Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Love You Enough . . .

All right, yesterday I told you about my husband, Mark, buying his toy—a Harley motorcycle. Plus being his sweet self, he bought me a helmet so I could ride with him. YIKES!

My first ride out with him I clung to him like a leech on a leg. I almost drew blood by gripping his waist so tightly. He drove slowly, turning corners carefully. I began to relax---a little. Then suddenly, an elderly gentleman pulled out right in front of us. Brakes---heart pounding—no accident. UGH!

However, because my husband is passionate about this new hobby I stuck my butt on the seat again and again. Trying to follow the advice of Proverbs 19:14, “House and land are handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.” (Proverbs 19:14, MSG) That will teach me to write a Bible study titled Perplexing Proverbs! Now I have to try to live it out in application.

Now after a couple of years, I can brag that I rode for six hours on the back of a Harley Hog. I listened to my i-pod and can honestly say I had a good time. Is it my favorite activity? No. Does my hubby appreciate my participation in his hobby? I hope so.

Who would have ever thought that me, Susanne, would be riding around on a Harley with a helmet and black leathers, listening to praise music, and wondering about God’s sense of humor? Not me!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hog and Husband

I should have had it written in our marriage contract. But I didn’t think I needed to do it. My conservative husband poked fun at the people who rode motorcycles in black leather. He would look at me and say, “That’s looks so miserable. The heat, the weather, the bugs in the teeth, be thankful I won’t ever do that. Besides, they are so dangerous.”

“I am very thankful,” I would respond from the deepest part of my soul.

(Oh, my husband is a State Farm Insurance agent.) He knows safety stuff.

Years tumble —same remarks. Same thankful wife.

Then five years ago, Mr. State Farm, conservative husband announces he wants to buy a Harley motorcycle—a Harley Hog.

“But what about the danger?”

“I’ll be safe. I promise to wear a helmet,” he says.

“But what about the miserable weather? What about the bugs?”

“They’ll add protein to my diet,” he says with a grin.


It was no use. In his mind, he “needed” a Harley... and so, he purchased his bike. He became a full-fledged HOG—Harley Owner Group.

Oh, and with the Harley, he bought me a helmet, too! The saga continues tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Buzz on Books

Digital Books?

One of the hot topics at the Christian Book Expo was the new e-readers -- products like the Amazon’s Kindle 2 and the Sony reader. These are, for lack of a better description, books on a device similar to an audio MP3 device. The devices can hold thousands of books at a time, are the size of a small paperback book and have the “feel” of reading a paper book--not a computer screen.

It seems odd to me, but then I felt the same way about my i-pod originally. Now I have i-pod withdrawals if I do not have it clipped to me.

The publishing industry insists that this is the way books will eventually be published. Universities and colleges have taken to this concept like white on rice. Students no longer need to carry 50 pound book bags on aching shoulders. They can download books immediately and usually at a cheaper cost—no paper, no binding, etc.

Now I haven’t actually held one of the devices yet. But soon! A friend in my monthly book club just purchased one. All the rest of us can’t wait to give it a test drive. (By the way, we are reading, Loving Frank). It’s a novel about Frank Lloyd Wright—so far I like it.

I would love to know your thoughts on digital readers. Do you have one? Do you think they are worth the money? ($350) Would you miss the smell and feel of a good traditional book? Let me know your thoughts.

*Are digital books the way of our future?
*Do you own a Kindle or Sony Reader?
*How do you think digital books will change our children’s reading habits?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Holy Tattoo--An Excerpt from Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents

Holy Tattoo

Skulls grin at me from across the room. As my son’s arm reaches for his water, a snake’s blood-red eye winks at me. I recall hanging my son’s crayon pictures on the fridge. Pastel Sunday School portraits of the Jesus he loved. Now he displays colorful artwork of a different genre on his own skin.

Sullen indifference replaces the sweet excitement my little boy used to possess . I wonder where the young artist-child hides inside this young man I hardly recognize. Surely, he resides in my son’s soul still.

Smiling at the memories, I ask, “Son, can I get you a refill? I’m headed to the kitchen.”
Without looking up, he nods.

I stop at the fridge to fill up the glass and whisper to God, “Bring back the boy of the crayon days. Help him to feel the excitement again! Let him remember how he colorfully displayed Your love for him each week. Lord, tattoo his heart with of Your love. Give my son a tattoo of holiness. Fill him with Your love, just as I fill up this glass.”

As I hand the brimming glass to my son, I know God heard my prayer. I smile down at my son’s colorful arm, but this time, I wink back at the snake.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
still another will write on his hand,
‘The Lord’s,’ and will take the name Israel.”
—Isaiah 44:3–5

Father, pour out Your water on ____________’s dry spirit. May my beloved child say, “I am the Lord’s.” May _______________ call on the Lord and write on his hand, “Belonging to the Lord.” You are ________________’s Redeemer. Let my child say, “You are the Lord of hosts, and there is no God besides You.” In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Questions about Air Travel

After attending the Christian Book Expo, I am sitting in the Dallas airport (DFW). Sitting here waiting for my flight, several questions have popped into my thoughts.

Why are airports so cold? Do they think the passengers are overheated after taking off their jackets and shoes when passing through security?

Why do airports not have enough seating for waiting passengers at the gate? Do they not want us to sit too long because of possible blood clots due to lack of leg room on plane?

But wait—now it’s a gate change. Not only a gate change, but a terminal change. Off we go, more than 100 passengers trying to squeeze onto the DFW Skylink to Terminal A. Ah—I get it! It is our exercise for the day.

Now we sit and wait again. People are shifting around, buying books, coffee, and boxed pizza in anticipation of a “fun” flight home. What do you suppose is the average expenditure spent at an airport while waiting for flights? (Including the bottled water, because it cannot be carried through security. )

I am now aboard the plane. This is a first! My seat leans backward. Usually, the button for my seat will not allow my seat to recline. Oh, but this is special—this one swings back without my help. My apologies to Mr. Passenger behind me. If having your seat back upright is VERY important according the flight attendants, why is mine OK to lean backwards during the entire flight?

I just realized I have lost my new pink neck pillow. I believe it must have fallen during the rush for the gate change. Why do these $20 neck pillows not have a clip or latch to hook it to your carry-on?

Why do airplanes go from stifling hot (unthawing frozen passengers) to freezing cold during the flights? (“Oh, I am sorry we don’t have any more blankets.")

Ah, the joys of air travel! Although I write this with a tongue in cheek attitude, I am grateful that I will be home in 2 ½ hours. Yippee! It’s worth it, right?

OH NO! We’re delayed for at least an hour. They won’t let us off the plane, because why?

Thank you, Lord, for electronics--I-pod, I-phone, laptop, and an audio book. What would I do without them? Smiles!

Home at last—2 hours late—but home. Thanks to the wonderful American Airline pilots who landed the plane with barely a bump, although the wind was gusting up to 60 miles an hour. Good job! Air travel can be tedious, but the pilots and flight attendants do a great job.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Memory of Mocha

In Memory of My Mocha


Good-bye, Moocha Mocha.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

As we talk about aging, one of the blessings of aging is watching your children become adults. For myself, my children are now my best friends. I have a blast with them--no one can make me laugh harder or smile more.

Here's a picture of my son when he was almost three. Every Christmas season I set out this picture as a reminder of my blessing and how fast time flies.

More years than I care to count have passed since this was photo was taken. But here's why we can rejoice as years turn into decades. The next photo is of my grandson taken recently. It was created to mirror his daddy's photo.

So again, I will revel in this picture and treasure my time with the most precious people I know. I will smile and laugh--bring on those laugh lines!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

But wait, there's more!

A couple of days ago I told you about the Christian Book Expo in Dallas March 19th-22nd. But wait, there is more. Not only will there be over 200 authors to meet and sign your books, but there is going to be a "Picnic with the Authors" sponsored by Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Here's your personal invitation from AWSA!

You and your friends are invited to have lunch with bestselling Christian women authors for our first ever luncheon with the authors INSIDE the Dallas Convention Center. Come to meet the women you already know on the pages of your favorite books, enjoy our book giveaways, prizes, book signings and more. Please have a bite to eat with us!

When: March 21st
Where: The Christian Book Expo at the Dallas Convention Center's Women's Luncheon Conference room
Time: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
How to purchase a ticket(s): Click HERE

Every table will be hosted by one of the many authors, myself included, who are sponsoring this special event. There will be great food, good conversation and fantastic books. What more can an avid reader want?

Please join us at the Christian Book Expo and the Picnic with the Authors!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Christian Book Expo--Coming Soon

The Christian Book Expo is just around the corner. What is CBE? It is a new conference designed for those who love Christian books. It is being held in Dallas March 19th-22nd. It will be an exciting conference filled with opportunities to meet your favorite authors and get your books signed. Here’s a glimpse of what the weekend holds for you!

· More than 200 of your favorite Christian authors
· 150 transforming seminars led by authors
· Tens of thousands of Christian books
· Nightly inspirational events
· KidZone

I will be there beginning on Friday morning, March 20th. My book signing is at the New Hope Publishers booth at 12:00 pm. Please stop by and say “Hi,” receive a book and a hug!

Also, our own Lysa TerKeurst and Suzanne Eller will be there along with over 200 other authors. WOW! For a “bookaholic” like me, it sounds like a perfect weekend. For more information click on the link below.


Hope you can make it! It is a one of a kind conference designed for you—the Christian book lover.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fear of Aging

My grandmother was not the friendliest person on earth. She paid little attention to me and rarely remembered my name. No, she certainly was not a huggy, kissy, sweet type of lady. I was afraid of her.

When I was a little girl I would look at my grandmother and shudder. She seemed so decrepit. I was probably about six. She was probably in her mid-sixties. I remember the deep purple veins that crept up her legs like spiders. Her nylon stockings pulled up to pudgy bulging knees. The dark circles under her eyes hunkered down next to her nose as she breathed heavily. Her sagging chin waved at me when she shook her head at me. But it was the underlying seething bitterness that frightened me the most. Her attitude was, "I am hateful and proud of it!"

YIKES! My little girl mind shrieked, "I hope I never look or act like that!" The thought of me be being like her was terrifying to a six-year-old's imagination. It still does make me pause and consider things about old age.

What scares you the most about growing old?

  • wrinkles

  • veins

  • age spots

  • bitterness

  • loneliness

  • weight gain/loss

  • anger

  • health issues

Well, sure enough, I am beginning to develop many of those scary physical characteristics. But I will not allow myself to become a cranky, bitter old woman. I am determined to age gracefully and more importantly to be grace-filled.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

Can I hear an "Amen!" ?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Don't be Cowardly about Aging!

How many of you read the P31 Magazine this month? If you haven’t—read it!

I thought the article “Permission to get Old” was thought provoking. The author, Karen O’Neil Velasquez, nailed the truth about our youth oriented culture. How many of us look in the mirror everyday and shriek, “Yikes! Who is that person? When did that new wrinkle form? Is that actually an age spot that I see?” “They” say that 50 is the new 30—BALONEY. Ladies we need to unite, be our age and act our age. Here’s one way to do it and “age gracefully.”

I belong to a small group of women who meet every Tuesday evening for Bible study. One of our “girls” is significantly younger than the rest of us. We love to tease her about the upcoming changes that will soon take place within her beautiful body—skin tags, nose hairs, hot sweats, etc. I think you can imagine her horrified expressions. If one of us hasn’t completed the lesson we just use the excuse we couldn’t find our reading glasses. She gulps and tries to smile encouragingly. Honestly, I don’t know why she still hangs out with us.

But together we chuckle about the reality of aging. We are giving each other permission to laugh and create a few more laugh lines. There is no stopping it—well, unless you go to heaven.

So don’t be a coward about aging. It is going to happen to everyone. Let’s laugh in the face of it and agree with Ms. Velasquez, “Permission to get old simply means a course of correction in my thought process. It means that I begin to value what God valued all along.” Curious? Find a copy of the P31 Magazine and read the article.

Then laugh with your friends as you age gracefully together.