June’s Blog

Opportunities

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Another year has begun and here in San Antonio, it is wet and cold with the high today and tomorrow in the low 40’s. Yes, 40’s…this is Texas and 40 is cold here. So stop laughing if you’re inundated with 6 foot snow banks. In any case, I am curled up with warm socks and a cup of English Breakfast tea. Warm feet and hot, delicious tea helps my muse.

I received a fantastic journal this Christmas (thank you, Hal), and on the cover it says, “You Are A Woman of Wonders.” It’s a blue hard cover journal with a few gold stars next to the words, but the inside of the cover is filled with tiny stars. When I opened the book it took my breath away. Immediately a word came to mind, Opportunities! That is my word for the year. Actually, I’m claiming it for every single day of the year.

Think about this word. Opportunities! What does it speak to you? For me, I see myself accomplishing things, creating, serving, being, and growing. Keeping this awesome word before me each day, I will be looking for the opportunities God brings across my path. I plan to keep a record of all the opportunities I discover and write about them in my new journal. I may use different art forms as I go along…photos, sketches, bits and pieces of nature, or simply words.

God provides many opportunities for each of us to move along the path He has provided. That path may not always be easy. We may go into a valley, encounter storms, get stuck in a season we dislike, or feel lost in a fog. Sometimes we will ascend to the mountaintop. The important thing for me is to grab hold of each opportunity and see where it takes me. Tomorrow it might be a chance encounter (I call them divine appointments), with someone who needs encouragement, or someone who can provide me with encouragement. Next month the opportunity to travel may appear…a rare thing for me which could result in book signings. An opportunity to learn something new might get my attention…new recipe, new writing techniques, new make-up product that works, or a new perspective after reading a Scripture passage I’ve read a hundred times. A new book published is certainly on the horizon and opportunities to promote it are sure to come.

I don’t like to miss out on things. If something’s going on, I want to be there. That won’t happen unless I’m willing to step out and walk into the opportunities presented to me. I feel you’re about to ask a question…”How will I know if the opportunity is from God?” Nothing…I repeat, nothing, comes into our lives without first getting God’s approval. I stay close to God, ask Him for discernment, and fully trust Him with my life. When I see an opportunity which doesn’t conflict with God’s Word, I will seek Him in prayer and follow His guidance. God knows the desire of my heart is to please, honor and praise Him.

I’m excited about this new year and all the opportunities ahead. I will share some of them here, so please come back and discover what God has in store for me in 2019.

How about you? Do you have a word for the year? Let me hear from you.
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Time at the Tea Lounge – December 22, 2018

Today I spent a good deal of time at The Garden Tea Lounge in an antique mall, in the hope of getting my book, The Estate Sale, into the hands of many new readers. I set my table up attractively, ordered my cuppa, and took my place at the table. But where were the people? I brought plenty of books but few people were making their way to the back of the mall.

A gentleman and his wife arrived to set up for him to play his guitar. They took their place and he began playing in a classical guitar/flamingo style and it made the sparse line of customers more bearable. His wife was sweet and attentive to her husband…they were both elderly. I put some money in the “tip jar,” she had set on a nearby table.

I began making eye contact with women passing by, then engaged them in conversation (do you enjoy reading, are you an estate sale junkie, etc.). That resulted in some sales, but far fewer than I hoped for.

Finally I packed up, as did the musician, bid farewell to them and tea Lounge staff. On the way home I began praying for each person for whom I signed a book. I remembered each name. I included the musician and his wife, along with the staff, in my prayer. My spirit was lifted and I realized God put me where I would reach the ones He wanted to read my book. I’m thankful for the opportunities He provides.7D5B7A20-6766-487B-AD13-127E6D7585F6

December

December 10, 2018. Mary’s Journal

This time of year we hear multiple Christmas messages coming out of the Book of Luke. I have read the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Savior many times. Awe and wonder, fear and excitement, all hang from my heart like ornaments on a tree. Imagine the thrill of seeing The King as a babe in the manager. I love slipping silently back in time to observe and feel the emotions of those celebrating the birth of Christ.

A verse I love is Luke 2:19, “Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Now, Mary had a lot going on, having given birth to The King and sitting in a stable. She had much to ponder. The thing I love about this verse is she treasured it all. Mary held it close to her heart as she pondered. She didn’t pull her hair out, rant and ask God to find them better facilities.

My version would have her writing everything in her journal while sipping a steaming cup of tea. She would throw a lambs wool covering on her legs and snuggle baby Jesus close, singing softly. Mary’s mind might replay all that led up to this moment, and every detail would be captured.

Much later, after her precious Son is crucified, Mary would take out her journal and re-read her own Christmas story, while allowing her cup of tea to warm her heart and remind her of God’s promises. She treasured and pondered. All these things in her heart.

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November 22, 2018. Thanksgiving

Word of Mouth

Last night my 4-year-old Great-Granddaughter, Teagan, did a seven-second video, telling viewers who like to read, they need to buy her GG’s (Great-Grandma), book (which she was holding front and center). My FB friends and followers have viewed and shared the video with their friends and followers. She is adorable and very convincing.

Obviously, she hasn’t and can’t read the book, but she knows/loves the Author and believes what her GG wrote is great. Teagan loves books (which her GG buys for her), so telling others to buy and read them comes natural for her.

Christians have at least one Bible in their homes, and often multiple Bibles in different versions. Some have read it from Genesis to Revelation, but may have limited understanding. They know/love the Author, and believe what the Author wrote is great, so telling others to read it should come natural to them. Providing a Bible for others to read is a wonderful thing to do. Word of mouth is how we spread the message of Salvation. One person shares, and it gets passed around. Teagan’s short video may or may not garner many purchasers of my book, but she’s not responsible for that. She merely told viewers about it. They then, must make a choice; buy and read it or not. When we tell people about God’s Son, Jesus, and His plan of Salvation, we aren’t responsible for what happens. They must make a choice; to accept and follow Him, or not.

One day, Teagan will be able to read and understand the book I wrote. It will be a legacy of love from me when I’m no longer here. When she has children she will share her love for the book and Author. Word of mouth is still the greatest way to advertise, and when someone as precious as Teagan does it, you can’t help but take notice. We are all precious in His sight…so let’s share about the Greatest Book in the world…the Holy Bible…and the Greatest Author…God!

Vision – November 4, 2018

Recently my husband woke up unable to see out of his left eye. A rush to the eye doctor resulted in a Retina Detachment diagnosis. Surgery to repair is behind us and we continue the lengthy healing process.

Nick is a Master Craftsman. He can look at wood and see a finished piece. Yes, he needs his eyes to work, operate machines, drive, and do everything else a woodworker must do to complete jobs. But, he can see what many others cannot. He goes to a place the eye cannot see. He sees inwardly; the beauty in the grain, the bend in the lumber, and final piece before it’s built.

God gives each of us an inner vision to accomplish things He gifted us to do. I thought about my own inner vision; my ability to see a piece of fiction, the characters, plot and scenes, before they’re written. I thank God for allowing me to see through the written word, a place to guide people to Him.

June Chapko introduces The Estate Sale

Thank you, Linda Yezak, for having me as your guest. I am very excited to get the word out. The Estate Sale will be available for preordering soon!

Linda W. Yezak

Special guest and author June Chapko is announcing her debut novel, The Estate Sale, which will soon be up for preorder. Y’all be sure to watch for it! Meanwhile, here’s her story behind the story . . .

Writing The Estate Sale was an experience I’ll never forget. Not only was it my first work of fiction, but the further into it I went, the more I connected with my characters. Writing it changed me in several ways…for the better.

The first surprising thing I noticed, I was becoming more interested in the story of the characters lives more than the sale of things. I started visualizing each one with a sign on their forehead saying, “help me know myself.” I believe everyone has a story, but often we aren’t sure what our story (or purpose) is. It caused me to look at people around me with that same sign…

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Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things. -Chaim Potok

Welcome and thanks for stopping by. My name is June Chapko, and  I am an Author and Certified Teacup Indulgent, located in San Antonio, Texas. My love for teacups started when I traveled to England in the nineties to attend the birth of one of my granddaughters. I fell in love with the tiny bundle of joy, and yes, with my granddaughter too. Delicate China teacups wrapped themselves around my heart, just as Baby Jessica did.

I love to attend estate sales and search for unsuspecting teacup treasures. When I find one needing a forever home, I begin listening for the story it wants to tell. Teacups will talk if they find a good listener.

I hope you’re a teacup lover (but if not it’s okay), and will return often. My teacups have many stories to share.

Tea is the magic key to the vault where my brain is kept.
-Frances Hardinge