In April, I returned to one of my favorite places to retreat–Mount Hermon Christian Camp, nestled in the California redwoods. Home of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference held annually the weekend before Easter. I was there this year as a mentor for children’s writers.
Early Palm Sunday morning, I walked to one of my go-to sites for retreat on the Mount Hermon grounds. Victory Circle. (more…)
Friend, do you ever teeter or stumble in your decision making? Ever break into a sweat while attempting to spit out a “Yes” or “No”?
Many thanks to Becky Turner, my friend, coach and virtual assistant, for speaking into our hectic schedules and harried lives with this post. She’s leading a cheer for you and I to add breathing space and intentionality into the choices we make.
Blogger: Becky Turner
Do Your Shoes (Activities) Match Your Purse (Values)?
I remember when it was a huge fashion faux pas to go out in public and not have your shoes match your purse.
Brown heels meant a brown handbag. Silver slides meant a silver clutch. White flip flops meant a white tote bag. If time got away from me and I didn’t have time to change my purse, I was usually doing it in the car. And then heaven forbid if I showed up to an event with unmatched accessories. I felt totally not put together and disconnected.
I encountered this same feeling in my late 20s when my daily activities did not line up with who I was or wanted to be. (more…)
I’m welcoming my friend and fellow Books & Such client, Sarah Forgrave, back to my blog. Sarah is the author of Prayers for Hope and Healing. and Prayers of Hope for Caregivers, her latest book.
Caring for someone with health needs can be emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. Sarah has spent considerable time, both as someone struggling with serious medical issues and as the family member of a chronically ill patient, and she understands the many challenges caregivers face. I’ve asked Sarah to share a few ways we can best come alongside a friend or family member in a caregiving role.
5 Ways to Encourage a Caregiver
Eight years ago, I supported my sister through a heart transplant and housed her in the month afterward. Three years ago, my son faced a life-threatening infection that sent us to the ICU. In both cases, I poured out care for those I love—family members facing incredible need—but I also carried a huge amount of needs myself.
You’re not married, but you’re dating. Or you’re thinking about going out with someone. Or maybe you have a gut feeling you shouldn’t be seeing the guy you’re seeing. Let’s chat.
Who you date or hang out with can determine who you marry, which dictates the direction your life takes. That decision is huge and life-changing.
So I have seven questions worth considering in any dating relationship. These points to ponder help push fluttery feelings into the backseat for a bit, turning the driver’s seat over to some fundamental facts. I hear you: “Where’s the romance in facts?”
Well, here’s a fun fact … I actually write inspirational historical romance novels. Love stories are my favorite. I’m a romantic at heart. But here’s a little something I’ve learned in my nearly five decades of marriage to Bob … real romance isn’t fashioned out of feelings, but reinforces the foundation of a healthy relationship.
The dating kind of romance often lives and breathes in a dreamy (or needy) state of mind. That phase might prompt all kinds of romantic gestures. Roses. Salted caramels. Table manners. Wearing a clean shirt. Trimming the mustache.
All of that is good stuff, but is it reliable evidence of a boyfriend worthy of a white dress and marriage vows? Or breakfast?
Your friend is hurting, and you feel helpless. If you’ve passed your eighth birthday, you likely know what that feels like. And it seems that I daily find myself looking for ways to best serve a hurting friend.
One friend recently returned to the ring fighting cancer in a third round of chemo. Another friend navigates a new normal after burying her husband last year. Yet another writes her son in prison. One friend battles betrayal. Another takes it one day at a time in a rehab center. Yet another wrestles with crippling anxiety. And the list goes on.
We can’t fix their hurting or erase their heartache. But that doesn’t excuse us from doing what we can to ease the pain. Some. Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.
In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about a variety of things we can do to reach out to the broken, but today let’s zoom in on prayer.
Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Sharon Jaynes. I’ve asked my sister from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) to share truths with us regarding the disparity between how we see ourselves and owning our true value, our identity in Christ.
Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Do you remember the day you came to saving faith?
Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus.
Or perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him.
For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.
When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.
But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away. I was still a girl who felt worthlessness. When I made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, those feelings did not dissolve like springtime snow. (more…)
After a ten month hiatus, I’m writing again and I’m back on social media more regularly. I missed connecting with you.
May 17, 2018, I was on my way to Kona, Hawaii, where I teach for YWAM (Youth with a Mission). For two weeks. Tough gig, I know. And one I count as a big blessing and look forward to every year.
The week of the 21st I would teach on writing children’s literature. The following week, my students would walk with me around the world of fiction writing.
I tucked my rolling computer case full of teaching supplies between the two purple suitcases in the back of my car. I’d slipped the file folder of notes for my nonfiction book for women between my laptop and course files.
Family members in transition lived with us the first three months of 2018. This getaway to Kona, though a business trip, would be the reset button I needed to concentrate on my own writing during the windows of downtime before and between my weeks of teaching.
As I drove the highway between my house and I-17 toward Phoenix, my plans for the day played in my head. First stop, Starbucks in Camp Verde for a chai latte. On to Olive Garden for minestrone soup, salad, and breadsticks before settling into a hotel room with my work-in-progress writing project. Several hours of uninterrupted writing stretched out before me. I sighed with delight.
We all know plans can change. We get interrupted. (more…)
Bad days happen. To all of us.
Days that show up as magnets for mishaps and misunderstandings. The kind of days that can launch us into emotional ups and downs.
You might be smack dab in the middle of that kind of day.
You are not alone. David and the others who wrote psalms knew days like that and recorded their emotional roller coaster rides in the Bible. From pouring out their hearts to God to pondering His ways. From petition and pleading to praising God.
The book of Psalms is a go-to for me when I’m battling a bad day, a day of emotional ups and downs. Here are nine Psalms and truths that help bolster me on those kinds of days. I’m hoping these truth encourage you, too. (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my hope building friend, Michelle.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them.
In today’s post, Michelle talks about looking back versus forward looking.
By Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Have you ever done something that made you feel bad about yourself and kept you trapped in the mistakes of your past?
Have you ever been criticized by someone, and felt guilty, ashamed, or inferior?
Words of another can sting. So can the words of our enemy who seeks only to steal, kill, and destroy us (John 10:10).
Often, we don’t recognize Satan’s taunts for what they are: lies. (more…)
I struggle with wanting to give in to our society’s endorsement of individualism. My natural tendency is to make life about me and my tidy comfort zone. Maybe you do too.
Expressing love from a distance is oodles easier and less awkward than responding to up-close and personal opportunities to reach out to others. You with me?