+Blog Book Tour+ Make Everyday Meaningful {Realise, Record, & Remember: Life’s Grand Lessons} by Randal A. Wright #nonfiction

Posted Sunday, 17 August, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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Make Everyday Meaningful: Realise, Record, & Remember Life’s Grand Lessons

by Randal A. Wright

Make Everyday Meaningful Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Published By: CFI, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort) 12 August, 2014
Official Author Websites:  Site 
Available Formats: Paperback
Page Count: 176

Converse via: #MakeEveryDayMeaningful

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Make Everyday Meaningful” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read: The positive aspects of daily, weekly, and life-long journalling:

As you might have read previously on my blog, I am an amateur family historian who takes up the passion for genealogical research from her Mum! I spoke about my favourite place to search for family records on my review for How Much Do You Love Me?, as much as I have spoken about my admiration and love for the tv serial Who Do You Think You Are? (blessedly on dvd; one day I shall purchase all of the lovely sets!) on other posts too. I grew up in a family whose hearty appetite for stories from the past grew into having a living history reside throughout my childhood hours; filling me to the max on my loved ones adventures in life. I cherish those memories, and oft times had hoped to have expanded a bit on what I knew as well, as every family has corridors of their past a bit hidden from view. I would have loved to have learnt more about the Great Depression and the World War eras especially, but I respected my grandparents perhaps having lived through those generations might have preferred not to focus on them as much as I was keen too.

Where I get excited is the curious journey of the ‘hunt’ to uncover more ties of heritage with each little connection of my family tree I find as I root around the archives and seek out where more records are being kept for families who want a hard copy of the records they find online. Moreso than even the ancestral past, I have always attempted to keep journals each year since I was around 9 years old. Ironically or not, the best way I have always left behind stories of my own life were through the letters and correspondences I sent to my dear friends who lived stateside and around the world. Inside those handwritten and typed letters (as I would always alternate my style) were everyday memories full of adventures, experiences, hopes, dreams, and all the little bits I felt like sharing with a close friend. In my twenties, I took up writing down little notes of joy per each day lived by keeping a daily calendar diary of sorts. A regular monthly calendar of days is inked to the the max with notations and ‘moments’ sealed in time.

I would love to carry forward my love of journalling to a new level of keeping record of not only my hours but the curious thoughts that alight inside all of us as we live our days forward. I like staying mindful of moments and of serendipity as it alights on my path, as much as I appreciate the gentle grace and joy of observing wildlife, flowers, and the kissing breath of trees swaying in the gusts sweeping up their branches. Every so often, I stumble across a non-fiction book about journalling and/or about preserving the canon of our lives. To create a keepsake and a cherished companion piece of writing for our next generations to read and ponder a bit about how we lived through the choices we made and the thoughts that entertained us.

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Book Synopsis:

Sometimes day-to-day life feels monotonous and hardly journal-worthy. But Randal Wright demonstrates how you can use experiences from your life to make better decisions, feel increased gratitude, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, more easily prepare talks and lessons, create a personal history for your posterity, and find more joy in daily life. Make the world around you—every minute of every day—your classroom.

Author Biography:

Randal A. WrightRandal Wright has been fascinated by the study of families for many years. Seeking ways to raise righteous children led to his receiving a B.S. and M.S. with emphasis in the family area and then a Ph.D. in Family Studies from Brigham Young University. He worked for many years as an Institute director for the Church Education System and taught at BYU in the religion department. He has written several books in the past on family topics including Families in Danger: Protecting Your Family in an X-rated World, Building Better Homes and Families and The Case for Chastity: Helping Youth Stay Morally Clean. He has spoken across the United States, Canada and England and has been a frequent speaker at BYU Campus Education Week and the Especially for Youth program for many years. Randal and his wife Wendy live in Austin, Texas and are the parents of five children and sixteen grandchildren.

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My Review of Make Everyday Meaningful:

Make Everyday Meaningful Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Although I do not disclose my personal spirituality on my blog, as I elected to create a book blog that wasn’t based on any one individual person’s beliefs, but rather focus on one bookish girl’s quest to seek out literature which enlightened her spirit and her mind; I should mention now that I am not a member of a Latter-Day Saint church. I knew this might come up eventually as I am reading literature published by an LDS Indie Publisher, and I knew at some point their spirituality and beliefs would be a strong part of what I was going to read, but I am only expressing this now as to clarify that even though I walk a different path I am appreciating the open-mindedness of the publisher. Cedar Fort publishes a wide variety of novels from different points of view, religious backgrounds, and life affirming non-fiction. They also have a growing range of cookery selections of which I am happily participating in three of those blog tours as well. All I want to mention today is that I always grow in compassion and empathy by reading a wide range of literature which celebrates the beautiful kaleidoscope and melting pot by which the world reflects in our centuries.

This affirmatively positive non-fiction selection is focused on finding a way to connect your inner conscience with your mindful observations as you live your life day to day. To sit back and recognise the beauty inside the hours your living with a keen awareness that certain moments might hold a greater impact on your life, if you allow yourself to examine the truth behind their presence as much as the hidden lessons we all walk into whether or not we’re fully aware of being inside them at the time they arrive. All of life is a lesson and the fruit of what we take from acknowledging that grants us the insight to move forward into our futures with a bit more knowledge than we had in the past.

Wright begins his approach to this conversation about seeking out the meaningful within our ordinary hours on a bit of a sour note for me, as my focus on his intentions were clouded by what I disclose in the ‘fly in the ointment’ section below. I agree everyone has their own right to their opinions and can only share their own life experiences to benefit a non-fiction account of how to be curate a meaningful life, but knowing that the vast majority were not privy to the same experience he had himself, I do hope he knew that there would be some of us who would disagree with him.

Notwithstanding my vocal stance on that particular subject, I was aware of the fact those of the LDS faith have a necessity to not only record their own lives but to go backwards and track their ancestral lines. This is one main difference between their beliefs and my own, as each religious background looks at records and ancestry a bit differently. Where I do agree with Wright is that it is by having a living connection to our spirituality and seeing the bounty of blessings within each of our living hours, we are drawing closer inside our walk of faith. I can meet him halfway on most of his key points, but there was a bit of a divide between where he was leading the readers of this book and where I personally hold my own beliefs. This might be due to differences of tradition and spiritual paths, but again, I felt he simply fell short a bit to captialise on how we can all benefit from personal records, journalling, and keeping our hearts centered on everyday joy and blissitudes as they alight.

I was a bit surprised by how this felt more like either a documentary on the Latter-Day Saint religious belief systems or a manual for how to best live whilst in an LDS church. I had requested the title in hopes that it would be a bit more broad and accepting of all individuals and their lifepaths, to where all of us could take out pieces of inspiration to re-direct back into our own lives. For me personally, it felt a bit heavy and laden on elements of one specific faith rather than talking in a more broad stroke by what we all have in common by being spiritually connected. I know that those of the LDS faith will gain a bit more out of this than I did for this observation alone. However, I was truly disappointed that the fuller scope of what he could have left behind was not explored. The book’s official synopsis and even the titling of the book itself led me to believe this could be accessible to everyone rather than to a select few. It is most definitely a primer for anyone interested in attending a Morman church as Wright goes to great lengths to knit inside each chapter a full background of LDS history.

I felt a better connection with my reading of The Prayer Box unfortunately, as I felt it contained a wider breadth of what Wright was attempting to impart in his book.

Not quite a ‘fly in the ointment’:

I cannot say what I am about to mention is a ‘fly in the ointment’ per se on behalf of the book, nor a reflection on the author but rather a personal observation about education itself. In the opening pages of Make Everyday Meaningful, Wright discloses that his tenure at BYU was greatly enhanced by carefully selecting each and every Professor on campus that not only took his or her position as a Professor a bit more seriously than the others, but granted him the capability to excel in ways that his classmates could not. Here is what is the sticky bit for me: why does the benefit of quality education have to be selective and hidden from all students who want to learn OR even those students who might not be tracking as interested students now could be hearty learners if given the chance to have a Professor (or teacher in lower grades) who encouraged rather than disillusioned the pursuit of learning and knowledge?

I benefited personally by having two pro-active parents who did not limit my education to traditional educational offerings, but I oft wonder about other children who do not have parents as focused on their children’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge? I also know first hand about how college and university can become a muddled and frustrative path out of high school due to the lack of passion in the classroom. I opted out of traditional learning to embrace being library educated, but what I wish I could see is a positive step forward where children and adults who want to learn are being given options that not only think outside the box but can engage in learning methods & classes that lit the fire for learning such as the Professors Mr. Wright mentions he was blessed to have himself.

There is an imbalance in education and it has not changed for more generations than I care to admit possible. My only hope is to continue to help right the scales when I have my own children, as much as my parents did before me. Parents are incredible teachers and motivational learning coaches; sometimes I think parents (and/or guardians, grandparents, etc) will create the changes in education and give a truer freedom to all learners everywhere.

*One case in point is the film Won’t Back Down; there are many more instances like this too although Waiting for Superman left the stronger impression on this than any other film could.

I was so struck by this one opening bit to Make Everyday Meaningful, that I simply felt compelled to share what was going through my mind and heart whilst I read about the author’s university experience. Maybe it is due to being a Prospective Adoptive Mum to waiting foster children seeking forever families or maybe it is because I grew up as a dyslexic student who saw the ready truth about the gaps in our educational system; either way you slice it, that one chapter held my attention nearly overtaking the rest of the book. The main point of contention for me is when Wright implied that this opportunity to have better teachers is only due to the student who is mindful in the present to realise that seeking out the ‘best’ teacher is on their shoulders and is more of a privilege than a right. I can not empathise how strongly I disagree with him on that one statement alone! (although, this was implied quite strongly, not outwardly said it left a bitter aftertaste)

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “Make Everyday Meaningful” Blog Tour can be found here:

Make Everyday Meaningful Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Previous books I have read & reviewed for Cedar Fort:

Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark

The Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard

How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

I welcome your comments & conversations!

Click-through to mark your calendars for:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

Return on Monday,

for my first *Austen in August* focused review of

Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale“by Rebecca H. Jamison

August Romance Releases by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

As I previously reviewed How Much Do You Love Me

And, will be reviewing Willow Springs on 24th of August!

I am happily blessed to be reading & reviewing

the first three “Pure Romance” novels by Cedar Fort!

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Reader Interactive Question:

Are you someone who regularly journals their life? Do you enjoy taking the time to chronicle your own family’s living history? Does your family talk about the stories of your relations through recollective memories or through scrapbooks of where their lives took them in photographs? Do they send letters and correspondences with each other? OR is your family more technologic and digital?

{SOURCES: Tour badge for “Make Everyday Meaningful” was provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. The Cedar Fort badge was provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Article: Review on Behalf of “Make Everyday Meaningful”

You Can Be A Treasure Too – (stillswinging.blogspot.com)

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 17 August, 2014 by jorielov in Adoption, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Education & Learning, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Journal, Memoir, Mormonism, Non-Fiction

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2 responses to “+Blog Book Tour+ Make Everyday Meaningful {Realise, Record, & Remember: Life’s Grand Lessons} by Randal A. Wright #nonfiction

    • Hallo Ms. Donna,

      Thank you for comment, as I was hoping what would be transparent in my review is what you’ve taken out of what I shared. I appreciate your thoughts as this is a book I appreciated in theory moreso than in practice as I struggled to connect with it as it was written.

      The takeaway is exactly what I wanted to impart:

      Mindfulness and awareness of our living hours is the true key to leaving behind a legacy for our descendants who want to know a bit about how we lived and where our path in life took us.

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