Sunday, March 3, 2013


I've been on an unintended blogging break. What can I say? Life got really crazy. Crazy hard. I have a monthly commitment to another blog that I love writing for. It was all I could do to keep that commitment each month. I let a lot of things go to deal with life. But doing so was a mistake of sorts.

I lost myself. I gave up so much. Some of what I gave up were outlets for me to get stuff off my chest and out of my head. Don't get me wrong. I pray and offload TONS to the Lord. That won't ever change. But I don't always listen. I don't always wait for those important instructions, such a green light or a red light.

I don't believe I was meant to disconnect from everything. God never gave a red light to everything. That was my decision. What I forgot is that life is still gonna happen. I need to still have my little corner, my stuff that makes me, me. I have to be nurtured too or I won't be any good at nurturing others. What an important ministry lesson. I was slow on the uptake with that but I've got it now. That's what counts. 

So I'm reclaiming, reconnecting. Not everything at once mind you. And some things I may never reconnect to. I'll see what God has to say. For the few of you who may still be checking here to see if I'm ever going to so anything else with this space, the answer is yes. This blog is a green light.

I am going to change the content. I hope y'all will be okay with that. I think you will be :) Look for new posts to be begin regularly next week. I want to start back slow so expect a post once a week. Once I get my oldest and her friend who's been living with us this school year graduated from 12th grade (May 30 woot! woot!) I'll have more free time to post more frequently. I'm only going to promise what I can deliver :) So March 11 is the "comeback" date.

I've really missed my morning room. I can't wait to share with you again. Until then, Be Blessed!!!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Hanging Out At.....

the Pearl Girls blog today. I'm a monthly contributor. That's very exciting for me. Look for me twice a month. Once I know dates I'll post them here. Meantime, enjoy today's post about the Patient Parent Recipe. Leave a comment please :) The stop by the blog again on September 28th for my next post.

Actually bookmark it and check everyday. There are some incredible contributors to this blog. Great nuggets of wisdom each day. Enjoy!!

Be Blessed,


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hanging Out At WOW Today

“You're not the boss of me” she said with a stomp of her tiny feet, a flick of her long brown hair and a defiant crossing of arms. 

I have to admit a smile crept across my face. She looked so stinking cute with her jaw set with determination.

To read the rest, stop by WOW- Writing On The Word.  I'm hanging out there today :)

Be Blessed,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Different Response

I received some disappointing news today. Something I viewed as a great writing opportunity was snatched away. Nope. Sorry. We don't think so. I could have argued to regain it. Indeed, part of me was making a list and checking it twice. That part didn't win today. I'm not bragging because I'm still smarting over this. I'm struggling to not be bitter and spout off about how I feel I've been wronged.

Instead, I'm choosing to let God have his way. This was not for me. I wanted it. I had it. But God said no. And though I don't know the reason why, I'll accept it. Instead of pouting, whining or being bitter about it, I am choosing instead to meditate on and live out these two verses:

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." Psalm 37:7 (NIV)


"Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 42:5-6 (NIV)

It's a more pleasant response. I'm waiting on God to do something else, something new. "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Be blessed!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's A Big Day

July 6, 2012 is a very BIG day for my family. First, my baby girl turns sixteen. Sixteen y'all! I can hardly believe I've been loving and parenting this child for that long. Well, longer if you include the nine months I carried her. She and I have had our moments, good and bad. We make no bones about that. But no matter what, I love her fiercely because that's what us momma bears do.  

My time with her here under my daily care is quickly ending. It saddens me because I feel like there is so much more to do. I may never feel like she's ready go forth into the world. That is the peril of being a perfectionist Type-A momma bear :) I'm praying for wisdom for the two years I have before she's a college girl. And fun. Lord let there be some fun please. Amen. 

The other BIG thing that's happening is that we have another teenager moving in with us. Rick and I have agreed -- no we requested, that this young lady be allowed to come live with us. She needs a family to love on her and take care of her while she finishes her senior year of high school. She's a close friend of our oldest daughter. I'm tickled pink she's going to be staying with us. 

And even with that good feeling comes fear. It's a big deal to have THREE, count them, THREE teenage girls living in our house. God put it on our heart to do this. I know we're doing the right thing. Doesn't make it less scary though. I've sat and thought about how I've parented my own girls. Some things I think I did well. Others, not so much. I'm praying I do the right things over this next year. I'm counting on God to "make my paths straight" (Luke 3:4) 

Since He's the one that called us to do this, I'll be leaning heavily on Him to show me what to do and what to avoid. I've been doing that already but now with another life to pour into, I feel an even greater pressing need. I don't want my girls to ever feel neglected but I also know there are some specific things God has pressed upon in regards to my new "daughter". So I want to make sure there is balance and never any resentment.

I recall telling a friend, when she adopted a baby girl from China that I didn't think God would ever call me to add to our family like that. I mean really, her youngest was entering high school! And I was thinking to myself, "I'm struggling to parent the two I have. No way He'd ever ask me to take on more."

In her wisdom, she smiled at me and said "Stranger things have happened." Like agreeing to add a teenager to your house. This is why I regularly tell God he's a card. His sense of humor is so warped sometimes. But I like it anyway. So while He's getting a chuckle out of this, I know He'll be guiding me. 

I've chosen two verses for this new season based on two things:
  1. I need God to do this
  2. Anything good that comes from this is all God's doing. Rick and I just the instruments.
"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this" Psalm 37:5 (NIV)

"If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory dominion forever and ever. Amen" 1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)

In parting, pray friends. Three hormonal teenage daughters and a "praying for menopause to show up any day now" momma bear.  That's all I'm saying :) Be blessed!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Look At What's Free Today

The Kindle version of my devotional book is free today. Hurry and get a copy for yourself or a friend. It's not just for the unemployed. Much of what I write about can in this devotional can be used everyday by anyone. Check it out!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stand By Me First Book Tour

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Thomas Nelson (March 13, 2012) 

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson The B&B Media Group, for sending me a review copy.***


As a child growing up on the campus of a Christian school where her parents taught, Neta Jackson began creating imaginary worlds at a young age. Loving horses but not having one, she wrote stories about them instead. By the time she reached high school, she had so honed both imagination and writing skills that when her English teacher submitted one of her stories to a Scholastic magazine writing contest, it won first place. With that first win, Jackson knew beyond the shadow of a doubt she wanted to be a writer. She’s been writing ever since.

After marrying the love of her life, Dave Jackson, the couple chose to settle in the Chicago area where Neta had attended college. Throughout their marriage, the Jacksons have worked together as a team, writing a multitude of books together on topics ranging from medical ethics to stories of gang kids, sometimes sharing the task with other experts who have served as co-writers. Together, they have also penned forty historical fiction accounts of Christian heroes, called the Trailblazer Books, along with another five-volume series called Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes.

These days, both are busy penning their own works of adult fiction. Jackson began her individual effort in 2003 with the Yada Yada Prayer Group series, inspired by her real-life Bible study group, a multi-cultural gathering of dynamic women who have played an important role in her life for over fifteen years. Since publication of the first Yada Yada Prayer Group novel, the seven-book series has sold over a half-million copies and given rise to countless prayer groups across the country and the publication of a personal prayer journal for prayer group participants. In 2008, Where Do I Go?, her first book in the four-book House of Hope series, was published. The second book in the series, Who Do I Talk To?, won a Christy Award in 2010 for excellence in Christian fiction. Recently, the fourth book of the series, Who Is My Shelter?, was nominated for Best Inspirational Novel for 2011 by RT Book Reviews. Stand by Me is the first in Jackson’s new SouledOut Sisters series.

The Jacksons have been married 45 years and have raised two children plus a Cambodian foster daughter. They continue to live in urban Chicago where, together, they enjoy writing, gardening and spending time with their grandchildren.

Visit the author's website.


How does God expect us to get along with those people who are always causing us pain? Are we supposed to keep helping those who repeatedly take advantage of us? Exactly what is the key to living in peace with difficult people? These are the questions award-winning author Neta Jackson addresses in her latest novel, Stand by Me (Thomas Nelson), the first book of her newest series, SouledOut Sisters.

Inspired by her own Bible study group, Jackson began several years ago to write about a multi-cultural gathering of dynamic women in a collection of books known as the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. Since publication of the first Yada Yada Prayer Group novel in 2003, the seven-book series has sold over a half-million copies and given rise to countless prayer groups across the country. Jackson followed the Yada Yada novels with the four-book House of Hope series. Though the series is not dependent upon its predecessors for understanding, Jackson has used the individual lives of familiar characters to introduce some of the more complex issues prevalent in our modern society. By allowing her characters to lead the way, Jackson has shed light on issues like drug addiction, the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and even the racial conflicts that can so easily arise within any culturally diverse group.

In her newest work, Stand by Me, Jackson introduces her readers to Kathryn Davis, a young college student who has left her prestigious Phoenix family behind to move to Chicago after dropping out of medical school against her father’s protests. Her newfound faith in Christ helps temper the realization that she has stepped out of her family’s good graces, but does little to alleviate the pain of their rejection.

When Kat discovers the dynamic multi-cultural membership at Souled Out Community Church, she longs to be part of it. But her unconventional behavior and brash eagerness have not helped her win favor with the church members. And, much to her dismay, Avis Douglass, the one woman in the church whom she most admires and would love to know better, is the one who is the most aloof.

Kat has no idea that, after being confronted by a number of serious problems all at once, Avis and her husband, Peter, are beginning to question God’s will for their lives. Having been recently estranged from her HIV positive daughter and being worried about her welfare, Avis would like nothing more than to quietly retreat into the recesses of her faith and find the answers she seeks. Her attempts to do so, however, are thwarted at every turn by the flamboyant Kat, who has apparently decided to foist herself on their lives whether they want her to or not.

Product Details:

List Price: $15.99

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 13, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1595548645

ISBN-13: 978-1595548641



Midwest Music Festival, Central Illinois

Kat Davies ducked into the billowing exhibition tent staked down in a large pasture in central Illinois like a grounded Goodyear blimp. She’d been at the Midwest Music Fest three days already—didn’t know it was a Christian festival until she got here—and needed a little respite from the music pulsing morning-till-night on the Jazz Stage, Gospel Stage, Alternative Stage, Rock Stage, Folk Stage, and a few more she’d forgotten.

Besides, she’d be heading back to Phoenix in two days, and sooner or later she needed to figure out how to tell her parents she’d  “given her heart to Jesus”  after the Resurrection Band concert last night. Maybe this tent had a quiet corner where she could think. Or pray. Not that she had a clue how to do that.

Kat had a good idea how they’d react. Her mother would f lutter and say something like, “Don’t  take it too seriously, Kathryn dear. Getting religion is just something everyone does for a year or two.” And her father? If he didn’t blow his stack at what he’d call “another one of your little distractions,” he’d give her a lecture about keeping her priorities straight: Finish pre-med at the University of Arizona. Go to medical school. Do her internship at a prestigious hospital. Follow in the Davies’ tradition. Make her family tree of prominent physicians proud.

Except . . . she’d walked out of her biochemistry class at UA one day and realized she didn’t want to become a doctor. She’d tutored ESL kids the summer after high school and realized she liked working with kids. (“Well, you can be a pediatrician like your Uncle Bernard, darling,” her mother had said.) And the student action group on the UA campus sponsoring workshops on “Living Green”  and “Sustainable Foods” had really gotten her blood pumping. (Another one of her “distractions,” accord- ing to her father.)

Was it too late to pursue something else? Her parents were already bragging to friends and co-workers that their Kathryn had received her letter of acceptance into medical school a few months ago. Feeling squeezed till she couldn’t breathe, she’d jumped at the chance to attend a music fest in Illinois with a carload of other students—friends of friends—just to get away from the pressure for a while.

What she hadn’t expected was to find so many teenagers and twenty-somethings excited about Jesus. Jesus! Not the go- to-church-at-Christmas-and-Easter  Jesus,  the only Jesus  she’d known growing up the daughter of a wealthy Phoenix physician and socialite mother. That Jesus, frankly, had a hard time com- peting with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

But these people talked about a Jesus who cared about poor people. A Jesus who created the world and told humans to take care of it. A Jesus who might not be blond and blue-eyed after all. A Jesus who said, “Love your neighbor”—and that neighbor might be black or brown or speak Spanish or Chinese. A Jesus who said, “All have sinned” and “You must be born again.” The Son of God, who’d died to take away the sins of the world.

That Jesus.

That’s the Jesus  she’d  asked to be Lord of her life, even though she wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. But she desper- ately longed for something—Someone—to help her figure out who she was and what she should do with her life. The guitar player in the band who’d challenged the arm-waving music fans last night to be Christ-followers had said, “Jesus came to give you life—life more abundantly! But first you must give your life to Him.”

That’s what she wanted. Abundant life! A life sold out to something she could believe in. To give herself to one hundred percent. So she’d prayed the sinner’s prayer with a woman in a denim skirt whose name she never learned, and a “peace like a river” f looded her spirit.

Last night, anyway.

But by the light of day, she was still heading in a direction—medical school—that she didn’t want to go.

Big fans circulated the air in the large tent, though mostly it just moved the stif ling July heat around. Thick, curly strands of her long, dark hair had slipped out of the clip on the back of her head and stuck in wet tendrils on her skin. Redoing the clip to get the damp hair off her neck and face, she wan- dered the aisles, idly picking up brochures about Compassion International, Habitat for Humanity, and YWAM. Huh. What if she just dropped out of pre-med and did something like this Youth With A Mission thing. Far from Phoenix and the Davies Family Tradition. Go to Haiti or India or—

“Nice boots,” giggled a female voice nearby.

Kat glanced up from the brochure. A cute brunette with a shaggy pixie cut grinned at her from behind a booth that said Find Your Calling at CCU! Kat self-consciously looked down at the Arizona-chic  cowboy boots peeking out beneath her designer jeans and f lushed. Ever since she’d arrived at the fes- tival, she felt as if she’d walked into a time-warp—girls in tank tops, peasant skirts, and pierced nostrils, guys wearing pony- tails, tattoos, shredded jeans, and T-shirts  proclaiming Jesus Freak. Kat had felt as conspicuous as a mink coat in a second- hand store.

“Thanks. I think.”

The young woman, dressed in khaki Capris and a feminine lemon-yellow tee, laughed. “This your first time to the Fest? Where’re you from?”

Kat felt strangely relieved to be talking to someone else who didn’t look like a throwback to the seventies. “Phoenix. First time.”

“Wow. You came a long way.” 


“Detroit. But during the year I’m  a student at CCU in Chicago. I get a huge discount off my festival fee if I sit at this booth a couple hours a day during the Fest.” The girl grinned again and extended her hand across the stacks of informational literature. “I’m Brygitta Walczak.”

Kat shook her hand. “Kathryn Davies. But my friends call me Kat. With a K.”

“Like ‘kitty kat’ ? That’s cute. And . . . blue eyes with all that dark, curly hair? Bet the guys love that.”

Ignoring the remark, Kat glanced up at the banner above the booth. “What does CCU stand for?”

“Chicago Crista University. Usually we just call it Crista U. Located on the west side of Chicago. I’ll be a senior next year. Christian ed major.”

“Christian ed? What’s that?”

“You’re kidding.” Brygitta eyed her curiously. “Mm. You’re not kidding. Uh, are you a Christian?”

Kat allowed a wry smile. “For about twelve hours.”

The pixie-haired girl’s mouth dropped open, and then her amber eyes lit up. “That is so cool! Hey . . . want a Coke or something? I’ve got a cooler back here with some soft drinks. Wanna sit? I’d love some company.”

Brygitta dragged a folding chair from an unmanned booth nearby, and Kat found herself swapping life stories with her new friend. Unlike Kat, who had no siblings, Brygitta came from a large Polish family, had been raised in the Catholic church, “went Protestant” at a Youth for Christ rally in high school, planned to get a master’s degree at Crista U, and wanted to be a missionary overseas or a director of Christian education somewhere.

“Sorry I’m late, Bree,” said a male voice. “Uh-oh. Two gor- geous females. You’ve cloned yourself. I’m really in trouble now.”

Kat looked up. A young man about their same age grinned at them across the booth. He was maybe six feet, with short, sandy-brown hair combed forward over a nicely tanned face, wire-rim  sunglasses shading his eyes. No obvious tattoos or body piercings. Just cargo shorts and a T-shirt that said CCU Soccer.
Brygitta jumped up. “Oh, hi, Nick. This is Kat Davies. She’s from  the University of Arizona, first time at the Fest. Nick Taylor is my relief. He’s  a seminary student at Crista—well, headed that way, anyway.”
Nick slid off his shades and flashed a smile, hazel eyes teasing. “So, Miss Blue Eyes. Has Brygitta talked you into coming to CCU yet?”

Kat laughed and started to shake her head . . . and then stopped as her eyes caught the logo on the banner across the booth. Find Your Calling at CCU.

Transfer to Crista University? Why not?


I am a avid Neta Jackson fan. I've been looking forward to this book for a long time. And I can say I was not disappointed. Neta has brought along in this book some old characters like Avis and Peter Douglas, Jodi Baxter and the rest of the Yada Yada crew. It was quite a treat to get to see Avis' life more in-depth, especially her relationship with Peter. She was usually the rock, the mature believer  in the Yada Yada series, so it was good to see a few chinks in the armor that let us know everyone has struggles and no one's faith walk is perfect. I loved the introduction of Kat. I'm looking forward to learning more about her as well. I thought the way Neta Jackson handled her being Avis's sandpaper person was brilliant and applicable to our everyday lives.

The issues she tackles here, like racism, how faith affects relationships, dumpster diving, judging others and how different people seek God's will are ones we can all relate to. My eyes were really opened due to her excellent treatment of these issues.

This book is a must read. Now I wait for the next installment. I cannot wait to see how this all plays out. Right now it appears to be just a two book series but I am seriously hoping she changes her mind!