Commentary #88: “Make Your Own MAGIC and Manifest Your DREAM LIFE”

The quoted words in the title of this blog post comes from a relatively recent episode of the That Smart Hustle podcast by author Kristen Martin. I haven’t read any of her books yet, though I plan to change that sooner rather than later. I discovered her Facebook page, and then stumbled upon to her podcast. I subscribed, went all the way back to Episode 1, and just fell in love.

That Smart Hustle - Soundcloud

Image Credit: Soundcloud

I love her voice, her style, and her podcast format. They’re short, sweet, and simple.

Granted, she does things very differently than I do. But, what she shares in her podcast episodes are always encouraging and inspiring to me.

I’m not “into” or “practice” certain things such as the phases of the moon, crystals, tarot, and so on. I know people who do a combination of things like this, and I’m not arguing against any of it. As a Christian, I pray. However, I really like the idea of manifestation. And, I think I’m already doing it, and didn’t even realize it.

In this episode, Kristen expands upon manifesting, and how she does it in her life. It’s based on the law of attraction. Focus on something to bring it into your reality. There are several ways to accomplish this: Meditation, visualization, or using your conscious and subconsicous to focus on this thing, or goal, or whatever it may be.

Once you’ve pick the thing or goal to manifest, then you have to take action. As an example, if you want to get a new job or a promotion, then you focus on that job or promotion, visualize it, and then clean up your resume, submit the applications, or climb the ladder toward that promotion. It takes effort, and hard work, but it pays off.

For me, I “accidentally” manifested the completion of the first draft of my first novel. I was tired of struggling with the ending of the book, and I decided I just needed to finish it, no matter what it took. When I saved the draft on March 30th, the feelings of elation, pride, and joy I had were remarkable. I practically jumped up and down in my living room. I posted about it on Facebook, and the response and feedback I received was absolutely incredible. I realized how many people were cheering for me, how proud they were, and how many are looking forward to the book when it’s ready to be published. I’m still blown away by it all, and here we are nearly three weeks after I finished it.

Am I manifesting anything new, you may ask?

Yes, I am!

  1. Being debt-free
  2. Completing the first draft of my second novel

These two things are huge in my universe right now. I just took major action on #1 today, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction after a lot of negative thoughts, and a huge emotional breakdown between yesterday and this morning.

I’ve been actively participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month for #2, and I feel so good with the progress I’ve made thus far. And we’re only 11 days into the month!

As I write this post, I just realized the Monthly Goals posts I make here on the blog are also forms of manifestation. I set those goals, and having them in writing on the first day of every month allows me to take action on them immediately, or work on them throughout that month. And, I’m able to look back on them whenever I want, to remind myself of the goals, and invest more time, energy, or whatever it is to accomplish those goals.

Now, why is “dream life” capitalized in the title?

Well, Kristen says in the podcast that you can use manifestation to help you build your actual dream life. I love this idea. She talks about making a list of everything you dream about that you want in life: What job do you have, what car are you driving, what are you wearing, what house do you live in, what state or country do you live in, and so on.

I will be working on this in my personal journal, and I’m pretty stinking excited about it already. If you’re interested in doing this yourself, think of it as your “vision board,” but those visions are achievable. Making this list, using techniques like this, will help me make those dreams a reality.

All that said, I still pray to God. As a Christian, that’s a given for me every day. That won’t change a bit.

And something special has been happening at my church that I haven’t talked about very much. As a congregation, we have a Breakthrough Prayer we are challenged to pray every day at either 5:17 a.m. or 5:17 p.m. The reason 5:17 is significant is that’s our Bible verse, 2 Corinthians 5:17, for the Next Level Innovations (NLI) process we are embarking upon for the next three years.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

How fitting that our church is New Creation United Methodist Church.

In a way, NLI is another form of manifestation. The three-year process has a series of goals and visualizations, and it takes effort and action from everyone involved to make it successful. I love the mantra: Going from good to GREAT.

I know, for me, since we started this process, I’ve already experienced a few breakthroughs, and I can only imagine there are many more to come.

Here’s the Breakthrough Prayer:

Almighty God, today breakthrough in our lives and in our church. Make us a new creation. Transform us by the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. Show us how to make a difference in our community and the world. Give us boldness to follow where You lead. Amen.


Resources


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #165: Tenth TBR Recap

Books Quotes

Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

Welcome back!


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR update:

  1. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  2. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  3. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America *Re-Read*

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. McGinnis, Mindy, The Female of the Species
  2. Ng, Celeste, Everything I Never Told You
  3. Pon, Cindy, Want
  4. Sanderson, Brandon, Mistborn: The Final Empire
  5. Weldon, Fay, Habits of the House
  6. Westover, Tara, Educated: A Memoir

Removal Rate: 6/10 = 60%


Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Conley, Garrard, Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
  2. Kubica, Mary, Good Girl
  3. Oviatt, Didi, Search for Maylee
  4. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone *Re-Read*

Keep Rate: 4/10 = 40%


Adding To The TBR

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Brubaker Bradley, Kimberly, The War That Saved My Life *Re-Read*
  3. Cullen, Dave, Columbine *Re-Read*
  4. Fisher, Carrie, Wishful Drinking
  5. Goldstein, Amy, Janesville: An American Story
  6. Hite, Sid, My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe, Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
  7. Humphries, MD, Suzanne, Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History
  8. King, Stephen, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft *Re-Read*
  9. Russell, Kristen, A Sky for Us Alone
  10. Thomas, Angie, The Hate U Give

So, my current TBR is 14 books.

Do you have a TBR?

What book are you looking forward to reading next?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #164: Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard

Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard. This is your first one in Heaven. We know you are celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa! We miss you so much here on Earth. You are loved!

I think back to this day last year. It was the first Saturday in April, which is always a blood drive day, I kept telling Al to remind me to call Uncle Richard, to tell him Happy Birthday, before we went out to dinner with our friends Casey and Beth. I had such a wonderful 20-minute conversation with him, and I could hear his smile in his voice. I was so thrilled to have remembered to take the time to do that. Little did I know what would happen next.

My Uncle was a life-long bachelor, never married, no kids. He went to Vanderbilt. He was a flight attendant for National Airlines, and then they merged with PanAm. He lived 15 minutes from my grandparents for decades. He loved history, movies, food, and laughter.

He selflessly took care of Grandma Grace and moved her in with him from 2010 until she died peacefully in July 2013.

He always called me his favorite niece. I always laughed, since I was his only niece.

We worried about him for several years, but he persevered through happy times and challenging times.

I called him on Saturday. On Tuesday, the world as my family knew it came crashing down. He’d been in a car accident, four blocks from his house. We found out later he’d suffered a massive stroke. My parents, bless them both, literally dropped everything here in Virginia and got to Miami as fast as possible. My mom, Richard’s kid sister, took charge, and my dad bent over backwards. I stayed put, checking on their house and getting their mail.

Everyone in Florida were wonderful. The church community gathered together and offered everything, especially prayer.

After several weeks, the difficult decision was made to bring in hospice care. He’d fought hard, but his body was failing. He was coherent until the very end, saluting my dad, as he always had since my dad had served in the Coast Guard for more than 23 years. One of them brought the wedding photo of us to his room, and he knew who I was. I was able to call one last time. He wasn’t able to speak or respond to me, but my mom said he was nodding and recognized my voice. I told him I loved him, and then I couldn’t talk any more. I’d said my piece. I felt at peace.

He died peacefully on April 25th. It was the hardest four weeks my parents had been through, and many more months of challenges would follow, making sure his estate was taken care of. Months later, my mom gave an incredible presentation at a church fellowship dinner, dubbed “The Miracles in Miami,” where so many amazing God Things happened during this horrible, tragic, trying time.

Here’s to you, Uncle Richard, from your favorite niece.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #163: April Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 40

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, April! It’s good to see you. Thank you for bringing the new flowers and leaves! Once Mother Nature decides to cooperate with consistently warmer temperatures, I’ll be very happy!


Here are my goals for the month of April:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday!
  3. See Shazam!
  4. See Avengers: Endgame.
  5. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019.
  6. Enjoy time with Emily and Matt.
  7. Continue work on the attached garage.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for April.
  9. Take multiple boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles for consignment.
  10. Continue work on my office.
  11. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants.

Do you have any goals for the month of April? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #162: March Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 39

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, spring! And it’s amazing how quickly a month can pass!

Here’s the link to my March Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Volunteer with District Orchestra Festival. — Accomplished!
  2. Complete the Romantic Movies daily blog challenge. — Accomplished!
  3. See Captain Marvel. — Accomplished!
  4. See Alita: Battle Angel. — Accomplished!
  5. Write at least 500 words toward the ending of my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  6. Change the POV of my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Finalize my plans for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. — Accomplished!
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for March. — Accomplished!
  9. Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Read at least two books. — Semi-Achieved.

I had so much fun at the District Orchestra Festival on Saturday, March 2nd. It was great to help out several schools, listen to great performances, and catch up with my orchestra teacher, Ms. Kringel!

We saw Alita: Battle Angel with Nick and Mia in Virginia Beach, I think it was the first weekend of March. It was a decent movie. I really enjoyed Rosa Salazar’s performance.

Al and I went to see Captain Marvel the weekend it opened. I LOVED IT! Brie Larson is awesome, and there were so many 1990s nostalgia moments! Is it my favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? No. But, it was such a fun ride!

I can’t wait to start Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 tomorrow! Look for a blog post about that soon!

I love Didi’s WIP challenges. Here’s my link to my entry to March’s challenge.

I simply didn’t have the money on hand for my new glasses this month. I’m thankful I have an abundance of contact lenses and good spare glasses. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy them in April.

I finished one book toward the end of March, and started reading the second last week. I’m about 25 pages into it now. My Book Review will be published soon!

I’m thrilled to announce that not only did I surpass my writing goal of 500 words, I finally FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT!! I proclaimed my elation on Facebook last night. It’s hard to believe this all started with a crazy idea in the fall of 2012. That led to my first-ever NaNoWriMo, participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time last year, and here we are, about 6 1/2 years later!

  • Previous word count: 50,461
  • Final word count, first draft: 51,960
  • Words written in March: 1,499

Did you have any goals for the month of March?

Come back tomorrow to see my April Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #80: “What’s On Your Heart Tag”

February - What's On Your Heart Tag

PHOTO BY FREESTOCKS.ORG ON UNSPLASH

Thank you to Stuart, author of Something To Stu Over, for tagging me!

I realize now that I should have done this tag in February, but better late than never, right?

Here’s the link to Stuart’s post, where I was tagged:


Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you to participate.
  • Link back to the original post (Purple Rose’s & Dollfaced Writer’s)
  • Attach an image that inspires you regarding the month’s theme (or use the original).
  • Talk about what this month’s theme means to you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Nominate 3 people to participate.
  • Enjoy the rest of your month 🙂

What’s On My Heart

  • How blessed I am! I’ve been wrestling with a significant financial burden recently, but I feel like I have some direction now. I trust God to lead me in the right direction. He knows everything!

Here are the questions for this month’s tag:

1. Do you believe in love at first sight?

  • Yes, definitely. ❤

2. Do you believe in soulmates?

  • I do now. I truly believe Al is my soulmate, and so many amazing things happened to bring us together.

3. What’s the first thing you notice about a person?

  • Their eyes, and their personality.

4. What’s your ideal date?

  • A wonderful meal together, and either a movie out or a movie at home. Al and I have had, and continue to do so now, dates like this, and all of them have been great.

5. What traits do you look for in a friend / significant others?

  • Honesty, humor, treating others with respect, willingness to discuss things deeply, and enjoying time with me.

6. What are your thoughts on being friends with an ex?

  • I’m Facebook friends with the first two guys I dated in high school. We’re not as close anymore, but that’s fine with me. One is happily married. The other is in an amazing relationship, and I hope they do get married someday. In a way, I’m actually closer to their parents, since we all met through church years ago.
  • However, there’s a significant difference when comes to the long-term relationship ex, and an ex-friend / acquaintance. The long-term relationship ex wanted to remain friends with me, but I said absolutely not due to the abuse and manipulation I went through from 2007 through 2010.
  • The ex-friend / acquaintance was a male friend and classmate of mine in college, and we developed an online friendship in 2014. I failed to recognize so many warning signs and red flags. He wanted me to chat with him on Facebook all day and all night, so much so that I was reprimanded once at my job, which was incredibly mortifying. In addition, he wanted more from me, although we were both in committed relationships during that period of nearly two years. He eventually told his girlfriend everything he wanted from me – Kissing me, and hints of more than that – and both of them ended up blocking me on Facebook in 2016. It’s been so much better since then! I now realize how toxic the entire thing was, and I’m still healing from it today.

7. If you’re a believer, when did you give your heart to the Lord? If not, what in life keeps a bounce in your step?

  • I truly gave my heart to God in sixth grade, at my first-ever youth retreat. I’ve been raised United Methodist my whole life, but I truly accepted Christ at age 12.
  • I was actually baptized / christened twice. Once in New York, where we were living at the time, and then in Florida at my grandparents’ church.
  • I continue to attend New Creation United Methodist Church – The church I grew up in. It will always be Aldersgate to me, since the name change happened when I was in high school. We became members in 1993, and my parents are dynamic members, for lack of a better term. I’ve scaled back my involvement significantly, but it will always be “home.” We’re excited to be celebrating the church’s 50th Anniversary in October!
  • I lost my faith a bit in college. I realize now this was mainly due to the manipulation of my ex-boyfriend, John, who didn’t want to be involved with the United Methodist Church as much, and he led me away in the process. It makes me sad occasionally, but I know things happen for a reason. After four long years, I finally recognized I was not happy, that I was a different person, and needed to leave. I ended the relationship on July 17, 2010, and I truly felt freedom. After ending it, I immediately prayed to God, and asked for forgiveness. I found out later he was planning to propose to me on August 8th, roughly three weeks later. We were seniors in college, attending the same university, but he wisely chose to keep his distance from me, despite being on a small campus.
  • Fun fact: Al and I were asked to be Mary and Joseph in the church Christmas celebration in 2010, about three months after we started dating. Everyone got a huge kick out of it. We were pretty embarrassed, but we went along with it.
  • I became involved with New Creation again after my college graduation, and I’m so happy I have continued the relationship. I help my dad with the blood drives at the church, serve on the media team, and serve on the Communications Team. It’s a great balance of service and involvement.
  • Al and I married in New Creation’s sanctuary on November 14, 2015.
  • Although Al does not participate in worship services or other church activities, aside from donating blood regularly at the church, he’s 100 percent supportive of my involvement and my service. He always has been, and that’s a HUGE deal for me.

Here’s a few photos from our wedding day! You can read more here: Getting Personal #18: Best. Day. Ever.

Disclaimer: All photos in this post, unless otherwise stated, were taken by Amanda MacDiarmid, or her second shooter, Cathy. Amanda owns and operates Stellar Exposures.

All credit goes to them.

The sanctuary.

Beautiful shot.

Pastor Eric Song playing his guitar during the groomsmen entrance.

Married!!

Standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling stained glass piece.


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #161: “Way in the lake, Lipnik Park in Ruse, Bulgaria” (Reblogged)

I feel at peace when I’m surrounded by nature, especially water, trees, or both.

This photo also symbolizes a path. A path, a journey to the other side.

We are all on our own journeys. The good thing? We can choose our paths. We have that choice. No one can take that away from us.

I’m constantly inspired by nature and landscapes. This particular photo looks like it was taken in autumn, when the leaves are changing colors and the trees are changing seasons. Here in Virginia, we don’t always experience four seasons. But, the trees do. I like to think so, anyway.


What’s your favorite season?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Way in the lake, Lipnik Park in Ruse, Bulgaria

View original post