Faithful Fridays Revisited

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I started ‘Faithful Fridays’ when I first started blogging, back in 2007. Each week, even though I was facing some trying times, I would still post my blessings.

At first – I thought it was just to help me see the good things in life. However, I started receiving so much feedback, saying it inspired others that I knew it was bigger than my world. I loved seeing other bloggers posting theirs on Friday too.

Eventually, I fell off the blogging map – as life just got too busy. But today, I’m revamping ‘Faithful Fridays’ and am committing to post on as many Fridays as I can.

So after a stressful week, I can say God has given me so much to be thankful for.

Blessing #1:
After a summer of late nights, as my kid is determined to stay up as late as possible until school starts, I went to bed last night at 9:00 p.m. It was the first time in two months that I got a full 8 hours, and I feel like a brand new person.

Blessing #2:
My 14th wedding anniversary was Tuesday. It was nice to re-connect with my guy, with a nice relaxing evening. We had a gift certificate to a new restaurant, so we got to try something new and it didn’t put a chunk in our pocketbook.

Blessing #3:
I got my proof for FINDING KYLIE, with an updated cover. I’m re-releasing it next month. It was so gratifying to see a new image on the front, as the previous cover was so hideoussub-parOkay … lets just say I didn’t like it. I’m so happy to have creative control, and the new cover is amazing!

The hard read for the script (FINDING KYLIE) is coming along as well.  It is set for August 13th, in London, for which I will Skype in and record.  It’s been a long long journey to get to this point.  Now that I have control over my first book, the time couldn’t be more perfect.

Over the last year, the hard read kept getting pushed back … and now that I got my rights back to the book … it’s all aligning on a perfect timeline.  Isn’t it funny how that happens?

There was a time when I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t tracking faster, but God knew when it would work best.  I needed to get my rights back from my publisher first.  And in the same month, both came to fruition …

 

I want to encourage you all to think about your week.  No matter how stressful it’s been, I’m sure you can think of some amazing things that happened in your world.  Write them down, or better yet … blog them and let me know about it.

Have a great weekend!!!

 

 

14 years and counting

Fourteen years ago, against all odds my husband and I got married.  When I say against all odds … it’s not said lightly.  By chance — if you’ve ever read Facing Redemption - you’ll remember Chastity and Timothy’s wedding, and what a catastrophe it was. I modeled that fictional wedding off my own. (However, any people in the story have no similarities to my life — just throwing out a disclaimer.)

10388199_10203708663664650_5582872058684042757_n

Fourteen years ago, on July 22nd, we went up against a double handful of things including but not limited to … power outages, crazy flash floods, two deaths during and before our wedding, a missing limo, a missing wedding cake, a missing groom’s ring, a last minute cancellation of  reception hall on the night of the rehearsal dinner, and a whole lot more craziness.

You’d think that would be enough to turn me into Bridezilla or convince me to run for the hills, but if anything it made me more determined.  Since I don’t believe in bad luck, I knew it was just life’s way of throwing a curveball at me… and I’ve got a pretty good swing.  And, in my mind … the bottom line was – I knew that it wasn’t about the day, it was about the marriage — and this guy was a keeper.  In fact, once I was standing at the church doors, getting ready to walk down the aisle, I had so much peace in my heart. 

Heck, I figured everything had already been thrown our way … so by the time I was standing at the aisle … I knew I was ready to marry my man.  After all, our life was about to start … and it’s about the marriage – not the wedding day.

In our fourteen years, I have to say we’ve gone through a lot!  And, God has blessed our path every step of it.

Within the first year of our marriage, my husband almost died.  He flatlined in my car, seconds before I was pulling into the emergency room drive, horn honking and headlights flashing.  God spared his life, and our marriage took on a whole new meaning of ‘through sickness and health’.  He took months to recover.  Needless to say, we started appreciating the little things  and loving each other more every day – grateful to wake up each morning.

Within the first three years of our marriage, we were told we would never have children without help, through fertility treatments … and even then … chances were slim.  With in a couple of months, everyone and their dog was turning up pregnant, and it killed me.  Finally, I opened the Bible to a random page … and the story of Sarah sat in front of me.  I prayed over this verse, and told the Lord … I know you can get a healthy thirty year old woman pregnant knowing you did it for Sarah, who was far beyond child bearing years.  One month later (on our wedding anniversary – I don’t believe in coincidences) I wasn’t quite feeling right, so I took a pregnancy test, which proved positive.  We went back to our fertility specialist, who’s jaw dropped.  He could not believe it.  I told him – he was not the last authority on our lives … and God had other plans.10361034_10152593648357905_6932382751527102093_n

So here we are years later … on year number fourteen.  We went to dinner and took a romantic walk around the lake last night.  As we sat there, I reviewed our marriage with amazement at how fast its flown, truly understanding what ‘in the blink of an eye’ means.  Last night, my heart was full of gratefulness … not just to my husband for giving me the best years of my life, as that man knows how to make me laugh, but to also and especially to God for blessing us for all our time that has come and is to come.  I often feel like we run up against the most unusual challenges, but maybe because God knows we can handle it.  After all, our wedding was one for the record books – and our marriage is too.

10557275_10152593404682905_460029978256597566_n

A few things I love about my guy:

He is the biggest goofball of them all, as every moment in life can be related to a sports analogy – and every instance in life deserves its own song lyric.

His quippy quick sense of humor, has most rolling in minutes as he’s sharp witted.  I swear he could do stand up.

And … every day he is willing to not only put up with me … but be there for me.  He’s sensitive and firm – so he is willing to take care of me while pushing me when needed.  It’s a great balance.

Every day, I’m reminded that bad things happen.  You just have to turn on the news to see the epidemic that is spread nation and world wide.  We live in a fallen and dark world, but there is so much joy to be found through it all.  We can plan all we want, and things can still spin out of control (take my wedding for example).  So it’s very important to step forward in faith, as I stepped down the aisle with peace.  Through life’s chaos, you will find serenity.

There is light at the end of the dark tunnel.  Trust me, I’m living proof of it.  I’ll leave you with one more photo from last night.  I love lighthouses, as it reminds me to be the beacon in a dark world.  God’s love is always there to anchor you in the storm …

10403368_10152593465882905_2313889737715045648_n

 

 

 

Stepping Through the Doubt

Inner peace … nirvana … letting go … These are all terms we all hear every day.  It’s a constant uphill battle to achieve them, and many of us chase after it only to come up empty handed.

My husband and I had a conversation the other day that struck me funny. He said he met someone at one of his work events, who was from Europe. She recently moved here, to Oklahoma, to be near her boyfriend.  By chance, he asked her what her perception of America or being an American was.

She said, “We (those in her country) all think people in America seem fake. Because everyone portrays this happy lifestyle or image.  And no one can be that happy.”

It got me thinking…

I know Hollywood probably has a lot to do with her image of what America is like, but my spin on it was a bit different.  Everyday, I see people and a lot of my friends, who have peace in their heart, and even amidst tragedy – have the most positive outlooks.

Take my friend, Susan, for example.  She was told just over a year ago to go get her affairs in order, as she was recently diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t given much time to live.  Her response was this … ‘I know I serve a loving God.  If this is His will, I will get my affairs in order but I’m choosing to believe He’s going to heal me and I’m going to fight as is His hand is on me’.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 12.33.52 PM

Today, she is NED – ‘no evidence of disease’ from a cancer, which was at stage 4, and was a rare aggressive form.  It’s a cancer, which is predicted to return and it has a 100% mortality rate — but she has peace and is living each day with true happiness.

Maybe a lot of us have more peace in our lives, because as a Christian nation – there are still enough believers left (I choose to believe there are more of us than the media or the news would like us to believe) in the world to have that inner peace.  It may be a struggle to keep it, as God never promises an easy life.  Bad things happen – but He promises to be with us and give us what we need.  It’s the peace that passes understanding that we often hear about.

Today, my friend Terri posted on being happier and how faith has helped her let go and fill in the gaps of life, which were filled with doubt.  It reminded me of my pledge over the last two years of stepping through the doubt in my life.

During Lent for two years in a row, I’ve given up doubt.  You can read about the first time I did it – here.  It sounds crazy and unfathomable, but it’s possible.  The key is when doubt starts plaguing you – mentally give it up.  Tell God its pursuing you and give it to him.  Let go of it and choose not to fall victim to it.  It’s hard to do!  It takes baby steps along the way… so start with the little nagging doubts and then move up to the big ones.  You can let go and choose faith.  The result has been life changing – as along the way – I’ve learned a new habit.  It’s almost second nature.  I say – almost as I fall victim to it and have to remind myself not to doubt.

So now, it’s not just during Lent – it’s a daily process.  When doubt or spiritual warfare start crashing in around my spirit – I choose to turn my back on it and focus on the blessings God has in store for me instead.  It’s led to me taking some giant leaps of faith, which I normally wouldn’t have made, and taken me places I never imagined.  I’ll save that for another blog post.

Whats the point of this post you ask?  I encourage you – no – I challenge you to step through the doubt in your life.  Give it up and take a risk with your faith … and just wait to see what God will do.

 

On a side note – I just saw a post of mine from 2007 that also relates to this.  Go read this!

Coming Home Releasing – August 2014 … AND OTHER NEWS

banner1

A lot has happened since I last posted.  For one, I’m going to re-release FINDING KYLIE next month, as my previous publisher and I are finally free from one another.  I won’t get into the details, as I don’t believe in airing grievances in public. So, let’s just say it was less than an ideal situation.  On a positive note – now I get to brush up and release FINDING KYLIE the way I wanted to begin with, with an updated & pleasing cover.

The main reason for posting today is to let you know that

COMING HOME is releasing next month!

For those of you, who have read either FINDING KYLIE or FACING REDEMPTION, you’ll recognize Anne LaSal, the ever supportive best friend.  She finally gets her own story in COMING HOME and introduces you to her sister, Grace.  Grace gets her own story in 2015, with SAVING GRACE (releasing in the spring).

So far the reviews, from my beta readers for COMING HOME have been spectacular. This week Blogcritics Magazine posted this article about COMING HOME, which gave history on both books and led into Anne’s story.  If you skip to the bottom, it reads:

There are times when a story just comes together. When there is that combination of characters, story, and feel that creates that entertaining read. Coming Home is one of those times. It is an engaging read with a storyline that not only will keep you entertained, but the ending has so many twists and turns, it will keep you guessing until the final page. Still, as good as the story is, to me, to me the true test of a book is the characters and how believable they are. Coming Home does not disappoint. I still find myself wanting to go back and read more.

Coming Home is not due out until August 23, 2014, so in the meantime, if you haven’t already, you can always go out and get the author’s previous books Finding Kylie and Facing Redemption.

 

If you’re in the Oklahoma City area, I’d love to have you at the Book Launch party.  RSVP at the event page, here, Coming Home book launch party.  If you can’t drop by, pick up your own copy on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords.  If there’s another e-book format you’d prefer, drop me a comment to let me know and I’ll start working on it.  

blessed1:

This is my favorite blogger friend’s input on my new book. Check out her review and then go get your own copy!

Originally posted on These are Days:

During my early days of blogging, as I spent every spare moment discovering and reading new blogs, I began to make connections with other writers. I came across so many different personalities back then, learning from others about how they kept their writing momentum going. In the blog world, I found humor and bitterness, personal blogs and fiction. There were so many words out there, some filled with struggle, others always seeming to find something of value and hope in life’s realities. All of the writers I found taught me something about finding my own voice, but one in particular had a positive and lasting influence.

me-and-kim2I don’t remember now exactly how Kimberly McKay and I found each other, but we struck up a friendship that grew strong enough for us to eventually begin communicating outside of our blogs. We messaged one another, talked on the phone, and eventually we…

View original 503 more words

Where You’ll Find Me …


For those that stop by from time to time … thank you. For those that are new … welcome.

I’ve not blogged here very often lately, as life has been very busy over the last couple years.  However, I’ve been more consistently writing here at my other blog.

Or if you are a twitter user, you can find me here.

I would still encourage you to stop by here, from time to time.  As I’m contemplating starting it back up, but for now the above links are where you’ll find me.

I