Writing

How a Writing Conference Helped Me Empathize with My Favorite Elf

I recently met one of my critique partners, Laurie Germaine, in person at the ACFW conference. We had so much fun sharing a room with Amanda Wen at the amazing Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. And in case you’re wondering, not one of my fears that spawned this blog post about my conference anxiety came true. Although, I did have a close call with the hotel hair dryer finally deciding to roar to life just as I was about to leave the room. Thank God, I heard it and turned the possessed thing off in time, but as I flipped the switch, terror seeped into my bones. A vision of Robyn Hook burning down the beautiful hotel was a horror I hadn’t even imagined might have come true.

Just like Tinsel Kuchler—my favorite human-sized elf from Laurie’s novel! I understood a little of how poor Tinsel must have felt when she set the chemistry lab at her high school ablaze. She caused an explosion that ruined a stash of presents and sent the elves into panic mode to save Christmas. Thankfully, the current Santa’s hot, teenaged grandson and future Santa, Niklas Kringle, was there to lead everyone to safety. And yes, I admit it, I have a crush on this young Santa before the red suit and jelly belly! Continue reading “How a Writing Conference Helped Me Empathize with My Favorite Elf”

Writing

My Ride from Sceptic to Writer

I’m leaving for my first writer’s conference this Thursday. Gulp. Yes, it’s the conference that inspired this ridiculous story about my fears. I’m not really worried I’ll make all those mistakes and I know I’ve been blessed tremendously by experienced authors who have helped me create the materials I need to pitch my story to agents and acquisitions editors, but I’m nervous! And this will be the first time I leave my kids and husband alone together for three consecutive nights. So please, please pray for all of us.

In honor of this conference—where I’ll put on my writer-hat and announce to the world I have a story for them—I’m sharing a little of my journey from sceptic writer. Hope you enjoy! Continue reading “My Ride from Sceptic to Writer”

Uncategorized

This Trial to Love Life

I’m excited to share—my blog has a new name. Introducing…

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The longer I live the more I suspect, this life is simply a journey packed with trials meant to point us to fullness in Christ and ultimately to God. James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (ESV). This was my favorite verse during my cancer trail because I finally got it. Continue reading “This Trial to Love Life”

Family

Have Faith. Don’t Stash Your Stuff

This year we adopted a young Border Collie. I know very little about Bailey’s life before she became ours. The girl we got her from said Bailey had been abused, kept chained away from food and water, but didn’t go into detail. Other than to say, Bailey hated men, which apparently didn’t apply to the male’s in our household. Continue reading “Have Faith. Don’t Stash Your Stuff”

Cancer Trial

Chemotherapy Made Me Ugly…Beautiful

I have cancer. The words permeate my brain even through the haze of sleep. They haven’t been far from thoughts, since my diagnosis the week before. I offer up another pleading prayer for guidance and snuggle back to sleep.

My double stroller cast a long shadow in the cool morning. I push it along the sidewalk in front of my house, sauntering our way to my son’s elementary school around the corner. My youngest resting inside while my four and seven-year-olds run ahead.

I have a disease people die from. The words still ring surreal. This isn’t the sort of thing that happens to women with three young children to raise. Had I done something wrong? Was God done with me? Or maybe He just wanted me home.

Continue reading “Chemotherapy Made Me Ugly…Beautiful”

Family

Bloom in Season

As I walked my kids to school, my kindergartener got excited over the “helicopter” seeds that had fallen from a tree. He tossed one up and watched it spin to the ground and my other two boys joined him.IMG_1696 2.JPG

After a few moments, I forced them on and they found some dandelion thistles to blow. The seeds went flying onto the street and sidewalk.

The obvious parallel of the parable of the sower and how some seeds fall on the road and get trampled came to mind (Matthew 13). But when I tried to discuss it with them, somehow the lesson became about how all creation points toward our creator.

I followed them around the corner. “Yes. God made us just like he made the plants, flowers, and trees. But we have more opportunity to impact than a tree.”

Continue reading “Bloom in Season”

Fiction Short Story

Professional Conference Anxiety, Anyone?

When a friend asked me why I hadn’t signed up for the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference yet, I had to stop and consider what had stalled my determination to go for the first time.

Gulp.

Seems it’s one thing to pound away day after day at my computer but quite another to dress up, spend money, and declare to the best in the business that I want to be a professional writer.

Not just that, but all that’s involved with traveling and feeling safe in a new place, trusting my instincts to make good decisions and not to make a fool of myself. Not to mention, wanting to blend in and needing to promote myself. It’s enough to make my stomach hurt.

So, like any decent psychology graduate, I analyzed what was holding me back. I processed my fears. And just as an aspiring author would do, I wrote a story about my anxiety thus creating Lilly. Because not even I could be this big of a mess! Let’s pray none of poor Lilly’s experiences happen to anyone attending the ACFW conference in September.

Continue reading “Professional Conference Anxiety, Anyone?”

Cancer Trial

Child of God: Facing Illness Without Fear

I have stage two breast cancer. Now is the time to decide if I want to do chemotherapy because there is no turning back after this procedure.

I lay on the pre-op cot awaiting the surgery to insert a port below my collarbone. The device will permit powerful chemotherapy drugs to be administered directly into my heart so my blood can dilute the chemicals enough to prevent them from burning my blood vessels.

My brain’s foggy from lack of sleep, and my thoughts whirl with the sentiments of the anti-chemotherapy crusaders whose words kept me from sleeping the night before. They tell me I’m young, and there’s still time to undo my cancer with healthy foods and herbs to allow my body to heal itself. The medical professionals say they have a treatment with a high success rate.

A treatment that could kill me, give me a different cancer, leave me damaged and unable to raise my three boys.

The confusion swirls in my mind. Who do I trust?

Please go to http://jerushaagen.com/child-of-god-facing-illness-without-fear/ to continue reading my guest post on author Jerusha Agen’s Fear Warrior Blog.

Family

The Time Change and Ungrateful Children

The time change put our family in frantic mode this morning. I had to yank my three-year-old, Isaac, out of bed so I could take my five and nine-year-old to school.

He wailed.

I wanted to scream, “You wouldn’t feel this way if you’d gone to sleep last night, instead of sneaking out of bed to play with Legos until midnight!”

But I just strapped him into the car seat while he cried and yelled, “No. No. I don’t want to go. I’m cold.” As if he ever got to choose not to go.

Continue reading “The Time Change and Ungrateful Children”