One Path to Success by Hannah Alexander
October 19, 2015
I once had a third grade teacher who always told us to
smile with our eyes, which never quite made sense to me.
How does one smile with one's eyes? Doesn't the mouth have
something to do with it? Not real helpful for an eight-year-old.
I think she was simply trying to confuse us so we'd shut
up when we got a little wild in class. But she taught me
more than how to crinkle up my eyes when I smiled. She taught
me to smile at others in the hallway, in class, in the cafeteria.
She taught me to put my best face forward to anyone I meet.
For some reason, her attitude taught me to expect the best
of others even if they weren't smiling back, and that long-ago
lesson has held me in good stead.
Now, I'm not saying I'm the most successful person in the
world. The way the writing world is changing, I might be
forgotten soon. But when I greet people with a friendly
smile, they have fonder memories of me than they do of the
bitter complainers who find fault with every kind service
they might receive.
It was surprising for me to hear that I'm always the one
who encourages (really? Me? I'm the whiner) and lend strength
to friends when they're in need. A smile will go a long
way for those around you. Try smiling more often. And do
it with your eyes, too. You know, those little crinkles
that form around our eyes when our smile is genuine. I've
always thought those lines were so attractive. Now I know
why. It means warmth and acceptance. If you haven't gone
through your day with a smile, you might find that you end
your day on a sour note. A smile costs nothing, and it can
be healthy, not only for the smiler, but the person who
receives that smile.
Touch a heart or two today and smile. It's contagious.
WARNING by Hannah Alexander
September 29, 2015
Several years ago I had a particularly stressful month.
Halfway through the month a streak of pain crossed my shoulders
and down my spine and legs and would not relent. I couldn't
sleep. I couldn't function. Finally I gave up and went to
see my family doctor.
He told me I had fibromyalgia and gave me hydrocodone for
the pain. Yeah, the hard stuff. I'd taken narcotics after
an automobile accident a decade ago, and again after surgery,
but I always quit taking it as soon as possible and never
developed a dependency.
This time, however, the pain became chronic. I was told
I would always have fibromyalgia and as hard as I tried
I was unable to endure the pain without the hydrocodone.
I tried alternative doctors and actually was able to improve
my health, but the pain persisted year after year. Most
days I could get through a day with only two doses, and
I'm stubborn enough that I refused to increase the dose
unless I was in agony.
Despite attempts to avoid becoming dependent, chronic use
of a narcotic over the years makes us dependent no matter
what we do. Several weeks ago, however, I was speaking to
a naturopath who told me she'd heard of pain clinics that
treated their patients by weaning them from their narcotics.
That's all. She said that often the pain would go away after
the narcotic was out of the system. This meant that the
narcotic, itself, caused the uptick in pain.
I stopped taking my prescribed narcotic when I had a few
days during which I could stay home. Since I had been stretching
the time out between doses, I felt this could be done safely.
I had accumulated several creams, over-the-counter medicines
and herbal supplements to help me through the worst of it.
I needed that and more.
I stopped sleeping, the pain increased, I lost all appetite
and despite my determination to keep eating, I lost ten
pounds in two weeks--this is NOT a good way to lose weight.
My skin became dry and stretchy, my head hurt and my stress
level was off the charts. I had to take blood pressure meds
for a couple of weeks. Did I mention I couldn't sleep? I
still refused to take another pill because I didn't want
to be addicted for the rest of my life.
It's been five weeks. I would not recommend that anyone
withdraw from narcotics in this way. If I'd known how my
body would behave I would have weaned myself much more gradually.
I would still have done it. The pain I was feeling between
doses for so many years was, indeed, caused by the narcotic
for the most part.
Yes, I still have some pain, but the intensity is not nearly
as high as it had been between doses when I was considered
a "chronic" pain patient, and it doesn't return
regularly the way it did when it was time for another dose
Why am I telling this to Christian readers? Because there
are a lot of people in our country who are placed on narcotic
pain meds and continue to take them, innocent of the addictive
potential. Doctors were taught in med school that as long
as a patient is truly in pain, narcotics are the best to
control that. It's true. Now, however, doctors are being
told that their patients can become dependent on those narcotics
and it's difficult to get off them.
Everybody feels pain from time to time. A lot of people
feel intense pain. Sometimes narcotics are necessary. Just
be aware they are dangerously addictive if taken longterm.
Don't let it happen to you.
September 15, 2015
How's your stress level? I recently listened
in on an anxiety symposium that was quite helpful. In it,
some experts in the use of alternative supplements suggested
several possible aids that could help with a person's stress
level without resorting to prescription medications. For
instance, GABA or GABA Calm might help some people, while
5-HTP could help others. I've found that L Tryptophan and
simple chamomile can help me. Holy basil is another favorite.
I also take magnesium supplements to help me relax at night,
but we're all different. No body responds to the same supplements,
so it's sort of a trial and error approach.
I've also found that some essential oils can
help with stress, and we even use one of those oils in the
clinic, allowing the patient to inhale the oil for ten minutes
if they happen to have white coat syndrome. Again, this
could help some and not others, but we've found that simply
allowing a patient to sit quietly and breathe a calming
essential oil will lower the blood pressure if the problem
is due to stress.
The most powerful antidote to anxiety, fear,
stress, even depression, is turning back to Christ. I tend
to drift away from reading my Bible every day, and I shoot
up instaprayers during the day without actually digging
deeply and spending quality time with Him. I can spend all
day doing what I know God has called me to do, but all work
and no love shared with Him? That doesn't cut it for me.
I need that Holy Presence in my daily life to sustain me.
I need to depend completely on Him, and not my own strength.
One way I've always drawn closer to God was
to go out into the wilderness for a hike, to surround myself
by His creation and talk to Him in the peace of nature.
I seldom fail to come back with a full heart. Even a quick
stroll in the sunshine can give me a spiritual lift.
In the past few weeks, hubby and I have both
been ill. That's scary when neither of us can get out of
bed to care for the other. We realized right away we needed
to draw back to God more completely, that we'd been doing
what we thought was right, but not spending quality time
with the One for whom we were doing it.
It's a longterm goal, to walk more closely with Jesus Christ,
but it's also instantaneous. I found that as soon as I turned
back and repented of my independence, He was there. How
does He do that? It has to be supernatural, because anyone
at any time can turn to Him, repent, find His love and learn
to walk with Him.
"Be anxious about nothing, but in everything
make your requests known to God, with prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, and the peace of God, which passeth all
understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ
Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Whats IN Your Mind?
by Hannah Alexander
September 1, 2015
I have notes taped up around the house with one of my favorite
Bible passages, the "whatsoever" passage. "...whatsoever
things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely...think on these things."
I need to be reminded of this often because it's so easy
to place some ugly, untrue, impure things into our minds.
Mel and I relax in front of our favorite shows at night
when we crash from a day's work. Unfortunately, we've discovered
lately that sometimes those shows, which are very popular
with a lot of people, tend to be getting darker and darker.
When we're weak or susceptible, those shows can cause depression--homicide
cop shows, high adventure, even sometimes comedy. They give
The nightmares have brought home to me the truth of the
favorite passage of scripture above. Some things can be
fun to watch, to read, to do, but I need to ask myself if
it's something that is uplifting, pure, lovely.
Sometimes a habit is hard to break. I'm in the middle of
breaking a habit right now that is particularly difficult,
but breaking bad habits, if we persist in doing good, will
help heal us in the end.
JULY 21, 2015 Hannah Alexander
Have you ever been faced with a decision between two comparatively
good choices? Which is the right one? Weve all been
there dozens of times, from small choices such as paint
color for a wall, to larger choices such as job offers.
What do you do when faced with a choice you cant seem
to make? Close your eyes and pick one and hope its
the right one? Call your friends for input? Sleep on it?
Pray for wisdom? Of course, praying for wisdom is something
Ive found myself doing every day lately. Sometimes,
however, even with those prayers, I find myself facing a
decision in which I would need knowledge of the future in
order to be certain of the right choice.
What to do?
I can gather all the information I want and still make the
wrong choice. I can talk to every business person I know
and crunch numbers all day long, but when faced with a particular
decision, I cant predict what will happen.
One company I know made a decision to move their business
to a better location, but after all the expense
and effort and lost time, they could not have predicted
that one bean counter in one little office would make a
decision that would cut that business off at the knees.
Events like this can paralyze a persons ability to
make the next big decision.
Not all decisions are so life changing. Others are. What
kind of treatment does one choose when faced with a life
threatening illness? Go the traditional route with physicians
under the control of government regulations and insurance
companies? Or attempt to find some alternative treatments
that might be dissed by the medical community, but would
be healthier, though more expensive, in the long run?
I know one answer Ive used over and over again, even
when the decision deadline comes down to the wire. Wait.
When Mel and I were dating, we came to the point where wed
been seeing each other exclusively for nearly a year and
we both wondered where the relationship was going. I knew
for sure I loved him. He thought he loved me, but wanted
to be certain. We prayed and prayed for direction. We were
both frustrated. Our only reply was, Wait. So
we waited. I actually got comfortable in that waiting state,
though Mel never did. When God says wait, you wait. Believe
it or not, we grow in that waiting room of life. If we skip
ahead without Gods go-ahead, we could suffer in ways
we might not if we had only done as we were told and waited.
It wasnt until a very important person in our life
passed away, jarring us emotionally, that the answer came.
Only a few days after his funeral, Mel asked me to marry
him. Our waiting time was over. At least, for our relationship.
Ill never regret the wait.
As for other instances in our lives, the waiting were
doing right now? I plan to find peace with the waiting phase
before we move on. God has something in store. We just have
to hurry up and wait.
June 23, 2015 by
When was the last time you read a book that stayed with
you, that reminded you over and over again that theres
a better way to look at life? As readers, we likely get
tidbits from any kind of book we read that opens our eyes
to something inspiring, or we probably wouldnt be
avid readers. Those of us who blog on this site always hope
to touch hearts and change lives, which is on reason why
we keep writing. Sure, there are other reasons, but for
most of us our high comes from knowing weve touched
the lives of others with the words weve written.
Thanks to a friends recommendation a couple of weeks
ago I dowloaded the latest release by Bill Myers entitled
The Jesus Experience: Journey Deeper into the Heart of God.
The message I received from this gifted man was profound
and life changingeven though Ive learned the
lesson multiple times before: Get to know Jesus. Love Him
before you do anything else. Love God with all your life.
Out of that love will flow the fruits of the Spirit that
God calls us to utilize, but first we must love. I know
the others who blog on this site have been saying the same
thingLove God. Love others. Love must be in our hearts
before any of our works for Him can be meaningful.
I found it interesting that the Sunday morning after I completed
reading Bills book, our Sunday school class discussed
the difference between faith and works, the differences
between the sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. We agreed
that the reason we gathered together at church was to love
Godbefore anything else. Church attendance means nothing
to God unless we meet together to love Him.
But of course, Bill writes the words in such an interesting
way, at times humorous, at times heart-rending, and because
of his own walk with Christ and his journey into knowing
Jesus more completely, his words resonate in ways I fear
mine havent always done. But I plan to start, and
the way Ill start is by drawing closer to Him, by
loving Him above all things, by clinging to Him in everything,
and considering all trials, all joys, to be something Im
sharing with Him.
I highly recommend The Jesus Experience. I think if you
read it youll be glad you did.
A Real Character
June 9, 2015
You know how there are some people who tend to call attention
to themselves with an extra loud voice or extravagantly
dramatic behavioras if theyre attempting to
be on stage? Yeah, well, I speak with my hands, so some
people might consider me to be one of those people. I might
be. Hard to tell when youre one of those
people. Our kitty, Data (named after Star Treks artificial
intelligence) has a right to spread out and claim his attention
because hes beautiful. Others? I wouldnt advise
I call those attention seekers characters. They
work well in a novel, but not all of them are fun. Some
of them can seem downright obnoxious, and we still have
to put up with them. Doing so graciously is a lesson I havent
yet been able to grasp. I try. Honestly, I try.
Lets consider a character weve had
experience with recently. Lets call her Gertrude (though
I had a good friend by that name, and Im not crazy
about using it. Still, gotta name her something.)
So say Gertrude wants attention and she doesnt receive
the attention she feels she deserves. Instead of waiting
her turn on the schedule at our place of business, she drags
one of OUR waiting room chairs to the front reception window
and plops down and crosses her arms, glaring at the receptionist
until he looks at her. Causing a scene. Getting the attention
in an obnoxious wayusing vinegar instead of honey.
Now, this character needs to be cared for just as much as
the next person, but its most tempting to pass over
Gertrude-the-character and move on to someone who is sitting
quietly in the corner waiting his turn. Very tempting. If
someone from that waiting room happens to see this Gertrude
character out on the street somewhere, do you think theyll
rush forward to greet her and embrace her with love? Sadly,
theyll cross the street to avoid her and she loses
the attention she so desperately wants. Obnoxious characters
tend to have that affect on people.
See the character on the picture? Data? He spreads himself
all over the floor and gets in the way and whines and drools
on me and sticks his cold nose on my arm or face in an attempt
to get attention. But hes a CAT! I love him because
hes a cat.
I really do believe that old adageif you want something,
use honey, not vinegar. I highly recommend the use of honey.
Be a character all you want, but be a nice one. A sweet
one. Lie on your back and twist sideways with a big grin,
dont grab a chair and plant yourself in someone elses
face and glare at everyone within glare distance. Create
friendship, not hostility. Again, as I said last time, be
My Speech This Morning
July 7, 2015 by Hannah Alexander
I'm speaking at two libraries today, and when I walked
into the first one I had an idea what I was going to say.
I'd brought books to give away, so I knew those kind ladies
would go home happy no matter what I said, but I had to
ask whether they were all readers or if they were readers
who were interested in writing. All were readers. That kind
of killed my speech.
I was going to speak about the new indie markets and how
to edit, edit, edit, because many new writers don't do that,
and it hurts their sales. I was also going to explain to
them how many people they could help with their writing
if they used their own experiences to encourage others.
But no, none of the ladies at the library had any interest
in becoming writers, they simply loved to read and wanted
to meet the writer. I changed my speech.
I still told them how they could touch lives with their
words, whether written or spoken. If you've lived more than
fifteen years--maybe even fewer--you've had some kind of
experience that could help someone else. I do it all the
time in my writing. I personalize what I write with snippets
of my painful experiences in life to show readers that the
worst times in life can be endured. I let them see that
they aren't alone.
Of course, since the ladies to whom I was speaking don't
think they'll be writing to readers, I told them that they
can still touch a LOT of lives. All of us can. I love to
touch lives through my writing, but I also love to share
hope with anyone going through a life ordeal. Lost a loved
one? I'm here to tell you that yes, you'll endure pain and
it'll change you forever, but you can find a new normal.
Injured in a care accident? Yes, the body can heal. If you
have continued pain you might have to live with that pain,
but I've lived with pain for nine years and it's given me
a deeper appreciation for what remains of my health.
We can all offer hope. We don't want to explain in detail
our own ordeals when we see someone who is struggling, because
they're so caught up in their pain they don't want more
added to their load. Just let them know there is hope and
they aren't alone. It's amazing how much it helps to know
someone understands. Be the one who understands. I guess
that's my message for today because it's what I'm going
to speak about at the next library. I'm leaving now, and
on the drive I'll be thinking about how my words might be
able to better heal those around me. Want to join me?
Are You Searching for Your Self?
April 28, 2015 by Hannah Alexander
If you live long enough, you've lost someone you love.
Maybe it's through a breakup, maybe it's by death, but if
you've lost a loved one you know the devastation, as if
you've lost a part of yourself. For me, it's almost physical.
Three years and two months ago my mother, whom we'd cared
for in our home, passed away. Being an only child, I guess
I was extremely close to Mom. I didn't realize it so much
when she was alive-you know, you just sort of take your
mother for granted? But the connection was so solid that
after Mom died, something in me died, and for three years
I wasn't myself. I couldn't understand it. I knew Mom was
in a better place, I believe in heaven and I knew what she
believed, but that didn't seem to matter.
I lost something so vital in my life that Mel, my loving,
attentive husband, was very afraid for me. I was afraid
for me. I wanted my SELF back. I hid out in the house for
three years, only getting out to attend church and get groceries.
Crowds put me into a panic.
During that time I helped Mel build a clinic, but I directed
things from home, preferably via email.
Two months ago I was forced out of the house and into the
workplace--our clinic--when we decided to move our clinic
to a larger town and I was forced to be there to direct
things in person. I did things I didn't want to do, interacted
with people in ways I didn't want to, but I did it.
I forced myself out, bought dressy clothing, even wore earrings
again. I began to interact with others besides my cats and
Something happened. Now I wake up in the morning and look
forward to coming to the clinic, seeing the patients come
through and be treated with kindness by my fantastic husband
and nurses and office personnel. I love being with our WONDERFUL
staff and see my husband 24 hours a day, even though I'm
a true introvert.
I don't know why it took three years to recover, but it
did. I have friends who take longer than that. I'm back.
If you're in that dark period after loss, allow yourself
to grieve as long as you need to, but if you see an opportunity
to do something, take it. Try it, anyway. Even if you can't
function the first time you try, then you need to give yourself
time and patience and try again later. It will happen if
you let it.
I thought I'd lost my SELF forever, and then suddenly I
was back. It's me again. I pray that if you're struggling,
you'll find a way back to your Self, and maybe even a better
Self than you ever had before. May God give you healing
Kristens Crazy Little Thingby
February 23, 2015
Friends, I don't want you to think I'm special or anything,
but since Kristen Heitzmann and I have been friends for
a very, very long time, and since I raised my hand higher
than anyone else and shouted louder when she announced the
new manuscript she wrote for fun, I get to be an endorser!
Which means I finagled a first draft and started reading.
All I can say is: Write a note to yourself to be on the
lookout for her announcement when she does release this
book. She's showing a new side to herself that is delightful
(not that she isn't already truly delightful or I wouldn't
like her so much) and if you want to read a book that will
make you smile and laugh and chuckle you'll want this book.
Yes, she has somehow changed genres without losing her style.
Since I've attempted the same thing recently, I feel better
knowing a fellow writer has done it, and done it very, very
well. Don't be afraid to step into the waters. Kristen is
Advice to the Lovelorn Man
by Hannah Alexander
always wondered what it would be like to include an advice
column in one of my novels. It isn't something I'd ever
consider doing in real life, because I don't want the responsibility
of messing up a living person's life with the wrong advice--and
I'm capable of doing just that. I'm a novelist, after all,
not a psychiatrist. However, I have a fictional character
in need, and I'm going to attempt to help him here. If you
have words of advice for him, I'd welcome them, because
he's in dire straits emotionally right now in the novel
I'm writing. Prepare to suspend disbelief...
You're my last hope. I've done practically everything wrong
my whole life, and in doing so have doubled my family's
wealth while hurting those most dear to me. I would give
away my billions for a do-over. I realize you're not a priest-confessor,
but you have the power to change my life. I'm sorry for
trampling the hearts of my ex-wife and my daughter in order
to rake in the money. I nearly ruined the life of the best
doctor who ever worked for me by breaking her engagement
with lies to get her for myself. After a recent brush with
death I've taken a new look at myself, and I hate what I
see. My ex-wife has found love again, my daughter is growing
up with me in the periphery of her life. There is a woman
I truly love, but she's so much more honorable than I. How
do I make up for all the harm I've done? How do I become
worthy of this woman I love?
In the Bible, Jesus told the rich young ruler to give up
all his wealth to follow Him. You said you'd be willing
to give away your billions for a do-over, but would you
really? Can you possibly stop depending on wealth to define
yourself? You've lived so long for the next high of cutting
a deal, manipulating others to serve you. Can you live without
that? Money is all you've known or understood. If you were
to marry this worthy woman you love, would you truly love
her, or would you go back to your old habits? I'm sorry,
but you'll need to prove yourself by doing what you said.
Let me know what you decide.
of the things I do when writing a new novel is look for
people who would make good, interesting, heroic characters
in my books. That's one of the most fun things to do, and
I take them from real life. Here's an example:
We have an office manager in our clinic, Bonnie, who hates
germs. When she drew up the plans for the construction of
the clinic and oversaw the work, she didn't realize she'd
soon be working there. She hates goo, she has a very weak
stomach. When the rest of the staff starts talking shop,
Bonnie gags, loses her appetite, covers her ears and gets
away. She's also shy. She sits in the back row at church.
She'll sneak over to an elderly neighbor's house and shovel
snow when they're not looking, and get away before anyone
knows. How she ended up in her position is a long story,
but it wasn't where she started. She wouldn't have chosen
to work in a doctor's office, but due to a job switch, and
the fact that I knew what a good employee she was, I kind
of dragged her into it.
One evening last week I got a call from Bonnie. Her voice
was shaking, but she had to tell someone. That evening,
I believe Bonnie showed the world--and to her, it felt like
the whole world--what she was made of. She was driving the
company car behind an elderly man who was riding his small
motorcycle slowly with his groceries behind him. Cars raced
past him, honking their horns, yelling at him and harassing
him to the point he wrecked his bike, tumbling over right
there in the middle of the road, scraping blacktop as his
groceries went flying.
No one stopped except our shy, germophobe office manager.
Bonnie got out and ran into the middle of the road to find
out if he was okay, and helped him to the side of the road,
despite his protests about his eighteen broken eggs. He
had an oxygen mask, and his arm was bleeding. Instead of
throwing up, which she expected would happen, she ran to
the back of the car and pulled out the medical kit, wrapped
his bleeding arm, comforted him by sitting beside him and
rubbing his back so he'd stop shaking. (She also stopped
him from lighting a cigarette when she saw gasoline leaking
from his motorcycle). Then she talked to him while he calmed
down. She discovered he was a war veteran. Shy Bonnie tried
to flag someone else down to help them because she couldn't
get the motorcycle out of the middle of the road, but no
one would stop and help. All her patient was worried about
was his eighteen broken eggs, but she knew there could be
a worse accident if she didn't do something.
She finally called 911. In minutes, an ambulance, firetrucks,
highway patrol (which had sped past them earlier without
stopping) came screaming toward her and this injured old
man. I'm sure it was quite a spectacle, and poor Bonnie
was just sitting there in the middle of it all, the center
of attention with no place to retreat. Then, of course,
proving her devotion to us, she pulled out a card for our
clinic, and wrote her phone number on it in case the patient
When it was all over and the road was cleared and the professionals
took over, Bonnie drove to the nearest parking lot and had
a mini-panic attack. She was on her way home when she passed
a police car sitting beside the road. The policeman flashed
his lights at her. She thought it was because he thought
she was speeding, but he didn't pull out and stop her. I
think he was giving her a salute for caring enough to help
when no one else would stop for an old man on a motorcycle.
Funny, Bonnie has this weird idea that she's unworthy of
attention. She won't listen when I disagree. But next time
she tells me what a mess-up she is, I'll remind her of this
day, and someday soon, she's going to see her likeness in
one of my heroines. It takes more strength to do something
that terrifies you and hold it together, than it does if
that's your everyday job, and you're just plain good at
I'm proud of Bonnie. She's earned herself a place in a novel
| July 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm
Too Perfect by Hannah Alexander
June 24 ,2014
here at ICRS enjoying old friends and meeting new ones.
If you haven't heard of ICRS, it's an international Christian
retailer's convention. Today I slung on all the bling I
could wear to garner attention, then took my place at a
signing booth. I guess the bling worked. I had an honest
to goodness line! That never happens when I'm at a book
signing back home, but then, people come here from all over
the world to get free books. Back at the bookstores at home
people are expected to buy my books. Here, the stuff is
given away. It's a reader's heaven.
The signing was fun, seeing all those people who wanted
to read my novel, but a problem arose that I could do nothing
about. They say horses sweat, men perspire and women glow.
I'm apparently a racehorse. It was horribly humiliating
to drip so badly in response to the humidity that followed
me from home. The bling I was wearing attracted everyone
walking into the convention center, but when they got close,
there was no missing the droplets coursing down my face
and dripping from my hair. My eyeglasses were even steaming.
Ick. I guess looks didn't matter to them. No one declined
when my publicist told us to draw close for a photo shoot.
After the signing I remarked to my publicist how embarrassing
it was to break into a drenching sweat in front of all those
people. She said she once fell down three stair-steps of
chairs in front of a huge audience. She posted online about
it the next day. You know what? People like us to have flaws.
Especially if we're being honored publicly in some way,
tripping over our own feet or smiling with spinach on our
teeth or dripping sweat lets everyone know that, even though
we might be selected for something special, we're still
human. It's true. I feel more comfortable with people who
are as imperfect as I am.
I have a good friend who has a PhD in theology. She takes
classes online and learns new things every day. Last night
she helped me develop a gorgeous cover for my next novel.
But she's not perfect. She doesn't figure numbers in her
head. I love that about her, because being around someone
too perfect can make me feel a little too flawed. I know
how flawed I am, but it isn't fun to have it rubbed in.
I like my friends with flaws. So maybe sometimes it's our
flaws who draw people to us. You think?
This armadillo in the picture might have a hard shell on
top, but he has a furry, tender underbelly. We all have
a weak spot somewhere. Sometimes it helps to show those
weak places to others. Not always, but sometimes.
True Love Takes Time by Hannah Alexander
this beautiful stream? Its peaceful to me, even romantic.
The small trickle of water has made a course down the easiest
path, gently moving stones and earth, reeds and brush.
Flood it with too much water all at once, however, and instead
of a peaceful work of natural art, you would see destruction,
such as the tree thats fallen over the streamit
probably happened when that same stream overflowed its banks
following a storm. Had it been more destructive, a large
tree might have blocked the stream altogether, destroying
Ive seen too many relationships and hearts brokennot
just in romantic love, but in friendshipbecause those
in the relationship made judgments based on immediate gratification,
when the rush of emotion overflowed natural boundaries and
the individuals placed too much trust too quickly in an
How do I know this? From far too much experience.
Have you met anyone online lately? Has someone contacted
you on Facebook or Twitter because of something you said
that resonated with them? Did you quickly develop a mutual
admiration for one another? In just a few weeks, or even
less, did you decide you would be forever friends because
of those experiences shared? I have. Ive also seen
it happen to others.
Ive then seen too many of those relationships blow
apart like a dirty bomb, damaging those who thought theyd
formed a lifelong friendship, or maybe even a lifelong love.
Why? Because its human nature to present your very
best face to someone you think you might like. We hide our
ugliness with sweet smiles and kind words. Its especially
easy to keep up a good front online. How many minutes a
day do you spend sharing yourself with someone else via
internet? All they see are your written words, nothing else.
They dont smell your morning breath or watch you eat
or sleep or hear you complain when you drive in traffic.
People think they know me when they read a blog or a novel
Ive written. They dont realize Ive edited
myself to death, and then have been edited again and again
by a professional with my novels. They dont realize
Ive deleted my first, second, third drafts, and worked
hard to make my words pleasing. Some readers even think
they know me through the characters in my novels. They dont
see the research that goes into developing each one. Those
characters arent me. Sure, they might have parts of
me, but my readers have no way of knowing which parts.
How many times have you watched a television show or movie
and loved the actor because of the part they played? You
might follow up on that actor and read more about him online
and be extremely disappointed. Its all fiction. Often,
when we communicate online, its also fiction. We only
allow our readers to see who we want them to, not who we
That goes for physical, face-to-face interactions, as well.
I put my best face forward when Im in public because
thats what Ive been taught to do.
When Mel and I went out on our first real, fourteen-hour
date, sure, we got to know one another a little better,
but it took many months of experiencing different situations
together, difficult times, conflict, deep discussions, and
meeting the families, relating with others, each seeing
the other relate to mutual friends, before we truly had
a concept about what to expect in a relationship of our
own. If Mel had told me on our first date, or second, or
third, that he loved me and wanted to marry me, or if Id
done the same to him, it would have made for a difficult
relationship. It might even have destroyed what has become
a beautiful marriage, not because we arent suited
to one another, but because we needed that time of learning
about one another, of gently growing closer with that slow
trickle, instead of rushing forward with a torrent of premature
passion. The torrent would have left our relationship damaged,
possibly beyond repair. Theres a good reason the Bible
tells us to delay physical gratification until after marriage.
All Im saying is do what I have my heroes and heroines
do in my novels; take your time in a new relationship of
any kind. Get to know a person, allow him or her time to
prove loyalty and constancy before giving them your complete
faith. Once you feel you really know this person, continue
to give it time. Dont move too quickly or trust immediately.
Whether we intend to or not, or realize it or not, we each
wear a mask of some kind. Beware of the masks around you,
and get to know the real people behind them before placing
your trust there. Am I repeating myself? Yeah. And Im
not editing that out, because it needs repeating.
You can always trust God, but never take anyone else at
face value. Time is your friend.
June 10, 2014, By Hannah Alexander
The Language of Romance by Hannah Alexander
is a true incident, so some points were changed to protect
I was talking with a friend lately about the language of
love. Hes seeing someone who is kind, witty, and always
telling him how much she enjoys his company, how attractive
he is, how much fun he is. My friendwell call
him Waltervery much enjoys Muriels (Im
calling her Muriel ;-) ) company. Shes generous with
her time, cooks fabulous meals for him and wants him to
meet her family.
Hes holding back. I asked why. You know we often talk
about battered women in broken relationships, but men can
be verbally abusedeven physically abusedby their
wives. Its happened. Walter, a widower, is afraid
to test the waters again. Who could blame him? But he doesnt
want to live the rest of his life alone, so he started dating
again, but hes hesitant to get too close because Muriel
might turn out to be like his late wife. He doesnt
believe in divorce.
Walter is uncomfortable when Muriel says sweet things to
himYoure a wonderful man
I love your
youre so much fun
I love you
Yeah, scary to get that close, and because the tendency
for verbally abusive people is to say sweet things to their
victim, then undercut them with a slice of venomOf
course, youre a pathetic loserWalter keeps
waiting for the follow-up he got for nearly thirty years.
But you dont get the follow-up, do you?
No. Its never come, I just expect it to,
And you like Muriel, right?
Oh, yes. Shes a wonderful woman, and I enjoy
her company so much, but it makes me uncomfortable because
shes always saying such sweet things to me, and shes
getting too serious.
If she truly loves you, I said, shell
wait until youre ready. Dont let her push you.
On the other hand, it sounds to me as if words of affirmation,
from the Five Love Languages, are her way of showing her
affection. If thats the case, then you can encourage
her friendship by speaking words of affirmation to her,
even while youre asking her to move more slowly.
But wouldnt that just lead her on? he
Not if youre honest with her about how you feel.
You can tell her the truth about how you feel about herwhich
is friendship and affection. From the time Mel and I met
until he told me he loved me, it was almost a year and a
half. I had to wait to hear those words. If I can wait,
so can Muriel, but we eventually did get married, and now
I hear those words every day.
Okay, gotcha. Say nice things to her.
Not just nice things, I said. Tell her
how you feel about her beauty, her cooking, anything complimentary
that is true, but also tell her the truth, that you need
to move more slowly.
Im a firm believer in trying to speak the language
of love as often as possible to my husband. I also believe
that words of affirmation are helpful for any relationshipas
long as theyre honest, and not being used to manipulate.
If I like a friends novel, Ill tell her. If
I like a hairstyle, blouse, someones laughter or smile,
if the situation calls for it, Ill speak up about
it. Everyone can use more words of affirmation. I think
in a relationship, even if the other persons love
language is something else. words of affirmation can give
anyone a lift and a new view of themselves, fresh encouragement,
Try it on someone today. Tell them how much you appreciate
them, how you love their honesty, their kindness, or whatever
else you admire about them. Done appropriately, it can make
their day better.
February 4, 2014 by Hannah Alexander
Love is a Journey by Hannah Alexander
Im still writing about romance, both in my novels
and on the blogs. Why? because what beats love? There is
romance between God and mankind, and girlfriends (had me
some good girlfriend time this weekend, and it gave me such
strength again.) There is buddy love between men who just
cant always tell their women everything, there is
love of friends who will keep you straight and tell you
the truth no matter what because they love you and want
whats best for you. There is painful love, and there
is love with tons of laughter.
This weekend Mel and I went on a special retreat with some
people we loveour clinic staff. At our last get-together,
one of our staff members brought a date and announced theyve
decided to get married. I screamedwhich might be why
I dont have much of a voice lately. We all hugged
and loved on themyouve got to see our staff
to believe it. God has blessed us.
So anyway, this weekend was the weekend of truth, in which
our precious staff member (who is a widow at 66) and her
man were thoroughly vetted to make sure hes right
for her (hes in his early 70s) and that shes
right for him. Both have recently lost their spouses, and
so we wanted to make sure they werent jumping into
something too quickly. Ive always thought that those
who have had a good marriage before will be eager to jump
right back into marriage once again. Well, these two fit.
We carried Pepto Bismol in our purses because there were
to kissing couples at our retreatMel and me, and our
two new lovebirds.
The wedding is set. Their romance is right. Why do we know?
Because we questioned them both thoroughly, we made sure
they both were able to accept one anothers denomination,
that they were taking this all to God, and that they were
both givers. Mel rode down and back to the retreat with
our groom in question, and is convinced. They are now fast
friends. The man makes our staff member laugh. He makes
all of us laugh, he is trustworthy, and he doesnt
get mad when we forget his name and call him Fred
Oh, whatever, its
your roll of the dice!
When they first announced their marriage, they were planning
to wait a year to please everyone else. Now its going
to be in July. Set date, no more waiting. I think we might
have had something to do with talking them into not waiting.
Ah, romance when youve done it all before and know
what its like, and know better what to look for the
second time around. I so totally believe in romance in all
stages of life. I do, of course, believe in chastity, but
since I do believe in chastity before marriage, I also can
tell you not to make the engagement too long. Just sayin
What to watch for in a good future spouse who has lost
that spouse to death: did he treat his former wife with
love and respect? Will he respect your chastity before marriage?
Does he put you first? Is he giving and loving? Is he willing
to talk about anything? Are you open to listening to him
talk and continue to grieve his loss? Can he do the same?
Is he open to spending time with your friends? Im
sure others have more ideas. If you have them, want to help
us lovebirds out?
January 7, 2014 by Hannah Alexander
RomanceWarts and All
Remember your first date with a guy you really liked? If
you were like me, you spent days trying to figure out how
to shape your eyebrows properly, how to make your hair hang
just right, how to match the right clothes, and even practiced
how to hold a decent conversation. I even purchased books
about keeping a conversation going, and kept one in my purse
the first few times I went out with Mel, because I sensed
he was extremely shy, and wanted to be able to draw him
out, since I was also extremely shy.
After your first date you probably returned home plagued
with doubts about what you might have said or done wrong.
Would he ever ask you out again? Did he like you as much
as you liked him? Did he see the wart on the back of your
neck? Did your breath make him sick to his stomach? Should
you call him and tell him what a great time you had?
I know the feeling. Not the sick to the stomach feeling,
but the lump in the pit of the stomach that agonizes over
whether or not you said the right thing at the right time
to entice him to ask you out again. And of course, with
Mel, I was head-over-heels after our first real, planned
datenot counting the multitude of dates my church
staff sprang on us for three months to get us jumpstarted.
(I did mention we were shy, right?)
From the time my friends (including my beloved pastor and
his wife) began pushing Mel and me together, I started reading
books on dating. They didnt work well for me since
I just happened to be in my late thirties, not my teens.
I already knew about purity and mutual respect because Id
dated men who didnt believe in those things. What
I didnt know was how to decide if this man was right
for me. After all, Id chosen unwisely so many times
The morning Mel was scheduled to pick me up for our first
date (we went to the zoo and saw the dinosaur exhibit, my
choice, visited friends of Mels in the hospital, his
choice, went to see Forrest Gump, our pastors choice,
and went hiking, my choice. Plus we ate out twice. And I
insisted on paying half) I settled in my mind that this
time, for the first time in my life, I was going to show
my underbelly. (NO, not literally!) I was going to insist
on hearing his personal experience with Christ. I was also
going to address the age difference. He seemed so much younger
When he finally picked me up (his wart, hes always
late for everything, but that morning it was because he
was nervous, forgot if hed closed the garage door,
had to drive twenty minutes back to his house to check,
ran out of gas
and on and on) I was immediately impressed
because he had a four-wheel-drive Pathfinder, the kind of
ride my friends told me I needed since I tend to drive to
far out into the wilderness to hike. Im hard on cars.
Pretty much the first thing I told him was, I hope
this doesnt put a damper on things, but I think Im
a whole lot older than you.
He looked at me in surprised. Really? Youre
forty-three? Wow, you sure dont look it. (We
actually used this scene in our book, Sacred Trust, because
I based my main male character on Mel.)
NO! I just turned 38. And so I discovered Mels
second wart. He was cursed with the inability to read ages
correctly. But at least he was much older than I thought.
My age didnt bother him, and though he was so much
like a kid that he occasionally wore me out with his energy,
his age didnt bother me.
Later during our date, I told him that Id made a vow
to God that I would never again have a close relationship
with a man unless he was a rabid Christian. When I explained
what I meant by that, Mel said, Isnt that what
every Christian is supposed to be?
Hurdle cleared, Ive spent many hours, days, months,
years with Mel, and the more willing we are to show one
another our underbellieswarts and allthe more
our marriage deepens.
I have a friend who found her husband on e-bay. Hmmm
wait, I meant eharmony. Not a huge difference, because youll
find as many liars on eharmony as you will on e-bay, and
just as many scam artists. My friend beat the system, though.
She not only showed warts and all, but she weeded out the
bad seed by asking them to answer questions most men out
for something besides a godly relationship wouldnt
take the time to deal with. The man who did take the time
was the man who was serious about the same things she was.
Hes a precious treasure, and their marriage has been
truly blessed, because she took the time to skim the dross,
no matter how many she scared away, and go for the gold.
If I were to walk a friend through the dating process right
now, Id tell her to do the same thing. Skim the dross,
weed the crop, scare them off if you can. If theyre
serious about a relationship blessed by God, shell
dig deeply enough to find the real man God intends for her.
got that? First date, show the warts. Show the real
you. Be outspoken about what you need and will and will
not do, remain pure so sex doesnt mess up the growth
of a lifelong friendship. I guarantee this will take you
a long way toward finding the right kind of man in your
November 19, 2013 by Hannah Alexander
Miracles do Happen
of the country has been watching and praying as Oklahoma
City and surrounding towns dig out of the debris and devastation
caused by a monster tornado attack last night. Many of us
prayed for a friend of mine who was stuck in the path of
the twister, had no shelter, and didnt know if her
children or husband were safe. But my friend, though often
attacked by disaster in her life, is also blessed by miracles.
Last night, as we watched live coverage, we saw the tornado
skip over her house as all around her lay devastation. This
was the second time. Years ago, she had the same thing happena
tornado jumped over her house. Her friends all rejoiced
when she found her husband and children safe, though she
grieves today for her church family and friends as they
dig out of the debris.
My husband, Mel, was working in ER yesterday here in Missouri
and preparing to come home. A tornado was sighted heading
in the direction of the hospital, so he was not allowed
to leave. We prayed, the tornado missed the hospital, didnt
touch down, and he just made it home a little late. Living
in tornado alley sometimes becomes routine.
I just pulled up another clip in which a lonely older lady
had dug her way out of the debris of her home after the
twister hit. Shed been huddling in the bathroom with
her little dog. She was bleeding and cut, but alive and
grieving the lost of her dog when all of a sudden they heard
a whimper beneath some of the debris, and saw the frightened
eyes of her dog. The lady and reporter dug the pup out as
the lady suppressed tears. Shed had two prayersone
was that she would live through the tornado, and the other
was that her doggie companion would. Both her prayers were
Amongst all the destruction and loss, miracles seem to be
more prevalent than at other times. Perhaps its the
contrast between pain and relief that makes the miracles
more obvious. Im not sure what it is.
I do know there are many miracles taking place today in
Oklahoma. As I experienced here in my hometown when a tornado
destroyed our main street, Salvation Army and Samaritans
Purse were on their way as soon as they heard. Locals prepared
meals daily for those working to find people who were lost
and clear out the debris. In Oklahoma, huge semi trucks
will be parked as close as possible to the devastation where
they can reach people who need help, food, water, shelter,
basics for survival.
If you want to help, please pray, and then send a check
to one of these organizations that do so much good during
times of disaster. Salvation Army and Samaritans Purse
two I can personally vouch for. They send kind and caring
volunteers to help heal the hearts of those with losses,
and they use the money they get to do all they can to help
clean up the debris and help people.
You can be a part of the miracles. What you do matters.
Your love and compassion can help lives devastated by loss
find hope again.
By Hannah Alexander, May 21, 2013 on Christians Read
I do appreciate the gorgeous silhouette these dresses from
1855 offered women, I'm just so doggone glad I never have
to worry about being poured into one of the corsets they
had to use. I like to breathe too much. It wasn't until
I started researching information on my earlier historical
novels that I grasped the extent of discomfort women experienced
to follow the rules of fashion. In fact, compassion for
the characters in my book, plus the lack of logic displayed
by all the accoutrements of dress, incited me to place my
characters in the country, far from city life, where they
were free to dress comfortably enough to ride a horse astride.
As for me, I've never been a style maven. I don't even
like to shop, so when I find myself in need of something
to wear, I'll rush into a store, purchase anything that
looks halfway decent and feels comfortable, and it isn't
until I get home that I realize I look better in vee neck
tops, not mock-turtlenecks, or that the hem doesn't come
down far enough to cover the widest part of my backside,
or that the color makes me look washed out. It doesn't help
that I change my hair color every few weeks. Colleen is
going to faint dead away next time she sees me, because
now I'm blond--it was simply easier and cheaper than having
it highlighted every six weeks.
As for comfort, I stopped wearing heels thirty years ago.
Now everything I wear is comfortable, walkable and supportive.
Now my clothing and shoes fit my lifestyle--comfy, laid-back.
I figure if I'm comfortable in my clothes, I'll be more
able to put those around me at ease, so Mary Janes, Sketchers
and Birkenstocks are my footwear these days. My pants are
so stretchy I could sleep in them if need be, and my tunics
are loose enough that I don't have to suck in my stomach.
Ever. My biggest nod to fashion is an occasional wide belt
to emphasize that there is a feminine shape beneath that
I would love any tips on comfy fashion these days, since
I'm scheduled to speak at least a couple of times this year,
and am finally presenting my face in public after a long
year of hibernation. Any helpful hints?
Labels: comfort, comfy shoes, fashion, historical dress
Posted to the blog:
Girls Write Out on Friday, April 26, 2013
Tornadoes and Cats (by Hannah Alexander)
2:45 a.m. one morning this week, Mel and I were getting
a good night's sleep after a tornado warning the evening
before. These days those warnings are barely a blip on the
radar for us, since we get them all the time this season
of the year (actually, most seasons of the year) and it's
been a couple of years since our town was hit by one. It's
been almost a decade since a tornado took out the whole
downtown, so we've become a little lax about the weather.
Despite the excellent earplugs I always wear to bed, I
was awakened by the low-but-annoying squall of our town's
tornado alert system. Too tired to function, I pushed a
loose earplug back into place and buried my face in my pillow.
The siren grew louder, echoed by another down the road.
I tried to block it out and go back to sleep. We live in
a brick house. Tornadoes have always missed us before. Besides,
Mel always said he wanted us to go together. Here was our
chance--I don't always think clearly when I'm half asleep.
Of course, then my conscience kicked in while Mel snored
softly beside me, oblivious. What if we were hit by a tornado
and badly injured? Instead of dying and going to heaven,
we'd be stuck here in damaged bodies. I hadn't even asked
Mel what he wanted to do, so I was making the decision for
both of us without consulting him.
With great reluctance, I slid out of bed and pulled the
covers off Mel. "Honey, we need a flashlight."
"Mmmfttt-t-t" Or at least, I think that's what
he said, because I still had my earplugs in.
"We can sleep with the cats the rest of the night."
The basement is the cat's domain at night, because if we
don't shut them down there, they'll either wander around
outside and get eaten by coyotes, or try to break down the
bedroom door and sleep with us. And they are NOT easy to
"Is that a tornado siren?" Mel asked. I think.
I refused to remove my earplugs because if I did, I'd wake
up and never get back to sleep.
"We can sleep on the bed in the tornado room,"I
told him. "It'll be fun. Something we've never done."
We have a beautifully decorated room with no windows in
the basement. It has a mural on one wall of a peaceful lake
scene, and there's a very comfortable bed down there about
half the size of our king bed. We could do this.
But we got down there and discovered that someone (Mel)
had allowed the cats into the back half of the basement
at some point, and now there was cat hair all over the bedding.
I reached for an ever-ready cat-hair sticky roller and got
to work. We live with four cats in our faces, so there's
not much difference between that and sleeping in their hair.
With the siren still blaring--warning us that we'd better
stay down there and not go back upstairs to bed--we finally
shut the door on the four wide-awake cats who were in the
mood to place. I fell fast asleep.
Thank you, dear Denise, for introducing me to those silicone
earplugs. They rock at blocking out caterwauling. At some
point during the night, Teddy Bear, who considers herself
a rock star, decided to serenade us. She has a voice like
a garbage truck without a muffler, and goes around the house
in search of the best places for her voice to echo. Poor
Mel, who typically sleeps like a lump of lead, doesn't wear
earplugs. He didn't get much sleep that night, so it's a
good thing he didn't work ER the next day.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate our small town's desire
to protect its citizens with this great alarm system for
dicey weather. I even appreciate the company of our four
strays on occasion. But sometimes the mix just doesn't work.
Labels: cats screeching, late night siren, tornadoes
Posted to the blog:
Girls Write Out on Friday, April 19, 2013
is the time of year when the wild geese and ducks can be
seen flying in formation--or in confusion--all around our
town. Spring is bursting forth! Since Di was recalling a
long-ago memory, I thought I'd follow along the same line
of thinking. Many, many years ago, when I was single-again
and staying with my mother far, far, far out in the country
after my father died, I enjoyed living on the farm. I think
that isolated farm, 1/2 mile from the nearest neighbor and
hidden from the world behind trees, was my favorite place
in the world.
Of course, the cattle were no longer our responsibility.
Daddy sold them to a neighbor before he passed on, so the
only animal life we had to deal with were dogs, skunks,
armadillos and the occasional deer. Except for the skunks
and one brainless dog who didn't know when to stop teasing
the pretty black and white "kitty," it was calm
on the farm.
I recall driving to work one morning during that time and
watching the sky and the surrounding trees for pretty birds.
We had all kinds of birds, from whippoorwills to nuthatch
to bluebirds and jays. This one morning, though, I became
excited when a flock of geese dove from the sky in formation
and flew barely a foot above my car! Rarely have I seen
ducks or geese fly this low, and I was so honored to be
a part of it! I even stopped the car, mouth open in awe.
How I wished someone could have been there to share it!
Have you ever had that kind of moment? The life of the wild,
right outside your car window? I felt so blessed.
Seconds after, however, I received yet more evidence of
life flying over my car. Something plopped on the hood.
I get the feeling the geese weren't as enchanted by my presence
as I was with theirs.
Suitably put in my place, I continued my drive to work,
but throughout the day I thought about those geese and chuckled.
Sometimes you get a little bird plop in your life, but take
heart, at least it's a sign of the nature that surrounds
us, in all its glory.
Labels: farm life, Goose poop, nature
Posted to the blog:
Girls Write Out on Friday, April 12, 2013
and I have become couch potatoes this past year. It seems
when everything in life comes at you at once, it kind of
knocks the breath out of you, so for the first time in my
life, instead of taking things outside to the hiking trail,
I've taken to lying on the love seat or the exercise floor
while Mel lies on the sofa, and we watch shows on Netflix.
I've blogged about this before and received some great TV
show tips from this blogsite. Thanks, girls. You've told
me about NCIS, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Bones, Castle,
some of the most exciting shows out there. Some gave me
nightmares, granted, and I've had to get away from those
at times and fall back on lighter fare, but you've given
me some interesting hours of couch potato time.
Some friends of mine recently talked me into checking out
Firefly--something I'd passed over before, even though it
looked interesting, because it only lasted one short season.
I figured the viewing public knew what they were talking
about when they canceled it. After my friends did some arm
twisting--these friends are of the creative persuasion,
and insisted I must study the show for it's creativity--I
decided to check out Firefly. Mel gave up after we were
halfway through the long pilot because there wasn't nearly
enough man-action while they introduced characters. I went
back to my friends and complained. They continued raving
about it. As a writer, I must experience it, or some such
So while Mel was gone last weekend at a medical conference,
I fired up the television, put on my exercise gear and went
to work. I was going to find something to like about this
show for the sake of my friends. Nathan Fillion (the star
of Castle, by the way) is a funny actor. In my opinion,
he has good comedic timing, which made the character work
even when he was coming across as a hard-nosed jerk. I'm
really slow on the uptake, but by the third or fourth episode,
I realized the show was very truly a space cowboy show.
In fact, the intro is played with extreme country twang
and the picture shows horses running beneath a low-flying
spaceship. Maybe in 500 years horses will become accustomed
to spaceships and not stampede--oh, wait, come to think
of it, they ARE stampeding on the intro.
Most of the settings are on western-style planets far from
the center of the galaxy, and on those planets, the people
live as Americans lived in the 19th century in the desert,
much like the picture above. The main characters have quirks
aplenty, and they talk the way we perceive hillbillies talked
far out in the middle of nowhere over a century ago. I wasn't
able to complete my marathon of 22 hours of Firefly before
Mel got home Sunday night, so I tied him down and forced
him to watch the final shows, as well as the follow-up movie,
with me. He didn't complain much. We watched the movie,
Serenity, tonight. I don't know that the movie would stand
alone, but it does an interesting and exciting job of tying
up loose ends, and there was plenty of fighting and action
to keep even Mel interested.
One other perk, every time I watched it I saw our own beautiful
Denise Hunter in the guise of one of the characters. If
Denise had dark brown, wavy hair, she would be the spitting
image of this young woman.
If you get Netflix, you might want to check out Firefly.
It might not be for you, but then again, the dialogue truly
is more interesting than the average fare. I fast-forwarded
one scene I did not like, but I played back some scenes
so I could catch the rhythm of the words.
So...anyone else have some favorite shows to share? Now
that I'm done with Firefly I'm back to watching reruns.
Labels: Eugene Patterson photography, Firefly, tv shows
Posted to the blog:
Girls Write Out on Thursday, March 07, 2013
Are You in Pain?
I didn't know what to blog about, so I called Mel at the
clinic and asked him what he could tell me about pain, since
I always seem to be in it. These are the highlights of our
"I'd love to help, sweetheart," he said.
"Oh, thank you, honey. Make it simple for me, okay?"
I asked. And now you will see why I stressed that.
"Pain is usually a reflex arc," he said. "Every
part of a pain response is a two-part. There is the afferent
and there is efferent. Afferent is affect, and efferent
is effect and--"
"Wait! Honey? What was it you just said?"
"The classic is you put your hand on a hot stove and
you don't know it's hot. Pain is the afferent response.
As a result of the brain feeling pain, it triggers you to
pull your hand back, therefore it's efferent--or the effect.
It's what the muscles do in response. So a reflex arc doesn't
require a higher brain function."
"Um. Mel? Mel? Honey! Wait, I can't keep up! I can't
type that fast--"
"--so treating pain is a process of cause and effect.
You just have to remove what's causing the pain. It isn't
usually as simple as taking a hand off the hot stove. The
cause of most pain is not nearly as obvious. The best thing
is to figure out what's causing the pain."
"Okay, wait, I have afferent and efferent. How do
you spell those?"
"If you take away the cause, you take away the pain.
While you're trying ot figure it out, you give pain blockers,
which are narcotics--not something the doctor will willingly
give you. Ultram is a newer pain med that works pretty well
and doesn't have as much of an abuse potential, so the docs
are more likely to give it to you. However, if you already
take narcotics for pain--"
"Mel? Mel! Slow down! I have reflex arc for the second
time. Is there another word for--"
"If you can't adequately block the pain, then you
distract. That is how a tens unit works. It comes from the
term trans cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It substitutes
one pain for another, but the electrical stimulation distracts
them from the old pain."
"Hold it. Wait. I'm trying to type this quickly, honey.
What did you just--"
"Lidocaine, on the other hand, kills pain as an anesthetic.
It doesn't block nerve endings, but it numbs them. It doesn't
last long, so it doesn't work well for long-standing pain."
"Okay, lidocaine. Is that spelled with an e at the
"General anesthesia puts the brain to sleep--another
way of killing pain for surgery, though of course you can't
use that for chronic pain. Epidurals are versions of lidocaine,
going for bigger nerves to anesthetize, so it's a regional
"There! That's the word I want. Chronic pain. I need
to know how to treat chronic pa--"
"For chronic pain, if you have a tens unit and use
it daily, that could help distract from the pain. Capzacin
has a distracting agent in it that burns the skin, but the
burn tends to go away if you can stand it long enough."
"All right! Now we're on a roll!"
"Benzocaine is a topical lidocaine, so that's used
for sunburns or toothache. Ambesol and Orajel are toothache
"How can that help with chronic pain?"
"A classic example for fixing pain is to liken it
to a broken bone--not to gross anyone out-- that's out of
place, when you reset it, lining the bone up is probably
as good at pain control as blasting the patient with pain
"No, honey, please go back to the chronic pain treat--"
"It's the same with dislocations. It hurts when something
is dislocated, and it hurts getting it back into place,
but the body wants you to know about the problem with a
lot of pain. You fix it, you're better. Like a thorn in
the foot. You don't take pain meds for the thorn in the
foot, you remove the thorn."
"Okay, honey." Sigh. "I love you! Thanks
for helping. See you soon! Remember, I have an appointment
for you to adjust my back today."
"Oh. Okay, sweetheart. Is that all you needed?"
"Yeah, once I get it sorted out."
So, girls, you got that? You slog through those brainiac
words and decipher them. My job here is done.
Posted to the blog:
Girls Write Out on Friday, February 15, 2013
Have You Crashed Lately?
in Southwest Missouri we are prone to tornadoes, and though
there is a specific season for that, weve had towns
wiped out when it was totally not the season for tornadoes.
Therefore we have designated shelters, lots of basements,
storm watchers and wind-up weather radios. Its a huge
One tornado sneaked in on
us a couple of years ago and destroyed the local Pizza Hut
and nearly missed the apartment complex where my mother
lived, only three blocks away. We had no warning. Ten years
ago our town was destroyed on May 4 except for four buildings
on the main thoroughfare. We have our hidey-holes, believe
Today, however, I was caught off guard in a different way,
which is why this post is later than Id hoped. No
tornadoes this timenot yet, anywaybut our internet/phone
provider was apparently attacked and the main wiring was
destroyed. It supplied the whole area of Southwest Missouri.
Our clinic had no phones and no computers to treat patients,
I had no access to internet, and no phones.
Mel and I are now discussing
if we should have a backup system in placeperhaps
with a different providerso this doesnt catch
us off-guard again. I can miss posting a blog, but patients
depend on their doctor to be up and running at any time,
so Mel cant afford to let his people down.
I read another blog today
that impacted me, as well. I know we cant live our
lives in fear of attack, but do you take precautions when
youre driving at night to make sure no deer run out
in front of you, ensure that you have working headlights
and taillights, and if you stop somewhere at night, as mentioned
on The Killing Zone blog, do you take precautions to protect
yourself from attack? I was almost attacked once at night
in the mall parking lot. I was just getting into my car
when a man grabbed me and tried to shove me into my car
so he could force me across the seat and he could follow.
I screamed like a little girl and kept screaming, and the
man ran away.
Do you have backups in place in case your primary systemany
kind of systemfails you? I have only one primary source
that never fails me, and that is Jesus Christ. For everything
else, I need backup.
By Hannah Alexander, February 5, 2013 on Christians
Dont Fence Me In
always been a bit of a rebel, and Ive never understood
why. It isnt that I dont believe in rules, because
I do. Logic tells me that abiding by good rules is the smart
way to live. Having discipline in our lives can make us
much better people and give us abundant success, and since
Im a logical person, it would stand to reason I would
abide by the rules, discipline myself, and be a success
in whatever I choose to do in life. After all, this beautiful
river retains its beauty because it follows the riverbed
thats been carved out over thousands of years. If
not for the guidance of soil and boulders, the depth and
quality of the water would be shallow, filled with sludge,
useless. But do I always think about that before I rush
into life headlong without a guide?
Nope. In fact, among novelists, I would be called an SOTP
personSeat of The Pantseven though I dont
typically write that way. Right now Im baking a gluten-free,
low carb blueberry-peach cobbler. I have no idea what itll
taste like, because I didnt first look for a recipe,
I just made it up as I went with the ingredients I had at
hand. My poor husband has learned to smile and say yum
no matter what comes out of the oven. Thanks to experience
and knowledge of foods and baking, I even get it right sometimes.
Just not always. I tend to be spontaneous.
Do you ever find yourself doing that? Rushing into a situation
without stopping to think of the consequences? Do you occasionally
like to be spontaneous? Have you ever hopped into your car
without the GPS turned on or a map spread across the seat,
and just driven to see where the road would take you? Even
more dangerous, have you ever taken a hiking trail, then
veered from the main trail onto a place less traveled? Throughout
my life, I have tended to take that trail less traveled.
At times, Ive been disappointed. At times, Ive
been lost (more times than Id like to recall).Often,
however, Ive found new vistas Id never dreamed
were there, encountered fresh valleys, wild animals, trickling
brooks of pure beauty I wouldnt otherwise have seen.
Our pictured river, after all, originally made its own way
through the mountains, following the path of least resistance.
Im sure the formation of the banks changed over the
years, and its different from what it once was. So
even a river, especially during flood season, enjoys some
I still believe in following the rules, and as Ive
matured Ive learned to do that more consistently.
Still, at heart, I love it when I give in to a spontaneous
spirit and explore life, trails, roads, cooking in a new
way. I encourage you to try it. Live a little more often,
forget the map and wander from the road once in a while.
You might be surprised at the new discoveries just around
an unknown corner.Signs of Life
By Hannah Alexander, JANUARY
22, 2013 on Christian
am crazy about this picture! Not only can I look at it and
conjure the scent of vanilla, pine and hazelnut that is
typical of the Tahoe area, but I love the image of life
bursting forth from an image of death.
We are presently in the process of refurbishing my mother's
country home (built like a modified A-frame lake cabin)
for future resale. It's been ignored for a few months, and
everyone who drives by can tell. Some of the decorative
fence posts have fallen down, and the paint has faded inside
and out. The carpeted areas need to be replaced, and curtains
and windows, as well. It's the middle of winter, and the
place looks lifeless. In the spring, all the trees and shrubs
Mom planted in the huge yard will begin to bloom and show
the life she invested into it over the years of her own
life. She was so proud of that yard. I want to honor her
I was talking to a friend about what to do today, and she
suggested that the inside of the house needs to show some
evidence of life. Pictures on the walls need to have animals
in them, or bright flowers. A bowl of waxed fruit would
brighten the room. Even silk flowers would be nice. Huge
oak beams separate the ground floor from the cathedral ceiling,
with an-oak railed loft overlooking the downstairs area.
The first time my mother and I walked into that house twenty
years ago, we knew that was the place for her. Now that
she's gone, we need someone else to fall in love with it
and treat it with respect.
I'm wondering what new life would look like to someone else
walking in that front door for the first time.
Can you imagine? What would you want to see? What do you
think of when you're looking for evidence of life?
Posted to the blog:
Girls Write Out on Thursday, January 10, 2013
Hey Girls--Enjoy the Journey
trail is a long one, wide enough for a vehicle, but I don't
drive it, I walk it so I can enjoy it more completely. I
have begun to take my time to listen to the birds, and for
the rustle in the brush that could lead me to a live armadillo
rooting for food, or the cry of an eagle overhead. I couldn't
hear those things from a car with an engine running. I have
met with God here so many times in the touch of the breeze
and the feel of the sun and shadows sliding over my skin,
even in the rain that once drenched me and had me shivering
and numb all the way back home.
There are hardships on this trail. The rocks and potholes
could break an ankle or sprain a knee if I'm not careful,
and if I touch the wrong bush I could get poison ivy. Copperheads
and rattlesnakes have greeted me on this trail from time
to time, and ticks and chiggers are vile and vicious creatures
that frighten me more than the snakes because there are
so many more of them. I carry protection against anyone
who might be guarding their marijuana harvest or meth lab.
I learned long ago that enjoyment and suffering, laughter
and tears are two parts of the same package. You can't feel
joy quite so exquisitely unless you've felt its opposite.
In our journey through life, we will hit the proverbial
potholes and rocks--some of which are dangerous boulders
that can knock us sideways: illness, the loss of a beloved,
a church split, rebellious children, abusive people with
power over us in our jobs and homes. The more deeply we
delve into life, the more easily we can be wounded, but
with those wounds, we grow.
At the end of the journey, as at the end of each hike I
take, I believe what matters is not so much what happened
to us during the journey, but the choices we made in response.
Inevitably, those choices are what will determine what we
become. What choices have you made lately, or what has happened
to you that will have an impact on your choices?
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, September 28, 2012
Hey Single Girls--You Rock!
was single once when I was a senior in high school, and
in college, but then I married. It would have been great
had I actually tried to make a wise choice, but no, I just
wanted to get married. It seemed so vital. When I decided
it was time to have babies, hubby screamed like a little
girl and ran for the hills. I needed a man in my life, so
I remarried quickly. I got my children, though they belonged
to another woman. I loved those kids. Little did I know
that they would always be all I had. I eventually ended
up a single woman again, and this time I was determined
to stay that way. I could get away with it if I didn't spend
much money, if I continued to live in the apartment in Mom's
garage after Daddy died, and kept working my day job and
writing at night. But along came Mel two years after my
second husband screamed and ran like a little girl when
I wanted to work on the marriage.
But you know what I discovered? Living single isn't for
sissies. I knew a lot of other single women at that time,
and many had to share apartments because they didn't make
enough money to live alone. Those who did live alone--out
of fear that common courtesy would not prevail and they
would be labeled mean names--struggled to get by constantly.
They still do. When one chooses to make it on her own, she's
got a hard road. Often, women don't make the income men
do, so they struggle financially more than most men. They
can't do the hard work men often do to make more money.
So I'm proclaiming this Help a Single Woman Day. If you
have a female friend who is single, take her out to lunch
or give her a gift certificate for a mani-pedi or a new
blouse or a good meal. Treasure these ladies who struggle
to keep their heads above water much of their lives. Show
them love and acceptance, and never let them feel like second
class citizens, because they aren't. Being married doesn't
make us better than single folk, it just means life is often
easier financially and relationally for us. Count you blessings,
and bless a single woman.
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, September 07, 2012
Journey Through the Bad Place
Last week Mel and I flew west to attend a conference for
his upcoming change in career choicefrom ER to private
practice. We stayed at the resort where the conference was
held at Lake Tahoeone of the most beautiful places
in the world, in my opinion. Our stay there was perfect,
and Mel learned more than hed ever expected to learn.
Hes so excited!
The travel to and from the conference, however, was like
a trip through the bad place. Had I been given a choice,
I wouldnt have gone. I was struggling with strep throat,
was taking antibioticstherefore wasnt contagiousand
had no energy. A trip anywhere, even to one of my favorite
places in the world, did not excite me. I was depressed,
grumpy, sick. Mel, however, insisted. Thats not like
him. I didnt want to disappoint him, because he hates
traveling without me, and he knows how much I love Tahoe.
So I went, and tried hard to be sweet about it. Funny, all
I did was grumble to God. I didnt think to ask Him
to help me enjoy it.
Our first clue that it would not go well was when the initial
flight was late. Then we were loaded quickly into the jet,
taxied to the take-off area, where the pilot turned off
the engines. Folks, theres a weather problem
at our destination, so well have to just sit here
awhile until were given the go-ahead. We were
assured that we would be there in time to catch the next
flight in our layoverthat they would wait for us.
We werent. They didnt. We did have a nice meal
of sushi at the San Francisco airport before catching the
next flight, which was also late. We saw no signs of weather
problems, so were not sure what caused the delays.
I know I complained a lot. Worse, because we arrived late
at night, there was nighttime construction taking place
on the road, so what would have taken us thirty minutes
took us an hour. Poor Mel couldnt help hearing me
sigh and grumble under my breath. Funny, I didnt think
Finally we arrived! Of course, it was way past our bedtime,
so we tumbled into bed without unpacking, and I slept late
the next morning. The next afternoon, when Mel came back
from class, he was ecstatic, I was awake, and he insisted
we explore the area. He took me on a hiking trail and I
hiked for the first time in almost two years. I tried to
be cheerful, but I was sick, sad, stuck in depression. This
was my first time back in my home state of California since
my mothers death this past winter, and grief still
held methe reason Ive been sick for so many
months. I couldnt walk very far that day, so we only
hiked about a mile, and then caught a shuttle back from
the Squaw Creek Square. I crawled into bed and Mel climbed
in beside me. We watched TV the rest of the night. I spent
no time in my Bible or talking to God. I just grieved.
The next day, however, I emailed some friends about my struggle,
and those friends started praying. My throat still hurt
and I still didnt feel well, but when Mel returned
to the room he was bouncing with excitement over what he
was learning, and I caught some of that excitement. We hiked
much farther that day, and the scent of Squaw Valleyhazelnut
and vanilla combined with pinebegan its work
on me. The sunshine dazzled me, and my spirits lifted. They
never dropped quite so low again for the rest of the trip.
Finally, halfway through the week, as Mel and I were hiking
again, I said, Honey, did you know how badly I didnt
want to come on this trip? He said, Yes, Sweetheart.
I knew. I also knew that you would start to feel better
once you got here. You needed to get out of that house and
start to live again. I said, Do you know how
much I love you? He took my hand, then took me into
his arms and kissed me, then held me tightly there in the
middle of the forest in the Sierras. Yes, I know.
And I thanked God for such a wonderful husband. I started
speaking to God a little more, as well.
We didnt have any more trouble until we started back
home. At the airport in Reno we returned to the bad place.
No flight. Engine problems. We spent the night at a local
hotel and spent hours trying to contact someone to get us
out of there the next day. Mel got it worked out, though
we no longer trusted this airline to tell us the truth about
anything. The next day we finally boarded, after yet another
delay, but by then I was on better speaking terms with God,
and I asked hundreds of friends online to pray. Of course,
as we sat in the plane, the hostess explained that they
had to fix the bathroom door. We and the rest of the folks
on the jet made a pact to never fly with this airline again,
but my attitude was somewhat better, even after our flight
out of Denver was also delayed. Im so glad we didnt
know until the next day that that same airline had a jet
lose an engine over Newark NJ about the same time we were
flying. They circled for hours before landing safely. With
all the problems this airline had, it could have been us.
So I still dont like to fly. I probably will again,
though not with this airline. And not without a lot of prayer.
What was I thinking, to get onto a jet without praying first?
Whew. I hope I never do that again. With God as the pilot
of my life, everything goes smoother.
Have you ever had a discovery like that? Come pray with
Hey Girls--Need a Wife?
overly busy editor once remarked that she needed a wife
to follow along behind her and help her keep up. She's a
busy woman. She runs a slick, excellent team of editors
and assistants, and yet even with that kind of help, she
feels the need for a wife to help her in her daily life.
Sometimes our lives become so hectic that
we need help. Some husbands pitch in and help, sometimes
even without throwing tantrums, crying or making us pay
them back double. Mel doesn't throw tantrums, but he is
still busy switching from night to day shifts. We can never
keep on top of his schedule, and that was especially difficult
when my mother was staying with us last year. I needed help.
I needed a clone, another me to get everything done that
had to be done and see to it that Mom was well cared for.
Enter Bonnie, who was looking for a job. I
found out she was looking for jobs in a small city with
no job openings, especially not good enough for her qualifications.
I asked her to take on the job of helping me. She could
be my assistant, help me care for Mom as I tried to focus
on writing. The decision for both of us was a gift from
God. We'd known each other for 37 years, so there was already
trust established. Bonnie did anything I asked. She spent
lots of time with Mom to keep her occupied as Mom's dementia
worsened and sundowner's caused everyone trouble.
Mom passed on to heaven this year, and since
all her sisters went ahead of her, I'm sure she's still
enjoying a family reunion. But after the funeral, after
family returned home. Mel and I decided to keep Bonnie.
She became my personal assistant in my writing job. She's
read nearly all our Hannah Alexander novels and written
honest reviews of them--and get this, they didn't all earn
five star ratings. She speaks her mind, tells me to stop
scratching my head and stop fiddling with this mole on my
arm. She shows me how to decorate. It all goes in one ear
and out the other, but Bonnie will soon have a wonderful
chance to decorate a new clinic for Mel. She'll not only
be my assistant, she'll be the decorator of the clinic,
and then she'll be office manager at the clinic, because
that's what she does with my real estate here at the house,
plus our household accounting. She's a treasure. I think
Mel and I will be fighting to see who gets her back, but
we'll try to share nicely and not overwork her.
Have you ever dreamed of having someone come
into your house first thing in the morning and clean your
dishes from the night before, do laundry, never invade your
private space, and yet talk to you as an equal, not someone
of a different class. Someone who shares your faith in Christ,
and therefore can remind you when you're down that God has
it under control?
Can you imagine the joy of having someone
help you as you help them? Many can't afford full-time assistance,
but it's good for me to know that Mel and I are helping
Bonnie stay in her home, and she deserves it, because she
saved my life. What I was going through with Mom knocked
my feet out from under me. I'm still reeling from it, getting
sick constantly--right now I have a very painful form of
strep. But even when Mel's at work, I can hide in my home
and heal while Bonnie takes the load off my back shopping
for groceries, getting the car taken care of, drawing up
plans for the new clinic.
I highly advise it. Don't take on a job that's
too big for you without getting someone to help. It can
forge lifelong friendships and enlarge your family with
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, August 10, 2012
The AWE Moment
I had an "awe" moment
today in the grocery store. A couple had brought their tiny
baby shopping with them, and the daddy held her. I never
got a good look at her because it always seemed busy around
them. My assistant, Bonnie, was shopping with me, and she
couldn't get a good look at her, either. It wasn't that
busy in the store, because we were able to get to a checker
right away. We didn't have any trouble getting to the items
we needed--how many people shop for special diet cat food
and distilled water? Still, we just got tiny glimpses of
It wasn't until I was through the checkout
line and unable to get further that I realized a handsome,
tough looking elderly man was stopped in front of me with
the most tender and loving look on his face. He was tall
enough to see over other heads to the baby, who was surrounded
by at least ten people.
While I waited for him to move--I wasn't about
to interrupt the joy I saw in those wise old eyes--I started
watching others who entered the store. Every single person
who came into view of that tiny infant was immediately caught
in wonder. Many of them, like the man blocking my way, simply
stopped and gawked. I had to settle for the enjoyment of
watching them, and that was quite a treat.
Any of those people whose eyes lit up could
have been a likable character in one of my books. Another
word for that could be a "pet the dog" moment,
in which a character we want our readers to care about does
something that tugs at our hearts, like becoming enthralled
by the sight of a tiny baby.
What enthralls you? I'm not asking whether
or not you're a writer, but what moments in your life have
made you stop and catch your breath in awe?
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on July 06, 2012
Hey Girls--Good Stewardship Can be Fun!!
finally did it! Mel and I took a vacation, including sun,
sand--lots of sand--beach, of course, and salt water up
our noses and other orifices, sand in our ears, lots of
screaming and laughter and hideous pictures of me that I
can't convince Mel to delete from his underwater camera.
It was an absolute delight hitting those waves every evening
after the sun had lost most of its power.
Here's where the stewardship comes in, though:
we didn't plan the way we should have. I mean, I love to
drive to our destination, especially when we're not too
far away. I hate flying. But when you have ten days to enjoy
yourself and relax into a different frame of mind, don't
you think you would want to spend as much time as possible
at the beach, which is your main destination? But no, not
me. I hate to fly, and I was positive we could drive at
my usual speed and reach our chosen beach in a day and a
half. It took three days. I thought we could at least gain
an hour going back, especially since we took the main interstate
highways back home. No. Our trip to the beach took three
days. We had four full days of hitting the waves and laughing
and cuddling in our warm room at night, eating out, sharing
with a friend who spent the night. Then we had three days
to travel back--just in time for Mel to change into his
scrubs and hit the ER doors.
What is wrong with this picture? Just because
I hate flying, does that give me the right to deprive Mel
of still more days on the beach? No, it does not. So on
our next vacation, if Mel's employer agrees, we're taking
ten days and we're flying. There's a place we've never been
to on Myrtle Beach, and it's a part of our timeshare, right
there on the beach. I'm looking up flight info now. No more
of this depriving my man of more time on the surf, rescuing
me as the waves catch me and roll me over and over until
I can't catch a breath and don't know which way is up. I'm
sure Mel enjoys proving his masculine strength and he-man
nature at times like this, when he can show his love for
his wife by rescuing her over and over and over again. And
I can show my love for him by slathering him with sunblock
when he goes snorkeling.
Ah...the beach. Vacation. Wise use of time.
We're going to have it all next time. I don't suppose anyone
has any super traveling tricks that will help us be more
efficient in our packing and traveling next time...?
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, June 01, 2012
Hey Girls--Dream ON!
of my dreams has always been to go to the island of Catalina,
but I'm not talking about that kind of dream here. I'm talking
about an honest to goodness REM sleep dream in which freaky
things happen and leave you confused, weirded out or just
plain frightened for days afterward. Have you had dreams
I had one like that last night. It was actually
set in a place like one of the houses pictured above. Mel
and I were moving into a different house (in the dream),
but the people who had lived there left their furniture,
and it was old and dusty and ugly, and the people weren't
even gone yet. One might gain some insight into what's going
on in our lives just by knowing that much. So why am I confused?
Yes, we're having some major life changes, and being one
of those creative types, I tend to make whole ranges of
mountains out of anthills. So I've thought about this dream
all day. It seemed to me that there were some interesting
possibilities for interpreting this dream, but I'm not getting
much out of it. Care to take a stab at it? Moving new furniture
into a house that already has furniture, making room for
sleeping comfortably and in privacy, taking the bedroom
out of the living room...that kind of thing.
And how about you? Do you have a particular
dream that recurs and confuses you? Oh! Oh! I have a great
dream every so often in which I realize that I'm dreaming,
and that I have the ability to make myself fly. I love those
dreams! Anything to share? And if you would like to try
to give me a hint about why my dream was so weird, give
it a try. I'd love to hear it!
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, May 11, 2012
Hey Girls--Vacation Plans, Anyone?
and I have been told by most of our friends that we need
to take a vacation. I think that sounds like a wonderful
idea and would have made plans long ago if I'd had any idea
about where and when. We still aren't sure. I'd love to
go to the beach--and to me that means the east or west coast,
preferably the west, since I was born there and have a lot
of family up and down the coastline. It all depends on time.
We simply won't have enough time to drive to California
in the short time we're being allotted.
Right now we're trying to save as much money
as possible, so flying is out. Besides, I hate flying. I
think, instead, what we'll do is take a slow vacation.
To me, a slow vacation means packing a couple
of bags and hopping into the car, taking a two-lane road
and looking for beauty along the way. When there's no destination
in mind, every turn in the road reveals something new and
interesting. When we're not in a rush, we can stop when
we see a pretty stream and jump out of the car to explore,
even wade and splash each other if we want to.
To me, a slow vacation means putting a cd
of an audio book into the player and listening to a favorite
author. It means stopping whenever we see a neat place to
stay, using our AAA card for a discount, and turning in
early if we wish.
I love I-40 west, and there have often been
places we've passed up in our rush to "get there."
I'd like to find the old Route 66 my parents used to drive
to get back and forth from our home in California to their
hometown in eastern Missouri. Since I'm writing some historicals
now, driving west into Kansas and beyond might be good research
for our next novel. And then there's always been this wide
open space in New Mexico where we drove for miles and miles
without ever seeing another car.
Another thing I love to do is find a pretty,
small town and walk around exploring it for ideas for a
Right now, I just can't decide. I could use
some help. Have you seen any beautiful places you'd like
to share with us? Where to you like to go on vacation when
funds are tight and you just need to be calm and rest for
awhile? We could use some help.
Labels: destinations, family vacations, summer
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, March 23, 2012
Hey Girls--Kick up Your Heels!
of my favorite things to do, next to spending time with
Mel playing gross-out to see who can watch the bloodiest
episode of NCIS or Bones and maintain an appetite, is to
spend time with girlfriends.
There hasn't been a lot of time for that lately.
I did get to see my girlfriends from high school, who came
to Mom's funeral, but we usually like to spend more time
together than that, hence this picture of some of us blowing
off steam on a recent retreat.
This week, however, Mel and Bonnie, our assistant,
and I were told by the grief counselor that we needed to
take some time away and just play. Well, I've had God tell
me that same thing on a talk on one of my hikes in the past,
but the words sounded strange coming from a real, live therapist
who was once a minister. So on Monday he advised Mel and
me to take the rest of the afternoon off and go to Joplin
to Red Lobster. Since king crab is our favorite food, and
safe on our gluten free diets, we did as we were told, leaving
Bonnie at home to type one of our next projects. Poor Bonnie.
The food was great, since we both love crab
legs, and we relaxed as we took our time driving back home
to check on Mom's gravesite. It's beautiful out there in
the middle of the country, serenaded by milk cows, and we
held a serious discussion about what next in our lives.
Mel had promised to live where we are as long as Mom was
alive. He could now choose where he wanted to go, what hospital
he wanted to work in, what kind of job he might be interested
Yesterday, Mel had to work, so Bonnie and
I decided it was her turn to take a trip with me to Springfield,
eat at Outback, shop for shoes (she needed a new pair) and
just have some fun. No one warned me before we went that
Bonnie is a shoe freak. Even Bonnie didn't warn me until
we reached Sears and I saw the gleam in her eye at the 1/2
price sale signs all over the place in the shoe department.
She had five pairs tried on and replaced before I could
even figure out what she was looking for. I can tell you
this for sure: her taste in shoes is the exact opposite
I go for hiking boots and Birkenstocks--one
pair of which I did find at deep discount in Dillards. I
salivated so heavily that by the time I made up my mind
about them. they were so slobbered on I no longer wanted
them. Besides, they were pea green. Yes, the same color
as the shoes Bonnie had just purchased and loved, but her
coloring matched that color of green. Mine definitely does
not. I have to return to Springfield next week with Bonnie
to have one of "those" follow-up check-ups where
parts of your anatomy is hideously abused, and you have
to take narcotics to bear the pain. I figure the shoe sales
will still be on, and we missed at least one shoe store
on the mall. I have a feeling I may go back and check on
that one pair of green Birks that I might be able to dye
when I get them back home.
But speaking as someone who isn't a shoe freak,
I can still admire from afar the sparkling, high-heeled
monstrosities of ankle-breaking seduction that has obviously
drawn many a woman into crutches much too early in her life.
The last time I wore high heels was when the heel broke
on my right shoe. I twisted and fell on my face in the gravel,
and was sure I was scarred for life. When it turned out
I had jumped to conclusions I decided I wouldn't take that
chance again. Now I love flats. Cute sandals with darling
rows of straps and chains around the ankle. Oh, my. So may
shoes, so little time!
How about you? Do you have a shoe preference?
If so, is it modest and comfy, or would you be willing to
suffer agony to wear a beautiful pair of high heeled shoes
with gold sparkles and straps and even glitter on the soles
of the shoes? How far are you willing to make sure your
feet are beautifully adorned?
Labels: boots or slinky heels?, Girl fun, Shoe sales, Shoe
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Thursday, March 15, 2012
What I Discovered in the Laundry Room
mentioned this week in her blog that my mother passed away
two weeks ago. Caring for Mom in her illness has kept me
focused on her for quite some time, and I've done little
more. Hence, I've written few blogs to some of my favorite
blog girls. I've missed y'all.
Though I'm an only child with no children
of my own (except for my wonderful stepsons) I was surrounded
by family from before the night Mom passed away and for
a whole week afterward. Our house was packed, and those
days I would otherwise have spent in grief recalling the
awful last days of Mom's life, I spent instead with Mel,
and cousins and my uncle and close friends keeping food
in my mouth whether I wanted it or not, keeping me active
and distracted, even taking me to get a massage.
The day after everyone left was the first
time I had alone, and I cried all afternoon, despite the
fact that Mom was a staunch believer, and I knew she was
forever out of pain. I could close my eyes and see Mom's
face, eyes open wide in fear when she didn't know what was
happening to her in her demented state. The memories of
Mom's suffering were like a haunting I could not shake,
and I walked around the house devastated, sat on her bed
But then I received an email from yet another
cousin, who is a missionary in China. She'd been trying
to reach me for several days, but their systems don't always
work where she lives. She'd had a dream the night before
Mom died, in which she saw Mom in the arms of Jesus. Her
words brushed away those awful memories that had haunted
me. I don't even have to close my eyes to see that picture
in my mind. Yet another cousin to the rescue. Have I mentioned
that I love my cousins? So now I can attend grief counseling
for six weeks and learn how to do this right--if there's
really a right way to do it.
Last night I was alone again while Mel worked
a late shift. I went down to the basement laundry room to
check on his scrubs, and my attention caught on the row
of Mom's clothing we'd hung there because we had run out
of room in her small closet upstairs. For the first time,
I didn't feel pain at the sight of something that reminded
me of Mom. In fact, I smiled. I walked over to the first
shirt and caressed it. Mom had no more use for these clothes
because she is now dressed in her heavenly clothing, and
she's in the arms of Jesus. There is sadness and pain in
suffering, and there is a sense of loss when someone you
love is no longer with you. But in truth, there is great
joy with the realization that the one you love is with Christ
in heaven, never again to be confused or frightened, never
again to suffer pain.
Labels: Eugene Patterson photo, grief counseling,
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, March 09, 2012
Hey Girls--How do You
tell you right now, I hate competing, especially if the
competition is against a friend I wouldn't want to hurt.
And that's not to say I'd win any competition. Some, of
course, are a no-brainer. I could eat my weight in maraschino
cherries, and Mel can't stand them, so I'd win that contest
without even a showdown.
My mother has a caretaker, Bonnie, who comes
to our home every day to help us with Mom. I discovered
a sad part of her character the other day--she loves sour
balls, sour suckers, sour teas. That's not so bad, I don't
suppose. We all have our weaknesses. I'm champion maraschino
cherry eater (and cherry seed spitter, but that's a more
romantic story about how I won Mel over during our courtship.)
But when my husband AND Mom's caretaker compete against
one another to see who can suck on a sour sucker the longest
without making a face, I can't help wondering what this
world has come to.
My favorite source of food competition is
hot stuff. Not only hot Mexican sauces of some kind, but
horseradish or wasabi sauce that can take the skull right
off the top of your head and set it back in place backward.
You can take your ball games and your races
and your speed writing. Give me a good ol' eating contest
any day until the smoke is catching your hair on fire or
your jaw is splitting from the tartness of a cherry sucker.
What's your pleasure when it comes to food
Labels: Competition, men or women?, photos by Eugene Arthur
Patterson, Who's better
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, January 20, 2012
Hey Girls--Don't Laugh, This
more closely. This little cutie isn't a bear. At least,
I don't think it is. I think this is a sloth, and that's
what I've been this month.
Typically, I rush around buying presents,
buying the bags to shove them into--I haven't wrapped packages
in twenty years--and even sent cards to those who sent cards
to me. Due to social expectations, I made dinner, set the
table, had Mel put up the tree, starting late so our company
could help him finish it. So he's a sloth, too. Sue him.
Then one year we had deep snow on Christmas
day. Christmas, of course, wasn't called off. In fact, the
silence and peace of that day, when everyone stayed home
to ponder Christ's birth in a new way, was a huge blessing
to me. No one to complain because I didn't get all the meat
off the turkey bone, didn't make the dressing moist enough,
forgot to take the giblets out of the turkey before I placed
it all, totally frozen, into the oven to bake. No one snooping
through drawers in the kitchen and finding private-very
private-notes I sent with Mel's lunches. Ahhh...it was pure
I realize it may have been considered an insult
for the innkeeper to send Joseph and Mary out to the barn,
but I can imagine having the warm body of my own donkey
and no noise besides a sheep bleating every so often must
have been more relaxing than an inn full of people complaining
about their taxes. But who am I to say? I wasn't there.
I do believe it started a precedent, though, because Jesus
often retreated to the wilderness when the crowds pressed
too closely, wise Savior that He was. I've followed His
example as often as I could. It's my favorite.
The Mexicans have a special day, January 6,
when they believe the wise men visited Jesus with gifts.
Since my stepson's wife, a beautiful and intelligent Mexican
woman, is due to have her baby any time, they are hoping
the little boy will be born on January 6 to receive a special
blessing. I do know seeing that little darling--as well
as my stepson, Jason, his wife Kenia, and Jason's mother,
Linda--will be a special blessing for me this year.
Until I can get out there, however, I will
be hiding out here at home, not attending parties or dinners
or exchanging gifts, just spending special time with Mel
and my mother and writing and being thankful for the special
peace God has given us this Christmas.
If you had your druthers, what would your
perfect Christmas be next year--what is peace to you?
Labels: next year's Christmas peace, peaceful barn. Being
slothful., Perfect peace, photos by Eugene Arthur Patterson
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, December 30, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
Hey Girls--How About That
seems that nearly half the world was recently charmed by
the photo of a baby seal in New Zealand who slipped in through
the cat door and took a nap on someone's sofa. I suppose
it's against the law to attempt to keep such an animal for
a pet, but I'd be tempted. I wonder if they can be housebroken.
Litterbox trained, perhaps? I figure if a seal at the zoo
can be trained to balance a stemware glass on her nose,
she can be trained to use proper facilities.
Animals fascinate me, sometimes too much for
my fellow GWO bloggers. I distinctly remember Kristin's
reaction when I posted a picture of a darling little armadillo
snuggling against my hiking boot. And Colleen refused to
even read one of my posts until I removed the picture of
the spider and replaced it with something more innocuous.
In fact, she screamed at me online. Honestly, Colleen, I
didn't know you were terrified of spiders!
I pretty much overcame my fear of them the
day a spider dropped down from the ceiling via web over
the bed when Mel and I were retiring for the evening. I
screamed at Mel that if that thing made it into the bedding
we'd be sleeping on the floor that night, so I jumped up
onto the bed and grabbed at the web far above the spider,
and started pulling it back up. Mel, meanwhile, panicking
as usual when it comes to spiders, ran toward the door--I
thought to grab some paper towels to catch the thing. Instead,
he turned out all the lights. With me standing on the bed
with a spider hanging somewhere between my bare fingers
and the bed. Mel, deafened by my screams, turned the lights
back on and raced back to the bed with his handy dandy bug
zapper. We searched half the night for that spider and never
did find it. The next night, when Mel was getting comfortable
in bed, I picked up a piece of black, spider-shaped lint
and tossed it at him. I'm a mean, vindictive wife.
So, now that we've discussed cute, unusual
pets, and even though I'm almost positive we've discussed
them before but have forgotten, care to share about any
unusual pets you've enjoyed, or funny, maybe even scary,
stories about them?
Labels: Baby seal, Cute animals, Eugene Patterson
photos, trained seals
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Thursday, December 15, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
Hey Girls--Do You Have the
Gift of Giving?
have two words for you today. Love offering. I'd like to
explore the meaning of that phrase--not just those two words
separately, but what those two words mean when they're put
First of all, I apologize if, being Southern
Baptist, I'm talking about a phrase some of you may not
recognize. Perhaps in your church you use a different name
In my church I have always been led to believe
that a love offering is something that is given in secret
through the church to someone else in the church who is
in financial need. That's supposed to be secret. I mean,
as in--you never tell that person you gave that money to
them, and no one else is supposed to tell them, either.
It's a gift of love, of compassion, something from the heart
that only God--and a trusted person from the church--ever
sees coming from your hand. Then when the giver arrives
in heaven, God Himself will reward the giver openly.
I've seen so many people crave praise from
the masses and never consider the passages in the Bible
that tell us to give in secret. To me, that's what a love
offering is all about. Give privately, in secret, without
expectation of praise or recognition or repayment of any
kind. Do good to others NOT so they will return that goodness,
but simply for the joy of doing good. Let God do the rewarding
later, when it will mean so much more than any praise here
on earth. Don't keep score. Let God keep score.
Am I preaching today? Hmm. Maybe a little.
Because this is the season for gift giving, and often there
are so many hidden meanings hidden inside the gifts given.
Some people give expensive gifts out of pure love, while
others give the largest gifts in order to seek approval
from the receiver. Others go into debt to give gifts because
they feel they have to keep up with the other set of grandparents
or friends. Perhaps giving a gift, for some, is simply seeking
love instead of sharing it.
I remember many years ago a man in a former
church went blind. Another member, out of love for that
man, purchased a Bible on audio tape and trusted another
member to pass it on to the blind man, making the member
promise to never tell who it came from. Unfortunately, the
compassionate member chose the wrong person to keep the
secret, and the blind man found out who gave him the gift.
He told everyone in the church, and everyone in the church
praised this compassionate member who had wanted to badly
to remain anonymous. Some of the joy was taken from the
A love offering is not a loan. It isn't a
loud, magnanimous act for public display. In my opinion
it's meant to be an act of simple love, spoken privately
into your ear by God. It isn't a way to hold sway over the
person who receives the gift because, remember, that person
should never know who has given the gift. You know why?
Because that money was never ours to begin with. It all
belongs to God. When God speaks to us and tells us to give
a love offering to another church member--a brother or sister
in Christ, or a family in need--God is directing you, His
steward, where to deliver a portion of His money. So let
go of something that belongs to God in the first place.
Don't expect it to return to you. Then someday when you're
facing God in heaven, you may hear Him say to you, "Well
done, thou good and faithful servant."
Some of us are gifted with the spiritual gift
of giving. Others have different gifts. I'm curious about
how easy it is for those of you gifted with the gift of
giving to keep that giving secret even from the recipient.
If you haven't done that yet, I urge you to try it this
year, and see what a reward you will have simply with the
act of anonymous giving.
Labels: Giving, keeping secrets, love offerings, secrets
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, December 1, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
Girls--Do You Need a Lift?
love sunrises. Unfortunately, one reason for this is because
they're so rare for me. I see sunsets much more often.
For me, a sunrise is a fresh
beginning on a new opportunity to do things right that I
may have missed the day before. It's funny that New Years
Day doesn't do the same for me, but sunrises are rarer,
even, than New Years. I get up at about ten, go to bed well
after midnight, often as late as 2:00, because that is the
best time to focus on writing. That, plus my poor mother
having trouble sleeping at night, keeps me going into the
early morning hours. That is why I love a sunset.
They can lift me in ways nothing
else can. They hold promise, and such beauty. Recently I
discovered a way to give myself a lift despite the lack
of sunrises in my life. I surprise myself by recalling something
I actually like about myself. Most of us have a bad habit
of putting ourselves down and counting our faults. We can
so easily keep track of our mistakes during the day. I have
that tendency. But what if we were to focus on something
we've done right recently?Did you allow someone to pull
in front of you in traffic without muttering or honking
Have you ever smiled at someone
and cheered them up? Have you helped someone out of a tough
spot? Have you felt your heart go tender for someone whose
heart was breaking? Think about it. Are you a kind person,
do you have qualities that you appreciate in others? Do
you have a creative personality?
Give yourself a sunrise today,
lift yourself up. Look for the good in yourself, and not
those things that the devil seems to love to whisper into
your ear at every opportunity. Focus on the good in yourself,
and that is the direction your heart will lean.
And then share here. I'd love
to know what good things you are thinking about yourself
Labels: Eugene Arthur Patterson
photography, helping others, losing ourselves in helping,
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, November 04, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
Girls--Share Your Memories
I'm sure you can tell by the facial hair on these three
people that there aren't children in this picture. I hope
you can see from the bubbles that Mel and Rich and I were
having fun like children when Lissa took the shot. I'm here
to remind you, once again, to take time to have fun and
play no matter your age or circumstances. Laughter relieves
stress. I particularly love laughing at myself, but today
I'd love to laugh along with you.
Let me give you some examples:
When I was about three or four years old my cousins came
to see me. Their mother was there, too, but I mostly played
with my cousins. They were boys. I had a little fire engine
with pedals. In an effort to impress my cousins, I jumped
into my fire engine and pedaled hard down the sidewalk,
mouth open wide as I screamed the siren song. Unfortunately,
I choked on a fly.
When I was four we lived in
a duplex on a busy street in Ventura, California. It was
a long time ago, back when people didn't lock their doors
as often as they do now. I overheard my parents talking
about a poor little baby who lived next door. My imagination
took over, even that long ago, and I decided that little
baby needed to be rescued from his mean parents, and I was
going to be the rescuer. So I waited outside on the front
porch and peered through their screen door until I saw the
baby crawling alone on the floor. I pulled open the screen
door, raced into our neighbor's front room, grabbed the
baby, turned back to run with the baby, and fell on him.
He wasn't hurt, but can you imagine how my parents must
have felt when I explained to the neighbors why I did what
When I was in fourth grade
I was still impulsive, and there were times when that impulsivity
earned me public humiliation. I liked a guy in my class
named Willy. I wasn't madly in love with him or anything,
I just liked him. I was walking past his desk one day when,
for no reason I could afterwards fathom, I leaned over,
patted him on the cheek, asked how he was doing, and kissed
him on the cheek. Willy turned red and ducked. The whole
class, including the teacher, burst into laughter.
How about you? Have you ever
done anything that your friends will never let you live
down? Did you ever do anything so crazy and impulsive that
you wonder if some UFO took over your mind for a few minutes
one day? What's your most embarrassing moment? Think about
your childhood today, and even if you don't come up with
anything wildly memorable, I bet you'll have some fun reliving
times from the past.
Labels: blowing bubbles, Childhood memories, girls having
fun, Playing, relaxing
to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, October 28, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
Hey Girls--Let's Herd Those
on earth can this cat be thinking? Cats eat small animals.
They are carnivores. My cats would have been fighting over
these little darlings and had them swallowed in one gulp.
Do you suppose this cat has already had a full meal?
Do you ever feel like this
poor, patient cat? Do the tiny, often appealing, details
distract you from your plans for the day? You need to get
a couple of loads of laundry washed and dried and ready
for three different people tomorrow, but first you need
to eat breakfast, but first you see a dustball in the corner
and even though no one else in the family will ever notice
it, someone may stop by, and then what would they say? But
then of course the window in the front door needs to be
washed, as well, and you need to check the porch to make
sure the neighbor's little boy didn't leave his skateboard
on the steps again, or dear hubby could end up back in the
So you but-first your way
through the day until that laundry never got done, you didn't
get to the pharmacy to pick up the refill before they closed,
and you have nothing in mind for dinner tonight. Your front
window looks great, and the dustballs are gone, but nobody
ever comes to your house to visit, anyway. What were you
Please tell me I'm not the
only one with the but-first syndrome. Please? I know the
distractions are appealing, but really, I don't need them.
I need to NOT have them. Girls, what do you do about them?
Any thoughts? Or can you commiserate?
Labels: cat and mice, funny
picture, patience, scattered thoughts
Posted to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Friday, October 14, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
Hey Girls--Try Something New!
sure I've said this before, but I love to color my hair.
It began when I wanted to go blond with all the other girls
in my high school freshman class, but I get bored easily,
so after I tired of blond I went red, then green--yes, that
was an accident by a hair stylist. My hair is accidentally
red in the picture here, but I kind of like it.
I found out, however, that
since I'm going silver now, I might as well follow that
natural change, so my hair stylist really hit the light
blond. Yeah, really natural, huh? Then she went on maternity
leave. Because I learned the hard way that I should never
cut my own hair ever, ever again, I'm actually waiting until
she returns before I get a cut, so now it's grown past my
shoulders. The other day I was walking down the sidewalk
in town and turned to see some young punk hanging out his
window gawking at me. He probably wet himself after he saw
my fifty-something face, but I was too busy laughing to
notice. What is it about men and blond hair? Brother.
Mel is accustomed to my changes,
but I knew I'd taken things a little too far one day when
I went to meet him for lunch immediately after my stylist
appointment, and he walked right past me in his search for
me. Didn't even look my way. And I thought I looked pretty
good. So I keep trying. Maybe someday I'll catch his attention.
So that's what I like to change
a lot, as well as style of glasses, clothes, makeup, as
most of you probably already know. But I'd love to know
about you. How many colors and styles has your hair been
in, say, the past five years? What's your clothing style?
How do you dress up for a night on the town? Have you ever
thought about making a quick change? Getting a new kind
of trim? Cutting your hair short or letting grow out longer
than usual? Getting a mohawk or a bowl cut? Have you ever
gone to a hair studio where they actually match your bone
structure and hair type to the right hair cut?
And speaking of changing hair
styles, our Diann wins the award for changes and bravery.
Please continue to pray for her.
Labels: Hair change, Having
fun, trying new things
Posted to the blog: A
Girls Write Out on Thursday, September 23, 2011
Come, Check Us Out
YOU NEED A BREAK
How long has it been since
you had a vacation? How often have you worked through your
vacation instead of taking a break? Have you felt guilty
about taking the time off? I know I do. Why is it we feel
guilty for doing anything for ourselves? Do we think God
I have to admit, Im
not good at taking breaks. Few of us are. A couple of years
ago,however, I went on a forced Sabbatical that lasted for
two years, and though I continued to write on different
projects during that time, I also did a lot more reading
than Id been able to do previously. Melmy husband,
and the other half of our Hannah Alexander writing teamjust
happened to find a few days off from work, and we took a
quick trip to Tahoe, where we hiked around deep forest lakes,
explored small towns, took pictures of bears and huge bear
tracks while trying not to wet ourselves, and wet our feet,
instead, by wading in the cold waters of Lake Tahoe.
As we learned to relax for
those few days, we battled guilt by reminding ourselves
that Jesus, Himself, took time away from the crowds in the
wilderness, where He communed with His Father in silence
Thats why I love hiking.
I feel the sun on my face and know that little bit of warmth
was meant for me. I hear the rustle of the leaves in the
trees and hear music of angels. I catch the scent of clover
and see deer or wild turkey skittering at the edge of the
woods, and feel that God meant those moments for me. No
one else is there but His creation and me. What a beautiful
You may love walking along
the beach, as I do, playing in the waves. You may love skiing,
or snorkeling, or taking a cruise. What is it you most love
to do? I urge you to find time soon to do it. Relax and
enjoy. Push work and deadlines and stress from you for a
time of peace and communion with God. For me, thatss
what its all about.
Originally posted on http://christiansread.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/you-need-a-break/
September 20, 2011, By Hannah