Thoughtful Thursdays

Musings on faith, family, & fiction

Poor Marmalade
Yesterday was my husband David's birthday, Monday is our 23rd wedding anniversary, and so I thought it would be fun today to just share some of our silliness. These are a few of the inside jokes that we laugh endlessly over. And just something fun for the occasions....
Take Up Your Sword
In Luke 22, Jesus tells His disciples during the Last Supper that the time has come to have swords, and that if they don't have them, they should sell their cloak to buy one. It's a curious passage, isn't it? Especially given that when one of them uses that sword...
Pink Isn’t My Color
Pink Isn't My Color How We Decide What Becomes Part of Our Identities   I had called the week before--both my primary care's office and the radiology place that had done the biopsy. I'd been waiting two weeks for the results...but everyone was out of town, on...
Update on Roseanna
Well, here I am, 10 days after my first infusion of chemotherapy. So many of you have reached out privately to say you're praying and ask how I'm doing--and many just say you're praying and don't want to be a bother so say I don't have to reply, LOL. So I thought I'd...

Though a novelist by trade, one of the trademarks of my books is the spiritual depth and exploration I includes as my characters work through what it really means to walk out their faith. Faith, in fact, is one of the things I like to ponder most. In these once-a-week articles, I gets thoughtful at the crossroads of faith, family, and fiction.

Throwback Thursday – The Inspiration

Throwback Thursday – The Inspiration

Original post published January 10, 2019 We serve a gracious God, don’t we? Not only has He given us His Son, His Word, but He continues to speak and minister to us today. As a creative, I can tell you in all honesty that there are many days when I just have to...

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Unworthy but Willing

Unworthy but Willing

 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”~ Isaiah 6:8 We all know that verse, right? There are songs about it. It's a key verse for missionaries around the world. It encapsulates the...

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Who Are Our Enemies?

Who Are Our Enemies?

In our family devotional time, I've been noticing a trend in many of the psalms and canticles . . . there is a lot of talk about enemies. It's in the songs . . . it's in the prophecies . . . it's in the praises. The writers of both Old and New Testaments talk a lot...

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Eyes to See

Eyes to See

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your...

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Crosses of Purpose

Crosses of Purpose

I've done a lot of thinking and writing over the years about the Cross of Christ, and what that means for our crosses, too. I've mused about our Lord's dread of the cross, being willing to give up everything to take up that cross and follow Him, and why one of the...

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Introducing Patrons & Peers

Introducing Patrons & Peers

Ever since I was girl, I knew what my calling was: writing. Specifically, to write novels that show people the beauty of faith, the glory of God, and how our lives are richer when they’re lived with Him. I love to use human romances, well-drawn and in amazing...

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2022 Word of the Year – Devotion

2022 Word of the Year – Devotion

What am I devoted to? This is a question that had been weighing more and more on my mind as 2021, my "intentional" year, drew to a close. I've trained myself to really evaluate how I'm spending my time and energy, and I'm so pleased with how "Intentional" did indeed...

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Word of the Year Reflection – Intentional

Word of the Year Reflection – Intentional

My Word of the Year for 2021 was "Intentional." (You can read my January 1 post about the choice here.) And now, as 2021 draws to a close, it's time to look back over the last twelve months and reflect on how I lived that out or didn't. Unlike most of my previous...

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People, Events, Ideas

People, Events, Ideas

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "Great minds discuss ideas;average minds discuss events;small minds discuss people." I think if we're being honest, we all do all of those things...so let's take the idea of "minds" out of it and assume that we're all capable of discussing...

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Coming and Eternal

Coming and Eternal

We are officially in the Advent season. I love that this is the traditional beginning of the Church's year--the time we mark, waiting expectantly for Jesus. Living as we do so long after Him, we obviously know that He came...but we continue to pause and reflect and...

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My Unceasing Thanksgiving

My Unceasing Thanksgiving

"Why do I follow you? Because you are who you are, Lord, and because I rejoice in having been called by you. Let the swiftness of my feet in following you be my unceasing thanksgiving." ~ Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word When I read those words a few weeks ago, they...

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Shine Like the Stars

Shine Like the Stars

Those who are wise shall shineLike the brightness of the firmament,And those who turn many to righteousnessLike the stars forever and ever.~ Daniel 12:3 Having not grown up in churches that strictly follow the Liturgy, I didn't realize until recently that the...

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Quiet Warriors

Quiet Warriors

One year ago, I shared about "The Day That Changed Everything...and Nothing" -- the day my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. That day that, had we lived in the eras I so love to write about it, he would have died. I know I've mentioned this new life a few other...

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Not a Virtue

Not a Virtue

This begins in a rather silly place, but bear with me. When we went on vacation to the beach in September and I was slathering on the sunscreen and noting the amount of tan I was getting each day through walking and spending the morning at the water, I realized...

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Easy Answers…or Deep Questions?

Easy Answers…or Deep Questions?

When a family is made up of a novelist wife and her publisher/filmmaker husband, there are a lot of conversations in the house about story--what makes them powerful, what makes them fail. What makes them lasting, what makes them forgettable. A few weeks ago as David...

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A Storytelling People

A Storytelling People

We are a storytelling people. It only takes a look at modern society to see the truth of it. Our advertisements, our movies, our books, our games...we love them and are persuaded by them not because they tell us facts or make promises. We are persuaded and enchanted...

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Fruit

Fruit

Not going too far back for today's throwback post...Revisiting FRUIT. Original Post Published February 27, 2020. We love fruit in our family. Fresh fruit, canned fruit, dried fruit, jammed fruit, fruit from our own garden, or fruit from the other side of the world. We...

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The Mismatched

The Mismatched

A little throwback post today...Talking about the mismatched Original Post Published June 2, 2016. When I got married, I filled out a registry. A wish list. It had on it all the things one would expect–dishes and cookware, sheets and towels. All of them, sets....

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Where Risk and Faith Meet

Where Risk and Faith Meet

I want to talk today about where risks and faith meet. And how we walk the line between "foolish for Christ" and just foolish. I'm not saying I have all the answers on where that line is...but I am saying we all need to ask the questions, and I think I've seen a good...

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39 Things

39 Things

Last year I had great fun with my "38 Things" post, and on my anniversary in June I had a blast with "20 things" about marriage. So of course, I have to keep up the tradition and give you "39 Things" from this past year. =) My birthday is on Saturday, but I figure...

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Because of the Storms

Because of the Storms

"And immediately [after feeding the 5,000] He compelled His disciples to get into the boat and to go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. And having said farewell to them, He departed to the mountain to pray. And evening having...

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Not Blank Slates

Not Blank Slates

A couple years ago, a newsletter email came into my inbox from Tricia Goyer. It was on New Year's Day, I believe, and was introducing a new Facebook group she'd created, called Write That Book! (Great group, by the way). But part of her intro was a musing that has...

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Thowback Thursday. . . Book Lovers

Thowback Thursday. . . Book Lovers

***Today's Throwback post was originally published January 7, 2010*** I will never forget my shock. There I sat, an innocent, in the admissions office at my college. All around me were the usual people that made up my day--the admissions counselors, the office...

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Other People’s Problems

Other People’s Problems

We've all heard some version of this wisdom, whether it's an anecdote, an object lesson, or a punchline: if you want to feel better about your problems, just look at someone else's. You're going to be far happier with your own than theirs. The irony, of course, being...

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Approaching the Throne

Approaching the Throne

Way back in the day, when I wrote Jewel of Persia, I had to study not only the book of Esther and Old Testament history, but Persian history as well. It was interesting to learn that Xerxes was called "the king of kings" because of the vastness of his empire, and the...

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The Right Gospel

The Right Gospel

When you read through the epistles, there's a common theme to many of them: Paul is admonishing them for following after false versions of Christianity. Listening to teachers or prophets who said Christ wasn't fully man or fully God . . . getting tangled back up in...

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What He Asks of Us

What He Asks of Us

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."~ John 3:16 It's the most memorized verse of the Bible. One we know so well and see so often that we probably don't really pause to think about it anymore. But the other week in church, it was one of...

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Twenty Years and Twenty Things

Twenty Years and Twenty Things

Today's my 20th wedding anniversary, so I thought I'd steal a page from my new birthday tradition and enumerate Twenty Things...things I've learned through marriage, things I've loved, things that I take joy in remembering, things that have helped make me who I am....

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The Purpose of Passion: A Million Little Fires

The Purpose of Passion: A Million Little Fires

The Purpose of Passion A Million Little Fires There's something in this world that you're passionate about, something that really stirs you to action. A cause you want to advocate for, that you're willing to suffer for. Maybe it's racial reconciliation. Or the rights...

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Warriors of Praise

Warriors of Praise

In II Chronicles 20, we get the story of Jehoshephat, one of the godly, faithful kings of Judah. He was a good king. He loved the Lord and sought Him in all things. But enemies were coming against them, a vast army made up of three kingdoms united for the purpose of...

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Thoughtful About . . . His Kingdom

Thoughtful About . . . His Kingdom

The other week while I was in Ocracoke, my morning devotional began with this passage from Acts 1:4-9 (NKJV): 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you...

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Good Friday – Dayenu

Good Friday – Dayenu

Today is the Thursday before Resurrection Day. The day before Good Friday. A day I'll be spending in part making unleavened bread and apple clay . . . we're not having an official seder this year, but eating these familiar, symbolic foods will help me get my head out...

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Walking Worthy

Walking Worthy

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.”~ Ephesians 4:1 (NKJV)   Walk worthy of the calling. This is a phrase that's been lingering in my heart and mind for the last year, ever since I really...

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Imitation or Truth

Imitation or Truth

Last week my husband was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray -- a book that neither of us had read before, though we assumed we knew what it was about. Turns out our preconceptions were a bit off, LOL. As he was reading, he would update me on what was going on in the...

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When Fear Whispers

When Fear Whispers

Fear. As Christians, we know we’re not supposed to live in it. We have all the awesome verses to trot out in proof. And I even hear it as the reason behind not wanting to be cautious–we don’t want to live in fear, after all. I admit it: I’ve said the same things...

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Interruptions

Interruptions

Interruptions. We all know them. And we all hate them (unless of course we're being interrupted in a task we don't want to do, LOL). They are distractions. They are things that keep us from doing what we want to be doing, or what we should be doing. They are those...

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Free But Costly

Free But Costly

In the book world, there's a lot of talk about whether it's worthwhile to give things away for free. People are of multiple mindsets on this. Some think it's a great way to draw in new readers. Others think it devalues our work. What I know is this: when I get...

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In Abba’s Arms

In Abba’s Arms

Over the weekend, I had a dream that my kids were little again. That Rowyn was maybe 18 months, and he was crying from another room. I heard him so went to find him, and he looked up at me as he did in reality a million times, saw me, stretched up his arms, and just...

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What We Do Next

What We Do Next

"Our faith isn't all the things we say we believe; it's what we do next."~ Bob Goff, Live in Grace, Walk in Love   That. 😉 I feel like I could just leave you with that quote--shortest blog post ever, LOL. Because really, it says it so well, doesn't it? It...

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Love the Sinner

Love the Sinner

Love the sinner, hate the sin. You've heard this saying. I know you have. I've been hearing it all my life, and in its truest sense, it's right. We are certainly called to hate sin. And we are certainly called the love everyone, neighbors and enemies alike. That...

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Do We Look Like This?

Do We Look Like This?

Tomorrow is the inauguration here in the US. And the word tense doesn't begin to describe the state of America right now. I don't know your political stance or who you voted for. I don't need to know. But if you're reading my blog, chances are pretty good that you're...

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Seeing the Story

Seeing the Story

I've always believed that stories change the world. This is no surprise--it is, in fact, one of the reasons I love writing novels, editing novels, publishing novels, and designing covers for novels. I believe in the power of fiction to touch hearts and tug on souls....

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Word of the Year – Intentional

Word of the Year – Intentional

Looking for insight into how to choose an intentional Word of the Year?Check out that post here.As 2020 wound to a close, my best friend and I were talking about a Word for the year to come. I mentioned how I usually come to mine...namely, I pray about it and wait for...

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The Third Way

The Third Way

A couple weeks ago at Bible study, we were talking about our reactions to things like aggression and violence done to us or our families. We saw, of course, the human response--"hurt my kids and I'll go all mama-bear on you." And then we dwelled a while on the...

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Being Thankful…Especially Now

Being Thankful…Especially Now

In the U.S., we have one week until Thanksgiving. I won't be posting on the day itself as I normally would on a Thursday, so I wanted to share some thoughts on it now. Something to help us all get our minds contemplating the purpose as we move into Thanksgiving week....

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The Day That Changed Everything…and Nothing

The Day That Changed Everything…and Nothing

If we lived a hundred years ago, my son would be dead. That's something that has haunted me this last month. I can't tell you how many times, as I write historical fiction, that I wish I lived in a different time, or could at least experience it. But I can't wish that...

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Hope and the Image of God

Hope and the Image of God

I've recently begun listening to a really great (specialized) podcast called "Juicebox," from a dad of a Type 1 Diabetic. Many years ago he started a blog called "Arden's Day," back in the day when there weren't any others, and he is now one of the best-known voices...

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Who Are Our Allies?

Who Are Our Allies?

It's election season here in the US when I'm writing this post. If you've followed me for very long, you'll have noticed that I never voice an opinion on politics per se. I have zero political agenda and, frankly, next to zero interest in politics, LOL. But I do have...

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The Sins of a Nation

The Sins of a Nation

I’m honored to be part of a new blog series about racial reconciliation, hosted by Alexis Goring, focused on how we as Christians can be the change we want to see in our world. In preparation for this, I’ve been reading a few books to help me better understand the...

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Big, God-Inspired Dreams

Big, God-Inspired Dreams

I'm a dreamer. I've always been one. I've dreamed of everything from being a princess with a magical winged unicorn to being a teacher who inspires kids to love learning. I've dreamed of discovering new species of dinosaurs and of striking it rich with a diamond mine...

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