Monday, August 29, 2005

Vanessa's Biltmore Estate Birthday Visit

Finally! Vanessa will be sharing with you here about her visit to Biltmore Estate.

I left on Sunday Morning, early enough to get to Asheville, North Carolina by 12 noon or at least 1 p.m. That didn't happen. Instead, I arrived around 3:30 p.m. It should have been a six-hour drive and I was really making good time. It was raining, which I was hoping it wouldn't since I wanted to walk around the grounds while there. I have all the photos on my Web site: so if you want to see them without much commentary as is the case here, then just click over and take a look.

Going through parts of Tennesee like Knoxville, you see huge mountains. There's Look Out Mountain and Tennessee's mountains are indeed impressive. I live in Alabama and we have mountains. But I have NEVER seen mountains like what I experienced in Asheville, North Carolina. And I must confess, I was in awe. They were so beautiful, I never thought I would go ga-ga over mountains. I've actually been stuck on a mountain in Alabama back when I worked for BellSouth and I had to go to work in the snow. I ended up on a sheet of ice that had me frozen for about 15 minutes afraid to take my foot off the brakes, for fear I would slide right off that mountain never to be heard from again. So yes, I have seen mountains, but nothing as special as what I saw as I drove and arrived in Asheville, North Carolina.

The reason I was so late getting to Biltmore was because of a terrible accident about 11 miles out from the Biltmore exit. We sat on the freeway for over an hour. Has anyone noticed there's a gas price hike going on. We sat there with our cars running hoping things would start moving soon. They didn't. People got smart (me included) and began turning off their cars. Unlike me, they started getting out of their vehichles to walk and talk to one another. Oh, it was beautiful sitting in my car watching people weaving in and out of vehicles to talk with other folks waaaay back. So even if things had started up soon (which they didn't) these same people would have delayed us because they were making dates and doing a meet and greet.

There's a bug happening here and it says my photos have been uploaded but they aren't here. So if you want to see any of my pictures online, visit and click on the Biltmore Castle Visit link.

Vanessa Davis Griggs
Author of: Wings of Grace

What Does 2005 Have to Do With Grace

I know it's been a while since I said I would post about my Biltmore Castle visit, but if you only knew how busy things are for me (not complaining) then you'll give me a little grace. In fact, did you know that this is 2005 and the number 5 is associated with grace? Well, it's true. So although I didn't plan it this way, my latest novel, Wings of Grace was released in 05 and grace is in the title.

In actuality, I wrote the book in 2003 and I never intended to name it Wings of Grace (I know you want to hear about my trip to Biltmore Castle; I'm getting there). I originally had the words WINGS OF GRACE in my novel called Promises Beyond Jordan. If you haven't read that one (oh, you plan to read it...oh, all right ;-) I have a church in there called Wings of Grace Faith Ministry Church where the good-looking, dreadlocks-wearing, Word-teaching, Holy-Ghost preaching George Landris is the pastor. So when I was asking God what the name of the new book was to be, I heard WINGS OF GRACE. Well, I thought God was telling me to join this dance team (because I can dance) called WINGS OF GRACE. I signed up, went to orientation, and then I broke my toe (the little piggy that had roast beef, not the little piggy who had none). So there I was on my way to Ann Arbor, Michigan working on a magazine (that's another story) trying to pretend that I had only stumped my toe.

The baby was broke, y'all! Broke-N. And do you know what they do with a broken toe that's in the middle of all your other toes. Nothing. You wrap that baby up and pray it heals straight (I'm telling too much of my business here!). Anyway, back to the dance team. God let me know (through a series of mishaps: the dance team not being so together that they weren't telling me dates of when they were meeting, then they were cancelling others and forgotting to tell me about that--hey, maybe they were trying to tell me something. Hmmm) that when God said WINGS OF GRACE, He was meaning the name of my book. So here I am in 2005 with a book about wings (Vanessa means butterfly) and grace (favor) in the year of grace.

My trip. Believe it or not, I began this post planning to tell you about my trip, but I digressed so much on something else, this would be too long to read. So I'm going to end this post right here, and begin another in a few minutes to talk soley about my Biltmore Birthday Trip.

See you in a minute (unless you're reading this after both have been posted, in which case, you've probably already read Biltmore and you wonder what I'm babbling about down here). Grace, you guys. Remember, all of us need a little grace!

Vanessa Davis Griggs
Author of: Promises Beyond Jordan & Wings of Grace

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Banish Your World of the Green-Eyed Monster

So you've spotted "The green-eyed monster" (aka jealousy) lurking around and you want to know what to do about it? Trust me, this was not the next topic I planned to talk about here. I'm supposed to be sharing about my trip to Biltmore Castle which was nice and surreal in a way. It rained on my way there and during my stay. I drove and I am so glad I did. The mountains were awesome and I found myself in the middle of my own spiritualness as I realized those times I was right there with the mountains, actually going through many of the mountains at times. How do you go through a mountain?

Man in his wisdom has carved out highways down deep and placed a few tunnels when and where necessary. Little old me in my own powers (driving) was going through mountains much bigger than I just because someone believed in something others might have felt couldn't be done. "If I can't get around the mountain, over the mountain, then I'll just go through it." Which brings me back to jealousy.

The jealousy I'm talking about is not about somebody taking (or trying to take) your man or your woman. It's the feeling you have when someone else gets something you feel you should have gotten. Or when someone else is somewhere great in their life even though you started out before them or you've worked just as hard or harder yet they happened to be in the "right place at the right time" and got what you feel you should have. It's when you just know you're better but someone else gets the reward. How do you end up "all right" (other than faking it, can I get an Amen?) when your heart is heavy and you don't really want to be in that place of being down?

You must make yourself realize that whatever is for you, is for you. Say this with me: "What is for me, is for me and can't nobody stop it." Quit looking at other folks and comparing yourself, your accomplishments, your measure of success against someone else. This is about you and it's not about comparisons to others. You are you. You are great. And you know this. So what if other folks don't know it or acknowledge it. Others should not be the ones to define you or be the end all of what you've done or how great you are.

What if you got what the other person got but what was for you was so great that it was just taking a bit longer? Do you really want to settle for mediocre when there is something better for you only because it would make you feel better to have it now? I know it's hard to see others seemingly win when you feel like you were deserving if not instead of, at least also. But here's your test question: Can you be happy for someone else's good fortune? Promotion? New house? Great job? Wonderful children while yours are giving you a fit and you know you don't deserve it because you were the one who tried to do the right thing...(insert what's applicable to you here.)

Beeeeeeep! This is a test. It's only a test. If you can't be happy for someone else, why should anyone be happy for you? This is a test. Can you still smile and tell yourself, "It won't be long now! Wow, I'm excited for this person because they got theirs and mine is on the way! Oh, it's going to be so great when mine comes to me." No, my name is not Pollyanna. I am Vanessa Davis Griggs. An author and a speaker who believes that there really is enough for everybody. One who believes in giving my best and yes, I want great things to happen in my life, but in the meantime, I shall rejoice in your success. Now all I ask of you who already have your is this: Don't hate when I get mine. And don't feel like mine is better than what you got and say, "It's not fair!" Jealousy can be such an ugly thing and you're so much better than that.

Remember: You're not defeated, yours is just taking a little longer because greatness requires a little extra. If you can't go around the mountain or over the mountain, then I say to you, "Carve out a tunnel and go through it!"

Until next time...
Vanessa Davis Griggs
Author of: Promises Beyond Jordan & Wings of Grace