Monday, December 29, 2014

Begin the New Year with 7 Attributes That Can Make or Break You

Night of a Thousand Candles-Brookgreen Gardens-Murrells Inlet, SC
Christmas Day 2014 is history. The commercial buildup began in early October and culminated in a buying frenzy of last minute items and a To Do list that seemed never ending. In addition to the monumental task of shopping, a hectic schedule might have included baking, gift wrapping, entertaining, a Christmas card project, cooking, church services and travel. Is it any wonder that many people experience a post-Christmas letdown?

For anyone whose family is spread from one end of the country to the other, a choice of location for spending Christmas Day must be made and can be a heart-wrenching experience. We cannot be everywhere simultaneously.

Then we begin contemplating New Year’s resolutions. Exercise more often, eat a balanced diet, join a Bible study, consciously strive for an active and powerful prayer life, increase hospitality, volunteer, journal, begin a memoir project--the list is infinite. How can we begin on a path to encouragement and preparation for a brand new year?

I recently read a short book that can help produce some positive results as we flip the calendar from December 2014 to January 2015. 7 Attributes That Can Make or Break You by Jimi Akanbi is
a compact guide to help us evaluate the possibility of needing an attitude adjustment and trending toward more beneficial practices. A few of the topics covered are: jealousy, judging others, giving and wisdom. Reading the author’s text and supporting Scripture verses definitely gave me pause for soul-searching and considering my own actions and how I might apply these attributes to my life.

This book offers a glimpse of how to change bad habits into positive actions if one has aspirations to live a Divinely planned abundant Christian life. I particularly enjoyed the chapter entitled Living by Destiny, Not by Chance. It reminds me to perpetually (not just occasionally) seek a closer walk with God through His Word and to remember to ask for Divine wisdom in situations which arise, rather than leaving the outcome to chance or trying to forge my own path.

If you are looking for some new year inspiration, you may find that this little book will guide you in a positive, spiritually productive direction.

In The Words of the Author: 

"I am Jimi Akanbi. I am a Christian nonfiction author, who is sold out to God. I just do not write books as I feel; I write as I am inspired by God. I live in Atlanta, Georgia USA. I have an MBA in Finance from Mercer University-Atlanta, Georgia. I am currently an active member of the prayer and intercessory team at my church. I
Jimi Akanbi
have also served God as an usher and protocol officer at my previous church. I have undergone a formal ten week Bible training course. My interests include writing, counseling, ministry, movies, sports, music and more. I was miraculously called by God to be in the writing ministry, and I am acting in obedience.
This book discusses life inspiring and transforming details which are not found in any other Christian literature. The content is very instructive, thought provoking and succinct.

The message is to alert everyone that certain negative attributes can prevent one from getting the most out of life."

Jimi Akanbi, MBA
Author of: 
Uncommon Truths Leading To Success: Maximizing These Benefits of Christianity in Your Life
Taking Your Life To The Next Level: 7 keys To Living The God Kind of Life
7 Attributes That Can Make or Break You
Living a Fulfilled Life Daily
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Thank you all for stopping by today. For those in search of a memoir writing tip, consider this:

Don't allow the idea of memoir writing to terrorize or overwhelm you. Your story matters. Understand that this will be an ongoing project for a period of time--perhaps years. Plan to steadily devote blocks of time in order to progress. Each written story brings you closer to a completed project!
I wish everyone a new year filled with many blessings!

All the best,
Mary Anne Benedetto

Author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Never Say Perfect, From Italy with Love & Limoncello and Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pearl Harbor Day Thoughts

Photo by Sandi Blood
I stood on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, overwhelmed with emotion and sadness for those who had died there. Like an errant seagull hitting me right between the eyes, I was struck by the realization that my own dad had been there at Hickam Field on December 7, 1941, stationed at Schofield Barracks, and I knew virtually nothing about what he had experienced that day. I thought of at least twenty questions that I would love to ask him, but it was too late. He had passed away about five years prior to my trip to Hawaii. Why had I never taken the time and interest to sit down with him and ask him everything that I would like to know about his life?

This Pearl Harbor event continued to haunt me. How could I educate others about the importance of sharing our life stories with loved ones? Extensive research brought me to Denis Ledoux and what is now known as The Memoir Network (, where I located a valuable program through which I could learn to teach others how to write their memoirs. In spite of a wildly hectic schedule including a full-time job as a lease administrator/accountant for a commercial property management firm, church volunteer, grandmother of three, officer on the board of a professional organization, a writer inching my way through the birth of my first novel, and involvement in countless activities, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the program. I was brimming with determination to pursue this new passion.

In teaching memoir workshops, I realized that I needed to simplify the process for those who are undertaking a memoir writing project and feel hopelessly overwhelmed. 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time! was published in 2012 and has guided many eager memoir writers in jump-starting and staying motivated to provide a valuable legacy for loved ones. It is a compact publication that is packed with tips, hints, a logical method, almost 150 questions for generating memories or formulating the stories, and sample stories that were written by a few lovely folks who attended my workshops.

Photo by Lesta Sue Hardee
I never cease to emphasize to anyone who will listen that once we are gone, our memoirs are unobtainable unless we have preserved them. Family history and important stories are forever lost. Our future generations need to know who we were, how we lived, what was important to us, what influenced us and how we navigated life from Point A to Point B.

That sightseeing trip to Pearl Harbor literally changed my life. The experience redirected my energy to spending my remaining productive years helping people write the times of their lives! So Pearl Harbor Day is a special reminder to me each year that honors my dad and refuels the passion. 

I'll be back again soon with more writing tidbits!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all,
Mary Anne Benedetto

Author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Never Say Perfect, From Italy with Love & Limoncello and Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!