Archive for October, 2010

~ Bitter Sweet ~

~ More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland.”

In October of 2007 I started tutoring lots of very sweet kids in reading and math. My last day at the tutoring center was last week. While I really enjoyed helping my students, I knew it was time to leave. I left to spend time finishing my book so it would be ready to sell after the first of the year. Here are just a few sweet moments and some of my thoughts as one season in my life ends and another begins full of Fresh Hope.

I feel like Cinderella. On my last day, one very young student made me a great picture of Cinderella. The picture was small but colorful ~ full of life! Funny, I do feel like Cinderella waiting to go to the ball. During the past 22 months I’ve rolled up my sleeves and scrubbed the floors so to speak working very hard on my book. But now I’m waiting to get all dressed up and enjoy the ball sharing Fresh Hope with Cleveland. I have another mission now. And it’s just as important as helping the more than 100 kids I came to know and enjoy each week at the tutoring center.

Each season in our lives is there to teach us something; it’s there to grow us up in some way. At this point I’m not quite sure what God wanted to teach me over the past three years tutoring these dear kids. But more than anything, I think that this experience was a transition period for me. And as I trusted God’s wisdom to set my life on the right path; God faithfully showed me the way. But one thing I do know, wherever you are you can make a difference in someone’s life whether you teach kids or bake the best cherry pies! Therefore be kind, listen, and always do your best. Someone else’s life may depend upon it.

The last thing I have to share is simply that kids are awesome! Find some children to help or befriend. They will make you laugh and keep you young at heart. With their great ideas and energy they will most definitely keep you fully engaged in life. I’ll never forget the big smiles, toothless grins, and moments of pure delight when all of a sudden one sweet child understood. The light came on ~hurray!

Sending blessings to all my students and the Strongsville Kumon staff. I’ll miss you! Kids don’t forget, if you have five minutes get out your flash cards and review. You’ll be so surprised how much you can learn in just a few minutes!

Help the kids in your neighborhood, church, or local school. For in helping others, you most certainly will help yourself!

God Bless You!

NOTE: As of November 1st, I’ll be posting new entries every other Tuesday. See you back here on November 9.

October 26, 2010 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

Oh No ~ Journaling!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

Which would you choose? Would you rather clean out your closet or take a few moments to reflect and record your thougths in a journal? I know what most people would say: I’ll clean my dirty closet!

Cleaning is a very good thing. It gets rid of unused and worn out things, makes order where there was none, helps you examine and take stock of things, and provides mental refreshment along with a sense of renewal. Wow! Isn’t it amazing what a little time and attention will do?

Now stay with me on this. Because journaling provides the very same benefits and more than you get from cleaning your closet!
Yes, this is a well-kept secret about journaling. That’s because journaling helps you sort the good in your life from the stuff that’s no longer helpful, needed, or fits your life at the present time. And as you sort through everything, you’ll begin to grow and go in a direction that is more powerful, beneficial, and satisfying for your life.

Why All the Fuss About Journaling?
Why do people give a big ugh to journaling? I think there are several reasons why people poo-poo journaling.

1. Most people are unaware of how journaling can really help them.
2. It may take time they don’t think they have. And if you don’t really understand the benefits, why would you want to invest your precious free time in this way?
3. Sometimes we are afraid to face the questions that will provide us with the answers so it’s easier to remain fixed where we are.
4. People think it’s about being a good writer and all the stuff that goes with that — punctation, spelling, and good sentence structure etc. JOURNALING IS NOT ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE ~ !
5. A sense of pride may keep us from the very thing that will in fact help us. In general journaling may be seen as a self-help tool. And if you have a hard time admitting you need help; this may be a tough thing for you. Journaling however, shouldn’t be seen as strictly self-help. There are many things that can make our lives better and journaling is one of them!

One of the Most Important Issues Regarding Journaling
Journaling is not about your writing skills — in fact you don’t even have to make entries using complete sentences. However, writing is the vehicle you use express yourself. But think of it, you use writing to make a grocery list, a to-do list, compose a note in a card, or take notes about a book you are reading. Writing is only the vehicle you use to get from Point A to Point B. But committing your ideas to paper is a mental process. The scary part for most is when we commit our thoughts to paper we are now giving them a name and they become real. And some people just don’t like to be real ~ Journaling brings us to reality. Sometimes it is indeed easier to deny than have the courage to go to course.

How Journaling Helped Me
I left a good paying job in 1998. Having the distinct feeling I was going to experience a very unique time in my life, I decided to keep a journal. I had never done anything like that before. And as I look back over that time now, I am grateful I committed my thoughts, concerns, and desires to paper. Journaling helped prepare me for the challenges ahead. It helped me to not only reflect on my own journey but in recording the comments of others at that time, God used that to direct my steps to where I was intended to be ~ down a more creative path. I would never have discovered those things about myself without keeping a journal.

The Love God Journal
Now in our community group from church we are using the The Love God Journal to learn more and apply God’s word to our lives. This is another type of journaling — there are many. I am excited to apply this journaling concept to my spiritual life and move toward becoming more of the person that God desires for me to be!

How to Keep a Journal
Things to remember:
date your entries ~ write the same time of the day~ write as little or as much as you want ~ if you are having personal concerns it’s best to journal almost every day — otherwise 3 to 5 times a week is fine.

Fall is indeed here. It is that time for many of us to clean out our closets. But I hope you’ll want to commit to your OWN CLOSET ~ that will lead to greater happiness and satisfication with your life. Journaling ~ Oh Yes!

Thank you for my birthday wishes yesterday!

God Bless You!

October 19, 2010 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

~ Tomato Soup, an Apple, and a Good Book ~

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

Welcome! I hope you enjoyed the Pink Glove Dance video last week. This week’s post is just as exciting — but in quite another way! And yes, you should be dancing after this post too. We all know a bowl of tomato soup and an apple are good things to feed our bodies — they all provide nourishment. Books too nourish us as they feed our hearts, our minds, and our souls. But even further than that, books like mine are valuable mentors!

I was looking at Michael Hyatt’s blog. He’s the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville. He’s had years of experience in publishing from writing his own books, representing writers as a book agent, and other management positions in publishing. I found a prize post on Mr. Hyatt’s blog that you’ll really benefit from. Here’s what he had to say in defense of my non-fiction type book.

Many People’s Opinion of Self-Help Books
“I once heard a person say in a disdainful tone, “I don’t read ‘self-help’ books.” With this seemingly innocuous verdict, he slammed the door on a multitude of voices eager to push him to God’s best for this life. He serverely limited his exposure to wise counselors and leaders available to him. And he drew a curtain across a world of extraordinary and supernatural influence.

… The sad truth, though, is that many people share this man’s opinion: They don’t need to read books written by people who sole focus is to edify, encourage, and motivate them. In effect, what these people are suggesting is that they don’t need mentors.

Books Are Mentors and Can Help Make You Successful
Mentors are the editors of our lives. Without many of them, we will never have a polished vision that is able to change the world. Our visions will grow beyond our immediate circumstances. If we whole-heartily run our visions toward the end-zone, we will exhaust our own experience, knowledge, and abilities. Therefore, we must surround ourselves with mentors to help us successfully, efficiently, and confidently bring our visions to fruition.”

Further down in Hyatt’s blog message he says, “Although my ultimate mentor is Christ and my sole resource is the Bible, I know that God also provides me with “many advisers” for my success (see Proverbs 15:22). Leaders don’t write books for fame, money or fun; they write books because they have a passion to influence lives.”

If you are about to abandon your vision (dreams) or on the verge of settling for a lesser one, I encourage you to go buy a book. Find an author who is living out this dreams, and you will obtain valuable knowledge that can be applied to your own situation.

What You Pay Attention to — Influences Your Life
Here’s the great conclusion to Michael Hyatt’s post “In Defense of Self-Help Books” ~ Books are your mentors. The more you read, the more prepared you will be to cultivate and achieve your vision. Make time to read. Seek wise counselors. Gain new perspectives. Glean deep insights. Surround yourself with people who have achieved the impossible, and they will direct you to your own victory.

Mr. Hyatt closes with this: ~ You become who you hang out with, so hang out with life-changers, and your life will be changed. Read. You will never be the same. ~

So, How Does This All Apply to You?
Do you have a mentor? We all need others who provide us with wisdom and information especially in these difficult times. I am hoping after you’ve read this post you’ve gained a new opinion on self-help books. My occupational therapist this summer told me her husband would never pick up a self-help book. But self-help books can keep you on the right path and make your journey easier and more successful. And although I am not advertising it as such, my book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” is a self-help book. I sure hope you’ll read it regardless of that fact. “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” is full of great things that I gathered through my own life struggles — and that can speak to you whereever your life is today. I’ve written this book because I want to make your life and others –better.

Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and it’s array of colors!

God Bless You!

October 12, 2010 at 8:24 am Leave a comment

Watch the Pink Glove Dance Video +Book News

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

This post is dedicated to:

1. My dear mother, Gini Gravill ~ Today (October 5th) would have been her 87th birthday. She passed away in Seattle from leukemia on June 2, 2005.

2. All cancer survivors ~ men and women like me and you. (Yours truly will be a 7-year breast cancer survivor next month ~ Thank You God!).

3. Those in cancer treatment right now.

4. Those who have fought the good fight and are now in a better place.

Get up and DANCE and ENJOY this great video. It will lift your spirits whether you are in treatment now, a cancer survivor, or anyone else who supports a cancer patient or survivor.

This is indeed “Fresh Hope” for you today.

Here’s the story behind the video… from Portland, Oregon (link below)
Our daughter-in-law, Emily (MacInnes) Somers, created, directed, and choreographed this in Portland last year for her Medline glove division as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. This was all her idea to help promote their new pink gloves.

I don’t know how she got so many employees, doctors, and patients to participate, but it started to really catch on and they all had a lot of fun doing it.

When the video gets 1 million hits, Medline will be making a huge contribution to the hospital, as well as offering free mammograms for the community. Please check it out. It’s an easy and great way to donate to a wonderful cause, and who hasn’t been touched by breast cancer (or some other type of cancer)?

~ Ann Somers

Book News: Work continues on the book. We now have a wonderful cover….. and have a little more to finish on the new sections of the book! Hurray! We are moving ahead with printing options, the Web site, legal work, and who will write the foreword. We are certainly learning patience and many things on this journey! Thank you for your prayers!

Do You Know Jesus?The best version of yourself evolves when your life is surrendered to Jesus – the Jesus that’s in the Bible and not anybody else’s version of Him! Things are rapidly changing in our country. You must decide who you will follow. If you proclaim the name of Jesus and follow Him your future is secure in Heaven and in eternity. If not, you will spend eternity in a very difficult place. Despite what you may think or believe right now, God is in control of this entire world. And Jesus is coming back very soon. It’s all predicted in the Bible. Our president is now laying some of the foundation for that to come to pass right now.

Pray This Prayer to Invite Christ into Your Heart:Jesus, I surrender my life to you. I know I have strayed from you and God. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me. I realize I am a sinner and therefore separated from a Holy God. I ask that you would forgive me of the things I have done and come into my heart. Live your life through me and transform my life and my heart with your great power and love. Amen. (Welcome! You are now in the family of God!)

If you prayed to ask Christ into your heart: Now, start reading the Bible and confess your sins and then ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that you are able to live the Christian life. And finally get into a church that preaches the Word of God will help you grow and strengthen your faith.

God Bless You!

October 5, 2010 at 8:53 am 2 comments


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