Helping Widows and Orphans

 

I’ll be having my first book signing for my middle grade fantasy this weekend at Century Center. As I’ve thought about my writing career, I’ve realized that my passion for writing really goes deeper than just the sales, success, and even the writing itself. I think it’s something that I’ve been searching for, for a while, not really knowing what it was.

As I was driving the other day, I believe God spoke to my heart, and I wanted to share it. Two words came to mind: Widows and Orphans.

James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

These two classes of people are really a lot alike–less fortunate and dependent upon others. I believe that this is the reason James, the brother of Jesus, made this point in his writings.

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The first class of our little citizens are our own orphaned children, unwanted, often times abused, and in need of so much love. Years ago, there were orphanages in the United States and they cared for ones such as these. But where have they gone? We live in the greatest country in the world, and it seems that orphanages have fallen between the cracks. There are so many people who would love to adopt these little ones.

I know there are social services that do the best they can, but I’d like to bring back”orphanages” to this country; a warm place and a home for abused children who so desperate need to be loved and cared for until they can either be adopted into loving homes, or if I may go one step further, by offering counseling to their parent(s). Is this really too big of a thing to see come to life? I don’t believe so because “with God all things are possible.” ~ Luke 1:37

dependent-100343_640The second class of citizens are our own widows. While some may be left wealthy, many others are left with little to make ends meet. “Honor widows who are widows indeed.” ~I Timothy 5:3  These who haven’t been as fortunate also need our help, love, and compassion. And as they grow older, they become more fragile and dependent like a child depends upon a parent. My heart truly goes out to them.

I’d like to see a place for widows (and widowers) where they can live out their days in peace, knowing that they’ll be taken care of by those who will love them to the very end; who will comfort them in their time of need. I’m not referring to a hospital setting or “an old folks home”. I’m speaking of places throughout our country that are more like homes with homey settings . . . by the water where they are able to see the beauty of God’s blessings and watch the waves push to shore, or to watch a thunderstorm move across the water and light up the waves.

Or, see sunrises and sunsets . . .

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I know that “With God all things are possible.” ~ Luke 1:37

What greater joy than this: knowing we are taking care of our widows and orphans?

As we grow older, we realize that in the end, it’s not about us, it’s about loving others–even the unlovable and less fortunate. This is necessary. And I can’t think of any two groups of people who are less fortunate and more deserving of love and care than these two groups.

It is my desire to someday be in a position to help these and provide them with their needs. I’m unable to do this now, but I’m tossing my net out to see what God has in store because He is a good God. What a wonderful thing to see that net overflow with God’s rich blessings to help ones such as these.

~blessings to you all

2016…A New Year…A New Beginning

 

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As we move into 2016, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank those of you who’ve encouraged me in my journey. I’m working on my second book in my Golden Heart Series, and it promises to send my main character on a more complicated quest as he tries to solve an even greater mystery.

I’d also like to wish everyone a great new year. I hope that you might be able to take an old dream off the shelf, dust it off, and make another attempt to look at it through fresh eyes.

Or, you may be satisfied right where you are; enjoying family, grandchildren, or working on a hobby. Time passes by so quickly. One minute we’re rushing our children to and fro, getting them to practice and other events, and the next minute, we’re attending our grandchildren’s sporting events and school functions.

Make sure you take time for you. Live healthy, eat healthy, and let this be the year that you decide to do something for you; something you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time.

This is hoping that you find the time.

Happy New Year, stay safe, and may God bless you.

 

 

“You Don’t Have To Be Great To Start…”

but you have to start to be great.  ~Zig Ziglar

I like Zig Ziglar. He was an author, a salesman, and a motivational speaker and such an inspiration. I guess you could say, he was a people builder. He says, success comes from hard work, and the work on yourself is first. Don’t just set goals…achieve them. Discover and hone your personal leadership style.

In order to achieve your goals, you must first begin and that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Years ago, I just couldn’t find time to write because life always seemed to get in the way. A good friend of mine, Diane, gave me some good, sound advice. Just start by spending 15 minutes two or three times a week and write. “Do you think you can do that?”

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I said, “Yeah, I think so.”

And I did and it started with a first small step. What I discovered was that those 15 mins turned into 30 minutes, and 30 into an hour, and two or three times a week eventually turned into four or five. I discovered that the more I wrote (because it was my passion) the more I wanted to take the time and succeed.

When you truly discover what it is you really enjoy doing more than anything else–something that if you had to do it for the rest of your life–you’d look forward to each day, and your passion wouldn’t feel like a job and most likely discover what you’ve been put on this Earth to do. When you discover what it is you like doing, then begin with a plan and work toward that goal. And don’t think you have to accomplish everything RIGHT NOW.

“Don’t let the mistakes and disappointments of the past control and direct your future.” — Zig Ziglar

Don’t look back. Keep your eyes on the road and believe that you can do it.

“If you wait until all the lights are “green” before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.” — Zig Ziglar

We can think of a hundred reasons for why we can’t do something because we’re human. But anyone can get past this hump. I use to be a doom and gloomer but it’s miserable down there. It’s not a place where you want to hang out.

“Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.” — Zig Ziglar

I began focusing on goals I wanted to achieve and instead of looking back thinking I can’t do it, I started looking forward thinking I can. If we stay focused, we can accomplish great things.

Don’t be like her:accidental-slip-542551_1280

 

 

Be like them:

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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

Wanna get encouraged? Go HERE now! It’ll change your life!

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It’s a beautiful summer day and warm temperatures have revisited the midwest in November. I hope all of you are doing well.

I’d like to announce that the printed version of my book is shipping out today and should reach my doorstep, and my eyes for review on Friday, November 6th. Woo Hoo! Hopefully, I won’t find one mistake! The next step in the process is preparing it in digital form and then up on Amazon, which shouldn’t take too much longer. The announcement will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all who’ve wished me success, who’ve given me encouragement, and for those of you who’ve told me you can’t wait to read my first book, The Secret of the Golden Heart, in the “Golden Heart Series.” It’s been a journey, let me tell you, some ups and downs and bumps, but great fun. I hope all children, the young and the young-at-heart, enjoys the story. 🙂

There are some who’ve helped answer my many questions along the way, and I’m thankful for you (you know who you are), and I’m so grateful. You’ve been so nice and willing to take the time to offer advice. It lightened my load. I only hope I can pay if forward someday.

I’m humbled that I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends on FB and to meet new friends along the way.

I hope that children everywhere will find hope and blessings along their own journey as they travel through time and follow my characters to see how their journey ends.

A tease for my 2nd book in the series

(A tease for my 2nd book in the series)

To God be the glory.

I also have a picture book in the works for younger children that I hope to have up in the coming weeks.

Please sign up for updates either on this blog, or my website at www.debbie-erickson.com for further details.

Wishing you all great success and joy-filled days ahead.

 

 

Passion and Faith

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Courtesy: bigstock.com/Who can comprehend the mysteries of the universe but God alone?

While continuing my agent search for my MG fantasy, I’m in the process of learning how to create digital book covers to ePub some of my children’s stories. I’ve never pursued graphic design because writing became my dominant passion, but I like it.

My other passion other than writing is encouraging people. We’re never too old to accomplish our goals and dreams.

I’ve been thinking lately how passion and faith sort of go hand and hand. Our passion becomes a reality when we have faith to know that we can attain our goals. We cannot allow ourselves to be weighed down by the world’s cares; we must have faith to look beyond the obstacles to the path that lies beyond them.

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Courtesy: Me

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” ~Hebrews 12:1-2.

Since no one is perfect, (ugh) God’s grace helps us recognize our shortcomings in order to help us begin the process of peeling the layers, and eventually eliminating them from our lives. When we finally win the victory and lay them down, then the weight is lifted and we can move forward in freedom without the pesky weight that sometimes envelops us. But faith gives us the strength to keep moving.

How do we get more faith? First and foremost: “So then, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17

Believing in things that we can see isn’t really faith. Believing in things we can’t see is faith. Blind faith. For example, if we’ve never seen our mother or father, we know that they exist. Our sight doesn’t determine their existence. Our existence determines their existence because we are the product and proof of their existence since they are the only vehicle in which we come into the world. So even if we never saw our mother or father, we’d still know they exist/ed. This is faith.

“Jesus said unto him, ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.'”

Is it easy to believe in things we can’t see? No. But faith sprouts and grows through God’s word and eventually makes it into our hearts. This is what keeps passion alive. What do you think about faith?

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Courtesy: Me

May you continue to follow your dreams, your desires, and your passion. I wish you all the very best on your road through life. If there is anything I am able to do for you, let me know. We’re all in this together!

~blessings

Thirteen Things that Mentally Strong People Do Not Do

Portrait Of Confused Girl Holding Two Books

I wanted to share some things for those who sometimes trod into Slumps-ville. I go through slumps, too, as a writer. Highs. Lows. Ups. Downs. Discouragement nags at us, and if we’re not on our guard, it could very well swallow us. It’s okay for a while as long as we get back up.

Writing fiction involves character development, writing great settings and having a good plot, and it’s having a satisfying ending that wraps the story up. Selling it involves perseverance.

We can all use a mental boost once in a while. I’d like to share ten things that radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, believes what it takes to have a mentally strong attitude. Some either love Mr. Limbaugh or hate him, but if you put him aside, his ten traits have some meaningful life lessons. His statements are in red, mine are in black:

  1. They don’t give away their power–they avoid giving people power to offend them. People will always offend us. Let’s not let it bother us, rather, allow them the freedom to speak their mind.
  2. They don’t worry about what others think. I’d only like to add, we should always strive to set good examples.
  3. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. They take responsibility for their actions and accept the fact that life isn’t fair. They quickly learn that no one is responsible for their lives but they, themselves.
  4. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control. They can discern when there are things that are out of their control. 
  5. They don’t worry about pleasing others. Other people’s happiness and contentment is not our job or responsibility, however, we try to make peace to the best of our ability.
  6. They aren’t fearful. They aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe even if it means they are the only ones standing.
  7. They don’t dwell on the past. This one here is actually found in the Bible: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). What this means, is that we can’t keep looking back and expect to be productive as we move forward. We must stay focused on the road ahead. 
  8. They don’t make the same mistake twice. They learn from their mistakes.
  9. They don’t resent other people’s success. They cheer another’s success and give others encouragement.
  10. They don’t give up after a failure. 😉 They may fail time and again, but the secret is getting back up.
  11. They don’t fear time alone. They treasure peace. They draw strength and become refreshed when they take time to be alone. Peace of Mind wooden sign on a beautiful day
  12. They don’t think the world owes them anything. They work hard toward their goals and take pride in their accomplishments. 
  13. They don’t expect immediate results. This is a tough one, and I’d like to expand on this point. I’ve been guilty of this vital mistake. Things worth having are worth working hard toward and waiting on. I also must say, this comes from the Bible, too: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” ~Palms 27:14

We are all called to pursue our interests. We must seek what it is we’re good at, and what our passion is. Then, take one step at a time to work toward that goal. Most of the time the road is long and dusty. It isn’t easy, but the winding path will lead you to the right place if you follow your heart to the end.

Autumn Girl enjoying nature on the field. Beauty Girl Outdoors r

~blessings

Debbie

http://www.debbie-erickson.com

 

 

 

Hi Everyone

I hope you are doing well.

I’m thrilled to announce my new website www.debbie-erickson.com, designed by Heather McCorkle from heathermccorkle.wix.com/heathermccorkle. Although the site is still a WIP, it’s finished and online. I had contemplated doing this for some time because I wanted a website that would better represent my interest in the genre of fantasy writing for children and middle graders. I think it turned out really cool, and I thank Heather for her kind attention to what I was striving to achieve. She is awesome. It was just what I had envisioned.

I’ll be adding some neat things in the near future as my writing career expands, and I accomplishment my writing goals. I will be turning some of my shorter children’s stories into eBooks, and they’ll be available on my new website in the future, and I’ll continue to pursue publication of my fantasy novel, Secret of the Golden Heart, which I’m delighted to say that I was able to add some of my story elements to the site when I had Heather design the site, as you’ll see. I also have a few other ideas that I’ll be working on in the coming months.

I will no longer have my wordpress.org site, but I’ll continue using daerickson.wordpress.com site for now.

You can check out my new site here:  www.debbie-erickson.com.

As always, thank you so much for following.

~blessings

Debbie

It’s a Virtual World

 

My husband tells me I live in a virtual world, but I try not to overdue it, however, it is important for your career. It’s part of the job. I wouldn’t say I live in this virtual world: I still have time for other stuff, and spending time with family and friends. 🙂

Though I’ve thought about this virtual world topic for some time, I wanted to post after reading an excerpt from Kristen Lamb’s eBook, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World.

While I’ve been working to get my career from ground level to the next level, 🙂 I admit I’ve had Information Overload. Even so, I continue gobbling up as much information as I can because learning never ends. I’m afraid I’m going to miss out on some great tidbits of information. There are many great author websites with fantastic information. One is Joanna Penn’s site The Creative Penn. And Angela Ackerman’s and Becca Puglisi’s site at Writer’s Helping Writer’s. 🙂 I also find K.M. Weiland’s blog, Helping Writers Become Authors, very insightful. And I recently discovered Zee Southcombe’s site. She also has some helpful information as she works on her career. I highly recommend these sites for those seeking to learn as much as they can on the writing craft. It’s convenient now days to follow these websites from the comfort of your home, and easier than attending classes.

But do we stop long enough to take a break from it all? It’s easy to become overwhelmed with information and sometime we can lose sight of our own writing and journey. After several years of ingesting a lot of helpful information, try to take short periods of time to step out of your virtual world and go into solitary confinement where you can find pleasure in the little things. It’s healthy for your mind. There are so many voices in the world. Find some solitude and relax. Watch the world go by once in a while. You’ll probably walk away more refreshed with a greater perspective.

If you’re having a bad day, one of the most refreshing things to do is read the Old Testament Psalms. 🙂

What are some things you do to find solitude when you want to escape from the craziness of the world?

~Blessings

Authors/Writers, Published or Not, are Awesome

Hi,

As I think back over 2014 (struggling as I’ve worked toward my goals) I just want to say that authors and writers, published or not, whether working on a writing career, or writing for the joy of it to share with family and friends, are so wonderful and helpful. They never think twice about offering a bit of encouragement, offer advice, or give you free expertise. Authors and writers are some of the nicest people I know. Many take time out of their busy schedule to make a comment to one of your questions, and most won’t bat an eyelash when it comes to telling you their experiences on the road to publication so you can learn from them. Every successful author I know has a passion to write and a deep desire to help other struggling writers via their websites and sometimes in an email.

I believe many agents, as well, take time out of their busy schedules to give expert advice because they really do want writers to succeed. But what many new writers don’t realize is what’s all involved in the process of being published or how great the competition is.

My goals for 2015:

*  to reach out to successful author’s and secure interviews on how their career began, and how they climbed the ladder to publication success, whether in print, on the web, or epublishing. Every writer struggles at times, but it’s such a struggle for new writers because not are you writing your story, there is also so much to learn along the way, and so much competition. New writers who are serious about their craft need help and encouragement. If I can pass along some advice in order to shorten someone’s career to publication, or make the journey a little easier, then I’m looking forward to 2015;

*  get my new MG fantasy website up and running, which isn’t too far off. The theme will be fantasy-related. The web designer designing my site will be forthcoming soon;

*  to gain more knowledge on all-around marketing and branding;

*  to have my book trailer completed and up on my website in the near future;

*  to get some of my children’s stories up on Amazon;

*  and, to exercise and work out more. :0

I hope your year goes well, with very few bumps, and I hope you’ll continue to follow me in my journey, to follow your own heart, and reach your goals. I will try to help you along the way by passing along helpful information as it comes to me.

(The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Therefore, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23)

Blessings,

 

 

 

 

Thanks

Hi everyone~

I’d like to thank those who have followed me this year, and those who have offered bits of advice along my journey. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

I have another new website in the works–better graphics and more detailed. I think you will like it. I’ll also be promoting some of my children’s stories, and right now I’m working on a book trailer for my MG fantasy Secret of the Golden Heart. I hope to have this up on my new site in the near future; hopefully, by the middle of February. I’m excited about it. I’ll inform you when it’s up and running.

Things are moving along. It’s a blessing to do what you love to do.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year, and I hope the coming year gives you untold blessings.

May God richly bless you. I wish you health and success! I hope things are going well for you.