Craving Something?

Definition of a craving: an intense desire for some particular thing.

The other night I craved meat. I know. Sounds cavewoman-like, if there is such a term.

My husband and I hit a restaurant for dinner. I rarely indulge in “meat," but at that moment neither chicken nor fish were going to satisfy me. I ordered a hamburger and left with my craving fulfilled.

There are times when I need chocolate. The darker, the better. But, give me Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Ice Cream, a hot fudge sundae, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered peanuts, a chocolate shake…they’ll all do the trick.

Other times, my body craves anything salty. Potato chips, popcorn, French fries… I LOVE French fries. Could eat them every day. But, I don’t.

The foods I crave are not "healthy choices"…and because of that, I can’t allow myself to partake of them very often.

Why is it that we crave so many things that when all is said and done, aren’t good for us – or important?

I’m not talking about just food.

What about…
Material things?

But, there is a craving that exists in our inner core, whether we acknowledge it or not, that is given to us for our well being.

Our spirit craves to know God.

God desires us to want more of Him.
More time with Him.
More knowledge of Him.

Are you listening to that craving?


Outward Appearances

Have you ever chosen a large, beautiful orange, expecting it to be full of sweet, juicy fruit? But, what you found beneath was dry and tasteless? What a disappointment after the taste buds were all primed.

I knew a petite, older woman, who by all outward appearances, looked like a sweet grandmotherly type. But, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. The woman was a tough CEO of a large company and was mean enough to make the most macho kind of guy nervous.

Books with beautiful covers and interesting blurbs entice me to open the pages and read them. But, it’s true. You can’t tell a book by its cover. A great illustration can’t insure that the story or writing will be any good.

I've inherited books that are between fifty and sixty years old. Some covers are either dull shades of red or green, but most are a shade of plain brown. The stories they contain have taken me on wonderful adventures and held my attention since I was a child.

My husband and I work hard taking care of our home. There have been times when I’ve driven by a house that's falling apart on the outside and I wonder how the owner could care so little. You’ve seen them. Paint is peeling off the exterior and the yard is full of weeds and strewn pieces of junk. I remind myself that I don’t have a clue as to what the interior holds. It could be so full of love that a mansion couldn't contain it.

What is it about us humans that we’re so quick to judge by outward appearances? Oh, that’s right! We’re human.
Terrible flaw, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse.

Thank God that He’s not concerned with the same things we are.

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7


Heavenly Scent

Aren’t the five senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell FABULOUS?

Too often we take them for granted.

Recently my husband and I spent an entire day moving a truckload of fresh beauty bark from our driveway. He dispersed wheelbarrows full of the medium ground wood to various areas in the front and backyard. As I kneeled in the warm, soft bark, I breathed in the pleasant earthy scent.

In another part of the yard, I inhaled the fresh, but slightly sweet, fragrance of the flowers I’d planted earlier.

Later in the day, the tempting aroma of meat being cooked on a barbeque drifted through the neighborhood.

In writing, it’s important to include the sense of smell. It helps to put the reader into the scene. Scents have the ability to evoke memories and various feelings.

For example, what do these smells do for you?

Cinnamon rolls baking
Turkey roasting in the oven
Chocolate chip cookies cooling on the baking pan
A thunderstorm brewing in the air
Fresh pine boughs brought into the home

Or how about these?

Sour milk
Rotten eggs

See what I mean?

People have their own ideas of how heaven will look.
But, have you ever wondered about the scents you’ll experience?

I can only imagine that they’ll be indescribable…awesome…and heavenly.


Something to be Excited About!

A writer’s life is full of rejections. That’s just the way it is, whether you’re multi-published or trying to break in. But, God recently provided me with a little encouragement and I’m excited!

I received word that a short devotion I wrote will be included in a book coming out in October, published by Tyndale House. It’s already available on for people who want to pre-order the book.

The One Year Life Verse Devotional contains short stories of well-known authors and speakers, athletes and entertainers…and ordinary people, like me. Each tells how a specific Bible verse has played an important role in the writer’s life.

Everyone has days where they need encouragement.
Maybe you know someone who could use a few uplifting words.
Take the time to give them.

Or maybe today is your day.
God will provide what you need.
Look for it.
Encouragement may come in bold ways…or it may be subtle.
But, when you need it, He will provide.


The Little Poinsettia that Could

I purchase three very small Poinsettias every December and place them on my desk at work. They help to add a feeling of celebration during the Christmas season.

But, after so many weeks, the leaves fall off and the plants start to look spindly and ugly. It doesn’t matter how much TLC I give them, it isn’t long before they cease to survive. I expect it and I’m not surprised when the time comes to toss them away.

But this year, one Poinsettia continued to hang in there, and after a few more months, it not only continued to survive – it began to thrive.

Now it’s June, and instead of a vase full of summer flowers, I still have the Poinsettia proudly displayed. The plant is growing thick with new leaves, rich in color. I haven’t done anything but give it light and water. My goal is to help the Poinsettia make it until next Christmas and beyond.

It may seem strange to some people that I have an out-of-season plant on my desk, but it’s kind of nice to have a little Christmas all year round.

It’s also a constant reminder that with perseverance, my goals are reachable. Despite any odds, I can also thrive.

I still need a little help. Just like the plant needs water and a little light – I need to be refreshed by time spent with God, my family, and friends. They give me the sustenance and encouragement I need to keep pursuing my dreams.


The Plank in My Eye

One of the very few drawbacks to living in the Seattle area is the traffic.

Many drivers become crazy fiends once they get behind the wheel. There are days when I feel that I’m literally taking my life in my hands. I could describe a variety of scenarios that would give you chills.

A client once told me that she’d lived in both California and New York, but Seattle was worse by far when it came to scary drivers.

This morning, at the last minute, a driver slipped into a small space between two other cars in order to get into a turning lane. I shook my head in frustration at how someone could be so rude. I admired the driver of the vehicle who’d been abruptly cut off. It was a near hit, but she didn’t even honk at the person who had jumped into the lane ahead of her.

After making a turn further down the road I glanced in my rear view mirror and seeing that cars in several lanes were still quite a distance behind me, proceeded to cross over two lanes.

I looked in my mirror again and realized I’d just cut off a driver who must have been in my left blind spot. She backed off and kept some distance between us. I felt terrible and wished there had been a way to apologize. I wanted to thank her for being so gracious.

God nudged my heart. I’d just done the very thing that only a few minutes before had caused me to judge another person.

“Okay, Lord. I get it. I need to be concerned about taking the plank out of my own eye, not the splinter in someone else’s.”

Not in just driving situations, but in every aspect of my life.


Christians Are Human, Too!

It’s confusing…and frustrating…as to how Christians are sometimes viewed.

We can be put down because we’re thought to be too conservative, too closed minded, or too na├»ve. But, the minute a Christian shows his/her human side and does something that is considered “unchristian,” that person can be verbally or emotionally crucified by society.

I discovered early in life that as a Christian, I’m held to a standard by the people around me.

It was fall, during my senior year of high school. I was a cheerleader, top student in my class, newspaper editor, etc. I grew up in a small Midwestern town where I’d known most of my classmates since kindergarten. Did I say small? Let’s change that to “very small" town.

We'd just finished decorating the gym for the Homecoming dance and a large group of my peers decided to drive out into the country to “coon” apples and pumpkins. Although relatively harmless - cooning was stealing. Which meant it was wrong.

But, several friends and I decided to join the rest and we hopped into the back of a truck. After snatching a few pumpkins, the caravan of cars and trucks ended up in a country field where bonfires were lit and kegs of beer were tapped.

I’d never had a drink and didn’t consume any alcohol that night. I laughed and joked around with my classmates. It felt good to be "one of the gang" and I thought I was proof that you could still be a Christian and have fun. I'd found a way to shrug off the label of being a "goodie-goodie."

However, the next day I was blown away. It was then that I experienced the fallout of what I’d done the night before. I had to deal with negative comments associated with what Christians should and shouldn’t do. The comments didn’t come from other Christians. They came from non-Christians who'd been watching how I lived my life. I was shocked to learn that I was being held accountable by those who didn’t want anything to do with God.

In my daily communication with other writers, I’ve found that many struggle with writing “real” stories that won't offend people or look like they're compromising their beliefs.

Christians struggle with lust, with saying things that are hurtful, with alcoholism, with drug additions, with losing loved ones, etc. etc. We must deal with every temptation that everyone else in the world deals with.

Christians are human, too!

Sometimes we win over temptation. Sometimes we lose.

But, we have a God who understands and will not condemn us. He won't point the finger and tell us we were bad.

He’ll only forgive us. We only need to ask.

Thank God!


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