Monday, January 31, 2011

Profoundly Annoying

Is it just me?

It seems when I’m in the dumps, feeling defeated or am thinking about throwing in the towel, everyone around me is on a spiritual upswing.

Does this happen to you?

I want to whine. They encourage.
I want to wallow. They point out all the great things going on in my life.
I want to wail. They make me laugh.

Recently, I had a bad day. Well, not really a bad day. A bad couple of hours. Which, when you look at it in black and white, seems ridiculous to complain about. But I’m pregnant and hormonal and I had worked myself into a crying puddle of misery.

It’s embarrassing how often this happens.

I let my husband know about a disappointment I had just suffered. I was trying to be tough, and not let on how much it hurt. I didn’t fool him and after a few minutes of him sending me encouraging texts and me replying with whiny texts, he sent this:

I think ur exactly where God wants u 2b . . . which may differ from where u’d like 2b.

Profound isn’t it.

Profoundly annoying—that’s what it is.

Especially when I can’t dispute the truth of the words.

So often, where I’d like to be is clearly not where He wants me to be. Who knows why? Maybe I’m not ready to be there. Or, taking the focus off me (I know, novel concept), maybe there are others who aren’t ready for me to be there yet. God’s timing is perfect. And not just for me. But for those I love. My husband, children, friends and family.

Taking it further—what if there are people I have yet to meet, people who God intends for me to minister to in some way—who I’d miss if I jumped ahead to where I’d like to be?

Taking it even further—what if I never get “there”? What if the journey I’m on doesn’t take me “there” but “elsewhere”?


If you’re waiting on a brilliant answer to these questions, I can’t help you. I don’t have one!

I’m just hanging out here.

Exactly where I’m supposed to be.

And learning to live in daily surrender to the One who knows where I’m headed.

image courtesy of

Friday, January 28, 2011

Call to Me

A few months ago I had the opportunity to spend the day in bed.

By "opportunity" I mean the nurse told me to stay in bed. All day.

I was not pleased.

Neither were my children.

My two-year old, in particular, did not appreciate that Mommy was not at his beck and call. Daddy was, and he was doing a fine job, but my son has grown quite accustomed to my immediate response to his cries for help.

As the day wore on, I heard my son in the other room.




Every part of my being yearned to run to him and fix whatever was causing him to cry out to me. It didn’t matter what he needed—a hug, a smile, a toy just out of reach—the need didn’t matter.

My child had my attention.

He just didn’t know it.

My Abba took that moment to remind me that He feels the same way about me. With one big difference. He always knows what I need. He knows exactly how best to meet the need. And He is always able to meet my need.

When I cry out to Him and He doesn’t answer immediately—or the way I want—I tend to assume He isn’t listening.

But I always have His attention.

And He wants me to know it.

Psalm 145: 18-19—The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them. (KJV)

image courtesy of

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stuck in the Middle

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions.

Probably because I’ve never seen one through to the end of the year.

But there is something about January that makes me reflective. Something that makes me want to evaluate where I am and where I’m going. And something about it always makes me feel unsettled.

Probably because I’m never happy with the reflection.
  • I’m not the child of God I want to be.
  • I’m not the wife I want to be.
  • I’m not the mother I want to be.
  • I’m not the daughter, sister or friend I want to be.
  • I am most definitely not the writer I want to be.
And there is a part of me that wants to quit.

Not because I don’t love writing. Not that quitting would mean quitting writing.

But it would mean pulling away from the writing community, not trying to get anything published and not being on any sort of deadline. It would mean writing what I felt like, when I felt like it.

It would be so much easier.

And for those of you who know me personally and know the level of chaos that is the current definition of my life, that might not seem like a bad idea.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about it. But it is the first time I’ve looked down the road and examined each path. One way is fairly smooth. The other. Well, I can’t see more than a few feet down the other, so I have no idea what happens if I go that way.

There’s really no question about which way I’ll go, or even which way is the right way. But it’s tempting to hang out in the middle for a while. Not moving forward in either direction. Stagnant. Stuck.

Which is where I’ve been for several weeks.

I’m tired. My life is insane.

I would like to quit.

But on a small board near my desk are two quotes, one from Beth Moore’s study of Esther and one from the Apostle Paul.
  • I am not called to an easy life. I am called to a purposeful life.
  • Rom. 11:29 - For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (ESV)
I’ve been stuck in the middle far too long. It's time to get back in the game.

What about you?

image courtesy of










Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review - The Brotherhood

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins several weeks ago. I’ve never snagged an ARC before and I was thrilled to get this one. The only requirement?

Review the book.

The problem? Who am I to review Jerry B. Jenkins? I mean, honestly. He's written more than 175 books and sold over 70 million. He writes great stories and he’s passionate about training the next generation of Christian writers, including me.

But I said I would review it and my plan was to approach the book as a textbook, look for the things he does well and learn from them.

If I’m going to do that, I’ll have to read it again.

Because somewhere around page 50, as tears streamed and my heart ached for the main character, Boone Drake (love the name) suffering through unimaginable loss, I lost my focus. I forgot to pay attention to writing technique. I didn’t care that I was supposed to review the book.

I cared about Boone. And Jack. And Pastor Sosa. And Haeley.

Now, I don’t want my tears to throw you off. The Brotherhood isn’t chick-lit. The Brotherhood is a police thriller, complete with gangs, organized crime, guns, drugs and the cops who put their lives on the line every day.

It’s also a book that doesn’t shy away from a true-to-life crisis of faith. Jenkins explores the hard questions that we all wrestle with to some degree. The kinds of questions we all should wrestle with at some point in our lives but try to avoid. Why does God allow tragedy? How much control do we have over our lives? Why aren’t good people rewarded for doing good while bad people seem to be rewarded for evil? Can God forgive those who have committed the most heinous crimes? And why would He bother?

I appreciated the way Jenkins answers these tough questions. They aren’t answered with neat, tidy platitudes. They are wrestled with by characters grasping at faith when life has thrown them to the ground. For me, that’s important. I know this is fiction, but I want my fiction to feel real, and these characters—and their faith or lack thereof—are real. Sometimes painfully so.

The Brotherhood is scheduled for release in February and is the first book in a planned three-part series.

I wonder if there’s any chance I can get an ARC for the next book? I hate waiting and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review - The Five Love Languages

I'm guest blogging today over at The Write Conversation. Please visit me there!

As a side note, I took the assessment at the back of the book to determine what my love language is.

Turns out I'm even weirder than originally anticipated.

Most people have 1.

Some people have 2.

In true over-achieving form . . . I have 3.

The other two, apparently, barely register with me. It was a very interesting exercise and if you haven't read the book and don't know what your love language is, I highly recommend it!