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Christy Catherine Marshall

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April 29, 2006

Deadline Monday, May 1, 2006 (by midnight!)
Winner will be announced Monday, May 8, 2006
Note: Scroll down for new posts.

Final update 5/1:
Today’s the last day! These stories, letters, essays, and poems are incredible! I hope you can take some time this week to read through these. I worked over the weekend gathering them into one file to make it easier for the other judges. We now have an accomplished poet, school teacher, and a professional writer who are going to help with this. You are all already winners for taking the time to give honor to your moms with your words.

What’s New? 4/29
Only two more days left! We’ve had new entries come in from Slovenia and Germany, so that brings our contest up to SIX countries represented so far! I’ve also found a wonderful, experienced teacher who is going to help with judging. And here’s the best news: I know of several book publishers who are looking for stories like these! Check in next week, and I’ll be posting several opportunities that have upcoming deadlines. I wish I could contact each of you personally and encourage you to submit your story or poem for publication, but God will have to prompt your heart. I do think some of you will see your stories in print someday. What an amazing way to bless your moms with positive words!

Made me smile, 4/28:
Thanks for hosting this contest. I probably wouldn’t have written anything if you hadn’t. Now I have something to give my mom on Mother’s Day. LOL.

Latest, 4/27:
There’s been big news in the publishing world about the Harvard teen author who may have plagiarized passages in the novel that has made her into an overnight sensation. You can read about this here. I felt like I should make this clear that all contest entries are under copyright of the author who submitted them. No one may copy and paste these stories or poems without the author’s permission. And that includes me! I own the rights to my own words, but not anyone else’s. I just thought I’d better make that clear. There are some great submissions here — and I do know about a lot of needs in the publishing industry for first-person stories like these. But I wouldn’t submit anything to a publisher myself — the author would have to do this. THANKS!

Update 4/26:
Thank you to everyone who has submitted so far. We’ve had entries from at least four countries: Japan, the Philippines, Canada, and all over the U.S. I’m enjoying these stories so much! There’s still time if you’ve been waiting for a moment of inspiration! (This also makes a great writing assignment for students if you are a teacher!)

I got an email yesterday that reminded me of the whole purpose of this contest — the strengthening of mother/ daughter relationships through words of affirmation. Someone emailed me this:

Hey Heather,

Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share about our moms. My relationship with my mother has not always been stellar, especially in recent years. Your contest afforded me the therapeutic opportunity to sit and think. Despite all the disappointments that our relationship has had, what can I remember and be thankful for?

The Lord wanted me to answer that in my own heart, and offer that back to my mom on Mother’s Day. I don’t know how she will respond, but I am glad I took this step. Thank you again for all that you do …

This note blessed me so much! My dream is that if there is anyone out there who hasn’t spoken to your mom in years — or maybe your relationship hasn’t been all that great — why not use this Mother’s Day as a chance to reach out and show her love? Wouldn’t you want one of your kids to do the same to you someday?

Thanks for your support, bloggy friends. I know you’re tired of seeing this post pop up first every day — but I don’t want it to disappear until everyone who wants to has the chance to write something! Only four more days until the deadline!


Her children arise up and call her blessed.
Proverbs 31:28 KJV

How did your mother show you love while you were growing up? What did she do to make you feel special? If she’s alive now, how do you know she still loves you?

With Mother’s Day around the corner, Mom 2 Mom Connection is hosting our first annual “Mother’s Love” Writing Contest.

Sometime between now and Monday, May 1, tell us how your mom showed you love growing up or how she continues to show you love now. All you have to do is submit something in the comment section here! Then everybody will be able to read about your mom.

If you’ve already written a great post in your own blogs about your mom, be sure to give us the link here so we’ll all click on over to your blog and read it.

In the process of reading about other wonderful moms, many of us who are just starting out our mothering journeys can learn what really counts when raising our children. And if you’re a grandmother, here’s your chance to “advise” us younger moms on what’s most important in life. We’re ASKING for your advice here!

After the deadline on May 1, I’m going to ask several writer friends I know to help me choose the winner of our “Mother’s Love” contest. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a free copy of the book, From a Daughter’s Heart to Her Mom: 50 Reflections on Living Well — signed by the author, who happens to be ME!

This book is a photo essay full of inspiring ways to express love to the woman who raised you, who loves you no matter what. The pictures are soft sepia tone, featuring mothers and daughters of all ages doing those things we love to do together — having tea parties, shopping, gardening, cooking together, hanging out at the beach, and enjoying life in all its important stages. Along with the photos, each page contains a short letter from a daughter to her mom on a specific topic, an inspirational quote, and a scripture. If you’re in any type of women’s ministry hosting a mother/ daughter event, this book would give you lots of ideas!

I’m sure it will be hard to pick only one of your contest submissions as our Grand Prize Winner — so we’ll offer other awards for Most Creative Mom, Funniest Mom, Most Inspirational Mom, and a host of others that we can think of.

Won’t it make a nice gift to your mom to give her an award and let her read something you wrote about her online for the entire world to see?

It doesn’t matter what age you are — if one of your daughters wants to submit an essay, please tell her to do so. Writing about our moms brings honor to them, in a role which is often underappreciated in our world. Whether your mom is still living or has passed on, your words will always be a legacy to her.

Here are a few inspiring quotes from the book (There are over 50 quotes like these, from a variety of women):

The mother is and must be, whether she knows it or not, the greatest, strongest, and most lasting teacher her children have.
Hannah Whitall Smith (p. 13)

Children and mothers never truly part —
bound in the beating of each other’s heart.
Charlotte Gray (p. 123 )

Mother taught me by her example of home and hospitality
that there’s nothing more satisfying than a personal love relationship
with the Lord. It’s what made her strong.
Anne Graham Lotz (p. 17)

So, jump on in and tell us why your mom is special! The Grand Prize Winner and all the runner-ups will also be published in a special “Mother’s Love Essay Winners” post a few days after the contest. This link will be sent to the publisher, Thomas Nelson in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the designer, Whisner Design Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Many people worked on putting this book together besides me, and it will be a nice way to express our appreciation for creating a product that celebrates the awesome glory of motherhood.

P.S. This post will remain at the top of my blog until the deadline, May 1, 2006.

P.P.S. Brownie points if you tell other people about this contest!


Thank you to these fine sites for announcing the contest:

Chaotic Home
Full Contact Christ-Centric Living
Devotionals by Donna
Down the Writer’s Path (Vikk Simmons)
Everyday Mommy
Holy Mama!
Light for the Writer’s Soul (Victoria Gaines)
My Lighter Side
O Mama Mia!
She Lives
Smile Smile
Spunky Homeschool
Sting My Heart
What Would Jesus Blog?
Thank you to Darlene for the contest graphic!

Note: This is the final contest link — I won’t be changing the date in this link again!

April 28, 2006

If you live anywhere near Chattanooga, Tennessee, you’re in for a real treat. Marla Cilley, the FlyLady, will be speaking at her first Christian Women’s Conference called “Life in the Balance.” This women’s event will be held May 5-6 at the Abba’s House Worship Center of Central Baptist Church.

Here’s what the press release says:

This dynamic conference is designed to encourage all women as they attempt to manage the daily responsibilities of life at the same time they seek to pursue the heart of God with all their might. It is designed to help women as they seek to open their souls to God’s best even as their homes, careers, and relationships all cry out for undivided attention,” said representatives.

This church is going to be rockin’ the first weekend of May! I wish I could go meet her! Now, FlyLady is very gentle in the way she shares her faith, but I’ve always believed she might be a Christian from a few things she’s said. Though only God knows each person’s heart, if FlyLady will be speaking at a Baptist church in Tennessee, whew Baby! She’s speaking my language!

Here’s more about FlyLady’s role in the conference:

Holding three sessions on Saturday is nationally known author and mentor, Marla Cilley, or “FlyLady.” Ms. Cilley has a powerful testimony of God’s grace, and has helped millions across the world with her practical advice, challenge, and insights regarding home management. Besides writing and providing support for her email list of over 300,000 devoted subscribers and her web site, her wisdom and common sense approach to running a household has been featured in the Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, Parade, Time, USA Today, and countless other national publications.”

Even if you can’t attend, if you’re a Christian woman who has been impacted by FlyLady’s teachings, let’s pray for her. She has a HUGE platform — how many Christian publishers do you think would be interested in a writer and speaker who has 300,000 readers per day? I for one would love to read a book written by Marla Cilley published by a Christian publishing house. She has an awesome gift of encouragement, and I would LOVE to hear her testimony.

Wait a minute — this conference is only $30! And it includes a box lunch and childcare for children six weeks to age five. WHAT! I feel like I want to go just so I can tell you all about it! You can register online here. This event is NEXT weekend!!

To my LBY friends: I’ve decided to count this as my post for the week on the topic of peace. Since I’ve just discovered this, I feel like I can’t think about anything else. The WEIRD thing is — yesterday I was thinking I’d love to interview Marla Cilley for a story for a Christian magazine. But I thought, “How would I ever be able to talk to her?” Then I checked my email a few minutes ago and found out about this conference.

For me to arrange childcare and drive to Chattanooga on a whim would be living WAY BEYOND MYSELF. What should I do?

Addie Heather* Carol
M Rach Jeana
Jenn Amanda MamaB
GiBee Boomama Maria
Blair Heather Nancy
Janna Flipflop Robin
Sherry Patricia Tara
Lauren HolyMama! Faith
Christy Eph2810 Karin
Leann Rachel Janice
By: Heather Ivester in: FlyLady | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (4)

A few minutes ago, I was standing at my kitchen sink washing the breakfast dishes, and I read through FlyLady’s Eleven Commandments list, which is taped to my window. (Yeah … that’s where I knew I’d actually read it.)

I gave #9 a good bit of thought:
“Work as fast as you can to get the job done. This will give you more time to play later.”

I’ve got two distasteful chores that I must do today — and this 9th principle is going to help me get through them. The first thing I have to do that I don’t want to do is mop my whole first floor. This involves clearing everything off the floor, sweeping out all the cracks and crevices, filling up my bucket with water and cleaner, and MOPPING. Yuk. Boring. But I gotta do it.

The second thing I must do is clean out my car. Over the past week, we’ve been to the pool twice — ALREADY!! That, plus all the hauling here and there has built up a mountain of trash. I’ve got to get a trash bag in there and fling my way to clean.

So, how can I make this kinda fun? Well, of course it won’t be really fun. But I can trick my mind into thinking it’s sort of pleasant by using the following five tips:

1) Follow the 9th commandment and work as fast as I can to get it done.

2) Bring my timer into the car with me, set it for 15 minutes, and work fast. Clean out clutter, shake out car mats, and Mr. Clean the sticky spots. (If you don’t have a timer, maybe you could listen to music, and play a game where you try to get it all done before three songs are over.)

3) Remind myself that there are at least one billion other women out there in the world who are having to do the exact same things. Maybe not mopping and car decluttering, but at least having to do time-consuming housework chores.

4) Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. He will enable me. He will give me the energy I need. (Hebrews 12:1-3).

5) Think about the FUN task ahead that I’ll reward myself with — if I get it all done!

My multi-tasking GRAND plans for Sunday afternoon if I get this work done:

1) Sit out in the sun wearing mild sunscreen and a straw hat. Purpose: to get some color on my legs to hide my absolutely hideous varicose veins. Yep — I’ve got ’em BAD. Medals of motherhood?

2) Read Karen Kingsbury’s new novel.

3) Drink something cold, filled with ice cubes, and maybe even a straw. (Pretend that someone brought it to me while I’m lounging on the beach, by the sea.)

4) Watch the kids play out of the corner of my eye.

5) Nap a little bit, when I get the little ones down for their naps.


OK, I’m off to the races. How about you?

Update: Do you know how difficult it is to mop floors with a very mobile and sociable 13-month old around — who is OUTGROWING her beloved morning nap? I eventually had to put her in her highchair so she could watch, but not be in the way. Then the car. Exhausting … but done. Now our house is clean and smells like oranges and lemons, and I’m needing a shower!

By: Heather Ivester in: FlyLady | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)

April 27, 2006

This morning I listened to Focus on the Family on the radio, and once again I’ve got to blog about it. There are so many great things going on in the world! Why is the news always so full of negative stories?

I learned about an organization called HANDS, Helping Americans Needing Disaster Support. Leisha Pickering spoke. She’s the wife of Congressman Chip Pickering (MS) and lives in Mississippi, along with their five children. She talked about the ongoing needs of Katrina victims.

There were nearly 70,000 homes destroyed when Katrina hit last August. Say that number slowly. SEV-EN-TY THOUSAND. Homes. Think what your home is to you. These homes were wiped out — completely.

She said at first there was so much help, as volunteer organizations mobilized and drove over to help with immediate relief. But now reality has sunk in for many of these victims, and they’re struggling with getting on with their lives. Many have lost hope.

So she founded this organization, HANDS. I hope you’ll be able to visit their website and watch the introductory video with your kids. There is so much we multi-tasking moms can do. Mrs. Pickering said her volunteers have compiled data on thousands of families, so there is a detailed list of their needs. She encouraged radio listeners to consider partnering with a family and seeking ways to bless them with whatever you feel led to do.

She talked about how one group had come down and actually built a new home for a woman who had lost her family, home, everything. Another time, her organization knocked on the door of a man, and when he opened the door, all he had in his apartment was a mattress. Two kids and a mattress. They offered him things he needed and came back the next day.

This time when he opened the door, he said, “Yesterday, I had nothing. Today I have hope.”

So, I started thinking — maybe there are some of you out there in Sunday school classes or other organizations, and you might be interested in helping out in this way. I mean, here’s where our faith goes into action. It’s important to read the Bible and learn the principles of Christianity, but an active faith also serves others.

Here’s my idea: I think this is something that would be wonderful for teens to get involved in. When I was a teen, I just wanted to hang out with my friends and do fun things to relieve the stress of school. What if teen groups partnered with families victimized by Katrina? There’s plenty they could do. Beyond the tangible donations, they could use their knack for understanding technology to give people hope.

Our church takes teenagers on mission trips every year, and they come back changed. Go look at that HANDS website. We don’t have to fly overseas to find a third-world environment. It’s right in our own backyard. What can you do to help?

April 26, 2006

I’ve been a stay-home mom for the last ten years. I’ve never held a job outside of my home except for volunteer work through my church. A couple of years ago, a friend invited me to join a club that does community service projects.

She introduced me to a whole new world.

I had no idea why these people were so organized and interested in volunteer projects that had nothing to do with church. What was their motivation? They were organizing races for charity, helping with various fundraisers, and connecting needy people with services. And they weren’t older women with grown children; they were young.

At first I thought everybody already knew each other, and I felt like an outsider. Then I started asking people questions and found out there were several tired moms like me who enjoyed getting out of the house for a useful purpose. About half the women stay home as a career and half work at out-of-the-home jobs. It’s a nice mix.

I’ve discovered I’m the kind of person who does better socially when I’m part of an organized group than when I wing it alone. It’s hard for me to pick up the phone and call someone to plan something. I don’t know why! (Must be a hangup of mine — haha.) I like being part of a group. I’m still drawn to books and quiet things, so I’ve volunteered at the library, helped collate cookbooks, and emailed people.

When I first had children and gave up working outside the home, I joined several mom groups — I went to playgroups and attended mother’s club meetings. We talked about mom things while our kids played together. Later, I was in a homeschooling group, and our meetings revolved around our common endeavor of educating our children at home.

Now I’m entering this new phase, and I’m not exactly sure what it is. Since I have a blog, I thought it worthy of writing about.

The other night, I went to this building, below, for a board meeting of the officers in this organization. I got dressed up in decent clothes that didn’t have peanut butter or spit-up on them. I walked down the hallway to a meeting room where there was a long, polished wood table surrounded by women sitting in those swivel kind of chairs. Outside the door, a gold-plated sign said “President’s Room.”

After I sat down, a server dressed in black and white came and brought me ice water in a crystal glass. She gave me a gold damask napkin with silverware wrapped inside. I put the napkin in my lap.

Then while we discussed community projects, the server came back with a basket of rolls and rosemary butter. She handed me a black folded menu, and I ordered green pepper and cheese quesadillas. During the meeting, I dipped tortilla-wrapped vegetables in salsa that someone else prepared for me. I didn’t have to cut anyone’s meat or tell someone to quit humming or to sit still. We didn’t play high/low.

In fact, there was no mention of kids at all once the meeting started. My job is to lead the devotions at the beginning of the meeting, and so I read a poem. Then all the other officers shared what projects they were working on.

When I finished eating, the wait staff came and took my plate and crystal glass of water. My bill came to $8.

What will I be doing in the next month as a club member? There are two women in our group who just came home from the hospital with newborns. My job is to encourage these postpartum moms in an organized way. I’ll do this by contacting the new mom and asking when a convenient time is for us to deliver her a meal. Then I’ll contact our meal rotation group captains and ask them to coordinate a meal, either cooked or purchased, to take to the new moms’ house. Then I’ll write up a small report for our newsletter, which involves sending one email.

I also plan to help our children’s librarian cut out a paper fairy tale castle to get kids excited about the summer reading club. I like to help out at the library. It’s a quiet place.

As I left the building that night, I felt refreshed. No stress at all.

There are many ways women relieve stress — some work in the garden or exercise. Others scrapbook or play bunko. Some women may feel so overwhelmed they seek help from a therapist and possibly medication. But for me, this volunteer group is what I need right now. I can’t handle the responsiblity of a full-time job, yet it’s still important for my wellness to do something every now and then without children around.

If you’re a little shy, like me, it’s nice to be a part of an organized group. And it’s especially nice to be treated like a lady.

By: Heather Ivester in: Wellness | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)

The Beauty of Art Carnival is up and running over at Scribblings by Blair. Once again, Blair has outdone herself contributing her artistic talents to spiff up these Carnival entries. Hope you can stop by and visit. She pulled this together despite getting her house ready to go on the market!

Please let me know if you post a Mother’s Love Writing Contest announcement on your site, and I’ll add you to our growing list of supporters, which appears at the end of the Contest post. Some people have written to tell me the trackbacks aren’t working — so I wouldn’t have known. Thanks!

By: Heather Ivester in: Writing | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

April 25, 2006

The Carnival of Beauty this week is hosted by Blair at her site, Scribblings by Blair. Our topic is “The Beauty of Art.”

When I was eight years old, my parents paid for me to take art lessons at a painter’s house once a week — it was a thrill and so different from what I learned at school. We painted with acrylics, and I carried a red metal tool box filled with my paints, brushes, and natural sponges to class. I can still remember the creaking sound the box made when it opened, and how the paints and sponges smelled.

I also recall being on the verge of tears nearly every class. I was so petrified that I was a terrible painter. There were two or three of us on one side of the room who were children, and the rest of the class on the other side of the room were adults. I remember one lady spent weeks painting an intricate picture of violets. Everyone seemed to have so much talent and to know exactly what they were doing — except for me!

One night, our teacher asked us to imagine a bookshelf lined with our favorite things. She wanted us to come to class the next week and be prepared to paint “My Favorite Things.”

Can you see what I chose to paint? On the top shelf is my “Heather” doll — I still have this sweet doll. I always loved playing with dolls, not the Barbie type that looked grown up, but the kind you could dress and carry around. I even had a signed Little People doll, named Frances Blanche, who I changed into tiny pajamas every night and dressed in the morning — for years. My friends and I made birth certificates for our dolls and sewed them little stuffed animals! So, it’s obvious I wanted to grow up and be a MOM — my #1 dream.

Next, you can see I’ve always been crazy about the beach — the shells are supposed to represent my love of the ocean. We always collected buckets of shells on our family trips to the beach. My parents took us every summer — traveling used to be so modest back in the 70s. The expense was nothing like it is now. We usually stayed right on the beach in a little motel that had a kitchenette. My parents got us so excited about these beach trips — maybe that’s why I’ve always loved the beach.

I’m not sure about the basket of fruit — did I like fruit that much? Maybe I just liked the bright colors and thought they’d look good in a painting. I do eat fruit every day now — usually an apple. And I hardly ever get sick. I can’t around here!

The cat is interesting; why did I choose to paint a cat? We didn’t have a cat growing up — we had a little gray poodle. Now of course I’ve become a cat person. They make such great pets! I’ve always loved animals of any sort; maybe the cat is supposed to represent pets. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said, “A pet shop owner.” I was too squeamish to want to be a vet. But I thought it would be fun to have a shop full of animals. (hmmm … our zoo around here is similar to what I had in mind, actually.)

And last — Cinderella. I’ve always loved good stories with happy endings. I love to read them; I love to tell them. And gradually, I’m learning how to write them.

Thanks for indulging me in my walk down memory lane. How about you? What are your favorite things now? Were they always your favorites? What would you have painted when you were eight years old? Like words, art helps us preserve our memories.

April 22, 2006

Beth Moore I went through our chart this morning trying to update Jeana’s new WordPress address, and I accidentally typed in “” instead of “” Whoa. You DON’T want to do that. But I hope everyone can update her new address in your code — her new FABULOUS design is much easier on my aging eyes (those Blogger dots played hide and seek with her words for me).

Once again, I learned so much this week, and I’m kicking myself that I haven’t been doing these Beth Moore studies for the past several years. My faith is growing like a weed under her teaching … a good weed, I think. The kind of weed that blooms through the cement cracks, even in the hot sun. That’s me.

I’m going to a coffee shop in a couple of weeks with the preschool moms who I did the Beth Moore Believing God study with that ended right before this one started. We’re going to discuss what we’ll do this fall — right now, some people want to do Living Beyond Yourself — woohoo! Me and my big mouth. I’d love to do it again — although I did read that the ladies in Carol’s church are revving up to start Beth Moore’s new study of Daniel, and I’m sure that will be amazing too.

My title for this post is “It’s All Greek to Me” because I honestly could not get over what I learned on Day 1. The Greek words for GRACE and JOY.

Grace = Charis
Joy = Chara

Charis means “unmerited favor.” And Chara means “joy, rejoicing, gladness — enjoyment, bliss.”

I never knew that.

Beth Moore writes:

Do you see a very close relationship between charis and chara? That’s because joy is an absolute assumption in grace. Joy is literally written into grace! God is telling us, “If you only understood what grace means and what you have received by way of it, you would never cease to rejoice!”

She gives us the verse in Luke 10:20, where Christ told the disciples, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Yes! The joy of our salvation is all because of God’s grace in rescuing us from the pits of hell — not only in where we spend eternity, but also in this life. We don’t have to live in the pits of depression, despair, and bondage in THIS life — because God’s grace sets us free to REJOICE daily through Him.

I can’t get over this. I have so much to think about. We really miss so much of the Bible by not being able to read it in the original languages. Now Beth Moore has spoiled me rotten. I want to learn the Bible from someone who can teach it to me in the original languages — Hebrew in the Old Testament, Greek in the New Testament. And I guess there’s Aramaic somewhere in there as well.

In the Believing God study, Beth taught that FAITH leads to HOPE over and over again in scripture. Now she’s taught me that GRACE leads to JOY. These concepts are amazing to me. I may never truly understand what faith means or what grace means. But I can’t live a day without hope. And I want my life to be characterized by joy.

My kids are up! Early. On a Saturday. OK — I’ll have to finish this post mentally, while I make pancakes. I have lots I wanted to say about the video, about Beth’s statement “All we need to create an environment for rejection is relationship.” Because MAN! I’ve been rejected a lot lately, and it’s because I’ve crawled out of my shell, and I’m developing a relationship with thousands of people through writing.

And you are too, fellow bloggers. Guess what? Not everybody is going to like you or your blog topics or your ideas that show up in your posts!

Wouldn’t it be easier to log off and quit writing? Of course. Then no one could reject us. But Jesus developed relationships with people. He didn’t sit around the quiet mountaintops, meditating and praying all day. His sandals got dusty from walking the roads of humanity.

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed when I see how many people have stopped by my site — not a huge number compared to the top blogs, but still a lot for a little ol’ mom. When I write, I know some of the people who will read, and I can’t please them all. It makes me dizzy knowing how different all of you are — I can’t make you all agree with me. So some of you will reject me.

But that’s OK. The best thing I’ve learned from my long, rambling road to getting a few things published is that THICK SKIN is required to be a writer because you’re going to get rejected. I got rejected just yesterday. Thanks, but no thanks. When I send stuff off to editors and it comes back with drastic change requests, I feel like a horrible writer, a horrible person. Then I get over it, do my rewrites, and send it back off again.

It’s the same in life. We have to take a risk to develop relationships with people. They may ignore us or outright reject us. But then there are some who will respond — and we’ll be blessed with that deep CHARA, the joy that comes from the Almighty, All-merciful, Never-Failing God of the Universe.

Off to make pancakes now …

Addie Heather* Carol
M Rach Jeana
Jenn Amanda MamaB
GiBee Boomama Maria
Blair Heather Nancy
Janna Flipflop Robin
Sherry Patricia Tara
Lauren HolyMama! Faith
Christy Eph2810 Karin
Leann Rachel Janice
By: Heather Ivester in: Beth Moore,Faith | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (9)

Thank you, Carol, for posting this test. Of course, she should be a songwriter, and now that she’s learned to play audio on her blog, it won’t be long before she’s sharing her music with us.

Me? Yes, I know that I should be a film writer, of course. I’ve got the Great American Novel on the tip of my … pen. I plan on writing it very soon … as soon as my kids are off to college.

Seriously, I’ve always dreamed of writing fiction … I have stacks of short stories scattered hither and thither in boxes in the basement (where the Entropy Beast lives). But the thought of actually sticking with characters and a plot through conflict and resolution seems impossible for this suburban mama.

It’s hard enough for me to READ a novel without disappearing mentally to another planet. If I tried to actually WRITE one, I’d completely lose touch with reality.

Aah … so that’s why so many people I know are writing novels.

Your turn. What kind of writer are you?

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don’t just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
By: Heather Ivester in: Writing | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)

April 21, 2006

Dear FlyLady,

I have some things to tell you, and I don’t think you’re going to be very pleased. I’ve been one of your faithful, well almost faithful, readers the last several months, and I’m still not FLYing yet. And I should be!

On December 2, 2005, I wrote this in my brand spanking new blog:

I’m going to start something new here in my blog. On Fridays, I’m going to give you an update on what I’ve learned during the week and call it “FlyLady Friday.” My plan is to do this for the next 21 weeks. That should take us from today until April 21. Experts say it takes 21 days to acquire a new habit — so I’m going to give FlyLady’s methods 21 weeks — and maybe you’ll join the party with me.

OK — so today marks 21 weeks since I’ve started reading your emails. I must say, you’ve encouraged me like nobody else. I’ve posted your Morning and Evening Routines up on my refrigerator, and I read them through twice a day. But I’ve never been able to do all of the steps.

I’ve also posted your Eleven Commandments on the window over my kitchen sink. I spend a lot of time there — so I read through them often. I’ve posted Hebrews 12:1-3 right alongside it because you’re part of my “cloud of witnesses” who are spurring me on to run this race God has called me to run. Here’s what these verses say (from the New International Version):

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Right now, I’m growing weary and losing heart. You see, yesterday, I discovered that one of my children put three cans of Mountain Dew in the freezer TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, and of course you can imagine what happened. Mountain Dew expands upon being frozen, and now I must add this to my to-do list:

— Clean Frozen drips of Mountain Dew from freezer

My foyer was a little bit clean until yesterday when the red fire engine got involved in a massive pile-up with several hundred wooden blocks, involving the word “EMERGENCY!” shouted loudly 600 times. This type of disaster cannot take place on carpet, according to my youngest son, because blocks are not nearly as much fun to play with on a soft surface. Therefore, my foyer is an emergency right now.

I’m having a little bit of trouble knowing what to do with my three older kids’ school papers — there are thousands of worksheets that I know must be thrown away — but if they see me doing this, it causes tears and gnashing of teeth. “You can’t throw that away! I have to keep that! We need that!”

And let’s not even talk about the monster in my basement that has been breathing fire lately. Every time I feel like I might be moving along and making progress, he makes some kind of awful roaring sound and drags me back down to defeat. His first name is ENTROPY, and his last name is BEAST, and he’s my arch enemy.

So, after 21 weeks of your awesome training, I’m still a failure. I’m not FLYing yet. But I know I can’t give up, so I’ll keep on going. Maybe I’ll check back in with you in a few more months. My dream is to one day send you a testimonial … maybe when my kids are off at college, and it’s just me drinking Mountain Dew alone in my spotless foyer, while the fire trucks and blocks are long packed away.

(Sniff, sniff.) I think I’ll try to enjoy these days, do the best I can, and get busy cleaning out that freezer.


FlyBaby H wannabe from Georgia