Themes from the Bathtub

Leave a comment

When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes — I already have everything that I really need.”― Dalai Lama XIV

All week long our blogs have been focused on happiness, personal growth and success. But, we don’t always have to look at the big scheme of things to find fulfilling things in our midst. Contentment is not necessarily about career advancement, more money in our wallets, moving up the social ladder and having material things. It’s about incorporating little things that bring  joy into our lives.

There’s something that I deny myself that I need to give into. Allowing myself time to soak in the tub. I rarely do it. Only if have some ache or pain – and fortunately for me that’s next to never. There is something that seems time wasting about lollygagging in a bathtub. I am more of a power shower person than a soaker.

It’s not the first time this notion that I need to let myself linger in a tub for no reason has occurred to me. Every so often the thought comes along and then I  act on it a time or two, and then forget about it.
bathtub_reader 2Imagine how happy it might make me if I combined all my favorite things with drawing a bath. Add in teatime and reading and it sounds like a recipe for euphoria. I think I’ll go explore it.

On second thought, rather than read in the tub, perhaps I need to let my mind wander and see what ideas I can come up with for next week’s blog theme.

See you on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.

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

 

 

Joyfully At Your Service

1 Comment

Welcome back to our week of simple pleasures. I hope you enjoy this week’s messages on All Things Fulfilling that have few words but the images reflect little things that make a difference in our lives or the lives of others.

Making the Load Lighter

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”  ~ Rabindranath Tagore

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.

Talking Hurtles and Hoops

Leave a comment

When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.” David Weatherford

Today, let’s talk hurtles and hoops as it relates to yesterday’s blog about exploring creative ways of making a living. Only others who have been through it can relate to the kinds of challenges that come with successfully writing and publishing a book in this digital age.

The most fulfilling end result despite all hurtles and hoops, is knowing the sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching the goal of what you’ve been dreaming about.

Today, I’d like to say thank you to my son, Marc, who beside my husband has been my biggest supporter. Every time I questioned myself or got discouraged, he reminded me in his own very soft, kind and compassionate ways that “the only thing to fear is fear itself.” And he has been my tech support person in crucial moments. Best of all, he’s encouraged me many, many times to step beyond my self-imposed boundaries of growing up in the “etch-a-sketch era” to advancing into the “i-pad age”  and to figure things out myself! Talk about a gift in my life.

Ahh…… youth, as Samuel Ullman once said “Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.”

2-piece-mother-son-heart-dangle-charm-beadSomeday maybe we will have a story to tell together. I’ve gotten it started in the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul. For more information, please visit http://www.allthingsfulfilling.com/about-the-book/.

P.S. The jewelry is available through http://www.pandora.net.

Twin Telepathy

Leave a comment

My thoughts are free to go anywhere, but it’s surprising how often they head in your direction. ~Author Unknown

Sue & Jan Mt Werner

A few days before Christmas I filled the teapot with water, set it on the stove to heat, picked up the phone and dialed my sister’s phone number. I turned the burner up to HI just as my sister picked up the receiver on the other end and immediately said “Hello! Hold on a minute will ya, Sue, I want to put my tea kettle on.”

“Yep,” I thought as I waited, “we’ve still got it – that twin telepathy thing.”

When she returned to the phone I said, “What a coincidence. Just this minute I put water on to heat for a cuppa, too.”

Mind you, I am in Colorado and she is in Maryland. Although in two different time zones, we were both ready for a cup of tea at the same exact time.

It often turns out that we call each other simultaneously, both feeling  like we need to have a good long visit.

“I wanted to speak with you before real the holiday confusion sets in. I have been in touch with some blasts from the past.”

“Like who? Who have you been in touch with?” Jan asked, sounding very curious, and as if she had missed out on something.

“Oh some people we knew in high school. I’ve connected through social media.”

I began to name them off. We had a great time recalling the good old days and people neither of us have been in touch with for nearly four decades!

Do you have people you would like to be back in touch with? Did you know reconnecting with old friends is good for your health? Here’s an article that will be of interest. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/staying-connected-to-the-past

What better New Year’s gift could you give a long lost friend or relative than the gift of your voice? I’ve tried to do that through a different kind of medium  – in my memoir writing!

Reconnect to a long-lost friend or acquaintence before another year goes by and you delay it. Wishing you a fulfilling year ahead with good health and lots of renewed friendships! Happy 2015!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul and the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information, go to http://www.allthingsfulfilling.com/about-the-book/.

 

 

“For Unto Us a Child is Born”

Leave a comment

Advent Day #24

People the world over can relate to the expectancy that comes with the arrival of a precious new life.love came down

for-unto-us2

From our family to yours ~ Merry Christmas!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. We hope you enjoyed the advent calendar from All Things Fulfilling. It was a grand peek between the book covers of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

Advent Day #21 Xmas Around the World

Leave a comment

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

Last Sunday, the Steamboat United Methodist Church had an impressive holiday extravaganza – enough to put any “Scrooge” in the spirit.  Through the generosity of so many artistically talented people helping to bring it all together, an unforgettable production of Christmas around the World was brought to the second service of the day.

It was a huge accomplishment requiring too many people to name individually. The bell choir, the vocalists of the Chancel Choir and the Childrens Choir, Soprano Keri Rusthoi http://www.kerirusthoi.com and the children who were dressed as characters from the Bible, helped to tell the beautiful Christmas story from different perspectives recounting holiday traditions from around the world.

“Tweens” (ages 10 – 12) played the part of news anchors and reporters. It was as if the children from the United Methodist Church were standing in town squares broadcasting from England, the Caribbean, France, Italy, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany, thanks to the creativity of the video production teacher at Steamboat Springs High School.

But that’s not all! As the community gathered in Fellowship Hall after the service for wonderful refreshments, creches from places in the U.S. and around the World were on display for all to see and appreciate. In today’s photos I have captured images of a few of them.

IMG_20141214_084627_526

IMG_20141214_084144_195
IMG_20141214_084122_894

IMG_20141214_084213_710

IMG_20141214_084129_504

IMG_20141214_084156_506

 

IMG_20141214_084436_637

IMG_20141214_084424_332

IMG_20141214_084330_004

IMG_20141214_084504_708

IMG_20141214_084517_676

IMG_20141214_084557_602

IMG_20141214_084636_850

Please come back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. The topic will continue on better understanding our world through multi-cultural learning about holiday traditions.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard,  award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information about her memoir, an anthology of stories about multi-cultural love and understanding, please visit these websites.

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

 

 

 

Advent #19 Faithfully Confused

Leave a comment

Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you? ~ Fanny Brice

Fanny Moore, God Bless Her, the stellar character in the memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected faithfully attended church weekly. She reiterated many of the things her “preacher man” said about faith throughout the week at our family’s house. Often misconstrued, her literal interpretations led to priceless conversations and joyful times.

I get great pleasure in reading church signs that I pass by in the car because often I think many of them could have been posted by my beloved Fanny. Each comical sign in front of a church brings a warm-hearted smile to my face. I can’t help but think the signs are heaven sent, just like Fanny.

Funny church signs

 funny-church-signs-3

funny-church-signs-4

funny-church-sign7

funny-church-signs-2

funny-church-signs-8

I  hope these signs have gotten you in the JOLLY christmas spirit. You’ll be warmed by Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected if you enjoy  inspirational yet humorous stories. The eloquence of Fanny Moore is not to be missed!

Celebrate the season in good cheer! But remember, please do not drink and drive!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, please visit these links.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Letter to Santa

Leave a comment

santaDear Santa,

As I look out through the frozen window glass I am thinking of  a letter that I had sent to the North Pole a few years ago asking for your help with a publication I was writing.

In the correspondence I asked for a few things. I requested a big box of perseverance and patience – I got that! Large enough to see myself through my memoir project.

I asked for memories of my childhood so I could incorporate them into the story. Some were clear and others, a bit distorted, like frozen window glass.

A shovel was sorely needed so I could dig deep to remember the most meaningful times in my life. The shovel appeared, held up and didn’t disappoint me.

Admittedly, I wore out the thesaurus you included in my Christmas gifts that year. I referred to it so many times to get just the right words I needed, it’s all dog eared. This year, I need the latest, greatest updated edition for my next publishing project.

That light bulb you sent me to illuminate my mind – well, it’s all burnt out. I’ll need another one of those too. I think to myself “Maybe Santa will bring it when he and his reindeers drop off the new thesaurus.”

I asked you to send smart people my way to help me with the skillsets where I was lacking. Well, they arrived when they were needed and they were just plain terrific.

 The editor was given a very difficult task with Fanny’s unique and eloquent language. But, the editor hitched up her breeches and lived up to the task.

The graphic designer for my book cover created something I was thrilled with.

 And as for the sound technician and the audio book producer, they were superb. Without them, an award-winning audio book may not have happened.

This Christmas, I’d just like to say thank you, Santa, for your all help. As I look through the frozen window glass I realize my dreams have come true. Fanny and I have even won three book awards. I can hear my beloved Fanny now.  “Lord a Mercy, I didn’t know y’alls were gonna put me in a book. Dis is more den I coulda ever expected!”

This Christmas as Fanny would have suggested, I will leave you and your reindeer champagne glasses full of “da bestest water” as a thank you.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Cheers!

Fondly, Sue Batton Leonard, author of the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. 

P.S. Thanks to the world-wide web, Santa will receive this letter in plenty of time for Xmas.

Advent Day #18 Setting in Story

Leave a comment

JSC photo

Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.” ~ Robert Kennedy

 

Photo: A setting in the story from a Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

During such a joyful season, we must remember that for some, the holidays can be distressing, depressing and full of challenge to get through. As related in “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” sometimes it takes a painful experience for us to grasp the true value of life or turn tragedy into triumph

On this 18th Day of Advent, this place in the photo brings me bittersweet memories. The very of best times and the very worst. It takes reading my memoir to understand why.

What a reader has said about the award-winning memoir “This is a story of trust, faith, friendship, and deep love for one another.” ~ Barbara Guelder, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist and co-author of “Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom.http://successfulkidstoday.wordpress.com/

For more information on Sue Batton Leonard’s award-winning memoir, please visit these links.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

 

Advent Day #16 Poignant Reading

Leave a comment

A good half of the art of living is resilience.” ― Alain de Botton

Have you ever felt so happy that you settle into thinking “it’s just another day in paradise?” Then WHAM…. an event or circumstance jolts you so severely that it tears your world apart completely? Years later, after much thoughtful consideration, the only way of coming to terms with the emotions that come with this kind of rude awakening is to seek out the good in the bad.

“You’ve been there, done that. You can relate,” you say?

How we face those kinds of challenges says a lot about our “personal constitution” or resilience, our attitudes and our upbringing as children.

rude awakeningWarning!  On this 16th Day of Advent you can expect to find stories in the award-winning memoir by Sue Batton Leonard that will lead to more symptoms of the Advent Virus – ‘an unmistakeability to enjoy each moment” despite storms that each one of us face in life!

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was published with high hopes that someone else can be helped to fully embrace life as God intended it, even with all it’s imperfections.

 

How to order the award-winning book?

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh