Thursday, September 12, 2019

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM AN ELM TREE by Patti Jo Moore

I’m blessed to have an office room in my home, complete with a desk next to a window that overlooks my front yard. But the best part of my window view is seeing the two Elm trees in my yard—trees that resembled twigs in the ground when they were first planted over twenty years ago. I will go out on a limb and say that I’ve really grown fond of these trees over the years. 😉 (Couldn’t resist the pun!)

Yesterday as I gazed out my window, trying not to think about my To-Do list calling to me, I thought about these trees—particularly the one that’s closer to my window—and how that Elm tree reminds me of my writing journey. The tree started out very small, much as my writing journey when I began my first story. When I think back to my very first writers’ conference and all I did not know, I cringe! But just as the sunshine and rain have strengthened my Elm tree, other writers, attending conferences, and reading books have strengthened me. 😊 Authors I’ve admired have been so kind, offering prayers and encouragement. And yes, I still have much to learn. But I’m growing—just as my Elm tree has grown (and continues to grow).

Sadly, that Elm tree has also been struck by lightning, which damaged a large branch. But the tree continued standing! Only one branch came down, leaving the other branches and the trunk intact. As writers, it’s a guarantee that at some point we’ll have to face some less-than-pleasing news. Whether it’s a rejection from an editor or agent, a negative review from a reader, or even non-supportive family members, there’s bound to be something that “strikes” at our confidence as a writer. But we must learn to release it (easier said than done at times), just as my Elm tree let its damaged branch fall to the ground to be hauled away. We pray for guidance and keep writing.

When we’re able to reach a goal in our writing—whether it’s a completed manuscript, obtaining an agent, having our book published, or some other wonderful accomplishment—we feel revived and full of life, just as my Elm tree is now. 😊 The branches are full of healthy, green leaves, and squirrels and birds enjoy making nests on these sturdy limbs. The tree is able to offer protection to these creatures, while offering shade to me when I’m outside. So although I’m still learning in my writing journey, I’m happy to offer encouragement to others on this journey. Especially to someone just starting out who may feel overwhelmed! May I learn from my beautiful Elm tree, as I continue enjoying this view as I grow in my writing.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13


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After being deceived by her beau the previous year, library worker Sadie Perkins feels she’s meant to remain single and serve as a missionary to orphans in Africa. Her plan is to return home to Riverview after a year, and open an orphanage in a lovely house she’s admired since childhood. She didn’t plan on losing her heart to someone who intends to demolish the house.

Widower Shaun O’Leary of Savannah yearns to make his father proud, and hopes to accomplish that by overseeing a hotel project in the town of Riverview. But first he must have a house demolished before hotel construction can begin. After meeting lovely Sadie Perkins in Riverview, he’s puzzled why she seems upset when he mentions his plans. He’s also saddened that she’s leaving for Africa soon, because he’s fallen in love with her.

As Sadie prepares to board a ship, she finally has peace and realizes what she should do, yet still feels sad that the house she loves is to be demolished. When Shaun suddenly has an idea to save the house Sadie loves, he rushes to the Savannah port to tell her, but the ship has sailed. When things seem hopeless, can dreams still come true?

Patti Jo Moore is a former kindergarten teacher who now writes full-time. Her “Sweet, Southern Stories” feature characters who face realistic struggles and challenging situations but always have a happily-ever-after ending.

Patti Jo loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee. When not writing, she loves spending time with her family—especially her precious grandbaby. She enjoys connecting with readers and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore. You can also visit her blog at http://catmomscorner.blogspot.com

She has three contemporary stories and one historical, all with Forget-Me-Not Romances

11 comments:

  1. Hi Patti Jo! Great post. I love this: But just as the sunshine and rain have strengthened my Elm tree, other writers, attending conferences, and reading books have strengthened me. So true! Sadie's Dream sounds like an awesome story! My daughter went on a missions trip to Africa this past February. Can't wait to read your new story!

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    1. Hi Sally! You are always so kind and encouraging---thank you.
      How wonderful your daughter went to Africa on a missions trip---Wow! I'm sure that was a meaningful experience for her and those she helped.
      Thank you again for commenting, sweet friend.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  2. I love how we can receive encouragement from God's creations. Elm trees and other sights and sounds in nature offer great encouragement and inspiration.

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    1. Hi Melissa, So true! God's creations offer us much encouragement---when we take the time to stop and look. Sometimes that view out my window offers the inspiration I need at that moment. :)
      Thanks so much for commenting.
      Blessings, Patti Jo

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  3. Hi Patti Jo. How did I miss knowing you had another book release? I just bought Sadie's Dream and can't wait to read it.
    Trees are a true source of encouragement when we're looking to stand tall and strong against the forces that would come against us. We have a huge oak tree in our front yard, full or birds, acorns and squirrels. When we built out driveway, we left it standing. We are now known as "the house with the tree in the driveway." Inconvenient at times but well worth it, that symbol of strength and continuity. Thanks for a great post.

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    1. Hi Cindy! I sure hope you'll enjoy Sadie's Dream! This was the very first story I wrote, but it's been through lots of changes. ;)
      Oh, I love that you all left that big oak tree standing---I'm sure it's beautiful!
      Thanks so much for stopping by, sweet friend.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  4. I love this post, Patti Jo! I've had some of those lightning strikes, but my writing friends help me to keep growing. Thanks for the encouragement!

    I've just started reading Sadie's Dream. What lovely plans Sadie has for the enchanting home. I'm looking forward to seeing where this romance takes Sadie and Shaun.

    Blessings!

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    1. Hi sweet Sherida, YOU are such an encouragement to so many! :)
      I hope you'll enjoy Sadie's Dream. As I edited and polished the story, I found myself wishing that Sadie's town was a real place, LOL - - especially so I could see her dream house.
      Thank you for always being so sweet.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  5. Patti Jo, everytime you blog I learn something. How do you come up with such great ideas? This is a wonderful analogy. I'm looking forward to reading Sadie's Dream. I've read all your books and look forward to reading many more.

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  6. Patti Jo, you have strengthened me. I'm so glad we met at ACFW. I don't remember the year, but I remember you. You have prayed for me and my family, and you have celebrated with me. You have such a huge heart for God. I know I'm not the only 'Elm' tree you have cared for.
    I love your post today!

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