Tag Archives: friends

Our dear Donita K. Paul

51OhyGLrtxLTalk about fun! It’s a delight to be included in the collection A Bouquet of Brides with author Donita K Paul. I have some friends who get a little star-struck when they learn Donita is part of my friendship circle. If you know Donita, you know she is a down-to-earth, albeit talented, grandma who loves laugh, has a sparkling twinkle in her eyes, and delights in helping children succeed.

512sw4ZtcKLI don’t know if she gets tired of hearing it or not, but I can’t introduce Donita without saying that she wrote one of my favorite books ever, DragonSpell. I read this 2005 Christy award-winning tale to my children when they were small, and the time we spent sharing this story together is forever etched in my mind. Of course she has a ton of other wonderful, well-written books, both fantasy and inspirational romance, but I can’t help but talk about my favorite. It was such delight to see it listed at the library as one of the top picks for a summer read back when my children and I frequented summer library programs.

483523_4837587698156_310653620_nBut Donita’s not only a fantastic writer, she’s a dear friend and mentor to many of us. In fact, I think it is safe to say she’s become a mentor to mentors, because I’ve heard both Mary and Kathy, who I featured earlier this week, call Donita their mentor. And that’s pretty cool since I think Suzanne, who is a debut author in this collection, would call Mary one of her mentors. And I call Kathy my mentor and she calls Mary hers and Mary goes right back to Donita. (Did you follow that?) That’s legacy my friends!

Here’s another fun Donita story. She once told me she wrote her first book, a romance, while her daughter was away at camp one summer. Evidently Evangeline, then a teen, had started reading romance and her momma wanted her to read a story that was wholesome and pointed her to a healthy, God-centered relationship.

This picture was taken  taken at a book signing in December of 2012. Pictured with Kathy, Mary, and myself is Donita’s daughter, Evangeline Denmark, who has now released her first novel! (There’s that legacy thing again.)

I also had the distinct pleasure of attending Donita’s wedding. What a high day that was! I treasure this picture of Kathy, Mary, and I celebrating with Donita on her wedding day in September of 2015. Isn’t she lovely in yellow?

12065688_10206993669815253_8591333460251124132_n

Until next time when I introduce the author of the next story in A Bouquet of Brides,

paula-another-test-401x192-2 - Copy

 

San Diego III – Embracing a New Community

I can do the convention thing.

I love connecting with and old friends, learning, and growing. I love hearing what works for others and cheering them on. At the Life Force National Convention a special treat was meeting people who follow this blog and have shared it with friends and family. I can’t begin to explain how encouraging it is for a writer to know her words have made a difference.

I will admit to a few awkward moments, where people greeted me like an old friend. I’m sure they thought they knew me because they’d seen my weight loss pictures or blog, but I knew we’d never actually met. Still, it says something about the beauty of the community where a room is full of welcoming, smiling faces and hugs are offered freely.

san diego 63I awoke every morning to the sunrise through beautiful arched windows. Sharing a condo with others on my team was amazing. You get to know people when you see them with bed-hair first thing in the morning.

I loved doing real community where one person borrows my almond milk while another shares Vitali-C with me. Meanwhile I’m literally holding my knees together waiting for a turn at the bathroom at the same time I’m throwing clothes across the sofa for a friend to pick from because her suitcase was left behind.

I’m not my gifted daughter, who knows what to put with what and how to make everyone’s natural beauty shine, but I loved suggesting this necklace or that. Maybe the whole experience was a throw-back to my college days when people were everywhere and a fair amount of chaos abounded.

san diego 51

Getting ready for the gala was a huge family kind of moment. You should have seen us–grown women styling each other’s hair, sharing clothes and jewelry.

There were a few guys in our condo. Thankfully that night they were wise enough to mostly stay quiet and out of the way!

san diego 66

The one who put together this family lodge was the amazing Robin. She has a heart of gold and has been right there for me all the way, always working to ensure I have the best opportunities to learn and grow. Being with her in this very real environment only made me love her more.

She did the mom thing beautifully–encouraging everyone to go to bed so I could sleep (I’d opted for the couch–less $$ and the chance to be in the middle of the hub-bub of my new community), and getting  little sleep herself as she arose before dawn to do things like drive people to the airport. Robin did a lot of encouraging me on my freak-out day, which wasn’t this one and is for another story.

The gala that night was a ton of fun. I got to once-again wear my friend Megan DiMaria‘s beautiful dress.  I returned it last Saturday at a writer’s seminar. She introduced me to another friend of hers saying, “this is my friend Paula who’s taken my dress all over the country, and this is my friend who has taken my dresses all over the world.”

Thinking back to my first San Diego post all I can say to that is someday I plan to be the one taking dresses all over the world!

I could blab on forever about my experiences, but it seems like if you’re kind enough to read about my benew journey there ought to be a some kind-of take away value. As I think about it, the thought that rises to the surface is how important it is to surround yourself with good community. When considering a job, a volunteer organization, a business partner, a church, or anything else, let the kind of people that place attracts be a guide in your decision-making.

The reason we got involved with Life Force International initially was because we experienced such amazing results with the product. But the reason we chose to become involved in the business of LF was the community. Long before I saw this as anything but a new venture for my husband, he was all in. Why? He told me he’d rarely been in an organization who lived out servant leadership like LF does.

Now that I’m buying into this new business venture, I see what he means as I embrace this unique community, and it welcomes me.

When making choices about a job or other community, consider the people the place attracts.