The Truth

Most of the times I hear a term like "an insider", I'm reading the back cover of a thriller novel or hearing that deep voice of the movie trailer announcer. So my brain started processing the term anew when I heard it this week about CSM Bolyard and his death in Afghanistan.

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In case you're curious, there's a weird balance maintained by military families during a time as trying as this. Morbid curiosity is a no-go...yet, we are all thinking about it. Why did it happen? How? Who of our friends are affected by such a horrible loss? 

I watch my friends cry.

I hug them, knowing their life will never be the same...because they have lost a friend, a husband, a colleague.

But I don't cry out there. I didn't know this hero. I have only heard about him secondhand or read about him online, like every one else. My tears come later, and they are for the greater loss that our country experiences every time we lose a member of our Armed Forces. They are for my husband who will be deployed again. For the Gold Star families who have already started rebuilding and moving on. 

The more I hear about CSM Bolyard... that he was 42, getting ready to retire, a family man...a true United States hero...

Killed by an insider. 

After reading that and thinking on it for a day, I finally asked my husband, "What does that mean? He was killed by one of our own?" Isn't that what insider means? Do I even want to know?

It means that someone, who our troops were there to help and train, came in and gave us the middle finger. [those aren't my husband's words; they are mine] CSM Bolyard is the 154th person killed by an insider attack since 2007.

I stared at my husband for a second and then asked, "Why are we even over there?" I know what this means now. It means that none of our soldiers are safe, ever. What 'friendly' will be the next to turn? In what month? At which Base? How can I let you go, knowing you might not come back?

"Politics." His words. "We train them. We give them arms; they take them and give them to ISIS." They don't understand the world like we do, with peace as an ending solution. They want us all dead.

"So, why are we over there?" I ask again. And he shrugs. He too struggles to understand such hate. Are we protecting innocence and freedom? Are we fighting the injustice of the world? For him, the answers are simpler. He serves his country; he demands a better life for his home and for the world. He wants women to be respected. He wants children to be loved. He wants the elderly to be honored. In every culture. And he wants peace... 

For me, the answers are wrapped up in emotions and turmoil and more questions. And tears. For my sister Army spouse, who suffers the loss. For our country, who has lost its focus and finds value in Political Correctness instead of Truth. 

And it makes me think about Truth. The truth of knowing our world will never see peace until we surrender to the God who created us all. Until every man, woman, and child knows the salvation of the cross, our world will suffer from sin.

And all we can do is get up in the morning and love one another. Be the light in a dark world. Share the burden of our loved ones. And pray. 

For Peace. For Change. For Life. 

Sending prayers for the Bolyard family. Timothy Bolyard, you and your family are in my calendar, and we will never forget. Rest in Peace.

With Love,

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Real Author Life

I hate to get on the snapshot social media of Facebook and brag. I know that seems silly...and people do like to cheer each other on, which is amazing in the world today, because we can also be so negative. Maybe that's a reason TO brag on Facebook.

However, I haven't quite made that hurdle to putting myself on center stage there without some kind of barrier, like a blog. 

 2016, Proof Pic 1

2016, Proof Pic 1

And I'm here because...it's a long story. One that involves six kids, a husband who loves to run, type 1 diabetes, and me. Me: last year. [we both look a little goofy, eh?] I hate this picture, and when it was shot, I was annoyed at the photography because I let myself believe it was the angle of the photo, right? stupid, of course. 

I must have been a good 165 pounds in that photo. Not morbidly obese, but well-overweight and on my way to worse.

Jump ahead another year. [see photo below!]

Somehow I'd managed to loose a few, and then it became that I was just so sick of myself! I eat vegetables and fruit and healthy stuff...but I hadn't quite kicked the habit of picking up the sweets as well.  During this year, I read "Big Girls Do It Running," (link goes to the authors amazon page because i can't find the book), and I related to the author whose story it was. I remember the days when the diabetic diet was more about low fat than low carb, and we were eating Angel Food Cake because it was "good for us." Times have changed, thankfully!

 2017, Proof Pic 2

2017, Proof Pic 2

And then, I made the decision to go to NYC for the ThrillerFest Convention. Late 2017, I paid my [whopping] fees, looked at myself, and asked, "Are you going to be the Fat Romance author at this event?" Which isn't very nice of me, at all. But, I was talking to myself and sometimes, you have to be a little mean with yourself, you know? I didn't want to be filling any stereotype or cliche. 

So, in January, at 158 pounds, I cut the sugars--alot. Not completely, but enough that I saw a few pounds drop right away. And then I saw an advertisement for a kickboxing class--free, at 5am. I didn't go right away. I had to get brave. What if I failed? What if it was just like the running I'd done over the years--unsuccessful and discouraging?

But I kept seeing it pop up in my FB newsfeed. So, finally...I went.

 Day 1: Cardio Kickboxing: Death

Day 1: Cardio Kickboxing: Death

All I can say about that first day is:

I could do almost an entire push up. Maybe a few sit ups. And planks? No. Just no, no, no. My shoulders burned. My body was weak. WEAK! And then I went back. I started slow with two days the first week and three the second and third, finally bumping my attendance up to 4 times a week after that. And you know what? I got stronger.

And that's when I realized that I liked being strong. More than being skinny, I wanted to be strong. So, even though I plateaued at 144 and hadn't lost a single pound in almost 2 months in June, I was okay with that, too. Because I can keep up with my kickboxing classmates. I can help the newbies learn the combinations, and I can encourage them to keep going. "Keep going," I say. "Look at me. I couldn't do a single push up 3 months ago!"

 Me!!

Me!!

Fast forward to today, almost four months since I started. I'm up to 18 push ups [PT push ups!] in a minute, 30 sit ups, and I can plank for an entire minute, almost no problem. And then I take a quick break and I plank some more. I go 5 or 6 times a week, and I love fighting. I love the combos and the sweat and the kicking. I am never bored. I am never tempted to quit...I'm not discouraged by the solitude like I was with running, but encouraged by the group of amazing people who work with me. 

This morning, I got on that stupid scale and weighed 140 pounds. I'm going to New York City a woman who will kick your ass. [haha, just kidding...sort of, don't mess with me!] And this morning I went to Kohl's to buy a new jean jacket. I tried the Medium on, knowing i'm still a bit between sizes--that 8/10 range--but nope, I had to go to the small. I'm overwhelmed and grateful. [and obviously, I've gone on way too long. blah, blah, blah] Brag, brag, brag. 

It's possible to get healthier, lose weight, and become the strong, resilient people God meant us to be. If you're struggling, come find me. I'll bring you to class, and we'll do it together. PS: When I hit 135, I'm eating a shake. :D

 Cute Guy. Will help.

Cute Guy. Will help.

Victory!

This post will be slightly cultural, political, and definitely controversial. I can only say that today because of what Facebook has done to our world. I know everything that everyone is thinking...it seems. I know what all the experts are saying because articles often show up in my newsfeed. Politics is there in full force as well... and it's often a very left-wing point of view. And though my thoughts aren't political in nature, the tides of society wash away our right to think and have opinions so that even the simplest of topics becomes political. 

I have the cutest son in the whole word: Examples:

About six to ten months ago, he stopped saying the S in words where the S was followed by a consonant. So stop had become 'top' and scooter was 'cooter' and so on. The speculation began...could he hear well? Did he have a speech impediment? Were we seeing the start to something else? Only wait, I didn't quite do that speculating. I never took him to the doctor or therapist. I wasn't ready to jump on the Diagnosis Bandwagon. 

He was a three-year-old, learning to talk and communicate with his family. And lots of three-year-olds have the cutest little speech quirks. 

Well, this morning he woke up and joined us in bed, and for the first time since it all started, he talked about it. "I can't say s'ake," he said with a frown. And his dad and I looked at each other. "That's okay," I said. And then he started practicing words. "S-nnnake." We told him good job, as he went through his list of words, "Snake, Scooter, Stop, Store,..." He still struggled with the 'SM' words, like smell, but for some reason... and I guess it's true, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one ...he started saying the words correctly. 

The incident made me stop and really think about how people are so ready to diagnosis and fix things that might not need fixing. My friend had a doctor tell her that her two-year-old daughter had anxiety because she wouldn't go to strangers. Anxiety. ANXIETY! What in ever-loving-hell? We want to label everything when sometimes, we just have to sit back and let live. I think, if the speech hadn't returned in another year at some point, I might have started digging and considering ways to help him. But, we have to remember that kids are all different! They are all beautifully made. Sometimes the standards don't apply to our children. Sometimes they are behind the standard or beyond the standard. 

And sometimes a quirk is just a quirk. Do we need to fix all our quirks? I say the word "fire" with two syllables...as most people from the Midwest do. As all of my sisters do.  "Fi-er." My husband used to stutter, still does on occasion. 

Why does our society insist on fixing our differences? If we don't like to be around people, why do we have anxiety? It could just be that we prefer solitude. If we are temperamental, fiesty, or angry, why do we need to be on mood-changing medications? If we have a hard time sitting still... you get the idea. 

I'm 41. I've been a parent for almost 19 of those years, and I'm dismayed by the use of medications in our culture. From infants through teenage years, there is a horrifying trend to medicate and fix something that is normal. :( 

I've had a year like that this year, and I come to the end of this school year even more convicted to rely on my instincts rather than the studies and advice of doctors. Life is NOT easy, but we have community and God to share our burdens, IF we are willing to tap into them. 

So, this post is a cheer!! Yay Jack for being so cute and walking around saying 'cooter' and 'pot' for the last six months. We absolutely LOVED your quirk and we'll remember it and talk about it to your girlfriend someday. 

Hope you all have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend.

Prayers for the souls of all those who lost their lives serving our country.

With Love,

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Happy 2018

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2018

Do you ever feel like all you do is spend your time waiting? Waiting for the big break. Waiting for a loved one to come home. Waiting for the coffee to brew! 

Even my characters are waiting--for love, for happily-ever-after, for revenge, for justice. 

And it occurred to me, the story isn't about what happens at the end of the wait. 

No. It's what a person or character does while they are waiting. As an Army wife, I feel this strongly, especially as 2018 starts. We had two moves in two years in a row, and this will be the first year we don't move since 2015. And that's an awesome thing! But it's also means...I'm waiting.

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This hasn't been my most favorite place to live so far and that means I'm subconsciously looking forward to what's to come. Where will we go next? When? It's human nature. It's survival. But, I think it's time for me to really embrace a new routine, here. I don't have to love it here to love the people I'm with, to enjoy the good days, and invest my time in the worthwhile causes around me. 

It's time to find a niche. And you know what??

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That's being a mom. It's being a writer of my books. It's being a friend to the women I work with and share bible study with and laugh with...and even cry with. It means going above and beyond. It means writing a ton. It means going to the extra-curricular activities--the plays and sporting events and doctors appointments [without complaint]. It means learning something new and maybe visiting that one museum I still haven't made it to.

I'm not going anywhere for the next year...

So watch me fly!!

With Love,

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When a book makes you Mad:

I usually refrain from leaving negative reviews. Believe me. I know how it feels to get those. Not nice! And sometimes, they are completely crazy off the wall, like "did you even read the book?" So, I didn't leave a review. I internalized what I'd read...over and over for several hours. The book made me roll my eyes, groan, get defensive, and then--eventually--made me mad. 

But after running through the emotions of dislike, I got to a point where I'd processed enough to see a bigger picture...and I wondered, How does a fiction novel influence our decisions? 

My own conscience feels a responsibility to the reader. 

1. not to be too biased or one-sided: double-edged sword here in today's world.

2. do my research

The book I stopped reading yesterday had some immature moments, some moments of disbelief. I can take all of that, but then the author stepped up onto a platform for mental health. The move surprised me and made me hesitate. I tepidly kept reading, wondering what she was going to do next. 

And then I got mad. Because the author presented the use of drugs as a good, normal way to fix a problem, when all the reading and research I've done...the talking to other people...has left me feeling completely uncertain [please note, I didn't say 'left me feeling like it was wrong for everyone']. The side effects can be harsh and far-reaching: from headaches to suicide.  

And then--the icing on the cake--the author compared the use of these drugs with a Type I Diabetic using insulin. And it didn't matter that I was a breath away from finishing the book. I didn't finish. 

T1D is NOT a mental disorder, to be determined based on talking about things. It's a disease. A person with T1D is BROKEN. Without insulin, a T1D will DIE. So, tell me how that's the same as this hero having a temper he can't control and taking mind-altering drugs? 

I couldn't relate at all. I felt the author glossed over the reality of using SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors], and it made me sad for people who won't do the research on the drugs or who are being pressured to use it, who might actually be influenced by--yes--a romance novel. 

I think I could have taken the presentation of the SSRI in the story, if there had been more... conflict, less of a stance or platform in how it was shown in the story. And definitely, it would have been key to not have the use of SSRI compared to the use of insulin. 

Writing books is a hard business. It's often that we--authors--will offend someone or write a point of view that differs from a readers beliefs. There's nothing wrong with differing beliefs--usually. And maybe that means there is nothing wrong with the book I didn't finish. Maybe for some it offered hope! And they left the story filled with a good feeling. 

I felt sad. And I felt convicted to be more careful... but also, to be truer to my values in my own books. :) So, I'm ending this thought process with acceptance toward this author's mistakes. It didn't make me happy. It ticked me off. I think she should have done more research and made a better show of....life.

But, I'm not mad anymore--processing things will do that! And I feel better because I've had my say, which is what blogging is for, right? 

Don't Do It!

Bloggers are amazing, dedicated, organized people!! 

And this is why I call myself an author, a writer, a mom, a wife, a taxi driver, a coach, a book club member... so many things, but not a blogger. That being said, BLOG:

Life changes so quickly, doesn't it?

I've felt real pressure this year to solidify my purpose in life, in Georgia, in my family. I want to do right by everyone. I've learned this year that even with a solid purpose in plan, we have to be living, breathing, changing creatures. 

Every day, there should be a dialogue with yourself... what will I feed? [must I really mention the wolves?! I hate those wolves!] Where are the priorities for this day? This day only, by the way. I don't need to look too far ahead. 

Like yesterday, an opportunity came up for my son to either go to his Open House and see a performance OR for him to go to the rehearsal before the Open House. The first meant I would have to take him. The second included his amazing teacher who offered to go with him immediately following school dismissal. 

Of course, as a mom, I wrestled with not being good enough, not doing enough, and wanting to do it all and do it "right." But, in the end, I just couldn't commit to going to this Open House. I had already decided Thursday night was going to be my night to get out and work. I spend Monday through Wednesday doing the extra practice runs and going to Occupational Therapy. There had been appointments and a sibling's school and babysitting schedule to squeeze in there... So, I had to say no. I was okay saying no. 

And when I explained that to my son, he was okay with it too. 

Don't be too hard on yourself, Moms. It's a busy, ridiculous world we live in now. 

It is okay to say no!

Have a great weekend.

With Love,

Beth

PS I released Strike Force on Wednesday. :D I mean, really!!! That I should have been more on top of. ha! Don't miss it. It's raw, rough around the edges. It will make you cry, laugh, and swoon. Malcolm Daniels is my favorite. Marie is his perfect partner... Go read it now. 

A Call to Adventure

This topic has been on my mind for about four years now--almost five. See, sometimes when I meet new military wives, we chit and chat and it's inevitable that some discussion on how long and what does he do will come up. And it's not like some of the crazy wives believe in which there's a rank competition going on. Sometimes it really is just curiosity. 

But the truth is, when the women are perfect strangers, and this is the equivalent of small talk, it's easy to wave off the catch phrases, the cliches. And many times, as I've explained that my husband was an accountant--a CPA--turned soldier, a new acquaintance will smile and say, "Ahh, just looking for a little adventure?"

And, I just laugh with a wave of my hand... yeah, yeah.

But no. I think the next time this happens, I will say, "No." I may even frown a little. Because despite the fact that these women mean no harm, at all. It makes me feel like I'm betraying the truth or my husband's trust. 

My husband wanted to join the military when he was 17. His parents wouldn't sign the forms and told him, "Go to college." So he did. Which then started a different journey for him, one that included me. And eventually 5 kids. And he definitely kept looking for that opportunity to fulfill a dream. At every turning point in our life, he would take time to see what his options were for the military. But it wasn't until 2010 that he could make that a reality. And it wasn't 'adventure' or the need to 'escape' or find 'fulfillment.' No, let's be honest about an accountant husband, who quit smoking because 'it was too expensive now.' He wanted someone to pay of his substantial college loans. Yup. He might have wanted this at 17, but it was the undergraduate and post graduate loans that really pushed him into making this happen. [sorry, honey, if I'm revealing your secrets] 

My husband has found adventure at every point in his life. He has made new friends. Learned new things. Answered 'The Call of the Wild'. Taken setbacks. And grown in leaps and bounds. 

And let's talk about what adventure means anyway.

Okay?

Kay. We'll do it a very simple compare and contrast kind of way so everyone understands. Ready? Here we go...

 

1. Travelling to distant countries to stand between your loved ones and enemy fire? 

Not adventure.

2. An African Safari?

Adventure.

3. Separation from your loved ones for months at a time?

Not adventure.

4. Hiking the Denali with your lover?

Adventure.

5. 14 hour days of dealing with training, classes, people?

Not adventure.

6. 14 hours on a lake in Lavonia, Georgia with your family?

Adventure.

 

See what I'm doing there?

Let's not forget why our soldiers fight.

Duty. Honor. Loyalty.

Love of country.

Love of family.

Love of Freedom.

To be very clear. I am not and have never been offended by the assumption that my husband was "looking for adventure". If you've ever said this to me, I'm not calling you out or want to stomp on your goodwill. :) The last woman who did it just happened to be the one that caught my attention and turned the tides--no hard feelings at all. And I never would have thought anything of her response if half of a dozen people before her hadn't said the very same thing. 

But this time...I stand true to my soldier instead of letting his sacrifice seem menial.

Let's be honest!!

If he'd joined at 17, I would have accused him of giving in to the proverbial "Call to Adventure!" 

T1D on the Book Blog

I said there'd be real life here, too. 

I've been a type 1 diabetic for 27 years. Been on a pump for 12 years. Been on a Continuous Glucose Monitor for 6 years. 

And this week, I decided to change things up.

Have you ever switched shampoos because it makes your hair feel different? Changed your work station in order to motivate some new work--words or whatever? But the change itself is what causes a new flood of productivity.

That's me with my T1D right now. I was in a slump, lackadaisical, and getting by with not much attention to detail. My A1c was 6.6, which is okay. Most doctors might applaud that number, but I know that number means my sugars have been, on average, over 140 mg/dl. And I don't like that. I'd much rather be closer to 6, if not in the 5s. 

So, this week, I went off my pump. Multiple Daily Injections... back to the dark ages of diabetes  management...only not so dark that I've got vials of insulin piling up. No, I'll stick to the pens. I've got a new CGM coming from Dexcom.

And I'm already seeing a difference.

In three days--this is without the CGM yet--I'm eating a good 25-50% less than I have been in a day. When you have to take a shot every time you eat, you eat less. Believe me.  My sugars are a little on the higher side for the time being, but that will change when I get the Dexcom and can see what my trends are...trends meaning, after I eat I go high. Or, I'm  high before I go to bed every night.

In regards to going back, and needles, I was shocked by how small the needles are. When i went off MDI all those years ago, those needles were still 1/4 inch long. I've got these amazing little 1/32nd needles...And that, my friends, is ridiculously SMALL!

Which annoyed me, because my son, who takes growth hormone and is this tiny little guy, has been using 1/16ths. He has an appointment this coming week, and I intend to get a Rx for the little guys. >:( Not sure why the little, little needles aren't standard. If I can  handle a 1/32nd needle--me, at 150 lbs--then a twiggy little guy ought to get that small, too. He doesn't complain, but I hope when we get the smaller needles, he'll have an even better time than he's had over the last 7 years. 

Pluses to going archaic. :D 

I know that eventually, I'll go back to the pump. It's the most efficient way to manage diabetes. But for now, I feel good. And I think a little change helps us grow. Don't you??

Being a Reader and a Writer

Because I finished the most amazing book last night...the wee hours of the morning, truth be told. I woke up with my mind, clamoring for a way to describe what I was feeling... and the bottom line?

Being a Reader and a Writer is like being married... [watch the comparisons. I swear, you'll see your writing career in here somewhere]

Seventeen years ago, I married a good-looking, bad boy. Well, he acted like the bad boy--smoked, played cards, drank. But he was...good-looking [have I said that already?], and inside, he was a good guy--even went to church on Sundays. <3 I was so in love...

And we got married. [This is the part where I'm a reader. Looove reading. Can't stop reading. Reading, all night long!]

As happens when you're married [such a good reader], we had kids [I decided to write].

You worry and doubt that you can even raise any kids!! This was a huge deal. What if you let everyone down? What if your kids turned out to be snotty, brats! Or worse, criminals?

But you love those kids so much. They're so danged cute. You don't admit it yet, but there's been a shift. Now it seems like you're spending a lot more time with the kids than with that good-looking guy you married. But it's not bad, because you're on the same page...[speaking of page. This is where I suddenly realize instead of 16 books a month, I'm only doing about 5 books. But the call of that manuscript is strong--and still lovey enough to hold my attention.]

As the kids grow, they begin to demand from you--time, money, ideas. All of a sudden you wake up one morning, and you wonder WTF happened to Us before Them? And you prioritize. You make sure that date money doesn't disappear. And you actually schedule time to be with the good-looking guy you married. [2 years ago, it occurred to me I was reading about 5 books--A. Year! It took me these 2 years to figure out how to rearrange and prioritize my down time, so I could read again.]

[This is me, right now. I've picked up reviewing through Promotion Companies, because I feel it's the only way I can be accountable to my reading! And, one day, in the not too distant future, I'll make it to this next paragraph.]

Eventually the kids mature, they get better with age. They are less demanding and more polished. They will always be a part of your life!! But now, you can enjoy that good-looking guy again. Calls from the kids manage to come during business hours, except for the occasional emergency. Date night [reading] happens more frequently. As a matter of fact, dates are spontaneous and way better than they were all those years ago before you had kids! Sometimes, you even sneak in a date, in the middle of the day! <3

*~*~*

If you haven't had a chance to read one of my reviews yet,

Catch my next REVIEW on April 25th. If you aren't already, subscribe to the blog!!

 

 

So flexible...

When I was a kid, I was a gymnast. I could do the splits like nobody's business. Backbends and all sorts of fun, flexible maneuvers. 

I'm still flexible. I can touch my toes--from a standing position--and not fall over! But mostly, my flexibility these days is in adjusting to life's sudden changes.

Just a week ago, I was determined to get up early every morning and write from 0400 to 0600. These are the quiet hours in my house. Do you know what happened? My 19 month old decided waking up early was fun! My middle schooler couldn't get his homework done before 9pm. And there was so much going on...it was impossible to get to bed early enough for me to wake up at that hour. The household went into reject mode over my new idea of ideal. Subconsciously, it was like they all had it out for me. [not that I blame them...not really. Okay, a little]

The thing is, I have a goal. The goal is to reach the goal!! The goal is not to get there a certain way. So, I change things up. Last night, I spent the last hour of my day, working on my shit. It worked. I wrote over 500 words, and took care of a few business items on my list.

I'm going to tiptoe through this change and hope that no one, in God's name, notices that I have started something new! Because heaven help them all if I get to my deadline in May and not have a manuscript that is ready to go to the editor!!! >:( Grrr.

Take on the World

Today I started a new routine. I had one of those weekends  where I got absolutely nothing [that I wanted to] done. Specifically, writing. This came on the heels of a Spring Break, which was spent either taking care of sick kids or being sick. So my plans to get out that week a couple times while the kids weren't busy at school--yes, use them to babysit!--didn't happen. The ski trip that was supposed to be Wednesday was moved to Thursday, and that killed two mornings as well...

After all that, I knew I was in a place where I was going to have to make adjustments. If I want to publish 4 books between November and March, I need to work! One of those books isn't even started, three need revisions and edits. I can't really afford to putz around. 

This morning at 4am, I woke up and worked for an hour and a half. I edited/revised 13 pages and added 800 words. This is a great start to today!! And it makes the quality time I spend with my Littles throughout the day more precious because I won't be distracted and resenting it. 

Real life is busy. And even though I consider writing a part of my 'real life', I must be honest with myself and my calling. I'm a wife and a mother first. That means children, laundry, food, hugs, kisses, tears... all the things that bring heart to my busy world. 

Now, I just have to keep this up. Tomorrow is another day, another start. Discipline is NOT my middle name! But, I'm going to keep going, keep trying. Knowing that I have even an hour's worth of work done every morning should increase my production by 100%. 

What are you doing today to increase your potential for success?

Happy Easter!

Easter.

The preceding 40 days. 

For me, it's time to reflect on life and on my choices. One thing that happens every Lent [those 40 days prior to Easter], is I get smacked in the face by how little discipline I have. Always a struggle for me to give something up! [and don't talk to me about food! As a T1D, i gave up giving up food a long time ago!] When I look at my life as a whole, I see that lack seeps into other areas. Like writing. Am I disciplined enough to sit down and work without checking Facebook and Twitter? Can I reach that goal in one hour or one day? Or do I let distractions stop me?

Even with the best of intentions, I often fail at being disciplined. 

But it's Easter today, and in my house, that means I get to celebrate the fact that it's okay to be imperfect. Even though I will fail over and over, I'm still loved. Getting up, starting over, taking a new road, trying again... that's all I can do. And it's enough. God loves me. My husband loves me. And if you see anything in my books, I hope it is that LOVE. The love that sees beyond faults and quirks and even out-right wrongs.

May the joy of Easter and this gorgeous season of Spring bring you Love.