Today is January 6th. First and foremost it is the birthday of the woman who brought me forth. I.E…my mom’s birthday. So, Happy Birthday, Mom. Thanks for letting me cut my teeth on soap operas. Really? Just kidding. It paid off. Really.

Shush, everyone, it’s my mom’s birthday. Make her feel nice.

So here we go, ladies and gents!

On January 6th, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan took a hit to the knee, thanks to the original mean girl Tonya Harding. 

Really? Couldn’t Tonya just skate better, drop out, or hire men to bust out her knee? Thus getting the ooohs and aaahs from fans all over the world. It’s called positive attention, Tonya. Really.

On January 6th, 2011, the Romanian government reformed its tax policy, sticking it–for the first time ever– to occupational fortune-tellers, astrologers, and witches. Some of the witches were so outraged, they threatened to curse the government. Curse it I say!

Really? For the love, witches, you’re being recognized as legit. Pay the taxes. You can now write off your brooms, eye of newt, tarot cards, and white sheets for solstice dancing. Really.

And by the way, do witches pay taxes in America? Probably just the middle class ones.


On January 6th, 1681, the first boxing match was recorded. Starring the Duke of Albemarle’s butler vs. the butcher. I’d like to tell you these were their boxing names like the Italian Stallion. But I can’t. 

Really? Fighting employees? Shouldn’t they be butlering and butchering? It’s like fighting your pets. But then look at him. What else does he have going for him? Really.

Have a great weekend! Stop in Monday and meet my good friend and talented writer, Heather Sunseri!

What blows your mind enough to say, “Really?” 
(Do not say this blog post. ;))

One Word in 2012: Strength

Monday was my silly–not too serious–writer post but today is my devotional post. And I’m serious. 🙂 

I read a post back in December by Beth Vogt at My Book Therapy Ponderers blog. You can read it here. She said, “consider this invitation: Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year. Instead, pick a word. Just one word. And then focus on embracing that word, living that word, for the next 365 days starting January 1, 2012.”

Something about her post struck a major chord in me. I felt like God wanted me to do this. But what was the word? I pondered on it and prayed about it for weeks. I never seemed to get it, but I knew I would and I knew it wouldn’t be too late.
One morning, in late December–right before I was completely awake– the Lord spoke my word to me. 
I’ve had some issues with my trapezus muscles. And I went from running a 5K to barely being able to jog one mile, simply because I haven’t stayed consistent. Obviously, my mind went straight to physical strength, but then as I thought…emotional strength, continued strength in my relationship with God…but that wasn’t exactly what He was saying.
On December 22nd, 2011, I got up and read my small Word for Today devotional. I had no real direction that morning. I flipped open my Bible and glanced down (this happens occasionally) and my eyes met Psalm 84:5-7.
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca they make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.” 
The Lord whispered to me, “These are your life verses for 2012. Study it. I’m not simply talking about exercise, but you’re not getting out of that.” 
 I pulled up my study tools  and realized there’s much more to what God wants from me than what I thought on my own. 
In the KJV, the verse is: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are the ways of them.”
The Hebrew word for strength in verse 5 is, “oz” and it means, “might, strength–material or physical, personal, social, or political.” Political also means influence.
“Whose heart is in thee” in Hebrew is “lebab” and this phrase means:
1. In the midst of things
2. heart (of man)
3. soul
4. mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
5. resolution, determination (of will)
6. conscience
7. moral character
8. seat of appetites, emotions, passions
9. seat of courage
Strength in all of these areas. 
“Are the ways of them” in Hebrew is, “mecilalah” and it means, “highway, raised way, public road.” Pilgrimage is the word in NKJV.
A journey…a road to travel…one people will see
Verse 6 says, “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring.” Baca means weeping.
The pilgrimage will be difficult; it’ll involve weeping (as least God is honest up front) but in those times, if my heart is with Him, those difficult times of weeping, can become times of refreshing…springs…pools…
V. 7  “they go from strength to strength.” This word isn’t the same Hebrew word as in verse 5. It’s “Chayil” and it means, “ability, efficiency, wealth, army.”
This road, this journey will take me from strength to strength, it will give me the ability to perform Kingdom tasks, not just writing for Him, but in all things He asks. I will be efficient, and my soul will become prosperous…I will be a soldier…
I won’t lie and say I’m not afraid. 
Strength is my weakness.
But I serve a mighty God, who loves me.

In fact, so much that a couple of days after this, I said to Him on the way to work, “Lord, I need a new Bible Study. I’m not writing one and when I’m not, I need one!” I planned on  hitting Lifeway after the holidays. That night, my good friend, my godly friend and Bible teacher, Donna Pyle sent me a message. “I need your address, I’m sending you my new Bible study w/ DVDS!”

Thank you, God! When I got it in the mail a few days ago, I read the title.


Get out! Nope, that’s the kind of God we serve! Donna had no idea about my ONE WORD! Visit her site (blog) and by all means, order her Bible Study! I know God has plans to speak to me through this study.

Let God give you a word. We’ll work on them together.
I’m writing this today as an encouragement to you. God has plans for you this year. He wants to develop you in every area of that one word, just like He wants to develop me in this area. And I’m writing it to keep an online journal of this journey. I’m sharing it. Publicly. 
This year, each Wednesday, I’ll be doing a devotion based on something God has spoken to me about strength. Join with me. Keep me accountable! And share with me what you’re learning and how you’re growing. 
A special thanks to Beth Vogt for sharing her post about one words. 
May God bless you for it, Beth.

Also another special thanks to Melanie Moore for giving me my Strength blog button for FREE! Check it out at the sidebar! Her one word this year is giving, and she’s begun by offering customized ONE WORD blog buttons. How sweet is she? Thanks, Melanie! 

I’m hosting at Living By Grace today. Come over and chat, encourage someone, be lifted up!

What about you? Do you have a goal, one word, an area you plan to grow in this new year? Care to share?

My Top 4 New Year Plans As a Writer

I missed you! Hope you a wonderful Christmas and NYE! 

Today is a repost from last year (but I had maybe 10 followers so you probably haven’t read it), anywho, since I haven’t accomplished any of them,  I’m giving it a go again! On Wednesday, I’ll be posting a more serious plan–as in ONE WORD for the year and tying it into a devotional so don’t miss it! Today? Enjoy!

Well, a year has come and is about to be gone. Profound, I know. I’ve been hearing lots of New Year’s resolutions. The same ones I hear every year. Lose weight. Eat healthier. Spend more time with family. Those seem to be the top three.
I don’t make resolutions. I make plans. Maybe they are resolutions. I just call them personal plans for the new year.

This year, I’m going to work on a few that involve the debilitation of being a writer. You writers may get to shout a few amens in agreement, and those of you who are not…this may explain my eccentric and sometimes morbid behavior.

Here are a few areas I need to work on.


I have a hard time NOT daydreaming up new plots and storylines, like when I’m at church. Pastor is preaching and delivering the word and I watch the sweet elderly lady who passes out handfuls of candy–throwing it really–and all I see are members of the congregation, dropping like flies because the candy has been poisoned. The old woman is shocked when she finds out, declaring she didn’t do it as they drag her poor soul off in cuffs. I look around and find a single mom sitting two rows back and use her to refuse to believe old lady “nameless” has poisoned the church. What motive does she have? She enlists, I look around and find a young widowed man, ah him, yes!… and together they investigate. (and fall in love duh!) At this point I’m jerked back into reality as our Pastor says, “Answer me when I ask you a question.” I don’t know if I should holler yes, no, or amen. Have I just missed a word for me? What was that reference again? My husband scowls at me…knowing. My best friend leans over and asks, “Who did it? The Royal Ranger teacher or the Youth Pastor?”

This may be the hardest goal for me. I can find a story in anything! Just two days ago, my friend shared with me about her nephew and some of his nefarious behavior. Immediately I explained to her why he was a narcissist sociopath, on his way to becoming a homicidal maniac, and then instead of offering to pray for him…I asked if she could get me about thirty minutes alone with him to pick his demented juvenile mind and test my theory. Yep. I really did. I was seeing backstory all over the place!

I’m constantly eavesdropping in restaurants, movie lines, grocery stores, doctors’ offices, anywhere I can find crowds of people. I zone out of the conversation at hand–the one I’m supposed to be involved in, and find out that some stranger’s sister stole her boyfriend and she found out from the Hispanic gardener by slip of the tongue. She’s now dating the Hispanic gardener.

 My husband and I took a trip to Rhode Island last year, he was marrying his cousin! I love saying that!  (He’s an ordained minister.) It was beautiful and it happened to be the setting in a book I was about to write. We sat on the bench at a pier overlooking the water, and he talked and talked. Then he said, “Isn’t this place just beautiful, Jess?”
“Yes, I can see why Scarlet loves it. No wonder Noah can’t leave.” Sigh.

My husband cleared his throat, “Jess,I’ve gotten used to you living in a fictional world, but please tell me you’re at least holding my hand!”
“Hmmm…oh, of course. Definitely.”


“Mom, I have pretend people in my head too, but I don’t sit in front of the computer all day and play with them!” My son Myles expressed that after he’d asked for a glass of milk about two hundred times. At least that’s what he said…I never heard him. I’m a master of tuning out what’s going on at home. I stick my skull candy in and I’m off. When I look up, my house looks like a tornado hit it. I’m going to pay attention more and find better balance between writing and spending time with my family.

4. GET OUT MORE (other than to research) 
Before long, my friends are going to stop asking me to do anything!
“You want to come to my jewelry party?”
“You wanna get lunch?”
“Hey, let’s go shopping!”
Right now, they may be plotting an intervention. Every free opportunity I don’t HAVE to be somewhere, I’m at home. In my chair. On my laptop. Writing. Yeah, I need to rekindle my social life.

So there you have it, ladies and gents! My top 4 things to change that pertain to writing. What’s on your list?