Creative Inventions - Created World

Are you techy? Are you drawn to anything new on the market?

Technology is amazing. We don’t go through a day without using various inventions related to our jobs, communication, and entertainment. We owe a lot to the men and women who have created “tools” that enhance our lives in so many ways.

But sometimes . . . I think it’s healthy to take a break from it . . .

My husband and I decided that we needed a “play day” away from our usual work-related responsibilities and agendas. So we took “time out” at a zoo in the area that’s connected to a large park with flower gardens, acres of green grass, and trees. We enjoyed the sunshine, the animals, and each other’s company.

We took pleasure in what GOD created. And oh, my goodness! What amazing creatures He has provided for our entertainment. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. They fly, swim, and roam the earth.

I think we can get so wrapped up in our computers, iPhones, TVs, video games . . . and other electronic gadgets and gizmos that have been created . . . we forget about THEE creator who gave us life and a beautiful world to live in.

God is the creator of ALL things – and that includes the people with the intellect to invent.

Do you take time to inhale the sweet scent of blooming flowers? Observe a bird’s flight? Marvel at cottony clouds in the sky? Notice the deep, rich colors of the forest, or a tree bark’s rough texture? Feel moss, soft between your toes?

I encourage you to turn off technology – for even ten minutes – and enjoy what God has created for you.


What's Wrong With Being a Square Peg?

Do you ever feel like you’re unsuccessfully trying to fit into what’s considered the “norm?”

I realized I’d been doing that for months. Even though I know myself pretty well, I still tried to make something work that didn’t have a chance.

When I worked for a large company, I got up at 5:00 a.m. in order to get to work on time. I had a forty-five minute commute and the expectation was that I be on the job between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m.

When I left that position in April to work full time at home – writing and editing – I was excited to finally be on my own schedule. I was finding my way back to living a more balanced life. Flexibility was my mantra. Only, I didn’t live it.

I fell into what I thought I needed to do in order to maintain and grow my own business. Every morning, Monday through Friday, I’d attempt to get out of bed early and be at my desk by 8:00 a.m. at the latest. I thought if I worked eight to five, I’d accomplish everything I needed to. WRONG!

First of all – I never made it to the desk by 8:00 a.m. There was the treadmill to tackle, prep for dinner that night to complete, laundry to throw in, errands to run, flowers to water . . . And then when I did make it to the desk, half the morning had flown by and I had an e-mail box overflowing with messages that needed to be returned. There seemed to be one distraction after the other. Evenings were set aside for meetings with fellow writers, worship team rehearsals, or just time hanging out with my husband.

Most days ended in frustration. I never seemed to get up early enough. And I never seemed to accomplish all that I wanted to. It was becoming a vicious cycle. I beat myself up for not fitting into the mold of what most people do during their legitimate “work” day.

I realized that I wasn’t embracing the freedom I’d been given. I’m not an eight to five kind of gal. So why was I trying to prove to myself – or anyone else - that I was?

By nature, I’m a night owl. This week I gave myself permission to stay up as late as I felt like working and sleep in as late as I felt like sleeping. It’s been GREAT!!! If I work from 11:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m. and then sleep later – who cares???

I think too often we expect people to be round pegs. We want them to fit what we feel is normal, right, or good. We want them to be like us.

We may look at the person who’s covered piercings or tattoos and think, “gross.” The unmarried teen who totes a baby and hands over food stamps makes us wonder what her life is going to be like a year or five years from now. We question why a young man would quit college to follow his dream in the music industry. How can he be so irresponsible? We may feel pity for the heavy person who lumbers down the street. Why doesn’t he try to lose weight? And how can a homeless person prefer to live on the street instead of choosing to clean up and get a job?

We may want people to act, think, dress, talk like us, and believe in the same things we do. Because if they did, we’d feel more comfortable in our own skin.

But we’re not the same. We were never meant to be. With love and care, God made us unique and “special.”

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb” (Psalm 139:13).

Have peace with the fact that God never intended for us to all be round pegs, manufactured to look, feel, and act like the next peg.

Take joy in being a square, triangle, octagon . . . or whatever you are . . . and that you fit just right.


P.S. - No, you're not seeing things! The design template I previously used is no longer available, as of today. So I had to make a few changes. Hope you like the "new" look! :-D

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz - Blog Tour

Courting Morrow Little is an engaging historical romance by author Laura Frantz.

It’s 1778 when Morrow Little returns to her home in the Kentucky wilderness after an extended stay with an aunt in Philadelphia. Some are a bit concerned that she’s become too soft and refined to handle the rougher existence, but she’s determined to resume life there with her father, a pastor to the settlers and soldiers in a nearby fort.

When Morrow was a small child, her mother and sister were killed by the Shawnee, and her brother was taken captive. Morrow is soon faced with past hurts and fears when she learns her father has befriended a Shawnee Indian and his son, Red Shirt.

Still holding on to anger toward the Shawnee, Morrow fights a growing attraction toward handsome Red Shirt. At the same time, she is courted by an officer stationed at the fort who wants her for his wife.

With her return to Kentucky, Morrow is faced with the truth that all may not be as it first appears, and she must deal with her prejudices and preconceived beliefs. She also learns that forgiveness may be one of the most freeing and wonderful gifts we can give to others and ourselves.

In Courting Morrow Little, we’re taken on an adventure to another time and place. A time when the wilderness was beautiful, but also dangerous. And where Morrow proves time and time again, that she is not only feminine, but strong and courageous.

This is the first book I’ve read by Laura Frantz, but it won’t be the last. I highly recommend Courting Morrow Little to anyone who enjoys historical romance. I loved it!

Courting Morrow Little is available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Laura Frantz credits her 100-year-old grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz's family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in 1792 and settled in Madison County, where her family still resides. Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington state with her husband and two sons.

As a reviewer and participant in Revell’s blog tours, I received a complimentary copy of this book. Dawn

Serving More than Food

Sometimes people in need – need more than food.

But why is it so difficult to hang out and talk to the homeless? Or others who need help in order to survive?

The Salvation Army, located not far from our church, recently implemented a new program. Meals are being served there Monday through Friday evenings for anyone who shows up and wants to eat. Within just a few weeks, the numbers of people fed has doubled.

Our church, along with other area churches, has committed to helping the program be successful. My husband and I have volunteered to be on the team.

We had our first experience last weekend. Both of us had served meals in the heart of Seattle, but it had been a long time, so we looked forward to helping at a location closer to home.

People of all ages filed in. Mothers alone with children. The elderly. Some of the guests looked like they lived on the streets. Others were clean and well spoken, but were probably just going through a rough time financially. A mother came in with four children who were all very well behaved and polite. Everyone graciously accepted the food we poured into bowls or laid on their plates. Many stayed as long as we were open; visiting with people they had either arrived with, or seemed to know from their world outside.

Volunteers are asked to sit and visit with the guests, when able. During the course of the evening, several people from our team joind a table and attempted to generate conversation. My husband and both hung back that night, wanting to get a better feel for the people there.

Why did we hesitate? What makes it so difficult to sit down with a stranger and talk to them? I’m an introvert, but one of my gifts is talking one-on-one and “listening.” People need to be listened to.

Perhaps it was the feeling I got while serving them. I smiled, looked into their eyes – but they refused to connect with me for more than a brief moment. I sensed embarrassment over receiving free food. It’s one thing when you can’t afford to purchase a new car. It’s another thing entirely when you can’t provide the nourishment required to survive.

FEAR plays a huge role in building walls between people who need help and those who offer it. We may fear that they’re different, or that they don’t want to talk to us; while they may fear that we don’t trust them, or look down on them as being “less.” We both probably fear rejection.

But Sonny and I hope—we plan—to make the effort next time to sit with them. Ask them about their lives. We want to give them time with someone who cares. We want to make them feel like they count. We want to serve them something more than food for their bellies.

I know that if I ask to sit at a table with guests at one of those meals, I may be unsuccessful in sharing any kind of conversation with them. They don’t have to talk to me. And if they don’t, it could become a very uncomfortable situation. But that’s the risk I need to take. Because there’s also a chance that we’ll both walk away better for it.


Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart

Chasing Lilacs is an impressive debut novel for author Carla Stewart. The author takes us back to 1958 and puts us in a small Texas community, and into the mind and heart of Sammie Tucker, an almost thirteen-year-old girl.

Life isn’t as simple as you think it must have been “back then.” Sammie’s mother suffers with mental issues, and when she commits suicide, Sammie’s world is filled with loss and confusion. Then her disgruntled aunt shows up to help “care” for Sammie, and things get even messier. It’s a good thing that Sammie has a loving father - not to mention other townspeople who look out for her. There’s her outspoken best friend, a new boy who comes to live with his uncle, and her mentors - the woman next door who raises birds, and an elderly widower who has his own secrets.

Although Sammie is a young teen, I became totally involved with the character. This story pulled me in emotionally, while it also provided surprising plot twists. I was whisked into nostalgia and a time when life was perhaps a bit slower, but the pace of the story kept me turning the pages.

Chasing Lilacs touches on the subject of mental illness and shock treatments. Not necessarily a happy topic. But is also an uplifting story of hope and forgiveness. It reminds us that even when we don’t initially see it – God is still in control and working on our behalf.

This book is very well written. I’m looking forward to reading Carla Stewart’s next release.

This summer, I encourage you to read Chasing Lilacs.

Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She believes in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She and her husband have four adult sons and a delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren. Chasing Lilacs is her first novel.

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