Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fudge for Christmas

All these years I thought I loved Christmas more than any other holiday. I still do. But, it dawned on me that what I really love is everything that leads up to Christmas day.

Don't get me wrong. I still love everything about that day. Family, the fact that Christ was born on that day, opening gifts, and eating. Lots and lots of eating. I'm specifically thinking about fudge and mashed potatoes. No holiday would be complete without those two dishes.

For me, the season starts with one thing. The Charlie Brown Halloween special. That's right. Halloween. My mother tells me every year that Halloween should not be celebrated because of the implications. It celebrates evil. While I must agree with that, Halloween--to me--is all about candy. As Jerry Seinfeld put it, "get candy, get candy, get candy." What other day in the year can you run around, dressed like something you clearly are not, and beg for candy? Yummy.

Charlie Brown signals the beginning of the holiday season. After all, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And we all know that Christmas right behind Thanksgiving. I love the hype, the build up, the shopping, the planning, the cooking, and all the anticipation of the day.

Every once in a while I have to be reminded of why we celebrate. Sad really that I have to remind myself. Christ doesn't have to remind himself to think of me. He has me on his mind all the time. That's right, all the time. He doesn't get distracted by lights, or whether or not he has all the fudge ingredients. He not only thinks of me throughout the season, but all year, day and night.

What an incredible thought. He loves each of us so much that he came to this earth, to this place of sin, to save us. If that's doesn't spell the meaning of love, I don't know anything else that does.

So, this season, I am planning on remembering what Christmas is really all about. Christ.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finally Cold Weather

Well, the cold lasted for about one day. Actually, one morning if you want to be specific. I love the cold. These are the months I miss Colorado and the snow. I am going to make the most of it and wear sweaters, even if I get hot. I will read Christmas books, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on top. I will make my own kind of cold, even if I have to turn the air condition down in our sunny Florida home!

So, in the event you are ready to pick up a few books for Christmas, here are a couple suggestions:Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peace for His Children

Someone pushed my six-year-old yesterday. How can that happen? He's so sweet and loving. Gotta admit, my gut reaction is to follow my son to school, walk him in, and protect him all the way (and push the little kid off the swings on my way back out to the car). It's hard not to stress over it happening again.

I told my son to ignore the little boy and he would go away. My husband said, "It's not that easy. Bullies don't just go away. They keep it up, until you stand up for yourself. I'm speaking from experience." This, of course, didn't slow down my mothering instincts at all.

It's tough to stand back and let things happen to our children. They have to experience life just as we did. I dropped him off this morning, and drove out of the parking lot-after resisting the urge to walk behind him looking for the mean little boy. I know that's not the solution. So, I showered him with prayers. I've been doing it all day.

My little boy just wants to go to school and learn and have fun. As I prayed for him, it hit me that Jesus despises this type of behavior. Sure, it's pretty innocent pushing a little kid. But, his heart breaks when someone hurts us or gives us cause to worry. God not only understands my concern over my son, but he loves John so much more than I do (hard to imagine someone can love my child more than me) and wants to see him flourish and be a happy child.

God reminded me that He is always there waiting to hear our prayers. He cares about whether or not my son gets pushed. Bullies may not go away, but what a blessing that we can pray them away. Our God is bigger than any bully you might come across. He knows just how to deal with the difficulties in our lives. We can lay our worries at his feet, and He promises to wrap His arms of love around us and give us peace.

I know John might get pushed again. But I know with prayer John will learn how to deal with the other little boy. (My optimistic heart is hoping it could turn into a friendship). It doesn't always happen the way we want it to, but regardless, God is in the mix. He will see us through.

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.  Psalm 29:11

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School--And I Am Sad

Well, school is starting tomorrow, and my two young boys will be gone all day. My emotions are all over the place. I've been excited that I will have more quiet time during the day. But, as I shopped for last minute school supplies, I passed by the baby section in the grocery store. I had to work hard to keep from crying. My two little men are growing up.

Mind you, the younger one is still in Pre-K, but he will be in school longer throughout the day. All I could think about was how little they used to be, jumping in their jumperoos, crawling on the floor, and sitting in their highchair eating and smiling as babies. I wish they could be that small again.

I know this opens a new chapter in their life, and I am excited for them. They met their teachers today, and they are ready for a new year. Ethan wanted to stay in class and play with the toys longer. He didn't quite understand why we couldn't stay and eat lunch, even though the lunchroom wasn't open for business.

I'll get over this emotional time. But, it's moments like these that make me long for the days of little baby boys sitting in my lap, and bouncing on my knee.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

School Starts Soon - I Already Miss Summer

School starts again in just a few short weeks. I've enjoyed having the boys at home for the summer. We've giggled, swam, read books, colored, and even played lots of video games (well they have). But, it's all about to come to a screeching halt.

I've loved every minute with my little guys. I'll miss them during the day, although it will be nice to have a little more quiet time.

Going back to school also means the onslaught of new television shows. Castle being my favorite. What is better than being a writer, watching a writer? The writers who write the show, know writers and their idiosyncrasies, and I love it. Say that five times fast.

The Office-yet another great show. Not too many shows get my attention these days, unless I am trying to scrape my jaw off the floor in disbelief at what I am watching. Thankfully, I have no problem walking away from those. But, the Office keeps me guessing. It's a fun show.

And of course, Dancing With the Stars. I'll never be able to dance like those people, but it's fun to try and live vicariously through them.

The summer went by too fast, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it. Here's to a wonderful new school year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

American Christian Fiction Writers 2010 Conference

It's hard to know where to start when talking about the 2009 ACFW Conference. Besides the fact that I would be traveling back to my hometown, visiting family, and meeting up with friends, I had many more reasons to be excited about going to my first conference.

As a newbie last year, I decided to head to Denver without expectations. That's right, none whatsoever.

I had appointments set up with an editor and an agent. While trying to still my nerves and keep my knees from knocking together all the way into the room, I was immediately put at ease by both women I met. They listened, gave me ideas, and took the time to answer my questions. I couldn't have asked for more. 

Along with meetings, I attended different classes offered throughout the weekend. I was so excited to learn more about the craft of writing. Some of the best writers, editors, and agents taught classes that were not only fun, but informative.

I saw friends from home and had a lot of laughs. I also met a multitude of new friends, which I immediately felt like I'd known for years. I was encouraged by Debbie Macomber's stories about her rise from unpublished writer, punching the keys on a rented typewriter, to becoming a New York Times bestseller. 

But, beyond the writing, the meetings, the classes, and the friends, I was astounded by the love of Christ filling the hotel. People prayed in the hallways with each other. Editors and agents prayed for the people they met. Competition was non-existent, and a genuine concern for each other's goals and dreams was evident. The music brought us all together to praise God at such a time. 

At the end of the conference I left feeling more empowered to share the love of Jesus with others. I came home on fire for Christ! I didn't expect it, but I got it. And I'm very thankful for it.

Here's a link to the conference:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This pictures doesn't really match. But it was pretty.
Read 1 Samuel 3:1-11.

I love the story of Samuel, a young boy, living in the temple with the prophet Eli. One hot, steamy, summer evening (it's always hot over there, right?), Samuel heard his name. He ran to Eli (just the opposite of my boys, who would run the other direction) to see what the old man needed.

"I didn't call you," Eli said. He probably kissed the boy on the forehead and sent him back to bed.

Minutes later, Samuel heard his name again. "Samuel . . ." someone whispered on the wind. He ran back to Eli, only to get the same answer.

"I didn't call you. Now, get back to bed." In his patience, he might have walked Samuel back to his room, tucked him in. Finally, some rest.

Moments later, Eli turned over in his bed, only to find Samuel standing there. "You called?" 

After thunking himself on the forehead with the palm of his hand, Eli realized the Lord was calling Samuel. 

Wow, to hear those words for the first time. Samuel didn't even know it was God. He'd never spoken to the child. Yet.

That's about right. We hear our names called over and over, yet we don't know who is calling us. We go back to bed, or work, or our lives, and never hear God speak. He keeps calling our names, but we don't hear, or listening doesn't always come easy.

Could God be calling you to service, just as he was calling Samuel? Are you hearing a voice, but don't know yet where it's coming from? 

Jesus said in John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." It's not always easy to hear, but He's there calling us, and still waiting patiently for us to listen.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Addiction to Blogger Backgrounds

I recently figured out that I am addicted to blogger backgrounds. Didn't know that could happen. I don't think they've come up with a Blogger Backgrounds Anonymous yet, so I will keep on checking daily for the best one around.

I'm amazed at the amount of talented people, capable of creating things for the web. It's all confusing to me.  I'm lucky just to get on there and surf, let alone create something worthwhile.

Until then, I will shop around the blogger background sites. The best part . . . most are free!

Here's a few:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mess Maker, Mess Maker . . .

Summer is upon us. I know this, because my kindergartner comes home from school every afternoon and tells me the exact number of days until he is done for the year.

I usually spend my summers walking behind my six and four-year-old boys with a vacuum, cleaning up the dirt they've tracked in from our grassless backyard. The whir of the Hoover is a familiar, and comforting noise.

I often wonder if God walks behind us with a holy vacuum, cleaning up our messes. I am guilty of making bad choices now and again. I'm betting He changes the bag a couple times before His floor is shiny again, after dealing with me.

Aggravation eats at me, after I've told the boys to wipe their feet, for the four or five-hundredth time. Then I think about how many times God has told me to behave, be a good listener, and make smart choices, and I don't. I blow it. Again. 

He tells us in Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more" Wow. He blots out our sin. He doesn't look back at the tracks I've left behind. 

I can't count the number of times I've turned my head back the other direction, searching for the tracks my kids left behind. But, thankfully, He keeps His eyes focused ahead. He sees what we are capable of, and what is in our future. Thankfully, He forgives . . . and forgets. 

This summer, I might have the vacuum, but I won't be looking back. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Week

It's been two week's since my Mom had brain surgery. She is now in a rehab, which helps with getting energy levels back up. Her left side has a slight bit of drag to it. She walks fine, but tends to start moving to the left. You have to make sure you walk on her right, otherwise she'll slam you into the wall. No, not really.

I am continually amazed at her growth on a daily basis. She is incredible. She has a desire to get back to normal life, and she will. It just takes time. Having someone go in and mess around with your brain is bound to have an impact on your healing process. But, she'll get there. Her prayers have not ceased and I know the Lord will bless her tremendously more than He already has!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Mom and her Jesus

It's been a whirlwind of a week. Only last Wednesday, my mother felt dizzy and fell, right in the middle of an art store.

After a trip in an ambulance, a series of tests, and three brain meningiomas (say that three times fast) later, she faced surgery.

We were told, of all the types of brain tumors, these are the best a person can have-if that's possible. They are rarely cancerous, and much easier to remove.

So, that's what they did. Monday rolled around the corner, and she underwent brain surgery to remove the egg-sized tumor, with success. So much success in fact, she left the hospital today-only three days later.

It's hard to understand how a person can go through such a traumatic event, and walk the next morning. But, it's possible.

There's only one explanation. Prayer. Total, complete, utter reliance on prayer. And lots of people praying those prayers.

My Mom handled this with grace and dignity. With all the tests they put her through, she kept a smile on her face. She felt comfortable in any situation, and went through the surgery like a trooper. I'm not sure I could say that for myself.

My favorite thing to report is that every person walking through her hospital door heard about Jesus. No holds barred. She not only told them about her Savior, she prayed for them. Wow, what a Mom.

A week-and-a-half ago I would never have guessed we'd be sitting in a waiting room while my Mom underwent brain surgery. But, with lots of prayer, here we are-a healthy mom, and a lot of people that know more about Jesus than they ever did before.

Mom, what a great witness!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Learning to Make Use of My Time

It's not easy focusing on one thing--at least not for me. I tend to stray from what I am doing on occasion.

Lately, it's come to my attention that I am not always the best steward of my time. I could be getting a lot more done in the small amount of time I am given. So, today, I have been more committed to staying on course, not checking my email every two minutes (not like I ever get anything exciting anyway), and aiming to finish my tasks.

So far, I have done pretty well. Tomorrow is a new day, with new challenges. So, I will take it one step at a time!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A New Day

Today was a good day. I spent most of it writing in the local coffee shop, the Taste Cafe. They are so great. It's usually quiet, the smell of coffee floats through the air, and the pastry counter is only steps away. Just the way it should be.

Tonight I am taking little John to Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party. These are the times to cherish, when they are little. They live for games and pizza.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My son's artwork he created on my phone!

Writing Sites

I recently discovered some new writing sites. Associated Content,, and Demand Studios, among others. The idea is that the websites cater to writers, photographers, and artists wanting to get published and get their name out there. The companies in turn publish your article on one of their many sites. Everyone wins, right?

It seems like a great idea. You sign up, write an article, take a picture, submit the piece and wait to see if it will be accepted. Not so different than the way we typically submit, just faster.

I'm going to read more about this and get back. It's peaked my interest, and I'm curious about what others have to say about it.

I'll let ya know. Until then, back to the book...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back to Posting...

It's been a long time since I have posted anything. I don't have a good excuse, but a lot of things going on around the house.

I finished a job in Georgia last August. I worked for a company that builds natural gas pipelines. I handled the payroll out in the field. I worked for them for around eleven years. I hung up that hat to be a stay at home mom. I am figuring things out as I go.

For now, I am still working on finishing my contemporary short novel, and sending articles off in hopes of publication (my fingers would be crossed, but it's hard to type that way)!

So, I after today I will make the effort to add more to the blog. Sorry for the absence!

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.