Monday, May 28, 2012

Mr. Amazing Monday

I've decided to take the week off from my Wife Words series. Why? Because I need to brag on my Mr. - He's amazing.

I have been working on quite a few books recently. "Book Marketing 101" came out last Friday, and Mr. Amazing has had a hand in pretty much all of them. Besides being amazingly supportive, he has also been my own personal picture maker. He edited my author photo for both black and white and color optimization. And he is illustrating the children's books that I'm writing. He's only just barely started the illustrations, but his work never ceases to amaze me. Here's an example:

This is the beginning stages of the girls for my books. He designed them to look like our daughters, and will adapt them for use in the books. Isn't he amazing?!

I am beyond thankful to have such a supportive husband. His willingness not only to stand behind what I do, but also to come along side of me to help me succeed is such a blessing.

My question to you this week is this: In what ways does your husband support/encourage you? It could be something simple like making supper to give you a night off, or letting you know that he appreciates you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Schools Out for Summer!

Yesterday was the boy's last day of school for the year, and I couldn't be more thankful! As much as I know that we did what God called us to do, I was never really thrilled about having them in that school. It's a blessing to have them home, to watch them play with the girls. It still feels kind of like a Saturday, but just knowing that it is lasting, not a one day break from reality is pure sweetness.

Here's a few pictures from the school year:

On a side note -
I just finished writing my latest book and am looking for a few wonderful authors who might consider reviewing it for me. Here's the scoop:

As much as we don’t want to hear it, book marketing is a huge part of becoming a successful author. Yet many authors don’t know how to go about it or even where to start. I don’t know where you are in your publishing journey, you might have been published for years but have always struggled with the marketing side of things or you could still be working on your first book and wanting to get a head start on promoting it, either way this book is bound to have something in it that will help you out.

Giving a detailed overview of book marketing from beginning to end, this book is designed to give authors the information they need to attack marketing head on and start successfully selling their books. 
 If you're interested you can leave a comment here or e-mail me at:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Training Children

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Training children isn't exactly the easiest thing on the planet (can I get an 'Amen'?). But it's definitely one of the most amazing journeys that anyone could ever embark on. Today, instead of writing a big long parenting post, I wanted to ask you, what is your #1 tip for training children in the way they should go?

P.S. I'm the guest blogger over at "Get REAL inC." today. I'd love for you to hop over and check it out!

I'm linking up with Word-Filled Wednesday over at Internet Cafe Devotions. 
Check it out for more Word-Filled posts by visiting:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mr. Monday: Support

The Wife Words series is continuing here for Mr. Mondays. This week's word is "Support"

He who finds a wife finds what is good 
    and receives favor from the Lord.
                                                                               ~Proverbs 18:22             

I had the wonderful opportunity to see a supportive marriage modeled this past weekend. I was at the Colorado Christian Writer's Workshop and one of the speakers had his wife with him - he introduced her as "Ashley the Wonderful" - I loved it! She was there to support him. She came along side and assisted him, encouraged him, and backed him. It really was beautiful. Moreover, when she unexpectedly got very sick, he cancelled an entire day of speaking events to stay by her side to support her. Does that describe your marriage? 

Let's just focus on our side of things, do you support your husband? Do you care about his work and do everything you can to support him even when you can't be with him? An example of what that might look like is having a lunch for him to take with him or ensuring that he has clean work clothes each day. 

Do you support your husband by upholding him and his reputation to others?
Do you support him by backing his decisions?
Do you support him by speaking words that honor him?
Do you support him by encouraging him when he is feeling low - or even when he's not?
Do you support your husband by aiding him when he needs your help?

Our husbands need our support. They have so much pressure on them from work, family, and places that we probably can't even imagine. They need us to be their backers - to encourage them and uphold them no matter what happens. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

News vs Gossip

I recently started reading the local paper. I was originally studying advertising to help improve my marketing skills, but the habit seemed to stick. I actually just finished reading this weeks paper, there wasn't really anything interesting in it, but I still flipped through it, kind of like Facebook... The whole think reminded me of something I thought of earlier today. We live in a news saturated culture. We hear it on the radio, or told by our friends of all these things that are going on in the world around us. But my question is, how much of that qualifies as gossip?

What is the defining line between news and gossip? Is there one?

Gossip is defined as idle talk about the private or personal affairs of others.

So that Victoria's Secret model who gave up her modeling career because of her Christian convictions - qualifies as gossip.

Who's suing who over lost property due to the controlled burn that quickly became un-controlled - yep, that's gossip too.

We live in a gossip saturated world. So much so, that we don't even recognize it most of the time anymore - or at least I don't. Do you?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Imperfect Parent

I don't know about you, but I am far from perfect - especially when it comes to being a parent. That's why I like the words on the above photo. No matter how much I fail as a mother, God will still provide for my children. Their salvation isn't up to me. Yes, I have been called to be their mother and to teach them in the way they should go, but when I fail, God's grace covers me, and them.

I don't know if you're anything like me, but that's definitely a reminder that I need to hear more often.

I'm linking up with Word-Filled Wednesday over at Internet Cafe Devotions. 
Check it out for more Word-Filled posts by visiting:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mr. Monday ~ Regard

The "Wife Words" series continues here at Servant, Wife, Mother. So thankful for all of you who have joined me for this! This week's word is "Regard".

...and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me...
~ Esther 8:5

Regard ~ To look upon and consider

Do you regard your husband? Do you consider his opinions and feelings before making choices, or scheduling your day? I have to admit that this is yet another area that I struggle in. There are so many things on my plate each day, that I often tend to get my priorities mixed up. You know, first I should be a servant of God, then a wife to Mr. Amazing, then a mother to my children, and then everything else - yeah, it gets a little backwards sometimes.

I love the above verse in Esther, because she is regarding Boaz by considering whether or not he will regard her. She cares about his feelings. She's not saying what she wants to do and charging ahead, she's waiting to hear from him. She's waiting to see if HE thinks it's the right thing to do. When was the last time you regarded your husband by waiting to see what he thought about something before moving ahead?

This week, I encourage you to be purposeful about regarding your Mr. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Memory of C.A.T.

It's a sad night here at our house, but I should probably start my story at 6:30 this morning. 

I had slept in my daughter's room with her, because she had gotten hurt right before bed and wasn't sleeping well. To save myself countless trips up and down the stairs, I caved and stayed with her. At 6:30 in the morning our white cat, C.A.T. woke me up. She was laying in the middle of the room whining for no apparent reason. This in and of itself is not extremely unusual. It usually means that she is out of food, or just want's us to know that she is there - so I blew it off. I got up and got the boys ready for school. Checked her food dish to ensure that it wasn't empty, and forgot all about it. 

About half an hour later, my oldest son came to tell me that there was something wrong with C.A.T.. I remembered the whining and went to check right away. She was in the process of coming down the stairs, but something was definitely wrong. She wasn't using her back legs. With great disapproval from the very self sufficient cat, I picked her up and put her at the bottom of the stairs before going to call my husband. He said that it had happened to her once or twice as a kitten. She had had issues with seizures off and on throughout her life, and sometimes they caused temporary paralysis. This hadn't happened for more years then I can count, but I had witnessed a small seizure last fall, so it made since. He suggested keeping an eye on her, and thought that she would recover within an hour. 

But she didn't. I had to run an errand, and when I got home she was back upstairs. I couldn't bare the thought of her falling her way down them again so I put up a baby gate, brought up some food and water and sat with her until my husband got home. He took her to the vet, but there was a long wait due to a trauma that had came in between the time he called to set up the appointment and the time he arrived. They suggested that he left her, and they would call us when they were able to see her. 

Several hours later we received the call. We went back in only to find out that she had heart disease, and a blood clot was blocking the blood flow to her legs. Much worse, her circulation was so bad that there was nothing that they could do. She wasn't eating or drinking, and they didn't think she would survive much longer. For a cat that appeared so healthy, I almost didn't want to believe them. The only outward sign of illness was her lack of leg movement, but that was pretty major. 

After lots of tears and discussion, we made the difficult decision of letting her go. We didn't want her to suffer any more then she had to, and since there was no way to cure her, the option was to put her down or to let her suffer her way through a painful death on her own. In the end, despite the tears, I know that we made the right decision. Her circulation was so poor that it took about 10 times longer than normal for the sedative to take effect to put her to sleep. She wasn't in any pain that we could tell, but she definitely wasn't happy. 

C.A.T. was my office cat. She liked to lounge on my desk, or stand in front of my computer monitor while I was trying to write. She was very independent and strong willed - evidenced by her climbing two flights of stairs using only her front legs. She didn't like to be petted, but did enjoyed being scratched - and there is a difference and she would let you know if you crossed the line. She liked being in high places. Being upstairs or on top of a shelf always made her happy. She brought me a bird once... I mistakenly told her to let it go, and she obeyed. It took me forever to get that bird out of my kitchen. And of course there was the time that she was trying to drink out of a vase that I had in my desk and knocked it over, soaking everything. She was very much a part of my life, and I will miss her greatly - we all will.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's Your Passion?

A while back I decided to subscribe to my own devotions via - I know that kind of sounds silly, but I started writing them 3 years ago, and I just wanted to go back through and check for formatting or spelling errors now that I had distanced myself from them some. Not to toot my own horn, but on occasion it seems like I really need to hear the message that I wrote - I surprise myself. One of those occasions happened last week, and I just wanted to take a moment to share the devotion with you. It was written with teen girls in mind, but it definitely applies to our lives as well.

Just so you know, Teen Girl Devotionals are brought to you by, and you or a teen in your life can sign up to receive them for free at - Anyway, here's the devotion:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 
There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
~1 Corinthians 12:4-6
I just love the fact that God gave each and every one of us unique personalities. Some of us are movie buffs, others get more into books, video games, or sports - and that's okay. That is how God created us. He created us with passions, talents and interests. He created us for different things, and with different passions. That came to my mind today while I was reading an article a friend shared on their blog. It was about how we are all passionate about different things, how we get excited about different events, books, or whatever, but the one thing that should remain the same, is our passion for our Savior. You see, even though we were all created uniquely for the glory of God, and God gave us all our own personalities and interests, we were still all created for the glory of God. We serve Him in different ways, but as Christians, we should still have a desire for Him, and for serving Him.
I guess that the point is that while God created us to be passionate people, there is an issue if that passion stops when we come before our creator. When we get totally psyched about the new outfit we just got or the new chick flick that is coming out, but we drag our feet when we have to get up early in the morning for church. When we can't wait to read our new book, or play that new video game, but we don't have the energy left to read God's Word.
God created passionate people. He sent Jesus so that we could live life to the full (John 10:10)! God wants us to be the people that He created us to be - to express ourselves. But as Jesus took the time to remind us, out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Our passions reflect what is in our hearts. If we aren't as passionate about our Savior as we are about our shoes, we might need to take some time to reevaluate our hearts...
Are you more passionate about worldly things, or about the Creator of the world?
Application Step:
Spend sometime today thinking about our awesome God. Remember that He is the creator of the world. Without Him, your favorite pastime wouldn't even exist. Thank Him for the opportunity to express yourself, and for all of the wonderful things He has brought into your life.
Father God, I love you so much! Please help me to express the love that I have for you, just as much, no, more than the love that I have for the things you have created. Help me to show others that you truly are more important than my boyfriend, my favorite shoes, and everything else in my life, Lord. Help me to honor you, God. Thank you for allowing me to express myself, but help me to do so in a way that is pleasing to you. I want you to be the overflow of my heart. I want to be more passionate for you, than for anything else. Thank you for everything you do for me - especially for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. It is in His name that I pray today. Amen.

I'm linking up with Word-Filled Wednesday over at Internet Cafe Devotions. 
Check it out for more Word-Filled posts by visiting:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mr. Monday ~ Notice

...Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me...
~ Ruth 2:10

Notice: be aware of

The definition of the word notice is quite extensive. Much like the word "respect" that we looked at last week, it is multifaceted. It can mean the act of observing, or being aware of something or someone. To make comment about or mention something. To give attention to something or someone. Or, to grant something or someone respectful consideration or attention - Yes, that's the word respect that we looked at last week. It applies here too. 

Noticing our Mr.'s is a huge part of respecting them. We can notice their opinions, their likes and dislikes. We can notice their reactions, or even just their presence. But what I want to focus on today isn't what we notice about them, but HOW we notice them. Anyone who follows my blog knows how much I like walking down memory lane when it comes to Mr. Amazing, and the reason for that is because it changes the way I notice him. 

The verse that I used today was from the first time that Boaz noticed Ruth. Do you remember the first time that you noticed your husband? If I asked you what the first thing you noticed about him was, would you be able to tell me? I could describe everything about the first time I noticed Mr. Amazing. From what we were both wearing, to what we were doing, how I was feeling, and even the thought processes that were going on in my head, and the conversations surrounding it. Not everyone can do that, but most everyone can think back to the moment when the first noticed their significant other, even if it was years after they met, there's usually that one moment. Do you remember it?

Good, so now I want to ask you when the last time that you noticed your husband was? Not the last thing you remember about him, but the last time you remember noticing him.  Whether it was catching a whiff of his cologne or seeing him smile from across the room. When was the last time that you actually noticed him? Not so easy? You want to know a great way to make your Mr.'s day? Comment on the fact that you notice him. Let him know that you enjoy the smell of his cologne, let him know that you love his smile, let him know that the shirt he's wearing looks good on him. Let him know that you noticed that he cleaned out the litter box or did the laundry. Make a point of letting him know what you notice about him. 

My original point was that we use to notice our husbands differently then we do now. Now we notice that they left their socks on the floor... again. We use to notice the way their arms fit perfectly around us, or wonderful it felt to snuggle up against them. Do you still notice those things? Do you notice the way that your husbands eyes sparkle when he's happy, or the way that he makes you smile? 

Obviously noticing our husbands is deeper than just noticing the physical, but the more we notice about our husbands, the more of an impact they will have on our thoughts and decisions. Once we start noticing them the way we use to again, then we will have a foundation for noticing them in our decisions, actions, and goals. 

I know that I mentioned it last week, but the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge by Revive Our Hearts, played a huge roll in teaching me how to notice my husband again, and I highly recommend it. But for now, I leave you with the goal of noticing your husband this week. Take note of his daily routine. Take note of what makes him smile. Take note of the way his hand feels around yours. Take note of the things that you enjoy about him - and comment on a few of them to let him know that you notice him. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spread Your Influence

You've heard of the "Great Commission," right? After Jesus was ressurrected from the dead, and just before He ascended into heaven, He gave what we know as the "Great Commission." He commanded us to go into all of the world and share the good news of what He had done. Have you done that? Have you traveled the world preaching the good news to all creation? Probably not. Many of us would say that we aren't called to be missionaries, yet others would be quick to add that the "Great Commission" applies to us all. 

Take me for example, it is completely unreasonable to suggest that I go to Lebanon to share what Christ has done with the Muslims there. Even though my husbands parents were missionaries there, and he was actually born there, it would be pretty much impossible for us to go there now. You see, we have 4 small children, and the cost of getting there just isn't practical for us. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that there are lots of Christians that can relate to that. Which is what prompted this post. 

There is another way.

While I have never personally been outside of the connected United States of America, God has used me to touch the lives of people in Australia, Africa, Europe, and other countries. How? Through my writing ministry. And He can do the same with you. 

Christian author and speaker, Shelley Hitz, recently gave a seminar about self publishing books at Grace Christian Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan. I had the privilege of watching the video recording of the conference and all I can say is WOW! 

She pointed out that 80% of people say that they want to write a book someday, and then she went on to equip people to make that day today. The best part is that she does it all with Christ in mind. Suggesting that people pray about what God would want them to say in a book, and how they can use that to bring Him glory, because publishing a book allows you to go places that you would never be able to reach otherwise - it spreads your influence.  

Obviously, you don't have to go to a seminar to self publish a book, but I learned so much about self publishing through watching Shelley's seminar that I wanted to let you know about it. If you have ever said, "I want to write a book someday." I encourage you to check out Shelley's website,, download her eBook, Self Publishing Books 101, for free (or purchase a paperback copy from and/or signing up to get your own copy of her latest seminar that was created with Christian authors in mind

While my personal passion and talent is sharing Christ with the world through writing, I understand that not everyone is an author. If you don't have a passion for writing, I highly encourage you to find another creative, yet practical, way that you can preach the good news to all creation.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teaching Hearts

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”
~ Matthew 15:8-9

I read through the book of Matthew earlier this week, and God taught me so much! One of the things that I caught my attention was the above verses. Those are some pretty powerful and scary words! It really made me think about the way I teach my children. Am I teaching them to honor God with their lips and not their hearts? Am I teaching them to worship God in vain, simply obeying the rules of men? 

Whenever I start to reflect on my parenting, I always think back to my own mother. I had one of the most amazing moms in the world, but my childhood was far from perfect. Yes we went to church, but God wasn't the focus of my upbringing. Therefore, it's really hard for me to make sure that He is the center of my children's upbringing. I am an avid reader, but it's one thing to read about biblical parenting in a book, and another to actually experience it. 

I will never forget the little girl that was baptized last year. She had such an amazing understanding of the Gospel that it blew me away. Her mother is an amazing Christian woman, who I'm sure devotes her entire day to teaching her children and bringing them up in the ways of the Lord. I spent weeks wishing that I could be a fly on the wall in her house for just a day. I longed to learn how to be that mother - because I'm not. 

I'm amazingly thankful for a certain blog that reminds me that it's okay to fail. That being a perfect parent isn't required and that God is more powerful than our parenting failures. Just to remember that while I might fall insanely short of bringing my children up to fear the Lord, that God can still save them. Even the most wonderful parenting in the world can't save the souls of my children, only God can - and He can save them despite my parenting. 

Don't get me wrong, I still long to teach my children how wonderful my Savior is. I want them to know of His unfailing love, and to cultivate their hearts for Him. So much so that I contacted my pastor this week to see about getting a Titus 2 mentor. I had one last spring, but our schedules didn't mesh well, and it just didn't work out. 

While I long for my children to obey, I want them to do so because they want to - not because they have to. I want my children to know of our heavenly Father's love, but not just know what it is, but to actually experience it! I just seem to flounder when it comes to actually teaching them. Thankfully, I have God's Word, and God's grace, so no matter how many times I fail, no matter how horrible of a job I do, God is still God, and at the end of the day, He still loves me, and has the ability to save my children despite of me. 

I'm linking up with Word-Filled Wednesday over at Internet Cafe Devotions. 
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