There’s this Book…


A few months ago I finished my second book, Couple Corners: 52 Faithful Choices for a More Joy-Filled Marriage. This book has gotten several 5 star reviews. It’s meant to help couples find more joy in their marriage one faithful choice at a time. 

This book writing thing is fascinating because writing a book doesn’t mean people buy it.  After all, there are tons of books. Some good, some bad, some interesting…well, you get the point. At times I fill like this 3 foot tall kid at a basketball players convention standing in a corner shouting, “Hey, I’ve got great news for you!”

Yup, that’s the book marketing world,  

So, I’m learning to branch out and share my story in a variety of ways. One big step I took meant contacting other authors and gurus. It terrified me. But, you know what I discovered?  They are amazingly generous.  

With the help of some talented folks I’ve create a special sale for the ebook version. It’s called a Kindle Countdown. Then, I got to add these amazing bonuses for anyone who buys the book. If you are curious, here’s a link to all the information:

This sale doesn’t go forever. It only lasts from today, June 4th, through the end of June 5th.  If you know someone this book could bless, like a couple who wants to grow closer to Christ or maybe someone who’s getting married, please let them know about the sale.


Shock and Awe and Uh-oh

Kid jumping into water

The older we get, the less startled we get.  Maybe it’s because we’re jaded.  As for me, I’ve been shocked so many times that it really takes effort to make be jump now. Having said all that, I just got shocked.

After two years of effort, writing, and rewriting, I finally approved the proof for my book Couple Corners: 52 Faithful Choices for a More Joy-Filled Marriage. Mentally, I leaned back into my chair thinking, “It’s done.” I also figured that I now have a bit of time before it’s available in a larger venue.  According to the publisher’s information, it would take as much as 6-8 months.  

Curiosity tugs me around occasionally, and when it does I click to see who has bought the ebook or if anyone has reviewed it.  Imagine my shock when they suddenly listed the paperback version only one week after I approved the proof. 

My jaw dropped. 

Curiosity drove me to click through to Barnes and Noble. You guessed it. The paperback popped up there too.  Uh-oh. My time got cut much shorter than I thought.   My various coaches have told me that I need to make press releases and send them out to radio stations and newpapers. I should set up speaking opportunities and book signings. 

This is the tough stuff.  Writing the book is easy by comparison. Now, I have to become a type of salesperson just to enable more people to get to read what I wrote.  

Big breath.

This might be messy.  I’ve never really done this stuff before.  I’ve been the face-to-face, learn by observing, and then write what I learned girl.  Oh boy. I don’t like it when people brag or talk about themselves all the time.  No one does.  

Because this book matters, and I’ve been told that it could help many couples, I’m going to keep my heart and mind focused on them. I’m praying for the mysterious them every morning.  Maybe you are one of them.  

If you hear or see me talking about Couple Corners over and over, it’s not because I’m self enthralled.  This is the scary stuff for me.  

I will talk about it, because I believe marriages matter.  There are many people who never had anyone coach them in marriage. I’ve been very blessed and lucky.  It would be self-centered for me to not share.  

Like the kid who jumps into the pool with little training, I’m probably going to flail about and splash you.  I’m still learning.  The pool is still a great place though. And, my instructors have been the best.  

Did I mention that Couple Corners is now available in paperback?  I’d love to talk with you, your church, or school about it. 

The Abandonment of “Alone Yet Not Alone”

Consider the hundreds of songs playing throughout the many movies made for 2013.  The people who choose the ones for Oscar Nomination try to be fair, but many get lost in the mix. For this reason an admirer wrote an email to point them toward one that caught his attention. They agreed.

But, someone wasn’t happy.  One of the left out ones felt slighted.  They cried fowl and declared this email an unjust promotion.  Whether right or wrong, the Oscar committee rescinded it’s nomination.  

One little film, with one little song, saw the possibility of national notice. It was made a budget of $125,000 in the land of multimillion dollar block busters, produced on only a few screens across the country.  The idea that it creeped its way toward the top of the slush pile amazes me.  


It may not receive an Oscar, but this song that did touch the hearts and minds of those who chose it. It might connect with yours.  Listen to it for yourself.  You decide.

For your consideration: Alone but Not Alone – sung by Joni Eareckson Tada 

Stand, Ask, Deliver

A friend on Facebook shared this video of a guy who got to play piano with Billy Joel. In the video, I noticed some great stuff than any writer will appreciate. This student apparently loves Billy Joel songs, specifically New York State of Mind.

Maybe he plays them on public pianos whenever he goes somewhere.  He probably has accompanied many people, singers at his school perhaps.  He’s definitely practiced like crazy.  I know because we can’t just do stuff.  We all need practice.

Billy Joel came to his school, Vanderbilt University, and invited people to ask him questions. Michael Pollack’s friends all pointed toward him. As he speaks, you can hear the fear trembling through his vocal chords, but when Billy calls on him he stands up.

Michael then asks the question he’s probably thought about asking ever since he heard that Billy Joel would visit his school.  “I was wondering if I could play it (New York State of Mind) with you?”

What a gutsy guy! How many of us have wanted to ask something like this, but never even stood up to make the ask? We often psyche ourselves out before anyone could point the finger our way.

If you keep watching the video, you’ll see something else.  Billy Joel says, “Ok.”

That’s generous.  He has no idea what kind of skills this guy has. Most singers prefer accompanists who make them look good.

Then, Billy opens his book and lets Michael see his score. At this point, our jaws drop open.

Michael’s fingers tickle the tops of the keys adeptly, and Billy let’s him take the show.  While they don’t have the seasoned sound of people who tour together for months on end, Michael holds up his part of the song with strength and ease.

He was gutsy enough to stand and ask, but smart and thorough enough to have practiced well for this day.  Bravo Michael.  Thanks for the inspiration.

It’s time to get back to proofing my book.  I want to be ready to follow through when it’s my time to stand and make the ask.

Slow Down Baby, You Move Too Fast


To be fair, I’ve never really been that fast.  I mean, I was the last person chosen on whatever team. If I met some scary dude in an alley, running wouldn’t save me, not unless he used a walker. 

Moving fast happens mentally, not just physically.  We dash through our thoughts and barely notice their passing.  So often when I speak with someone, they barely know what they did yesterday. it screamed past them so quickly.

Maybe it’s because we surf the internet and scan TV at the same time.  Maybe when two generations grow up on fast food something happens metabolically.  But what if we chose to do something slow.  That’s right, we choose it.  

If we convince ourselves that speed isn’t accuracy, then we might want to become more accurate.  We’d have to slow down to take aim at life. Real aim requires deep breathes and calm countenance.

When we inhale slowly the life we have been given, we arrive at our moment.  This is our moment, right now.  It won’t come back.

In marriage, each day is a new day to declare love, to forgive, to open arms and hearts.  Each day provides an opportunity to seek forgiveness and try again.  If we careen down the road of life without regard to these precious times, we’ll have missed our moment.


I’m Back…


This blogging thing certainly is an adventure.  If you haven’t read some of my past posts, I started here. Then, I became the Los Angeles Faith and Family Examiner.  Eventually they let me be the National Christian Parenting Examiner. But, I was hunting for a more specific purpose. 

I began investing in this blog journey.  The result is Faithful Choices.  It’s another blog meant to help people find joy one faithful choice at a time. 

While writing about family and marriage and social media, I discovered a passion for marriages.  So, I took a next step.  I wrote a book which is currently available on Amazon called Couple Corners:52 Faithful Choices for a More Joy-Filled Marriage. Becoming an author has an interesting learning curve.  I’m realizing the need for a space to simply talk marriage. 

The most logical thing in the world meant reshaping Faithful Choices, which I’m beginning now.  But I ache for a place to simply share thoughts and ideas, no matter how random.  Oh yeah, I had this blog already.

Guess what? I’m back.

Inspired by the prolific Seth Godin, I’ll be posting short thoughts daily.  We’ll discover together what it is I think.  I hope it proves valuable to you.  

Connecting with people: lessons from the photoshoot

Image via Wikipedia

I joined my friend Jessica Beebe from Remembrancer Photography for a photo shoot today.  We’re getting some photos ready for a new blog I’m developing.  (I’ll keep you in the loop as launch day arrives.)

I posed and pretended to be America’s Next Top Model.  We laughed and strutted down the hallway of our beautiful church building.  As she shot moment after moment, I learned some things about connecting with people.

1.  Lean in :

     It physically shows your interest.  You become engaging and open to the conversation or event before you. 

2.  Lean back:

     It physically shows a lack of interest, an aloofness, even a superiority.

This caused me to wonder if the same holds true in one-on-one conversations.  Sometimes, I sit back to listen to someone because I’m more comfortable.  Do I seem aloof or uninterested?  That’s not my wish.

With my children, I occasionally stand over them and dictate the days events.  Granted, as a parent a certain amount of superiority helps move things along, but if I want them to know I’m really interested in what they say and what they think, will the simple act of leaning in convey my inner thoughts?

This will require investigation. 

Have you noticed other types of body language cues that help you connect better with others?

My choice today:

Lean in to the conversations which really matter.



When the earth shakes, change happens

IRIS Seismic Monitor
Image by Xevi V via Flickr

Maybe a mountain grows,  a sea widens, or ice melts, but something happens.

The ground under my feet feels like jello.  My oh-so-quivering knees keep banging together, because I sense change in the air.  Keep your eyes open and your ears ready, because it is coming.

Something’s happening beneath the surface of this humble little blog.  More info will arrive as it’s ready, but it’s a big beautiful thing and you’re going to love it.

Do you fear going splat on the rocks of life?


Visualize this.

A fourteen year old girl goes hiking with her friends.  They explore parts of northern Arizona and discover a creek with a box canyon.  You know the type, where water gathers in various spaces to make swimming holes for adventurous teens.

Once they discover the canyon, kids begin crawling and jumping into its small 9 x 9 foot pool of water. For safety, one person does a test dive to decide its depth, easily 10 feet or more.

They begin jumping off an 8 foot cliff into the pool and shouting their enthusiasm.  Soon, this minor adrenaline moment doesn’t satisfy.  What next?

Eyes venture higher.  A twenty-foot cliff.  One by one the teens burst off the higher rock into the chilly pool below.  They invite others to join.  “Come on!” they say, “You can do it!”

Eventually the teens all venture up to higher ground.  But what about that one 14-year-old girl?

The whole time, she timidly explored her personal unknown.  She has no hiking experience.  She internally grins at her moments of bravery, no one knowing her challenge.

She wears contacts.  For this journey, she knew it would be unwise to wear them. However, insecurity required her to leave the glasses at home.  She can barely see. 

Everything dances before her in shapes and shadows.  She checks out the pool for herself, holding her breath and forcing her body down as far as possible, to find its depth.  She doesn’t touch bottom.  It’s deep.

After an hour of hearing the laughter and splashes, she slowly creeps to the low cliff, which is already higher than she’s ever jumped.  Blindly trusting friends and water, she leaps.  Yes!

It’s all she ever hoped for!  The thrill of the leap, the cool of the water, the enjoyment of her friends.  She contentedly remains at the lower cliff exalting in her moments of courage.  But then she hears the call.

“Come on!” they say, “You can do it!”

Are they crazy?  This has already been the biggest adventure of her life, why mess with that?  Why risk more?

Her friends tell her she’d feel bad if she left and never accomplished this goal.  She doubts them.

She cannot even see the cliff from which they’ve jumped.  Though it stands only a few feet from her current location, her cloudy eyes mask its location.  She hears the shouts and looks up knowing it’s much more than she’s ever done.  But she has no image to grasp.

Because of peer pressure and the clear enjoyment of  others, she decides to hike to the other side of the cliff, to move upward.  She’ll think about leaping.  Maybe.

She crosses the creek and climbs up the trail to the higher cliff site.  The air feels different.  The breeze pushes more.  She steps out to look over this daunting precipice.  Her heart thunders in her chest. She feel exposed and vulnerable.

She cannot see the pool.  To her eyes, it’s a giant, fuzzy, open space.  Her brain knows the water would catch her as it caught her friends, but her eyes don’t believe.  She shakes.

The teens encourage their fearful friend, they remind her of their success.  She remains frozen glaring into emptiness, dreaming of success but nailed to the ground with fear.  What if she’s the one who misses the pool?  What if she simply goes splat on the rocks?

When people speak of a leap of faith, they forget the reason we don’t easily leap.  They fail to remember our fear of going splat. Trusting in the unseen God of the Bible can feel like jumping off a cliff into the unknown, but He has proved Himself over and over, and like the water below, His depth is capable of catching us when we imagine our rocky doom.

What happened to that young teen?

After an hour of staring, imagining and fearing, she moved forward. Into the air blindly, she left the safety of the cliff. Less like a leap and more like a step, she found herself midair, falling.  As she flew through the air, still the fears grabbed at her heart, but the water caught her as smoothly as a catcher at home plate. She did it!

And so can you.

Whatever your leap is, whatever splat you fear, the Living Water wants to catch, comfort and refresh you.  May you know His comfort and care in the midst of your struggle.

“Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;” Psalm 86:2

I wrote a guest post on this topic in seven short sentences, click here to read for yourself. 

My choice today:

Jump into the arms of Jesus when fear attempts to capture my heart.

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Don’t simplify, ever

Greyhound Racing
Image by Mamboman1 via Flickr

Have you ever sat down with a friend for conversation and that friend just kept talking and talking and talking? Whenever they pause, you attempt to speak but discover your mistake, because they quickly stomp over your idea to insert their idea again and again.


You find yourself wishing for a polite way to say, “Haven’t you heard, less is more?”

In the world of blogs, Geoff Talbot cuts to the chase better than a greyhound hunting down a rabbit on an Arizona track. He created a short and sweet blog presence called, .

Each post limits itself to seven sentences worth of content. The topics include creativity, filmmaking, social media, holy filth, writing and poetry.

Tomorrow, he adds a certain choice chicka to his blogging collection of friends.

That’s right. I decided to simplify.

When he asked for guest bloggers, I accepted the challenge to succinctly communicate within his seven sentence boundary. The result is a guest post entitled, “Think, blink then leap“.

He’ll put it on his site tomorrow.  Here’s the link:

Be sure to visit and comment profusely.  Tell your friends, neighbors and family to check out this short and tasty nugget of inspiration.  I plan on hanging out over there and responding to anyone who wants to chat.

My choice today:

Share short thoughts with long meanings.