Question: “How do you keep motivated to keep a journal regularly?”

As promised, I will begin to answer questions submitted to my Abundant Gifts Virtual Book Tour.

(You can submit your own question at any time. Also, if you missed event you can listen to the replay any time.)

Marcia asked, “”How do you keep motivated to keep a journal regularly?”

First, I have to admit that I myself don’t always “keep a gifts journal.” I do write first thing every morning, as soon as I get up. Three pages worth, longhand, whatever comes to mind. But that’s because I’m a writer, and it helps make writing nearly as natural as breathing. I don’t care what I write, it’s an exercise in getting words down on paper.

But for more focused journaling, I think the best thing is not to worry about being “disciplined” (which “regularly” implies). Somehow that word creates automatic resistance, doesn’t it?

Don’t worry about doing it regularly. Just focus on noticing. When you focus on regularly noticing the great things that are happening in your life–the things that feel like gifts–pretty soon you get so excited you just want to write them down so you won’t forget.

And don’t get hung up on the mechanics–what your journal looks like, whether you’re writing it down just right. Make it a goal to notice at least three things every day. If you can write it down, all the better. Grab any notebook you have.

Or you can download my eBook Journal and print it out, keep it close to your bedside at night. Before you go to sleep, review the day and just jot down a few words so that you’ll remember what the gift was later. Should only take 3-5 minutes. Surely we can all spare that, right? (I’m speaking to myself here, too!)

I hope this answers your question, Marcia! Thanks for asking.

Abundant Gifts Virtual Book Tour replay is ready …

Just want you to know that the replay is available, if you weren’t able to listen to the live call last night.

I talked about some of the stories behind the stories,
and answered questions such as:

  • how to keep a gifts journal
  • the two people who most influenced the writing and
    publishing of the book, and why the least famous one
    was the most important
  • how do you discern God’s involvement your life, andhow do you know it’s not just wishful thinking?
  • how have specific stories affected readers?
  • how do you recognize and become more receptive to
    abundant gifts?
  • how do you know what your specific gift is?
  • how do you know God even exists?

Perhaps I answered yours–I hope so!

If these questions pique your interest, I invite you to listen to the replay.

I also invite you to consider how you might bless other people with this the book.

I have to place my order with the publisher by June 29 at 2 p.m. Central. I am signing all the books, so it makes a good gift for only $10 (almost half price) plus shipping.

Those who buy a copy will get a special gift. Those who buy more than one will get two special gifts. (They’re in the works now so I can’t say exactly what they are.)

If you don’t have time to listen between now and Friday, but want a taste of the book to see if it’s right for you and/or a loved one, you can read 6 “reader’s favorites” in a cool Digital Web Book.

You can also read how the book has blessed other people.

I do hope you too are enriched and inspired by the stories I shared on the audio interview and in the book–that’s my heart’s desire!

Last-Minute Calll for Virtual Book Tour

The Abundant Gifts Virtual Book Tour is TONIGHT at 6 pm Pacific, 7 pn Mountain, 8 pm Central, 9 pm Eastern.

Sign up if you want to hear the live call, OR the replay later–you’ll receive the link. Ask your question even if it’s after the call, because I will be answering questions later on my blog.

Hope to “see” you on the call!

Reminder–You’re Invitation to the Abundant Gifts Virtual Book Tour Tuesday

I just wanted to remind you that the Abundant Gifts Virtual Book Tour is tomorrow night.

I have so many inspiring stories to share–and some challenging questions to answer–that I know you will be encouraged and uplifted. So please sign up now.

If you can’t think of a question, say “none” and sign up anyway, because some of the questions I answer might have been nagging at you in times past.

If you can’t listen live, or don’t want to pay long-distance charges (the call is otherwise free), you can listen to the replay via your computer shortly thereafter–but you only get the info about that if you sign up.

Hope to “see” you on the call tomorrow night! (Call in a few minutes early so you can say hello!)

Apology … and What’s Coming Up on Tuesday’s Virtual Book Tour

First, an apology.

If you tried to sign up on Friday for my Virtual Book Tour, and got to an error page and not the page with the information … I’m sorry!

I learned late on Friday that one of the sites that integrates with the signup page was down, maybe most of the day. (Where is workable technology when you really need it?)

If you wanted to sign up for the Abundant Gifts Virtual Book Tour, and did not get to the page where Suzanne Lieurance thanked you … would you mind trying again?

I truly think you will be inspired by what will be shared on that call.

It will be a celebration of lives changed by God’s grace.

For instance …

… the real power behind the book: the two people who most influenced the writing and publishing of Abundant Gifts … one famous, one not at all. How God uses the most humble and unseen acts of ours to bless countless others.

… why I believe, despite the recent technological glitch, that God is quite in control of technology–all new stories connected to the book

… why I believe we can trust God to bring anyone and anything important into our lives (three of the most important people in my life I connected with in the most amazing ways)

… the story that has turned around marriages (including my own)

… the surprising places Abundant Gifts has shown up

… why I know that God has a sense of humor

… why this book going out of print is actually a “disguised gift,” and how God is leading me to a next phase in some very exciting ways. (Other authors/potential authors will want to pay attention.)

We will also talk about keeping a gifts journal, and how just 5 minutes a day can turn your whole life around.

Oh yes, when you sign up I’ll send you a link for getting your own gifts journal. This practice totally turned around my own life, and I want to share it with you. You’ll have three formats from which to choose.

I hope you will join me as Suzanne Lieurance (you’ll love her voice) interviews me about the stories that illustrate some of the ways God shows up in everyday places and everyday faces.

Please sign up now, if you haven’t already.

If you don’t have a question, say “none” and sign up anyway! If you can’t make the live call, you’ll get an email about how to access the recording (which you can listen to via your computer or other device soon afterward).

Hope to “see” you on the call on Tuesday, June 26!

One Story Turned around Her Marriage…

Andrea Kendrick, of Wheaton,IL, wrote to me this week about what Abundant Gifts has meant to her, and how one of the stories in particular turned around her marriage.

“When I received Abundant Gifts in 1999, I began using it as a daily devotional. I quickly discovered that I was not able to use it in that way. After each story was revealed, I wanted more and more. I began craving these stories of God’s grace, and quickly finished the whole book. These were my stories too! The details were different, but I related to each one, and learned invaluable lessons and truths.

“There was one in particular, however, that changed my whole life for the better. I will never forget it. Monday-week 6-inner gifts, “A Marriage Builder.”

“It begins with the wisdom of Oswald Chambers, saying that God never tires of bringing us back to the lessons that we need to learn, and continues with Diane sharing her own lesson learned. Diane gave me the gift of sharing her marital struggles, in an honest and brave way. I felt like I was reading about myself, and the way that I treated my own husband. Just as Oswald Chambers pointed out, God was bringing me back to the point of my personal struggle through Diane’s story. I fell to my knees, and asked God for the strength to affirm my wonderful husband instead of tearing him down. I had been married for 14 years at that point, and I was able to clearly see the damage that I had done.

“I can happily now say that the following eight years of my marriage have been so much better, in so many ways, thanks to the gift I was given when I first read Diane’s wonderful book. I have been able to use the book as a daily devotional and be inspired over and over again by these real life stories. I don’t think that I will ever be able to thank Diane enough for writing this book. It opened my eyes, and changed my heart, which in turn, saved my marriage. Now that’s truly an abundant gift!”

If you would like to hear more stories about God at work–or perhaps, share your own–please sign up for the upcoming live, 60-minute Virtual Book Tour on Tuesday, June 26. If you have a question, I hope I answer it on the live call. If you don’t, just say “none” so you can get to the page with the call-in information.

You will also be sent a link, via email, to download a resource for keeping your own gifts journal, when you sign up.

I can’t wait to share the stories I have. You will be inspired!

Hope to “see” you on the live call on Tuesday! (But if not, there will be a replay page, so sign up anyway.)

“Disguised Gift” for Me, “Abundant Gift” for You?

I’ve often said, some of the best gifts are not always apparent at first.

They don’t appear to be gifts at all, at first. However, I’m firmly convinced (having tested this for years now), that anything can be a gift if we affirm it as such in faith.

Recently, I learned that Abundant Gifts is going out of print. This is somewhat sad for me, but I am absolutely certain it’s a gift. I know that God has plans still for Abundant Gifts; they may just take a different form.

I am convinced that God is honored when we hear and share each other’s stories of God’s goodness in our everyday situations. That is what Abundant Gifts, and this blog, are all about.

It’s also what an upcoming special event is all about. On June 26, you are invited to a “Virtual Book Tour” to listen, via telephone, to the live event in which you’ll get to hear questions answered, as well as some of the amazing stories “behind the stories,” as it were. Funny and strange things that happened when writing, publishing, and/or promoting the book, and my favorite–stories of God at work in the lives of readers. I do believe you will be inspired!

Of course, you also have the opportunity to get the book at a special discount while you still can. (It makes a great gift, and I will sign them personally. You can get your Christmas shopping done in June!)

You will be sent details about the event, but if you’re not familiar with how teleseminars work, it’s simple. At the appointed time, you call the telephone number (the call is free except for your normal long-distance charges). You’ll be prompted to key in the code you’ll be given, and then you’ll be able to listen to me answer questions and talk about
the book.

Even if you can’t make the live call, please go to the page now and sign up. There will be a replay page you can listen to after the call, from your computer, at no charge. Signing up allows you to get the information about the recording.

I hope we can “meet” the evening of June 26!

ikoni

Using Our Gifts, Gifting Others

This past week, I received two letters from readers of Abundant Gifts .

One was from Nigeria. A young woman said she had picked up my book when she went to a pharmacy to get drugs for a sore throat. (A pharmacy in Africa! You never know where your book will show up.) She picked up the book, leafed through it, and put it down. Her fiance, who was with her, bought it for her as a gift. “I was so thrilled and I cherish the book so much,” she wrote.

(By the way, the letter was dated 12-04-07. Am I in the Twilight Zone?)

The other letter was from a woman who prayed daily for me as I was writing Abundant Gifts , way back in 1997/98. She said she is still reading Abundant Gifts and–get this–still praying for me and my family every day!

I want to honor this dear saint. Her name is Barbara Kuehn, we met through a mutual friend, now deceased, who also told Barbara about my book and my writing. Barbara started praying for me every day as I wrote, and–wonder of wonder–she has prayed for me every day since!

I am humbled and honored beyond words.

Folks, this is why I write.

Isn’t this why we do anything we’ve been gifted to do? When we do, we touch lives, and they touch our life back.

Barbara Kuehn’s gift is, in her own words, “the gift of intercession and encouragement, and that’s what I want to do.” Her gift has blessed others and it’s blessed her: “God is so good that he gave me these to do because of my circumstances and it has been awesome.”

Awesome, indeed.

God’s Reviving the Joke!

If you’ve read Abundant Gifts, you might remember the story called “Two Pairs of Blue Jeans.”

In case you don’t remember, haven’t read it, or would like to hear it, I though it would be fun to let you listen to my reading the story.

Then, I’ll tell you what happened to me just this week. (This is so much fun!)

Okay, here’s the story:

[display_podcast]

It’s been several years now since that last pair of blue jeans crossed my path.

Apparently, God still likes the joke. Continue reading “God’s Reviving the Joke!”