Friday, February 27, 2009

Why I Love To Write By Rachel Hauck

A year or so ago my husband and I were walking our dogs around the neighborhood, chatting occasionally, being in that place of comfort and understanding with each other in silence.

I felt so at peace and at home with myself. Not only had God worked His love into my heart over the past years, but I loved my husband and our life together.
And I loved my job. Writing books.

“Writing is so deeply satisfying to me,” I said to my husband, pressing my hand over my middle. “Like, I’m perfectly content.”

Right after graduating college, I went with a friend to a beach house on the Gulf in north Florida. The day we drove in was beautiful, warm clear, full of… emotion.

A swell of desire and longing filled me. I wanted to capture the moment, some way, but I didn’t know how. Write? Sing? Dance?

I had similar emotions often in those days. After seeing the coming of age college movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” I remember looking at my good friends thinking “I want to write about us like that some day.” We were in college, the same sorority, living a life of friendship similar to what I’d seen on the big screen. (Though not quite so … um… wild shall I say?)

But I wanted to capture our college emotions and friendship.

When I started writing, the restless longings ended. By the grace of God I’d met the desire of my heart He put there.

I love to work with words like an artist might like to work with clay or paint. I love to create a story and work with elements like conflict, goals and motivation. I love to create and solve problems.

It’s fun to mimic life. It’s awesome to present a piece of God in my stories and characters.

Writing is something that is just in me. I’ve had a lot of jobs I’ve loved and enjoyed, but nothing sits home with me like writing a book.

I don’t want fame or riches. I don’t envy celebrities or politicians, or winners of reality shows. Why? Because I’m doing what I was designed and called to do. I think I used to envy them because they were living their dream and I wasn’t.

For me, the dream was simple and clear cut. Writing. Others have a plurality of dreams. They love painting or nursing, or home schooling their children or coaching football. Writing an one aspect of their lives. They are living their dreams too.

If you love to write, it doesn’t have to be your only dream like mine, but a part of who you are. Either way, take time for your writing, your dreams. Set goals.

I love to write because when I do, I feel His pleasure in me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A therapist thought: Writing in the midst of a busy life. By Rachel Hauck

Early on in my writing life, I had to give up the notion that writing time would come easy, be ideal and full of inspiration.

When I signed my first book contract, I was working full time for a software company as a department manager. I’d recently become a worship leader at my church, adding that to my job as youth pastor’s wife. My husband and I also gathered with other area pastors to start a weekly multi-church prayer meeting and I’d become the Vice President of a national writers organization and was coordinating our second annual conference.

Writing? Yeah, like when? Where? And I didn’t even have children to raise. I felt pushed, pulled, torn, frazzled and on the edge. I’d never written a book to be published before. I’d not coordinated a conference and my committee was “out there” across America. If I failed, I’d let so many people down, including myself.

I lay in bed one night praying, trying to decide if I should just work up my courage and resign as Vice President and admit I couldn’t do it all. I didn’t need to be that kind of person. But as my final grasp for God’s grace, I whispered in the darkness, “Lord, you have a conference to coordinate, let me know what you need me to do.”

Peace washed over me. I didn’t resign. The Lord sent me a co-coordinator. The conference was a success.

And, I wrote my first book by June of that year and met my deadline.

A busy life seems impossible to avoid these days. We have so many options and opportunities available to us. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Make sure the jobs or opportunities you embrace are really from the Lord. Don’t say yes out of guilt or even selfish ambition. Know that you know all you’re doing is right and good. Sure I had a full plate that one year, but I knew God had loaded me up for a reason.

2. Give it all back to Him. Ask for wisdom and grace, insight and help.

3. Let go of any and all concept that you have to be perfect. You’ll fail and it’s okay to fail. There were quite a few bloopers at that second annual conference, but we got past them. God’s grace was greater.

4. Get organized. Since I knew my book deadline, I wrote out my writing schedule on a calendar. I had a few extra vacation days so I scheduled them as mega-writing sessions. It’s not unholy, or ungodly to plan. Most of us fail in our sincerest desires because we live by the tyranny of the urgent. We don’t plan so our lives are governed by the moment. If we do plan, we allow ourselves to be knocked off course. Schedule writing time and STICK to it. If it’s one hour a week, then guard it with all your might.

5. Be confident before God. Know that He has good works planned for you to walk in. He loves you. He wants you to succeed.

In the midst of juggling my schedule, I worked hard to maintain my own intimate relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t always easy and I failed to reach my ultimate goal, but by having a goal, I found success. Otherwise, I might have drifted way away from the heart-to-heart relationship I wanted with Him.
There were a few tools I used to help me stay on track with my relationship.
1. I attended corporate prayer meetings.
2. I was faithful to all worship services.
3. I went early to youth church or main church to have prayer times.

Look for ways to fortify your spiritual as well as natural life.

1. Find a buddy to pray with or write with.
2. Ask your family to “do it with you.” As parents we spend time driving our children to school, music or dance, sports events. Wouldn’t they love to help mom or dad meet their writing goal? Bring them into the adventure with you.
3. Pray. Ask Jesus for grace. For help. If all else fails, use my prayer. “Lord, you have a book to write, let me know what I need to do.

If you find you just can’t manage it all, set is aside and wait. Maybe your season of writing is not yet. But keep taking notes, keep praying, keep learning.
God is faithful to keep us in His will. Even when we fail, He will not.
So exhale. Relax. Have fun.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Therapist’s Thought by Sarah Anne Sumpolec

I spend most of my weekends working as a director with a Christian Youth Theater. A typical show will have eighty kids that range in age from 8 to 18. As a director, I get to look at the big picture of what we want to accomplish and then help each kid do their best work to make that big picture happen. But these aren’t puppets, these are kids. So directing them must be about bringing the best out of each one of them individually. And at the end of it all, I am dressed in black, hiding in the wings, watching them shine on stage. I get so much joy out of it. I know I played a vital role, but I don’t need the applause – all I want is to see them bring joy to that audience.

Directing is a lot like Book Therapy. You’ve got this story to tell and you want to tell it in a way that’s going to have the greatest effect on your audience. A therapist can come in and help you find ways to make the story stronger, ways to make the characters more real, and ways to explore all the possibilities. Just like an actor can’t always see what the audience sees, a writer can’t always tell what effect their story is having until a skilled writer comes along and asks the hard questions.

And really, it can be hard. It’s natural for us to just want praise. It’s harder when someone comes along and says, “We’ve got some work to do here.” But it’s worth it. It’s worth it when you take a story to the next level and realize that you can impact your readers in new and amazing ways. It’s worth it when you discover tools that can help you grow. And it’s worth it when you finally get to share that story with the world. And at the end of it all, it’s still your story, your moment on stage to shine. But I’ll be the one in the wings cheering you on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thoughts from Therapist Susan May Warren: Writing the story of your heart

Q: Have you ever had a story that you wanted to write, a spiritual message you wanted to share, but it won't let you just yet?

A: Yes, I have a couple stories sitting in my heart that I haven’t had the opportunity or perhaps the divine timing to write yet.

I’m a firm believer that God will work out the story in the right time, so I continue to collect ideas, impressions, do research and let those ideas soak, waiting for the right timing. But sometimes I’m not ready – emotionally, or even professionally to write it. Maybe I don’t have the skill level yet. And I certainly don’t want to waste my swan’s song on mediocre writing! So, in the meantime, I move onto the stories I have the ability to write right now.

This is what happened with my “Josey” series. The story of my hilarious happenings in Russia simmered in my heart YEARS before God opened the door to write it. And when he did, the timing was perfect. (My first book in that series, Everything’s Coming Up Josey was a Christy finalist). The same thing happened with “Nothing but trouble.” I cooked up my heroine PJ Sugar four years before I saw it come to publication. And I’m glad I waited – I hope I did Sugar justice! (Nothing But Trouble hits the stands May 2009! Read a preview at

I think a lot of writers believe they have to write the stories on their hearts…but perhaps they’re also not ready to write that story yet. I think it’s wise to ask God if it’s time…or if there is another story that could hone your skills in the meantime, in preparation for that heart story.

So, don’t give up on your heart story. Wait on Him, and be open to working on something else in the meantime.

God Bless you on your writing journey!

Susan May Warren



Write a book with My Book Therapy Voices in 2009!

Remember those games you used to play where your friend started the story, and you finished it? Or the “Choose your own ending” books? Ever wanted to be a part of the story process, giving input on the character’s decisions, learning how to write a book as you go? Me too!

Here at My Book Therapy, we love to write, and we love to teach writers how to find their voice. So, in 2009 we’ll be writing a book together! Starting in January, we’ll create characters, a plot, develop conflict, the black moment, the epiphany and finally…the happy ending. Then, week by week, you’ll be a part of the creation process, voting on the next step of our hero’s journey, watching the book take life, and learning the nuances of crafting a story. You’ll Blog-A-Book with the My Book Therapy authors and get tools to help you how to write your own novel.

And, at the end of the year, we’ll have a book we’ve all created, something that we’ll publish! And, best of all, the proceeds will go to support IJM, an organization that fights human trafficking around the world.

I’m really excited about our new project, and can’t wait to see what the collective mind put together.

So, Come and Blog-A-Book. Learn. Fellowship. Bless.

My Book Therapy…Discover the writer in you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

From the Inside…Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You

Have you always wanted to write a novel, but didn’t know where to start? This book is for you. With proven techniques, easy to understand explanations and practical steps, From The Inside...Out will teach you how a story is structured then take you through the process of creating and marketing your novel. Topics include: Character-driven plotting, How to HOOK your reader, The elements and flow of SCENES, How to build STORYWORLD, Secrets to Sizzling Dialogue, Proven Self-Editing techniques, Synopsis and Query letter writing, How to manage your writing career ...and everything in between!

This is a whole big tour, so be sure to check out the other sites.

Check out the trailer here!

If you'd like to win a copy, or if your already written novel needs some therapy, leave a comment here and you might just have your wishes fulfilled.

And for the next couple days, I'll be posting articles by these gifted women, so be sure to check back!


I am frantically preparing for a couple nights away with the man of my dreams while my parents hold down the fort. That said, I don't intend to long distance blog. Trust me, you don't want to hear of all the excitement that I am about to experience.

Sleeping through the night!

Not cleaning up potty training accidents!

Not cooking!

Wearing something other than sweats!

See? Told you you didn't wanna know. So, instead of my usual drivel, I'll have scheduled posts for the aspiring writers among you from some ladies I hold in great esteem.

I'll post all about my failed expectations later in the week. ;)

Have a good one.

Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court

This second installment in Chuck Black’s Knights of Arrethtrae series tells the tale of Sir Bentley, an honorable knight who abandons all to seek the truth of the Prince. Eirwyn, a mysterious young woman who brings food to the poor, teaches Bentley the power of compassion to overcome evil. Together, they save the people of Holbrook from poverty and despair.

Sir Bentley’s quest for the truth of the Prince finds him battling Shadow Warriors, a powerful lord, and a terrifying creature. Will greed destroy Holbrook? Or can Bentley and the mysterious Eirwyn restore prosperity to the kingdom through the compassion of the Prince? Intended for family read-alouds and Christian teens, this fantastic story will entertain and edify parents and kids alike.

Chuck Black, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical communications engineer, is the author of eight novels, including the popular Kingdom series. He has received praise from parents across the country for his unique approach to telling biblical truths. His passion in life is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to love his wife, Andrea, and their six children. He lives with his family in North Dakota.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just Call Me Miss P 31. (Biblical Randomness)

14."She is like a merchant ship, bringing food from afar."

I don't know what it is about going to Sam's, but every time I go and bring home a fridge full of food, I feel like I've accomplished enough to take the rest of the day off. It is especially wonderful when I get through there without TT having a meltdown.

15a. "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household..."

I don't know about you, but if the clock says 5:XX, it is still night. 5:00, 5:59, they are all evil in my book. But when TT wants breakfast, TT gets breakfast. If it makes me feel holy, it is a nice bonus.

15b. "...and plan the day's work for her servant girls."

Mine are named "Maytag" and "Whirlpool." Both are working diligently while I type away on our third servant girl "Dell."

18b. "Her lamp burns late into the night."

Every woman should have a friend or two that is/are completely detached from every other aspect of her life. I meet with two friends from my college days once, maybe twice a month, theoretically to discuss Deitrich Bonhoffer's The Cost of Decipleship. I say theoretically because it is obtuse (or very clear, but soooooo hard to actually DO) and talk always turns to our life's issues that make living the life of the deciple so dang impossible (yeah, yeah, in our own strength...I know all the right words, too). These girls give me perspective. They have absolutely no motive to say what they say except to help me. They don't know ANYONE that I talk about except my husband. And of course I never talk about him. Yes, I stayed up half the night, but I came home feeling almost like my issues are repairable.

26. "When she speaks , her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

No comment.

OK, I will comment. I learned something new yesterday. Not answering at all really makes the kids go positively mad. I learned this, because my wise words are never heard, nor are the kind instructions. Lately they have degraded into unwise and unkind and loud. And they still aren't acknowledged. But silence, ah, silence, they hear that. And it infuriates them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get Out Yer Meat Grinders

I feel like I've been beaten to a pulp. Drug down until every last shred of self has been obliterated.

No, I don't have PMS.

Yes, I know that is what you were thinking.

And now that we have that covered, I'll continue.

A couple of people have heard this face to face and to you I apologize. I am just physically unable to be happy and perky and funny on my blog when my mind is consumed with a battle that I know I must lose and for some reason I keep fighting. I don't even want to win. I want to lose. That's how it is when you fight with God. My problem is I can't figure out how to go about getting to the place I need to be.

I know all the platitudes. I know the right answers. I know what I ought to do. I try to do it.

Not in my strength, but his.

So why do I still want to come up fighting? Because frankly sometimes I just want to run screaming from the building.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guess What's Available!

Wii Fit! Hurry, you never know when they'll sell out! (Still not available at my Target or Sears Grand) It's even eligible for super saver shipping so it won't cost any more than the store.

Couldn't find the photo link, but the text link should work for ya.

More Rhetoric (Edited)

I saw a button on Facebook yesterday that said: "Can't brain today, I have the dumb." 'Bout sums up a mother's existence.


ever notice that when kids are out of school they pop out of bed at 6:40 and get busy fighting, but when they have school (or a ballgame or church) you have to drag them out of bed weeping at ten till eight?


we have two copies of "Cars." Can't find either one.


I know I have one more.

Can't brain today. I have the dumb.


I remembered! It just took a change of location. The kind of location in which one finds herself squatted in front of the TV, changing the movie.

In case you are curious, the best parts of Hello, Dolly! are shown on Wall-E. I wouldn't necessarily recommend you find your own copy to see for yourself. Though I am an admitted non-Barbara Streisand fan, apparently. Didn't know that until I watched 1/3 of Hello Dolly, but now I do. The things you learn while being slothful.

Monday, February 16, 2009

rhetorical question

You know how you can sometimes go for weeks, skipping along, pretty content with the way things are going, all balls in the air, house is pretty clean, kids are pretty well behaved, keeping up with the dishes, food is pretty healthy, not eating out too much, saving money, thoughts turn to things above and not things below...

...and then it all crashes down around you and you find yourself wondering if you really could keep the cereal off the floor and the baby really was using the potty and the children really did obey and you really didn't always want to use words that ought not be used or if it was all one big fancy dream?


I'm in one of those moods again, and rather than waxing philosophical today something I might regret tomorrow, I'll keep this short and sweet.

Theresa, you won Intimate Issues. Send me your address and I'll get that out to you and your girls. (contact me on my profile page)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Something I'm In Dire Need of Practicing

In his book Love As a Way of Life, best-selling author Gary Chapman shows readers how to cultivate a new lifestyle built around the seven characteristics of authentic love. Now in a companion devotional, he provides ninety inspirational readings to help Christians consistently live out the characteristics of love in every relationship.

Each devotional entry showcases biblical truths that guide a life of love, offering fresh insight and practical guidance in how to make love a lasting habit. Over the course of three months, readers will learn to follow God’s lead as they practice the characteristics of a loving person: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.

The Love As a Way of Life Devotional makes an ideal gift for the holidays or for any special occasion. Couples, parents, new graduates, and anyone celebrating a milestone in life will welcome this inspiring daily guide to richer, more satisfying relationships.

Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of twenty-six books, including the New York Times bestseller The Five Love Languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. His daily radio program, A Love Language Minute, is broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide. Dr. Chapman, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, Wake-Forest University, and Southwestern Seminary, serves on a church staff in North Carolina.


I find myself distressed today. And weary. As if my prayers aren't reaching their intended destination.

Pray today for my grandpa and his bride of 71 years. And for their seven children. And the grands. And the greats. And the double greats.

On this day when "breathe easy today" still just means "matter of time."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I made it back to CBS (Community Bible Study) this morning for the first time since before Christmas. It's been a sick few weeks, to be concise. And honestly, the last few weeks of the study have been hard to make myself do. It just seemed obtuse. Or "well duh." Or something. Like, why bother? Gettin' nothin' outta this.

But......since my last kid finally got himself well yesterday, I had no excuse. I whipped out my CBS binder and went to work. A weeks worth of Bible study in a single evening. And it smarted. Oh, how it smarted.


I nearly threw down my pen. I must have sighed a time or seven because my wonderful spouse kept shooting me looks. He was interpreting "I don't want to do this" as "I'm bored and would rather watch TV." But it was really, "I don't want to study forgiveness because I know for darn sure I have some work to do in this area and frankly I don't want to because I've been hurt darn it and by golly I want to hang onto this raging inferno of anger that I'm holding here in my heart."

And then he said, "by all means keep working on it then."

I really don't enjoy being called to task. Especially by God. But I know he has my best interests at heart so I suppose I'll try to listen.

It's hard to remember that forgiveness isn't necessarily reconciliation. Though I know it sometimes can be.

Take this for example:

I Do Again:
With their professional success and adorable twin daughters, Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs looked like the perfect couple. But their polished facade concealed a widening chasm between two people unable to connect on an intimate, soul-deep level.

After years of frustration, Cheryl’s desire for emotional fulfillment led to an affair and, finally, divorce. Yet, incredibly, seven years later, Jeff and Cheryl once again stood at the altar, promising to “love, honor, and cherish” one another. A new and vibrant love had risen out of the ashes of this family’s pain.

I Do Again details the fascinating real-life story of a couple whose relationship seemed shattered beyond all hope until a spiritual awakening led them to reconsider their definitions of “happily ever after.” A riveting account of the power of prayer and redemption, this remarkable book offers renewed hope for even the most troubled marriages—and reveals why the rewards of restoration are well worth the wait.

Author Bio:

Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs are the founders of Hope Matters Marriage Ministries, and for the past several years they have shared their incredible story of a marriage restored with audiences across the nation. Jeff is an account manager with OshKosh B’Gosh, and Cheryl has served as director of the Frisco, Texas, office of the Center for Christian Counseling. They live in Dallas, Texas with their two college-age daughters.

I have to admit that I didn't think this book applied to me. But the story of forgiveness and restoration is one that every one of us could apply to our lives if we'd take it to heart. And there are a couple other lessons to learn in there as well, so that, hopefully, our marriages can be better. With or without the divorce in our history.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


for 68 degree spring-like days in early February.

strollers that are easy to push, even on hills.

healthy babies.

afternoons to spend with them.

on long, glorious walks.

and gentle rain at bedtime to soothe us all to sleep.

My Dad....

He emailed to let me know he had the perfect solution to my Tactful Target Torturer problem.

"Don't go through her line."

(I let him know that if I'd been thinking about what was in my cart, I wouldn't have.)

Methinks he was feeding nausea.

Men. He's been married almost 46 years and he still offers solutions when a woman is venting a really good story.

*waving to Dad who I think gave me permission to publicly mock him*

if not, I sheepishly hang my head and blow kisses

Starving Hunger

Ever since I was pregnant with Princess, my body/mind connection concerning nausea and hunger has been mixed up. I attribute that to the fact that when you are pregnant and hungry, it makes you nauseated. If you eat small amounts of high concentrated protein, the nausea goes away. I would wake in the morning and send B off for a glass of milk. If I drank it before standing, I never puked.

Since then, I've assumed that nausea meant hunger. Since then I've also been pregnant or nursing six+ out of the eight years.

The problem with that assumption is that it is sometimes wrong. I find myself starving hunger and feeding nausea. Especially at times like the present when children all around me are puking. If I wake to a pain in my stomach I'm pretty leery of putting much on it. So much so that I grow increasingly nauseated. And weak. And shaky. And generally all those hypoglycemic type issues that so closely mirror a stomach flu.

And have you tried saltines and Sprite lately? The combo, by itself, makes me nauseated. Whether I'm sick or not.

BTW, I've decided that I'm not sick. This after starving myself for 24 hours. I decided I just needed some food.

Are you ready for the classy segue? Here it is:

I think that, as couples, we do the same thing. All too often we treat what we think our spouse is saying/feeling/needing as we would like to be treated instead of remembering that they are not the same gender as we are. We are feeding nausea and starving hunger. And where does that leave us? Weak and feeling generally crappy.

Enter, Stage Right:

For Couples Only Box Set:

Since their debut, these revolutionary guides have sold well over a million copies, been translated into fifteen languages, and sparked much fascinating water-cooler conversation around the country. Now together in the For Couples Only boxed set, these books provide the perfect resource to help you understand what you never knew about the woman or man in your life.

Each volume is based on input from more than a thousand members of the opposite sex—including an unprecedented nationwide survey and hundreds of personal interviews. This innovative approach yields candid and surprising answers about everything you don’t “get” about your significant other—even what that person deeply wishes you knew. It also produces simple but groundbreaking awareness of how you can best love and support the one who is most important to you.

So whether you are newly dating or have been married fifty years, get ready to know each other in a whole new way. The adventure is just beginning!

Author Bio:

Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn hold graduate degrees from Harvard University and are popular national speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs. They are also active church members and the parents of two young children, and they enjoy every minute of living life at warp speed.

Despite the second title in this series (For Men Only), I even did a spot check on it. Yup, they pretty much say it like it is. And I am so grateful that my husband knows so much of this already. I've been a patient teacher and he has been a loyal learner. Meanwhile, I'm glad for the refresher course on how to deal with him and all his maleness. Time to stroke the ego a little instead of assuming he knows I appreciate how hard he works.

No sense starving hunger when I could feed it and make both of us happy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Could I Get A Price Check?!

There is a checker at Target that I am convinced is out to get me. It never fails that if I am buying something that might be considered remotely embarrassing, I'll end up in her lane. And it never fails that she will point it out, comment, get a price check, have a discussion with the lady in the next lane over about it, hold it up, wave it around and in general create horror within me.

Now, as both my father and my husband's mother read this blog, and non-friends as well as friends of another gender I'm not going to get particularly specific (you can all breathe a sigh of relief now) however, as the book I'm going to tell you about in a minute says, Can I be both godly and sensuous? Because the checker at Target is stifling my sensuality.

The lady from the next lane that she called over took one look at what she was waving around, one look at me, one look at the teenagers snorting in line behind me and told her to just take my word for it and put it though already! (BTW, I would have paid double to have not suffered that particular humiliation.)

I think she's intentionally trying to make sure she never has to check anyone out. This is not the first time she's humiliated me for a purchase. Makes me want to go through her line with something really crazy and see if she has limits.

You're really wondering now, aren't you? Ha! Well I'm not telling. It could be panties. It could be Immodium. You'll never know.

The thing is, I'm married. Have been for quite some time, now. I have children. Even a few biological children. I'm sporting a wedding band and can visit the lingerie department if I want to. But I avoid it like the plague because I'm ALWAYS caught there by someone in my church, or family, or my babysitter (Lord, have mercy, A.G. knows far too much about me).

We good Christian women don't talk about stuff like that. Nothing intimate. So we turn to books.

Nice segue, don't ya think? No seriously, cause I am NOT asking the checker at Target. (I have my thoughts about her motive, but I'll try to keep them to myself today.) And these conversations don't just come up at women's bible study. At least none that I've ever attended.

Intimate Issues answers the twenty-one questions about sex most frequently asked by Christian wives, as determined by a nationwide poll of over one thousand women. Written from the perspective of two mature Christian wives and Bible teachers–women who you’ll come to know as teachers and friends–Intimate Issues is biblical and informative: sometimes humorous, other times practical, but always honest. Through its solid teaching warm testimonials, scriptural insights, and experts’ advice, you’ll find resolution for your questions and fears, surprising insights about God’s perspective on sex, and a variety of practical and creative ideas for enhancing your physical relationship with the husband you love.

With warmth and wisdom, authors Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus speak woman to woman: examining the teachings of Scripture, exposing the lies of the world, and offering real hope that every woman’s marriage relationship can become all it was intended to be in God’s design.

And just in case you have questions you'd like answers for, but you aren't getting them at women's bible study either, I have an extra copy for giveaway. Just leave a comment or email me (contact in my profile) by Valentines-eve. I think Mommy4Life has a copy to give away this week also, among some other books, so you might check in over there, too.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Top Ten Things I Want To Be Doing At 4:45 AM

1. Sleep
2. sleep
3. sleep
4. sleep
5. getting ready to catch an early flight to Hawaii
6. sleep
7. sleep
8. sleep
9. sleep
10. sleep

Curious lack of "clean up puke" don't ya think?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Yes! Let's Give Them Healthcare, Too!

This morning Hubs stayed home from work late so that we could (finally) go apply for passports.

I did all the precursor work. Found the forms online. Filled them out. Found the birth certificates. Got our photos together. Checked the locations where you could apply for a passport. Checked times. Set the date.

We went to the easiest location. Supposed to open at nine. Got there at 9:15. Lady behind the counter told us "he'll be here in just a few minutes." Stood around for another 15-20. Finally saw a sign that said they take passport applications at 10AM. (Why didn't she say that in the first place? "Few minutes" is 5. Ten max. Certainly not 45. And strike one for the federal government that had poor information and posted on the web that they opened at 9.) Decided to go over to the Starbucks nearby to pass the time. Had coffee. Came back. Stood in line again.

So she could apologize and tell us that there was no one there that could do passports today. She's ever so sorry. Maybe we should drive to this other location that has more employees and does passports more frequently. (Hello! Could we have started there an hour ago?)

Dude, and people think the federal government should be in charge of health care. Frightening thought.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

That Girl

This morning princess asked, "Can I have milk without cream on my cereal?"

Sorry, dear. All we have is milk with cream today.

She honestly decided to eat her raisin bran dry rather than drink 2%.

I find this new quirk hilarious.

I understand it tastes different. And I often prefer skim. The other is pretty heavy (and the cream sometimes picks up the plastic flavor--ick--the reason we originally went to skim). But it isn't like she was drinking a cup.

To think it could "ruin" raisin bran.

She makes me smile.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Got Milk?

My daughter brought me her milk this morning and asked if it smelled rotten.

It didn't

She still looked unconvinced. Said it tasted funny.

I asked if it tasted like there might be cream in it.

She screwed up her nose, thought about it, and decided yeah, that could be why it didn't taste like "milk."

My MIL bought 2%.

For the record, I have been guzzling the 2% like it was liquid joy.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Completely Unrelated and Yet Bizarrely Related Topics

My Cheez-its expire 09/09/09....

which leads to the question, do you think that 09/09/09 will have the same wedding rush that 07/07/07 did, or was that just because 7 is considered a lucky number?

(or for those religious among us, a holy number)

The random thoughts that run through my head while eating left-over football Doritos.

which leads to another thought: I loved the snow globe, crystal ball Doritos commercial, but couldn't they have had the guy bean the boss in the head with the snow globe rather than the crotch? I hate, with a passion, the crotch pot shots that people seem to find so funny.

Speaking of potty humor, I read for review this morning a book that is compared to David Pilkey of Captain Underpants fame. But except for the bathroom humor, of which there was little else and, incidentally, wasn't all that funny, I saw little worth comparing. I am ashamed to admit that I like Captain Underpants. It is funny. Gross, but funny. This other book? Not so much.

I shouldn't even give it three stars, but the sentences basically followed acceptable structure and by my guidelines, three is fair. Even if the book stank.

Speaking of stinky books, I read another book for review that has taken me three weeks to complete. The intro said boys would love it.

The hero does cocaine and is un-apologetic about it. I'm going to hand this book to my son?

I think not.

My son has a September birthday.

Which brings me back to my original question: will 09/09/09 be one of those days?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Metaphor Monday

Charming has developed a nasty habit.

He naps.

I know, I know, poor me.

But you see, he used to not nap, or nap early and the elder sibling pick-up was not an issue. Now Charming falls asleep before noon and I still have to drag him out of bed at 3:10 to get the kids. Every. Day.

He wakes, okay. He gives me a little smile. He might even play nice. Right up until I walk towards the van and attempt to strap him into his car seat. Then all heck breaks loose. The arched back. The flailing arms. The screaming. Oh, the screaming. I don't EVEN want to know what the neighbors think.

But at 3:10 I have no choice. I have until 3:25 to pick up my kids. Five minutes of wrestling the baby plus driving brings me in at 3:24:59.

I wrestle. Whisper consoling things. Wrestle some more. Finally get one strap fastened. Head for the other. Whisper calming phrases. Break out in a sweat. Wrestle. Finger my ringing ears. Win. And pull out of the driveway.

Charming screams and flails all seven minutes it takes to get to the school. He screams. He beats on himself. I can hear the slapping. I see the fingernail claw marks. He continues to fight his confinement and the audacity of being forced to sit in a car seat when what he wants is a nice soothing "chur" upon awakening (and lest you wonder, I've tried waking him 30 minutes early to provide said chur and he is still furious when I pull him off to get in the car). Hysteria. If boys can have hysteria.

Every. Single. Day.

And I just know there is a metaphor in here somewhere. I mean, don't we all do this in some way? We fight and resist what we know in the end we have to do anyway. We might even hurt ourselves in protest because there is no one else to hurt. And our Father probably is continually whispering consoling phrases like I know you don't want to do this, but you need to anyway.

In the end we pull ourselves together and obey. Or we don't. But it doesn't change because of our self-mutilating fit. That only left us exhausted and angry.

And the love of our Parent was steadfast throughout.

(see more metaphors here in case the link doesn't work on the image)