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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Writer's block...

...or is it something else?

I'm sitting here staring at the screen wondering what to do. I've caught up on my e-mails - what a miracle. I've caught up on all of my facebook friends. I've read a number of blogs that looked interesting. Schoolwork is checked.

It's Thursday evening. The children will be going to bed soon. My husband will expect me to come downstairs and enjoy a tv show or two and I will do that, dilemma is this: there is no book to write, struggle over, edit, whatever.

My grandfather - born 1875
I'm in the process of researching for a historical set in my local town in the 1890's. I'm meeting the historian this weekend, but there's so much I don't know about things in history. Yeah, they wore long dresses, and made most stuff from scratch. I've found out there weren't phones or electricity. How did they keep things cold? Did everyone use kerosene in their lanterns? How did they school? Was there a school? How long did they go?

There are so many questions in my head and I'm enough of a perfectionist to HAVE to get it right. *sigh* I don't even know where to find the information I need, besides the historian, who I'm sure will be tired of me by the time this is over. Can I just go to the library and say I want information about 1890's Alabama?

Why am I writing this historical again?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

S is for...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


I love to sing, primarily to and for Jesus. I enjoy lifting my voice up to the Father. My voice is better than some, worse than others. But God doesn't ask us to sing to him only if we have an exceptional singing voice. He asks us to make a joyful NOISE (Ps. 100:1, KJV). We are also told to offer a sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15 NKJV). Neither of these verses specify that it needs to be in key, on the right note, or anything other than offered to Him with our whole heart. Sing to Him and you will be blessed.

2011 ACFW choir
I was privileged to be able to participate in the choir at the ACFW conference. The picture is not wonderful, but you get the idea. Our esteemed director, Rachael Phillips, wrote the music we sang (along with some excerpts by Franny Crosby). Her verses came from Scripture. We were making a joyful noise to the Lord and I pray He was blessed by our song. She did an excellent job - yeah Rachael! And thank you for the privilege of singing with you and for blessing us with your talent.

My favorite song, at least at the moment is:   Chris Tomlin: I Will Follow  I pray that I can follow God wherever he calls me to go.

What is your favorite?

As always - under HIS wing,


Monday, September 26, 2011

My first ACFW conference experience

At times writing is a chore and other times it is invigorating. That pretty much sums up my much anticipated trip to St. Louis for the ACFW conference.

I enjoyed meeting many new people, and seeing "famous" authors (Colleen Coble, Tracie Peterson, Brandilyn Collins, Gail Gaymer Martin and so many others). I loved my roommate Nancy Farrier. What a wonderful, godly woman.

On the other hand, it was discouraging. I kind of knew that my book wasn't going to be "popular," but I really wanted some feed back that my writing has potential. Mrs. Martin said some positive things in my appointment with her (thank you), but my next appointment went so badly (as I expected it to do - is it bad that I expected the worst?) that her words became nearly forgotten. I was nowhere near what that particular publisher wanted - plot driven vs. character driven, wrong setting, wrong characters - but to give her credit, she tried to be very nice about it.

The discouragement didn't really hit me until the drive home yesterday - seven hours in the car gave me a lot of time to think. What if I'm just not meant to be a writer? What if all the time I spend writing I should be doing something else? Am I trying to do this for my glory or God's?

I went to conference praying for divine revelation and came home wondering if I missed God somewhere along the way.

So that's my experience at the ACFW conference. I pray that all the other newcomers went home encouraged and hopeful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

R is for...


Those two concepts are hard for this particular lady/wife/mom/teacher/writer. I wear a great many hats each day, but I'm always "doing" something.

Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God..." I know that He is God, but I have problems with the "be still" part. Even when I lay down to sleep at night my mind reviews the events of the day and plans my strategy for the next day or the next week. Then it tends to run on any given tangent. I'll start thinking about school, move to the mail, which brings me to e-mail, from there we can go to facebook or writing or blogging or even a game I'm playing. My mind wanders. It's not necessarily logical, and sometimes "I" don't even know how I went from point A to point B in my thought process.

The point is that I find it hard to rest or relax. I try really hard sometimes because I know it's what I need to do. I've listened to a variety of music. I've relaxed on the bed (that lasts about 5 minutes). And you know, it's not just my physical body that has a hard time resting and relaxing. My spirit seems as restless (if you will), or maybe it's my flesh just getting in the way. I struggle with resting in the Lord. I want to be "doing" something. I pray often, but forget to stop and listen for an answer. Who asks a question and then doesn't wait for the answer?   \o    <--- That's me, raising my hand.  :)  Can you raise your hand too?

God, please help us learn to rest in you. Help us to do that which NEEDS to be done, but not overwhelm ourselves with stuff that You have not called us to do. Thank you Father for answering our prayers, even when we fail to listen. Amen.

If you are successful at resting and relaxing, tell us your secret. Even if you're not "perfect" at it, let us know what works for you. For me, reading is relaxing to a certain extent. Reading in the bathtub is heavenly.  ;)

As always, under HIS wings,


Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Missin' Momma

Taken ~ 1987
There are times in life when you want your momma to talk to, to share with. Tonight is one of those nights. Even though my momma has been gone for over nine years now. I still miss her. She died a few days after my 6th child was born (I think she was holding on until he was born). 

Her birthday is this week. She would have been 82.

Some things I would tell my mom if she were still here:
  • I love you (I should have said it far more often).
  • Thanks for being my mom and trying your best.
  • Thanks for supporting me in whatever I wanted to do.
  • I never realized how hard your job (being mom) was.
  • You would love my 6th and 7th children. I'm sorry you didn't get to meet them.
  • God loves you.
I'm sure there are many more. These are just on my heart at the moment.

If your mom is still around, make sure you show your appreciation of how much she's done for you, and tell her that you love her.

If your mom has passed, like mine, what would you say to her now if you had the chance?

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Hailee" by Penny Zeller

Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Penny Zeller. Today I'm posting my review of her book, Hailee.

After reading Hailee I found I wanted to go back and read McKenzie and Kaydie. This author's writing pulls you in from the very first paragraph. I didn't want to put the book down. I could feel Hailee's desire to find her brothers and her indecision about moving away from the only city she has known in her life. I also empathized with Nate's decision to move away from his family to forge his own life. I recommend this book.

Short, sweet and to the point. You can buy either of these books here. Enjoy.  :)

As always - under HIS wings,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Q is for...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


As you know I'm a homeschool mom with seven children. Although my two oldest are gone from home a great deal of the time, I still have five at home making a lot of noise - even when they're trying to be Quiet.

If I want Quiet, they have to leave or I do.  :-) It's usually me, since they don't know how to drive (and even if they did, it wouldn't be safe).

Now you have to understand something about me...I was the youngest of three and the only girl. The brother closest to me is fourteen years older. I like to say I was almost an only child. I spent a great deal of my time alone. I LIKE QUIET. I NEED quiet to rejuvenate. It's just who I am.

So many times, like this coming Thursday (I have to plan it), I will take a few hours away for myself. Sometimes I will shop, but I'm not much into "retail therapy." Most times I will go sit in our local BBQ restaurant (where my eldest son works - yeah, Lawler's) and work on my book. It doesn't have to been long - a couple of hours - and I'm good to go for another couple of weeks.

What do you do to have Quiet?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Interview with Penny Zeller

I would like to welcome Penny Zeller, author of Hailee to my blog today.

Penny, thank you for coming. Please tell us about yourself. Hi Ginger! It’s great to be here. I am a wife, mom, and author of several books (both fiction and nonfiction) and numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications. I also write a humor blog titled “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” where I include movie reviews from a Christian point of view. I am an active volunteer and serve as a women’s Bible study-small group leader, and I also lead a women’s prayer group. My goal is to assist and nurture women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. Hailee is the final book in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series, which began with McKenzie and Kaydie.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, gardening, and playing volleyball.

Speaking of writing, can you give us a blurb about your latest book, Hailee? Sure, Ginger. The blurb for Hailee is as follows:

For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she's still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.

Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Nate Adams would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate's parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

How did you know you were called to write? I have had a love for writing since I was in second grade and rewrote Bible stories in my own little second grade commentary. Throughout my school years, I would write stories and “publish” them in homemade cardboard books. In high school, I wrote stories where my friends were the main characters.

Fast forward several years to November of 2000 when I surrendered my writing to the Lord. I quit my fulltime job with a social services governmental agency so I could stay home with my infant daughter. That was the start of my career, beginning with writing magazine articles. Writing is my ministry and my passion and I pray I will glorify Him with each word I write.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? I love the creation of characters. My books are character-driven, so I love being able to create situations and dialogue. I enjoy developing how the characters will respond to various situations throughout the book based on their personalities.

What do you love about this story? I love Hailee’s story because it gives such a wonderful example of forgiveness and of second chances. It also reinforces the fact that God is with us always. I also love to infuse humor into my novels, so that, too, would be one of my favorite things about this story.

Where can readers purchase a copy? Hailee can be purchased at your favorite bookstore or at online retailers, such as Amazon at

What was your favorite subject(s) in school? English was my favorite subject (surprise, surprise) after recess, of course! I liked pretty much all of the subjects in school, with the exception of anything related to math. Math and I have never gotten along!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? I have so many favorite Bible verses, but if I had to narrow it down, I would say it’s a tie between Psalm 19:14 and Psalm 91.

What’s up next for your readers? I am currently working on a series that takes place after the Civil War. I’ve completed the first draft of the first book and am currently writing the second.

I look forward to reading it when it comes out. Where can fans find you on the internet?
I love to connect with my readers at my website,
on Twitter at, and
on Facebook at where I post updates about new books, giveaways, events, and Just-for-Fun Fridays.
Thank you, again, Ginger, for graciously hosting me on your blog. It’s been an honor to be here!

It's been an honor having you. Thanks for coming.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"P" is for...

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me


I have been reading a book on Prayer lately by Paul Miller called "A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World." I'm not finished with it yet, but it is Powerful.

Had you asked me a few weeks ago if I was a cynic, I would have said, "No, absolutely not." But you know what? I am to a certain extent - or, at least, I have become one in the last couple of years. defines cynic as  "a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view." Mr. Miller believes (and I agree) that many of us, as Christians, teeter on the edge of being cynical. We sometimes feel defeated with weariness. We feel numb toward life. But we have not lost all hope.

I have withdrawn myself from "feeling" because it causes pain. But the withdrawing also causes pain, not only to me but to those around me. It is a cycle that I am TRYING desperately to break.
Mr. Miller states that Jesus offers us six cures out of a life of cynicism. I will list them briefly - for more information, please see his book.
  1. Be warm but wary
  2. Learn to hope again
  3. Cultivate a childlike spirit
  4. Cultivate a thankful spirit
  5. Cultivate repentance
  6. Developing an eye for Jesus
Mr. Miller also suggests praying Scripture, specifically the 23rd Psalm. I haven't done that yet, but as I continue to fight this battle, I will be referring to it often. It may not be a battle for my soul/spirit, but it is a battle for my life and Jesus has promised me an abundant life. I receive that promise as my own and am going to fight to have it, with his help.
Thank you Jesus for your promises. Thank you for the ability to pray powerfully in your name. Amen.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"The Harvest of Grace" by Cindy Woodsmall

What to say, what to say, what to say. Other than I'll never receive an award for the best book review, here are my thoughts on The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall.

Having read books one and two in the Ada's House series (The Hope of Refuge, and The Bridge of Peace), which I highly recommend, I was ready for book three. A short note was included about these two works, in case you haven't had the pleasure, in the beginning of this book. It was so very helpful for reminding me what had happened - as it had been some time since I read them.

Love conquers all, if we let it. Through various trials, three couples work out their love. Cara and Ephraim struggle with Cara's past, her father's reappearance, her fight to forgive and learn German and Pennsylvania Dutch. A year of mourning keeps Lena and Grey from revealing their burgeoning love. And Aaron and Sylvia struggle with heartbreak and addictions - physical, and emotional. Ms. Woodsmall takes us through these struggles, and more, as we watch each couple fight to win and overcome. We see their pain, feel their desperation, and rejoice when they triumph as love holds them fast.

I would highly recommend all three books in this series. Ms. Woodsmall grabs your attention and keeps it page after page. Enjoy!

You can find The Harvest of Grace here.

As always, under HIS wings,

PS. I was sent this book free by the publisher for the purpose of review. However, the above opinion is mine and mine alone.