Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts


(Leafwood Publishers, October 2008)

A wonderful new gift book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, is available in October for Christmas giving. Today, I’ve invited the six coauthors to share their unique story of how they came together to publish this exciting book full of stories, recipes, tips for simplifying the holidays and so much more (click on bookcover to see the trailer!).

First, let me introduce Cathy Messecar, Leslie Wilson, Brenda Nixon, Trish Berg, Terra Hangen and Karen Robbins. Thank you for being here today, ladies.

Karen: Thank you for the invitation.

You are from three different areas of the country—Texas, California, and Ohio. How did you all meet?

Terra: We all six joined The Writers View, an online group for professional Christian writers. Trish and Brenda met in person in 2004 for lunch, I understand, and on 9/18/04, after reading a post Brenda sent to TWV, I sent an email to Brenda, asking if she would like to join with me and walk alongside each other, as a Barnabas group. Brenda said yes that same day, and suggested Trish too. Very quickly Cathy, Leslie and Karen joined in and our stalwart band of six was formed. Living in California, I was so happy to find 5 Barnabas writers in other states so we could bring together a wealth of different viewpoints and expertise

Brenda: Actually, We haven’t met. We’re all great colleagues and friends via the internet. Four years ago Terra and I formed a dyad to support each other as Christians who write in the secular markets. Along came Trish, Cathy, Karen, and Leslie (not necessarily in that order) and we formed a close knit bond of support, creative energy, and professional accountability.

Karen: I met Trish through an online forum called The Writers View and she invited me to join the group.

Trish: Although we belong to the same Yahoo writing group, we met one by one online. Eventually, the six of us decided that since we all write as Christians for a secular market through magazine articles and newspaper columns, we could support and encourage one another.

Leslie: Though we met virtually through The Writers View, I have been blessed to give and get hugs from Trish (at a MOPS conference), Cathy (in the area on business) and Karen (in town for a writers' conference). I can’t wait to meet Terra and Brenda face-to-face, though I feel as though I already know them!

How did you come up with the idea to do a book together?

Brenda: The book is Cathy’s brainchild. She mentioned the concept of telling stories of events that happened for the first time at Christmas and sharing holiday historical tidbits and recipes and each said, “If you need any help, let me know.” That offer morphed into each of us equally contributing and co-authoring A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts.

Trish: Yep, Cathy came up with the idea and the title, and asked us if we wanted to join her on this project. Of course, we said Yes!

Terra: Cathy mentioned the idea for a Christmas book to the group, and someone (I think it was Leslie) suggested that maybe our group could all write the book together. Cathy agreed to lead the way on the project. The earliest email I have on this is from 9/7/05, which shows that this has been a three year collaboration from idea to publication.

Karen: (Chuckling) Terra is a librarian and keeps our historical records by saving our e-mails.

Leslie: Actually, Terra, I wrote that comment (in a group e-mail) kind of tongue-in-cheek. Cathy, the ultra-sweet person she is, took my joking at face value and here we are. However, I believe God prompted the passion and ideas we all bring to the project and that He will do mighty things as a result of our collaboration!

Why did you decide on a Christmas theme?

Brenda: It was Cathy’s concept to write a book centering on Christmas.

Cathy: For several years, I’d been thinking about Christmas as a threshold to introduce Jesus to folks who aren’t familiar with him, and I love a simpler Christmas with the emphasis on family, friends and doing for others. I knew of some families who had experienced “firsts” at Christmas—reunions, losses, special surprises—and I wanted to collect those stories.

Terra: Cathy’s idea immediately resonated with me because Christmas books are “a way past watchful dragons,” as C. S. Lewis wrote. Many people won’t buy a book about being a Christian, but will buy a holiday and family fun book, thus the “past watchful dragons.” People who want to grow in their faith, and people who have no faith but celebrate Christmas will buy our book and hopefully be led to put the focus back on Christ for the holiday, and for their lives.

Leslie: Though Cathy birthed the idea, the rest of us quickly hopped on board. Not only is Christmas special to me—especially now that I have a family of my own—but also that particular holiday cries out to be simplified, to return to the meaningful aspects of celebration, and to lose some of the hype and commercialism.

Tell me a little about what is in A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts? What is your favorite part?

Cathy: I like that you can read one chapter in about 15 minutes and, with all the different suggestions, it feels like Christmas Eve. Makes you want to set up the nativity! Many of the suggestions for family activities can be adapted for any family get-together.

Karen: There are heartwarming stories about things that happened for the first time at Christmas. For instance, one of my stories is about the first Christmas with our adopted children. And the book is pretty. When I first saw the colorful pages and drawings, I fell in love with the illustrator’s work.

Brenda: I don’t have a favorite part – I love it all!

Terra: I like the way the parts are woven into a seamless whole, like a patchwork quilt, that is stronger and more beautiful than the parts.

Trish: It’s like everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas, all the best tips and recipes, and neat stories all wrapped up in this perfect little package.

Leslie: I love reading the special stories, hints, recipes—whatever—and imagining the precious family time that precipitated each moment. Plus, the book is gorgeous, beautifully printed, truly something to be proud of. And we are.

I’ve heard that the book is really a nice gift book; can you tell me a little about the format?

Cathy: Yes, it’s a hardbound book, full color interior. The layout makes it easy to read. It has a definite scrapbooky look on the interior. Different logos identify sections, such as an oilcloth-look Christmas stocking appears beside the “Stocking Stuffer Tradition” (help for connecting family members), and the “Cookie Canister” recipes are on a recipe card, and the back ground of “A Gift For You” is a gift box with bow. It’s a classy gift that they can be placed on a coffee table or in a guest bedroom during the holiday season.

Brenda: I like to describe it as a Starbuck’s sorta gift book. It’s high quality, crisp, and practical.

With six different personalities and areas of ministry, how did you manage to put this all together and still remain friends?

Karen: We pray a lot for each other and it helps that none of us have an over-inflated ego.

Cathy: There were no squabbles. Surely, we had differing opinions, but we knew that any of us could suggest an idea for this book and that each idea would get fair reviews from others. We actually voted on some aspects—everyone in favor say, “Aye.” If you’ve ever watched women at a Dutch treat luncheon when they divide up a meal ticket, it can be intense as they split the ticket down to the penny. As the project came together, I was in awe of my gracious coauthors, unselfish women who respect each other.
For some decisions, we did a round robin—things like book title and chapter titles and what categories to put into the book. Then, as compiler, I’d send out a list of needs to The Word Quilters, that’s what we call ourselves. For instance in a section we call “Peppermints for Little Ones” (hints for children’s activities), I’d put out a call, and the WQs sent in their hints, and then I put them into appropriate chapters.

Brenda: (Smiling) Are we still friends? Seriously, we each have our own platform, ministry, and family life, and those interests kept this project in perspective – it was important but not the only thing on our plates. No one was so enmeshed in this project that she campaigned for her own way. We never had a bitter disagreement or insistence to be “right.”

Terra: We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.We offer support and ideas for our separate writing projects and for personal prayer requests. I love these ladies, and I have only met one of them in person. So far, Karen is the only one who has met each of us, and one day we hope to meet in person, in a circle of friendship and love.

Trish: I think we are all very flexible and forgiving. We do have a variety of personalities here, but God has worked amazing things through our little group.

Leslie: Though I have seven non-fiction projects in various stages of completion, I could not be more thankful that this is the one to reach publication first. I am truly blessed to have worked with these women, learned from them, watched as they’ve poured heart and soul into crafting a product that will impact lives for the Lord.

Where can my readers get a copy of SOCF?

Cathy: The coauthors will all have a supply, plus our publisher, Leafwood Publishers, will have plenty of copies and discounts for buying five or more. Or they can be ordered at most online stores or by your local bookstore.

Karen: And anyone who leaves a comment here can be entered in a drawing for a free book and a gift basket worth $200! For a list of its contents, check our blog, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. And while you're there, leave another comment and increase your chances of winning!

Tell me more about your blog.

Karen: We started our blog in July and it is accumulating a wealth of information about Christmas. Each of us posts one day a week following the theme for that week. Watch for new recipes, tips, ways to simplify, stories, etc., similar to what is in our book.

Leslie: Ooh, ooh, let me answer this one. I’m probably the newest to blogging among the group, but I LOVE it. I’ve enjoyed posting and receiving comments back from readers. What an amazing adventure having an online voice can be! This blog will focus on a different theme each week—anything from tips to avoid overeating during the holidays to how to give a guest room special touches—and expand on the material in the book. I think readers will get to know the authors’ individual personalities and connect on a more personal level. Plus, they get that many more ideas, information, inspiration (!) at no additional cost.

WQs: As an added bonus for inviting us to your blog, we’d like to pass along this Christmas tidbit to you and your readers:

Enjoy a blessed Christmas this year! And thanks for inviting us to share our book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Boy, time sure does fly. Didn’t realize until today that the last time I’d actually written a piece for my blog was in April. For those of you who read it, you might remember I mentioned April as being Poetry Month. I also suggested my readers to join me in the challenge of writing a poem a day for 30 days.

Since I didn’t get any response, you left me to think I’m the only one who enjoyed a month immersed in what I love to do most in life – which is crafting an array of verses. And, if any of you are interested – YES - I wrote all 30 days. (Enthusiastic clapping and cheering fills the air) Will I ever let you read the poems I wrote – probably not, but know I had a grand time penning each one of them.

Some of you might wonder why I’m recapping my musing from April. Really, my rambling have a point (do I hear an AMEN?). My point is: Write What Excites Your Soul. Only then can the words the Lord gave you pour forth onto the blank page. I know this is true because every time I write a ditty and the lines start to rhyme so perfectly (or at least I think they do), I can’t help but smile and know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

So, fellow writers, I recommend you find the type of writing in which you can write what excites your soul. I believe this is what the Lord intended when He gave us the desire to write. Fan the flames. Ignite the passion. Listen to His still, small voice on the road to publishdom. He will show us the way we should go.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Once again, I'm given the honor of reviewing an outstanding book. And, as usual, the task at hand scares me half to death because I'm not sure my words will give Marlo Schalesky's novel, Beyond the Night, the justice it deserves.

As I turned the pages of Beyond the Night, Marlo transported me into another time and place. Her compelling love story brought a smile to my face. Other times, her well crafted words made me want to sit and cry for Maddie and Paul. But, when I finished reading, I knew a deeper meaning of God's love for His children.


They say love is blind. This time, they're right. As a woman lies unconscious in a hospital bed, her husband waits beside her, urging her to wake up and come home. Between them lies an ocean of fear and the tenuous grip of memories long past. Memories of wonder. Of love. Memories of a girl named Madison and a boy named Paul...

Madison Foster knew she was going blind. But she didn't want pity--not from her mother, not from her roommate, and especially not from her best friend, Paul--the man she secretly loved.

Paul Tilden knew a good thing when he saw it. And a good thing was his friendship with Maddie Foster. That is, until he started to fall in love.

With the music of the seventies as their soundtrack and its groovy fashions as their scenery, Maddie and Paul were drawn together and driven apart. Then one night changes everything...forever.

And only now, when life tiptoes past the edge of yesterday, along the rim of today, can they glimpse the beauty that awaits them...beyond the night.

Thank you, Marlo, and I'm looking forward to your next two books in this series.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Stab at Life

Another Stab at Life by Anita Higman is exactly what I needed to take my mind off of the ups and downs in my own LIFE the last couple of months. Thank you, Anita, from the bottom of my heart.

Once again, you've given me (the reader) suspense weaved throughout the story, but this time you added an interesting character I never expected. And as always, you made me chuckle while I immersed myself in the 247 pages of your Heartsong Presents Mysteries. A thoroughly enjoyable read with a surprise ending. What more could I ask for?

Let me tell you a little bit about Another Stab at Life:

Bailey Walker has just lost everything - her family, her job, and her home. She has nowhere except the dilapidated mansion she's just inherited from her granny Minna. Unfortunately, Bailey discovers that the house has a history as shadowy as its hidden passages and finds the neighborhood overflowing with some rather quirky folks-as well as one particularly appealing bachelor.

Bailey feels like she's trapped inside the pages of a Gothic novel but with a comedic twist. In order to honor her grandmother's wishes and stay at Volstead Manor, Bailey must unravel a string of mysteries and secrets, which will seem determined to stay happily ever ________.

Happy reading!!!


PS: For those of you who noticed, I left a blank for you to fill in. To find the answer, go to You better hurry! The first 3 people to email me ( with the answer, will receive Anita Higman's wonderful book.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I’ve just finished reading a book called Blood Brothers. This is Rick Acker’s second book and a sequel to Dead Man’s Rule. Since I didn’t read his first book, I wondered if I’d be confused with the characters he’d already introduced. No need to worry, Rick mastered his storytelling so well Blood Brothers stands alone on its own merit. The intrigue and suspense he weaved throughout the story kept me turning the pages.

Now let me give you a little taste of Rick Acker’s latest novel:

Lawyer Ben Corbin finds himself caught between feuding brothers Karl and Gunnar Bjornsen. Having built a pharmaceutical empire from the ground up, the Bjornsen brothers are now developing a revolutionary new drug, a neural stimulant that increases strength and intelligence. But its potential for success is rapidly destroying them. Warring for control of the company and the drug, Karl sues Gunnar, and Gunnar hires lawyer Ben Corbin to defend him.

But the case involves more than bitter sibling rivalry. Signs of embezzlement, black market deals, and the grisly consequences of the Bjornsen’s new drug begin to emerge. Soon, Ben and his wife, Noelle, find themselves in Norway where the case takes a personal and violent turn.

Happy Reading,

PS: Oh, before I forget – make sure you hold onto Blood Brothers tightly while you’re reading it. If you don’t, the book might come flying out of your hands at the SURPRISE ending of some of the scenes he’s penned. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Welcome! Today is a special day because I’m helping Allison Bottke spread the word about her new book; Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing.

Now I know some of you are wondering why I’m promoting this book since I don’t have children of my own. The main reason I’m doing it is because everyone needs to read this book. Allison states that this topic can’t be ignored any longer. It desperately needs to be addressed. The message in her book is already striking a cord in hearts around the nation.

Allison goes on to say: Our country is in a crisis of epidemic proportion concerning adult children whose lives are spinning out of control—leaving parents and grandparents broken-hearted and confused. This painful issue is destroying individuals, families, marriages, churches, and communities. I believe in my heart that you are reading this message today for a very specific reason. Do you know someone who has an adult child who is always in crisis? An adult child who brings chaos to virtually every situation? Could this painful issue be touching your life today?

If so, there’s a truth I’ve come to embrace that has changed my life—it can change yours, too. It’s taken me more years than I care to admit, but I no longer believe in “coincidences.” The truth I’ve come to embrace is that God is the Master of orchestrating “God-cidences.” He has a plan for who he wants us to meet, what lessons he wants us to learn, even what books he wants us to read. He even has a plan for the trials and tribulations of life.

When we begin to look at everything that happens to us throughout the day as “God-cidences” (and not accidental coincidences) it changes the way we view our world.

That said, my prayer is that you will see the following message and the book; Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing as a “God-cidence” placed into your life today for a powerful purpose. Perhaps it’s to help heal your family or the family of a loved one. Perhaps you are here to help us introduce this resource to a broader audience via additional media contacts you may have. Whatever the “God-cidence” may be, please know our primary goal is to bring hope and healing to families around the nation—thank you for helping us.

I pray you will view what you are about to read as a “God-cidence” meant just for you.

God Bless and Keep You,
Allison Bottke

NOW I’d like to share some of the questions I asked Allison about her book. I hope they help you concerning an adult child in your life.

How can we determine whether we are helping versus enabling our children?

ALLISON: Helping is doing something for someone that he is not capable of doing himself.
Enabling is doing for someone things that he could and should be doing himself.

An enabler is a person who recognizes that a negative circumstance is occurring on a regular basis and yet continues to enable the person with the problem to persist with his detrimental behaviors. Simply, enabling creates an atmosphere in which our adult children can comfortably continue their unacceptable behavior.

You say the main problem with dysfunctional adult children isn’t the choice they make or don’t make – but something else entirely. If their choices aren’t the main problem, what is?

Our biggest problem isn’t about our adult child’s inability to wake up when their alarm clock rings, or their inability to keep a schedule, or their inability to hold down a job or pay their bills. It’s not about their drug use or alcohol addictions. It’s not about the mess they’re making of their life. The main problem is about the part we’re playing in stepping in to soften the blow of the consequences that come from the choices they make. The main problem is us. Instead of praying to God to stop the pain, remove the difficulty, or change the life of our adult child, we must rise up and pray for something entirely different. We must pray for the courage to look deep in our own heart and soul—pray for the strength to begin a journey that quite possibly may change our own life—and pray for the wisdom to make new choices in our own life

Why are you so passionate about reaching out to other parents?

Because I’ve been there—I still am in many ways. I’m a parent who has traveled this painful road of enabling. I understand what it feels like to have your heart break because of a choice our adult child has made.

What are some things that parents can do to break the cycle of enabling?

Follow the six steps to S.A.N.I.T.Y.: Stop blaming yourself and stop the flow of money. Stop continually rescuing your adult children from one mess after another. Assemble a support group of other parents in the same situation. Nip excuses in the bud. Implement rules and boundaries. Trust your instincts. Yield everything to God, because you’re not in control. These six things can start a parent on the road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. in an insane situation that is spinning out of control. However, a key issue in breaking the cycle of enabling is to understand whose problem it really is.

What are the six steps for hope and healing you refer to in Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children?

ALLISON: S.A.N.I.T.Y. Six Steps for Regaining a Healthy Relationship with Adult Children
S = STOP Enabling, STOP Blaming Yourself, and STOP the Flow of MoneyA = Assemble a Support Group N = Nip Excuses in the BudI = Implement Rules/BoundariesT = Trust Your InstinctsY = Yield Everything to the Higher Power of God (Surrender)
From the opening pages, you are very candid in your own struggles to set boundaries with your adult son, in a section titled “Why I Had to Write This Book.”
Why did you feel the need to be so open so quickly?

There are many good books available on boundaries. Most of them are written from the perspective of a psychologist, therapist, counselor, or theologian. Never in my years of searching for help did I find a book on boundaries written by a parent in pain who had walked in my shoes. I wanted readers to quickly understand that this book was different.

Where can my readers go for more information on your book and on the S.A.N.I.T.Y. ministry?

Everything you could possibly need is contained on our web site at:

ALLISON: I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children. I really do want to hear reader feedback. They can reach me at: Please be sure to visit our web site at where they will find additional resources for helping them on their road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. Remember to tell a friend in need and help save a life!

Thank you, Allison, for taking the time to write such an outstanding book. I hope all of my readers have read this special blog today. If you have, you’re in for a surprise. For those of you who leave a message on my blog will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Allison’s book. The winner will be announced May 7th. God bless you!!!!


Thursday, April 03, 2008


How many of you know APRIL is Poetry Month? I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t. Writer’s Digest informed me of the fact yesterday morning in my inbox. They also suggested anyone reading the email to write a poem every day for the next 30 days.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I decided to take the month-long challenge. Any opportunity I have to write a poem, ditty, acrostic or verse I jump on it with both feet. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to write poetry. It restores my soul like an extra measure of manna from heaven.

If I showed you my collection, you’d see quite a variety of poems. Some are comical (oh, like that surprises anyone). Quite a few of them reflect my belief in Jesus and the road He and I have traveled for 52 years. The majority of the others I’ve written are the ones I’ve penned after reading an article or heard a sad story. I won’t know the people involved, but their heartache touches a part of my heart and I have to write something down or I’ll burst.

I know not everyone are writers (my one sister almost shakes uncontrollably if asked to put pen to paper), but I believe all of us need an outlet to express ourselves. Mine, of course, is poetry. It’s truly my saving grace.

What’s yours?


PS: Let me know if you’re going to join me in the poem-a-day challenge!!!

PSS: And, for those of you who are interested, I’m still knocking out pages on my much-anticipated novel. Not to worry!!!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


SUBMIT: A. give way; yield, B. surrender (oneself) to the control of another, etc., C. present for consideration or decision.

All of these definitions apply to the writer’s life, but the last definition (C) is the one I’m going to touch on today. For some of us submitting (presenting for consideration or decision) is too hard to handle. In our mind, the thought of sending something off could literally scare the hair off of a bald man. A few might even think the earth would topple off its axis if we put that envelop into the slot at the post office. Trust me, neither of these absurd things can or will happen if we submit.

Personally, I think it’s FEAR which keeps us from submitting. We’re afraid to let go of our masterpieces. Petrified someone will reject the piece we’ve worked so hard to perfect. “But, nettie. . .my. . .manuscript. . . it isn’t ready. I can’t send it in…yet.” I agree, it probably isn’t completely polished, but unless we release it, we’ll never know what might happen.

Has it ever occurred to us that sending our precious work off doesn’t always bring bad news? It could also bring a letter of acceptance from a publisher we’ve only dreamed about. When this monumental event occurred for me, I’m almost certain the angels in heaven sang the Hallelujah Chorus. . .okay, maybe that’s a little much, but I know there was a celebration going on up there. And, it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t submitted my stuff.

Ask anyone who’s been published. They’ll tell you there’s not a specific formula. For me, I’m a seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, so I guess that’s what kind of submitter I am, too. Just send it. Take a chance. Hey, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you join me and submit something this week? When you find out you didn’t die from actually doing it, do it again and again. It doesn’t hurt to submit and one day (SOON) you will get to say the words you’ve only imagined, “I’m a published author.”


S - Sending off our work creates in us
U - Unbelievable stress and untold strain.
B - But, if you hold on to them until they’re perfect
M - Masterpieces could go unread, unpublished.
I - Instead of touching someone else’s heart.
T - Take a chance – SUBMIT – imagine the possibilities.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Love Song - Heartsong Presents

Everyone knows I’m a writer (or at least, I give it my best shot), but I’m also an avid reader. So when I’ve read a book I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I want to tell my family and friends all about it. But today I’m going one step farther – I’m going to give you an opportunity at the end of my blog to win a copy of The Love Song by my friends Anita Higman and Janice Thompson.

Let’s start off with the synopsis to wet your whistle:

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” Joel 2:24

CLUMSY,..INVISIBLE…UGLY. This is how Clair O’Neal would describe herself on a good day. Coming from an abusive childhood, she is painfully shy and sees herself as a misfit. So when she promises her boss she’ll represent her company at a high-society event, she finds herself completely out of her element.

Image coach Glenn Yves urges Clair to join the party, seeing something in her she cannot see herself. Musician Hudson Mandel rescues her from a moment of likely humiliation. Both men find themselves drawn to Clair’s unassuming presence, her inner beauty, and maybe even her vulnerability.

Can Clair trust their interest and their motives? After so many years without love, would God really bring two men into her life and make her choose between them?

NOW doesn’t that just make you want to run out and buy this book? Hope I’ve piqued your interest to do just that. This poignant love story by my two author friends touched my heart. And after you read The Love Song, I hope it will touch yours, as well.


PS: Oh, I bet you thought I forgot my earlier promise? I wouldn’t do something like that. HA!! Here’s how you can win a copy of The Love Song – go to There you’ll find the numerous books Anita has written (fiction and nonfiction). One of her nonfiction books has quite the catchy title. It’s Pets, Never _______ with a Tree Frog. The first three people who tell me at what the missing word is will receive a free copy of The Love Song. Happy hunting!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Here in America

Please listen to this phenomenal video by Diamond Rio. It's a reminder to all of us what this country stands for.



Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I do believe I’ve just had a light bulb moment. The sad part is it’s taken me quite some time to discover this little nugget. I know you’re all wondering what I’ve found, so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – it’s. . .

PERSEVERENCE PRODUCES POLISHED PIECES FOR PUBLICATION. (say that 3 times without a hanky!! Oh my goodness)

James 1:2-4 sums it up best. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Each one of us face trials every day. And as writers, we deal with more than our fair share of them (do I hear an AMEN?). Every time I send something out to the different publishing houses, it’s a test of my faith. Did they receive what I submitted? Will they be interested in my novel, short story or poem? If I don’t hear a response, do I assume I can send my work out to someone else? Boy, this writing is hard work! I’m not having very much fun.

But wait, didn’t I just read in the verse that I’m to ‘consider it pure joy’ whenever we go through trials of ‘many kinds’. YES, I guess I did. Sounds like the Lord is telling me to change my attitude. Be joyful. Rejoice in the trials I’m going through because I’m developing PERSEVERENCE. Isn’t that the very thing I need to be a writer? Isn’t that the very thing I need to help me resend my work after I’ve revamped it and reworked it? Isn’t that the very thing I need to polish my pieces for possible publication?

YOU BET IT IS!!! ‘Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’

Praise the Lord!