Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Thankful list

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm writing my top ten list of things I'm thankful for.

  1. I'm thankful that 15 years ago, in my dorm, 2 girls from, Campus Crusade for Christ, knocked on my door and told me about Jesus Christ.
  2. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who still loves me even when I'm at my worst.
  3. I know people who are Baptists, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Hindi, Atheists, Catholic, Agnostics or don't know what they believe. I'm thankful I live in a country where people can choose what to believe or not.
  4. I'm thankful for family that still loves me when I grate their last nerve.
  5. I'm thankful for the soldiers who are spending their Thanksgiving in a foreign country, fighting a war that no one wants but has to be fought.
  6. I'm thankful my family has an income. Lots of people don't.
  7. I'm thankful for friends that love me and are praying for me.
  8. I'm thankful for my dog Riley. He teaches me patience.
  9. I'm thankful for books. I love to read.
  10. I'm thankful for a certain high school teacher, who encouraged me to write.


Now I'd love to hear what you're thankful for.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing Assignments and Life

The other day I read a fellow home school mom’s blog. She was talking about teaching her children a Bible memory verse. Well, as I read what verse it was. I thought “We may have learned it, but I think it’s time to revisit it”. So instead of relearning the verse, I had the boys read it and write a short paragraph as to how they could apply it to their lives.

One particular son has gotten into the habit of arguing and complaining about anything. So, we(he and I) are working to help each other.

BTW my last post was an interview with Mary DeMuth. In the next few weeks I will be posting book reviews for 2 of her books. One of which will be releasing very soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary DeMuth/Daisy Chain

I met Mary DeMuth on Twitter. Her inspiring words, have helped to motivate my writing habits. Her book, Daisy Chain, was released on March 1, 2009. Mary is an expert at breaking the cycle of destructive family behavior patterns. She has written many parenting books including: Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, Building the Christian Family You Never Had, and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God. Mary has written novels that inspire people to take their trials and turn them into triumphs. These novels include Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions, and now Daisy Chain. On top of being an award winning author, wife, and mother, Mary, somehow finds time to do speaking engagements in the US and in Europe. To find out more about Mary, please visit, http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org/.

Here is an interview with Mary about her writing:

How did you get involved in writing?

I’ve been writing since college when the bug hit me. I wrote my first short story about a missionary going to Russia (when it was firmly encased behind the iron curtain) and having to do all these clandestine things to share the gospel. I’m embarrassed to write this, but the piece started with these four words: Thump, thump, thump, thump (representing the protagonist’s heartbeat, of course).

I’ve been actively writing since 1992 when my daughter Sophie was born. I created a newsletter that helped moms manage their homes. I bought my first computer from the proceeds. I also designed and edited church newsletters, wrote homeschooling curriculum, and even wrote a script for an ultrasound training video. Soon after, short stories started flying out of me. When we moved from East Texas to Dallas for my husband to go to Dallas Seminary, I decided to get serious. I met my friend Sandra Glahn then, a professor at the seminary and a published writer. She shepherded me through the query-letter-writing process and has been an incredible cheerleader.

In 2002, I wrote my first novel. In 2003, I signed with an agent, then signed two nonfiction books. Since then, I’ve had five books published (those included), Daisy Chain being my sixth book. The first novel I wrote is yet to be published.

How do you find time to write?

I make time to write. I give myself word count goals every day. While my children are at school, I work full time. Lately I’ve been writing and promoting like a crazy woman, pulling 10-12 hour shifts. Even so, it’s a priority for me to have a sit-down dinner with my family every night. It helps that I love to cook.

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

I love the initial flurry of words on the page where I’m uninhibited. I love fleshing out a story as it comes to me. I see my novels on the movie screen of my mind, which may account for the visual nature of my narratives.

What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?

I am not in love with rejection. I also don’t cherish rewriting. But it’s a necessary and important evil.

What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?

Here’s the analogy you need to memorize and internalize: Beginning the publishing journey is like wearing a sweatshirt and toting a sack lunch at the base of Mount Everest, thinking, Hmm, this should be a breeze!

In addition: know you are called. Know you have talent. Know you’re full of tenacity. All three things will help you succeed along the journey.

Another idea is hang out at The Writing Spa and its corresponding blog WannabePublished. I tackle nearly every question a new writer would have. I offer weekly free critiques and I have guest authors cameo there. I evaluate the saleabilty of a book idea. Hop on by at http://www.thewritingspa.com.

Here is a link to Daisy Chain at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310278368 Check it out. If it sounds good, buy it. :0)
And don't forget to check out Mary's website Blog.myfamilysecrets.org

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Habits part 2

I also pulled this from my previous blog. Sorry I didn’t get this posted until now. Life called. And I answered.

This is a quote from Miss Charlotte Mason: "Habit the Instrument by which Parents work.--'Habit is TEN natures!' If I could but make others see with my eyes how much this saying should mean to the educator! How habit, in the hands of the mother, is as his wheel to the potter, his knife to the carver--the instrument by means of which she turns out the design she has already conceived in her brain.”

That’s a powerful statement! If we as mothers, and teachers, (dads too), could train the right habits into our children and students, think of the kind of world we’d have.

You might ask, “How can I change a habit of someone else?”

1) Are you, yourself a good model of the habit or trait you want to instill? Perfection isn’t what I’m referring to, but can you do it without any effort, is the question. If not start with you first. How can you teach something you don’t practice yourself? It won’t work.

2) When you’re ready, discuss with your student/child what is expected. Not in a harsh or authoritative way, but with an expectation that what you say will be done.

3) This is the hardest part for me. Consistency! If the child forgets or strays, gently remind him what is to be done. Always speak with a sense of expectation, that it will be done. Approaching it this way makes you the friend rather than the dictator.

This is what Miss Mason said about this step: "...the mother must devote herself for a few weeks to this cure as steadily and untiringly as she would to the nursing of her child through measles. Having in a few--the fewer the better--earnest words pointed out the miseries that must arise from this fault, and the duty of overcoming it, and having so got the (sadly feeble) will of the child on the side of right-doing, she simply sees that for weeks together the fault does not recur."

Miss Mason warns of the one fatal mistake often made. Inconsistency. If a person is progressing in the new habit, the teacher/parent thinks they’ll "just this once" overlook a slip up. This is deadly to the process. This is the time when the new habit is forming in the brain. Think back to the first post; the neural pathways. The “Just this once" mentality will prevent the habit from being established. Stay the course and your child/student will soon effortlessly perform the new habit.
Have a blessed day!:0)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Habits part 1

This is a post that I took from my last blog. I thought it would be good to post here as we, who have school age children, get back into the routine of school.

What is a habit?
Some who know me know that I loosely follow the teachings of Charlotte Mason, in our home school. I say “loosely” because I have not actually read any of her writings. I have the pleasure of knowing people who have, and am fortunate enough to live in the same area as a curriculum publishing company that publishes Miss Mason’s ideas. (Livingbookscurriculum.com)

Habit forming is one of Miss Mason’s ideas. I believe it to be the most important. It not only effects school but to every day life. Infancy to adulthood. So I ask what is a habit?

The dictionary says a habit is: “a thing that a person has done so often without thinking about it that he finds it hard to stop.”

Charlotte Mason describes habits as train tracks. The train of life runs smoothly when habits (good ones) are faithfully instituted, and applied. When habits get off course or there are none laid in a particular area, the train of life will derail or become chaotic.

Our pastor at church, a few months ago, put this in the bulletin: Watch your thoughts-they become words, watch your words-they become actions, watch your actions-they become habits, watch your habits-they become your character, watch your character-it becomes your destiny.

Neuroscience shows that a repeated action of the body or the mind produces a physiological effect on the nervous system and the brain. There is literally a new "neural pathway" formed in the brain to accommodate the new habit. It becomes easier to do the thing for which there is a pathway (rail) laid down in the brain. (This was taken from a newsletter that I get)

In forming good habits, it takes patience. I believe it takes about 3 weeks of repeated action to make it habitual. It also takes watchfulness. (Watching to correct wrong behavior). Most of all it takes consistency. (Which I am not very good at).

I will be discussing this more, tomorrow.

Have a blessed day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Lord’s Promises and Our Faith Tests

God promised Abraham he’d be the father of many nations and his descendents would be like the stars of the heavens and the sand of the shore.

God promised David he would be king.

God has promised me that someday I’ll be a momma of many children in Africa. He has promised that I’ll go and start an orphanage in Uganda.

But…with God’s promises, comes tests of faith.

God told Abraham to sacrifice his only true heir, Isaac. God was testing Abraham’s faith. If Abraham killed Isaac on that alter, all of the promises of numerous descendents would be gone, unless God brought Isaac back to life. But at the very moment Abraham put the knife to Isaac’s throat, the Lord stopped him and supplied an alternative sacrifice.

God allowed Saul to hate David. Saul made many attempts on David’s life. This was a test of faith for David. If Saul killed him he wouldn’t be king. Time and again, while running or hiding from Saul, David would ask God for help, until the day Saul and Jonathan were killed. David mourned for his best friend and worst enemy. Then Israel made David king.

My test of faith is my family and God’s timing. I want to go NOW, but I have a son who is starting high school this year. My other son will start next year. You might think, “What’s the big deal, you homeschool them.” Yes I homeschool, but high school is more demanding than elementary, so I need to give my all to the boys’ schooling. So this places going to Africa no sooner than 5 years from now. That’s the timing portion of my faith test.

The family part is: my husband. He doesn’t want to go to Africa. So if I think too hard about this issue, I start going places that I really don’t want to go. I start asking “what if…” questions. “What if God didn’t promise me Africa? What if I misunderstood?” I have thought hard about this question. I’ve decided that if I’ve misunderstood then we go somewhere else. God has placed this desire to help orphans in me, so I know He will fill that desire, one way or another.
“What if God changes Jamie’s attitude?” Than we both go to Africa, which is what I want. “I want us both to serve our Lord in Africa. But…what if God doesn’t change Jamie’s attitude?” If that is the case, than 1 of 2 terrible things will happen: 1) we get a divorce. Which neither of us want. Or 2)Jamie dies. I don’t even want to go there!

When God promises something, we have to remember that He will not break that promise! What is your biggest faith test?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Rape of Innocence

Here is my first book review at MNM: The Rape of Innocence by Lacresha Hayes. But first let me tell you about Lacresha. She and I are members of the same writing critique group. I would have to say she is one of my closest online friends. I plan to meet her some day, so I can give her a huge hug. She is a wife and a mother plus a preacher, author and co-president of a publishing company. She and her husband have a ministry to married couples. I could go on…but I won’t. After reading the rest of this post, if you would like to know more about Lacresha Hayes and her many ministries I will post some links at the end.

Now my review: “Lacresha has written an honest look into her life, to help others deal with very hard issues. Reading this book, for me, was like looking in a mirror. Her story is mine and my mother's story, all wrapped into one heart-breaking story. Forgiveness runs deep in this book; Forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self. There were times, I had to put the book down and cry. It really just hit home. Thank you, Lacresha, for opening your heart and helping those of us who still need to heal.”

You might ask why this book hit me so hard. Well, at the age of nine I was molested. The “who” and the “where” are really unimportant, but I was. And I’m in that slow process of forgiving. There are days I’m fine and then there are days that I would love to see this person and scream “Do you have any idea what you did to me?”
My mother was molested by her father and uncle and was put in foster care at age four along with my aunt who was two. Then when she and my aunt were teens they were both raped by some of their foster brothers. My aunt has past away, so I can’t speak for her, but I know my mother has, in her own way, forgiven those who hurt her.
At one point in the book Lacresha is talking about her relationship with her father. When I read this chapter I was sitting in a V.A. hospital, where my father-in-law was having eye surgery. I just started crying! My husband came over and asked what was wrong. I handed him the book and told him to read this one paragraph. When he was done I said, “That is exactly how I feel.” I don’t think I could have written it any better!

If you or someone you know has been raped or molested this book is a must read.

You can purchase the book at:

To learn more about Lacresha Hayes check out these blogs:
http://therapeofinnocence.blogspot.com/ (you can also buy the book here)

Feel free to post comments!

What do my son Erick and Donald Trump have in common?

Give up? “You’re fired!” Okay we all know the Donald is famous for saying this on his TV show, but what you don’t know is this: Way before the show, Erick would say “You’re fired!” if he was mad at you or he didn’t like what you said. The first time he said it, I had scolded him about something. I had sent him to the “time out” chair. He turned around and looked at me with total disgust and said “You’re fired!” with more emotion than Don could ever muster. When Erick got older, and the show was a big thing, I told him, “I wish we would have copyrighted ‘You’re fired!’” “Why, Momma?” “’Cause if we would’ve, we’d be rich.” “Oh, you mean, because of the guy on TV with the silly hair?” “Yup, because of him.” Has your child ever said something you wished that you would have copyrighted? Let me know about it! Post them in the comments section.

Okay Why “Missy”?

I have many names and nicknames. “Missy” happens to be one. My son Christopher couldn’t have been more than 8. In his best grown-up voice he was giving me a lecture about something. When he realized I wasn’t paying much attention he said, with his hands on his hips, and I quote , “You’d better listen to me, Missy, or you’re going to be in big trouble!” I lost it! I started laughing so hard I almost cried. “Missy” has stuck with me since then. Does anyone else have a funny story about a nickname? I’d love to hear it! Post stories in the comments section.