Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's wrong with Christianity?

We had such great feedback over the "Can Christians drink" question I posed! Thanks for all who shared their opinions and did it in a non-argumentative way with each other. Fabulous!

My question today might also require some anonymous answers, and that's always fine. So here it is:

What's wrong with Christianity today?

Now, to clarify - Christianity as in religion, or at least, as in the way the world views us as Christians.

What's wrong? Why are we not as effective as we want to be? Why do we not have the victory we're supposed to have in Christ? The joy? The contentment? Why is your church not growing? Why is your small group stale?

I'd love to see your answers, and will share mine in a bit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting Real with author Bekah Hamrick Martin

  • Here's some advice from author Bekah Hamrick Martin on Getting Real...

    It's not every day you're entertaining company and suddenly realize your toddler has carried your bra into the living room.
    Kids have a way of keeping things real. There was no doubt to anyone in my house what my cup size was. (And if you think I'm announcing that info here--I'm not keepin' it that real… today.)
    I say all this to admit that I struggle with the BEING REAL thing. But not in the way you might expect. Most of the time (when it comes to things OTHER than my bra color/size), I am apt to share too much information.
    Recently my husband did something hysterically funny. And in the midst of the laughter he looked at me and asked, "What can I do to keep this off the blog and out of the newspaper?"
    It was then that I realized I had a problem. (Okay, I kind of knew before then.) I like to write. I like to keep it real in what I write. But maybe… just maybe… some guidelines were in order.
    Here's what I've got:
    -If it's about someone else, especially family… ask. Sincerely.
    -If it's about yourself, but still involves someone else… ask.
    -If you are sharing really personal info (like this post where I talk about something painful from my past… is it redemptive? Does it give hope? Or are you just emotionally venting (is there a safer place to do that)?
    And that's pretty much all. Just show some courtesy. To yourself and to others. Because heaven knows you don't want anyone parading your panties in front of the company.


    Bekah Hamrick Martin( is a southern writer whose most recent project happens to involve being Bare Naked real

    Betsy here - I can't WAIT for Bekah's debut nonfiction release coming in April - The Bare Naked Truth About Dating. It's going to be a must read for any teen girl in your life!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gut-wrenchingly real...

I'll be honest.

This is me yesterday. I was driving, and I heard this song on KLOVE, and burst into tears. Because it fit SO perfectly for the moment. The moment that makes my heart echo The Chronicles of Narnia - "It's been a long winter."

And for that moment, during this song, all I needed was to know that it was okay to not be strong for a minute. It was okay to cry and ask and doubt and whine. It was okay to feel like an utter failure and that my prayers were doing jack. It was OKAY.

Because I'm human.

And because God is still God.

Can you relate?

Here's the thing though - no matter how many times I fall or even how hard I fall, no matter how worn and scabbed and scarred my heart feels...He is able. He is constant. He is good. He is sovereign.

He is GOD.

I challenge you today to watch this video, let the words soak in like the balm they're meant to be, and then please do one simple exercise for me.

The Bible tells us to "be still and know that I am God."

So get still, and take ten seconds to clear your mind and heart and focus only on God. Then out loud, say "You are God." Three times, each time with the inflection being on a different word.

YOU are God.

You ARE God.

You are GOD.

And I dare your heart not to start to heal.

Just a little.

But sometimes, a little is all we need.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Can Christians drink?

I'd love to start a discussion on this topic! So controversial in the church today. (or maybe always!)

Is it okay for Christians to drink alcohol? (in excess, in moderation, or not at all?)

Please leave your opinion in the comment section, and if you feel more comfortable doing it anonymously, go ahead! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013



We've had some heavy posts the last few days, so I'm officially declaring today "Be Happy and Read" day!
I think we could all use that.

So, in honor of Be Happy and Read Day, I'm doing a major giveaway.

Leave a comment below if you're in need of a Be Happy and Read experience, and I'll do a drawing to give away not only one of my novels, but also an ARC of fabulous author Katie Ganshert's latest romance, WISHING ON WILLOWS...


A copy of fabulous author Georgiana Daniel's Love Inspired novel A DAUGHTER'S REDEMPTION...


A copy of fabulous author Erynn Mangum's YA novel SKETCHY BEHAVIOR.

Talk about being happy and reading! You'll be set! :)

(If you have a preference as to which of my titles you want, please let me know in the comments. My list is available at

BE HAPPY AND READ! (your Bible, too.)    ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do we even have a chance?

I look at the world around us today and my heart sinks. Do we even have a chance? I mean, really?

We're surrounded, daily, by an overload of lies being fed to us as truth.We're blasted by images from the media, from the computer, from Facebook, from email, from well-meaning or not-so-well-meaning friends, from co-workers and even our bosses, that make our hearts shrink. That increase our fears. That decrease our faith. That enlarge our earthly desires. And degenerate our souls.

Pornography. It's EVERYWHERE, in some form or another. We pray for our husbands and spouses and family members to be spared, but how is it even possible? They can turn on ABC "Family" channel and be hit by (maybe not a graphic image but nevertheless) temptation. Not to mention the evil pop-ups on even reputable websites. Those men interested in guns or hunting or other "manly man" activities especially are targeted, because of the ads shown on those particular sites and magazines are the worst. And think about it - the Victoria Secret magazine doesn't even make anyone blush anymore. Maybe our husbands don't see that, but what does it do to us as women? Make us feel inferior. Make us feel like failures. Make us feel hopeless. Make us google things like "pros and cons of breast enhancements" and make us wish those exercises in the infamous Judy Blume book actually worked.

That's not all. Think about it.

Jealousy. We're surrounded by reminders that we aren't enough, and by the lies that our friends, family, and coworkers are. We don't have what they do, and their grass is OH so greener. They're happier. They're richer. They're on top of it all. We envy their success and material possessions and lifestyle.

Competition. As moms, we especially fall into these traps. We think the Pinterest lady on Facebook that's posting crafts and recipes she's mastered with her kids is Super Mom.She's somehow managed to clean her house top to bottom, take a homemade lasagna to the widow in her church, teach her preschooler to read, potty trained her toddler and organized her children's rooms with Pottery Barn worthy furniture - all in one day. While we're just grateful the dishes in the sink aren't actually overflowing onto the floor and we managed to have a quiet time for ten minutes before the kids woke up.

We marinate in the lies all day  - because we can't get away from them. They're on Facebook, on TV, in the mail, and coming at us from all sides from the people we interact with in person daily. How does a man resist the vulgar jokes told at work or the laptop screen shoved in his face? How does a woman resist the endless commercials and magazine photos telling her she needs THIS product to be beautiful? How do we ignore the lies that money makes us happier when people at work or church are showing off their new car or their new designer purse or bragging about their children's accomplishment?

Do we even have a chance at a victorious life in Christ?? Where is the joy? The contentment? The peace the Bible talks about?

It's in Him. Jesus. Just Jesus.

If we don't plug into Him daily - DAILY - we definitely do not have a chance. If we don't pray and read Scriptures and fill our minds with quality devotionals and materials that counter the lies with truth, we will never have a chance. If we don't carry on an endless conversation with Jesus in our heart through out the day, we will  never have a chance. If we don't pray like we mean it for our friends and family members and spouses, they'll never have a chance.

This isn't meant to add pressure to you. Because the fate of the world isn't on your shoulders, it's on Christ's. The fate of our family member or spouses' heart and soul isn't your responsibility  It's Christ's. But we are called to be involved. And your prayers might be the instrument God uses to perform emergency spiritual surgery. Your faith could be what God uses to inspire a struggling Christian nearby. Your example might be what God uses to give someone courage to stand up for what is right. To shut the laptop. To throw away the magazine. To change the channel or better yet, turn it off altogether.

But it all boils down to Jesus. To the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that can bring real change. The Holy Spirit leads us and prompts us to turn it off, put it away, ignore it, brush it off, pray, intercede, and bind the enemy. Whatever is needed. If you keep your heart tuned to Jesus, you'll have a chance. In fact, you'll have victory.

Because greater is He Who is in us, than he who is in the world.

Jesus has already won.

So relax. Breathe. Throw away the trash. Pray. Live for Him. Rinse and repeat. It's going to be a struggle until we get to Heaven. But it's not impossible.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Good Girls?

I'm sharing a link here today where I post a column once a month. It's for Nicole O'dell's CHOOSE NOW teen ministry, which has fantastic information, links, and products for teens AND their parents. How cool is that? :)  LOVE Nicole!

My monthly column is titled On Good Girls - and it talks about how being a good girl isn't all its cracked up to be, and isn't as easy as everyone thinks. Turns out we don't have all the answers after all ;)

I cover topics on faith, peer pressure, and the hard questions. Check it out if you have a teen in your life, or just recommend the link directly to a teen in your life. There's a lot of other columnists with topics like Worship, Spiritual Warfare, Purity, and more :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Is smoking okay?

Selective Morality  

I knew a man who was fired from his job at a Christian high school because one of the church elders saw him purchasing cigarettes at the local grocery store. They canned him, even though he was the best teacher they had. Now, first off, the Bible does not prohibit smoking. But this has become a favorite of the technical morality police in certain churches. What is even more diabolical about the story is the pleasure these Pharisees had in firing the young teacher. Their judgment was swift and severe; their self-righteous smugness was far sicker than this guy smoking a cigarette. Jesus calls this straining gnats but swallowing camels (Matthew 23:23-24).
The poison of technical rule-keeping is that it shifts the focus from serious issues to ridiculous peccadilloes, thus allowing the legalist to live what he believes is a “righteous life” when in fact he is failing at the very things God majors in. Take as an example a man who hates his wife; he resents her. But he has never committed adultery; he is “faithful” to her. He prides himself on his selective morality—keeping the letter of the law while ignoring massive problems in his heart. Is this holiness?
Ask yourself what it would take for a person to get fired from your church, your Christian school or ministry. What is your church’s understanding of holiness? What are the categories they are thinking in? It is a very revealing test. The scriptures say that the way you treat people is a little more important than whether you smoke, for heaven’s sake. Pride and arrogance are far more serious issues than swearing; idolatry and hatred are far more serious than how fast you drive.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What is God's love language?

I've been reading on the 5 Love Languages lately, trying to better understand my husband and how to show him love. This is a great way to better your marriage and open your eyes to truth, and can even apply to your children and other people in your life you desire to love - not just spouses.

It's a neat eye opener, because if you've been struggling in a relationship, it can reveal how you might be showing your spouse (or whoever) love in the way YOU want to receive it - not in the way THEY want to receive it.

For example, if your husband's love language is gifts but yours is physical tough, and you've been extra huggy/touchy/feely lately but haven't gotten him a gift since his last birthday, then there is clearly miscommunication and a breakdown there of connection.

It also helps in a different way. Get this: When you realize what your spouse's love language is, it opens your eyes to how they're showing love to you in their own way, even if it's not in your desired language yet. It makes you more appreciative, discerning, and open.

Neat huh?

Take the quiz here to find out your love language!

It got me thinking, though - what is God's love language?

At first I wanted to guess "quality time" - because He loves when we spend time in His Word and in His presence in worship and rest. Then I thought maybe gifts - because He loves to bless us for obedience in tithing and helping others in need. But what about physical touch? How much does it bless God and show love to Him when we take care of the "least of these" - offering hugs and love and affection to those who might never know it otherwise (orphans. widows. etc) But then there is acts of service, which clearly fits into the above listing, and words of affirmation - praising Him for Who He is.

I made a conclusion.

He's all 5.

Because God IS love.

The Bible says so. If God is love, then God has to be all 5 love langauges (and probably even more we haven't yet discovered!)

How can you show God love today?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I heard this song on KLOVE, Christian radio station, yesterday for the first time. I almost had to pull the car over, it touched me so deeply. Holy tears. I hope it reaches your heart today too.

I love how God works so mightily through His followers, whether they're in a so-called "Christian" band or not. He has zero limitations, and His works are so good! HE is good.

Let this song soak in today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting Real with Krystal Stubbs

Today, we're Getting Real with aspiring author Krystal Stubbs!

Let's see what Krystal had to say on the topic...

"Getting real” is a phrase that is used in so many ways with so many meanings. To me, getting real means accepting who you are as an individual and accepting others for who they are. God didn’t make us to be perfect, but rather the qualities and characteristics He’s given us lines up with our purpose in life. I love my best friends so much because we accept one another despite our flaws and shortcomings in life. To me, getting real is when you can put yourself out there and YOU are accepted with love. When people show who they really are, they are letting you know that they are comfortable in their own skin and will not be affected by rejection.

I have seen it done before where someone will go against their morals and values just to prevent rejection.  But how long can you pretend to be something you’re not and uncomfortable with before the REAL YOU burst out?

Why not keep it real from the beginning, like the Bible says? “If God is for you, who can be against you”?

Don’t modify something God has wonderfully made in His image and with His love. Getting real is not only being comfortable with yourself but loving yourself, telling yourself that you are worth more than what the eye meets.I learned the hard way about getting real, but now I keep it real, and it's so much easier and less stressful!

Glory be to God for being allowing us to live freely through Him.

Betsy here - I loved Krystal's take on this, especially as it relates to women and their body image and self love. We're SO hard on ourselves (I'm preaching to myself here as well!) I can appreciate her words on "comfortable in your own skin" and "we accept one another despite our flaws and shortcomings". As women, we all too often get hung up on our physical appearance and our emotional, mental and spiritual appearance...and we forget to just love. Accept others as they are, and realize that they want to do the same for us. Stop the judging (of yourself and others!) and LOVE. 

Stretch marks, birth marks, cellulite, bad attitudes, sin, and all - covered by love. Christ's love. In us and through us. 


Thanks Krystal, for guesting here!

26-year-old Krystal Stubbs is a happy wife and a loving mother of two beautiful kids. She lives in South Mississippi and has been saved since November of 2010. While openly confessing to not being perfect, she has a heart that desires to follow Christ and make a difference. Her blog, V.O.I.C.E., is one avenue in which she's attempting to fulfill her call of helping young ladies seek God and find positive answers to everyday life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cut it out? Cut it back? Or learn contentment?

Do you ever feel like you do too much?

I think one sign that I'm getting that way is when I feel out of control in my own house, and get even more OCD than usual over any clutter or cleaning that needs to be done. It wells up in my chest until I wanna scream "IF I DON'T CLEAN OUT THESE TOYS NOW I'M GOING TO EXPLODE" or "IF I DON'T SCRUB BEHIND THE FRIDGE THIS INSTANT I'M GOING TO RUN SCREAMING INTO THE NIGHT".

Yeah. Not healthy. ;)

I'm there at the moment.

Unfortunately, I don't feel the freedom or prompting to let any of it go. It's all good things, things that are important to me, such as family responsibilities, work, multiple side jobs that bring in money we need right now, book deadlines that are truly a blessing and a desire of my heart, multiple blogs that are more of a ministry to me than a duty, keeping the house up, spending a little time in the gym, etc.

We're also considering listing our house soon to see if it could sell and let us upgrade to more land...which means some house repairs, which means more clutter, dirt and disarray (temporarily).

And more swallowing helpless screams on my part ;)

Right now, there is a new front door just inside the entryway beside my current front door, and a frame. There's a new shower door leaning behind the current bathroom door. There's random swatches of white caulk on the walls and ceilings where my husband has caulked cracks and sticky notes all over to indicate paint or baseboard touch ups.

And I'm rocking in the fetal position in a corner, wanting to wait and open my eyes when it's all back to normal ;)

So here's the predicament. Bottom line - if we can't cut it out or cut it back or clean it up...what do we do? Deep breathing treatments? Massages? Yoga? More exercise to gain care-free endorphins? Permanent residence in denial? I've tried all those, besides the yoga  (freaks me out, and I'm not exactly bendy enough) and there's really only one solution.


Paul was in prison when he wrote his famous verse of Philippians 4:12.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."


Makes me feel sort of guilty for being so overcome by such petty (in comparison) matters. I'm upset because my house is being improved upon? Because my daughter's toys are so bountiful that we need more storage for them? Because my writing dreams are coming true and my financial needs are being met, even if we're all having to work extra hard to see that happen? Because my blogs are meeting people and reaching needs and being used by the Spirit? Because my family is here and healthy and happy and well and able to do physical labor and spend time together?

I know I posted about this last week but it's still on my heart. Still heavy. Still weighing on me, like God isn't done with this topic yet. I know I haven't reached the head of the class here.

Have you?

How do we learn contentment? I think it's about perspective. Paul had the bigger picture in mind. He knew whatever mess he had to go through on earth, whether it was in prison or free, with a full belly or with hunger pangs, he would be okay. Even in death, if the guards came that night with swords drawn, he'd be just fine. Not because he was guaranteed divine intervention, though God gave him that sometimes after all. But because he knew The End. He knew where he was going. He knew the last page of the ultimate story, and it had nothing to do with bread and water or meat and wine. Nothing to do with prison cells or wide open fields.

Nothing to do with overflowing toy bins and white splotches on the wall or ticking clocks or draining bank accounts.

It had everything to do with Jesus. Heaven. The final hurrah, the eternal bliss of being forever with our Lord, forever away from the temporary cares of this world.


To me, that's saying "I'm okay in this, because I know what's next." Whether that's good, bad, hard, easy, or in between.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Messy cups...

My good friend reminded me of something really important the other day.

She, like we all tend to do, was getting stressed out. (wow, this sounds familiar to me this week! Been there, done that, got the tattoo) She's in the middle of a lot of big changes, both in her family and with her schedules and in her career, and it was flat out overwhelming. She felt frustrated and at the end of her rope with every new interruption or delay or schedule hitch. She just wanted peace! And for things to go smoothly.

Haven't we all been there? I don't know who can't relate to that!

Then she was reminded of a important truth by the Lord. She said He reminded her that all of her complaints were based on good things. Blessings. Her cup was running over...but she was only focused on the mess from the overflow.

Wow! Such a powerful truth. I needed that reminder. Too often I get stressed from being busy and having so many deadlines and obligations and chores and responsibilities - but then I realize the majority of those stress factors are actually blessings.

I stress because my child doesn't understand why mommy is busy - but that's because she's a healthy, active, smart, beautiful preschooler who desires my time and attention! I stress because I have a book deadline - because I have a contract for a new release! I stress over other deadlines - because I'm getting paid to write in various forms - my lifelong dream!! I stress over having my day taken up by my part time job outside the home - but I have a job and a paycheck! I'm running around ragged doing housework that never ends - because I have a family to take care of and clean up after and a house to get dirty!!

Blessings. Running over.

Don't worry about mopping up the overflow today. Just splash in the puddle of God's grace  :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Do you match?

I posted today at GIRLS, GOD and the GOOD LIFE (here) on matching our insides to our outsides. I'd love to see you there! I'll be back here tomorrow with a lesson a good friend reminded me of yesterday. Teaser: messy cups.  :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A few promises...

His grace is sufficient.

His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

Nothing is impossible with God.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

He will never leave us nor forsake us.

He will keep us in perfect peace, if we keep our eyes fixed on Him.

I hope these promises from the Word encourage you this morning. I know I needed them!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas year round...

I know we're past Christmas now, but I wish I had been aware of this song to post for you before the New Year. BUT - Christmas is more than just one day, right? In our hearts, we should strive for Christmas every day - a constant awareness of what Jesus's birth, life, death and resurrection did for us.

So please let this soak in today and bless your New Year. It's powerful.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Real with author Tamara Leigh

I'm so grateful to have Tamara Leigh here today, answering the famous question "what does getting real mean to you?”

I love this lady, and her books! Tamara's heart for the Lord shines through in her writing, and she can also create some wonders in the kitchen. Don't miss her blog link below.

Here's Tamara's answer:

I think I’ll let the writer in me tackle this question. Regardless of whether I’m writing in the historical or contemporary romance genre, I set out to develop characters who are “real,” meaning they’re less than perfect. Even if a heroine is a mature Christian, she won’t always think/act/speak like one. She will make emotional—and bad—choices that not only provide opportunities for readers to relate to her but often furthers the plot. 

Note: One reason I didn't sooner transition from the general market to the inspirational market was because I had difficulty relating to characters in inspirational novels published during the ’90s. Too often, a character’s only apparent flaw was a bad thought or misplaced word. Perhaps that’s why so many readers embraced Francine Rivers’ edgy Redeeming Love

Though I probably shouldn't admit that the novel wasn't a “keeper” for me, the author so deeply and believably flawed her heroine that I felt as if she was real. And nothing got in the way of me reading to the end to discover how she could possibly find redemption.

Thanks Tamara! Here's some info on Tamara's latest releases, and her blog link - you don't want to miss some of the recipes she shares!! :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mountains still move - and I have proof.

Mountains still move. And I have proof.

Let me preface with the fact that everyone I know is either sick, getting sick, or just getting over being sick. It's sort of ridiculous. But it's flu season and the weather here in north Louisiana has been crazy! A high of 40 one day, then in the 60's the next, lows in the 20's, sleeting, humid, the works. So it's not surprising we all have had colds and viruses.

My preschooler, Little Miss, was out for a week before the holidays with a nasty virus. And I recently got over some head congestion, which wasn't that bad, at least I could still function and go to work. Hubby went through the same then relapsed and has been off work a day or two to rest. The doctor said his was upper respiratory.

Yesterday, I was taking care of hubby, picking up his prescription, and snuggling Little Miss in the chair and watching movies when I started coughing. Not the throat tickle kind, or the productive flim-y kind, but the deep, terrible, painful bark from deep in your chest that just makes you wheeze and lose your breath and accomplishes nothing. I coughed for an hour straight. I coughed so much my teeth hurt. My face hurt. Every time, without fail, if I took a breath past a certain point, I'd wheeze and start a coughing fit that ended with groaning. This came on just all of a sudden, out of the blue, while resting in the chair with my Little Miss. Odd.

I got up and started walking around to see if moving and being upright would help. Took some Dayquil pills. Tried to distract myself with folding laundry. Nope. Still barking like a dog, and my chest felt heavy now, like someone was trying to drown me. I got pretty anxious about it, a little panicky. If I didn't take a deep breath past a certain point, I was okay, just uncomfortable. But if I breathed deep, I was afraid I woulldn't ever stop coughing. Once, I got so far into a coughing fit doing the laundry, I had to go spit in the sink and thought I was going to throw up.

Then guess what happened? I got mad. Mad at the cough. And then came a Light Bulb. I didn't need medicine. I didn't need rest or cough syrup or anything.

I needed to pray it away.

So, totally angry at the enemy, and feeling pretty indignant, I went into my closet, shut the door, leaned against it on my knees, and prayed. Told God I really believed this sudden attack was from the enemy, and that I knew God was bigger. I told Him if there was a reason for me to be dealing with this, then fine. I could take it. But if not, would He please take it away? I specifically asked Him to take the cough, to heal my lungs, to heal my body, so I could enjoy the evening with my family and take care of everyone else that needed me. I asked in faith and believed it would happen with my whole heart. And then I took a deep breath. Still wheezy, but maybe a little better. I tried again. Still wheezy. I was a little disappointed, but thought "okay, well, I tried, and God obviously has a reason for me to feel like this tonight."

Then a thought came to me, and I knew it was from the Lord. So I prayed again for Jesus to take the cough away, and then said outloud, firmly,  "In the name of Jesus, cough - MOVE." I said it three times.

And I could breathe.

Just like that. Crystal clear breaths. As deep as I wanted.

I spent another minute on my knees praising, then got up and went about my night. I maybe coughed three or four times total  the entire rest of the night, and they were the really mild, easy coughs that didn't mean a thing. That's it. No more anxiety. No more panic. No more pain. No more drowning lungs. No more fits. Not a single deep cough again.

This stuff is real, folks. Prayer is real. Intercession is real. GOD HEARS YOU and CARES.

What are you praying for today that needs to move? What mountain in your life needs to get out of the way? Jesus - and your faith, the faith He calls us to, the faith no bigger than a mustard seed - can do that for you today.

Will you try? Will you believe? Tell it to move. BELIEVE. Have faith. It might not happen immediately. It doesn't always work that way. If God had chosen not to remove my cough last night, I would have believed anyway. My faith would not have been hit. He knew that about me and I knew it about myself. But He chose to give me this one and I'm sharing it with you to encourage you. Everything for a reason, and I believe maybe that was the reason. To bolster my faith and hopefully bolster yours.

TRY. Don't be afraid to fail.

Tell that mountain where to go.

And let me know what happens :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Getting Real with Anne Prado

I'm honored to have my good friend and talented writer Anne Prado here today, chiming in on Getting Real. Let's see what Anne has to share.  
Over Sharing vs Bottling it Up

Just how big is your mouth? :) I often ask myself this in a social situation. It seems I always have this tendency to either spill too much information (such as, "my deodorant isn't working today") or clam up, missing out on an opportunity to make a connection with someone. 
Where, then, is the magical fine line? That's the definition of being real for me. I've noticed that when I blabber more than necessary, I'm either nervous or not feeling like myself - not feeling REAL. When you're your true self around the people you're the most comfortable with, you don't feel the need to be super funny, super interesting, or super spiritual/deep. You share what's in your heart - nothing less, and nothing more. 

If there had never been sin in the garden of Eden, I doubt anyone would suffer from social anxiety lol. I bet introverts would peacefully observe when they felt like it, and then share when it felt right too. The same way, extroverts wouldn't be self conscious of their natural spontaneous personalities, and neither would fall slaves to it as if they always had to be entertaining. 

Here's what I think God wants us to realize: we don't HAVE to be any specific way. He loves and uses us where we're at in each situation. And I believe that the right reaction is the one that comes with peace. 

It can be easy to look at a funnier friend and wonder if you're less interesting for not being able to crack jokes all the time. And said funny friend might believe the lie that if they're not quieter, they can't possibly be as serious/deep/smart as their introvert or brainiac friend.
See, being real is being okay with who you are - and whatever you feel naturally compelled to bring to the table.

As for me, I've given up trying to define which group I belong to. I realized that more important than putting a label on myself (as if we're a product to be sold), I should just relax and follow God's lead in whatever He wants me to be at the moment. Plus, on a personality test, I scored about the same for several different types, so who knows! lol.
Or perhaps I shouldn't have shared that :)...


I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and have a bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Brazil, where I was born. There I worked as an English-Portuguese translator for legal documents, until moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 for a marketing internship in a retail business. During the year of 2008 I published and wrote for Crosswalk Community Church’s monthly newsletter, The Pedestrian, as well as all of their ministries’ publications. Now a stay-at-home mom in San Benito, TX, I’m actively pursuing publication in the Christian industry, and have just been named a Genesis winner in the Contemporary Fiction category (YAY!).

For more information, leave a comment or email me at You can also follow me on twitter (@AnnePradoWrites) or visit my other blog, The Bored Mommy. Hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Do not fear...

If you've never done a Beth Moore Bible study, you're really missing out!! I highly recommend them all. The woman is clearly annointed and receives insight from God in a way that she's able (via God through her, He totally gets the glory here!) to share with others  in a way that really comes to life and connects with the heart. God has spoken to me so many times over the years, ever since I was teenager, through Beth.

Here's an encouraging short clip of Beth now on pressing past fear: (I believe this is part 1 of several on youtube, you can find the rest if you'd like to hear the entire message. Just search Beth Moore, Pressing Past Fear)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

May God richly bless your new year!
I'm claiming 2013 to be a year of victory and freedom for my family and yours :)

Happy Holidays!