Ps 91 (NKJV)

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Forced to see beyond me.

Okay, so by now you all know I LIKE to read. I would read above watching tv, playing video games, reading e-mail and sometimes I read instead of eating (well, I eventually eat, but sometimes several hours late).

Well, yesterday I read a book that will remain unnamed because you DON'T need to read it. I shouldn't have read it to the end, but once I get to a certain point in a book there's no turning back and I needed to know about the end or I would conjure up my own images/endings. Let's suffice it to say it opened my eyes to a world I knew was out there, but have chosen to ignore for over twenty years.

You see I've been married to a wonderful man for those twenty years and he has made my life easy. The first twenty years of my life were not that way, which is why I have chosen to ignore the evil of the world.  I don't watch the news because I don't want to know that people are being abused and/or dying at the hand of their fellow man/woman.

But yesterday's book opened my eyes to see, yet again, the depravity of the human race. So I am going to be proactive. The contents could bring me down, but I refuse to let it. Instead I am going to pray for all those who are in situations beyond their control. Pray with me, won't you?

Father, God, we love you and we thank you for the lives you have given us, for comfort, security, safety, food, shelter and so much more.
I pray now for all those who don't have the benefit of these simple things. I pray for those who are in abusive relationships - either spousal, or parental. Give them your peace, your love, your comfort, and an extra measure of protection.
Father, I pray for those who are in a prison of fear, where they can't escape and feel no hope. Give them your hope - the hope of Jesus. Send your angels to encamp around them, to hug them, so they may feel your love in a tangible way.
I pray for those who abuse. Touch the hurting places inside of them, the dark places that no one sees but you.
Father, I pray for those who strive to help the lost and hurting of this world. Let them not grow weary in the well-doing. Strengthen them, uplift them.
I pray for those who have gotten out of horrible situations, but are still ruled by the hurts and disappointments. Help them past these hurdles into a new and better life.
Lastly, God, I pray for those of us who have a good life, that we would remember to pray for those less fortunate, that we would be thankful for what we have and not grumble about that which we do not have. Give us all eyes to see and ears to hear. Amen.

As always, under HIS wings,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review - "Indelible" by Kristen Heitzmann

Trevor, the ultimate outdoors-man, saves three-year old Cody from a mountain lion. Natalie, Cody's aunt, watches him with fear and awe. Then she runs to her studio and sculpts Trevor - in the form of a saving angel, minus the wings.

He runs from a tragedy that changed his life; she hides because of a disability that prevents her from having a normal life.

Cody's accident draws them together, but a deranged "fan" of Trevor's keeps them fighting an external battle. Their internal wounds struggle to the surface, where they can face and conquer them, together.

"Indelible" gets you involved from the very first chapter and keeps you hooked until the last word. I enjoyed reading it. My only dislike of the story is the ending - it just sort of stops. The story is complete, but it seems to end abruptly.

*FYI - I would suggest the printed copy. I read it on my Kindle and the formatting tended to be slightly confusing in places that I think would be avoided in a hard copy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Joining the fun...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

A fellow writer had this idea and since I can't think of a thing to write on my own today, I'm going to join in.  She is going through the alphabet...this week's letter is J.

So now the hard part - what do I write that has to do with the letter "J"?

Ha...this should have been easy, right? 


I live because of and for Him. I write for Him. I love Him. Do you know Him? Read along and find out...

Thousands of years ago (notice I didn't say millions), God created the earth. Genesis 1:1 tells us, "In the beginning God created...." It was perfect. Then man (and woman) sinned. God gave us the choice and, unfortunately, the wrong choice was made. But God (what a wonderful set of words) had a plan. He always has a plan.

A couple thousand years later, Jesus was born. He'd been talked about during those years. From Genesis through the Psalms and into the Prophets, Jesus was there.

John 1:1-3 (NKJV) tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." See, He was there.

His birth was nothing short of spectacular. Born to a virgin in a stable. Angels proclaiming His birth to shepherds. A star pointing the way for Magi (not necessarily three, by the way). Today we see proud papa's/daddy's handing out cigars (well, not so much), but gloating about being a proud new daddy. God was a proud daddy - his son had sacrificed his place in heaven to come to this chunk of dirt and rock to SAVE us. God wanted everyone to know - so he made sure it was announced.

Jesus ministered on this earth for thirty-three years (give or take). Then he WILLINGLY gave His life for you and for me. He knew what He was walking in to. Why else would He cry out for hours in prayer beforehand? He knew He was about to suffer, severely.

I recently watched The Passion for the first time. Yeah, I know, it's been out for a LONG time, but I couldn't bring myself to watch it. I knew I would remember the scenes in my head for a long time and my own imagination had done a fair job of conjuring up the images all on its own. To know that the scenes portrayed in the movie were only a fraction of what my Lord actually endured broke my heart.

But endure it He did, for me. Whether you were here or not, Jesus did it for ME. But you know what else? He did it for YOU - whether anyone else was here or not - HE did it for YOU.

His love knows no bounds. No matter what you've done or what you're going to do - He loves you.

But that's not enough. You have to accept that love - it's a gift He's giving. You have to accept Him as Lord, Savior, Protector, Healer, Leader, Comforter (and oh so much more). YOU have to say, "Yes" to his call. You have to ask for his forgiveness and turn away from the wrong. He'll help you.

For more in depth information - there's so much that could be shared, but I'm flawed and can't get it all down - please visit here:  The Rock Family Worship Center

As always, under HIS wings,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pictures, pictures, pictures

Sunset from my front yard.
 My husband recently bought me a present - a Canon EOS Rebel. Now, I'm NOT a photographer, nor have I ever taken a photography class. My usual choice for a camera is a point and shoot.  :-)  I am, however, enjoying this camera immensely. I like seeing how I can creatively take a normal outdoor object and put a different perspective on it.

I have been playing around and here are some the results. 

A grasshopper.
Clouds on the move.
Rose, my favorite flower.

Zorro, patiently waiting for me to quick taking pictures.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One of those weeks!

Ever have one of those weeks? It seems like the whole week has gone by and not one day was productive, but it's only Tuesday. That's what I feel like today.

I wrote "the end" to my book set in the Middle East a couple weeks ago. I'm editing now - getting rid of those nasty "ly" words and "was, were, etc." Sounds easy, right? It's not. It's frustrating.

Yesterday and today I woke up irritated. No particular reason. I slept fine, I think. I don't remember having an issue. But as soon as I opened my eyes I just wanted to close them back and turn over and forget the rest of the world.

I know part of my problem is nutrition - physical and spiritual. Too much soda (for me, one can a day is too much), and not enough Word. Both of which I can do something about, but I choose not to for whatever reason. It's not that I "want" to drink the soda; it's that some days I "crave" it. It's not that I don't want to read the Word, but other things use my time and then it's gone and I have to start another day.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has these sorts of issues. I'm not normally this pessimistic. It has to do with dealing with scheduling a new school year. It stresses me out, pure and simple. I'm this way every July. Maybe it has to do with the heat outside this time of year too. The kids cooped up inside with me. Whatever. I'll be over it soon and will write more uplifting blogs about how great God is. (He still is, whether I write it or not, btw.)

As always - under HIS wings (even when I don't feel like it),

Friday, July 15, 2011

Juggling responsibilities

Anyone else have issues with this?

I'm a busy mom. All seven of my children live at home. Since there's NO way I can keep house for this many people alone, I assign chores. They are also responsible for dinner dishes - anything that doesn't go in the dishwasher. The chores are assigned by month, but dishes I have to change weekly due to two of them working and not always being home for dinner. Chores are always a struggle because, honestly, who likes to clean? Not me, and not my kids.  :)  But it gets done because I like a dirty house even less than cleaning.

This week I have been working on our school schedule. I have two children scheduled and have started on the third. I think this is the worst part about homeschooling. Every subject is different and so I have to look through each book to figure out how much can be done per day. Multiply that by four children (two oldest still in school will schedule themselves) by three or more subjects and you get a big project. Thankfully it only comes once per year.

Then there's dinner and laundry and animal care (my horses and chickens, my responsibility LOL). Dinner and animal care are an everyday occurrence. If you've read my past blogs, you know dinner is not my favorite thing to do. Hard to get into fixing an elaborate meal when it's gone in less than twenty minutes or disliked (which is more likely to happen).

Laundry gets washed three times a week, two of those days are usually an all day affair and that doesn't include the oldest one's clothes because they do their own.

Then there's writing. This week it hasn't had a place in my day. Today I am feeling the need to run away and get some done somewhere. Alas, I'm not sure that's going to happen.

Okay so as I reread over this post, I realize it sounds a whole lot like complaining, but that's not my intent. While I may not enjoy certain aspects of my "job," I do it because I love them. I just need to figure a way to get it all done and do it well and if you have hints about enjoying it, I would love to hear those too.

As always, under HIS wings,


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Losing weight...

Why is it that when my husband decides to lose weight all he has to do is cut back a little and the pounds literally FALL off him?

Not so with me, and most women over a certain age I imagine. I had a few years in my teens that I was slightly overweight. Then I hit college and those pounds were gone in a few short weeks. Can we say crackers and soda for lunch, sandwiches for dinner? And I lived at home. I was too busy to eat. I walked all over campus because once you got a parking spot, you did NOT move your car.

Now...ahhh...sweet age. NOT!!!  I tried cutting back on what I ate. Then I started using an app on my phone called MyFitnessPal (not an endorsement, I don't get paid to say anything about them). It told me I wasn't eating enough (less than 1000 calories) - thus no weight loss. Huh! So I ate more, and believe it or not it was hard, very hard. I had become accustomed to eating very little.

We went on vacation and I slacked off - for a month. Not the vacation, but the slacking. Previous to vacation, I lost five pounds. My slacking = weight gain. Now I'm back to where I started. *sigh*

I hate weighing this much. I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I hate denying myself yummy stuff (cookies, soda, ice cream). But the first two and the last one are in contention. I can not eat what I want and lose weight. I know that. So why do I keep doing it?

It reminds me of the words of Paul in Romans 7 - my paraphrase - "I do what I don't want to do, and don't do what I want to do." Ahhh, an age old dilemma. I think Eve probably felt the same way after eating of the fruit.

Why is food always so much of an issue?

I don't want to look like a run-way model. They look ill. I want to be healthy and toned. I want to not feel tired half-way through the day. I want to have energy to enjoy my children for many years to come. And when grandchildren come (not for several more years yet), I want to enjoy them as well. It's not too much to ask, not of myself. So why do I always fail?

Okay, off my soapbox about myself and my poor eating habits. If you've found something that helps you, share it with us. Words of encouragement are always appreciated.

As always - under HIS wings,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Writing...more specifically editing...woes

I will show my inexperience here and tell you that I thought writing a book would be easy. And yes, the story that was in my head hit the computer screen in a fair amount of time considering all the other stuff I have going on. However, now that "The End" has been written, I find the critiquing/editing to be time consuming and overwhelming.

I read through the first few chapters and think, "This is pretty good." Tomorrow I will read through the same pages and realize that I missed something or there is a word in the wrong place or I'm telling instead of showing. I'm a perfectionist and I want to do it right.

But what is right? I have a number of people critiquing my work and each one has a different opinion. Which one is correct? It's overwhelming for this novice writer.

I want my work to be ready by September, when I go to the ACFW conference, but I've only managed to send the first three chapters to my critiquers. They're busy people too.

Then there are themes and plots and POV (point of view) and developing characters and describing scenes through the eyes of those characters. There are rules about what should go in the book and what should not - depending on what publisher you are trying to impress.

I want my book to be for the glory of God and my perfectionism (not God, btw) puts a lot of pressure on me to get it right. But again, what is right?

Ugghhh! I would appreciate your prayers. This coming week I have decided will be my school planning week. We will be starting again in early August. I have to know what we're going to do. I also need to work through my book with or without my critique partners. I know there are changes that need to be made and I'm the one who has to make them.

As always...

Under HIS Wings,

Friday, July 8, 2011


Heat, humidity and bugs...oh my!

It rained here in North Alabama today. Not unusual. I walked outside after dinner to take care of the animals and felt like I was walking into a sauna. UGGGHHHH  Five minutes - sweating. Thankfully I had picked my blackberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini this morning. It was still cloudy and cooler (not cool).

I also made a smaller fenced in area for my horses. One of them foundered (a reaction from eating too much sweet grass) at the end of May and I am trying to curb her eating. I have had her in a grazing muzzle, but felt badly for her. Consequently the need to restrict their access to our pasture.

Bugs - June bugs, Japanese beetles, mosquitoes, flies -- yuck. Tis the season. Fall where are you? Wait! With fall comes school. I think I'll wait.

Obviously, summer is not my favorite season. I prefer spring or fall - for the cooler, but not cold temperatures. What's your favorite season and why?

Under HIS Wings,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A day away...

Well, not really. Only a short time. And I still had one child with me. It was her special day.

About a year ago, my husband made a deal with my children: memorize a chapter in the Bible (his choice) and he would take them to dinner and a movie. 

Yesterday I got to do the dinner - it was actually lunch - and the movie. My 11 year old daughter memorized Romans 6. 

We left at 10:45 and made a quick stop at the library to pick up my books on hold - 10 or so, I think. We traveled from there to Red Robin at Bridge Street (a local upscale strip mall). She ordered a pepperoni pizza and I had a bacon cheeseburger (with pepper jack cheese, yum). 

While we waited for our food, we looked at the pictures mounted everywhere around our booth. One behind my daughter was a map of the United States, but you could hardly see the states because of the blue and red paint used as the background. I remember one with polar bears playing. They also had a "flag" made from baseballs (not a picture) that were painted red, white and blue. There were so many others that I can't remember them.

She also told me on the car ride over there that she'd been trying to write a story. Earlier last week she asked me what I do when I don't have a book to read (which is rare in the summer) and I told her I write.  :)   So she decided to write a story - she was bored.

She titled her story "The Worst Day Ever." It's about a girl who had a bad day. First she woke up late and then got on the bus in her pajamas which were pink with glittery stars. She didn't realize it until everyone on the bus started pointing and laughing at her. I asked about the girl; how old, hair color, eye color, etc. Then we worked on what else happened that day. I hope to encourage her writing. She is a good storyteller when she stops trying so hard.

After lunch we went to the movies at the Monaco (walking distance from Red Robin) to see Monte Carlo. She enjoyed it. I did too. Definitely a Chick-flick.

Now she's ready to start her next chapter in memorization - Romans 8.

If only I could get my two youngest to memorize their multiplications tables that easily.  :)

Under HIS Wings,

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Angel in the Shadows" and "Angel in the Storm" by Lisa Grace

Being the busy reader that I am, I just finished these two books. They are novels targeted to teens or young adults who are interested in books with a supernatural flair.
In "Angel in the Shadows", Megan is at summer camp as a junior camp counselor. While there she learns she has a gift. She can see angels, and consequently, demons. Now she has to figure out what to do with her gift. By being herself and listening to the voice of God, she helps a number of people follow the right path. No one knows of her gift except Mr. Z, who helps her and answers her questions.  
Book two, "Angel in the Storm," picks up where book one ends. Megan has any number of temptations put in her path and she doesn't always make the right choice, and has to deal with the consequences. She's up against a force stronger than she, alone, can deal with. She must remember in whom she has put her trust. 

It's a life or death situation. Megan has to make choices and resist temptation, just like we all do. When her friends join the battle, it puts all of their lives in danger. It's a good reminder that there are supernatural forces at war around us, whether we can see them or not.  Prayer is so important.

Things you should know: 1) Read book one. Since I had, I knew what was going on at the beginning of book two, but if you haven't I think you will be lost. It's worth it.  2) There are number of grammatical errors that I found slightly distracting, but not enough to tear me away from the story. 3) The good guys win the war, but not every battle. 4) Be prepared to want book three when you're done.

Visit Lisa's website here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Pursued" by Lillian Duncan

There are some books you can put down to come back to later and there are some you can't. This was one that I didn't want to put down. I had a little difficulty getting through the first few pages, but then it gets going and your off on the ride of your life - well, the ride of Reggie's life. You thought your day was bad, you haven't seen nothin' 'til you read about Reggie's day - from bad to worse.

I loved it. There were sufficient twists and turns to keep you guessing. What's a good suspense if it's easy to figure out? Loved Dylan. Gives me the shivers. LOL

Enjoy the ride!

From the book:

Big-city Lawyer. Country Farmer.

In the normal course of events,their lives would never intersect...
But some accidents aren't meant to be avoided.

When attorney Reggie Meyers crashes into Dylan Monroe on the freeway, it makes a bad day even worse—or so she thinks until she discovers she’s the prey in the deadly hunt of an unknown killer. Now, trusting this man she hardly knows is Reggie’s best chance for survival. The problem? Reggie doesn’t trust anyone.

When Dylan catches a glimpse of Reggie’s ransacked apartment, his protective instincts kick in. He wants to help her, but she’s not inclined to believe a simple country farmer has what it takes. Reggie doesn’t realize Dylan knows a lot about hunting—and being hunted. He’s up for the task of trapping a killer, keeping Reggie safe, and winning her heart—if she’ll let him. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Purple Knot" by Raquel Byrnes

Oh people, if you love suspense, intrigue and romance you have GOT to read "Purple Knot" by Raquel Byrnes. I loved, loved, loved it. I started reading the 349 page book this morning. I was so enamored that I barely put it down. Even when I did, I had to hurry through whatever I was doing to get back to it. The very first paragraph pulls you in and keeps you involved until the very last page.

I love romance; I like suspense. This was the best of both worlds.

From the back: 
A killer strikes. A love rekindled. A life-altering choice. When her best friend, is murdered, Reyna Cruz doesn't believe the police have the whole story. An investigator by trade, she has the talent to track Summer's killer, but when clues lead to a family connection and a vicious gang, she suddenly becomes the hunted. At the end of her rope, Reyna must decide to trust the God she believes abandoned her. Wanting justice for his sister's murder, lawyer Jimmy Corbeau agrees to help Reyna-even though she's his ex-fiancé, and their break-up devastated him. Romance is reawakened, but so are memories of their tragic undoing. Jimmy must decide if he will fight for a future with Reyna or allow their past to derail the investigation and his second chance at love. When the investigation goes awry and Summer's infant daughter is kidnapped, Reyna must put her life on the line. Will Jimmy and Reyna survive the desperate measures it takes to recover his niece, catch a killer, and secure a happily-ever-after for them all?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dinner time woes!

I hate dinner time. Not that I hate to eat, far from it. I just hate fixing dinner.

Since there are nine of us, there are plenty of opinions. There are very few meals that everyone likes. Pizza? Nope, even when I fix three different types. One child doesn't "like" frozen pizza. Tacos? Nope, unless there are soft and hard shells. Spaghetti? Depends on the noodle used. I, personally, hate "spaghetti" noodles. My preference is angel hair. I have one that likes spirals and another that likes shells.

Tonight's dinner was what I typically refer to as mush. Ground beef, cream of mushroom soup mixed with milk, whatever flavorings I feel like - typically garlic, but occasionally I'll use balsamic vinegar or worcestershire sauce. All of that over rice, noodles or biscuits. Tonight the choice was between noodles and biscuits. In addition we had fresh sliced tomato (home-grown) , and cucumber spears (also home-grown).

Tomorrow is my husband's night to cook, unless he's working outside all day and then I take care of it. I am so glad he agreed to take over Saturdays. I have enough trouble coming up with meals M-F. Sunday afternoons is our main meal and it's typically hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, or pizza. Sunday nights are fend for yourself.

Now lest you think I cater to my children, I don't. If I fix a meal, they eat it. PERIOD. They get to choose ONE vegetable that they do not have to eat. They either choke down the others or go hungry. I don't do PB&J substitutions either. At my table, you eat what's served or not at all.

*Sigh* Another week gone. Five meals made. A new week starts in two days. "What's for dinner?" will be asked two or three times each day. I ask it everyday.

Any and all suggestions for NORMAL food are appreciated. I am NOT a gourmet cook and do not eat the organs of ANY animal.

God bless you and your's this holiday weekend. Be safe.