Parties, papers, and podcasts – oh my!

Thank you for the support you all have given me with the launch of Simple Mercies. I absolutely love being able to share it with the world and everyone has been so generous to help spread the word. Two dear friends opened up their homes so I could speak about the book and I so enjoyed meeting new people whose compassionate hearts make our community a better place. If you are interested in me speaking at your home, church, or organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out at lara@mercymatters.net

I have also been busy recording different podcasts. Here is one I hope you will enjoy https://ultimatechristianpodcastnetwork.com/meet-lara-patangan-author-of-simple-mercies/?fbclid=IwAR3eBHR2sLfOibvvmB3COFtL3Xz8ST9IR1pWPdNgG-hAYLUiGOfdqS2XosE

Lastly, I wanted to share this article that recently ran in The Florida Times-Union about the year I spent doing works of mercy. The author, Beth Reese Cravey, really did an amazing job capturing both the spirit of the book and that year. (I apologize for the gaps in the article. I had to make it into four PDF’s to share it here. And, by me, I mean my husband who actually reminded me that I was his only employee and that maybe I should be nicer to him. His comment made me really happy because by saying this he did the work of mercy to “admonish a sinner” while simultaneously bringing me grapes — “feed the hungry.”  So, if you think about it, I’m a soul-saving kind of boss).

To purchase Simple Mercies: https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Mercies-Works-Mercy-Fulfillment/dp/1681924536/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 or locally at http://bit.ly/larabooks

 

Mercy and Miracle-Gro

Hi all,

As I write this it is the end of a long holiday weekend where I didn’t boat or beach or do anything that would require an Instagram post (unless laying around with a needy cat on your chest qualifies). I did rest a lot, and I badly needed rest and quiet and time to reflect.

I also repotted some indoor plants which made me think about how uncomfortable life can be when we are still in circumstances we’ve outgrown. It also made me think about the last time I suggested buying potting soil to my husband he said we didn’t need any and how in the middle of trying to rescue a plant for the trappings of a life it has outgrown I ran out of potting soil. My husband doesn’t always understand the urgency of such things but he reassured me that it would be okay because he was going to “make me dirt.” So, now my rescued plant is in a roomy pot with a mixture of dry leeched soil found from stacks of old planters found in the garage and some sandy mess he dug straight out of our dehydrated backyard.

I added Miracle-Gro, and I figured it’s kind of like life. We make the best of what we have and know that when we add Jesus to it, it will somehow grow.

Also, I have been recording podcasts and interviews and wanted to share this interview about Simple Mercies with you. I am also attaching the link to this article which is a review of Simple Mercies but also shares some of the tips I have from the back of each chapter on how to do each of these works of mercy.

I hope you enjoyed this Memorial Day weekend and special love and prayers to everyone who has served our country. When I think of the beautiful freedom they ensure, I don’t think of simple mercies I think only of sacrifice. God Bless. ~ Love, Lara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercy: Football and Flowers

Over the past few weeks, I have been highlighting what I call simple mercies — small things we can do for each other that help us get through a difficult time. The one I want to share today is from my neighbor whose husband recently passed away unexpectedly.  They were a beautiful couple and had been through so much together.

One of the things they enjoyed doing was attending Jacksonville Jaguar football games together. So, I’m sure it was difficult for Bonnie to get a call from the Jaguars asking if she would be buying tickets for the upcoming season. She explained that she wouldn’t be renewing their tickets because her husband passed away. I imagine when someone close to you dies you have to have a lot of conversations explaining how life will be different now.

But, I didn’t imagine it going any further than that. Neither did Bonnie.  Still, a few days later, flowers showed up at her door expressing condolences. They were from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

When I began this series, I really wanted to show the people to people connection. It wasn’t about business or even non-profits but just people serving. And yet, this act of kindness reminds me that businesses are not just entities but groups of individuals who can make a difference through the positions they hold. I don’t know who the individual or group of individuals were who decided to send my sweet neighbor flowers but I would want them to know that they could not have sent them to a nicer person. And, even if it only gave her a moment of sweet relief, she is worth that effort.

What I love most about mercy, about stories like these, is that we know they don’t end with the act of kindness. Instead, they are like waves of cheering fans: rising, spreading, and lingering long after all has gone quiet. Football or not, that’s got to be the best kind of win.

Hi, friends ~ This past Sunday marked a year since I experienced a spontaneous carotid artery dissection in my neck. I often say I was the stereotype of the “healthy person who drops dead.” Only by God’s mercy and the prayers of so many dear people like you, I didn’t die.

These kinds of anniversaries are strange – filled with gratitude, anxiety, and emotion. Sometimes I wish that our hearts healed as completely as our bodies do from injury but it seems like these kinds of traumas sometimes take a little longer.  But they also remind us how much acts of mercy can mean to others.  So for all of you who have gotten me through the last year, who sent up so much as a single prayer, know that I am grateful.  And, I’m more determined than ever to share the mercy you showed me with others. Likewise, I hope you are inspired to keep sharing your compassion with others, I promise it makes all the difference. ~ Love, Lara

If you are interested in reading about how acts of kindness can bring peace, my book, Simple Mercies is available for pre-order now at bit.ly/larabooks or https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Mercies-Works-Mercy-Fulfillment/dp/1681924536/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3F4TVB0MQ94V6&dchild=1&keywords=simple+mercies&qid=1619481953&sprefix=simple+merci%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-2

When Life and Lent Go Wrong (and my new book!)

You know when you work really hard at something and you plan out the details and then despite all your efforts and all your intention, pretty much everything falls apart.

That was my day last week.

I was working on a deadline to make an announcement on social media that my new book, Simple Mercies, is available for preorder. I made my first ever video. I showered, put on my special cheetah shirt with polka dot sleeves, hot rolled my board straight hair, and tried to remember all of the steps that the girl at the mall’s makeup counter told me would lighten or brighten or contour or otherwise paint me a little prettier than I am.

After I recorded my happy news on video, I went to get my blog post ready to send to you dear people and that’s when I realized that my website was down — like completely and utterly shot down from cyberspace. Because I am not an astronaut or someone who understands how computers work, this was problematic. Then, my computer, which has been glitchy for months quit working. My mouse darted in spastic and erratic movements that ricocheted around the computer screen like an untethered helium balloon in perpetual flight.

Still, I was determined to get the video out. Only, when I listened to it one more time, I realized the incessant scratching noise in the background was my cat in her litter box. I wanted to cry. I was trying to be peppy and professional and there was a cat peeing in the background of my debut video. I thought this cannot be my life. Read more