Pray Before You End Up in the Hospital

My family has been through a lot the last two weeks. My second son got sick, very sick. We took him to a doctor. Then we didn’t follow his advice. Strike one. Then we waited too long. Strike two. And we didn’t prepare. Strike three. What started out as a bad headache in one of our sons was an event that changed our lives forever. After five days with no improvement we finally took the doctor’s advice and headed to the emergency room to have him checked out. I didn’t believe it was anything serious and hated the fact that we were wasting money on an ER visit. I was floored when Continue reading

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Easter: Fear It No More

Fear. Raw tangible fear. It’s not what people think of when Easter arrives. For many it’s the beginning of spring. Happy little bunnies and chicks jumping around. But what was the first Easter really like?

Easter is about Christ. He was arrested: God’s innocent Son. When He was charged, they didn’t even have a true witness, yet His own people wanted Him dead. And it wasn’t like today where inmates languish for more than a decade before they get the death sentence enacted. It was sudden, almost instantaneous. Cruel.jesus-arrested-04[1]

The people who should’ve been afraid weren’t. They denied Him. They called Him a liar.

The sick, the lepers, the blind. They must’ve fallen to the ground as Christ’s sentence was proclaimed. The ones healed by his gentle touch. Was it true what the religious people said about Christ being a fake? Would their miracle revert when He took his last breath? Would they have to return to the squalor they had been raised from?

The disciples. They ran and hid. Abandoned Him at His lowest.

Fear rang out in the land. An earthquake and hours of darkness crashed as He hung on the cross. Jesus sucked in his last breath. The veil in the holy temple was sheered in two. bust_of_Jesus_on_the_Cross[1]Three days passed.

There were tears and mourning. CHRIST’S beloved followers and disciples couldn’t believe He was gone. The healed watched for the slightest change in their status.

A new day. CHRIST rose from the dead. Fear turned to unbelief. Unbelief to joy.

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No more fear. Jesus said, “Be not afraid.”  (Matthew 28:10) The healed remained renewed. The believers were given hope. All because CHRIST, God’s son, was resurrected.

Let the fear die here. Jesus Christ revived and returned. As He said he would. For You. For Me. This Easter we have so much to be thankful for. Let us live without fear.

The New Cell Phone: I Want What You Have!

My husband got a new phone yesterday. His old one isn’t even two years old and was on its third battery. It was time to see what could be done. Of course I wasn’t happy about it since we hadn’t finished out the whole two year contract and I wanted to go a different route when it did finish. But he insisted. I have to admit, why should we pay for a phone we can’t use for the next six months. He had me there.guy with phoneSo I grudgingly went to the cell phone store with him. It wasn’t pretty. I even had to apologize for some things I said to the salesman later (I blame it on my straight forward nature).When that salesman whipped out the new phone we could purchase, my curiosity was more than piqued. The screen was at least a third larger than my old phone. It was less than half as thick and seemed somewhat lighter. Hmmm.

But I wanted to shoot it down, make him wait it out. So I targeted the photo ability of the camera. My own phone can’t take a picture that’s not in perfect light for anything. I made my husband stand in the shadows, in the sun, under fluorescent lighting. They turned out amazing.I didn’t want to hand him back the phone at this point. Could I take it and let him use mine? Now, I know you’re thinking that’s not right. But I’m the one who takes pictures of everything, not him. I need a sleeker model to fit better in my pocket. I need the bigger screen because I text and message way more than he does.

It’s at this point the big, ugly monster of coveting is more than filling the room. Verses begin to fill my head. What right to I have to his phone? Why are my reasons for having it more important than his? I can’t deny that I’m wrong here.

It’s surprising how easily that monster engulfed me, and about something I don’t normally struggle with. It was a great reminder to always be on the lookout, keep god’s word hidden in my heart for future use, and to think about someone else first.

Have you struggled with this recently? How did you deal with it?

6 Tips to Get Your Husband to Shop With You

Man Shopping

It is possible to get your husband to shop with you. And you might find that you like it if you’re willing to take the risk and invite him. I love to shop with my hubby. Now, I’m talking about clothes shopping. Groceries are a whole other matter.

It’s great to have him on hand to grab a different size or color of an outfit. He’s the best at navigating the mall. And he’s so generous, he lets me get what I want within reason. But it takes some work on my part to make it happen.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Incentive is the key to getting your husband to shop with you. Make a deal with him that he’s willing to accept, like you’ll take out the trash for him this week if he goes.
  • Shop where you know he can sit and relax or read while you try on clothing.
  • Reward him with his favorite lunch.
  • Buy him a treat like the sports cap he’s been wanting.
  • Give him enough notice to prepare for the long day.
  • Keep him hydrated. Men don’t handle thirst well. Make sure he has a drink on hand.

Try these tips. You might be surprised to see what a great time you can have with the man you love the most.

Does your husband already shop with you? Comment below and tell me whether if you love it or hate it.

A True Handyman Woman

  Ladies, it’s true. You can be a handyman.

As much as I love to count on my hubby for DIY projects, there’s nothing like being able to do it myself. My husband isn’t the handy kind of guy. He can fix a computer, do keyword searches online in the blink of an eye, but he’s not too good with a hammer or a paint brush. This is where I come in. I have done most of the handyman work around our house since we got married. From fixing toilets to hanging drywall and mudding it, I’ve recreated and fixed so many things you’d be surprised. Now, I do get my husband to help with the big stuff like the kitchen below.

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In my newest manuscript, my heroine, Ava Worthington, is a handyman like me. Because she’s not a man, her work is questioned all the time. Stepping out of the roles as men see them can be tough on a gal. I’ve gotten surprised looks many a time when I knew what the ‘guys’ were talking about as they described the mechanics of house repair in one project or other. It also helps when there’s a project a little too difficult to do on my own and I have to call in a professional. I can generally tell if they’re swindling me, for the most part.

Having repair/renovation knowledge has saved us a lot of money.2013-12-05 21.10.40

Because of my knack for figuring things out, we’ve managed to do so many great projects for a fraction of the cost. Even if you count buying the right tools for a project, it’s amazing what you can save.

Believe it or not, it’s fun to do household renovations.

I know this doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. I enjoy doing lots of the work. I do have to admit now that I’m not as young as I once was, I employ the pros more often than I used to. But I still put a lot of elbow grease in myself. There’s nothing like seeing the finished project and knowing you did it.

Repairs and renovations remind me of Christ.

He knows how to repair the most broken heart. He tears away the old and broken parts of us and helps us grow into beautifully working creatures. I’m so thankful that I was worth his time to repair.

Next time you have a repair, take a good look at it and see if you can do it yourself. You might be surprised that it wasn’t as hard as you thought.

Do you do any DIY projects? What was the last project you tackled? Leave a comment below.

Family History Can Be Shocking!

The aunts had come to visit from Chicago with lots of great stories of their past and that of their grandparents. But there were pieces shrouded in mystery: parts of my husband’s grandfather’s life that they never managed to get out of him. The mystery writer in me couldn’t let it go when the what and why wouldn’t leave me alone.

I dug deep. Hours and hours of research and cross-referencing filled lots of my time. Was it true that a great grandfather was killed by the mob? Had one of the greats been a judge in Chicago as the story had been told? What about the origins of birth? Germany, Scotland, Hungary?

As if I’d stepped into one of my own stories, I began to live their lives through the scraps of newspaper articles and census records. Addresses, dates, births, deaths, they all flooded me day and night. And the story began to clear as if from a foggy knoll shifting in the morning air. Mob—maybe, but not likely. Murder, don’t know, but suicide for sure.

There were tears. There were also moments of triumph when one great was discovered on the register for serving in the Civil War in a Pennsylvania Infantry. Others helped to bring the railroad to a new world back then. Some drank their life to oblivion. Some praised the Lord every day.

It’s our history, dirty and beautiful.

Cooking for the Busy Folks

The other day I was thinking about the next recipe I wanted to post. My mental recipe book was open as I flipped through the pages and considered this and that when it hit me like a fast ball in the thigh. Everything I post to y’all usually comes from one box or another of prepared food. Gasp. A moment of silence please. What was the cyber world going to think of a mother Continue reading

Beast of Stratton Releases Soon

Beast of Stratton by Renee Blare is releasing March 11,2015 from Prism Book Group.BeastofStratton_eBook

My friend Renee is about to have her book released soon, and I’m so excited to present it to you all, for a little preview of what’s to come. A lot of work goes into a great story. She’s put in the time and effort to see the fruits of her labor in print. Stop by her blog Renee’s Inspirational Moments and give her a word of encouragement during this exciting time.

SUMMARY:

He appears the beast, but she sees his heart.

Architect Aimee Hart, determined to locate her father, infiltrates Miles Stratton’s engineering firm as a secretary. Her presence wrenches the shaggy, wounded man from his penthouse, and the quest begins.

Betrayed by his best friend, Miles would rather hide than help, especially the man’s daughter. But something’s not right. Someone’s trying to destroy Stratton Industrial. A decorated war veteran, he’s defended his own before and the Beast of Stratton can do it again.

Even with the enemy at his side.

Semi-finalist in the 2014 ACFW Genesis Contest.

About the Author:

Renee Headshot1 (300x240)

Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to Laramie, and she’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Links:

A Little Sabbatical

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been on social media with the exception to a few pics on Facebook and a comment or two. You may wonder if I gave up or just decided this wasn’t for me. Well, no. I’ve been crazy busy. I bet you have too. With the holidays just behind us now, maybe you’re finally taking that deep breath and relaxing for once. I’m not yet.

2014-12-07 19.40.56I had a great Christmas, though a little sad at times without my Poppy around to celebrate2014-12-31 20.35.58 with us. But it was still a wondrous time. Lots of family and a laugh until your sides hurt ugly sweater contest made it even better. We decided to take it easy on Christmas and cook Shepherd’s Pie instead of all the usual fare. What a good choice. It lightened the load of the day, let me tell you. I got lots of fabulous presents. Of course that’s because I had to shop for them myself. My husband insists I’m too hard to buy for. But he did get me one thing I’ve been wanting for years; a large nativity set. I’m in love with it. It was sad to pack it away until next year.

New Years was a bit unusual this year. All of my kids and my nieces, who are all teens, wanted to have their own celebration while the adults got together to play our favorite computer game, Nancy Drew. The kids got us hooked on it years ago and I think the adults enjoy it more than they do now. So we headed off and left them with their own sparkling grape juice and lots of snacks and we went to my brother’s. It was the first year in seven years my husband was home for this holiday and we had a blast.

And with barely a breath to breathe, I was finished with holidays and preparing for my oldest son’s wedding. What was going to be an elopement with the justice of the peace turned into a cozy little celebration 2015-01-11-14-04-16.jpgin our sunroom, surrounded with family and close friends. My mom was grand enough to help me provide a nice luncheon for everyone afterward. We’d planned a nice reception for the following Sunday. Forty people came and celebrated with the new couple. We had a wonderful time. My cousin made a beautiful cake for them that was heavenly. And, it was a great time to get to know my new in-law family, too. Very nice people. I’m glad to call them family.

So you see, I haven’t been so remiss, I’ve just been super busy.

Now to take a little break! Oh wait—there’s another book to write. Guess the break with have to wait till the spring.