Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Violence and Victory

As I near the publishing birthday of my first FROG books in a series, I celebrate with this excerpt from The Frog Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad (available on Kindle and Amazon).  I dedicate it to my soul friend, Elizabeth who courageously practices to live this message every day!

frog hi-res

I’m reading Pastor Joel Osteen’s book, “You Can, You Will.” Pastor Osteen wrote about fixing our minds on a positive default setting. He used the example of a 2007 beauty pageant contestant who slipped and fell as she walked across stage on her way to the evening gown competition.

She was embarrassed, and the audience was unforgiving with their laughs and humiliating comments. Despite this fall, the contestant advanced to the top five for the next competition. Each contestant was to draw a random question out of a hat and answer it. She was asked, “If you could relive any moment of your life over again, what event would you choose?” Instead of verbally stumbling from her most recent fall just minutes before, she responded with her (presumed) practiced answer: she’d go back to Africa to work at the orphanage to see children’s beautiful smiles and feel their hugs.

This story stuck with me because it revealed an area I need practice. I challenge myself to embrace life’s updrafts and maneuver the down winds. Both are necessary for flight. When I read stories from the Bible, victory over violence is featured. David and Goliath’s writer could have supplied graphic detail about an intense search for the perfect sized stones to load David’s sling shot. Instead of concentrating on his projected sweat and blood, the story highlights the win over Goliath.

Noah’s Ark may have showcased the smelly animals and reminded us that the oversized boat had no sanitary waste conditions. Instead the story assures us that God is faithful to His people even after our world floods. Jesus’ birth isn’t a documentary about Mary’s labor pains and delivery process. We read about what death by crucifixion entails, but the Bible is slightly (and graciously) vague about Jesus’ cross. Biblical authors wrote victory into their climax. Those stories weren’t sterile, yet authors didn’t buy the tagline “if it bleeds, it leads.” They chose to maximize the triumph.

I’m accepting Pastor Osteen’s invitation to write and practice the highlights of my experiences. Some of my highlights came from my downfalls. None of our lives are wrinkle free, but we may have less worry lines when we give our focus a facelift. That inner beauty could reduce the fine, or not so fine lines.

Training myself to take in more light, so I can decrease the dark circles around my eyes, Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

THINK ORCHESTRA, NOT SHOTGUN

This FROG Blog is from Tadpoles, an upcoming book in the FROG Blog series featuring food-for-thought in bite size pieces (300 words or less).

Thank you Andreas Wohlfahrt for providing this photo!

person holding baby s feet
Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

Peter and the other apostles replied, “we must obey God rather than human beings” (Acts 5:29).

I was created to write. The world beckons me to market. I author today’s FROG Blog between my third and fourth published books.

I am eager to write reflections from my heart. I’m excited to share stories and appreciate the finished product (after many gritty edits). I want my craft to be discovered through natural conversation flow, not a fixed venue.

The best tip I read about book promotion is, “Think orchestra, not shotgun.” Simple to read, easy to understand. It’s difficult to apply when marketers encourage mass shootings from a shotgun platform approach.

I’m hard pressed to dance to an orchestra when I’m surrounded by shotgun blasts. I’m unsettled by publicizing strategies because I want energy conducting from a harmonious symphony. I strain to hear a melody over network noise.

In Acts 5:29, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than human beings.” In Acts 5:36-39, the story describes Theudas who claimed to be somebody, and 400 men rallied to him.

Later, he was killed, his followers dispersed, and his magnificent claims were denied.
After Theudas, Judas, the Galilean appeared and led people to revolt. He was killed and guess what? His followers scattered too. This scripture was written pre-mass media.

Acts 5:39 concludes, “Leave these men go…if their activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

I work to write value with unselfish motives. I’m adapting to various marketing suggestions and growing to believe God will advertise His heart song for me.

Changing keys and conducting my mind to tune my ear to hear God’s cues,

Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my first book, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear!

**To celebrate, Salvage Soul Press has special pricing on this book until Saturday April 4th through Amazon and Kindle. The direct links are under the Books tab of my website: http://www.gueststarcoaching.com

**If you have already read Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear, it is a birthday present to me when you post your favorite quotes from this book on Amazon, Goodreads or Christina M. Eder-Author Facebook page. Your response helps me to develop workshops and speaking engagement topics.

Thank you for your incredible amounts of support and encouragement for this book that was written on a double-dare to answer, “What do you think about when you run?”

Leaping from the lily pad of life,

Christina

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Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Aim high. Lay low.

photography of hand during sunset
Photo by Bhupendra Singh on Pexels.com

Typically, my social media is limited to Friday on the FROG Blog and Facebook. I share my inspired writing this Monday after some “Knee-Deep Interaction” from this morning: 

Today, I’m exposing my readers to infectious encouragement and a contagious smile. I hope my uplifting enthusiasm will go viral. I’m sending direct contact (electronically) with kindness and believe this supportive message will vaccinate spirits.

I’ll take written precautions to mask against verbal viruses. Trusting that others can test positive for this upbeat energy, no matter what circumstances we face!

Believing in world-wide recovery, healing and restoration,

Christina

 

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Practicing Zowie

Perhaps the best (not easiest) way to follow through on my Zowie adventure is to immediately practice. I handwrite my Creator Chat letters in a journal. This one, for posting purposes, is copied word for word, potentially with errors, but as promised, it is in unedited print. This may (or may not) be part of my future Knee-Deep book.

Readers, thank you for your encouragement and support! Today, I courageously post March 25th’s Creator Chat.

Eyes wide-open, taking big gulps of air as I jump into this life lesson from the lily pad,
Christina

selective focus photography of a mailbox
Photo by Abstrakt Xxcellence Studios on Pexels.com

(In this chat, I reference Teagan, Ellie and Candice, two of our granddaughters and our daughter-in-law.)

Deliverer of all mail,

Thank you for the kindness of our postal service! Teagan, Ellie and Candice mailed us a card and used stickers instead of postage stamps on the envelope.

Someone at the post office had simply written “Postage due=.55, these are not postage stamps.” I don’t know who began this path of kindness, or how many people graciously followed it, but You continued their generous trail. That bright blue envelope traveled from Kentucky to Tennessee on a loan.

Opening the mailbox this morning to find a hand-addressed card to Grams and Gramps was already a treasure. This pay-it-forward delivery loan was like receiving an oversized package overnight expressed to my doorstep, a gift of smiles to my heart.

Please rebound each postal worker’s generosity with Your abundance. Thank you for all people who go the extra mile to show kindness every day.

Signed, sealed and delivered with love from your grateful daughter, Christina.

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Zowie, Part 3 of 3

This is the final piece from my Zowie turn of events on the FROG Blog: Lily Pad of Life Lessons. Part 1 posted March 3. Part 2 posted March 13. 

…year journey of a newly published author. I planned to handwrite them and print a small book diary. I set off in that direction and that’s where divine guidance intersected with zowie.

“Zowie guidance” indicated that instead of writing pieces from my 2019-2021 journals, I would be using my God talks from this nine-month reflection as a launch pad for my Knee Deep book. Knee Deep is to be published before Tadpoles or Poetry Pod.

woman in long sleeve surprised by virtual reality
Photo by Sound On on Pexels.com

A paraphrased response from my “zowie guidance”…

What? You mean some of my Creator Chats may potentially be printed? For the world to access? For the general public to read? To be viewed by most people who don’t even know me? Lord! In no way have I begun this reflective nine-month expedition with the intent to have some of my Creator Chats published!

You know those letters beginning in October contain some insights too powerful for me to comprehend right now. There are recent sucker punches which are too painful to process. Some Creator Chats are so mundane that I could use them as a sleep aid, but not to publish!

God, It’s one thing to practice courage. It’s another thing to be courageously wise. I think You’ve developed enough wisdom in me to refrain from foolishly opening our conversations to possibly guide others! I don’t want people to read me like a book, pun intended. Zowie!

I need to live in the here and now. If I am to honor my Creator and live what FROG represents (Fully Rely on God), then I need to say yes and fulfill my promise. I hear the now. I shudder. I don’t know the later. I shudder at the thought of later. Zowie.

adult air beautiful beauty
Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Sometime after July 16, 2020, I trust that I will review this literary time capsule of conversations with God. For now, I know that whatever transpires between here and now will become part of the Knee Deep book.

For now, I know that I am to continue handwriting my daily Creator Chats and immediately file the letters in my chronologically ordered accordion file (before re-reading, before editing). For now, I know that nearly each letter begins with Thank You. For now, I know the Tadpoles and Poetry Pod projects are resting on the FROG’s lily pad until 2021.

For now, I know I fiercely question this guidance, yet I’m resolved. I know, for now, I’m to continue our chats from the natural undiluted flow of my heart. I am to write for my Audience of One.

For now, I know I struggle to avoid the temptation to filter my Creator Chats. For now, I know I fear He’ll later ask me to write parts of our conversations.

There are more zowie moments from this project realignment. For now, those details may be a story for later. For now, I breathe deeply to post online what will come later.

Word count, in 500 words or less. One word. Zowie.

Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Zowie, Part 2 of 3

The inside story of Zowie in 500 words. Zowie Part 1 is posted on the FROG Blog website and my author page on Facebook (Christina M. Eder-author):

…run. Eight years later, sometimes one sentence at a time, I finished, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear.” I hadn’t titled the book yet. The project generated from a long-time friend’s dare, so I wanted the title to be whimsical and have it published on April Fool’s Day.

Fast forward through a lengthy tedious process, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear” got published April 1st. Thinking the book was my “one and done,” I was shocked when Chris, my publisher asked when the next Life’s Too Short book in the series would be completed. What? Series? Another book? Thinking he was returning my April Fool’s joke, I laughed.

man in blue crew neck shirt wearing black framed eyeglasses
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Speed through 30 minutes of publisher-author dialogue…

Chris suggested modeling my website FROG Blogs to create a book series of the FROG stories. Gulp for air.

Fast forward past another year of endurance work on a lightning-pace project, which included 23 other people writing their FROG story….

FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad, the first of a five-book FROG Blog series, was published May 2019. The second book is on my layout/editor’s desk. Unthawed: Lessons From a Frozen Lily Pad is targeted to launch this spring.

I’m on a three-year schedule to complete the remaining three FROG books. This is where Zowie trumpets its grand entrance in this “adventure.”

According to my (emphasis on my, ahem) plan, #3 of the 5 is a children’s version of FROGS called Tadpoles: Lessons from a Tiny Lily Pad. #4 is Poetry Pod: Free-Spirited Living on a Lily Pad. #5 is Knee Deep, yet to have the subtitle.

I planned to work up enough courage to write Knee Deep, the most vulnerable piece, last. I figured 2022 would allow time for my faith to catch up with action. I wanted to save that “last” book for when I had more book sales, more reviews, more trust, more followers, more…yes, courage.

action adventure challenge climb
Photo by Martin on Pexels.com

I received some “out of this world” direction and it seems my Eleanor Roosevelt Project spirit has taken a vacation. I am to write Knee Deep, not Tadpoles, while waiting for Unthawed to publish. Zowie.

In October 2019, I began a nine-month writing quest. I started handwriting short letters to God because I wanted to do something unique to recognize the pregnancy of our son 30 years ago.

Those letters are meant to be reviewed after this nine-month venture. I planned a retreat after July 16, 2020, our son’s thirtieth birthday, to reflect upon whatever lessons develop during this literary pregnancy.

I’ve written daily Creator Chats since October and immediately file each letter in a chronologically ordered accordion folder. I stash the letters quickly to avoid my tendency to review, edit, judge, or for some chats, take to a dumpster.

I always thought it’d be neat to publish a short, handwritten diary so I planned to write Knee Deep from pieces of my 2019-2022 journals. I planned to copy the entries that related to the three…

To continued 3/20/20,
Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Writing

Zowie!

Zowie!

Professionally speaking, zowie isn’t a preferred word to summarize this twist in the FROG Blog book series. However, zowie is the only word I muster to describe a jaw-dropping-I-didn’t-expect-this-“variation”-and-now-how-on-earth-am-I-going-to-modify-my-plans? How-I-can-I-take-this-sharp-fork-in-the-road-and-not-have-it-feel-like-a-knife-in-my-spleen?

I pause long enough to come up for air and breathe, Zowie.

To honor my 500-word limit of each FROG Blog, I’ll divide this unexpected “adventure” into multiple parts. I’ll write each part of the inside scoop until I reach 500 words and simply end with, “To be continued….” (Technically, it’ll be 503 words, or 504, if you count my signature).

I invite you to enter swirling waters with me as I adapt to the current evolution of these FROG Blog books:

green frog on lily pad
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The FROG Blog began in 2017 during a phase when I felt a sense of internal decay. Unexplained restlessness had become a heavy weight. I hit a temporary face-off with anxiety laden paralysis. I needed to move my courage muscles and realized the only way to strengthen muscles was to use them.

I read Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “When you look fear in the face, you are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along’. We must do that which we think we cannot.”

Newly inspired, I challenged myself to face summer 2017 with one daily act of courage. At the time, confidence was an act because I certainly wasn’t feeling bold or brave.

girl riding black horse
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

(Spoiler alert: if you saw my courageous act list from that summer, some may consider the activities child’s play. For my then chaotic soul, each valiant practice became an act of heroism).

In a future post, I may invite readers to request my “Summer Life as Eleanor Roosevelt Would Live” list. For now, this first installment of candidness will be down payment.

Originally, I referred to my summer Eleanor Roosevelt Project as “Doing one scary thing every day.” After a few days of calling the act “my scary for the day” I realized I was feeding the beast I was trying to starve. I released that trap by redefining scary to adventure.

One of the results from my Eleanor Roosevelt Adventures was hiring someone to establish a website for the FROG Blog. Thanks to a little gal who told me what her FROG bracelet meant, I learned that it was an acronym for Fully Rely On God. FROG Blog was catchy to me and it served as a reminder of my commitment to my Creator.

The FROG Blog launched from my writing studio and I took a lunge of courage to jump onto an unclaimed lily pad. That summer, it seemed that everywhere I looked, frogs appeared in numerous ways, as if reassuring me that I was on the right track.

I was finishing my book, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn-Out Underwear.” The book was originally written to satisfy a dare from a friend who challenged me to write a book about what I think about while I…

To be continued,
Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Happy 9th Birthday!

This week’s FROG Blog is dedicated to Marley Mae, our oldest granddaughter who turns nine tomorrow.

The world gained a kind, creative, generous spirit February 22nd when she was born. Happy 9th Birthday Marley Mae!

(The following is an excerpt from my first FROG Blog book, Learning on a Lily Pad. Available on Amazon and Kindle).

Image may contain: possible text that says 'THE FROG BLOG LEARNING ON A LILY PAD CHRISTINA M. EDER'

There were six months when we didn’t see one of our granddaughters due to various circumstances. This was when I grasped how deeply I love that little cherub. Before you read another bragging grandma story, there’s something that makes this story unique.

I think I was born without that “natural mother gene.” I’m not someone who naturally relates to children until they reach about seventh grade. I absolutely love our son (Marley Mae’s Daddy) and I’m heartbroken to imagine the world without him. The rub is how my parental shortcomings during his early development resemble how I’d approach wild animals….I was more afraid of him than he was of me.

I shied away from committing to parenting because I worried I’d mess up. I had my own issues and didn’t want to expose my pain or risk Todd facing adulthood with the same hang-ups. I hid behind the idea that he deserved more or better than what I could be as a mom. I shrunk behind Tig (husband) who is a born father with temperate spirit. Tig has an incredible blend of  creative play, patience, setting boundaries, and flexibility.

During the summer between Marley Mae’s preschool and kindergarten years, I offered to take her Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I wanted to make my days off from work count. We bought matching pajamas with anticipation for our weekly slumber parties and got recipes to make fruits and veggies fun.  I found children’s community activities, art projects and bible studies to expose her to assorted experiences.

I was getting a second chance at adding value to a young person’s life. I wanted to build the same bullet proof relationship with Marley Mae that Todd and my mom shared. My mom moved to heaven in 2015 and I feared my time would run out to make impact as Grams. I was on fire to implement what experts define as skills for age appropriate development.

This time, as Grams in a parenting role, I mixed fun into learning adventures. We had lost six months with Marley Mae and I didn’t want to waste time on pursuits that I considered fluff (such as imaginative games that didn’t seem to have “real” purpose, according to me).

Frequently, when I’d drive Marley Mae home, I felt short-changed if we didn’t experience each weekly plan. In my quest to make up for the years I fearfully swirled my toe in shallow parenting waters, I was now swinging my foot toward the extreme deep end. My good-hearted agenda was stealing joy of just being with Marley Mae.  Instead of allowing life lessons to organically birth, I labored to give Marley Mae all I had during our visits.

One Tuesday morning before picking up Marley Mae for our weekly overnight, I asked God what He wanted me to teach her most. I didn’t have long to wait for His parenting advice. In my spirit, I immediately heard him tell me that I needed to feed Marley Mae with uplifting loyalty like a slow steady IV drip. God reminded me that there is a root of pride when I think I need to provide all fillers between any gaps I thought she may face.

Instead of feeling condemned that my heart was misaligned, I was grateful for God’s simple correction. It broke the dam to invite pure spirit flow instead of forcing water levels to accommodate the size of my ship. Our visits became like floating on a lazy river under slow moving clouds rather than rowing to beat a thunderstorm. It was a summer of building sand castles, constructing silly stories, and cementing hugs between layers of blanket forts.

A Grams training for more gentle love on the lily pad of life,

Christina

 

 

 

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

SAME LANGUAGE. DIFFERENT STYLES.

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Wes Sims, author of Taste of Change, introduced me to poetry and encouraged me to try it. I’m an amateur in this writing style, but Wes invited me to a poetry critique group this Monday.

If anyone in the Oak Ridge area would like to join us, Wes’s poetry group will be at Panera on Illinois Ave. at 1:00 Monday (February 17th).

I posted my first poetry dabbling on The Frog Blog (January 17th at http://www.gueststarcoaching.com) and venture out to share this Haiku.

Same Language. Different Language. 

One speaks parables.

One speaks science. Both listen.

Communication.

Leaping to swim in new waters of the lily pad on the FROG Blog,

Christina