Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Betrayal…Forgiveness

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself. ~Harriet Nelson

Have you ever been betrayed? By a parent? By a mate? By a friend? Many of us have, and if you haven’t, chances are you will at some point in your life.

In Something New, my debut novel to be released April 27, 2012, the topic of forgiveness is a reoccurring subject throughout the story. While Simone Edwards and Tim Hollister, the two main characters, fall madly and passionately in love, they struggle with pardoning those who have wronged them. Both have been emotionally scarred by someone they’ve loved, and in learning to trust one another, they first have to find a way to move beyond past hurts.

When people hear the word betrayal, they often think of a mate or spouse’s betrayal, but keep in mind there are many different types of deceptions. And if you’re on the receiving end of someone’s duplicity, it might seem impossible to move beyond it…but it is possible. You have to figure out what works for you, and know that you’ll never have peace in your heart if you can’t get pass the anger. And the only way to get pass the anger, is to forgive. For those of us who believe in the Bible, we know that “if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matt. 6:14

I remember years ago, in my very early teens – eleven or twelve, a girl I grew up with read my diary. Mind you, I’m a fairly private person (and back then even more so). For me (at that age), having someone to read your diary without your permission, is like the ultimate betrayal. Personal thoughts, wild ideas, and just things you might want to get off your chest, securely locked within the pages of your diary – only to be read by an unauthorized person. Granted, I have no idea of whether or not she shared any information, but the fact that she’d betrayed my trust, stuck with me for years. I’m embarrassed to say, it took me that long to forgive her. Now that I’m older (and wiser), it doesn’t take me as long to forgive, but as for my journals these days, I have a disclaimer on the inside of the covers: “Read at your own risk! There just might be something in here about you!”

Uh, back to Something New – rest assured – though the novel deals with this emotional subject – Something New is a sweet romance, and all of you romance readers out there know that in romance – you’re guaranteed a happy ending. Tim and Simone’s story is no different. As you read the novel – you’ll smile at times; and laugh out loud at others. And for you sensitive souls out there, you might even shed a tear.

So as you wait for the release date of Something New, think about this: Are you slow to forgive? Have you knowingly wronged someone, but haven’t asked for forgiveness? Or do you claim to forgive – but never forget?

Feel free to share your thoughts. And if you have a favorite quote or Bible verse you stand on to move past betrayal on your route to forgiveness – please share.

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Something New - Novel | , , , | 22 Comments

Simplify Your Life

It’s that time of the year again – Spring Cleaning. This weekend while I revamped our home office and started my version of spring cleaning, I couldn’t help but think about the connection between having an organized living space and having an organized life. Typically, people who live in a cluttered / unorganized space, often have a cluttered and unorganized life. Think about it.

So whether you’re organizing your office or your life, here are five tips to get you started.

Start in One Area

Don’t try to organize the entire house at once: pick a single area. In my case I started with our home office. Not only did I start in the office, but I started in one specific spot in the office, and worked my way around. I know it sounds crazy – and yes, I’m anal like that – but it works. When it’s done this way, it doesn’t feel as overwhelming…and you’re not hopping all over the place. And most important, you see your progress immediately.

Next on the spring cleaning list – our bathrooms and the master closet. I can’t wait! I can see my husband shaking his head already – Ha! At least he won’t have to move furniture this time.

Everything has a Place

Normally, we don’t accumulate a lot of clutter, and in my opinion, it has to do with everything having a place. Usually things only pile up if there is no designated spot for it…or if you don’t actually put it where it goes.  So there should be a place for important papers, keys, hats, cleaning equipment, etc. When you start your spring cleaning or start re-organizing areas in your house, make sure you identify a place for everything. Oh, and can I just say – if you have a junk drawer- get rid of it! There is no reason any household should have a junk drawer. If it’s junk, throw it out!

Keep, Donate, Sell or Toss It

I’m a big fan of tossing things! Depending on what it is, if you haven’t used it in two years, it’s safe to say you can get rid of it. Granted I know we often keep things because someone special in our lives gave them to us – but at some point, you have to ask yourself (especially if you don’t have the space for it), “Is this something I really need to hold on to, or can I get rid of it?”

The last time I revamped our office space, it revealed just how many books we owned. Though I absolutely love-love-love books, I had to make a decision – either let them continue to over flow from the numerous bookshelves, or get rid of some. So I kept some, gave some away, and those that I’m selling (ongoing) are organized in several see-through containers. Note: I do have a time frame for how long I’ll keep the containers of books.

Lastly, in regards to this tip, when you’re sorting things out, don’t just sort the piles into more piles, place them into various containers as you organize the space. Plan to touch each item one time. Have boxes, trash bags, or storage containers on hand for the items you’re going to donate, sell, or toss.

A Little At a Time

Trying to do too much at once doesn’t work – especially if de-cluttering or organizing doesn’t come natural for you. Break the project up into small, manageable pieces. For example, if your desk is cluttered, maybe work on that first, and then give yourself a break before you tackle one of the piles you have on the floor (assuming you have several piles on the floor).

Seek Help!

I know organizing is not for everyone, and some hate doing it more than they hate going to the dentist. So get some help. Why stress yourself out doing something you’re either not good at doing, or you hate doing?

Side Note – Being organize can save time, your sanity, and in some cases money. For example: the tip about everything having a place – think about the time you’d save if you had a designated place for your keys, or bills. Looking for things not only waste time, but it’s extremely stressful! Hmm, now that I think about it, this tip could save you money! Just think – no late fee because you couldn’t find a bill!

In all seriousness though – the most important thing to note is – when you de-clutter and organize your living space, something happens within you…it’s as if you can breathe and think better. I’m a true believer that when you de-clutter your space, you simplify your life.

Try it – one area at a time.

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Multi-tasking, organization, simplify | , , , , , | 20 Comments