Friday, September 19, 2014

Crying Uncle on the #30DaysofWriting for September

I give, I give.

I am going to wrap up the failed attempt at the #30DaysofWriting and instead start working on a brilliant idea I have for the #31Days challenge that's coming up at

I started the month with good intentions, but we know where the road that is paved with good intentions leads, don't we?

So, with good grace and in a #BraverLiving choice, I'm letting go of this goal in favor of one that makes me really happy and excited: writing for the 31 days of October about books. Specifically, books I've loved. Some of them will be series, a few are pairs that go together, but all of them have meaning for me personally.

Till then, I'll leave you with this:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

It's probably better to post a flag or a memorial photo, but this one spoke to me the loudest. It's a double rainbow I saw from the base a few weeks ago, and it was gorgeous. This photo, as impressive as it is, still doesn't do it justice by half.

The rainbow has been a symbol of God's promise ever since Genesis and the days Noah floated around with his family and hundreds, if not thousands, of his favorite pets in an ark.

God promised not to destroy the earth.

I wonder sometimes if we humans will do the job instead.

9/11 was a difficult, sad day. For me, it hit especially hard because it followed after the betrayal of women I thought were my friends, and the death of my beloved dog. These events made things difficult enough at work and at church, and to have a national tragedy on top of everything just made my sorrows seem very small in light of the greater national tragedy.

Praise God we eventually moved on, learned to forgive, grieved the loss of our family pet, and my husband joined the reserves. We became a military family more quickly than we'd intended, even though 9/11 slowed down the initial process. Thirteen years later, we are in Alaska, serving our God and our country as best we can.

So, the double rainbow: God's promise that He keeps His promises, He will never leave me, He is always there, and He not only brought me through the events of 2001, He brought us through the tragedy of my broken family of origin in 2002-03. He has been with us every step.

Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 10 of 30 Days of Writing

Today's prompt: At the end of a long day, what do you do to relax?

Most of the time, I read. I will read till I'm nearly asleep in bed, that's how much I love reading. I'm finding my evening reading is easiest on my Kindle, because it's pretty easy to prop up on my nightstand.

I love reading.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Days 8-9 of 30 Days of Writing

Day #8's prompt: What was your favorite book this summer?

I got to read a lot this summer; I didn't get either of the full-time jobs I applied for, nor the writing job, and because of declining enrollment I wasn't able to teach a class.

My favorite fiction book was Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper, and my favorite nonfiction read was Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Both were excellent and I keep thinking about them.

Day #9: I am choosing to talk about my trip to Powell's Books in Portland. What an amazing store! Books everywhere, and the atmosphere was cheerful. It was busy. Literacy is alive and well in America!

Of course a few days later they opened a section that was being constructed while we were there. But floors and floors of books. It was incredible. I loved it.
Here is a photo I took:

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Days 6-7 of 30 Days of Writing

Still "moving forward." Today, prompts #6 and #7.

6. When was the last time you received a handwritten letter?

I got a lovely thank-you letter from my grandma after her 90th birthday party. It's very special that she wrote something to our family. Her handwriting is increasingly becoming frail, but her words are strong and polite and lovely.

7. Grandparents Day! What is the most important lesson you learned from your grandparents?

I learned many things from my grandparents--I wish we'd lived closer than we did, but when we saw them, we talked and they cared for us and loved us a lot. I learned tenacity and strength from all four of them. I learned prayer and love and faith from my mom's parents, and the power of love and devotion from my dad's parents.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Day 5 of 30 Days of Writing

Today's topic deals with pizza, which I think is apropos for a Friday. Who doesn't love pizza and movie night on a Friday? We used to do this until my oldest got a job and works Friday nights. Now it's more for Saturdays.

A good, inexpensive pizza here in Alaska is the Great Alaska Pizza Company, or as we like to call it, Gapco. The best pizza has to be Moose's Tooth in midtown Anchorage, although my friend argues with me that the pizza at The Rock is better. I think it is all about one's crust choices.

As far as pizza jobs go, I did deliver Domino's Pizza for about six weeks between stints at Walmart during the summer between my junior and senior years in college. I think that job was just about as bad as my stint at McDonald's. Terrible tips, and a lot of wear and tear on my Oldsmobile, which died at the end of the next year.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Days 2-4 of 30 Days of Writing

Um, yeah.

I wrote every day, but I forgot to blog every day. But in the spirit of fighting perfectionism, I will neither quit nor beat myself up over this. I'll "keep moving forward."

So, prompts #2 and #3, and something else for #4.

2. Share one goal you want to achieve this month:

I am still finishing up with the Pre-PCS purging I began this summer. I went through both personal (my dresser and clothes) and common-area items (kitchen and buffet), as did my children and husband, and I've consigned about as much as I can at this point. I've made more doing that than I did when I tried having garage sales, so I know it's a good choice (donating the rest that is useful but not overtly valuable, of course).

But now, however, I'm into the paper stuff. I've already completed the sorting, purging, and organizing of my teaching files, with a stack of papers over 12 inches high that I've been shredding. Yesterday I hit a wall, though, with the girls' school stuff. It's going to take time to sort through and organize report cards and transcripts, old school projects and childhood drawings. I had at one time figured I'd scrapbook much of these, but it hasn't happened yet. Since they are teenagers, I plan to recruit their help with the art part of it. I am also considering the designation of a box for each child for now. Or file cabinet drawer, perhaps.

I also found old cards and notes. I've sorted boxes before, but this is a new collection. Not sure what's in there. It feels a bit like Pandora's box--open only if you dare.

3. Have you traced your family tree?

No, but my dad has traced his (which is half of mine). His family is in the United States, with the exception of his mom who is from Canada, all the way back to the mid-1600s. So I suppose I could begin the process of joining Daughters of the American Revolution, if I wanted to.

4. Freewrite:

Writing is not really hard for me, once I sit down to do it. Editing is, however. Getting words on paper is not the issue; it's wondering how to structure the random freewriting I come up with. Organization. Making sense of it. Turning thoughts into essays, devotionals, perhaps a book someday. That is the part that gets me every time.

Give me someone else's work, however, and I can usually make it better (unless it's already great, in which case I'll give praise where praise is due!).

Monday, September 01, 2014

Day 1 of 30 Days of Writing: September

Here I the daily discipline of writing another whirl this month. I haven't done this for a while, and my goal isn't to increase readership (although I'm waving to my handful of followers--hi friends! Long time no see). My goal is to get back into writing. I am a better writing teacher when I too am writing.

My friend Leann posted this link on Facebook, so I'm using these prompts when they work, and when they don't I'll write about something else.

My First Job

The first job I can remember having outside my own house was house- and cat-sitting for our neighbors across the street. They liked to go away for a week or so at a time, so my job was to collect the mail and their paper, and check on the cat twice a day. Inevitably, Kitty-Kat, their black-and-white cat, would leave a furball surrounded by vomit at the top of the stairs to greet me, and the litter box would hold a gift as well.

I remember when they got a home security system installed. Thankfully only once did the alarm go off, and I got it turned off before the police arrived. Whew!

I did this for each of their vacations until we moved after my high school graduation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker

I am not a bandwagon reader, so I just read “7″ this summer, a couple of years later than many in Christian circles. I think that it was the right time for me to read it, to be honest, as this is a bonus summer for us: the rare gift of an extension on my husband’s assignment combined with not being able to teach, meant I had the entire summer to go through the house room by room, through closets, drawers, and storage shelves, in a pre-PCS purge. “7″ met me right where I was.

After reading the book and her blog for a while, I requested to blog about Interrupted for Jen Hatmaker’s blog tour, and I chose to blog here at Wives of Faith. In Jen’s own words, this is “the book of my heart, the single one I’d keep if I had to choose.” After reading it, I can see why. “7″ is merely a sequel. . . .

I'm over on Wives of Faith reviewing Jen Hatmaker's revised book Interrupted. Please head on over to Wives of Faith to read the rest of my review, and learn how you can enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of the book.

(Note: the link to the book is through Amazon Smile, which will donate a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice. Please consider Wives of Faith, Inc. as your organization, and help support military wives ministry.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Perfect Life Begone

Are you ready for #BraverLiving ? Read on...

Are you crumbling under the burden of perfection?

You know the expectations are unreasonable–even unreachable.
And when everyone else seems more together than you, where do you turn for help?

Meet Kathi, a disguised perfectionist always looking to put everyone else's needs above her own, and Cheri, a formerly confused and exhausted poster girl for playing it safe. They've struggled just like you–and found the cure. With unabashed empathy and humor, they invite you to take part in their rebellion against perfection. Step-by-step they'll teach you how to challenge and change unhealthy beliefs. As they free you from always seeking more or needing the approval of others, you'll discover a new, braver way of living. At last, you'll exchange outdated views of who you should be for a clearer vision of who you are in Christ.

The truth is you don't have to be perfect.

You just have to be brave enough to read this book.

The Review:

When I found out I had been accepted into the launch team for this book, I thought I was pretty blessed indeed. I know perfectionism is something I've struggled with for my whole life, and often I feel like I'm alone in my struggles. What I didn't expect was finding a tribe of women on this launch team who I consider "My People." They struggle in many of the same ways I do. They all thought they were the only ones who struggled with the P-Bullies: Perfectionism, Procrastination, People-Pleasing, and Performancism. Guess what? We aren't. Those bullies are everywhere, especially in Christian women's circles. They do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, geographical location, socioeconomic status, education level, or size. 

Guess what else? Now we're all rebels. 

I am so thankful to Kathi and Cheri for writing this book. It is wonderful. It's practical, honest, has a quiz for each chapter so the reader can self-assess, and suggestions for "tiny acts of rebellion" to fight against the P-Bullies. It is sprinkled with other women's stories as well as ones from Kathi and Cheri, and I gleaned so much from this book.

Do it. Be a rebel. Join the #BraverLiving rebellion against these bullies. You can read more on the book's Facebook community page too.

My copy of the book, with summer reading program bookmark and a bracelet I won in an auction to raise money for an online friend's husband's medical bills. He passed away before the auction occurred. This bracelet will remind me to pray for her, and it will remind me to make the braver choice in fighting these P-Bullies.

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post!

Other resources:

The Blog Tour for #BraverLiving

Website Link:

FREE download of Chapter 1: 

Facebook Page (aka “Braver Living Rebel Headquarters”):

PODCASTS:  Listen to Kathi and Cheri (the authors) chat about the 4 P "Bullies."
*Part 1
*Part 2
**Giveaway Details**
The giveaway is closed. Thank you!
To be eligible for this sweepstakes-type book giveaway, please leave a comment on this post before midnight Pacific time on Friday, August 29, 2014.
I will use to choose a winner, who will receive a signed copy
of this book as a prize directly from the authors and their publisher. 

 **Review Details** 
I received a copy of this book as part of the launch team from the publisher, Harvest House, solely for review and promotion purposes, with no other expectation than I post an honest review.