SLOW AND READY

The Lord said to his people: “You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. Ask where the old, reliable paths are. Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it. If you do, you will find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not follow it!” (Jer. 6:16, NET).

“Where and how do you find your wisdom?” I was shocked to be asked this question from an older woman. Oddly, we weren’t having any divine conversation when she asked how I gain wisdom. 

I wish I had some profound discovery or earth-shaking answer, but I told her I believe wisdom comes when I choose low concentration, quiet activities. I blend productivity with silence that rest my mind and open my ears. These are my most practiced examples:

-Vacuuming

-Brushing dogs

-Mowing grass

-Walking

-Listening to nature sounds, outdoors and on CD’s

-Laying down to watch the sky, sometimes on a blanket, sometimes in the open hatch of my car

-Closing my eyes and gently observing one sensory experience: smell, sound, texture, air

-Carrying pen and paper (99% of the time) to write what I consider vital observations

-Reading small segments at a time. I remind myself that I can only absorb so much before becoming exhausted. I take bite sized pieces rather than gulp chunks of data.

These low impact exercises lead to a gamut of productive discovery. The dogs get brushed, floors are clean, grass is mowed, and I get fresh air exercise. I appreciate frequent eye breaks from screens and fast-moving stimuli. My head clears.

These non-structured activities invite me to hear what my soul wants. It listens to what my spirit needs. God chooses to use these seemingly “mindless’ actions to provide abundant benefits, including peace, rest and open channels for fresh water to flow inside. I didn’t set out seeking for this inner spa, but I leave these activities feeling pampered.

As long as grass and dog hair keep growing, I anticipate further insight. Until floors clean themselves or nature’s movement stops, I have sources to gather understanding.

From a contemplative lily pad,

Christina

Mindful Midwest Missions

Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator (Frog Blog)

I’m in the Midwest this summer on a mission trip and book promo tour. I’m promoting my latest release, “Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator” and three previous books (titles listed on www.gueststarcoaching.com). Tadpoles and Poetry Pod from the FROG Blog series are slated to publish this year.

Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad (F.R.O.G. Blog)

My book Unthawed includes 12 writers, mostly from the Midwest, so I’ve gotten to visit several of them. Conversations have involved professionals and entrepreneurs and I frequently hear their need for a writer or proofreader.

Business professionals say they want a pay-per-job assistant because they have limited budgets or lack consistent work to afford a regular employee. They want personalized content but dread the writing portion, so their projects have been delayed or stopped.

During this trip, I’ve also heard how my handwritten cards and notes have impacted people. Some memories came from messages I wrote years ago. With these observations, I’ve decided to expand my writing studio to invite clients who need one-time or short term written assignments.

Beginning August 1st, I’ll offer to write 100-700-word pieces or one-time small jobs. I’m using my personal network for referrals for people who want blogs, creative product descriptions, email responses, etc. Based on project response, I’m willing to expand my writing territory accordingly.  

Some recent fun job offers include being hired to hand address 200 envelopes for a business owner’s marketing campaign. Another client has asked me to handwrite wedding gift thank you notes. Who would have thought that years of practicing cursive writing would pay off? Literally.

I leap into new waters and ask you to jump on the dreams and missions you are created for!

Christina

AND THE PASSWORD IS…

Friday is my online marketing day. This morning, before work, I read James 4:13-James 5:5. The verse begins with not boasting about tomorrow, making plans, or making money. Marketing is my least favorite part of writing and owning two small businesses.

God knows and supplies all my necessities, yet I need to wisely utilize resources. Marketing tools are part of those resources. I sometimes become preoccupied about tomorrow’s plans, tomorrow’s budget.

I paused to chuckle when I read James 5:5, “You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.” Just yesterday, when I logged onto the computer, I had to reset a password and remember a handful of other codes simply to begin my workday.

Mid-frustration, I thought, “Christina, if you didn’t have a computer, internet, electricity or health to do your job, passwords would become a mute-point.” If the author James had been listening to my woes, I wonder if he’d consider my irritation as a result from living in luxury and self-indulgence.

What if I don’t have tomorrow? What if I didn’t have today’s luxury of technology? How would I modify my plans and priorities today? I believe I’d be changing more than a password!

Lord, install updates to include actions that line up with Your password. Help me access Your codes. You have programmed me to be an author and encourager for You. Remind me now, not later, that You are the Universe’s Mainframe.

Updating, updating, updating from the lily pad of life,

Christina

Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14). 

You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence…” (James 5:5)

BONUS!

Thank you to Rita M. Reali, internationally awarded author, who featured my latest book, “Knee Deep” in her weekly “Persnickety Proofreader” column.

I encourage you to check out the other talented authors who write a variety of genres.

The bi-weekly FROG Blog will follow on Friday, Christina

A Celebration of Independence… from Big Publishers | The Persnickety Proofreader (wordpress.com)

ROUTINE or RUT-INE?

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Col. 3:23 NLT).

I’ve noticed when I allow myself to settle into comfortable patterns, I sometimes fall into ruts. My routine becomes “rut-tine” when I remove the “o” factor (“oh!”)

Schedules and parameters are vital for harmony. However, I live less enthusiastically when I’m bound, and sometimes gagged, by stringent boundaries that I establish for myself. My creative nature shrivels and my spirit withers under lethargic rubble.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pexels-photo-1076999.jpeg

I was crafted to be colorful. My Creator continually wows me with new books, interactions, and ideas. What would life be like if I had the same conversation with the same person about the same topic every day? How would our world respond to year-round winter or constant wind?

I serve a creative God, so I believe He wants me to share His creativity through variety. His Word is eternally true, and He chooses assorted ways to present His standards. I’ve discovered that when I follow God, my routine is anything but routine. He won’t allow my routine to become rut-tine if I remain aware of His movements.

Paul tells us in Colossians that we are to work willingly at whatever we do. I am working for the One who made me. He designed us with complexity to work collectively. That intricacy allows me to handle life’s surprises when I’m willing to anticipate the “oh” factor. 

Lord, thank you for guidelines. Thank you for placing structure around our world. Urge me to expect the unexpected. Help me embrace change and teach me to work willingly with You so that my routine doesn’t become rut-ine..

Leaping from the lily pad of life, FROG paddling around the pond,

Christina

PUBLISHED VULNERABILITY


My most vulnerable writing project has been published! Knee Deep is now on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Kindle version will be available soon. We are addressing a growth opportunity in layout and formatting.

Link for hard copy follows:

Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator (Frog Blog): Eder, Christina M: 9781734659627: AmazonSmile: Books

Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator (Frog Blog)

Christina

COMMITTED

Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established (Prov. 16:3).

When I accepted my call to write for an Audience of One, I immersed myself in oceans of topics. I couldn’t swim fast enough to catch all inspirational waves. Ideas flowed, creativity flooded, and I wrote copious amounts of work.

Writing fulfills many of my inner cravings. I script joy, pain, frustration, organizational plans, and reflection. I connect with fellow authors to brainstorm and consider future project partnerships.

After committing to full time publishing and tutoring aspiring writers, I learned marketing ropes. I got offers to coach new authors. I received writing jobs. My life coaching business increased.

Prior to writing and publishing full time, I’d take myself on weekly half-day field trips. I’d go to a café and write. Sometimes I’d include a nature walk after a lengthy lunch. Sometimes I’d stop by a bookstore or library.

Fast forward three years. I’m waiting for my next book, Knee Deep, to hit the shelves. I notice currents are changing around my FROG’s lily pad. The water seems to flow more rapidly. Additional streams have poured into what used to be a peaceful literary ocean. 

There’s a salty bite to the water that once nourished me. I’m living somewhat of an oxymoron—fast pace, slow erosion. Writing that once refreshed me ushers a restless tension I hadn’t encountered when I was in my creative writing zone.

It’s time to swim to Shore, to catch my breath. I leaped into my literary calling by faith and have allowed the world’s sharks and plankton to entangle me.

I jumped as a small pond FROG into a publishing ocean. I’ve found my best treasures while writing in lazy river settings and slow-moving streams. It’s time to reconnect with my Lifeguard and paddle through a no wake zone.

Moving gently,

Christina

TO BEGIN. TO END.

May be a cartoon of text

If you have followed the story behind Knee Deep; A 9-month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator, you’ll know this is my most courageous work to publish.

I included a Knee Deep excerpt in May and was somewhat relieved when I found out that instead of the anticipated May release, Knee Deep will be in stores in June or July.

Ironically, I’m leaving for a discernment period when Knee Deep will be published. You can read, in 300 words or less, trip details at ELABORATE OR ELIMINATE – G.U.E.S.T. Star Life Coaching (gueststarcoaching.com) I promise I didn’t tamper with the delayed publication date to align with my departure time.

Technology will be limited. Electronic access may or may not be available. I know these factors are part of my journey. The FROG Brand is being tested in new waters. It’s a deeper level of FULLY Relying On God. Whoo FROGgie!

Thank you for your support, patience and encouragement during this excavating and clearing process. I leap in faith, Christina

SPRING PEEPERS

I’ve written FROG Blogs as lessons from a lily pad image. Yesterday I discovered literal frogs.

I walked a lake trail to a tranquil spot to write. I stopped at a sitting space that turned out to be different than my anticipated quiet. I became aware of a loud siren that sounded like an ambulance. I waited to begin writing until the ambulance passed. I waited. And waited. The siren wasn’t moving. Had the driver stopped at a nearby accident site and left his siren on?

The longer this siren continued, the more irritated I became. I tried praying my way through restlessness. “Thank God I don’t need that ambulance. Keep the emergency workers focused. Please calm the injured people.” I remained agitated because I wanted to write in peace.

Meanwhile, another hiker walked past, and I commented on the siren. He laughed and said, “Ma’am, that’s not an ambulance, those are spring peepers!” He chuckled as he continued walking the trail.

Spring peepers? What on earth are spring peepers? Thanks to the National Wildlife Federation (Spring Peeper | National Wildlife Federation (nwf.org)) I learned that spring peepers are small tree frogs, camouflaged to look like tree bark. They hide under leaves and are rarely seen, but during mating season, these one-inch paper clip sized frogs are vocal.

They are classified as chorus frogs. These amphibians became headliners for my spring concert at the lake. I was astonished at how they joined in perfect chorus to sing endless sonnets. During the hour I wrote, the frogs made no key changes, melody shifts or took breath breaks.

I pictured all creation being as persistent as spring peepers in a unified quest. I visualized individual voices uniting to sing and celebrate eternal performances.

Pitching another tune from the FROG blog,

Christina 

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small” (Ps. 104:24-25).

DON’T GO THERE

“Don’t even go into the village.” Jesus spoke this after he restored a blind man’s sight. The gospel writer Mark doesn’t indicate how this man responded to Jesus’s instruction.

Did the man stay out of the village? Did he tell his closest friends? I try to imagine being healed from blindness and my view was Jesus in person! What did this man see when he first opened his eyes?

In Mark 8:22-24, he explains that this man’s friends took him to Jesus.  Jesus led him outside of town, spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him. Jesus asked the blind man what he saw. The man said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes again. This time, when the blind man opened his eyes, he saw clearly.

What happened during the first and second time when Jesus told him to open his eyes? Did Jesus and the man sit in silence? Did he ask Jesus to try again? What did the man’s friends do while they waited?

I visualize how I’d respond in this scenario. I’ve worn glasses or contact lenses since I was in seventh grade. As I’ve aged, my eyesight has diminished but God has granted a sort of Lasix surgery for my soul. Like this blind man, I experience waiting time. Sometimes my resolution takes multiple times for Jesus to “lay his hands on my eyes” and I take it to heart.

When I gain His depth perception, it’s up to me to refocus and train my eyes to see through Jesus’ lens. He strengthens my sight and allows me to remain in His village to share His news.

Seeking foresight and greater focus for my inner vision,

Christina

“Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Don’t even go into the village’” (Mark 8:25-26 NIV).