Tuesday, September 26, 2006


First of all, I'm searching techie sites to see if I can find a fix for the not being able to view my page on Firefox issue. This is really bugging me. I can't read my own blog on my Blackberry either. I also want the bottom of the page fixed, the left margin fixed, and a decent banner across the top. Short of learning code, I have my doubts as to whether it will ever look right. I opened a new blog to tinker around with it, but can't pinpoint the problems. I think it has to do with incompatible code and maybe incompatible colors in different browsers. It's all more than I want to fool with. I just want to be able to post here and have people be able to read and comment. This is why I don't fool with pictures either. Seems everything I touch turns to poop.

Second of all, you may notice I've turned on comment moderator. Nothing personal. Getting spam and "anonymous" comments. Okay, I'm prejudiced against anonymous comments. If you don't want your real name on there, then make up a code name, an id or something. Otherwise you're in danger of deletion. (Especially if your comment tends to magnify my weaknesses, such as my weight problem, my depression, my laziness, and yes, my skipping church Sunday morning. I did make it to the Sunday night service, however. DID YOU?) So, yeah, I guess this is kind of personal come to think of it. If you want to join in the conversation, then at least give us a nickname to reply to. I know you're a regular reader. I see you on the sitemeter. And that means you like it here. So come out of the shadows. Quit hiding. I realize your attempt at humor and motivation. And I love you just the same. I want you here. So don't be shy. By the same token, don't be rude, obnoxious, or inane. Remember this is MY blog. You want a forum for your issues, open up a blog. And hey, we'll all come comment. We'll laugh with you. We might even be motivated by you. What do you say?

Thanks Dave for piddling around with banner ideas. I know you have other things to do besides work on my blog. I really, really want it to look right. Do you think Firefox is better?

Thanks Gina for commenting on the conference. Any of you other writers out there are welcome to comment here with a link to your take on the conference. I know several of us aspiring writers would love to hear about it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


If you went to the ACFW Conference in Dallas, I'd love to hear about it. I've never been to a writer' conference. I've read about what you do, such as meet with publishers and editors and, of course, write. And I've heard enough to know that they are invaluable for forging relationships and gaining information about the publishing world. I'd like to know about some of the actual conferences. What did you learn that helped you?

I also keep hearing great things about Mt. Hermon. If you've been to that one, I'd like to hear about it too. Don't be shy. I want to know details, girls and guys. Details. You all are writers. Put me there. Pretend I'm your best girlfriend hearing about your last date. I've got coffee and cinnamon rolls!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Prayer Request

I have a prayer request today that I would like to share. These are things that are weighing heavily on me today, and I know that sharing them with you will help.

As you know, my father-in-law has the beginnings of Alzheimers, and we have been struggling with his health issues and what course of action to take in his care. Today, the home health nurse called me and said that Daddy is refusing to take any more medication whatsoever, that he just doesn't see any use in it, and that he just doesn't want to be here any longer. They are concerned about his mental state and his physical state. He is down to 98 lbs. The doctor prescribed a medication for his appetite, but he is refusing this as well as his Alzheimer medications, blood pressure medications, and stroke prevention meds. What are we going to do? A social worker is going to visit him this week and do another assessment of his situation. I figure they will recommend the nursing home, and I know that he will definitely give up on life then. We are at our wit's end, because he won't let us help him. She suggested a sitter, but we've tried that, and he is refusing that. I've called my husband and told him what the nurse said. A family meeting is in order. Please pray for Mr. Green. This doesn't have to be as difficult as it is becoming.

Also, and this is a selfish request, but I need prayer personally. I have some personal issues I struggling to resolve and have been struggling to resolve for over a while now. This goes to the very core of my family and its spiritual well being. I am struggling to find the place God wants me to be, my family to be. I know that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. I want stability in my home. I want peace. I want a sense of normalcy. I am trying to fight the good fight, but I'm not trying hard enough. I'm fighting against laziness and apathy and depression. And just acknowledging these problems isn't fixing them. I need some Divine intervention.

So, I know I can count on you guys to pray. And I'll return the favor if you leave your requests here. We're in this together.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Made More Than Conquerors

I can't believe I haven't blogged since Monday. I've been swamped with work this week, and I am still working at 11:46 p.m. on a Friday night. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. This time last year I was drawing unemployment and wondering how we were ever going to pay our house payment. When I look back I think, how DID we make it? Only by the grace of God did we survive. And then I think, survive is not the right word. Overcome. We are overcomers.

I can't say that my faith has not wavered during this past year. It's been an intense time of learning to trust Him. And it's not over yet. We are still clawing our way back out of the hole. But we have our needs met. And it is enough. So, yes. I'm thankful for work. I got an email this afternoon that I will probably have a heavy workload this next week as well. Thank the Lord. Yes, I want to publicly acknowledge His goodness toward me and his faithfulness. God has been good to me.

I go back and read some of the earlier blog posts, and I think, man, I'm so glad things have changed. I'm so glad I can sleep at night again. I'm so glad I can pay my electric bill and buy groceries without worrying. But why did I worry to start with? Haven't I learned through all these years that God is my supply line? Oh, I had it so good there for a while that I had forgotten. I took things like electricity and groceries and shelter over my head for granted. Let's face it sometimes we, yes I said "we," become spoiled brats. Heaven help us. Heaven help me. ME! Lord, I'm the one that needs changing.

While in the car taking CWGIII to school this morning we had our devotion time. I know it seems like a sort of hurried, rushed time kind of devotion, but I find it works well, because CWGIII is buckled in his car seat and pays attention well. It helps get him in a good mindset for school as we pray for his safety at school and his daddy's safety on the road. We thank God for the blessings in our lives and over any prayer requests that we know of. We talk about how God wants us to act at school. We learn songs that I learned in Children's Church years ago.

It is during these times that the Holy Spirit convicts me of my "Spoiled Brat Syndrome." It is during these times that He reminds me that I am setting an example for my son. Over and over He has shown me that my child reacts to life by patterning after my reactions. And that is a hard pill to swallow sometimes, if you'll forgive the cliche. I want CWGIII to be an overcomer. I want him to have that overcomer mentality when he goes about his day at school. I want him to realize that God is his source of help. And when he needs Him, He is there for him. And so I pray:

Lord, help me to be that example. Help me to be victorious. Help me to be grateful. I've come a long way, but I need to go farther. Continue your work of perfecting me daily, Lord. My life is in Your hands. You knew me before the world began. You know every need, every thought, every stumblingblock. Lord, I thank you for your provision, your comfort, your friendship. Above all, I thank you for Your grace and mercy through the blood that you shed. Don't ever let me take it for granted. Make me what You want me to be, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Maggie (my beloved cocker spaniel) is having a toe amputated today. She split a toenail running out in the yard back in July. We took her and had it looked at, treated with antibiotics, and it got better for a bit. But it's reinfected, and the vet says it won't heal. So, we loaded her up and took her today. I hope she's okay. I about fell out when he gave me an estimate of the costs, but what do you do? Hopefully she will do okay with her surgery, and her foot will heal.

Does anyone know how to get photos out of your camera phone onto the internet. I don't have a digital camera, but I do have a camera phone, and I was thinking there HAS to be a way to do that. And maybe I could post pics of Mags and maybe a new one of myself. This blog has to be boring without pics.

Was up late last night watching a program about 9/11. It brought back so many emotions. It had only been about a month since my mother had passed away. I remembered grieving with all those families, thinking I know how you are feeling. And yet, I couldn't quite. My mom died with cancer. I was there to hold her hand. I got to say goodbye. How much more heartbreaking could it have been for those families? I'm sure it's still not easy. Remember to pray for them today. All the footage and media coverage is bound to dredge up the wounds and anger. And Lord knows, the anger needs to die.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My Favorite Books

I made a database with most of my books in it and was surprised to find that I had so many. And the great thing about it is that there's even more in boxes in the garage. The bad thing about it is that I don't have bookshelves for all of them. The overwhelming majority of my books are classics. My favorites?

  • The Thornbirds
  • Gone With the Wind
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Anything Mark Twain)
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Sue Grafton
  • John Grisham
  • Agatha Christie
  • Victoria Holt

These are only the fiction. I love biographies and inspirational motivational books too. Most of those belong to hubby. What are some of yours?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Can You Tell I'm Cheap

Current meme going around, thought I'd do it before I got tagged.

1. If you make sweet tea, do you use Lipton or Luzianne? Lipton--Don't make it much. Hubby doesn't drink it.

2. What toilet paper do I buy? If Charmin's on sale, we get Charmin. If not, then whatever is.

3. Which brand of bath soap do you use? Is it body wash or bar style? Whatever's on sale. I like liquid.

4. Which cereal do you buy for yourself? Whatever's on sale. 5-6 boxes at a time, if not more. My favorite is Frosted Mini Wheats.

5. What brand of dishwasher detergent do you use and is it liquid or tablets? Electrosol tabs

6. What is your favorite fruit to eat? Strawberries if they're in season and cheap.

7. Which brand of clothes detergent do you use? Whatever's on sale. But the Downey vanilla lavender softener is wonderful. I used to use Gain back in the day when I could afford it.

8. Do you like chocolate?I'm sorry. Is there something NOT to like about chocolate? I'm a CHOCOLATE FREAK. Don't bring me any Palmers or Zachary's either. If you really want me to love you forever, then bring DOVE. This is one time you don't just pick up what's on sale. Same way with salad dressing (Miracle Whip only) and ketchup. (A restaurant is high-class if it has Heinz, baby.)

9. Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right.

10. Do you still write checks or use a debit card? If I can find the card I use it. If not, I write a check. I play a game each week to try and not write ANY, but of course you know I always lose.

And that about sums it up. My favorite product of all time? Mr. Clean Magic Erasers....they cover a multitude of sins...er I mean dirt. LOL.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Novel Update

Bought Brandilyn Collins' Violet Dawn last night as well as Mary DeMuth's Watching the Tree Limbs. Finished both already. Read Mary's book last night in the hotel room. (We've been in Nashville for the weekend,) and Brandilyn's on the way home. Both were all I expected them to be and more. I just wish I had money to buy more. Hubby says I can get them on Half.com at a better price, but somehow I balk at it. It seems like cheating the author. I look at it as all part of my initiation. Still it can get to be an expensive habit. Even buying paperback.
Being a fast reader sets me up for disappointment. I'm always sad to see the story end. And yet, somehow once I start a good book, I can't put it down until the last page. That's how I know it's a winner.

It's the same way with the things I write. I was mildly disappointed to be finished with From Pharaoh's Hand. The only way I knew to remedy it was to start on a new book. I've got more done on the new one than the little graph shows. I just don't know how much yet, because most of it is handwritten. I've been writing while I wait in line at school to pick up CWGIII.

Another interesting thing about this book is that even though I have an outline--just like the last time--the scenes are coming in a peculiar order. I just hope when I go to string them together they make some sort of sense. I actually had to stop writing the other day. I wondered if I was doing the right thing--delving into this dark world of alcholism, abuse, and anorexia. (Not that I know a thing about anorexia. You should see me. But me and my sisters have decided that our family is a bunch of stress eaters.) Other themes are posttraumatic stress, guilt, infidelity, and war. It's proving to be quite the challenge.

I'm still struggling with what exactly this book will be. By that, I'm referring to genre. I suppose that's the hardest part to figure out. This book will be Christian. It will have romance. It will have suspense. It will rely heavily on recent history from the 70's to modern day. When I originally got the idea, my first thought was that it was a psychological novel. But that sounds so boring...and even complicated. When I got to a certain scene that I was painting, I actually shook. "I'm not sure I can do this," I told myself. And then I hear my friend Diane's voice reassuring me that maybe this is a path to healing.

But I've already let go of that past. Why dredge it up again? I thought. What good can dredging up hurtful memories bring? Because even though my story is going to be fiction, I have a broad range of experience to draw from. As I've said before, or maybe I haven't, my father was an alcoholic. My mother was a devoted, loving, Christian mom. This made for a somewhat turbulent childhood. I did not have it as bad as many children. The abuse that we suffered (and I'm speaking for my sisters, maybe out of turn) was more psychological than physical. As far as I know, none of the three of us were sexually abused. We had been struck at various times and seen our mother struck, choked, and threatened with a gun. Now, you tell me, what does that do to a child? Broken promises, lies, humiliations, and criticism...what does that do? At the same time, there were a few years when my father was sober. And from those years, we gathered some good memories and valuable lessons. But they are overshadowed by that man he would become when the bottle would overtake him. Overshadowed by the picture of coming home to a house full of smoke and him lying in front of the front door with a gun at his feet with us trying to get in. (He'd left a roast on the stove to burn and passed out at the front door with his gun. Who knows what that was all about.) But to kids, we thought he had set the house on fire and killed himself. That was just one of many terrifying moments of my childhood. Most of them I've kept tucked away for years--the admonition for secrecy ingrained so deep in me, the shame, the horror too much for me to tell. But Daddy's gone now. And Mama is too. Daddy's parents are aged and wouldn't have the faintest idea how to get on the internet. And so, now today, I freely tell the world what were to a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed 10-year-old the gravest secrets of all. Perhaps Diane is right. It needs to be told.

Am I writing a memoir? No. This is definitely a fiction storyline. I'm not about to do a James Frey. But as all good writers do, I write what I know. So who knows what From the Dust of Rose Hill will be when it's finished? I can only pray that it will help someone, that it will glorify God, and that it will not be written in vain. I can't promise you anything else. And I'm thinking that this week I'll send off my query for FPH if my printer will cooperate. Otherwise, I'll have to find a Kinkos.

Live Like You Were Dying--Steve Irwin Did

Last night as I was surfing I saw something that will make my sister very sad, The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin has been killed by a stingray. He got hit in the heart by the stingray's tail. He was 44. What a tragedy. I think everyone loved to watch Steve and his wife Terri explore wildlife because of their enthusiasm. You could see the love for what they were doing just pour out on the screen. There was an enthusiasm that was contagious. It almost made you want to go out and wrestle a croc yourself--almost.

For some of us it was the educational side that lured us in. For others it was the daredevil side. Still for others, (like KK and myself) it was that sexy accent and boyish grin. For my son it was the amazing closeups of the animals and adventures. Everyone loves a little adventure. And Steve took us there. From the comfort of our homes we could sit in our underwear or nighties and watch as the Crocodile Hunter would sneak up behind a venomous snake and lift it for the camera. We would hold our breaths as he would jump over the boat and wrestle a crocodile with his bare hands. One of my favorite shows was a documentary he and Terri did about the penguins. Watching Steve ooh and ahhh over how beautiful the creatures was was mesmerizing. He had a love for all God's creatures.

Even though to some it might seem foolish what Steve Irwin did--putting his life on the line for his career, I began to wonder if maybe he didn't have the right idea after all. I don't mean that you need to take life-threatening risks or put yourself in harm's way. Steve had training. He had experience. I'm sure in his eyes, it was a calculated risk. The payoff for him was the thrill of the hunt, the lessons he gained from it, and the contribution to the world he could make from his observations. I believe he truly loved what he was doing. The song, "Live Like You Were Dying" comes to mind.

If you were told today that you had 30 days left to live, what would you do? Would you do things differently? Would you take some calculated risks? Would you do something you ordinarily would never do? Would you take that trip to Europe you've been putting off? Would you write that book you've been thinking about for ages? Would you learn to paint, play an instrument, do karate, speak French? Well, what's holding you back? Life's all too short. Enjoy this world God's given us. Enjoy it's pleasures, it's creations, it's opportunities. Live like you were dying. Because I have a newsflash for you. We all ARE.

Say a prayer for Terri and Steve's children and family during this time. Even though they are celebrities they are people just like me and you. Even though they may be a world away from us, they can still feel our prayers. My heart goes out to them today.
Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter

Friday, September 01, 2006


Disclaimer: Warning** Specific doctrinal beliefs presented here of this author. You do not have to agree with them. You are not being cast aside if you disagree. This is not an attempt to stir up strife. These are merely my observations and thoughts put to electronic "paper" so to speak. I make no apologies.

Phil over at Something to Consider has brought up an interesting topic--speaking in tongues. Near the bottom of his post he makes an excellent point: The Baptism of the Holy Ghost promises "power for service"--not immediate/automatic spiritual maturity. This is where I think a lot of non-Pentecostals miss the boat. They do not realize the spiritual benefits related to the concept of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Many look at the speaking in tongues as a means to an end. The get saved, the get baptized in water, they get the "Baptism." And they stop there. If speaking in tongues were all it was to it, then my friend, it's much like the author says in 1 Corinthians 13, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not charity, I am a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal."

If you're seeking the gift of tongues because that is just what you've been taught you do, or that because you think it will make you better than other Christians, you're motivation is off. Spiritual gifts are just that--gifts. I was a bit dismayed the other day while reading a site of an Independent Baptist Church --won't say which one--that quoted text from the Assemblies of God web site. And then they proceeded to put their spin on what we believe. Had he asked me, (and he didn't, my friend) I would have told him that his question --of why, if tongues are promised to all believers, doesn't everyone receive--was based on a faulty understanding of gifts.

If your husband/wife/mother/friend had a special gift for you, had promised it to you, wrapped it up special and held it out to you--then your husband/wife/mother/friend has fulfilled that promise of providing the gift. Now, if you turn your back and say, "That's not the gift I thought I asked for," "I'm afraid I won't like it, or it won't fit," or "No, I just can't take it," then you refuse the promised gift, and if you don't take it, you can't receive it. Is anyone following me? And who of us refuses a gift without at least even opening it? Hm...At the same time, some of us, when we see what it is, lack the spiritual understanding to appreciate the gift. And sometimes it takes a long time for us to get it out of the box and put it on. It's sitting there on the bed, on the table, in our hearts --just waiting for us to use it. It is a GIFT. We are not obligated to use it. We do not lose our salvation if we do not use it. And I dare say, we will not lose it, if we don't use it. We can only "lose" it if we throw it away, much like, and I'm getting sticky here, our salvation.

The Assemblies of God believe the only unpardonable sin is blasphemy-- or turning your back completely on God and His spirit. (Unlike the brother at the Independent Baptist unnamed site who said it was in the Assemblies of God, (gasp) divorce. But that's a different post. How can you be saved if you don't believe? How can Christ's blood cover and forgive you of your sins when you will not accept His gift? If you throw away your spotless robe after he's given it to you and refuse to wear it, refuse to put on the armor of God he's given you, then how can God allow you into His perfect, sinless kingdom--if you are unwilling and still spotted by the world and its practices. There has to be some acknowledgment of this gift, it would seem to me. You didn't earn your white robe; you didn't pay for your white robe. But not to wear such a beautiful and precious gift, in fact to even walk away from the gift and put your own filthy rags back on is, well-- it's tragic. Does God not love you because you've chosen to put the filthy rags back on? Oh, my friend God will never stop loving you. And He never stops trying to get you to change your ways, your spiritual clothing, your life. But if you take that white robe and you continually leave it lying out with the dirty rags, it will eventually become soiled. And UNLESS you wash it clean in the blood of Christ daily, submit to the Father's will daily, and repent daily, it will remain soiled and unfit for the kingdom. Yes, Christ died for ALL of our sins, past, present, and future. It is His gift to us. What good is a gift if we take it and don't use it and/or take care of it??
Are there strings attached to God's gifts and promises? Only to the extent that the conditions benefit us as Christians. God will not ask you to do anything that is harmful to you. God will not ask you to speak in tongues to humiliate you or make a fool out of you. It is to empower you. To make you bold in the faith. To confirm in your heart that there is a language stronger, more powerful, more beautiful than anything our human hearts can fathom. And He understands it--it is the language of our hearts. And that is one of the most beautiful gifts I can even imagine.