hours from home, it’s grand and glorious as lakes go. There’s so much to see and do, or not to do, if that’s what you desire.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. Let them inspire you to take some time to breathe and relax this summer. But watch out for resident wildlife and steep cliffs. 🙂Note: Lure Lodge at Lake Cumberland is clean and well staffed. There’s plenty of room for families to gather, games and a large, indoor pool. The restaurant affords a wonderful view of the lake. Their wait-staff is friendly, brimming with southern hospitality. They offer a buffet or a menu.

The State Dock below the lodge offers boats you can rent for the day or half a day. There’s a store where you can buy supplies, souvenirs, etc., and a restaurant and bar.

CLICK-TO-TWEET: Lake Cumberland in Kentucky is grand and glorious as lakes go. There’s so much to see and do or not to do, if that’s what you desire. #travel #Kentucky #ThursdayThoughts