Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My book has been published!

I have some extremely exciting news! The book of short stories that I've been working on for several years was just published with Outskirts Press!!!! This is a dream-come-true for me. The title is "From the Pavement to the Park Bench." Here's what it's about...

From The Pavement To The Park Bench is a book of short stories written to encourage the weary and to inspire readers to deepen their love for God and others. Inside these pages you will read about the author's journeys as a wife, mother, volunteer youth mentor and active member of her community. If you need encouragement as a mom of young children, find it in these humorous stories. If you want to be challenged to step out of your comfort zone and love people who often are overlooked, read these touching accounts. This book of true stories is for men and women of all ages and is sure to bring a smile to your face as you learn to look at ordinary events in a new light.

You may buy it on Amazon at:
http://www.amazon.com/Pavement-Park-Bench-Little-Stories/dp/1432786520/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329082735&sr=8-1

If you do read it, let me know what you think. AND IF YOU COULD WRITE A POSITIVE (5 STAR) REVIEW ON AMAZON.COM, THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL!!! People who don't know me and may want to buy my book on Amazon, generally won't buy a book that hasn't been reviewed. Thanks!

And feel free to tell everyone you know about my book. One friend posted it on her FB page. Yay!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Real Question

Sometimes I have a hearing problem. It is not a problem that can be corrected by placing a hearing aide in my ear. The problem has more to do with taking what I hear to heart and remembering it. Maybe I have a memory problem, too. In these situations, when God really wants me to listen to Him (especially if He is answering a question that I have asked Him over and over) He will talk to me in more than one way. He speaks to me through His Word, obviously, and in the case I am about to tell you about, through other Christ-followers and through music. 

Thursday night, I got some very sad news. While it wasn’t about my husband or children, it was about a close family member who found out some bad news about his health. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Again! It had already been a difficult and trying week--a week where my husband and I took several trips to a hospital 45-minutes away to see his dad who had undergone emergency surgery. I was tired—physically, emotionally and even spiritually. I wondered if there would ever be a time in my life when the phone wouldn't ring with bad news. I longed for a week without tragedy. I was way overdue for a break and desperately needed peace in my life, and heart.

The next day, at my Friday morning Bible study, I shared all of this with the other women, as we sat around the table drinking coffee and eating scones. Their reactions were—well—not what I’d expected. Which was just what I needed.

One of the ladies said, “The question isn’t, ‘Am I going to get a phone call with bad news today?’ You may get a phone call with bad news every day for the rest of your life. You may not. But the real question is, when you do get that phone call, how are you going to respond to it? Are you going to respond with, ‘Not again! Why is this always happening to me?’ Or are you going to say, ‘What does God want to show me through this?’ You have to be real careful to not play the victim in these situations. Tragedy happens. It’s how we respond to it that matters."

My friend was not speaking flippantly. She has known real, personal, deep tragedy. To have gone through what she has gone through and come out not bitter and angry at God is a miracle and a testimony of God’s love in the midst of horrific pain and suffering. So when this friend of mine offers me words of wisdom on a Friday morning, I sit up and listen.

But just in case I might forget what she said 24 hours later, God reminded me through a song that was playing on my computer as I busied myself in my office this morning. The song is written and performed by a musician who played at a Young Life camp I served at a few years ago. I’ve heard this song many times because I bought his CD at camp and played it in my car over and over for years. However, it has been awhile since I’ve listened to his CD, so when I heard this song again today, the words pierced my heart.

“Done Living” by Justin McRoberts

Well, I spent the whole night fighting
Fighting with some ghost
And when the break of morning found me
I'd both won and lost

You see the question isn't, are you going to suffer any more
But what will it have meant when you are through?
The question isn't, are you going to die, you're going to die
But will you be done living when you do?

Yes, I spent the whole day running
Trying to catch the sun
But when the darkness overtook me
All my running had made me strong
You see the question isn't, are you going to suffer any more
But what will it have meant when you are through?
The question isn't, are you going to die, you're going to die
But will you be done living when you do?

So run till you cannot take a single step in strength
Then crawl on your hands and knees, till your hands and knees they ache
And when you cannot crawl
It will be me you call to carry you back home again.
You see the question isn't, are you going to suffer any more
But what will it have meant when you are through?
The question isn't, are you going to die, you're going to die
But will you be done living when you do?
Will you be done living when you do?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Special Occasion

Autumn was eating mangos right before dinner.

I said, “You’re not supposed to eat mangos this close to dinner.”

Autumn said, “It’s a special occasion.”

I said, “What’s the special occasion?”

Autumn said, “Eating mangos.”