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January 29, 2008

The new January 2008 issue of Spirit-Led Writer is posted online now, and there are some great encouraging articles for Christian writers.

If you have an article or review that would appeal to Christian writers, this publication is a paying market and is always looking for submissions.

Ever since I wrote my September Parent Muse column on internet privacy, I’ve had a hard time feeling motivated to write about myself or my family online. What do you think?

Here’s the opening of my column:

As a parent writer, you don’t have to look far to find great story material. The people around your own kitchen table provide you with an endless source of ideas and quotes. Yet where do you draw the line when it comes to protecting your family’s privacy?

Some authors prefer to use pen names and shield their children completely from the public. J.K. Rowling recently went so far as to sue a photo agency for trying to publish a picture of her son. Though the judge ruled against her, she plans to appeal, stating she takes the privacy and safety of her children “very seriously.”

How do you feel about your family’s privacy? Most Christian writers today use their full names in all marketing materials, including websites. Publishers and agents encourage authors and speakers to build a platform of name recognition, which will encourage a fan base (and sales). Yet is it safe to publish your children’s real names? And what about online images of your family?

You can read the rest of the column here.




January 17, 2008

I was reading through my new issue of No Greater Joy the other day, and once again, Michael Pearl wrote something so profound, it took my breath away.

I found the article in its entirety online, so you can read it here in context.

If you find yourself at your wit’s end at some point in your parenting journey, I’ve found much wisdom passed along in this magazine. My favorite quote from this issue is below, one I’m clipping out to put in my file of inspirational writings that I want to keep and ponder:

The world is a giant, confidence-eating cud chewer. It seeks our defeat. Whatever path we choose in life will be littered with signs that say, “Closed to you; you can’t do it; this is for people more talented or advantaged; you can’t make a difference.” And when you believe the signs and stop to ponder, you will hear voices that say, “You are not important; no one cares; it is not worth it; quit now.” The weak go no further. They settle down and accept the lot that is handed to them and spend the rest of their lives unhappy and unfulfilled.

The tough don’t believe the signs and never slow down to listen to the voices. They are the doers, the precedent setters, the pioneers. Their accomplishments may never win Nobel prizes or be recognized with applause at a banquet; but they will know in their hearts that they have run the course and overcome the hardships to conquer, even in the little areas that may only matter to a quiet few. But they were not quitters, slackers, or buck passers. At the end of life, they will have tasted of the sweetness, heard the music, and worn the crown of victory, even if it is simply a paper crown given by a thankful grandchild or an appreciative spouse. The tough will earn the admiration and appreciation of the few or the many. But, in the end, they will be able to say, “I have lived, and it was good…very, very good.”

— Michael Pearl
Jan/Feb 2008 issue of No Greater Joy magazine

By: Heather Ivester in: Parenting | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (4)



January 14, 2008

I came across this bit of advice recently and felt like it needed to be passed along:

There’s certainly serendipity involved in getting published. But it’s the sort of serendipity you have a hand in making happen.

You write, you revise, you research, you attend critique meetings, you write and revise some more, you persistently submit your work to publishers.

And one day, a certain editor finds something on her desk she didn’t know she was looking for. And you sent it. And she loves it. And she publishes it.

— quote by Alice Pope,
from the 2005 introduction to the Children’s Writers & Illustrators Market




January 7, 2008

Cateye TreadmillI wonder how many of you feel like I do, like you’re trying to get back on track this week.

For me, that means taking a break from all those delicious baked goods I stuffed myself with during the holidays!

I’m heading back into my high-protein, low-carb “diet” for a few weeks. I hate the word diet because it’s really a lifestyle change that I want to stick with. I’ve stocked my refrigerator with yogurt and low-fat mozzarella string cheese — and I’m trying to satisfy my crunchy-salty cravings with nuts. Almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts … much healthier than all those chocolate chip cookies I plowed through during my December stress.

I’m hoping to resume exercising this week as well — gotta love that treadmill, always waiting patiently, reminding me I’ll have more energy if I walk even just ten minutes. Can’t I at least handle ten minutes?

Our Bible study starts back this week, even though I still have a couple more posts to write about our Beth Moore Daniel study, which we finished last month! Hopefully I’ll find time this week to catch up. I’m always thrilled to hear from those of you who write to tell me about your book clubs and Bible studies.

It’s exciting to see how God works in our lives when we women get together and discuss great books!




January 4, 2008

In the new January issue of Christian Women Online, Laurel Wreath’s interview with Lisa Whelchel is so inspiring!

If you’re a busy mom seeking ways to increase your understanding of God’s Word this year, Lisa has some great tips for you.

I was blessed to pick up a copy of Lisa’s new book, A Busy Mom’s Guide to Bible Study, at the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta last summer.

Since I was attending through CLASS Publishing Connections, my nametag said “Albuquerque, New Mexico” as my hometown. When I met Lisa Whelchel as she autographed her book for me, she said, “Oh, you’re from Albuquerque? I’ll be going there next week.” I was so tongue-tied at meeting her, I just smiled and said, “That’s great!”

There are several inspiring articles in CWO this month — I hope you can stop in and read the whole issue.

I’ve added Darlene’s “Live Well” button to my sidebar because this reminds me that I’m on a mission, like many of you, to live a healthier lifestyle. No more excuses!

My children need a healthy, energetic mom, and my husband needs a wife who’s in control of her emotions because she’s eating well and exercising! It’s a new year, a chance to start fresh with our lifestyle habits.

I need all the encouragement I can get! 🙂




January 2, 2008

Whoa — what happened?

I haven’t sat down to blog in nearly a month. I called a friend this morning, also a mom of five, and we both agreed that we felt like a giant storm had blown over us. And we survived!

Not a day has gone by that I haven’t wanted to sit down and write you a long, lavish letter wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year — but it didn’t happen. I spent the first two weeks of December running around like crazy — shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking, attending parties, sending cards … and then suddenly Christmas swept through our household. And now it’s gone!

Today was the first day I began to pack away some decorations, and my middle daughter cried, saying she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Christmas 2007. I’m not either!

Something that happened this morning epitomized the entire season for me. I got the kids up, and we ran around the house in a mad rush, searching frantically for shoes, socks, tights, and Christmas-colored outfits. I told them to grab their favorite Christmas toy and we headed out the door into the freezing cold to Super Wal-Mart for a post-Christmas portrait sitting (since we didn’t manage to take a decent picture BEFORE Christmas).

As the photographer girl was readying her camera to shoot, we realized we were missing a beaver! My four-year-old’s favorite gift this year was a pair of stuffed beavers, and he’d lost one somewhere between our house and Wal-Mart. I put my coat on and ran back outside into the parking lot, and there, lying face-down a few feet from our car, was Mr. Beaver.

I scooped him up and ran back inside, just as the photographer was lining up the kids on little stairsteps. Snap! For that brief moment, every child smiled, holding rescued beavers, dolls, and some kind of hydro-electric car that my son built. We did it!

We’re behind, we’re straggling, there’s a story of near disaster behind everything we did this season. But we made it. That’s all I can say.

When I look over the past month, I’m amazed at God’s grace in allowing us to go so many places and see so many family members and friends. This was the first year I actually cried coming up our driveway ripping open the Christmas cards that I just couldn’t wait to read. What has happened to our friends’ children? They’re growing up!

Several of our friends have teenagers now — beautiful young ladies and handsome young men. I’ve watched them age with each passing year.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sitting down with my mom and dad after we’ve opened presents at their house and looking through their stack of Christmas cards. My parents have gathered an eclectic group of friends in nearly 42 years of marriage. I love the updates, pretty cards, photos, all of it.

The sons and daughters of my parents’ friends are now my age, having their own children, and I love seeing how the circle continues, unbroken. These Christmas cards remind me of the reality that families held together by the Word of God stay together, generation after generation. I have very few role models in the celebrity world, but these quiet, simple people who celebrate the joys of family are my heroes.

As we step into this new year, I have but one resolution: I want to bring more beauty into my home. I see myself emerging from a decade of delightful chaos — infants, toddlers, diapers, plastic toys in every crevice, sticky floors, crayoned walls, spilled juice, and tiny socks lost in the wash.

I’ve loved these years, but I’m ready to light candles, iron cloth napkins, pull out the wedding crystal and china that I’ve been afraid to use, and teach my children to eat quietly in the kitchen while we entertain in the dining room. It will take me a while, but I want to start cooking better meals, inviting more people over, and showing my children how to be servants of the guests in our home.

We have a long way to go!

This morning, my Bible reading led me to Psalm 45, which I read out loud at the breakfast table. It’s a wedding song, but I also see it as a beautiful prayer for mothers and fathers to pray for our growing children.

My heart is stirred by a noble theme
as I recite my verses for the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of men
and your lips have been anointed with grace,
since God has blessed you forever.

Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.

In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness;
let your right hand display awesome deeds.

Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.

Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.

Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.

Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
Forget your people and your father’s house.

The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.

The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift,
men of wealth will seek your favor.

All glorious is the princess within her chamber ;
her gown is interwoven with gold.

In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her virgin companions follow her
and are brought to you.

They are led in with joy and gladness;
they enter the palace of the king.

Your sons will take the place of your fathers;
you will make them princes throughout the land.

I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

I wish all of you a wonderful 2008! If you have any resolutions or goals, I’d love to hear!

By: Heather Ivester in: Faith,Family | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (3)