Saturday, September 30, 2006

Novel Journey Interview & the Canteen

Today Novel Journey posted a short interview with me (talk about a surreal experience!). They asked several questions about my experience getting my first contract and writing Canteen Dreams. Be sure to check it out (and leave a comment, too!). Novel Journey is a great resource for author interviews. You can find all your favorites and some you may not have discovered yet there. And the sister site Novel Reviews has a host of reviews for Christian fiction. Gina and Ane have become friends over the last year, and Gina also writes for Scenes & Beans.

If you're interested in a little background on the North Platte Canteen, check out this great page.
The photo to the left is from the Union Pacific Railroad.

Each day between December 25, 1941 and April 1946, numerous troop trains stopped in North Platte. Because North Platte is a UP hub, these trains refueled, changed wheels (different wheels are needed to get over the Rockies), and gave the servicemen a chance to stretch their legs and fill their stomachs with homemade delicacies. Most stops were less than twenty minutes. Occasionally, they'd slip to almost 40 minutes.

During that brief stop, the people of North Platte, western Nebraska, and nearby communities in Kansas and Colorado adopted those boys. One woman launched this massive volunteer effort when she stepped to the front of the platform on December 17, 1941, and shared the gifts she had brought for her brother's national guard unit with Kansas troops instead.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Blogs by Attorneys as Advertising?

This just in: New York is considering passing an ethics rule which would make lawyer blogs advertising. Under one proposal, attorneys would be required to file copies of their web communications (including blogs) with the attorney disciplinary committee. For more click here. Did you know attorney advertisements are generally tightly regulated by state committees? Well, now you do. And while this proposal looks limited to New York, it's been true with ethics proposals in the past that where New York goes the rest of the states eventually follow. Fortunately, I'm not licensed in New York!

Blogging: What a Life

Earlier this week I was the Guest Blogger at Generation Next Parenting. Check it out and be sure to leave a comment. Tricia has a great blog with rotating contributors. We're all in different stages of life, but all striving to be the parents God is calling us to be. What a challenge!

Also, if you haven't checked out the pre-contract interview Sabrina Fox posted on her blog, do check it out. It gives you a snippet of the journey God has had me on since last April. You'll also get a sneak peak at the legal mystery I'm currently writing. My mind is spinning with plot twists and ways to up the mystery. I can't wait to dive back into it soon!

Then you can check out the Chat N' Chew Cafe. On Thursday my friend Crystal posted about my contract and a teensy-weensy bit about the book. Maybe next week I'll start telling you more about Canteen Dreams and the true story behind the canteen that serves as the backdrop for the book. It is a great story about a time when people were willing to sacrifice the best they had for others.

As I was helping Crystal with a part of her blog, I realized that somehow I had dropped the Feedblitz subscription service over the last month or two. Now it's back in the righthand column. If you're interested, you can sign in there and get an email delivered to you the day after I post with a snippet from that post. It's a great shortcut to staying on top of the myriad of things I'm writing about.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Parenting Styles

There's an article in today's USA Today about generational differences in parenting styles. I've always had an armchair fascination with the psychology behind birth order and generations, and this article takes an interesting approach.

It describes Baby Boomers as "helicopter" parents, you know the ones who constantly hover over their children and tell them how wonderful they are. One consequence of that is that my generation may not always have realistic expectations about who they are and what they can accomplish.

Generation X (including yours truly) are on whole more protective. We might encourage independence, but we're there to catch our kids when they fall and kiss the boo-boos. Part of this is attributed to the number of latchkey kids from broken families.

Then the Millennials are technology lovers who strive for a more balanced life.

What do you think? Based on the article, do you fit in the parenting generalities it discusses?

For another take on this article, check out Tricia Goyer's Generation Next Parenting Blog.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Win an Autographed Copy of Violet Dawn

Read my review of the book below. Then post a comment telling me why you think Kanner Lake would be a great place to visit. Take a trip to Scenes & Beans if you need some ideas. I'll announce the winner next week, so get those entries in!

PS: as of Thursday morning, Violet Dawn is the number one book at Technorati.

Violet Dawn

I am a new member of the Chrisitian Fiction Blog Alliance. I am thrilled that this week's book is Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins. Brandilyn has created a really fun character blog at Scenes and Beans. Yours truly is one of the writers for Jake, a retired logger. Here's my review of Violet Dawn:

As an reader who inhales Brandilyn's suspense, I was excited and a little nervous to pick up a copy of Violet Dawn. It is the first book in the Kanner Lake series, with a different ensemble feel than the Hidden Faces series. Hidden Faces in told in the first person from Annie's point of view. Violet Dawn bounces around an ensemble cast of characters while focusing on Paige Williams and Rachel Brandt.

Kanner Lake is a idyllic fictional town set in Idaho. A perfect tourist resort along the lines of Coeur d'Alene, Paige Williams believes it is the place to escape her past. When her past catches her, she throws herself on a crazy ride to try to escape its clutches. Some of her angst is of her own creation, but I found all of her actions believable, even as I wanted to scream at her "don't do that." It's a 24 hour roller coaster ride, with flashes to the past with another character Rachel. At first these backward glimpses give you as the reader a chance to catch your breath. But as you near the end, the plots collide increasing the pace of the story.

The ensemble cast gathers at the Java Joint for their morning coffee mixed with analysis of the town. There isn't time in this book to flesh each of them out fully, but I didn't expect that. The three or four who interact with Paige become real and distinctive as the pages turn. I look forward to their further development in the coming books of the series, while hoping I get to see more of Paige.

I also found the faith elements of the book real and unforced. The majority of the book occurs within a twenty-four hour period, making it impossible to probe the full depths of the character's faith, yet letting us see their questions, fears, and faith. Brandilyn strikes a balance that strikes me as real. Her portrayal of faith resonates because it isn't shoe-horned in to the story, but is a natural outgrowth of the characters' experiences and background.

When I read suspense, I race the author to see if I can figure out who's doing it before the antagonist is revealed. Violet Dawn was filled with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing even when my gut started leaning in a direction.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of tight suspense.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Search for Integrity

Integrity. Sometimes it seems we have lost sight of what that word means.

What brings this subject to mind? An article in today's online Indianapolis Star about the Marion County Coroner's office. This particular article details a search made by prosecutors in that office today based on reports of inappropriate conduct, however they define that today.

You could open any newspaper, online or the old fashioned way and find article after article about people who have forgotten what integrity is.

Integrity is defined by Webster's as:
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS

I love the idea of incorruptibility, soundness and completeness. Are we willing to take the steps necessary to live incorruptible lives? Lives planted by streams of living water? Lives that know there is a right and wrong and are willing to make the hard choices?

Let's start a revolution of integrity, living sound lives, one decision at a time.


Tricia tagged me for this meme because . . . she thinks I'm so cool !?!?! So here's some fun information about me:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Editor/Producer at KNOP-TV
2. Everything at my family's Runza franchises
3. Lawyer
4. Judicial Clerk

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Gone With the Wind
2. You've Got Mail
3. Any of the Thin Mans
4. Ever After. I have to agree with Tricia on this one.

Four places I have lived:
1. Lincoln, Nebraska (Go Huskers!)
2. Columbus, Ga
3. Arlington, VA
4. Lafayette, IN

Four things I like to do:
1. Belt out praise & worship in the car with my kids
2. Travel
4. Hit an awesome clearance sale.

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Pasta
2. Mexican
3. Ice cream sandwiches
4. Runza Onion Rings -- YUM.

Four places I would like to be right now:
1. Banaff, Canada
2. London
3. Budapest
4. The mountains -- any mountains will do

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Forensics and Faith
2. Girls Write Out
3. Generation Next Parenting
4. Relevant Blog

Four places I have been on vacation:
See placese I want to be :-)

Four friends I think might respond
1. Sabrina
2. Crystal
3. Gina Holmes
4. I'm all out of ideas: feel free to jump on if you'd like :-)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Safely Home

I'm back home again in Indiana. I unpacked and heaved a sigh of relief. My suitcase will collect dust for a couple weeks before I head out again.

My head continues to spin from the incredible depth and breadth of God's love. As I waited for my planes in the Dallas and Chicago airports, my fingers flew across my laptop's keyboards. I am desperate to capture what is happening in my life before the pace of life makes me forget.

I might share some of those thoughts with you, but for now I want to leave you with the words of a song that ministered to me deeply this morning as I walked through the Chicago airport. My body may have walked the terminals, but my heart was soaring to the throneroom as I worshipped Him with desperateness. The more doors God opens, the more desperate I am to hear Him speak to me. Enjoy:

Praise You in the Storm, by Casting Crowns

You can listen to the song here. I pray it ministers to you like it did to me today!

Friday, September 22, 2006

My First Contract

This will be a quick post, but I have to share my excitement! Tonight, at the opening session at ACFW Heartsong Presents announced two new author contracts. One of them was for my WWII novel Canteen Dreams! I am so excited, I'm almost shaking again as I type this. God is so good!

Last year at this conference is when I met the editors who developed an interest in the story. It was through talking to them that God planted the idea in my heart. The story almost wrote itself -- it's such a neat piece of history that I wanted to tell. So look for it in October 2007!

And the awesome thing is how genuinely excited for me folks are. I think my mentor Colleen Coble was even more excited than I am. God is good. What more can I say!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Off to ACFW

I'm off again. This time to Dallas. I can't wait!

Not because I'm going to explore Dallas. I won't. I doubt I'll get very far from the hotel. Instead, I am so excited to spend time with my fellow aspiring writers and with some of my favorite writers. If it's anything like last year, it will be an incredible few days crammed with learning, fellowship, serving, and pitching. I'm not sure what God has in store this year, but I'm praying that I will be a vessel He can use. And that I will be open to everything He wants to say to me.

I have some hopes and fears about the conference, so I appreciate your prayers! I'll be back on Sunday, so until then, have a God-filled week!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hungarian Moral Crisis?

A couple days ago the Voice of America ran this article about the upheaval in Hungary. A tape of the prime minister was leaked on the national media in which the prime minister stated that his party had lied to people in the spring's election. It was all part of their reelection plans.

Seems he lied about the state of the economy. Currently, Hungary leads the European Union with the highest budget deficiet.

In 1994 I spent almost a week in Budapest and the surrounding areas. The fall of Communism was only five years in the past, but it was an amazing country on the rebound. At that time it lead Eastern Europe in its plans to recover from Communism. I don't know if the Danube will ever recover from the pollution, but the streets were dotted with Western businesses. One night I even went to a Burger King just for some familiar comfort food.

I hope to return someday and see and learn more about this country and its history. And I pray this resilient people will rebound from today's lies and continue to build their future.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Unit & Pirates

Quite a mix, heh?

Eric and I are watching The Unit. It's one of the few shows we watch (it airs on CBS). The patriot and sort of Army brat (does my Dad serving in two wars work?) in me loves the show. And it just had the coolest stunt: somehow a balloon is used to hook an airplane and get one of the stars on a transport plane. Eric assures me it's legit and I have to defer. I have no idea, but it was so COOL!

Now on to Pirates. Did you know that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day? In honor of this grand occasion I have learned what my pirate name is -- arr! Just call me Dirty Mary Cash from now on. If you'd like to learn your pirate name, go to For random pirate facts, check out this site.

Ahoy, check out the followin' pirate book: Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum? (If you want to talk in pirate speak, try this site): Redemption by M.L. Tyndall

A Godly Heritage

The kids and I made it back from Nebraska last night. Thanks to Mason, who proved to be an excellent writer. You never know what kind of talent is hiding behind soft black eyes.

It was a whirlwind weekend. My baby brother's wedding followed by celebrating my grandparents sixty years of marriage sandwiched with another wedding celebration. Times like that make you consider what's really important.

As my cousins, siblings and I reminisced about what meant the most to us about our grandparents, it was amazing to see common threads. The family gatherings/celebrations at the drop of a hat. Any excuse would work really. Birthdays, Fourth of July, Christmas, Easter, It's-been-too-long-since-we-all-got-together. Games. Games of every sort: ten point pitch, cribbage, gestures, trivial pursuit, 500, you get the idea. Even cleaning chickens -- nasty business that it is -- formed a core line of memories. And each memory is an anchor point that makes us family.

We enjoy being together. There is a genuine love and affection for each other. The kind that says I will be there tomorrow if you need me. Because family is so much more important than other things.

My throat is tight as I consider what a rich, godly heritage that is. And it all started sixty-four years ago when Grandma and Grandpa met at a dance in small town Nebraska. Four children, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren (and we've hardly begun!) later that history of love and commitment is alive and well.

So was your family similar? What memories are important to you?

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Ever wonder how things get started? For example, who in their right mind would start the competition that today we call the Ironman Triathlon?

To tell the tale we have to go back to 1978.

At an awards ceremony for a Hawaii running race, a debate started among the competitors about who was more fit -- swimmers, runners or other athletes.

One of the participants, Navy Commander John Collins and his wife Judy, dreamed up a race to settle the argument. They proposed combining three existing races together and complete them in succession: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (112 miles, originally a two-day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles).

"Whoever finishes first we’ll call the Ironman," said Collins. Fifteen men participated in the initial event held on February 18; 12 complete the race, led by the first Ironman, Gordon Haller. His winning time: 11 hours, 46 minutes and 58 seconds.

That's a lot of work to settle a disagreement!

What Is Your Word?

Is there a word that makes you happy? For me it is rather simple: Walk.

I hear that magical phrase, “let’s go for a walk” and I am one happy puppy. Turns me inside out with joy. The familiar sounds of my leash coming off the hook and I’m racing to meet you at the front door.

So what makes you happy? Is it an unexpected compliment? A note of appreciation? A spontaneous cup of coffee with a friend? (A book contract?) There are a million ways that a day can be brightened by a random act of kindness.

Let me turn that question around. So what are you doing to bring joy to others? Surprise a friend today. Give ‘em a compliment. Pat ‘em on the head. Give ‘em a treat. And if you’ve still got time, invite ‘em for a walk. See you at the front door!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Football Time!

It's that wonderful time of year, when Saturdays are filled with college football and Sundays and Monday nights are filled with the professional variety. We're upgrading our cable tomorrow just so we can get Monday Night Football again.

My Aunt Laurie forwarded the following to me. If you're ready for some football fun, check these out -- though I warn you, they are plenty sarcastic and tongue in cheek.

(1) What does the average Texasplayer get on his SATs? Drool.
(2) What do you get when you put 32 Baylor cheerleaders in one room? A full set of teeth.
(3) How do you get a Iowa State cheerleader into your dorm room? Grease her hips and push. (4) How do you get a Universityof Oklahoma graduate off your porch? Pay him for the pizza.
(5) How do you know if a Nebraska football player has a girlfriend? There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup
(6) Why is the Colorado football team like a possum? Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.
(7) What are the longest three years of a Universityof Kansas football player's life? His freshman year.
(8) How many Missouri freshmen does it take to change a light bulb? None. That's a sophomore course.
(9) Where was O. J. headed in the white Bronco? Manhattan, Kansas. He knew that the police would never look at KSU for a Heisman Trophy winner. AND FINALLY
10) Why did Oklahoma State choose orange as their team color? You can wear it to the game on Saturday, hunting on Sunday, and picking up trash along the highways the rest of the week.

Book Contest

I've done it. I've made the incredibly hard decision to give away "The Guy I'm Not Dating." This is hard for at least two reasons. 1) The main character's name is Kara. Enough said. 2) It is a fabulously funny book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But instead of selfishly keeping it, I'll give one of you lucky souls the chance to win it. Post a comment about whether you are like Kara when you're around guys (Hint: check past posts for the short interview with author Trish Perry).

Using my highly scientific process from the last contest, I will have Abigail pull a name from a sliced and diced 3 x 5 card next Tuesday. I look forward to getting your posts.

And very soon, I'll be giving away an autographed copy of Brandilyn Collins' latest book, Violet Dawn.

Out for a Bit

The kids and I are headed to Nebraska for family celebrations of all kinds: my baby brother's wedding, my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, and a reception for my cousin who got married last month. I'm excited to see all the family, even if it means a 10+ hour drive each way.

We'll get back early next week, and then early Wednesday I head to the airport with a destination of Dallas. It's hard to believe I have less than a week till I arrive for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference and early bird session. The good news is I don't have time to worry or do any more work for the conference. It's now time to pray up and get ready for the fun of reconnecting with friends from last year and making new friends this year.

I would appreciate prayer though. If you think of me, ask God to give me peace, favor and wisdom. And lots of safe travel, too.

I will have a guest blogger on occasion. I have no idea what she'll say, but it should be fun.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just for Fun

Are you a know it all? Or do people occassionally call you one, etiher to your face or behind your back? Then check out Tricia Goyer's blog Generation NeXt Parenting . Today's post is filled with all kinds of fun trivia including the tidbit that there are more chickens than people on our great planet. Enjoy!

Double Dipping Attorneys?

I know -- your first reaction is, "Impossible. Attorneys who double dip?!?!"

Actually, this double-dipping doesn't involve funds. Pages of ethics rules and opinions exist that restrict that kind of action. This involves clients.

In Houston, there are two sets of attorneys who filed wrongful death suits for the same client. There are even allegations that the two firms have worked together on their separate lawsuits, allegedly sharing everything, even profits. Each team hired doctors who were kept in the dark about the other case and what the doctors in that case were saying. The claims and opinions in each case worked against each other. In one, the attorneys claimed crystalline silica caused the death, and in the other that asbestos was the cause. Congressional hearings are on-going. Click here to learn more.

The next Vioxx trial opened this week in New Orleans. The plaintiff claims Merck should be responsible for his heart attack even though the drug contained a warning label that taking the drug could increase the risk of heart attacks. I think these pharmaceutical cases are fascinating, in part because we try to assign blame for an injury that has so many potential causes. They certainly aren't as clear cut as a products liability case arising from using a product like a lawn mower, motor vehicle, etc. And there's big money involved in these cases. In one of the first Vioxx trials, a jury ordered Merck to pay $51 million, though the judge has ordered a new trial on damages.

Welcome to the American system of law.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My First Interview

This morning my first interview is up. Yep, an interview with me. You're chance to learn all kinds of details about why I started writing again a year ago. Sabrina Fox posted it on her blog Hijinks from the Heartland and did a great job with it. Sabrina has become a very good friend since last year when we were roommates at the ACFW conference in Nashville. We drove down together, and even though she was concerned we wouldn't have anything to talk about, the trip flew. She has such a neat heart, and it's been fun to get to know her.

So if you're interested in learning more about me and why I'm spending so many nights writing, check it out. And be sure to read some of her other interviews with the published and unpublished. She asks great questions.

Washing Our Sins Away???

An Interesting new study was published in the September 8, 2006, issue of Science. Two researchers delved into whether people who have done something unethical -- aka sinned -- are more likely to want to clean up than those who haven't fallen.

The authors summarize their findings this way: "Daily hygiene routines such as washing hands, as simple and benign as they might seem, can deliver a powerful antidote to threatened morality, enabling people to truly wash away their sins."

Fox News breaks it down this way: "Rituals that cleanse the body to purify the soul are at the core of religions worldwide. Scientists have now found that these ceremonies apparently have a psychological basis." The investigators had people read short stories. After reading, the participants were then asked to rate cleaning products. Those who read an unethical story written in first person rated the cleaning products more highly then those who had read an ethical story.

Thanks to Stephanie for pointing out this article to me! Fascinating research. What do you think?

Saturday, September 09, 2006


A thought for the day:

Believe in God like you believe in the sunrise. Not because you can see it, but because you can see all it touches.
-- C. S. Lewis

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ethics and the Boardroom

If you're a board of director for a large Fortune 500 company, should you expect other directors to investigate you and unearth your phone records?

I think most of us would say NO. However, that's what's happened at Hewlett Packard. Investigators hired by board members impersonated other board members and obtained phone records with partial social security numbers. The new is all over the Internet: the New York Times had an interesting article yesterday, as well as an article about how easy it is to obtain phone records.

The law has struggled with how to apply ethics to the boardroom since Enron, Worldcom, etc. There is a certain supposition that there is a foundational level of behavior below which people don't sink. With each new scandal, the true hearts of men and women are revealed. So how should the law respond? What do you think?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Million Little Pieces

In January there was a huge flap in publishing about a non-fiction memoir that wasn't. James Frey had sold A Million Little Pieces as a true account of his life, but an enterprising reporter got to work and proved that many of the stories in the book were just that -- stories.

Today the New York Times announced that Random House and James Frey have reached a settlement in a lawsuit with readers who claimed they wouldn't have purchased the book if they'd known it was really fiction.

According to the Times to claim the refund, purchasers must do the following:
1) Have puchased a copy of the book on or before Jan. 26;
2) Submit proof of purchase. Options include a dated receipt or one of the following: hardcover buyers, who are entitled to a $23.95 refund, must submit page 163 (chosen at random, according to the source familiar with the negotiations); paperback buyers (entitled to $14.95) must send in the front cover of the book; those who bought the audio book ($34.95) will have to send in a piece of the packaging, and those who bought the e-book, at $9.95 apiece, must send in some proof of purchase.

For an additional take, check out the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

All I can say is, I'm glad I write fiction!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Moment with Trish Perry

I asked Trish to tell us a bit more about how she developed Kara as a character. I have to admit I love the name she choose! Here are Trish's thoughts. Enjoy!

When Kara came into existence, she was originally the heroine's sidekick, because I actually wrote the follow-up book, Too Good to Be True, first. My publisher decided to switch the order of the two books, which required some significant rewriting (we won't go there).

So Kara's profession wasn't a deep, thought-provoking puzzle; she wasn't the "star" yet, in my mind. I simply wanted her to have a fairly low-pressure career, one that was more fun than some of the more intense professions.

Of course, for The Guy I'm Not Dating, she was the "it" girl, and her clumsiness surfaced without my really noticing it. The first time a crit partner mentioned her being clumsy, I was actually surprised! Kara was just always pretty much "with it" when I wrote Too Good to Be True, and we all know women like that. I liked the idea of her clumsiness surfacing in The Guy I'm Not Dating, whenever that good-looking Gabe was around. I think we've all been women like that!

Another interesting development was that my sister became a personal trainer while I was writing Kara's story. I had to make sure my sister knew I hadn't based Kara on her. Didn't want my sister to think I was jotting down notes whenever she and I got together!

Thanks, Trish! And be sure to click on the link for Too Good to Be True because the cover for that one is as great as the first one.

What Time is It?

The Chicago Times recently ran this photo. Someone had a lot of fun creating this billboard. The golden arches move along the array of eating options depending on the time of day. First thing in the morning, it lands on the coffee and by noon it's on the Big Mac.

It makes me hungry just looking at it!

Review: The Guy I'm Not Dating

Last week I picked up this book expecting to spend a minute or two in it, and then put it down till I had more time. That plan lasted for the first fifteen pages. By then I could relate to the main character Kara (great name isn't it!). A smart yet klutzy gal, she stumbles into a cafe that's under construction to avoid a rainstorm. When she turns around she sees a great looking guy, and all she can say is "Yowza." Not once, but twice.

He asks her out to lunch, and she turns him down because she's recently decided not to date. If you've seen Josh Harris' book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, you've got the idea behind her new stand. Normally, it wouldn't be a problem, but almost immediately after making that commitment, Kara meets Gabe, a great Christian guy, and wonders if she's just made the biggest mistake of her life. Add a co-worker who puts Gabe in her sights, Gabe's siblings and friend who show up without telling anyone they were making the trip up from Florida, and a distant relative of Kara's to the mix, and you have a fun book with a great supporting Greek chorus.

The book frolics through the pages and has the feel of a chick lit. The supporting cast is a little deeper and crazier than some chick lits, and the sense of humor is great. I could relate to a gal who seems to have it all together but runs into every corner or large piece of furniture in her path.

If you're looking for a fun read, I highly recommend this one.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hello, my name is Cara...

And I'm addicted to email. At least that's what my husband tells me. Repeatedly. At least three times a night lately.

Does anyone else have this problem? Please tell me I'm not alone.

You see we have one computer with internet access. My laptop is too old and fried for such new fangled things, though it does just fine with everything else, thank you very much. And the last couple weeks Eric has worked hard on some graduate class papers that are due. Hence, every time he gets up from his chair and his desk (the one with our internet computer), guess who slides into it. Yep, yours truly.

As soon as he steps into the room, I slip out of the chair and slink back to my desk. And wait. And wait. For that next opportunity to check a website, a friend's blog, anything that has to do with the great information highway.

You know, it's really hard to post new things to a blog when you can't get on the computer with internet access! So bear with me folks as I sneak in during the next couple weeks. This too will pass, I am told by a reliable source.

Monday, September 04, 2006

New Things?

In honor of Labor Day, the following post is serving double duty. I'm the blogger at Writer Interrupted, a blog with several of my friends about moms who write. Have a blessed day with your friends and family!

I’m in a season right now where God is reminding me (on an almost hourly basis) of how very little control of my life I have. You see, as a Type A, that is a very scary and uncomfortable position. I mellowed a bit in my twenties (working full time while going to law school five nights a week will do that to a gal), and thought I was doing really well now that I’m in my early 30s.

But two small kids, homeschooling, working three days (yeah, right. This week it was quite a bit more), trying to be a good wife, stay on top of the house, ministry through Women’s Ministry and Sunday School, pretend I have a friend or two – I’m wiped out and spiraling of control. Throw in teaching a class at Purdue this summer, writing manuscripts, a blog, running a state chapter of ACFW, the upcoming conference. I am so out of control it’s not even funny.

And I can sense my Father smiling as I type this. He’s whispered in my ear all year that new things are coming. The sense of expectation I have is huge. But the reality is I’m stuck juggling all the same balls with a couple more added in for fun. Yet that soft whisper speaks to my heart. “I’m doing something new. Don’t look backwards. Look to the future. I am making the way.” (Isaiah 43:18-19). That passage has become such a comfort to me the last few weeks. I want God to move on my time table. To act even faster than I hope. Yet, He says, “I’m doing it. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the ride.”

He’s also whispering I Peter 3:4 to my heart. “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” I am not a quiet spirit. That’s why I’m such a good attorney and pretty good teacher. I don’t mind being front and center, thinking on my feet and taking whatever anyone wants to throw my way.

But I have a feeling God is most interested in how I handle the wait while He arranges the next steps of my path. So I will try to quiet my spirit. To rest in the knowledge that He is in control, He is the God who makes the impossible possible, and that He loves me so much more than I could ever fathom.

And I will also breath into the embers of expectation. And listen to the whisper that says, “I see you, I care, and I am moving on your behalf.”

Friday, September 01, 2006

Time Warp, Anyone?

I wonder if any of you can relate to this.

I'm walking through one of those mega-store, super-centers earlier today. Looking at all the women pushing carts loaded down with kids, groceries, and other sundries. Poor women. I'm glad I'm not that old.

Then I look in my cart. One almost three year old little boy, with an almost six year old tagging along behind. Random cans of beans and fruit. Ohmigosh. I am that old! Yikes!

I perpetually think I'm another age than I am. As a kid, I never thought I'd reach that all powerful age of 16. Then I did. The moving target became 25. Once I'm 25 people will have to take me seriously. You see, I've usually been a bit young. Sixteen when I started college. Barely twenty when I graduated. Twenty-one when I got married. Etc. But now, I'm 32. I need to stop thinking of myself as some really young twenty-five year old. Maybe it's time to enjoy being 32.

I tell the passage of time more by how big my kids and friends' children are than the turning of calendar pages. My oldest niece turned ten last month. Now that's a reality check!

Can anyone else relate? Or am I just a really weird person stuck in my own personal time warp?


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