Monthly Archives: May 2018

I Hate This Shirt…or Do I?

IMG_4020OK, so you all know I’m a Mom and as much as I hate to admit it, I often do such stereotypical Mom things that I’m embarrassed.  My favorite commercial currently is the Progressive Insurance commercial and my favorite line is “Why is the door open? Are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood?” It just makes me smile to think that we all do share some of the same memories.  Today, though, I may have struck out some new ground of my own…or maybe not.  Do you other parents sometimes make things disappear in your house? Maybe it’s your kid’s cell phone that is overused and you just hide it under a newspaper for a while just to have some face to face conversation? Maybe you hide that last candy bar and say that they all must have been eaten? Do you ever pretend to NOT see the remote for the TV when they are looking in hopes that the kids will find something else to do for a bit? If you don’t, maybe you should give it a try. However, the above tricks of the trade in the parenting business are harmless, but my following confession may not be. Here we go…

Do you ever permanently make clothes disappear? The too short shorts? The too tight T-Shirt? The stained jersey? The handmade school spirit shirt? The one with a beer ad on it (that was “accidentally” worn to church?) and the ever-popular mismatched socks? Well, I do.

Today, the harmless T-Shirt that is pictured above almost met its’ demise. The threat was made the last time she wore it. “I am so sick of that shirt that the next time I see it in the laundry, I will make it disappear!” There is was today. Clean, fresh, appropriately crumpled in the laundry basket. I picked it up, began to fold it and realized that my chance was right there. I could cut it up and make a dust rag or I could throw it in the bag for the Salvation Army. With it in my hands, I paused and then I decided to fold it gently and put it on her pile of clean clothes to put away. What’s the big deal? What is so wrong with that shirt? It won’t fit forever. I’m sure she’ll decide to stop wearing it someday. Why on earth would that harmless shirt be something that I allow to upset me?

We are heading into the teen years. I will need all the help I can get and I need to work now on a relationship that will weather the real storms that we may face. This shirt cannot have the power to upset me and potentially cause a rift between my daughter and me. The next time I see her wear it proudly (which I am certain will be tomorrow when she sees it on the top of the pile,) I will say a prayer that we will be very careful in choosing our battles. I will be grateful for my healthy daughter and the blessing she is.

Now, I think I will go and let down that cuff on those jean shorts that I think are too short…I don’t think she’ll even notice.

Take a minute to be grateful for the battles you choose not to fight and also click on the commercial link above and have a laugh. I hope it makes you smile as much as it does me!

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give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.                                                                                                                         –1 Thessalonians 5:18 

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Listen Up!

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Many people talk about how the Lord speaks to them.  It may be an audible voice, it may simply be a feeling or intuition or it could be a bunch of circumstances that seem to be pointing you in a certain direction.  For me, I guess it is through my daily devotion time.  Last week I had a perfect example of this.

All week long I struggled with my son who has Reactive Attachment Disorder.  If you don’t know what it is, take a look at some of my previous blogs, but know that this disorder causes chaos in a family. Monday, my journal reads “I woke to two loads of P’s stinking dirty, wet laundry in my washer and my dryer. Wet. Old. Stinky. Not the way I wanted to start my day. ICK! So frustrating.” Wednesday reads, “Oh Lord, bombarded with positives and negatives all the time. Help me to see my part in the negatives. Help me to work on me.” Thursday says, “We had a bad day with P yesterday. He stole from my purse. I want so much more for him than he does. He punishes himself. Lord help him and change me to figure out what I am to do.” Friday reports, ” The school called to say the P had been inappropriate. So much garbage!”  Now, here’s where it gets good. Saturday: “I’m still struggling with Paul. It’s not my nature to be mean yet I wonder what it teaches him for me to give and give? Lord help me.”  So, obviously, I was angry at the events of the week and I was trying to be standoffish, trying to employ the silent treatment, trying to make sure he knew how displeased I was with him. That very morning, I saw a shirt that he needed me to sew and almost sewed it, but I didn’t want to be nice.  I stepped over his shoes instead of putting them away to prove that I didn’t have to care about his things.  However, as I mentioned, it’s not my nature to hold a grudge.  But, I asked the Lord to help me so that was a start.

I continued on with my devotions as I normally do and am currently reading a Once-a-Day Bible and was on Day 13.  I obediently read blah, blah, blah, I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; huh? I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. What? I will? It says I will.  Good scripture. I’m moving on with my day, not dwelling on the negatives.  I asked God for help and He will help and then I will tell of His wonderful deeds.  Wonder when that will be?!

Lastly, for my devotion time, I turn to a book I’m currently reading.  I open the book to where the bookmark is and read….and I kid you not….”When you are angry, humble yourself and give the anger-inducer more of Jesus.  You need to give the person who has angered you exorbitant amounts of mercy, love, forgiveness, and grace because that is what Jesus has given to you.”  I wrote “OUCH” in the margin. Think God might’ve been trying to tell me something? Yeah, so do I.

Knowing that I now had to “give thanks and tell of wonderful deeds” I used this example as an opening for Sunday School that morning.  God does use our lives to teach us more about Him.  Like the margin of my book says, sometimes I have to reply “ouch” to what He says! Be sure to listen up!

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A Book Review – 21 Days of Joy

 

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About the Book

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Title: 21 Days of Joy

Author: Kathy Ide

Genre: Non-fiction, Devotional

Release Date: April 1, 2016

Tour Dates: April 28 – May 11

Oh, the joys—and struggles—of

motherhood!

21 Days of Joy honors mothers of all varieties. Biological moms. Adoptive moms. Stepmothers. Grandmothers. Godmothers. “Second moms.” Even men who “mother” children when circumstances put them in that position.

Whether you are a mother, have one, or know one, these heartwarming fictional stories will touch your soul and help you see that you are not alone. The work you’re doing will have an impact for eternity. And those rewards will make the trials all worthwhile.

God knows every sacrifice you make for the children He has brought into your life. So take a few moments out of your busy schedule to read this book, and get a glimpse of your daily routine from a divine perspective.

Compiler and editor KATHY IDE has written fiction and nonfiction books and is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. She is a professional freelance editor and the founder and director of two organizations for editorial freelancers. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a series of five novels. Kathy makes her home in Orange County, California.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

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Compiler and editor KATHY IDE has been a published author since 1989. She has written fiction and nonfiction books and is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a series of five novels. She also writes columns of writing and editing tips for blogs and newsletters. Kathy makes her home in Orange County, California.

Q & A with Kathy Ide

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been writing for publication since 1989 and I’ve been a full-time freelance editor since 1998. I teach at writers’ conferences across the country, and I’m the director of the Orange County Christian Writers Conference here in Southern California. I’m also the founder and director of two organizations for freelance editors: the Christian Editor Connection and The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.

You’ve created a Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. What inspired you to gather a collection of short fiction stories to be used as devotions?

I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution.

Tell us about the books in this series.

Each one contains 21 short fiction stories, followed by brief life applications, each written by a different author. Some contributors are best sellers, some are mid-range authors, and some are new writers. The first book was 21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love. That came out June 1st of last year. The second book, 21 Days of Christmas, released on September 1st. 21 Days of Love came out January 1st.

Tell us about this third book, 21 Days of Joy.

21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom contains stories about mothers of all varieties. Biological moms. Adoptive moms. Stepmothers. Grandmothers. Godmothers. “Second moms.” Even men who “mother” children when circumstances put them in that position. It makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. And it’s a great way to boost your spirit when dealing with your kids—or your mom—becomes challenging.

Tell us about some of the stories in 21 Days of Joy.

Some of the stories are about the struggles moms have dealing with their kids at various ages and stages. Others are about women dealing with their aging mothers. One story is about a young woman who thinks her dreams of having lots of kids are shattered when her fiance dumps her right before the wedding. There are a couple of stories about adopted kids meeting their biological moms. One story is about a barren woman who realizes she actually has lots of children. And one story, written by one of Bob Hope’s comedy writers, is a humorous tale of a woman who applies for the job of mother.

How do you hope readers will use 21 Days of Joy?

This book makes a great gift, with its beautiful debossed hardback cover, full-color interior, even a ribbon page marker. With stories about all kinds of mothers, it’s great for anyone who is a mom, has a mom, or knows a mom.

Like the other books in this series, 21 Days of Joy makes a wonderful daily devotional. And if you want to go deeper, you can get a Study Guide with additional questions about each of the stories. It will be available soon as a free PDF download at FictionDevo.com or as a 99-cent e-book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

What do you hope readers will get out of reading 21 Days of Joy?

I’m praying the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of everyone who reads this devotional about how much God has shown His love for them through the mothers in their lives, and what a tremendous impact women have in the lives of the children God has given them to love.

What is unique about this series?

Most devotionals contain true stories. And those are great! But so many believers today are big fans of Christian fiction … because fiction can be a powerful way to soak in spiritual truths and apply them to our daily lives. In this devotional, the authors share the themes and messages they see in the pieces they’ve written, and encourage readers to look for those types of things in these devotional stories as well as in other fictional things they might read.

What life circumstances worked together to put you in a position to be able to create this series?

Since I’ve been a professional freelance editor for several years, I’m able to edit the submissions I choose to use, polishing them without losing the author’s unique voice. And since I’ve been teaching and speaking at writers’ conferences across the country, I’ve connected with several authors at all levels, including well-known best sellers. So there are a lot of people I can personally ask about submitting to the books in this series. And I’ve developed a strong social media presence, so I can get the word out to other writers as well.

What other books have you written?

I wrote Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, to help writers and editors learn how to proofread manuscripts for typos, inconsistencies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling, according to the industry-standard guidelines.

What do you do besides write?

Read, of course. And go to movies. I also love to travel with my husband. We visit our out-of-state relatives (when they’re not visiting us—which happens often since we live in Southern California). We also enjoy going jet skiing, and camping in our RV.

Can you share some of the names of the authors who have contributed stories to the devotional?

Absolutely! 21 Days of Joy has chapters written by well-known, best-selling novelists, including Deborah Raney, Lynette Sowell, Mary DeMuth, Sherry Kyle, and New York Times best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall. There are also stories by writers you may not have heard of. At the end of each chapter is an author bio that gives some background information, and usually the author’s website. So if you really like a story in the devotional, you can find out what else that author has written. You may just find some new names to add to your favorites list.

And if you haven’t read much Christian fiction, this devotional will give you a small taste of several different authors and genres, without having to commit to reading an entire novel. You might just discover that you actually love Christian fiction!

Where can people purchase the books?

They’re available online at Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes & Noble, and other websites. If you go to FictionDevo.com, you’ll find several links that will take you directly to the ordering pages for all of the books in the series. You can also find them at many Christian bookstores and Barnes & Noble stores.

Review

What a great gift this book would make for a woman in your life…especially a woman who likes fiction and maybe hasn’t even thought of taking time to do a daily devotion.  I believe that this book would get her hooked on both.  The short stories can be read in about 15 minutes, but the life application lesson at the end of each chapter will need to be thought over for longer.  The chapters deal with different life challenges including forgiveness, gentleness, self-worth and acceptance.  The situations in this book are diverse and I believe you will find something for everyone.  As we journey to pursue Joy we end up recognizing that there are some things we need to consider and take into account on our way.  The life application lessons help us to do that.  The characters in each story become our friends and as root for them to find joy and happiness, we, too, will begin to seek it for ourselves.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 28

Blossoms and Blessings, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30

Janices book reviews, May 1

Captive Dreams Window, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 3

Moments Dipped in Ink, May 4

Simple Harvest Reads, May 4 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bibliophile Reviews, May 5

Carpe Diem, May 6

A Baker’s Perspective, May 7

Bigreadersite, May 7

Artistic Nobody, May 8 (Spotlight)

Margaret Kazmierczak, May 9

proud to be an autism mom, May 10

Beck to Basics, May 10

Aryn the Libraryan, May 11

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a hardback copy of 21 Days of Grace and an eBook copy of 21 days of Joy to two winners!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cc8e

 

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