You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You

Have y’all seen the photos circling the internet of people “caught” sleeping? If you haven’t, let me fill you in. Whether it’s a solitary but serious mess up (poor girl!) and a bunch of people making fun of her or a whole bunch of photo bloopers, I really can’t say. But apparently, Facebook knows you’re in a healthy, happy relationship if your significant other grabs your phone while you’re napping (because you are so cute he or she can’t resist taking pictures of your angelic self). There are some things I miss about being in a relationship, but having my photo taken while I’m sleeping ain’t  one of ’em.


Because this attention while unconscious is so significant, because you’re nobody until you have a stalker, some unfortunate young women (and even a few guys) have decided to fake this self-worth by taking selfies with their eyes closed! And, of course, this doesn’t work out well for those who have mirrors anywhere near their beds. Mirrors catch things like oddly positioned arms holding glowing cell phones, y’all.

Here’s the thing: I don’t mean to ruin all the fun people are having at these poor self-photographers’ expense; I might have chuckled to myself at first. But really, this just isn’t funny at all. Are we a generation of people who truly believe that we’re nobody until we’re loved by Prince Charming or Ms. Right? Yes, I think that’s exactly who we are! I’d like to collect nickles for every time someone has given me that, “How could you be happy? You’re single!” stare. Cause really, I could use more nickles. I am happy, though. That happiness has nothing to do with a relationship status that can be changed and everything to do with my relationship with the One who will never let me go. Somebody does love me (and you). And, for the record, He watches over me while I sleep.

If you’re happy single, you’ll be happy married. If you’re waiting for a spouse to fulfill you, you’ll be pretty miserable for the rest of your life. Just a thought. Now, put down that camera and go to sleep.

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I Did It Again!

I just shot up from my seat and ran around my little home like a mad woman. Something stinks. Oh, something’s burning!! Plastic is burning–melting! I checked all the lamps and the heaters. I checked the oven and the crock pot and the toaster oven. Nothing. But the smell was strongest in the kitchen, so I stayed there and spun around in circles like a drunk puppy–thinking that might help.

Any guesses as to what the smell (I did eventually find it) was? I’ll give you a hint: this is the third time I’ve done this this winter.

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It’s not quite eight o’clock.

My house would be eerily quiet if it weren’t for the click, click, click of dogs’ toenails on the [fake] wood floor and the pop, pop, pop of the fire. Oh, and I just heard a contented sigh from the kids’ room. Someone is not quite asleep.

I had planned to spend tonight with a sweet friend, but I didn’t hear her knocking while I was putting the kids to bed. I can usually count on the dogs to alert me, but the wood stove had lulled them to sleep. And of course, my front door was locked. I guess I’m still a city girl at heart.

So instead, I’ll spend tonight with a 1913 copy of Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary and do a little more research for my upcoming book (that is, if the fire doesn’t lull me to sleep first). I do most of my research online, but there is something about a really old book that makes me swoon.

{Oh, now the dogs are barking. Go figure.}

I think I’ll leave you with this deep theological question before I go: What kind of shoes are you wearing to church tomorrow? I’m torn between flip flops and snow boots. 😉

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It’s Been a Little While Since I’ve Just Sat Down to Blog

I know there was a time when I sat down at this blog and just blogged my little heart out. I didn’t have a preconceived topic or theme. I was just bored, and I thought I’d share that boredom with the world, I guess. Now that I am, ya know, “a blogger trying to be a real writer,” I want to sit down with some purpose and write something worth reading–or at least with cute pictures worth viewing. And while I rarely succeed in that no matter how much I try, I still feel like I should try.

Tonight, I’m sitting here in my bed…tired I need to stay up a while longer to throw another log or two on the fire. It’s nine o’clock, but it’s Sabbath Eve which means I’ve just made it through another P.D. (Preparation Day). So, we’ll see…I really could have fallen asleep at seven.

I made an enormous pot of chili today. I’m hoping it will feed the men who are coming to chop wood for me this weekend. I’m so grateful for the wood–and you don’t say “no” to the church decons, I’ve gathered. They didn’t ask, they just told me they were coming. God bless ’em.

Last week, two sweet girls came to watch my kids and spend the weekend so I could attend a women’s conference at our church. The conference started on Friday night and ran through Saturday, but I decided to have Sabbath dinner with the family and join the women on Saturday morning. Everyone told me that I missed out by not making it on Friday night, but I made cappuccinos and watched Phantom of the Opera with two adorable teenagers. Now you tell me who missed out?

These are the same teenagers that sparked a new ministry for me, and it’s one that I’m super excited about. Every two weeks or so, I turn my living room into a day spa and give free facials using all the gizmos and techniques that I learned in a skin care class (that I took about a hundred years ago) along with the information I glean on those rare occasions that I find myself at a spa. The girls are so sweet and always tell me I should open up shop. And one of them wants to hire me as her personal chef. Needless to say, these girls are quickly becoming my very favorite people.

A few days ago, I allowed my Facebook “likers” to nominate someone to receive a free copy of my devotional. The nominations poured in passed what I was capable of fulfilling. But a few of you stepped up and sponsored. THANK YOU! At this time, everyone who has requested a book has received one! Of course, many women nominated themselves. The stories of betrayal and heartbreak that my sisters are suffering has brought me to my knees, not just when reading their stories for the first time, but every time God brings these women to my mind. If you are safe and secure and cared for, please pray for the many women the world over who are not. And when you pray, pray not only for their safety but for the perpetual softness of their hearts.

It’s 9:30 now and I don’t think I can make it much longer. I’m gonna go check the fire and head to bed. If you’re reading this tonight, sweet dreams my precious friends!

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Since I’ve Blogged Last

We’ve had a lake day and then our first snow. I will miss the gorgeous days of summer and I’m so grateful they hung on for so long this year. Today, a fire is roaring inside my wood stove. Last week, the sun blazed down on us as we froze our toes in chilly water.

Quite possibly for the last time in 2012.

2012 yielded a grand total of zero fish. But all four of the twins are now experts in casting and reeling. My hopes are very high for 2013.

I was also able to get the shot I’ve wanted for book #2 (scheduled to be released before the snow melts)! If you haven’t read it yet, don’t forget, book #1: 31 Days to Lovely: A Journey of Forgiveness!

It was a very good day. It was a good day, even if I did have to wear the picnic blanket like a sling and carry my three year old a mile back from the lake because he’d completely left his legs in the water. It was a good day even if the fishing lure shaped like a crawdad sorta kinda embeded itself in my hair while I was wearing my three year old in a sling. It was a good day even if my older kids took very seriously my promise about the first one back to the car getting candy and thusly left me to carry the tackle box, cooler, and poles while slinging my three year old legless son.

It was such a good day because it was the very first day in my entire life to date that exposure to afternoon sunshine has not given me one heck of a headache afterward. And it’s because of this lack of a sun headache (of which I’ve been blogging about for years) that I have now joined the ranks of those exclamatory supplement distributors. I know, I know…but no, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to spread the word about something that has changed my life so rapidly. You can e-mail me for more information.

And on that note, go enjoy the sunshine if you’ve still got it–or a roaring fire if you don’t.

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I don’t want to think about how old I was at the time, because it was a very, very long time ago. And I don’t want to admit that it was Sister Act II that stirred me (even though I still have the soundtrack and love it), because I like to think I’m somehow impermeable to the shallow–to anything that swims at depths that require no more than a snorkel. It is what it is, though; it was what it was. When Whoopi Goldberg told her talented music student that what she woke up thinking about in the morning was that thing she was made to do, I knew that I had–I would die if I wasn’t–I had to write and to be a real writer. 

Somewhere inside me is someone so much better (and I mean more talented) than I have the time and energy–the focus, maybe, to be. She speaks to me in those early morning hours when I’m too tired to reach for a pen. Apparently, she requires much less sleep than I do. She preaches violently if not eloquently as I shower, but the revelation leaves about the time I stop dripping. I’m dry. When I wrote my first book, I wrote it quickly–rapidly–do or die. I wrote late at night and through the wee small hours of the morning. I edited while Dora the Explorer babysat loudly in the foreground of my 800 square foot mobile home. Dora, Dora, Dora… I was broken; yet, as I wept, even the oldest scars reopened and then truly healed. I had to share, and I didn’t want to forget it all before I had written it down. So I wrote,  and when it was finished, I hit “publish”. And then I mourned it. I allowed Satan to torment me over it. I had published my first book, and I still didn’t feel like a writer.

If you’ve read 31 Days to Lovely:A Journey of Forgiveness, I hope you’ve received it as truth. It’s just the Bible alongside my meek and simple life. It’s not flowery or overtly pretty. Truthfully, it’s not what I’ve spent the last fifteen plus years hoping my first book would be. It doesn’t showcase me–it’s not about me at all. Still, maybe I wanted it to be about me. I still want to be a writer.

Today, my book received it’s first bad–pot-shot filled review on Amazon. The words that everyone feels sure I can brush off  captured the depth of my secret self-loathing. It’s from there the melancholia is flowing. You see, Satan won’t knock on those doors that are barred and guarded. He slips through the open ones. He knows all about my writer’s envy, it comes from him, and how I have a hard time loving Ann Voskamp (I’m kidding, how could anyone not love Ann?!). But so what if my book lacks the polish I might have found through more time and maybe a little more solitude? What does it matter if my words are simply words and not prose? The message, if received, will change lives. I truly believe that. After all, it changed mine. That’s why He asked me to write it.

I’m writing this post to break my silence–to speak to yours. I’m writing to every musician who has slaved over a song and then flipped on the radio to hear something better. I’m writing on behalf of every mom who has baked and decorated a two a.m. cake only to discover Pinterest later that same day. I’m writing for every athlete who has given her all only to be beaten by superior talent. I’m writing to every ex-beauty queen who has manually lifted her aging face as she’s leaned a little too close to the mirror. Someone will always be smarter, better, prettier. And that’s OK, sisters, because we are not our gifts. We are daughters of the Most High God! What people think about us cannot touch that. What we believe about ourselves cannot touch that. But what we think about ourselves will effect that we do and in what ways we serve His Kingdom.

I feel silly, like I usually do, admitting tears because one of you doesn’t like me. Maybe, I hope, my silliness will help to heal yours.

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A Day in the Life of a Happy Mom

I’m in a season of learned, now lived, contentment. While I love my husband, and while I have been known to fly off in a jealous rage at our enemy–only Satan–on his behalf, I’m not at all sad that he’s not home–now. If you can hope beyond hope and still be in no hurry–contentment–that’s where I am. And I like it here.

There are few moments in our day when notes of praise are not hanging gently from our low trailer ceiling or when the walls are not being washed by the Word. The laundry is done if the dishes aren’t. The dishes never are. I’m in the market for a dishwasher–a dishwasher and an espresso machine.

Every morning, I wake up entangled with two dogs and at least one child. So much for having a bed to myself. I pull my heavy winter robe over my matching pajamas, and I stand in front of the space heater for a few moments before shuffling toward the kitchen. I’m after the waiting pot of hot coffee and the Jesus book being read through my CD player. The kids are stirring, so I ask them to lay still for a few more minutes–to listen. I’ve given up waking before them. No more Christian guilt. They’re heavy sleepers in the nighttime and the lightest of sleepers in the morning. So nighttime is mine. They oblige my request for quiet for a little while, but the Word plays on long after–ringing out over the noises of morning and breakfast.

After breakfast, it’s time for school. I scroll Scripture on the black board to be read and copied, and then I sit down at my desk to write. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I check Facebook. Sometimes we glide through that dance of teaching and absorbing like it’s what we were all made to do. And other times, not so much.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a saint comes over to tutor the twins while I do the dishes or color letters with Baby Bear. On Fridays, unless we need to play catch up, we take the day off and clean. Everything should be spotless by dinnertime on Friday night, cause there is no cleaning allowed on Saturday. And speaking of dinner, sometimes that consists of popcorn and veggies. It’s the number one benefit of singlehood, I think. If I don’t want to make dinner and decide to serve snack food instead, I’m not starving a grown man as a result. I love to cook, but it’s nice to have the option.

Bedtime is unrivaled, it’s the sweetest time of day. It’s earlier than it used to be, for them, and that’s working well. Baths and brushing and bed, and we all snuggle down to pray and talk before I press the play button on the same Scriptures from that morning. We’re soaking. I lie still until Baby Bear sighs that relinquishing sigh (unless, of course, I fall asleep before he does and then wake up a half-hour later in a quiet room), and then I make my way back through our little house and into a time custom made for me. And that’s usually when it hits me, as I reheat my coffee and grab my computer–and maybe the Roku remote. I’m happy. Joy filled, but not lacking happy, either. I’m doing what I was made to do and living a story worth living. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

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