Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Picking Teams


Were you ever the last person picked for a team as a kid?  I always was.   Hated it when we chose sides in P.E.  because I was never one who anyone wanted on their team.

David talked about picking teams in Psalm 101...
I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things. I reject made-in-Canaan gods, stay clear of contamination.The crooked in heart keep their distance; I refuse to shake hands with those who plan evil.I put a gag on the gossip who bad-mouths his neighbor;  I can’t stand arrogance.  But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people — they’re the ones I want working with me;Men and women on the straight and narrow — these are the ones I want at my side.
David had it figured out.  He knew exactly who he wanted on his team.  Maybe you are the same way.  You have an idea of the people you want on your team.

The interesting part of this for me is that we all have lists of how we want the people around us to act, but maybe we are asking the wrong question.  Maybe we should be asking, "Am I the kind of person that others want on their team?"

Am I making sure that I'm not crooked in heart, do I plan evil.  Do I gossip or bad-mouth my neighbor? Am I arrogant?

Am I a salt-of-the-earth person who is on the straight and narrow?

As I listened to this Psalm I concluded that it's my job not to look for good team members, but to be one.




Do You Believe You are Awesome?

A healthy self-image is something that psychologists will tell you is a good thing.   Of course, there are people who take it too far and get a little carried away... I'm probably accused of that at times .... but a healthy self-image is a gift.

But it's one of those things that you really don't have control over.... at least to start with.  It's kind of like metabolism, which if you know me well, you know I have issues with.   People who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound .... well, let me just say that that is WRONG.  I'm not going to name any names here, but REALLY, PEOPLE!   

I remember about five years ago when Wilson was eating a super-sized triple whopper combo at lunch and I said to Bart, "Why is it that Wilson can eat anything he wants and not gain a pound and I can't eat anything without gaining Wilson.  Wilson overheard us and said, "Because God loves Wilson."  Little punk  :-)

THAT IS NOT TRUE.  I mean, yes, God loves Wilson, but He also loves of all of us who smell a triple whopper and gain 3 pounds.  He made us all.  And why He chose to have people have different metabolisms is beyond me.  But I digress.

Self image is the same thing.  Initially it is given to you by your parents and you didn't choose them.   It could be that your parents did not have the skills to instill it in you, or maybe they were in a bad situation during the first few years of your life that didn't allow them to give you the attention that you deserved.  Or possibly they did a great job, but you had a particularly bad adolescence and it was crushed.

You can't control the things that happened to you, but you can recognize one thing.    God made you glorious.   He made you awesome.  He made you wonderful.  He created you to be awesome.   All of life is a journey to learn that, to embrace it, to let it become part of who you are...

So today, if you aren't feeling so awesome, that doesn't matter much, because regardless of how you feel, you are.

Period.

 

A Shout Out to My BWC Family...

This is for all the people I call family who attended Bartlesville Wesleyan College or their antecedent schools or Oklahoma Wesleyan University, as it is now called...


Monday, July 17, 2017

Scared?

Going through something that scares you?  There are some verses in Psalm 91 that might be just for you:

Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
    harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
    to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
    their job is to keep you from falling.

Those are pretty amazing promises.   They are true.   I can hear you saying right now, "but......"  and then filling in the blanks.

We are tempted to think that if bad things happen to us that it is because God isn't taking care of us.  But He is..... He says that evil can't get through the door -- that doesn't mean that it won't come right up to the door and pound on it until you don't think you can take it any more.

And it doesn't say that you won't stumble, it says that if you do, the angel's job is to keep us from falling.

Look back at that last time when it SEEMED like evil was winning -- that it was standing at the door pounding.  Did the angels protect you then?  What about the last time you stumbled?  Were you able to keep from falling?

Those angels.... they aren't always going to protect us from the things that life sends our way.... but they will make sure that we don't hit bottom -- because God is good, all the time, and He's got us.

God's got you.   And so do his angels.  



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Reluctant to Buy My Novel?

Why not check out a section for free as an ebook and then decide if you want to buy the rest?

Just click here and use the coupon INTRO.   :-)




Just Keep Sowing...


You may remember in the movie "Finding Nemo" that Dory kept chanting, "Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming."  I can hear her voice in my head.

I've decided to replace that with "Just Keep Sowing, Just Keep Sowing" after Bart's sermon today.  He talked about the parable of the sower and he made one very good point.

He said that the parable isn't about the sower.  Or about the seed.  It's about the soil.   And we never really know what kind of soil it is.... but that's not the the issue.   The sower the seed are givens.  Regardless of the soil, we are supposed to keep on sowing.

This weekend I was kinda pouty.  I was looking around me at the results of the sowing I have done and not seeing much fruit.  In fact, it seems like there are is so little growth I am tempted to just stop and give up.

But I realized today that I need to stop all that.  God didn't ask me to make the seeds grow.  He didn't ask me to prepare the soil.  He didn't even tell me to choose the right kind of soil before I started to sow.   He just asks me to keep on sowing.

So if you are looking around and not seeing growth in the soil around you, don’t worry about that.  That’s God’s deal.  

Just Keep Sowing..... Just keep Sowing.  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday Summary for July 15, 2017


It's Saturday again and the week has flown by.

Here are some highlights:

1)  We spent last weekend and most of the week shipping out books for the pre-order sale for my first novel.   I did the math today.  On a majority of the books I made 11 cents or less.  Guess I should have done the math before I did the free shipping AND five dollars off deal.  Oh well.  I hope that the enjoyment people receive and what they learn from the book makes it worthwhile.

2)  Cool stuff happening at work.  Can't reveal it all yet, but it is awesome.  AND it is going to revolutionize Virginia.... seriously.  Big vision, lots of work ahead, but cool cool stuff.


3)  Got to spend some time with some awesome people this week.  On Thursday Bart and I had lunch with Paul and Heather Mills.  If you know either of them, you know what a great time we had.  Dr. Mills has been my mentor and friend for over 30 years and every time I get to see him it is a blessing AND hilarious.  He is a HUGE part of who I am (but will tell you loudly that he does not assume responsibility for that!)  We have so many shared memories that are just phenomenal.  I had not seen Heather since she was about 21 so it was good to see her.  She's only 2 hours away so I am committed to seeing her more often.

4)  Yesterday Bart and I had brunch with Lewis and Carol Williamson.  Lewis is a pretty amazing breakfast food maker and we had a lovely time learning about life in the Bahamas .... it was really fun.
Then last night Bart had a hospital visit to make and we went out for dinner in South Boston.   It was a cool place and we really enjoyed it.

5)  I have been to the gym here in Danville every morning that I have slept here since June 22nd.  I don't know that I'm losing much weight, in fact I know I am not, but I am trying and it feels good to know that I am doing something about my health.  It makes me feel better.

Today Bart and Wilson are getting ready for the Missions trip.  I am busy trying to market my book in addition to some other work projects.   I'm in a bit of a slump emotionally and not sure why, but I'm sure it will pass!

A sneak preview:  This coming week I get to head to Atlanta to speak at NACAC and stop and see my friends in Central SC on the way and the way back.  Now THAT will be fun!


How Much Money Am I Making Selling Books?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Are you forgetting something?

Have you ever kicked yourself for forgetting something important?  Not literally kicking yourself, because that would be physically challenging to do it correctly, but mentally saying, "UGH!  I can't believe I forgot about that."

As Christians, we often forget the most significant things.   And the sad thing is that we are not the first God-followers to do that.   Some of the coolest things that God ever did He did for the Isrealites in the book of Exodus.  The Psalmist reminds us of what happened in Psalm 78:

They forgot what he had done—    marvels he’d done right before their eyes.He performed miracles in plain sight of their parents    in Egypt, out on the fields of Zoan.He split the Sea and they walked right through it;    he piled the waters to the right and the left.He led them by day with a cloud,    led them all the night long with a fiery torch.He split rocks in the wilderness,    gave them all they could drink from underground springs;He made creeks flow out from sheer rock,    and water pour out like a river.  
All they did was sin even more,    rebel in the desert against the High God.They tried to get their own way with God,    clamored for favors, for special attention.They whined like spoiled children...

God couldn't have done much more to show them that He was God and that He was going to get them through the mess they were in.  Splitting the sea, splitting rocks, providing food and drink from nothing...

And their response?  They sinned even more, they rebelled, they tried to manipulate God, and they whined like spoiled children.

Why?  Because they forgot what God had done.

If you are in the middle of a difficult season, it isn't your first is it?  Remember the last one?  What did God do for you?   Don't forget...

Don't respond like the Israelites!   Remember, God's got you like He did before.  He will always have you.  He never changes.

If you are going to forget things, don't forget this one thing:  God is faithful.  He always has been and He always will be.

So avoid the path of the Egyptians... don't sin, rebel, manipulate or whine.

Just remember.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is Something Not Right in Your World?


If you woke up this morning and everything was right in your world, you should consider yourself fortunate.  

Most of the time, even if we aren't looking for it, there is something that isn't quite right.   So if you are one of those people who has something not quite right going on in your world, I have a verse for you from Psalm 11:


God’s business is putting things right;
He loves getting the lines straight,
Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall,
    we can look him straight in the eye.

I love this verse because it has a twist to it.  God loves putting things right.... but it often involves Him setting us straight.  

So today, pray that God puts things right... and be ready, because in the midst of that He might have to set you straight.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Heart-Shattered Lives and Post-Traumatic Growth


Would you ever use the word "shattered heart" to describe a time in your life where something so horrible occurred that you were not sure you were going to make it through?   Maybe it was the tragic death of someone close to you, or betrayal in a relationship that was so piercing you felt you might die. It could be the incredible disappointment of raising a child who you have loved for years who is now living a desperate, estranged life.   Or maybe the realization you had when you realized that an addiction that you were sure was just a bad habit you could break any time had taken over your life.   Those are all heart-shattering moments.

A term has surfaced in research that has recently caught my attention.  It is called "post-traumatic growth."

Here is how it was defined by a couple researchers (Calhoun and Tedeshi).
Post-traumatic growth is positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning. These circumstances represent significant challenges to the adaptive resources of the individual, and pose significant challenges to their way of understanding the world and their place in it.  Post-traumatic growth is not about returning to the same life as it was previously experienced before a period of traumatic suffering, but rather it is about undergoing significant 'life-changing' psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world, that contribute to a personal process of change, that is deeply meaningful.
As I look back on my life I realize that I have had some of this occur.   But for those of us who are Christians, there is another layer to all of this.   When we hit bottom we learn who God is and we learn who we are in relation to Him.  We learn to say, just as Job did,  "You are God and I am not... I put my hand over my mouth."

Psalm  51 in the Message says this:
I learned God-worship    when my pride was shattered.Heart-shattered lives ready for love    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.
Having our hearts shattered eventually leads to psychological growth.  But more importantly, when our pride is shattered because we result in learning to really worship God.    Like Job, we realize that His thoughts are higher than ours and that "the Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away."

And I love the way the verse ends.  Heart-shattered lives are ready for love.   Broken, open, waiting, exposed, raw.... those are the lives which don't for a moment escape God's notice.  He sees us.  He knows how we feel.  He reaches down to provide healing and hope.

If you are in a period of time where you feel like your heart it shattered -- know that this is the beginning of a journey.  A journey towards growth... but also toward worship, towards healing, towards wholeness, towards hope.

It's a guarantee.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Who is Writing Your Story?


If you could choose someone to write your biography, who would you choose?  Someone who knew you well or someone who is a bit of a stranger so that they would leave things out that you didn't want people to know?  Or would you not trust someone to write it and insist on an autobiography?

If you follow me on Facebook or you have been writing my blog you know that my novel just came out…. and it was an amazing journey to write a story — to make up people from nothing.   I had never written fiction before, and I was surprised at how cool it was.   The characters became my friends as if they were real.   And fortunately, they were willing to let me write their story.

We are in God’s story and the story is amazing IF we actually let Him write whatever He chooses…. if we don’t push back, if we give ourselves to Him, asking Him to be the writer ….

I love these verses from Psalm 18 in the Message:
God made my life complete    when I placed all the pieces before him.When I got my act together,    he gave me a fresh start.Now I’m alert to God’s ways;    I don’t take God for granted.Every day I review the ways he works;    I try not to miss a trick.I feel put back together,    and I’m watching my step.God rewrote the text of my life    when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
Life doesn’t get any better than when we give him free reign to right our story as He sees fit.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Taking Over


Have you ever caught yourself trying to do God's job?  I'm sure if you are human you have a tendency to do that.   We seem to know better... or think we do and we start to do things our way.... and then, before we know it, we are doing something stupid.

In the Message, Eugene Peterson translates a portion of Psalm 19 this way:
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!    Keep me from stupid sins,    from thinking I can take over your work;
Unfortunately, we often need a new start every day.... and fortunately, God gives us one.  When we ask him to He forgives us and lets us start fresh.

I think it behooves us to remember those four things every day:

1)  God will clean our slate if we ask;

2)  We can start each day fresh;

3)  If we ask for God's help He will keep us from stupid mistakes....

4)  And if we ask Him to remind us, He will help us to see that we can't take over for Him because He is God and we are not.

That's a pretty good way to start the day...


Saturday, July 08, 2017

Here I Actually Read the Prologue to you!

Order "Little Did She Know" for the Kindle on Amazon, or Directly from us at www.bartandclaudiafletcher.com.

Pre-order sale ends July 15 so order now to save!



Saturday Summary for July 8th


This has been a pretty great week!  It started with Sunday church and lunch out with our friends the Larkings... always fun.    (And we had a great time the night before going out with some other friends from church!).   Then Monday I had an all-day strategic planning retreat that was simply awesome.  We came up with the most amazing "WIG" (Wildly Important Goal) or if you prefer Jim Collins, "BHAG" (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).  I can't wait to tell you all about it.  It's pretty cool.

Then Tuesday was the 4th and everyone who lives in Virginia plus a male friend of our daughter joined us for a pool party on the campus where I work and live part of the week.  We had a tasty meal, watched the kids swim, listened to Patrick Henry's speech, and then got rained out for fireworks....  I only took one picture....


The rest of the week involved marketing my book which finally came in last night!  I'm busy today signing them and getting them out the door to those who pre-ordered.  Kind of exciting.  I made a lot of stupid videos too.

I also had something really cool happen this week....  Do you remember my post exactly a month ago when I wrote about Scooter Gennett (player for the Cincinnati Reds) and his home run?  It was one of the best posts of my whole life I think.   You should read it if you haven't.     Well, I decided to share it on Twitter and tag Scooter himself and he liked my tweet!  I was so excited!  Then a friend of his retweeted my post and reached out to me to let me know how much it meant to Scooter.  Now THAT is beyond cool!    He's a Christian and the "real deal" according to everything I've seen.  I've actually started praying for him.... he has a huge platform now to share Christ with the world and that means he will be attacked by the enemy.....

So between that and all the book hype PLUS the cool stuff at work it's been a good week!

Hope yours was too!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Scripture Verse Most Disobeyed by Christians Everywhere


There has been no research done to prove my point, but based on my experience there is one verse that we as Christians really don't follow.... and it is a verse that comes straight out of the mouth of Jesus Himself.

Are you guessing which one I'm talking about?

Well, here it is...
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.
In the Message it says it this way:
If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. 
I think we misread the verse.  I think we read it to say, "If someone hurts you, go tell your best friend, and your neighbor, and your mom, and anyone else who will listen."

Christians aren't the only ones who have trouble with this, but we should know better.   In fact, this verse was specifically directed at believers which is why Jesus used the words "brother and sister."

I have seen more people hurt and more good churches and organizations destroyed because people could not follow Jesus on this one thing.

Now that I think about it, I have a few conversations I need to have.... do you?

Book Launch Video #7

Book Launch Video #6

Four Reasons Why Suffering is a Good Thing


By the very definition of the word suffering, it is hard to see how it can be a good thing.   It is defined as  "the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship."  None of those words sound like a "good thing."  So how can suffering possibly be a good thing?

1)  Suffering leads to glory.  If we share in Christ's suffering, we also share in his glory.  (Romans 8:17)     The Message says it this way:  

And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
It's one thing to want to "Be like Jesus" in the good times, but sharing in his suffering helps us to identify with Him.   And good things come out of the times when we can relate to the life of Christ, and understand a little bit about how it felt to be Him.   Plus there is a reward for us sharing in his suffering -- we get to share in his glory.  We get to go through the good times with him! 

2)  Suffering leads to hope.  If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that "hope cycle" seen in Romans Chapter 5 describes  the lives of people who parent kids from hard places.

Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope ... and hope does not disappoint

Oh how much we all long to have character and hope!  Sometimes we pray that God will build our character.  But we really aren't interested in the first part of that -- the suffering and perseverance part.  Yet without them, we can't get to the kind of hope that does not disappoint.

3.  Suffering leads to learning.   Even though I don't agree with Job's friends' theology, there is a verse in chapter 36 that says:

But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.
I don't think this is true in a simple fashion.  In other words, I don't believe that God says, "ooh, look, they learned something.  I'm taking away whatever is making them suffer."  But I do think that as we begin to learn from our suffering, our suffering lessens because we allow it to become our teacher.  And we are delivered from our suffering, not from the circumstances that are causing us to suffer.   Wow.  That's pretty deep for 7 a.m.

4.  Suffering leads to perfection, completion and lacking nothing.  In James 1 we read this:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

When our faith is tested and we respond with patience to our suffering it leads to good things. 

I'm not asking you to seek suffering (although when I used to recruit foster and adoptive parents I used to suggest that I was inviting them to begin the hope cycle).  But whether you seek it or not, it is going to come your way. 


It's my prayer that we can all recognize while we are suffering that there is a purpose, that it leads to glory, hope, learning, and perfection.   Maybe it's a good thing after all.






Wednesday, July 05, 2017

You're forcing me to make more videos...

It's a good thing, I guess.   Book orders have been coming in so I am continuing to make videos.  Sigh.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Power of Forgiveness (If you need to read this you probably won't want to)


You know Job, right?  I mean not personally, but you know the story of Job and I have blogged about him a few times lately.

Here's the story.   Job had a lot of cool things.   Satan tells God that Job only serves Him because Job has lots of stuff.   God tells Satan he can take it away...  to prove Job is faithful no matter what. 

Then Job whines.  A lot.  And his "friends" criticize and blame him and tell him he is a sinner.  Cuz bad things don't happen to good people.

And then Job whines some more and his friends verbally attack him some more.  And then you repeat that for a lot of chapters.

And then God comes and says, "Check out everything I made, Job?  Why are you questioning me?  Are you God"

And Job responds, and says, “you’re right, no, I'm not God.  I put my hand over my mouth."

And then Job gets his stuff back.  Right?

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!

Something else happens first.  This is chapter 42 in the message.

After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.”They did it. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what God commanded. And God accepted Job’s prayer.10-11 After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! 
See what happened?  There was a step in there that we often forget.  First he had to forgive his friends and pray for them.  Interceded for them.  Help them get forgiven by God. Then he got his stuff back... doubled.

We don't know what would have happened had Job said, "no way!  I'm not going to intercede for them.  Do you see  how they treated me, God?   They get what they get!"  But what if that was the key to God's restoring and doubling his fortune?

Maybe there is something God wants to do for you… maybe He wants to give you something back  but there is someone … or a group of people … you need to forgive and pray for before He can give it to you.  

Just Sayin’.



One more video for today....

So the orders came in some more and so I did another video.  I think it's the last one for tonight.  This is what happens when your fireworks get rained out



Maybe it's over for a while...


The videos stop when the orders stop.

So maybe this will be over for a while.

On this one I talked about Bart.  Fortunately he will never see this stuff.  So don't tell him.

It was So Embarrassing I made another one

So this is insane.... Seriously.

I promised to make another video if someone ordered a book.

Someone did.

Then I made a commitment to myself that I would not re-record and I'm not sure if I am going to become a YouTube Star or get stoned.  And I don't mean "high" like as in smoking weed, I mean rocks thrown at you like in the Bible stoned...

So here you go -- complete with a crying grandchild interruption.

It doesn't get much more real than this.






That was SO Embarrassing....


I love public speaking.  Put me in front of a crowd live, and I am in heaven.  Sometimes I can even get the whole audience in the palm of my hand and there's no better feeling.

However, I am not fond of looking at myself.  So when I was listening to a podcast about launching a new product and how the only way to do that correctly is with videos, I tried making one.

And it was so embarrassing... but it's done.  It's Vintage Claudia... totally me.   And so far it has helped me sell one book, so it might be worth it.

Here it is!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Is the Task Ahead Too Big for You?


Are you looking ahead and something and saying to yourself, “It’s too big!  Too Much!  Too Hard!  I can’t do it!”

I have been there, more than once, and so have you.

It could be a relationship.   Relationships are the hardest thing that we have to deal with in our lives.  I have a friend who says, “Work would be awesome if there were no people.”   People complicate things.  Maybe you are thinking about a person right now and thinking, fixing that relationship is a mountain too big to climb.  I can’t do it.  I don’t want to do it.    I won’t do it.  Your choice, but what if God wants you to?

It could be a project at work.  It seems like an impossibility…. something too hard and too much for you.  You don’t even know where to start.

Or maybe it is a personal thing… battling an addiction.  Maybe you need to lose weight, or stop smoking, or stop drinking… but you just know it’s too much.

I have shared this quote with you many times, but my lifetime mentor, a man by the name of Paul Mills, taught me this more than 30 years ago:  If God wants to do something great, He starts with a problem.  If He wants to do something spectacular, He starts with an impossibility.  What is the task ahead of you?  Is it impossible?

Then look out…. God is fixin’ to do something spectacular!

Let’s claim this song today! 

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Is There Such a Thing as Realistic Adoption Fiction?


Have you ever wanted to read a book about adoption that actually sounded like your life's story?  For years I have wanted the opportunity to hand someone a book and say, "Read this... it's a great read, purely fiction, but it describes some of what it is like to be me."  I never found a book like that.

As you may know, I wrote my first novel for that very purpose.  I wanted to create a story that could be enjoyed by anyone anywhere.  But I also wanted it to be a book that adoptive parents of kids who had FASD, or who had attachment disorder, or who had a traumatic past that led them to great difficulties at home and even residential care, could hand to a friend or extended family member.  I wanted a tool to help people understand parents like us that they would find enjoyable.   Most people aren't interested in a clinically sound explanation of a disorder, but an interesting story that talks a bit about it would be something they would read.

For the first time in my short "writing career" I decided that I wanted to try and get my book published. But I got stuck.   One of the questions that the agent asked on their submission form was, "Name the genre of the book and then find other books like yours to compare it to."  

I tried.  First I couldn't find anything... everything I found was either someone's true adoption story, or it was fiction, but didn't have adoption as a central part of the plot.  I then discovered some "adoption fiction" and read a few books.  One word:  Unrealistic.   Everyone's adoption journey was beautiful in those books.  I couldn't find a book that said, "this is MESSY!"

So I'm asking an honest question here.  Is there such a thing as realistic adoption fiction?  Have you read a novel that you felt told the whole story?  Could you relate to it?

If so, I'd love to see those in the comments here.   No need for a lengthy book review ... just tell me about the book and why you liked it and why you felt it was realistic.

And you know how this post is going to end..... if you have never read "realistic adoption fiction" you should pre-order my novel, because that's exactly what it is.

Am I creating a genre?  That would be cool.  :-)

Saturday Summary


Can you believe it?  I'm actually giving you my Saturday Summary on Saturday!

So, I'm feeling pretty good at the moment, because I have been to the gym, something I started doing again this past 10 days or so, and I am loving how it makes me feel.  I am not loving being at the gym, but this is my formula for being able to handle life well.   Set some goals, get up, meet them before the day begins.... showering at the gym after a workout to begin my day, drinking half of my water goal for the day, all of that just sets me up to feel great.

I had really gotten into a slump.... if you want to read about all this weight loss junk, you can click over to my Steps blog.  I won't be linking to it often until I have lost twenty.... but if you post your journey in the comments we all hold each other accountable.

So, what happened this past week?

Work:  Good stuff!

1)  One of our best employees has made the decision to join us full time.  I can't tell you enough about how good this is going to be for the organization or for me, as this is one of the people who reports to me directly.

2)  I prayed and received clarity about a tricky situation and I have a plan as to how to go about "fixing it."

3)  We have an exciting day on Monday of planing for the future with a great team of people.  I'm excited about how that is all going to work out.

Home stuff:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

1)  The Good:  Because I am exercising I have more energy and am helping out a bit more which makes me feel better about myself.   I thoroughly enjoy my grandchildren from afar and the ones who live here are getting more fun and cuter by the day.  Gabby learned to ride her bike without training wheels!

Bart and I took them to a baseball game on Monday night.  The whole thing was really fun.  I taught Gabby about baseball and Carlos got out all his cars to play with.  Soon there were other kids joining him to play with the cars while we watched baseball.






Speaking of Cars, on Thursday we took the kids to see the movie Cars 3.   We told Carlos we were going to see a movie about cars.  He patiently waited through all the previews, and then when the movie started pointed at the screen and said, "CARS!  CARS! CARS!  Bobby!  Bobby!  (he calls Gabby Bobby) -- CARS BOBBY!"

I submitted my first novel to the printer.  Decided to self-publish. Finally concluding that I'm not really going to be a best-selling author and I'm ok with that.   But if YOU want to order one of the first 100, there is still time preorder and get a good deal.   I redid the website this week too, so if you want to see it you can do that while you're ordering your book!

The Bad:  One of my children who will remain nameless was with one of my other kids who will also remain nameless and managed to post on their Snap Chat story them "pretending to snort cocaine."  I found it hilarious.  NOT.

The Ugly:  Two of my children 1,000 miles away from here got in a big fight and drug me into it at 5:30 in the morning this week.  I was really really really mad.   But then it was over... I'm not sure what they think I'm going to be able to do from here.

So that's it... My week....

Always grateful for the good stuff, even it it comes between the bad and the ugly :-)