Wednesday, April 27, 2016



OK, this will be interesting, to me anyway; I am posting this from my phone. We'll see how it goes.
Stretched out all comfy on my son & DIL's couch while they watch a movie I don't care about.
Battery is low, better hurry!
The quote above is from my book and it took a looong time to believe it as a truth. He LIKES me..He really likes me...even without a makeover!
Yay!!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Writer's Regret

"Best way I could think of to show Walking Butterfly to your Mom."

My Dad sent me this photograph the other day. 

This writing journey of mine began so long ago that I honestly cannot find the starting point. I grew up with books and often had my nose in a Nancy Drew Mystery and I have a very vivid memory of reading Gone With The Wind in almost one sitting.

Books and libraries were always important to me, and then in school more than one English teacher encouraged me to keep writing. Math was an indecipherable language for me, but I could always gather high grades in English. The High School English teacher who announced that we were required to write every single day heard groans from most of the class, but received a huge smile from this student. 

I do not remember ever seeing my mom sit down with a book when I was little, but she did love books and the art of writing...and libraries. Maybe she read late at night like I do. The house I remember most clearly had a TV room with one entire wall lined with book shelves that I am pretty sure she and my dad built. In her last home where my dad still lives, there is a very similar room stuffed with books. My mom taught me to love books.

I believe that my mother wanted to be a writer. We talked about the craft of writing and traded books back and forth for years once I was grown up and away from home. I was reminded of this after she passed away in 2011 and I inherited a cardboard box of old and new books she had collected. In among the novels and how-to books were many about writers and the art of writing. 

She would love my book. But she never got to see it. And it breaks my heart. 

I published my book, WALKING BUTTERFLY, this last February and not a week goes by that I don't fantasize about how she'd react to it. I want to put it in her hands and see the look in her eyes. I want to hear that she'd sent copies of it to all of her friends. 

I know that she was proud of my writing as I spent years writing articles, devotionals and newsletters. She didn't say much about them, but while staying in her home after her death I came across a file full of everything I'd ever written publicly, and copies of emails where she'd forwarded my writing to my aunts and other family members. 

Mother's Day is coming soon and along with it comes the anniversary of her passing on May 19th. I love that my Dad took my book to her gravesite and let me know about it. We both know that she is not really there. We also know that she is seeing my book and that Heaven is probably tired of hearing about it. 

But still. 

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

On Trusting Your Wings


The house is silent except for the "Plink plink" of Hubs in the next room flipping through the Netfix choices. I'm in the mood to write so I am in our room staring at my Mac screen wondering.....Oh, did you notice the mouse in the picture? 

I was gifted this beloved Mac in 2008 by my husband. I am still surprised at such an extravagant purchase from him. I love this laptop and Hubs. Never using a mouse on it until this week, I am sadly realizing that it is slowly becoming undependable. The handy dandy touchpad decided not to offer me a right click or left click anymore. No highlighting, copying/pasting dragging, so not helpful! 

So very sad.

This MacBook has been, still is one of my most treasured items. I wrote a book on this laptop. I've also written letters to churches about our ministry school, communicated with prospective students on the other side of the world, guided them through the visa process and then created Bible reading schedules, kept track of attendance and prayer requests, and created videos for our promotion booths on this piece of metal and what-not. It is still stuffed with photos of our former students with bright shiny faces even though the school closed over 5 years ago.  

My beloved Mac is also full of warm and love-filled letters between me and our students. Little glimpses into lives that were searching for true meaning in life. I could not answer that question for them and I seldom had to. But I did listen to them. Asking more questions than I answered. But it seemed to help.

Earlier today while the sun was shining warmly in my backyard, I sat and looked at the grove of trees behind our house and I thought about those days in our ministry school. I asked myself what parts I missed. I was surprised to suddenly picture myself on the couch in our school office, sitting across from a student as she cried into her hands. I did not even picture a certain student, because it happened more than once over the years. 

I was usually terrified...of what I was about to hear...what could I possibly say to help the tears stop...how could I make it better? Sometimes our students had lived much more experienced lives than I had. They had walked through tougher situations and hardship. What could I offer? 

My heart would be pounding as they mumbled the ache that overwhelmed them. I know that I appeared calm and wise and ready to help. But I was inwardly begging God to give me the right words and actions for the tender heart in front of me. 

There was strategic thought behind moving a couch, even though it was ugly, into our office. Hugging is awkward and uncomfortable when you are in chairs. I've had my knees go numb while consoling another on a chair. An arm around trembling shoulders was most often the first need. A hug and silent prayer were my first action on most occasions.

I stumbled through these gentle moments with a broken hearted student who needed answers. I had no clue what I was doing. I am not a counselor or psychologist. I often hated the sound of my own voice as I wondered aloud what God was wanting to show us about Himself in the situation. I sounded wimpy and not at all full of deep wisdom or confident guidance. 

But the letters on my Mac now are from students years later who say that it made a difference. They write that those were important moments in their lives. That I helped. 

Not every crying or angry meeting in our office ended well. Sometimes I really was no help at all. I was less than what they needed. The interesting surprise is that my Mac holds letters from those students too. They often remember it differently. Warm words come from them now, full of sweet memories of our school and how it impacted their lives in a positive way. All I did was listen.

Sometimes sitting still long enough to listen can be a gift. I believe that God placed me on that couch next to that student so that I could encircle them with arms of flesh that represented His arms. I did not know that at the time. In the middle of the pain, drama and confusion, I was desperately asking God what to say and do for the student in my arms or sitting across the room with folded arms. I tore myself up about not being enough for our students. And I did let some down, I know I did. But even my failure to be what they needed has left them with fond memories of one who listened for a bit. 

Looking back I know this now. 

You can be doing the right thing and not know it. You can feel like a bumbling idiot and still be Jesus for someone. You do not have to be able to quote the perfect chapter and verse from the Bible to be God for the broken-hearted person in front of you today. 

Isn't that refreshing news? 

You are enough. Because HE is in you. You already have everything you need to be HIS ambassador today. Because HE is in you. 

It will not always look like a win. You will not always hug that person good-bye with full confidence that you said the right words to heal their pain. It will not feel like a win every time. But sometimes it will be exactly what the hurting heart needed in that moment. 

And sometimes you will get a letter years later that tells you that. 

Trust your wings.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Am I A One Book Writer?

BUY HERE
Hi Friends, after working on a book on and off for two years it still feels unreal to have finished it, published it and now hold it in my hands. It also feels a tiny bit anti-climactic. I did not have a book launch or any real celebration here other than the beautiful response from all of you, my online friends and encouragers. All the joyful, happy and fun hopping up and down emojis were the best ever! Thank you so much for being happy for me and celebrating with me! 

Now I am asking God if there is another book for me to write. Does He have more for me to say to you? Or am I a one-book-writer? I do not know. But I do know that I love this process and would be thrilled to do it again. 

I am also getting ready to learn how to offer you WALKING BUTTERFLY in digital form. My online writing group says that it is not hard to do and that with a bit of research I can do it myself. So in the coming days and weeks I will be once again immersing myself in the teaching files and videos about moving a paperback to a Kindle book. Wish me luck! Woo-hoo!

Regarding the idea of a second book, I have a question for you. If you read WALKING BUTTERFLY, would there be a certain chapter or subject that you would like to see me expand upon? Did I leave more questions than answers on any particular subject that I touched on? 

Maybe your answers to this question could be my launch into the next book. Thanks for helping...again!! 
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Friday, March 25, 2016

It's Friday But the Green Is Coming





It is the Friday before Easter, Good Friday. I sat on a stone step in my backyard a few minutes ago and stared at the fresh green buds pushing their way to the sunshine here in Texas. And the thought that came was simply this…

It’s Friday but green is coming. Green for new life. Green for fresh beginnings.

My thoughts then went to you. I wondered what I could say to help you see the green that is coming even when today is so dark. Good Friday is the day that Christ died. It must have been DARK for so many that day. It might be dark for you today.

The crowd of believers who watched their leader give up His last breath…What was going through their minds and hearts? I would imagine that the group was a mixed bag of emotions and responses to the horror before their eyes.

Do you think that many stood there and felt robbed of all hope for a bright future? There were probably some who even felt betrayed by the one they had followed and believed in. It is easy to imagine that there were many confused hearts that day. I am guessing that there must have been at least a few who remembered what Christ had said about returning in three days. About rising again. Did they talk about that as they cried?

WE know how the story will unfold. But they did not have a clue. Good Friday was a dark and terrible day for the ones who had dared to believe.

They did not know that the green was coming. They did not know that the one they followed was going to refuse to stay dead. All they saw was terror, fear and disillusionment. They saw pain and helplessness.

My thoughts are with those of you who are in your Good Friday. It feels dark. It seems hopeless and out of your control. Everywhere you look, you see a mess. You can barely see the tunnel, much less the light at the end of it.

Believe me when I say that there is a light there…just beyond where you can see. There is green coming. There is new life and restoration coming your way. Christ has not left you alone. You are not alone in the mess. He is coming back for you.

It is Friday, but the green is coming. Hang on, He will not let you down, my friend. The Spring buds are a picture of the new life that He is arranging for you. It will get better. Even if all you see today is darkness…The light is coming. The darkness will not last forever. I promise. But even better, He promises. 




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Monday, March 14, 2016

A New Chapter For Me



I am wondering how many NEW CHAPTERS we each have in life. I am 61 years old and getting ready to enter another new identity. I most definitely did NOT see this one coming! 

My previous chapters? 25 years in full-time ministry in many different shapes and sizes. The last 4 years I have described myself on numerous job sites and online magazines as a freelance writer and professional blogger who worked from home. Over-lapping with the freelance writer identity I was also working on a book that was still a mystery whether it would become a reality or not. And then last month the book of my dreams was published and I got to experience the surreal and delicious sense of accomplishment involved in being an author

And now in the coming Fall I will be a preschool teacher! 

From an early age I remember being warned not to see our job as our identity. That it was dangerous and limiting. As young marrieds we reminded ourselves that we were more than our job and that our jobs and ministry must not become our identity. Not to hold our favorite tasks too tightly because nothing is permanent. 

But you guys, that is kind of impossible. It just is, at least for me. When you are involved in an ongoing ministry you give yourself completely to it or you're not doing it right. How could you do it half-heartedly if you care for and love the people you are working with and for? 

We thought that the ministry life would be our identity until the day we got too old or better yet, that we'd die while still on the job. At the beginning of our ministry career our parents had asked us if we had a retirement plan in mind. We naively stated with the arrogance of youth that there is no such thing as "retiring from ministry". Oh Lord! More than a little bit of embarrassment and regret happening now! We gave it our all and did not plan for a future beyond ministry. 

And then as a writer and an author, your job becomes an obsession...and it needs to. It becomes who you are, how you think of yourself. Because it is not easy and it does not happen accidentally. A freelance writer must be constantly on the hunt for the next job and keep submitting the words everywhere you can possibly send them. An author cannot stop working on the book or it will be nothing more than a collection of files that no one will ever see or enjoy. 

But an income is still a requirement and that is the main reason that in August of this year I will be describing myself as a preschool teacher. There is another reason that I am excited about this new chapter and the second motive for taking the job; the potential for new friends and a reason to get out of my house a few days a week. 

I have some history working with little ones. I taught preschool full-time for two years before my first son was born. I was also taking night classes toward a degree in Early Child Development which I did not complete. After my son was born I continued to work as a preschool substitute teacher in three schools for a couple of years. I was a children's church director and teacher in two churches for about, yikes...10 years. 

I am so happy about this opportunity! It feels hand designed for me. The preschool is part of a church that is on the other side of the little forest behind our house. So close! No awful Texas driving for me! It is only two days a week and the pay is nice enough to make a difference for us. And the women involved are so nice and funny and very welcoming! 

As I've been researching info for the job, I am falling back in love with early child development, the teaching theories, methods, songs and books! So fun! By the time I start this new job my grandson, who I watch twice a week, will be two years old and he will get to be my guinea pig for songs, stories, art projects and trying out new "transitional motivators". Haha!

So as I said at the beginning, this is my new chapter and be prepared for me to jump into it with both feet and becoming totally immersed in kid stuff. You will be hearing fun kid stories and maybe even some spiritual insights, who knows? 

Now my new identity will include author, freelancer, preschool teacher and I guess always a minister in one way or another. Because all believers are ministers, in lots of different forms and shapes and sizes. God loves variety, right?

So this blog post has really been more of a newsletter than a real post I suppose. I just felt the need to give you an update of sorts. The sales on my book were great in February, but very low in March and that makes me sad. If you have any ideas for advertising it for free somewhere, let me know or feel free to promote it yourself. I will appreciate it so much! 

Buy it here!


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Friday, March 4, 2016

Can A Book Have a Sound Track? WALKING BUTTERFLY Does!

WALKING BUTTERFLY now available on amazon.com! 

My home is full of peace this evening. Just Layla and me on the couch with beautiful music swirling around us. Several weeks ago I popped my favorite worship CD into the player and it dawned on me that the songs on this album are the actual soundtrack to my life during many of the sweet God encounters that are described in my new book, WALKING BUTTERFLY.  


TOUCHING ETERNITY - Buy it HERE


 Touching Eternity by Bob Book is full of the music that accompanied and often created some of my deepest moments of knowing that God was present and that He loved me massively! Bob and his wife are close friends of ours and we were on staff together at the same ministry for many years. In fact I'm pretty sure I have a memory of hearing him work on this album in their spare room before it was released! I recall loving the "...then He pushed me" line. 

Bob and his band would fill our sanctuary with so much freedom and joy as they looked to The Father for every note and word. As I am hearing the familiar words filling my home, I can picture myself standing with my friends, with arms uplifted and tears streaming. I would close my eyes and find myself in front of God's throne, in awe of His beauty. The songs paint the picture so, so clearly. 

Even now as the words wash over me, I keep wanting to quote the lyrics for you. But each song that comes on is better than the last and I could not choose which to quote for you. You will need to go check this album out for yourself. The link will also show many other albums by Bob Book, I love them all. 

Bob says this about Walking Butterfly,

"I loved this book!  Reading it was like lying on a very warm tropical beach as the gentle surf rolled over and refreshed me.  I felt wave after wave of God’s love as I followed Susie’s accounts of her personal journey with the One who is love.

Susie’s down to earth wisdom, gentle encouragement and practical perspective on the mystery of God’s love, will draw you into a deeper experience and revelation of God’s nature, and your own true identity.  I highly recommend this book!"  

Bob Book
Singer, songwriter, worshiper
bobbookmusic.com

 I am receiving so many lovely notes about how my book is impacting people. It overwhelms and humbles me, but does not completely surprise me. The moments recorded in the book still impact me too. The idea that the mighty God of the universe would care enough to speak to one of His children is simply amazing, isn't it? 

But He loves us. He desires to be close to us and involved in our lives. The stories in my book are spread out over many years, He did not talk to me every day. But I know He wants to and will if I stop and listen often enough. 

Powerful worship music will help us to listen and position ourselves so that we can hear Him. That is why I wanted to let you all know about the sound track that accompanied my stories.

While I wrote my book, I needed a beautiful instrumental background and that was also provided by a real life friend! Byron Easterling's gorgeous instrumental Simplicity, helped me to "get in the zone" as I asked God to take me back to the important moments in my walk with Him. 

I have certainly been blessed with great friends who love God wholeheartedly. Hubs and I consider ourselves lucky to have been able to hang out with them for so long. We are now living over a thousand miles away from them and I miss sitting on their couches very much. But not everyone can put their best friends CD's on and pretend they are near by! :) So there's that!

Always Worshiping,


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Sunday, February 14, 2016

February is the MONTH OF LOVE

WALKING BUTTERFLY now for sale on Amazon!
What a crazy and delightful month it has been so far, since publishing my first book on Feb 2, 2016! The sales have not been huge, but as Hubs keeps reminding me, I did not do this for the money. (Secretly though, I kinda did. Why not? Ha!) Because I am an unknown and it is a first book, I haven't sold hundreds; as of today I've sold 50 books. And I am THRILLED about that!!

The responses from readers has been deeper and more powerful than I expected. I am reminded that our words can do so much to bring healing and freedom to others. It amazes me and humbles me to think that my scribbles can resonate with someone who needs them at just the right moment.

The first few days of sales made me giddy with excitement that it was selling. Then 3 or 4 days later as I realized that those orders were now arriving in multiple mailboxes all over the place, and people were actually sitting down and reading my words, I felt so vulnerable and naked. 

My intimate and sacred moments with my God were now open for all to see. Would they make sense to anyone but me? What would my private conversations with God reveal about me that I hadn't realized yet? Even my sons were now reading private stories that I had not talked about a lot. 

Of course it did help that many of my book chapters are taken directly from this blog over the years. So I had already dealt with the 'open to the public' aspect of nonfiction writing in that way. I had previously crafted the events to only reveal facts about myself and not others around me who may not want their part shared. 

But a paper and ink book just feels much more permanent than a blog post that cannot be held in the hands and placed on a shelf. 

And then a friend emailed me a photo of my book stuffed into her bulging purse along side her beloved planner and journal while she sat in a doctors waiting room. I showed the pic to Hubs and told him this is exactly what I hoped my book would do for people. Something short and sweet enough to stuff in a bag and take with you. Happy writer!!

My heart is full this Valentine's Day. My kids surprised me with a gorgeous picnic birthday lunch in the park yesterday, my California son is here with us for 10 days, my book is out there and next week Hubs and I celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary! Lot's of love floating around me and I am soaking it up with greed.

I hope you are having a month of love too. Let me know what you are up to and if this new year is turning out as you hoped. 



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Friday, February 5, 2016

Last Random Journal Day Link-Up


My treasures
This is the last chapter of the Random Journal Day Link-Up with my friends all over the Internet. We are not a huge group but we are a passionate group when it comes to the subject of journal keeping. 

I loved reading the monthly collection of journal entries from so many completely different styles of journal filling. Some were artistic and used drawings and bit of fabric and decoupage pages. Others were poetic and musical, while many of us just filled the pages with words and exclamation points galore!!

In my little world, the last few days have been mind-swirling with excitement and joy. And I can honestly say that my recent bit of success and happiness is directly due to that motley collection of journals at the top of this post.


Available on Amazon

Since you are my friends, you already know that I just published my first book, WALKING BUTTERFLY. The picture below reveals the very very beginnings of this book about my life and conversations with God. I sat down one day a couple of years ago and decided to read through all of the journals I had kept for 30 years and pull out the important and life-changing moments with God. 




I wanted to see if I had enough to create a book about my journey with God. And I never really knew if I had enough until I listed it out like this and then had to narrow it down to the one subject of how much God loves me and all the different ways He tried to get me to believe it over the years. 




Do I need to tell you how thankful I am that I did not throw away my journals? That I lugged them from house to house when we moved, and how I hid certain ones from prying eyes and even tore out pages over the years? I am so happy that when I needed to write about an early morning moment on the floor of an empty sanctuary, I could go back to the exact day's entry and relive it with clarity. 

Writing to you about the value of journal keeping is quite literally preaching to the choir, but it helps to be reminded that you are not wasting your time when you record your thoughts and feelings in detail. Keeping your journal is a form of meditation and contemplation. It is important and vital to your inner peace and ability to be kind to the people in your life. 

Do not stop writing down the stuff that is bouncing around your head. Cherish your journals and your journal habits, they are part of who you are. As for me, I will probably still do my own Random Journal Day every once in a while just like I did before Dawn and I created the link-up version of it. You can too. Because some of your best inspiration has already been written, right? Use it. 

Keep Journaling,
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This Feels Even Better than Expected!

You Guys! My head is still spinning and my heart is jumping at all the excitement in the last 2 days! My little book that could, is finally PUBLISHED! 

WALKING BUTTERFLY is now available for purchase on Amazon! After only one day I already have a lot of sales and I am simply thrilled, overwhelmed and just a little bit excited! 

My cover designer/interior designer did a gorgeous job both inside and out. I did not even know she was adding a background graphic to the chapter title pages and I adore it completely! 

This post should probably be more carefully thought out and strategic I suppose, but my head is still in hyper-lala mode today as I wait for my grandson to come over for a few hours this afternoon. 

The flow of congrats, Likes and sales through FB has been shocking and so affirming to me and my heart. Thank you all so very much! 

Here's some pics of my day yesterday....


Just had a feeling that today was the day!

Still was afraid to open it and be disappointed. 


Not at all disappointed, so pretty!

Ok time to go buy a few copies, right? 

Thank you so much my friends!!
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thank You For Being So Encouraging!


Oh my goodness, you guys!!! I am one humming and grinning lady around here lately. I can hardly believe what has been happening. 

It was just a few months ago that I began tentatively mentioning here that I was getting serious about publishing a book that I'd been working on for years. Even then, it felt like I was kinda being careful to just quietly whisper it at the end of a post...because who knows if I would really stick with it? I certainly didn't know. 

And now, now I am anxiously watching the mailbox in front of my house, expecting the PROOF COPY of my book within the next 8 days or so! 

I did it. I completed my christian nonfiction book, and uploaded it to Create Space, Amazon twice to get it right. It passed their review and now a print paperback is in the mail on it's way to my house so I can make sure it is good enough for you guys. Once I am happy with it, I will hit PUBLISH and it will be available for purchase on Amazon. Sometime in the first 2 weeks of February hopefully. :) It will only be available in paperback for now, not digital at this point.

All along this journey, you have been super encouraging and always cheering me on. After all, if the words on this blog had not resonated with anyone, there would be no book. It has been your comments that have let me know I just might be on to something worth sharing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As a small thank you gift that you cannot hold in your hand (sorry) I am now going to.......drum roll please......

Do my COVER REVEAL right here and now for my friends!!!! Lucky you! The first to get a peak at my gorgeous book cover, created by my gifted friend Lorraine Box. I could not be more pleased!! I am doing the cover reveal inside my blog, not as the top pic so that it only shows up for the ones who came to my blog. Aren't you that special? SO....time to scroll down.....So excited!!!






TA DAAA! 

So pretty!! 

Color me Happy Writer! 

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

A New Habit

Walking Butterfly, coming soon!

So I guess what they say about it taking a month to create a new habit, is true. Here I sit early in the morning in my office while Hubs sleeps and the house is still dark. I don't need to be here this morning. 

For the last month or so I have been unable to sleep past 6am. I lie there and wait for the clock to move to a more decent hour for a work-at-home person to arise. But once I wake up, my mind begins buzzing with book stuff. Actually I went to sleep with book stuff on my mind and it kept me company all night pretty much. 

I've read about writers who recommend getting up extra early to create while the mind is fresh. But I resisted because I have more time than I know what to do with. I know that statement makes some of you crazy...it's not really a very fun way to live though. I am an empty-nester who works from home, sporadically. We need more income but this is what I do for now. 

Anyway, getting up early to write did not make sense to me until 2 months ago when I finally set a date to finish my book and self-publish it. So I gave in to the early morning nudges and popped out of bed every morning ready to wrap myself around a cup of coffee and write in my study while Layla watched from across the room.

It has been a great way to start the day! When Hubs brings in the coffee pot to give me a refill I feel so accomplished and proud of myself!

But this morning, I do not need to be in here. Last night I sent my book off to the person who will format it and get it ready to upload to Amazon whenever I want to. !!!!!! I sent my book-baby off to preschool! So scary and excited! 

This has been a 3 year project, with many seasons of ignoring the project. A lot has happened in our lives in the last 3 years so it is understandable that a silly little book idea might get set on a shelf for a bit. 

But I did it. I completed the book and if all goes well, it will be available in February. My month of LOVE, when I turn 61, celebrate my 38th wedding anniversary and now become an author!! 

I will keep you posted. You will probably get tired of it, but get ready to see my book cover everywhere you turn! Ha! 
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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bubble Head & Book Info

Why this pic? Because I have a cold and feeling BUBBLE-HEADED.

We are inching closer and closer to making this book a reality. Day by day and bit by bit, I can actually see the finished product in my head and heart. I am so thankful for the faithful friends who have come along side me to make this happen. Have a tentative publish date of early February if all falls into place smoothly. eek! 

I have friends who've published multiple books and when I think of them I always feel kind of silly for stretching this ONE project out so long, but as Hubs says a lot lately, "It is what it is." Comparison is an evil thing and I am turning my back on it this morning. 
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

About a Little Wooden Plaque


A little wooden plaque sits on my writing desk within my eye-line every day. The original poem is decoupaged with love and it makes me smile. And it makes me want to be that person once again. 

The words that haunt me and inspire me...

"Susie's Window
Sitting by Susie's window,
I'm stirred by the breeze that blows in.
There's nature in it, the birds that cling to the swaying branches and the seeds from the
trees that float, and dance inches from my hands.
The morning is fresh, with a scent that grew overnight.
I've let myself see the open spaces; the entry places to somewhere new.
The dreams that came to me in my sleep last night
take flight in this time.
I've traced the trail she leaves behind,
of all the places You take her and ways You wake her to who You really are.
I've come under the wings of a woman who flies and it's lifted the level of my eyes to a
spacious place, a free place, a quest for where You abide.
Her heart waits for You, and her feet run to find You, and
I've followed at times, to where You are,
Through the wonder in her eyes as she looks for You,
And the praise on her lips when it's You she finds."
Frances 

Frances was a student in the ministry school that Hubs and I directed for 10 years. What year did you attend Frances? I can never keep track of who was with us in what year. We did not know one another terribly well. She was quiet and I was/am quiet too. But when she gave me this beautifully wrapped gift at graduation I knew she had been silently watching me. 

My favorite spot during our daily worship sessions was right next to a big picture window. It overlooked the trees and creek next door to the church where we housed our school. I had no idea I was making an impression on this beautiful and talented designer from the United Kingdom. 

I miss those mornings full of abandoned worship. Some days were sedate and sweet, others were wild and raucous. Loved it all. We never knew how HE would come. 

But the search was delicious.

Thank you dear Frances for this gift. It reminds me of my past and my present as I continue to look for Him and then 

Praise Him when He finds me. 
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Saturday, January 2, 2016

My ONE WORD For 2016 Is....

My ONE WORD for 2016
Like many, I am choosing ONE WORD for 2016 rather than writing a list of New Year Resolutions. This year when I casually asked God to let me know what my word would be, it came a few days later as I sat down at my desk once again to work on my book dream. 

I resisted at first. PERSEVERE is not very exciting, romantic or emotional, you know? It's not FAITH or TRUST or JOY. And it even LOOKS severe! 

But I have several areas that need inner determination. Lots of things that need to happen and they will not just happen because I wish upon a star or pin them to my Pinterest board.  I have done too much of letting life happen to me in the past. I can go with the flow. But as I approach my 61st birthday next month, I sense a new drive to be a little more proactive.

The first and most obvious item on the list is the publication of my book. I never thought I'd be an early morning writer, but lately when I wake up, my first thought is the book. So I slip out of bed and into my robe. I walk through the cold house and turn on the coffee on the way to my office. Layla follows me and plops herself on the extra chair across from my beautiful writing desk. 

I make myself open the manuscript file even if I have no clue what else to do to the words there. I've been over and over them so many times, it is almost memorized. Some mornings I work for only 30 minutes, but other days I am in that little office for a few hours before beginning my day. And those mornings feel GLORIOUS!

"to persist in anything undertaken; maintain purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles,     or discouragement; continue steadfastly."

My stomach actually feels nervous and queasy when I imagine hitting PUBLISH on my project, but it has to happen...and only I can do it. No one can do this for me. So each morning I am going to put my butt in that chair and do the best that I am able. 

I am going to persevere. 

Linking up today with Random Journal Day. Go check out the other entries. 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On Having a Grown Son Who Lives Too Far Away


Before bed last night I watched a video of my grown son giving a hilarious toast at a wedding 1,744 miles away. I sat on my couch here in Texas and laughed out loud at this creative and entirely not-shy California man who used to be my little boy.

I felt proud, but instantly knew that his unabashed bravery and confidence had very little to do with me. Have absolutely no clue how this rugged and handsome man learned to charm a crowd the way he does. He is a natural storyteller and comedian.

But my other thought, the one that hit me like a freight train was that I was jealous of the people in his life.

I am jealous of all those wedding guests in that laughing group. They understood the hidden meanings behind some of his words; they have inside jokes that I will never get. I may have met a few of them over the years, in passing, as he leapt into one car or another. But most are complete strangers to me, though intimate companions of his.

Life with grown up kids is like rediscovering your child over and over again. You must keep readjusting your heart to update the person in front of you. I love being around my grown sons. I cannot get enough of them and have to be careful not to let that show too much. Don’t want to be a creepy mom.

After they move out there are lots of little moments where you wonder what your new role is anyway. I recall standing in my laundry room and noticing that my visiting son’s wash is done and needs to be moved to the dryer. I haven’t done their laundry in years, so I question whether I should just transfer his stuff from washer to dryer or let it sit and wait for him to notice. Will he be embarrassed if he finds me touching his wet clothes? Am I being too sensitive? I call out that his wash is done and he bounds in to do the deed saying “Thanks Mom.”

Now one of my sons lives 26 hours away from us and I stalk him on social media and do not always tell him that I know about the parties and craziness. I don’t want him to close off my access to his life, without me. I look at the people in his pictures and I’m jealous of the time they get to spend in his orbit. They get to see him at his best and his worst, and they get his movie references.

I am sure that my daughter-in-law, married to my other son who lives close by, cannot imagine a day when she will not be aware of every little thing about her baby son. Right now she knows it all, from bowel movements to new teeth pushing through. Her heart will not dwell and cannot fathom a future when he will have secrets and friends that she does not know.

I love that wedding crowd in the video I watched last night. My son was probably not at all nervous before them, but I am still grateful to them for laughing as loudly as they did. He was funny enough to deserve those big laughs. I’m thankful to them for adding to the richness of his life so far away from me. I like them for loving him.

My son is a grown up. My heart is happy that true friends from a lifetime in one small town surround him. But I am still jealous of them.
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