A Pioneer in a Field

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Shoot for the Moon

Quote by: Norman Vincent Peale

Have you read the debut novel by Amy Brill, The Movement of Stars? I just finished it and enjoyed a book club discussion of the publication with a group of United Methodist women.

Knowing so little about astronomy, when I first began reading Brill’s novel I was concerned that I may not be able to get through the astronomical details. How wrong I was. I became quickly involved in the relationship of the two main characters whose lives intersected. They seemed to have a deep understanding of one another due to parallel themes that ran throughout their lives. Both were strangers in a strange land, each deemed by their culture to be a people who should be denied to dream and excel.

As I became involved in the narrative, I  could see how necessary the astronomical details were to the heart of the story. Brill’s writing about the planetary world was written as tightly as possible to convey the story of a well-rendered fictional personality based on a real life person, Maria Mitchell. She was a pioneer in her field, the first professional woman astronomer.

I felt the author did an admirable job of crafting an historical novel and I would argue with some reviewers who said “the central character was too staid.” After all, she was a Quaker who the author aptly portrayed with the values of her culture.

5 star

This blog is brought to you by the author of the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.



A Special Evening

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A woman …Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” ~ Diane Mariechild

“How was it?” my husband asked as I walked in the door from being out for the evening.

“Lovely, simply, lovely. From the candlelit church, to the great food, to the stories read and carols we sang. It was well attended. About 50 other community ladies came to the event,” I replied. “I enjoyed all of it.”


The “Women of Christmas” was hosted last week by the United Methodist Women of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It was a very special evening. At the center of the event were readings from a book with the same name, staring characters Elizabeth, Anna and Mary. As stories were read I reflected upon the characteristics these three admirable women carried. I’ve seen many of these like qualities in my friends and acquaintances that I have encountered throughout in my life journey.

women of christmas Elizabeth, Mary and Anna, all ladies of yore, were written about in the Bible. The author, Liz Curtis Higgs beautifully crafted stories that are relevant for women of today. Although I have heard the Christmas tale so many times over, I will now look at the story and the characters with an enlightened perspective.

As part of the evening I was so pleased to see a woman, Katherine, who is 90 years of age be recognized for her work within our church. She was given the gift of a pin with a little star sapphire, not nearly equal to her value to our community but still a beautiful gesture.

I’d like to thank the United Methodist Women for a wonderful evening. A lot of work went into the event.I am grateful I attended.

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.











Community of Blessings


Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world… It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

Last summer I mentioned to my mother and sister the fact that the harvest season does not seem to be as decorated in the West as in the East. “Perhaps that’s because Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, the place of the landing of the Pilgrims, is geographically closer, so the season of fall is more celebrated. But, I really don’t know what it is,” I admitted.

On Sunday I arrived at the doors of my church and found it beautifully decorated for the fall season. The blessings of community and sermons of life lessons, relevant to today’s world, are always inside these church doors.

IMG_20151011_084245_836 Reflections last week from the Rev. Tim Selby included the question “And How Are the Children?”  Unfortunately in this day and age with all of the incidents in schools we can’t confidently answer “All are safely gathered in.”IMG_20151011_084455_846

By the end of the sermon each and everyone of us hoped our prayers would be heard as we sang the closing hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

If you wish to hear the words of the message, keep your eye on the church website where recordings of each Sunday’s lessons are always posted.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Lessons of Heart and Soul.

Do You Have the Answer?

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When we can’t piece together the puzzle of our own lives, remember the best view of a puzzle is from above. Let Him help put you together.” ~ Terri Guillemets

Did you see the images of the two churches posted on yesterday’s blog called Where is this Place? If not, scroll down to view them or follow this link.

Today, I’ll share a few more pictures to help in your quest to solve the puzzle. The images from Edifice #1 are all taken from the exterior surrounds of the structure, except for one. The grounds are beautiful, immaculate and a very peaceful place to visit. Where is it?



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All of the images of Ediface #2 (below) were taken inside the structure. Although the exterior of the building is impressive, more stunning are the interior colors, the icons, the painted ceilings and walls.  The interior is as awesome  as some of the greatest cathedrals of Europe.

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If you know where these two churches are located, hurry and comment on this blog. The first person to correctly identify the names of these places of worship wins a complimentary copy of my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The answers will be revealed tomorrow morning on All Things Fulfilling.



Where is this Place?

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All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that place.~ Philip Johnson

Identify both of these places and the city where they are located. Leave your answer by way of comment to this blog. First person to identify accurately these two houses of worship will win a free personalized paperback copy of the award-winning book, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Family members are excluded from entering!


  • They are located in a state west of the Mississippi
  • Each place is distinctively different yet, they are located in the same community, a few blocks away on the same street, making them nearly neighbors!
  • I can hear your brain buzzing with activity trying to figure this out!
  • I visited both of these places last week and thoroughly learning more about each and enjoyed the photography opportunities.

Edifice #1 – I am so grateful for the kind stranger who directed my husband and me to the 10th floor of  a nearby building to capture this incredible shot!

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Edifice #2 (below) – As I entered into this building I couldn’t help but wonder how many people every hour, every day, every month or year pass by this structure having no clue of the magnificence that lies inside the doors. All it takes is one peek to grab one’s attention.

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Aren’t both visually and architecturally stunning? If you joined in on All Things Fulfilling last week, by reading the posting Finding a Good Fit and if you read my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected you’ll understand the reason why I enjoy seeing church buildings. It has to do with my family history!

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I will post a few more pictures of these two extraordinary places.




Good Friday Travels

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Easter is God’s blessing to the world. It is his way of telling us that, love and hope, still exists in the world. ~ Unknown

Today, on Good Friday a processional walk, a spiritual reenactment, will begin at the Colosseum in Rome and end in St. Peters Square for an open-air Mass on Easter Sunday. Throngs of people make their own solemn pilgrimage following the path Jesus took as he walked and prayed The 14 Stations of the Cross.

Catholics are not the only people who seek to have a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the holy city of Rome. Every year, thousands of tourists ask travel companies to help them plan a trip to Italy during the sacred Easter week. Many special events are held in Rome this week including classical music concerts.

If you have the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to the Papal City, remember to book your trip many months in advance, especially if you plan to visit during holy week.

Today I’d like to share a few pictures of the city of Rome during Easter week. I hope you will return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday.

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No matter where you plan to go this Easter weekend travel safely. Make it a special weekend with your family as you remember the death and resurrection of Jesus.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.



Re-Enactment of a Sacred Time

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All of spiritual practice is a matter of relationship: to ourselves, to others, to life’s situations. – Jack Kornfield

As you will come to understand when you read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, our parents sometimes allowed my brothers, sister and me to do things unconventionally.

Mom recently found this memorabilia in her hope chest. She had forgotten she had tucked away these writings nearly fifty years ago when my sister and brothers and I were little children.

I will leave it up to the readers imaginations as to what my sister Jan, my brother Rick and a dear neighbor named Margy and I were planning. If you wish to fully understand what we were up to, there is a poignant chapter in my memoir that goes with this program. Even though I did not have these writings before I published my memoir they were not needed for my storytelling because I so vividly remember this day and others just like it. It would have been nice however, to have been able to include these writings in my publication.

My youngest brother Scott was not mentioned in this program. But as the years went on, we planned other similar events and Scott became an active participant.

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During this week of holy celebration of Easter, I thought it would be an appropriate time to  share this treasure from my mother’s hope chest. When I read this, it warms me to the depth of my inner being. It’s a reflection of many fulfilling times that I had as a child with my siblings.

So as not to give anything away to those who haven’t read my award-winning anthology of stories yet, try to imagine in your mind where this event may have taken place. Read the book and see if you were right.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the author of the award-winning book (an anthology) Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.