Tag-a-doodle Doo

I rode this elephant in Burma (Myanmar) Yep. I did.

So it’s very possible I’ve been watching too many Modern Family episodes. One of my favorites is when Cam calls his drink a Drink-a-doodle doo. I say that now. Apparently, it’s carrying over to my post titles. Whatayagonnado?

I want to say thanks so much to Cathy over at Thoughts on Books for tagging me! Whoop! Go check her blog out. Click the red letters. RED LETTERS. 

Here’s the deal: I have to tell 11 random things about me, which I’m not since I already have 10 random things about me on another page (side bar) but…I’ll post 1 random thing, yah know in honor of following the rules. Then I have to answer 11 questions and make up 11 new questions for the people I tag. 

Everyone take a breath with me. 

Random thing about me: I’ve literally scared the pee out of the SAME woman, TWICE! Once, at a lock-in  (thought I was gonna say Band Camp didn’t ya?) I put on for the Women’s Ministry. While they were doing a scavenger hunt in the dark, I hid in the Pastor’s old shower, knowing they had to come there. When they pulled back the curtain….RAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHH! She went home and changed and came back. Priceless! The second time we went rolling/tp-ing houses and I turned the corner and scared her. I laughed then, but I get it now. I can’t jump on a trampoline without wetting myself. Having babies does stuff to yah. Anywho…


Would you rather go for a run or a walk?
Walk. I think better and day-dream better. When I’m running, I’m just focused on surviving.
What is your favorite movie?
I LOVE movies, so that’s a tough one. Right now, Lindsay Harrel and Melissa Tagg are screaming, JAWS! She loves JAWS! But that’s not my favorite. I love too many to have a favorite, but I’ll tell you I’ve seen Underworld: Rise of the Lichens at least 50 times! LOL…And I’ve seen CLUE 50 X 50 times. I just don’t know!
Do you have a pet?
Unfortunately. Let’s leave it at that.
What book in the Bible has moved you the most?
Song of Solomon hands down. HANDS. DOWN. Changed my life with Jesus. In a way that moves me to speak about it.
What is your favorite meal?
All my friends are screaming, “Sandwiches and soup!” They’d be right. I love a hot Turkey club on wheat and a bowl of veggie soup…or potato. LOVE.
If you could go back in time to live, what period would you choose and why?
Well, I’m not good with dates, so it’s hard for me to say a year because even when I’m reading historicals, sometimes I have to flip to the front again to remember what era I’m in. And I can’t tell you any of those years after the book is done. I remember periods by Cowboys and Indians, during slavery, during the war with Germany…or right after, when they wore flapper dresses, victorian–but I’m not sure how long that era lasted and it doesn’t matter I won’t remember if you tell me, Little House times, Dowton Abbey and Gosford Park times, and Biblical times.
I’d like to live during Dowton Abbey times but only if I got live upstairs! LOL I didn’t say Biblical because I’d only get to experience Jesus when He rolled into town. Now I get Him all the time. (Before death that is–after death…well it’s too hot and hard and who cares)
Do you enjoy watching sports? If so whats your favorite?
Ok this has zip to do with sports but DH just asked me if I was going to eat before the circus and I said, “No, my stomach hurts. I don’t know why.”
He grinned. “If you’re eating a lot of salad now, like you say you are, it’s a shock to the system.”
 “Then I’m appalled.” I thought that was funny. I hate sports. I write while my hubby glues himself to football and baseball. Works for us.
Country or City Girl?
I like the country. It’s gorgeous but the truth is, it’s overrun with critters and mice and I’d prefer those things to stay outside my house and pantry. But not the city like New York, because crowds and rushing brings out my pre-saved self. It’s ugly. Real ugly.
What kind of music do you enjoy the most?
I love all sorts of music, but I tend to gravitate towards haunting contemporary music with an acoustic and piano in the background (it’s the Jesse Patch genre), or usually the last song of every Vampire Diaries because I download them all on iTunes! Great for imagining scenes.
Beach or Mountain Vacation?
Mountains are pretty but once you’re up them, what’s there to do but get altitude sickness, see some wildlife, and come back down? Beach.
What author has influenced you the most in your christian walk and why?
Beth Moore because her Bible studies are amazing. When I want deep intimacy, I read Spurgeon. I’m a huge fan of Bob Roe but he only wrote 2 studies before he died. When I found out he was in heaven, I cried. I’m selfish like that. And I love Tozer and R.C. Sproul. That’s more than one, but it is what it is. Oh wait! Jerry Bridges. Not the actor, that’s Jeff. 

My 11 Questions:
1. Chocolate or Vanilla and why?
2. Have you ever shoplifted? Ever thought about it? 
3. Colored polish or French manicure?
4. Where’s the last place on earth you’d want to visit and why?
5. What’s your least favorite food?
6. How many licks do you think it really does take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
7. Hotels or camping?
8. Which celebrity that is alive (there is no Jesus loop-hole here, people) would you like to meet and why?
9. Do you have a smart phone? Can you live without it? Be honest…okay you can. Would you want to? Be honest.
10. If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
11. Home cooked or 5 star meal?

I’m tagging EVERYONE, mostly because I want to read all your answers! 🙂 If you don’t blog, do this in a facebook note or post. Or email me. LOL

Hap, Hap, Happy Friday! If you can’t play the game, answer one or more of the questions in the comments!

Take a Stab but Wear a Helmet

The world did what it thought was right in its own eyes. Brothers fought brothers, innocent lives were slaughtered and given to demons. Orphans’ bellies swelled with hunger, but blind eyes were turned. Widows starved in their homes while young women took men who did not belong to them to their bed.
Greed, lust, hunger for power dripped like honey from the lips of men. Lies and deceit fueled the people. Dead men living in desolate places, groping as if they had no eyes to see light–only walking in darkness.
Those who attempted to depart from the great evil became prey.
Truth failed.
Justice and righteousness disappeared like vapor.
No one to help the people, to intercede for them. And it displeased the Lord. Jealousy for His beloved moved Him to action.
He would bring salvation by His own arm.
His put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
Bringing fury to His enemies. To redeem. To send the enemy to flight when he comes in like a flood.
To make a covenant. (prophesy from Isaiah 59)
He came and was rejected by His own people, who mocked His helmet of salvation by crowning Him with thorns, ignoring His cloak of vengeance that He wanted to use to avenge them and covering him with cloak of purple to demean Him. They stripped His torso naked; they did not care He came in righteousness.
Yet compassion and joy pressed Him on and He allowed them to take His life. When His blood and water flowed, they were freed. All were freed.
Truth would not fail again. Law was banished.
Under a new covenant. In blood. At a cross.
It’s no secret that when Paul watched the soldiers guarding him, he remembered the prophecy in Isaiah. He would know the scriptures well. He may have sat against the cold, dirty walls of the prison and studied those men as the Spirit of God showed Him a picture to use in teaching us. Today.
Put on the whole armor of God. Except there is no cloak in the armor of God. Because vengeance belongs to the Lord.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit…” Ephesians 6:17
He wore them first. He’s giving them to us. A gift to help us. The world hasn’t changed. It’s still a place where man does right in his own eyes, where greed and lust propel men to do evil.
But we are not under the law. We have the Spirit of God in us to guide us. We have nothing to fear. And the enemy knows this. He’s still coughing up dust from having his face shoved in the ground when Jesus won the battle.
The mind is an amazing creation. What it can do is a miracle. That’s why it’s so important to guard it. The enemy loves to mess with it. One stray thought can become a fixation, messing with our emotions–our innermost parts.
Thoughts become actions.
That’s why Paul says whatever is just, pure, lovely, of good report, anything praiseworthy or of virtue–think on these things. Philippians 4:6-8
Paul not only tells us to take the helmet of salvation, a free gift giving you liberty, but to also take the sword of the spirit.
The Bible–the Word.  When the enemy comes in like a flood (from the prophecy in Isaiah) the Spirit of God sets Him to flight (raises a standard–that’s what the word standard means). Resist the devil and he will flee.
When he says, “You’re alone.” The sword slashes at the enemy with “My God never forsakes me, lo He is with me until the ends of the earth.” Matthew 28:20
“You’re weak.” Raise the sword and cut his throat. “His grace is sufficient for me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“Your dreams are ridiculous. Unattainable.” Cut his tongue out with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
When the enemy tempted Jesus in the desert for 40 days, Jesus fought with the Word. With the sword.
I have a hard time with numbers. Phone numbers, SS#, dates. It’s ridiculous and as I was trying to memorize scripture, I became frustrated because I couldn’t remember the references.
I sat outside on my patio morning in tears and said something like, “How can I fight when I can’t even learn!” I will never forget what happened next.
The wind picked up, the leaves rustled and the Lord said to me (not audible but they might as well have been), “When I fought, I never once used a reference. I said, ‘It is written…’ You know the words.”
My heart sped up, my eyes swam with tears as Jesus unlocked my fears and doubt and encouraged me.
This wasn’t license not to work hard and learn the references. We should and I have. We may need to give them to another person at some point.
Sometimes, I forget, but I know when the enemy attacks my mind, the Spirit brings the Word to my mind. God says….
You see, I scared him. I was learning how to fight. Memorizing scripture and meditating on it. Letting it become real in my life, not just rehearsed words to a play.
The only way to stop me was to make me believe if I didn’t know the numbers/references, it wasn’t valid. A forfeit in the fight.
Protect the mind. We’re saved–by grace. Under the blood. The past is drenched in it. Our future swims in it. We have the promise of forever with the Lover of our soul.
Pick up the sword and use it. Remember to practice with it. Take it out daily and use it. Get the feel of it in your hands. Improve your craft of wielding it. When war comes, you want to know how to use your only weapon. It’s the only thing that will wound the enemy. Everything else is for protecting you.
The sword puts the enemy to flight.
How are you at memorizing scripture? Do you work on learning new passages daily or could you stand to take out the sword and practice with it?
Practice makes progress!
I’m over at LivingBy Grace today, on facebook! Come by and share with over 200 women your favorite scripture! 

Love on the Range and Jessica Nelson

I’m excited to hang out with author, Jessica Nelson today. Her sunny smile exudes tons of fun and sincerity. Her blog usually has short posts, but packed with good stuff. I encourage you to pop over and follow if you don’t already.

Jessica, in keeping with her romantic inclinations, married two days after she graduated high school. She believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.
JP:  Raspberry mocha. Um…yum! And I agree the most intense romance I have is with God! I had the chance to read Jess’s Love Inspired historical romance debut novel, Love on the Range. Ah! Sigh. I was hooked from page one and I journeyed through the pages of a beautiful and fun love story! When did you get the writer’s bug, Jess?
JN: I think maybe I always had it, but it didn’t morph into finishing a story until my twenties. My local paper editor (where I freelanced) told me I should write a book because I’d get paid more money. That sparked off an amazing realization that writing books could actually be a career.
JP: Pretty awesome to be able to do what you love for a living. Not everyone can say that, can they? I’m sure you hold that editor close to your heart for giving you that first nudge. And now you’ve not only finished a book—you’ve been published! Awesome! Tell us one favorite line in one from Love on the Range and tell us why?
JN: “A man should know when a woman fell madly in love with him.”
I like that one because it’s funny to me (because why does a man need to know that? lol) Can I explain why? Not sure, except she thinks she’s in love with one guy but then falls for another guy who ends up being…well, you’ll have to read to find out. *wink*
JP: Tease! Men are generally oblivious to this, I think. Tell us, how did you come up with this story?
JN:I came across a link on the influenza pandemic and had a sudden image of a girl on a train, sent away because of the flu in her city.
JP: As I read this story, the flu was running rampant in my area and I thought about that, being sent away from my family due to illness. That’s who I want nearest in those times. You did a wonderful job with your history and I learned a lot! Other than writing, what’s one thing you’re passionate about?
JN: Reading. J
JP: LOL! Me too, me too! Books take us off to all sorts of wonderful places we’ll probably never go. Speaking of places, name one place you’d like to go that you’ve never been and why?
JN: Maybe Ireland. Or Australia. Italy. Does it really have to be one place? *grin* I think all of those places are interesting because of their cultures and history.
JP: There are so many places to go, so many things to see! I guess 3 is okay. 😉 I’ll go with you! Books also show a darker side to the world, enter: villains. If you could pick one villain from a book to be for a day, who would you choose?
JN: Oooh, this is such a good question!! And I’m drawing a complete blank. Eeek! Hmmm. Okay, I can’t even think of any villainesses. This is horrible!
JP: LOL! I think people have a hard time picking a villain because no one wants to be evil or do heinous things. You’re too sweet. Wish I could say the same of myself. I have ½ a dozen villains I’d like to be! Ha! I’m kidding…maybe…I obviously think good things about you, what would your characters say about you if they had the chance?
JN: Gracie might find me a bit boring but Trevor would definitely be in love with me. Teehee!
JP: That’s hilarious! I wouldn’t mind if Trevor were in love with me either and women should know when a man is madly in love with them! Ha! I guess we writers think of ourselves as boring because we’re always planted in a chair writing exciting lives for others. Our minds are definitely not boring! What are you working on currently?
JN: It’s the story of Mary and Lou, secondary characters from Love On The Range.  They find a child in the desert and disagree over what to do with her, igniting sparks, danger and revealing the secrets both of them have been hiding for years. Which of course only draws them closer and then they fall in love. *grin*
JP: Oh good! I was interested in those characters, especially Uncle Lou. I liked him A LOT! Can’t wait to read it when it comes out!
Thanks, so much, Jessica, for hanging out today and sharing a little about your debut novel. I enjoyed so much! I know readers will too!
Jessica has graciously offered to give away a copy of her debut novel! All you have to do is answer the question in the comments AND leave your email address. If you don’t leave your email, I’ll assume you aren’t entering the drawing! Here’s a sneak peek:

“Any other socialite would view being packed off to a remote Oregon ranch as a punishment. But Gracelyn Riley knows that this is her opportunity to become a real reporter. If she can make her name through an interview with the elusive hero known as Striker, then she’ll never have to depend on anyone ever again.
Rancher Trevor Cruz can’t believe his secret identity is being endangered by an overly chatty city girl. But if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that Gracie’s pretty little snooping nose is bound to get her in trouble. So he’ll use her determination to find “Striker” to keep an eye on her…and stick close by her side.”

JP: So, Jess, what’s your question?
JN: Hmmm. How about, what’s your favorite kind of chocolate and if you could be a villain, who would you be? (sorry, had to steal that question because it’s GENIUS)
You can connect with Jessica through her website and on facebook!

Cheesy Pick-up Lines


First off, we have a winner for the Urban Translation Fun contest! This is the one with the most votes:

“I stroked the fake cookie duster I’d pressed on my upper lip and peeked at my subject from behind my copy of the shelf esteem runaway best-seller “Say Yes To The Mess” wondering if my giving him the book off had disguised the fact that I was investigating him for the murder of his wife.”

by: Erica Vetsch!  Thanks everyone for participating and voting! Everyone had great sentences! 

Now, on with the show this is it!

True story: A friend called. She’d been out at a few clubs, in Memphis. TN. Not Egypt. And a guy actually said to her: 


“You must be from Tennessee because you’re the only ten I see.” 

Silence hung on the line for a moment as I took it in. Finally, after a snort I said, “What did you say?”

 “I gave him the look and said, ‘Uh, yeah, we’re all from Tennessee. This is…Tennessee.’ And then I made myself scarce.”

After I laughed and made some of my own jokes, she finished telling me about her night and I hung up. I thought those lines were only used in silly movies. Someone really used that? And yes, this is going in a book. I’m telling you now.

So I looked up some really bad lines. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Pardon me miss, I seem to have lost my phone number, could I borrow yours?”
“So, you’re a girl huh?”
“Good day for weather.”  (this makes me laugh every time!) 
“I’m sorry, were you talking to me? (No.) Well then, please start.”
“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together.”
“Do you know karate? Because your body is really kickin’.”
“Baby, if you were words on a page, you’d be what they call FINE PRINT!”
“Well, here I am. What were your other two wishes?”
Okay, what I want you to do is pick one of these lines and respond to it!  I can’t wait to read the comments
 and crack up! 

Raising Faith

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16 ESV
I’m nearing the end of Donna Pyle’s Your Strong Suit Bible study. I’ve moved slowly, as I’ve pinged off her notes, scriptures and quotes.
We’re talking strength on Wednesdays. So far, in the armor of God series, we’ve learned about truth, righteousness, and peace.
Today is all about an item that doesn’t clothe us, but surrounds us. An item we have to pick up and carry with us into battle.
The shield of faith. 
“Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.
Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God’s command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.” Hebrews 11:1-3 CEV
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 
It’s hard to believe in something you can’t see. Promises that have been spoken to the heart, but can’t be tangibly touched…yet.
But when you experience Jesus…a taste even, a thousand eyes aren’t necessary to believe He is real. That is His power is mighty, His love overwhelming.
That’s why the shield of faith is so important to carry. To remember to take up.
The enemy lurks, waiting for our arms to get tired or for us to forget all together to raise the shield. A single arrow, tipped in fire can burn away at our faith, our trust in God and His goodness, His mercy, compassion.
Shields used by Roman soldiers, as Donna Pyle teaches, “were about four feet tall and approximately two feet wide…door-sized…”
The outside of the shields were covered in leather and then soaked in water. The point? To quench fiery darts.
We need to take up our shields, and daily soak them in the water of the Word.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
The fight is daily. The enemy does not tire. He’s prepared, in position, and ready to pounce.
But we get tired don’t we?
When God nudged me to write and began giving me promises, at first I believed! It was exciting as I wrote one story after another. Thirteen full manuscripts of hope.
And as time wore on, I questioned God’s promises. I couldn’t see anything happening.
“This is your dream, not God’s dream for you. You know there’s a difference. You’re not a bad writer, but you’re not good enough. You’re a nobody, you know that, right? You will fail. And you’ll be a laughing-stock. Your church won’t back you. They don’t care what you’re doing.”
Those are just a few of the burning arrows the enemy directed towards my innermost parts.
During those times, God used His Word to confirm and encourage, helping me raise my shield of faith to fight off and extinguish the fiery darts of doubt and fear…the bright burning darts full of fiery lies.
But I had to soak the shield. I had to prepare for the attacks.  I had to do my part.
It was in the long periods of waiting that God used the same words He’d spoken to Abram (Abraham) to remind me no matter what happens in this temporary world. No matter what my eyes could see. This was true:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1
Raising faith is raising up Jesus Christ to the enemy. Who can be against us, when Jesus is for us. When He covers us as a shield and deflects the darts.
“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
The Great I AM says, “Don’t lie to her.” And he covers us with His might. A shield of glory and beauty.
“If you want her, you’re going to have to go through Me to get her. And you and I both know how that turned out last time.”
It ended with Jesus publicly humiliating the enemy as He drug him around the streets in the dirt and ended with a Holy boot to his sick, sad, little neck.
For you. For me.
 “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
We were the joy. We are the joy.
Sometimes the weariness of walking out this thing called faith can be overwhelming. The enemy even uses that to hurt us. “No faith? Tired? You don’t really believe. What a disappointment you are to God. All He’s done for you and you can’t even stand. Pathetic.”
I remember a man who said to Jesus, “I believe! Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)Did Jesus turn, disgusted? If I remember right, Jesus healed that man’s child. He’s compassionate. He understands we’re but flesh. We get tired. That’s why  He insists we love those in His church. He begs unity.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
In the movie, Troy, a fight scene took place on the beach. Achilles’ army came together and locked their shields creating a huge force field protecting the soldiers.
The shields were designed that way. Together, their shields could prevent injury more than one soldier and one shield.
When our brothers and sisters in Christ feel shaky in their faith, that’s not the time for us to abandon them or judge them, using scripture to condemn rather to uplift.
It’s time to lock our shield of faith into theirs and stand beside them. In unity. To help them fight. To believe with them and for them. 
 “…that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…” Philippians 1:27
Even Moses needed strength in battle, and his friends held his arms high.
And they won.
So will we.
Have you ever had a friend help you in your faith battle? Ever helped out a friend?
I’m hosting at Living By Grace today, over at Facebook! Come by and join in the discussion on faith.

Urban Translation Contest! Vote!

Friday before last, I posted some words from the Urban dictionary and had you use them in sentences. I picked the top 3 choices, but today YOU need to vote for your favorite one!
The winner gets his/her choice of:
  • A first chapter critique by moi
  • A guest post


  • A fun interview on the blog


To read the Urban Translation Fun post and see all the comments, click HERE!
It was really hard to choose. They were all hilarious. Congrats everyone! Here’s the Top 3 in no particular order:
“I stroked the fake cookie duster I’d pressed on my upper lip and peeked at my subject from behind my copy of the shelf esteem runaway best-seller “Say Yes To The Mess” wondering if my giving him the book off had disguised the fact that I was investigating him for the murder of his wife.”
“What do a man with a cookie duster and a man with a shelf esteem book have in common? 
They are both likely to get the book off!”
“Whipping out a shelf esteemer entitled, “Happiness Is A Choice”, I prepared to give the tall man with the cookie duster the book off — then realized my mistake when I recognized him from the picture on the back cover.”
Whichever one gets the most votes by midnight, Tuesday, wins! I’ll announce the winner on Friday!
Happy Monday! Have a great week!

A Most Bizarre Monday

For the last eight maybe ten months, I’ve had major neck, shoulder, and back problems. Bad posture, hunching over a computer screen, lack of consistent exercise…

Then I got carpal tunnel in both hands. Seriously? I’m a writer. This isn’t going to fly.

So, a few friends at church told me about this Christian lady who does massage therapy and works wonders. 


I showed up at her place, filled out the form and a few minutes later, I’m in my birthday suit, nose to the ceiling, ready for healing. 

It’s dark, music is lightly playing in the background. She knocks. Enters. Feels around on my neck and head.

My eyes are closed. Now, I know going into this, I’m not going to be comfortable. That’s not what this massage is for. I’ve had full body massages before. This one is for working out the pain. 

I heard a glove snap.

She’s going to massage me with gloves on? That’s….different.

She stepped up to me and said, “Now I want you to open your mouth wide.”

My first thought: “Shut the front door! You want me to what?!”

Instead, I said (in a shaky voice), “Ok…” 

Do I actually say AAAAAH? Or just open wide? 

I opened wide, and she put her gloved finger along the inside of my jaw. “Now clench your teeth together and when I say ‘inhale’ open your mouth wide…inhale like a yawn or like you’re afraid.”

Oh act afraid? Honey, that won’t be hard.

“While your mouth is open wiggle your jaw, then when I say drop, relax it. Ready?”

Not so much.

But…I did it. I did it a lot. And apparently the muscles were really jammed. After an hour of her working my neck, back and yes, my mouth, I felt better than I have in months! I actually cried because I had forgotten what it was like to NOT hurt.

She also could tell I had a bunch of earaches as a child and then she put her finger in my ear and another finger in my mouth and made me do the scared-jaw-wiggle thingy. Guess what? Something ran out of my ear. At first I thought, “OMG, she’s punctured my eardrum. My ear is bleeding. My. ear. is. bleeding.

But it wasn’t.

And I feel so much better! On top of all that, she prayed with me throughout the session, which was cool and yes I marked I wanted prayer on the sheet. Who wouldn’t want prayer when it’s offered? Okay, probably lots of people, but whatever.

I also got a major buzz from sucking in so much O2. Imagine sucking in lungfuls of air like you’re terrified, wiggling your jaw, shooting your arms in the air all at these commands. Raise up, inhale, wiggle wiggle wiggle, exhale, drop. Gooood. Inhale…push up…push, wiggle, exhale, relax.

It was like Zumba for my mouth. 

After I left there, I went to the tanning bed (don’t judge) and when I came out the little girl working the counter– and I say little girl because when you wear hot pink bands on your braces, you’re a little girl--asked, “Was that floor in there dirty to you?” 

“What?!” Please tell me that bed was clean. And for the love, why don’t you just look for yourself and not freak out a customer.

“Like, I mean was it…dirty?” She was an ace at description/imagery.

I stared at her a moment, the silver and pink mouth flashing like a bar sign. “Well… it didn’t shout lewd remarks at me while I tanned.” 

She kinda grinned, not sure if I was serious or horsing around with her. Which is how I like it.

“Do you mean like stains (sweet mother!) or like lint or paper?” Because dirty can mean many things. 

“Just dirty.” Oh well, that cleared everything up.

“I think I’d notice if the floor was really filthy. Pretty sure you’re safe.” I’m not sure I had been.

“Sweet.” She beamed, cocked her head to the side and looked proud of herself. Though, I’m not sure what she was proud of? Hiding dirt? Slushy stains? Who knows!

“Yeah…sweet.” I’m sure when Spring Break is over, which is today, I’ll see the usual woman again. Only downside, I’ll be stuck listening to country music. If I wanted to hear about bars, booze, trucks, and fishing, I wouldn’t have went to the tanning bed. I’d have taken a trip to Sportsmen’s Wearhouse and eavesdropped, or called my brother. The girl did play some nice tunes. 

Then I went to work and put my foot in my mouth, but that isn’t bizarre. That’s typical.

Crazy kick-off to my Spring Break week. But I felt good. And I didn’t get any infections or rashes from the tanning bed, so…

Do you like massages–the relaxing kind? Any weird experiences?Have a great weekend, friends! 

The Devil Wears Prada; We Wear Peace


These Prada shoes cost $790.00 I know because I own them. Sort of. Okay, one of my characters in a novel does, but that’s kind of the same thing, right?

I’m going to admit something. These shoes look so much prettier on than a  pair of Roman Soldier cleat-like shoes. At first glance, and probably tenth, I’d choose these suede, sling-backs.  

There’s a phrase that shoes make the man. I believe this to be true.
Shoes for day. Shoes for night.
Special shoes for runners, baseball players, soccer players, going to the beach, scuba diving, etc…
And shoes for Christians
A couple years ago, I was walking “Jane” out to her car after a day of hanging out. I was barefoot. I’m not a barefoot kind of girl. Never have been. My sister could run on gravel, but I barely grazed a pebble and thought I might die.
I stepped off the concrete and the Lord spoke as clearly as He could without being audible. “You’re about to step on a bee.”
I should have stepped back. Instead, I took one more step and the pain that entered my foot and shot up my leg was insane. I hollered out and “Jane” helped me back inside. I made a baking soda paste like I remembered my mom had done when I was a kid and attempted to play in the sprinkler.
The lesson I learned then was listen and obey when God spoke. I’d been going through a “Hear My Voice clearly” time in my life. Second stage: Obey. I’d failed and got stung. Lesson learned.
But I remembered that incident while studying Donna Pyle’s Your Strong Suit Bible study. (click the red link to purchase!) She says, “In our spiritual battles, stability and balance prove essential in remaining upright….Wearing these shoes endues us with God’s strength.”
She’s referring to the way Roman soldiers’ shoes were made. With spikes along the bottom, similar to a cleat. To dig into the ground, to balance.
Special shoes even for war.  Combat boots.
Now, I’ll admit, the Prada shoes look prettier. I’m a fan of pink. But they wouldn’t hold up in war. In fact, most things the enemy entices us with are beautiful but in the end leave blisters on our flesh and aches and pains and cost more than we can afford.
Ephesians 6:14 says to “shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Shod in the Greek is “hypodeo” and it means “to bind under one’s self.”
The gospel of peace goes under our feet. It’s our foundation.
What is the gospel of peace? It’s the glad tidings of the salvation through Christ. It is good news!
Preparation in the Greek is “hetoimasia” and it means: “the act of preparing; the condition of a person or thing so far forth as prepared, preparedness, readiness” When we’re about to head out, the last thing we do is put on our shoes. It signifies readiness. It shows we’re about to leave.
I’ve said it a million times, “You have your shoes on? I’m ready to go.” It’s how I know if my kids are ready to walk out the door or are still lollygagging.
We have to be ready with our spiritual shoes. The gospel of peace. Wherever we go, we’re walking on the foundation of Jesus Christ–His death, resurrection and the hope and peace of eternal life, that we can never be separated from His love, He never leaves or forsakes us. Peace that passes all understanding.
It’s what defines us from everyone else who’s walking around barefoot.
The world is a dangerous place. We have no choice but to walk it’s evil streets. But if we’re prepared and ready. If we’re wearing the right shoewear, we can walk with ease.
It reminds me of the movie Die Hard. Bruce Willis is cleaning up in his wife’s office–wife-beater tank, a pair of pants and that’s it. At that moment, hell breaks loose in the business tower and he has to move quickly. Unprepared.
The enemy looks down at the floor in one point. A shooting match had just taken place, and he notices blood on the floor. He realizes, Bruce is barefoot. He grins and shoots out the glass windows leaving Bruce no choice but to walk on broken glass.
Bruce makes it to a bathroom where he picks shards out of his feet, the pain excruciating. He binds them with cloth, but that’s not enough.
He wasn’t ready for the havoc that had been unleashed. But to survive, he had to fight unprepared. It came at a cost. It came with insurmountable pain. It came without sureness and peace.
A scene or two later, he takes a pair of shoes from a dead guy and gets his hero on. Taking out the bad guys and winning.
The point?
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 1 Timothy 4:2
This doesn’t mean hand out tracts to homeless people, but let their stomachs continue to be empty. Nor does it mean stand on a corner and wave your Bible at prostitutes and remind them they’re going to hell. They’re already living in hell. In their minds, it can’t get much worse. It doesn’t mean shout at the drug-addicted that God can set them free, then shake the dust from your feet when they aren’t instantly delivered.
Patience with people.
In love.
When their lives are turned upside down, when your life is upside down– the shoes you wear convince them something about you is different.
That can’t be explained.
Yet…it can.
The Gospel of Peace.
Jesus Christ.
Your foundation.
Bound to the soles of your feet.
You walk down littered streets, scorching beaches, bee-infested grass, boiling pavements, glassy alleyways, gravely roads…
 with ease.
Light in your eyes.
Rain or shine. Snow and sleet.  Tornadoes and hurricanes raging. War and threats of war. In deceiving times. Through the wild jungles where the lion hunts his prey.
You walk.
How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 
Isaiah 52:7
Tell me, ladies, are you more of a pretty shoe or all about comfort? Guys, do you even care about what you put on your feet?

I’m over at Living by Grace today! Come by!

The Perfect Spring Break


My kids are on Spring Break this week! We’re already packed, the kids have cleaned their rooms and made their beds–Myles’ isn’t perfect, but he’s 7. They’ve already made a list of the games they’ll play in the car since it’s a long drive to the beach. It’s going to be lovely and peaceful. Myles has figured out what kind of castle he plans to build, Bailey is more of a water girl, so she says she’ll spend most of the time jumping waves. The sea air, sand between our toes. We’ll have the family photo on the beach….

Needles scratching across the record…Now! ZZZZZZZZPPPPPP.

We’re not going anywhere, and if my kids made their bed without being told, we’d definitely not spend Spring Break at the beach because we’d spend it in the ER, while they checked me out for possible cardiac arrest. But we have plans to do some fun things locally,and we love board games, so I see a few nights of Battleship (which I hate), Apples to Apples, and my favorite board game of all time…Clue. I rock that game.

I’m sure we’ll bowl, dance, and hunt on the Wii. I’m really looking forward to the week. We’ll hit the zoo with their new dinosaur exhibit and camel rides. And we’ll probably spend a day at Incredible Pizza. 

Needles scratching across the record…Now! ZZZZZZZZPPPPPP.

Oh wait…my daughter has hit 13. Let me back up. This week, I’ll be chauffeuring her to and from Youth events, slumber parties, movies, and wondering why I let her leave the house when I see her room looks like an episode of Hoarders. 

And my son will hole up in his bedroom with his 3DS, until we hit the zoo and Incredible Pizza because he’s ticked I win all the Wii and board games. Life it tough. I never give the game away. He can work hard and win… or lose. Mostly he loses and pouts. I bet there’s a life lesson there.


So that’s what our break will look like! And for the love do NOT google “spring break” because you won’t get family pictures. 

In a perfect world, this is what I’d like to be doing. And don’t judge me because my kids and hubby aren’t involved–they’re at slumber parties and holed up in bedrooms that smell like wet dogs and old milk and he’s at work.


Do your family vacations or breaks ever turn out the way you dream them up? 

*I’ll probably be scarce this week since I’ll be lying in the grass reading i.e. dragging unhappy kids to exhibits they care nothing about…but I’ll try to pop in and say hi! 

Urban Translation Fun!


I love reading the urban dictionary. It makes me laugh, and I enjoy using terms other people don’t know just to see if I can get them to use the phrase. This works well on my BFF “Jane.” 

Many times, I’ve used a word in a sentence over and over until I hear her mimic it. It’s grand fun. (Ugh, you hear the Dowton Abbey coming out in my dialogue?) 

So today, I’m posting 3 words with their definitions and nothing would please me more (that might be a lie) than if you would try to use these 3 words in a sentence! I will post the top 3 at a later date and we can all vote on the best one. 

Winner gets a guest post on my blog or a first chapter critiqued, if you’re a writer. If you’re a reader, you get to be spotlighted with a fun interview here on my blog! 



the book off:
The act of getting a book out on the train, tube bus, or plane in order to avoid talking to the person next to you. Substitutes include a newspaper, phone or iPod
shelf esteem:
When someone builds their self esteem from self help books
(btw, there’s nothing wrong with reading books to help you out!)
cookie duster:
A full mustache capable of dusting the tops of cookies
Okay, so get to it! Can you use these 3 words in a sentence?