Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I 8 Wednesdays—Useless Things

Today you get a list of the top eight most useless things found around my house:

Blue bulb syringe
Cheese grater. One word: ouch
Eyelash curler
Remotes—I have no idea what they control
Cords—I have no idea what they attach to
Toe separator for painting toenails

Baby burp cloths
Chestnut in a junk drawer (add about 400 more things found in my junk drawers)
I'm sure you don't have anything useless in your house, do you? ;)

*photos by flickr

**thank you for your prayers and love over the past few weeks

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Keep Walking

This is not how I’m feeling right now, although this picture amuses me.
I’m taking more time to grieve the loss of my father. I’d love for someone to sit me down and tell me it gets easier. I’ve heard though, it’s not that it gets any easier; grief just evolves into something different. I hope to hand it to God whenever it threatens to overtake me.
I can’t find normal.
Routine is hiding.
And pain and loss stand before me in some sort of confusing staring contest.
I will keep walking ahead in this corn maze until I reach a clearing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


My dad went to be with the Time Keeper today. I will offline until I'm ready to blog again.

May God reveal Himself to you more and more every moment you live.


Monday, March 15, 2010

The Time Keeper

You have a word too. My word lately is time. I’m wise to manage it, to be a good steward of it. Quite simply, I need to take a thoughtful look at how I’m making use of it. I’m giving you an acrostic. Hopefully it will provide some accountability for me today as I think about how to maximize my time.

T = Tenderness

Ever been interrupted? Did I hear laughter? My life is a hopscotch game, leaping from one interruption to another. And if I’m not careful this drives me to a certain crankiness that robs me of the joy I know God wants for me. I’m learning to mindfully treat little tugs on me with tenderness. God appointments.

I = Importance

By prioritizing the have-to vs. the want-to I’m able to spend my time on those things I think will have the most eternal impact. Sometimes this means my house is messy. It also means I don’t hesitate to say no when a church member calls to ask me to volunteer for childcare when I’m already invested in other ministries (and potentially low on energy). Most often it means pouring my time into loved ones—relationship building.

M= Mindful, Meaningful & Me Time

M is a three for one deal. Being mindful of when I’m tapped out helps me to rest when needed. I want to invest my minutes left on earth involved in meaningful activities. And me time consists of ways to recharge. Reading the Bible, writing, reading, going for a run, and painting furniture pieces are five of the best ways for me to come back into a right mindset.

E = Engaging

This one might surprise you. If I begin a book and it doesn’t grab me, doesn’t hold my attention, I stop reading it. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I probably couldn’t tell you who is on the latest Hollywood “it” list or the latest fashion trend. And I’m discerning with friendships. An engaging relationship reminds me of lumberjacks sawing a tree. There’s give and take.

What word could you make an acrostic from this week? Faith, Discipline, Fun, Rest…?

Thankful for the Eternal Time Keeper:
“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” Acts 17:26

*photos by flickr

Friday, March 12, 2010

One Question Friday

Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.

It is my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.

Who is this man?

*photo by flickr

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I 8 Wednesdays

I’m starting up something new. Ain’t that just like me? Every Wednesday I’m going to give you a list of my top 8. Eight is my favorite number. And I just don’t know how to live without putting a positive spin on something, therefore—I 8 Wednesdays.

This week you get a list of my eight favorite writing related websites (blogs included) to visit…

Novel Matters: This group of ladies demonstrates an in depth knowledge of the craft. I love the flowing conversation on this blog and the way these ladies make me think.

Novel Journey: An excellent resource for becoming familiar with the industry and fellow authors.
Querytracker: An assortment of just plain great advice.

Rants & Ramblings on Life as a Literary Agent: Rachelle Gardner is the kind of person you want on your team in a game of dodge ball and of course, if you aren’t playing dodge ball you just want her on your team. Honest, knowledgeable about the industry, and discerning. I’ve learned an immeasurable amount from her blog.

MacGregor Literary blog: Chip MacGregor and Sandra Bishop provide excellent writing tips and insight into the industry in a fresh, laugh out loud way.

Nathan Bransford—Literary Agent: The man knows his writing stuff.

So You Want to be Published: Mary DeMuth began this blog and now is joined by two other engaging ladies to provide practical writing advice. (Too cool, today’s post has several blogging friends listed in it…check it out).

ACFW: An excellent place to start to get connected and connect with authors in your genre.

Do you have a writing related website you enjoy reading?

*photos by flickr
**It bothers me there’s an ain’t up there, but I’ll leave it. It still bothers me.
***I have a great group of blogging friends with wonderful writing blogs. I will throw them up there another time. It grew too difficult to choose among them for this post.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Married to the Manuscript

I Wendy take you, Novel to have and to hold, through sickness and in health…

I’ve officially reached a new stage with my WIP.
Here is our love story so far…
Writing the Rough Draft = Falling in Love
Initially, as the words flung on screen and I raced to get them from my brain to the page, I was overcome by those first love feelings. I felt courted. My fingers fluttered to Novel’s face every time I saw it. A bouquet of flowers opened in my mind whenever I thought of the unraveling plot. A familiar tickle played under my ribcage because I couldn’t stop thinking about Novel…couldn’t stop dreaming about Novel. LOVE.
First Round Edits = The First Fight
Uh oh. All is not always champagne and roses in paradise. I married a novel. Ever had that come to earth moment of reality? And a few moments later, if you’ve reached any point of maturity, you remember you too can be fallible with words. Relationships get messy. First drafts are nothing short of messy. There is a whole heck of a lot of pride to tear down.
But you hang in…you hang on…
Second Round Edits = ChchchChanges
Together for quite some time. I knew how to read Novel’s sentences. We laughed at all the same jokes. We knew each other well at this stage. We knew the exact buttons to push. Novel knew exactly how to get under my skin. And I did my very best to get under Novel’s skin.
Third Round Edits = Coming Around
Dreams of the frolicking days of yesteryear evaporate. At this stage I dreamt of how to fix Novel. What could I do make Novel better? Because after all, I believed, like every spouse does at one time or another, it was my job to do so. So I dug, I brought up the hard conversations. We hashed through some of the rougher stuff together and once we got through, a feeling wormed its way inside me. I begun to shed tears and these tears weren’t the same as First Round Edit tears. These tears were tears of relief. I began to enjoy Novel again…began to see all the reasons I fell in love with Novel in the first place. I think our work and time together paid off.
Critique & Feedback = Always Something to Improve
Sure rough edges still exist, so we go to counselor. Counselors often see things from a fresh perspective. They catch things about our relationship we missed. I trust our counselors. They are intelligent and eager to help. Why wouldn’t we apply their advice? We begin to communicate clearer because of what we’ve learned from our counselors. We are improving even when we felt we were solid.
One to One Hundred More Reads = The Duration
Here is where we’ll see if we can stand the test of time. Maybe we’ll even teach a class or two (provide advise/critique for others), or go on that honeymoon we’ve dreamed about (enter a contest), or head to a marriage convention (a writer’s conference) or maybe, just maybe if Novel shows me it’s willing to keep working with me, maybe we’ll renew our vows (interest an agent) and when we’re old and gray we can look at each other, give a little squeeze and say, “We’ve made it,” as I hold the published copy of my love in my hands.
If you are married to a manuscript, which stage are you experiencing?
*photos by flickr

Friday, March 5, 2010

One Question Friday

Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.

It is my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.

I know, I know you’re not supposed to talk religion or politics at a party. But I’ve never been one to abide by those rules. Since that’s the case, I want to know—

Democrat or Republican?

*photos by flickr
**Come check out what I really think of feelings over at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda

I’ll start by letting you know Julie Ferwerda likes the movie What About Bob and if that doesn’t make her cool enough in my book, reading One Million Arrows secured her high status on my cool meter.

As soon as I received One Million Arrows in the mail I felt energized and excited. The subtitle of this book is Raising Your Children to Change the World. More than the happiness of my children, their day to day comfort, I’ve prayed for them to live resilient, Christ-empowered lives. I’ve prayed they trust God as they encounter tragedy and overcome with His love as their refuge. Having prayed those prayers, you understand why I celebrated when the book made it to my mailbox.

Emphasizing the butterfly effect Ferwerda writes, “If a single butterfly can leave a mark on the world through simply doing what it was made to do—flapping its wings—what could we accomplish as humans made in God’s image if we were to do what God has made us to do?” That question is a thread beautifully woven throughout each chapter.

Within the first few pages Ferwerda introduces a man named Dr. M.A. Thomas (fondly known as Papa to those he’s impacted). His vision of helping the orphaned and abandoned children in India revolutionizes the way one might ordinarily react to suffering. He felt bothered, but he decided to pray and act upon those feelings. He asked God what could be done to help and God showed him. So far “more than 16,000 broken children’s lives have been gathered and restored through his love, with at least two-thirds of those devoting their lives to full-time ministry.”
“God said that all children are arrows in the hands of the mighty Man, Jesus Christ. All we have to do in order to evangelize to the whole world is to take the arrow and place them into Jesus’ hands.”
~ Dr. M.A. Thomas

The rest of the book is replete with examples of parents who are actively taking risks to instill an eternal perspective in their children, who are encouraging missions work, investing financially and who are becoming less comfortable so that others have the opportunity to learn about Jesus. ~~~
I appreciate how Ferwerda challenged me to think about my intentions as a parent. She authentically motivates contemplation about the parental role and invites parents to disciple to their children by gathering, sharpening and launching them into the world.

I loved being invited to take part in this blog tour and I’d highly recommend this read.

To find out more about One Million Arrows and Julie Ferwerda:

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hands of a warrior, so are children of one’s youth. Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them!” (AMP)
*check out my article in Exemplify this month
**Julie looks a lot like my aunt...just thought you might want to know that ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Write like I'm Building...

If you’re like me you want your writing to mean something—you want your life to mean something. You desire to leave a mark on this world. Today you get to select the description that best pinpoints the reasons behind why you write (or fill in the blank if writing isn’t your passion).
The Sistene Chapel is known for its gorgeous frescoes and artwork. Well-
known and well-respected artists left their mark on this beautiful architecture. Writing like you’re building the Sistene Chapel is pouring into your work while carefully emulating the greats that have gone before you. You take writing seriously, treating it like an art form.

The Great Wall of China is created of earth and stone fortifications. You are in this for the long haul, demonstrating patience and stamina. With each mortared stone, you build upon something monumental. Writing like you’re building the Great Wall also means you’re protective and guarded with your time and energy. You defend your writing time wisely.

The Eiffel Tower was built for the World’s Fair in 1889. It is the single most visited paid monument in the world. Writing for you is about getting your words out there. Prestige, fame, money and promised publication are the key instigators to why you write.

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol—a symbol of friendship between France and the United States, given to us to commemorate the centennial signing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s made of pure copper. You bask in the wonder of using symbolism in your works. At the first spotting of it, you find a way to weave the symbol throughout the work, driving a message home with creative integrity.

The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (say that name ten times fast) in memory of his favorite (laughing at this word) wife. Your writing stems from a deep gratitude you’ve had for someone significant in your life—a parent or teacher perhaps. They instilled a gift of reading in you or inspired you by telling you your essay shined, setting you on a path to publication. Your words spill on the page as a dedication to that person.

Windsor Castle, in England, is known for its beauty. It has stood as a home and a fortress for over 900 years. Kings and queens had direct influence on the construction of the castle. Writing like you are building Windsor Castle is writing for the King. You listen to His instruction, His guidance and wait for His approval as you tower your prose with active verbs and messages laced with Biblical perspective or significance.

I write like I’m building all of the above, with Windsor Castle, The Great Wall and The Statue of Liberty being the ones I most identify with. (I know, it’s near impossible for me to choose one. Try going to a restaurant with me!)

Which one are you building (or as always, feel free to come up with your own)?

*photos by flickr
**info. from Wikipedia
***Check back Wednesday for my review of One Million Arrows. Just finished Bonnie Grove's, Talking to the Dead--the book made me clap. You know a book is good when clapping is involved.

Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...