Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Minutiae

Swoosh! Christmas has come and gone for 2009. My family was all together. It was a jammed packed week of food and activities.


Went to the Magical forest to see the Christmas displays and twinkling lights. Rode the carousel.

Went to church at The Crossing. It was a wonderful service.

Opened splendid presents. My favorite was a sign that says READ in bright colors. Thank you, Karen.

Baked Jesus a birthday cake. Had a frosting smear fight.

Ate, ate and ate some more. Did dishes, did dishes and did dishes some more.

Watched football.

Took family photos.

Tidied up the house--again and again.

I am tired.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Babbling about Birthdays

Today is my birthday. So, I have been pondering birthday thoughts.

I have always loved having a Christmas time birthday. I never minded having birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper. I love Christmas, so my birthday was just more merry.

I think my favorite birthday present was a Chatty Cathy doll when I was 10. Can you figure out how old I am by that bit of information?

I have never enjoyed birthday cake much, but love to eat frosted gingerbread men instead.

Tonight I am spending my birthday with my favorite people in the world. My husband, kids and grandkids making gingerbread men. I have no idea when this will occur again.

Birthdays always make me reflect on my life. Here's a short breakdown of the most important facts.

Dysfunctional childhood, but as an introverted artistic child I made it magical in my mind. I still love fairy tales, Narnia, dolls, stuffed animals, and storybooks.

Rebellious teen years, but by the Grace of God, my life was transformed by Jesus.

A mom of two boys--the greatest joy of my life.

An office manager for a insurance agent (my husband) for 17 years.

Finally graduating from college with two degrees--Interpersonal Communication/Christian Studies.

Ministry--high school girls, women's Bible studies, couples groups, etc.

Women's Ministry Director at The Crossing for 4 1/2 years. Tiring, but rewarding.

Speaking & Writing Ministry. The honor and privilege of being a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker.

My first book contract--Hallelujah!

Becoming a grandma to my Chickadee Peeps--Emily and Brianna and Little Boy Blue--Michael.

Writing, writing, writing, and more writing.

Today I sit in Starbucks writing, waiting for my children and grandkids to come by.

Life is good! I owe all of my sanity to my Savior Jesus Christ without Him my life would have turned out very different indeed.

Holiday Hugs,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Marley's Chains

Marley's Chains

  But God’s word is not chained. (2 Timothy 2:9b)


Without a vocal greeting, the rattle of chains announces my son’s return from work. His metal links jangle from his wrists, his pants, and his eyebrow. They display the appropriate symbol of the emotional and spiritual chains that imprison him. My son wears his chains as a badge of honor to his rebellion. 


In my mind, I visualize the scene of Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol. Marley’s bondage to money revealed itself by huge clanking chains and moneyboxes. His remorse for his earthly deeds haunts him and Scrooge. I long for my son to feel remorse and to return as the sweet boy I once knew. I want my son back. Now!


As my son heads ups the stairs, the clanking fades. I shove the image of the ghostly Marley out of my thoughts and assert the positive promise, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).” I will continue to pray for my son. I will use Scripture to plead his case, because God’s Word cannot be chained, regardless of what shackles dangle from my son’s body and soul.              



Father, I believe that Your Word is not chained. Help me to remain patient when You appear to be slow in keeping Your promises. I know You are infinitely patient, not wanting anyone to perish or live in rebellion. This includes my beloved child, _______________. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


An excerpt from Divine Hope for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppmann, New Hope Publishers, 2009.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Would You Tell?---Hot Topic Tuesday

Would you tell if you knew your girlfriend's husband was cheating?

After the scandal of Tiger Woods (of which I am very tired) I have wondered if any of Elin's friends knew. Did they allow her to stay in the dark or did they tell? What would you do?

Many years ago, I needed to make this decision. Sadly not once, but twice, I was put in this position. The first time, it seemed everyone and their dog knew about my friend's husband's affair. However, no one said anything to her, including myself. When the truth finally came out, my girlfriend felt betrayed by everyone. Basically, she cut herself off from her friends and started a new life without us. It was a great loss for me. I still ache for the love and laughter of that friendship.

So when the situation happened with another girlfriend a couple of years later, I told my girlfriend. The truth hurt. Once again, a lost friendship. She was mortified and chose to distance herself from me and any others who knew the truth of the troubled marriage.

It's seems to be a no win situation. These two situations happened many, many years ago. I lost both friendships. Would I tell now? I don't know. What's your opinion?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Head Over Heels About Christmas

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I get head over heels about it. Mark and I have made 8 batches of carmel corn and 4 batches of fudge to take to Christmas parties and to give as gifts. On Thursday night he was scooping out the remaining carmel in the pan to eat and suddenly the funniest look crossed his face. He said, "Oh no!" He pulled it out of his mouth along with a gold filling and a dental crown--two teeth damaged. Honestly, I tried not to laugh, but . . .

Mark left a message at the dental office. They called him before 7:00 AM and said come on in. They cemented the pieces back in place with no charge and said, "Merry Christmas! Stay away from sticky foods!" Mark gave them a tub of the carmel corn.

Now that made me feel head over heals for my sweet dentist's office, because when I saw those crumbled teeth, I calculated about $1000.00 in dental bills.

Some Christmas's are better than others. So far, this one has been filled with joy and excitement. I will have my family with me which makes it wonderful. Tomorrow we are going to head to the mountains to play in the snow with my Michael, my 2-year old grandson. We will listen to Christmas music on the way and drink hot chocolate.

This is my top 10 favorite things about Christmas 2009.

#1 Jesus & the joyful new life He gives.

#2. My family

#3. Fun food--even the chewy carmel corn

#4 Christmas CD by Andre Bocelli

#5 Watching sappy Christmas movies

#6 Smelling the pine scent from the wreath

#7 Anticipating the faces of my grandkids on Christmas morning

#8 Turkey dinner

#9 Playing games

#10 Reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for the 100th or so time.

Candy Cane Kisses,


Friday, December 11, 2009

The Writer's Porch--Friday

How many words a day do you write?

Yesterday, I babbled about Stephen King’s On Writing. His opinion is if you are serious about writing, you will write 2000 words a day. (That’s 10 pages). He writes, “I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words. That’s 180,000 words over a three month span, a goodish length for a book—something in which the reader can get happily lost, if the tale is done well and stays fresh.” Sounds great, doesn’t it?

My problem with writing 2000 words a day is this—when do you answer email, promote books, do laundry, etc.? Of course, I am assuming that Stephen King has plenty of paid help to do the menial tasks each day. But for those of us who live our lives as struggling artists, then I think the advice of 2000 words a day is flawed.

Honestly, I would be thrilled if I could write 2000 words every other day! But the writing life, the business side, prohibits hours of dedication to the craft. MAYBE someday, but for now I try not to pressure myself into scribbling just to reach a certain word count.

I tend to try to set completion dates for projects. For example, if I need to write a chapter I will give myself a two-week deadline. I might not work on it every day, but I will have it done by my own personal deadline. This way I have the flexibility without the stress. This works for me. What works for you?

Keep the Heart-Print Faith,


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Babbling about Books--Thursday

On Writing

By Stephen King

I just finished On Writing by Stephen King. Warning! If you decide to read this book, the language is atrocious. However, I found it an interesting read. Stephen King is a different type of guy. Years and years ago, I read a couple of his books. The Stand was one I definitely recall. I think I quit after I began Cujo and it scared me too much to continue.

Anyway, I digress. On Writing is somewhat of a memoir on Mr. King's life and an instructional book on the craft of writing. It has some interesting tidbits for writers, especially if you write fiction. Overall, the memoir chapters intrigued me the most. I always wonder what makes authors tick. I can't say for sure why Stephen King always writes suspense/horror books, but he did have somewhat of an unusual childhood.

Anyway, a year or so ago Jerry Jenkins and Stephen King were interviewed together in Writer's Digest. Honestly, you couldn't pick two writers who are more different in belief and writing style. But the interview made it clear that they respected each other. So reading On Writing enlarged my knowledge of who Stephen King is as a person and a wordsmith. He doesn't mince words when it comes to his opinions on writing and on life in general.

If you want to read this to learn more about the craft of writing, I would pass on it. If the inner sanctums of famous writers interest you (and you can ignore the profanity), then it's a book that will make you question why your write. Is it for fame, fortune or just the love of writing? Stephen King writes because he loves to write--although it's made him famous and filthy rich, too.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Once in a Decade Christmas

It's officially December and the holidays are in full swing around the Scheppmann household. We've made carmel corn, shopped, wrapped presents and listened to the new Christmas CD by Andre Bocelli.

This will be a special Christmas at my home. I'll have all my kids and grandkids home. Jeremy, Steph, Emily and Brianna will be coming in on my birthday --December 22nd -- for a week. Then Erin, my daughter, will be coming for a quick visit on the 26th. Darryl, Wendy and Michael live down the street (I am so blessed), so of course they will be here, too.

I know it's not always easy coordinating everyone's plans, hopes and activities. But I am praying that this year will be a joyous, laughter-filled Christmas. I cannot even guess when the opporuntity to be together will happen again. So, I am going to make the most of every moment. Which means I need to make everything as streamlined as possible. I have researched easy recipes and plan to prepare well in advance. Can you say store-bought pies?

If anyone has any tips to help me plan and prepare let me know!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Procrastination--The Writers' Bane

The Writer's Porch--Friday
Procrastination is a writer's bane. For whatever reason, writers love to find reasons not to write. The laundry calls, the phone rings, the cluttery closets coax to be straightened. So what's a writer to do?
For myself I like to create an atmosphere in which I like to write. I like to listen to music--anything from Daughtry to Susan Boyle. I wear things that make me feel like a writer. For example, I have the cutest bracelet made of typewriter keys. It reads "Bookworm." Recently, I was in a little boutique and found two note cards with old typewriters printed on them. I bought the cards. I intend to frame them and place them on the wall in front of my computer.

Author Anne Lamott recommends placing a 1 inch by 1 inch picture frame on your desk. Then study it with the idea you will write just what picture will fit in that frame. It could be a sentence, a paragraph or page, but the 1x1 frame is the beginning of the story. I picked up on this idea and I have a tiny frame on my desk. I think, "I can write what I can imagine inside of this frame."

Reading The Writers' Digest, how-to-write books, and author autobiographies spur me to write. However, I must be extremely careful that I don't allow my reading to interfere with my writing time. So, I have found if I read these at night, I am more inspired in the morning to write my one inch idea.

Candles, incense, funky things spur me to write--think beatnik or hippie. Here's the truth about writers, we walk to the beat of a different drummer. Most of us have artists' hearts. We tend to be introverts by nature. Many of us would be classed melancholy verses sanguine personalities.

Here's what I know for sure, writing is hard work. Procrastination comes naturally to writers. Find what works the best to keep your behind in the chair and your fingers on the keys.

Keep the Heart-Print Faith,


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Dog Ate My Homework

Actually, my dog didn't eat my homework, but she did chew through my laptop power cord. I walked into the living room to discover a grisly, wiry severed computer cord. Fortunately for the dog it wasn't plugged in to the outlet. "All right," I think, "No big deal." I'll just hop on the Internet and order another one. Oops! It's Cyber Monday and is completely overloaded and I can't place an order.

So on Tuesday, I had to call. I get through to a guy who talks about a bazillion words per minute. He attempts to sell me a new computer, a television, an upgrade, etc. etc. "No, I just want an adapter cord, that's it," I repeat a bazillion times.

That major distraction is taken care of and the cord will be delivered in a few days. Until then I can use my computer, but in a very limited capacity. I do have an extra cord, but it is not movable. It's docked to my desk. Now this is not a monumental thing, but an annoyance.

Another poor me story is that I am having a great deal of trouble posting on my blog. It seems I can no longer write my post in Microsoft Word and cut & paste it to blogspot. It seems that Google has done something so it will not work. Sounds like a Microsoft/Google war to me and I am caught in the middle. All right, I can work around it now that I know what the problem is with my blog.

Which brings me to a You Tube clip my church played on Sunday. I do not know who the comedian is (he may be very rank) but this clip was hilarious. It made me laugh so hard as I love technology and I travel a lot on planes. Here's the link:

Truly all the technology is amazing and we just don't fully appreciate it, do we?

Keep the Heart-Print Faith,