Where I Find My Hope
October is dysautonomia awareness month. 💙
Dysautonomia is an umbrella term for conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system. POTS is one of those conditions. POTS can cause hundreds of symptoms and it’s often difficult to diagnose.
I’ve been battling POTS since I was around 14 years old. But I was misdiagnosed for years as basically just being a mental basket case (which obviously helped tremendously as you could imagine. #NOT 😂) as is the case with so many others who struggle with invisible illnesses. 💔
Since my official POTS diagnoses in 2018, I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease, Alpha Gal syndrome, Pernicious anemia, Asthma, hEDS, MCAS, May Thurner Syndrome, Venous insufficiency disease, and struggle with Reactive Hypoglycemia symptoms.
I’ve lost the ability to do so many of the things I once loved. Each day is a battle of its own. I’ve been just a step away from starting feeding tube formulas, and had months where I was almost constantly bedridden. I can’t function in the morning before I’ve done in IV, and have to run another by the time the evening comes. The world between what life once was, and what it is now, is often blurred.
I’ve come so far from where I once was, but nothing near how life use to be.
People often ask how I’m able to stay positive. How I continue to keep moving forward despite all of this.
I definitely have my days. 😅
But the truth is, my joy and hope isn’t found in a perfectly working body. It isn’t found in my work, profession, or anything that can be taken away. It once was. I found my worth and joy and identity in something so very fragile. And one day, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. Leaving me raw and open and vulnerable, grappling with the feeling that I had no worth anymore.
I had to learn to place my identity in something that could never be taken away. That no matter how sick I became, no matter how fragile my life was, it would never crumble. Jesus became that identity. I find my worth and happiness in Him. In who He says I am; in who He says I will one day be. 💜
The questions I get prompt me to remember a talk I once heard from a fellow chronic illness warrior. She mentioned that we often see sick people, disabled individuals, or those in wheelchairs and we immediately feel sorry for them. We pity them and feel bad for how hard their life must be.
But then she spoke the words my heart echos every day. She talked about how those who have had so much taken away, many of us have the magical gift of taking pleasure and finding joy in the smallest of things. We face the world with a childlike wonder. 🦋
She said instead of looking at them and saying “how hard they must have it!” Instead think, “how beautiful their life must be.” 💜
I know that’s so often the case with myself!! I’m forever grateful for the smallest things. Beautiful Fall days, encouraging messages between friends, music, my audio Bible, audiobooks, (kdramas 😜) pretty sunsets, or evening drives. Chick-fil-A waffle fries, or Dairy Queen strawberry cheesecake royals. 😛
Or the ways I’ve gotten better in areas I once was so much worse. Days where I’m able to help cook dinner, or stand up long enough to take a shower. The joy of being able to run my own business. (Even if it can also sometimes be a bit overwhelming 😜). The list goes on. 💜
I definitely have my moments. The days where grief seems to hit me out of nowhere, reminding me of what I’ve lost. Of the things I still can’t do. I’ll often sit in those feelings until my heart is ready to whisper, “maybe one day” and then pick back up my sword and continue to fight.
The road of a chronic illness warrior is a long and weary one. Instead of taking a week off to recover, like most do when they’re sick, our lives are spent trying to learn how to thrive and continue pressing on alongside the illnesses. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to learn.
But I’m thankful I can say with certainty that I love my life. Brokenness, scars and all. 💜💜💜
Where do YOU find your hope? What are some small things that make you smile? Let me know in the comments below!!
This post is also an introduction post for this little dude in the photo below!!! 😍🥰❤️
Teddy is a little over 6 months old and he’s a hypoallergenic goldendoodle. He’s the smartest, most lovable little puppy in the world and I couldn’t be more thankful for him!! He’s completely rocking most of his commands and tasks at home and is getting ready to start public access training with a trainer. 💜
He’ll be a medical alert dog if I continue to have blood pressure and blood sugar issues. As well as doing light mobility work, and tasks like picking things up off the ground (something that’s usually sure to send someone with POTS into an episode 🙈) or shutting doors, bringing meds, etc. He’s already rocking several of those tasks, and has been such an eager learner! He LOVES to work and feels so proud of himself when he completes a task. 😂💜
He’s also in desperate need of a haircut. 😂
In other news...
Our Fall box has launched over at Literary Treasures Co!
I launched Literary Treasures Co. when I noticed the need for a wholesome and inspiring book box subscription. Something the entire family can enjoy!
Each box features a full-length novel, (either leather bound or hardcover) and multiple gifts surrounding the story. Typically replicas of items mentioned inside the book!! (See below for our past Alice in Wonderland box!) We primarily feature classics, with the exception of an occasional classic retelling!
"RUBY RED” is the theme for this month’s book choice! This leather-bound classic is full of adventure, spunk, and friendship. 🦁💚🧺 And the box is FULL of treasures, (THIRTEEN to be exact!) guaranteed to sweep you along as you journey through the story!!! ✨💖
This box had its share of hiccups along the way, (like every box does 😂🙈) but it’s finally here and I CAN NOT WAIT to share it with you!!!! 😍🥰♥️
Orders are shipping right now and there are only a few boxes left!! These make the perfect Christmas gifts! As usual, I’m always happy to disclose the book choice to those who don’t like surprises!!! Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us via our Instagram page (@LiteraryTreasuresCo) and I'll get back to you shortly!!
Find out more about this months box or order your box HERE!
Photos of one of our past boxes:
When Life Gives You Umeboshis...
Did you know that an Umeboshi is often considered the world’s most sour fruit? THREE TIMES more acidic than a lemon, this Japanese favorite isn’t for the faint of heart!
However, this tangy fruit has been linked to improving circulation, boosting the immune system, reducing the chances of coming down with a cold or catching a nasty bout of the flu. It has also been shown to lower the chances of gastroenteritis, ulcers, and stomach cancer! It even helps boost energy levels and gives your body a jumpstart to healing in so many different areas.
At the surface, this fruit seems like one you might want to stay far away from. Afterall, how many of us really enjoy eating slices of lemon, much less something three times more acidic?! Yet, processed correctly and cooked the right way, Umeboshi has been called the “magical healing fruit” for centuries, and you can imagine why!
2020 has been one really strange year, hasn’t it? But what if we could somehow turn this year’s struggles and hardships into something a bit less…sour?
Continue reading "When Life Gives You Umeboshis" below, and discover 5 simple ways to make your days a bit sweeter!
1. Start your day off right
When the shadows start to overpower us, we have two choices: Find the light, or make our own.
There's always light to be found around us if we look hard enough! Think of ten things you're thankful for. Spend extra time in the Bible each morning and reminding yourself of all His promises and truths. <3
Put on some music or make your favorite breakfast!
Music does wonders for a weary soul! Making God your first priority every morning definitely starts the day off right as well. <3
2. Make your own light
Plan a fun activity, make a list of all your favorite things and see how many you can accomplish even with a pandemic going on. Find ways to alter your favorite things if they're not Covid friendly. Pick a new hobby; you never know, it may quickly become a favorite!
3. Play the "Glad Game"
If you've seen the movie, Pollyanna, you know what I'm talking about! The Glad Game is Pollyanna's own twist on "listing the things you're thankful for" but surrounding the current situation. For instance...
Thursday's are unpleasant and dreaded because that's the day my nurse comes to put a new needle in my port. BUT, I can be glad that it's only once a week and Thursday doesn't come around again for a whole 6 days! ;)
Now you try. Is there a situation you're struggling to get through because you can't find the bright side? See if there's something you can take from it and turn it into the Glad Game. <3
4. Make sure your priorities are straight
This one sounds simple enough, but it can be really hard! They say true joy is found when putting:
And there's so much truth in that! When we start our day off on the right foot by putting God first, the other things start to naturally fall into place. We'll have more of the mindset and heart to serve others, we'll put ourselves last as we seek to better the lives of those around us.
5. Reach out to a friend
There's such a strong power and light to be found in the simple process of just reaching out to a loved one. And not just for you, but for them too! If you're the calling type, schedule a phone call with a friend. If you're more like me and prefer messages and emails, then send a quick message. Take a bit of time to catch up and let them know how much they're loved. Chances are, you'll also be the one coming away blessed. <3
Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!
I feel like I should introduce myself, haha! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I stopped blogging consistently in what feels like decades ago. Life became a bit crazy and things have never been the same since. When Covid first began sweeping across the nation, people talked about having to stay home and what that looked like for them; how different that made their lives. I’ve been living like that for almost two years now, nearly bedridden for much of that time, so Covid didn’t change too terribly much for me!!
I thought it was high time I gave a bit of an update and let all of you lovely people in on the happenings of the last couple of years…
I’ll spare you the boring timeline and just suffice it to say that throughout the last two years, after months of bloodwork, traveling across states and even flying to doctors around the world, I’ve been diagnosed with POTS, Lyme disease, EDS, Alpha Gal Syndrome, MCAS, and Pernicious Anemia.
Daily IV therapy has been the most miraculous blessing and the one treatment that keeps me out of bed on most days! After a year of dealing with a picc line (and landing in the hospital every two months because of it) I had surgery in March of this year to have a PORT implanted. (A device placed under the skin with a tube threaded into the vein above the heart). The best decision I’ve ever made concerning health stuff! When my needle isn’t in, I can take showers, swim, and have the freedom I never had with my picc. I have my own personal nurse (no, that totally doesn’t make me feel special ;) ) and she comes every week to put a new needle in my port. Hence why Thursday's have become a bit of a dread nowadays! So I reward myself with strawberry Push Pops because that’s a totally mature thing for an adult to do.
How my life has changed…
My mornings consist of trying to wake my body up before 10:30, (which is hard when insomnia keeps you up until nearly 3:00 each night!) taking meds to get my heart rhythm on the right track, and doing my morning IV. (Usually while I’m doing my bible time!) Each IV takes around 1-2 hours to infuse if I’m being a patient patient. (Hahaha. See what I did there?)
My evening IV is a new addition to my treatment plan. I think it's making me a bit more nauseous than normal, but since I can’t get enough fluids orally right now, it’s a necessary nuisance!
Having Alpha Gal means eating no meat other than poultry or fish, and MCAS has taken away my ability to eat most everything else. I can't have gluten, dairy, and it seems I’m allergic to everything at the moment (and by “everything” I mean even water makes me sick some days and most fruits and vegetables cause reactions and there’s very VERY little I can eat without suffering some sort of reaction. I have an appointment with a doctor in CO who I’m flying out to see soon, so currently praying she’ll have answers and treatment options so we can steer clear from TPN or feeding tubes. <3
POTS and EDS currently think it’s fun to work together to affect my heart rate and blood pressure, so I can’t stand for over 10 minutes without passing out. Which cuts down more than you’d think! Simple tasks like washing dishes, sweeping the house, making dinner, taking a shower, and countless other things are severely affected because of this. It took months, if not over a year, to really get into the swing of things, find a new normal (which seems to forever be changing) and ways to work around these tasks, or alter them, but I’m finally slowly there!
I’ve stopped any big writing project at the moment. Probably one of the hardest things that's come out of all of this. I write short devotional/inspirational posts over on my Instagram page HERE, but Lyme and POTS have both affected my body so much that writing takes energy I don’t have most days. Not having enough blood supply to your brain hinders so many normal everyday tasks I use to take for granted! BUT, I could write this post (even though it took me dayyyys, lol!) So I'm rejoicing in that big accomplishment!
I’ve instead thrown every bit of energy into my business Literary Treasures Co. A fun business I started to supply authors and lovers of bookish things with all the literary merch! It takes far less brain power to keep up with than writing did, but it’s been a special way for me to still be a bit connected to the writers world even while I’m not writing. <3
I make custom lamps, freshly roasted coffee, bookish teas, tote bags, pins, t-shirts, miniature book keychains, and most recently; my soon to be, Literary Treasures Co Book Box (more coming soon on that fun adventure!)
It’s amazing how much one can do simply from the comfort of a recliner or chair. ;)
I’m forever grateful for being able to run my own business and the flexibly it gives me!! On the days I can’t even leave my bed, or just make it to a chair, I can still run my business and create products; continuing my passion of bringing the world of books to life in magical ways!
If you want to follow along on that crazy journey, keep an eye out for an email sign up link coming your way really soon!
Keep scrolling for more pics of my adventures, and all things baby animals (because we can always use cute baby animal pics in our lives, right?! And more pictures from Literary Treasures Co!)
If you got to the end of this; thank you. <3
Not blogging and being able to interact with all my sweet readers has also been soooo hard and something I miss greatly!!! But I'm always around and here for you and just an email away! Feel free to reach out anytime and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can! <3
Sending all the hugs and coffee!
Until next time, let's keep our lights shining for Christ!!
Today I am SOOOOO THRILLED to have Laura on my blog! <3
Laura is one of the sweetest humans and her kind heart filled the pages of one of the most precious books for writers. "Dear Author" is an inspiring book filled with uplifting messages to authors! With encouragement at every walk of an author's journey, and fun illustrations, this book is perfect for ANY writer!
Without further ado, let's dive into the interview, shall we?! <3
Can you tell us about the book?
Hi Aleigha! I am soooooo excited to be chatting with you today! *massive squeals* *coughs* Sorry! Did I mention I was excited? ;)
I would love to share about Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl!
Dear Author is fifteen letters with six illustrations (yes, six because I’m a big fan of books needing more illustrations these days) that are specifically written to indie authors. I wrote about all the emotions a fangirl like myself feels when reading their books and what I would love to say to authors personally as they labor over their works-in-progress.
What inspired you to write this book?
Earlier this year, it became blatantly apparent I was struggling deeply with postpartum depression after my third child was born due to a lot of stress. In order to focus on my mental health, I felt like I needed to stop book blogging as well as pull back from a few other commitments I had.
To say it broke my heart is an understatement. I am extremely passionate about supporting authors and was scared I would be unable to blog for a time. Because of that, I decided to write a letter to my author friends, pouring out my heart of why I cared so much for them and their stories (and wanted them to keep writing). It was sort of a moment of me asking, “If I could say only one thing, what would it be?”.
However, after that first letter, I didn’t stop. I was deeply moved by what I had written and continued sharing all of what was in my heart. It helped me handle the days when I felt lonely and missed being active online.
What do you hope readers will come away with after reading “Dear Author?”
When I was brainstorming messages I wanted or could include in the front of Dear Author with my signature (which is still SUPER surreal by the way), I knew I wanted to convey something that could sum up my book in one sentence.
It turned out to be two (LOL), but it was this: “Keep dreaming! Keep writing!”
I would definitely say that is what I hope readers will come away with when finishing Dear Author. I want them to be encouraged to keep dreaming about their stories and writing them down because there are readers waiting for a story only they can share.
Do you have any other book projects or ideas in the works?
I do! And I’ll say multiple! LOL!
I’ve actually been a little nervous about answering a question like this because my plan had been to work on my Christian manga, Denying Me, next. Writer’s block has really been a thing for this story though. Every time I’ve tried working on it, I’m just not happy with it. I feel like pieces are missing and not fully sure what those pieces are.
BUT! I am soooo happy to share that I’m feeling deeply inspired about a new direction for the story that I believe is the best direction. I’ve been letting it “stew” with some of my other story ideas. ;)
However, to directly answer your question, yes! I am currently working on a short story about a female samurai named Reiko. (She is amazing! I love her so much!) It started from a challenge I gave to some close friends of mine where we should write a samurai story with a happy ending. Later that day, this story was demanding to be written (and I’m excited to share it is written as of writing this blog post)!
I’m very happy with it and praying I can finish my personal revisions by this Christmas so I can send it to my editor. (My illustrator already said she’s impatient to work with me! LOL!)
What was the most exciting part about this whole book process?
I would definitely say physically writing these letters by hand.
One of my best friends recommended I should be more specific in my letters and suggested I write them all by hand. I’ll admit, I wasn’t super thrilled at first, but it was so much fun to actually write by hand! I feel it birthed my love for writing and showed me it CAN be fun and not just once in story’s lifetime kind of thing. (I wrote my samurai story by hand and have been doing revisions by hand too.) It was a very big turning point for me in wanting to continue to write because I found the process more engaging then typing it on my computer.
Thank you SO much for letting me share, Aleigha! I had a blast and so blessed by your support!
JOIN THE PARTY!
Join in the celebration of Laura A. Grace’s debut motivational, Dear Author: Letters form a Bookish Fangirl, on December 5th from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM EST (5:30 PM PST and 6:30 PM MDT)!
Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of encouragement, games, and giveaways. (Possibly an exclusive sneak peek to upcoming projects!)
Special guests Janeen Ippolito and Katie Phillips will also be joining in the fun!
Riding Out the Storms
A sweet friend once said, “think about depression like you’re a ship on the sea. Calmly ride out the storm; don’t try and fight so hard.”
There’s a lot of truth to that. Not just in depression, but in every area of our lives.
When we’re faced with rougher waters, when we suddenly find ourselves up against a vicious storm, I think a lot of times our first thought is “how do I get past this?” We have that desperate longing for the calm. To get back the life of normality we had before.
While it's certainly not wrong to wish for calmer waters, what if we thought about our storms a little differently? What if instead of fighting them so hard, we instead rested calmly in the arms of our Savior, trusting that He will carry us through?
Because whatever you’re going through right now, it’s just a season. It will pass. I promise.
The storm will end and you’ll look up and survey the sea around you. And you’ll realize that the calm you longed for is a bit different than what you imagined. It’s better. And you’re stronger and more beautiful and braver than you were before it started.
I love this song by Danny Gokey. It speaks my heart in all of this!
A lot of you know I’ve been on a health roller coaster this last year. Juggling this new world of Lyme disease and dysautonomia.
I never imagined I’d walk this road. This last year of pain and suffering and loss. The uncertainty of knowing how I’ll feel each morning when I wake up.
For months I wished for my old life back. A life where nausea didn’t affect my ability to eat, the days where brain fog was just a word and writing was possible, a time where I could tackle my to do list and still have energy left over.
And for months, that wish never came true. It still hasn’t come true. But you know what? That’s okay. Because I don’t want my old life back anymore. Yes, I still hope for the day when my nausea isn’t so consistent. The day I can write again and go places and do things without my health holding me back.
But if I had a choice, a decision to go back to the days before I was sick, I wouldn’t go. Because I’m not the person I was last year. That version of me was far less brave and stronger and wiser.
Because your trials, friends, however excruciating and devastating and painful they are, God is using them to shape you and mold you and form you into the beautiful work of art you are today.
So don’t fight so hard.
When a potter goes to the wheel and proceeds to make an object, that lump of clay does absolutely nothing. It merely sits there patiently, letting its maker mold it and shape it and work it until it’s just perfect.
Imagine if the clay had a mind of its own! Fighting against the hands of the potter, stubbornly trying to mold itself into the object it thinks it should be. It would be quite silly, wouldn’t it? It’s simply a lump of clay! How on earth could it even know what it needed?
We are those lumps of clay, friends. And Jesus is our Potter. We don’t know what we truly need, but Jesus does. And He’s working on us, bit by bit. Using trials and suffering and tribulations to break us and shape us into beautiful vessels to be used for His glory.
To wish that a trial never happened, or to hope for the pace of a former time, we might as well desire to stay as half formed lumps of clay.
This life is hard. Trust me, I know. But whatever it is you’re going through, big or small, it has such a beautiful purpose. You’re not going through this in vain. God is using every moment, every prayer, every tear, to make you braver and wiser and stronger.
So, let Him work. Trust Him and rest in His promises during the storms. Believing that He’s using them for your good.
Because He is.
And you’re going to walk away from this with so much more faith.
And far, far, stronger and more beautiful and whole then you can ever imagine. <3
There’s still time to snag your copy of “A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm” and claim your goodies!
These bookmarks and baby keychain of the book are just begging to go home with you. ;)
Just email me a copy of your receipt and I’ll work on getting the gifts to you right away!
Get your copy today!
I wrote “A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm” years ago. One of the hundreds of poems I added to my collection. But there was something extra special about this one. From the moment I wrote it, I could vividly see each character and the charming animals. I just knew that one day it would become a children’s book!
But finding an illustrator proved to be such a difficult task.
I tried everything. From contacting artists I found online, to searching through the children’s books at the bookstore and writing down my favorite illustrators. I spent hours researching, but nothing came together. They were either too expensive, or too commercial, and the style was never right.
I finally just settled. I wasn’t too entirely pleased, and nothing ever felt right. She did a few practice illustrations and I sat down one afternoon to tell her to go ahead with the rest of the designs. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find her email! All of her contact information had completely disappeared. It was so odd! But looking back, I now know it was 100% God.
I ended up giving it all to the Lord, something I should have done long before then. If He wanted me to find an illustrator, He would bring me one in His timing.
A couple of years later, I was scrolling through Facebook one evening and came across some photos a friend posted from his trip to Realm Makers. Being the nosy totally-non-creepy-stalker that I am, I explored a group photo and clicked on some of the people he tagged. I stumbled upon Mariposa’s profile shortly afterward, and my excitement grew with each picture I saw. She was such a talented artist! Her style was 100% what I had envisioned for A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm. I couldn’t have found a more perfect match.
I quickly sent her a message and waited for a reply. But the doubts began to creep in. “There’s no way such amazing illustrations are going to be sold for cheap.” “She doesn’t even know me! She might not answer my message! She probably thinks I’m such a weirdo!”
Imagine my surprise when I discovered the complete opposite. I not only found my illustrator that day, but I discovered a new dear friend. We bonded over our mutual love for Charles Spurgeon, and the same excitement over the characters from A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm. These characters quickly become our own as we created this world together.
It just goes to show you that God has such a marvelous plan for your life. He cares about your dreams, maybe even more than you do. So just some encouragement for you today, if you’re not exactly where you want to be, just trust that God has a beautiful plan. And it’s going to be far, far better than you can ever imagine.
Are you excited?!
And Finn is SO excited he tried to eat the book.
You can check out the story here!
Unfortunately, the cover image hasn't shown up yet. =(
But we're not letting that damper our spirits! Finn told me this morning that it was because the cover was SO awesome, the website couldn't handle it!
This story has been in the works for so many months now. Watching it come to life has been one of the most exciting projects on earth.
We have some fun things planned for you today!
I created a post a few days ago, asking for your questions. Ya'll had some fun ones! And Mariposa and I had a blast answering them. You'll find the Q&A below!
We are also SO. EXCITED. to announce that we're giving away goodies to the first 50 people who order A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm! (An exclusive keychain, and bookmarks!)
All you have to do is send a copy of your receipt to: email@example.com, and I'll work on getting your goodies sent out as soon as possible!
Would you like a chance to win a keychain? We have a fun game today that you can take part in! Any time you share about A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm, (make sure to tag me in the post) and you'll be entered to win a keychain! (More details are on my social media sites).
Are you following my author page on Facebook? Or Instagram? A lot of the fun will be happening over there!
Some easy links:
Questions for Aleigha!
What are your childhood favorite stories?
My childhood favorite stories were Janette Oke's Animal Friends book series. The illustrations were adorable, and the plots cute and intriguing! I also enjoyed Magic Tree House, The Boxcar Children, and Daughters of the Faith series.
What was your favorite part of working on this book?
Watching my story come to life. I’m a very visual person, so seeing my characters and each illustration bring this story to life was such a joy! Also, working with Mariposa at the very beginning to nail down each character’s likeness and what I was envisioning for our story was so much fun!
Was Aleigha ever chased by a crazy horse like in the story?
Hehe, thankfully the answer is no. Surprisingly, I’m not actually around animals much since I’m allergic to most of them. But I think all baby animals are ADORABLE.
What do cows do with all four stomachs?
Great question!! I pulled the answer from the internet because it explains it better than I can. ;)
“When the cow first eats, it chews the food just enough to swallow it. The unchewed food travels to the first two stomachs, the rumen and the reticulum, where it is stored until later. When the cow is full from this eating process, she rests. Later, the cow coughs up bits of the unchewed food called cud and chews it completely this time before swallowing it again. The cud then goes to the third and fourth stomachs, the omasum and abomasum, where it is fully digested. Some of this digested food enters the bloodstream and travels to a bag called the udder, where it is made into milk that will come out of her teats, while the rest goes towards the cow's nourishment.”
Are pigs as scary nasty as some people say? (44 teeth!)
Well, I would say it probably depends on the breed. And the pig! And whether the pig has grown up around lots of people. But every pig I’ve ever encountered has the sweetest personality! We’ve even owned a 400-pound pig named “Gilbert” who would try to curl up in people’s laps! (We had to put a stop to that quite quickly, for obvious reasons.)
Questions for Mariposa!
Does Mariposa live on a farm?
Nope, but I’m a proud country girl (and always will be), and I have a pond in my backyard that’s an apartment house for a slew of frogs and turtles.
What's your favorite animal to draw?
My favorite animal to draw is a dinosaur. I had a fondness for them as a child, and I’ve adored them ever since (I was probably the only girl who collected dinosaur toys as a child).
As a Myers-Briggs lover, so fun to see INFJ in Mariposa's bio. Does she write as well?
A whole-hearted YES! I actually enjoy writing slightly more than drawing because I’m fascinated by creating characters and plots. I always weave my art into my writing, though, and I intend to illustrate my books.
Any other books she has illustrated?
No, A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm was my debut as an illustrator, though I hope to release an illustrated middle-grade book of mine (hopefully) sometime next year.
What does Mariposa like to draw the least?
Jungles and forests—drawing leaf, after leaf, after leaf is extremely boring (as a side note, I tend to draw jungles a lot because that’s where most of my books are set— apparently I like to torture myself).
What is her favorite medium to use?
Pencil is my favorite medium (that’s what I used to illustrate A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm), with acrylic paint being a close second.
What was your favorite part about working on this book?
Getting to work alongside Aleigha. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know her and this was my first illustration job. I didn’t know how easy she would or wouldn’t be to work with. But after the first couple drawings, I found out what a sweet and wonderful person she is, and now I look forward to every time she contacts me for an art project.
I also really enjoyed becoming acquainted with Aleigha’s characters. By the time I’d reached the last drawing, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend I’d come to know and love.
Childhood favorite stories?
Betsy, Tacy, and Tib, Angelina Ballerina, and any American Girl book (I practically grew up on those).
Get your copy today!
(And remember, don't forget to send a picture of your receipt to: firstname.lastname@example.org, so you can claim your goodies!!)
Cover Reveal & Giveaway!
I’m so excited to finally get to share the cover for “A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm” with you all!!
What do you think?!
Mariposa did such an incredible job with the cover and all of the adorable illustrations. <3
And Finn is posing quite nicely, don’t you think?
A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm releases in just three weeks!
I plan on posting some fun things in the next couple of weeks!
Until then, here’s a little more about this children’s book!
“Today we’re going to Oaklenbrooke Farm, I can hardly stand the wait. Let’s hurry and get ready, it wouldn’t do to be late!”
Follow along as brother and sister embark on a colorful journey to meet all the creatures at their neighbors farm! A wise goat, a family of messy pigs, a silly old donkey, and a curious kitten are just the start of the charming collection of animals you’ll visit at Oaklenbrooke Farm.
15 delightful illustrations bring this warm, rhyming story to life, and help children learn insightful facts about the various creatures on the farm.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN YOUR COPY OF THIS DELIGHTFUL STORY?! ❤️
Entry details below!
To enter to win a signed copy of A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm, all you have to do is:
🐴 Share this blog post on any social media site
🐴 Subscribe to my email list (or ask a friend to subscribe. Extra entry for every friend!)
🐴 EXTRA ENTRIES: Follow me on Instagram or Facebook
(Don't forget to comment below and let me know which entires you used!)
The winner will be announced on release day! Good luck!!
Today was an adventure!
It started out with blood work, and ended with a trip to the allergist. I'm basically allergic to everything, haha! (Environmental wise. Food allergies came back great!)
But that explains my asthma attacks lately, and a lot of other things. So we've switched my inhalers and I'm looking forward to slowly feeling better! <3
I only learned about having asthma a couple of weeks ago. But it explains a lot!
And I'm so thankful for amazing doctors, and medications that make my attacks a lot less scarier. And hoping for brighter days ahead!
These scriptures have lifted my heart lately. <3
As a lot of you know, I was diagnosed with POTS several months ago. It’s been a battle of ups and downs, sorrows and joys.
Each day has its little mountains to climb. But through this trial, I’m learning to take pleasure in the simple things.
And rejoicing over every little thing I can accomplish that day.
I haven’t been feeling the best these last couple of weeks, but that’s when scriptures like these are so important to recall. That’s why we must hide them away in our hearts.
Everyone has their mountains to climb. Whether big or small, we all have obstacles we must overcome.
That’s why we have to cling tightly to scriptures like these. Scriptures that promise hope.
These scriptures in 2 Corinthians have so much truth and hope packed into them!
From the very first word “momentary” reminding us that the pain doesn’t last forever. To the hope of an eternal glory that far outweighs these earthly trials.
And the precious reminder to fix our eyes on not what is SEEN, but what is UNSEEN. Because these trials, these things that press in on us, the battles that sometimes grow bigger, and the mountains that seem to keep growing taller, It’s all going to pass away.
And one day we’ll be with Jesus in paradise. And the lame will walk and the blind will see. And no one will suffer, no tears will be shed.
But until that glorious day, we can fix our eyes upon Christ. Upon what is eternal. And trust Him to meet our needs and carry us though these storms.
I don’t know about you, but thinking about that always seems to give me the courage to press on.
So keep fighting friends, take joy in the simple things of life. In the laughter of your family, or the clouds and sunshine or drizzling rain. And always remember His promises and cling to scriptures like these!
I’m praying for my warrior friends today. Those I know who are going through hard things. Keep pressing on, friends!! It’ll get easier. Remember to cling to His promises and never let go. He’s never left you before, and He has no intention of doing so now.
What are some of YOUR favorite scriptures to turn to for hope?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, let's keep our lights shining for Christ!
Love you all!! <3
Today I'm super excited to have Livy on my blog! Not only that, but she's here to tell us about one of the most amazing giveaways this year!!!!!!!!
It's amazing because:
a. It's the most EPIC blogging course you'll ever find
b. It's currently on sale for the most INCREDIBLE price
c. Livy is AMAZING, and she's the one who created the course. So yeah. ;)
Okay, I'll stop talking and let Livy tell you how you can snag yourself a copy of this course!!!
Oh the joys of blogging! There are so many rewarding things about using our pens to bless and encourage others. With that being said, there are also a lot of bumps and challenges along the road, am I right?
Hey guys! My name is Livy and I'm SO excited to be here at Aleigha's blog today! Aleigha is such an amazing friend (as you all know who are following her!) and she offered to partner with me for a GIVEAWAY! Woo hoo!
So what exactly is this giveaway for, you might ask?
Fabulous question my dear, fabulous question, I'm about to tell you!
Last year Aleigha took a Cheerleader Session with my sweet friend Bella and I. Bella and I love coaching authors and bloggers: determined dreamers who are ready to take the next step and pursue the dreams God has given them in the writing and blogging world! We offer a service called Cheerleader Sessions and specialize in making a personalized Game Plan for you! Every author and blogger has a different journey and we want to help design a plan that works for you and your life.
We had such a blast doing a session with Aleigha, talking about her amazing books, website, and beautiful Bookstagram! Bella, Aleigha and I know that growing an online platform takes work and patience. But we also know that when you have a clear roadmap with consistent, daily steps, you CAN accomplish your goals and dreams!
This month, we're giving away a FREE Cheerleader Session!
Entering for a chance to win is super simple! Just hop on over to my blog and sign up for my free email updates (and I’ll throw in a free e-book, just to say thanks!) and you’re all set!
Good luck! Bella and I can’t wait to meet you and help create your Game Plan!
Or, if you’re a blogger who’s looking for a pre-made Game Plan, we have that too!
I’m SO excited to share my 20 Day video series for bloggers! It’s called Fire Starter: Launching a Blog that Blazes! This interactive course teaches bloggers (both old and new) how to create their dream blog or website, monetize their site, AND give them all the tools, encouragement, and support needed to be truly successful on their journey! The Fire Starter course is listed at $150.00 but we have a special code for you to get $100 off! Simply grab Aleigha's coupon code below, add it during checkout, and you’re all set!
You can check that out here!
Well, that's all for now, friends! Have fun entering the giveaway above and good luck! <3
About the Author:
Livy Lynn is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies!
Come get connected at www.livylynnblog.com
You asked! And here it is!
The chance to read "A Visit to Oaklenbooke Farm" before ANYONE else!
PLUS, a fun giveaway and other exciting prizes JUST for those that participate!!
Find out more HERE!