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On Becoming a Butterfly

It happens at least once each week — usually more often. I’ll be casually scrolling my way through post after post on Facebook, wading though a tireless stream of book promotions, personal rants and health updates, when suddenly my attention is caught by something beautiful.

My latest special find is this:

Butterfly

I fell in love with the image, the quote, and the inspiration contained in these few, simple words. At once, I was off on a search, curious about the author, Trina Paulus.

My first on-line searches turned up little information, only an additional quote about butterflies and flowers. Surely there must be more!

Hope for the Flowers

A little more searching finally led me to Goodreads, to Trina Paulus herself, and to an inspiring book first published over forty years ago. Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been in recent years. How could I have completely missed this little jewel?

From Goodreads:

 “Hope for the Flowers” is an inspiring allegory about the realization of one’s true destiny as told through the lives of caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, who struggle to “climb to the top” before understanding that they are meant to fly.

I searched out the author profile to learn more and came across a delightful lady who believes in hope.  She describes her book as a novel “for adults and others  — including caterpillars who can read.”  She is an advocate of organic farming, composting, holistic health, and spiritual search.

Now on a quest to learn as much as possible about Trina Paulus, I discovered her website:

Hope for the Flowers

Let’s talk for a moment about this whole process of becoming a butterfly. It’s a scary thing, really, at least it surely must be when seen from the perspective of a lowly caterpillar. How frightening to think of soaring through the sky, of having to rely on a pair of fragile wings to keep from falling!

Oh, yes, how much easier instead to remain a caterpillar, to inch our way over the earth, maybe now and then dreaming about flying, but feeling safer and so much more secure in our comfortable skin.

Change is a fearsome thing, indeed. We yearn for it, but so often, we let our worries and doubts stand in the way. I’ve often heard it said that change only comes when “the pain of not-changing” becomes too great to bear. Sometimes, they seems to be true.

I’d like to think of change in a more positive sense, as something beautiful that comes into our lives, something good that we can create if we’re willing to let go of old ways.

To bring about true, lasting change — to reach for the skies and live our dreams — we really must have that desire to fly, a desire so strong that we are willing to give up being caterpillars.

Scary? Frightening? Fearsome? Change can be all of this…and more. It can also be awesome, incredible, wondrous, and beautiful.

And yes, I’ve already ordered a copy of the book.

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Winter Thoughts

Most of the posts you’ll find at Time for Love are from guest authors, all of whom have become dear friends. I appreciate each author who has taken time from her busy schedule to share a few thoughts here.

From time to time I like to share a few words of my own, as well. With the romantic Valentine’s holiday past, and  February now winding down, I thought I’d pop in here for a moment.

Sun on PinkThe last few days have been a welcome break in the miserably cold winter we’ve had here in the midwest. Although thunderstorms struck yesterday afternoon and on through the night, the temperatures have been well above freezing — hitting as high as the 50’s and 60’s (Fahrenheit). So much better than the far-below-zero temperatures and wind chills we’ve experienced in recent weeks.

Weather forecasters are warning us that winter is not over yet, and I know more cold is coming. Probably more ice and snow, as well.

But I’m not going to think about the cold right now. I’m going to go right on thinking about those glorious rays of sunshine that brightened recent days.

The friendships I’ve made are rays of sunshine in my life, too. I love the warmth and comfort friends have offered, the bright, encouraging outlook my friends have given me, and the glowing words of kindness so many have shared.

In return, I want to once more say “Thank you” to my friends — authors and readers, alike. I’d like, too, to remind each one of you to cherish the friends in your lives.  Friends do warm the heart, just as sunshine warms even the coldest of winter days.

A Valentine’s Day Double Feature

Will you be my Valentine?

Valentine

Today, to show a little Valentine’s love, I’ve got a special treat — a double feature of romantic thoughts. That’s right! You’ll get twice the love today.

It’s like Doublemint gum, for those old enough to remember…

Double your pleasure, double your fun

Or think of it as not one, but two scoops of your favorite ice cream. Or going to a ball game for a double-header…or a theater showing a double feature.

First on the bill is author Ju Ephraime with a cute little Show, Don’t Tell. Next, Amanda Ward shares some very special Valentine’s Memories in A Day of Love.

Show, Don’t  Tell by  Ju Ephraime

A Day of Love by Amanda Ward

But why stop there? Why not indulge yourself in all the sweetness and warm fuzzies you can?  Here are quick and easy links to more Valentine posts, and as always, I’d like to thank the authors who’ve contributed and have helped make Time for Love such a fun place to be.

Valentine’s Day Musings by Tea Cooper

The Luckiest Girl in the World by A J Best

Worst Valentine’s — Evah! by Vicki Batman

Daylily Lane by V L Locey

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your thoughts! And thank you, readers, for your love and support.

Sunrise, Sunset

You’ve probably heard the song from Fiddler on the Roof. 

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?

I don’t remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?

Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

It’s a beautiful song. It’s also one that makes us give thought to our lives and to the passing of time.  It’s true. The years do fly swiftly.

Our days on earth are measured by sunrises and sunsets, and recently I had occasion to dig around a bit and uncover a few precious thoughts. Today, I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you.

Please remember to make the most of each sunrise and sunset of your life!

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.”

– Elbert Hubbard

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“When I admire the wonder of a sunset, or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

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“Someday you will find the one who will watch every sunrise with you until the sunset of your life.”

– Unknown Author

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“Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.”

– Richard Paul Evans

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“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

– Jo Walton

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“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.”

– Carl R. Rogers

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“Life is all about enjoying every sunset and looking forward for the next Sunrise.”

– Sandeep Shergill

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“Each golden sunrise ushers in new opportunities for those who reatin faith in themselves, and keep their chins up… Meet the sunrise with confidence. Fill every golden minute with right thinking and worthwhile endeavor. Do this and there will be joy for you in each golden sunset.”

– Alonzo Newton Benn

“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…”

– Anna Godbersen

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“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.”

– Bern Williams

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Do you have a favorite quote about sunrise or sunset?

Please share!

Giving Back: Reach Out and Read

Posted at TIME FOR LOVE and CHRISTINA COLE ROMANCE

A few months ago, I learned about “Reach Out and Read”, an organization promoting early childhood literacy. I knew at once that I wanted to support their work. The program works with doctors to “prescribe” books for parents and children. They encourage parents to read with their children.

REACH OUT AND READ

As an author, I know the power of words. Words bring knowledge, and reading brings joy, comfort, inspiration, and hope. Reading opens doors.

Please join me in support of Reach Out and Read. I have already pledged my monthly support, but in addition to my regular contribution, I will donate an additional dollar for each comment on this post.

I’m doing this because I want everyone to be aware of this organization and their efforts to encourage reading, and I want to call attention to the importance of early childhood literacy.

Many times I’ve told the story of my grandfather, a loving, patient man who had little formal education but who believed in and celebrated the power of words. He held me on my lap and read to me each day, pointing out each word and letting me “read” along with him.  He devoured books, magazines, and newspapers. My own voracious appetite for reading comes from him.

Too few children today receive the same loving support, the same encouragement to read, read, and read. Through supporting “Reach Out and Read”, I hope to give back in some small measure some of the joy I’ve been given through reading and writing.

I hope you’ll choose to join me in supporting Reach Out and Read. I’m not asking you to pledge money, although I hope you might choose to do that.

All I’m asking is that you show your support for early childhood literacy by leaving a comment on this post. Let me know that you’ve stopped by, that you’ve read about this program, and that you, too, believe it’s vital for children to have opportunities to read, to discover new books, to develop literacy skills.

Thank you.

Tips for Choosing Books for Children

NOTE: So far, readers from Christina Cole Romance and Time for Love have raised $35.00 from comments. Please, help me make this month’s donation go a long way toward helping.

Passion and Purpose

Recently I found a quote that truly touched me. I’d like to share it here.

Purpose and Passion

 

It’s simple, but it’s true. As we do with so many things in life, maybe we try too hard to “figure out” what we think we’re “supposed” to be doing. Or maybe we listen too much to too many voices outside of ourselves, voices telling us what we “should” do or “could” do…if only we “would”.

Living life fully begins, I think, when we stop using our head and use our heart instead, when we acknowledge our own natural rhythms, follow our own innermost desires, and listen to the voice that comes from deep within ourselves.

We must do more than live; we must dare to live passionately if we hope to find true happiness.