Bowled Over by New Beginnings: Day Two of the Journey toward Launch

Flowers amid the ruins at the Church of Mary, Ephesus, Turkey

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19 King James Version (KJV)

Confession: yesterday when I set out the 100 Day Challenge, I wasn’t sure what would happen. I knew that I was entering a threshold, a period of preparation, in which I wanted to take strenuous action (do) and contemplate and let go (be) in new ways. I hoped others would feel the same call.

Wow. You have more than exceeded my expectations. Thank you for sharing, commenting, celebrating, and enouraging. More than that, thank you for joining me and entering into the threshold stage yourself.

I said I would hold your new beginnings like a candle in a cathedral, prayerfully.

A candle lit for all the New Beginnings

This morning, I decided to do that literally. As I read the 35 messages you wrote, I lit this candle for each one, smiling, nodding, and breathing deeply.

What I didn’t anticipate was that you would make me cry.

Two types of sacred beginnings

One of you wrote these words:
It’s our ninth wedding anniversary today, so I’ve enjoyed pouring tea from a new teapot (Jordanian pottery) and sipping it from a beautiful new bone china mug. Our day began with us both feeling incredibly thankful for our nine years together and the little luxuries we enjoy every day – spending time together, talking and drinking tea! Things I hope we never take for granted. 🙂
And another wrote these:

First time I was told “come back in a year” after breast cancer surgery in October 2011. New body, kinda new me.

Being thankful for the “little luxuries” of daily life is one kind of new beginning. There were scores of these.

And being grateful for the huge gift of life itself. There was one of these. But there were many other vulnerable, beautiful statements expressed in a few simple words.

Both kinds of New Beginnings moved me deeply. Some came from people I know. Most came from people I’ve never met in person. The candle before me is lit. My heart radiates your light.

I hope you will offer your new beginning here today. Every time you submit a new one, you improve your chances of being the lucky winner of the valuable prizes.

Where to from here?

99 Days Until Launch!

Now I need your help again. For a while, at least until you tell me to stop, I’m going to blog daily. That’s my new beginning starting today!

I have lots of topics I want to share with you, many of which are themes you will meet again in Blush.

Question: would you like to see excerpts of the manuscript here? In snippets every day? Or in several whole chapters scattered throughout the remaining 99 days?

Does it help if I publish the blog post at the same time every day? How about 1 p.m. — right after lunch?

Have any other ideas or suggestions for what you would like to see in a daily post?

Please leave a comment below to help me make this challenge as rewarding and useful to YOU as possible.

Shirley Showalter


  1. Joanne Hess Siegrist on June 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

    NEW – Day 2

    This morning I received NEW READING MATERIALS – A newly created resume of our newly arrived immigrant coming from Somali with his wife, and two children – Alpha and Omega. Age 40 this father holds many fine skills and our resettlement team is praying this fine resume will bring forth a satisfying job ASAP.

  2. shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Joanne, how wonderful that you work with immigrants in resettlement. Talk about New Beginnings! That is a major one. My candle is lit for them and for you.

    If you want to submit this to the contest, please re-enter here:

  3. Sandi Dodson on June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I love it when you do the daily blog. Your blogs always give insight into areas I would never think of.

    • shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Thank you, Sandi! I love knowing you are there on the other end of the screen. You were there at the creation and have walked with me ever since. What a blessing.

  4. Marian Beaman on June 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Dear Energizer Bunny,

    After publishing 400 blog posts and reading 100 memories I think you would be entitled to savor the moment and catch your breath–but that is not your style. I do understand how robust responses from the other side of the virtual world can recharge one’s batteries though. Thank you for your attention to everyone of my “plain and fancy girl” posts, now close to 40!

    Two blessings for today: 1) The scripture from Lamentations 3:23 and 24 resonates with me just now: fresh compassion and new mercy every morning. 2) After harvesting hundreds of grapefruit from our one tree, I squeezed a pitcherful and have enough fruit to take to PA next week, the last of the crop.

    • shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Forty posts already! I’m so impressed, and I’ll bet they keep flowing out of you. Anyone who enjoys my book and my blog is going to love yours.

      I had to look up the text (Sword Drill was trumped by Google). Here it is for others. A perfect New Beginnings verse set. And, of course, it’s in the only translation we knew: The KJV. You put me in a Being state of mind. Thank you.

      Lamentations 3:23-24

      23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

      24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

  5. Kas Sartori on June 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I’m touched by your uplifting idea! So I will share my small but new beginning:
    For the last 10 weeks I’ve been watching over my husband who had a brain hemorrage & congestive heart failure on Mar.30 & returned home from the hospital on Apr 25. But now he has progressed very well! And he wants more independence from my “hovering” caretaking. So I am going to try to resume some of my “normal” activities which feels very foreign, as if my “self”disappeared for many weeks, not to mention the emotional trauma that still lingers inside.
    So my new beginning will start and end each day with lighting a candle, saying a prayer & reading scripture to ask God to help me diminish my fear & worry, and increase my courage. And I will plan at least one activity for “me” each day, in order to find my way back to a more normal life, while still taking care of Joe as well, but more gently.
    Thanks for this opportunity for a new beginning!
    Kas Sartori

    • shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Oh my, Kas, what trauma this must be for you and Joe. You can count on my thoughts and prayers as I light my own candle.

      I didn’t see your name on the list of entries yet, so here’s a link to take you directly to your chance to win the prizes and also to have your New Beginning seen by me as I contemplate each day.

    • Sherrey Meyer on June 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Kas, I am touched by your words in a way I cannot express. I’ve seen your display of courage and care, and now I read your new commitment. I stand in awe of the woman you are.


  6. Tina Barbour on June 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    You blogging daily is a HUGE treat, Shirley!

    I love your New Beginnings project, and I will join in. I have been laid low by work so far this week. I am just now lifting my head and looking around! Just wanted you to know that I am going to be as supportive of your project as possible. And thank you for all you do for your readers!

    • shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks, Tina. Just hearing that from you gives me new energy and imagination for how to do daily posts that relate best to your needs.

      Hope the burden of work lifts for you soon. I know just how heavy it can be.

      Here’s a link to make your entry easy.

  7. Sandi Dodson on June 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Shirley. I feel that I am blessed to know you and knowledge that you have to share with everyone. I am thrilled to be part of the count down to the publication of Blush.

    • shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Aw. Greetings to all in the Stratford Woods Book Club!

  8. shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Joanne, how wonderful that you work with immigrants in resettlement. Talk about New Beginnings! That is a major one. My candle is lit for them and for you.

    If you want to submit this to the contest, please re-enter here:

  9. Sherrey Meyer on June 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Shirley, nothing new today as it was consumed by volunteering. I do know that hearing from you daily is a blessing; however, do you not want to take a deep breath or two??? And I love the New Beginnings! I’ll be back with more.

    Blessings and hugs,

    • shirleyhs on June 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Sherrey, I can tell by the way you respond to Kas and by your volunteering commitment that compassion is one of your gifts.

      And thanks for thinking of my need to take a breath or two.

      I have been thinking of how to observe Sabbath in the next 100 days in this blog. I also want to simplify the posts while still making them a gift to each reader and something to look forward to. Thanks for sharing the link on Facebook and for simply being who you are today.

  10. Linda Hoye on June 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Gelassenheit. Oh how I needed to be reminded of that today. Thank you.

    • shirleyhs on June 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

      “We are each other’s bread and wine,” a quote from one of my favorite hymns. Glad you got the word, and the release, you needed today. Blessings, Linda.

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