May 16, 2022

My Heart Sings When. . . by Carol Harrison

My Heart Sings When. . .

I write a variety of pieces from novels to memoir, short true stories to poetry, devotionals to family stories. What thread ties these together and makes my heart sing as I work on them? As I considered this, several things came to mind. I reread my mission statement which says, “I am passionate about mentoring and encouraging people of all ages and abilities to find their voice and reach their fullest potential.”

Living out that statement starts with my family and involves my writing projects as well. I tried writing fiction because one of my grandsons, then aged sixteen, challenged me to try. He wouldn’t let me give up and gave me suggestions. My adult niece agreed with him and went one step further by asking for a story about a girl named Karla (her name), another girl named Amee, and a dog named Abby (her dog’s name). How could I say no?

Writing that first short Abby story and giving it to her made my heart sing. I had fulfilled a request of a much-loved family member and took up my grandson’s challenge. To see their excitement gave me joy and more writing to work on wh
en she requested a second story the next Christmas. She’s received five so far.

The fiction writing grew when I allowed myself permission to work on the challenge further. But a book needed a cover. One of my granddaughters, Arianna, pursued her fine art education and painted the cover of A Home for Susannah based on a

synopsis of the book. She has now done the covers of the second and third books in the series. Then her sister, Kelsi, digitizes them using her graphic design course. Kelsi creates the covers for the devotional books, often using her own photography. She has an
eye to capture a moment, a scene from a different perspective, and a passion for capturing an image. What a blessing to work with these two granddaughters and encourage them to use their God-given talents and gifts. To encourage them and watch them grow in their field makes my heart sing for more reasons than simply the writing project but also helps me engage with enthusiasm as I write.

Technologically illiterate or mostly so, I have another granddaughter, Kathryn, who formats the books for putting on KDP. She finds it so simple and thinks I could learn it. Yet it boggles my mind and makes me nervous. Formatting does not make me feel good at all but I enjoy working with her to take the beautiful cover design and edited words to a place where readers can find them.

Sometimes I write family stories to get printed and bound at Staples to give my children and grandchildren as gifts. It helps me remember experiences I’ve had, lessons learned, and family times from the good to the not as great. Every piece helped shape me and the tough stuff made me turn to God more than the good times. To be able to pass on these stories to the next generation also makes my heart sing.

Finding little gems in everyday moments and life events and then sharing those with others through writing devotionals or as illustrations when I speak encourages me. When others have ‘ah ha’ moments reading them, or something touches them deeply and they begin to get a glimmer of hope of a glimpse of joy, then I thank God for giving me the words to use. I just need to obey and share those words with others.

My heart sings when something I write encourages a reader. But I don’t always know the effect of my words on others so I must trust God to take the words He has given me and touch the lives of those who read them.

My heart sings when I work with the grandchildren to bring the books to completion. There have been lots of opportunities to interact with them, encourage them, be challenged by them, and work together to use our gifts and abilities to the glory of God. 


Carol Harrison loves to hang out with family and friends. She feels blessed to have so many people encourage her in her writing and speaking. Her books truly become a family affair.



  1. Thank you, dear Carol, for wonderfully inspiring us to enlist help where we need it and to keep our eyes on the prize of encouraging others.
    Amen to: "My heart sings when something I write encourages a reader."
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  2. I love your mission statement, Carol! The thing that really stood out to me as I read this is how absolutely LOVELY it is that you work with your grandchildren during production! What a wonderful way for you to connect on a deep level. I am sure they also love helping you. What a cool legacy!

  3. Thank you, Carol! How lovely to work with your grandchildren to tell the stories you want to share with them and others.

  4. A wonderful post, Carol. What a blessing to share so much with your grandkids and to have them close by. Great mission statement and an inspiration to see how you are living it out. The ‘tough stuff’ really does make us turn to God more than the good stuff, which is weird now that I think about it. If every good and perfect gift comes from Him and we turn His way more in our sufferings, I guess the product that suffering produces is also a gift? Just thinking out loud. Many thanks for your post. It’s got my brain bubbles percolating.

  5. How nice to have family encouragement. It's easy to create when people cheer you on. Count that as one of many blessings.

  6. What a lovely mission statement, Carol! And to think how intertwined that mission statement is to work with your grandchildren! I totally agree with you that "My heart sings when something I write encourages a reader."--even though we don't always (or often) hear how a reader is encouraged.

  7. Others mentioned it already, but I have to add I'm so happy to hear that your family is so involved in your writing journey. What a thrill that must be for you as you share your life stories with them and now they pour back into your own life. Beautiful. Thank you, Carol!

  8. Hi Carol. I appreciate your mission statement. It made me think of what mine might me. I've always wanted to be a passionate person about something or someone. Since I retired two years ago, I've had a bit more time to reflect and meditate on that very subject. This may not be profound for a lot of people reading this post, but as I seek God (The Lord of Hosts) more in my day He is the one who is making me passionate for life (horseback riding, playing piano, relationships). I think I was too self-centered (work especially) to get passionate about life. I didn't take time to smell the roses.
    Bless you as you step out in your adventures today and in the future.

  9. I really enjoyed reading about the personal side of your writing; involving many different family members and I loved the part where you write up short memoir stories and share them with your family. A very special thing to do and something I'm going to think about also. I am currently working with my artist niece on a book about Saskatchewan so hearing about how rewarding your experiences have been, is inspiring.


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