So Loved 

Yesterday my five youngest children and I made a one-day, out-of-town road trip and I was the driver. It was a very beautiful and happy day spent with lots of folks we love. 

Naturally, on the drive home I was doing a lot of thinking and pondering. Things like, never ever give up on the possibilities of what God’s love can accomplish. His love is the most powerful force on earth and can change situations, people’s hearts and the direction of a person’s life. I needed that reminder. Maybe you did too. 

Another truth that is stamped on my heart was verified yesterday. There’s an old adage that says you can’t pick your family. I’d like to firmly disagree. Yes you can. Marriage is a perfect example. A choice to be family is made. Adoption is another example. A choice to become family is made. But there are other examples as well when no judge declares anything at all. Instead hearts declare belonging to one another because we so love them. 

You may not can choose who you are related to by blood, but you do get to choose your family. I’ve chosen well. Not only by marriage and adoption, but also by relationship. By caring and loving and praying and connecting and communicating and hoping and helping and sometimes the biding of time, by so loving them. 

During the next few weeks I will be in four different states visiting family. I will see two dozen family members. I am blood related to less than half of those, only nine to be exact. And yet, they are all my family. 

How can that be? I’ll tell you clearly how. Because love trumps blood, love trumps hate, love trumps differences,  love trumps distances, love trumps circumstances and love even trumps the law of the land sometimes. Relationships are formed when commitment is made, time is invested and choices are lived out. I so love them. 

Today I am loving the beauty of love. The choices we make, the lives we live, the paths we walk and yes, oh yes, the families we have!

Below is a photo of a few of my most beloved family members. I don’t share a single drop of blood with any of them. What we do share is love and let me assure you I so love them!

Below is another photo. This one is a photo of my mother and sister with whom I share blood. Guess what? We are family, not because of blood but because of relationship, precious memories, laughter and the bonds of love! I so love them. 

I can’t conclude my thoughts without adding this. The MOST important family decision you can ever make will be to become a part of the family of God. Choosing to be adopted into His family, as His child, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ will be the most life-altering decision you ever make. You know why? Because of love, once again, because of love. He so loves us. 


Buried Safely

What are you afraid of? What have you buried to stay safe?

“I will be able to say, ‘Look how I tried! I gave it my best effort!’ Instead of, ‘I was afraid.’

Stephanie Rodda

I’d like to share a bit of our family Bible study with you. I’m hoping that there may be another person out there who reads this and says to themselves, ‘I needed this reminder.’ That was my reaction.

We were discussing the parable of the talents. If you’re familiar with this particular parable then, you have likely discussed it a few times as well. It is intriguing. I you are not familiar with it, you can read about it in Matthew 25.

As I read the familiar words to my children, I faltered a bit as I thought of my own handling of what God had put in my care and was surprised by the conviction I felt. Conviction. That’s a rather unpleasant sounding word when you first roll it around in your mind. But, contrary to first impression, conviction is a good and necessary experience.

Spiritually speaking and when…

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Blogs Beautiful Blogs

The first thing I need to say right away is I am no expert blogger. I’m not a total newbie and I’ve learned a lot along the way. But I am still smack-dab in the middle of figuring it all out. 

Tonight I will be speaking to the CAWG Central Alabama Writers Guild and our subject of discussion will be blogging. My first thought when they invited me was to tell them they needed to invite someone who actually knew what they were doing. Then, I began to collect the information that I had gathered along the way and realized I actually had a lot to share. 

As I often tell my homeschooled children, “I may not know all the answers, but I bet I can figure out where to find them.”  So, with that thought in mind, I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction. 

I attended my first writing conference almost four years ago and one of the first workshops I attended declared that every writer needed a blog. I went back to the hotel that very night and started a blog at It was just as easy as they said it would be. It wasn’t polished. It wasn’t perfect. But I was able to do it without assistance. 

Since then I’ve learned a few things, discovered a few tips and made a few improvements. I can add a photo or meme. I can change the background color. I have a decent number of followers. I’ve made progress. 
Along the way I’ve made some good connections with folks who know a lot more than I do. One of those people is Rachel Thompson ( @BadRedheadMedia on Twitter ). Rachel is a writer, an abuse survivor advocate and a marketing guru. 

One of the best resources she offers is free and I have learned something every single time I’ve attended. One hour, every Wednesday evening with guests of her choice that address a variety of marketing strategies. She and her co-host @MelissaFlicks do a superb job of presenting, informing and answering questions. #BookMarketingChat

What does blogging have to do with book marketing? Everything, a lot, more than you might imagine. 

One of the guests at the chat has been Barb Drazdowich ( @sugarbeatbc on Twitter ). She has a unique ability to break it down into understandable lingo for people like you and me.  She’s authored a number of books as well as being a book blogger herself. 

Here’s the thing about blogging. It’s kind of like swimming. You can purchase the necessary equipment. You can study the theory. You can learn from the best. But nothing takes the place of jumping in and getting in the water. 

So, don’t require expertise from yourself before you begin. Blog and learn as you do. Blog and enjoy the journey. Blog and explore the possibilities. Just blog your heart out. And don’t forget to help the next hesitant soul to give it a try.