Holiday Books

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Happy December 1st everyone. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I recently began spending time at the Charles W. Lightner Library, a Christian Community Library. What a wonderful assortment of titles – currently 6,300 but who is counting? The number is constantly increasing as new books are acquired.

As I browse the shelves, I see so many titles perfect for family reading. The chances of the whole family being on the same page together when it comes to faith and spirituality is increased when Christian book titles are on the bookshelves of the family library.

Here are two publications which will reinforce your family’s determination to put the focus back into Christmas where it belongs. Pre-holiday reading is recommended!

  • 7 Days of Christmas: The Season of Generosity by Jen Hatmaker
  • Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder

You, too, can join in on the Advent Conspiracy. I have! I’m participating in a group discussion with the local United Methodist Church in Bel Air.

Keep your eye on AllThingsFulfilling.com.  In the New Year there will be more recommended titles because there are genres of books that can make a world of difference to individuals and family alike who want to live more fulfilling lives. Click here for one more title to add to this short list! There is a meaningful chapter about Christmas in it you will not want to miss.

Post Script:  Ever since I entered the media world as a blogger and writer ten years ago, I have taken about a two-week hiatus, through the holidays, from posting writings. This year it will be a little different. I am dedicating myself to a whole month of quietly observing the holy season and to the renewal of spirit. When the New Year rolls around, 2020!! I will be refreshed and rejuvenated.

Merry Christmas to You and to Yours.

 

Observations En Plein Air

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For me, plein air painting is about taking home memories – contemplating the subject with all senses. Smell, touch, temperature, weather – the feeling of warm sun or the start of a rainstorm, for example – and sound. ~ Melissa Jean

On October 6th, despite the calendar indicting fall had arrived, the lingering pleasant temperatures were perfect for a day of painting “en plein air” for artists who had gathered at Liriodendron Mansion.  It was a cloudy day but there was no biting chill in the air. The setting for day one of a week long plein air painting festival sponsored by the Harford Plein Air Painters and Maryland State Arts Council, was a great venue.

The property was purchased in 1890 and the Palladian mansion “Liriodendron” was built as a summer home to Dr. Howard Kelly, his wife and nine children. He was one of the founding fathers of Johns Hopkins Medical College. Artist John Singer Sargent left a legacy painting for the college a long time ago when he painted Dr. Kelly along with the other the founding physicians. For more information on Dr. Kelly and his home, please visit this writing called Perfect Timing.

As I walked the beautiful and expansive grounds of Liriodendron Mansion (originally 196 acres but now about 100 acres) with tall tulip popular trees towering over me, and their pungent, earthy-odored, crunchy dried leaves beneath my feet, I watched artists paint. I became increasingly more excited about new art-related opportunities that will come with a move to Harford County and for a new season of life.

The day reminded me of one the most fabulous plein air painting experiences I have ever had the pleasure to witness on an outstanding ranch just before I moved from Colorado back to my native Maryland, two years ago, after a forty year absence. That day was also cloudy but it was also a joy-filled day. Here is a link to the blog if you are interested in reading about Harvesting Others Joy and seeing some wonderful pictures of the experience and the artists.

Here are a few photos from last week’s plein air festival in Harford County, Maryland. There were some wonderful works in progress. If you have never been to a plein air festival, do so! It is a great way to learn a little something about art and about the creative people behind the art!

Photo above & below: Artist Ray Ewing

(Pictured below: Artist Sandhya Sharma. She is originally from India and I enjoyed talking with her about her

her observations of art opportunities and the art connections she has made in America)

(Below: Artist Pamela Wilde is also a portrait artist. She recently participated in a community portraiture project in nearby Havre de Grace. Click here to read more about it.)

(Above: Artist painting indoors surrounded by archival Johns Hopkins medical ephemera of Dr. Howard Kelly)

Below: A few images on display and for sale from various other venues.

Artists are members of the Harford Plein Air Painters

Liriodendron (aka tulip poplar trees) are not quite yet in their full autumn splendor. But soon….as God intends it.

 

Protect and Defend Wholesome Values

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All Things Fulfilling

unity in spirti

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. ~ Mattie Stepanek

The mission behind All Things Fulfilling has been always been a multi-media approach to sharing information about things that make my heart zing – what fills my heart with joy and happiness. That includes information on what has become my career and passion since 1998 – independent publishing.

I seldom make strong statements on All Things Fulfilling because we don’t need another platform on which to air controversial opinions all for the sake of being heard.

This statement I am going to make is about valuing human life and it really doesn’t matter where you stand politically. We need people in this country to discover and fill open spaces in their hearts with what brings them personal fulfillment, not evil and violence.

Dr. Ben Carson recently said about the recent occurrences in Charleston, South Carolina that the

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Your Soul at Work

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All Things Fulfilling

Never work just for money or power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” ~ Marion Wright Edelman

If you read my blog on Monday called A Shepard’s Tea, I mentioned how combining business with spiritual-centered idea has brought personal fulfillment to me. It is a growing concept in this country that I hope we hear more about in the future. Because working an entire lifetime at something that is not personally satisfying seems to be a waste of a life and not what life is intended to be.

labor of love

The other day I came across an article from McKinsey and Company. The good news is our country needs more leaders in all aspects of industry.  At the center of leadership there needs to be certain conditions for successful outcomes. They are as follows:

  • Meaning
  • Managing Energy
  • Positive Framing
  • Connecting
  • Engaging

If you wish to know more…

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Learning from One Another

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We all have a life story that can inspire others  or to run a better business. Why not use that story and message to serve others and grow a real business by doing it? ~ Brendan Burchard

I might get dissed for this since I am living in Colorado, the home of Celestial Seasonings. Today I am writing about one of their competitors, Bigelow Tea.

The other day I bought a box Bigelow Mint Tea which is a blend of peppermint and spearmint. I noticed there is a short story on every box. I’ve enjoyed learning a little about this American company, and their blends, through the narrative they provide on the packaging and on their website. Call me crazy, but I find personal fulfillment in reading stories of business and entrepreneurship because they are inspiring, often creative and filled with ingenuity.

In this age of technology, company stories more frequently contain a melding of intellectual talent from several continents. It seems “Made in America” has become a  foreign concept. Whatever your feelings are about this era of business, it has opened up doors of opportunity for college graduates if they are willing to travel the extra mile to pursue all possibilities.

Lifes a JourneyPlease keep your eye on this website. In coming days I will be posting a story about a member of  We Write Steamboat, a networking group that I formed whose mission has been to “foster independent publishing success.” I will be shining the spotlight on an author who was born in Mexico, came to America and has gone from local writer to playwright in a short period.  I look forward to interviewing him and sharing the excitement of his tale with our readers!

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

 

 

 

 

 

A Classic Way of Life

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promoting-empathy-and-a-sense-of-community-4-638People are beginning to understand that wealth is not all about money. Real wealth means having good neighbors, living in a close-knit community, finding jobs whose real value is in the personal fulfillment it brings to us.

There is a new community in Devens, Massachusetts, called Emerson Green, whose goal is for it’s residents to “Come home to a connected, community-focused neighborhood that hearkens back to a simpler era – and looks ahead to a sustainable future, aimed at having it’s residents return to a classic way of life and a tight-knit community.” Something to really write “home” about if you are successful in finding such a place in this transient society.

Union Studios, national award-winning architects and co-developers for the project along with NOW Communities have designed the Emerson Green Project with the “right size” in mind. In other words, sustainable living. It has reused a plot of land  on the outskirts of Boston which used to be a military base. The homes, which have several different floor plan options, are as suitable for first-time home owners, families, professionals and empty-nesters alike.

Once the project is finished and people are well-established in their new community it would be fun to see if Emerson Green has met it’s the objectives of  providing a satisfying way of life which by design encourages social interaction. With our emigrating society, this is something more and more people are looking for because studies point to “social interaction” as a contributor to good health and longer living.

P.S. Having good resources such as an outstanding library helps to build great community. If you visit Union Studios website, take a few minutes to peruse information on the newly completed Tiverton Library project as well as other civic and residential projects the architectural firm has been involved with.

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

Pattern Recognition

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Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern. ~ Alfred North Whitehead

The way of the world is perceived differently for men and women. It’s described in John Gray’s book Men are from Mars and Women From Venus. I agree that men and women do hold different perspectives.

A man, a very talented knitter, who takes on complicated projects with a variety of stitches comes to the local knitting group with his wife. A few weeks ago someone remarked on his ability to pull off advanced patterns. He said “Think about it. It’s all about pattern recognition.” I never would have thought about knitting in those terms but he is absolutely right on target.

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Looks like men and women can find common ground in how they see things a knitting circle! Our two worlds met all because of our interest in a fiber arts craft that involves what some would say “takes disorder and turns it into order!” If you are good at puzzles, you may have a strong ability to understand things such as diagrams, impressions, and sequencing. I recently read an article that says that in order to survive in the 21st century, pattern recognition is a skill that is very useful to have. There are careers that involve skillful pattern recognition.

That’s pretty nifty and don’t wait till your fifty to pursue your passion if using pattern recognition in a job or hobby is what interests you! You can pick up and begin to knit a new career or life for yourself that may lead to enhanced personal fulfillment.

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