#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Thursday Catch-up Blog

Well, now, where to start?  I guess the first thing will be the weekly Weight Watchers report.  I was up 4/10ths of a pound.  No panic, though–I did take a look at my portion sizes and make a commitment to be a tad less generous.  :)  The thing is, there are always going to be ups and downs, as on any path, and certainly this doesn’t qualify me for a life in the circus (darn it), but I’ve learned through long experience and more than a few hard knocks that it’s best to deal with a problem when it’s still small.  I’ve been very successful with this program and I expect this to continue.  Why?  Because I’m not giving up, ever, no matter what. 

What makes the difference between success and oh-well-I’m-only-human?  For me, it’s making a decision and sticking to it, come hell or high water, or both.

Trust me, I’m not as wise as some of you are probably thinking.  I learn everything (and I mean everything) the hard way.  My first response to a problem is usually mulish resistance.  As in, “I don’t like this reality so I’m going to dig in my heels and refuse to accept it.  Period!”  Does this EVER work?  Of course not, but it’s my default attitude most of the time, just the same.

Go figure.

Here’s what does work, for me anyway:

Writing Morning Pages faithfully–this is simple stream-of-consciousness stuff, and the technique was popularized by Julia Cameron, author of the classic THE ARTIST’S WAY.  One writes three notebook pages in long hand, about any subject, every morning.  No judging allowed.

Prayer and Meditation. I need spiritual connection, on a daily basis.  For me, this means getting up early, lighting candles, being grateful  Right now, I’m behind on the Daily Audio Bible podcasts (hey, this has to be honest or what’s the point?), since I seem to be seriously allergic to the Old Testament these days.  I’ll catch up, though, if only because this is my third time through the Scriptures and I don’t want to break the flow.

Exerise.  I do my best to avoid it. 

But that’s going to change.  Right now.  Today.  Weight loss efforts notwithstanding, a little moderate movement makes me FEEL terrific.

Work.  Writing isn’t just the way I earn my living, though heaven knows that’s important.  It’s my soul’s purpose, not a chore, but a sacred privilege.

When I let myself forget that, I almost immediately find myself in trouble.  (See above, the part about mulish resistance.)

Finally, I seem to need to make art, every single day.  It doesn’t have to be gallery-worthy (a really good thing given that I am no Georgia O’Keefe); an artist trading card or laying down a background on a journal page will almost always satisfy the yen.  Lately, I’ve been playing around with Ranger’s Dylusions, which are colored mists.  I am IN LOVE with Postbox Red.  :)

What do you need to do, to live your best life?  And don’t tell me you don’t know, because deep down, we all know.



49 comments to “Thursday Catch-up Blog”

  1. Kimmy
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:07 am · Link

    4/10th of a pound may not be a lot, but it is still a loss. I started my own weight loss journey a month and a half ago. So far, I have dropped 21 pounds. I have cut sodas and sweet tea out of my diet except the few rare occasions that we eat out. I drink a lot of water. When we do eat out, my husband and I both order salads and share a main course. I started walking everyday, trying to walk a little longer every couple of days. I didn’t put on the weight over night, and I know it will not come off over night, but I celebrate the small victories as much as possible. Keep up the good work!! :)

    • linda
        · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:31 am · Link

      Sounds good. I wouldn’t worry if I’d LOST 4/10ths of a pound. I gained instead!

  2. Laura Ann Harris
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:15 am · Link

    Living my best everyday is reminding myself to not be too critical of myself and knowing I am a child of the most high God!

  3. Linda Wilson
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 am · Link

    My biggest thing is I love to read, work with my flowers, be with my spoiled dog and talk to my friends
    Hope you have a Happy 4th of July

  4. Betty Hamilton
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:20 am · Link

    I MUST lose weight. I have reduced several times, but I get to a certain level and stop losing. I very badly want to get below THAT level, but having gained my weight back…I must now start at the top (weight) again.
    Have a wonderful 4th of July!!

  5. Ruby Norwood
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:30 am · Link

    Up 4/10th of a pound is no biggie Linda, so don’t really worry about that. I know writing might not be the way you make your living, but please don’t ever stop. I look forward to your new books when they come out. I do walk 30 minutes every morning rain or shine on the farm or on the tread mill I get it in, I also don’t eat anything with salt in it , because my husband cannot have anything with salt, because of heart failure he had back in January. Hope all of you guys have a great 4th of July.

  6. Teresa
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:43 am · Link

    If only working with Horses would pay well and have good benefits!! HA not at my age now (53) – so off to work I go!

  7. Gwyn Beams
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:54 am · Link


    • Gloria
        · July 5th, 2014 at 12:54 am · Link

      Congratulations, Gwyn!!!! I know you feel a lot better from not smoking.

      I have a friend who has heart problems, lung problems, has had lung cancer scares, (is being tested right now for same), can hardly breath, uses 2 or 3 different kinds of inhalers, and has to take breathing treatments, but…will NOT give up cigarettes. God help him, because he won’t help himself.

      And, his wife smokes, so that is double smoke.

      But, you did it…and I’ll pray you continue to stay stopped.

    • Norma Stanforth
        · July 6th, 2014 at 8:42 pm · Link

      Congratulate Gywn, on not smoking. that is one of the hardest things to do i am so proud of you just keep it up it will be so much better for you, I will keep you in my prayers. So very proud of you.

  8. Lynn Hogan
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:58 am · Link

    lol I need to stop being mulish!! Seriously… i do the same thing… especially if I think someone is pushing me – whether intentionally or not. I just need to get up off my butt, ignore the pain, and MOVE!
    You are an inspiration! Not to mention a really great writer.. man, I wish I could do that. But I have absolute 0 imagination.
    So glad you have enough to spare!
    Have a great holiday!

  9. Joyce M.
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:09 am · Link

    I try to take things one day at a time.

  10. Tammy
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:09 am · Link

    Linda you so inspire me! After years of talking about it…I finally confessed to wanting to write….I jotted ideas down…I talked some more….I joined a writers group…..I did a little…..I attended workshops….I even took two on line writing courses….i talked about it……I signed up for your blog….I read it every day….and today, yes today I know I AM going to write…why today…not sure but TODAY is the start of my life…feel great! Thank you so much for inspiring me by just being authentic and you… :-P

  11. Marilyn Hurst
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:18 am · Link

    my everyday necessity is connected to my little dog, every day at or near 6:30 we go out to the green belt and walk around it or stroll down the road to the other green belt,then we come back to the house and check out the garden plants for watering or just play in the yard for a bit and we’ll sit on the iron garden bench and just take in the day. On weekends we still do this except we spend more time in the garden and under the pecan tree in the shade as I live in Arkansas and it’s nearing 100 degrees at this time of year. :-D

  12. Virginia Horton
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:26 am · Link

    I need to take a walk every day and lately I have not been getting it done. The walk helps me maintain my weight as it is. I am having more and more problems with my hip and that is what I am using as an excuse to not take my walks. Must change that and really get back into it. I need a hip replacement and may be getting it soon.

  13. Jessica W
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:41 am · Link

    I’m also trying to get a daily bible reading going. Right now I’m mainly reading Psalm 91, Psalm 23, and John 14:1-6

  14. Patricia Taylor
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:48 am · Link

    Don’t I know about learning things the hard way. I am a genealogist. I love research and gathering information about families but did I have any organization in place? Oh, no that would be too easy! Now I am trying to sort out the errors of my ways by entering my years of research into a software program. I am making slow progress and can easily get sidetracked. For example, right now I want to know what happened to Harlow and his wife after 1870? They simply disappear. There’s no death records or announcements for either of them. Harlow owned property. What happened to it? No other researchers seem to know either. His sister Roxa disappeared from the family earlier. What is it with this family that they just disappear? It is enough to drive one crazy and I want answers.

  15. Marylou Noga
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:55 am · Link

    I have to work with my hands everyday. I’m a hairdresser and get to create beauty four mornings a week. This past year I’ve been crocheting tops onto dish towels that can hang onto a drawer or oven handle. I get the towels for $1 and sell them for $5 at the beauty salon. Here in Connecticut, there used to be many church fairs and women made them for it. Now there’s hardly any fairs and the ones people have have worn out. I was surprised how many people like them. I find towels for all the holidays and, so far have sold over 350 since November. This definitely satisfies my need to create and then the satisfaction when I see them getting bought. I also make bags that can be used to go to farmers markets made in cotton and can be washed and dried.

  16. ,carole
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 12:32 pm · Link

    I walk ever morning with my 2 dogs and thank God for letting me live another day and for all he’s done for my family and I. I work mist sundays so I miss going to my church but it makes me feel so good when I attend, they are my 2nd family! Have a Happy July 4th!

  17. judy
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 1:14 pm · Link

    I like to read and crochet. Right now I am crocheting an apple afghan. There are over 300 2×2 squares to put together and then crochet 4 rows around the outside. Have a great four. :-D :)

  18. Dawn Roberts
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 1:25 pm · Link

    I am a quilter, and working on a quilt, usually for someone else, is my form of meditation. The process for me is always more reward than the finished product. I’m actually working on one for myself, made the pattern for a friend and fell in love with the process, so making me one.
    Make lots of t-shirt quilts for kids, as my son just graduated high school lots of his friends wanted one.

    i also like to read, hence the reason for the need to find out when is the next Marriage pact squeal coming out?

  19. roz goodenough
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 1:27 pm · Link

    I retired last year and even though I’d looked forward to it for quite awhile, found myself mired in depression and feeling useless. I cured it by volunteering for the Red Cross. It is a great organization and I get to help people on my time schedule.

  20. Cecelia Kelsey
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 1:38 pm · Link

    I never really thought about what it takes to be happy every day until my son died at age 16 waiting for a heart transplant. I learned while I was coming out of the depths of despair that it is the little things that really make a difference. A young child’s laughter or their wonder of things. I don’t need a ton of money to be happy but I do need laughter, family, friends, the beauty of the world and faith in the basic good of people.

    • Gloria
        · July 3rd, 2014 at 3:06 pm · Link

      Cecelia, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I lost my oldest when he was 40 years and almost 2 months. No matter their age, a loss of a child is horrible.

      I don’t need a ton of money, either, but I would like to have enough to make my old house livable and the store usuable, and be able to make, re-do, and sell, all my stuff I’d planned for for years. But, you know what “they” say about the plans of mice and men. :-?

      And, Yes, Linda…I DO know what I need to live my best life, but it sounds so mercenary when I write it down. But, without the means, the dream dies.

      And, sadly, time waits for no one, and my time on this earth is not as long as it once was when Dreams and Hopes were alive.

      Yet, I am grateful to God for all I have, and still enjoy the small things that make life bearable, like my youngest son, friends, bird song, children’s laughter, and beautiful flowers, especially the ones you come upon unexpectedly.

      Linda, if you don’t Blog on the 4th, I pray EVERYONE has a happy and safe 4th. God Bless our troops who make it possible to celebrate!!!

      • Gloria
          · July 3rd, 2014 at 3:11 pm · Link

        As if I haven’t already said enough, I’d like to say that the things that bothers me the most in the loss of my dreams is my “enemies” who said I could never do it will be proven correct. I keep praying that The Lord will “prepare a table before me in the presense of my enemies, and my cup will run over”.

        • Norma Stanforth
            · July 3rd, 2014 at 8:32 pm · Link

          Amen, Gloria, so very true.
          Blessings to you.
          Love Norma

    • Norma Stanforth
        · July 3rd, 2014 at 8:29 pm · Link

      I am so sorry about the loss of your 16 year old son waiting for a heart transplant. You never thing that you will out live your child. But God, will see you through it all as long as you keep Him in your sight. I lost a son a lot older than your son, he was 38 years old when he died with a heart attach and i also lost a grandson who was 3 months old and he didn’t have the left side of his heart. So i know a little what you are going through. You are in my prayers. God’s blessings to you.

  21. Diana E.
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 1:41 pm · Link

    I’m a one day at a time gal too. That’s all any of us have.

  22. Brenda I.
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 2:45 pm · Link

    What I need to do to live my best life is exercise which entails some walking/jogging at the local BREC center, prayer, reading the daily devotional from our pastor, communicating with family, reading a good book, and enjoying each day.

  23. Brenda I.
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 2:46 pm · Link

    P. S. Have a Good Fourth of July!

  24. Leanna
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 3:57 pm · Link

    I hare exercise but I force myself to ride my exercise bike everyday for several hours because I feel better.

  25. Beverly Sivacek
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 4:54 pm · Link

    I love and appreciate your spirit, Linda. I appreciate you being truthly in your blogs… good or bad… most good! I appreciate your writing ability and then for sharing with all of us who love to read your books. Most of all, I appreciate you. Thank-you.

  26. Lois Rotella
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 5:51 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, Remember that the purpose is to lose weight and not be upset about the tiny weight gain. remember that has past and now we look forward to the future. I am not smart but being on this wonderful earth we learn every day. I am still learning after more than 60 years. If something happens to me one day I just get up the next and do what I planned on doing the day before.

    I want to wish you and your family a very Happy 4th of July !! :-D

  27. Pamela Devereux
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 7:51 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    As I was reading your blog, I smiled. We all get to that denial stage & just want to give up. Mine was when I was told I was diabetic. I said no way. Of course I had a defective meter which fed into my theory. When it hit me that I was, I cried for the rest of the day. The next day I got up & went to work. Created a food log. Went to the library & got this book that told me not only the calories but the carbs for all foods. Within a year I was off insulin & now just take 2 pills a day.

    For me it is just seeing the beauty in everything. Thanking God for getting me everyday. I am blessed with a wonderful husband. I hear from at least one of my kids every day. Reading & listening to music also bring me peace.

  28. Norma Stanforth
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 8:17 pm · Link

    Linda, i wouldn’t worry about that little gain. As long as it is just a little now and then, because you have been doing so good just keep up the good work. You will loss it the next time.
    You know you have been through a lot of loss these past few months so it is understandable. So just keep your eyes on God and things will turn itself around. You are such a wonderful person, always helping other people. Gods blessings to you.
    As always your friend,
    Norma :)

  29. Bridget
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 8:45 pm · Link

    I joined Weight Watchers today! I’m going to do my best to stick with it!
    Have a Happy 4th of July!


  30. Roberta Hushion Giordano
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 9:14 pm · Link

    Cecelia, I too lost a son ,he was 17. I am sorry for your lost. I hope everyone has a nice Fourth of July! Enjoy the long weekend.

    • Gloria
        · July 3rd, 2014 at 11:24 pm · Link

      I’m sorry for you loss, Roberta. God Bless you.

      Have a good 4th.

  31. Emily
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 9:43 pm · Link

    Just want to wish everyone a Happy 4th. Our soldiers deserve all the credit!

    Stay well and stay happy! :lol:

  32. Nadine Spradlin
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 9:52 pm · Link

    That is a small amount of weight ,after reading all of your Blogs about all the things that you do , that weight and more will just fall off you by the next time you go to WW. I have a huge back porch that faces East . In the mornings I like to go there , look up at the sky and say, GOOD MORNING LORD . Cecelia, I’m so sorry for the loss of your son . And to You, Linda and to all the other Ladies above ; have a HAPPY & SAFE 4/th tomorrow . Nadine


    od 7 safe 4/th

  33. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 9:54 pm · Link

    I really enjoy and am inspired by your honest blog.

    Stay with the Weight Watchers plus the exercise. Makes for a healthy body and mind, but just a lower number on the scale.

    For me, it’s making art: Painting and art journaling.

    Take care :wink:

  34. Rita Crofoot
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:03 pm · Link

    Thanks for the hard question, I need to look a little deeper and give this more thought, I have not been looking deep enough, and am sort of continuing to do the same things, I love golf, cooking, and quilting,but is that my best life maybe not.

  35. Lizzy Gaasenbeek
      · July 3rd, 2014 at 10:57 pm · Link

    Sounds like you are caring for your mind, body and soul and this is critical to peace of mind and good health.

  36. Terri Shortell
      · July 4th, 2014 at 12:46 am · Link

    Hmmm? What helps me in life? I would say laughter, my children, and nature. I love everything about nature and it makes my day to be out in it. Of course the humidity can be a bit trying. :lol: Hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend. 8)

  37. clare helsley
      · July 4th, 2014 at 10:57 am · Link

    Establishing a routine has worked for me .As a young mother, I volunteered to be a counselor at Girls’ Camp; the subject one day was keeping one’s room neat. I can remember telling them:”When you change clothes don’t just drop the discarded ones on the floor—put them in their place ie;laundry basket or closet etc. ” Now, as an elderly person, living alone, I keep trying to remember this,—when my real inclination is to escape with a good book!!!!

  38. Norma Stanforth
      · July 4th, 2014 at 6:54 pm · Link

    I hope everyone had a Blessed Forth of July.
    God’s blessings.
    As always your friend,

  39. Lea Williams
      · July 4th, 2014 at 11:32 pm · Link

    I need to touch my horses every day, and talk to them. Sage listens and then never tells anyone. I need to work on my quilting every day even when I get frustrated with it like I am today and I need to move every day whether its walking or going to the Y to swim or something to get my body out of the sit mode which is what I could do. Books are a part of my day too. So those are my “need to ” things. I am 76 years young and want to stay active and riding for 30 more years at least.

  40. Donna Lohrer
      · July 6th, 2014 at 10:09 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I love reading your blogs. I need to be kind to people, help other people, say my prayers daily, read my books, tell my husband, my boys and my parents I love them, (which I do every morning and every night), talk to my angels, laugh everyday and be thankful for all the I have. Thanking God for letting me have another day! Take care, Donna

  41. Dotty Weis
      · July 7th, 2014 at 12:24 pm · Link

    Glad to know you are not giving up with WW

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