Monday, September 24, 2012

The Writers I Love at ACFW

My critique partner and new friend. Beautiful!!
I sit here and take a break from proposal writing. Yep, another ACFW conference has come and gone, and I am in the midst of "what if's" in the most wonderful, exciting way.
But as I look back on the past four days, I can't really credit this bubbling feeling to only well- appointed editor and agent interviews (although I profusely thanked Casey Miller for his hard work and prayer over those!) An overflow of joy fills me right now, one that reminds me of my greatest calling in life: To Be In Community.
And not just to be present and available. But to share my heart deeply, to open myself up and live life in a transparent way. If I treated my friends at ACFW like business partners (or competitors really), and kept myself reserved and ready to impress, I think I would have walked away seeking relief, not fighting remorse in leaving such wonderful things behind.
One of the most fabulous women I know!!
I found myself with a group of women (aka the Alley Cats, plus a few AMAZING friends), and truly fulfilled one of my goals for this have a much needed retreat from Mommyhood. And it was absolutely amazing. I've longed to feel accepted and understood to the point of no apology for my silliness (yes, I am overly obnoxious at times), or for my misuse of words (oh dear). I felt completely loved this weekend.
My dear friend, Pepper Basham, wrote a post about this very thing over at my other stomping ground, The Writer's Alley. It's so amazing to know that I wasn't the only one touched in such a spirit-moving way.
Who knows where this writing journey may lead. But one thing is for sure, God has used it to place me in the midst of some amazing women, who not only write fabulous stories, but write love and encouragement on the hearts of those around them.

The AWESOME Alley Cats, minus two. :(

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dating Question Poll

I am giving a talk at our women's group, on having a friendship with your husband. I would love any words of wisdom, ideas that you have that help you and your man build a friendship, date night ideas, ANYTHING that would give me some ideas to pass on to the ladies. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Imaginary Psych Degree

I think I missed my calling. I should have gotten a degree in psychology. Then I wouldn't second guess the effects of my parenting skills on my children's psychological well-being.

Do you ever come up with your own theories to understand your children better, or to talk yourself out of parenting a certain way?

 I do.

All the time!

I love these little people so much that I plant myself firmly on the offensive line, making sure that I am running beside them giving them the best opportunity to score big! I am so in awe of their potential to become outstanding men and woman, that I don't want to do or say anything that could send them to the couch in a psychiatrist's office rather than the top notch seat in the Oval office (this is partly in jest, because I really don't care if they become president, but I do care that they stay true to themselves and who God made them to be)!

I guess this is where Grace comes in.

Grace for myself and my flaws.

Grace that God won't let so much touch them that they fall away from Him forever.

Grace that no matter what I do, it's not up to me. I can't earn anything for my kids, I can't make them be what I want them to be.


As always, I pray that my children will cling to the good, and forget the ugly. That when I say something that could win them a feature on Oprah, God will not only take His magic eraser and rub it away, but use His perfect magic marker and write in Truth always!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grabbing His Hand

Do you ever feel inadequate?

Perhaps, undeserving?

Have you banked on this one thing to elevate your purpose, to fill that void, to announce that you've finally arrived? And now you struggle with "what if's" and looming disappointment?

Whether it be a writing conference, a job interview, a desired blessing, a long awaited answer to prayer, find peace in the fact that no matter the bumps and curves in the road ahead, you have Someone greater walking beside you, promising to carry your burden, promising to carve the road according to a greater glory than your own.

It's obvious to me, when I crawl into the hole of my own effort, the one I've dug only relying on my strength. It's only when I reach my hand up and surrender all my doubts and insecurities and grab hold of the One whose peace surpasses all understanding, that my way out is sure, and I can move forward in a new confidence.

Keep your eye on the prize. Not the one that you THINK will make you happy, but the one that is promised to all those who walk in His ever-loving, ever-lasting faith!

Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shifting Politics Aside for the Kingdom

This time of year is hard for me. I promised myself a long time ago, that I wasn't going to get politically outspoken during these elections. It does little to change minds, and only causes turmoil. Something I have come to realize, is that no matter which side of the political race is speaking, there is one common thread which unravels both of their credentials for me: A thread of fear, a bullying tactic that if you don't vote for them, everything is going down the tubes.
It angers me to think that we allow the media and political sphere to control our emotions when we the people are the ones in charge.
But are we anymore?
I feel like the people have given into this idolatry of the U.S. presidency, and believe that all the world's problems and well-being rests in that one seat in the oval office.
The greatest thing for me to remember is, no matter who is in office, my God is greater and will work anyway.
An elected politician will not stop God's plan.
Shouldn't that be a relief? Shouldn't that take the emotion out of the election process and just vote for the man that you think will be the lesser of two evils? Because, after all, they are just men...fallible, unreliable, talking heads who are driven by human agenda.
This year, I pray for the presidency, but I also praise the God who can work no matter who is Mr. President in November!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Family Vacay, Not my way!

The first vacation attraction, HORSES!
We joined thousands of others and trekked to the Wisconsin Dells this past weekend. It was a fun trip...most of the time!

They could pull ten tons!
The first day was vacation euphoria as we took a horse drawn carriage canyon tour, drove go-karts, had a picnic lunch at a playground, drank rootbeer floats, solved a mystery game at The Wizard's Quest, and ended the night with s'mores around a campfire.

Sounds perfect?

Libby wasn't sure about the horses!
Rootbeer floats before lunch!
 Well...then next day proved that we are far from that, and our family had a little bicker sessions...over and over. Geez, can't believe how the peace of babies and toddlers who don't express their opinon (too much) goes away so quickly when they hit school age!
My beach bum

Fortunately, we had enough foresight (and experience) to not end the vacation on a grumpy note, and had fun at a water park the last night.

Libby felt like she needed to sit when I pulled out the brother joined her!
Closing the water park down!
It made me realize though, how much we need to work on this family thing. It's not going to be easy, sometimes it won't be fun, but if we work on it constantly, it will be well worth it!