Category Archives: Writing

My Super Fun and Exciting News!

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Well, folks, I’ve been teasing about it for days, so here it is– my big news!

I am super crazy excited to announce that I have signed a contract with Thomas Nelson publishers to collaborate on a writing project with none other than the amazing Max Lucado!

If you’ve read Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado (released last year) then you are familiar with his idea of “pocket prayers.” The whole book is about how prayer is a heartfelt conversation with God– that you can invite him in without the flowery words or flashy show, and God shows up. It’s about being free to connect with God in a powerful and simplistic way, without feeling like you need a big vocabulary or a “wish list” a mile long.

Coordinating with this book, Thomas Nelson will be releasing a series of prayer books geared toward specific groups (moms, dads, military, friends, etc.)–six books in all.

I am very honored and delighted to say that my name will be on the cover of Pocket Prayers for Teachers, releasing in May of 2016, just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week! (Is that divine timing, or what??) 🙂

Obviously this is outside of my usual writing genre (I’m usually writing fiction of the romantic, sometimes historical, sometimes contemporary, sometimes YA variety). However, if there are two things I know a lot about, it’s teaching and prayer.

As I work on this prayer book, God is reminding me of so many things– including just how much he loves teachers and what an amazing mission opportunity he’s given each teacher within their own school setting.  DSC02709

To say that I am honored to be working on anything associated with Max Lucado would be a gross understatement, as I have read and admired his work for years and years.

My heart is super grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead on this writing journey. There’s never a dull moment and God is always doing things that surprise me. He’s amazing and awesome like that.

Don’t worry– I’ll be reminding you (a lot) to pick up a copy of this prayer book for all the teachers in your life closer to the release date.

Thanks for your support, friends!

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Finding Motivation When You Just Don’t Wanna

Motivation

I’ve been suffering from a severe case of “lack of motivation” lately. Like, severe.

And not just for writing.

For the household projects I’d planned to tackle this summer, including painting the bathroom. For following my workout routine. For planning meals and grocery lists. For working on some projects for the various things I do at church. For all of the “fun summer” things I had planned to accomplish with my boys.

It’s been bad, y’all. So bad that I purposefully acknowledge it right now, in public, before all the world.

I have no motivation.

It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m tired, my list of responsibilities is too long, and that my summer break is pretty short and therefore my brain is already on the things I will need to do when I get back to work in a couple of weeks.

Whatever. No excuses other than I just don’t have the motivation to get anything done right now.

Ever been in a place like this? Your To Do list is a mile and a half long and yet you have no desire to tackle the first thing on it?

This is unlike me. Usually I’m finding serious joy in accomplishing things. So it has kind of been worrying me that I’m suffering from such a lack of motivation.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do:

  1. Just do it. No, I’m not encouraging you to buy Nikes, I’m just saying that this post is my first step in making the most of what’s left of my summer—I’m diving in and doing it. I marked off something small on my list today first, decided to write this post, and let the momentum push me along through the afternoon. I actually accomplished quite a few things today and it. Feels. GOOD.  Hallelujah. Let’s hope and pray that this momentum rolls into tomorrow.
  1. Look to others for inspiration. I have some seriously awesome friends who mostly rock at life. Just reading through their Facebook pages or sending a simple “I don’t want To Do anything but sit on the couch and read” text is totally helpful.
  1. Listen to the wisdom of those friends. One might say, “C’mon now, you can do it! Accountability!” while the other friend, also wise, might remind me that the occasional day of doing nothing but sitting on the couch and reading is actually healthy for both body and mind.
  1. Remind yourself of the commitments you’ve made. Some of those things on my To Do list must get done because they affect other people. For those particular items, it’s not about me and what I’m feeling or not feeling—it’s about the commitment I’ve made to someone else and the follow-through. I committed to following through, and I believe in keeping commitments. Whether it’s family, church, work or other, the items that affect others move up the list (my family has to eat…don’t they?).
  1. Hack up that To Do list. When you’re feeling unmotivated, shred that To Do list and start over. Put only the vital things on it. Put only the doable things on it. Put your commitments that affect other people, work items, and things that involve a time-table. Make it short and concise. Start there—you can add the other stuff back later.
  1. Show yourself a little grace. Claim some days off. Sometimes your body needs to re-charge. Sometimes your brain needs a break. Sometimes it’s totally okay and acceptable to step away from the To Do list and simply do something else.

So here’s to momentum that carries into the next days and weeks. Here’s to a summer filled with sun, completed projects, and precious memories with my family. That I will document and organize. Someday.

Share with me: What projects or items are on your summer To Do list?

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A Blog Post About Why I Don’t Really Like Blog Posts

at-the-ruin-881944-mIsn’t blogging a bit pretentious? For me to assume that anything I have to say is of any importance to you?

Isn’t it a bit pretentious for any of us to assume that our words–thrown out there into the great, vast cyber-world–matter at all?

Honest moment: I’m a blogger who doesn’t have much time to read blogs. I read them when I can, I follow my favorites, and I do what I can to support my fellow writers by sharing their brilliance (and some of them really are brilliant–always share brilliance when you find it!), but I don’t have daily time to sit and read blogs. It seems that everyone these days has a blog– there’s so much information and opinion and life out there to share and learn from. But I don’t know how most blog-junkies do it. I envy them.

And here I am, adding to the chaos of social media with my own little Hale and Hearty Words. And what does my little corner of the blogosphere say about me? Should it matter?

Perhaps it stems from some sort of insecurity. Perhaps I want to avoid confrontation, so really opinionated posts aren’t good. (Although if you look through my past posts you’ll see that I really don’t shy away from opinionated. Opinionated is one of my many middle names.)

Perhaps it stems from the fact that I read incredible blogs and then I’m worried that my posts don’t carry as much wonder and awesomeness.

Perhaps it stems from the fact that I’ve gone from regular blogging to being an on-and-off blogger, blaming everything from having a new baby to taking on a new job– the severe lack of time that keeps me from blogging.

Perhaps I’m just suffering from a lack of inspiration.

So I turn a wary eye to my blog, concerned that pretentiousness exists in the very fact that I have a blog.

But then I remember that God called me to writing. 

I remember how much I love words– how much they inspire me.

The words of others have impacted me in such a way that I believe God himself was speaking through them.

And I recall how God has opened so many doors for me to write and I need to take advantage of them.

So I blog. And I ask you to forgive any pretentiousness. I don’t mean to imply any or show it.

I only mean to inspire, laugh, give my opinion, and encourage readers with these posts. What this blog says about me, I hope, is that I love my Savior and I want you to love Him, too. I want you to be inspired and encouraged, and I want you to know that words are powerful.

So if you are reading this, please know that I appreciate you. And there is no pretentiousness in that.

Share with me: On average, how many hours per week do you spend reading blogs?

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