When the Light Shines

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“Go to the people and the places that set a spark in your soul.” ~ Unknown

UMC Spiritual Bldg 2 with signature

Above Photo: Indoor Labyrinth – Spiritual Center, United Methodist Church, Steamboat Springs, CO

UMC Spiritual bldg 5 with signature

Above photo: Interior of Spiritual Center, Steamboat Springs, CO

When the light shines through the window pane of your soul, it’s a beautiful thing. The first time I stepped through the doors of the United Methodist Church in 2008, I never felt more connected to a place of worship since the church of my childhood. That church, the Maryland Presbyterian, is a church that my father and his company built.

The pastor of the church I attend now, The United Methodist in Steamboat Springs, Colorado,  in my opinion, is a rock star who offers inspiring words people come to hear in churches in this day and age. Nearly every Sunday, even in a resort community where people come and go with the seasons, the pews are filled to capacity. The connectedness and fellowship in the church is something very special.

My church life and the community of writers have been the best part of living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Not even to mention the magnificent landscapes. Others like me who have found a special connectedness here have had an etched brick with their family names or special sentiments placed in the courtyard of the new Spiritual Center. That’s where it will permanently stay.

I captured these photos of the new Spiritual Center at the United Methodist Church early one morning when I was with a group of women preparing for the annual 4th of July fundraiser. The street party held after the parade is hosted by The Tread of Pioneer Museum, the United Methodist and the Episcopal Church, all located within a block. Respectively, the three organizations sell “Routt” beer floats, strawberry sundaes and hot dogs in huge quantities! A seventeen piece band adds to the festivities.

Today is the dedication for this building which will bring much connection, light and life to many people in the years ahead.

UMC Spiritual Bldg 3 all things fulfilling brick with signature

UMC Spiritual Bldg with signature

Above Photo: The new Spiritual Center at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs, CO

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Call Brings Fulfillment

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A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” -Amelia Earhart

Stephen Patrick Morrisey once said “there is no such thing as good news in America.” I say, “Hogwash! But clearly since each of us are human beings, we all face difficult days and periods throughout our lifetimes.

Did you hear the story about four policeman who pooled their money together ($160) to by food for an elderly man who called 911 to say he was hungry and hadn’t eaten in a few days? True story,  direct from the State of Tennessee. Watch this news clip.


Another random act of kindness has come from these caring public servants since this story.  The police officers have started a small food pantry at the station to help fulfill the needs of other citizens who are struggling. The community has rallied to provide resources to keep the shelves stocked to feed the hungry.

public service

See you back here on Monday, February 1st. This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Conversations about Kindness

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Kindness is just love with its workboots on. ~Author Unknown

Do you think traits such as kindness and compassion can be taught or are some people endowed with these traits from the start (innately)?

Many educators feel character education is the only way to reduce bullyng in schools.

YouAreNeverAloneFoundation.org has found a way to involve children in their program “I Matter, You Matter: Let’s Start the Conversation.”

In fact, school kids put their most pressing questions down on paper hoping to help improve their relationships with schoolmates, their families and friends. Through practicing empathy and understanding other’s points of view, the goal of this program is to advance listening and compromising skills and provide help in identifying one’s own feelings, too.events_kindmatter_overview_logo Teachers, your school can become involved, and the questionnaire that is being used in schools to begin the dialogue between children can be downloaded on-line. 

Caring coins are also available with this program, which is an easy way to pass a message from person to person. More than 176,000 of these wooden coins have been shared around the world as a part of the YANAF mission. It started at the grassroots level to inspire caring connections in our community and the greater world by providing hands on opportunities to be kind.”

If you are concerned about our future generation of children, please spread the word about this program.

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

Bringing Cheer over the Holidays

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Let’s state something up front! There is no perfect life. There just isn’t. Postings on social media might lead us to believe otherwise but, remember, we are often only seeing the good parts. During the holidays people ramp up their efforts to create images of having perfect lives and Christmases.

Everyone has struggles and things to overcome in life. But as they say, what you do with those challenges is what counts. That is why it’s important that for those who have inspirational stories to tell and feel they could write a book about it, to do so. The reason I penned a memoir in the first place was to help others who struggle with health issues understand that our attitudes profoundly affect our well-being.

I’m very proud to say that this past Christmas, thanks to the Mickey Barrows Memorial Endowed Fund which “benefits children who are confined to the hospital during the holidays,” copies of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected found their way to families through the Childrens Colorado Foundation in the Denver area. The hope for the initiative is that the book brought some smiles and cheer to faces and encouragement to teen cardiac patients who were hospitalized during the holidays. The book has won the Harvest Book Award in the young adult category and two EVVY awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

So, for anyone who is considering writing a narrative that will bring light and love to others, here is my message: Help others to know you are never alone.

Your story matters!

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

See you back here on Monday!

 

 

Rock Solid Performance

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“Come on Dad! We’re going rock climbing!” My husband looked at my son and didn’t argue. He is always up for an athletic adventure.

“I’m coming too!” I said.

It was the day after Christmas. My son and his gal wanted to treat my husband to a new experience. Off we went to Stone Age Climbing Gym. After the three got suited up with harnesses, rope, chalk bags, belay and rappeling equipment we four stood looking straight up at the wall my husband was about to tackle. As he began his ascent, the man on belay (my son) yelled out instructions. “Go, Dad, go!” Terry look another step up.

“You are doing well!” Marc said with a grin on his face, after his father began to progress further. “Are you weary?”

“A little, mostly my forearms,” my husband yelled down.

“Then let go! I have you,” our son yelled out. I sat behind him on a bench watching my husband dangle from the rope, forty feet up in the air. In order to take a load off his legs, arms and hands he had to surrender himself from the challenge for a few minutes.  After a short break, Terry continued climbing.

“Reach higher, you are almost to the top!” Marc yelled up about 20 minutes later.

Marc turned to me and said “Mom, I’m really impressed. Dad is doing as well on his first attempt as young guys my age. There seems to be no fear of heights or falling!” It was interesting to see the role reversal between father and son. My husband has spent a lifetime coaching athletes.

Terry’s first attempt at a rock climbing experience was a great success. When I asked him if he’d like to repeat it, he said, “Only if I am with Marc.  There is a level of trust and faith in others involved in it.”

“I could see that,” I said, as I thought about my husband dangling from the rope only anchored by my son.

terry rock climbing

Trust

Come on back tomorrow, I will be sharing my own new adventure into the New Year. I’m a little apprehensive because I am not quite sure what to expect from myself. But, I’m entering this new experience with a positive outlook.

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

 

 

Elemental Truths

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When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own.”  ~ Unknown

In the Oven, a chapter in the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is one family’s Christmas story. The anthology shares an elemental truth about many life lessons which are shared in a unique voice. Adults and children can enjoy the memoir together.

The real treasure lies in the audio book. For your reading pleasure, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is also available in paperback and e-book. Pictures in both of these formats greatly enhance the reading pleasure.

Here is what other readers say about Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

I enjoyed Gift of a Lifetime so much I read it three times. What a character was Fanny. So much devotion to God and the family. ~ Leonie, from Brisbane, Australia

Such a heartwarming and inspiring story. The author did an amazing job and it was a very easy read! Once I started I did not want to put it down. I will definitely pass this one on to my friends and family. ~ Pam

Fanny and her winsome ways are a must read! Can’t wait to also listen to the audio version of this inspirational book. ~ Grace

cookiesI really loved this book because it is so well written. It is personalized story of how the “help” (Fanny) had such a positive influence on the young children in the Batton family. This is a story of love and wisdom sprinkled with humor to get through adversity. ~ Carol

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. Do return to All Things Fulfilling.

 

A Soulful Batch

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Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends. I won’t be cooking a turkey for another week. I thought with the snow and colder temperatures on the upper elevations of  Colorado, today on All Things Fulfilling, I’d cook up my annual batch of Chicken Soup for the Soul.©

Instead of adding the traditional trinity into the pot ( the basics of celery, carrots and onions),  I’d make an even more complex broth based on the traits my friends bring together into the vessel of our lives – our spirits.  I’ve given my friends fictional monikers based on their personalities and their strengths. I’m  grateful each one of them because they make for a soulful pot.

  • Humorous Henrietta – Life is a bowl of cherries to this friend, no matter how she is feeling. She brings you along for a comedic ride.
  • Worldly Wanda – She invites everyone she meets to open their eyes to the world at large. Helps others to see what exposure to different cultures brings to living more “internationally.”
  • Creative Cadence – She finds ways to say things that makes you really “get it” even if it is a bit different in communications style.
  • Sustainable Salley – Not much is required from this friend because she is very resourceful. All she asks is that you treat everyone with kindness and dignity.
  • Mothering Matilda – taking care of others is what this friend does best. It’s instinctual.
  • Negative Nalani – You know if she’s silent, it’s God’s will speaking.
  • Sensible Shannon- She’s old and wise beyond her years. Rational speaking is her specialty.
  • Corrective Cassandra – When she tells you something you better listen and listen good. Uh – huh!

Loyal friends are never more important than when you are in hot water or if feel like you are being scalded.  They also are valuable when you feel like having a bubbly good time.

On this Canadian Thanksgiving Day remember the words of H.A. Ironside “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”

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