Thursday, April 28, 2011

In It For The Long Haul

My husband and I will be celebrating our seven year anniversary this Saturday, April 30th. Seven years and three kids later...we're still going strong.

But, I will say this...marriage is hard work! Between the busyness of life, kids, individual goals and dreams, different communication styles, various personality traits, snoring and socks on the floor it's always a wonder (and an extreme encouragement) when I meet couples that have been married for 20, 30, 40 plus years.

The 40 plus years is the ultimate goal.

My Father-in-law said something very wise when Chris and I were first married. He said, "you'll both feel like you're doing 80% of the work all the time." Sometimes my mouth just hangs open in disbelief when I hear Chris say he's doing all the "work". How can that be, when I swear I'm doing all the work? It's comical really.

And yet, the goal remains. The commitment is steadfast. God gives us strength for the hard days and endless joy during the great ones.

How long have you been married? Did you ever receive marital advice that really stuck with you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Plotting and Planning

I am in the midst of reworking most of my manuscript (thanks to the helpful comments I received on my Genesis entry).

The good news is I know how I can fix my problem.

The bad news is that fixing the problem feels like I'm starting all over.

I've been trying to find the best way (for me) to plan and plot my story to include these new revisions. Just winging it and hoping the words will come doesn't work for me and detailed outlines and I don't get along either. After sitting in front of my computer the other day, trying to figure out where to begin my repair work and pulling out more of my hair than I'd like to admit, I resorted to a very basic plotting method. I got out my index cards.

I have a very visual brain. So I spent two days sitting on the floor in our loft (which acts as my "writing space") scribbling out my chapters on cards. My floor is covered with them. I'm sure it's not the tidiest way to plot a story but I found it very helpful to "see" each chapter. Another benefit is the ability to swap out cards and move them around if a scene needs to happen earlier...or later.

Sounds so basic. So simple. But it was my big breakthrough last week. My book is now all planned out! Time to type.

How do you plan and organize your book plots?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Break

I am taking this week off from blogging to enjoy the extra time with my family. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and a true appreciation for what Jesus sacrificed for us all!

He is Risen!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where Would You Pick?

My family is going through a transition. A where-do-we-want-to-move transition. A few months ago the company my husband worked for went out of business. Thankfully, my husband is a planner so we were very prepared for him to have some "time off". (I have enjoyed the added help in the mornings as we get the kids off to school.)

But now that he has been on more and more job interviews the question that keeps coming up is: "Are you willing to relocate?"

Huh? As in move away from our family, our home, our friends?

I've been in serious prayer (along with my beautiful Wednesday women...Thanks ladies!) that God would reveal His plan for our family CLEARLY. Still no clear answer to that yet, but the question remains a very popular one in our home. Are we really prepared to move somewhere new? What a scary thought! However, when we trust in God with all our heart, mind and strength, He equips us to face even the scary stuff. And that is what I'm counting on.

Once we get comfortable with the "will we" question, we stumble upon the next obvious question."Where do we want to move?" Long pause. I don't know...

So my question to you today is: Where would you pick? If you could move and live anywhere you wanted, where would you choose and why?

Happy early weekend! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feeling Refreshed

Happy Tuesday everyone!

First, I have to say CONGRATULATIONS to those that semi-finaled in the Genesis contest. The list of names was long and exciting!

Second, my name wasn't on that list. BUT, I was assigned to some wonderful (anonymous) judges that gave me oodles of comments to work with. It took me a minute to push my hurt feelings aside, but after reading everything for the hundredth time, I realized that each critique was spot on. I feel refreshed (if that's an appropriate feeling to have after losing a contest) and full of direction as I rework my story.

Thanks to those of you that judged the contest. I really appreciate the time you all spent reading our submissions and finding helpful ways to make them better. I'm sure it would have been much easier to simply give the scores but the detailed comments and suggestions are really where we learn...even when they hurt.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I can’t believe it’s already April. A few short weeks ago, I was wishing for spring and now that it has sprung, I’m having a hard time. For one reason…allergies.

Up until last year, I had no concept of allergies. I would hear people talk about it and think, “big deal. So you’ve got a cold.” Boy was I wrong. I don’t know if anything feels worse than a balloon head, with a drippy nose and itchy throat. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I’m one of the lucky ones that also gets irritated, itchy eyes so I always look like I’m crying. And for the cherry on top…because of the watery eyes, keeping my make-up on is next to impossible. Great! So I get to feel miserable and feel ugly.

Since my research on allergies (and more importantly how to get rid of them) is in full swing, I thought I’d share a few fascinating/boring (depending on your point of view) statistics, according to WebMD:
• One in five people in the U.S. have either allergy or asthma symptoms.
• 55% of the U.S. population tests positive to one or more allergens.
• Allergies rank 5th among other leading chronic diseases.
• It’s estimated that the annual cost of allergies to the health care system and businesses is $7.9 billion.
• Each year, hay fever causes 4 million lost work days.

Do any of you have allergies? How do you survive? What do you do? What do you take? Please share any secret tricks that work for you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak

Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak by Davey and Marie Jank was published in 2010 by Monarch Books. It is a detailed and witty account of how Davey and his team moved into the Wilo tribe (a small tribe in the Amazon jungle), began to learn their language and customs and created a written language. All this was done so that the Wilo people could read and understand the word of God.

This delightful book is written from Davey’s perspective, beginning when he was dropped off in the jungle and ending when the Wilo’s finally heard the Good News; a time encompassing more than ten years. The chapters are short and poignant and crammed full of amusing, heartbreaking and even hilarious stories about Davey’s experiences in the village and beyond. They have also included many of their pictures which help the reader visualize the Wilo's and their daily life.

Their writing is easy to read and extremely vivid. From the very first page I was transported to another world. I felt like I was in the jungle with them, swatting at pesky gnats and feeling very uncertain when snakes or alligators were around. I’m so impressed with Davey and Marie for their patience and endurance during this long process. I cannot begin to explain how inspired I feel after reading Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak.

This story is certainly about God’s timing, provision and goodness to His children. It shows how only God can stir hearts for Him but it also introduces the reader to far away worlds and different cultures. Stories of adventurous hikes and encounters with bugs, rats, snakes and various other jungle creatures abound. It touches on the complexity involved in creating a written language and it does all this with the most humorous, witty and even sarcastic writing.

This is such a fun and insightful book!

You can order a copy of Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak here.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.