Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Don't Forget to Slow Down

I’m no Scrooge. Far from it.

I’m a present shaking, Christmas music listening, holiday baking, 38-year-old wanna-be elf.

But even my twinkle light loving self has to admit that a part of me looks at the December calendar with more dread than delight.

There’s just so much to do! And so little of me to do it.

Which is why I have to slow down.

Yep. You read that right.

I didn’t say I needed a clone (which I do) or a housekeeper (yes, please!).

I need to slow down because God is going to keep throwing this idea in my face until I get it. He’s been really pushy about it for the past week.

It started while I was chatting with a friend. We were commiserating about how busy we both are and as we talked, I glanced at my Facebook page. Yes, that’s right. Now, don’t look like that. You know you do it to. It’s called multi-tasking and we’ve already established the fact that I’m very busy. :-)

Anyway, there, right smack in the middle of the page was the following post from Lysa TerKeurst.

Spending some time getting quiet this morning can really be the best remedy for tangled situations. Taking a step back from all the emotion, frustration, and exhaustion to sit quietly with Jesus will do more to untangle a mess than anything else I’ve ever found.

I read it to Sara and we were both struck by the truth in her words . . . and the harsh reality that neither of us had time to do what she was suggesting.

Then, on Sunday, our pastor stomped all over my busy little life when he reminded us that we do make time for what is a priority, and that nothing should be a bigger priority than time in the Word.

I had already made the connection that God was getting all up in my busyness when my four-year-old raced out of the church doors and ten feet later crashed in spectacular fashion. As he cried, I scooped him up and carried him to the van. When he calmed down I asked him what happened.

His response?

“I forgot to slow down!”

Out of the mouths of babes. All I could do was shake my head and say, “OK, Lord. Point made.”

So as the holiday season spins out in front of us, I’d like to challenge you with this.

Don’t forget to slow down.

Slow down long enough to read the book of Luke. Or John. (Or both!)

Slow down long enough to relish the Joy that is ours because a virgin conceived, and bore a son, and called His name Emmanuel.

Slow down long enough to remember the first tree and the the Ultimate Gift that hung on it.

Slow down long enough to revel in the love the God of the Universe has lavished on you.

This really is the best time of the year…let’s slow down long enough to enjoy it!

Now it’s your turn: How do you plan to slow down?

Grace and peace,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Busy...Very Busy

You may have noticed that the blog has been a little quiet for the past couple of weeks.

I am sorry about that, but I've been busy.

First, it was the stomach bug that attacked every member of my family. I'll spare you the gory details.

But we recovered. I did laundry for a week.

And then...well...like I said, I've been busy.

Very busy.

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Out of the Boat should return to regular programming next week!

Grace and peace,

Friday, November 9, 2012


Placebo by Steven James
Placebo is the first book in Steven James' new series, The Jevin Banks Experience.

Jevin Banks is an illusionist with a successful stage show, a wife, and twin sons. Until tragedy lays him bare.

Placebo opens with a first chapter that is so painful to read, I kept having to remind myself that it wasn't real. The 2nd person voice enhances the agony. This experience is so vivid, so raw, that even the character living through it needs a way to distance himself.

Despite  the fact that we meet Jevin Banks at his lowest point, the story that unfolds is not depressing. And it is not a particularly gruesome story. Don't get me wrong, this is Steven James after all! His bad guys are creepy. But while I usually need to leave the lights on and only read his books when I'm in a safe place, Placebo's plot kept me turning pages well into the night and left me eager for the next experience.

I never give away the plot when I write a review, but here are a few teasers for you.

1. Placebo deals with quantum physics and entanglement theory, but you don't need a Ph.D. to follow the plot. If you ever read something you don't understand, don't worry. None of the characters in the story fully understand it either. That's the point. Just keep reading.

2. The secondary characters are awesome. We meet everyone from a conspiracy theorist with a thing for cheese to a brilliant computer security expert with a wandering eye. Trust me, you're going to love them.

3. The best fiction deals with questions that we all struggle with. Placebo asks some tough ones. How do we go on when people we love make horrible mistakes? What's the point of getting up in the morning? How powerful is prayer and does it really work?

4. The very best fiction asks tough questions and doesn't leave you depressed. Placebo is some of the very best fiction out there.

Get it. Read it. Experience it.

Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The super fine print: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

You Know You're A Writer When...

It's November 1st. The day when writers all over the world flex their fingers and dive in to the wild and crazy ride that is NaNoWriMo.

In case you aren't familiar with that acronym it stands for National Novel Writing Month and the idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I've done it in the past but I'm not participating this year for two reasons.
1. I'm a little too far into my work-in-progress. (The rules state that you are supposed to start on Word Zero).
2. I'm going to be on vacation for a week. (I'm not interested in trying to squeeze in 50K in 21 days).

Since I'm not NaNo'ing this year, I decided to talk about the ways writers like to procrastinate. And believe me, writers procrastinate in all sorts of "writerly" ways.

I'm over at The Write Conversation today, with my "You Know You're A Writer When You Procrastinate By...." thoughts. I'd love it if you'd come over and say Hi. (And leave us your favorite way to procrastinate in the comments!)

Sneak Peek: Check back here next Thursday for my review of Placebo by Steven James!