Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Update from the Last Frontier

The "beach" at the Knik Arm, Earthquake Park, Anchorage, July 2012.

Yes, I said from the Last Frontier, not the Final Frontier--that would be space, as in the opening to Star Trek.


I have not written on this blog in a while, and I certainly haven't been sharing much, even on Facebook. This was a mixed-bag summer. Gorgeous weather, warm and dry, and a few visitors way up here to Alaska=positive. My oldest daughter's oral surgery and recovery, followed by finding out I need another ear surgery=challenging and less fun overall. Plus, I taught 1301 (Comp 1) during summer term.

Like I said--a mixed bag.

I read this post this morning from Anna of Girl with Blog, who is one of the new leaders for the upcoming session of (in)courager community groups, and it challenged me. It made me think.

I have been in a bit of a writing slump for a while now, but I've also recently received emails from readers of this blog. This poor neglected blog. And I realized again that I have things to share, things to say, value in who I am and the experiences I've had that have made me stronger.

The best of my writing has gone to Wives of Faith in recent years, and even now, my to-do list as blog editor is long and overwhelming. But with the ever-present quest to find some stability (not really balance, which is nigh unto impossible), I may be turning some of my writing energies toward a collaboration project with my husband's book that he started writing seven or so years ago.

In the meantime, I'll try to pop in for some encouraging words now and then for any and all chaplain's wives who find me here. And for all military wives, Wives of Faith is always open, and for military wife friends who want a different venue, (in)Courage Military Wives registration will open in a couple weeks!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blog Bootcamp

I've joined. I need some help, and I think having accountability with this group will help me a lot. Plus, I'm hoping to get some great ideas to use for Wives of Faith.

Do you want to join me? I was able to get the blog planning guide for 50% off with the code BOOTCAMP.

You can get it here as well:
Click here to visit Kat Lee -

Disclosure: affiliate link. For more information visit

Five Minute Friday: LAST
Welcome to the Five Minute Friday Freewriting Flash Mob! Lisa-Jo has hosted this for several years, and I've been participating for oh, about a year on and off, I guess.

It's still Thursday night here in Alaska, but the time zones in the contiguous United States are rolling their days over to Friday--so while I have time and my students are writing their first essays for me in class, I will write as well, on the word LAST.


I often think about the last this or the last that...when was the last time I got my hair cut? This is my youngest daughter's last first day of middle school. That kind of thing.

What I don't often think about is what is going to last a long time.

When I got my hearing bone implant - a teeny-tiny 4mm titanium rod to connect my reconstructed eardrum with my still-miraculously-intact stapes bone - I thought it would last forever. Or at least a few years.

Sadly, the hearing improvement only lasted about three months.

The last ear surgery I had was November 2012, just before my birthday.

Sadly, I am looking at having another one, and I'm not sure when.

Will the results last longer than a year? a few months?

Will my hearing last until I'm old?

I just don't know.

What I am sure of, however, is that my faith MUST last. And not by my own strength, but by His.

And that cannot be contingent upon my surgery's results lasting longer than a few months, or a year, or even two.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Interview with Sara Horn, author of My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife

Sara Horn's latest book is titled My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife: A One-Year Experiment...and its Liberating Results. Isn't the cover gorgeous? I just love it.

I also love what is inside the book. Sara and I have been friends for several years now, at first through email, then through phone calls and Skype visits, and then we met in person a few years ago at PWOC International in Dallas. Working with her with Wives of Faith has been good, busy, challenging, and fun.

I was privileged to be able to read this book in its early stages to give Sara a reader's perspective, and it was an amazing journey for me to see how a book really comes together throughout the editing process. She also let me test my editing wings a bit (not just proofreading, I might add) and it was affirming for me to learn that many of the things I mentioned to her were also pointed out by her real-deal professional editor.

One of the great things about this book is that it is honest and real. It's Sara's own story about her journey in seeking God's will about Biblical submission in her marriage.

If you'd like to read a review, read mine over at Wives of Faith. Today's more about the interview. But first, the synopsis.

What the Publisher Says about the Book:

Can a modern wife be submissive to her husband?

In her highly anticipated sequel to My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife, author Sara Horn takes on one of the most widely debated subjects for a Christian wife–marital submission.

What does biblical submission look like for wives today? And why is submission viewed as such a dirty word by so many women and men in our culture, including Christians? Can a happily married couple live out the biblical model of submission and be the better for it?

Horn takes on a one-year experiment to seek answers to these questions and to explore what it means to be submissive as a wife and “helper” to her husband. The answers–and her discoveries–may surprise you.

This unique, entertaining, and thought-provoking personal account will challenge women to throw out their preconceived notions of what a submissive wife looks like and seek fresh leading from God for their lives and marriages today.

Interview with Sara Horn:

As a part of Sara's street team promotion through Harvest House, I am pleased to promote this book and did receive a copy for review (that's the disclosure part). If you are married, you should read this book. Yes, even for those of us who have been married a long time (that's the honest part).

Sara bravely agreed to answer a few questions for me here at Fresh-Brewed Writer--welcome, Sara!

Pattie: Sara, I admire you as a writer and as a woman who has a strong drive for work and with projects (which is something I wish I had more of in my own life). To read your life lessons in submission—not only with Cliff, but also with God—has been convicting for me. Now that the experiment has been over for a while and the book is published, how have things been going with this balance of work and home life—without “the governor” you wrote about on page 163?

Sara: Aww, thanks Pattie. That is a REALLY good question. I am definitely still working on the balance of work and home life. If there is anything I can say that has improved, it's that I don't beat myself up so much when something on the work side doesn't get done (and in my world, that means have to put off till the next day). What I'm probably still working on from a practical standpoint is time management (and can I just add summer time is the hardest time for mamas? Both a blessing and a curse? School starts back here in 12 days and I am looking forward to some organized structure to our schedule!) Readers will have to read the chapter to fully understand what happens in that conversation I have with my husband, but I think a lot of women can relate to this constant feeling of push and pull we experience. We want to be fully there for our families while at the same time, we also have these deep desires to pursue dreams and passions God puts on our hearts, and for many women who also have jobs and careers outside the home, there's only so much time in the day, right?

So how DO you balance it all? I'm continually convinced that "balance" isn't the answer, because when we think "balance" we think "equal distribution" and I don't think that happens naturally in life. We're going to find that certain seasons demand more of our attention towards specific things. If you have little ones as a mom, you may not be able to put in 40 to 50 hours of time each week devoted towards your job. But there will also be seasons where you can spend more time pursuing other things like that promotion you've wanted or your small business you've always dreamed of starting or finally finishing that book you've always dreamed about writing. I'm not saying you have to put dreams completely on hold, but sometimes the pace of achieving those dreams may need to fluctuate.

Pattie: I agree about summertime--and balance! It's tough, for sure. Wise words about pace, too.

My next question: Do you have a favorite chapter in this book? If so, which one is it?

Sara: Can I have two? Probably one of my favorites would be the Lizard chapter. I still get the giggles when I think about it. Especially the image of my husband sitting on the floor in the middle of our completely turned upside down living room. But my other favorite would probably have to be the last chapter. Because it really does sum up a lot of what I learned during that year. I know some read it and view it as sappy or over the top, but if there is an area we should be fiercely passionate and protective over, it should be our marriages. And in that chapter, God really helps me understand the beauty of what it looks like to be my husband's helper. There is beauty in that. Because helping someone else often requires a lot of grace and love and selflessness. And when I think about the grace God has given me in my life, I want to give back to Him in that way, and giving those things back to my husband is just one small way to do that.

Pattie: If you could write another Bible study like “Tour of Duty,” what Bible book or topic would you choose to write about?

Sara: Well, a topic that I've been studying a lot in my quiet time over the last year or so is who God is and the reminders we find in scripture of His faithfulness and His love and His goodness. I think it's easy sometimes to look at God the way we look at some of our Facebook friends - we know who He is and some of the great things He does, we keep up with Him occasionally and check in every once in a while, but we haven't actually sat down face to face with Him in a while. And yet, that real life relationship with Him is the absolutely hands-down most important relationship we can ever have. But we're often missing the full story. We don't know Him as well as we think we do, just through the little statuses and sound bites we sometimes take the time for. That would probably be a topic I'd love to walk other women through... a study on who God is. Knowing our Creator more.

Pattie: Absolutely! OK, so my final question is a very important one, particularly taking into account my blog's name and my addiction to coffee. When you order coffee at a coffee shop, what is your “usual” drink? (For me, it’s a triple grande vanilla latte—although for my favorite local place, I make it a tiramisu latte because they always have tiramisu syrup!).

Sara: I used to be a mocha girl when I first started drinking coffee (and by the way, I have never been a "regular" coffee drinker, it has always had to be the frou-frou stuff for me!), but the last few years I always order a caramel macchiato (and I have no idea what macchiato means). Yes, with whip cream. Because without whip cream, it's just a naked coffee in my book. ;)

Pattie: Thank you for stopping by, friend!

Sara: Thank you Pattie!! Enjoyed spending some time with you and your readers!

The Surprise: If you read to the end, you get to know the secret surprise: a giveaway! Sara is giving a copy of her book to one of my readers. Just leave a comment with your email address (just add spaces if you don't want it picked up by the spambot trollers on the internet) and you're entered! I'll choose a winner next Sunday, August 11th, after noon my time (that's Alaska time, which is an hour behind Pacific time!).

**Congratulations to Brandee, the winner of the book. Thanks, everyone!**

Review: The Dinner List

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