Book Talk

Notice this is not a book review. Because I am not finished with any books, though I am slap in the middle of about 4 or 5 of them. For the record? That's about 2 or 3 too many, especially considering the week I've had. Bless. I am staying awake about 4 paragraphs at a time, so reading isn't going very well. But all of the books I am reading are so amazing, I want to share with you what's going on, even though I'm not finished.

The first book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, was a gift from the youth group for being a sponsor on the trip this summer. They gave one to all adult sponsors for trips and all sponsors who helped at camp. And, since everyone knows that any book given as a gift -- especially a gift in bulk -- was bought from Lifeway's bargain bin (not that I can't spend a dime or two at Lifeway's bargain bin) I didn't have grand expectations for the book. I threw it in my bag just because we were leaving for Colorado the next day and I didn't have a book going.

Man, oh man. It will change your life. I'm a little better than half-way through, trying to soak it all up. Very highly recommend it.
Next is a book that we will be reading together at church -- about equipping parents of 5th-12th graders, Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna. I don't know if you're familiar with any of Barna's work/ research, but he does extensive research on church, faith, religion, etc. I'm always very fascinated by his studies, and he presents his findings in very easy-to-understand ways.

I confess that this is the book that I pick up, read two paragraphs, and fall asleep. Part of it is that I'm still in the introduction, and part of it is that I either pick it up early morning or late at night and nothing would keep me awake. I think this book will have valuable lessons for all of us. I will keep you posted.

Yes, the first two books were either recommended or given by our rockin' youth dude, Ricky Pruitt. Don't go getting the big head, Ricky, but I may like your book recommendations...

Last book. Very tough to read. I never in a million years would have picked this up on my own, but I am doing a writing project that requires me to understand a little bit more about the genocide in Rwanda. Susan recommended that I read Left to Tell by Immaculee' Ilibagiza. Again, I'm about half-way through. It's awful. How can we (humans) have the capacity for so much hate? So much violence? And so much resiliency to overcome it? It is just baffling.
So... what about you? Anybody reading anything great? Got a book I need to put on my Shelfari? I'm back in (reading) action!


Got a Funny?

I could use a laugh, how 'bout you?

Besides the usual get everyone where they are supposed to be and school-supplied, and papers signed and are you aware that there are no more blue, two pocket folders WITH brads to be found in this county, we have had extra drama as background music at our house this week. The worst of it seems to have subsided and we will all move on, but God can be really funny in His timing sometimes. Faithful to carry us through, but definitely funny.

Tonight is Ashley's first volleyball game! I am SO ready to sit on some bleachers and cheer for a kid! That will really help wash some drama away, though it will include the drama of trying to figure out how to get Riley to soccer in the slap middle of the game... That's how we roll around here, right?

I would love to hear from you. What is something that has made you LAUGH OUT LOUD lately??? Not LOL -- you SAY LOL!!! But, I mean, are you REALLY??? I'm always skeptical of LOL. I confess this was funny, but no LOL or Laugh out loud for me. Give it your best shot. Youtube, joke, whatever. Got a funny?


I Would Blog....

But I'm too stinkin' HAWT. I'm annoyed. And grouchy. And HAWT. And don't hear me sayin' HOTT. Cause I'm too HAWT for that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cook dinner and turn on my oven to 400*. Can. Not. Wait.


A Better View

Let's just pretend that no explanation is necessary regarding why I haven't blogged for the last 12 days, 'kay? But today is the first day of school here in Texas -- I know, your kids have been in school for 3 weeks, have gotten mid-term grades, the flu, and had a teacher-parent conference, but we are just beginning. So blogging will be a little more regular now that routine is a little more routine. Hair-raising and sleep-deprived, but routine.

For those of you that are on Facebook and Twitter, this is old news, but not all of you know that I have launched into the podcasting world, of all crazy things. Because that is exactly what the world was needing -- just a little more of MY voice! HA!

Several weeks ago, Steve tossed out on Facebook: What if Amanda (who I knew via blogs) and Paula (I had no idea who Paula was) and Sarah had a talk show like "The View". What would they call it. I immediately tossed back: A better view! Oh, ha, ha...

Well, later when we really considered a podcast, and tried to find a name that wouldn't be misconstrued as p*rnographic or so over-the-top, cheesy, churchy it would never reach anyone other than the 'inner echelon', A Better View it was! We decided that those of us that see things in light of the cross of Jesus truly do have a better view of this world, glimpsing the temporal in view of the eternal.

Our website for the podcast is here. Right now only our first podcast is up, but we recorded our second one last night. It will be edited and posted soon. You can listen to it at your computer, or subscribe to it at iTunes, and download it (free) and take it with you for a road trip or for your exercise, yardwork, or to harvest the corn, like Steve does.

We are just three moms and wives keeping it real, trying to live for Jesus in a fallen world. All of our conversation doesn't center around being a wife, all of our conversation doesn't center around being a mom, but I do have to say it's fairly estrogen heavy. Jeff Foxworthy says he feels like he is drowning in the estrogen ocean. Pretty sure Steve feels that way as our producer.

Hope you will give us a listen, and may you be blessed!


Heading Home

Today's the day. We are packing up and beginning our journey home today, after one last hike here.
Good thing it's a long drive back, as I will have time to grieve the end of the vacation and gear my mind to the madness of back to school.

Since I have a long trip, I wanted to leave you with some southern hilarity. I have never heard of this lady, but her accent thrills my soul. It is home. Her humor is home. You will thoroughly enjoy this, but it is a little long. Enjoy.


I Was There, Now I'm Here, Still Don't Want to Go Home...

Remember a little over a week ago, how fab She Speaks was?? Well it was. And I'm still digesting. Kind of. Because I had to stop digesting She Speaks and move on to soaking up the mountains.

And evidently I can't digest and soak at the same time, but I am enjoying it to the fullest.

We are on a bit of a budget but, guess what? The mountains are still here and look the same -- indescribably breathtaking. The air is cool and wonderful -- it was 40* when I woke up Sunday morning. I walked to some nearby waterfalls to have 'church' all by myself, blasting my ipod to praise while thanking God for His handiwork here. We are routinely dive-bombed by hummingbirds, and I just witnessed the nightly stroll of the enormous mule deer through town.

So, I have been away from the blog for a bit. I have missed all of you and hope to be back in the saddle soon-- figuratively speaking, of course. I think I'm actually getting IN a saddle tomorrow for a trail ride, and feel certain I will be eager to get out all too soon.

If I had brought my camera cord I would share with you some of the gorgeous sights we have seen the last few days. For now, you will just have to trust me. It is breathtaking. It is lovely. It is what my soul needed.

What about you? How's your soul these days? In need of refreshing, or recently refreshed? Let me know!


Drive-by Blogging


What a crummy day yesterday, and went to bed with a migraine as a souvenir. So, I woke up with the room spinning in circles and still feel a little dizzy -- yes, I always ACT a little dizzy, but I'm not usually actually dizzy.

I don't really have time for dizziness, of course. I finished an article this morning, after chopping one almost to the death yesterday after an editor requested that it be 25% shorter (y'all, that is like asking if I can be 25% shorter -- it is painful!). I've got laundry strewn hither and yon, both of the clean and dirty variety, about to leave for Meals on Wheels, need to recycle first, then... you get the idea.

Much happening.

But today my daddy is 360 miles away, having a spot on his lungs biopsied. We are praying for the best and would be honored if you would, as well. All other indicators (blood work, etc.) indicate that these (there are several) are non-cancerous, but it is, of course, unsettling to face. And it certainly puts laundry and article editing in perspective.

Before I hustle off to the next thing, I want to leave you with one thing I read this morning from John 15. If you remember, that is the chapter where Jesus is talking to his disciples right before he is to be crucified. He is basically reminding them to be faithful, saying over and over, "Remain in me." verse 16 says:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

It blessed me SO much to be reminded that I was CHOSEN. Chosen and APPOINTED. And so are you. May you go and bear fruit today.


She Speaks, But She Can't...

There's too much to say. What an amazing weekend.

My first experience at She Speaks Conference, and it was quite amazing. I would love to tell you all about it, but a) it would take a full 72 hours and neither of us wants that b) I'm not sure I have it in me to put into words all that it meant to me.

Some highlights, or my own personal "Top Ten Things I Learned at She Speaks"

10. I am further along in a writing business than I realized (I've even done a few things right, too!)

9. I still have a LONG way to go...

8. Writers and speakers? Just about the most encouraging group of people I have ever encountered. Maybe that's too broad of a brush -- we were all women, and believers in Jesus Christ, so writers and speakers that are women who believe in Jesus Christ -- awesome.

7. Antique Mommy? Even more kind and wise and gracious in person than I imagined her to be. And just as cute (she couldn't have possibly been any cuter than I imagined her to be. She was just equally cute).

6. North Carolina? Or perhaps just this particular hotel... did things to a steak that my Texas-born-and-bred husband would have considered blasphemous. I considered it odd, but tasty (pineapple rings on steak, really?)

5. Cheri Keaggy? Totally rockin' worship leader. Man, oh man. And besides her sweet voice is her authenticity/ transparency. Yeah, you KNOW that's a big deal to me!

4. God didn't give me this dream to be cruel; God gave me this dream to pursue!

3. Jennifer Rothschild? Amazing keynote speaker with a heart for God and encouraging fledgling writers and speakers. One of many women I heard from this weekend that allowed me to see how a heart crazy for God cannot be camouflaged (or faked) in a speaker.

2. My writing and speaking ministry won't work unless I work it.

The number one thing I learned at She Speaks this weekend is:

1. What an amazing blessing it is to be in community with women who "get it" -- and the speakers SAID that would be one of the benefits! I am occasionally around writers, I am frequently around Christians, but to be around 600 women who understand a NEED to write and speak out of the outpouring of what God has laid on your heart. I am blown smack away at the thought of it.

And I'm now home and off and running -- our family leaves for a vacation in the mountains this week. Can. Not. WAIT!

Would you like to know what one of my fantasy/ dream prayers to God is? That He would provide a little mountain cabin for me to sneak away to do my writing, thinking, and praying. Maybe the Proverbs 31 ladies have the right idea -- they live about an hour away from the mountains. Doubt I could convince Texas-born-and-bred to pack up and move there, though.

If you're stopping by from She Speaks, leave me a comment and let me know how to find your blog. If you're just stopping by, tell me where you saw God this weekend! Would love to hear it!


Good Things Out There

Seriously, how cute is this pillow???

Darn cute, I know. I saw it over here, in the Little Bit Funky Etsy Shop that is just darlin'! Y'all, check her out! Not even kidding! So cute.

How cool is this? Coffee Group's Blog, Espresso His Love, has been named as 1 of the 100 best blogs for Christian Moms. Very cool. (Check out #68).

If you would like to add your 'Good Thing' button to your blog, copy the code into an 'HTML' box on your sidebar:



When my friend Laura and I talk all through our yoga/ FLOW class -- especially while in downward dog, with upside down heads and talking underneath our armpits -- I feel as if we should be discussing how great our digestive health has been since starting on Live Active yogurt or what great Lean Cuisine we had last night.

We aren't.
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