Today is another big day for me. Hope’s Design, Book 2 in The Daughters of Riverton series, is now available for readers. Hope’s story picks up in the small town of Riverton in 1904, two years after my novel, Sarah’s Smile, takes place.
Hope has big dreams of becoming a fashion designer and seeing her designs included in the popular women’s magazine, The Delineator. Published out of New York by the Butterick Company, the magazine contained articles of interest to women, and it also kept ladies up-to-date with the latest trends. Along with promoting fancy “duds,” the company included clothing that could be made by using Butterick’s patterns.
But like many of us “dreamers,” success doesn’t come fast or easy for Hope . . .
The back cover copy for the book:
In 1904, Hope Andrews, an aspiring fashion designer, struggles with leaving New York City. But with no job, her parents leaving the country, and an abusive ex-fiancé refusing to accept their broken engagement, Hope doesn’t have much choice but to give in to her parents’ wishes that she move far away and live with her cousin indefinitely.
Talented Benjamin Greene can’t deny his passion for painting, but guilt over a painful incident in his past keeps him from sharing his gift. Instead, he devotes much of his days to helping his younger sibling rebuild a farm inherited from a great-uncle. Only his brother is aware that Ben spends his spare time in a studio on their property.
There’s plenty of tension in this story as Hope has a difficult time understanding why Ben can’t see that he needs to use his God-given talent—especially when she’s trying so hard to use her own.
Hope’s Design raises many questions. For instance:
1. How do we handle envy when we see others around us achieving their dreams but the door keeps closing on our own?
2. Hope longs to find someone who will support her dreams. Would you marry someone who wasn’t enthusiastic about your aspirations?
3. When Hope’s designs are rejected, she tries to trust God to show her the path he’s designed for her. How can having faith in God’s divine plan help us through disappointment?
4. Hope comes to a point where she must ask for help with her designs. Are there situations in our own lives that might have gone better if we’d been willing to ask for help?
5. Have there been times when we’ve held back on sharing our gifts/talents because we’ve been afraid of not being good enough, or that others might criticize our work?
6. How are we being accountable—or not accountable—for the abilities God has given us?
Hope’s Design can be found on Amazon in e-book and paperback.
If you have a chance to read this latest novel in the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the story. Thanks!
I hope you enjoy this week’s inspirational meme. You’re welcome to share it with friends and on your social media sites: Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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Pamala J. Vincent is a freelance writer passionate about family and equipping others to personal success. Her online magazine, The Modern Woman (www.TMWLife.com) is written for women, but works hard to equip parents and entrepreneurs to be their own boss of: schedules, influence and income levels. You can find her at www.pamalajvincent.com, Facebook and Twitter.
Does Your Confidence Propel
or Sabotage You?
Confidence is an inner strength that when attained doesn’t have to be talked about or placed on a résumé; it shows in a person’s demeanor. These are the people who don’t have to shove their opinions down people’s throats. They don’t need to scream from the rooftops their ideas or beliefs; it’s demonstrated in their day-to-day choices, how they handle situations, and how they manage stresses. When you spend time with these people, you walk away feeling as if you were the only one they came to see. They give energy because they have it to give. They inspire because they are inspired. They are the ones who can find joy in any situation, or at least they can turn a negative into a positive. Quiet confidence people are on-purpose people. They’ve learned from the past and are moving forward. They have an attitude that says, “Been there; done that; I’ll do it again.” They operate from an offensive position.
Confidence is an evolving maturity. Sometimes you may get to the quiet strength type of confidence because you’ve also reached the “I quit” point in your life. Sometimes when you have nothing to lose, you are better able to determine an enhanced life for yourself. However, the energy you’ll use to come to that point can have adverse health effects and cost you dearly in emotional health and/or relationships.
Here are twenty tips to move you from lack of confidence to a comfortable, confident life:
1. Learn something new. Read a book, take a class, try something you never thought you would. It will empower you.
2. Do something for someone else. Take the focus off of you; the feel-good-about-yourself enzymes you’ll stir up can carry you to the next level of You.
3. Organize something. It doesn’t have to be big; it might just be a junk drawer or vacuuming behind the couch. You’ll know it. That’s enough for now.
4. Build a bucket list and start checking things off. Hang it where you’ll see it daily. Plan to accomplish one of them a month.
5. Write a note of appreciation for someone that you know rarely gets thanked for their job.
6. Plan for success. Put your gym clothes on in the morning and place your shoes where you’ll trip on them first thing.
7. Keep a diary. Write down your thoughts. Writing has a way of helping you know what you know and bringing facts to emotional thoughts.
8. Step out of your comfort zone. If you’re an introvert, go to a book signing, a networking group, or a particular fund-raising event. If you’re an extrovert, practice sitting alone with yourself, book a hotel room alone with just your thoughts, or unplug from all electronic social media for days or — GASP — a week!
9. Work out. The movement will kick in the “I can accomplish anything” feel-good enzymes.
10. Never make decisions when you’re in a vulnerable state. Make a Ben Franklin list, then walk away from it for a day or two.
11. Make a plan of things that matter to you and how you’re going to acquire them.
12. Ask yourself who you are, what you stand for, what you won’t tolerate. Then evaluate situations where you are allowing things you shouldn’t and don’t do what you desire and change them.
13. When you’re afraid of looking foolish, embrace the idea that if you knew how little others think about others, you could move through mistakes easier.
14. Break up big projects that scare you into smaller pieces and just do the first step and then the next.
15. When it comes to fear holding you back, do whatever it is that scares you before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it.
16. Acknowledge your doubts, then train them or prepare better, then move forward anyway.
17. Ban the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.
18. Stop people-pleasing because you’re afraid of ___________ (you fill in the blank). Please people because you choose to, not because you think you have to.
19. We all run our lives and values on self-created rules. Make your rules answer to your needs today. They may have been good ideas in the past but no longer serve you anymore.
20. Insert yourself into new experiences. Multi-faceted people have more understanding of who they are.
We may move from one type of confidence to the other depending on the seasons in our life we are experiencing. If you predominately operate from a defensive spirit, perhaps understanding why will move you to a confident offensive mindset. The “why” may not be immediately clear, so move forward by practicing one of the tips above until you can determine the “why.” If nothing else works, build your bucket list, and hit the gym!
What are some things confident people do in your circle of influence that you can emulate?
*This article appeared first in The Huffington Post