Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's National Coffee Day!

The first smell of every morning of my childhood was Folgers brewing. Mama and Daddy were religious about their cup of caffeine every morning. My pop offered me a taste when I turned 13, and I thought it was horrible. In fact, I didn't pick up the habit until my mid-twenties.

But now, well the first smell that greets my son when he wakes up is Maxwell House brewing. I'd like to take a minute and apologize to my parents, even though they are deceased. I still don't like Folgers. :0)

Today is National Coffee Day, so I thought I would write a little ditty to celebrate.

Webster's Dictionary:
Main Entry: dit·ty
Pronunciation: \ˈdi-tē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ditties
Etymology: Middle English ditee, from Anglo-French dité story, song, from past participle of diter to compose, from Latin dictare to dictate, compose
Date: 14th century
: an especially simple and unaffected song

Ode to Coffee
A ditty by Robbie Iobst

To the Tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star - roughly.

Better than alarm clocks,
Or water in my face,
Better than yelling
or someone spraying mace!
Better than the sun,
shining in my eyes,
Better than Noah shouting surpise!

What causes me to really wake up,
Only you, coffee in a cup!

See you at your local Starbucks!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I wrote a story in another Chicken Soup! Woo Hoo!

I'm proud to announce that I wrote a story in the soon to be released book: Chicken Soup for the Soul - What I Learned from the Dog!

Scooby was an integral part of the story.

He wanted to be paid because Noah got a percentage of a story about him.
We had a talk and here is Scooby's payment.

I am very grateful and blessed to have been published in 5 compilation books so far. Woo Hoo and thank you God!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ubuiquitous Enemy, Ubiquitous Fear

I’m writing a book about how to become a courageous mom and raise courageous children. I’m about 22,000 words into it. After I clear 25-30 thousand, I will work on diligently :0) finishing the proposal.

So it is a good project. A fulfilling project. But at times, a very difficult project.

I’ve been writing so much about fear that I seem to battling it more than usual these days. For about ten years, my life was filled with fear. Honest to goodness panic attacks in the middle of the night were common. Most of my terror was focused on something bad happening to my son. If you looked up “overprotective mother” on the internet, you would see a picture of me.

But God has given me tremendous victory in this area. In fact, my life has never been more peaceful. That is, until I started writing about fear.

It’s not that surprising. The enemy is after me. But God has provided weapons for me and I am a warrior woman! (I can almost hear Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman, Hear me Roar!” :0))

Don’t you love 2 Corinthians 10:4?

“The weapons we fight with are not like the world’s weapons. On the contrary, they have divine power in order to DEMOLISH strongholds!”

When I am attacked I use my weapons – praise, prayer, the Word of God and gratitude. Afterward, sometimes not immediately, I can almost sense the beeping noise one of those bulldozers makes when it backs up. Beep, beep, beep! And then CRUSH! God demolishes the fear and His courage fills me up.

The other day John, Noah and I were sitting in church and I put my arm around Noah and my hand on John’s knee. In that moment I was filled with gratitude. Here I sat physically touching my two most precious blessings.

And then Wham-o! Fear came whispering a few “What ifs?”

In church! Can you believe it? About that time the worship team starting singing and it was easy to praise God for His presence and His truth.

We each have those moments, don’t we? The enemy attacks us with fear no matter what setting. Join me and arm yourselves. Be ready to stand firm in battle.

And then wait for it. Wait for it….

Beep, beep, beep! CRUSH!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Keep Seeing You Daddy

If you've lost someone, you'll get this. If you haven't, someday you will.

I keep seeing you Daddy

A few weeks ago we went to the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs. BBQ, music and lots of people in a western setting.

And I saw you.

You were wearing a cap and a short sleeve plaid shirt. You had faded jeans on. And of course, you had THOSE suspenders. The bright multi-colored ones. Nothing really matched.

But you didn't care.

You hobbled around looking at the western sites. And in line for chow, you smiled easily and chatted with the man in front of you.

I watched from afar.

I pointed you out to John.

He said, "Wow. Amazing likeness."

Later on, when the country western band was playing, I looked for you across the sea of picnic tables and laughing families. I wanted to see you smile one more time.

I couldn't find you.

When the fiddler started in on "Orange Blossom Special" I laughed out loud.

Remember when you used to play that for us? I saw the train everytime you made your bow dance across the strings of the fiddle you made with your calloused welder hands.

I strained my neck and looked through the crowd. But it was too dark. I couldn't see you.

Just the other day we went to the Country Buffet restaurant and there you were. You were hobbling along in a different outfit. But it was you. I watched you smile at some woman.

I elbowed John and pointed to you.

He just whispered, "Wow."

Noah asked, "What is it?"

I hold him that a man who looked just like Grandpa Walker was across the restaurant.

"But he's dead, right?"

"Yes, Noah. He's been gone for almost five years."

But I keep seeing you Daddy.

It pulls at my heart. Makes me miss you. Your presence in my life.

I'll always see you in my memories.

And someday, face to face.

Are you playing the "Orange Blossom Special" for Him?

I bet God laughs out loud when your bow dances across the strings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Does Satan Really Want of You and Me?

I’m a pretty ordinary gal.

Not famous. Not rich. Married with one son and three step-daughters.

Pretty ordinary.

So want does Satan want with me? What does he want with you?

Does he want us to become Satanists? Nope.

How about have affairs? Rob banks? Kill someone?

No. No. No.

What about gossiping? He wants us to become gossipers, right?


How about overeaters, cheaters, lusters or haters?

Nah. None of that.

So what is Satan after?

One thing. Started back in the garden of Eden.

“You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. (If she ate the fruit) "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5

There it is. Satan wanted Eve to doubt God. He wanted her to believe that God was not for her, but holding her back.

Satan wants all of us to do the same. He wants us to doubt God’s heart for us. If we don’t believe that God loves us completely and that He is for us, what do we do?

We fall into sin and its patterns.

We lie, steal, cheat, have affairs, overeat, lust, hate, etc.

God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is/are FOR YOU! He adores you. And He is cheering for you to live an abundant full life.

Satan is not.

Here’s the good news:

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

So what do we do?

James 4:7 tells us:

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Easier said than done! But being aware of your enemy and his tactics can be a wonderful step in the right direction.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Facebook - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Here is MY OPINION on Facebook!

First, let's start with THE UGLY:

Scams and Viruses: Even though you get to choose you communicate with on Facebook, sometimes hackers manage to get to your friends' page and plant viruses. It happens. One of my friends' friends, (you follow that?) got a message from someone who identified himself as a buddy, but he was lying and tried to scam the guy out of some money. It happens. But if you are on the computer, even email, this can happen.
It's UGLY!


1)Facebook can suck your time right out of your day. It is sneaky! I can sit down and read and post and connect with people and then look at the clock and YIKES! I've been on Facebook for 2 hours? Are you kidding me? There goes time that I could've been writing. This is BAD! So I have to set a timer or have a clock NEAR me when I sit down to Facebook.
2)Boundaries can be crossed. You have a chance to reconnect with old friends. But what if you don't want to reconnect because of a bad experience? Some people have a hard time ignoring friend requests. Boundaries are crossed. And I've read that some people, especially women, reconnect with old boyfriends, even when they're married. Feelings grow and boom! Boundaries crossed. I hit the ignore button FREELY!


1)I recently connected with a good friend who I met when I was six! We were very close until we graduated high school. What a delight to catch up with her. When this kind of thing happens, and it does often, it is simply GOOD! Fun! Innocent. Lovely.
2)On Facebook you can receive encouragement and kindness. The other day I admitted to a mistake I made with my son and I received so many replies that encouraged me and identified with me. What a boost! And today is my birthday and I have already received many,many Happy Birthday greetings! Totally GOOD!

That's my two cents. All in all, I like Facebook. As long as I watch my time and boundaries it is mostly GOOD!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

27 Personal Secrets that Might Surprise You!

This is a meme that I've been asked to do several times, so today is the day!

I am…a follwer of Jesus, a wife to John, a mother to Noah, a feeder of Scooby.
I want…to become less judgmental and more loving.
I have…a new car - a Subaru Legacy Limited and I'm so grateful!
I wish…I could really improve in my writing.
I hate…cruelty.
I miss…my mom.
I fear... a lot less than I used to, thank you God!
I feel…itchy and happy.
I hear…the song by Leeland "Yes you Have!"
I smell…my husband's cologne - He just walked by - oh baby! :0)
I crave…chocolate!
I search…for quotes and articles about fear, currently!
I wonder…why God made front teeth if He first intended us not to eat meat!
I regret…allowing my body to get so big.
I love…my life!
I ache…for people who are angry at God because Christians have wounded them.
I care…about my son's future, my husband's heart, my dog's well being.
I always…forget to put things back in their place.
I am not…dull. At least that's what I've been told.
I believe…that Jesus loves every single one of us, completely, totally, unconditionally!
I dance…often. Usually by myself with no one looking. :0)
I sing…in the car. Loudly. Joyfully. Not necessarily in tune.
I cry…too easily. I think I have faulty tear ducts.
I don’t always…hold my tongue when I should.
I fight…passive aggresively. I'm working on this.
I write…because it is the thing that makes my soul dance!
I never…run marathons.
I listen…not enough.
I need…self-discipline!
I am happy…being with my family.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Writer, How Hungry are You?

In the last two months, I've learned a good deal about hunger, a concept I knew very little about. I've always eaten from the brain. Head hunger. It's time to eat. I could eat. I feel like eating.

Now I am trying to listen to my stomach and let it tell me when to eat. It's a whole new world.

In learning about this, I discovered there are five levels of hunger:


As I've been contemplating this, it occured to me that these levels fit writers and their desires along the writing journey.

I've been in the "writing world" for about three years now. What a wonderful place to grow and learn and live! It's become obvious to me that each writer is at a different place in this world.

I've met Starving Writers. This folks are wonderful in that they can talk about writing and books all day. But they also can be annoying. In their hunger, they often speed around in a marketing race car. They carry their business cards everywhere and often give them out just for the possibility of a connection that will further their goal. Starving writers are wonderful to take to lunch because the conversation is always interesting. But in a group, they tend to thrust their own marketing opportunities into conversation, even when it's not appropriate. (And yes, I have been a starving writer.)

Hungry Writers are fabulous people. Most writers I've met fall into this category. They want to learn about the business and they write not just for publication, but also to learn the craft. Hungry writers ask the best questions. In a group setting they are delightful because their eyes get wide often, either from dreaming or being inspired. (I believe today I am a hungry writer.)

Satisfied Writers are that lot of folks who don't necessarily NEED to be published again or even the first time. They write for the simple joy of writing. I love to be with satisfied writers. They often remind me that contentment in Jesus is the most important thing. Sometimes they just know their priorites, and publication is not one of them. OR they have a regular gig writing and in finding their niche, they are completely satisfied. (I find myself in this category in the summertime when I'm with Noah.)

Full Writers are ones who've just gotten a contract and are busy working to its fulfillment. And theirs. They are often writing mentors, at least the best ones are. Having found success they look for ways to help other writers - the hungry or starving especially. (I'm on my way.)

Overfull writers are those souls who just don't have time. Deadlines are approaching and they just can't seem to keep up with all the demands. They sequester themselves often to acquire that single-minded focus needed to finish. They have the experience to tell hungry writers that publication is not the end all of everything. Hungry writers smile but do not believe them. (Someday, Lord Jesus!)

Writers go through these stages consistently. I can be starving today and satisfied tomorrow. Often I'm satisfied in the summer. Noah is home and I know he is my priority. But fall comes and he goes off to school and hunger pains begin. My stomach growls for a new story, a new article to submit. Overfull writers can find a place of completion and suddenly they're starving for a new challenge.

My point is this: We are all in different phases. God has a plan and a desire for each of us, despite where we are on the hunger chart. Accepting each other, where we are, is the way to love other writers. This realization has helped me considerably in my expectations. See, if I sit down with a full writer and I am starving, I sometimes resent his/her lack of ambition and drive for the next publication. If I am hungry and talk to an overfull writer, sometimes I feel jealousy for their success.

Resentment and jealousy are thrown out of the equation if I remember that we are all individuals, in unique positions. Not every writer wants the accomplishment I WANT today. I don't want what other writers desire.

God works that way. And He is GOOD. When He created the starving, hungry, satisfied, full and overfull writers He said, "It is good. It's all good!"

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

(To the tune of "Feelings) Healing...Wo, Oh, Oh Healing!


Many people have emailed me and asked how John is doing after his December 28th motorcycle accident put him in the hospital for a month and kept him on blood thinners for almost seven months.

He's great!

The Lord chose to completely heal him. Thus the song I sing - Healing, Wo, Oh, Oh Healing!

Here is the progression of John's leg wound:

This is John's wound in rehab, about two weeks after his accident:

The infected wound about two months after accident. This required surgery:

John's wound after the surgery.

The wound vac came after the surgery. This little device did wonders for his healing.

This is his wound now. Completely healed but a red scar. John calls it the "Shark Bite." :0)

This is a picture of John now! Handsome, happy and healed! Thank you Jesus!