Sunday, May 29, 2005

Memorial Day - Thank YOU!

It's Memorial Day Weekend. My Grandpa Hayes served in WW I. My Uncle Porky and my father-in-law, John Hauck, served in WW II as well as my Grandpa Fausnaugh. My Uncle Dave served in Korea. Having a family member serve makes it more personal, yet no matter what, I honor and thank all those who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom.

Right now, I have two cousins serving in Iraq, and while some questions this war, I still say, "thank you" to those who are serving.

Thank you to my Grandpa's, my Uncles and father-in-law, thank you for serving. Thank you for fighting for freedom with courage. Thanks to all the U.S. Veterans, men and women, who served over the centuries for the cause of freedom.

I just hope my generation and the one that follows can appreciate the blood spilled for our freedom. I love the scene in "Remember the Titans" where Denzel Washington's character takes the football team to Gettysburg and reminds them it's hatred and misunderstanding caused brother to fight against brother.

"Thank you, Lord, for our freedoms. Let us never forget!"

It's Sunday, the house is quiet. I was watching Exreme Makeover Home Edition and crying. There's something about this show, and Oprah's show, when they give and do things for people. Makes me cry!

Tony went to kids camp. He'll be gone until Friday. My goal is to write the novella this week - as much as possible.

Eric came by for a copy of Lambert's Pride. He's going to read it. Should be interesting to see what he says. I reminded him that it is a sweet romance. My friend Ted read it and cried, but he's not the typical guy. I mean he's a guy's guy, make no doubt, but he expresses emotion without hesitation.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Here we go a kick boxing among the sweaty people

Tuesday I kicked boxed. Thursday I kicked box. Friday, I just got home for 75 minutes of stepping and sculpting. It was hilarious.

I worked hard, but what a clutz. I don't know the routine or the steps, so I'm all over the place and forget about me moving my arms and legs at the same time. but I'll get it. I entertained some of the youth on Wednesday night with the plie jump-up move with my hands together over my head like I dream of Jeanne. They were laughing.

Too bad I didn't have the scissor-step-to-a-round-house-kick move to show them. I learned that on Thursday. They would have died laughing seeing me try to do one.

But, I'm trying to get myself in shape. Aerobics is a change for me and I think will boost my metabolism. And now, to cut calories, too.

Well, that's all for now.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Killer Friday

Okay, I don't normally say "killer." How '80s, but I went to the Strong Class at the gym this morning. Killer!

Oh man, my arms and leg muscles were screaming, "Stop! Stop! You evil mean woman! Go back to the easy weight machines." Working with little eight pound free weights brought me to my knees. I had to finish the routine with five pound weight and that was with brute, mental force.

The good news? I'm taking the class again next week!

SALE ALERT! SALE ALERT! Tuesday I got an email from Becky Germany at Barbour. She bought the "Get Me To The Church On Time" anthology with Pamela Griffin, Lena Dooley, me and Lynette Sowell! My first anthology and I'm SO excited. This book will have four stories about four weddings that almost don't happen because of nasty mother nature. Think Forces of Nature. Mine will deal with hurricanes, go figure. Pamela's story battles a tornado. Lena deals with a blizzard and Lynette's characters beat out a wild fire.

Get Me To The Church On Time on sale Summer '06.

This sale excited me for two reasons. One, I got the idea after hurricane's Frances and Jeanne last year. I'm glad something good came out of those storms (besides all the babies about to be born.) Two, and MOST important, it was a first book sale for Lynette. She's been writing and submitting for a long time, and this is sweet victory. I'm proud of her and grateful for the sale!!

Other things I'm writing. My acknowledgements for Georgia On Here Mind. Thought I'd get a head start. Emailing with the copy editor on Lambert's Peace. I really like her. She's doing a good job.

A Word On Not Having Kids: My mom emailed that one of her co-workers asked how Tony and I feel about not having kids. Mom was going to direct her to my last post. But when I reread it, I don't think my true feelings were communicated.

The fact is, we are very much at peace about not being natural parents. It is 100% a God thing. He's spoken to our hearts many times about not being biological parents. In fact, not too long ago, at the Prayer Retreat, the Lord said to me, "I know you don't always understand, but trust Me. This is a good thing." And I felt His pleasure in that I trust Him about this.

You know, God calls us to different things. Some, He calls to celibacy, and we are cool with that in the Body of Christ. But believe it or not, God calls some to be childless. Tony and I are two of those people. Are children a blessing from the Lord? Absolutely! I love all the little ones in my life. Can't image not knowing them. But for some reason, Tony and I just have spiritual kids - you know who you are. Mother's Day I got two calls! Blessed my socks off.

Two days ago, one of my "sons" called and said, "Hey, I want to read your books. I thought, 'I love her, I need to read her books. See what she's writing.'" Talk about kissing my heart! Shew! And you know, the love that we get from other people's kids, is really, really special. They don't have to love us as secondary Mom and Dad. They are free to move on once they leave youth church. But they choose to love us.

That's how incredible God is. I love all my "kids!" Sometimes, we love kids more than they love us, but I think any parent can identify with that feeling.

Life is good. God is good. Peace out

Monday, May 16, 2005

Here's where Tony and I differ

Waking up this morning, I asked Tony, "Don't you think about the future?"

"Like how?" he asked.

"Well, we don't have kids, so we don't have that to look forward to - graduations, marriages, grandkids, Christmas with little ones. I mean, it's just you and me."

"Nope, I don't think about it." LOL. Guess I'm alone on this one.

I think about the future. Mostly, what do we have to look forward to, and maybe that's wrong, but I do. I can't help it. Like, what are out tomorrows going to be like? We have a wonderful life, I'm not complaining, but I just wonder what 50 will be like, and 60. I have a stirring in my soul and I want to answer it.

Mostly, I want more of God. I want to see the Divine interact with my day-to-day life. I want to see love exhibited in and among His people - like Acts 2, 3 and 4. I want to see the dead raised and blind eyes opened. I'm tired of mediocre Christianity. I mean, THE SAME SPIRIT THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD LIVES IN US!

Shoot, fire, ya'll. We got what the world is looking for - peace, hope, purpose. Let's do it!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Saturday - Favorite Day

I love Saturdays. I just do. This morning I ate two heels for breakfast - yum. Then went to the gym, followed by the grocery store Publix.

I love Publix. Tony wasn't with me today, normally he is, so I hung around the books for awhile. I bought Dorthea Benton Frank's book, Shem Creek. She's going to be in Vero Beach for a signing on Wednesday. But I have youth church. I have about 3 books started... but I'll finish them all. I find I'm reading more and more "southern" authors.

OH, Wednesday night after youth we are trekking over to Cinama World to see the midnight showing of Star Wars. Don, the youth pastor at Zion, bought 75 tickets. So, a bunch of us will be there. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, but any event at midnight with 75 of my closest friends (ha!) is exciting.

I woke up really committed to losing 20 lbs. How is it that at 10:00 a.m., I'm determined and strong, but by 10:30, the first rumbles from my midsection, I'm thinking hot cakes and bacon. Grr. I did so-so today. Small slice of coconut cream pie, and I HATE coconut! Small, very small bit of ice cream and a few peanut M&Ms. A turkey sandwich and fat free chip. One orange, cup of grapes. Other than the junk, I did OK. LOL. Tomorrow is another day, right?

I've made a goal for myself - New York Times Best Seller. Ok, ok, so I'm not that good yet. But, a girl can dream.

Last night we had a joint prayer meeting at Freedom Christian Center. A lot of places around the state were praying for a release of life since we feel the Terri Schivo thing released death to the nation. The prayer meeting was the Worship and the Word format (my favorite.) Worship mixed with praying from the scriptures. It went really well. One of the pastors prayed, "As Florida goes, so goes the nation." The place erupted. Ever since 2000 elections, the eye of the nation seems to be on Florida.

Then someone read and prayed about Eziekel and the dry bones. I started singing, "they see dry bones, we see an army" and man, I literally felt the anointing being poured out. Something about declaring to the world, we are an army. The whole congregation was singing it. Then, later we sang about the Father being the father to the fatherless - the defenseless and poor - and there was a heave anointing on that.

Prayer does change things. We have to remember that. It feels so fruitless at times, but it's the unseen force that changes nations. Psalm 2:1 - "Why are the nations in an uproar (why do they rage) And the peoples devising a vain thing?" They rage against Jesus, but prayer stirs the atmosphere, stirs the heart of God so that He moves on behalf of His people. People will rage.

But I love Revelation 8 - "Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake."

Is it possible our weak feeble prayers cause thunderings, lightnings and eathquakes? Yes! God add His own fire, His own incense.

Well, speaking of. I think I'll go worship and pray for awhile. Peace out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Price Of A Cow

I'm at the gym. On the treadmill. Watching the CBS's "The Early Show." Ok, reading The Early Show 'cause I don't have a headset, so I have to read close caption and not fall off the treadmill. (Sidebar - there was the sweetest, cutest little bird perched on the window frame, sleeping against the window with his head tucked under his wing. So sweet.)

Back to the show. Hannah Storm is interviewing Kate White, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan. They are discussing dating, and how women can break the chain of dating bad boys and getting their heart broken. The advice is high-level but sound: review past mistakes, ask friends for advice about the guys you date, monitor thoughts and behavior, review if you're censoring information to your friends, update your man criteria, stuff like that.

Then Hannah says, "What our mothers told us is true... something about why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free."

I said, "Yes!" All right, finally. Tell 'em, Kate. Keep yer britches on, girls.

Kate (smiling): "Once you get physically intimate and emotionally invested, judgement goes out the window. So the longer you postpone beyond 3-4 date rule, the longer you keep your objectivity."

What? Postpone the three or four date rule? To what the fifth or sixth date rule? What kind of ambiguous rule is that? Postone until you're confident the guy remembers your phone number and where you live? Ladies, ladies, ladies. You got it, they want it. Never, ever forget it! You hold all the cards. Kate, you missed a perfect opportunity to say, "Postpone physical intimacy until the guy asks you to marry him and takes his vows!"

That's how you know what kind of man you have! If he marries you, most likely he doesn't have committment and intimacy issues. If he's not calling you, or flirting with other girls, or forgets you like fried clams and orders raw oysters maybe he's just not into you! So certainly, keep the goods zipped up and move on, find a guy who is into you.

Price of a Cow? One diamond, one wedding, and two "I do."

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Writing and me

Writing has changed me. It's tapped into the inner part of my soul that used to be frustrated with layers of memories, ideas and dreams longing to become stories and characters painted with words.

When I hear an "oldie" on the radio, I immediately picture words. "It was the summer of '77..." Characters spring to life in my mind's eyes and they have names and voices. Sometimes, I jot the image down, other times, I store it away in the library of my heart and maybe one day, I'll pull it down, dust it off and write about it.

I love storing ideas. It's like a being in an internal bookstore. Ever walk into the library or the bookstore and go, ""Mmmm." It's a literary bakery. I love the smell, the site, the touch of books. Being around them makes me want to write, write, write. So, my internal books and ideas serve the same inspiration. I realize I'm going to have one actual written story for every 100 ideas, but I love the inspiration.

The summer of '85, my sorority big sister, Tish, and I went to see "Saint Elmo's Fire." The movie impacted me deeply because the characters were at the exact same stage in life as I - graduating college and facing the real world. Sitting there with Tish, I never wanted to lose that feeling of comraderie, of friendship, of common bond that we shared in our Ohio State, Phi Mu experience.

Emotion welled up from deep down for Suzanne, Machelle, Maureen, Connie, Angie, Lori, Sarah and all the other sisters that made my university experience about life and love as much as it was about academics and degrees.

Leaving the theater that night with Tish, I wanted desperately to put that emotion down on paper. I wanted to tell our story. I wanted to remember what I felt in that moment, wanted to hang on to what those years deposited in my heart. Yet I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that the memories and feelings would fade with time and distance.

"Let's Hear It For the Boy," by Denise Williams from the movie "Footloose" invariably invoked a strong emotional memory for years. Picture a beautiful spring day on campus, the windows of the Phi Mu house wide open and Darian blasting that song from her room so loud it filled 15th Avenue.

Until I started writing, those stored books, partial books, frustrated me. Now, they inspire me. Empower me even. And maybe one day, I"ll write about the girls of 93 E. 15th Avenue.

God's timing in my writing is perfect! I couldn't have started writing after college for a lot of reasons, the least of which I needed more of Him and less of me. Besides the power of memories, I want and need the power of the Holy Spirit. I take the gift that He's given me, give it back to Him, asking for His grace and anointing. Being a writer with the indwelling Spirit of God excites me more than anything. Not because it's about me and what I can do, but because it's about Him, His GREATNESS. He's full of love and mercy!!

Writing has changed me.