Welcome to The Balanced Writer. Join me for giveaways and posts about what makes me crazy and how I stay sane.

May 16, 2011

Balance!

Please welcome author JoAnn Carter to The Balanced Writer. We are in love with JoAnne’s new book cover and the promising story of her new release. Read on to share her thoughts about finding balance in our lives, and don’t miss her contest listed below!


Your weights and balances should weigh correctly, with your weighing baskets the right size and your jars holding the right amount of liquid. I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of the land of Egypt.

~Leviticus 19:35

Balance.

What's the first thought that came to your mind when you read that word? Was it a scale and weights as this verse mentions, or was it perhaps the struggle of eating good food versus junk food? Hmm... How about family time versus school/work time...Your schedule against the battle of the tyranny of the urgent...To spend or to save...

There are so many things in life which require a healthy dose of good old-fashioned balance, and we hardly even skimmed the surface! Today, I'd like to focus on one such area, and that is the balance between the past, the present and the future. In my latest release, PARADOX, Lilly Holland needs to deal with this very issue. Let me start by telling you a bit about her.

Lilly grew up at the family run ski lodge where family vacations were non-existent. Not only that, it seemed like everything in her growing up years revolved around the business that she hated. So two years ago, when she left home to pursue her own dreams in horticulture, she swore she’d never come back to stay. Granted, she felt like the family’s black sheep walking away from the lodge, but that was better than seeing her family’s disappointment day in and day out. Since leaving home, she’s busy chasing her own dreams, as if that could somehow compensate or cover the guilt of not following her folk's example of making the Lodge her life...

Do you see her struggle? How she views her past directly affects how she lives today and the decisions she makes. I can't help but wonder if this is true for my life—our lives—as well. If we were to walk on a tightrope with the past on one end of our balancing pole and hope for our future on the other, would we be able to get across without falling over?

I think that there are some important tools necessary for the job. The first is the ability to forgive -- to forgive ourselves and to forgive others. Someone once told me something, which I've never forgotten. They said, "Bitterness is like poison, it only hurts the person swallowing it." That is to say, an unforgiving spirit only hurts ourselves, not the person, thing, or even circumstance we're holding a grudge against.

Another important thing we need to implement in our quest for balance is patience. The "fast-food" culture we find ourselves in will get us somewhere fast, but not necessarily where we want to go. Remember that first try on your bike? You put your foot on the petal, someone gave you a push, and if you were anything like me, the bike took one giant leap forward only to fall promptly to the side. We could have decided, Forget it. I can get where I want to faster and without any pain if I ask my parents to drive me in the car, but think of all the fun and yes, freedom, we would have missed. Perhaps right now you're facing some kind of "skinned knee" in your life and you’re tempted to skip the part where you need patience and perseverance and instead look for an easy way out. Don't give up. Get back on your "bike" and work towards the liberation that balance brings to your life. Patience, practice, then ahh... we're sitting tall on that balanced two-wheeler.

I'll name one more, and then I'm going to open this up to you. (I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on ways you've dealt with trying to balance your life.) How about self-control? Ouch! I don't particularly like this one, yet it's true. I know if I have the self-control to turn off the computer and exercise I actually feel better at the end of the day. The ability to have self-control, enough to think beyond the here and now, is essential to maintaining a balanced life style.

What areas of "balance" do you struggle with in your life, or what's a tip you can give to the rest of us to glean from? After all, as Lilly finds out in Paradox, I'm sure we would all agree that balance is an imperative skill in both our work and in our lives. So why not share what we've learned along our life's journeys with each other?

A CONTEST FOR YOU:

Win a gift box filled with goodies! (A paperback copy of Teacher's Plans, a gift certificate, a mug filled with a package of Green Mountain Coffee, pen and a Tee-shirt.)

How?

Help me spread the word about PARADOX by sharing the link to this post on your FB, Twitter, blog, etc. then e-mail where you posted it to joannwrites@gmail.com with "Blog Blitz" in the subject line. A winner will be drawn 5/26/11.

Good Luck!

JoAnn Carter writes stories that will encourage your faith through inspirational fiction novels and novellas. She resides in Vermont with her wonderful husband and four children. JoAnn is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministries events, school events, and church retreats.

Find her here:

Visit JoAnn's Web site

Connect with JoAnn on Facebook

JoAnn's Blog

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I hope you'll be able to pick up a copy of Paradox today! http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-168/JoAnne-Carter-Paradox/Detail.bok

See the trailer here!

http://youtu.be/mnOQeNeQuUE

12 comments:

JoAnn said...

Thanks so much for having me here today, Danielle!

JoAnn said...

I'm back. :) I forgot to mention earlier, that I'm having a release party on my blog this morning from 9-12 (Eastern.) Please feel free to stop by and have some fun!

http://home.comcast.net/~jo.glenncarter/site/?/blog/category/3/

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for visiting. Good luck with your new release!

Miss Mae said...

Oh my, not sure my life is balanced at all! LOL (especially with all the stress going on lately...)

Love the premise of your book, JoAnne. Here's wishing you many sales!

*I don't enter contests, so please do not enter my name in the free giveaway* Thank you!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Jo Anne and Danielle,
An interesting interview. Jo Anne, your book sounds fascinating. Reading about it I saw plants and flowers and lots of pretty settings.
I wish you much luck with it.
How true about balance. There are so many things each of us must balance in life. I'm not sure I could give good advice about this.
The only thing that comes to mind is Ecclesiastes 3: 1, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."

JoAnn said...

Miss Mae and Gail, thanks for stopping by and for your well wishes. :)

Great Bible verse too!

Lisa Lickel said...

Wow, great anaology to the story, Gail. And best wishes, JoAnn, with the book. Balance--yes: my story-when I realize that I'd said yes to about three too many things this month, I planned ahead to prepare all my commitments in advance so I could simply drop them in place as the month goes by. So far it's working well enough that I've even had time to read, something that was on my "give up" list.

JoAnn said...

Lisa, planning ahead does make a huge difference.

Thanks for sharing!

Mimi Barbour said...

Jo Ann,
Your cover is lovely and after reading your words, I know that your book must be a lovely read also.
Mimi

JoAnn said...

Mimi, thank for stopping by and for your kind words!

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Joanne,

I can tell you are a deep thinker who writes about serious life issues.

I wish you mega sales and even more of Gods' inspiration.

I'd love a copy of Parodox, but I'm not on Facebook. I can tweet, though.

Moon_Pie said...

you are sure a youthful looking retiree! I am going to try the choco slush recipe. It has all my fav ingredients: choco and sugar.