Becoming Unshakable {A Guest Post}

psalm168-FBSocial media is a funny thing. It’s sort of like a party where you’re having one conversation and overhearing bits and pieces of other conversations nearby. Sometimes there’s so much chatter it’s hard to get all the details of the conversation right in front of you. So it was as my writer friend Nancy shared about her fight with cancer. I knew she’d dealt with the diagnosis before and was now dealing with it again. I prayed for her and looked for updates on her wall, but it wasn’t until I sat down with Nancy’s book in hand that I got the whole story: all the pain, all the doubts, all the unexpected healing, all the epiphanies. Reading her devotional memoir, Unshakable, was like leaving the loud party and finding a quiet place to sit and ask a friend, “No, really…. How are you?” Nancy is a refreshingly brave one who will let you ask her the hard questions. She’ll tell you how she lost it in the exam room and how she walked through weeks of doubt and depression following her diagnosis. She’ll tell you how she was shaken. But she’ll also tell you how on the other side of that, she found a new trust in her Creator and Rescuer, a faith unshakable. Please check out Nancy’s book and join me in welcoming her as she shares part of the story at Message in a Mason Jar today.  Continue reading

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

whenlifehandsyoulemonsThis holiday season, we were singing the “Twelve Days of Sickness” instead of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”  What started in mid-December with puke buckets and snot rags continued all season long and made us wonder if Christmas would happen for us at all. I hardly had a moment to ponder the sacredness of the season, or the sickness, as I had in times past. The attack happened in waves, two or three different viruses descending on our home and knocking the kids down like dominoes. Every night one or another or all of them would wake with a hacking cough or vomit-covered sheets. Our bathtubs and washing machine seemed to exist for the sole purpose of clearing away bio-hazard.

A writing deadline hung over my head, but when I sat down to the computer, the sinus pressure was worse than the pressure to churn out the words. So, I’d take a three-hour nap instead…and still feel like mush. Probably the thing that pained me most was that I wanted to be there for other people who were in pain and I just couldn’t make it happen. Continue reading

A Year of Amazing Grace {with Guest Author, Allison K. Flexer}

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Today, I’m honored to be hosting newly published author, Allison K. Flexer, who also happens to be a member of my online writing group, the Story Circle. While Allison’s book is a gift to the single woman in particular, her message will resonate with anyone who has had a hope deferred or a dream just out of reach. Just as I’ve shared about the crazy times in my family’s life over the past year, below Allison echoes that we can trust God to save the day, even if it isn’t according to our outline and our schedule. Enjoy!

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by Allison K. Flexer

I started writing a book for single women when I was 33 and single. For the next three to four years, I wrote and re-wrote my manuscript. I pitched it to many Christian publishing houses, receiving good feedback but no publishing offers. On the single woman front, I dated a lot of guys. Things never really clicked, but I refused to settle. I felt like time was running out on my dreams, the one about getting married and the one about publishing a book for single women. Continue reading

The Line No One Else is Singing {#InfluenceConf Recap}

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When I was a pre-teen, my music minister dad opened the hymn book and sang out the second, third and fourth lines of notes to me. Ever since then, I’ve been listening for the harmony. Usually, I like to find the line no one else is singing to bring out the fullness of the chord…or maybe just to be original.

As I sat at the back of the Influence Conference meeting room last week during worship time, I kept humming out a harmony only to find it was already taken. When I tried to get in between that line and the melody, I heard voices from other parts of the room singing the same notes.

I couldn’t find a harmony all my own. Continue reading

Where to Start? {A Geneva Recap}

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Where do I start? There is so much to tell between the beginning and the end of this season’s story, but I’ll go ahead and give you the punchline…we arrived safely. There and back again. Better for the journey. And there were more invitations for adventure as we stepped out of customs on our home soil once again.

In our comings and goings after that, on a road trip in late June and in time spent with out-of-town family the first two weeks of July, I’ve imagined probably fifty different ways to tell you about our writing adventures in Geneva and eastern France. But, if I wait to pick the perfect way and perfect time to type it all out just right, the weeks of silence here will turn into months. Continue reading