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One Word for 2019: More

Instead of writing out resolutions that become forgotten by the end of January (if that long), I’ve chosen One Word to focus on each year since 2009. I focus on these words in every area of my life. Here are my past One Words:

2009—Changes—Hubby lost his job due to the economic downturn. Our oldest graduated high school. I graduated from college. Our oldest son left for college. So. Many. Changes.

2010—New Beginnings—Hubby went back to college. Our oldest son moved three hours away.

2011—Intentional—I received my first book contract!!! Lakeside Reunion released that November.

2012—Faith—My mom had her first heart attack that required open heart surgery. My second book, Lakeside Family, released. Our youngest son graduated high school and left for college. My first book, Lakeside Reunion, won a major writing award. Hubby graduated from college and started a new job.

2013—Believe—My father passed away. Our youngest became critically ill and spent 10 days in a hospital three hours from home. My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. My mom had another heart attack. My third book, Lakeside Sweethearts, released.

2014—Simplify—My fourth book, Lakeside Redemption, released. My father-in-law passed away from cancer. We added Penny, our chihuahua-mix dog, to our family.

2015—Restore—We needed some healing after our tumultuous 2013 and 2014. Our oldest son moved home.

2016—Thrive—My fifth book, Lakeside Romance, released. Life settled down for us.

2017—Anticipation—I retired from my 19-year career as an early childhood educator to become the Operations Manager for My Book Therapy, an online writing site & school that helps writers to learn how to become published, stay published, and build brilliant careers. Our oldest son moved three hours away.

2018—Linger—I wrote Season of Hope, which releases in March 2019. Our family expanded with our son’s girlfriend and her beautiful daughter. Our youngest son started a new job. I became a daily caregiver for my niece. 

As I look back at each of these words, which are always chosen in late December for the new year, I’m amazed by how God has used different circumstances to strengthen my faith and keep my walk with Him in alignment. Going through some of these experiences were the toughest in my life, especially losing our fathers and nearly losing our son. But through it all, God was there. Every moment. Every day.

During the month of December, I had been pondering my One Word. A few words tossed around in my head—prayer, health, trust…all great words, but none of them seemed to be the right one.

While reading a devotional from Praying for the Impossible on YouVersion Bible app, I read this section:

God declares through the promises in His Word that He is going to take you and make you into something much greater than you are. It’s the visible testimony God gives to His church that you and I are made into much more than we could ever hope to be in our own strength. We change by the Spirit of God, Paul says, from image to image and glory to glory.

One little word jumped out at me as if it had flashed in neon pink. A word I use all the time, but it’s not one I expected it to be a One Word for my year. This word settled in my heart with the coziness of a puppy on my lap. The word I feel God wants me to focus on for 2019 is More. Not more stuff, but loving MORE, living MORE, and focusing MORE on the things that matter—especially MORE of HIM. And His ability to do the impossible in my life.

I’ve chosen 2 Peter 1:5-8 as my One Verse to meditate on throughout the year: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What about you? What word will you choose for 2019?

Lisa Jordan
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A Pretty Penny: My Life Has Gone to the Dog

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

Roger Caras 

Last August our family experienced another change in our lives–our youngest went off to college, leaving Hubby and me with an empty nest.

By day, our house is filled with noise and chaos because I own and operate a family childcare program.

Once that last Little Darling leaves for the day, and dinner is over, I sit in my comfy chair in the living room to pick up where I left off with my current WIP (work-in-progress). With only Hubby and me at home, I’ve noticed something very annoying…the ticking clock hanging on the living room wall.

Holy cats, that thing is loud!

When our boys are home, and the Xbox is being played, then the ticking is drowned out by whatever gaming chatter. 

Then I realized something else…I missed having someone to care for. Hubby doesn’t count because he’s quite self-sufficient, and my Little Darlings don’t count because they leave before dinner. 

I needed someone or something to take care of, so I started talking to Hubby about a dog. 

We had a beautiful yellow Lab about 14 years ago named Samantha Jane. Due to our son’s allergies at the time, and Samantha’s size with my Little Darlings, she wasn’t the best fit for our family. She ended up moving to a farm to live with a couple who had another dog and wanted a playmate for her. 

Anyway, Hubby wasn’t too excited about the dog thing and suggested we wait until spring.

For her birthday, my mom adopted a sweet little chihuahua mix dog named Penelope, who may be older than the 3 years the shelter claimed. This little sweetheart burrowed herself into my heart, especially after I became Penny’s official dogsitter when my mom was hospitalized two different times for heart issues. I kept telling Mom I was going to dognap Penny for good. 

In fact Hubby had said, “If only we could find a dog like Penny…”

I had been praying and asking God to provide us with the right pooch at the right time. 

Well, in January, my mom had another heart issue. Due to some concerns afterward, Penny came to live with us full-time. 

So as Carolyn mentioned on Monday when she took over my blog–I’m a new puppy mama. Isn’t Penny just the sweetest thing?

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Caring for a dog is like caring for kids, except dogs can’t speak, and kids shouldn’t be doing their business outside. Penny demands attention like a kid and insists on getting up in the middle of the night for a potty break. 

I’m remembering those early years with my kids. Unfortunately my body has aged 20 years, so I’m more tired now, but we love Penny so much and wouldn’t give her up for anything. 

Your Turn: Do you have any pets? What’s your favorite part about being a pet owner? What advice do you have to share with this new puppy mama? 

 

Lisa Jordan
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Blog Takeover: Writing About Life

C_avatarHi there!

I’m Carolyn, a friend of Lisa’s, and I’m here as a self-invited guest blogger.

Lisa and I spend a lot of virtual time together. We discuss almost everything. How tired we are. How cold our feet have been this winter. How much I want to eat cookies and cupcakes. How much she loves to watch NCIS. We lift each other up. We complain to each other. We celebrate together.

For a few weeks we’ve been discussing blogging (amidst the cupcakes and the weather gripes). I recently had a blog makeover and upgraded my space. That motivation along with a few snow days that popped up during January and I think I’ve got my blog clicking along nicely. I scheduled a few posts, had ideas for a few more, and generally enjoy writing. I like blogging. In my line of work as a librarian I like to think that someone is reading it and getting at least one small idea from what I have to share.

On the other hand (as I confess for Lisa), her blog is not something she really enjoys. She likes the blog, but doesn’t love doing the actual blogging. Occasionally she has a post she mentions that she enjoys writing, but that hasn’t happened recently. When I ask her what she blogs about she says, “love and marriage.”

Oh boy.

It’s not that I object to love and marriage!

But when Lisa and I talk most days we discuss other things she is interested in. Did you know Lisa is a scrapbooker? That she’s knitted something for just about everyone she knows? I don’t know how she keeps up with her crafty nature along with her day job and her writing job.

And recently Lisa has a new puppy!! Which she is going to post a picture of right here…

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See! Precious! Penny is adorable and Lisa is like any new puppy-mamma and has news to share!

I read a lot of blogs and Twitter and what I love about blogs is when the genuine nature of a person comes through. I don’t read a large quantity of author blogs, but I read a few. My favorite author blogger writes some about writing when it is a thought she has to share that she is passionate about. She also blogs dialogue her toddler twin nieces are saying when they are being silly, and shares about her experiences while taking trapeze lessons! What I love about my favorite authors on Twitter is when they post about their obsessions with bacon or how they’re surviving this chilly snowy winter and aren’t sure they can be around their school-aged kids one snow-day longer!

I don’t follow because they are writing about the same things their books are about. Maybe I’m the only one…but I doubt it.

I follow authors on blogs and Twitter because they are authentic about sharing whatever real moments in their lives they feel comfortable sharing in ‘public.’

I think Lisa has felt like her blog space here is an obligation as a writer. That she’s required to share wisdom and experiences directly related to writing or to her writing focus which is love and marriage.

Except…as writers the things we do outside of writing influence our writing the most. Otherwise writers would all be writing about writing. But instead writers are writing about life. About the little things that come together to make life exciting and meaningful. I’ve challenged Lisa to keep her blog updated but to avoid the pressure of writing about the same things she writes about professionally. Instead I want Lisa to have more fun writing about the little things that make life meaningful.

Like puppies!

Cheers!
Carolyn

Lisa here: Umm, so my blog was taken over by one of my all-time favorite people on the planet. Carolyn and I met online over 12 years ago when we bonded over a mutual interest. She read my first novel when it was still in the newbie writer stage…and we’re still friends. Man, that was some awful writing. 

In most realms Carolyn is an elementary school librarian who blogs at www.Risking-Failure.com and tweets at @carolynvibbert. But that’s all just an act because the real Carolyn reads a lot of YA lit, fluffy romance, and Christian fiction. She also whines about cold feet in the winter, and eats too many cookies no matter the season.

Your Turn: What are your favorite things to do, other than anything book related?

Lisa Jordan
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