Solve a Mystery with Me

Story is my word for 2020.

Join me live for a mystery on www.Facebook.com/1MomentWiser Saturday, 1/11/2020 at 3pm CST, or watch the replay here. Can you help me solve this case?

If you’d rather read the story, just scroll down.

My friend JennRene Owens always gets me searching for a Word of the Year. This year, Story is my word, and today I have a mystery for you. I’d love your help solving it, and I’d also like to hear about any mystery you’d like solved. Let’s crowdsource some clues together!

Here goes.

I go to the woods to think. I often find myself looking inwardly at my mental list of things to do, so intently a bear could sit down beside me and I wouldn’t notice. When I go to the woods, I go (sucking sound with fingers pulling eyes from closed to open) and unstick my eyes so they can roll to the front. When I look out, up and around, I see God just EVERYWHERE.

On December 9, 2015, the inside of my head was a blizzard. Thoughts whirled and piled into drifts. I was torn between huddling in place (at least I knew where I was) and shivering, or moving into the white unknown. I put on my hiking shoes, picked up my keys and headed to the woods. The trees had been falling down that year. I didn’t know why. It had me a little worried, but I had spent the summer photographing the mushrooms which feathered the rotting trunks. Humans see something beautiful, like a tree, and think, “Hold it! Stay exactly like that forever.” We try to freeze beauty in place—if you don’t believe me, just count the face creams at Walgreens. Our Creator doesn’t work that way—change nurtures life.

December 9, blizzard in my head, I drove toward the woods, seeking understanding among the mushrooms. I never made it there.

“Kristi, what makes you cry?” my friend Kim had asked me. She’d called me around 5 on December 8 and said, “Hey, can I come over? There’s something I want to talk to you about.” We’d stood in my driveway until after midnight. At 2am, I lay in bed feeling the blood surge in my veins—HMMM—HMMM—HMMM—HMMM. I had a 7am meeting at work, but I could not sleep. Thankfully, it was a call-in meeting, so nobody knew I’d rolled out of bed at 6:45. Afterwards, I texted two of my coworkers and my bestie for prayer. Bob was the first to call, then Stacy.

Bob and Stacy are instructional designers. We’d met that summer and worked together to create training material for a system we were developing at my job. It was a night-and-day project. I often logged off at 11 pm and discovered programming changes at 8 am. When you work under that kind of pressure with people, you see what they’re made of. Bob and Stacy are golden.  

What makes me cry, Kim? Not much these days, but on December 9, 2015, I cried a lot as I talked to Bob and Stacy. 2 weeks prior, at the end of November, I’d put in my college application. My band had broken up, I’d lost my grandparents, and I was floundering as I tried to write a book. I had so much fun with Bob and Stacy that I’d decided to get a degree in Instructional Design.  The moment I hit the “Submit” button, my inner creative started sobbing uncontrollably.

That was a shock. Logical me said, “WHAT? What is going on? Stop crying!” Creative me sobbed, “Why? Why are you (hiccup) abandoning our dreams?” Logical me tried to argue, “It’s for our good. This is for us!” But creative me was too busy throwing things at logical me to listen.

Yep. I know. You’d have thought I was nuts.

Then came Kim on December 8. Now it’s December 9 and I’m still on the phone with Stacy as I put on my shoes,  grab my keys and head toward the woods. I’m not sure when we hung up, but I missed my turn for the highway. As I aimed for Yale, one word became a sign in my mind. “Cultivate.”

I turned the car toward Woodward Park. In the woods, everything springs up and grows in whichever direction it can, untamed and unencumbered by anything except the elements, competition, and time. At Woodward Park, every plant has a place of honor, where it’s pruned and treated and fertilized. At first, to my hippy heart, it seemed too structured, too tame. But I’d asked for a sign. I needed a word. You can’t ask God to speak if you aren’t willing to move when He does. I walked through the gardens and saw love.

Hmm, Love. That’s where today’s mystery comes in. But not yet.

Standing in my driveway December 8, Kim had rolled out a plan to help me create a conference with my friend JennRene. I hadn’t even known that was possible. Two years before, I’d told Julie Clinton at the Extraordinary Women’s conference, “I’d like to be doing this in 2 years.” It was a pipe dream, I had no idea how I’d do it. Now, as I prepared to pause my dreams and go back to school, it suddenly seemed possible.

As I walked at Woodward, my eyes turned outward to the red and brown leaves skirting the trees, the winter herbs in their beds, the rose bushes still bearing flowers. I saw love.

Literally………………..But not yet.

As I walked, the snow in my head melted and the conference theme unfolded. I thought of the (ahem) “compost” in my own life and knew “Cultivate” was a key word for our audience and for me. “Kristi,” Stacy had said, “you already know what you’re going to do.” She was right.

As I turned away from the Linnaeus Teaching Garden to descend toward the rose garden, this was written on the steps.

“I will love you every step of the way.”

What makes me cry? Those words. It’s been 4 years, 3 books, 2 conferences, nearly 1000 videos and amazing collaborations with dream breathers like Kim White and JennRene Owens. I’ve even had the opportunity to learn instructional design without student loans.

But I can’t go on.

I can’t go any further, without knowing who wrote those words in Woodward Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma, December 9, 2015. I firmly believe God sent them to me, and I am so grateful.

But I need to know. What happened? Did someone make a romantic proposal on December 9, 2015? I can imagine some sweet 20-something down on one knee, making a lover’s heart stop in that moment of OMIGOSH, this is it!! “I will love you every step of the way.”

Maybe it wasn’t a proposal. Maybe someone else was going back to school, or starting a new career. Who wrote those words? Who drew the little chalk hearts I stepped around? What has happened since? I want to ask that person, “How’s your marriage?” I want to say, “Thank you. You have no idea how you changed my life that day. No matter what you’re going through, your willingness to open up and love have made an impact.”

So, if you’re watching this, would you do me a favor? Would you please share this video? If you’re listening on the 1 Moment Wiser podcast, would you please share this podcast and the photo in the link attached? If we can just get this out to everyone we know, surely somebody will have the answer.

And what would you like to know? Do you have a mystery to share? Reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter, or email info@1MomentWiser.com. I’d love to help you share your story.

Psalm 37 NIV says

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

I can tell you from experience, it’s true. God bless you today!

If there’s a writer in your life, I bet that writer has a birthday coming up this year. Plan ahead and get the Every Step of the Way laptop case here.

Blue steps with chalk writing saying "I will love you every step of the way"

Empower Hour Replay: Jaresha Moore Interviews Guest Kristi Bridges

 

How did sidewalk chalk change my future?

 

What piece of advice saved my marriage?

 

What’s the most important lesson I’ve learned? (I’m still learning)

 

How can you end every day with a smile?

 

Why does the world need YOUR story?

 

Do you have a morning or afternoon drive? Do you take evening walks? Do you cook dinner? Click to hear the episode of Empower Hour in which Jaresha Moore asks me these questions and others.

If you’d like a free preview of my books or course, visit https://1MomentWiser.com 

Empower Hour 10/30 at 7pm CST /8pm EST

EmpowerHour10-30-2019Ever since I said “Yes” to writing Option Ocean – Navigating the Sea of Possibility, God has introduced me to the neatest people.

This week, Jaresha Moore has asked me to be her guest on Empower Hour (squeeeal!). I’m a little excited. She’s an extraordinary combination of strength, fun and practicality.

Want to join me? It’s Wednesday night, 10/30/2019, at 7pm CST / 8pm EST. You can stream the audio live, directly from the show’s page. Just click here.  You’re welcome to share this with your friends, as well.
If you know someone who hasn’t yet read Option Ocean – Navigating the Sea of Possibility, please click here to order a copy. Why not start a group study? New frontiers are better when they’re explored together! Contact me if you’re interested in the leader’s guide for your local group.

The Insightful Ann Harrison-Barnes

braille-52554_1920
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

It began as an interview invitation. Podcaster and author Ann Harrison-Barnes wanted to hear more about Option Ocean – Navigating the Sea of Possibility. It’s all I talk about lately, because the book is making such an impact on readers. It seems everyone wants help finding that sweet spot where they connect with their Creator and use their gifts in careers which keep them motivated.

Before our interview, I took a walk and listened to a few episodes of Ann’s podcast, Inspirational Journeys.

I walked three extra miles. Ann is fascinating. Like herself, many of her guests are blind, so their conversations about writing and entrepreneurship gave me a new perspective. In her interview with Laura Legendary, I discovered a new kind of jewelry. It’s not just pretty to the eye—it’s pretty to the fingertips, engraved with braille notes such as “I love you” and “Friends.” When their conversation shifted to the challenges of being a blind entrepreneur in this day of social media marketing and DIY websites…

I thought of you.

Many of you are web designers, app designers, social media marketers or instructional designers. Are you including accessibility for the blind in your designs? Maybe you are trying but don’t notice the navigational hang-ups which turn them away in frustration. There’s a terrific niche you could be serving. After my Option Ocean interview, I asked Ann to be a guest on my podcast. We talked so long, I divided the interview into three episodes. Even if you’re not a designer, you’ll enjoy listening to Ann share her writing process and the source of her inspiration.

In part 1 of our interview, Ann discusses the source of her imaginative plots and gives tips to aspiring authors. In part 2, she offers great ideas for anyone who wants to design accessible apps and programs for writers and entrepreneurs who see with their hands. In part 3, she shares the source of her strength and peace.

If you are subscribed to the 1 Moment Wiser podcast, I’ve changed platforms. These recent interviews may not appear in your episode listing. You could do a new search on your podcast host for 1 Moment Wiser, but I’ve made it more accessible for you. Accessibility is the word of the day!

Anchor

iTunes

Google

Breaker

Overcast

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic

Stitcher

On Spotify, just look for 1 Moment Wiser!

Valentine Gift for Writers – It’s About Time!

Ha! Roots tangled across the path, directly between the rocks she was avoiding, but she judged her step perfectly and used the highest one to tap her left foot and launch over the rock and onto firm ground. Her right foot slid just a tiny bit into the muck as she landed, but she ran on without hesitation, grinning in the confidence and freedom of the Sunday morning trail run.. The fresh air felt like Hawaii, despite the 37 degree temperature which seared her nose and throat. Summer Diane was taking a break this morning. She could sit no longer in the ergonomic chairs of the stuffy library. The glassed-off outdoors had stolen her gaze from the computer. History and English Lit would have to wait while she studied geography face to face.

That’s the opening paragraph from my novel Summer in Winter. How would you start a novel?

You’d start with the It’s About Time At-Home Writing Retreat, of course! I know, I know, a different writing course or conference pops up in your feed every week. What makes It’s About Time different?

At standard writing conferences, you pay hundreds for airfare and hotel. You spend the weekend listening to speakers and getting inspired, but you never get the chance to write. Monday morning, you’re back to your busy life, wishing you could run away and work on your novel.

Standard online courses give you a bunch of instruction but you get no feedback. Writing is an art, not a science. You need personal guidance to craft a story which will have fans waiting impatiently for your next masterpiece.

It’s about time that changed! The creators of It’s About Time want to make THIS YEAR the year you write your novel. Authors Sarah Soon and Kristi Bridges have planned a series of free Facebook trainings and affordable weekend retreats, so you can enjoy writing and get the feedback you need.

If you haven’t seen our 30 and 90-minute seminars on idea-grabbing, character and setting, check them out and grab the free book planner. During the At-Home Writing Retreat, we’ll dig deeper, with multiple short sessions, lots of terrific tools and time to write!

It’s About Time At-Home Writing Retreat

Friday, February 22, 2019 at 7pm Central

  • Captivate and connect your readers with a great plot.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 10am Central

  • Tell your inner critic, “I’m the boss!”
  • Use your setting to help drive the plot and keep readers coming back.
  • Develop characters your readers talk to, yell at, cry for and cheer on. (Grammar comes later 😉).
  • Share what you’ve done at the open mic.

Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 2pm Central

  • Craft scenes which keep the reader hooked.
  • End with a scene that makes them want your next book.

Are you still reading? What are you waiting for? Get your tickets today!

Tickets: Click here for a ticket to this private, progress-making event, which will be held on Facebook 2/22-2/24. Paid participants will have access to all sessions until 3/1/2019.

Watch The Gift of Christmas idea-grabbing session here and get the FREE book planner (a $30 value!)

Watch Book Basics here.

Your story matters!

Your time belongs to YOU!

Give yourself a weekend to remember that YOU ARE A WRITER! It’s About Time!

Read a Book a Week? Write Your Own!

It’s About Time to write your novel!

 

Happy New Year! Are you one of the millions of people who vowed to read a book a week this year? That’s 52 weeks of other people’s thoughts. Your life is already full of other people’s news and needs. 52 books to read?

Listen—do you hear that? That is your voice, calling from under the pile of other people’s pages. Your voice says, “YO! It’s my turn!” Yes, your voice said, “Yo.” Has it ever done that before? Bet it got your attention.

You have your own ideas, and it’s about time you wrote your own book. I’ll help, along with my friend and fellow author, Sarah Soon. We began with an idea-grabbing session in December, and next Saturday, we’ll help you captivate your readers with description, action and dialogue. Come to the workshop and get a free book planner which will track your progress all the way to the book launch party!

 

Free writing workshop

Saturday, January 12, 2019

10am – 11:30am CST

www.Facebook.com/1MomentWiser

 

Let the rest of the world put your novel on their reading list.

 

 

 

It’s About Time Writing Workshops

The holidays are packed with juicy story ideas! Join author Sarah Soon and myself for 30 minutes this Saturday, and you’ll have enough inspiration to plan your novel before you can say, “Jack Frost!” This is the first of a series of writing workshops we’re calling It’s About Time. You know that novel you’ve been wanting to write? It’s about time to start.

What: Idea-grabbing session with free gifts!

When: Saturday, 12/1/2018

Time: 10:00 am CST – 10:30 am CST

Where: Facebook.com/1MomentWiser

Cost: FREEEEEEE

Replays available–but why wait?