#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Back from Wherever It Is I’ve Been

As much as I love and enjoy the holidays, I’m always glad to get back to my regular life.  :)  I really missed all of you; I get lonely when I don’t blog.  I’d think of about 10,000 things I wanted to tell you, but the timing always seemed wrong.  Real life is forever getting in the way, it seems. :)

First order of business, we’re back to our weekly contest as of today.  Two winners, chosen at random, will be notified and announced here on the blog next Monday morning.  All you have to do is comment, and you’re entered.  Each winner will be awarded an autographed copy of one of my books.

Second order of business, some of you will recall the book I mentioned on the blog several weeks ago, Melody Beattie’s wonderful, “Make Miracles in 40 Days”.  (Ms. Beattie very generously gives permission in the book to pass on the ideas or even teach the process, so I’m giving you more information than I would otherwise.  No one appreciates copyright laws more than another writer!)  The process involves keeping a gratitude list, which I was already doing, but with a twist: you express thankfulness for things you perceive as bad or annoying or whatever, as well as the good things.  As Ms. Beattie states, you don’t have to really FEEL thankful, you just have to say thank you.  :)  Anyway, I started on November 22, and reached Day 40 on December 31, and trust me, this was a memorable journey–one I plan to continue indefinitely.  When I started, I was surprised to find out how many things I felt very UNgrateful for, especially when I’d been keeping a gratitude journal faithfully for months and considered myself a pretty positive person, all things considered.  In for a penny, in for a pound; I gritted my teeth and wrote those things down, and I was AMAZED by how freeing that simple exercise really was.  In fact, it was downright therapeutic   Gradually, the ingratitude gave way to the true article, and I found my entries were longer and deeper–a kindness someone had extended, an insight while journaling, a book I found especially helpful, AND the ability, finally, to actually meditate, regularly and deeply.  (Another story, with gifts of its own.)  If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might recall how hard it was for me to settle down long enough to be effective.

On or before Day 1, decide what miracles you would like to see happen in your life, and write them down.  (Don’t show them to anybody, and don’t talk about them.  This is your private stuff.)  Go ahead, get crazy.  Make one big wish, however grand, along with as many small to medium ones as you’d like.  Next, start that gratitude list–I used a Molekine-like journal I found at Barnes and Noble for $5.95, but a 99 cent composition book would work just as well.  Write down the things you ARE grateful for, along with the ones you’d really rather hadn’t happened at all.  :)  Don’t be afraid to vent: God can take it.  Keep it up for 40 days–I usually have about 10 items on my day’s list, but that’s just a number–you should have at least 5, though.  If you’re like me, you’ll find this exercise so valuable and so healing that you never want it to end.

It’s important to remember that you may not get your big miracle in 40 days–things take time.  It will happen, or you’ll be guided to something much better (God has a way of doing that), that you hadn’t even conceived of before.  My experience has been that I’ve made great progress in the direction of mine, most of it internal–which is, after all, where all outer manifestations begin.  I like to compare it to my tulip and daffodil bulbs, currently buried under cold dirt and a considerable amount of snow, with the magic of spring beginning to stir inside them–seems to me, dreams are like that, too.  They might be buried deep, but the magic is there, and when the time is right, voila!  Like the tulips and daffodils, dreams break through the ground, sprout, and burst with color.

More soon.

64 comments to “Back from Wherever It Is I’ve Been”

  1. Marjorie Hawkins
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:01 pm · Link

    I liked what you blogged about. As a 72 year old woman (widow, Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother, I have a lot to be grateful for, but I’m also dealing with some things that have me very sad and upset. I will try to write these things down daily as well and pray for some peace and understanding at the very least. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  2. Tammy Lio
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:02 pm · Link

    thank you for that

  3. Alison Bergman
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:04 pm · Link

    Welcome back!

  4. Evelyn Baldwin
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:13 pm · Link

    So glad to hear from you again! Miss your blog, so much! Got to get this off my chest first. Disabled due to spinal disorders. In pain constantly. Had a chance to get to Books A Million last week loking for “MUSTANG CREEK CHRISTMAS. They had all your books i have read, several times by the way. No CHRISTMAS In Mustang Creek. So disappointed. Life goes on. Now i guess i can start my journal. If this jerking will allow me to write. Thank you for your Absolutely Great books, they help me keep my mind off of this aweful pain!!! God Bless you always. Evelyn

  5. Mary Goodman
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:17 pm · Link

    Welcome back,I try to say thank you to everyone

  6. DONNA
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:19 pm · Link

    Welcome back! Thanks for the works of wisdom.

  7. Teresa Forduce
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:30 pm · Link

    very insightful – I may have to check more into this one – thanks Linda

  8. Patricia
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:46 pm · Link

    Missed you – glad to have you back. x

  9. Deb Chudzinski
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:52 pm · Link

    I hope you had a great holiday

  10. therese lopez
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:55 pm · Link

    I’m so glad you had a great Christmas and New Year. I’m definitely going to try this it sounds so wonderful, almost a way to free yours of a lot of negativity you might have been carrying and didn’t even know it. Thank you for an amazing blog.

  11. Kathryn Smith
      · January 5th, 2016 at 3:56 pm · Link

    Happy New Year, Linda! I have really missed your blogs. I like your comparison between the flowers and dreams. I have never really thought about It like that. I have the perfect notebook at home to start the “40 Days” project.

  12. Lorraine Pitts
      · January 5th, 2016 at 4:02 pm · Link

    So glad to have you back!!! I am always sad when the Holidays end. I hope I have a new book from you soon to brighten my days up!!!! You have that gift!

  13. Teresa Wilson
      · January 5th, 2016 at 4:13 pm · Link

    TGIF Linda again!!!! (Thank God Its Finally) Linda again!!
    Much as I love Jenny…..nothings beats the real Linda!
    Blessings to all for 2016!!

  14. JaNell Stark
      · January 5th, 2016 at 4:25 pm · Link

    I like the idea of keeping a journal for 40 days. I think I’m going to try that myself! Glad you are back!

  15. Deborah Nelson
      · January 5th, 2016 at 4:32 pm · Link

    Pleased to hear about your holidays. And love having you back online.

    Im’s starting my daily art journal–I say it with pictures and fewer words.

    Best to you ~

  16. Pat Parker
      · January 5th, 2016 at 4:51 pm · Link

    Spent 9 days over the holidays with company. It was my kids and grandkids, so I am so grateful they could come (from California and Montana) but am happy and tired when they leave. Thank you, God, for the blessing of family!

  17. Marjorie Martin
      · January 5th, 2016 at 5:11 pm · Link

    Thank you for this message. I have been struggling with what to do in the way of improving myself spiritually for the new year. This sounds like an answer to prayer. I can’t wait to get started.
    I do believe in counting my blessings but this other perspective is really going to be challenging. God Bless.

  18. Allison Payne
      · January 5th, 2016 at 5:15 pm · Link

    Love to read your newsletters and updates. They are always inspirational.


  19. Joanne Balinski
      · January 5th, 2016 at 5:15 pm · Link

    Welcome back and thank you for that wonderful post.

  20. Virginia H
      · January 5th, 2016 at 5:18 pm · Link

    Glad your back and I loved your post. I think I might try this because we sure could use some miracles right now. I have a lot of worry on my mind right now.

  21. Ruby Norwood
      · January 5th, 2016 at 5:25 pm · Link

    Welcome back Linda!! And Happy New Year, I sure have missed these wonderful blogs like today.

  22. Leanna
      · January 5th, 2016 at 6:05 pm · Link

    Welcome home!

  23. Doris Richard Ellis
      · January 5th, 2016 at 6:14 pm · Link

    The Journal is a great idea…I will begin to write down things I am grateful for…and some ungrateful…

    I do love your books and have read so many of them…I watch faithfully for your new ones and check to see which ones I might have missed..

    It is pouring rain here…so it is time for reading a good book.


  24. Jo-Ann Baker
      · January 5th, 2016 at 6:34 pm · Link

    Hi Glad things are getting back to normal. lol What is normal? Life is a mess most of the time but you can put a smile on your face an just make it the best as you can. Journaling is a good thing . I ‘ve tryed it my daughter in law does it all the time.
    I am just not good for it.
    Waiting for the new book to come out. Have a wonderful week

  25. Linn Carlile
      · January 5th, 2016 at 6:57 pm · Link

    Glad to see you are back. May the new year bring many blessings your way.
    Look forward to see what stories you come up with this year.

  26. Cheryl Verkon
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:14 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! I loved today’s blog and the journal truly sounds like a wonderful idea. I usually write down my own thoughts and ideas in my own journal but I have not tried the ungrateful/grateful entries before. It sounds like it is worth a try, especially if you found it helped you meditate. So many things happen that sometimes at night I find I have trouble getting my mind to shut off so I can call asleep. This might just be the thing I need.

  27. Nina
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:32 pm · Link

    Welcome back and Happy New Year!!! I’m catching up on The McKettricks right now and I love these books. Reading Austin’s story now! Still love your characters and how you include rescuing critters in your stories!

  28. Cecelia Kelsey
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:34 pm · Link

    I might try this. My husband and I were going to the store the other day and a driver coming the other way stopped behind a parked car to let me through. I told my husband it would have been easier if he had kept going as I had a parked pickup on my side. I immediately slapped my hand over my mouth in horror. I could not believe I was now complaining about polite drivers. Told me something I am definitely going to change about myself!

  29. Mary
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:38 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! I’m intrigued with this idea and think I’ll give it a go. Thanks for telling us about it.

  30. Gloria
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:45 pm · Link

    Hi Linda! I’m glad you’re back, but hope you enjoyed your Christmas and New year. Have you made any resolutions, other than to keep a new kind of journal?

    I have to say that although I don’t have a written journal, when I pray, I always thank God for all He’s given me and all he hasn’t.

    Thanks to our lovely government requiring me to pay for things I don’t need, I don’t have enough money left to live what is considered a comfortable life, but I still thank God for what I don’t have, like…bad health, broken bones, even enough to live off of, as I know it could be worse.

    I thank Him for my good health, I still have most of my mind :wink: , enough food, even when it isn’t what I might like. I haven’t been to a “real” doctor in over 5 years, although I had to have mole removed right before Christmas, and he said it was cancerous, but…he also said it was going to be fine, so there are so many things to be grateful for…good and bad.

    I have good friends, and some bad enemies, which makes me appreciate the friends all the better. And, we have you and your books, so God is good, and even if life could be better, it is still good.


  31. Lois Rotella
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:50 pm · Link

    Happy New Year !! This a great way to start the year. We all have dreams and disappointments. As I told my niece today whose birthday is today that there is good bad and everything in between. It is what makes us who we are. Have a great week.

  32. Patti
      · January 5th, 2016 at 7:56 pm · Link

    I missed you too.

  33. Karen Dieffenbaugher
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:21 pm · Link

    I really like the comparison of the tulips and waiting for the things in your life to come about as it should be ….It is not an instant process, and I have been praying for mine to happen…God after all controls all things and if it is meant to be for me it will happen.We have to accept that he knows best…

  34. jan
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:21 pm · Link

    Wonderful words of wisdom! Thanks for your insight.

  35. Charlotte Litton
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:28 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, that book sounds very interesting. Welcome back and Happy New Year.

  36. Dona Kutska
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:37 pm · Link

    Wow! you inspired me to write down good things and not so good. I’ve heard of good things written down, but, not the other. The things you hope for another new to me to think about and write down. Thanks I needed this. I missed reading your blogs, happy your back.

  37. Debbie Bleege
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:42 pm · Link

    Hello Linda I love your blog they are always interesting. As they say always have an attitude of gratitude. Happy Healthy New Year!

  38. Debbie Bleege
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:42 pm · Link


  39. Peggy Casey
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:57 pm · Link

    Welcome back! We missed you. I really appreciate your willingness to share your journey and lessons in life. Thank you!

  40. Sharon Sovereign
      · January 5th, 2016 at 8:58 pm · Link

    I really enjoyed your blog today. Keep it up, please.

  41. Roberta Giordano
      · January 5th, 2016 at 9:26 pm · Link

    Welcome back ! You have been missed! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that your new year is filled with happiness. I am going to think about everything you just wrote I really need a few miracles !

  42. Teresa G
      · January 5th, 2016 at 9:36 pm · Link

    Happy New Year, Linda.

  43. Eriko
      · January 5th, 2016 at 10:11 pm · Link

    Happy New Year!!! I missed your blogs! I quite agree with you about Gratitude and making a negative a positive. It truly helps ease the soul!

  44. Debbie Gaddis
      · January 5th, 2016 at 11:39 pm · Link

    Linda, So glad you are back. Thought maybe I fell off your newsletter list.
    In the topic of gratitudes, I started thinking about that again after watching a Hallmark movie called,”The Ultimate Gift”. Do you write the same thing every day, plus one more or what.

  45. Melaine
      · January 6th, 2016 at 1:01 am · Link

    Very inspiring, Linda. It’s good to have your blogs back. I missed them.

    One question; how do you find time to write your novels, keep a blog going, write in your journal daily, jot down a list of things you are grateful for, and a few you’re just saying, “thank you” for, and still have a life with family, friends, and the fur babies? You amaze me!

  46. Lynn Allen
      · January 6th, 2016 at 1:10 am · Link

    I am going to start the journal in the morning. Thank you for sharing everything. Love you Linda.

  47. Caryn Horn
      · January 6th, 2016 at 2:28 am · Link

    I don’t journal but I do talk to God every single night, either on my back patio when it’s not raining, or my front porch if it is. I thank him for all his blessings, apologize for being a problem child, and ask Him to watch over my family. Of course the conversation is a little deeper than that . . . well, actually, a whole lot deeper. But I’ve found that once I put my fate in my faith I’m instantly calmed and I sleep better.

  48. Jane
      · January 6th, 2016 at 4:54 am · Link

    Happy New Year, Linda. Glad you are back and rarin’ to go.

  49. Patti W.
      · January 6th, 2016 at 9:25 am · Link

    Welcome back. Hope You Enjoyed the Holidays. Wishing you only the best in the New Year

  50. Jeanine Tubbs
      · January 6th, 2016 at 10:03 am · Link

    Happy New Year!! I make it a personal goal to say “Thank you” at least 6 times a day, that’s the positive; however, I am abysmal at journaling. :cry: I have tried and tried since I was a child to ‘diary’ or ‘journal’ each day and have not been successful yet. I have ordered a hardcover copy of Melody Beattie’s “Make Miracles in 40 Days” from Amazon and expect delivery between January 13-28th. I wish you and yours a happy, healthful and successful New Year and I thank you for the additional motivation to give journaling another try. I have been mediating successfully for many years now and look forward to adding journaling to my ongoing personal growth repertoire. Thanks again for the suggestion. — Jeanine :-P

  51. Linda Beaudoin
      · January 6th, 2016 at 11:13 am · Link

    I would like to learn how to meditate. If I’m not doing something, reading a book, or watching TV, I fall asleep. If I try to not think of anything, I end up falling asleep.

  52. Billiesue Sanders
      · January 6th, 2016 at 11:39 am · Link

    May you have a blessed New Year!

  53. theresa
      · January 6th, 2016 at 11:41 am · Link

    Happy & Blessed New Year Linda and staff!!!

  54. carole
      · January 6th, 2016 at 12:29 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! I’ve been writing a gratitude journal for a year now and love it! Its a wonderful idea! been doing a lot of reading for enjoyment before I start going back to school. Have a wonderful week!

  55. midge watkins
      · January 6th, 2016 at 2:42 pm · Link

    That was a very inspiring idea, Linda. Thank you and welcome back. I started a “happy things” journal Jan 1st with my
    friend and neighbor that could be part of your idea. We decided
    that after this last year, we wanted to concentrate on happy
    things in 2016. One of those things this morning was, while
    going out to feed the horses, a big whitetail buck in my back
    pasture. He was so beautiful and then a doe ran out from
    behind my barn to greet him. Happy, happy, happy.(at least
    for me)

  56. Jean Barrington
      · January 6th, 2016 at 3:59 pm · Link

    Just a thousand get but the 40 days of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending the Thursday before Easter would be a great time to give this a try.

  57. Linda Solcich
      · January 6th, 2016 at 4:08 pm · Link

    Very interesting & wise post. Thank you.

  58. Sue Gosland
      · January 6th, 2016 at 7:42 pm · Link

    Just saw McKettricks Christmas Boxed set is only available in e-book form, so that would have to be the first thing I would be ungrateful for. As much as I like my kindle, I love paper books more. Sigh. I spent so much of last year dealing with death that I am grateful for anything. Thanks for the books and the movie, “Runaway Bride”.

  59. Ann Bartholomew
      · January 6th, 2016 at 8:34 pm · Link

    SO glad you are back and had a good Christmas and New Years. I’m looking forward to the next Bliss County book the end of March!

  60. Linda Richards
      · January 6th, 2016 at 10:28 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I enjoyed reading this post. I believe I’ve read all of your books. I’m recovering from recent surgery, shed a few tears and laughed out loud many a late night re-reading the Springwater series and now enjoying another round with the McKettrick’s – love those Cowboys and their strong and spirited pioneer wives!

    Nothing, in my mind, puts life into perspective for me more than living (somewhat) vicariously through these characters… Thinking about the hardships and heartaches that folks really truly endured back in those days… things so easy now to take for granted.

    Every day of life offers some challenge – some days better than others, of course, but I thank God every day for all the wonderful people and blessings in my life… Even on days when I want to throw my hands up and say ‘this can’t possibly be my life’… Trials and tribulations do build compassion and character – but only if we allow it.

    I will be sure to ponder things in my life that perhaps I’ve been ungrateful for and work on staying positive and appreciating anything that I’ve been taking for granted.

    Happy New Year & blessings to you, your family and your fans!


  61. Gwenny
      · January 8th, 2016 at 12:22 pm · Link

    I love getting your blog and getting the ideas you pass on! I’m currently recovering from major surgery, so finding I have a lot of ‘forced’ time to think over things. Sometimes I feel like we run at such whirl wind speeds that it takes something major to get us to slow down! I started my gratitude journal and audible subscription both because of you and both have been wonderful additions to my life. Thank you.

  62. Sherry Hughes
      · January 11th, 2016 at 9:32 am · Link

    This is a wonderful idea! I’m starting today!

  63. Karin
      · January 11th, 2016 at 2:28 pm · Link

    I will give it a try!

  64. Joanie gonsalves
      · January 12th, 2016 at 7:54 pm · Link

    Sigh too much like homework
    To write it out but it’s a real good thinking process
    Thanks Linda

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