Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It Takes More than Prayer to Fight off Worry



Barb Roose Arms Readers with the Weapons
Needed to Fight the Good Fight of Faith

For those who struggle with worry and anxiety, each day can feel as if they are fighting a losing battle. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. Research also reveals that women are twice as likely to be affected by Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and specific phobias. From personal experience, author and Bible teacher Barb Roose understands what it means to battle with worry. She has written her new book Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua (Abingdon Press/April 17, 2018/$16.99,) and a companion Bible study on Joshua, to share the wisdom she’s garnered over the years to help other women gain victory over their anxieties. 

Combining inspiration, humor, and personal stories that resonate across all ages, Winning the Worry Battle, which is inspired by the Bible’s book of Joshua, offers encouragement and practical worry-fighting tools for handling those situations that cause us to struggle with worry, anxiety, fear, or even complete meltdown.

“If I had to define the intensity of my worry on a scale of 1-10, I’d choose 9 to describe my teen through early parenting years,” Roose confesses. “After I married and began a family, my worries surrounded my kids and career, but mostly my kids. My mind spun awful mental movies when my kids were growing up. I really struggled with thinking about worst-case scenarios, which led to a lot of helicopter parenting. As a Christian, I beat myself up for being a worrier. I felt like a bad Christian because ‘just pray about it’ didn’t seem to work for me.”

Roose shares how she learned that while prayer is important, it is only half of the solution. The other half of the equation is developing three God-empowered tools required to fight in faith: peace, courage, and strength. In Winning the Worry Battle Roose offers fresh, practical techniques—like the CALM Technique, God-morning/God-night, and Count to 12 memory device—to apply these God-empowered tools to overcome our daily struggles and the bigger battles we all face.

“Whether it is personal worries about loved ones and daily circumstances or broader concerns about what’s happening in the world, the data indicates that worry is a persistent issue that many combat on a day-to-day basis,” adds Roose. “Rather than offer well-meaning cliches, God has empowered us with tools that he promises will get us into position for victory as we put real feet to faith for winning the worry battle.”

For further exploration of the subject, Roose has also written Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle women’s Bible study. Releasing alongside the book are the participant workbook, leader guide, and DVD.


About the author

Barbara L. Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God. Her goal is to equip women to win at life with Christ-empowered strength and dignity.

Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country and abroad. She is the author of Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty along with their companion Bible studies and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. She also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com and hosts the bi-monthly “Better Together” podcast.

Barb and her husband, Matt, live in Toledo, Ohio, and are the parents of three beautiful daughters.

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nurturing Your Child’s Potential, Purpose, and Passion

Part 2 of an interview with Hettie Brittz,
author of Growing Kids with Character
Parents are faced with the enormous task of not only raising their children to be productive members of society but also helping them grow into the individuals God intended them to be. However, God created each child and each parent to be unique, so what parenting techniques work for some children do not work for others. In Growing Kids with Character: Nurturing Your Child’s Potential, Purpose, and Passion (David C Cook), Hettie Brittz offers parents advice tailored to their own personality as well as to the temperament of each of their children.

Q: Why do parents need to change and shape themselves to raise their child instead of demanding the child be more pliable? Doesn’t this put the child in charge and teach him or her that everyone should bow to his or her needs?

It can easily seem as though Growing Kids with Character promotes child-centered parenting that coddles kids by ensuring the world accommodates all their needs while never asking them to grow beyond their comfort zone. That is something real life simply won’t do for the child, and I can say emphatically I’d never recommend that approach.

Instead, the idea is to discern the absolute essential emotional and spiritual needs of each child and to fulfill those while identifying the areas in which each child will need a bit of discomfort, challenging expectations from our side, and support to change potentially harmful or unhelpful characteristics. Let’s revisit the idea of a gardener for a moment. The balance is always struck between giving the necessary fertilizer and protection against frostbite, which could destroy the tree on the one hand, while doing painful pruning for the sake of a good harvest on the other. Similarly, it would be unreasonable to expect that a tree would bear fruit while withholding what is essential to the particular tree’s flourishing, wouldn’t it? A child has to feel loved, accepted, understood, and believed in before such a child can press beyond selfishness and entitlement.


Q: What challenges do parents face when their personality is one tree type and their child is a very different type?

The toughest part is anticipating needs that are so far removed from ours. I can’t, for example, imagine that someone would want to be a passive spectator because I always engage, even when I shouldn’t. I am a contra-pine (a combination of the driven Rose Bush, the adrenaline-seeking Palm Tree, and the dutiful Boxwood who needs to finish everything). God gave me a Pine Tree daughter who is my opposite. She is content to be on the sidelines 90 percent of the time. She can stop a project that doesn’t interest her halfway in and have fun sitting down. In parenting her with her nature in mind, I have to curb the urge constantly to hurry her up, press her to participate, or push her forward into leadership situations where she’s not inclined to step up of her own accord. If I do those things, she experiences a need to be someone she isn’t to win my approval.

Now imagine an outgoing Palm Tree mom whose Boxwood child would rather sit and color than go on an outing. This mom may need to slow down, sit down, tone down, and essentially dial down her volume and gestures to connect with her child.

Q: Not only does each child have his or her own natural personality, but each parent has a natural way of parenting as well. How is it possible to work with your natural tendencies yet parent each child individually?

It starts with believing that God has a design for your family. Your tendencies and style are not a problem. They are God given and will do two things: provide essentials that are not present in your children’s make-up and are part of their journey to maturity, and challenge your children by creating the type of discomfort that makes both parent and child grow.

Take for example the easygoing mom who resists schedules and routine. She’s probably a Pine Tree and Palm Tree rolled into one. This Pine-Palm mom is super nurturing, tends to have lots of grace with mistakes, and creates a warm atmosphere. God very likely will give her a Boxwood Tree or Rose Bush child to raise who might not appreciate her style all the time. A Boxwood kid would need routine and, as a toddler, will have many whiny tantrums over little mistakes and frustrations, which the Pine-Palm mom may not be able simply to smile or hug away. The end result will be a mom who starts planning and structuring her home life more carefully, and a child who learns to take certain things in stride and be more flexible. Both ultimately adapt and win! It becomes challenging when we have two or more kids, each with his or her own needs, but the same principle applies. Each child will smooth a different set of our rough edges, and each will gain something unique from us as his or her parents despite the apparent clashes.

Q: What problems might parents have when their child has the same temperament they do?

Being similar to our kids can make us behave extra tough with our kids in areas where we have struggled. For example, a dad is a laid-back Pine and has been told all his life he was lazy or too shy. He may force his Pine Tree son into public-speaking classes or leadership positions to try to save him from the same hurtful feedback. The opposite could happen too; the dad could be very sensitive to the pressure that was put on him and respond by setting expectations too low for his Pine Tree son, permitting him to remain in his comfort zone. This may actually stunt his son’s development. Many people say we are most irritated by traits in others that are in fact present in us. Assuming this is true, an ambitious Rose Bush mom with her strong will could be super strict with her strong-willed Rose Bush child, determined to “break her in” to be more compliant than she was as a child.

We’ve seen that some personalities get along best with kids who are like them, while others gel better with kids who are their opposite. It also depends on the parenting situation. Let’s take Boxwood parents and kids as an example. They’re usually detailed and task driven and can be pedantic. Put them together in the task of wrapping birthday presents, and they’re a top team. The result will be color coordinated, tidy, and timely. They work well together. However, if they have a conversation about dating and both tend to hear the negative or assume the worst, which us Boxwoods tend to do, you have a recipe for hurt feelings, triggered defenses, and even tears. Socially and emotionally they are less of a great match than they are on a task. There is not a clear-cut pro or con to having temperament differences between you or your child. That is why the book addresses tips for each tree type parent and child for working, talking, and playing better together.

Q: At the end of the book you include an addendum on “Spanking and the Biblical Mandate.” What reasons did you have for devoting an extra chapter on this specific form of discipline?

In the original version of the book, published in South Africa, the little bits about spanking were addressed in the Palm Tree and Rose Bush chapters as a discipline option among many others that generally work better with their temperament at a young age than with the Boxwood Tree’s and Pine Tree’s temperaments. I decided to remove it from those chapters and only address it as an option in the back of the book because of the understandable issues with spanking being outlawed in many countries around the world and with child abuse in this area becoming a more conscious social concern. In theory, many parents say they oppose it, but in practice we see an overwhelmingly large percentage of parents admitting to spanking their kids on occasion. I felt there had to be a guide for a biblical way of doing what parents end up doing in anger or frustration, even when many don’t want to consider it an option. It is my way of saying we should at least reflect on both sides and decide where we stand on the spanking issue, so that when we, a spouse, a grandparent, or another adult differs from us about the matter, we can say we’ve carefully considered it and have made up our minds about how it will or will not figure into how we raise our kids. Reports from countries where spanking has been outlawed or effectively phased out several years ago are beginning to come in, and the results of that social adjustment are not resoundingly positive. I felt parents needed to know that.

Q: Why is it important to cultivate your child’s unique way of encountering, following, and worshipping God?

God is a God of creativity and diversity. He makes us works of art, and I believe He wants us to glorify Him in colorful, unique ways. When we force a spiritual style and spiritual journey on our kids, they may not worship God the way He intended for them.

The apostles Peter and Paul had vastly different encounters with God. Peter (a Palm Tree) was called from his boat to a more exhilarating adventure—fishing for men—while Paul (a Rose Bush) had an almost traumatic encounter with God. God grabbed Paul from behind, struck him with blindness, confronted him about the direction of his life, and sent him a message that he would suffer much for the cause of Christ. Moses (a Boxwood Tree) encountered God in the miraculous sight of a burning bush and was given his calling in great detail, while Abraham (a Pine Tree) had sit-down meals with God and angels in a precious friendship-style relationship. It’s going to be the same with our kids; each will find, hear, follow, and honor God uniquely.

I believe in a purposeful design for every atom and cell in God’s creation. Our kids have designer DNA in their bodies and a calling in their souls and spirits. Their temperaments are adjusted to the same tune so their whole being will worship Him as they find their God-given passions and follow these passions toward their purpose in Christ.

Q: Why does a parent need to read the entire book and not just the chapters that address their main tree type?

Temperament means mixture. To understand the subtleties of how each person has two or more other temperament types mixed into his or her dominant tree type, one must read all the chapters to get a truer picture. We never deal only with one person or one clear-cut personality, so the other chapters will help us with our other kids, spouses, kids we mentor outside of our home, and even ourselves! Some of us are pressured out of our original designs. Seeing the child we used to be described in some of the other chapters may help us rediscover our nature and celebrate ourselves. I truly believe God rejoices every time we gain insight into another person because He is all about relationships. In the letters of Paul and the book of James, spiritual maturity is very often equated to getting along with others, cooperating in the body of believers despite our diversity, and having grace with one another. I would be delighted if Growing Kids with Character has even a small impact on unity among families, among church members, and among God’s people anywhere.

Q: Where can parents go to complete the Tall Trees Profile for their children? Should parents take the Tall Trees Parenting Profile as well?

Talltreestraining.com has a variety of Tree Type Profiles, and parents can follow the links on the product page of the website to complete the Tall Trees Kids Test. Those who purchased the book will have one free code for a complete Tall Trees Kids Report with individualized feedback.

The Tall Trees Parenting Profile is all about mom and dad and their natural styles. Having the combined insight will, of course, be even better, but the profile reports are optional, as there is an additional cost for taking those assessments. Every effort was made to give parents enough information in the book to make progress even without the assessments. We do offer discounts on the Parenting Profiles to those who purchased (un)Natural Mom, and there are frequent promotions offered. Parents are encouraged to keep an eye on the Tall Trees Profiles Facebook Page and talltreestraining.com page for these offers.

Learn more about Growing Kids with Character and Hettie Brittz at www.hettiebrittz.com or by following her on Facebook (HettieBrittzAuthor) or Twitter (@hettiebrittz).




Monday, April 16, 2018

You are your child’s expert


April is National Autism Awareness Month. As the mother of twin sons with autism, Karla Akins, author of A Pair of Miracles: A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting (Kregel Publications), hopes to help create a greater awareness and understanding of what autism is and offer encouragement and reassurance for families living with the effects of autism firsthand.

Below is an adapted excerpt from A Pair of Miracles by Karla Akins ©2017 by Kregel Publications.

You are your child’s expert

I’ve learned a lot over the years in how to be an education advocate for my twin sons with autism. I wasn’t successful at advocating for my children in the early days when they were in kindergarten because I was awkwardly overzealous in sharing information and knew nothing about how to be wise in negotiations. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. Writing this, it still bothers me that we, as parents, were basically ignored. I know that every professional in that room was there because they’d earned the right to be there through their training. And most of the professionals I’ve worked over the years are excellent at their jobs. But in 2002, the interventional needs of children with autism weren’t as well understood by the
public schools as they are now. And yet, most public schools in the United States still fail to provide effective
educational programs for most of the autism population.

Wisdom and Discernment

Since 2002, I’ve become a little wiser in my dealing with experts. As I share these tips, I pray you will internalize them as you travel the road of negotiations with educators and other specialists in your child’s life.

You Are the Expert on Your Child

God gave your child to you, not to anyone else sitting at a conference table or behind an office desk. Own that fact and never doubt it.

God’s Supernatural Wisdom Is Greater Than Human Wisdom

As a Christian, you have an enormous reserve of wisdom to tap into. God assures us in his Word, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). God has never once failed me when I’ve asked for an answer to a hard question. He has always supplied me with the resources and wisdom to make the best decisions for my children. What he did for me, he’ll do for you.

Your Child Is Unique

God created your child unique and different from any other child on earth. He knows them best. You can rest in that knowledge and put the burden of how to parent and educate them on his shoulders. The psalmist David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Ps. 139:13–14). If there are any questions about what is best for your child, ask him. He will reveal it to you.

Prayer Works

Pray for clarity, peace, and cooperation before your meetings with professionals. I also pray for favor. There are things we can do in the natural world to help a meeting go well, but never discount the supernatural hand of God in negotiations. Knowing that he goes before you into the fray will give you peace. “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deut. 31:8).

And, if you’re feeling frustrated, take time to breathe and remember that God is not surprised by what is going on in the conference. He already knows what’s up and how he’s going to fix it. “It is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s” (1 Sam. 17:47).

God Makes Divine Appointments

Just as God knows you and your child, he knows each person on the committee and has a plan for their life. Our autism walk isn’t only about us and our child (shocking, I know). This journey, I believe, is also full of divine appointments. We never know whom we may influence or inspire by our example. You may be thinking, “Are you kidding me? Do you know how overwhelmed I am? I don’t have time to worry about being an example!” Believe me, I know. And you’re exactly right. Let God do the worrying for you. Let him do the guiding. “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:6).

Professionals are people too. They have egos, agendas, schedules, car-pooling commitments, soccer games, and families to juggle. Try to truly listen in the meetings and recognize that God has placed these people in your child’s life for a reason. Think of the orchestrating of lives he’s done to bring you and your child to this moment. How miraculous is our God? From the beginning of time, he knew what your child would need, and he is able to provide it. Recognize the blessing these people are. “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). Recognize that they are experts too, and respect the years of training and education they’ve obtained to be where they are now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Karla Akins is the award-winning author of A Pair of Miracles: A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting and a Special Education teacher. She resides in northern Indiana with her husband, Eddie, twins, Isaiah and Isaac, who have autism, and her mother-in-love who has dementia. When she’s not teaching and writing, she likes cuddling her two dogs and two cats, or riding her motorcycle and looking for treasure. You can find Karla at www.KarlaAkins.com.  



Sunday, April 15, 2018

This is not the first time I've made them keep going until they were at least a little enthusiastic. ;)



The Lord’s Army

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never fly o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s Army!
Yes, sir!

I’m in the Lord’s Army!
Yes, sir!
I’m in the Lord’s Army!
Yes, sir!

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never fly o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s Army!
Yes, sir!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Showing teachers some love

Can you believe the end of the school year is rapidly approaching? Since it's about time to buy teacher gifts, I've been working on apples with teacher quotes.

Disclaimer: I have a better camera I took pictures with. My phone always takes blurry pictures, but the camera and computer are not in the same room at the moment. I didn't realize how bad these were.







Friday, April 13, 2018

Because I don't have anything else to do... I want to rearrange my office


I get these whims where I want to rearrange furniture. Before I moved into this house, I tried to move around my living room often, only to put everything back the way it was. A couple of times, I even moved around my bedroom furniture all by myself.

Now, my furniture pretty much has to stay where it is, especially in the living room. There is literally no other way it will fit.

But, my office... it's a big enough space where it can be. The problem is, plugs, of course. Not all of my plugs are three-pronged either. (The house is older.)

So, given, I have tons of work I am trying to do, and crafts to make, I want to rearrange my office. That means lots of books to move if I want to move a shelf even a matter of inches.

I really, really want to move stuff around, but I really, really don't want to move it back if I hate it.

Here's the before picture. Maybe next week I'll have an after to share. I have to log off now and go downstairs. It's scary up here during a storm, especially a hailstorm where rain is blowing under the door.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Embracing A Heavenly Mindset



Popular Mommy Blogger Helps Moms
to Claim True Hope and Meaning


Following the birth of her second child, life was good for Bennett. Everything she had dreamed of for herself had come to pass, and it was all she had imagined, but also fragile. Because life is so uncertain she began to fear that she would lose it. Longing for hope, she entered a season of deep reflection on eternity. It was during that time her perspective changed as she shifter her focus to heaven and the promises of the life to come.

“In the Bible, God compares himself to a potter. When a potter works with clay, sometimes he makes small refining adjustments to his creation. Other times, he crushes it in order to make something complete, new, better, and different,” writes Bennett. “That’s the best way I can describe what he did in my life through that season of undoing. He didn’t give me a slightly better perspective. He gave me completely new eyes.”

In Heavenly Minded Mom, Bennett beckons mothers into a new way of viewing their present reality by rising above the ordinary and routine to see a bigger plan and purpose for motherhood. The book offers moms the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, wrapped in the hope of the Gospel, and presented in bite-sized portions. The 90 compelling meditations, Scripture readings, and invitations to journal and reflect, will encourage moms to reevaluate how they envision their lives and to claim a heavenly mindset towards their mothering tasks.  These inspirational readings will help them discover a new way of seeing their responsibilities as moms through God’s eyes.

Bennett calls moms to embrace a simpler life filled with God’s promises and love as they reflect on God’s powerful work—both in how it has woven through their past and present and in anticipation of its impact on the future. “As mothers, we must keep our eyes on eternity (Jesus) because it is the source from which lasting meaning flows. My hope is Heavenly Minded Mom will open women’s eyes to the brevity of life so that they will not waste it pursing the wind.”

###

Katie Bennett is the author of Heavenly Minded Mom and the creator of the Top Mommy Bloggers’ award-winning blog and podcast, Embracing a Simple Life. Through the blog, she encourages women stop loving the world and instead follow Jesus with everything they've got.

An educator by trade, Katie stepped out of the career world and embraced a no frills, no extravagance or excess lifestyle. Just Jesus and her family—clearing out the excess and making the most of what matters most.

Katie, her husband, Mitch and their three young children live in the St. Louis, MO area.



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

God Transforms Our Pain into Wonder


Marlo Schalesky helps readers find
restoration and healing for the weary soul

When hardship strikes, life can hurt, right down to the soul. It can hurt to even hope things will get better when you’ve faced a spiritual crisis of doubt, disappointment, or a feeling of distance from God due to unanswered prayers and painful circumstances. What does he say to us when we have nothing left to say? How do we see him when pain has silenced our prayers and blinded our souls? It is in those times, we must reach out and encounter Christ.

In Reaching for Wonder, Marlo Schalesky explores fourteen of the New Testament’s one-time encounters with Christ to illuminate the surprising character of a God who transforms pain into wonder. In these New Testament stories readers will find guidance to a deeper understanding of God’s plan for them, a more vibrant faith, and a fuller trust in God. Schalesky also leads readers to find hope in knowing that while their lives may not be what they had envisioned them to be, God is doing a mighty work in each and every life.

“Following God’s call isn’t about a life of ease, of every-prayer-answered when we want, or easy faith. It isn’t even about healing,” explains Schalesky. “Instead, it’s about encountering him so deeply, so significantly, that he changes everything. Everything about our circumstances, about our lives, about us.  He is never satisfied until we see him. Can we be satisfied with anything less?”

Each chapter of Reaching for Wonder looks and one specific encounter between Christ and a stranger he had never met. The author skillfully weaves a narrative of each character, delving into what circumstances may have brought him or her to their breaking point where the only hope was an encounter with the Savior. What might have been going on in the mind of one desperate to reach out to Christ for healing? Schalesky then examines the details that scriptures reveal, applying it to life in today’s world.  

Schalesky knows the pain she writes about all too well. As she started to work through the idea of reaching for wonder when life is at its worst, her family was in the midst of some of the most difficult and painful times they had ever faced. It was in this dark valley that Schalesky started looking at how Jesus interacted with those who were facing things that were more than they could bear.

“I found the real Jesus is not a ‘just have faith and it will be okay’ type of God. He is a breath-taking, vivid God who meets us in the times of trouble and encounters us in ways I didn’t expect. In ways that shake me from my ‘just have faith’ mentality. He’s not after a shallow, Band-Aid faith. He’s after a life-changing, shock-my-soul relationship with the living God. And that matters.”

The lessons Schalesky found in these stories and share in the book changed the way she encountered Christ in her own pain. She gives the example of the Samaritan woman at the well, explaining, “Jesus confronts and completely transforms a woman’s deepest shame into the very thing she uses to get a whole town to come and see Jesus. I am the woman at the well. You are the woman at the well. God is waiting there to take the very things we most want to hide, the things that cause us the most pain and shame, making them into the things that bring him glory. That’s who God is. That’s what Reaching for Wonder is about – seeing God in our deepest pain, in ways that do more than heal, they urge us to reach out for the wonder of what God offers, especially when life hurts the most.”

###

Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of eleven books (both fiction and non-fiction), including Reaching for Wonder: Encountering Christ When Life Hurts. A regular speaker and columnist, she has published more than 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman, and In Touch, and contributed to several devotional books. Schalesky has also been featured on many national radio and TV programs.


Schalesky is the founder and executive director of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization that brings hope through horses to at-risk, gang-impacted, homeless, and other disadvantaged kids in Monterey County.

Marlo lives with her husband, six children, and a menagerie of large and small animals in Salinas, California. When she’s not cleaning up after critters of all kinds, doing laundry, or writing books, Schalesky loves white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and finding the wonder of God in everyday life, and in the places we least expect it.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Why I should never go to a movie I know nothing about

I'm not a big movie goer. I don't remember the last movie I went to. I'd have to look through my archives here, because whatever it was, I'm sure I blogged about it.

Now that I type that, I think it was the movie where three guys moved into Reese Witherspoon's guest house. It wasn't great.

I catch a little bit about current movies from watching Good Morning America, but evidently not enough. Sometime last week, they interviewed a couple of kids from a new movie, but I didn't pay attention because I was curling my hair or something. The girl was deaf. I remember that. I didn't pay attention AT ALL to what movie they were promoting.

Rachel texted me yesterday asking if I wanted to see A Quiet Place with her and some of the people she worked with. She teaches deaf ed, and earlier this year had gone to a sign language class she taught, so I thought, "Oh, it has to be the movie with the girl who is deaf." I didn't know anything about the movie, and didn't Google it. I just decided to be sociable.

Big mistake on my part.

About 5 minutes into the movie I was already regretting my decision. Anyone reading this blog right now probably knows it's one of those scary/creepy movies.

I spent almost two hours in uncomfortable silence - literally because the movie was all about having to be silent. At one time, I leaned over to Rachel and asked, "People actually like this kind of movie?" She loved it. I would have stayed at home had I known.

I don't like sci-fi. I don't like scary. I don't like ridiculous story lines. It reminded me of when I was in my early-twenties and I got dragged to many a movie with friends. I should have known better, but I've gotten older and forgetful.

However, if you are curious, here's the movie trailer.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Join Carla Laureano for book club on April 19



Tyndale Author Carla Laureano to Host Online Book Club

Readers will come together to discuss The Saturday Night Supper Club


Carla Laureano, author of The Saturday Night Supper Club (Tyndale), will be hosting a Facebook Live book club with readers on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 8:00 PM EDT/5:00 PM PDT.

During the live conversation, Laureano will be sharing the inspiration behind the new release and lead the discussion about the book. Readers will also be able to submit their questions for the author to answer. Copies of The Saturday Night Supper Club and other prizes will be given away throughout the night.

About the book:

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…