Awkward inspiration – 5/10/13

My mother is complicated and contradictory. I have odd mixed feelings of love and obligation, more often the latter, but God placed her as my mother and I respect that. She has made some poor choices where her health is concerned, by not exercising and unhealthy food choices. These choices have cost her dearly as she aged. That’s the awkward inspiration part. She admits to being lazy and stubbornly refuses to change, attributing it to being too old to change now. But we’re never too old to change our ways.

I’ve made some healthier choices and even some drastic decisions in the interest of good health. Having bariatric surgery a few years ago was one decision that probably saved my life. I also try to limit sugary foods. But there are many choices I could implement to improve my health. Drinking more water and exercising regularly are two that come to mind. I walk quite a bit for my job, but it’s not the same. As mother’s day approaches, I think of my mother in rehab learning to walk again. She inspires me to change.

This post may not have any readers, but I wanted to voice this quirky conclusion about my Mom and how she inspires me to be a better example for my family. I love you Mom.

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I’m alive – 4/4/12

Seriously? I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted here. I’ll have to work on being more consistent. My mother would say, “I thought you fell off the face of the Earth!” Nope. I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth today.

Easter’s coming and Spring came early this year! I’m doing my best to enjoy every minute of my teens. My oldest leaves for college in a few months and there are hundreds of details to get done before then. I am blessed with two incredible kids. Thank you God.

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If I were…

If I were a month, I’d be December.
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Wednesday.                                     
If I were a time of day, I’d be eleven at night.
If I were a “planet,” I’d be Earth or Pluto.
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a dolphin.
If I were a direction, I’d be Northwest.
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a love seat.
If I were a liquid, I’d be salted caramel hot chocolate.
If I were a gemstone, I’d be ruby.
If I were a tree, I’d be an Evergreen.

If I were a tool, I’d be a Swiss army knife.
If I were a flower, I’d be a rose.

If I were a kind of weather, I’d be a breeze on a clear Fall day.
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a flute.
If I were a color, I’d be purple.
If I were an emotion, I’d be contentment.
If I were a fruit, I’d be a pear.
If I were a sound, I’d be ocean waves.
If I were an element, I’d be sodium.
If I were a car, I’d be a Chevy Cobalt.

If I were a food, I’d be dark chocolate.                                
If I were a place, I’d be a lighthouse.
If I were a fabric, I’d be flannel.
If I were a taste, I’d be spicy.
If I were a scent, I’d be lemon.
If I were an animal, I’d be a giraffe.
If I were an object, I’d be a kindle.
If I were a body part, I’d be an ear.
If I were a facial expression, I’d be a raised eyebrow.
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be fur-lined moccasins.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

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Sisters Sleeping In – 10/31/11

Sisters weekend, our second annual private reunion, where all four of us travel to a scenic location and catch up on life. This year we are in the hills of Tennessee – a condo nestled in the woods of Pigeon Forge, to be exact. Fall extended its season just for us to marvel at the array of vibrant colors. We stayed up late last night, talking, and slept in.

While my sisters are still in bed, I’m thinking of my blessings and basking in God’s presence. He is so wonderful and faithful to supply all our needs. Thank you, God, for loving me and blessing me.

The LORD has done this, and it is marvels in our eyes.
Psalm 118:23

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Amazing artist through nature – October 26, 2011

The last couple of weeks have splashed vibrant colors around me. Fall, my favorite season, dazzled vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellows on the leaves. When the sunshine spotlights the trees, it takes my breath away. Northern lights even migrated south to my area and the skies put on a dancing show that beats any laser or light show I’ve ever seen. Wow, God! Your artwork is incredible!

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Christmas in July – 7/31/11

Everything I seem to notice lately has red and green. A smile develops. I love Christmas. Every year, if Christmas is going to be wonderful, I start getting excited around July. It’s looking pretty good for this year.

Hopefully the unbelievable stress at work will settle down and life can be stable. I could blog about tons of things, but truly I’m just grateful for all the blessings God has given to me. He’s amazing!

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Great Lakes Conference – 4/15/11

I should be finishing up my taxes, but instead I wanted to post a pre-conference blog. (Shh. Yes, procrastination is a terrible thing.)

Tomorrow I’m going to the first ever conference of the Great Lakes chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) group. We are meeting at a restaurant in Lansing. Twenty-five or more of us will gather together to learn and fellowship. Others who share a passion for writing can inspire and ignite ideas. Who knows what words will be said that encourage each other to press on in creating quality work and fulfilling our calling as Christian writers?

Sure, there’s the tired part of me that’s overworked and is tempted to just stay home. Or another part of me that can be shy in groups, but I’m going anyway. I’ll post a followup later.

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P.U.S.H. 3/31/11

A Face Book friend of mine posted the acronym PUSH the other day and I thought I would share it here. Pray Until Something Happens. Don’t give up. Keep believing and your prayers will be answered. Now God’s answers sometimes look different than we expect, but the answers always come.

I’m trusting God for a couple of miracles. I’ll let you know what I’m praying for when God answers them.

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New Hope 1/6/11

An abundance of hope fills my heart as I think of 2011. I don’t know why and I have nothing specific in mind, just hope for good things to come.

2010 had major challenges, particularly losing a client through violence. Loss is hard enough when it’s from natural causes. God and my family were anchors for me. One happening last year I love is a deeper friendship with my sister – something I’ve always wanted and now treasure. :)

I’m kicking off the new year with a new web design. What do you think? The picture is from our sisters weekend in South Carolina. I love being able to change the header picture, so expect new looks occasionally. Plus, I’ll try to post more often. May God bless you all with good health, great friends, and all your needs met. Happy New Year!

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Call to prayer 11/01/10

I’m in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a few days with my sisters. It’s our first sisters weekend and we are having an incredible time together. We talk, shop, talk, eat out, talk, watch movies, and talk. We discuss things that some avoid like money, relationships, and politics. Life throws lots of curve balls along the way making us all conclude how much we need God. My conclusion after every topic is to pray more about that.

“Why does God allow adversity?” one sister asked. I told about the protected biological environment that discovered palm trees needed storms to survive. Without winds and tropical storms, the palm trees looked normal, but lacked deep roots. The pressure forced the palm tree to grow deeper in order to survive.

God, None of us like adversity, but may we be deeply rooted in You and not only survive, but flourish and be fruitful.

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Two wrongs make it right? 8/30/10

The exuberance of my fifteen month old puppies often exceeds my physical limitations. A couple of days ago, Hope and Angel were wrestling. Hope, an acrobat at heart, flies into the air, diving onto the couch, landing directly on my outstretched leg. My knee absorbs the hit poorly. I hobble for two days, ignoring the possiblity of a doctor visit if the pain persists.

This morning, I hear suspicious puppy growls emanating from the backyard. Upon investigation, I find shredded pieces of a plastic bag. “Not good for puppies!” My semi-innocent dogs appear oblivious to my warnings and pounce all over me while I retrieve the plastic bits strewn across the yard. They distract each other and a wrestling/growling match ensues. Angel tries to dominate Hope with super-dog power, but Hope’s agility proves superior.

In all the excitement of battle, Hope jumps over Angel and flies directly into me. Where? The side of my injured knee, almost knocking me to the ground. Oddly enough, my knee pain dissapates along with the hobbling. Is it possible whatever got knocked out of joint, got knocked back in place? The swelling is gradually shrinking and I’m gratefully scratching my head. Maybe two wrongs can make it right.

I suppose there is a spiritual application in there somewhere. If something inspires me, I’ll edit later. :)

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If you don’t have anything good to say… 8/15/2010

I can’t believe it’s been three months since I’ve posted anything here. My mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” Perhaps that’s why the absent blogging. Twelve clients died within fifteen months. My father had repeat heart bypass surgery and spoke of his possible passing. My husband’s uncle passed away. Death surrounded me, depressed me, and almost defeated me. All this stress flared up my fibromyalgia and simple daily tasks along with job responsibilites were all I could manage, with God’s grace.

I’m happy to report my father’s surgery went phenominally well; so well he made hospital history records! No clients have passed away since May – Thank you God. Attending the Faith Writer’s conference this weekend revived the writing passion within me.

Sure, there’s still plenty of stress swirling around, but God is here and that makes everything good.

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“Who Speaks to Your Heart?” by Stacy Hawkins Adams – book review 5/14/10

I opened the pages of Stacy Hawkins Adams’ devotional titled, Who Speaks to Your Heart? not knowing what to expect. Quite honestly, I’ve been physically ill and discouraged, regretting signing up to review and blog about four books within a few weeks time. Yet, God humbled me, because I found myself sprinkled throughout the pages being ministered to by this author.

Stacy writes, “God often speaks in whispers – in subtle swishes through our mind or heart, through comments that seem perfectly timed from a friend or stranger, or in passages in a book, magazine, or website that touch our core.” That’s just what her words did for me as I continued reading the pages she penned. There are devotions for women dealing with juggling roles of wife, mother, worker, and church-goer; time crunches, friendships, dissapointments, tragedies, and learning to hear and trust God with everything.

For me personally, there were encouraging sentences like, “God knows your limitations…and what he’s calling you to do, and the resources you need are already on the way.” Also, Stacy shared her struggles as a writer, from believing she would be published, to the set backs and learning stages, the periods of time when projects were shelved, to the ultimate success. That golden nugget of hope I’ll hold in my hand for a while.

The main message is to take/make time to be still, just to listen, and pay attention for God’s voice. He’s talking and He cares. I would recommend this book, however, don’t try to read it in one sitting like I did. It’s intended to be a weekly or at least daily devotional with the ideas pondered on your heart.

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“Present Perfect” by Gregory A. Boyd – book review 5/14/10

Experiencing God in every moment, as Present Perfect recommends, is a life altering concept. Similar to the impact of In His Steps by Charles Sheldon acting catalyst for the “What Would Jesus Do?” movement, the idea of living each moment with God holds the potential to revolutionize the Christian walk.

Plenty of people cavalierly throw out the saying, “WWJD,” but not many live out their lives thinking differently. Gregory A. Boyd challenges Christians to incorporate God in every moment. If we can practice this discipline, the benefits abound. Reduce stress, improve feelings of significance and self-worth, freedom from worries, positively impact others, and more! How do we accomplish all these wonders? Read the book and find out. I know it’s one I will keep handy for reference on my shelf.

Please note: This book supplied to me free of charge from the publisher.

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Great is Thy Faithfulness – Mother’s Day 5/9/10

Hearing Great is Thy Faithfulness brings tears to mine and my husband’s eyes, pain rooted in empty arms of miscarriage. For months, he holds me at night while playing that song repeatedly and I cry. My loving husband prays out to God to bless us with children. Tears eventually stop, life goes on, and prayers continue.

Mother’s Day, for some, is difficult; missing moms, missing babies, reminders of what’s missing. Another miscarriage brings fewer tears, but more doubt that we will have children of our own to love.

Four years later, I’m in the fifth month of pregnancy and in the hospital. I worry about our baby. My husband and doctors worry about me. Sixty pounds lighter and two months unable to keep food down is not good during pregnancy. They pump me full of fluids, run tests, and God heals me. The baby is fine. Our precious beautiful daughter enters our arms on Valentine’s Day, perfect and healthy. Another year and we conceive our son. He blesses us just before Christmas.

Our children are intelligent and active teenagers now. They serve God with their gifts and talents whole-heartedly. We treasure every moment with them.

Tears of joy sting our eyes as the lyrics bellow, “All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.” May you be blessed and fulfilled this Mother’s Day.

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Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – 4/28/10

Opting to shop the “magnificent mile” of Chicago, instead of the aquarium, rendered numerous moments of family pleasure. Countless souvenir shops lined Michigan Avenue, with Chicago history and sports paraphernalia galore. The Lego store had unbelievable models of Chicago built completely out of Lego pieces with a Lego Godzilla tromping through the streets. They also had a gargantuan tarantula, life size R2D2, Woody from Toy Story, and even a man on a park bench with a bird on his head leaving droppings on his shoulder; all from tiny Lego pieces! I was awestruck and thought how long it must have taken some worker to assemble those creations one brick at a time.

My daughter captured a beautiful shot of the river and the skyscraper background disappearing into the thick fog. I’m going to save it as my desktop background. She also informed us that Michigan Avenue in Chicago is the same street near our house hundreds of miles away.

We ate lunch at TGIF and identified highlights of our trip. Even the meal had memorable items; like the turkey, cheese, & spinach dip or the vanilla cheese cake that had to be the best dessert ever. I couldn’t pick a highlight as I basked in their laughter-filled faces. The whole trip had blocks of memories creating one fabulous family weekend. Like my teenagers jumping on the hotel beds with acrobat style, while jousting pillows at each other. (I suppose I should have stopped them. I did tell them to watch out for the lamp. :) )

So, what does all this have to do with God? Well everything in life can be related to God. The moments of our life are Lego pieces. If we hand over our blocks to the master designer, He creates amazing products giving our lives dimension. 

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Easter – 4/4/10

The blank computer screen stares at me expectently…I tell my daugher, I need to write something on my blog and can’t think of anything to say. She suggested to write memories of Easter and try to reference my book. Sigh. I rack my brain. Easter in my book…Well, there was the time I spent Easter alone – no not that memory. I didn’t expound on that memory in my book either. I did include the Easter I particpated in a huge play, but the day ended with my fiance (now husband) finding out he owed taxes and I returned my ring to contribute to the cause. He more than made it up to me later.

My good memories of Easter are recent: Our kids with their baskets, big dinners, Easter egg hunts, dressing special for church. Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face. Then I know what I’m going to say on my blog. I think of where I was and how God blessed me tremendously and brought me to now. Life is wonderful and God is exceptional. He filled in every gap, provided every need, and surrounded me with family and friends.

Like David, the Psalmist wrote, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.” God is good. He died on the cross to save my sins and rose again conquering sin and death forever! That’s really what Easter is about. When I remember that, the rest is just jelly beans adding color around the white-chocolate cross. :) Happy Easter! May God richly bless you.

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Stretching in God’s strength – 3/7/10

The writing critique groups I joined help my writing abilities improve and flourish. It’s like pruning a tree. The initial cutting off of branches may inflict a little trauma to the tree, but in the end the tree blooms bigger and better for it. All my wonderful critiquers point out flaws I hadn’t seen and sprinkle in some encouragement. I appreciate them for it, although there are plenty of days when I don’t know how to fix the flaws or even where to begin.

I continually ask God, are you sure I’m the one to deliver this message? Yes, I know God doesn’t need me. He could pick someone else if I don’t answer the call. I occasionally consider doing just that, but I can’t seem to avoid the call. So, I pray and ask God to hear my cry, because I can’t do what He’s asking me to do without Him. In our weakness He is made strong. This novel has God written all over it. He is infused in it. After all, it’s ultimately about trusting Him with everything.

Here I am God. I’m humbly offering myself over to you. Use me.

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Sacrifice & Lent – 3/1/10

I’ve long admired my Catholic friends in observing Lent. We share the fundamental truth of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, but accent different aspects of God’s awesome gift. While my experiences as a Pentecostal focuses a great deal on God’s grace, my friends focus on His sacrifice. To honor God, they give up something for the six weeks leading up to Easter. I grew up believing God did the sacrificing, so I don’t have to. But both grace and sacrifice are important.

Denying one’s self, or sacrifice, is a good practice of self-discipline. This year, for the first time in my life, I decided to observe Lent. I’m giving up chocolate. It’s been difficult for me. Why is it the moment you decide to abstain from something, it’s everywhere calling your name? My practiced Catholic friends said it’s not that hard. It may be easy for them because they are accustomed to sacrifice. I am like new blisters earned from work never previously done, and trying my best not to whine about it.

Giving things up aka dying to self has become part of my writing too. I joined critique groups to improve my novel, Heart at War. The experience is awesome and daunting at the same time. There are days when I ask God, “Are you sure you picked the right person for this?” One valuable critic is an editor. She just sent me a list of how to identify unneccesary backstory etc. to delete. Yes – DELETE! Take out the knife and started slicing. It’s not as easy as just molding the story like play dough. You have to strip it down and delete the extra stuff off. My inner child says, “But I like that scene. So what if it doesn’t push the story forward. It’s a cool scene!” Then I take a deep breath, exhale deeply and start cutting. Maybe I’ll have an attachment for deleted scenes. You know, like the movie on DVD has that deleted scenes section.

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Trials and testing – 2/21/10

There is no sugar coating the truth that I had a lousy week. I look back at the events and sigh. Then I take all those things to God.

There was the court appearance and attorney meetings on behalf of a client that only turned out partially in our favor. That same quadriplegic client, consumed with cancer, passed away this morning. That resolution was a relief. She is no longer suffering and is healed and whole with Jesus. I have accepted my dear clients are more fragile and don’t live as long as the non-disabled. Thank you God for my clients; and please protect them and keep them healthy.

The flu laid me up for two days. Hey, at least my jeans fit me better now. I also appreciate the flexibility of my job, so that I could take the couple of days to recover. Thank you God for my job.

The most disturbing part of my week was a relationship rejection. Someone I care about deeply is not interested in maintaining that friendship. These types of situations are hardest for me to understand in life. She is too busy and doesn’t have time for friends. I am working on forgiving and praying God changes the situation. But I am so very thankful for my husband, kids, and other friends that assure me I am a person worthy of love and they all help me cope. Thank you God for my loving family and friends. You have truly blessed me.

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Valentine’s Day – 2/14/10

I could talk about how my husband spoiled me and constantly makes me feel like the greatest treasure God blessed him with. Or I could talk about my daughter who was born on Valentine’s Day. Like Hannah of the bible, we had struggled with infertility and miscarriages. Our baby girl was the answer to long awaited prayers! God is faithful.

However, this Valentine’s Day I thought how God loves us so much. He loves us enough to woo us over time. He is not brash or overbearing. He doesn’t insist we listen and obey (although He desires that.) He waits. God waits for us to be ready to love him. Then He blesses us by giving us the desires of our heart. God is awesome!

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Thin Places – 2/10/10

Mary E. Demuth’s memoir was just released 2/5/10. I read it today. Although memiors aren’t my favorite style of literature, I thoroughly enjoyed her spritual journey through memories revealing a traumatic and abusive childhood, totally redeemed, restored, and made whole through Jesus. Only God can make something good result out of bad. My favorite sentence in the whole book was on page 157: “Like Job after God vomits His majesty all over him, I suddenly feel small.”

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Cleanliness and Godliness 2/7/10

During my pregnancies, people promised me a phase would happen called nesting. Mothers-to-be naturally started cleaning and organizing to prepare for the new expected life. Nesting never happened to me. Sure, I got things ready for my babies, but only by steady work and fighting against no energy. By the way, our children are both teenagers now and I’m still waiting for the nesting phase to ensue.

This weekend I started cleaning and decluttering. Stuff had accumulated on counters to the point I couldn’t take it anymore and priorities shifted to restoring order to our home. I tackled one room at a time. I really do not like cleaning, however, I love having a clean environment. Clutter gnaws at my spirit sometimes unconsciously. Order and cleanliness brings peace. You know, that warm-fuzzy feeling like everything is right with the world. :)

Cleanliness may be next to Godliness. We serve a God of order.  Now my mind is free to focus on God’s plans.

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Peaceful Death – 1/30/10

Yesterday, I witnessed another client taken off life support and crossing over from this life into the next. She was such a loving peaceful lady. Although she never uttered a word in this life, I knew she had Jesus inside her.  I felt His presence in the room as well. There were no tears, just a calm peace. In her last breaths I was able to say, “When you see Jesus, please tell him thank you for allowing me to know you and love you.”

It’s easy to see how God places my disabled clients in my life to minister to. Then I thought how my words and actions may change if I viewed everyone like that. God has people cross my path for a purpose. May I rise to the challenge of grace and compassion, encouraging others toward their purpose in this life.

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Rocks, gravel, sand, & water – status 1/15/10

The object lesson starts with rocks in a jar. The jar looks full, but then gravel is added to fill in the spaces. Then sand fills in more spaces and water fills in the rest. The order is crucial. One of my writer groups proposed this lesson and challenged us to contemplate our rocks. What I saw most was the jar. Whatever you put inside and even if the order is wrong, there is still only so much room in the jar.

I don’t believe there is anything magical about setting New Years resolutions, however, I am a fan of setting goals to improve life. My husband and I were talking about goals for 2010. I had a long list: improve writing skills, study social work system to improve my job, drink more water and exercise consistently… My husband said, “Wow. You have a lot of goals this year.” When I asked him what his goals for this year are he said, “My goals are simple this year. I only have one – to survive.” This surprised me. If anyone has ever been able to set goals and achieve them it has been my husband. He is very disciplined and hard-working. Maybe he deserves a year off. :)

It made me wonder if my goals were too many. Perhaps I am trying to shove more stuff into the jar then it can hold. Maybe that’s why I often feel overwhelmed. After all, we only have so much time in the day.

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Reflections of 2009 – 12/31/09

This year held amazing changes. Right in the middle of writing my first novel, my desktop computer died. My hero husband promptly went out and got a laptop for me. I still love it! I finished the novel, Heart at War, in March.

A few months later I went to the Write to Publish conference in Chicago, Illinois. God astounded me by ordering my steps and crossing my path with people that could dramatically impact my future! Plus, he blessed me with several new and dear writing friends. I got busy with revisions and Heart at War evolved into a trilogy. Figuring out how to write a novel proposal on my own felt daunting, but eventually, I found some good resources and the proposal launched into the agents care for consideration over Thanksgiving weekend. In the meantime, I am working on revisions to the second book of the trilogy currently titled Heart in Healing.

As a family, we adopted two sister puppies in July. Hope and Angel have added joy (and work) into our daily lives. Angel seems to have become extraordinarily attached to me and follows me around, well, like a puppy dog! Hope is smart and playful. She likes to cuddle at night.

Two thousand nine laid the foundation for my writing career. I am excited to see what God will do in 2010!

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12/07/09 Birthdays

My son officially became a teenager. :) We celebrated his birthday a few days ago. Today was my birthday. I had an excellent celebration with many well wishes from friends and family, breakfast with my Mom, and dinner out with my wonderful husband. Have you ever had lemon merangue cake? It was incredible.

I am continuing to work on the Heart at War series. It could be up to 12 weeks from submission before I hear if Hartline Literary Agency will be representing me. I may not know anything until the end of February.

December is always busy! Birthdays, Christmas, and the usual work in between all the celebrations. One celebration at a time. Next comes Christmas. Usually, I am the type to be done shopping with presents wrapped under the tree. Not this year. I am not ready! Plus, my husband’s birthday follows Christmas. Most of all, I am grateful for the gift of God’s love and salvation. I would be lost without Him. Thank you God for saving us, loving us, and blessing us!

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11/28/09 Novel proposal sent!

Thanksgiving weekend has so many things to be thankful for! A wonderful family, good health, great jobs, etc. But I am so very grateful that after a couple of months of chipping away at my first novel proposal, it is finished and sent! I lost track of the numerous crises that demanded my attention, but having another client pass away took its toll on me.

I would have liked to have been at this stage three or four weeks ago. But my deadlines were self-imposed and I have to trust God with working out the timing of all factors. The novel proposal will be received on Monday 11/30/09. Now I wait and pray. In the meantime, I will work on revisions of Heart in Healing and Heart of Redemption.

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11/15/09 All coming together

The novel proposal is just about finished. I will have it reviewed in the next few days and then email it over to Hartline Literary Agency. What happens there is up to God and the agency. My prayer for this book series is to bring hope, healing, and God’s love to single women.

It’s been an evolving process, but the end result is a series of books. Heart at War addresses the topic of premarital sex and Christianity. Heart in Healing deals with emotional healing from childhood sexual abuse, eating disorders, and self-esteem issues. Heart of Redemption concludes the journey of Melissa Brooks with ending an abusive relationship, dealing with parental divorce effects, and ultimately the courtship and wedding of the man who loves her like Christ loves the church. At least that’s what will be presented to the agent. If this project moves to the next stage, I am sure editors and publishers will have a hand in further changes and improvements.

Thanks for checking in every week and keeping me accountable! I appreciate your support and prayers.

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11/8/09 – Trudging along

The last couple of weeks had family and work responsibilities take priority. My mother had pnemonia and is now home from the hospital. My daughter completed her varsity swimming season. My son completed  his football season. I have a client I ended up putting in hospice care. I ended up in need of minor medical attention after a mentally ill individual took a bite of my arm.

I have been frustrated, yet God has been faithful. Each day there has been progress on the novel proposal. A couple of friends have made valuable input toward improvements that incorporate more of God’s love, hope, and encouragement into the book. That is the ultimate goal, so I am excited about those changes. However, these updates mean I am working on the fourth draft and Heart at War will now be three books – a series: Heart at War deals with the issue of premarial sex and Christianity; Heart in Healing continues Melissa’s story of emotional healing; and the conclusion would be titled something like Heart of Redemption for the resolution. I will be glad when/if the agent gets the novel proposal and I can have a professional person’s input. God willing, very soon!

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