Monday, January 20, 2020

For All You Writers Out There


Writing is a Marathon, not a 5k.

Marathon definition: 
a long-lasting or difficult task or operation of a specific kind. 

Today I'm going to be paralleling writing to running. But first, lets talk running.

Jogging in races is one of my families hobbies. Me? Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with jogging. You see, it's awful. Sometimes you feel like you can't get enough air and your lungs are going to burst, or you overheat, or you push yourself so hard you end up barfing, or the hill feels like mount Everest... yeah, you get the point.)

Jogging takes endurance and I am very-much-so a sprinter. I don't like jogging, but at the same time, I like the feeling of accomplishment when the race is over or when the miles are completed. I like the moments in the races when you scream your head off cheering for your family. Jogging has its highs and it has its lows, but after each run, you get stronger. 

As writers, we have these same highs and lows.
We go through seasons where the words can't flow fast enough. We fly through page after page, penning literary art. Writing makes you feel alive and you find yourself more and more with each word. You look back at all that you have accomplished, and writing is truly a joy.

Then there are seasons where we seem stuck. Writers block comes up out of nowhere. Staying consistent and writing each day is like pulling teeth. The words don't fit the story, and you feel like there is no purpose for spending time on something that isn't very good. Doubt kicks in, and it feels like you are fighting a uphill battle.

We have all been on this rollercoaster of a writers life. We know what it feels like to write something brilliant, we're on top of the world. Then those other days, maybe we feel like we have hit rock bottom and we procrastinate more than we are productive.

When my family has a big race coming up, we try to get out and jog to train for that race. Sometimes we don't train as much as we should. Training is crucial because you can't expect your body to just wake up one day and run a marathon. You have to start from the ground up. Start small, something manageable. The longest race I have done was our triathlon. And we trained for months for it. (I won't go into details here, but on one of the practice race we realized just how important preparation was...)

As with running, we must train ourselves and prepare for our writing ventures. We can't wake up one morning and expect to have written a best selling novel. That's just not realistic. We must start small: one sentence at a time. One word sprint has potential to turn into a marathon, maybe a whole book series!

Writing is not for the faint of heart, writing requires someone who will stick with it through both the highs of writing and the lows. Someone willing to stay consistent, persevere through the rough drafts. Someone who sees the typos as opportunity to polish the beautiful story inside. 

In order to get to the finish line of a race, you have to take each and every step through the miles. In order to write a book, you have to write each and every word through the chapters.

So I encourage you, whether you are new to writing or a seasoned author: keep writing. Don't give up on the stories God has placed on your heart to write. Writing is a marathon, it's a skill that takes time to cultivate. Don't give up on something that is going to be so worth it in the end.

Thanks for reading this post! 
Lmk in the comments below if you would like to see more writing related content here on the blog! Tell me, have you had similar experience with being a writer? Have a blessed day! 

Many Blessings
Brooklyne Elysse  

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Freedom // Book Review


Today, I will be reviewing one of my favorite indie-published books of 2019. Freedom by Faith Potts

Where to begin? Freedom was one of those books that gripped your heart and held on until the very last page. This was one of my most anticipated books of 2019 and it did not disappoint! I was over the moon excited to receive Freedom in the mail and I read it over one weekend. (Ask my sister, she can attest!) In fact, she knew I was so excited, waiting for it to come in the mail. When it came, she hid it and took me on a four wheeler ride then had me close my eyes when she handed it to me. XD

Note: mild spoilers ahead.

Now to start the review, lets begin with the characters...

➳The Characters: 

James was a broken Marine who tried to hide behind a layer of humor. As if by making a joke about his situation it would lesson his pain. At first, this humor rubbed me the wrong way as I felt it was harsh, then when I got into his head a bit more, I realized it was just his way of dealing with the grief. Then, I felt for him as he struggled both mentally and physically. As well as spiritually. But He overcame many things and in the end, found love and grace.

*cough* Um, I totally shipped James and Alex! They made such a cute couple... quite perfect for one another! Their love story was portrayed well, and was really just the sweetest thing.

I didn't relate much with Alex until towards the middle of the book. She had such a kind heart, but at first, she seemed a bit controlling. Once I saw who she really was instead of the mask she wore in hopes she wouldn't get hurt, then I really loved her character! 

And can I just say that everyone needs a Uncle Joe in their life! Someone who is always offering a listening hear, able to give wisdom, and genuine love and support. 

Basically, I loved how all of the characters had their own individual personalities and quirks. Did I mention how much I love this book? 

➳Moving on to the message/theme: 

To me, the message was about not giving up on life and learning to surrender to God. To let Him into our shattered hearts and let Him heal our brokenness. Also about forgiveness (to both the main characters parents.) It was a much-needed message, one that was strong, yet didn't come across too preachy. Bravo, Miss Potts! <3 

➳My favorite scenes: 

Well, all of them! But a few that stood out to me was the dancing one, a Walmart trip, the cute selfie session, and the 5k race. I personally love running in 5k's, so that was really cool to see in a book!

I gave this book 5 stars and it deserves 5 thousand stars! I would recommend Freedom to anyone, although suicide is a theme (but handled very well) so keep that in mind if you are really sensitive in that area. 

Have you ever read Freedom? Have you read any other books by Faith? 
Comment Below! 

Many Blessings 
Brooklyne Elysse 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Guest Post // Lil' Sis


Hi, my name is Gabrielle (Brooklyne's younger sister.) I did a guest post a while back and now I'm going to share a object lesson I have learned from my dog, Charlie. I will apologize in advance that I am not as "long-winded" as my sister so this post will be quite short. My dog Charlie is nine years old and is the sweetest dog ever!!!

His only fault (if you could call it a fault) is he gets so so so excited about his food. Even to the point of almost flipping over backwards because he's so excited over his food. We use to feed him with the other dogs, but he would eat his food in probably two seconds... which we realized wasn't very good. We ended up buying him a dog bowl that was almost like a maze in it. This way, it would slow his eating down. We also put him in a separate room so when he finished, he wouldn't eat the other dog's food.

You're probably thinking at this point, "Why do we need to know all of this and where in the world are you going with this?"

Well, the other day, we fed Charlie like usual (in his special room with his special bowl) and even with the maze bowl, he still snarfed it down very fast. Maybe five seconds, lol. But he doesn't enjoy his food, it's also like he doesn't even notice that he is eating it so fast... then he comes to the door and barks and barks until we let him out after the other dogs are finished eating.

You could really spin this any way you want. Like, you should enjoy your food. Or, I'm going to take a different approach because I have learned from Charlie that we shouldn't live our lives going so fast and not even realize the moments, the memories that could be made because we are too busy or on our phones that we don't even realize what's going on around us. All we care about is going to the next meeting, the next thing on our to-do list, that we don't realize the sun rises and the sun sets.

Anyway, I hope you get the point. That was the end of my first object lesson here on Showers of Blessings. (I may do more in the future!) Again, I am not as long-winded as my sister but I hope it was short and sweet. I hope you have a blessed day.

-Gabrielle

~~~

Thank you, Gabrie! That was a lovely object lesson on how we should slow down and savor life's precious moments! I would love for you to guest post any time you would like! And thanks for coming up with a guest post on such a short notice! (I was literally telling her last night how I wasn't prepared for a post today. Then, shortly after she went back to her room, I get a text with my guest post!)

What is a object lesson you have been learning lately? What did you think of Gabrielle's object lesson? (Do you think I'm long-winded?? Hehe, you don't have to answer that, lol!)
HAVE A GREAT DAY! Comment below! 


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

~Photos~


Hey y'all! Since I promised a photo dump in my last wrap-up post, I shall keep my promise with today's post... dedicated strictly to photos!

These photo's are from the last couple months!


^^ I am pretty much obsessed with silhouettes!


^^ Rosemary Mint (Warm Cinnamon Spice in the background)


^^ I love how this one turned out 


^^ Can't have too many soap pics :)


^^ Before


 ^^ After


^^ a e s t h e t i c 


^^ I need Vitamin Sea! :) 


^^ Beach/sunset selfie


^^ Tranquility 


^^ Sunsets are my fav


^^ Nannie and I <3


^^ Mama and I (First time flying in one decade!)


^^ Auntie and I XD


^^ Country gals aren't use to this


^^ Outreach project


^^ Homeschoolers don't get to ride in school buses very often...


^^ We are board in this pic


^^ "What book should I read next from my TBR pile?"


^^ Melting snowman bark, so cute!


^^ Lots of memories


^^ Gotta have a silly picture 


^^ And another one! :)

I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of my camera roll! What was your favorite picture? Should I do more photo posts like this one in the future? Comment Below!




Monday, January 6, 2020

19 Totally Random Facts About Me


Happy Monday! I hope your week has started off joyful and productive. The new year has already been quite eventful for me, and I'm still trying to keep up, lol.

Because I've been really busy, today is going to be a short post. I'm sharing nineteen fun facts about myself, and if you want to steal this idea for your blog, go ahead and come up with fun facts about you... how ever many your age is!

So without further ado...

*Drumroll*
  1. I love cooking and baking 
  2. I hate coffee, but I LOVE frozen hot chocolate drinks... you could have guessed that!
  3. I go up stairs taking them two at a time
  4. I love tacos! (and since I menu plan a lot, we usually have this at least once a week!) 
  5. I can write backwards and when I was younger, wrote whole pen pal letters backwards
  6. I can't roll my eyes
  7. Anything medical makes me sick to my stomach or makes me feel like I have to pass out (but I only did that once... thankfully!)
  8. My fastest 5k was in 28.40 minutes 
  9. I like crocheting better than knitting
  10. I love all animals (dogs, horses, goats are my fav!)
  11. I graduated high school a year early
  12. Sometimes I am scared of the dark and storms
  13. I can clap with one hand
  14. I have fallen off multiple horses 6 or 7 times
  15. My favorite color (sky blue) favorite number (4) favorite letter to write in cursive (L or J)
  16. My dream is to write books: both fiction and non-fiction (as well as be a graphic designer and mom)
  17. I've never broken a bone
  18. I want to travel to Alaska or the Grand Canyon or Australia :)
  19. I've always wanted to learn how to make pottery

Well there ya have it folks! Nineteen totally random (and some silly) facts about myself! I'd love to hear if we have anything in common...

What is your age in random facts? Lets TACO bout it in the comments below! (Also, be on the lookout for a extra special guest post coming on Wednesday!)



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 // just some thoughts and letters



today is a new year. a new set of 365 days. a fresh start.
almost as if we have been given a blank slate. never been marked.

we set New Years resolutions. or maybe just re-prioritize some goals.
our goals may be daunting. maybe even terrifying. setting the bar high.

or maybe we set the bar low, afraid to fail. because we've failed before.
even still, we know all we can do is our best.

~*~

twenty twenty offers new chances to grow, to change.
to learn from the past. to overcome new challenges.

there will be highs. there will be lows.
just as 2019 had both joys and trials.

we have four seasons of opportunities. spring blossoms. summer sunshine. fall leaves. winter frost.
even still, as the time passes, we will become stronger. wiser.

~*~

we all have our own roads to travel. have our own paths. lives to live.
sometimes we don't know where the trails lead.

but we know Someone who does.
because the Author of our story has written our map. because of this, we can be sure-footed.

He will give us the strength. to overcome. the strength to smile. to change.
even still, He guides us through the still waters. and the raging ones also.

~*~

the resolutions may fail. His love will not.
in our weakness, we will find our Savior's grace. forgiveness. hope. strength to rise.

some goals will be met. others might change.
but God's plan for us is steadfast. unmovable. tested and sure. anchored.

and when fear tries to stop our progress. it will not win in the end.
even still, with God all things are possible.

~*~

so in this new blank slate. this blank sheet of paper.
lets let God write our story.

let God move us. do amazing things for us. teach us.
let him mold us. cleanse us.

let Him be our Heavenly Father. Who's love has no end.
even still, lets let Jesus into our hearts. because He's knocking.

~*~

twenty nineteen has come to a close.
even still, twenty twenty is a new chapter for our story.
Lets embark on this journey. lets find joy in this journey.
happy New Years!



Dear twenty nineteen, 

Wow! What a whirlwind! 2019, you sure kept me on my toes. I say all years fly by, but you really did. I remember just yesterday that it was New Years last year... we stayed up until midnight to welcome you. Overall, you were a good year. You taught me a lot. Your days were full of many memories. Both of laughter and tears. You gave me some challenges, twenty nineteen. Some real hard ones. Then again, you gave me some amazing times too. Memories I won't soon forget! 

This last year, I have been so thankful for my growing skills as a writer. I'm no professional by any means, but my love for writing has deepened. Even in my writing slumps, deep down, I still know it's what I need in my life. To write. 

I stepped and stumbled outside of my comfort zone many times in 2019. I'm so glad I did! Because got the chance to meet not only one, but two online friends in person! As well as video chatted with two other dear friends. Seriously, I'm so thankful for every single one of my blogger friends! <3

I'm so thankful for the friendships I have been given the opportunity to have through this blog. Showers of Blessings has truly been a blessing to me. Like I would have never imagined. 

We went on a couple amazing adventures this year such as staying on a houseboat, helping clean up from a tornado, spontaneous trip to the beach, 5k races, etc!

I've grown a lot in this year. God has taught me so many things, it's truly amazing how He leads me and guides me. He has shown me how to h e a l. And has given me so many opportunities to grow. I still fear the unknown, yet I've seen his peace in action. And I know that God will go before me through whatever 2020 may have in store! 

Love, 
Ben

~*~

Dear twenty twenty, 

A new decade. Twenty twenty, you may be a tad bit daunting, but I'm ready. Or as ready as I'll ever be, lol. You are going to have your own set of plot twists, I know that. But it is my goal, to never give up, to persevere. To overcome those challenges. 

There are so many new and exciting things around the corner. In this new chapter, I have already  made many goals. Some of which may change as time goes on, but some of which I will accomplish. And I want to celebrate those small victories. 

I wish to give myself and others grace in this new year. I wish to write for God's glory and not my own. I want to surrender my plans. To have faith in the unknown. I wish to be a better sister, daughter, niece, and friend.

So hello, 2020! You better watch out, because I may not change the world, but that doesn't mean I still can't be a world-changer

Love, 
Ben

~*~

Check out last year's New Year post HERE.

God has amazing things for you this new year. 
I hope y'all have a blessed 2020! 



Monday, December 30, 2019

December Wrap-UP post!



Wow! What a month! December was rather eventful, and it flew by super fast (haha, I always say that!) But anyway, some big things happened, and I hope you enjoy reading this wrap up!

~December started with a 5k race. We ran hard, and enjoyed doughnuts at the finish line. #priorities I was super excited to be able to run this race, and it was extra special. I got tenth place in my age group! 

~We drove by one of our old houses. It's weird to see a house you grew up in, all the memories and all that. 

~I participated in a Christmas book exchange and had a super fun time putting together two packages for two pretty awesome gals. 

~I received a order of promotional items that I designed for my small business! I love how everything turned out! :)

~Catching sunsets with pink fluffy clouds. (well, not literally catching them... ya know, with a camera!) I apologize for my over-thinking of one simple sentence! *facepalm*

~My older cousin asked me to look over her college paper (since I'm a writer and all *winks*) So I spent 3-4 hours working on it with her... hey, sorry, but I have a fine toothed comb, lol. 

~My sweet, darling horse decided to jump aka body-slam our barn gate. Yeah, I don't think it worked out like she had planned.

~Driving by Christmas lights in the dark. *shakes head while writing this* duh, in the dark... 

~Packaging soap!

~A fun day shopping with my favorite people.

~Frost-laced leaves that I HAD to photograph...

~*tries to take bookcase shelfie only to use up lots of photo space on phone and goofing off more than anything* So, note to self, when I'm board things can get comical pretty darn fast.

~Drawing a snowman with stick arms (fairly normal, oh wait, it gets better) and stick legs... Then a snowman beside it "melting" with the caption "Some people are worth melting for." Again, one of my board moments.

~Sunset silhouettes.

~Large soap order shipments.

~Receiving steak in the mail for Papa's 70th birthday from his home state... *wink wink*

~Frozen Hot Chocolate Drinks! And regular hot chocolate! 

~Making Sock Snowman for a babysitting craft, then again for a tutorial!! 

~Hand-lettering signs to put on a cinnamon roll "Rollin' by to say Merry Christmas!" 

~Designing a trifold program for a church event! I'm actually extremely proud how they turned out! ...I was a bit worried! But they looked great, if I do say so myself! 

~Making two batches of soap in one day!

~Practicing music for above said church event. I sang with my mom and auntie. (btw, it went better than I thought, and I survived getting up front in church!)

~Snow! AND then it vanished and we ended up NOT getting a white Christmas.

~Quote for this month, "We can't always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it." 

~Learning to be spontaneous by flying for the first time in exactly one whole decade! 

~I was so blessed by the opportunity to spend a week on the beach with some of my very favorite people! <3 It was a much needed getaway that I enjoyed every minute of it! Making loads of memories, taking many pictures, eating lots of Mexican street corn (if you haven't tried it, your missing out!), searching for shells, time-lapse sunsets, movies, ocean waves, funny selfies, dolphins!!!, chilly walks on the beach, ice cream for breakfast, making a sand snowman, shopping, trying not to get a sunburn (in December!!!), etc. We had a blast! And I don't think anyone will ever know how much that trip meant to me...

~Christmas cookie baking for two days! It was epic! And I must say, they turned out super!

~Christmas Eve dinner.

~Family timing photo's, hopefully you know what I'm talking abt.

~Christmas Day: Nursing home, nachos, family pictures, yummy dessert, way to many cookies, stairs challenge (quite fun!), picnic table challenge (quite funny!), late night movies.



~My future husband is out there somewhere... trying to push a pull door, I just know it.

~Me: bangs head into glass shower door. Also me: bursts out laughing all by myself. 'Cause sometimes you just gotta laugh at yourself!

~I ate a whole bag of my Auntie's candy (its like Swedish fish, but a natural spin-off) ...and now it's a continuous inside joke. 

~The picnic table challenge was hilarious! Just google it, and try it! Me and my little sister were the first to conquer it! 

~Me: *has super weird dream* Also me: starts writing a tearjerker dream spinoff that is hopefully not as weird as the dream itself. This story is top secret as of now though, so lips sealed. 

~Realizing that "this is how we roll" really is my whole families motto/phrase. 

~Me: Sees typo on a project I had already sent in. Also Me: oh no! What should I do!? Mom: It's ok, they'll get the point.


~New adventures (yes, scary too, but it's awesome at the same time!)

~Sunsets, ocean waves, spending time with my mom, auntie, and nannie.

~Rocking out to Christmas music.

~Baking cookies.













~Well, I did a whole long page of what I learned in 2019... maybe I will post it, maybe I won't. Idk yet. But just for this month:

~I've learned to pray when I'm terrified.

~It's ok to feel.

~To push through my reading slump! Thanks fellow readathoners!! <3

~To think positively, despite wanting not too.

~To cut ourselves and others some slack.

So tell me, how was your December? Did you have a good Christmas? Any funny, cool, awesome things happen in your month? Yay or Nay on this new Wrap UP format? Comment and let me know! 

P.S. No photo dump today... but to let you in on a secret, this month, there will be a whole post dedicated to a photo dump! So stay tuned for that!