Hello, Mr. Wrong!

Hey everyone! I know my photo is of a cat. I know it’s crazy as I am not a cat lover. They wig me out! But this animal has the right look. Doesn’t she? 

“Uh, don’t even strut this way with a line you think goes down as smooth as butter buttah. It’s comin up about like one of my fur balls, yah freak.” Can you see that? 

 It’s great to be back but I’m sort of not here. I’m over at Casey Herringshaw’s blog and I’m talking about Mr. Wrong.

We hear so much about Mr. Right, so  I thought I’d share with you a few deal-breakers, in my opinion, about who constitutes Mr. Wrong. I have based these 3 things on my own personal experience. 

Please don’t judge me after reading.

One other item to share: I’m revamping my summer schedule. I have a WIP (Work In Progress) to revise and a few critiques to do over the summer and I’d like to focus my attention on them.  So for the rest of summer, I’ll only post on Wednesdays.

As always, plan to experience hope! 

And of course, I reserve the right to post on Mondays and Fridays if something crops up that I feel you can’t live without reading. 🙂 

So come by Casey’s and jump in the conversation. Casey’s blog! (um…click the link!)

Tell me one quality that makes Mr. Wrong in your opinion. And you don’t have to be serious, you can be silly. In fact, please do! 

Random 101 Learn It Here


First, let me just say if I could go back and do it all over again, I’d so sport these glasses. In fact, if I could come up with them now, I’d wear them today. Totally would. Okay…moving on.

Technically, I’m not here but I am. As in, it feels like I’m here to you because you’re reading my words. But I’m not actually here. I’m somewhere else. 

In my writing/editing cave to be exact. Well most of the day! Part of it I’m at work and…

Today is my anniversary! My husband has put up with my mess for 18 years! Talk about a hero! 
Thanks to my new Thirty One
file box and wall hanger, my
writing space is better
organized! So here’s where I really am!

But I am working on revisions. My goal is to get this joker sent out to critique partners in about three weeks. 

My kids are out of school for summer, and I’m taking a couple days off to spend with them, i.e. force them by standing over them to clean their rooms correctly. Not like they clean. Like I clean.

Do your kids do that?

“Kids, clean your rooms!”

“Like your kind of clean?” 

Is there any other way than mine? Uh…no. No there is not. We’re seeing what fits, what doesn’t and hauling anything that doesn’t to GoodWill. Then I will know if my daughter really is telling the truth when she says, “I have nothing to wear.”

And hey, talk about dedication to branding!
See how my new glasses match the circles on my banner?
Yeah, I’m that good. Truth is, it was an accident. But whatever.

Also, did I mention I’m trying to work on revisions in all this? Yeah. I thought I might have. In fact, I have a small circle of sunburn on ONE leg to prove I’ve been revising. How does this prove I’ve been revising?…well it doesn’t to you. But I know how long I sat outside reading through my ms. It’s not suspense either. It’s contemporary romance bordering romantic comedy. I say bordering because I may be the only one that finds it funny.

So I’ll be off the blogosphere until May 31st when I guest post about Mr. Wrong at Casey Herringshaw’s place. We hear so much about Mr. Right, I thought it’s high time we talk about  the tool you never married or will never marry. And you’d be surprised what sprang to mind about this after watching an episode of Hannibal. Just sayin.

So find me on facebook or twitter if you can’t live without me. And if you can, it’ll hurt my feelings. At least for a minute. 

If my back hurts, I have this treadmill desk, which is just a few pieces of wood. 
My son came running through my room the other night and my husband said, “Hey, watch out before you hit your head on your mama’s lumber yard.” Whatever. 

Would you rather walk a mile in someone else’s shoes–literally like at least two sizes too big. Or walk a mile in your own shoes (literal shoes) but walk 100 miles further than you would if you were in someone else’s shoes that were too big for your feet? Also, this walking would be done in one sitting. Well not really sitting, but you get it…don’t you? 😉


Let’s Take a Trip


Guess what, peeps? I’m over at Writing 4 Two blog talking about my writing journey, what books inspired me–you’ll find I’m not an Anne of Green Gables girl…is that a deal breaker between us? Whatever, it is not. And I’m giving out some writerly-ish advice. 

So come over. Meet Gina and Shannon! Two mommies living out their dreams.


You have one week on a private yacht. You can sail anywhere. 
Where are you going?

Just a Little Jesus Spit


Have you ever been in a situation and you feel there’s no
way out? You give up believing. You take on the motto: It is what it is.
In Mark chapter 8, there was a blind man who lived in
Bethsaida. It says, “…they brought a blind man to him.” It never says the blind
man asked for healing. Or that he used his walking-stick to find Jesus. Maybe
he did, but it never says.
What if this man finally had succumbed to his condition? It
is what it is.
Sometimes when our friends lack faith, it’s up to us to
believe for them. To exhort them. To raise them up to Jesus, to take them to
Him. And let’s be honest, isn’t it easier to believe for someone else than for
It says, Jesus took the man out of the city. Why not do it
on the spot? Why take him out? I think sometimes when we’ve been in a condition
it becomes the norm. No one really believes we can be more than we are. Maybe
the town was full of skeptics, other than a few friends. Or maybe the man was
comfortable being blind. It didn’t seem that he was searching Jesus out on his
God will often take us out of our comfort zone to do the
miraculous. To prove who he is.
After Jesus spit in his eyes (gross, Jesus! But I’d take His
spit. I tell you I

would.) he asked him what he saw.

The man answered, “I see men like trees, walking.” 
Did Jesus make a mistake? Had he lost too much sleep and wasn’t on his A 
He wasn’t only healing this man. He was doing two
things: Jesus was forcing the man to trust. And He was teaching the disciples and
us a lesson. Prior to this event, Jesus fed 4000 bread. He’d just walked on
water on his way to Bethsaida. But his disciples didn’t fully understand. 
During this feeding, they worried about provisions. Afterwards, the Pharisees
wanted to see a sign. Jesus departs with his disciples and warns them to be
aware of the leaven (sin/corruption) of the Pharisees. But they didn’t get this
They thought he was making a point about forgetting bread earlier.
Jesus says, ““Why do you reason because you have no bread?
Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having
eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not
remember? When 
I broke the five loaves for the five
thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
They said to Him, “Twelve.”
 “Also, when I broke the
seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you
take up?”
And they said, “Seven.”
So He said to them, “How is
 you do not


His disciples saw…but dimly. We
see things dimly too. Sometimes we don’t understand what Jesus is up to. That’s
okay. We don’t have to understand it all.
We do have to trust.
He will perfect that which
concerns you.
He told the man who was now seeing
blurry to look up. Sometimes we just need to look up—to him. When he did this,
he could see clearly.
I read a story about a man named
Virgil. He was 50 years old and had been blind since birth. He had a “successful”
eye surgery, but “he often felt more disabled than he had felt when he was
blind.” He saw things but he had a hard time making sense of what he saw. Trees
ran together, the trunks and leaves. Dimensions were skewed.
Apparently, motion and colors are
inherent in the brain; they need not be learned or relearned. We just see them.
They are just there. But this is no surprise for Jesus. He knew the newly
healed blind man would have no depth perception or ability to synthesize shape
and form (much like Virgil). The man’s brain had to be recalibrated—renewed.
One amazing second! And in that moment he knew what you and I have since
childhood—how to see.
We’re born into sin. It distorts
our view. What we need is to look up. Have Jesus renew our minds to His. Like the
blind man, it’s a process. But one day, in an instant we’ll be changed and see
so clearly!
We have to exercise our brain and
tell our eyes what they’re really seeing. 
How do we do that? By the washing of
the water of the word. In Revelation 3:18 Jesus says, “…anoint your eyes with
eye salve, that you may see.” That Greek word for “salve” means a remedy for
tender eyes. He is our remedy! 
Jesus will never leave a work
“What do you see?” Jesus asks.
Only you and I can admit our
He is always willing to help us
see things more clearly.
Do you need a recalibration? Have
things been looking a little blurry lately?

Musing on Isaiah 42:16 Blurred Vision

Ever feel like you need your eyes adjusted? Things in life seem so blurry. Uncertain. Me too. But we have the hope of One who gives sight to the blind. Who brings clarity to blurry circumstances. 

Wednesday, we’ll be talking about a man who saw blurry. But in an instant, Jesus miraculously re-calibrated his brain. So come by and be encouraged, blind one. God shows no partiality. 

Musings/Meditation Prompts: Remember times when you’ve walked blindly. Muse on the sight God gave you, even if it was hindsight. You made it out. God can be trusted. He’s a tender remedy for blinded eyes. A soothing balm for irritated vision. 

If you could see one wonder before you die, what would it be? 

Story Tellers


Let’s play a game. 

Ah, don’t say it’s too early! Or your brain is fried. I know better. Come on! Pleeease!

We’re going to write a little story together. Come on! 

Genre: Romantic Comedy

I’ll start with one sentence and then the next person pick up where I left off. One sentence or two but no more! Then the next and next. It’ll be fun. You know it will. I’ll post the final product on my facebook page on Monday. 

Jane clomped down the hall in heels she hated, but right now all she had over Amber Donaldson was the three extra inches. Not that height would get her the promotion, but at this point in the game she’d stoop–well not so much stoop– but tower to get any recognition she could. She swung open Jeremy’s door and… (your turn)

Oh and this isn’t for publication so don’t sweat the editing or perfect word choice. Notice, I didn’t. Have fun!

What is the Peace Offering?


At some time or
other you’ve been restless. Would you say that is true? I know in my life it
is. I wrestle with doubts, fears, confusions, decisions that need to be made,
direction for my life, hard questions and so much more.
I’ve had sleepless
nights. Worrisome days.
But there is peace
to be had. For every single issue that you wrestle with.
Every circumstance,
every horrendous event. Peace is attainable.
Leviticus Chapter 3.
Don’t click off the page yet! Leviticus is a beautiful book.  In these pages you’ll discover God setting up
a system of holy living for His people, including how-to instructions for
sacrifices, the ordination of priests, laws concerning unclean/clean,
atonement, morality, other laws for holy living). They were set in place for a
reason and we can learn from them today. 
Though they were
temporarily put in place. They foreshadowed something permanent. And that’s the
fun treasure we get to dig out of it! Yes, yes it can be fun!
“The law is only an unclear picture of the good things
coming in the future; it is not the real thing. The people under the law offer
the same sacrifices every year, but these sacrifices can never make perfect
those who come near to worship God. If the law could make them
perfect, the sacrifices would have already stopped. The worshipers would be
made clean, and they would no longer have a sense of sin. But
these sacrifices remind them of their sins every year, because
it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
Hebrews 10:1-4 NCV
Now, back to Chapter
3 of Leviticus: The Peace Offering
The Hebrew word for
the peace offering is, “shelem” which means, “to sacrifice to be
in an alliance or friendship with.” “a voluntary sacrifice of
thanks.” “a requital” (which is something given or done as
repayment for kindness or a friendly act).
This word,
“shelem” comes from the root word, “shalam” and it’s a
verb. Yeah, how bout that. It means, “to be in covenant of peace, to be at
peace, to be complete, whole, sound, finished, sealed, uninjured.”
Uh, yes, please!
I’ll have some of that.
The peace offering
was given willingly.

In essence it was like the person was saying, “Thank
you, God, for your acts of kindness and friendship. Thank you for this covenant
of peace. I’m bringing you this sacrifice in the way you’ve asked me to. May it
be a sweet aroma to you. Let it waft around you sweeter than honeysuckle,
sweeter than lilacs. Thank you for making me complete and whole, and sealed.
Your friendship means everything to me. It was worth the time it took to bring
this animal without any spot or blemish–because you are holy Lord and I can
bring nothing else– lay my hands upon it, kill it at the door of the
tabernacle, where you meet with me. Bless your name, LORD!”

Then the priests
would sprinkle the blood all around the altar. Blood offends us and has become
synonymous with death thanks to TV and movies and Bram Stoker. But blood was
never meant to be dark or represent death. Blood has always been about life.
Life is in the blood. Blood cries out when it’s been taken, cries for avenging.
And God hears. God avenges. Blood is… I’m about to chase a rabbit here.
The priests, who
were the only ones who could minister to God–thank you, Jesus for your
life-giving blood that tore the veil in two and made us a royal priesthood (1
Peter 2:9)! We now have direct access to your throne. No longer do we have to
stand outside the door and let the priests do what we could not! We come all
the way in. And we get to stay!
Somebody get excited
over that! Somebody lift a praise! A shout!
Now back to
Leviticus 3. The priest would arrange the wood on the fire. Then the peace
offering was to be laid over the burnt sacrifice (offering), which was the only
sacrifice that was entirely consumed on the altar. I believe another sacrifice
was wholly laid on wood in the form of cross and went through fire for us. So
the specifics here aren’t incidental. The arrangement of the sacrifices pointed
to the ultimate sacrifice. The Lamb of God. Pure and spotless. Because of Jesus
we have peace, soundness, wholeness, we’re sealed. We offer him our sacrifice
because of his great act of kindness toward us.
But wait, there’s
more! Yes, I said that just like an infomercial.
Look at the organs
that were required in the Peace Offering (if from the herd, a lamb also required
the fatty tail which is by the backbone):
The fat–because fat is the best. (I know we’re
in a whole generation of non-fat lovers, but then it was the most prized
The two kidneys.
fatty lobe attached to the liver.
Why these parts? I
mean did God flippantly say, “Hey, just toss in the kidney and liver. Meh,
while your at it chunk the fat too.”
In ancient times,
the kidneys were considered the seat of your
emotions (not the heart like today which I like better by the way) Let’s
talk about our emotions, when they get in the way and we let them lead, what
happens to our peace? God says, give me your emotions. I will give you
soundness. Wholeness.
The fat–the best part. The part they wanted to keep,
to hold onto. “Yes,” says the Lord, “I’ll take all the
parts you think you need to hang onto. I’ll take the part you treasure most,
the part you think you can control. I like to call it your own strength, talent
and abilities, which by the way I’ve given you. I’d like those for my glory,
thank you very much.”
And the liver. Which was used by diviners to
tell the future. The uncertain future.
How it steals our peace. But God says, “I hold your future. I guide you
with my eye. I have plans for you. You don’t need to know everything. I do and
isn’t that enough, insert name here?” Also, the liver is what filters out
impurities in our life. So we could say, time to burn up the sins and
impurities in our life on the consuming fire, on the burnt sacrifice of Jesus
Christ so that we can live in peace. God knows our sins and impurities will rob
us of our peace. Keep us in turmoil and bondage.
And if it was a lamb
or goat, the same thing was required but of the lamb, the fatty tail which is
connected to the backbone. I’d like to
say we need to offer God our fear. Ever heard, “Get
a backbone!” How you ask? Place your fear on the altar.
But when we give all
these things back to the One who drew us with kindness into a relationship–a
covenant of peace, who removed our guilt, it’s an offering from us to Him for
all of that! Thank you for your sacrifice, Jesus. Thank you that you are my friend.
You call me friend. You are mindful of me and I offer you everything I have. I
trust you. Lord consume it all on your altar. Every part. For your glory. Burn away what doesn’t belong and refine me. The consuming fire is a place of change. A time to be rearranged. 
May it be a sweet
aroma to you, God.
you have hard time laying these things down on the altar? And what else would
you say robs you of peace? 

Musing on Hebrews 13:20-21 God of Peace and Power!

The God of peace. I love that the author of Hebrews starts off with this. Why do you think that is? I think because all those works planned for us won’t be easy. I think they’ll come with questions and statements like:

“God, is this really what you want me to do?”

“God, what do you want me to do?” 

“God, I can’t do that.”

“This seems hard. Too hard.”

“I’m confused.”

“I’m scared.”

“This isn’t working out like I thought.”

“How can this be good or pleasing to you? You do see this, right?”

“Am I in your will? I don’t even think I know what your will is!”

“Oh for the love, Jesus, talk to me!!”

I think it’s a right-off-the-bat reminder that the God of peace is working and if he’s our God, then he’s also our peace. No matter what what questions we have or statements we declare.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about this week until my good friend, Melissa Tagg wrote a guest post about Leviticus on Jenny Hale’s blog. So join me Wednesday, don’t be scared!, while we dive into Leviticus and the peace offering and what significance it has on us today. I promise to guide you to some fascinating treasure pulled from what some might consider dry places (including myself once upon a time). 

But for today…

Musing/Meditation Prompt: The God of all peace…are you at peace right now? Why or why not. Think on the amazing power it took to raise our Lord Jesus from the dead! That same power resides in you? Think of that everlasting covenant. You belong to him! Forever. God has marvelous plans for you. Think of occasions when you fulfilled some of those plans. Trust God today with them.

What would you say robs you of peace most quickly? What is one thing you can do today to change that?

Wishing On Willows: Faith Readers Group Review

Thanks, Katie, for being here all week–although you’re really in Africa. 🙂 This past Monday, the Faith Readers book club got together for delicious vanilla and chocolate swirled cupcakes with chocolate icing and I made the homemade peppermint hot chocolate, which is a fave in Robin’s cafe from the book. You can get the recipe on Katie’s book club page along with discussion questions. We missed several who couldn’t be there and I know they missed us, you did didn’t you? 

We had a short devo from on of our ladies and then we drank the deliciousness and enjoyed the yummy cupcakes while discussing the book. Katie skyped with us about her debut novel, but since she couldn’t be with us this time, she prepared a video for us to watch! How cool is Katie? Yeah. I think she’s that cool too.

So here’s what we said:

“I liked it better than Wildflowers from Winter.”

“I liked Wildflowers better.”

“As a single mom for the whole time, I wanted to tell Robin, ‘Suck it up!'”

“I was emotionally engaged because I have a son and I saw myself in Robin–I say some of

This takes an entire bag of
Peppermint Patties! Uh, delish!

those same things and my son played with those same toys.”

“I loved the first person vignettes. It helped me relate more to Robin.”

“I loved when she tossed her ring in the pond! That’s something I would do. And then regret it later.”

“I think it would be hard to give up a dream you shared with your spouse.”

“God has other plans. They’re always good even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. I can relate to that.” (So could everyone else.)

“I’ll read more of Katie’s books.” (Everyone agreed on that too)

Out of 5 stars.
Rating: 4

What are you reading this weekend? 

Here’s a sneak peek:
Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?

A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.

So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances. 

Katie Ganshert Contemplates God’s Grace

Katie Ganshert is back with us today sharing a devotion that touches on one of the themes her heroine, Robin has to contemplate on–one we all do! I hope you’ll join us Friday for our group review of Wishing on Willows! 

When I
contemplate God’s grace, I often think about good things. Forgiveness,
obviously. Restored relationships. Healing and freedom. Sometimes I even equate
God’s grace with finding a spouse or getting a promotion at work or populating
a big house with healthy children or fulfilling a dream.
But what if
that’s only one side of the coin?
What if God’s
grace comes wrapped in deferred dreams? Or broken relationships or scary
prognoses from doctors or unemployment or infertility or any thorn that pierces
our flesh?
As much as that
empty tomb shouts “Grace! Grace!”, let’s not forget that the cross does too.
With those nails and on that tree, grace and suffering are so tightly woven,
the two are indecipherable.
I read the red
words of Jesus—blessed are the poor in
spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for
they shall be comforted
(Mt 5:3-4) and I’m reminded of a woman I met in
Africa. A woman, who by America’s standards, had nothing. Abandoned by her
husband, sick with AIDS, six children in a squalid shack and somehow, she
radiated joy. This woman didn’t have to wonder if God was enough, she knew it
in the marrow of her bones.
There is a
special blessing that comes in the midst of hardship.
It’s in those moments,
when we fall on our faces with nothing, our dreams dashed, our plans and our
goals no longer, that we cling to Him with a ferocity we don’t find in the
midst of prosperity. God’s presence is magnified in the hard. We don’t just
have an intellectual knowledge about His strength, we experience it. It holds
us together. It keeps us breathing.
And Paul’s
nonsensical words—when I am weak, then I
am strong
? They make sense and our definition of grace expands.
The Lord is
close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
~Psalm 34:18
Father God,
would your grace rain down, no matter what season or circumstance we find
ourselves in. Hold us as we cling to You.
Have you found that special blessings come in the midst of hardship?
Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price
has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small
town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and
espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work
So when
developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café
and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a
stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business
depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders
if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve,
especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates
with his own.
polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal
and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender
their plans to the God of Second Chances.