Tagged Stress relief

Reading-Photo Contest winners announced

How I loved all the entries! I planned on one prize but had to expand it to three. An independent judge chose the winners.

First-place winner: Girl on a train
First-place winner: Girl on a train

First place went to Carole J. of Calhoun, La., for a terrific photo of her friend reading on a train. The back story: “My friend Morgan T. and I were on our way to the village of Cruden Bay in northern Scotland. One of our favorite authors, Susanna Kearsley, set her novel ‘The Winter Sea’ at Slains Castle, which is just north of Cruden Bay. We took the train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and then the bus from there. It was a long day but worth the adventure. Slains Castle is a beautiful sprawling ruin full of history and character, bringing the novel alive before my very eyes.”
Carole chose a $50 gift certificate to Amazon as her prize.

2nd place: A friend, a book & a dog
2nd-place winner: A friend, a book & a dog

Second place went to Lorraine L. of Benbrook, Texas, for her photo of a friend at a lake house. Dog Annie added to the photo fun. These two friends were reading Jodi Thomas’ “Harmony” books on their e-readers.
Lorraine receives a $20 gift card to Starbuck’s.

3rd-place winner: Reading takes us away ...
3rd place: Reading takes us away …

Third place went to Kimberley M. of Hornbeck, La., for her fun photo of herself reading in the hammock in her back yard. “The book I was reading was called ‘Dancing on Shattered Glass.’ It’s a book set in south Louisiana and is about a girl that finds herself in an abusive relationship although she knows it’s not pleasing to God. Also her mother prays for her throughout the story.”

This was our first-ever Kitchen Couch Summer Reading Photo contest. Photos could be shot anytime, anywhere, and all are used with permission of the subjects. We read on trains, boats, in RVs, at the beach, in hammocks in our yards, on porches …and on the kitchen couch, of course!

Now, on to our autumn reading! Tell us what you’re reading. Leave a comment below and let’s talk books!

6 Ways to Catch Your Breath as the Year Ends

You probably feel like you don’t have time to read this post.

You really should be doing something else. Or a bunch of something elses.
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Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll make it to the end of the year without pulling out your last hair, spending your last cent or losing your last hint of joy.

A few reminders

Let me remind you of six simple ways to catch your breath. Most of us know what we need to do. We just find it tough to follow through. I, who wrote an entire series of Hurry Less Worry Less books, have to do a course correction every year at this time.

When I started preaching the Hurry Less Worry Less gospel, I hoped we were headed toward a calmer simpler world.

I was wrong. We continue to overschedule, overspend, overeat—and wind up overwhelmed.

But we can change. It takes ongoing effort–but it’s oh-so-worth-it.

By deciding to make a few changes now, we can enter the New Year with optimism and purpose:

1. Don’t try to do everything. Let some things go. Saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to another. Choose how you will spend your time, energy, emotions and money these next few days..and next year.

2. Set aside an hour and do as many of the little things on your to-do list as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done and how good it makes you feel. Do this a few times, and you’ll breathe easier.

3. Don’t fret. Instead go with the flow. Don’t agonize over whether you must get this sweater or that candle, whether you’ve bought enough for the children or need to get something for your ex-cousin-in-law. Your house does not have to be perfect. Don’t worry over the dust under the sofa or the spider web that appears when the sun shines into the den.

4. Don’t try to take care of everything you’ve let slide all year. You’re not going to finish a novel, lose 20 pounds and paint the bedroom in the next few days. Give yourself a little grace. You can begin to set new goals for a new year.

5.Look for the good in each day. Focus on what is working and what’s right, instead of what’s messed up or what’s wrong. Have some fun!

6.As you head into the New Year, believe you can make needed changes. Decide what you want your life to look like next year; write down a few steps to make happy changes happen. Consider what gives you energy and what drains your energy. Do more of the former, far less of the latter. Enter the year with a positive attitude. It can change your life!

How about you? What steps help you slow down and enjoy each day more? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of one of my novels. I’ll draw a winner from the comments at noon CST on December 26.
And congrats to reader Stephanie who won the great print (see below) from Louisiana artist Don Cobb.

Where Wreath lives!
Where Wreath lives!

Adobe Photoshop PDFP.S. If you’re looking for a book to give as a gift, hope you’ll take a look at the new edition of “Wreath, A Girl,” released earlier this month. It’s easy to wrap and inexpensive to mail. http://www.amazon.com/Wreath-A-Girl-Judy-Christie/dp/1502932326