3 Tips On Life From A Mother’s Day Plant

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Photo of My Mother’s Day Plant From Malachi

Every year one of my four children have brought me a Mother’s Day plant from school. Unfortunately, the survival rate with my green-not thumb is relatively low. All until a few years ago.

It was a warm spring day like any other when my then eight-year-old son Malachi got off of the school bus. He ran into the house, hands extended with a present wrapped in a brightly colored paper bag.

After the appropriate ooohs and aaaahs, I looked inside the bag and there was a plant. A flower that barely reached the top edge of the painted flower pot. It was quite beautiful with purple flowers.

Malachi reminded me to water it when I forgot, sometimes he watered it for me. The little plant has seen two winters and it is still growing. I haven’t seen flowers in a while, but that is probably because it needs a transplant to a bigger pot. I can’t bring myself to move it from the pot my son painted.

This flower plant is now quite tall. The picture above shows you that it has grown like a weed, stretching towards whatever source of light it could find. Even in the winter when the Minnesota sun is less that warm, it reaches for whatever light it can absorb.

Right now the plant isn’t flowering, but this year I will be transplanting it to a new pot. It’s season to flower again will probably be here. The resilience of the plant is amazing. Along the way I have learned a few things about life from this plant.

3 Tips On Life From A Mother’s Day Plant:

  1. Rely on your team when you’re weak. Malachi and my daughter Esther helped me so often with watering the plant. In life we need a team to help us with things we don’t remember or aren’t very good at.
  2. Stretch Towards Sources of Light. This sturdy flower always reached for the light, bending toward it. Look for positive influences to build you up. Seek out God who is our light in dark times. Surround yourself with others who encourage and challenge you.
  3. Recognize The Seasons Of Life And Be Resilient. This Mother’s Day plant has been tipped over and lost half of its soil. It has been bumped, shaded, and moved. Still it is resilient as if it knows that it will flower again when the time is right. Our life has seasons. Be patient and resilient and your season to bloom will come again.

It is amazing what you can learn from a plant. My kids are outgrowing the plant school gifts, but this one continues to stay with me. If I’m fortunate, my not-so-green thumb will keep it alive for several more years with the help of my family.

What is your favorite gift that just lasted forever?

 

 

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10 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever

 

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Photo by Chiru

For as many amazing Valentine’s Day gifts you could give your significant other, there are some things that send the wrong message.

No one gets it right all of the time and there is that little thing called grace for the one we love’s imperfections, but then there is the list below.

Searching the internet I found a crazy lot of horrible Valentine’s Day gifts. The list below is a compilation of some of the worst.

10 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever:

  1. “Diamond Ring” Keychain in a Ring Box – Prank, or not, this gift lacks style. To the girl whose always wanted a diamond ring, you’ve just cheapened the moment when she does receive one.
  2. Spanx – For the man who gave this to his sweetheart. . . let me just say, “You have a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day?”
  3. Novelty Toilet Paper – Where do these people come up with these things?
  4. Naming A CockRoach at the Bronx Zoo – Apparently they did this one year. . . Why??
  5. Pink Game Console – Unless your sweetheart is a big gamer, this just says, “I went to the store and while I was there I found this really cool gift for you. . . for me.”
  6. Duct Tape Roses – Trust me, your girl is going to want the real thing! (Although, a survey said that 40% of women don’t want roses for Valentine’s Day)
  7. Gym Membership – No one wants to remember that they have some pounds to lose. Skip this gift and your relationship might last to see another Valentine’s Day.
  8. A Pickle Recipe Book – 1001 ways to make pickles. Nothing says love like something green that takes hours to can.
  9. Toilet Seat – This screams that someone was at the hardware store and didn’t want to go down a different isle, much less a store that would have what a sweetheart might want.
  10. “Cop Out” – I would rather my hubby say he forgot than to try to spin his forgetfulness with the whole “I love you all year round, so. . .” line.

What is the worst Valentine’s Day Gift You’ve Ever Received?

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Yesterday’s Super Sleuth Challenge Answer:

D. Drone Finger Printer is Not Real. For information about some of the latest crime fighting technology click here.

Message In A Bottle To The Younger You – Music Mondays with Author Michelle Lim

Photo by jim daly

Photo by jim daly

As a kid, I was high octane. I woke up at 5 a.m. each day, waiting for the rest of the house to wake up. Ready for adventure was my middle name. There was no limit to my energy.

I’m not sure exactly what happened between then and now, but somewhere along the way some of that boundless energy seeped out. Adventure still excites me, but I am a bit slower to chase after it.

Back then I rushed into everything without the wisdom of years, but I learned much along the way. Still, many moments were wasted on frivolous things.

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self bits of wisdom to help me through, I would say to dream bigger, reach higher, and work harder.

A new song made me think about what I might tell myself about this moment years down the road.

How can I cease this moment and make it all it can be?

Mondays are difficult to get moving. Creativity is stuck in the pudding between my ears. But each moment counts. There is so much that I can do today to chase my dreams.

Imagine you could do anything at all, reach any dream you put your heart into.

If you knew you could reach that dream, what would you do right this moment? Today?

Plot your direction today with that in mind. Think of what you would tell yourself a few years from now about this moment and act on it.

Don’t wait for regret to set in. There is only one today to be lived. Live it with all of your aspirations on your sleeve for all to see. Capture each moment with the dream in mind.

What will you do today to capture the wisdom of your older self, before today is gone?

 

 

 

What’s Your Brand of Crazy? – Funny Side of Life with Author Michelle Lim

Photo by Angelique Gerber

Photo by Angelique Gerber

Fridays on thoughtsonplot are taking a whole new twist. Here is what you can expect:

*Week One Funny Side of Life – A dash of fun, or humor to brighten your day.

*Week Two  Where in the World Is. . . – Pictures from our readers in a recognizable location reading a book (send them to: michelle.linn.lim@gmail.com with subject Where in the World Picture). Then all of you sleuthy types out there, or geography buffs can help figure out where the picture was taken. The selected person will also get a shout out to their inspirational fiction book page on Amazon of the book they are reading in the photo.

*Week Three My Space/My World – Tips for doing life like recipes, organization tips, Mom life, etc.

*Week Four Fan Friday – Special Guest Authors or Industry Experts in a variety of professions.

Don’t forget to send in your photos for next week and be sure to include the location and amazon link for the book in your picture. (Please note we will select Inspirational or Christian Fiction Book Links only) Be watching for a return email, so you know if your picture is posting and when.

Now on to the Funny Side of Life.

A friend of mine sent me this quote this week:

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR SPECIFIC KIND OF CRAZY, BUT I DO ADMIRE YOUR TOTAL COMMITMENT TO IT.” ~ANONYMOUS

I laughed at that one. I totally get it.

I do have my own specific kind of crazy, but what is it exactly? 

Is it the fact that I don’t like to put on lotion, I eat peas in my spaghetti, I drink Mt. Dew instead of coffee, and I hate it when raw meat touches my other foods at the grocery store?

Or, could it be I sing Christmas carols in July, I hate hot dogs, I love to fish, and I speak to imaginary characters as a full grown adult?

Yeah, I have my own specific kind of crazy.

What’s Your Brand of Crazy?

 

What’s Your Love Song? – Heartwarming Thursday with Author Michelle Lim

Photo by Sonja Mildner

Photo by Sonja Mildner

Most of the great romance movies have a moment when a love song is played at a poignant moment. That song becomes the special theme song for that couple. Then every time the audience or couple hears it, they are reminded of the couple’s love.

When I hear these songs and the scenes they are in I just sigh. It is the awe moment in a movie.

Here are a couple that I love from the movies:

Armageddon – “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” Aerosmith

 

Top Gun – “Take My Breath Away” Berlin

Titanic – “My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dion

The Body Guard – “I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston

When my husband and I first fell in love we had a special song, too. Over the years we added another one. Every time I hear it, I get all doe-eyed and look at my husband. I remember the sweet roses in my mailbox, notes on my dashboard, and good-nights at the doorway.

At our wedding I sang this song. Crazy on such a nerve-wracking day to sing, right? But it was something I wanted to do and I don’t regret it. Although I admit, wedding dresses are not made for their breathe-ability. It may have been the most breathy rendition of the song ever.

Love makes us do crazy things. After all, any epic adventure requires a theme song and nothing is more adventurous than romance. We experience roller coaster emotions and do things we would have never considered before. A song is absolutely required.

No matter how many years pass, our song takes me back. Cheesy, or not, I love it. Here is our song:

“Valentine” – Martina McBride

What is your love song?

How To Create Believable Character Change

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Picture by Bensik lmeri

Have you ever met Supermom? You know, the mom who knows everything about being mom of the year and makes you look like you belong at amateur week?

Yeah. I’ve met her too. She is the one who I sweat bullets over becoming like, only to fall miserably on my face.

Face plant. That’s me.

If I were to take apart her journey, she probably didn’t get her Supermom status over night. There had to be some smaller steps along the way. No one can be that amazing instantly.

In fact, I bet she even failed at some time or another. Whew, that makes me feel a bit better.

Real life teaches us that talent and experience blend together to create change or growth in our lives. Our characters should grow the same way if their change is to be believable.

How To Create Believable Character Change:

*Define the clear start and end points. To show our character’s change we must identify where they are starting and ending. Then the midpoints are more easily defined.

*Identify small growth steps between the beginning and end points. People change in baby steps. The person who is terrified of water, won’t all of the sudden be an expert swimmer without first getting in the water and practicing.

*Identify small failures and obstacles that they overcome before complete transformation. If a character is not challenged as they reach for the end result, the reader does not value the change and it will make no impact on their lives as they read.

Example:

Lily struggles to trust anyone to do some of the homework in their group assignments. She can’t afford to get anything less than an “A”.

Here is what I might do to plot the change:

Start point– Lily will not let anyone else take home project work.

Midpoint– Lily lets someone take home project work, but checks it and makes changes before turning it in.

End Point– Lily lets someone else take home project work and trusts them enough to turn it in without checking their work.

Failures/Obstacles- Lily loses points because she did all of the work herself on the first project, Lily discovers she doesn’t know everything- changes something incorrectly on the project, and another one could be that her team mates resent her for taking control.

This is a simple example of how this might work. Think through the progression of how a character changes in your story. Make sure it is a logical progression and has baby steps.

Marlin in Finding Nemo is one of my favorite character change examples.

What is one of your favorite character changes in a book or movie?

Pearl Harbor Remembered – Music Monday with Author Michelle Lim

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Photo by Dan Klock

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and I am again grateful for those who sacrifice for my freedom. The following music selections and video footage are my way of honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day so many years ago.

Pearl Harbor Musical Selections:

Video footage of Pearl Harbor Attack:

Virtual Tour of the USS Arizona Memorial:

What stands out to you most in the memory of that day?