Tuesday, October 28, 2008

He's #1 on my List!

"Darn it!"

My husband heard my frustration this morning. "What's wrong, Robbie?"

"I entered this contest on an agent's blog."

"Your agent?"

"No, another one. She announced the top 6 the other day and I didn't make it."

"I'm sorry."

"Well, it really was okay, but today she announced 3 Honorable Mentions. I didn't even make Honorable Mention. Shoot!"

"How many entries were there?"

"Around 88."

"And she picked the top 9?"

"Yes." My shoulders slumped.

"Well, Robbie," John offered, "Can't you be satisfied with being #10? You know every year when People Magazine lists the 50 sexiest men, I have to deal with being #51."

I love my husband.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I recommend Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria!

I love good books that take me away and plop me down in a different world. Reading can be like a sweet vacation without the traveling stress or exhaustion. I just returned from such a trip. A few minutes ago, I finished Megan DiMaria’s Out of Her Hands.

When I started the book, a sequel to Searching for Spice, I experienced a bit of trouble getting into it. Like so many books, the beginning just didn’t grab me. But then, oh wow. The Revere home became my home. I traveled with Linda Revere to work everyday. Every time I picked up the book I joined her in travailing the emotional storm of change. Change in family and in expectations. The kind of change we can all relate to.

I found myself ingrained in what would happen next. This is the stuff that makes great novels. Megan accomplished a feat. I, as the reader, began to really care about what happened to the Reveres.

And then the plot twists. I loved them. I can’t be specific without giving the book away, but I really enjoyed the curves. The scenery was interesting and made me take a second and third look, seeing if I could predict the next twist.

Speaking of the scenery, one of the crafts that Megan brought to the table with this novel was her use of description. I really love a good British movie that is set in the 1800s. The opulence and the exquisite details take me to a place of loveliness. What woman doesn’t like to be surrounded by such beauty? Out of Her Hands took me to that same place. No, I wasn’t in the 1800s in England. But the gorgeous scenes in Colorado, coupled with the details of a fabulous home, caused me to breathe in elegance. Only a great book can do this.

So, in closing, LOVED IT! I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading Out of Her Hands MORE than Searching for Spice. And I really enjoyed Searching for Spice.

If you want to take a vacation without using Price Line or dealing with traffic, brew a nice cup of hot tea, get comfy in your favorite chair and read Out of Her Hands. You’ll have a wonderful time!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This morning I drove the boys to school (car pool) and we got stuck in a line of cars for about thirty seconds. During that time, the tree next to us decided to unload many leaves. What a wonderful feeling to be in the middle of a leaf storm.

“It’s raining leaves, Mom!” Noah commented.

The boys were enthralled and giggled and commented on all the leaves landing on my Camry.

I love the Fall. This is my second Autumn in Colorado. Living in San Diego did not provide the richness of change that Denver gives me. I love, absolutely love, walking Scooby at night with a deep blue sky and chilly weather, making our way through leaves like we are walking on a Jackson Pollack painting.

After all my years of fighting change, any kind of change, the Denver seasons have taught me to accept it. Even enjoy it. So I do. I am. Well, I’m at least trying.

Here are some examples:

• Noah – my son is growing up and with time comes growth and growth means change. Good and not so good. He is so long, almost five feet and that little boy who could easily cuddle on my lap has become a young man who just doesn’t fit anymore. But he still sits beside me, beneath a blanket. Oh, I hope that never changes.

• Things Noah wants to do – Tonight we are going to Chucky Cheese. Pizza Rat is what John and I call it. His soccer team party is there. He still loves it, but has mentioned that Dave and Busters is more his style these days. Pizza Rat has been good to us through the years. I don’t know Dave and this Buster guy sounds kind of strange. Oh well.

• My writing – I love to write. Love it! But this blog thing still confuses me. What exactly is the point? I ask myself this often. So I have been thinking about some changes for my web presence. My book is almost finished. I have a great feeling about it. Who knows? God does and He is not telling. If you read my blog regularly, I am sorry I have not been regular lately. Contemplating and working on…yep, you guessed it, change!

• My speaking – I love to speak. Love it! This year I have many speaking gigs lined up and it truly honors and humbles me that God is using my offbeat point of view and demented humor to show others that Jesus is the Way. But He is also whispering that word – change. So this Sunday I am going to go to Colorado Springs to a speaking workshop – Dynamic Communicators Workshop – for five days. I get to stay at Glen Eyrie, this awesome castle, and learn how to be better at the art of public speaking. It will mean change, but I am ready!

• John – My husband is getting more and more confident in who he is and who God made him to be. Every day I marvel at his growth. And yet he is still goofy and makes me laugh like no one else in the world. The change in him makes me want to be better. Isn’t that a recipe for a great marriage?

• Scooby – Our puggle has not had a colon blow in a long time. Thank you Jesus! :0) In fact, we are de-crating him finally and so far he has done extremely well. When I come home the only thing he has ever gotten into is pulling one of John’s shoes onto the couch with him. It’s never chewed on, he just sleeps with it. Kind of like a teddy bear. Except it’s not. It is smelly and big. But then again, so is Scooby.

• The world – I thank God for the peace I have in Him. So many people are freaking out in fear. It will be okay. There will be change, but God will hold us. I know this. I read the Van Horn Advocate this morning and in it is a column each week by Dawn Simpson. Van Horn, by the way, is my hometown in Texas. Population 2,899. She put two things in her column that I am going to reprint here.

Did you realize that the government is releasing a new dollar - but in coin form? Well, the switch has begun, because guess what has been left off. That’s right, ‘In God We Trust’ is gone! So, let’s boycott against them and together we can force them out of circulation. When you are presented one as change, ask for a dollar bill instead. Won’t you help out - I think our world is in enough trouble as it is!

Have you had enough of politics yet? Haven’t we all, but I’m such a news ‘junkie’ that I go home and the first thing I do is turn on the news! So in the midst of the frustration that I’m feeling over the election, the following email was refreshing.......
10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins The Election
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessing upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.
Isn’t it great to know who is still in control?

Thanks Dawn! And let us all follow her lead in boycotting this new dollar bill.

Some change is just wrong. But God is still in control!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dancing with the Stars...and crying, too!

I am highly emotional. Are you? If you are, I hope you don't apologize for it. God made some of us with short paths from our hearts to our tear ducts. Just the way we are.

I am a cry baby. But I love it. I used to think it was some kind of shortcoming, a fault or a negative. Not anymore. I just see my loud laughter and easy tears as part of who makes me, ME.

I bring this up because I just found myself crying after watching Dancing with the Stars. Kind of silly, right? I mean, it's just a TV show. And a reality show at that!
But I couldn't help the joy, the emotion that came forth after watching two of the dances.

The first was Maurice and Cheryl's jive. When they introduced the dance, I thought I would just fast forward (I taped the show from last night.) This couple is not one of my favorites and I didn't think it would be that good. But then the music started, "Rock around the Clock" and the two burst out in energy. It was mesmerizing. Watching fun is contagious. I smiled and then giggled and then came tears. See, I get a kick from life. I like seeing joy. I saw it all over their jive.

The second time I cried was when Brooke and Derek did the Vianeese Waltz. Just beautiful. The song, I don't know the title, had a line "Mothers be good to your daughters." At the end of the smooth, gorgeous waltzing Brooke went to her daughter in the crowd and kissed her. Lovely. My tears came as expressions of delight in seeing love, (all be it, choreagraphed) in action.

So I'm a sap. I admit it. But I also celebrate it in me and others. My friend Susy from Chicago has the most tender heart I know. She won't let anyone cry alone. I love that about her. My sister Karen laughs with people in a way that is akin to giving them a hug. It is a good thing to look around and FEEL with others.

In Romans 12 there is a verse that says "Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn." God knows we need each other. Sometimes we need others to feel what we are feeling. This simple action validates, encourages and comforts.

Okay, so I rejoiced with people who are on TV, folks I don't know and will probably never meet. But hey, maybe if I practice with them, I will be able to do it more freely with those I know.

And one more thing about Dancing with the Stars. It is time for Cloris to go. My son Noah says things every once in a while that are absolutely hysterical. John and I laugh and laugh. But then he says it again and again, hoping for the same reaction. We are teaching him that at first something may be very funny, but not so funny the second time and then, well it gets annoying.

Cloris was hysterical at first. She is truly an inspiration. But now, well, Cloris...

By the way, if you are wondering what the picture of cows has to do with this post, well, I thought it was quite moooving. I know.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Ode to a Wise Man

I watched the vice presidential debate last night, as well as all the pundit spinning afterward. (We have digital cable now, so I jumped around from CNN to Fox News to MNBC – Whee!)

One of the interesting points a couple of journalists made was that during the debate one moment received a huge positive reaction from Americans, be they Republicans, Democrats or Undecided. When Sarah Palin talked about personal responsibility with regard to personal finances, most of those watching reacted positively. She called us all to do our part to not let this kind of financial crisis happen again, but simply living within our means.

My heart and mind is filled with gratitude this morning as I recall that moment. Not because I am a Sarah Palin fan, but because I live with a man who has made that choice for our family – to live within our means.

When we married, we were in our thirties and selfish and stupid. Both of us admit this. Part of our growth as a couple and as individuals was making some big money mistakes, based solely on greed. Time passed. We learned.

Almost two years ago, we moved to Denver from San Diego. In California, we had never been able to buy a home. Because our maturity (or I should say John’s :0)) led us to start saying NO to things we couldn’t afford, we found ourselves in a position to buy a home in Colorado.

John talked to our mortgage guy and discovered that we could get a substantial loan. I am talking enough to buy a nice house! I was beside myself with joy. Initially, we discussed that we could probably only afford a condo. Now we could get a house!

John thought about it and prayed about it. He made a decision to get a loan for the amount we could afford. No more.

What? I “discussed” with him the dreams of having our own home. We could do such ministry in a big house, John. We could dedicate it to Jesus!

I remember John grinning at me and saying, “We should buy something we can’t afford so God will bless it?”


John told our realtor the amount of money we wanted to spend. Our realtor, a very nice guy, lined up all sorts of places for us to see. As we drove from one place to the next, it became clear to us that every home, townhouse or condo he showed us was OVER our spending limit. Later on, I was to discover that this is a regular practice of many real estate agents.

I’ll be honest and say I was fine with it. I wanted something good. The mortgage company was going to loan us whatever we needed so why not?

Again, my wise husband said no. He took a deep breath and told our real estate agent in no uncertain terms that we only wanted to see places that were at or below the amount he had stipulated.

We found a lovely condo that is our home today.

These days, I look back on the integrity of my husband and I am so grateful. We could’ve easily been in the same spot so many Americans are in today. We could be caught up in possible foreclosure simply because our greed caught up with us.

Thank you God, for telling my husband to say NO to greed and to say YES to living within our means.

Thank you John, for listening.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Does God Dance?

Last night Kim Cardashian was voted off the island of Dancing with the Stars. Poor girl just didn't know how to dance with abandon. The judges kept telling her she had the look but not the moves.

I am not a Kim Cardashian fan, but I feel for her. I, like Kim, (and I am pretty sure this is all we have in common) DO dance with abandon. But on the inside. :0)

Remember Robin Williams line in The Birdcage? "You do an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse Fosse Fosse Fosse Fosse! You do Martha Graham Martha Graham Martha Graham, or Twyla Twyla Twyla, or Michael Kidde Michael Kidde Michael Kidde Michael Kidde, or Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna... but you keep it all inside."

That's me. It's on the inside. :0) I do not claim to be a great dancer. Oh, but if you could see me on the dance floor of my imagination you would be in awe. I have unbelievable moves! :0) And ones that don't injure me either.

I guess it helps that I have this great dance teacher. God. Have you ever thought about God dancing? He does. One of His names is Elohim, the Creator. He created our bodies and movement. He created music and that connection we all have to music. I serve a God who boogies.

Is that sacrilegious? Is it making God smaller to ascribe an attribute to Him that we usually reserve for the Fred Astaires, the Paula Abduls or children? Absolutely not. List the people you know who dance and you will find yourself listing people from every race, creed or gender. Dancing is a universal joy. Of course, Elohim of joy dances!

So how does God dance? If I said all He does is waltz, that would be putting him in a box. If I said I don't think God knows how to do the worm or the mashed potato, again a box.

See God knows them all. And one of the joys of my life is that He wants me to dance with Him in every situation, no matter the style. He just wants to be with me. He yearns for the intimacy of hanging with his daughter. With you, too.

Today God wants to dance with you. Right where you are. If you are miserable and crying, let Him hold you. Put your feet on His feet.

If you are happy, try standing up and putting your nose in the air like Snoopy and do the Charlie Brown dance. Imagine Jesus right beside you. You just might end up laughing out loud.

If you are bored, put on any kind of music and close your eyes. Let the Spirit move you to the beat.

If you really want a jolt of joy, get up and imitate something you've seen on TV or the movies - the Tango or the Paso Doble.

Try this and see what happens. If you do it more than once, you will find that the movements you make somehow cause you to move toward God. I don't know how this happens. Just does. It's a God thing.

And if for some reason you are in a place you can't move or you don't want to move, imagine yourself moving. We use our imaginations for all sorts of silly, vain and lustful things. How 'bout we try to use our God given brains to SEE our Lord dancing with us?

Lots of people talk about how heaven might be streets of gold, huge choirs and unending joy at being with our King. I don't disagree with that.

But when I get there, one of the first things I'll ask: "All right Jesus, where's the dance floor?"