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Not Really About Valentine’s Day

I enjoyed V-day immensely when I was in grade school because I fondly remember writing those little cards to all my classmates and placing them into their pouches or envelopes or whatever we'd made to hold those special treasures. Then, receiving a full box or bag of the same was just the best! I would read them over and over, perhaps until they were worn out because I don't know what happened to any of them. Those were special days, with simple things bringing great joy. Now, my husband and I give and get huge and expensive gifts for Valentines Da .... wait! Those are our friends! Enough about that it's-not-even-a-statutory-holiday day.

I've recently taken some on-line "training" in how to do marketing for selling things -- books, in my case.

To be brutally honest, I quite despise selling anything. I know that may sound odd coming from a woman who once owned a store. (Incidentally, I didn't do well with that either.) I'm just not a merchant, unless it's someone else's wares that I appreciate. I have no problem giving accolades then.

Nonetheless, the climate of our current age insists that a person must "market" their product if they ever want to ... say ... publish another book. Since I LOVE to write (maybe even more than speak, although my husband may disagree and I wouldn't blame him) the time for work I don't relish is upon me. If I don't forge ahead, the characters written inside my laptop won't be able to jump onto the printed page and I've really grown fond of some of them. Thus ... the marketing plan. But after taking these classes, which would have more value for a person versed in the workings of algorithms, I find myself overwhelmed.

Do you ever wonder if you have valid goals or if you're on the right track at all?

I'll admit, I've battled with these questions over and over. I ask God about this all the time -- to lead me in the way I need to go, the best path to take and for wisdom to recognize when I've botched it all badly.

It's in the moments of self-reevaluation, or perhaps doubt, that God often sends a sign. Sometimes (not my favourite) it comes like a knock upside the head, because I'm impossibly dense and He must literally stop me in my tracks. (After riding a roller coaster way too many times, and suffering a CSF leak with subsequent brain swelling, well, that was an example of Him forcing me to go in another direction, but that's an entirely different blog.) Thankfully, other times, He sends a more positive reinforcement.

And so it was with the classes I took over these recent two weeks. Apparently over 2000 authors and interested parties were watching the same webinars I was and out of all those people, one person from Jupiter, Florida, extended her friendship to me -- the person God knew I needed to "meet". Through messaging, she has been a great source of encouragement to me and I hope I've given at least a little of that back to her.

I also picked up her first book, tore through that and am now reading her most recent release (both mentioned below).

Here's something new and difficult to admit! As much as technological and computer-related things frustrate me (I know I complain often about this), without those I wouldn't have met Jennifer Arrington.

Because of that, I've been thinking even more about treasuring all of those who have encouraged and inspired me in my writing endeavours. It humbles me every time I think of the kindnesses I've received from my husband Brian, my children and so, so many of YOU. (The family's obligated but you are not.)

If you ever doubt that God has used you in a powerful way, doubt no longer. Sometimes the smallest of things -- a kind text or email, spending time to laugh or cry with someone, or a little note (not even as nice as a valentine) makes a HUGE difference.

I may not write my thoughts on hearts for Valentine's Day, like I did when I was small, but know this -- I treasure you and I pray for you and I praise God for YOU!

I hope you can look back and see when God has sent you just the right person, and/or circumstance,

at just the perfect time.

And I hope this verse helps us all to remember Who puts it all in place.

"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds." Psalm 77: 11-12

Jennifer Arrington's books:

Trusting For Tomorrow - a story of love lost, a mother unafraid to fight for her sick child and the struggling doubt in her relationship with the new pediatrician in town (who may be portrayed quite realistically, I might add).

The Counting Tree - Jennifer's second novel and new release! I just began reading this book. It is inspired by her experiences growing up in South Africa and moving to the US as a young adult.

THE WINNER OF THE DRAW FOR THE FREE BOOK ... has been notified but has not yet replied. Therefore, I can not divulge their name until they agree. Hopefully I can announce this in the next blog on February 15th.

With Much Gratitude,

Pattie Janzen

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