Climbing Out of Quicksand

Ever have a day where you feel as if you are stuck in quicksand? Not that I’ve ever been in quicksand, but today I feel that way. Nothing seems to interest me. I can’t get inspired or motivated by anything. Sigh.

There are many things I could accomplish, but I don’t have energy to apply. This happens to me occasionally, but I’ve never been able to understand what causes it. Perhaps it is not having any commitments, and not having anyone, human or pet, who needs my attention. Looking back over my life, it seems I’ve always been taking care of someone or following through on commitments (mostly work life).

Now I’m retired. I live alone. I am dependent on myself to make a good day. I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a fish. A fish wouldn’t require a lot of clean up, like a cat or dog. I know I’m missing my furry family a lot. I’m also missing my hubby. Someone who I can talk to, or who will interrupt me when I’m concentrating on writing.

I used to think I was an introvert who could live alone without any companionship. God showed me this isn’t true. So today I may venture to a pet store and purchase a fish. Maybe that will give me a branch to climb out of the quicksand. Anyone a fish fan?

Turning Things Around

My writing is usually about showing how God can take broken lives and mend them providing hope and forgiveness. However, my first two books were written for the secular marketplace and published through a traditional publisher. In order to offer the kind of books I wanted to write, I became my own publisher at a time when self-publishing was looked down upon. However, I knew this is where God was leading me.

My time with the publishers taught me the basics of the publishing world and I spent time learning as much as I could before publishing on my own. Since that time, the publishing world has changed drastically. Many, many people have begun self-publishing. This, to the extent, that a reader has a lot of choices. While my first two books remain showing on Amazon as unavailable, they can never be deleted. Sad. So when I republish them, they will have new titles and new covers.

With thoughts about turning things around, I decided why not use the two stories I wrote nearly 20 years ago and make them new? Resurrect them and give them new hope? Write them from a Christian viewpoint? So that is what I am doing now.

I have learned it is possible to write a good story without needing curse words or sex scenes. The books I write and want to continue writing offer a safe reading experience about real people, real emotions, and the problems they face. But they also offer hope and healing because God always has a better plan.

Look for two new books to be released this year that have been resurrected and given new life through God’s better plan! More to come…

A Word Can Change A Life

Our words are powerful. The Book of James teaches us that none of us can tame the tongue. With offer blessings and curses from the same tongue. Ugh. Have you ever stopped to think about that? About your words?

Looking back, I see how I’ve failed in the past to use kind and encouraging words. Instead I spoke through my own pain trying to wound another, and I’m sure succeeded. I sinned. And by doing so, I caused pain not only to another, but brought more pain upon myself. But words cannot be unspoken or unheard.

As I have matured in Christ, I hope I’ve become less apt to speak without thinking. Words can hurt or encourage. I want to be an encouragement to others when I speak. Last fall, a follower of my blog, Andy Oldham, commented on one of my posts that I should add my books back for sale on Amazon. He didn’t realize how much I needed encouragement to come out of a boring retirement. I’d been receiving signs from God not to waste the gift He gave me. This was another, and one that gave me courage to move.

This word of encouragement led to the rising of the passion to write again. To share stories of how God uses the pain and brokenness in lives to create a new faith-based life through forgiveness and trust. Katy’s Heart, a book God asked me to write years ago, came to fruition because God used one of my reader’s to light a fire. Thank you, Andy!

Katy’s Heart was published in digital format on June 7, and paperback on June 9. The reviews on Facebook have been encouraging. All glory goes to God. I write always after prayer and seeking His wisdom. God never fails!

Some “reviews” left in comments on Facebook.

“I have just finished reading Katy’s Heart. By far the best inspirational and heart felt book. I enjoyed every page from beginning to end. Carol Ann always puts her heart and soul into her books and I recommend everyone should read this one.”

“LOVE your book. Can’t put it down!! I’m in awe of your talent.”

“I started this at 2 AM and am on chapter 13….I love it….”

“Just finished your new book on Kindle. It was AWESOME!! Amazing work! Hope you have a great day. Love you Carol Ann Erhardt!”

Word of mouth and Amazon reviews are the only advertising I do. I encourage anyone who reads my books to please leave an honest short review on Amazon and tell your friends.

Use your words to encourage others and not to hurt them. If they hurl insults and curses at you, do not retaliate. Whisper the name of Jesus for strength and to provide a protection, and then pray for the ones who mean to do you harm. I speak truth in telling you how a word of encouragement from a virtual stranger changed my life. Be that person in the lives of others.

The Me Mentality

This year instead of reading the Bible in a year, I chose a three-year reading plan. Why? Because I wanted time to reflect on the verses I read each day. Right now I’m in Numbers.

The Pentaateuch (books Moses wrote while wandering the desert) are difficult to understand. So many laws, rituals, and sacrifices. There is no way I can retain this information, nor do I wish to. What I do want from my daily reading is to understand what God wants me to learn from what I read.

I finished reading chapter 31 yesterday and I had to immediately go to God and talk to Him. It is difficult for me, a woman, a human, not to form questions that cannot be answered. I understand the holy war was needed to get rid of impurity, after all the idolatrous activities of Baal. What I struggle with is the captivity of the women who had never lain with a man. These 32,000 women were divided among the Israel tribes. Captives. Slaves. And these women would have been very young, even tiny children. So I turned to God to ease my heart.

I can so easily fall into having compassion for things of the world. What I take from my reading is that the world has been disobeying God from the moment Eve listened to Satan’s voice. The world is filled with people living in a “me” mentality, a mentality of needs over wants. All God wants is for us to obey Him and trust Him. If we follow God’s word, we won’t go astray. Yet, we are sinful people and believe we can control our lives.

I’m praying for God to guide me in becoming a woman who asks and listens before blindly going after the wants I have. To help me give control to Him.

Taking a Break for Some Coloring

What a beautiful morning it is! The sun is shining, and the blue skies are clear. We’ve been having moderate temperatures during the day, which I so enjoy. I love letting the fresh air into my home and sitting on the front porch on sunny days. I Skype with my daughter on Friday afternoons, so am hoping to do that on the porch today.

I finished coloring a picture I’ve been working on for a few weeks. With the editing process on Katy’s Heart, I had little energy left to color. Since Amazon has both the ebook and paperback versions now available for purchase, I’m giving myself a brief break from writing to relax and color.

From Worlds Within Worlds by Kerby Rosanes

Since I had time left in the day, I decided to pull out a book and my Pitt Pastel pencils. I haven’t used this medium for coloring in a long time. It was fun to spend a couple hours playing with them and coloring this picture.

Fairy and Fantasy 2 by Christine Karron

Coloring is a creative outlet which relaxes me. I’m usually listening to an audiobook in the background. I’m giving myself three more days of relaxation before I get back to work on the nonfiction piece I’m writing as a legacy for my family, titled The Child I was. I will also be thinking about the next novel I’ll write, lining up the characters and plot in my mind before I begin the outlining process.

For now, I’m going to sign off and head to the grocery. I’m sure I’ll be shocked again by the rising prices of food. The price of gasoline is now over $5.00 USD per gallon where I live in Ohio. Praying for our country and all countries around the world.