Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
In my last post I opened up about losing my job. Well let’s not sugar coat it I was fired! And for a long time I was angry. But I was not angry at my boss or at the president of the company. No, I was angry at myself. Why was he angry at himself? you may ask. Well in all honesty I was angry because for too long I let others dictate the direction my life was going. For too long I held who I was inside so that the world would like the façade I had on. For too long I sat by watching my dreams get further and further away because I was too scared to be myself. Surely this must be the fault of everyone in my life up to this point for making me into the man, the person, the father that they wanted me to be, right? Wrong! No one made those choices for me. I chose to not stand up for the most important person in my life…ME.
Now I am sure some of you are sitting there calling me selfish and you would be right. That was a very selfish thing to say. Let me follow with this, if you do not care about yourself how can you be any good to others? All my life I have always put others first and tried to do right by them. I always wanted to make my family proud, be the best friend that I could be, always caring about others and never putting myself first, ever! Now some of you may be thinking that that is what a good Christian is supposed to do. Is it? Are we supposed to neglect ourselves for the sake of others? Or are we rather to embrace ourselves and be the best ME we can be in order to help others be the best ME that they can be?
When all this began I did a lot of self-reflecting and made a choice to no longer suppress the person inside of me. For far too long I had pushed my feelings and emotions and dreams so deep that what remained was a shell of the boy who loved art and just wanted to bring joy to everyone he met. I asked the question, “Did I really lose my job or did I do everything in my power, subconsciously, to leave a situation that was not ideal?” In the day and age of “you should be happy to have a job” is that really a good thing if we are in a job that does not make us happy? Wouldn’t you rather seek out the joy and share your gifts, your talents, and your love with the world?
I chose to share my love through art. My children’s book, the first in the series, debuted in July. Since then I have made my publisher’s best seller list 2 months running. I have contributed art pieces to a local charity auction for three years. The same person has bought them each year and each year asks me if I have something new for the auction. I have never been so happy in my life! I get to draw every day, I get to spend every day with the greatest gifts in my life (my wife and kids) and now I am working on illustrating two (2) books for other authors who are trying to bring their joy to the world. I can’t say that I regret my prior career choice because it was a choice, good or bad, that I made and it gave me skills that I will be forever grateful to have. But until I stopped and looked in the mirror and confronted my competition for the first time in my life and asked the question “Are you happy” did I truly understand. Because when we get out of our own way there is no limit to how far we can go!
Thank you, again, for allowing me to share this, Donald!
For anyone who missed his first post about his experiences in early 2020 –
check it out by following this link.
Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and a professional Landscape Designer by trade, children’s author Donald Lloyd Jr. has spent the last decade watching his children grow and learn life’s lessons. His debut book, The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends, explores accepting differences and what it is like to make a new friend. Donald currently lives in Maryland with his family.
Here is another copy of my review of his book,
The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends….
Title: The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends
Author: Donald Lloyd Jr
Publisher: Halo Publishing International
Published: July 28th, 2020
I was gifted access to an online copy of this book
And am so glad I chose to take a good look!
It is a picture book with an adventure that’s fun
With an important message for each and everyone.
This story two great characters, who
Seem to be opposites in all that they do.
Just look at them both and think what they are –
Toad finds the idea of being friends quite bizarre
Until they give it a go and then they both find
It’s more about what you do and if you are kind
They have adventures together and in the end
Become the very best you can be – real friends!
A friend can be different in shape, look and size,
Something we all need to realise.
This story is well told with a message so true –
It isn’t what you look like but more what you do.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,
Doesn’t matter who, where or when,
Children’s illustrated stories, told in rhyme,
Are winners for me, almost every time!
This book is a great story for sharing
One to help encourage even more caring
Don’t judge others on their looks, but by what they do
So you can find a true friend to have adventures with, too.
Ever wanted to make a new friend but were not sure how? Have you ever met someone and instantly knew that you would be friends? “The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends” is a story about finding a friend, learning how to be a friend and realizing that a true friend can be anyone from anywhere!