Sunday, October 26, 2008

Leaving New Mexico

My time here at Glorieta is over and I'm a little bit sad. I will miss the fall colors, the crisp morning air and the people I have met. It's been an awesome conference and God has blessed me with some amazing new contacts. I have met with editors from Beacon Hill, Tyndale, AMG, Harvest House and a variety of different professional writers and magazine editors.
Every single editor from a publishing house requested that I submit my book proposal and the first few chapters. That is like a baseball player getting a hit every time they are up to bat. AMAZING!

Last night I had the blessing of dinner with John Van Diest who is the senior editor at Tyndale. He publishes Max Lucado, Chuck Swindoll, Brennan Manning and tons of others. The time we had together was sweet. I felt as if I was in the presence of God as this man poured himself into me. We talked for almost two hours over dinner about life stories, political views and who our favorite basketball team is. It was more than I ever expected and I am still in awe of how God can bring two people together. He lives in Boring, Oregon, near Portland. That is an area I am very familiar with and it was fun to talk about different points of interest along the Oregon and Washington coast.

I leave here with hope in my heart and in deep need of some good sleep. My brain is exhausted but in a good way. My heart is full and I'm excited to see what God will do next. I find myself undeserving of His favor and blessed with abundance.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Mexico...It's Freezing!

Good Morning...I can't believe I'm actually up already. After traveling most of the afternoon and evening yesterday I arrived here at Glorieta, New Mexico. I'm tucked away at a conference center outside of Santa Fe surrounded by fall colors. There was even frost on my windshield this morning. Yes, I've already been out of my room, crazy right!

This morning at 6:30 with coffee in hand, I dragged myself across the campus to secure appointments with editors from a variety of different publishing houses. I get to visit with some editors from Tyndale, AMG and Beacon Hill. This is the time where I have to sell myself, my book writing capabilities and hopefully cast a vision as a writer who people will want to read. It's easy to get caught up in the frenzy of it all...if this morning is any example it's going to be a crazy couple of days.
For the next four mornings I am going to be writing an story that will be published in a collection of other articles...more on that as it develops. I'm excited about having another publishing credit and what's even cooler, the story is about my grandmother. That's a tribute to her legacy!

It's fun to see some people I recognized from last year and I already have a lunch date with Diane who I met last year. She has a great blog, you can check it out on my blog roll. It's called Words In High Def...let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The fortress

I remember being a little girl and building forts out of couch cushions. We would angle them just right so they would keep each other up. My sisters and I would drape a blanket over the top for a roof and haul all kinds of stuff inside pretending that we were stranded in a blizzard back in the olden days or that we were hiding from wild animals in a dark, foreboding cave. When night fell that made it even more fun because we could take flashlights into our fort and pretend the power had gone out and giggling with glee we would create another imaginary scene where we needed rescue of some sort.

As an adult I think about those afternoons we spent inside our forts and how much fun we had keeping anyone else out. We were always sad when it was time to put the fort away. I remember feeling like our magic was disappearing as we put each part of the fort away. There is something about pretending that you are disconnected from the outside world that allows you to dream, imagine and be free for awhile. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a fort like that again...maybe it's time to build one with my kids?

In any case the fort that we build as kids is a completely different kind of fort from the one we build for ourselves as adults. I think we all have our ways of protecting ourselves from danger and sometimes when I'm feeling especially threatened I build myself an imaginary castle with a giant moat around it so that no one can come in. It feels good sometimes to retreat to my fort and protect myself for awhile. Last night I heard a really cool story about forts...

A woman was telling her son about how God promises to be our refuge in times of trouble and how we can rest beneath the shadow of his wings like a baby bird does under it's mothers. She explained to her son that God is like a fortress that we can run into and find ourselves safe from the outside world or any enemy that might be trying to harm us. She felt satisfied with her description and wondered what her son was thinking. She sat quietly next to him and waited for him to think through what she had explained to him. He turned to look at her and in a very serious voice he said, "Mom, you know the fortress isn't only where we get our protection," he paused and then with a mischevious smile he said, "It's also where we can turn around and fight."

Isn't that the truth. We can take shelter in the fortress our Lord provides us and while we are covered we can fight the battles and win the wars that wage all around us. We can rest in the hedge of protection this refuge provides, knowing that our every need is provided for.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One challenge for another...

Tomorrow I get to speak to a women's bible study group and then I get to head directly to the airport. It's been a crazy day to say the least, but not in a bad way. I've been looking forward to both events for a long time and the fact they are on the same day feels quite perfect. God's timing is amazing!

I am speaking on Psalm 91 and how trusting God and taking refuge in Him during times of trouble is a gift He offers us. My season of challenge has been colored by an insidious, invisible illness that almost robbed me of my marriage and my family. Thankfully we are experiencing the healing power of the Lord and things are under control. The thing is...painful things often act as a megaphone from God, causing us to seek Him and hoping that He will cover us. C.S. Lewis said, "Pain is God's megaphone..." it's how he gets our attention. Wouldn't it be nice if God could get our attention without all this pain? It feels unbearable while we are experiencing it and we often make promises to never, ever forget how awful our experience was. Time passes and lo and behold, we are right back where we were before. Maybe that's part of the plan, the same thing keeps coming around until we learn the lesson.
In any case, I know that even though we have moved through one challenging season another one will follow. I hope that I'm better equipped the next time around.

Friday, October 17, 2008

School Days

So, it's been a long week and yet it was only four days. What do I mean? Well, we only had four days of school this week and yet it feels like we've been through the ringer. Don't get me wrong, I love my children's school, it's examplary and Blue Ribbon. What's bugging me at the moment is the amount of homework they bring home. Maybe it's because they are both in the same grade, fifth, or maybe it's because they really do have a lot of homework! All I know is when they have homework, I have homework and I'm ready for a vacation from it.

We've been studying states and capitals for the last few weeks. Can you remember when you were memorizing the states and capitals? It's been so long that I had to dust off my atlas and pull out a map of the US. Sorry, I couldn't remember the capital of Nebraska or Michigan. Anyway, imagine my surprise when my daughter Kayla tells me today that she got a whopping 21 on her states and capitals test. Yup, all that studying really helped. Argh!@

I couldn't believe it and asked her to pull out her test...sure enough 21. I then pulled out Zach's notebook and since they are in the same grade started looking for the same test. I kept thinking something was wrong, maybe it was a mistake...Nope sure enough he had the same test but for some reason he got a 94. None of this made any sense to me and I started to question Kayla. I was feeling really bad for her because I was thinking she was being unfairly treated.

Well, it turns out that two weeks ago her teacher announced that it wasn't enough to just know the states and capitals, they had to put them on the map. Hmmm, that would have been good to know. So guess we get to study them in a whole new way. I just hope we do it right this time. And for the record, I'm going to make sure in the future that we know what we are supposed to be doing before we do it wrong.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Celebration: Part Two!

While I was working out I had a vision...sounds profound doesn't it. It really wasn't but I will say it was one of those AHA moments that God so often brings to me while I'm chugging away on the stair climber.

My earlier post asked the question "How do I stay true to my authentic, celebratory self?" Well I think I have the answer. Before I unpack what came to me let me say this...I believe every person has the ability to be true to themselves regardless of their personality type or level of self awareness. I think we will all agree that at some point we have been on the receiving end of some sort of unjustified verbal attack that has left us reeling. Wondering what we might have done to deserve it. Some people are not aware of how they come across and sometimes it's appropriate to let them know and sometimes it's better to give grace and move on.

So back to the it is: When you allow others to be true to themselves, you are also giving yourself permission to do the same. Let's look at that for a minute...
I had a situation this morning that made me want to tell a person that what they had said was hurtful to me. But I didn't...they wouldn't have understood where I was coming from and it would have been a lesson in frustration for me. It took all of my efforts to not blast them in the same way I had been blasted. Yes, I'm human and sometimes prone to temper tantrums, but I digress.
My point is this, When I choose to look past the issue at hand and instead, look at the persons heart, I can often let go of my ugly feelings and see what God sees. I can forgive them, allowing them to be who they are, whether they allow me the same is not the point.

It's not always easy and I admit doesn't always happen right away but when I take responsibilty for myself and what is mine, then I can see what doesn't belong to me... after that I can be free to really be me.

So today I'm going to be free to cheer lead, to champion and enjoy! I'm not going to worry about being anything else than I already am. And I'm going to celebrate along the way!
Enjoy your day!


I have always been excitable. I'm like a kid on my birthday and Christmas sends me right over the edge. I love celebrating and having fun! I hope I'm passing on the art of celebrating to my children because it's something we all definitely need.

Part of my personality is to look at any progress as an accomplishment. I'm a process person and I enjoy the steps that bring me to my goal. I look at every part that is accomplished as something to celebrate, as its own individual goal. I have been known to stand up and shout, "Yes!" pumping my fist in the air, or shouting with glee when I get excited. That's me, the consummate cheerleader.

So, here's the challenge: How do I stay true to my authentic, celebratory self?

Stay tuned, I'm going to work out and will get back to you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I have a website!!!

Hi Everyone,

I'm excited to tell you that it's finished! Wahoo! Yes indeed, my website is finished and thanks to my husband Grant it's beautiful. At least I think so. Check it out at and let me know what you think. I'm truly thankful for the opportunity to connect with people through this site. I have to pinch myself, it's just hard to believe I actually have a website.

Grant did all of the design and creative work. I just had to come up with the words and gave input on the pictures. He really could do web design on the side but assures me there is no way he wants to do that. I'm not sure, I think he could be convinced. I guess we'll see. :) Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my birthday. I can't think of a better birthday gift, to launch my new website. I'm happy, filled with love and excited to see what tomorrow might bring!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fox News Junkie

Ok, it's time for me to come clean. I've become a news junkie. Yes, it's true...and I don't think I'm going to be able to give it up at least not for the next four weeks or until the election is over. I remember my dad watching Walter Cronkite during our dinner time and it was loud. We weren't allowed to talk if Walter was talking and only during the commercials were we allowed to ask for someone to "please pass the peas" or "can I please have the salt?" I am not that bad I promise but I fear I'm turning into one of those people that only watches the news. Based on what's on tv these days that might not be a bad thing.

I don't watch soap operas or Oprah or Dr. Phil...might I not be as hip as I hope? My favorite shows are Hannity and Colmes, Grey's Anatomy, The O'Reilly Factor, Dirty Jobs and I really like Neil Cavuto...he cracks me up. I probably spend about 90% of my tv watching time on the news and the rest is just filler...I do love Grey's though.

I keep telling myself that this new infatuation with the news is because it's an election year and it's important for me to pay attention. You know, be informed. I want to know what's happening with the candidates, I check the polls daily and pray to God that the right person ends up in office. I get excited when Sarah Palin says, "Doggone it", because that's one of my favorite sayings and I love it when Sean Hannity has to talk super loud to get the last word in over his partner Colmes. And just to be fair...I do really like Anderson Cooper on CNN, he's got it together. Yes, I recorded the debates and recorded all the interviews with Sarah Palin. I just didn't want to miss any of it. She inspires me and makes me think that anything is possible. Especially for a woman...a Christian woman at that.

Maybe I should just cut myself some slack and admit that I just really like the news. There isn't anything wrong with that...right? I promise to tell you if I start muting my children during dinner so that I can hear the latest from my friend Neil. If that starts to happen than I know I've crossed the line and that takes me right back to my old friend Walter Cronkite...would someone please pass the salt?