During the Partial Government Shutdown, Fully Open Your Heart

January is the month when many of us think about our lives and often look forward to experiencing the New Year the best way possible. I have to admit that the general sentiment that I’m picking up at the beginning of 2019 is people simply being tired. When the world is getting you down on a macro and micro scale, it’s hard to force cheerfulness and optimism where, for the time being, they are seemingly absent.

Why Should We Care? This Will Eventually Affect All of Us

Currently, in the USA, the partial government shutdown is affecting hundreds of thousands of families (over 800,000 as of this writing). It’s terrifying to see how a toxic political landscape can truly hurt and cripple citizens of our nation. It isn’t often that I use my blog to talk about politics, especially when these days, it’s synonymous with dark negativity. However, it’s even worse to ignore the worsening situation that many normal folks and families are facing.

It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for or who you plan to vote for in the future.
It doesn’t even really matter who you think is in the right or wrong.
What matters is the fact that American families are suffering, and there is no relief in sight.

San Diego is a huge military area, and we are literally at the USA border. It also means that all of us in my community are directly impacted by one of the main reasons for this standoff. But don’t think that you’re not looking into the eyes of people who are working wherever you live, terrified as they can only guess when their next paycheck is coming. The longer this standoff looms, the more of a huge impact this is going to make on the American people as a whole.

Please consider making a donation to your local food bank. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that more people in your community have access to food.

If you or your loved ones are already being negatively impacted by the partial government shutdown, I am so sorry that this is happening to you. Please contact me and let me know how we can spread the word about ways we can help. I will gladly post any information given that leads to credible sources.

 

open your heart
Confucius: “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”

 

I look forward to talking about brighter things in the future. Love Games is on its way!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2015-2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more! His Epiphany, Holiday Heartbeats #1 is now available wherever eBooks are sold. Yours free when you subscribe!

For those of you who celebrate, have a wonderful Christmas with you and yours. I also want to wish all the best of love, joy, and laughter to everyone who is celebrating the best of what life has to offer us this Holiday Season.

Merry-Christmas-and-happy-holidays

“And now these three things remain: Faith, Hope, and Love.
But the greatest of these is Love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

For a limited time, get His Epiphany – Holiday Heartbeats #1 for FREE when you sign up for Atina’s newsletter!

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

It’s Quiltin’ Time! My “H” Quilt

The end of the year is coming so quickly, and I almost don’t have enough blogging days to cover all the topics that I want to talk about! That’s a wonderful way to close out the year. One of my 2018 resolutions was to try out quilting as a hobby. Well, I love it, and I’ve completed more projects than I can write about here, but I simply have to include a favorite every now and then.

My “H” Quilt

My last big quilt of the year is what I fondly call the “H” Quilt. One of the characters in my latest novella has a grandmother who created a quilt with the letter H as the predominant pattern. I was so inspired by it, I decided to make a quilt just the way I imagined! Admittedly, I’m sure that Mrs. Hanley’s quilt is leagues and bounds more beautiful, especially with the quillting part, but I am so proud of imagining a design and finding a way to make that thought into not only something tanglible, but also useful!

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Multicolored “H” quilt designed, pieced, & quilted by Atina Atwood.

I love the vibrant colors, and the alternating pattern of lights to darks certainly gives the quilt a festive look. I didn’t use any sort of fancy quilting technique during the process (I finished this one up in one day); I also haven’t even started binding it. Too many end-of-the-year deadlines are taking priority at the moment, but I’ll get to it in a few days.

Inspirational fabric makes the backing of this quilt as much fun as the front. What feels better than warm love and little bit of TLC at the same time? This was a fun project, and I look forward to making more quilts in the coming year. What are you looking forward to?

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Happy Thanksgiving! November Gratitude

#NovemberGratitude on Thanksgiving

By far, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Even when living in Europe, Thanksgiving has always been my jam. I have converted so many people from being skeptical about this American holiday (“Why do you make it a goal to overeat?”) to blatantly requesting an invitation to one of my Thanksgiving dinner parties. Trust this southern girl when I say that great food will make a believer out of anyone.

Sure it’s about family, friends, and amazing food. These days, it might even be about political arguments and exploding turkeys – but to me, Thanksgiving has always been about gratitude.

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In keeping with the #NovemberGratitude spirit, I know that this Thursday is one celebrated day that culminates all of the things that I want to be thinking about on a daily basis. I have friends – maybe not as many as I think that I would like to have (writing gets lonely, and my social media game needs professional help, lol) – but the friends that I do have are goldenI’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of person, and wow – my real friends are top of the line. I am so thankful for you.

My family is amazing, and for the rest of my life I will always think of my parents and uncle who would leave early in the morning on Thanksgiving day, only to return in the early afternoon. When I was very small, I never understood why they left, but as the years passed, I learned that they would go to a soup kitchen and help feed the homeless. This is the kind of stuff that highlights what Gratitude means to me. I’m so thankful to have had people in my life who have always led by example – including by knowing how to say “I’m sorry”. This is not an easy thing to accomplish!

Thank YOU!

Lastly, I am grateful for my followers! You have been supporting me, cheering me on, and are becoming my friends as we actually get to know each other. I know that I have a lot to learn about blogging and connecting, but I am so grateful for your patience, curiosity, and forgiving nature. Although you may not comment, I know that you are engaged, and you support my driving motivation to connect, explore, hope, and inspire the best way that I know how at this stage in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those who celebrate, and let’s all keep up our #NovemberGratitude challenge!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Happy Thanksgiving! #NovemberGratitude

#NovemberGratitude on Thanksgiving

By far, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Even when living in Europe, Thanksgiving is my jam. I have converted so many people from being skeptical about this American holiday (“Why do you make it a goal to overeat?”) to blatantly requesting an invitation to one of my Thanksgiving dinner parties. Trust this southern girl when I say that great food will make a believer out of anyone.

Sure it’s about family, friends, and amazing food. These days, it might even be about political arguments and exploding turkeys – but to me, Thanksgiving has always been about gratitude.

happy-thanksgiving-novembergratitude.jpg

In keeping with the #NovemberGratitude spirit, I know that this Thursday is one celebrated day that culminates all of the things that I want to be thinking about on a daily basis. I have friends – maybe not as many as I think that I would like to have (writing gets lonely, and my social media game needs professional help, lol) – but the friends that I do have are goldenI’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of person, and wow – my real friends are top of the line. I am so thankful for you.

My family is amazing, and for the rest of my life I will always think of my parents and uncle who would leave early in the morning on Thanksgiving day, only to return in the early afternoon. When I was very small, I never understood why they left, but as the years passed, I learned that they would go to a soup kitchen and help feed the homeless. This is the kind of stuff that highlights what Gratitude means to me. I’m so thankful to have had people in my life who have always led by example – including by knowing how to say “I’m sorry”. This is not an easy thing to accomplish!

Thank YOU!

Lastly, I am grateful for my followers! You have been supporting me, cheering me on, and are becoming my friends as we actually get to know each other. I know that I have a lot to learn about blogging and connecting, but I am so grateful for your patience, curiosity, and forgiving nature. Although you may not comment, I know that you are engaged, and you support my driving motivation to connect, explore, hope, and inspire the best way that I know how at this stage in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those who celebrate, and let’s all keep up our #NovemberGratitude challenge!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Hold On To Each Other

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Thank You to All of Our Veterans!

Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has served as well as those who currently serve in our Armed Forces. Your sacrifices deserve to be honored more than just one day a year with fabulous parades. Too many of our families have to deal with the darkest shadows after our veterans are no longer in the limelight.

May we learn to honor you more.

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Love May Be Closer Than You Think

Thursdays-Romantic-Thought-love-may-be-closer-than-you-think

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Motivated Monday: Give Kindness

Give What You Can

Happy #MotivatedMonday! Remembering my #NovemberGratitude challenge, it’s always great to remember that it’s a lot easier to give goodness to others than we may initially think.

Often, we’re led to believe that only our hard-earned money can make a difference in other’s lives. While that’s always a help, it isn’t the only thing that can move mountains. Simply being polite, kind, or even acknowledging someone’s presence can make so much.

This week, let’s remember that we can always give something – even if it’s only kindness.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

#NovemberGratitude Challenge

Have An Attitude of #NovemberGratitude

Excuse me while I start waxing poetic, but I’m going to go so far as to quote Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We know this quote. It’s easier to think about than actually do. That’s why I’m throwing down the gauntlet and starting a hashtag: #NovemberGratitude. Let’s get this trending!

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I’m issuing a challenge for this month: Why don’t we challenge ourselves to find something to be content about each day of November – and appreciate it?

It’s always the little things that end of making a big deal. You won’t lose anything by trying it, and who knows? By the end of the month, we may find that our smiles appear more frequently, and as our coats get heavier, our hearts feel a bit lighter.

It’s Okay to Feel Content Sometimes

These days, feeling content is a lot more challenging than you might initially think. Our news cycle is based on the negative things that happen, or more accurately, the potential for negative things to happen. Do you remember my post when I wrote about the boy’s soccer team that was trapped in a cave in Thailand? For days, the world held its breath wondering whether or not they would survive. Once they actually did, media coverage dwindled to nearly nothing. One of the best lines that stuck with me when watching Nightcrawler was when the news producer (played by Rene Ruso) said, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

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Google

Why can’t we be led a different way? How can we lead differently? 

This month is probably my favorite month of the year. November is on the sweet spot of our calendar when we’ve all finally accepted that summer is actually over, the nights are getting chillier, and the dinners are morphing into warm comfort foods. November is that quiet moment right before the storm of Christmas and holiday hoopla shifts into full gear. For now, calm November is the time to pull out the cozy blankets, rediscover your fuzzy slippers, and enjoy the soft glow of lit houses. It’s one of the few times where we might remember to sit down, take a deep breath, and be content.

Hold me accountable to the challenge and use that hashtag #NovemberGratitude. We can follow each other on Twitter (Atina_Atwood) to encourage each other. Are you in? Let us know in the comments!

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.