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!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lady Traveler's wRiter's Fog...oops...wRiter's Blog

Taking a moment to relax at a 3-day writer's conference at The Cove
Asheville, NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains

I just returned from my first 3-day writer's conference 
in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC.  
The speakers were inspiring and informative.  
The 15-minute appointments I had with authors and other 
high profile persons in the publishing industry were priceless.  
Oh yes, and the food was delicious.  
The dilemma was, I was so busy chatting that 
I left most of my meals on my plate (don't tell the chef!).

Now, I am back home in my cozy little office,
trying to gather my thoughts and get organized.  
*lots of deep breaths*  
Where do I start?  
Lets see, place all of the business cards I collected in a 
pile next to my iMac (will correspond shortly); 
separate paperwork, toss junk paper in trash can, 
re-read my critique from best-selling author Yvonne Lehman, 
and ... hey, isn't that enough for now?  
The one thing I keep reminding myself: 
take one step at a time.  
Enjoy the journey.  Enjoy the moment.  

That goes for all of you, whether you're a writer, an artist, 
a stay-at-home mom, a career gal.  *another deep breath*

If we don't come apart and rest awhile,
we may just plain come apart!

I went to the conference to receive 
direction for my upcoming novel, 
Lady on the Run.  
But what amazed me was 
the reaction I received when I mentioned my published novel, 
Lady and the Sea.  
I could feel the anointing as I shared about 
the WWII ship MS Restoration and 
her mission to transport Russian Jews from
 Sochi, Russia to Haifa, Israel.  
People want to know her story.  
I believe that Lady and the Sea is still in her beginning stages.  Breakthrough is coming.

I'm thankful for the experience at Writer's Conference Boot Camp for infantry and officer levels.  
I'm considered an officer but I learned from both levels.  
I can't express my gratitude enough
for those who made this possible.  
This southern belle is very thankful these days.  
I'm resting in the knowledge that God is guiding my journey.

May you rest in His peace, 
knowing that no matter where you are in your journey,
 God is walking beside you.  
Stay close to your DreamMaker --  
He has more dreams for you to experience.

A large fire awaits,
upstairs, downstairs.
Coffee and chatting galore.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
Psalm 23:2-3

I wish you oceans of blessings and smooth sailing!

Sharon Leaf

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Valentine for All Seasons

Sacred Love

Greater love has no one than this
than to lay down one's life
for his friends.
John 15:13

Valentine's Day is a
Special day
to celebrate those you love
in your own sentimental way.

Whether this day finds you with
a valentine,
or if you're all alone,
there is Someone
who is always there.
His name is Jesus. 
And He gave us His
priceless gift of
Pure Love.

Open your Bible,
then read the book of John
to find this endless love
that passes all understanding.

When we look to others for love, solace, wisdom, and happiness, we can sometimes be disappointed.  Jesus never fails.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  It is man who changes, and who tries to change His simple message.  

Keep your eyes on the One who loves you more than life itself.  He proved it by dying on a cross.  No strings attached.  Just invite Him into your heart.  That is real freedom.

As I suggested, read the book of John.  And I guarantee, you won't stop there.  

Oceans of blessings to all my sweet family, friends, and fans ... and Valentines!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

To Sochi, With Love ~ Part 2

The Sea of Marmara, Istanbul, Turkey,
Near the entrance to the Black Sea on our way to Sochi, Russia

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia begins this week.  Anticipation is in the air for many reasons and I plan to be watching in the comfort of my living room.  But there was an event  in 1995 that transported me out of my living-room-comfort-zone, to a place I had never heard of before: Sochi, Russia.

Rob and I in crew uniforms on deck ofWWII ship MS Restoration
 Athens, Greece, last port before arriving in Sochi, Russia
June 1995
As I mentioned in my last blog, I am including an excerpt from my book, Lady and the Sea, that tells of my own personal moments of anticipation when the WWII ship, MS Restoration, arrives in the Sochi Harbor.  It is the moment the crew has been anticipating for fourteen months.  Now, one morning before the break of dawn, we are finally at the Sochi dock, picking up the Chosen Eight, as we endearingly named our beloved passengers. I truly believe these eight Russian Jews were hand-picked by God to make the five-day Breakthrough Journey from the Black Sea to Israel.  Now, for a few moments, travel back in time ...

Excerpt from Chapter 46:

... The crew held out their hands to greet the Chosen Eight as they walked carefully up the gangway.  The captain's wife shook the hands of each man, and wrapped her arms around each woman as if she were welcoming an old friend to her home.
     "Welcome to the Restoration," Tina said.
      They smiled and shyly answered, "Spasibo."
     Tina took the stewards aside and gave them specific instructions, as if she had done this many times.  
    "We cannot imagine what our passengers are thinking and feeling as they leave the port.  We must allow them personal time and space.  They are leaving their homeland and are wondering about this Promised Land they have heard so much about."
     The Restoration pulled away from the dock as the new day broke.  Silently, a mother held her daughter as they watched the shoreline fade from sight.  A family of four stood together, holding onto the ship rail and to each other.  An older couple, with arms wrapped around each other and tears streaming down their faces, made small conversation in their native tongue.
     Rosie and Tina watched from the balcony.  "Now I see with my eyes what this ship is all about," Rosie said as her own tears fell to the deck.  "It's about these eight brave souls."
     "Yes, the Chosen Eight.  But this is only the beginning.  Many more will follow.  As the Bible predicts, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will guide them out of the darkness, into the light. and to a life they have only dreamed about until now."
     Rosie put her arm around Tina.  "And this is what your dream is all about."
     "Yes, this is my dream come true.  And what is your dream, Rosie?"
     "When I was a young girl, my dream was to travel the world with Jesus, and with the man I love.  Now, as I am participating in this prophesy on this ship, my dream is coming true."
     Together, the two dreamers cried tears of joy.

Our tiny one-room cabin
WWII ship MS Restoration May 1994 to July 1995
Notice fan & stereo at foot of our bed; shortwave radio next to Rob's pillow;
Reading lights hooked on metal headboard
The good life.
We all have our moments of anticipation, especially when we are right smack dab in the middle of that moment.  Have no fear; know that God has placed you there for a purpose.  Then when you look back, you too might want to write about it.  If not a book, how about a short story to give to your family--so they won't forget.  Or at least a note to yourself in your journal--so you won't forget.  Believe me, time has a way of filling the brain with so much stuff that it sometimes pushes the important events out.

~ You cannot discover new oceans until 
you are willing to lose sight of the shore ~

Until next time, I wish you oceans of blessings!