Ashley Judd, Rambo, and the Stitch

I’m angry. Angry that while I type this blog post, women in Africa, India, the Congo, and all over the rest of the world and United States, are being kidnapped, raped, beaten, tortured, and humiliated to think they deserve to be where they are.

Photo Credit: PSI

I’m angry I didn’t sleep well last night because all I could think about was storming into a brothel in Kenya, Rambo style, and taking out the men committing these grotesque, shaming, hideous crimes with a smirk on their faces. I’m angry I slept in my queen size bed, snuggled up with my four pillows, while little orphans in Phnom Penh are lucky to sleep on a piece of cardboard.

I’m angry Ashley Judd’s childhood was stolen from her and I just want to hug her and say, “I know. I’m sorry.”

Does Anyone Ever Really Change?

The scale. My eyes met his eyes for the first time in two months after I finally broke down and bought one for my own. It’s the only scale I’ve ever owned.

Does Anyone Ever Really Change?

I’ve determined the scale fits under the male category for two reasons: It’s easier to blame him when we don’t get the results we want, and when we see good news in the numbers, we want to wrap our arms around him and waltz across the bathroom floor. No? Just me? That’s fine.

Anyway.. back to the scale. April 1, the start of a new month. In less than five seconds, I would have to determine how I would approach the results and whether or not I would allow it to ruin my day.

You are Not “The Fat Girl”

A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out with some new friends. We’re still in the “getting to know each other” stage, so there are still those awkward pauses, stares, shifting in our chairs, etc.

Photo Credit: zoyatrq via Compfight cc

Things were going well, until I heard these words come out of one of my new friends’ mouths.

“I’m the fat girl,” she said with a smile, as though bringing humor to it would lighten the impact of those words. They may have for her and the others around us, but not for me.

It made my blood boil. I was mad. I still am. Not at her. I’m mad she believes what the devil is telling her. Mad she truly thinks of herself as the “fat girl” when God thinks of her in such a different way.

Why You Need to Be Stung By a Jellyfish

Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? Me neither. Well, not a real one anyway. But I’ve been stung by plenty of metaphorical jellyfish and I can say I’m probably a better person for it.

Photo Credit: Grendel Galore via Compfight cc

Relationships are interesting. After we get hurt by a few people in our lifetime, it’s easy to become callous to letting others into the vulnerable places of our hearts. It’s easy to assume people are just out to get us.

When God Speaks

This is a guest post by my friend and editor, Rachel Newman. She’s a Freelance Editor, Indexer, and has invested much of her talent into a future book project. She’ll be at the PENCON Convention in Austin, Texas in May. You should connect with her.

When God Speaks

“Do you write much?” The question came from my chiropractor. I was face down on an adjusting table, and we had just been discussing a short essay I’d written comparing chiropractic care to the ministry of the church.

The answer hit me like the slap of a cat’s tail to my face in the middle of night. Editing. No, it wasn’t the answer to his question; it was the answer to mine. A question I’d been earnestly asking God for two weeks. “What’s next God? What is the answer to my heart’s longing?” The answer was so definitive, it left no question in my mind. God had called me to be an editor.

Fighting for the Ones We Love: Amanda & Joey’s Story

When life gets hard we want to quit. Our feelings of defeat are normal. It’s okay to feel them, but it’s not always okay to follow through with those feelings.

Fighting for the Ones We Love: Amanda & Joey's Story

Meet my friends Amanda and Joey, and their amazing sons. I grew up with them. We laughed together. We cried together. We ate lunch together almost everyday in high school. Joey frequently bought me hot pretzels from the cafeteria ala carte menu.

They’re happy in this picture. Truly happy and full of joy. But life wasn’t always like that.

Who is Your Symphony?

When I was a little girl, while most of my friends were dreaming about becoming brides and mothers, I was dreaming about becoming famous. I was going to be an actress, and author, and a songwriter.

Who is Your Symphony?

Fourteen years ago I left my hometown, vowing to never return, unless they were naming a sign after me. Seriously.

A Letter to My Hometown

Dear Belle,

A Letter to My Hometown

I’m a pretty direct person, so can we just start this out with complete honesty?

I’ve hated you for as long as I can remember. Until two months ago, I had every intention of continuing to hate you. Today, there are still moments where I can’t believe I could ever really love you.

But something is changing in me. God is changing my heart. My hard, bitter, scared, and judgmental heart.

The Worst Book I’ve Ever Read and Why I’ll Read it Again

I hate books that convict me. Books requiring me to stop ignoring the change I need to make in my life. Yet I keep reading books, so it’s my own fault.

The Worst Book I've Ever Read and Why I'll Read it Again

In July 2014 I bought Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less to take on vacation with me. The first few pages in, as I sat in the sun by the pool, I decided I wasn’t in the mood to read a book about discipline. It went back into my suitcase, then back to the shelf, where it stayed until December.

essentialism

Essentialism (Virgin Books, 2014)

This is the must read book for 2015 and every year after that.

I loved and hated this book at the same time. Loved it because it was speaking to me. Hated it because it was convicting.

If you’re trying to decide what to pursue in life – the right direction to go, and how to get rid of the chaos in your life, this is the book for you.

If you’re tired of being busy without results and desire to live a productive life, this is the book. Be prepared for some hard truth to slap you in the face.