On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lady Traveler Found her Faith For Forgotten Dreams...have you?

I had a dream to travel the world...
Perhaps because it's Sunday that I find myself thinking on the subject of faith.

Finding Faith For Forgotten Dreams is one of the main themes of my book, Lady and the Sea, so I thought we'd chat about it today.  We all dream.  We all have dreamed (past tense).  We often lay those dreams aside, thinking that our circumstances govern where our dreams will end up ... tucked away in a closet, or tossed away in the trash.  When I was young my dream was to travel the world, but after two failed marriages and two children to raise, I threw that dream aside.  My mistake.  But through the years I have found that by activating these few simple steps, dreams can actually come true ... in God's perfect timing ... not ours.  So here's our little Sunday School lesson:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him...  Hebrews  11:6a

Faith is a combination of several things:

TRUST:  It causes us to say by our actions, "Lord, I trust you.  Your Word says You can be trusted and I believe it."  Faith in God is trust in God.

CONFIDENCE:  Our confidence is not in the abilities or cleverness of man -- but of God.  Faith is confidence that God will keep His promises.

ASSURANCE:  Assurance tells us that God is everything His Word says He is.  It tells us that He is intervening on our behalf.  Faith is assurance.

COURAGE:  Faith is the courage needed to approach God with a list of needs and know He hears our prayers and answers them for His glory and honor ... not ours.  It's the courage to look to the Lord in any time of need and not allow our circumstances to intimidate or dictate to us.

ACTION:  Faith has a passive side.  It can be received as a gift of God, but it also has an active side.  Faith prompts action.  Hebrews 11:33 tells us that faith subdued, faith worked, faith obtained, and faith even stopped the mouth of lions.

Until I put my faith into action in my own life, these were only words not understood in my mind.  Faith in action allows your heart and mind to see the fullness of the Lord working in your behalf.  How exciting is that?  The living God hears us, listens to us, and answers us ... all in His perfect timing.  My life is a testimony of God's faithfulness ... my dream of traveling the world for God came true and you can read my story in my novel, Lady and the Sea.

In the days ahead, let's all begin to live by faith in a more alive, exciting way!  Until next time...

Istanbul, Turkey 2008
I wish you smooth sailing and 
oceans of faith for those forgotten dreams!

On board Restoration 1995
Stockholm, Sweden

Lady Traveler sight-sees in Savannah

Oldest oak tree in Savannah
I can hear Ray Charles singing that old sweet song, "Georgia" as we make our way down Interstate-95, heading for Savannah.  This is our second visit since moving to South Carolina seven years ago, and I make a mental note that we must return every year.  Savannah is my favorite southern town, so I couldn't think of a better place to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary.  If you have been to Savannah, then you know what I'm talkin' about.

Rob and I feasted on scrumptious shrimp and grits, low country boil, prime rib ... well, you get the picture.
Crab-filled sauteed mushroomies
We took a carriage ride at dusk, strolled the river front at twilight...
My new friends

We dined overlooking the river and lighted bridge

and walked on the beach at Tybee Island and Edisto Island.
Tybee Island, GA

Edisto Island, SC

We had a wonderfully fabulous anniversary, but what made it so special for me is that I was with my prince charming, the man who God sent to me at just the right time in my life.  Together, we have made a wonderful life together.  Whether we're on the other side of the world, or relaxing in our cottage-style home on the golf course, we are two happy Leafs, blowing in the wind, wondering where we will land next.  

Until next time, I wish you a smooth sailing 4th of July and oceans of blessings.

May your footsteps set you upon a lifetime journey of love.  
May you wake each day with His blessings and sleep each night in His keeping.  
And may you always walk in His tender care.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day to those near...and far.

My handsome Daddy

Today is a special day to honor the special men in our lives...our fathers.  Like me, there are many of you who have lost your fathers, so this is the day we linger over the heartwarming memories of them.

This is the first Father's Day that I won't be calling my Daddy, which feels very strange.  He's with his heavenly Father now.  That is my comfort.  But today I will celebrate all the years of fun, laughter, adventure, and love that he gave me.  Most of those memories he probably forgot over the years.  But I haven't.  I hold them close to my heart.

For those of you who still have your fathers, be sure to make them feel special; it doesn't take much ... a visit, a phone call, a little gift or an endearing card.

Here's wishing a Happy Father's Day to those we still have in our lives.  Our brothers.  Uncles.  Step-fathers.  Fathers-in-law.

Happy Father's Day and oceans of blessings to all!

Daddy & me in Zion Nat'l Park 2010

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lady Traveler, the painting

"Lady Traveler"
We had just moved from Southern California to South Carolina in the summer of 2006. 
Rob had to fly back to California to finish up details in Huntington Beach.  
Tired of unpacking, and weary from my latest case of writer's block on my novel, 
Lady and the Sea, 
I decided to take a few hours off to explore and stroll the local mall.  
That is when I came across a lovely painting in an art studio, titled 
Lady Traveler.

As I stood gazing at Lady Traveler
I felt inspired. I sighed.
"She is me." 
I had traveled the world.  I loved hats. And I was a lady.  
I knew if Lady Traveler were hanging somewhere in my new home, 
she would inspire me to complete my book.
So when Rob returned, I took him to the little art shop and showed him the painting. 
He smiled.  "That is you.  We must buy it."

Do you have a dream that needs a little inspiration?  
Are you finding yourself at a crossroads and asking yourself, 
shall I just drop the whole idea OR 
shall I continue pursuing my dream?

I hit the wall many times as I pursued writing Lady and the Sea.  
Was this book part of my destiny? Part of of my DNA?  
Was it a life-changing project?  Perhaps.
But how would I know until I completed this task-at-hand?  
Through hours of toiling at my computer, laptop, iPad, anything that I could write on, 
I continued on until ...

... September 2011 -- my D-day of publication!  
I was estatic!  I was thrilled!  
I stood next to Lady Traveler and clutched my first copy of Lady and the Sea.
We did it!
Then I launched my Lady into the world.  
And that's when my world slowly changed.  
Receiving emails, phone calls from as far away as Norway, Sweden, 
telling me how Lady had given them faith for forgotten dreams.  
Two women completed and published their books because of my words of encouragement.  
I can't even remember their exact words I spoke to them, but who cares?  
They know.  God knows.

I'm sharing this with you to say,  
Don't give up on your dream.
You have a special gift that can touch others.  
You may think it's small, but that gift is very BIG in the eyes of God.

Your dream may be to reach out to help others. 
To help people live a healthier life. 
To feed the poor.  To paint, or to start a blog or ... write a book!?! 
 My word to you is GO FOR IT!
Be a Dream Maker.  
Take baby steps, keep taking them, and before long, 
you'll find your dream unfolding before your very eyes.  
Your challenges and your passion will take you to the finish line!
Until next time, I want to leave you with two verses that 
encouraged me on days when I was discouraged and asked, 
"God, did you really call me to write my story?"

That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.  
Psalm 26:7

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publish peace...that publish salvation; that sayeth to Zion, Thy God reigneth!  
Isaiah 52:7

Happy days while writing in Belize

My Lady, my dream