Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review - Motherless by Erin Healy

When you read the back cover of a book, you get a pretty good idea of what you are getting into. When I read the summary for Motherless by Erin Healy I was intrigued and ready to strap in and take a ride. Here are a few details for you:



About the book (back cover):

A whispering voice at the back of my mind reminds me that I’ve been this way for some time. Dead, that is.

The dead have a very broad view of the living, of actions performed out of sight, of thoughts believed to be private. I would know. Losing both parents is a trial no child should endure, and Marina and Dylan have endured enough. They deserve the one thing I could never give them: a mother’s love.

A mother’s love, and the truth.

My children have believed a lie about me for years and years. After all this time I can still feel their hurt in my heart. But the tether holding me to them is frayed from years of neglect . . . and I have to find a way to make my confession before it snaps.

But when the truth comes out, what other beasts will I unleash?

“Why do we lie to the children?” someone asked me once.

“To protect them,” I answered.

How terrible it is that they need protection from me.


My Review:

When I finished reading Motherless by Erin Healy, I was emotionally spent, swept away and found myself wiping tears from my eyes. There are very few books that have had that kind of impact on me. I found myself leaning into the story to absorb as much as I could.

Motherless takes off from page one and grips the reader. It immediately immerses you into the story and you are invested in what is going on. Motherless combines the supernatural with a thriller and mystery and does it with such heart. I found myself trying to unravel what was going on and even when I knew what was happening, I would turn the page to a surprise I did not expect. Everything was well-thought out and well executed.

Highlights - 
Characters who were imperfect. How nice it is to read about individuals that you can relate to. Things aren't wrapped up in a simple bow of misunderstanding. It can be hard to read about flaws, but it is also hard to ignore them in real life. I appreciate that Healy went there with realistic characters that were perfectly fleshed out.

Location, location, location. I was blown away by the descriptions of real locations I grew up going to in California. From the vineyards to Monastery Beach, I felt like I was right there. Even the homes and businesses were so perfectly described without imposing them on the reader. I saw it, I smelled it and I felt it.

Truly engaging, There were a lot of unanswered questions bouncing about in this story and each and everyone was answered. There were no rabbits pulled out of hats (in other words the story wasn't tweaked unbelievably to make things work). Everything made perfect sense.

All in all, I can say that I am glad that I read Motherless. It was a story that entertained me, made me think and gave me a new perspective on getting away and running away (you'll have to read the book to know what I'm talking about there). I would definitely give Motherless 5 Stars.

In full disclosure, I was given a copy of Motherless through a promotional team and publisher to facilitate my honest review.  I was not required to give a positive review.  This review reflects my honest opinion.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review - A.D. 30: A Novel - By Ted Dekker




When it comes to books, I have certain authors that I count on for different experiences.  I have grown to count on them to bring me exactly what I look for from each genre that they excel at to such a degree, you almost can't think of that genre without thinking of them.  When it came to suspense with a fantasy or speculative fiction component, I always picked Ted Dekker.  When given an opportunity to review "A.D. 30: A Novel" I jumped at the chance.  

Here's a few details:






About the book (from  Goodreads):
A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.
 

A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

Step back in time to the year of our Lord...A.D. 30.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father's warriors--Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

But Maviah's path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people--and herself.



My review:
This is not what I have come to expect with Ted Dekker.  I have expected excellent writing and compelling characters, but I have never read anything like this.  From the beginning I was drawn into the world of Maviah a slave and outcast whose own father, a Sheik who truly wants little to do with her.  She is doubly cursed by being a woman and from the outcast group of the Bedu (a child out of wedlock no less).  I felt an immediate sense of compassion for this woman who, through no fault of her own, had no honor.  When really there is no one else to turn to, Maviah is dispatched on a mission that surely is impossible, but she and her companions have honor and that compels them forward.

You can read what the book is about above, here is what I enjoyed.

Realism -   A.D. 30: A Novel propelled me into biblical history in a way I had not been ushered into it before.  The story of Maviah was compelling and heart wrenching.  I would expect a journey into the desert to be tiresome and full of danger, and Dekker delivered such a journey.  Nothing happened easily in  in the entire story.  This I enjoyed.  It wasn't that I wanted Maviah and her companions to go through hardships, but if it is going to be believable, things have to happen that are believable.  

Tight story - I have read books where things seemed very contradictory in order to get to a desired result.  This book was clear and on point from start to finish.  I didn't find myself turning the pages back to fact check.  I have done that in other books and it has been disappointing.

Characters - The characters are believable and sympathetic.  As a reader I never felt manipulated by character description or actions.  Nothing was ever forced.  They behaved according to the way they were drawn.  There was never a feeling of betrayal over a character suddenly doing a 180.  Both my feeling of sympathy, anger, joy and a little jealousy (they are after all going to meet up with Jesus, I wished it was me) were ignited through this book.  

Spiritual tone - I am a Christian.  I am a Christ follower, and I am happy to read a book that digs into my faith.  Dekker did this richly in A.D. 30.  I found myself making notes for my own growth and development.  It was exciting reading about how someone would picture my Jesus.  

All in all A.D. 30: A Novel, is a compelling historical novel with deep truths linking together an incredible story.  Knowing that there is so much truth made it a bit of a pilgrimage on paper.  If you like adventure?  This book has it in abundance.  Do you desire to read fiction with biblical truth?  You will find it here.  Do you want to have a moment with Jesus?  This made me dig deeper.  Dekker is a master storyteller and through this work you will be entertained but also learn from THE master storyteller, Jesus.  

And good news, a sequel is on the way with A.D. 33.  I for one will anxiously await it.

Lastly, when you pick this book up, be sure to read the opening "My Journey Into A.D. 30."  It was mesmerizing. 

Full disclosure:  I received this book from the publicist to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was given.  The opinions here are completely unbiased and my own.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Trying Something New

*Feeling excited and small*


I am taking part in the 21 Day Intentional Blogging Challenge with Jeff Goins and in doing so, I am taking a leap to self hosting!  Big yikes here.

Here is the link where I am getting started:  Kelly Blackwell

And here is that post from the new blog (pray for me would you?):

The Big Step

Hey there!  This is it.  This is my first step into getting serious.  I am one of those souls who have often found themselves to be an enthusiastic starter but not so much of an enthusiastic finisher.  It is all about the spirit being willing but the flesh becoming easily exhausted.  Here’s the thing.  I want to be a writer.  Wanting isn’t enough though.  I need to act like it.

Yesterday I decided to jump into a challenge via one of my favorite encouraging writers, Jeff Goins.  It is basically a 21 Day Challenge for intentional blogging.  Yep.  This is serious stuff and there are like over 300 people already participating with intention.  Over 300 people to draw encouragement from!  Over 300 people to grow with!  Can you imagine that?  I love that idea!  I need that!  Oh I also kind of dread it, but there are so many participating, I imagine I will kind of just blend in.  Probably a really good thing there.

–Have I mentioned that this scares me a bit?–

I read and reread Jeff’s post time and time again.  I starred the email and looked at it about 30 times this morning.  Finally I looked myself in the mirror and challenged myself to move.  I challenged myself to really do this and do it with a bang.  I decided to jump in with both feet and a new blog.
The new blog is via WordPress (yes, I guess I figure you can tell that, I’m just nervous).  I have never used this platform which will be abundantly obvious as you look around.  I did this to force myself to really commit.  See…I also jumped in with both feet into…gulp…self hosting.  The very idea freaks me out.  This has now just turned into a financial investment.  I am as frugal as they come.  I could have opened up a free site, but I’ve done that and I’ve wimped out.  I am putting my money where my mouth is.  I am committing financially, and now I need to commit with the time.  Oh and lots of prayer.  For now though, I am just going to try to figure this place out.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.  Kind of talking to you and me here.  I need to stick with this.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

So Overwhelmed You Can't Choose? - The Best Yes



This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour, and I am out of my mind excited about being a part of it.  I am joining many, many other inspiring bloggers.  Many of which completely fill me with awe.  Let's just say, not only will I be posting, but I will be doing a lot of blog hopping over the next few weeks.  Learn more and come along with us as we explore, enjoy and celebrate "The Best Yes" by a simple CLICK HERE.

I first became aware of Lysa TerKeurst's "The Best Yes" via Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies.  I have become a very dependent fan of these studies for a little over a  year.  Each study has had a profound impact on my life.  I didn't know what the book was about, but I knew I would pick it up when the study rolled around in mid September (September 22 in case you are wondering). 

But then God...well, he brought me to She Speaks 2014.  A prayerful dream from saying yes to God (inspired by another of Lysa's books, by the way) became a reality, and I joined hundreds of women who wanted to share the love of Jesus through spoken and written word.  Attending She Speaks 2014 was not only a big part of saying yes to God but also a complete faith walk for me, a woman who was deathly afraid of claiming the Lord's vision for fear of mocking and the big NO (PS It was also impossible financially - but for God).

Landing in NC on July 23, my head was spinning with the possibilities of what God would do.  I was excited to be following His will and His call, and nervous about going it alone (well physically alone).  God led me to many wonderful ladies and new friends.  From the pre-conference throughout the weekend conference, I felt many God moments.  One of those moments happened to be purchasing "The Best Yes."  See I still had every intention of waiting to purchase it until the study drew closer, but again, I felt a God tug and bought it after dinner on Friday evening (leaving it in the hotel Saturday morning by the way and missing an autograph opportunity by Lysa - but I digress).  


By the time I hit the airport on July 27th, I was spiritually full but also a bit undone.  I was completely overwhelmed by all God had done during the conference.  I was motivated by the lovely women I met.  I was also intimidated by the next step and how could I possibly make it.  With the question "What's next?" rolling through my mind, and a few hours to spare before my flight, I grabbed coffee (okay...and a very carby everything bagel with cream cheese) and began to read "The Best Yes."



Have you ever read a book that has you nodding your head in agreement or even causes you to talk back to it? That was what reading "The Best Yes" was like for me.  I began to write notes in the margin, I highlighted, and I wrote in my little composition book.  I felt like I was having eureka moments by the pound as I poured over the pages.  I clutched the book in my hands as I boarded my plane thinking that people just might find me a bit odd, but I didn't care at the same time.  I read throughout much of the flight.


See, I have been that woman so overwhelmed that often I felt frozen by the decision making process.  I stood still rather than moving forward.  I want a better yes.  No I want the best yes.  I want to say yes and follow through.  Have you been there?










My first yes.  My schedule.  

“When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” - Lysa TerKeurst

Oh how I relate to these words!  There is so much in my heart that I want to do, but there is also this voice in my head that has continually told me "You can't."  Besides the general idea that I can't because I have these notions that I am simply unable, there is also this side that says I simply do not have the time.  My schedule is overwhelmed.  But is it really?  I have not laid out my time before me yet, but even as I read Chapter 3 of "The Best Yes" I knew that I had not looked for an opening in my schedule.  I had not made the time. I had been overcome by fear of no rather than overcome by the love of the Lord and sharing that love.


I read:

"The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul." pg 23

In the margin and above it, I wrote:

What does my schedule say about my soul?  
What does it say about what I want to do and about who I follow?  
My schedule only reflects my work and my down time.  I want UP time. 

What do I mean by "up time"?  Focusing up.  Focusing on God.  Focusing on his call on my life whatever that may be.  I feel a call to write.  I feel a call to share the love of Jesus.  I long to reach out to the women in this world who have been damaged and show them God's healing power and grace.  Lots of wants, but where are the steps?

Step one is finishing Lysa's book and taking this call as seriously as if I was already living it day by day and for my life to reflect my God in each and every step I make.  I'm ready to be empowered.  Are you?

Are you feeling soul tired?  Have you looked at the patterns in your life and do not like where they have taken you?  Do you struggle with when to say yes and when to say no?  Do you avoid the yes and no altogether and instead stand still?  Are you tired of filling your life with empty activities rather than fulfilling activities?

I believe this book will lead you into a read adventure and purpose.

New York Times Bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst has written a new book about finding your Best Yes. Many call this book “inspiring” and “fabulous.” Myself, I call it a gift.  You can get your copy at http://goo.gl/ZFUZbD


About Lysa

Lysa TerKeurst is the New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave and Unglued. She isn’t shy about admitting what a mess she can be. But in the midst of everyday “growth opportunities,” she’s been learning God’s lessons and sharing them on her blog (www.LysaTerKeurst.com) and in her books. Lysa is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and writes from her sticky farm table in North Carolina where she lives with her husband, Art, five kids, three dogs, and mouse that refuses to leave her kitchen.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Movie Review - Camp

There have been lots of faith-based films that I have wanted to watch recently but haven't had the time.  After catching "God's Not Dead" FINALLY, I decided to get back on board with spending some more time with uplifting films.  With that mind, I could not wait to watch and share "CAMP."




MOVIE REVIEWCAMP Roebuck Media, Word Films
Written and Directed by:  Jacob Roebuck
Starring:  Miles Elliot, Michael Mattera, Asante Jones, Michael Otis, Grace Johnston, Janet Wood, and Matthew Jacob Wayne.
PG-13

SYNOPSIS(Christian Film Database) -  CAMP is the latest film from Jacob Roebuck. Inspired by true stories, we meet Ken Matthews (Michael Mattera), a hot shot investment banker doing whatever it takes to make a good impression with a wealthy client, including becoming a camp counselor. Ken is partnered with Eli, a kid thrown away by his parents and in foster care, for a week he won’t soon forget.
MY REVIEW:  When I decided to watch CAMP, I thought it would be a simple tale of an adult having their life turned about by a child's need and love.  Was I wrong!  It was so much more.  CAMP is a story of hope and it is a story of a real camp called Royal Family KIDS.  Royal Family KIDS is a week long camp that serves foster children for a week in the summer.  Many of these children are living in group foster homes which means they share most everything yet receive so little.  This is the case when there is simply not enough to go around.  This camp is the opportunity for each child to be cared for and treated as special as they truly are.  Hope and love is abounding at this camp.

Now don't get me wrong.  CAMP is not some long documentary or even a docudrama about the Royal Family KIDS.  It is a story that combines the story of many of these campers over the years Royal Family KIDS.  This film focuses mainly on Eli.  Eli is like so many children who has had so much promise, but with life handing him a rough deal, he needs hope so much more.  Ken is assigned to Eli.  Ken could use some hope himself.  Ken is a self-absorbed investment banker who has his eyes on the prize and that prize is all about getting bigger, better and wealthier clients.  This week at camp is a means to an end.  Sometimes though, God has bigger and better plans.

CAMP is a film that has heartbreaking lows and beautiful highs.  If you are willing to open up, you will find a true jewel here.  Realize the film starts hard and ends soft. 

SIDE NOTES:
- Remember that CAMP is PG13.  There is some foul language.  It is not something that goes on and on, but there is some swearing here and one crude gesture.  Nothing that is negative is done for any purpose other than to offer truth with minimal shock value.  This is not a full on feel good family film.  There is some violence that is primarily not seen but referred to.  There are some rough moments, but this is sharing truth that does exist for many children in the system and those who are not...yet.  It is not remotely as bad as reality, but there are some themes you should be aware of first.  I would watch it before sharing it with my family.  I think the age of 13 is where I would begin. 
- Don't stop when it is over.  The end credits include interviews with counselors and former campers turned counselors.  From this we find that many of the stories are based on experiences at the camp.  It is beautiful.  This is the time I needed tissue like you wouldn't believe! 
- I watched CAMP via Netflix streaming.


Learn more about Royal Family KIDS here.  You might even find a camp near you that you can give your time to.

Check out this clip from CAMP.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

He Loves







I had prayed a lot about what to write today.  During my weeks and weeks of pain and crying, I also went through weeks and weeks of questioning and wondering.  

I came out on the other side wanting to just say this.  

God Loves You

HE LOVES YOU

Beautiful, wonderful, marvelous YOU.

This is one of those head things that I get as far as I have been able to parrot it back.  I knew it, but it really had not sunk in.  It just kind of floated in my mind.  See my mind likes to play tricks on me and my mind also doubts BIG TIME.  I would read a verse that would share how much God loves me and then I would hear in my head a voice from the past saying "Well, God would REALLY love you if..." or "The thing is, you really don't deserve that love.  God knows this about you..." or "God would love you more if..."

Does that happen to you?

If not, I truly am happy for you.  I am thrilled.  Now that may be hard to convey right here in a post, but knowing the difficulty I have had, I am really happy if you haven't had to worry about that.  If you took God's word and by faith believed even that thing that can be so hard for me to grasp.  HE LOVES YOU.

He loves me.

Knowing God loves you no matter what creates this amazing feeling inside you.  There is a freedom yet there is this incredible humbling moment.  His love is a big deal.  It is a party kind of deal.  It means you can (and really must) let go of all the other voices and incidents that have made you feel unworthy or made you feel that you had to try harder to be worthy.  

God's love is not dependent on how your father treated you when you were growing up or even how he treats you now.  It is not about how clean and tidy your house is today.  It is not the sum of every employer you had or every person you dated.  It h as nothing to do with how well you did in high school or college.  Being loved by God has nothing to do with your weight gain, weight loss or how snarky you were to others last week (thank God cuz this girl can get snarky). 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

All of those other things are temporary.  God is eternal.  God's love is eternal.  It is unconditional, powerful and beyond compare.  You can't earn it.  He gave it to you freely.  

That is good news.  

No.  That is great news.  If only we could grasp it.

Remember this:

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  
John 1:12

So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
Ephesians 2:8

Oh...and for those random scattered "if only..." thoughts remember this too:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Woman I Long To Be



First let me just say that I am not hating on myself here.  I know that God loves me and I do not need to compare myself to anyone else.  However, I have come to realize that I simply desire to do more than I have.  I have goals, but I haven't been doing too well at drawing closer to them.  

I so often have thought about "someday."  Someday I'll lose this excess weight.  Someday I'll get up early and write and read the Bible all the time and not just occasionally.  Someday I will have a little self discipline.  Someday I'll stop procrastinating.  Someday I will change things.  Well, today is someday.  Today is the first day that I will live as the woman I long to be.  Let's call it a mini experiment.  You read about the woman in Proverbs 31.  Well, I'd like to be like that woman.  Actually no.  I want to be the woman that God has called me to be.  So I am going to live the way I think I would be living IF I had it a little more together.  

Make sense?

Hopefully it will.

Basically I am going to take action.  Some of these things I do often.  These are things I want to do all the time.  I want to live the life I want to live.  It is high time I get started.  I guess that is what a phantom back injury and a bout of depression will do to you.

The woman I long to be:

--Gets up early to spend time in God's word.
--Writes daily.
--Eats breakfast each day.
--Gets the exercise she can even with an injury at least five days a week.
--Makes healthy food choices.
--Encourages others daily.
--Drinks more water than coffee or even iced tea.
--Prays for her husband daily.
--Prays for her son daily.

You know what?  I'm excited!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Why I've Been Away

**My husband took this photo.

A little over a month ago, I woke up in excruciating pain.  Pain so dramatic that I literally screamed.  Somehow in the middle of the night (or so I thought), I slept in such a way that absolutely tore my back up.

Every movement was accompanied by my own screams as my body protested.  I could not dress myself in anything but maxi skirts (thank God they are in style) because I could barely bend.  I could not wear shoes other than my Birkenstock sandals because I could not handle the pain of trying.  I could barely handle working in the office but being at home was pointless too as I only fitfully could rest.  

After a week of this, I finally saw a chiropractor.  After my x-rays and other testing, it turns out I have an old neck injury and some impingement in my hip.  Funny thing is, I don't recall doing anything that would cause a neck injury...well...other than falling down a flight of stairs OFTEN in my old home in Rhode Island.  

There is something about pain that you cannot control that really knocks the wind out of your sails.  I could not sit long enough to be online so I simply stayed away for the most part.  My on-air work was rough too as I tried desperately to not scream out at the sudden sharp pains while on air.   

The roughest yet the best part was going through the pain during the weekend of the Elevate Music Festival here in Arizona.  Three long days of amazing Christian music.  Three long days of wonderful testimonies.  In many ways, I felt God really renew me there.  I do plan on sharing that part at some time. 

The screaming pain is now behind me.  My wandering and scattered mind is still with me.  I think my thyroid might be a bit off.  I am very emotional now, but grateful.  Grateful that my physical pain is dull now.  I think it was all a part of a breakthrough.  Kind of the storm before the calm.  More than ever, I feel that God has some special plans, and I just need to buckle in and be ready.

I haven't had anyone clamoring at me asking where I have been, but I do miss writing.  I do miss visiting with others, and I do miss the goal of it all.  I am still on hold for many activities, but I am free to do this again, and I am more determined to get on it.

I have a new goal in mind.

I wont share that now.

But I will.

Checking in and very happy to do so.  

God bless you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Limitless Life Study - Verse of the Week - Ephesians 2:22


I'm starting a new study this week with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies.

The book is "Limitless Life:  You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future" by Derwin L. Gray.  Join in!  It is not too late.  In fact, if you don't have the book yet, you can read the first two chapters at Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies page

The above is the first verse of the week for the study.  I figure I'll put it everywhere I can so I can nail that all down in my head.

I decided to take the study because honestly, labels have run my life.  I am the ever present work on self-esteem and self-doubt.  I have the knowledge that God has a perfect plan for my life, and I know that the slip ups and rough parts have a purpose.  I think I need to move beyond some of those things of the past in order to get there.

Here's a little bit about the book: 

Is your life limited by labels the world and other people have used to define you? Labels you have internalized and apply to yourself every day. Labels like Afraid. Or Addict. Orphan. Damaged Goods. Failure. Maybe even Religious. These labels might be sewn into your life with such tight little stitches that they feel like a part of you. They feel like they define you. But that’s a lie. If you let Him, Jesus can remove those old labels and tattoo new ones onto your soul. Then you’ll begin to see yourself as God the Father sees you. The limits will be lifted, and your life will be transformed. It’s the truth. Join Pastor Derwin Gray on a fascinating journey into what can happen when you offer your head, your heart, and your hands to the only one who can offer you truly limitless life.

Because I am taking this study through Proverbs 31 Ministries, I am using a link to their site to give a purchase option.  I think that it is only fair since this study, other than the book, is free.  

 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Five Minute Friday (A Day Late) Close

Five Minute Friday




Today I celebrate a little bit late, the joy of Five Minute  Friday.  A time when writers all over the world...love that.  Take five minutes and write with complete abandon and total freedom.  It all starts with a prompt from Lisa-Jo Baker.  No edits, no freak outs, no worrying if you are doing the right thing.  Just a time to let go and let it be.

The important thing about Five Minute Friday is the encouragement you receive to just let go and the encouragement you give to others who have done the same.  You do not have to visit everyone, but a stop at the person who posted before you is requested.  Honestly, you wont want to stop there.

Today's...oops...yesterday's prompt is the word "CLOSE"

Let's  GO!!!!!!!

Sounds of a dining room buzzed in the back of my brain.  It was all I could do to not explode with the anger of my situation.

Here I was.

THREE THOUSAND MILES FROM HOME!!!

And I had to start a life here.

15-year-old girls weren't supposed to live without their parents unless they were part of some boarding school sitcom life.

I wasn't.

I was just stuck paying the price for my own mother's paranoia.

Misery and grief settled in, but I could do nothing but hold it all inside.  Weakness was not going to take over.

"You are alone" a voice that was not my own whispered menacingly "your life will never be the same."

"Hello!" another voice broke into my space.  She had dark hair and lively blue eyes and was smiling ear to ear.  I groaned a small greeting and prayed she would just step off and leave me alone.

She didn't.

That was my introduction to my oldest and dearest friend Lisa.  She reached out to me as I sat miserably in a restaurant with my grandmother.  I was miserable because I knew that in just a week it would be just me.  I did not want to be part of this new life living alone without my parents.

Lisa was a gentle gift from God.  A girl who just couldn't help but reach out to others and encourage.

As we grew through our teens and 20s we went through times of being inseparable to having  separate social circles.  I was the drifter girl who hung with artsy types.  I was a free spirit who would up and move to a new state at the drop of a hat.  I explored.  I lived with passion.  I also ran (I learned how at a young age after all).  She was the solid church girl whose goal was to be a stay-at-home mom and became one. 

As alike as we were different, we always remained close.

Over 30 years have passed since our first meeting.  We are thousands of miles apart physically, but we know that being close...for us...has nothing to do with proximity.

It is about our minds.

It is about our hearts.

It is about being different yet the same.

It is all about picking up the phone after a day, a week, a month and even a year...and still never running out of things to say.






STOP

So how about joining us?  You can learn more and jump aboard by following this link.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech (Book Trailer)

I haven't read this book (Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech), but I stumbled across it at LitFuse, and I am mesmerized. I had to share.  I simply happened to be at Litfuse today and read today's Sunday Refreshments with author Laura Sobiech.  I was floored by the post.  Read it here.  

My son is simply a few months older than Zach.  I had such pull in my heart to read more about Zach that I stepped away from what I was already reading and found myself online reading, watching and listening to Zach and those who loved him and were impacted by him.  Take a moment if you will.  I believe between the above link and this trailer, you are going to want to know more too.  

PS The book link above goes directly to Fly a Little Higher's website in order to purchase.  It is available at many sites, but I am hoping that by purchasing by going to their site, they will get extra funds.  No idea.  I just really again, was so moved by what I saw, I wanted to make sure that any affiliate link would be from there.  Make sense?




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Grateful - Oh Yes I Am



Five Minute Friday

So...it has been a few weeks since I have participated in Five Minute Friday.  It was a case of me letting busyness rule.  No more. 

Five Minute Friday is all about letting go and being free.  Lisa-Jo shares a word prompt and we go for five minutes.  Five minutes of being free and unedited.  It is an amazing time with amazing people.  After you write, you share and you read, you learn and you grow.  It is pretty amazing.  Join us by heading to Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday Post

Today's prompt is GRATEFUL.


GO


If I look back at my life to where I am right now, I can't help but be grateful.

Back story:  In 2005, I moved 3000 miles away from home to get away from an abusive relationship.  That relationship was five years too long.  Through those five years, I lost all confidence in myself and lost all hope.  Moving was a desperate act, because no matter how hard I tried, I could not get away from this man.  He showed up everywhere.

For two months, my son and I lived off of savings, and I decompressed.  I spent a lot of time in prayer and a lot of time healing.  My family in California counseled me and loved on me.  I needed those two months, but when month three came up, I needed to find a job.  I began sending out resumes and filling out applications.  I took lots of tests and waited. 

Nothing.

Finally when down to my last $40, I knew I was nearing the end of my rope.  I had to get a job.  I was on the way home from a job interview, and wanted to head home to freshen up before heading out for another step in an application process.  I began to cry.  I was scared.  Things weren't working out too well.  I just didn't feel good about my last interview.  Even the ones that I had felt good about didn't end up with a job. 

Suddenly the song that had been playing in the background seemed louder.

"Just a face in the city
Just a tear on a crowded street
But you are one in a million
And you belong to Me
"


As tears streamed down my face, I pulled the car over and listened to the song.

"I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more
"


It was as if God reached right out to me right there in my car.  At the time, I didn't even know who sang the song, but I knew God used it to show me His love.

I pulled myself together and drove back home.  I freshened up and headed out to the next opportunity.  I timidly applied for the job and was given an interview immediately.  I was then hired, and I passed a background check in an hour.  When I shared this with my co-workers they were stunned.  It took them months to complete the process.  The uniform for this job was supplied.  All I needed was to get shoes.  Twenty of my $40 paid for my shoes and the final $20 went to gas for my commute. 

I am so grateful that God saw me (never stopped watching over me really) in that moment and showed me His deep love.  

Here's where it gets pretty crazy cool.  Eight years later I was married to my soul mate (6 years married now), working in Christian radio and was given the opportunity to interview the person who wrote and sang that song.  Best of all, I got to thank him for it (minor PS - My program director only told me I was interviewing Matthew West 10 minutes before it was to happen, because he didn't want me to freak out...PPS I freaked out anyway).  It was like God gave me the opportunity to go full circle.

Life is not always going to be easy.  I know this.  I also know that God saw me through the worst and shared with me His best.

How cool is our God? 

How grateful am I? 

Very.

STOP

Oh...here's a link to that song.  Still gets me every time.


My First Mom's Night Out


**That's my mom.  A former Arthur Murray's dance instructor, she liked to party.  Just sayin'.**


When I heard about the movie "Moms' Night Out," I thought about my own moms' night out.

First, it wasn't really a moms' night out, because it was really just for my friend Lisa.  Lisa had a little boy who was about a year and a half old.  She drove up to visit me in Maine for a weekend getaway.  She pretty much was in the point of single motherhood where your biggest trip out is to the grocery store or pediatrician.  She was a student and a single mom.  There simply wasn't a lot of free time.

"I just want to go out" I remember her saying.

I wanted her to have a fun visit so I talked my aunt into babysitting so we could have some girly fun.  Back in the 90s that meant dinner and some dancing.  Back in the winter of 1993...in Maine...that meant snow.  Lots of snow.

Lisa and I got dolled up to our absolute cutest (we were in our early 20s...and...pretty stinkin' cute) and hit the town.  Dinner was pretty much forgettable.  Dancing was sublime.  We had a great time just cutting loose, singing very loudly and enjoying some girl talk.  When 2 AM rolled around, we got set to leave the club and decided a late night breakfast was in order.

As we left the club, we were surprised to find a

BIG

MONSTROUS

PILE

OF

SNOW

"Should we just get home?" I asked kind of hopeful. 

"NOT ON YOUR LIFE!" Lisa pretty much yelled.  Nah...she yelled.  She was going to get as much living in this one evening as she could.  Besides, we were girls from the East...we could handle a little snow.  We figured, it can't be dangerous if people are out and about.  

Right?

So off we went to the only breakfast place we knew would be open...Denny's.

All was well until we almost hit the parking lot.  A big truck was headed in our direction.  It was spinning.  It was REALLY spinning.  Somehow it only partially hit us.  It clipped Lisa's bumper.  We pulled into the lot.  It didn't look too bad.  Since we were already there, Lisa figured we might as well enjoy some breakfast.

WITH

THE

DRIVER

OF

THE

TRUCK

Told you she was going to get a lot of living in this night. 

The night mellowed after that.  We ate a bunchy kind of meal with the truck guy and two other guys that we had hung out with at the club.  One of the guys got lippy with the truck dude.  We all tried to laugh it off.  Well, all of us except the lippy guy.  Finally we called it quits, because once one person sours an evening, you just have to walk away.

Now I don't know how "Moms' Night Out" will unfold, but what about you?  Have you ever had a moms' night out?  How'd it go?

If you are interested in checking out "Moms' Night Out" here's a little trailer peek. 





Oh and big PS here. I posted this because I really remembered my mom's night out and the movie came out. I thought it would be fun. No compensation was given here. No giveaways are to be had. Darn....sorry...still Happy Mother's Day ya'll.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review - The Scent of Lilacs





A while back I had won "Orchard of Hope" by Ann H. Gabhart from the Book Club Network.  As I hadn't read the first book "The Scent of Lilacs," I decided to pick it up via Kindle in order to prep myself for the second in the Hollyhill Series.  IF you have a Kindle or a Kindle app even, you can get it right now for free (that can change fast).  It wasn't free when I picked it up (but I think it was only like $3.99 or so) but was still quite the deal.




Title:  The Scent of Lilacs

Author:  Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher:  Revell

About the Book (from Goodreads):   

Before Ann H. Gabhart became well-known for her much-loved Shaker novels, she wrote three poignant novels centered on the loveable Jocie Brooke and her family, who lived in 1960s small-town Kentucky. Once named as one of "Booklist"'s Top Ten Christian Novels and now featuring a brand new cover, "Scent of Lilacs" is poised to capture the hearts of new readers everywhere. Life-changing events rarely happen here, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once. Jocie has questions that need answers. As she digs into her family's past, she finds a whirlwind of discoveries, and everything begins to change. In the end, will Jocie find the answers everyone so desperately needs, or will her questions lead to truths that were better left uncovered? 

Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story takes readers through the universal experiences of true love, new life, and renewed faith. With a beautiful new cover, "Scent of Lilacs" is poised to capture the hearts of readers everywhere.


Author's website:  Ann H. Gabhart

My Review:  

When I began to read "The Scent of  Lilacs," I wasn't sure what to expect.  I could tell that the book was going to be based in the past and that seemed just perfect for me.  Although I only occasionally read historical fiction, a book based in the 50s or 60s is just fine for me.  There is a warmth there that I don't necessarily feel with more modern era books without being something that I simply can't relate to.  The only downside to me, and really this isn't a downside but a quirk, is I kept reading Holy Hill instead of Hollyhill. 

"The Scent of Lilacs" completely pulls you into the story of Jocie Brook and her family.  Although it is partially centered on thirteen-year-old Jocie, this is not a book that feels like YA fiction.  There is far more too it than that (nothing wrong with YA fiction, it was simply more adult than that).  The reader also explores the feelings and thoughts of Jocie's father David which makes them both the heroine and hero of the story.

"The Scent of Lilacs" is a Christian story through and through and does not hide from it.  There are some works you might read where a prayer is said here and there, "The Scent of Lilacs" does not do that.  It is unapologetic about being Christian yet handles some pretty extreme issues, and handles them very well.  The thing that is beautiful about the way the author handles the Christian aspect of this book is that it completely folds into the story.  It is not thrown in like an after thought.  It fits into the story which it would have to considering that David, Jocie's father is also a preacher.  I so admire the way it was done, because it really does reflect real life.  As a Christian, I am aware that I do have issues and problems I have to overcome, but I seek out the Lord in it all (and fail quite a bit too).

The characters are so very well done.  It was quite easy to visualize each one and build a relationship with them.  In fact, the town of Hollyhill and Jocie's family's home and orchard property was seated firmly in my mind within a few chapters.  I easily slid back into the story again and again as I went through my own day-to-day activity between reading.  

I loved Jocie's family and also David's employees.  There was an easiness and believability with all of them.  I loved that there were some strong messages and lessons with truth and forgiveness.  I loved the  hope that the story brought.  I loved feeling like I was on a sweet little summer vacation as I read "The Scent of Lilacs."  I also loved that I already have "Orchard of Hope," the second book in the series to look forward to.  

"The Scent of Lilacs" is a book that makes you care.  It doesn't beat you over the head with heart wrenching dramatics to get you there.  It gets you there by making you care about the characters first.  There was not a manipulative point in the story (and I have seen that in others), but I found myself crying with tears of sadness, hurt, and also joy and hope.  Truly this is a fine piece of work and I look forward to reading "Orchard of Hope" next and getting my hands on "Summer of Joy" after that.  

Full disclosure:  I purchased this book via Amazon Kindle.  It was free at the time of my posting however and I believe you'd be a fool not to get it.  Just saying.  :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Paint




Five Minute Friday 

Yes, yes, yes!

It is another week of 5 Minute Friday time.  It is time to share with writers from all over.  A time to encourage and a time to embrace just letting go and writing.  This is my third go round on Five Minute Friday and I must say I simply love Lisa-Jo and all the wonderful writers that have shared their world in words.  There is still time to join in, and you can learn all about it by heading...right...here.

In the meantime, today's prompt is

PAINT

Ready

Set

GO

My life, my palette, God's design.

My birth, my soul, a snowy white.  So much space to do many, many things, the possibilities literally endless, but a special plan still painted on my heart.  A blue print of God's design.  One He knew, and He birthed long before even placing me in the protection of my mother's womb.

My teen years, a kaleidoscope of gleaming oranges, purples, pinks, neon yellows, and a brilliant turquoise, my signature color of course.  Each color reflecting joys and excitement.  Reality was there in the shadows.  Sometimes it was a mossy green or even a deep gray shadow, but my light, God's light in me, kept more beautiful colors my way.

Late teens and early twenties, my colors were a blaze of firey reds, shocking blues, brilliant fuchsia (and that was just my hair) and also rich ebony.  There was a darkness there that followed me for a time, enveloped me.  A time that I tried to find my own plans and my own solutions, and found instead hurt, fear, sorrow, betrayal and loss.  Deep pain caused a more violent red color to seep into my day and my skin.  The beauty is...God does not forget and God does heal.  He still has a plan.

His patience a soft warm yellow.  I feel it deep in my soul.  The need to let go and give to the Lord all the reds, the grays, the darkness and let Him be the light. 

It happened.  His light.  It melted the colors and softened the angles.  God's love brought all the painted colors of the joys, sorrows, victories and pain into a perfect focus.  A perfect picture of his unfailing love.  My slashes and splashes were all apart of God's masterpiece.  All together a lesson to be learned and a vision to be shared. 

STOP


Don't forget you are welcome to join in.  There are a few small rules, but well worth it.  Learn more from Lisa-Jo Baker

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

REVIEW - Popcornopolis - Near Naked Popcorn





As you might know from my description of myself as "fluffy," I am hoping to get a little "un-fluffy."  This causes me to go on the hunt for special low cal treats.  No joke, I am really trying here.  

Last week was my stations Spring gift drive, and I am happy to say that we made our goal (God is very, very awesome and our listeners really do understand the vision of the ministry) and I discovered a pretty yummy treat. 

That treat is Popcornopolis Near Naked popcorn.  Here is a little totally uncompensated info.  Yes my friend it is so good I am telling you this for no other reason than it is THAT good.

Facts Straight From The Bag:

33 Calories Per Cup

0g Trans Fat

Pure Coconut Oil

Certified Gluten-Free

Non GMO Project Verified
Oh the ingredients!

Popcorn, Coconut Oil (tree nut), Salt.


So here's the skinny.  My co-worker Nancy picked up the gigantic bag of Popcornopolis Near Naked popcorn at Costco for an extra snack during our gift drive because it was the last day and we were running low.  She alerted me about it, because we have both been trying to eat better and it had such perfectly simple ingredients.  I grabbed a cup and noticed immediately that it was a perfectly lovely white popcorn.  No joke.  I have become so accustomed to white popcorn, I get a little unnerved by yellow.  No big.  Just sharing.  The popcorn had this subtle taste that I can only ascribe to the coconut oil (I pan pop popcorn with coconut oil and it has that same light taste).  It is salted but just enough.  In other words the flavor is enhanced but you will not walk away with that weird sandpaper lip thing other packaged popcorn can leave you with.  

Delicious!  Genius!  I had to have more.  

So today I picked up my own.  




20 ounces of hugeness just $7.99 (that is 20 one cup servings).  Well at Costco anyway.




Doesn't it look pretty?

You might have heard of Popcornoplis before, they make some pretty yummy flavored up popcorn too in all kinds of flavors like pecan chocolate, cupcake, jalapeno cheddar, cinnamon toast, chipotle jack, caramel (of course), lemon haven, zebra and many, many more.  Check them out here. I'd say if you are into sending unique holiday gifts, their Easter tin would be a pretty awesome treat (one of the flavors in it looks like the cupcake type).  

My purpose here though is simply this, THE STUFF ROCKED!  Really, if you are into popcorn and maybe occasionally do not want to make your own (kind of where I am some mornings), but want the healthy goodness you can get from it, check out Popcornopolis and their Near Naked style.  Hopefully it will be in a store near you.  You'll dig it.  Plus you can even add a few things.  I shook some nutritional yeast on mine (I love Hippy Popcorn). 

So what is your latest treat discovery?  I would love it if you shared!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Little Bit of What I Learned from Five Minute Friday



I have only participated in two Five Minute Fridays.  I am already in love!


Five Minute Friday

This Friday's writing prompt from Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday was WRITER.  As I read different posts, I discovered new thoughts that were inspired from other writers.  When a writer helps you learn more about yourself, I believe you should take note.  As I read each writer, I learned not only about them but about how their words impacted my thoughts on writing and on being a writer.  I also believe you should express thanks.  I am not done reading.  I am hoping to get more time in today to enjoy other posts and offer encouragement.  I am not citing everyone I read, but certain posts brought my mind to a clarity of my own thoughts that I hadn't expected.  Thank you to everyone for sharing your hearts and your words.  This is a little bit of what I learned about me.


When reading Julia's post at Learning To Grow, Daring to Love - I realized that I am not the only one who has a moment of "YIKES" when thinking of claiming the title "writer."  The writer prompt was tough for me.  I did learn that you do not have to be making a living at anything to claim it as part of who you are, because God has made this part of who you are.  A calling from God is for His purposes.  He may want me to write in order to simply heal my own heart, and considering the life I have lived, that is a strong possibility.  It has been my therapy and tool for learning at times.  I am so encouraged that many are embracing that they are writers because that is really a part of God's identity. 


I was blessed by Adrienne's encouragement at Life with Intention and Adrienne reminded me that a part of writing is often encouraging.  She was very encouraging with her post.  She reflected the love of the Lord with her encouragement.  I think that as readers we should encourage writers.  Encourage them whether they are taking steps with a blog or releasing a novel.  I believe Jesus would love if we would do this. 


Jamie at Love isn't Love until It's Given Away shared words that touched my heart and reminded me that I am writing and using that gift in many ways from a card to family member to writing down happenings and experiences in my life.  I walked away encouraged to embrace it all.  I will.


Jemelene's post was so powerful and compelling.  I was reminded how there are some stories only we can tell.  If we stifle that story within, how will others know the beauty of the life we live.  Jemelene shared the writer in her daughter who has no words but expresses her story in a most beautiful way.

Through Kelly Greer at Kelly Writes, I was reminded of how if we look back, we can often see these flags that God placed in our lives that show us this call to write and express everything in words.  Sometimes we need to ask God to bring those memories up.  In His time He will. 

Reading Becky's post at Moments by Becky Keife reminded me that sometimes I simply write to see God's hand in my life.  When I record these happenings, I remember them and we all need to remember His work.  We have a very alive and active God.  Let's keep that in mind.  Writing helps me with that. 

 When I read the post at Father Says... I was reminded of how the writer truly shapes our perception of a story.  A writer leads you through the story and often shows you as much as they tell you.  In fact, a writer may tell you even more with what they show you.

From Cheryl at Realing In Life, I realized I need to embrace my dream.  If I am not willing to cling onto it with both hands, it really is far more likely to slip away.

As I said, I'm not finished yet.  I hope to get at least ten more read tonight.  If you participated in Five Minute Friday this week's or any, what have you learned?





Sunday, April 6, 2014

Music Review - WOW Worship - Deluxe Edition






After a long, long week, I could not wait to hit the Family Christian Store to pick up the  WOW Worship Deluxe Edition CD.  I feel like I have been waiting a long time for this one.  One of my most listened to CDs is the purple WOW Worship CD (I have no idea what else to call it, it is purple).  It is THAT GOOD!  So good that I had to pick up this one. So without further ado...my thoughts.

The Deluxe edition CD costs a few dollars more than the regular lime CD,  but with six additional songs, I felt it was definitely worth it.  

WOW Worship (lime) contains music from many of my favorite artists and a few whom I had heard of but not listened to.  I especially enjoyed Vertical Church Band and Elevation Worship.  I will definitely be looking for more from them.  Tim Timmons is also a favorite of mine and I was really happy to see him on the CD in the Deluxe Edition.  

My favorite songs on the CD would be "Beautiful Things" by Gungor, "White Flag" by  Building429, "Oceans" by Hillsong United and "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman.  I do own a lot of the CDs that contain many of these songs, but it is nice to have so many in one set. 

I enjoyed the majority of the 36 songs, the two songs that didn't work for me were done by artists who I do like, but I prefer other artist's versions.  I like for King & Country but would have preferred Seventh Day Slumber's version of "From the Inside Out" and "The Stand" by Hillsong Young & Free just had a Kidzbop feel.  Both are very talented groups, this was just a personal taste issue.  There are other songs that these artists do that I think would have been better choices for the CD.

All in all, this is a wonderful CD with a great selection.  When plans come into play to release another, I will definitely be buying. 

I give WOW Worship (lime) four stars.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Today I Praise





I am not your average woman.  


For example, right as I began to type that sentence over there, I thought "average girl."  

Your average woman probably wouldn't think of themselves as a girl.  For some reason, I still have that kind of thought.  Who would think that someone nearing 47 (at lightning speed no less), would remotely have a blindness when it comes to a word that defines what stage she is in life?  Sure I can embrace that I am a mother, but a woman?  I just do not feel pulled together enough for that.  

I am that wife who will just begin to speak in a cockney accent for the sheer purpose of making her husband laugh.  I am that mom who will stop the television while channel surfing to enjoy a Flintstone's cartoon (when no child is present).  I bust into laughter over a funny thought in my head.  I also create conversations in my mind when people watching.  I still feel ALL GIRL.

But yep...I'm a woman, and today I praise.

Long and short of it is.  I have been in the midst of a crazy couple of months.  Does eight count as "a couple of"?  Because really it has been that long.  About eight months ago, I took a leap to boldly reach out to be a writer.  Or live like a writer, and all the things that I had confidence in went...





Life as I knew it inside my own mind went a little haywire.  I dived head first into my Bible and began to pray like crazy, and I saw that I needed a big ole life changing lift.  The kind only God can provide (let's face it, He really has to be the center).  


In my search for direction, I came across "The 30 Day Praise Challenge" by Becky Harling.  I realized that one of the things I needed to do to gain perspective was to reach out in praise and thankfulness to my creator.  I know that when I have experienced struggles that the moment I simply praised God, things changed.  Not always my circumstance, but at the very least my focus shifted.

Anyway, for now, my focus will be shifting to praise.  Praising for 30 days for at least 20 minutes a day.  I do not know how this will impact my life.  I am not doing it for some spiritual fitness program.  I am doing it, because in lots of ways I am at the end of my rope.  Not in my faith, but in other things so it is time to let go of the rope and cling to my God.

Over the next 30 days I do plan to share how things are going.  Today, I just want to share what I am doing and invite you to check out Becky's book (I bought mine at Family Christian Store) and Becky.  She has been through the ringer (cancer and more) and her journey of praise and thanksgiving could be a blessing to you. 

Here is a little book blurb from Goodreads:

Discover the Power of Praising God When Becky Harling was diagnosed with cancer over ten years ago, she begged God for healing. A friend of hers had another idea. She challenged Becky to spend twenty minutes a day in praise. Becky thought, What if I’m not feeling thankful? But as she intentionally praised God, she began to experience new joy—and her relationship with God has never been the same. Now, in The Thirty-Day Praise Challenge, Becky guides you in praising God for twenty minutes every day for one month. Arranged topically, the book includes music selections to enhance your praise journey and creative ideas for continuing the habit of praise. As Becky writes, “If you take this challenge, your faith will grow more than you dreamed possible. You will experience more joy, less insecurity, more courage, less anxiety. Thirty days of praising God. Are you ready?”



Publisher: David C Cook


Friday, April 4, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Writer

Five Minute Friday

Last week was my first foray into joining writers everywhere as they wrote without worry or hesitation.  The feeling in a word...FREEDOM.

Sometimes you just have to let go, and the writers who meet up at Lisa-Jo Baker's website and blog for Five Minute Friday engage in letting go once a week starting with a prompt from Lisa-Jo.  Once fingers finish typing away, the joy of sharing and blessing begins.

Join this wonderful group.  You will be glad you did.  There really is only one rule, visit the writer before you...read...encourage.  But if you are like me, you wont be able to stop at just one.

Enjoy and learn more here.

Today's prompt is:

WRITER



GO...

Imagine my horror at the word "writer."  

My dreams and my fears all poke in my mind at the very thought of the word "writer."

Writing has been my peace.  Writing has been my comfort.  Writing has been my therapy.  

It has also been my agony.  Well...not so much the writing.  The empty screen in front of me.  The need to fill it with the fleeting idea that was so strong when I woke up and now is just tickling the edge of my mind.  Aggravating when things aren't working.  Fulfilling when they are. 

My joy.

My act of worship.

My prayer.

My way of being me.

My big ole world is all wrapped up in a ball of anxiety and thrill.  

The ups and downs.  

The nightmares.

The fantasies.

My dream come true some day.  IF....

If I choose to type anyway.

If I choose to get up and get uncomfortable.

If I choose to dig deep when need be.

If I open the door and let someone in.

If I choose to give my whole heart's desire to God.



...STOP



I did this prompt tonight because it has been a crazy long week.  This week was my radio station's gift drive.  It is that we share God's vision with our listeners.  It is a time of long hours.  Because I had to be in the office at 6 am, and my head was filled with how things would go on this final day, I decided to hold of on Five Minute Friday.  I thought for a moment about holding off until next week.  But I began this journey last week, and there was  no way I was going to let one long week pull me out of it.  I'm here, and I'm happy because I am a writer.  :)  Nice to say that.

I hope that you have a wonderfully blessed weekend, and that you get the chance to meet some of the other writers who are sharing their hearts this week.  I gave the link up top, but it is worth giving again.  Join us here