What Do You Do to Get into the Christmas Spirit?

christmas-spirit
I love Christmas! I love the reason for the season, celebrating Jesus’ birth and all the excitement that goes along with it. I love the joy the season brings. There’s something special in the air! People are kinder, and it seems that Christmas somehow ushers in an expectation of hope — something new and wonderful for the year to come!

christmas-spiritI also love many of the fun things people do to get into the Christmas spirit, such as decorating Christmas trees, hanging bright colorful lights, baking special holiday treats, and playing those wonderful classic Christmas songs.

What will you do this year to get into the Christmas spirit?

The single most favorite thing I’ve done to get into the Christmas spirit happened a few years ago. It was so much fun, I don’t know why I haven’t done it again. Myself and a few of the ladies who serve in the children’s ministry with me at church decided to do a Christmas movie night. I hosted the event at my home. I can hear those of you who know me say in unison, “Naturally!” 🙂

The menu included popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, movie size candy, and sodas. Since it was a grownup gathering — and to make it festive, I served a sparkling champagne punch. Yum!

christmas-spirit The main event was our movie! We chose “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Although it’s been colorized, we watched it in black and white. I’ve seen this great classic several times, but it always delivers!

If anything can get you in the Christmas spirit, it’s watching this heart-warming story. I think I’ll watch it tonight. 🙂

Hey, drop me a line or two and tell me what you’re going to do to get into the Christmas spirit, or what you’ve already done. I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Catherine

Changing Seasons – What Can They Tell Us About Life?

During my devotion this morning, I looked out of my bedroom window as I’ve done hundreds of times before, and observed something I’d never noticed before. I’ve lived in my home for more than twenty years, and about ten years ago we planted a Texas Ash tree in the middle of the backyard.

Seasons-changing

My Texas Ash Tree

It’s a fast growing tree which has grown to about 45 or 50 feet, or taller. During the Spring and Summer it produces an abundance of beautiful deep green leaves.

With it being Fall, and fast approaching Winter, most of the leaves have turned a golden-yellow. What I noticed today that I hadn’t noticed previously were the “falling” leaves.

I watched for fifteen or twenty minutes transfixed at how the leaves were dropping intermittently — as though timed. One. Two. Three at a time they dropped. It was as though each would say, “My turn!” then let go and sail to the ground like a skilled cliff diver.

Within the next two to three weeks, the tree will be dormant and the branches completely bare of leaves. But, like clockwork, when March rolls around buds will start to sprout and by Spring the tree will be full of lush green leaves once again!

As I continued to watch, it occurred to me that a few life lessons could be gleaned from observing the effects of changing seasons. Here are a few of my musings:

As with this great tree, we too experience seasons of life.

The seasons are different. Some are painful and difficult. Others are pleasurable and fun. Each is temporary, and if we recognize them as seasons, we can approach and deal with them more effectively.

There comes a time when we have to shed some things in our lives to allow a fresh start.

This shedding could take the form of a person(s), things we’ve accumulated, bad habits we engage in, or baggage we’ve been holding on to for far too long. The shedding could take the form of emotions, anger or bitterness. If we forgive, we can free ourselves from negative emotions weighing us down.

As the leaves are falling, it appears the tree is dying. But, in the Spring, it will become beautiful once more!

When our lives are falling apart, it seems we can’t make it. But we can. And when we come through the storm we are stronger and better because of it. But just like the tree has a source of life in which its roots are deeply embedded, we must have a source of life in which our faith is deeply embedded. What is your source?

Sometimes we must be transformed before we can experience our best selves, and receive God’s best blessings in our lives.

What life lessons can you extract from changing seasons? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Catherine

Fierce Women Who Happen to be Authors – A Conversation with Sue Latham

Just in time for Halloween, I’d like to introduce to you the fourth author in my Fierce Women series Fierce Woman Paranormal author Sue Latham. Sue is the author of two novels The Haunted House Symphony and The Science Professor’s Ghost. In our conversation, Sue talks about the ghosts in her stories and ghosts in real life. She shares an interesting story of paranormal activities she observed on a particular ghost hunting expedition with her Ghost Hunting Group.

fierce-women Sue also talks about her experience as a writer and shares great writing advice for aspiring writers perfectly timed for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Sue has traveled extensively. And in Europe, she walked in the footsteps of Beethoven, Mozart, Einstein and Van Gogh and was once blessed by the Pope.

Join me for a “spooky” yet fascinating conversation with Sue Latham!

Sue’s books can be found on Amazon.com.

The song featured in this post is called “Neo Soul Day” by Texas Radio Fish.

Dallas Area Writers Group (DAWG) NaNoWriMo Write-In!

So, you want to write the next great American novel? Well, what better time to get started than National Novel Writing Month, the month of November. In honor of National Novel Writing Month, DAWG will be hosting a three-hour NaNoWriMo Write-In to help you jumpstart your novel-writing project!

NaNoWriMo

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to complete a 50,000 word manuscript during the month of November, beginning November 1 and ending at 11:59 P.M. on November 30th.

Obviously three hours won’t be enough time to complete your novel, but you’ll have the entire month of November to finish your project, and over time you can hone and polish it into something great!

DAWG will provide a quiet writing environment and refreshments. So come on out, be among friends and writing enthusiasts, and get started on that novel you’ve always wanted to write.

The Write-In is free and open to the public, but registration is required for planning purposes. Go to www.dallaswriters.org to register.

Time & Location

Saturday, November 4, 2017 12:30 – 3:30 P.M.

DeSoto Civic Center Library Assembly Hall
211 East Pleasant Run Road
DeSoto, TX 75115

I look forward to seeing you there!

Catherine

Fierce Women Who Happen to be Authors – A Conversation with Deondriea Cantrice

I am so excited to introduce to you Deondriea Cantrice, one of the most dynamic women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Deondriea is a true success story! And I’m honored to include her in my Fierce Women series.

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Statistics would have told you Deondriea would be a high school dropout living on welfare. That’s because Deondriea was a teen-mom. Despite having this life-changing event as a major obstacle to overcome, Deondriea persevered to become a celebrated author, motivational speaker, and youth coach.

Deondriea is also a marketing maven who has been able to not only build her brand, but she has been able to assist others in building a sustainable brand as well.

Deondriea was awarded the Distinction of Excellence Award by Stiletto Woman in Business Award (SWIBA) in 2014 and named a finalist for the SWIBA Author of the Year in 2014. She is intelligent, hardworking, and everything she does is done in excellence!

Please join me for an enthralling conversation with Deondriea!

Deondriea’s books can be found on Amazon.com:

Tip Toes, Steel Toes and Stilettos, Rhythm Can’t Keep Time, When Emotions Lie, After the Rain, Write and Grow Rich, You! Branding Yourself for Success!

The song featured in this post is called “Neo Soul Day” by Texas Radio Fish.

Fierce Women Who Happen to Be Authors – A Conversation with Author Arianne “Tex” Thompson

In today’s segment of Fierce Women Who Happen to Be Authors, I’m talking with multi-talented, multifaceted author Arianne “Tex” Thompson. A home-grown success story, Tex is the author of Children of the Drought, an internationally published epic fantasy Western series. Tex talks candidly about her writing journey, her successes and some of the unexpected pitfalls of writing and publishing. I have to tell you, I had a blast talking with Tex! Join us now for a fun and engaging conversation!

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Tex’s novels One Night in Sixes, Medicine for the Dead, and Dreams of the Eaten can be found on Amazon.com.

The song featured in this post is called “Neo Soul Day” by Texas Radio Fish.