The Gift of Time

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Thank God for his priceless gifts and miracles around the world. ~ Unknown

“Good morning, Sunshine!” I said to myself as we began down a long cornfield-lined road, with sun rays gleaming on the dried golden stalks. It was a gorgeous morning on the Chesapeake. My parents and I were headed to a landmark that harkened to us from Route 213 in Kent County, Maryland.

As we drove up to the Shrewsbury Parish Church I said, “I feel as if I could be in England. This place looks like something from a British show on PBS.” All the while, I was thinking of the Vicar of Dibley, a program that I loved that is now longer broadcast.

We walked the grounds, peaked in the windows, read ages old headstones and just enjoyed being together as parents and adult child taking in the wonders of the season and the beautiful surroundings. Before we left the grounds, the Rector Rev. Henry M. Sabetti stopped and we chatted. We talked about my new memoir and I gave him a bookmark of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

Today, I’d like to share images with our readers. If you are interested in reading more about this historic church on the Eastern shores of Chesapeake Bay country, please visit this website.http://www.shrewsburyparish.org/Shrewsbury_Parish/About_Us.html.

It’s been wonderful spending time with my family while being on my East Coast book tour. That morning was just one of many treasured early lights of day that I have spent with my parents. Now I head back to the wild, wild west!

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IMG_20141028_114420_973The two gravestones above must be for all the mothers and fathers who are in this final resting place in the churchyard of Shrewsbury Parish.

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Wandering Early Places of Worship

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“Ghosts wandering here and there troop home to churchyards.” ~ William Shakespeare

Today, as promised, I’d like to share more about my fulfilling travels to  St Paul’s Kent in Rockhall, Maryland. If you are ever in the area, do stop by and visit this historic Anglican Church. It was organized in 1692 after William and Mary ruled England.  The historical facts about the church are many but, here is a brief synopsis about the structures in the 19 acre churchyard.

  • The first building was 40 X 24 ft – erected by Daniel Norris (1695 – 1696)
  • The present church was constructed in 1713 at the cost of 70,000 lbs of tobacco
  • 34 pews were contained in the original structure
  • It is only one of four 18th Century churches to have a semicircular apse
  • Church walls feature Flemish bond brickwork
  • Semicircular arches are above doors and windows
  • Church remodeled in 1940 with an addition adding 23 new pews
  • The stained glass window in the chancel cost $250 back in 1864
  • The church bell was installed also in 1864 for $10
  • The Marble baptismal font was a gift by the congregation to the church in 1863
  • The Parish House, offices and classrooms were added in the later part of the 20th Century.
  • Actress Tallulah Bankhead is buried in the churchyard at St Paul’s Kent.

Although our country is relatively new compared to European history, getting out and exploring historic churches and museums in Maryland is a fascinating way to spend a beautiful fall day. Not too far from St Pauls, Kent is the African-American Schoolhouse Museum.http://bit.ly/1tFqu9R. Since I was headed north to another historic church called Shrewsbury Parish, I’ve saved that museum until I return next time to the Eastern shore of Maryland.

I hope you enjoy these images of the historic landmark church St Paul’s Kent. It is a beautiful and holy place for reflection and meditation!

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Below Photos: Another structure in the churchyard – Circa 1766 according to bricks on the side of the building. This building was inaccessible but peaking through the windows there were identical fireplaces on each side of the interior of the structure. The photo of the fireplace was taken through old windowpane.

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IMG_20141028_151351_247Happy Halloween, everybody. On Monday I will making revelations about my mother and our stop at Shrewsbury Parish – off at the beaten path of the Eastern shore of Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.For information on Sue Batton Leonard’s EVVY award-winning memoir, please visit this link http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 

 

Holy Humor

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“The solution often turns out more beautiful than the puzzle.” ~ Richard Dawkins

Last week, after I posted a blog called “Towson, Now and Then,” http://bit.ly/1rRHEiX  I received a comment from a blog reader who I do not know. Her comment set off a whole host of memories of an era gone by.

immaculate conception towsonConnie, the blog reader said “she and her sister attended Immaculate Conception School in Towson.” I certainly have a life time memory of the church that school was attached to.

Chris, my childhood friend, used to rope me into going to church with her after school on holy days. The first time she suggested it, oh, how I wanted out of it. I had no interest – but, I’d do anything for her. We loved spending time together.

For Chris, being a good Catholic, not going to church on a holy day was out of the question. Besides, her place of worship, the Immaculate Conception Church, was with within walking distance of our junior high school so there were no good excuses.

During that era (the 1960s) girls and women couldn’t enter a Catholic Church without something covering their heads. The first time I went to Mass with Chris, I was not aware of this policy since I wasn’t Catholic so I didn’t bring a hat. Chris had a solution, so there was no “declining her invitation.” She gave me a clean Kleenex to spread atop my head. So I wouldn’t feel foolish, she left her mantilla in her school bag and topped her brunette hair with a white Kleenex, too. Well, if that wasn’t a source of amusement and laughter for two middle school aged girls, I don’t know what was.For me, trying to hold in my giggles as I sat in the pew looking at Chris with Kleenex on top her head was nearly impossible. I don’t think I heard one word the priest said. So much for being reverent!

Years later, I entered the Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, Maryland, this time in all seriousness, as I stood up for my best friend as a bridesmaid in her wedding.

Isn’t it lovely, how we make connections with people of different faiths throughout our lifetimes? It gives us a chance to experience spirituality from different perspectives.

All churches, not just Catholic churches, have gone through many transitional times since my childhood days. If you have any stories of how your church has changed since “back then,” won’t you share them with us by posting a comment on this site.

We’d love to hear from you! This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Now available in audio book (the treasure is in the voice!), paperback and e-book.

Premiering Today: Alone Yet Not Alone

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This is a well-written adventure told from the point of view of an intelligent, observant, and mature girl on the brink of adolescence, with a knack for sharing relevant detail.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Happy Film Friday! Arriving in theatres today is a movie brought to you by Enthuse Entertainment, an independent film production company.  Alone Yet Not Alone  is based on a real life account of a family during a time in history when British and French troops were struggling for control over the abundant resources in the new territory called America.

Despite increasing stresses and hardships around them, the Leininger family gives thanks and praise for the beauty surrounding them in nature and for their newly-found treasured right of “the freedom to worship.” The family had fled Germany to avoid religious persecution.

Through a terrible ordeal, when the two Leininger daughters are kidnapped by the natives,  the Leninger’s find security in their belief that what their homestead and their land would not provide, they would find fulfillment in God’s promise.

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To watch trailers of this movie, and to learn more about the plot, the cast and the making of the movie, please visit this link. http://www.aloneyetnotalone.com/photosvideos

Do return on Sunday. We will be honoring all fathers, including my own, whom I have also honored in my memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Sue’s memoir

 

 

Written Through the Ages

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art and spirituality

So much has been written through the ages about the connection between art and spirituality. I came across this story about a young artist who can so well articulate where her painting talent comes from. This girl is only 12 yrs old but has the ability to paint like someone who has been trained by a master.

It isn’t as if she has picked up her ideas about her creator from her parents. She says” my mom was an atheist” and the concept of God and creativity was never discussed in their household.

Watch this short video about her art, and where she says her vision for her paintings come from. http://bit.ly/1hMnVPG.

That’s all I am saying  for today from All Things Fulfilling. Do return tomorrow, we will be continuing this week’s theme about nurturing children’s talents.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

 

 

 

 

 

Easter: An Awakening of Spirit

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In my opinion, for many people – 

The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. 

Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. 

But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice. 

~Henry Knox Sherrill

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have a happy easter for peeps sake

Looking for other meaningful Easter quotes to pass along to your loved ones this holy season? Here are some you might enjoy from http://www.findmeagift.co.uk/topics/easter-quotes.

Have a great Easter Weekend filled with All Things Fulfilling. If you missed  Monday’s post, a sample audio chapter called  “Easter Traditions” from  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, by Sue Batton Leonard is on the About the Book page on this site.  Listen in as many times as you’d like!

 

The Nature of Easter

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 Fling off thy sadness!

Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth

Your ancient gladness! 

~Thomas Blackburn, An Easter Hymn

Today as my present to you, valued readers, I have posted an audio chapter of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

This audio recording will also be posted permanently to the About the Book page of All Things Fulfilling so you can return and listen to it as often as you’d like.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Your entire family will enjoy listening to what the stellar character in my memoir has to say about an element in nature that has more meaning than just a beautiful flower. Celebrate Easter week by sharing this story with others. Happy Spring!

To listen, click the arrow pointing  right, next to the speaker icon.

 

 

 

 

 

Journey toward Enlightenment

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Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Okay…it’s 4:30 in the morning and any minute we’re off to the airport…Burlington VT to Newark, NJ then 14 hrs to Bejing, from there to Mongolia and the Gobi–the first leg of the journey has begun!” ~writes Clemma Dawsen from Sandgate, Vermont.

I doubt my friend Clemma has taken her feline. She’d be more likely to transport her horse. She’s an equestrian, and finds the same kind of fulfillment in owning an equine as the Dali Lama does in having a cat. If you missed the story about His Holiness and his feline, scroll down to yesterday’s blog.

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Clemma is part of a group that is traveling from Vermont to Tibet to learn more about personal fulfillment. This group is made up of artists of all types. She will be journaling as she travels, she is the poet/writer of the group.

I am so proud of Clemma. She is deserving of this assignment. I met her when I worked as education coordinator at the VermontStateCraftCenter “Frog Hollow.” She is one of those kinds of people you feel as if you have known forever – warm, loving and friendly. We “clicked” immediately. Although we only worked together for a relatively short time, she has never left my heart. When we met, we had a lot in common – both of us had sons, who were only children. They attended the same high school and both boys have artistic spirits. We’d share notes on teen rearing a lot.

I encourage you to follow Clemma and her fellow adventurers on the blog Triptych Journey: The Alchemy of Stories, Art and Travel. http://triptychjourney.org/  .

The group is also comprised of a project advisor (a Buddist who has more than two dozen books on spirituality to his credit), a documentary cinematographer, a photographer, and a choreographer. Their mission “is to tell compelling world stories that speak to all of us. Using multimedia arts and expression, Triptych Journey connects audiences to vulnerable people, cultures and ecology, instilling values of conservation and preservation in a rapidly changing world.”

Happy Travels to All! I can’t wait to be enlightened about what is learned from this experience that will take  these artists to far off reaches of the world.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow.

Happy National Read a Book Day

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“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul.” ~ Carlos Ruin Zafon

bookdayHappy National Read a Book Day! Reading is one of the best resources for personal growth and development. We can enhance our lives greatly by being open and considering ideas presented by others. One concept, one spark of an idea, from a book can change us for a lifetime for the better. Today, on All Things Fulfilling, I am going to leave you with a list of the top 10 spiritual growth books that have been published over the past fifty years. You will notice that the Bible is not on this list. Perhaps that is because in modern times, the definition of religion and spirituality are two different things.http://bit.ly/19oUydj How many of these publications grace your bookshelves?

There is a book that I recently encountered that contains some synchronistic element from each of the books on this list. The writing is so straight-forward that is it easy to grasp each and every concept presented without having to spend precious time trying to discern what the message is all about. The author knows something about the best road to travel to soar with success in one’s life because he has ministered to the spiritual needs of others for sixty-six years.

I will be presenting the book on All Things Fulfilling and will give our readers a “heads up” before I post a blog about it, so you will not miss it. You’ve already fulfilled the mission of the day, by visiting this website and reading an on-line missive. Have a wonderful Friday and come back on Monday to this space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com and Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for info & ordering

Labors of Today’s Innovators

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Thou, O God, dost sell us all good things at the price of labor.” ~ Leonardo daVinci

Today, I am going to spare my labors and shift the spot light to an author who has a lot of good things to say in his books about how to think and work creatively. He has written a number of publications that contain fascinating thoughts and concepts.  For more information on Michael Gelb’s writings and workshops, please visit his website. http://michaelgelb.com/

Here are a few of Michael Gelb’s titles:

Work Like DaVinci: Gaining the Creative Advantage in Your Business and Career  Click for info & ordering

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 Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Natural Genius Click for info & ordering michael gelb4

 Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success Click for info & ordering
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Body Learning: Regain your Natural Poise Click for info & ordering

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I’ll be back tomorrow with some information for parents about a contest that encourages children to use their creativity by writing a story. There are no entry fees, so every child can participate and use their God-given artistic abilities.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Find something that fulfills your own sense of fun. I’m going for a bike ride!

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the UnexpectedClick for info & ordering Return tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from All Things Fulfilling.