Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Obsessed With Autumn

I welcome this season every year like a long lost best friend. She doesn't stay long in West Texas, but while she's here we party! I'm trying to restrain myself from putting up the decorations because it's only September, but since we have unusually cool temperatures this weekend, I may not be able to resist. 
I wonder what's at the end of the road? (Goodgle Free Images)

I have a dear friend who totally gets my passion for autumn. She sends me a box of Fall presents every year! Decorations, candles, themed dishtowels. This year she included a beautiful framed print with a note about hoping the image "takes me somewhere else." It does, dear Janice, thanks so much. 

Fall is also the beginning of what we southerners call "eatin' season". I'm determined to enjoy my Autumn with healthy choices so I don't sabotage all the good I've done so far this year. I tried this "candy corn" fruit cup and it really was nice. 
Google Free Images
 So what is your favorite season? What do you like best about it?

I'd love for you to share anything Fall related. Did I mention that I love Fall? 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Probably My Most Nerdy Post To Date

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So I'm convinced there's just way too much negative environment in this world. I'm not talking about what's going on the WORLD, although that's very concerning and a matter of grave attention and prayer. I'm talking about in the lives of individuals. Seriously, can we talk?

I hear of people around me all the time whose dreams are being shot down every day. I have a pretty good support system in my family, church, and friends. It always surprises me when I see someone who has NO ONE telling them "You can do it!" More often than not they get, "What do you think you're doing? That won't work. Who do you think you are? You think you're better than us? Why do you even want to do that? and the list goes on and on, ad nauseum.

I've learned in my advanced years that you can't please some people. Ever. Boy do I know it. Yes, there's a story there, but since I'm past it, not gonna share it. The point is, we have to get over that. More importantly, we must surround ourselves with people who believe in us, and believe with us that the dreams God placed in our hearts are important, doable, and worthwhile. Those folks are hard to find sometimes, I know.

I was talking to some young friends recently about this. I listened to them talk about their dreams, and in the same conversation they talked about the obstacles. People. Made me want to start a Dream Team Club or something. It would go something like this:

"The meeting of the Dream Team Achievers Club come to order. Could I have a report from the World Traveler Dreamers? What? You did not apply for your passport yet? Get on the stick, folks, you can do it! Can't go to Ireland without a passport. Go over to the computer and print it out right now. Fill it out right now. Did you start the Trip Savings Account yet? Great!" (whoops and cheers all around the room).

"Now, let's hear from the Published Authors Dreamers. How many pages did you write this week? Did you research agents and publishers in your genre? Did you go to your critique group?" We'd celebrate every step taken, no matter how small.

Same for those wanting to go to college, learn a new language, etc. Just 'get on the stick' encouragement and praise. I don't know, whatever people need. Sort of sounds like the definition of 'friend', doesn't it? Anyway, just spilling from my heart.

By the way, all you dreamers, I highly recommend Bro. Duane Sheriff's message called Dreamrunners: Putting Legs to God's Dream for You. It's a free download, or you can order a free cd.

What is standing in the way of accomplishing your dreams?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Mockingbird Next Door

Generations of readers love Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The movie is one of my all time favorites. I loved Scout in the ham costume, because I was a grape in a play in the fourth grade in Pineland Texas. I felt connected with Scout for the kind of fun, kind of humiliating thrill of it. I didn't get assaulted on the way home that night, but I did fall during my little dance. I ruined my green hose and got a splinter in my knee from the wooden gym floor.

I love the movie because like Jem and Scout, I played all over town in Pineland with no fear of any danger. I'd take off on my bike and be told "Be home before dark." Oh to be skipping among trees as the sun goes down, the wind in my pixie hair, the cool dirt under my bare feet. Of course, those days are gone.

A new book released in July called The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee. Marja Mills, a  former reporter and feature writer for the Chicago Tribune, headed out for Monroeville, Alabama, like so many before her, hoping to get a story, any story, about Harper Lee. Miss Lee chose to separate herself from the notoriety garnered by her Pulizer Prize winning novel in the sixties. To Marja Mills' great astonishment, she was taken into the confidence, friendship, and inner circle of Harper (Nelle) Lee and her sister, Alice. It seems the sisters were ready to set the record straight. They felt that many lies had been told. Nelle particularly had a disdain for journalists, who just made things up when they couldn't get at the truth. Imagine that.

The journalist ended up renting a house right next door to the Lees. Over the course of about two years, Miss Mills learned much about the Lee family, and about Monroeville, the setting called Maycomb where the novel takes place.

I found it very satisfying to hear why Nelle chose to distance herself from the public, what she really thought of Truman Capote, Gregory Peck, and the different movie versions that have been released over the years. I hoped, and thought surely there'd be more about her relationship with Mary Badham (Scout), but maybe there wasn't one. Especially since Scout is on the cover. Regardless, the book was a joy and a delight.

The heartbreaker is that I had to go Google after I read the last page. I wanted to know if Alice still lived, and to see how the book is doing. Unfortunately, it seems that Harper Lee released a statement that she never authorized Marja Mills to write a book about her. Alice has released a counter statement saying that her sister suffered a stroke in 2007,  "can't see and can't hear" and would never have said such a thing. It hurt my heart for everyone involved. Still, I highly recommend the book. I'm glad I read it. The experience with the Lee sisters as outlined by Marja Mills is almost idealic. I want to be friends with Nelle, Alice, Julia, Tom, and all the others in Nelle's circle of friends. Still, so hard not to feel sad for the author of one of the most important and well-loved American novels.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lest We Forget

I saw a friend today in Walmart. She mentioned that her mother's birthday was coming up and that it would be a hard day. Her sweet mother went to heaven. 

It reminded me that those who have lost a loved one continue to hurt long after their friends go on with their lives.

Say a prayer today for someone who has lost a loved one. The Father said, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." (Phil. 2:4). 

It's sometimes hard to know what to say, but I'm reminded today that we should continue to lift the bereaved up in prayer.

What else can we do to show that we remember?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dawn Crandall Interview

The Hesitant Heiress is your debut novel. Tell us about your publishing journey.  "Actually, I never wrote a thing until January of 2010. I'd been thinking up my plot and figuring out what kinds of scenes I wanted, but I could not decide whether to write the story in first person POV or third person. I'd heard it was difficult to write first person well—and that kept me from doing it, although it was always how the words seemed to come to mind. Finally, I decided I just needed to do it--and because I was ultimately writing it for myself more than anyone else--I just dove into writing it from first person, because that was how it needed to be told. However, about a year later I was stuck on trying to figure out exactly how to get to the ending I had planned! Considering I'd basically figured out how to write a book from studying how my favorite books were constructed, I realized I needed to find a critique partner and join some kind of writing organization. So I joined ACFW, met my beloved friend/crit-partner Susan Tuttle, figured out my ending and went to the 2011 conference (upon my husband's urging). I met with two agents there, had two partial proposal requests... and then a month later, I had two agent contracts in my email box! Pretty crazy for not even knowing what a proposal was until after they'd been requested. After I chose my wonderful agent, Joyce Hart, I still had to finish revising the ending of my book! So my one and only proposal went out into the hands of editors during the summer of 2012... and then I waited, and waited and waited. Basically two years to the day that I'd been offered my agent contract, I received official word that Whitaker House wanted to publish my series (which I'd been working on finishing while waiting), first as eBooks, and then later, hopefully as paperbacks. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing? I do outline pretty extensively concerning chapters, character development, motivations and goals and especially the ending, but there are ALWAYS surprises along the way!! Sometimes I'm totally surprised by some of the things the characters end up doing!!  

How do you find time to write with a newborn baby? Um, before I got pregnant last year I used to start writing at 8-10am on my writing days, and I would get lost in my story world until my husband came home, most times forgetting to even eat lunch. On those days, I could sit there for up to ten hours, a few days a week. I'm not a very fast writer because it takes so long for me to get back into the story after days away—I would usually pre-write, write and edit one chapter per week... My baby is only a few months old right now, so I'm still trying to figure out how exactly I'm going to keep writing as efficiently as I had before I was pregnant. Prayers appreciated!!! 

When is your next book due out and what can you tell us about it? The second book in the series, The Bound Heart, comes out this November. It's about one of the minor characters, Meredyth Summercourt as she deals with her own issues a few months after the first book concludes. The prologue to this second book is previewed at the end of The Hesitant Heiress. 

Comment below for a chance at weekly and grand prizes!

 Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
 twitter - @dawnwritesfirst

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Daily Faithfulness

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“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

What in the world did Jesus do for thirty years before he started his ministry? Fully 10/11ths of His life on earth was spent in Nazareth. Possibly Joseph died when Jesus was young. He was not mentioned in the accounts of Jesus’ ministry or crucifixion. First-born Jews took care of their families. Jesus had a mother and siblings to look after and he was a carpenter. He knew the daily details of business, of working with customers, of supporting his family. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, Jesus had not yet done the first miracle. He had simply been faithful to his family and to God – for thirty years! What a tremendous motivation for us to persevere in our daily duties; to carry out with faithfulness and love those invisible tasks that make a life for those under our care.

We look forward to the day when He says to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Father, when I don’t want to go to work or do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and bills, help me to remember the Lord Jesus laboring over a piece of wood, or seeing to the needs of his mother and siblings. Give me grace to work faithfully, diligently, and with love and grace. In the Name of the One who is Faithful and True, Amen.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Hesitant Heiress

 The Hesitant Heiress, a brand new historical romance,  releases today from Whitaker House. I am pleased to post a review of the book here. Next Monday we have the treat of an interview with Dawn.

"After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But can she ever really trust an Everstone man?"

From the very beginning, the conflict tugged at my heart and kept me turning pages. Amaryllis Brigham meets her troubles head on with an inspiring faith. But this girl doesn't know how beautiful she is, nor what's in store for her in the person of Nathan Everstone. The characters are richly drawn and engaging. Dawn Crandall's historical research is impeccable, but so expertly woven in that you don't even notice, you're just there. Each chapter is headed with a spot on quote from classic literature.

Her dream of a establishing a music conservatory is attached to her having to marry, something she'd never really considered. A mysterious event in Amaryllis past, one that she doesn't understand and has plagued her much of her youth, threatens to thwart her growing romantic interest. The truth is revealed after much conflict and soul searching. The satisfying ending left me wanting more of these fascinating characters and the storytelling of Dawn Crandall.

I highly recommend this new book. Congratulations, Dawn!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave

The state of our country and the conflict in Israel reminded me of a post from several years ago. Thought I would repost it today.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..." Psalm 33:12

I don't have a Bucket List, but I do have a list of dreams.  One of them came true several years ago  when I was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Permian Basin Fire Convention.  (I almost got to sing at a Maverick's game once, but that's another story, and I'm a SPURS fan anyway, lol.)

It was a tremendous honor to sing The Star Spangled Banner.  Normally, only the first verse of Francis Scott Key's masterpiece (which is a bear to sing by the way) is performed at
public events.  I wish we could also sing the last verse:

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

I do believe that the success and freedom of our nation will be determined by God, and the extent upon which we trust Him.  I'm not going to start waxing political, but I'm just sayin'.  May we be heav'n rescued, and blest with victory and peace.   We praise you, Father, the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.  
For the record, I will always stand with Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and pray that the United States will always support Israel. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

World Blog Tour

 I"m so honored to be invited by a fellow Pelican author, LoRee Perry, to participate in a World Blog Tour! Check out her page:

For those that don't know me, I'm a Pelican Book Group author. My debut novel, Washout Express, released last summer from Harbourlight Books. I can't believe it's been a year! I write inspirational romance, devotionals, poems, and articles that encourage folks to look at life through love colored glasses, the love of Christ. I'm proud to be represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency. I live in West Texas where I work at our public library. My husband and I have eleven grandchildren and love every minute of it.

This blog tour answers four questions:
Washout Express

1) What am I working on? My main focus currently is a sequel to my debut novel, Washout Express. The working title is Wedding Express. It's fun to continue the story and delve even deeper into the characters that I love. Sequel writing turns out to be full of challenges, but I love the process. There is a third installment in the Washout Express series in draft form, waiting for my attention. I'm collecting research for a historical based on the West Texas area where I live. Another project I'm drafting is a Contemporary Fiction story for baby boomers.
 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? Washout Express was released as Inspirational Romance. I love the word "inspire". My goal in the book was to inspire women to know who they are in Christ and the romance was the vehicle by which Bailey Brown discovered this. I'm not really sure how it's different from other inspirational romances, accept possibly that the characters are somewhat older than in a traditional romance.

3) Why do I write what I do?Again, that word inspiration comes into play. I'm always inspired to provide a positive spiritual influence to my readers. It's a ministry of sorts for me, and I've been blessed by the feedback I've received. One reader wrote that the book caused her to "really rethink some of my choices". That's why I write what I do.

  4) How does my writing process work? I still have a full time job so my writing time is in the early morning. I'm usually up by 5:30 typing away. I just don't have anything left when I get home from work, so that's my reading time. I get an idea, start taking notes and researching. My usual process is to pound out a rough draft in about a month, and then dive into the rewrites and editing. I guess being involved in National Novel Writer's Month for years has conditioned me to that no holds barred, pressing forward with a draft mentality. My first published book released last summer. I realized a few months later that I was spending way more time than I wanted with social network marketing, and all the other things that go along with publishing. I've scaled that back, allotting one day a week to schedule tweets and blog posts, and whatever else is pressing in that regard.  I'm back to a committed writing time. 

I'm tagging the following authors to continue the tour. They'll be posting their writing process on July 15th: I'm happy to introduce to you:

Diane Dean White 

 Diane started her writing career at an early age when she asked for a typewriter for Christmas. She pounded the keys writing poetry and short stories during her school years on an old black Royal manual. It wasn't until her husband's work took them to the county seat of a southern town, she had her first column, "Yankee Viewpoint's" for a local newspaper. She covered hard news and feature stories in the area. Upon returning to their home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations; while doing her favorite job ever, as a stay-at-home Mom. She is the author of Beach Walks and Carolina in the Morning. Diane was a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years, and her stories have appeared in a number of magazines and books. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her book, newly released in October, On a Summer Night, is a story of suspense and romance. Diane's newest ebook, Stories From a Porch Swing, shares sweet stories you'll enjoy from over the years. Just released April 2014. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for almost forty-two years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals. Diane thanks the Lord daily for her loving husband, three great kids and for giving her the desires of her heart. She'll be posting her writing process next week on the 15th.

Linda Smith LaRoque 

 Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face. A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers. Linda writes contemporary and historical westerns, time travels and futuristic romances. Her publishing achievements include nine novels and four novellas. She lives in Central Texas with her husband and a spoiled dog named Molly.  You do not want to miss her pictures from her Ireland trip on her blog  She'll be posting her writing process next week on the 15th.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

They're Here!

Siblings meet the twins.

 Jacob Aron Randall Nix, 7.5 lbs, 20 inches, and Samantha Mae Lenn Nix, 5.7 lbs., 18 inches. We are happy and blessed, and give God the glory! 

Proud Dad!

Beautiful Mama!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three MOOs

My Opinion Only: In about 2008 I signed up for Facebook to keep track of my kids. It didn't take long for it to become more of a social place for me, a happy place. I realize that some people use it for marketing, including myself, and a place to rant, draw attention to issues, and keep people abreast of life's happenings. Some people use Facebook as a vehicle to encourage and bless others.

My MOO #1is this: I just really hate to see Facebook posts that tear people down. It is such a cowardly thing to do. Why bring the whole world into your problem with a single person? Why humiliate someone publicly when you won't say it to their face? I don't care if the status is true. I tend to hide people who do this. I don't want to see it, don't want to know about it, and tend to have sympathy for the one being railed against.

MOO 2: Cryptic posts really get on my nerves. "I'm done." Really? You have 500+ Facebook friends and you think everyone knows what you're talking about? Are you just trying to get attention? Nope. Not gonna private message you and ask you what you mean. Yep. I'm done too. Too many posts like that and I'm gonna hide you.

MOO 3: I get irritated when people rail against Facebook. Sure, the changes can be annoying. I've even been 'blocked' from adding friends for 24 hours because  apparently I added a family member but Facebook said I was adding people I didn't know. So what. I haven't paid ONE RED CENT for the use of Facebook, so I'm not about to complain when minor irritations hang up my usage of it. If we ever have to pay for it, then rail away.

Just MOO. What do you think about hateful, cryptic Facebook posts?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Word of the Lion

"The Word of the Lion
Hide in your heart..."

Scripture memory has always been very important to me. God's Word is "living and active" (Heb. 4:12). It is our sword (Eph. 6: 13-17), and helps us renew our minds (Rom. 12:1-2). 

Since I believe that what I think directs the course of my life, having a mind filled with His Word keeps me on the right track. Hiding it in my heart, memorizing it, keeps the Father close to me in all situations. 

Of late, my preferred method is Scripture Typer, a great online site to practice, memorize and keep track of verses.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Soften The Faces Upon Whom You Look

Next phrase of the poem is a nod to my Mary Kay business. I don't do very much anymore, but I try to stay active. I still think it's the best home business ever. A double meaning is just to try and be an encouragement and comfort to those around me. 

Here's a link to my Mary Kay Facebook page, where I post specials, etc. Happy Day Mary Kay

She doesn't hear from me much, but I love my director, Kim Campbell Holtzclaw.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spin Pretty Yarns next part of my goal poem is "Spin pretty yarns with pen and with hook." Spinning yarns is another way to say "tell a story". This is an encouragement for me to write every day, thus the pen. 
I'm currently finishing a total rewrite of the sequel to my debut novel, Washout Express:
Pattern: Sandy's Cape Cod Originals

I love to crochet and try to donate to several charities. A little time with yarn every day keeps my projects going and is a good time for relaxing. "Two peas in a pod" cocoon is my current project for my daughter who is expecting twins.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sing Every Verse

Sing Every Verse....this concept has become a very important one in my life. Before I tell you what it means to me, here's a link to a funny blog I found that posted Singing the 1st and 3rd Verses of Hymns.

This idea came to me from an experience my Worship Leader husband had. A deacon logged a serious complaint against my husband because he sometimes led the congregation in the 3rd verse of the hymns, instead of just 1st, 2nd, and 4th. Seriously? You can't do 1st and 3rd? or some other combination? Maybe even...A CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP CHORUS?? Have you ever read some of the 3rd verse lyrics?

 It is an edifying experience to read through the hymnal and discover some unknown third verses. But singing the third verse has come to mean more than hymns. To me, it means living an abundant life, looking for miracles in every experience, stepping out of my comfort zone. I try to "sing the third verse" every day in some way, even if it is only a different route to the post office. I try to go where I've never gone before, try new things, be open to new territory where God might lead me. It's liberating.

I thought it would be fun for us to post unknown or little known third could shock me with some totally out of the box thing you've done. Go!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dance in the Moonlight

 ...or the dawn light. Just get moving. I try to go the gym during the week and/or take a walk in the sunshine. I work at a desk most the day, so I try to remember to get up and move around. Movement and fresh air lighten my mood. My body needs the exercise. 

I'd like to take Hula dancing lessons. There's a cute little group of girls in our town called the Little Sunbursts. I love their beautiful and modest costumes, and the history they are learning and teaching with their dance. Their teacher mentioned that she might start a group for adults. That's movement that might be fun, and not just mindless calisthenics. I'm not a fan of exercise. (I do have a third place track ribbon from 3rd grade. OK, I was last, but I have a ribbon!) I know it's important to my overall health and longevity, so I try to make movement a priority.                                                                       

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Eat From the Earth

Here's the updated version of the blog this morning. New job responsibilities made me forget that I'd scheduled the post, and hadn't written this section of the goal poem.

Eat from the earth simply means eating healthy. It can be a tremendous struggle, but so worth it. Healthy food choices make a difference in how I feel, think, and get along in my day.

My daughter, Rachel, is getting to be an expert on gluten free eating since several of her children need the special diet. She's taught me alot.

I've been reading Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar, Your Brain's Silent Killers. Some compelling information there.

Grain Brain

Speaking of brains, we all know it's a no brainer that we should major on fruits, vegetables, whole grain and lean meat. We know this, but we (I) are lame brains sometimes.

So that's the next phrase in my nerdy goal poem. Have you changed your eating habits this year? How?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Drink Only Diamonds

I mentioned a few weeks ago about my nerdy little goal poem. I promised to let you know what it means to me and how it keeps me on track.  

I've always been surprised that the awesome album, Roar of Love by Second Chapter of Acts, didn't make a comeback with the new Narnia movies.  Here's one of the songs that inspired me.

 "you can drink diamonds, I've been told"

Water - liquid diamonds. At least I think of it that way. I lost 23 pounds last year almost solely from drinking only water. ( I do have my cup of coffee in the morning. I am a writer, after all.) The benefits of drinking more water are shouted far and wide, but if you need a reminder, here's a Lifehack link: 
10 Reasons to Drink More Water

Almost all of these little phrases have double meanings. Jesus offered the woman at the well (John 1:1-40) "living water" so that she would never thirst again. Jesus used the words living water to refer to eternal life, the gift that would satisfy her soul's desire only available through him.

So, "drink only diamonds" is a reminder to me to put my health first by drinking more water. Also, and more importantly, to remember that my only true source of life is from the "living water" that only Christ can give me.

How much water are you drinking every day?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Fell Down

...and it wasn't pretty. I have lunch with my prayer group every Wednesday. My parking space was a gift, right by the restaurant door. I stepped out of my car and took a step, tripped, and crashed down on my bad knee, then sprawled prostrate on the concrete.Slow motion, surreal, floating. On my way down I saw two grown men come out of the restaurant, look right at me, and then they turned and walked...away. No, it was more of a saunter, toothpicks protruding from their mouths.
Not free image, lol

The disbelief, hurt and anger actually helped me get myself up. A kind woman rushed over and picked up my purse that went one way, and papers that went another. I'm afraid I did call in the direction of the two men, "Thanks for your help." I don't know if they heard me, but they just kept on keepin' on.

Oh, well, I was fine. I went in to the comfort of my friends.  Knee hurt the next day, but I got over it. When I finally got home that night, I cried about it. I had to sit down and figure out why.

I've heard of this happening before. We've all seen Facebook videos of people being beaten to a pulp while others walked by without rendering aid. The value of human life has diminished to a great degree. I know there are all kinds of reasons for that. But what I want to talk about today is this:

The feeling that came over me as I lay on the ground and watched those two men walk away was shocking to my system. I felt completely worthless, abandoned, afraid, just down right hurt. Angry too. Prayer helped me forgive those two guys, but there was more working in my spirit. What could I learn from this?

I sensed the Father telling me that

1. There are people all around me feeling abandoned and worthless.

2. Many can't pick themselves up and enter the comfort of friends and family.

3. They need the love of Jesus, and I am to be a vessel for that.

So, I'm not quitting my job and joining the Peace Corp or anything, but I am motivated to try and be aware of the those around me needing to be "picked up off the ground."  Father, open my eyes:)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nerdy Inspiration

Here's a little poem I wrote for myself several years ago. It keeps me on track with my goals (not in the order of importance). I was inspired by the Narnia, Prince Caspian movie. I'll be sharing in weeks to come what each of these phrases mean, and why they help keep me on track. I know, I'm weird:)

Drink only diamonds
Eat from the earth
Dance in the moonlight
Sing every verse

Spin pretty yarns
With pen and with hook
Soften the faces
Upon whom you look

The Word of the Lion
Hide in your heart
In all your connections
Do more than your part.

©Jody Bailey Day

What do YOU think some of these phrases mean?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Surprised by Fear

I'm turning 57 on Sunday (19th). Those numbers have never bothered me. Strangely, though, I didn't expect this about getting older. Didn't see it coming. Fear. Yes, I'm a person of faith,. I know we're not supposed to be afraid and I do know where it comes from. Still, I struggle with it sometimes. Just being honest here.

Health issues, finance issues, the state of our country, our children, our spouse, the future. The list is infinite if I let myself think about it. Am I the only baby boomer struggling with fear? I doubt it. I just don't hear anyone saying so. 

It's my thinking that's the problem. I have to remember that the same thing is true now that was true when I was young and strong.

1. God is in control. He's got my back.

2. His steadfast love never ceases, never comes to an end.

3. He has a plan for my life. Random is not in His vocabulary.

I wonder if this struggle is why dear old Prue Benson always sang the same song when it was his turn for a solo at church. "His Eye is on the Sparrow, and I KNOW He watches me." Praise God!

Are you ever afraid?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Embracing the Uncomfortable

So we've got our goals written down, our mind pumped up, and the new year looks victorious! Then...we get leg cramps from going to the gym after a 5 month break, we come home from work exhausted and would rather drive through than eat the salad we diligently prepared ahead of time, and our word count is lacking for the day. The recliner looks better than the computer chair. UNCOMFORTABLE = QUIT!

Somebody posted a cute, and very true, snippet on Facebook last week. "It's time for my traditional January 1 through January 3rd diet." Something like that. I don't want to give up this year on my goals. I know you don't either. We have to face the fact that our pumped up drive and resolve will face the Enemy. 

Maybe we could look at UNCOMFORTABLE as our friend. He (let's make him a 'he', good looking, and our cheerleader, lol) gets us there, teaches us discipline, wants the best for us. Wait, that's Jesus! He's beautiful, encourages us with His Word, so wants the best for us. 

So I'm wrapping my arms around Uncomfortable. Are you with me? Normally I try to write about encouraging things, life through Love Colored Glasses. This is maybe a negative take on it, but it's where I am now.

Where are you? How do you fight the Uncomfortable?

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31