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"CIRCLE OF SISTERS", compiled by JoLyn Brown, is a collection of short stories about Relief Society and Visiting Teaching that was published by Walnut Springs. Four of the book's 50 stories were written by me! Available NOW for purchase at Deseret Book and on Amazon. I am one of the featured authors on JoLyn's blog. Click HERE to see. Click HERE to read a review by Sandra Nazar at the Deseret News.

MY BOOK (
Enjoy Today ... Before It Slips Away) WON in the SHORT STORY CATEGORY for
Turning the Pages 2012 Book Of The Year Award! (STILL so cool!) Thanks to all of you who voted for me!! * To Read Reviews about this book, click on the MY BOOKS tab above. Makes a great gift!

* CONTACT ME: stacyjcoles@yahoo.com.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Falling In Love & Staying In Love

You don't get to choose who you fall in love with; that's why it's called "falling" in love. However, you do get to choose to stay in love. And staying in love takes work on both sides.

Always remember why you fell in love in the first place. Every couple will have their ups and downs. It's part of life. When the downs get in the way, go to your separate corners and take a breather. Let yourselves cool off. And, while you are regaining your composure, think about three things you were attracted to when you first met your significant other. Think about what he/she was wearing, how their eyes sparkled in the light of the room, the chills that went up and down your spine the first time you held hands. These are the little things that can rekindle that fire, no matter how long you've been together.

Recreate the dating spark. Ok, so you've been married for years and it's hard to find time to connect with soccer practices and piano lessons. All of us long for that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling every time the one you love enters the room. If you haven't felt that way about your significant other for a while, it's time to make it happen again. Think about the days when you quickly stopped kissing when someone entered the room, or when you tried to sneak around the corner into the dark hallway to squeeze in some alone time without being spotted. Remember the adrenaline rush from the thought of being caught? Bring back that same fun by hiding the PDAs from the young, peering eyes under your roof. Just keep the rekindling game clean so that when the kiddies do catch you, they won't be too scarred!

Get your flirt on. Just because you've been together for years doesn't mean the flirting has to stop. Make your significant other know that you only have eyes for them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Leave little love notes on the bathroom mirror or in their briefcase or purse. Tell them how good they look when they get ready for the day. Tell them to remember there will be someone waiting for them when they come home. Make them feel anxious to get back home.

Look your best for your spouse. Guys, put on cologne. Ladies, wear some lipstick. Dress as though you have somewhere to go. And when your significant other asks you what you're dressed up for, tell them it's for him/her. They will feel pretty special knowing you are still trying to impress them. Just because you're married, doesn't mean you should stop trying.

It makes everyone feel good to see a couple still in love after years of togetherness. Time doesn't have to dull romance. Take on life's challenge of rekindling the spark that may be dwindling. Don't let the fire go out. You found the one you want to be with forever, so put in the effort to make your forever great! Falling in love is up to fate. Staying in love is up to you.


Staying In Love

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Value Your Values

In a day when compromising values is more and more acceptable, it's all the more important to make sure our values are carefully guarded.

How do we do this? Define what those values are. Take a minute, now while it's on your mind, and think about the top five (or more) most important personality traits or characteristics that make you who you are and that you absolutely don't want compromised. Some examples of this might be:

Integrity
Honesty
Virtue
Faithful to spouse
Hard worker
Optimistic
Goal oriented

Now, write them down. Tape the list to your bathroom mirror; keep a copy in your purse or wallet; save it as part of your wallpaper on your computer or cell phone. Put it in a place where you will see it everyday. Encourage your family members or close friends to do the same. It will force you to really think about the type of person you are, or who you want to be. If there are values you feel you don't currently possess, but have the desire to develop, add them to your list. Be consciously aware of them and work until they become part of you. Then, make sure nothing compromises them.

When magazines, movies, ads, and sometimes friends make compromising our values sound appealing and popular, it can be hard to stand strong, especially when it leaves us feeling like we're standing alone. But, when you find yourself in these situations, pull out your values list. Remember that this list represents who you are and don't let anything or anyone stand in your way to live up to your list.

Never be ashamed to value your values! By standing strong in the midst of a confusing and misleading world, you might be the example that someone else needs to lean on ~ or look up to ~ until their values are strong enough to provide them with a firm foundation.

Don't let the world make you compromise what you cherish most. It's easier to stand up for what you believe in when you know what you believe in. If you know what values you hold dear, the world can't make them disappear.

Values

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Practicing What We Preach

* Have you ever found yourself yelling at your child/sibling/friend while you are telling them to keep their voice down?

* Have you ever told your child/sibling/friend to be thankful for the talents they have while you are secretly wishing you could sing, draw, sew, play piano, or play sports as well as your neighbor?

* Have you ever told your child/sibling/friend that they are not alone when you feel overwhelmingly lonely?

Often times we dish out helpful advice to those we know and love with the purest of intentions, not realizing that we are just as guilty of the same fault we are trying to correct in someone else. Sometimes our advice to others can be the most therapeutic when applied to our own lives.

When we are on the outside of the situation looking in, it's easy for us to see options and solutions that otherwise could easily be overlooked. The trick is that once we dish the advice, we need to take the time to reflect on our own words of wisdom. While reflecting, consider applying your insightful advice to your own life. Even if it doesn't relate to a situation in your life now, it might in the future. Write the advice down in a notebook. Then, you will have it and be able to reflect at a later time in life when it might be more applicable.

If we practice what we preach, we will also learn to be less critical of others. We acknowledge our own limitations and realize that we are capable of solving our personal conflicts. It's humbling when we realize the benefits of our own words of wisdom. As we put our advice to practice, we grow, knowing that we, too, have room to improve. Others will be more likely to take our advice if we practice what we preach.


Practice What We Preach