Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Will to Survive

How strong is your will to survive?

Here is the story of a young girl who tenaciously persisted in outlasting her abuse and abandonment issues.

She was born into an impoverished family in Buffalo, New York. She had no father in her life. Her mother worked out of town and was never available. Her mother shuffled from her grandmother to foster care and back again.

Raped as a pre-teen, she became pregnant. During her pregnancy, she testified against her perpetrator and signed the papers to give her baby up for adoption. She felt dirty and ashamed of her circumstances.

She knew the only way out of her situation was to study hard and get good grades. After graduating from high school, she married and had two little boys. Her husband abandoned her and the children, leaving her destitute.

She lived on welfare, joined the PTA, put her sons in Little League, and went back to school. After graduating from college, she found a job as a librarian at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

I met her in Vegas just after her twenty-two-year-old son was killed in a hit-and-run accident on his way home from work. She was devastated!

She didn’t know where to turn. She had poured al her energy into raising her two sons. They were her life.

The tragedy of her son’s death was a turning point in her life. She wished to surround herself with the love of family, friends and neighbors. She wanted an abundance of devoted relationships at the center of her existence.

She set about creating that world.

She reconnected with her mother and aunt. She found her adopted son. She loved her younger son and three wonderful grandchildren. She visited her white-haired neighbors each day and has surrounded herself with loving friends in her church and community.

“You Can Do It” by Carol-Ann Swatling is a workbook she authored during her healing process. It is a testimony to her will to survive and bring light and love into the world. She is an example of choosing to live and love abundantly. Happiness is her reward.


Friday, April 6, 2018

If You Planted a Crayon, What Would It Grow? By Deanna Draper Buck

I have the great pleasure of introducing author Deanna Draper Buck to you. She has written quite a few children's books for the LDS market. Among them are: My First Book of Mormon Stories, My First Church History Stories, My First New Testament Stories, and My First Old Testament Stories.

She has a new book just out, If You Planted a Crayon, What Would It Grow?

One of her granddaughters asked her what would happen if you planted a crayon. Deanna loved this question and wrote a book about it. It's a delightful read that will help children not only learn their colors, but also gospel concepts.

As each crayon is planted, it grows into a variety of things—like red missionary bicycles and brown handcarts. On the last page, all the colors are planted at once, and there is an explosion of rainbows, flowers, and autumn leaves.

The illustrations are lovely and the story premise is charming. This is a great book for children and grandchildren alike.

Back Cover:

 Learn about colors and the gospel in this unique picture book. With each color, you'll find a special gospel topic or scripture story to talk about together, like brown pioneer handcarts, a green grove of trees where Joseph prayed, and black missionary name tags. With rhyming text and entertaining pictures, this book is fun for children, parents, and primary leaders!

Deanna was born in Logan Utah, and grew up in Farmington, Utah. She met her husband at Weber State University. She came to her writing career quite by accident. When her children were little, she looked for books to teach her children the gospel, but could never find any. When her grandchildren came along, she decided to do something about it. She wrote a manuscript and sent it to Deseret Book. It was rejected. She decided to print the book herself. After she sold over 200 copies of the book, she sent it to Deseret Book again. This time it was accepted.

Her books have now sold over 200,000 copies. She has 14 books published and another one coming out this summer.

Thanks Deanna for this wonderful adventure. We appreciate your sharing your talents with us. Our lives are enriched because of you.

The book can be purchased at:

Deseret Book Stores

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

That Illusive Thing Called Happiness

Where can we find that illusive thing called happiness? Is it at the end of the rainbow or in the glass slipper? Can it be found on a beautiful tropical isle or with a never-ending bank account? What brings you happiness?

Here are some ideas.

Look inside. Can you reframe your situation more positively?

A bitter cold winter day
Find beauty in the winter wonderland.
Feel the warmth of the hearth as you step indoors out of the cold.
Experience the magic of a white world.

Search your soul. Allow gratitude to be part of your every day.

Fall Leaves
Be grateful for the the golden colors of the earth.
Be thankful for the last fleeting days of warm sunshine.
Be comforted by the predictability of the seasons.

 Share with others. Give love and service daily.

Relationships are about time
Kindness brings joy to life.
Love is listening.
Your legacy will live on in your relationships.

Happiness is not out there for us to find. The reason that it’s not out there is that it’s inside us.

― Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want