Storytelling To Remember

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ E.S.V.

The most loved Christmas story of all tells the tale of the virgin birth of baby Jesus. The Christmas story in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is  different, but it is an award-winning narrative. There is something in the book for everyone in the family!  The whole tale as told by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard,  is sure to be remembered by young and old alike! It is narrated in a non-traditional way that will keep your attention.

What’s between the cover?

  • Unexpected gifts from heaven
  • Bright shining stars
  • A hilarious angel with a memorable voice
  • Blessed arrivals
  • Love of family
  • Faith’s awesome powers
  • The heart of the matter about the gift of life

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A perfect tale to share with your friends and loved ones during this Christmas season. Just as there are different versions of the Bible, some more preferred than others, the award-winning anthology of stories, a memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in paperback and e-book. The real treasure, however, is in the audio book! You will be able to really connect  with the stellar character, Fanny, in the story when you hear her voice! What a memorable angel!

On Monday we will continue the interview with playright Jorge Avila!

 

 

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Angelic Antics

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Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.”    – Francis de Sales

It’s funny, I have never considered myself as a particularly creative person. I didn’t take a lot of  lessons outside of school growing up. Kids of my generation spent more time outside playing in nature rather than being shuffled to all sorts of organized sports and other extra curricular activities.

However, I did take a pastel drawing class at the YMCA one summer with my sister. It is a happy memory that stays steadfast in my mind all these decades later. Although, I didn’t have any innate talent, I found fulfillment in it.

My experience with the clarinet was another story. I’d much rather forget it and so would my parents. Their ears are still damaged from all the squeaks that came out of the instrument when I played it. Their pocketbooks became emptied having to so frequently replace reeds that both my sister and I ruined.

My twin sister and I had a different kind of creativity – we were full of ideas that were not always angelic!  Like how to “get Fanny’s goat” (Fanny is the stellar character in my memoir) and how get her involved in our childhood antics. Her creativity came from how to teach us life lessons that we’d later come to realize was about our silly, double trouble.

Thank heavens for Fanny. She was an angel for putting up with my twin and I and our two brothers. And I am  also grateful for all other angels my life~

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

Sue’s memoir

Stone Preservation

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“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them or build with them.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Beautiful stone creations with historical value – things to preserve rather than destroy. Building with stone goes back centuries. Along with our culture’s growing passion for geneology, there has been an increasing interest in the art of preserving stone monuments and markers in America. Even the finest historical markers and structures made of rock, like cathedrals, churches, castles, bridges and roads need attention because their integrity becomes compromised due to land development, weather, neglect, acid rain and vandalism.

Jonathan Appel, is a stone conservator who has been working in graveyards to preserve monuments and markers in Civil War areas, such as in Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/18ApKGI. Finding fulfillment in preserving our country’s history on holy grounds, he trains others to become monument conservators through workshops.

Last weeks blog about the building of rock sculptures for a unique, personal reason left me feeling uplifted, because one man’s efforts became an community building event. stone_sculptor_at_workOut of all the statues, obelisks, monoliths, pillars and plaques that have been created to memorialize the spirit of beings, all over the world,  I hope an overwhelming number of them have been placed to remember positive spirits who have existed on earth.

If you did not read the blog or watch the video about community efforts to support a grieving man and his art, visit this link. It’s an interesting story. Let me know what you think. http://bit.ly/145b3xc

Please return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . Our blog tomorrow is about a special angel and how that angel has inspired a blog that I believe deserves special mention for it’s beauty.

Gift of an Irishman

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 “These things, I warmly wish for you- Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit of o’ sun, a bit o’ cheer. And a guardian angel always near
.”~ Irish Blessing 

Are you wearing the green today? On this St. Patty’s Day, as I have for the past 35 years, my shamrock pin is placed over my heart on my lapel. The shamrock pin was given to me as a gift from my Irish in-laws. Just before I met my mother-in law and father in-law, they had taken a trip to Ireland and had brought the shamrock pin back as a souvenir. The gift of the shamrock, to me, represented a fulfilling sign of approval – I had passed “the test!”

My in-laws are no longer on this earth. Every March 17th I think, with appreciation, about their gift of the four leaf clover and what it represented to them and to me:

  • Faith – A chance to learn a little about their beliefs. My in-laws had a strong faith in the Catholic Church, as many Irish do.
  • Love – We reciprocated plenty of that. From day one they accepted me unconditionally as the daughter they never had.
  • Hope – My in-laws hope was for an enduring marriage for their son. When we announced the arrival of the greatest gift of all, the birth of a little leprechaun, my in-laws really danced an Irish jig!
  • Luck. As luck would have it, my relationship to my in-laws was nothing but wonderful. I don’t have a single “I Hate my In-Laws” story or joke to tell. 

There is a little sadness in this day for me. Six months after our “little leprechaun” was born, my father-in-law passed away. Our son never got to know his Grandfather Leonard. When he asks what his grandfather Leonard was like, I tell him “he gave me the gift of a shamrock and all that it represents.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you Irish men and Irish ladies! Drink a little green beer, dance a little Irish jig, listen to award-winning Irish independent recording star Mary Black. Her music has taken America and other countries by storm!  http://www.mary-black.net/ Enjoy this day of celebration of Irish heritage.

 This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

“Amy’s Angels” Rise

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“At the end of the day when we bow our heads, we are not so different at all.” ~ Judy Jones

This summer, regular readers of this blog followed the loss of my dear friend, Amy. She, like many other women each year, succumbed to breast cancer. I blogged about the dignity and strength with which Amy handled her illness until the very end. What she taught us all is a story of strength and inspiration. She demonstrated, in the most eloquent way, how to continue to live life in the face of terminal illness.

On March 5 in Stowe, VT at the Trapp Family Lodge, Amy will  be honored by a team of her friends and family in the Relay for Life, Nordic Style. “Amy’s Angels” have risen to the top in fundraising efforts. We have raised almost $8,000 to date, with several weeks to go! My sister and our friends will be doing a lap or two on my behalf on March 5, which coincidentally was Amy’s birthday. I will be remembering the beautiful and fun times we shared as friends for 30+ years, and all that she taught me throughout our friendship.

The money that has been raised for “Amy’s Angels” and by all the other teams participating in Relay for Life ,along with all the other fundraising events that the American Cancer Society sponsors each year, represents a joint belief among Americans that a cure for cancer must be found.

Go, “Amy’s Angels” Go! ! I will be with you all in spirit on the day of the event and so will Amy!!

Who is on Your List?

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“If we were all like angels, the world would be a heavenly place.” ~ Author Unknown

Are you a list maker? Not all of us are, but I have always been. I make lists of things to do, books to read, movies to see, friends to call, bills to pay.  They all keep me going in the right direction and organized. For businesses, database lists are essential and they take real effort to update and maintain.

The other day, I decided to start a new list. One I have never thought of making before. It is a collection of angels! I read an article in the newspaper about a new kind of angel that I have never heard of before. The subject of the article was micro-nutrients that are added to our food – things like iodine, zinc, vitamin-A, folic acid, and other vitamins. Without these supplements to food, children in many countries suffer from heart-breaking defects. There are groups such as Project Healthy Children, Helen Keller International and Vitamin Angels who give aid to countries that are deficient in providing essential vitamins and other micro-nutrients. A variety of these essentials are only about 30 cents per person per year. Yet, many countries do not have the resources to invest.

I am going to put Vitamin Angels right at the top of my list along with book angels, providing books to needy children and film angels, investors in films. All are important contributors to physical health or cultural well-being.

Is there a non-profit organization or individual that you would like to add to our list of angels? Perhaps we are missing some one!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com