Monday, October 8, 2018

A Fortune Cookie Attitude



Missy Tippens


How many of you get a kick out of fortune cookies? I want to share with you a recent fortune I got in a cookie at one of my favorite restaurants…


In case you can’t read it, it says: Your abilities will shortly bring you to fame.

Ha! I took a photo so I could kiddingly send it to my kids. My husband and the kids and I had a good laugh about it, and then the thought faded as newer photos overtook it in my phone.

Then last week I attended the Novelists Inc. (NINC) conference in gorgeous St. Petersburg, Florida.

Photo I took from my balcony at the Tradewinds Resort. See how the clouds mimic the palm trees!

As I attended workshops taught by successful authors and publishing gurus and chatted with other professional writers, I noticed a spirit of confidence, of can-do. Of course, success requires loads of work. It’s not like confidence alone will create it. But when I’m around successful people I notice a sense of excitement, of expectation, of determination, and the gumption to try new things. These same people also have a willingness to share their knowledge and are happy to help. As we had meals together or chatted outside workshops, they generously (and patiently) answered my questions about publishing and promotion. And let me tell you, some of my questions were embarrassingly basic.

As I was on the way home, reading Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque, about building and maintaining a newsletter list, it hit me that I’ve had the wrong attitude about many things having to do with promotion and reaching out to readers. I’ve always felt my readers considered it a blessing that I only email them quarterly or that I don't post on my Facebook author page multiple times a day. However, I’m discovering through these other authors that their newsletter readers and social media followers love to hear from them.

What an attitude shift that is from my old one!



Excitement is contagious. If I’m excited about my books (which I am!), and I share that excitement (which I sometimes feel sheepish about doing), then my readers will be excited to hear from me.

Sounds a little like a math problem!




I have many new goals after attending the NINC conference. It’ll take a bit of time to get organized and figure out how to do it. But mainly, it hit me that I should have an attitude that goes along with my fortune from that cookie. I thought I’d share a few tips for how I plan to adjust.

1.  Watch successful people. Make note of their attitudes and try to mimic their work ethic and confidence.
2.  Let go of negative self-talk. Or maybe I should state that more strongly: Recognize and destroy negative self-talk.
3.  Allow yourself to be excited about changes you’re going to make. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Failure will just teach you what works and what doesn’t. (It won’t end the world!)
4.  Surround yourself with supportive people (like us here at Seekerville), people who will pray for you and help you along the way.
5.  Come up with a plan. (And of course, pray for direction as you plan.) You can have the world’s best attitude and loads of excitement, but that has to translate into ACTION.

Now, I’m off to work as if I have fame in my future! :)

I hope you’ll try that as well. In fact, I’ll share my fortune cookie with you: YOUR abilities will shortly bring YOU to fame!

Think like it.

Act like it.

And watch your business grow.

I have a new novella coming soon!! His Perfect Christmas. I’m in the middle of the formatting and uploading now (learning more about choosing keywords and categories!).

One of my other goals post-conference is to sign up and learn how to deliver books on BookFunnel. So today, I’ll be giving away two copies of my novella, His Perfect Christmas, to two commenters (please let me know you'd like to be entered)--to be delivered as soon as I get my account working. :)

So let's talk about our attitudes! Is there anything you need to change to put on your fortune cookie attitude?



His Perfect Christmas

Unlucky in love, police deputy Hardy Greenway has spent his life in the friend zone. But now he’s fallen hard for the girlfriend of his nemesis. Dori Blanchette has been waiting for a proposal from her boyfriend, but how can she say yes when she has feelings for Hardy? With Christmas tree ornaments playing spontaneously and secrets being revealed, there’s no telling who will end up together at Christmas!


Also! Don't forget to check out my true story about adopting my dog in this recent release! Second Chance Dogs. My story is titled "It Started with a Guinea Pig."














After more than 10 years of pursuing her dream of publication, Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.comhttps://twitter.com/MissyTippensand http://www.facebook.com/missy.tippens.readers.





73 comments:

  1. The decaff coffee and tea are on for late night visitors!

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  2. Missy, what a spot-on post. Encouragement and excitement are huge to me and I avoid the Debby-Downers of life who gripe about every little thing or have a "poor me" attitude... for some folks no measure of success is ever enough and that can drain us. We feel less likely to create around them...

    I consider this self-preservation. :) Especially if you're the kind of person who empathizes with others... their troubles (or maybe I should say perceived troubles????) can weigh us down. Drag us down.

    I love all of this. I figure if I just keep my keyboard hopping and keep working, eventually stuff happens.

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    1. Ruthy, I admire your excitement! You're so right about staying away from Derrick-Downers (we mustn't smear Debby's name!) haha

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    2. You are one of my role models.

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    1. LOL! Yes, I'm all for the #realthing this morning!

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    2. Need something hot with caffeine today. Cold, dark and wet in Northern New England.

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    3. Definitely need the real thing here--there are flakes of snow falling at my house!

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    4. Glynis, for realsies?????

      And Kaybee, there is a portent of things to come... :)

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    5. Rain at my house here in Nebraska, too. And the forecast this morning said it might be mixed with snow on Thursday night. I am not ready for that.

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    6. Glynis! I'm missing the snow!

      :-(

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    7. Ruthy is right, rough winter forecasted, I'll probably spend a lot of time AT HOME WRITING, which is not so bad.

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  4. Good morning, Missy!

    Thanks for this great perspective! It makes me think - how am I connecting with readers? Are the old standbys getting stale?

    And where is my career really going?

    But I love Ruthy's comment, too: "I figure if I just keep my keyboard hopping and keep working, eventually stuff happens."

    It reminds me that the most important and best path to success is to write a good story and tell it well. That has to come first, but all the other stuff (marketing, connecting with readers, etc.) need to go hand in hand with it in order to grow success.

    I'll have to look into the NINC conference sometime!


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    1. Jan, I'm planning to check in with my readers to find out how they'd feel about having a more frequent newsletter (like maybe monthly). I'll have to let y'all know what I find out!

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    2. Jan, this is so true. Interesting dynamic at ACFW -- the editors and agents were advising, "Be aware of the market, write something marketable," and the writers, at least in the classes I attended, seemed to be saying, "Write what's on your heart." I came home slightly puzzled, then finally decided to pray to God to give me a marketable story. You're right, write a GOOD STORY!

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    3. Missy, I'm not sure if I am signed up for your newsletter. If not, tell me how I can sign up!

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    4. I agree on all of the above. I think being prolific is important these days to a higher degree than it used to be when writing and publication was under much more stringent control...

      But I would gravely miss traditional publishing if it was to crumble because I love having books on store shelves and online... so it's a conundrum, of having two besties who don't like one another!!! And you're (the writer) caught in the middle...

      So the marketing is a tough go because that used to fall under the auspices (did I spell the right?) of the publisher... and now it's almost always the author unless you're NYT bestseller regularly....

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    5. Sandy, you can sign up at my website on the home page. www.MissyTippens.com

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    6. Ahhh!! I FINALLY did a successful clickable link in a blogger comment!! hahaha

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    7. Sandy, I also meant to say that I send so infrequently that you may have just forgotten! :) But don't worry about subscribing again. My newsletter company deletes duplicates.

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    8. Love this topic and it perfectly illustrates one of the reasons why I love Seekerville so much: Y'all address issues that are important for pre-published writers as well as people who are published but still flailing about a bit as they try to figure out what comes next. Thank you for sharing, Missy. You've got me thinking about a bit of research I need to do..... :-)

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    9. Jenna, good luck with your research! I'm glad you found the post helpful.

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  5. I’ve coffee in hand and totally loved this post! I just finished that book - Newsletter Ninja- and learned so much. I’ve had a hard time being real because I thought I had to be super professional all the time. But I’m kind of a silly happy gal and felt so fake. So I’m trying to just be me. I would love to be entered for the drawing!

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    1. Sherrinda, that's an excellent point!! We need to share ourselves as far as we're comfortable with. That's another thing I need to work on because I tend to be pretty private online. But I also really like to get to know people and share when I'm one on one. I want to try to write my newsletters as if I'm writing to one person. I think that'll help me connect.

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    2. Sherrinda, I love that. I am a total flake! But I make people laugh, which I guess makes them happy.

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    3. Kay, I LOVE making people laugh. I feel like I've truly accomplished something if I get someone laughing. Joy makes the world a better place. :)

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  6. Hey Missy, I'm always in for a Christmas book and your new novella sounds so good! I love the cover of His Perfect Christmas and as a reader I can tell you that's where the attraction starts for me.

    And you know, I think those five tips can apply to life in general, so that's a great way to get encouragement on a slow moving Monday morning!

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    1. Tracey, thank you on the cover! Rogenna Brewer did it. I'm with you on how covers are the first attraction for me. Next for me is the blurb, and then after that, the reviews.

      I'm glad the tips were helpful! Yes, we can apply them to life in general.

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  7. Loved that fortune cookie.

    I have a problem with newsletter in that I am on so many lists that I just don't have time to read 25-50 newsletters a week. I do usually open any from the Seekers and the street teams I am on. But many get ignored.

    I had a wild day yesterday. Children's Church now begins the moment Sunday School is over. I teach the preschoolers. I had 10 very wound up children ranging in age from 23 months to 5 years. A lot of my writing this last week has been in creating lesson plans for this new change. Prayer request time with this age group can be hilarious and yet the request are so precious to their hearts and I believe to the Lord. One boy has been praying that when his dog dies he wants to go to the pet store and bring home a live monkey. One of the little girls said her prayer request was gross. When it was time to pray She prayed silently so I still don't know what it was. I was exhausted by the time I came home after being with the lively crew.

    I spent the afternoon preparing for my Master Club's class with the 3 and 4 year olds and then loving the enthusiasm of my kiddos. Since I don't have a helper I was told I have to keep the door open. but it wasn't long until the assistant director came and closed the door. They were having just a little too much fun while saying their verses.

    I have plenty of story ideas after yesterday's classes.

    I hope everyone has a great week. Looks like Tropical Storm Michael will be dropping some stormy weather our way which means my vertigo is already telling me it is on its way. The challenges of life I face. But the Lord is so good all the time.

    Please enter me for a copy of your book.

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    1. Wilani, you are such a blessing to those children!! I love to think of all they're learning that will stick with them the rest of their lives. Bless you!

      I sure hope the storm doesn't affect you as bad as the last one.

      Thanks for mentioning the many newsletters. I think that's why we need to make sure our newsletters offer something to the reader--so they'll want to open it!

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  8. Missy, what a great post and good insights. I tend to be of the "don't want to bother people" school, which is definitely a Northern New England thing. So I have THAT to overcome before I even get to a marketing plan. Sigh. (But I will.) New Englanders don't bug people. We are kind of like Garrison Keillor's Midwesterners, only crankier. My crit partner, Clarice James, is way more "out there." She asked me a couple of weeks ago how I felt about magnetic signs on cars advertising our books. I cringed. She can pull it off, but not me. Important thing is that we find out what works for us.
    Off to Monday morning Bible study, may be back later. Love you guys...

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    1. Kathy, I wish I could have seen your face when she asked about magnetic signs. :) You know, last year I saw a driver that had their book title on their license plate!! I knew it was their book title because they also had a huge back windshield sticker that had their website and I looked it up! haha I was blown away. I guess that's great if all you have is one book. :)

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    2. There's a fine line between marketing and tacky. But the magnetic sticker makes some of the things I have planned not look so "far out," so there's that.

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  9. I don't have a newsletter, or fans, or even a published book, yet, but these are all great tips to have some day when I do :) And you're right when you say being around other people who are confident and excited helps the rest of us be more confident and excited. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Glynis, I love being around people whose excitement is contagious. I think it's something to aim for! I'm glad you found the post helpful.

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  10. Great post, Missy. I really need to keep that confidence for myself. All of you Seekers are my successful people to watch and emulate. Please put me in the drawing. I would love to win the book.

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    1. Sandy, you're so sweet to say that. I, too, try to emulate the other Seekers. They're my role models!

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  11. Come up with a plan... Missy, that's what I need to do. I do make lists, but I need to set aside time to make a real plan, along with ways to put that plan into action. I need to write things down. I have a pretty good memory, but things jumble together sometimes. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. EXACTLY. I'm with you, Mindy. I even bought a wonderful planner/journal to use--two years ago (I blogged about it and then barely used it!). So now I've ordered one of Susan May Warren's planners and am really excited for it to arrive before the new year. I will be using it to get things put down on paper.

      I think we probably need to sit down and review our plans quarterly to make adjustments and to set the smaller, short-term goals. I've seriously thought about hiring a coach to help me get started. Or maybe I just need Ruthy to give me orders! ;)

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    2. Missy, I just ordered Susan May Warren's planner! It looks soooo big, but I hope it helps me focus, not just on life, but on writing. I'd love for you to do a blog post about the planner once you get it and figure it out! :)

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    3. Sherrinda, I'll do that! You'll have to check in with me and let me know how it's going for you. Maybe we can help each other!

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  12. Happy Thanksgiving
    To All Our
    Canadian Friends!

    Eat Sensibly & Enjoy
    Your Football Games!


    Go Alouettes!

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    1. Vince, thanks for letting us know! Yes, happy Thanksgiving to our Canadians. I know we have several Seeker Villagers who will be celebrating today!

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  13. I love the fortune cookie, Missy. I'd have to say though, I think most of us in Seekerville dont really aspire to fame. Maybe success is a better word, and in my books you and the Seekers are all successful and great role models. If you learn how to use bookfunnel, would you do a Seekerville post on it? The word is in my vocabulary but fearfully and minimally used. I'm looking forward to reading His Perfect Christmas.

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    1. Cindy, I think success is a much better word! I do not want fame (it comes with a lot of drawbacks). But I love to watch successful people and learn!

      I'll definitely share about BookFunnel!

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  14. I guess I needed to hear that. I've generally ignored posts on marketing, since that stage is so far out there for my writing . . . but in the meantime, I just finished illustrating a children's book, and as illustrator I own 50% of the book, and with that comes 50% of the responsibility with everything, including marketing. (For some reason, I just expected to do the illustrations and then be done, to step back to give the author the credit and the work--all I did was draw pictures. But not so!) So now I'm needing to start marketing almost from scratch, in a daunting task far, far out of my comfort zone (and where fear and lack of enthusiasm are far more the challenge than knowing where to begin).

    So thank you for your encouraging post! I'll have to dig through the archives--Seekerville is always so encouraging and overflows with the attitude I need!

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    1. Rachael, that's so wonderful about your illustrator credit!! You'll have to let us know the name of the book. I've kept all my kids' book for when I have grandchildren someday and would love to add to them!

      As for marketing, I understand the fear. I've been learning by subscribing to several blogs. And I learned so much at the conference (taught by some of those same people like Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, and David Gaughran).

      Beyond the newsletter improvements, I'm going to be looking into placing some ads after I get my 3rd novella released. (Ads at Facebook, Amazon, BookBub, and others). Lots of planning needed! And I still need to do some more reading and studying before then.

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  15. Missy:

    I just loved your current novella, "His Summer Valentine," and wonder if you have a holiday series in mind given your "His Perfect Christmas".

    How about "Her Once in a Lifetime Thanksgiving"?

    I'll say this: between your, "His Perfect Christmas," and Myra's, "One Imperfect Christmas," you have Christmas covered!

    I do have a suggestion with this part of your #2, "Recognize and destroy negative self-talk" and that is to phrase it as a positive affirmation: "Always think in terms of positive affirmations."

    When you try to destroy something you give it added reality. You actually reinforce it in your mind and your life. I think this idea is expressed in the below Bible quote:

    "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39

    Please enter me for your Christmas book. Christmas novellas are my favorite theme romances.

    Vince

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    1. Vince, that's such a great thought about turning #2 positive!! I'll be thinking of it that way in my head!

      I'm also still giggling about my title and Myra's covering all the bases! hahaha

      I don't actually have a Christmas series planned. The last novella in the series takes place at Valentine's Day though! :)

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  16. Newsletter Ninja needs to go on my TBR pile. I am sorely in need of some newsletter advice, guidance, and information!

    NINC looked like loads of fun! Wish I had been there!

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    1. Erica, you should come for the conference sometime! I'm hoping to go back next year.

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  17. I'm baaaack! My daughter is home from college on fall break and we've been out and about today. :)

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  18. A great post, Missy. Good to hear you came away from your conference with a renewed perspective. Your can do attitude and enthusiasm to make changes are contagious. The tips are so right on. I'm on a steep learning curve with promotion and marketing for a debut novel releasing early 2019. I'm sending out a second newsletter and needed a reminder that my subscribers do want to hear about what's new with me on the writing front and personally. A workshop I took on content marketing was a big help too. As always I'm so thankful for the motivational posts and support from everyone here. And I'm impressed, Missy, with the recognition you've received on your books.

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    1. Pat, one of the workshops I attended was about content marketing. I really want to spend some time to figure out what content I'm interested in beyond my novels and novellas. What can make my newsletters fun and/or inspirational, interesting, rewarding... for my readers? I need to possibly poll them about that as well. Lots to do! I wish you the best as you approach your new release. It won't be long!!

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  19. Great post, Missy! I love your new confidence and your plans!
    Please enter me in the drawing!

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  20. What a great list you've included! It's like icing on the cake after I JUST finished a bit of self-talk along the same lines. Now I have that little talk already printed up for me!

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    1. Linda, it seems I need that little self-talk every so often. :)

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  21. Hi Missy, thanks for a great post. I've also realized that some of the most successful people are also the people who ate most generous in sharing advice and helpful info. They are often the most gracious also. Congratulations on your renewed enthusiasm and confidence and please enter my name for your giveaway.
    Blessings!

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    1. Connie, you're right. I'm thankful there are generous people out there willing to help!

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  22. Good morning, Missy! Sounds as if NINC energized you! So wonderful to come away with new ideas to try out and a fresh perspective.

    Love the cover on your latest release!! :) Can hardly wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Glynna! Yes, I love the cover Rogenna made.

      By the way, this novella previously appeared in a Seeker Christmas boxed set, so you may have read it already!

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  23. Great advice, Missy. Now, to do it! How's that for can do? ;-)

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  24. Nothing like a writers conference for getting re-energized and motivated! Glad you had such an enlightening experience at NINC--and also glad I got to see you in person at M&M last weekend to hear more about it!

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    1. Myra, it was great to see you, too! It was inspiring to be at M&M as well.

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  25. Thank you Missy for your post. I definitely need attitude adjustments - especially when it comes to making lunches for the next day (4 lunches for hubby and kids)! :) Need to remind myself to be thankful that I have this family and the ability to provide food for them. when it comes to writing...well, let's just say that it's a rollercoaster some days. God is still working on me! (Please enter me in the draw..Lee-Ann B).

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    1. Lee-Ann, I'm the same way with housework and exercise! But I try to remember what a blessing it is to have our home and to be able to move these bones around. :)

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  26. Thank you Missy for your post. I definitely need attitude adjustments - especially when it comes to making lunches for the next day (4 lunches for hubby and kids)! :) Need to remind myself to be thankful that I have this family and the ability to provide food for them. when it comes to writing...well, let's just say that it's a rollercoaster some days. God is still working on me! (Please enter me in the draw..Lee-Ann B).

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