Jenipher Lyn's Blog Party! ~ Doodles and Words About Ambition and GRATITUDE!

Before I do my "Nitty-Gritty" Surtex Part 2 post, I wanted to participate in the last week of my friend Jenipher Lyn's blog party to celebrate the launch of her new book!
Jenipher’s says: “I wrote a super honest, encouraging, vibrant book with the intent to help others [especially teens!] feel less alone in this world. By using MY story, and LOTS OF colorful illustrations, I want others to realize they aren't alone on those dark, lowest of low days! This is my doodle dream!”
I first met Jenipher in my MATS facebook group and chatted with her often over the last year. She was so kind, honest about herself and her feelings, and super-encouraging to everyone. But, at Surtex last month I was thrilled to get to meet her in person—I knew her as soon as I saw her! I was so flattered that she had sought me out at the show! I had the pleasure of having dinner with her as well—which was an experience in itself! Every course was so exciting! (if you follow @jenipherlyn on twitter you will know that she LOVES experiencing all kinds of food!)  

She was a little ball of delight and inspiration! Jenipher is destined to spread joy to those who need a more of it in their lives. She has poured her heart into this book and I believe her words and doodles will be instrumental in helping so many teens and young adults view themselves more positively and push through those hard years—coming out stronger and more joyful on the other side.
So—this is the last week of Jenipher's blog party celebrating the launch of her book and I wanted to share a couple of doodle messages of my own to give my little contribution to the BIG messages that have come before me in the last weeks.

Before I get to Gratitude (which is the topic this week on the blog party) I wanted to share a little belated message regarding
  Ambition (which was last weeks topic!)
The little hand-lettered drawing below is just the start of something—a rough draft. Sort of like my life has been up until now. But, I think that it’s a good message for a lot of us. Earlier in my life I was always ‘waiting’ for something to happen. I thought if I would just be patient, things would work out in a way I could be happy with. I was always content and satisfied to wait for some reason—but the restlessness would break it’s way in again-and-again. I’m not sure what it was that broke that trance I was in—you know, the ‘waiting in limbo trance.’
But I started asking myself—what, or who, are you waiting for? And when I started to really ask myself some serious questions—ones I knew had solid answers (not just close-ended questions like: "do you want to be happy?"—well duh!) But, questions like: "When are you most happy?" "How do you want to live your life?" "What do you want to accomplish?" "Where do you want to live?" "What do you want your kids to know about living life?"

All of these questions had answers that I couldn’t ignore. I realized that these were my goals—and I knew what I needed to do to to reach them. Even if it were just to learn more about how to get there...
I knew what to do.  
So I started, one step at a time, moving towards those goals. 
Not asking for permission. Not talking it over.
Not waiting for someone to tell me to start or tell me it was a good and noble goal. 
I just started—and kept on until the next step.  

And now, I’m starting to learn to make decisions in this way. If I know what needs to be done in order to get to the next step—then the decision is made. Fear steps in front of me from time-to-time (well—often!) slowing me down, but I know that I have to push it aside—get ahead of it and let the energy of that fear push me forward

So, don't wait for what you know is meant for you. 
Take the next step and start moving towards it.
You know what to do.

                    (or 'FULL of grace!' :)  ~title illustration courtesy of Jenipher Lyn! :)

And so—as you reach those milestones... like doing a drawing (that YOU decide to do), or doing 50 drawings! —or writing a book or a blog or even in your personal life—moving to a place you’ve always wanted to live, starting the family you’ve always wanted to have, or just spending your time the way you’ve always imagined you would...
as you start to actually do these things— 
always remember to give thanks
Because to those whom much is given, there is much to be thankful for. 

As we stand up in our own shoes and start to make things happen in our lives
—the blessings will begin to be abundant!
It may even surprise us! 

Then we must stop, recognize it—
look back and see how far you’ve come—
and give thanks. 
There are so many ways to give thanks. 
And, there are so many people in our lives who deserve our gratitude.

For me, I believe in a God who is love. And love sees the potential in each of us. Love sees us as we were meant to be. If we are constantly stepping out and exploring that which makes our hearts sing—following it where ever it leads us, the blessings flow. That is when the Love that is God shines through the brightest. 

Because doing that which makes us happy—that which we were meant for—well, 
it is then that our joy passes to others.

We can’t truly have such a positive effect on the world around us in any other way. 

I believe that God gives me strength to do hard things
and when I stretch myself more and more—
I begin to become what only He knows I can be.

Giving thanks keeps me grounded and always looking up and ahead. 
It helps me ask the right questions. 
Chin up. Moving forward. 
No matter what! 
Just another way we show our gratitude. . .

And give thanks.

“How Being Stubborn, Depressed and Unpopular SAVED My Life” offers 
an honest and encouraging view on topics such as depression and body image.
The book explores the many issues that can start in childhood 
and follow us into adult life.

This post is part of the DoodleDream* Blog Party.
Learn more — and join us! – by clicking here.

since the title is just WAY too long to write out every time, 
Jenipher has hash-tagged her book,

The link to purchase the book directly from Jenipher is HERE.
Multiple people have asked if the book is available on Amazon and it is! HERE.

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