BEFORE I CHICKEN OUT

If you’ve followed my Tuesday blogs since August 1, 2021 you’ve read my “Year of Courage.”

Today, I share an excerpt from the backstory of my most vulnerable publication: Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator. It’s available at Barnes and Noble and your favorite book outlets.

You can follow my FROG Blog to watch my Year of Courage practice. Before I chicken out, here goes!

Note to Myself

Dear Self,

Write the book that needs to be written. Write even if you and God are the only readers. Write the book that is hardest to write. Someday you could use your journals to write a book. Don’t worry about publishing. Don’t be concerned with the end. Do not fear the messy broken pieces it takes to complete a whole manuscript. Consider these turns of your literary creation as colored chips in your life’s kaleidoscope.

Marjorie Holmes gained a national following with her book, I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God She considered this book a collection of her apron pocket prayers. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Thousands of memoirs like these have gone before me. I don’t need a national following. As a sensitive introvert who requires vast amounts of space and quiet, I don’t want a Marjorie Holmes level of recognition. And yet. And yet. And yet.

Chris Woods was the first person who believed in my writing enough to publish what I thought would be my only book. I wrote Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn-Out Underwear to answer a friend’s double dare to write what I thought when I ran distance miles. After what I thought was my “Hey, look! I wrote a book. A one-and-done,” Chris challenged me to compile my online FROG Blog posts into a book of short essays. My inner prodding asked, “There are already 8 million book titles available on Amazon alone, why add your word weight to an already obese book market?” Chris recommended including other people to create an anthology, which evolved into book #2: The FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad. Neither of those books had initially flown off the chart. Eighteen positive online reviews hardly warranted writing a third book. And yet. And yet. And yet.

A line from Toby Keith’s song American Soldier kept playing in my mind. “I don’t do it for the money, there’s bills that I can’t pay. I don’t do it for the glory, I just do it anyway.”

Gulp! I filled my lungs with a slug of air and, with shaky FROG legs, I jumped into waters that chilled me to the bone with fear. Tenacity and determination boiled over when I was reminded that with God, I’ll live to tell this story. FROG stands for Fully Rely On God. I need to firmly stand on God and write what He has called me to do for now. Allow Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator to be published.

Christina

PIE IN MY EYE

This post is dedicated in honor of my Mom, Carol Lynn. November 25th was her birthday.

In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps (Prov. 16:9).

I’ve used my Mom’s chiffon dessert recipe countless times. I add variations using different gelatin flavors and crusts, but the basic recipe remains consistent.

A neighbor was struggling in a relationship and knowing she likes sweets, I bought supplies to bake her a chiffon dessert. I rarely refer to the directions anymore because I’ve made it so often.

Before my workday, I hurried to prepare the first layer. Instead of looking at Mom’s dessert recipe, I followed the directions on the gelatin box. Without a second thought, I put the pan in the frig and set the timer for an hour to make the crust while the filling thickened.

When the timer went off, I opened the frig to find a pan of gelatin soup. It wasn’t the thickened gelatin I was used to. I dug out Mom’s recipe card and realized I had followed the gelatin box directions which called for an extra ¼ cup water plus ½ cup ice cubes.

Due to limited time, I tried fixing my mistake by adding grated zest and lemon cookie crumbles. This created a larger amount of soggy error. I couldn’t rescue the dessert for my friend, so I spooned the salvageable dessert into cups to donate to our youth center’s nightly dinner.

My hasty start ended with extra dirty dishes and another trip to the grocery store for Miss Carol’s sunshine cake. Improper preparation also led to an unplanned delivery to our youth center. I deserted my kitchen and indulged in a feast of lessons.

Multi-tasking can lead to multi-taxing. When I thoughtfully follow God’s loving recipe, I feast on a sweeter slice of life.

Reading God’s step-by-step directions on the lily pad,

Christina 

BRAVERY

Happy Views Day!

Four months into my Year of Courage…here’s my weekly post to show you part of my heart.

Next week, I’ll post a book excerpt from my most vulnerable publication (Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator).

If you’d like to receive next week’s piece (less than 300 words), remember to press “Follow.” I will offer a short-term offer for all The FROG Blog followers.

Favorite way to use money: To travel and/or give experiential gifts & outings. Donate anonymously to organizations and people I believe in…like Tinker Bell with a pocketbook 😉

Gratefully,

Christina

Project Courage

Happy Views Day!

Another weekly look at the heart of my Year of Courage (Aug. 2021-2022)…

First Live Concerts: Statler Brothers, Lawrence Welk, Hall & Oates (all in grades 5-6).

Readers! What was your first concert? Where was it?

Excited to hear your rhythm,

Christina

GO TO THE THRONE BEFORE THE PHONE

Go to the Throne before I go to the phone. I frequently remind myself that I am to call out to God before I phone a friend.

Sometimes, I’ve had powerful quiet times when immediately I’ve wanted to share that enlightenment with a friend. I’ve blurted out copious amounts of supernatural revelation only to be met with silence or misunderstanding. Other times, the unsuspecting recipient of my call is unable to grasp the intensity of my deluge.  

I claim Jesus as being my number one friend, but sometimes I overlook the opportunity to thank Him with the passion from which I shower on another person. Sometimes when I’m bombarded with devastating news, in the flurry of what seems unbearable, I rush to ask someone to pray or listen to me. Jesus is already there. He’s perpetually present.

I trust 911 to be my first responders but how often do I reach to God as if He’s my last responder? God needs to be on my speed dial. He doesn’t even need a dispatcher or emergency vehicle to get to me because He’s always on the scene of my day.

How would I respond if I added God as the #1 emergency contact list on my phone? I’m grateful for my microscopic group of friends who extend their wisdom and support. I appreciate professional assistance in emergencies. I’m most thankful to God who responds with a 100% guarantee for my eternal life.

Reaching for God’s hand as I leap heart first from the lily pad,

Christina

“From the ends of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Ps. 61:2).

Year of Courage list grows

Healthy Views Day!

If you’d like to see the first 14 examples of my “Year of Courage” reveals, you’ll find them every Tuesday since August 1st (under the FROG Blog tab at http://www.gueststarcoaching.com)

Core values: To encourage beginners, the underappreciated. To support organizations doing good. To be trusted with intense confidentiality.

Readers! What about you? What are your key values?

Courageously,

Christina

Second quarter of courage

Happy Views Day!

#14 of my Year of Courage to reveal an inside scoop.

#1-13 are posted Tuesdays beginning August 1st.

Funniest adult moment that I can share: Fell asleep at a professional sports game. We were right behind the band and mascots. I woke up to see myself caught mid-slumber on the jumbotron.

Shooting a 3-point shot of courage,

Christina

TRENDING NOW

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news to the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:42-43).

Some days, 24 hours feels like too much to handle. Some days 24 hours seem to speed by.  I’ve found that when I sway between that time warp, it’s often because I’m trying to jump ahead of a schedule. Sometimes I lag because I’m afraid or dread facing something or someone. Both patterns can become unhealthy until I remind myself to be in the moment.

In Luke 4:42-43, Jesus sought solstice. Perhaps He needed preparation for His next assignment. Maybe He needed space to recharge. Following a lengthy string of miracles, Jesus was completing His work for that town and moving toward the next synagogue. However, the townspeople had other expectations for Jesus. They wanted Him to stay to heal additional sick and suffering folk.

Jesus understands there will always be poor and injured people on earth. He recognizes that He’s to proclaim God’s love wherever He goes. He’s to live Truth for whatever time frame God chooses. I see Jesus as a traveling journalist for God. He reports the Good News and headlines the kingdom of God. He has newsworthy stories to cover and assigns His leads to other following journalists. We are commissioned to feature His trending news.

Like Jesus, I will always have more messages, tasks, thoughts and learning than I can handle alone. I need to remain on call for what God wants me to report. Jesus teaches me to follow His discernment between breaking news and braking views. When I cover life with blends of advancing and retreating, I find that 24 hours is exactly what I need.

Editing and recreating my daily outlines around the lily pad,

Christina

Weekly act of courage

Happy Views Day!

I share my weekly, “heart of the matter” for this “Year of Courage Project:”

Best Adult Trip: 2017 Alaska cruise with my Daddy. A stop in Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Canada proved there’s heaven on earth.  

The Butchart Gardens – Over 100 Years in Bloom – Victoria, Canada.

Will work for travel,

Christina

Readers: What do you work for? I welcome your comments!

The Four-Letter “S” word

Happy Views Day!

Thank you for following my one year of weekly “Behind the Scenes” posts. You’ve surprised me with many responses. Keep it up!

This week’s reveal:

Least favorite task: Clothes shopping (I do like grocery shopping).

Readers: your turn! What is your least favorite task?

Courageously,

Christina