Friday, December 21, 2007

It IS a Wonderful Life

Especially now that the “Grand Production” is over! Finally it’s holiday break, and I have time to go back and share our past month’s activities. Well at least one of the highlights in this case:

Two of our kiddos recently performed in a Reader’s Theatre Production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” for their school. I’m the teacher’s assistant for the class too, and thus co-director, so it’s been a pretty busy time in our household with running lines, evening rehearsals, gathering props, costuming and all.

Our quickly maturing teenaged son was chosen early on, for the lead role this year. A fact which cranked up both the excitement and the stress level in preparation! Leading up to the performance we heard everything from “
I’m fine. It’ll be, really! I’m not nervous at all…” to “I told you I never even wanted the lead in the first place…!” Moments before performance it was, “I think I’d like to do this again next year, but I’d rather have the second down from the lead role.” (sounded pretty relaxed to me, just before going on…)

We gathered backstage for a quick prayer over the performance. Tynan asked me to pray over him again alone. The curtain rose. He absolutely "nailed" his part! Our daughter Emma, hit the mark on her lines, too. The whole cast made us proud!!! The audience laughed and applauded. The performers bowed… it was all done.

Each of the students seemed happy about their performances, making us feel very fulfilled as “directors”. The crowd was pleased and complimenting. BUT, the mom in me didn’t draw a huge sigh of relief, until the moment I heard my son come off stage and say “Hey, I think that went really well!

It was one of those glorious moments of parenting…where for a brief moment everything seems to be right in the world for an instant. My kids felt a sense of success at something they had worked hard for. They experienced the presence of those who love them, and had the support of grandparents, siblings, neighbors and friends. They did a remarkable job!

No one remembered at that moment the difficulties of life. It was a reprieve, and a beautiful gateway into the blessings of the Christmas season. After all isn’t that what it’s all about? Forgetting our cares and focusing on what’s really important—
the gift of life that Jesus gave us when he scrunched up his lower lip, grimaced at the cold air, and etched out his first cry in this dark world.

“ You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” 

–Matthew 5:14-16

May God Shine In Your Holiday Season!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Still Giving Thanks...

 I'm back now--at last!--having just completed the first month of one of the MOST stringent diets a doctor has EVER put me on, a "cleansing" program, and double antibiotic therapy for H. Pylori, (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers).

So, how was my Thanksgiving?? Difficult, but blessed! Despite being "under the weather", I gave thanks for so much...the family that gathered around our table, being out of bed finally two days in a row, the turkey and veggies that I got to eat! 

Highlights of the day were: 
-Butternut squash (the BEST thing I'd tasted in weeks!!)
-Decorating and setting the table, in a room humming with Chris's joyful bagpipe tunes (I thought I'd been transported to the "harvest festival" setting from a period movie!)

Our stone fireplace was aglow. Family gathered to play games. The girls went out to"ride", and were surprised by the first few flakes of an early snow! Cousins who traveled from Colorado treated us in the evening, to an intimate "mini concert" of vocals, mandolin, and, yes, those bagpipes! 

Marking a year in our cozy country home... 
God's faithful provision and protection during an avalanche of recent difficulties...
the many blessings that constantly surround us... 
were thoughts that warmed our day 
and filled my heart with gratitude. 

We're back to school for a few weeks now.  I appear to be on the mend. Cool weather is refreshing us at last.  Sights and smells surround us with holiday cheer. 

Joy and thankfulness resonate among us, 
as we enter the Christmas season!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My (writing) Life Interrupted...

For those who have been wondering why my blog has lain silent this past month...well, it was due to a period I needed for mourning. 

On October 19th, I packed my "writing life" up in a crate and (literally) put it on a shelf. It was a very difficult thing to agree with God to do, just when things seemed to be really starting to roll along. He was merciful in giving me a sense of peace over it though too.

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, 
if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, 
if any affection and mercy, 
fulfill my joy by being like-minded, 
having the same love, 
being of one accord, of one mind. 

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, 
but in lowliness of mind 
let each esteem others better than himself. 
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, 
but also for the interests of others.
(Phillipians 2:1-4)

Family life and relationships always have to be first, I remember hearing not too long ago at the conference. Well, there have been some sudden changes in ours, and the stress level was steadily growing to a point where something in the household had to give. Teaching several classes couldn't change, neither could my husband's increased workload. The only thing left after a thorough examination was writing

So, NO, I haven't quit.  I'm not looking at it like that right now. Rather, if I'm meant to pick up my story again then it will be according to God's timing and plan for it.  This may just be for a few more months while things are difficult, or it might be a long while. I've had to trust Him with that and just lay it all at His feet for good. 

He IS good, ALL of the time!

Tears shed, cheeks wiped, chin up, heart right.... it's finally time to let the word out.
As much as I miss my characters, tweaking plot lines, and counting words, this is the one place where I will continue to write whatever God lays on my heart. 

  All grief set aside, I and this blog must move on.... SO with more of a family, womanhood, parenting note, and with a few book reviews thrown in, undoubtedly, the adventure continues!! Well, as often as time at home allows, of course.

Please remember me in your prayers as I seek to glorify our Lord the best I can in whatever He brings day to day. If you'd like to share something, I'd love to pray for you too!

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
(Romans 12:12)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Behind the Scenes: Word Count

It may not be too exciting, but the past nine days I've been plugging away at my realistic and self assigned word count schedule for "30 Days of Writing".

It has definitely been a help to have the accountability of other writers, during these early stages. Getting stuck and wanting to just "can" it and try to think of something the next day doesn't work, when you need to check in for your daily achievements!

In fact, if I DON'T check in then I get a pleasant little e-mail saying "How are you doing on your word count, I didn't hear from you yesterday?" It's so sweet and benign to hear from our leader, Lacy, but yet so SEARING for the writer's conscience! So we are all getting ourselves in shape pretty fast. 

I'm actually writing less than I was last spring on a daily basis. Back then my quota was 500 words a day on anything, just to get in the habit of writing daily and consistently. That was good, but it's another form of new development to write a specific amount now, specifically on my book daily. That's a little harder, because let's face it some days I wake up not as "inspired" in where to go next with my story, as others. 

So far my WIP (work- in-progress) word count for October is 2,620! That's not a lot since I will be writing upwards of 1-2,000 words a day by the end of the novel, but for now it's a VERY good start!  Most of it was further developing my main characters and finalizing the cast of secondary characters to include. I also spent a day doing some fun research this week, but that will be for my next blog...

My non-writing challenge for YOU this week: Learn how to make Pasta from scratch!! (WE ARE in my cooking class tomorrow)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Unveiled and Exposed!

NO, that is NOT the name of my book in progress...
rather, it is announcing a new recurring topic for my blog. Along with an ongoing candid look at the life and process of creating a "maiden" novel, I am finally announcing the title I've given this work in progress!!

The red curtain swings open, revealing....

"Passport to Paris"

A talented British Intelligence Operative is left with
her past, the present, and a passport to Paris...
Texas that is!

Well, that's where I am right now, getting ready to schedule a trip to Paris, Texas!
There's not much to tell you about the writing stages I've gone through so far. Plenty of reading, endless studying, pages of writing, that haven't amounted to anything much yet.

After attending the conference last month, I narrowed down my next plan of action and took certain nuggets to heart...

Susan Meissner shared in her workshop, "300 Pages in 30 Days", that the best thing to do in your prewriting stages, is to get all of the "obstacles" out of the way! Meaning have your research done on anything and everything imaginable beforehand, have a general "map" of where you want to go, and get your characters fully worked up-they are what drives the story and draws your readers in.

---I heard it more than once over the weekend, but it was the single piece of advice that was urged during a brief conversation with
Jim Bell. "You just need to get it all out... write the whole thing down start to finish... you can deal with it from there."

Deb Raney I learned that it's ok to be afraid, and not to worry about "wanting to quit". "One page a day means you'll have a 365 page novel at the end of a year!"

My goals then?

Not to quit (yet)
Complete my prewriting (ie. obstacles gone) by the end of the year.
To write the
whole thing down no matter how good or bad!
Finishing studying the stack of books on my desk (starting with
Plot & Structure--what else do you advise, Jim?)

Anyhow, I'm sure it will be either painful or encouraging to watch, depending on your bent. If you're so inclined, please accept an invitation to view the inside workings of early novel writing, as I endeavor to expose the intimate details of my journey.

If you're a writer trying to get a fresh start on your word count hurry and join a group of like-minded individuals as we participate in Novel Inspirations
"30 Days of Writing" with Lacy Williams. If you need sound tidbits of writers' advice sign up for Susan May Warren and Rachael Hauck's "Book Therapy" blog.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

More about my "TRIP"!

Oh it's so hard to come back to the "real" world of life issues and struggles. 

After this week full schedule of classes, a very unanticipated bit of potentially-life-changing news, the long awaited arrival of relocating in-laws, and a scramble to finish off my workshop article for Afictionado, I am thankful to finally be sitting in quiet at my desk this evening and having a chance to revisit my conference experiences at last!

SO, floating back to only a week ago...

I was having a blast with new friends! 

Starting out with...

(read more about our shenanigans on their sites)

Ocieanna Fleiss and CB

Lindy Jacobs



...Talking about adoption with Tiff Coulter (our girls' adoptions were in the same Siberian towns!), and Kelly Pelton (who also gave T and I the inside scoop on sightseeing in Memphis).

...Learning from and laughing with amazing authors, Sharon Hinck, Susan Meissner, Trish Perry and Deb Raney (her track was AWESOME!).

Sharon-happily signing the last of her books!

Susan is SOOOo sweet, she even gave me a copy of her latest book!! 
I only hope her workshop "300 Pages in 30 Days" helps me to write as fast as her someday!

Deb's word's of wisdom were a salve to my new writer's heart!

...Being blessed with worship, fellowship and encouragement on all sides. 

All I can say is "Thanks ACFW!!" Looking forward to next year...  =0)

Monday, September 24, 2007

What a "TRIP"!!

Everyone talks about "surviving" your first writer's conference. It's true, I didn't really know quite what to expect. But if you ask me today,

"Did you 'survive'?" I'd have to say,
"I didn't really. How about you?" 

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about....just think of whatever YOU've plugged through the past few days! Did YOU survive??


Pronunciation: s&r-'vIv
Function: verb
intransitive verb
1 : to remain alive or in existence : live on
2 : to continue to function or prosper

transitive verb
1 : to remain alive after the death of
2 : to continue to exist or live after
3 : to continue to function or prosper despite : WITHSTAND
- sur·vi·vor /-'vI-v&r/ noun

Well, according to Webster's Dictionary... I didn't (merely) "survive", I actually "thrived" through my first writer's conference!!! Wooohooo! 
How about you?

(Side note to some: please don't fret, if you ARE in survival mode right now --I'm there in many, many areas of life too... still looking to God for the wisdom and strength to "thrive" in those journeys as well. I encourage you to hang on, to know that He IS there, to continue to seek Him, and to trust with all your might, that He WILL bring you through!) 

Pronunciation: 'thrIv
Function: intransitive verb

1 : to grow vigorously : FLOURISH
2 : to gain in wealth or possessions : PROSPER
3 : to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances -- often used with on
- thriv·er /'thrI-v&r/ noun

The ACFW conference was quite an experience. 

I grew spiritually. Worship and fellowship with other writers, editors and agents challenged me, both in writing, and other priorities of life as well. 

I gained knowledge. Yep! Soaked up lots of new information about the "craft", and the process toward publication.  

Taking one step further in my progress toward a first novel, helped me realize that I'd already learned a little more than I thought, and confirmed that I'm definitely on the "right track"!

Writing like any endeavor in life is a" journey".  I was laughing when I came home last night and everyone kept asking if I'd "had a good trip?"... "Trip? What trip? I was just at a hotel here in Dallas for a few days", after all I hadn't really left town or anything. 

This morning as the memory of the past few days washed over me, it finally hit...Trip? Did they say TRIP? I giggled to myself. Wow, yeah...what a "TRIP"!! 

Watch for photos and more about my "trip" over the next week... AND THEN, on October 1st I'm back to "work"!! 

Join me then, as I officially unveil the "title" and invite you to an ongoing, intimate view of what it takes to write my first book!!

Smile, it's a fresh new week-

Thursday, September 20, 2007

HUGE Book Signing Open to the Public!!

If you happen to be in the Dallas area this Saturday, there will be an ACFW booksigning, get more information here!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Gifted Series: by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Though these are the first two novels I’ve read from Lisa Tawn Bergren’s collection, I can tell you that they will absolutely NOT be the last! I'm anxiously awaiting the final installment of this series in 2008, and may even have to add a few others to the top of my endless bedside stack. I was touched by both the storytelling, and the scriptural truths that she has masterfully woven in. A best-selling, award-winning author of over 28 books, she has outdone herself with these powerful stories of adventure, faith and suspense. I found myself fortunate to have both volumes on hand, once I’d entered her rich landscape!

In “The Begotten”, Lisa introduces us to an extensive cast of characters, intimately drawing us into their medieval Italian world.

Piero, a wise priest, passionate about “the living God”, carries an ancient secret that has been passed down for 500 years.
Daria, a noble, young woman seeking recovery from a devastating relationship with her childhood sweetheart, stumbles across God’s unique calling on her life.
Gianni, a faithful knight of the church, is on the heels of retreating evil, following an elusive man known only as “the Sorcerer”.

When three lives collide, the ancient prophecy reveals itself, inextricably binding them together as one, each with a divinely appointed gift. The troupe of “gifted” continue to rise in number and strength as they identify others who are a part of the divine plan.

Overflowing with beautiful symbolism, intense action and intrigue, “The Betrayed” brings each character to the fullness of their “glory”, as the battle continues between darkness and light.

While immersed in mystery, adventure and suspense, I found myself challenged to dive deeper yet into God's strength for the path He's put me on . Realizing at once, that even the simplest daily callings God has on my life deserve the depth of worship and faith that Lisa’s “Gifted” characters exhibit. And though entertained by knights and flying swords, I was “sharpened” in my own spiritual walk. The scriptures say in Proverbs 27, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” In creating this riveting series, Lisa managed to do both!

FYI--these books are available as near as your local Target store, where you'll find both “The Begotten” and “The Betrayed” featured this month on their Breakout Books display. Order either here, by clicking on the titles in the previous sentence.

For more about Lisa Tawn Bergren you can go to and click here to jump on the blog tour and learn more about this fantastic new series of books!

Peaceful page-turning!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blog, BLOG, blog, Blog, blog, blogblog

It's been a busy couple of back-to-school weeks, here at the Barlow household. Suffice it to say, I have very little profound to write at the moment. Last week I wrote nothing, so maybe this meaningless blog is at least a step in the right direction!

I'm excited about some new classes that I'm teaching at the kids' school and the local homeschool co-op. Often known as a "Jackie-of-all-trades" (mistress-of-none??), I'm venturing into the world of teaching gourmet cooking to teens this year. My classes are bursting at the seams as we start off with appetizers, of course. Last week I indoctrinated them with the fresh cooking style of Jamie Oliver--after all, he's a guy, British, extremely hip, uses words like "just whack it in the oven..." and has an insatiable enthusiasm for good food and cooking--what more could you ask for to inspire young chefs?

I'm also gearing up for my first writer's conference next week! (see my countdown widget) I'm not sure what to think right now, except that with all of the angst and the chatter going on among the writer's preparing to attend, I'm thrilled to have the luxury of just being along for the ride this time. Since my first novel is still in its "embryonic stages", there's no pressure to pitch my work to editors or agents right now. I plan to do my "sponge" thing again, just soaking it all up, and way over my head in the water. But that'll be fun now that I've got this "scuba diving" thing down! Some new "writing" friends of mine will be arriving, too! Click here to find out who?

By the way, if you happen to be in Dallas on Sept. 22 at 1:30there will be a HUGE book signing event open to the public. More details on that...coming soon!!!!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Just call me...Sponge "Bec" Lead Pants!

Do you ever feel like your head is so full of new information that you are moving in slow motion on everything that normally comes easy?

Well, I am! I'm usually pretty good at multi-tasking, simplifying, streamlining, problem-solving, you-name-it...until recently. There is just SO much to learn, solve, plan and put into action with my writing, family issues, and general responsibilities that I'm feeling like a water-logged "sponge" lately. Try jogging in the pool sometime, and you'll know!

The only thing to do??? Learn to scuba dive, I guess! After all, swimming is FUN, right? Well, as long as you can still access that one little necessary element called OXYGEN--Gasp! If you're with me on this adventure then make sure you grab a tank of air, or in this case--"breath"!

I'm a huge fan of Rob Bell's NOOMA films. In one titled "Breathe", he explains that, "In the Bible, the word for 'breath' is the same as the word for 'spirit'." So I'm thinking a tank of God's Spirit, is just what I need to keep trolling along.

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts
by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." ~Romans 5:5

"But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding" ~Job 32:8

When things get tough believe me, I'm the first one sinking, sputtering, and flailing around. So in diving deeper lately, I'm beginning to realize that I don't need to tread water anymore, coming up gasping for breath...wide-eyed looking for help.
Nope, I just need to remember that God's spirit is the one giving me life and breath, even on those head-under-water days!

Trying to share as I learn,

(from Julie Taylor Gallery, South Florida Divers, Inc.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Unique Talent and Listening Treat!

My husband recently went to a simulcast version of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. This was one of the musicians who performed. He came home and shared it with us, I'd like to share it with you!

Click here: Erik Mongrain-Air Tap

Happy Monday!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dwindling Summer Vacation Daze & Mom Tip #1

Summer always seems to go by as fast as it comes. Ours isn't quite over, but we can feel the end is near.

Last season we were vagabonds, camping, visiting, and living in temporary housing near family and friends in Northern CA. I worked at my early "birthing" grounds there on a temporary nursing contract while in between homes. Just another "Barlow" adventure! We zipped back to Texas in time for school to start, but our transient status hung around until we were able to locate and move into a new home late fall.

It was a bit of a stretch even for our adventurous standards, so by the time we settled back down, a year of recouperation went into effect.

This summer relaxation is the order of the day. We've enjoyed simple things: the beauty of nature around our new home... a pack of wild kittens pieced together from our neighbors' excess...nurturing and taming them into cuddlebugs ...out-of-town guests...horseback riding...blueberry picking...setting off our first annual overhead fireworks show...watching fireflies and meteor showers under the stars. Did I mention writing?? I've squeezed it in here and there along with my studies. Oh, and pies! Pies, pies and more pies, apple pies, berry pies, peach pies and more! The kids have come to expect fresh pie at least once a week, and will eat it as fast as I make it.

We've learned to enjoy everyday adventures as much as grand ones of the past.

Rebecca's Mom tip # 1-- "Simplify Life"--

--whenever and however you can. Some seasons are busy, others we make that way because we are just so used to it. Restoring the rhythm of family life is important, and slowing down is part of it.

Even Jesus himself took time for rest and worship and friendship. Knowing how short the future was, he could have rushed madly around healing as many people as possible 24 hours a day or teaching incessantly, but that wasn't what his Father called him to. He sent him here to restore "peace" in our world. He modeled that for us intentionally in his daily life and then topped it off with a redemptive lesson in sacrificial love.

Slow down...simplify...make pie!

Either the rhythm is naturally falling into place around here or this weeks' heat wave is finally getting to them, but my kids are actually getting EXCITED for school to start up in a few weeks--go figure?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Drrrruuum Rolllll....

I am pleased to announce that... "hippolyta" has just won a signed copy of "Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture" by Mary E. DeMuth!!!

Please send your address to me at: barlow(underscore)girlz(underscore)mom at yahoo dot com and I will get it in the mail immediately---CONGRATULATIONS!

I wish I could give a copy to each of you, because there is so much to enrich your parenting in this book. I hope that you will order a copy, borrow it from a friend, or do like I have: order it, read it, and then lend it to a friend!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Book Review: "Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture" by Mary E. DeMuth

“ You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

As the mother of 5 very unique individuals, I am constantly reminding myself that although parenting IS indeed a ministry that God has called me to, HE alone is the one faithfully creating and producing the results in my children’s lives!

Using Paul, the writer’s, analogy…our children are truly a letter from Christ himself, written by his Spirit on their hearts.

These thoughts reach the very ESSENCE of Mary DeMuth’s latest parenting book, “Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture”. It could easily have been called Authentic Parenting in Today’s Culture, as well. Unfortunately, not many Christians- myself included- have fully realized it yet, but our culture is in the midst of a huge paradigm shift in thought and principles. This cultural shift was titled at some point by “the powers that be”-- postmodernism.

Hold on now, and don’t let that big “educated” sounding word scare you off! Though Mary is kind enough to give a very brief explanation and overview of just what postmodern means for those of us who really might not know, her main goal is to encourage us to be AUTHENTIC Christian parents, regardless of what society may bring.

The truth is that many of us can feel the change going on around us, but just haven’t put our fingers on it yet.

In “Authentic Parenting…”, Mary is sharing a vital and beautiful message that God has given to her. It came through the experiences that she, her husband, and children encountered while living in the south of France, a country where the influences of postmodernism are already the norm.

Mary shares insight that brings us to the heart of "Christ-like" parenting. She addresses the important issues of truth, honesty, community, refuge, encouragement, grace, forgiveness, purpose and selfish abandon, as we nurture our children and lead them through the example of our own journey with Christ!

“Gulp”, some of you say…me included!!—but, NO that doesn’t mean you have to do the impossible--be perfect Christians first!

Rather, Mary encourages us to model walking with Christ for our kids in a realistic way—we seek, we stumble, we may even fall on our faces, then we get back up again, and continue on, allowing him to write with his Spirit in our own lives along the way. She also takes the time to teach us, with tangible methods, how to prepare our kids for the future by leaving them with “three foundational truths: community, the kingdom of God, and gratitude.”

Having two of our five children in the throes of their first few years of early adult life just now, my husband and I were keenly interested in what Mary had written on the subject. After reading "Authentic Parenting..." we can clearly see the importance of them being prepared for, rather than protected from, the culture they’re immersed in. We came to agree with each other, that her message is crucially in order!!

It is not too late for us as parents with young adults to benefit from this book, neither is it too early for those who are freshly initiated to the world of parenting either! In fact, I think this is a fresh message for anyone seeking to have a godly influence on today’s youth.

Don't forget to enter the drawing for an autographed copy of this book!! Click here for a link to Mary’s site--and be sure to check out the other blogs participating on the Authentic Parenting Tour this week:
Abundant Blessings
Actual Unretouched Photo
Bluebonnet in the Snow
child of divorce/child of god
Good Word Editing
So Many Books...So Little Time
The Point
Tiffany Colter
Toni V. Lee
For a complete listing of the blogs participating in the six week tour, visit here.

With hope and joy in grace,


Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Lifetime of Adventure--Part 1—Let’s Hit the Road!

“Therefore my dear friends…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. ( Phillipians 2: 12-13)

The funny thing about being a christian, is that no matter how long it’s been since my spiritual quest began, how close I've grown to God, or how much I love and trust Jesus Christ for setting me free--there is and will always be another “challenge”!

I like how this passage reminds us that our salvation continues to be “worked out with fear and trembling”. Isn’t that SO true? I turn a new corner every week in life and find something new to “work out”, don’t you?

Why FEAR and TREMBLING, I ask?? Doesn’t God promise peace and rest, love and hope?

What then does anxiety, or for crying out loud- sheer panic have to do with it?

Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty much what happens to me when I step out of my natural comfort zone—my “built in” sin nature tendency towards self-preservation, control, and fulfillment of personal desires starts SCREAMING, “no, no, no, no ,No…!!”

Salvation isn’t stagnant. It begins a journey with an adventure around every corner and a treasure behind every hill.

Hence my challenge to you and myself—no matter what comes along, let’s lay ourselves down --past, present and future! Yes, with some nail-biting and knee knocking, and at times even a great lack of sleep, but with the hope and knowledge that the God of heaven, who created us, is working things out for a good purpose!!

If he would die for us, then why not trust that his plan, rather than ours, has the most good in mind? Let’s give him the freedom to help us…and in doing so, find our own!

Ummmm, yeah...once you begin, the list of things you can apply this to does get longer and longer each day! Pretty much everything goes:

Writing- sure,
Work- yep,
Marriage- of course
Parenting- don’t even get me started!
Friendships- check,
Family Matters-check
Health- check, check…

and the list goes on and on and on and on!!!!!

The exciting thing is, that in every area we’re laying ourselves down, there will be an end result better than anything we, silly selfish people, could ever have coordinated or planned. I know, I know, some of us are pretty good planners and co-ordinators, if we do say so ourselves—even so, would any of us DARE to compare with perfection????

Well, it's time to hit the road in one way or another—send our “selves” packing, drop to our knees before God, get moving in the right direction, whatever sacrifice of pride that it takes, cause…hey, the adventure’s just barely begun!!

Today, I'm working on laying myself down when it comes to teenager's, who insist on believing that
the "dish fairy" is going appear and miraculously move their discards from the sink to the washer. LOL =)
(Mind you I'm not endorsing a lack of parental guidance, rather the "attitude" that happens to come with mine!)

What’s on your list this week???

In Peace-


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Free Book Drawing

YES it's true! I am holding a drawing for a signed copy of Mary DeMuth's new book, which I'll be posting a review on towards the end of this month. Mary's book is the first I've read offering truly fresh insight on christian parenting in a changing world!

Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture
by Mary E. DeMuth
Harvest House, July 1, 2007

If you're interested just say "book drawing" in any comment you leave between now and August 4th. I will announce the winner at 6pm CST that day--so watch out for it!
If you'd rather not wait for the drawing, order a copy today...just click here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Introducing My Newborn Blog-with a Splash!

"And we, who with unveiled faces all REFLECT the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Welcome to my writer's blog!

While mainly you'll read about my writing exploits here, my hope is that whether you're a writer, a reader, a parent or a will laugh, relax, be encouraged and refreshed.

I also invite you to join me on an intense adventure I've recently begun. The mission is: seeking to lay down...who you were...who you are...and who you hoped to that you may truly reflect God's grace and his unique design for your life on a daily basis.

Please drop in on the comments and share YOUR latest adventures!