Story of Strife and Spirit

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A father is like a lighthouse standing tall above the sea’s. When the storms of life come crashing in, the light from your father you’ll see.~ Dana Roberts Clark

Ok, so I was miffed at my brother. So mad I was ready to smack him!
At sunset he took off across the Chesapeake Bay in his boat and the engine cut out and couldn’t be restarted. Not his fault. It happens.

My upset came when he called ship to shore, and asked my nearly 90 year old parents to come tow him back to the dock. “Why,” I thought, “didn’t he call his hale and hardy younger friends and get them to help instead?” I was concerned about my folks at their ages navigating across the waters at night time. And did they really have the strength that might be needed to assist?

As usual my loyal and dependable parents jumped in their boat and took off into the dusk but not before I got their neighbors phone numbers. If they didn’t return in a reasonable amount of time, I’d turn to them for help.

The sky deepened with nightfall, and grew pitch.  Just as I began to pray that all was ok and that they were on their way back, I saw a dim light in the distance drawing nearer. Sure enough, it was my parents boat towing my brother’s powerboat behind. Perhaps I was silly to feel annoyed.

The reason I am telling this story, is it came to my mind after Sunday’s church sermon on courage and all that the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai went through when she stood up for educational freedom. Her story “I Am Malala” is compelling and inspirational.

As Reverend Tim pointed out, it’s good to read and hear stories of others strife.We learn what courage is all about.

I hope as I age I live with strong spirit like my parents do. They rarely let age be their excuse for anything and are guided by their faith that “all will be well.” And they are always dependable and loyal to their family.

If I put together the titles of all the songs we sang in the sanctuary on Sunday I believe they’d aptly sum up today’s story telling. They went like this:

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
“Spirit of the Living God”
“I Would Hit Him With My Shoe”
“Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past”
“Everytime I Feel the Spirit”
“This is My Song”


Thanks for being with us today. Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Keeping Sunday Special

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Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week ~Joseph Addison

Is there anything in your life that makes Sunday special? Or for you is Sunday the same routine as very other day of the week?

father and daughterEvery Sunday: A Father & Daughters’ Enduring Connection by Donna W Dearborn is a story about a promise kept and treasured. The story goes like this –  when Dearborn left home for college, she promised her father she would write to him every Sunday and her father promised the same to her. Well beyond college, for thirty two years, the practice endured.

As the author’s father aged, the letters became even more important to keep his memories alive of all the fun he and his daughter had  together in large part through an active lifestyle.  You see, they’d been hiking companions throughout Donna’s growing up. Spending quality time together was put high on the priority list when Donna was a young child and it remained at the top to the credit of both parties. The two obviously enjoyed being together.

Do you have a “Sunday story” you’d like to tell? Writing is an important way to preserve culture. Not every relationship is joyful and happy, but there are lessons to be learned from all stories. With the ability to publish independently in this digital world we live in, memoirs and autobiographies are becoming an ever more popular genre of writing. Here is a good article about why memoirs are important not just for the writer but also for the reader. Jane Friedman talks about the up-tick in memoir writing in her article.

For those who are interested in writing stories of faith, here is another article about the importance of storytelling for future generations.

Here is a writing prompt to get you started on writing your story of faith.  Sunday is a day like no other because it allows us to (fill in your thoughts!)

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


In Store for the New Year

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If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh

New Year, New Opportunities!

If you are in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado area join me on Saturday January 3rd, 2015 at Come & See Christian Books & Gifts, 675 S. Lincoln Avenue (near the Hampden Inn)  for a meet the author/book signing event from 11am to 2pm.

Come & See Christian Books & Gifts picture

Are you interested in writing and publishing a book? The author will share what helped her to write and publish her award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

There will be refreshments and treats and learn what’s in store for 2015.


Advent Day #18 Setting in Story

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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.

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

Audio Book



Advent Day #15 – Gentle Inspiration

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Advent Day #15: Gentle Inspiration

Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards. ~ Robert Orben

Are you a parent who is concerned with raising children who will have their values in the right place? In today’s world of bringing up children, the challenges are different than in previous generations. Let’s be honest! There is an overwhelming focus on material things and kids feeling “entitled.” It’s what many parents are up against.

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is written by a baby boomer who remembers when life was much simpler. There are many life lessons incorporated into the award-winning anthology of stories but you must read between the lines to get some of them. This publication is not an offensive hard core religious story and it is not full of in-your-face parenting tips. It is a “story of trust, faith, friendship and deep love for one another. Readers will be inspired by……a life most fulfilling.” ~ Barbara Gueldner, Ph.D.,MSE Licensed Psychologist

listening to booksListen to the award-winning audio book as a family. The stories, very appropriate for ages 12+,  give a jumping off point to handling those important conversations you have been meaning to have with your children. There is nothing that helps get a conversation started better than humor – that’s inside it!

To order the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please follow these links:

Audio Book


A Will & A Way With Positive Spirit

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roots of faithI am more convinced than ever after attending an an event on Friday evening called Stories! It Takes Roots to Bloom! that telling stories for the sake of others is so very important. Three speakers who were in different stages of life all had something of value to say about how their faith has uplifted them.  As I sat with 150 other women and listened to the speakers, I couldn’t help but think if these three women’s stories were published, they could reach and inspire so many people.

One courageous young woman, a senior in high school went on to describe how finding faith led her out of drug addiction. Today, her life has been turned around and it’s looking very rosy and positive.

A second woman with a much longer life time of experience and wisdom to draw upon shared her difficult family relationships. With certain realizations that have come with age and faith she has moved forward. As an adult, she knows that she is a good person  despite being told otherwise for many years.

The third woman described how even as a young child, she was raised to believe and has been nearly a “ceaseless cheerleader” in faith. Yet there have been times in her life when she’s encountered others who have made her doubt. When she found her match (her husband), she’s seen an example of someone does not question even though before the age of 15 he suffered great losses in his life.

faith like wifiI would like to encourage all people to write personal stories if you feel you have an uplifting message for others. People need to hear stories of HOPE. There is too much negativity in the world today and we need leaders who can change the world by communicating with positive spirit.

Don’t feel you can write a full book? Poems, song lyrics, videos and short stories are other ways to get the word out. In this day and age of digital communications and independent publishing, you need not fear rejection. There are freelance professionals who can help you with your project.

From personal experience I can tell you if you have faith anything is possible.  I did it! I published my story and beat some other odds too that are inside my story.

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