Catch the Torch! Lift it High in Honor of the Fallen

I love red poppies! They are scattered strategically around my house in various arrangements. In my office and entry way, etched into a glass plate and painted on a porcelain jug. A beautiful watercolor featuring the paper-thin red poppies adorns the wall in my dining room. These blood-red beauties are my all-time favorite flowers. Like life itself, they are fragile. Don’t even consider picking one—the bloom will bow its precious head and die within minutes of being plucked. Continue reading →

The Birds Are Still Singing

Our feathered friends are still singing!

Today, their melodious songs are unmistakably loud—and persistently cheerful, just like any other day. Two of our resident squirrels pause for a moment to tease the nesting mockingbirds but quickly return to stealing nuts and seeds from the swinging feeders. We strategically placed the feeders out of reach of the squirrels, but the furry rascals manage to find a way in! Annoying the birds has become the playful critters’ daily ritual in and around the magnolia and crepe myrtle trees. As I glance up at the majestic magnolia, I note dozens of bulging buds, announcing their readiness to burst into flower. Of course! It’s almost May—the month the magnolias bloom every year.

Meanwhile, bees are buzzing around garlands of fragrant white flowers all along the hedge on the western border. Unlike the greedy squirrels who delight in chasing the birds away, the bees are more than happy to share juicy nectar with a multitude of butterflies, just like they always do in April. From my shady vantage point, I’m captivated by hundreds of creepy crawlers and flying insects, all bustling hither and thither as they pursue their normal activities—content in their familiar little world.

In the garden, it’s life as usual.

Amid this ever-changing confusion of the Covid-19 pandemic, I find comfort in the garden. All God’s creatures are busy doing what their Creator intended—oblivious to the plight of humanity. Life remains unchanged for them. Each species compelled to fulfill its destiny as it has since the beginning of time. Guided by instinct, all creatures know precisely what to do and when to do it. Constancy is beautiful—and reassuring.

Hope soars.

I wonder what you’re thinking and feeling today. How are you dealing with life during Covid-19? How are you handling the lengthy stay-at-home restrictions and the myriad of repercussions to you and your family? Are you grieving for the tragic loss of life in the world? Are you anxious about having enough income to support your family? Do you struggle with a lack of physical touch? Are your emotions up and down and all around?  Do you yearn to hug your loved ones? Are you fearful about the future? Do you wonder when all this will end?

I think most of us have similar questions and concerns as we project into the future and ponder what life will look like as country by country the world struggles to return to “normal.” There’s no question humanity will get through this pandemic, but what will each of us take away from this experience to apply to our life in the future? How about you? Do you want life to be the same as it was before the pandemic, or have you discovered your priorities are shifting? Will you reassess and make changes?

Like everyone else, I’ve had plenty of time to think and to search my soul. My thoughts strayed back to December 2018, when I wrote a post entitled Reflecting and Projecting, in which I express the importance of resilience in an ever-changing world.

You see, experience teaches me that we can plan to the last little detail, but in this life, there are no guarantees that what we anticipate will materialize. Unforeseen circumstances often interrupt the best of intentions. If we are mentally unprepared, or unwilling to accept the unexpected darts, arrows, and diversions thrown our way, life can knock us to our knees. Sooner or later, we learn that although we have free will to choose and decide, we do not have complete control.

Whenever I feel confused or bewildered about things I cannot control, I sit in my garden, or I immerse myself in God’s earthly garden in nearby nature. It’s there amid His magnificent creations that I feel His love and assurance. Circumstances may be out of my control, but the Creator of the universe is in control of all things. I may not understand His plan, but He does, and that’s what matters. I may feel confused at the chaos in the world right now, but I am comforted that a God who cares for His beloved humanity has everything under control. Beautiful things will emerge from our current circumstances. I am so grateful—I feel so blessed.

As I look at my surroundings, I see three squirrels frolicking under the magnolia tree. The bees and butterflies are swarming all over the hedge, flowers are blooming, and the grass lawns are a lush green. The birds are still singing joyful songs to their Creator. All is as it should be.

In the garden, there is a sense of order and wonder. All will be well.

Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
—Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)

What Will Your Take Away Be?

How are you using this stay-at-home time to think about your future?

Will you make changes going forward? What will they be?

I’ve been knocked to my knees or had the stuffing knocked out of me many times, humbling me and causing me to rethink my priorities, my lifestyle and where I was headed. I’ve had to change direction. These are valuable tipping points. It’s happening again! And this will not be the last time, for undoubtedly there will be more times. It is ever so in this life. Are you feeling it too?

How you respond to this time matters. Are you learning some things? Are you realigning? Getting stronger? Clearer about the way you want your life to be at the end of this difficult time in the world?

This I know from past experience. Each time I was knocked down I came out stronger, and a better person. My faith in God increased. I grew more convicted about who I am, whose I am, what I’m called to do and the direction God wants me to go.

It can happen for you too. This can be your tipping point where good things will emerge. Take this time to savor the stillness. To search your soul and get clear on your priorities for the rest of your life.

What is most important and meaningful in your life?

Fearless Friday

Are you superstitious? Personally I’m not, but some people are and they tremble at the very thought of anything that relates to the number thirteen—hotel room numbers, floors in a building, street addresses, dates on the calendar, and even the military time of 1300 hours! I’m sure you can conjure up your very own connotation of the number thirteen.

Today is Friday Thirteenth, and as if that isn’t enough to unsettle those of you who are overly superstitious, there’s a new bully on the block terrorizing mankind. Covid-19 is on the move, swirling its evil tentacles around the globe, wreaking havoc with human health, creating turmoil wherever it goes, striking fear into the hearts and minds of millions the world over, and infecting thousands with its virulent virus. It’s all part and parcel of The Life and Times of Now! 

Yes, the unknown is scary and none of us know what the future holds.

For us, it’s one day at a time. So much is out of our control as new developments emerge daily. We have no clue what April 13th will bring—that’s the day we’re scheduled to leave for our prepaid 3-week trip to Scotland. Will it happen? It remains to be seen. Will the UK close borders? Will flights cancel? Will we be quarantined in our house, or our movements restricted to Austin? We simply don’t know. What we do know is that while much is beyond our control, we must be prepared for anything. We may have to make some hard decisions, and that means being brave, resilient, discerning, and flexible, and we must remain hopeful.  Expect the best, but not bury our heads in the sand.

We must all be fearless in the face of this insidious virus. No panic allowed—panicking clouds judgement and induces stress. We don’t need to exacerbate any existing stress, do we?

So, let’s not dwell on the fact that it’s Friday 13th and Covid-19 is loose and on the prowl for victims. Instead, let’s welcome Fearless Friday! Let’s stay calm and overcome doubts and fears. I understand it’s not easy to do when we’re threatened with a highly infectious, fast-moving virus with no known cure; one that leaves a trail of devastation in its wake. This pandemic is a serious situation and deserves our full attention but we must not let it consume our every waking moment.

Yes, I know both the known and unknown are scary, nevertheless I urge you to not panic or overly obsess, causing unnecessary stress that won’t help matters and will deplete your precious immune system. Stay vigilant and make wise decisions.

I encourage you to employ all the protective measures—by now, you can probably recite the list of precautions until you’re blue in the face! It’s always unsettling when we don’t know much about our enemy, but we must arm ourselves with knowledge, courage and faith.

Be fearless! When you’ve done all you can do—that’s all you can do.

I believe there’s usually something good wrapped up in the darkness to provide hope and light. I’m sure we’ll see some good things in the coming days. Those of you who know me, understand I make it a practice to look for the positive in challenging situations. I want to share a few good things I observed today on Fearless Friday.

  • The country’s uniting to battle the threat of Covid-19 – new streamlined health systems will emerge
  • Bold new rules are in place for the protection of our citizens.
  • The stock market rallied today, the best day since Oct 2008, despite recorded losses this week.
  • Millions are implementing diligent health habits (disinfecting, hand washing, no touching face)
  • There’s a pleasing heightened awareness on taking steps to build natural immunity.
  • An increased understanding of inexpensive, environmentally safe products that kill viruses (Basic G)
  • Families are taking control of their health—choosing natural supplements to boost immunity.
  • Many people are learning to transform worry and fear into faith in God, who IS still in control even though are questions aren’t answered.

I challenge you to remain cool, calm and collected. Be that person in the family who brings peace and assurance.  Contact your family and friends and see how they are, especially those who are elderly or alone, or both. Alleviate any troublesome fears. Reassure them you’re there for them through the coming weeks.

Be a beacon of light to those who cannot see beyond the darkness. I’m so proud of you for shining your light. Love one another. Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.

Be fearless.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose ~ Romans 8:28

My Book Review from Kirkus

I’m thrilled to announce that Kirkus has reviewed my book and you can read their assessment below. I feel the review is an accurate description of the message I dreamed of portraying through the stories in my book. This link will take you directly to the review as published in their site.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/anthea-gillian-tripp/my-soul-sings-for-you 

MY SOUL SINGS FOR YOU
SPIRITUAL PEACE IN THE LIFE AND TIMES OF NOW
BY ANTHEA GILLIAN TRIPP  RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 18, 201

Book Review

A motivational guide to simpler living that taps into its author’s experiences. 

In her attractive nonfiction debut, Tripp draws in part on her time in East Africa in the 1950s, recalling some straightforward advice she was given about hippos and alligators. Gators, she was told, are very dangerous and live in swamps—so stay out of swamps if you don’t want to get eaten. That advice is typical of her direct approach. “Please don’t overlook the wisdom in simplicity,” Tripp writes in a sentiment that runs throughout the book. “If you don’t want to set yourself up for pain, don’t go where you know the potential for pain exists. If you don’t want to be eaten by alligators, do not venture into the swamps, at least not willingly.” She calls her book an “anthem to my Creator” and draws heavily on her life story, emphasizing optimism and flexibility in the face of life’s uncertainties. “I’ve learned always to expect the unexpected,” she writes, “and to smile at my Creator’s sense of humor.” Her book frankly acknowledges that modern life seems designed to attack and destroy peaceful simplicity. She reflects on how plugged-in she once was to that world, with feeds and notifications constantly bombarding her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, and elsewhere until Tripp felt like she was “ADHD on steroids.” She bravely took a step that others only dream about: “I announced on my Facebook profile page that I was reining in my activity on social media to passionately pursue the business and personal goals aligned with my purpose.” Through life lessons and her Christian insights, she seeks to provide antidotes to that continual noise and chaos. Her narrative voice is inviting; her candid optimism will likely comfort even her non-Christian readers, though her sentiments can range from the biblical—“Love never fails”—to the familiar-but-ridiculous: “That which doesn’t kill us can make us stronger.” She urges people never to underestimate the power of prayer or the value of friendship, and such ideas, though commonplace, are always worth repeating.

A calming and gently thought-provoking reminder that the simplest wisdom is often the truest.

Be the Voice of Calm

Stay calm and carry on was an encouraging announcement on a poster from back in 1939. It was created by the British government to raise public morale when mass air attacks on its cities were widely predicted during World War II. 

Staying calm was good advice then, and it’s just as relevant today. In times of trouble and turmoil, we need to keep our wits about us. All of them. We must think reasonably, rationally and creatively when the storms of life hit. We humans don’t behave at our best when we’re panicked. 

Whether we’re threatened by wars, worldwide pandemics or anything else with the potential to disrupt and threaten our lives, let us remember that mass panic and hysteria never served any useful purpose because it doesn’t influence external factors beyond our control. However mass panic can spread fear, increase heightened emotions, impair judgement, prompt panic-buying, raise prices and impact the economy, as in sharp downturns in stock markets.

I’m referring to the Covid-19 virus and the resulting responses from news stations, radio talk show hosts, social media posts and the general public. The amount of price-gouging, fear mongering and finger-pointing is rampant. The blame-game is in full play but does that really serve any helpful purpose?

I’m seeing opportunist companies and individuals pitching their products and services with self-profit in mind, using fear-mongering ads and announcements while their normal pricing structure doubled or tripled.  

Hey people, stay calm. Panic helps nothing. 

Should we be concerned about the potential threat of Covid-19? Of course! We’d be foolish not to have concern about the unknown consequences but let’s not toss integrity to the curb for the sake of greed. And let’s not lose civility to others by placing blame where there is no proof. And, let’s not spread to mass fear. 

Instead, let us use our energy wisely in preparation to protect ourselves and our families in the best way we know how. There are specific precautions within our control. I’m not here to issue a complete list of those recommendations because the CDC, and others, have widely circulated actions you can take, so you can do your own research. 

At this moment int time, we have no idea as to the impact of Covid-19 on the world at large, or on us as individuals. It’s all in the future. We don’t know if you will get the virus, or if I will get it, or how serious it might be for any of us.  It’s unknown if our travel plans will all be disrupted or if we’ll find ourselves in an unexpected quarantine. It’s all an unknown entity, and the unknown and unexpected can cause anxiety.  

With that said, let’s all decide ahead of time to build our immune systems, to wash our hands frequently, and disinfect our homes with reliable products known to kill bacteria and viruses. Then, get plenty of sleep and take other precautions within our control. 

When we have done all we can and said our prayers, the rest is out of our control.  Remember, when any storm of life erupts, there are heightened emotions, waves of panic and disagreeable voices around you. 

Make sure you are the voice of reason.

Stay calm and carry on. And always pray. Every day.

 

 

Alone. Not Forsaken.

Maybe it was the faint click as they closed the front door. Perhaps it was my heightened intuition or merely an uncanny coincidence. I can’t say for sure what caused me to wake up with a start. I could see the landing light shining onto my feather eiderdown through a crack in the door, which was always left ajar at my request. The shaft of light was immediately reassuring, so I pulled back the bed covers, slipped my feet into the cozy slippers beside the bed, and headed for the bathroom just in case that was the reason I’d woken up. I wondered what time it was. It felt as though I’d barely got into bed, but perhaps I’d slept longer than it seemed.

On my way to the bathroom, I called down the stairs softly in a sing-song rhythm, “just going to the bathroom!” It was customary for me to announce an intention to my parents whenever I wandered about upstairs after bedtime, so they’d know what I was doing, and I avoided the chastising order to get back to bed! I peered down the flight of stairs and saw light coming from the living room, but no one answered. Since an acknowledgment was not forthcoming, I proceeded to the toilet, but on my way back to bed, I again called down the stairs. This time I declared I was going back to bed, and I raised my voice to just below a shout. Nothing! No response. This was most unusual—one or another parent would always answer. Then it occurred to me that they were already in bed and had forgotten to switch off the living room lights.

From my vantage point on the small landing area, it was easy for me to glance through their open bedroom door to determine if they were in bed asleep. Alas, the room was dark, but I could see my parents’ twin beds, neatly made and pushed together. They were unoccupied. No Mum and no Dad. I felt anxious as I raised my voice a decibel and yelled down the stairs more demandingly, “Where are you?”

Still, there was no response. What could have happened? Fear seized me, and I quickly ran into my bedroom, turned on the overhead light, and fumbled for my clothes. I don’t know where I thought I was going, I definitely was not about to venture outside into the dark of night to look for my parents, but in my eight-year-old mind, I wasn’t thinking reasonably—I only knew I needed to find my parents because I was afraid of the dark at the best of times, and apparently I was now alone in the house. My two biggest fears—the darkness of night and being alone—struck a somber chord inside my young being. Had they abandoned me? I was bewildered and confused as a situation such as this was something I’d never experienced. My parents were always there.

Had they come to some harm? Where could they be, and why had they left me alone?

My mind raced, and my imagination ran amok as I exchanged my pajamas for my school uniform—the clothes neatly laid out at the foot of my bed—the ones I was to wear to school the next day. As I hurriedly dressed, I listened intently for tell-tale sounds—my parents’ familiar footsteps climbing the stairs, or voices announcing their presence. But all was eerily quiet. My eyes welled up with hot tears that spilled over and rolled down my cheeks. Fully dressed, I sat on the edge of the bed frantically trying to focus on what action to take. It suddenly came to me. I would overcome this fear in a logical, sensible manner that would make my parents proud. Thus, were the ramblings of this timid eight-year-old girl, alone and afraid—and illogically concluding that if my actions solicited their approval, Mum and Dad would magically appear.  

Parental teaching by example and instruction reminded me to tackle situations with careful thought, followed by decisive action. So, what else was I to do? I felt the fear, shed some tears, neither of which had helped my plight, so I jumped into action. I would face the fear factor first—head on! I opened the drawer in the small nightstand by my bed and pulled out a penknife! It was a gift from my Dad intended to accompany my fishing tackle paraphernalia for when we’d take excursions to the river. The knife was about two inches long with an inlaid mother of pearl handle. A single two-inch blade extended the length of the knife to about four inches. I did take it on our fishing trips, but more often, I used it to sharpen pencils to a fine point. I kept it in the nightstand drawer for several reasons, one of which was for convenience—easy access. It was also comforting to know the little knife was near me at night if a monster emerged from the dark shadows, imaginary or otherwise.

I gripped the penknife and slowly extracted the shiny blade being careful not to cut myself. The edge was very sharp but would not pose a threat to anything larger than a mouse, let alone a monster, but then I was only thinking about my plan so I was undeterred by the insignificance of my weapon. I was proud of myself for taking matters into my own hands and making use of what few resources came to mind. I imagined how creative my parents would think I was, and that offered further encouragement.

Resourcefulness was upheld and applauded in our household and worn as a badge of honor. I took a deep breath, puffed out my chest, and figuratively pinned on that badge as I set about securing the house of any potential threat. In doing so, perhaps my fears would subside. Why in the world did I think a tiny knife could protect me? But I wasn’t thinking rationally; I was a scared child reacting and holding myself together as best I could.

Methodically, I investigated all the concealed areas upstairs. I started by looking under my bed and in the wardrobe moving the clothes to make sure nothing was hiding among them, then I did the same in my parents’ room. I peered behind the bathroom door—all was clear. Timidly, I ventured downstairs and found everything quiet and in order. In the living/dining room area, hot embers in the fireplace glowed behind the fireguard and threw out some welcome warmth, but the chairs and sofa were empty. I investigated the kitchen and opened the pantry door. It was too small to conceal anything much, but I checked anyway. No sign of anyone. The area under the stairs hid nothing to worry about, so I passed it by with a cursory glance and scurried back up the stairs to my room, thoroughly dejected. My heart was pounding. My parents were nowhere in sight.

My foray with the knife assured me nothing bad was hidden or lurking in the shadows, and while that concern had lessened, the dread of being alone in the house was increasing by the second. I folded up the penknife and laid it on the nightstand. I began to cry—no, I sobbed uncontrollably! I was cold, alone, filled with anxiety—and I had lots of unanswered questions. 

Where did they go, and why did they leave me? What will I do if they don’t come back?

In search of warmth and to escape the cold night air upstairs, I retreated to the safety of my bed, curled my small body into a tight ball with my clothes still on, and pulled the covers over my head. I continued to cry as I pressed my face into the bed and closed my eyes in the hopes of surrendering to sleep. Perhaps when I woke up, Mum and Dad would be home, and then all would be well. It would be like it never happened. Those were hopeful thoughts, but in no way did they ease my fear and sadness or give me the peace for which I longed. I hated feeling so alone.

I’ve learned when we are most alone, we discover that we are not alone at all! Suddenly, while sinking into the depths of despair, a thought popped into my young mind.

Jesus.

“He lives inside you, Anthea,” my grandfather had said, “You have only to call His name, and He is there! He will answer you and protect you! He will give you strength and comfort you.”

So, I stopped crying and cried out to Jesus. I hummed one of my favorite hymns, “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” and I asked Jesus to bring back my mother and father. I recalled that Grandad had read me stories about Jesus and His love for little children. A calm peace came over me as I focused on thoughts about Jesus.

After a while I dared to peek out from beneath the covers. I turned to face the bedroom door, straining my ears towards the stairs while listening intently. What was that? Did I hear something? Was it a key in the door? Soft voices? Quiet footsteps? Dare I get out of bed? 

 I hurried, still fully clothed and full of hope to the top of the stairs. Oh, joy! There they were—coming up to bed—both of them! Thank you, Jesus!

Imagine their astonishment to find me, dressed for school, and greeting them on the landing. I admonished them with a “Where did you go?” and the most disapproving look I could muster. My tear-stained face was a dead giveaway as they patiently listened to my sad tale of discovering I was alone, getting dressed, and my swing around the house with penknife in hand. They could see how disturbed I was. Suffice it to say; they had just slipped out to the neighbors next door for a short visit. I imagine they might have had a chuckle later, but at that moment, they hugged me, professed their love, and assured me they’d never leave me.

At the time, I was just relieved to have them home—it was a happy ending. Life continued as it always had. The years passed. While I never forgot that incident, the trauma hadn’t caused any permanent scars. On the contrary, I was profoundly impacted by the experience—perhaps more beneficially as I grew older and wiser.

Looking back now, I realize it was a pivotal episode in my life—a real game changer—one of those encounters that strengthened me and prepared me for the future. The lessons I failed to fully understand back then were embedded in the experience and emerged many years later—lessons I could use myself and instill in others.

Perhaps you can relate to what I’ve written. Maybe you’ve enjoyed hearing this story and were interested in how I handled things in my childish way. I wonder if you’ve ever felt alone and afraid, or if you, as a parent, ever left your sleeping children by themselves for a short time, thinking they’d stay sound asleep and safe, but quite unexpectedly they woke up and when you returned you found them crying and calling out for you. Sadly, I’m guilty of doing that on one occasion. Considering my experience as a child, you’d think I’d know better, wouldn’t you?

I hope you won’t miss the main message in this post or overlook some important lessons from the events as they occurred. As a child, I certainly didn’t catch them all—not even close. But what was important is that I did learn something very meaningful. When I felt most alone and abandoned, I was not alone at all—as a believer in Christ, His Holy Spirit was planted in me to be my guide and comforter. Even as an eight-year-old, although I didn’t fully understand it, I felt the power within me, and the peace I received. I knew it was not of my human strength but grace freely given from God. That much stayed with me, and while I may not always have implemented what I learned that night, I have done so more often than not.

As time went by, and sporadic memories of that night flashed before me as an adult, I recognized a few valuable lessons to share. One that comes to mind right away is how fortunate I was in having a family member who taught me I can count on Jesus to be with me always, in the good times, the downturns, and yes, even in the darkest of days.

I also learned that  we may not always have our loved ones with us, to lean on, to protect us and comfort us. There are no guarantees, and bad things can happen to good people. I discovered that self-sufficiency is not always enough to calm fears and bring peace in the midst of a storm, but God can.

Do you believe that we are allowed difficult circumstances to not only strengthen us but to be encouraging to others we meet in life? I believe that with all my heart. Many years later, I was able to instill that concept in a frightened 5-year old boy—by assuring him that Jesus is with us always. Since His spirit lives within us, He is there—wherever we go. I like to think planting that little seed of faith in his heart made a difference in his life.

I am a resourceful, independently minded, and self-sufficient woman, so it’s never been easy for me to admit weakness, and I often try to go it alone. I put my best foot forward as we Brits often say. You can see how I played that out as a child taking matters into my own hands with the penknife scenario, which was not a bad thing given the circumstances but didn’t alleviate the fear. You will also notice even though I had proven that there was no physical presence in the house to harm me, the fear persisted. I was scared to be alone, and peace of mind was not forthcoming.

It wasn’t until I called out to Jesus, beseeched Him for help, and tapped into His strength that I received peace. Isn’t it comforting to know that the Lord of the universe is a whisper away? He loves us, knows us intimately, and He hears our prayers. He is for us, not against us.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7  (NIV)

A Closer Look at the Author

A deeper dive into my thoughts.

While I love people and am considered outgoing, friendly and sociable, I value time alone—time to be still and just be. In the silence of solitude is where I process deep thoughts and reflect inwardly on a wide variety of circumstances and situations that I encounter or observe in life.

As a result, a great deal of thought and expression is woven into the pages of My Souls Sings for You, and in the nine chapters in the book numerous topics are covered—ones most prevalent in the minds of so many people in the life and times of now. Some may see the book as the way I view life, or my philosophy on living.

My friends understand how passionate I am about health and wellness, and to them I offer assurance that I will never stop advocating for healthy living, nor will I ever stop championing our parent company. So much of my personal growth has been a direct result of building our business, alongside my husband for 38 years. So many of my dearest friends have come from business and client associations. And if I am honest, there would be no book without our long-established business, so I am eternally grateful for the opportunity given and the sustained success achieved over the years. What I do is a passion and is central to my life’s purpose. It was yesterday, is today and will be tomorrow. My business has also provided the time and resources for me to write My Soul Sings for You.  

If you study the components of optimum health and wellness, you will know there are many elements to good health and longevity. One critical piece of the health puzzle is learning inner peace. The soul yearns for it and needs it.  However, inner happiness, to be content in all circumstances, is not easy to achieve. In our crazy world of today, people often sacrifice their spiritual health as they strive to have more, do more or be more. Alas, some people even exchange inner peace in an all-out attempt to acquire something admirable, like physical health, by striving too hard and overdoing it. If some’s good more’s better? Not always.

I see a great need for people to live a more balanced life, and a simpler life—one that embraces inner peace and happiness. But how does one achieve it? I believe that the stories in my book will guide my readers down a path of self-discovery, ultimately leading them to seek out, and secure a greater sense of spiritual peace.  

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification
—Romans 14:19

My Soul Sings for You

.

Earlier this week, my publisher Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, alerted me that they had submitted my book files to the printer for formatting, and that the official publish date of the book was 18th September 2019. I am delighted to reveal the title and its accompanying tagline.

My Soul Sings for You
Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now

Publishing this 356-page book has been a unique journey that has challenged me as a writer and a person at each step of the process—actions that included writing, editing, selecting cover graphics, interior chapter graphics, creating unique captions to each graphic, as well as reading the entire book numerous times. It all added up to a lot of planning and decision-making amid intermittent periods of waiting patiently as my publisher performed their part in the production process.

The Birth of a Book

I can’t help but see similarities between the creation of my book and the birth of a child. A baby requires nine months to develop and likewise its been exactly nine months since I announced to the world that I would publish a book in 2019. I can hardly believe it’s true!

Since January, when I first announced my intention to author a book, I have shared an assortment of Sneak Peeks posts on social media platforms, highlighting random passages from a few stories in the book. I tagged those posts with #firstbook2019, #bookcoming2019, and similar hashtags—countless times.

It excites me to use the hashtag #publishedauthor on subsequent posts.

Many friends have asked about the book content, and I answered honestly and briefly. However, it’s time to dive deeper into the substance to reveal the theme and what you will read, but first I’d like to share comments from a couple of people who have read the entire manuscript and who offered to endorse the book.

I am so grateful to Ann Miner and Don Watts for the following reviews:

  • Anthea Tripp writes from personal experience with conviction, wit, and wisdom. Her openness, honesty, and witness of her faith lend a sense that the words are written personally for the reader. My Soul Sings for You is a pleasant and easy read.
    —Ann Miner, Author, I Lift My Eyes, Bugs in the Baptismal, Buddy Finds A Home, Polly Possum’s Wandering Path
  • We have been friends for 35 years and I never realized she had this writing talent! This is a great read, with poignancy, humor and faith throughout.
    Don Watts, aka The Old Woodworker, Sugar Land, Texas

On the back cover of the book, you will find the following description:

Do you dream of a simpler life? Are constant demands and nonstop busyness stealing your joy?

Welcome to the life and times of now. Sometimes, amid the clatter of life, we sense a whisper from the depths of our being, imploring us to stop—to seek peace and restoration. We may acknowledge the fervent pleas, yet we’re unable to devote time and attention to our souls. As we juggle the demands and priorities of life, we disregard the spiritual essence of who we are, and whose we are. We neglect our souls. Unrequited, they thirst on.

My Soul Sings for You characterizes the world today. Valuable lessons about family and life in all its glory are gift wrapped in true short stories to awaken your soul and restore your spiritual peace. Refreshingly raw and real, these writings will evoke strong emotions that touch your heart. As you resonate with the storylines, you’ll laugh at the humor in situations, shed tears of sorrow at life’s losses, and rejoice in the triumphs. With your faith renewed, you’ll marvel at unexpected miracles. Your hope will soar to new heights. You’ll experience the beauty of unconditional love and joy.

There is no distinct beginning or ending to this book. Pick it up whenever you have a small block of time to read a topic that speaks to your heart. Be still for a moment or two. It’s time for your soul to sing again.

A few more points of interest for questioning minds:

  • My local book launch will be mid to late October, date TBA
  • I will offer to participate in book signings locally
  • Books will be for sale via numerous online distributors worldwide, including
  • There are three versions: paperback, hardcover, and an eBook. The book retailers determine the price and discounts
  • The book is currently undergoing a professional review—the results anticipated in 11-12 weeks. Fingers crossed.

The rapid transition from production to publishing has left my head spinning—it is very much like giving birth. Lol! One minute you’re pregnant and the next minute you have a real, live baby in your arms! You may be fully prepared for the event and be well aware of the due date, but once it happens for real, you are caught in a whirlwind of activity which is all new to you!

In this instance, it’s not a baby in my arms but a book in my hands—well, almost! My first order of books will arrive in ten days. It’s incredibly exciting, but it’s also a bit nerve-wracking. So much is unknown and this entity has the power to take on a life of its own.

My Soul Sings for You is already visible on some book sites and is available to purchase. I decided to make a public announcement right away—before you stumble on the book by accident! Meanwhile, the Westbow Press marketing folks are designing my website, and promotional materials.

I encourage you to read my book in whatever format you choose and I hope you enjoy the collection of stories. Perhaps something I say will resonate with you or touch your heart and mind, and help you find spiritual peace and a deeper faith. I pray that my words bless you, inspire you and encourage you to nourish your thirsty soul.

If you enjoy the book, please leave a review at the site where you purchased it. Thank you to all who have encouraged me to complete this book. Gratitude overwhelms me. Your generosity and outpouring of love truly humble me.

I pray this book glorifies God, and blesses you abundantly.

Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll.
—Job 19:23 (NIV)

Beyond Words

We must read beyond words! When strung together, they can evoke strong emotions or ignite the imagination, creating vivid pictures in the mind. Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words, touch is more powerful, or just being can be the most appropriate of expressions. Then, there are times, when reading or listening, we must look beyond words to discover an inference or a deeper meaning.

For the last five months, while writing the manuscript for my book, I’ve never been more conscious of the power hidden in words, their unique meanings and the impact of connecting the right words into a phrase, a sentence or a paragraph for the most accurate interpretation by the reader. Continue reading →