I'm never home!

Home on my blog, I mean! Lena Nelson Dooley asked me all kind of interesting questions in the interview on her blog today. Come by and comment for a chance to win a copy of Wings of a Dream, too!



As I’ve started another journey through the Bible, from beginning to end, it seems the theme the Lord is showing me on this trip is humility. First I saw it anew in Moses’ life. (He is named as the most humble man on the face of the each.) Now I’m recognizing it in David’s life, though it is not actually named as such. 
In David’s life, I see humility in the lack of a presumption on his part. In spite of being anointed king by Samuel, David doesn’t take that word and say, “Ok, I’ve got this Lord. You told me what I’d be, now I’ll make sure it happens.” Instead, at every turn, he seeks the Lord’s direction--even when others are declaring that direction to be clear in the circumstances. (Most often those people were wrong!) 
David’s humility also comes in the form of forgiveness, of not holding a grudge, of maintaining integrity in his own words and actions no matter what his enemy did or said. That’s humility. Just like Moses, David didn’t feel a need to defend his position (or his future position). He left that to God to do or to not do. He was secure in his belief that God’s plan was superior to his own, in spite of what the circumstances looked like. 
Like Moses, David was also quick to repent when he realized his sin. And both men also understood that God’s reputation was more important than their own. And isn’t that humility, too? Realizing that my life isn’t about me. That my circumstances, whether marked by blessing or discomfort (or a bit of both), aren’t about me getting what I “deserve,” good or bad. The end result of all my life is simply to be a showcase for God’s glory, a revelation of His power, His love, and His forgiveness. 
Of course I’m only in 2 Samuel, but I have a feeling these lessons on humility will continue on through. After all, even in the New Testament God reminds us that He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6, I Peter 5:5)
I want to walk the rest of my life in that kind of humility. How about you? 


Another Interview

I know. You think you know everything about me. :)

But amazingly enough, each person asks a few slightly different questions. Come to Debbie Lynne Costello's blog and see what she wanted to know.


A Sunday Psalm

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter hidden things, things from of old--
what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord;
His power, and the wonders He has done.
   --Psalm 78:2-4


The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

You might remember last year when I told you about a wonderful novel by debut Bethany House author Jody Hedlund called The Preacher’s Bride. Well, Jody’s second novel is now releasing (September 1 is the official date) and let me tell you, The Doctor’s Lady did not disappoint! 
Like Jody’s first book, this one is also based on the real lives of historical figures. This time we embark on a historic missionary journey across the then unclaimed and untamed western territories. Jody’s author notes at the end of the book will amaze you as to which incidents were drawn directly from the journal of the first white woman to make the trek. But the beauty of this book is more than its historical accuracy. Jody crafts characters that grapple with real issues as they seek to honor God with their lives. And in their struggles, I see my own heart more clearly. That’s what makes for a special book.  


An Interview

I know my blogging has fallen by the wayside this week. Forgive me! I'm getting back on track again now.  But today, come read an interview over on my friend Mary DeMuth's blog. We're even giving away a copy of Wings of a Dream!


Character Spotlight, Author Memories, and Story Behind the Story

Hey y'all! I'm in three places at once!

Come visit Relz Reviewz for a spotlight on Wings of a Dream protagonist Rebekah Hendricks.

Come visit Anita Mae's blog Author Memories to find out how I tracked down a very special piece of family history related to Wings of a Dream.

Drop by Nicole Miller's blog and discover some of the Story Behind the Story of Wings of a Dream. 


A Sunday Psalm

Search me, O God, and know my heart,
try me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
    --Psalm 139:23-24


My Journey to Publication (the short version)

I'm over at my fellow author Richard Mabry's blog today talking about my writing journey to publication. Stop by and comment!


Too funny!

A friend sent me this link and I thought it was hilarious! So in honor of the DVD release of the new Jane Eyre movie:


I'm at Seekerville today!

Come read my post about writing contests over at the Seekerville blog today!


Worship and Surrender

There are a few worship songs that grab me by the heart and hurl me into intimate worship, all with a strong sense of who God is and my surrender to him. Yesterday in church we sang three of them right in a row! So I thought I’d share this morning.

If you don’t have time to listen to them, just read the lines I pulled from each song, words that stir me tears every time. And may your day and week and life be one of total worship and surrender.

“So let my life be a blazing offering, that shouts and sings the greatness of my King. Take my life and let it be, all for You and for Your glory. Take my life and let it be Yours.”

 "My heart and my soul, I give You control, consume me from the inside out, Lord.”

“What can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart, O God, completely to You.”


A Sunday Psalm

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your name, O Most High,
to proclaim Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night.
     --Psalm 92:1-2


Stuck in Neutral

I turn terribly unproductive in about the last week before school starts. It isn’t because I’m trying to hold on to summer. Believe me. I’m chomping at the bit for a semi-predictable schedule again! No, it’s much less noble that that. And honestly, it happens with more than just the first day of school.

I find that when any big event looms on the horizon, I go into a holding pattern. The anticipation of it—even the good anticipation—stalls me out. I can’t seem to make myself move forward again until that event comes and goes. This phenomenon could last a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks. All I know is that this tendency in myself drives me crazy!

Does this ever happen to you? Do you have a method for breaking stalemate or do you go with it and ride out that last little bit of time in neutral gear? 


The Great Paperless Experiment

I’m on day three of my great paperless experiment. Yes, this week I decided to see if I could live with just my online to do lists. I have several different ones, just as I did with my paper lists. One for general items. My calendar for scheduled items. And another for writing tasks. But all my electronic ones sync to my phone, which means I never leave home without them.

So far, so good, but it does feel strange to see blank pages staring at me from the notebooks that sit open beside my chair. And my computer/online lists aren’t perfect in the same way my written lists weren’t perfect: I still can’t manage them all in one place. But it’s close. In the end, I think it will come down to whether or not I can give up the actual act of writing things down when the week comes to its conclusion. For now, I’m not making any permanent decisions, but at some point I’ll have to either buy a new paper calendar notebook or not. We shall see. . .


Self Control

It’s a subject I’ve been contemplating for a while and it came up again in our class at church this weekend: self-control. 

We were discussing it in terms of being a fruit of the Spirit, but the truth is that self-control is one of those things we often try to conjure up in our own strength. We try to deny ourselves the things we realize are a point of overindulgence but often end up giving in to the very cravings we are trying so hard to tame. At least I know I do. So where is the line between the two? How can I know my self-control is the Holy Spirit kind and not the kind destined to eventually fail? 

I don’t have real answers yet. I find there are areas of my life I see the true fruit of self-control. And there are areas of my life that I struggle, try to impose my own limits, and fail. But the subject is on my mind and in my prayers a lot these days. 
Any insights out there? 


A Sunday Psalm

[The Lord's] pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor His delight in the legs of a man;
the Lord delights in those who fear Him,
who put their hope in His unfailing love.
     --Psalm 147:10-11


Surrender the Dawn by MaryLu Tyndall

I loved two things about MaryLu Tyndall’s latest book, Surrender the Dawn. First, the scenes on the ships. In those moments, I can feel the wind whipping my hair, taste the salt spray on my lips. I can feel the up and down swell of the waves. I can even here the movie music in my head as two ships engage in a chase or in battle. That is MaryLu’s signature strength--the scenes at sea--and this book delivers again.

But even on land the book does not disappoint. Cassandra and Luke seem to continually find themselves in all kinds of trouble even when their feet are firmly planted on Baltimore soil. And that is the second reason I enjoyed this book: Baltimore. My family has spent time around the harbor and touring Fort McHenry. In fact, I remember watching the Fort McHenry movie and then standing in the fort overlooking the harbor and imagining the scene myself. But MaryLu put me in the battle with Luke and his friend Noah, as well as with Francis Scott Key watching from afar. I love when a historical event and place spring to life in the pages of a book!

If you are up for adventure, you’ll enjoy Surrender the Dawn. If you want to experience a piece of our country’s history often overlooked, this is your book, too. And of course to top it all off, it’s always a pleasure to read MaryLu because she is such a sweet lady!

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher.


Gone All Apple

I’ve gone completely Apple.

We bought our first iMac in 2006--for the kids. Hubby gave me my white macbook for our anniversary in 2007. In 2009 our daughter bought a macbook pro to take to college. Then my husband dove in with a macbook pro as well. We gave up our blackberries for iphones--my husband first, me holding out much longer. And this summer our son bought his macbook pro for college.

After seeing the new Lion features on my son’s computer, I decided we all needed to upgrade, which has been no big deal for hubby and daughter but requires a bit more for my laptop (needs more RAM) and the desktop computer (still running Tiger). In the meantime, my son waffled on what word processing program to get for college (He’s cheap. He didn’t want to pay for Microsoft Office.), and I got my first look at Pages.

Love. At. First. Sight.

When we bought the first mac, I’d heard Pages was harder to use. Not compatible with Word. Etc, etc. So we didn’t even consider it. I don’t know if I heard wrong or if improvements have been made, but after one look at the current version, I made the switch.

Hello, iWork. Goodbye, Office. Now if I can just get my memory upgraded so Lion will install . . .


Celebrating the day

What’s going on in my life today?

I’m celebrating!


Three big reasons:

1. All of my children are at home this week. That is becoming such a rare occasion that I’m learning to savor the moments. And I’m trying not to think that in less than three weeks we’ll move our son into his first dorm room and come back home to only one child.

2. Fifteen months of waiting have whittled down to one. It’s finally time to start marking the days off the calendar until the official book release date for Wings of a Dream. Thirty-one squares to go.

3. My son’s high school class is having a fundraiser at our favorite restaurant, so I have an excuse not to cook!

Can this day get any better?