final_advent_cover4.jpgBut Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42 (NIV)

Last Christmas we entertained family at our house. We served dinner and opened presents. Later while everyone visited, I headed to the kitchen to clean up. There I stood alone with the dirty dishes feeling irritated and resentful. Then I remembered something my sister and I say to keep each other in line; “Stop being a Martha.” With a smile, I put down the dishes and began to enjoy my family along with everyone else. (more…)



But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Micah 5:2 (NIV)

At eight years old, all I wanted for Christmas was a boy’s BMX bike. I was very detailed in my request, and I was sure that everyone involved was aware of my desire for this bike. My big sister, on the other hand, wanted a very girly ten-speed bike. On Christmas Eve, I lay in my bed with unbridled expectation, picturing myself riding through the neighborhood—the envy of all my friends. After a few hours of restlessness, I sprang to my feet to see what awaited me in the living room. My sister was already old enough that she cared more about sleeping than seeing what Santa had left, so I ventured out alone. (more…)

rest.jpgHe got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39 (NIV)

What does rest look like to you? Maybe a vacation, a day at the spa, or perhaps just a good book that turns into a long nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Rest is vital for our bodies. We are hard wired to desire rest, and when our bodies and minds don’t get it, things start to break down. We know that God rested (Genesis 2:2), and He even gave us a whole day each week for rest. What a cool God. But do we use that day for rest? Probably not.

Although the Advent Season is truly my favorite time of year, I seem to have a frenzy of storms around me. Some can be emotional—will my expectations be met this year? Some can be spiritual—am I really taking the time to celebrate the birth of Christ or am I getting caught up in all that I have made it? Some can be physical—can my body handle the stress of everything on my to-do list? (more…)

prepare.jpgBut seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

I procrastinate. I like to think I “work well under pressure,” but who am I kidding? There is no more quality in my completed work, no more creativity—I simply work faster. In college, I relished pulling off an all-nighter. After countless cups of coffee, my brain was literally packed to capacity. I would regurgitate all of it onto paper the following day, go home, and proceed to forget everything. Surprisingly, my method worked pretty well for my GPA, but it equated to total mayhem leading up to any major test. If only I had taken the time to actually learn about Aboriginal hierarchies, would I still remember them now?

This “method” has spilled over into my life even now. Anything is subject to my procrastination. I always get it done by my deadline, but I wonder how much more enjoyable life would be if I eliminated the chaos, planned appropriately, and allowed myself some peace in the process. (more…)

This writer’s group has done wonders for me.  First of all, it has made me write!  Secondly, it has gotten me out of my comfort zone – remember the panic of writing about a cruise ship, freedom, and dancing like no one’s watching?!  And finally, it’s just made me feel like a writer.  A wannabe writer, but a writer nonetheless.  Talking with other writers, reading their work, hearing their ideas, and helping them find direction is exhilarating. Writing can be a very personal thing for me, but sharing it has been such a blessing and something I never thought I would do.  For example, if someone would have asked me alone to write an Advent Devotional, I would have said, “No way!”  But together as a group, we stood strong and created an inspirational body of work.

Do you think community in the writer’s world is helpful?  How has it changed your writing?

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with my family in my hometown.  Although my town is not so pretty, it just makes me smile being there.  On Saturday night, I got to spend a little time with my Grandma.  She’s an amazing woman, but the past five years have not been a friend to her.  For someone that should always be honored, it’s clear that old age has stripped her of the dignity she deserves.  As my five year old son and I sat “talking” to her, he gave her a sweet kiss and told her that he loved her.  I was overwhelmed by emotion.  Although he will hear my stories of her as he grows older, he will simply never get to see her as she truly is.  It not only leaves me heartbroken, but motivated.  Motivated to capture her and the matriarch that she was and will always be.  I suppose that’s why I have always written.  Not to be published, not so others will read, but simply to capture things.  Whether it’s my hometown, my family, a memory or perhaps a moment of fiction, I want it on paper to make it real. 

So what motivates you to write?  What is it about this God-given urge that makes you fascinated with piecing together words to go on paper? 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:6-7

Some mornings getting out the door is an act of Congress. Getting both children pointed in the same direction is a feat, but what really wears me out are our bags. Everyone seems to have a bag. One for diapers, one for school and one for me. A good Mommy would pack them the night before, but not me. Although I hate it, I seem to thrive in the chaos of the morning ritual of packing the bags. By the end of the week, the bags seem to have gained a few pounds as Hot Wheels and jackets collect in the bottom of each of them.

Although these bags often make me weary, they are nothing compared to the heavy one I carry with me everyday. (more…)

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