All Articles

  • Say “Meeeoowww” and Blossom Like a Cat
    “Meeeoww!” said I out loud every time I caught myself judging a person, place, or thing. For example, some areas of some Hollywood streets are smellier than others. When I found myself wrinkling my nose and wondering how the glamorous men and women of LA could stand the disgusting smell of old urine baked into the sidewalk, I would let a big loud “meeeeoww!” leap from my lips. Even if people were nearby.
  • Why You’re Safe Everywhere – Blossom Tip 56
    “You should tell people you broke your shoulder hang gliding,” my husband Bruce joked. “That’s more exciting than falling while jogging!” Images of daring adventures flashed through my mind: running with the bulls in Pamplona, rescuing people from burning buildings in Canada, tackling oppressive regimes in Saudi Arabia. So many cool ways to break your […]
  • Bridging the Gap Between You and God – Blossom Tip 55
    Do you believe in God with your head, but not your heart? You know He exists but you don’t have a strong connection or personal relationship with Jesus. You believe, but you don’t enjoy a deep sense of joy, faith, and peace. Maybe your faith is lukewarm. Maybe you’re unfulfilled and unhappy, unprepared and unequipped […]
  • 4 Keys to Healing Your Brokenness – Blossom Tip 54
    May you never know the agony of a broken shoulder and orthopedic surgery. Thankfully it was my left arm; I am typing with two hands and my right is doing the heavy lifting, but my jaw is clenched. My left arm will have lots to say about this foolishness later. But I have to tell you […]
  • My Broken Arm and New Tattoo
    While running this morning, I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and slammed shoulder-first into the pavement! Hurt like heck; my hubby drove me to the emergency room and I’m slated for orthopedic surgery tomorrow morning. So this week’s Blossom Tip is different than usual. But it’s fun because I’m sharing two short, sweet videos of me and Ruach 🙂 […]
  • How to Loosen the Chains – Blossom Tip 53
    Howdy from Nashville! This “honky tonk town” is full of big city surprises — all good so far. I toured the Belle Meade Plantation, the Ryman Auditorium (where I saw kd lang perform), the Nashville Farmer’s Market and the Country Music Hall of Fame. In a couple hours I’ll hoof it to the Parthenon (an […]
  • What Do You Think? Blossom Tip 52
    If we were sitting around the kitchen table – you, me, the rest of our She Blossoms group – what would you want to talk about? What questions would you ask? What advice might you share? I asked my She Blossoms Facebook Group this question, and was surprised and pleased at all the responses. I’d […]
  • Get on Your Side – Blossom Tip 51
    Have you ever wondered whose side you’re on? You’d think you’d be on your own side—after all, you’re a pretty cool person with a big heart and good sense of humor—but you find yourself sabotaging your own efforts, plans, and goals. Sometimes you even sabotage your relationships. Your life. Your self. Maybe you sabotage your […]
  • Letting Go – Blossom Tip 50
    A year ago I was brainstorming titles for Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back and I asked for your opinion. I offered three possible titles and you voted – and your choices helped me pick my title (which I love, by the way. Thank you!). Your feedback taught me something new and important about letting […]
  • When God Opens the Door – Blossom Tip 49
    In When God Closes the Door – Blossom Tip 44 I described how disappointed I was to miss a writers’ conference when I was in Minneapolis. Sometimes God closes doors. He allows sad, confusing, and even tragic things to happen to us. He doesn’t always tell us why. But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t hear our […]
  • Your Not-To-Do List  – Blossom Tip 48
    I discovered two things at the back of my new daytimer: a “To Do” list and a “Not-To-Do” list. Hmmm…a huge page of things NOT to do? I love it! Below is a snapshot of Blossy celebrating our new favorite toy: a list of things not to fret over, gnaw on, or ruminate about. A […]
  • The Turning Point – Blossom Tip 47
    While proofreading the final manuscript of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back, I found the turning point. Chapter Seven: Reviving Your Heart With Hannah isn’t just pivotal, it’s also one of my favorite chapters in the book. Reviving Your Heart is a chapter that transitions us from healing to moving forward. It’s time to accept […]
  • How to Hold on to Hope  – Blossom Tip 46
    What are you hoping for today? Maybe you’re hoping for physical healing for your bad back, painful migraines, or constant fatigue. Maybe you’re hoping for emotional healing for your broken heart, depression, or anxiety. Maybe you’re hoping for spiritual healing for yourself, a family member, or your country. Maybe you’re hoping for courage, strength, and […]
  • Keep Your Chin Up – Blossom Tip 45
    I used to think the advice “keep your chin up” was a bad idea. You’ll fall down because you can’t see where you’re going! Or you get punched in the chin, or worse. Your neck is exposed when your chin is up. That’s a very vulnerable part of your body. Then I heard from a […]
  • When God Closes the Door – Blossom Tip 44
    Sometimes God doesn’t just close a door, He seals all the windows and draws all the curtains. I’m in Minneapolis for a meeting with my publisher about Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back (my first book, to be released in the New Year). I decided to spend a few extra days here, wandering the […]
  • When You Are Rejected – Blossom Tip 43
    Have you ever asked someone for something, and been denied? Or outright mocked and rejected? Boy, does it hurt. But sometimes the most painful rejections are blessings in disguise.   When she was rejected My favorite story last week was from one of our She Blossoms readers. She’s a recent widow who didn’t realize how […]
  • You Are Not Alone – Blossom Tip 42
    Last week someone I love died. Ralph was a kind-hearted, joyful, compassionate old soul – he and his wife Dorothy took me to church every Sunday when I lived in Africa. He was like my grandpa, yet he was also the principal of the school I taught at. He was encouraging, accepting and comforting, yet […]
  • The “A” Word – Blossom Tip 41
    Our theme on She Blossoms this week is acceptance. What are you struggling to accept in your life? Maybe it’s a season that seems never ending, a hurt that isn’t healing, a decision you just can’t live with. Maybe somebody you love left you, a wound reopened, a dream died. It happened, and it’s hard. But you’re still […]
  • Alarm Yourself – Blossom Tip 40 
    “Be careful what you wish for — you might get it” isn’t just a cliché. It’s a warning for people who pray, too! I recently discovered the downside of answered prayers: not having the tools or wisdom to handle the blessing. It’s like receiving a magnificent harvest of luscious purple grapes. What do you do […]
  • How to Give Your Anxiety to God – Blossom Tip 39
    Last week I introduced the “Pass the Parcel” game in A Parcel for You – Blossom Tip 38. Here’s one of the loveliest responses, from one of our She Blossoms readers: “As a Brit who now lives in the US, I can attest to this game. I played Pass the Parcel for about the first ten […]
  • A Parcel for You – Blossom Tip 38
    This morning while doing yoga, I listened to Colin Smith’s Final Security sermon on podcast. He described the “Pass the Parcel” birthday party game he played as a kid in Scotland.  The best part? He explained how passing the parcel can fill us with freedom, peace and joy in our daily lives. Have you heard of […]
  • What Are You Waiting For? Blossom Tip 37
    An elderly couple went to a divorce lawyer to ask about separating after almost 70 years of marriage. “Why did you wait so long to get a divorce?” asked the lawyer. “We were waiting for the kids to die,” they said.   What are you waiting for?  Retirement, perhaps, or the kids to grow up. […]
  • The Time Has Come — Blossom Tip 36
    “You have stayed at this mountain long enough,” God told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 1:6. “It is time to break camp and move on.” There are times in your life when it’s essential to move on. If you stay too long at one place, you stagnate and start to wander aimlessly. When you’re rebuilding your […]
  • Which Pair Will You Choose? Blossom Tip 35
    Imagine sitting in the doctor’s office. You’re waiting for your test results and the doctor is 15 minutes behind schedule. The waiting room is small and crowded. Next to you a thin elderly man wilts in his seat, coughing hoarsely into his handkerchief. Beside him, a tear-stained toddler flails and wails on her mom’s lap. […]
  • Your True Name Isn’t What We Call You – Blossom Tip 34
    “I was praying myself awake this morning,” says Mary-Margaret, “when Jesus sat next to me on the bed.” That’s my favorite sentence in the novel I’m reading, The Passion of Mary-Margaret. She’s a religious sister (but not a nun) who literally sees and chats with Jesus. Often. He appears at the most convenient — and […]
  • When You Meet God – Blossom Tip 33
    Have you heard of The Alpha Course, pioneered by a vicar called Nicky Gumbel? (I love the word “vicar” — and I’m waving at you, my British brothers and sisters! 🙂 ). I’m facilitating an Alpha group at my church. Last week was our first meeting, and the central question was: “If it turned out […]
  • What Are You Struggling With Today? Blossom Tip 32
    You’ll find two surprises in this blog post:  1) Blossy is back (yay!) with an important message about going slow. She’s up a tree at the end of this email. 2) I want to hear about you, your life and world. Guess what? It’s your turn to talk! I hog all the space in our […]
  • What You Wish You Said — Blossom Tip 31
    Have you ever woken up at 3 am, knowing exactly what you should have said to someone earlier that day? You didn’t have the right words during the actual encounter, but later you found the perfect response. Well, I’ve got good news! Here’s how to say the right thing at the right time.   What […]
  • Surprised by New York City — Blossom Tip 30
    Yesterday, when buying my ticket for a tour of Carnegie Hall, I saw four $176 tickets for tonight’s performance. The Philadelphia Orchestra was honoring Leonard Bernstein, accompanied by a professional choir.  “Can you toss in one of those tickets with my tour?” I asked the ticketmaster. “Not unless you toss me $176,” he said. “Too […]
  • Sleepless in New York City — Blossom Tip 29
    What do you do when you can’t sleep? Last night was my first in New York City; I’m here on a two week pleasure/learning trip. Since I love learning, it’ll be all pleasure 🙂 A sleepless first night! I tossed and turned until 2 a.m. Where should I go first: the New York Public Library first, […]
  • When You Feel the Fear — Blossom Tip 28
    When I say “fear”, what do you think of? Even more importantly, how do you “feel the fear and do it anyway”? Below, Blossy has a ducky answer that will quack you up – but first, let’s talk fear… I have much to fear these days: My first book manuscript (Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back) is […]
  • Growing Forward on Your Birthday — Blossom Tip 27
    A few weeks ago — in Which Do You Prefer? Blossom Tip 14 — I asked you to vote on three possible titles for my upcoming book: How to Move Forward When Your Heart Keeps Looking Back When Time Doesn’t Heal: Creating a New Beginning From Your Ending Blossom: Growing Forward When You Can’t Go […]
  • When You Can’t Trust Your Intuition – Blossom Tip 26
    Yesterday I was walking with my teenage friend, who is 17 years old. We’ve known each other for six years; she takes care of our dogs when we travel. Her favorite sport is rugby and the season has finally started. Yay! Mostly. “Last week, the substitute rugby coach patted my bum,” she said. “I didn’t […]
  • Do You Truly Know How to Overcome Setbacks? — Blossom Tip 25
    So, Blossy and I wanted to tell you The Parable of the Lumberjack — it’s about facing setbacks in life, which is this week’s theme for “She Blossoms.” Then I asked my She Blossoms Facebook Group members how they cope with setbacks. Their responses are better than an old parable (oops, sorry Jesus, no offense! […]
  • When You Need Strength — Blossom Tip 24
    A reader asked a great question after receiving last week’s newsletter,  When You Feel Scared — Blossom Tip 23. “Laurie, you said to put on your white clothes especially when you’re scared. But what do you mean by wearing a silver suit of armor, a pretty ivory dress, or a white snow suit? I don’t know how […]
  • When You Feel Scared — Blossom Tip 23
    What is the biggest fear you face today? I was thinking about Blossoming despite fear yesterday, while jogging through my dark neighborhood at 5:30 am. Though dawn was nowhere in sight, I chose to cut through Myrtle Park. A dark park, with a few path lights here and there…and me, wearing a white jacket, light […]
  • When You Feel Sorry for Yourself — Blossom Tip 22
    “If you show up every day, you’re a hero!” says Blossy. “It takes guts just to show up and do what you’re called to do. Keep moving forward, sharing what you’ve been given and saying what’s on your heart – without judging or criticizing yourself.”     Sometimes, though, it’s easy to start feeling sorry […]
  • Picture This When You’re Lonely — Blossom Tip 21
    How do you cope with feelings of loneliness? I’ve received a few comments from readers who are feeling a bit blue these days. February is the depths of winter for many of us…and Valentine’s Day can be hard. Here are two ways I flow through my lonely moments: Tiffy and Blossy!   If dogs and […]
  • How to Make Tomorrow Better – Blossom Tip 20
    This week, Blossy and I are thinking about things that will benefit us tomorrow, or next week, or even next year. “Do something today that your future self will thank you for,” says Blossy — and I agree 🙂     We don’t know what tomorrow holds. Sometimes we can barely hold today together, much […]
  • Weaving Through the Darkness – Blossom Tip 19
    Today, Blossy and I are sharing tips that are rather disconnected. She wanted to encourage you to pause, take a deep breath, and make sure you’re going in the right direction. I wanted to talk about The Weaver. So, we decided to compromise! And do both 🙂 “Every day brings you one step closer…but where […]
  • The Desires of Your Heart – Blossom Tip 18
    “Let go of what is no longer yours,” says Blossy, “so you can pick up what God is giving you…”     “Look, I am doing a new thing!” says God in Isaiah 43:19. “Do you not perceive it?” That’s one of my favorite sentences in the Bible — and in my life. The desires […]
  • Something Good – Blossom Tip 17
    “Every day may not be good,” says Blossy, “but there is something good in every day.” Sometimes listening to a song is the one good thing today. Or maybe it’s bigger, like an unexpected compliment, surprise, or gift. Maybe a decision to go on a cruise, or finally take care of that thing you’ve been […]
  • Someone for You to Meet – Blossom Tip 16
    Say “Hello, Blossy” to our newest member of She Blossoms! She’s walking a tightrope in this drawing, and I suspect she’ll be even more adventurous as she blossoms.     Blossy was born during my week of solitude over the Christmas break — though her seeds were planted weeks ago. Maybe months. She’s my mascot/mouthpiece, […]
  • The Winner and Puppies – Blossom Tip 15
    Your vote mattered! Last week – in Which Do You Prefer? Blossom Tip 14 – I asked you to vote on your favorite book title (for a book I’m writing on walking out of loss, into a new season of life). Here are the results: 62 votes for Rise: Moving Forward When Your Heart Keeps […]
  • Which Do You Prefer? Blossom Tip 14
    Your opinion matters more than you know! Last week (Open Doors – Blossom Tip 13), I mentioned that I’m writing a book to help women walk out of loss, into a new season of life. I’m stuck on a title, and I need your help. Imagine you’re in a bookstore, looking for a book to […]
  • Believe in Open Doors – Blossom Tip 13
    When was the last time a door opened in your life? Did you leap through it, or hold back because it was kinda scary? “Open Doors” is one of the Big Ideas in Chapter 5 of my new “She Blossoms” book, tentatively called Rise: How to Move Forward When Your Heart Keeps Looking Back. (Which reminds […]
  • Your Secrets – Blossom Tip 12
    Before we spill our secrets, here’s a glimpse of the latest Blossoms: In How to Recreate Yourself When a Relationship Ends, I share tips for a reader who asked for help moving on after her ex-boyfriend announced his engagement to someone else. Breakups are never easy…but sometimes they’re an opportunity for renewal. Speaking of renewal – […]
  • You Matter More Than You Know – Blossom Tip 11
    Your presence makes such a difference! You matter to your family and friends, you matter at work and in your community, and you matter to me. I can’t see you, but I wrote this for you. See how much you matter? Your life is more important than you realize. And you matter to God. He not only sees you, He […]
  • Your Attitude – Blossom Tip 10
    When was the last time you took care of a sick pet? My little white 7 pound poodle is having tummy and bummy troubles. Not only is she refusing to eat her regular doggy kibble, she’s having all sorts of distasteful accidents in all the nooks and crannies of my house. This cramps my style. I’m distracted […]
  • The Promise – Blossom Tip 9
    Promises, promises… The smell of baking bread brings the promise of a hot fresh loaf with a pat of melting butter (and perhaps a sprinkle of salt!). The feel of a puppy’s tongue and sharp little baby teeth brings the promise of play, joy, innocence, and a wee wee in the wrong place at the wrong […]
  • The Ghosts That Haunt You – Blossom Tip 8
    Halloween isn’t celebrated in Israel, so I missed the “Trick or Treaters” and cute costumes this October! What I didn’t miss, however, were the ghosts, ghouls and grim goblins that seem to be getting darker and scarier every year. Or maybe I’m just getting old 🙂 But I did get an interesting little Halloween message this morning. While running through my […]
  • How To Be Free – Blossom Tip 7
    Just for today, what if you accepted everything that happens not with a sigh, but with a song? That, my friend, is the secret to freedom: flowing with the events of life instead of fussing, fighting, or freaking out.   Singing – not Sighing – in Israel We arrived at our Eilat hotel hot, weary, and […]
  • When You Lose Your Way – Blossom Tip 6
    I’ve been exploring Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, the Jordan River and other parts of Israel for a week. Have you been here? Even if you haven’t visited Israel, you’ve probably traveled. And if you’ve traveled, you’ve lost your way! We lost our way yesterday, traveling from Tiberias to Haifa. We […]
  • The Time You Failed – Blossom Tip 5
    Thank you for participating in the Blossomy Amazon Gift Card Draw by commenting on 30 Gifts to Surprise and Delight Your Older Parents or Grandparents! Bridget, you won the random draw; you’ll be receiving your gift card by email any second now. That time you failed Not winning a draw isn’t a failure…but you’ve failed in other ways, haven’t […]
  • Miracles and Miseries
    Last week I asked about the best advice you ever got; thank you for emailing me! I collected a Bouquet of Blossoms, which you’ll find below. But first, I want to remind you of something very important: Expect the unexpected Life is full of surprises, accidents, disasters, miracles and miseries. Moments you never saw coming that change […]
  • You’ll Never Believe It! Blossom Tip 4
    Remember how I gave away a $20 Amazon Gift Card a couple months ago, because I found $20 in Wickenden Forest and didn’t know what to spend it on? And I said if I found money again, I’d organize another Blossomy Draw? Well, guess what? Yesterday I found another $20! This time it was on […]
  • You Can Stop Working So Hard – Blossom Tip 3
    “I’m trying so hard to Blossom but I don’t know how,” said one of our She Blossoms Facebook Group members. “I feel like I’m sinking instead of growing. What am I doing wrong?” Her question has been haunting me because I’m in the same boat. Maybe you’re rowing hard and getting nowhere, too? It’s time for […]
  • How to Know What to Do – Blossom Tip 2
    Do you make decisions quickly and easily? Or maybe you’re like me — you overthink things, repeatedly review the pros and cons, fear making a mistake. I’m a thinker. In fact, some would say I’m an overthinker because I’ll analyze a choice to death. I can see the good and bad in every option (say, vacationing in Spain […]
  • How People See You – Blossom Tip 1
    When I met James L. Rubart at the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference last month, I never dreamed I’d quote a line from his book — which I’d never read — within five minutes of our conversation. “You can’t read the label when you’re standing inside the bottle,” I said. “Some old guy said that a […]
  • The Blossomy Best Way to Start Your Day
    What’s your favourite way to start the day? I get up at 4 a.m. every morning — but you’ll be relieved to know I’m not saying you have to get up that early to Blossom! In fact, I’d call you crazy if you rose with me. 🙂 Even when it’s dark and rainy, I love the start of […]
  • The First Book in the “She Blossoms” Series Will Be Called…
    Blossom: Finding Hope and Healing for Your Heart After Loss is the working title of the first “She Blossoms” book in my series! Of course, “working title” means it could change in 15 minutes. But it’s been the working title for over a month, so it may stick for another day or two. Last week, […]
  • The One Thing That Makes You Blossom Into Life
    I have a very serious job for you: find and value at least One Thing that makes you come alive. One Thing that makes me come alive — in all my Blossomy glory — is listening to podcasts while running and walking backwards up hills at 5:30 in the morning! One of my recent podcast […]
  • Why You Aren’t Blossoming Yet – and How to Start
    You’ll be relieved to know I’m finished writing the first chapter of my first She Blossoms book 🙂  … and it’s all about Eve. Yes, the Eve who ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil! The Eve who was banished from the Garden of Eden. The Eve who learned how to Blossom […]
  • 3 Surprising Things About Your Past
    Regrets? Sure, I have a few. And so do you. “I regret loving him,” says Anna on Words of Comfort When Your Heart is Broken. “I wish I hadn’t spent ten years with him. I knew I it wasn’t a good relationship from the start, but I stayed with him. I feel like I lost […]
  • What is Your Purpose in Life? 
    I received a lovely email from a “She Blossoms” reader, asking how to figure out what he should do with his life (yes, even guys want to Blossom! 🙂 ). In 6 Practical Ways to Find God’s Call on Your Life, I share a few ideas for figuring out your purpose, mission, calling. If you […]
  • Tasty Treats to Help You Blossom
    What was the last thing you ate — and did you notice how delicious it was? I want to know, because I just got back from the Write-to-Publish Christian Writers’ Conference at Wheaton College near Chicago…and boy, was the food good! Ripe juicy watermelon chunks for dessert (plus chocolate mousse, raspberry squares, sugar cookies), perfectly cooked […]
  • The Worst (and the Best!) News You’ll Get Today
    In 7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Through the Divorce Process , I shared one of the most painful truths about being an adult: if we don’t take good care of ourselves, then nobody will. Isn’t that sad? If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? And if not now…when? But wait a […]
  • 7 Ways to Be More Courageous Today
    Hands shaking, mouth dry, heart beating wildly, unable to breathe — that’s how my 14 year old friend felt when she told the police about the Very Bad Thing he did to her. Actually, she didn’t tell the police first. She told the social worker. Before that, she told the counselor at school. Before that, […]
  • Finally – A Glimpse of You at 80!
    Picture yourself at 80: you are joyful, wise, grounded, peaceful, accepting, and compassionate. You have Blossomed! You know who you are and you’re more connected to God than ever before. Your body has slowed down, sure, but you don’t mind because your spirit is alive! You know what it’s like to experience deep joy — […]
  • The Real Reason You’re Not Blossoming
    I’m in a “support group” of sorts – it’s a recovery program that helps people overcome addictive thoughts and behaviors. We’re all dealing with different types of addictions, from overeating to overthinking. One of the women in the group – let’s call her Bliss – is struggling with her husband’s emotional abuse and alcoholism. They’ve […]
  • The Space Between the Blossoms
    Are you waiting for something to end, or to begin? Maybe you’re in a season of indecision or uncertainty, grief or hopeful expectation. The waiting space is that fallow time when your garden looks bare but you really want to believe something is happening underneath, in the loamy soil. Take heart! Here’s one of my favorite […]
  • God’s Dreams for Your Life – and Other Blossoms
    Would you agree that who you marry has a bigger impact on your life than any other decision you could make? A reader’s comment captured my heart this week – it was from someone I’ll call “RosyBelle.” “I’ve been dating this guy about a year and a couple of months,” said RosyBelle on Should You […]
  • 6 Months Left to Blossom? How Not to Write Your Obituary 
    In 1888 Alfred Nobel’s brother Ludvig died. A French newspaper mistakenly published Alfred’s obituary, condemning him for inventing dynamite. “The merchant of death is dead,” said the obituary. “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Alfred – who never married or had children […]
  • Big Bold Blossoms in Your Dreams
    “Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes,” said Maggie Kuhn. Last night I dreamt about women standing up in a huge auditorium and saying what’s on their minds and in their hearts. Two women talked about how hard it is to keep their hair looking good – the first woman felt alone and scared; […]
  • The Best Way to Blossom in a Hailstorm
    “I’d love to start my own business or even a blog,” sighed my friend Beth. “But I just don’t have your self-discipline or time. By the time I get home from work, walk the dog, feed Brianna, and get ready for tomorrow…I have no motivation to do anything, much less work on a blog or […]
  • How to Blossom Like a Red Lobster in a Medieval Court
    Have you heard of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear? She’s the author of Eat Pray Love, which you may have read. Or watched on the big screen, or heard people rave about. Here’s one of my favorite stories from Big Magic – it’s about Blossoming even when you’re wearing a Red […]
  • How to Blossom When You’re Knee-Deep in Dirt
    I love that we’re living in a tangled garden of wild flowers – SheBlossoms! But there is one difference between us and the sunflowers, roses, daises, and petunias that grow all around us…and that difference is choice. You and I have the choice to Blossom, regardless of our circumstances. Sometimes we have no power over […]
  • How Find God’s Will for Your Life – and Blossom!
    Should you quit your job, leave a relationship, or move to a new city? What is God’s will for your life – and how will He direct and guide you? What signs will He give you, what doors will He open, where does He want your life to go? Big questions, yes…but no clear answers. […]
  • It’s Your Time to Blossom
    What an amazing group of women make up my SheBlossoms email list! If you’re not part of my group, just sign up at the bottom of this post. Or, enter your name and email in the big purple box in the sidebar 🙂 I recently emailed everyone individually about a new change in direction for Blossom, […]
  • How to Use Food to Help You Blossom
    What are your favorite foods? More importantly – how does your body feel after you eat? My favorite foods are: Cilantro salsa (my husband’s secret recipe) My special lunch, which I’ve been eating every day for at least 2 years (as described in A Simple, No-Cook Ulcerative Colitis “Diet Plan”) My special dinner salad (which […]
  • Blossoming When You Feel Self-Conscious
    “What are they thinking of me? Do I have something in my teeth? Am I too short for this skirt, too Jewish for this school?” Self-consciousness isn’t just painful, it prevents us from doing a good job. The more self-conscious we are, the worse we perform because we aren’t connected to our authentic selves. We […]
  • 4 Secrets to Blossoming in All Seasons of Your Life
    Wow, the pull of negativity, criticism, and darkness is strong! The sharks are mean and lean, constantly circling. Sharks never sleep; they suffer from insomnia and they want you to suffer, too. The world wants to steal your joy, peace, and light. The world wants to remind you of your failures and shortcomings, your mistakes and unfulfilled […]
  • How to Blossom When You Don’t Feel Inspired
    You can’t heal her – the daughter, niece or neighbor who is trying to fill the hole in her soul with food, sex, drugs, clothes, cutting. You can’t bring them back – the mother, sister, or best friend you lost. The brother, uncle, father who was taken from you too early, unfairly, heartbreakingly. You can’t set […]
  • Blossoming on Stage When You’re Terrified
    What would your life be like if you weren’t self-conscious, or worried what people think, or scared to get up on stage and belt it out like there’s no tomorrow? It would be awesome. For the past six weeks, I’ve been buried in a (lovely but all-consuming) garden of classical music and stage fright. An […]
  • My Secret to Blossoming on the Journey
    The other night, I told a gathering of friends about the most important moment of my life: the day I read a poem called “The Road of Life” by someone called anonymous. That poem, which I share below, contains my secret to Blossoming. But first here’s a snapshot of my most recent articles… 6 Things […]
  • Blossoming When You Have No Hope Left
    If you feel hopeless, have I got a story for you! A dream, to be more specific. First, here’s a short list of what’s new on Blossom: 10 Time-Tested Ways to Know if You Love Someone – My favourite tips are the ones from divorce attorneys – they know a surprising amount about love. How […]
  • Finding Blossoms in a Jar of Marbles
    I discovered one way to treasure every moment of your life – even if you’re not exactly living the life of your dreams. Especially if you’re not living the life of your dreams. Get a jar, and fill it with marbles. Not just any number of marbles. No, you need a specific number. How many? […]
  • 365 Blossoms – A Challenge
    Every week I have trouble figuring out what to write here on my main site. I never have a problem writing articles for my actual blogs, because they’re about other people’s problems. For example, on Blossom this week I wrote: 7 Ways to Make Peace With Infertility – because a reader asked for help coping […]
  • How to Blossom When You Smell a Rat
    When I lived in Africa (the longest three years of my life!), my biggest struggle was the why. Why was I born white, in a rich country, with more privileges and luxuries than I could possibly consume? I didn’t even come from a wealthy or even a middle-class family. My mom was single and struggled […]
  • Taking Time to Blossom
    “The human was not designed for instantaneous change,” writes Rabbi Daniel Lapin in Thou Shall Prosper. “Many people in the morning move from bedroom repose to racing for the train to work within less than half an hour.  That is plainly not healthful.” In the Jewish culture, newly married couples are given a whole week […]
  • Deadheading the Old Blossoms
    If you’re a gardener, what do you like most about gardening? What do you like least? It’s a little ironic that I’m not a gardener, yet I chose to name my blog Blossom. When we lived on Bowen Island we had a garden – and I actually liked weeding. I saw it as decluttering, which […]
  • 2 Happy Ways to Blossom
    When was the last time you had a good laugh? I wanted to tell you a hilarious joke or funny story today because even though I wrote about death last week and a scary trip through the Rockies the week before – there is a light side to Blossoming! But I couldn’t think of anything […]
  • 2 Lessons From a Wilted Blossom
    Two months ago, I told you about my friend Sharon (Blossoming When Times Are Tough). She was fighting cancer and ALS, and I asked for ideas on how to support her. Sharon passed away two months – to the day – after I wrote that newsletter. She was 56 years old. As her obituary said, […]
  • How to Blossom in the Rockies
    Every Christmas, Bruce and I drive through the Rocky Mountains. We go from Vancouver (where we live) to Edmonton (where his parents and my two closest friends live). And every year I vow to never, ever do it again! It’s the Rocky Mountains in the middle of winter. Many of the roads are packed with […]
  • A Plan for Blossoming in a New Season
    Last night Bruce and I were brainstorming reasons we don’t make positive changes in our lives (it was his birthday, and I like to keep things light and simple when we celebrate). For example, we know we should do more yoga, eat less chocolate, watch fewer Facebook videos, spend less time passively watching tv, call […]
  • How to Blossom When You Feel Beaten
    When God created you, He called all the angels over to watch. “Look!” He said. “I’m making this wonderful creature exactly the way I want her to be. She’s amazing! Her eyes, her hair, her shape, her height, her skin are perfectly formed. See her creativity, intellect, passions, personality, skills, desires, and even her quirks? […]
  • What to Expect When You Birth Baby Blossoms
    What do you want to change in your life? I suspect there’s something – perhaps your job, your hair, your relationship, your home, your hobbies, your attitude towards your mother-in-law, the way you spend your evenings. Or maybe you’re like me, and you’re ready to find a new passion and change your purpose in life. I […]
  • What Helped You Blossom Last Time?
    I recently dreamed I was unpacking boxes after moving to a new house. I was devastated! I love my current home, and in my dream I didn’t get to say good-bye. Suddenly I was ripped away and had to start living a whole new life. It happened so fast, I was left reeling. No preparation, […]
  • How to Stop Nurturing Dead Blossoms
    Have you fallen into the trap of doing what’s easy, but useless? Maybe you have – or maybe you haven’t really thought about it. It’s time! I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Here’s mine: I spend about an hour on Twitter every day, and I have more than 9,373 followers. I schedule Tweets, read […]
  • The Secret to Blossoming  
    The longer something takes to evolve, the better – and more precious – it is. Be gentle with yourself when you’re struggling to create, find, or overcome something. Take a deep breath, and allow it to evolve naturally. Maybe you’re…  Nurturing a heartbreak Making a difficult decision Raising a child Healing from chemotherapy treatments Accepting and forgiving […]
  • Blossoming in the Waiting Place – Dr Seuss
    Sometimes you have to wait…and sometimes you have to take a leap and Blossom into who God created you to be! What are you waiting for? I bet Dr Seuss named it in this excerpt from Oh! The Places You’ll Go… The Waiting Place  Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, […]
  • Blossoms in Your Email List
    When my email address list reached 1,500 contacts, I decided it was time to declutter. Actually, the real reason I decluttered was because I sent a slightly confidential email to the wrong Frances. The Frances I was supposed to email is my supervisor (I’m a casual relief employee at a transitional house for women fleeing […]
  • Blossoming When You Don’t Fit In
    I got booted out of my book club for bad behavior. Okay, I wasn’t actually booted out – I chose to leave. And my behavior couldn’t have been THAT bad because not everyone noticed it. But, it was definitely a book club. And I definitely offended at least two of the women. The details aren’t […]
  • Bittersweet Blossoms
    I once attended a Passover dinner at a Jewish friend’s home. We sat around the dinner table, and took turns reading short portions of the Torah. We passed a portion of Maror (bitter herbs) around the table, each of us taking a small taste. Yuck! Then we passed Charoset, which is a sweet paste made […]
  • How to Pull the Weeds So You Can Blossom
    “If I feel worse after being with someone,” says Lacy, “I wonder whether it’s a valuable way to spend my time. I should feel happier and lighter after a visit, not drained or depressed.” Lacy and I were walking our dogs, talking about friends, dog poop, and the meaning of life. Her philosophy is that […]
  • Blossom Before the Wind Blows
    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” asked Mary Oliver. I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately because Wayne Dyer, Wes Craven, and Oliver Sacks all died within a couple days of each other. Wayne Dyer taught me not to look backwards, at the wake […]
  • Cast Off Your Anchor and Blossom!
    What’s dragging you down and holding you back? Funny how anchors can start out as grounding and safe, yet they can turn into huge weights that prevent you from moving forward. My anchor is Happy Hour at my house. I love having a glass of Zinfandel or Merlot at 5 pm with Bruce. We cook […]
  • Blossom With Your Money
    We’re planning a trip to Croatia next month, to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Yes, very exciting! And very expensive. The flights cost over $3,000, and we expect to spend at least $6,000 on accommodations, food, sightseeing, and a souvenir or two. I expected those travel expenses. But I always forget how much it costs to […]
  • How to Blossom When You’re Wounded
    When I stretch my arm slightly too far, the skin on my inner wrist feels like it’s ripping apart. My arm looks perfectly normal, but my skin feels numb and raw. It hurts to write, type, play my flute, do yoga, and walk my dogs – all of my favorite things! I think it’s nerve […]
  • How to Blossom in Your Creativity
    It’s True Confessions time…. I call myself The Adventurous Writer, but the truth is I’d rather be The Adventurous Artist. I’ve always had a secret dream of being an artist in New York City. I wanted to live in a huge airy loft filled with easels, oil paints, splattered rags, and paintings all over the […]
  • How to Blossom When You’re Busy
    Do you wilt or thrive when you’re busy? If you’re an introvert, you wilt. If you’re an extrovert, you thrive. I’m an introvert, so…you guessed it…I’m a droooooopy juggler today. My life has been circus-like for the past couple of months! I’ve been planning surprise parties, hosting book clubs and art groups, entertaining out-of-town guests, and undergoing invasive […]
  • How to Blossom When You’re Holding a Snake
    Last week, I shared how to blossom when you’re criticized – and a reader emailed me some sage advice… “I would like to add the importance of assessing the source of the criticism,” says M. “and not take it too personally, especially if you acted with good intentions.” She adds that as a psychotherapist, she’s learned […]
  • How to Blossom When You’re Criticized
      O, the sting of criticism! Yesterday, a woman I interviewed for a magazine article sent me negative feedback on how I handled the interview. Specifically, she said I should have told her before the interview that her answers may not be included in the article. She called me inconsiderate. Ouch! But she’s right. I should have […]
  • What’s Your Africa?
    Did you know I lived in Africa for three years? Lately, I’ve been longing for a huge adventure like that. The thrill of finding a job overseas, getting rid of all the junk I wouldn’t need there (and didn’t need here), packing, getting on a plane for the first leg of a 24 hour journey, […]
  • Squeeze Us, Jesus – A New Christian Blog
    Ta da! I hereby announce my new Christian blog! Finally, I’m blogging about the one thing that means more to me than anything. It only took me seven years of wandering around the online desert as a blogger. Good thing God is patient. “Squeeze Me, Jesus” is a Christian blog that offers practical tips and […]
  • Putting Parables Into Practice
    This is the month I turn 45! What better way for the Adventurous Writer to celebrate than with a new theme for my blogs? I’ve been “Putting Parables Into Practice” since the new year – I find parables, myths, and fables from all over the world, and use them to illustrate insights about life, work, […]
  • About Me
    My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; I’m a full-time blogger. I created “She Blossoms”, which is a series of blogs to help you listen to the still small voice, get out of your own way, and Blossom in your life. Can you believe I’ve been earning a full-time living as a blogger and freelance writer since 2008? Amazing! Don’t […]
  • The Adventurous Writer Needs You! And She’s Willing to Pay
    Let’s face it; adventurous writers can’t do it all alone. So hop on — the “Quips and Tips” train is gaining steam! I need writers to write for my websites, and I’m willing to pay bucks. Not big bucks because I’m just a small writer with a small business…but bucks nevertheless! This paid blogging job […]
  • Quips and Tips From the Working World is Hiring Bloggers
    Quips and Tips is busting at the seams! I’m hiring bloggers for my Working World blog – it’s easy, interesting “Quips and Tips” job that will improve your web writing and editing skills, increase your online exposure, and earn you a bit ‘o money… I’m looking for bloggers to contribute to Quips and Tips From […]
  • Quips and Tips for Christmas Shopping – Holiday Gifts Galore!
    A roundup of Quips and Tips articles about Christmas shopping, holiday gift ideas, and finding the right present for the right person. Make your Christmas shopping easy by doing most of it online — and doing it early! Healthy Christmas Gift Ideas – 8 Holiday Gifts for All Ages lists eight holiday gifts that revolve […]
  • A New Quips and Tips eBook, and a New Quips and Tips Blog
    My newest “Quips and Tips” ebook is always my favorite, which means 80 Ways to Say “I Love You” has top billing right now! I’ve written four “Quips and Tips” ebooks — two on love and relationships, and two on writing and blogging. Like my “Quips and Tips” blogs, my ebooks are practical, helpful, tips-based guides to achieving goals […]
  • Letting Go of Your Past – A “Quips and Tips” eBook
    My third “Quips and Tips” ebook is about letting go of your past; it’s based on my most popular article on Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals (“How to Let Go of Someone You Love”). Every day, that article gets hundreds of hits – and it barely skims the surface of letting go of […]
  • Writers, Achieve Your Goals! Motivation to Keep Writing
    Finding the motivation to write is a constant struggle, even for writers who earn a living from writing! That’s why I wrote Fire Up the Muse — to help writers achieve their goals, no matter what obstacles they face. If you’re a writer who struggles with self-doubt, frustration, writer’s block, fear of failure, perfectionism, disgust for your work, […]
  • Cha-Ching! Financial Abundance and Money for Writers
    My recent “Quips and Tips” articles focus on re-evaluating goals, setting new intentions, and money money money! Creating financial abundance is one of my favorite topics, so I’m forging ahead with money and goals…because it’s more fun to be The Adventurous Writer when you’re actually making money writing. 🙂 What’s really been on my mind, […]
  • Extroverted Writers, Skin Problems, Why Couples Break Up – New Quips and Tips!
    This month, my “Quips and Tips” articles ranged from Valentine’s Day gift ideas to having multiple babies because of fertility treatments…with a little bit of Maui thrown in for good luck! What’s really on my mind, however, is my “Make Money Blogging” course that I’ll soon be teaching through Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver. I’m thrilled […]
  • New on Quips and Tips – Travel Blogging, Honeymoons, and Maui
    Aloha – I ’m bringing these Quips and Tips articles to you from the beach in Maui! I can’t stop writing about Hawaii; my recent posts include tips for romantic honeymoon getaways, booking vacation packages, and losing weight on holidays. When was the last time you took a vacation? Tip of the day: go now, […]
  • New on Quips and Tips – Better Writing, Money Psychology, and More
    My newest Quips and Tips articles range from making your blog posts more popular to discovering how your personality affects your saving and spending habits (money psychology!). And, I’m sad to report that my literary agent and I aren’t on the same page when it comes to my latest book proposal…which means I’m looking for […]
  • New on Quips and Tips – Hiring a Webmaster and Getting Pregnant
    My newest Quips and Tips articles range from signs that it’s time to invest in your writing career (hire a Webmaster!) to tips for getting pregnant with dairy products. I also posted a several Christmas articles – mostly about saving money and making shopping easier. And, I’m happy to report that I sent my book […]
  • New on Quips and Tips – Breast Cancer, Author Interviews, Email Signatures
    Recent Quips and Tips articles include helping friends who have breast cancer, improving your interview skills, and jazzing up your email signature. I’m excited to include Quips and Tips for Spiritual Seekers – my newest blog – for the first time in my roundup of articles! I’ve been slogging my way through working on and enjoying a book […]
  • New Articles – Family Problems at Christmas, Reevaluating Goals, Money Tips
    Of all the articles I wrote this week, my favorite is about reevaluating career goals. Doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, store owner, lawyer, or stay at home mom: you need to get off the merry-go-round (rat race?) occasionally and figure out if you’re still going in the right direction! “It must be borne in […]
  • New Articles – Christmas Gifts, Getting Unstuck, Pet Therapy
    The Adventurous Writer’s new articles include Christmas gifts for elderly parents, getting unstuck, and reducing stress while trying to get pregnant. Last week’s new articles included Sleep Eating Disorder – Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments.  Before the links to the latest, here’s one of my favorite quotations: “If we could read the secret history of our […]
  • New Articles – Blog Partnerships and Relationship Breakups
    Here are this week’s new articles from The Adventurous Writer; topics include starting blog partnerships, getting over relationship breakup guilt, caregiving elderly parents – and more! Last week’s new articles included How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About. First, a word about how to read for writers: “Read! Read! Read! And then read some […]
  • New Articles – Travel Writing, Anger Management, Letting Go of Someone You Love
    Here are this week’s new articles from The Adventurous Writer, covering travel writing, anger management, letting go of someone you love, and more! Last week’s new articles included How to Deal With Adult Dyslexia at Work. First, some wise words on writing talent: “I see the notion of talent as quite irrelevant. I see instead […]
  • New Articles – Writing Careers, Jet Lag, and Infertility Tests
    Here are this week’s new articles from The Adventurous Writer; I’m writing in sunny Salzburg, Austria. On my blogs this week, I’ve covered everything from investing in your writing career to overcoming jet lag – which I’m doing right now!  Last week’s new articles included Halloween, Internet Affairs, and Challenge Tests. Before the articles, here’s one of […]
  • New Articles – Halloween, Internet Affairs, and Challenge Tests
    Here are this week’s new articles from The Adventurous Writer – and the Big News is that Quips & Tips for Successful Writers is now a Top 10 Writing Blog! Awesome. On my blogs this week, I’ve covered everything from Halloween to Clomiphene Challenge Tests – including networking tips for successful writers. Last week was […]
  • New Articles – Divorce, Divorce, Divorce! and Thanksgiving Dinner
    Here are this week’s new articles from The Adventurous Writer – divorce was the hot topic, because of a wonderful book I’ve been reading (and no, it’s not because my marriage is unhappy!). I also wrote about writing careers, Thanksgiving, saving money for Christmas shopping, and Halloween costumes. First, advice from Ray Bradbury for writers: […]
  • New Articles – Writing Author Bios, Solving Tax Problems, and Overcoming Infertility Depression
    Here are this week’s new articles from The Adventurous Writer – they range from writing author bios to overcoming infertility depression to weight loss tips for teens! Plus, below is my “what I’m  reading” and book recommendation for the week. First, a quip for writers: “Failure is part of it. You will be rejected dozens […]
  • Popular Articles About Love, Relationships, Infidelity
    Here’s a round up of my most popular articles about love, relationships, and infidelity on Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals. Although I want my money articles to be more popular — it seems that love, relationships, and infidelity is what readers are most interested in! And since I aim to please… Here are my three most popular […]
  • Writing Strategy #5 – What To Do While Waiting for Publishers to Decide
    Every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy, sometimes from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers (and sometimes not — like today!). This week, the strategy is about what to do while waiting for publishers and editors to decide on sample chapters, book manuscripts, or article pitches. Last week, I submitted my sample chapters to my agent, […]
  • Writing Strategy #4 – Ask for Specific Feedback for Sample Chapters
    Every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers. This week, the strategy is about asking for specific feedback for sample chapters. I submitted my three sample chapters to my agent last week, who delivered them to a potential publisher (my fingers and toes are crossed! See Writing […]
  • 5 Web Writing Tips From a Panel of Bloggers
    Instead of a writing strategy this week, I’ve rounded up several effective web writing tips from a panel of bloggers. These tips are (mostly) from the Web Writing Panel at the Writer’s Craft Fair hosted by the BC Association of Magazine Publishers. I was honored to participate in this panel – I love being a […]
  • Writing Strategy #3 – Write for One Hour
    Every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers (or another first-rate source!). This week, the strategy is how to “write for one hour.” My sample chapters to a publisher are due in a couple of weeks, my series of seven health articles is due in one week, an […]
  • Writing Strategy #2 – Grab Your Readers by the Throat
    This week, the strategy is how to “grab your reader by the throat” (every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers or another first-rate source!). Grabbing your readers (or editors, or publishers) by the throat is a fancy way of saying “write effective leads.” Hooking people will […]
  • Writing Strategy #1 – Let Your Writing Go
    Every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers (or another first-rate source!). This week, the strategy is “let your writing go.” “The best writing advice I ever received was to not get attached to your words,” says editor and freelance writer Alyice Edrich of the Dabbling Mum. […]
  • How Freelancers, Nonfiction Writers, and Novelists Succeed
    This website – The Adventurous Writer – isn’t just about my successes and failures as a freelance writer and book author. That’s secondary, because I dislike writing about myself. Rather, this site is about how to succeed as a novelist and nonfiction writer! How writers succeed is as easy (and as complicated) as one thing: […]
  • What I Learned as a Participant in an Online Writing Panel
    I was honored to be a panelist in the “Writing for the Web” forum at the recent Write on Bowen Festival on Bowen Island, British Columbia. It was so much fun, in fact, I wish I’d signed up to teach a blogging workshop! I love answering questions about my passions: writing and blogging. Here are […]
  • Addicted to Writing – A Writers Contest Entry
    Ever submitted something to a writing contest? Did you lose? Yeah…me, too. Below is a piece I wrote for the Surrey International Writers Conference, about being addicted to writing. It didn’t win, place or show — but it improved my writing skills and it spurred me to write a blog post for Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! […]
  • Traveling Teens, Rocky Roads – Query Letter
    What makes me “The Adventurous Writer”? I keep submitting my ideas to my agent, possible publishers, and potential editors — no matter how many rejections and “that wouldn’t sell in a million years” ‘s I get! Rejection isn’t fatal, but giving up is, my friends. “No rejection is fatal until the writer walks away from the […]
  • Recovering From Mistakes Freelance Writers Make
    My latest freelance assignment is for a writing magazine in the U.S. – and I need experienced freelance writers to share their email blunders. This article will help both new and experienced writers navigate the ups and downs of a writing career!  By the way, as I write this I keep wondering if writers should […]
  • See Jane Soar – Query Letter
    If you want an agent, editor, or publisher to request your book proposal or manuscript, you have to write a compelling query letter! Here’s a query letter for my latest book idea, See Jane Soar: 200 Women Who Weren’t Well-Behaved. This query letter led to contract offers from two different agents (I happily signed with the Irene […]
  • Unveiling Vancouver – Query Letter
    A strong query letter must introduce a book proposal, manuscript, or article pitch. This query letter for my first book idea, Unveiling Vancouver, may not be the best pitch ever — but several publishers asked to see the full book proposal. Nobody actually bought it…but…ahem…”No guts, no glory!” says this adventurous writer! Here’s my first query letter: Dear […]
  • My First Book Idea – Unveiling Vancouver
    An important part of any successful writer’s life is her past book ideas – whether or not they were published (or even written!). I’ve decided to share my book ideas, query letters and progress here, on The Adventurous Writer. Lotsa failures, my friends! And lotsa learning about writing and publishing. I created Unveiling Vancouver while living in Vancouver, British Columbia in […]
  • Seeking Successful Published Authors
    My newest book idea – which I’m totally in love with! – is tentatively titled 25 Published Authors Reveal Their Biggest Blunders — and What They Learned. I’m gathering true stories from well-known writers about their failures and fixes, so other writers, fans, and readers in general can see resilience in action! Participating in this project gives published authors […]