Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for November, 2010

How to…

…wake up a soul. It’s not as easy as it might sound. You can’t use any of the normal, obvious ways:

1. You can’t pour cold water over its head. It doesn’t like that very much, and doesn’t feel the temperature of the water very well.

2. You can’t bang a pot in its ear while yelling, “IT’S TIME TO GET UP!!!!!!!!!!!!” I’m afraid this proves to be just as ineffective.

3. There is no little sibling to send in to jump on the bed….a dog doesn’t work either. The enthusiastic licking of the face is meaningless to the soul

4. Fanning a giant pile of pancakes under its nose may tempt the person housing the soul, but the soul will simply roll over and continue napping. The smell of coffee won’t work either.

5. Stomping around on the floor around the bed or even shaking the bed will not suffice either, I’m afraid.

Alas, then, how does one awake the soul? I wish I had an answer for you. It takes time and nurturing, or at least mine does. It prefers to wake up on its own terms, but sometimes it’ll startle you when it does finally say “Good morning” because it comes out in more like a peppy cheerleader than a sleepy toddler. Either way, enjoy it while it’s awake, because life’s much darker when it’s sleeping.

In Honor and Memory…

I didn’t know Cassi very well. I saw her once a week for a semester as we met in Dr. Sanders’ office for class. It was just the two of us in our “Spiritual Practices” class. I remember being nervous. I always get nervous when I meet new people. I clam up and can’t say a darn thing that sounds intelligent. I wish I could. I wish it would pour out of me like a normal person. She seemed like the person who was friends with everyone she met. Her faith in God was stronger than mine had ever been; I envied that in her. I could only dream of a faith that strong and secure.

Cassi died in June 2010. It was a rare issue. I don’t even know all the details. Good ol’ Facebook helped to fill in some of the gaps. The point was she was only 20 years old. She didn’t eve get to see her 21st birthday. Her death, as tragic as it was, left an imprint so big that the Warner University campus has still not recovered from it. Suddenly, this Christian based campus is asking the hard questions of “why, God, why? Why her? Why now?” We’re forced to wrestle with the unanswerable and deal with the silence; but God is working. There’s a Brooklyn Tabernacle song entitled “God is working”. It’s a beautiful piece of lyrical mastery. It’s also a simple truth that speaks volumes.

I only knew her truly for a semester. She said “hi” every time she saw me. I still think of her whenever I pass by the Ministry building. She left an imprint on my soul. I want to develop her faith. I wish we would’ve had time to sit and talk about it; I wish she had more time, for her sake and others; I wish I could help those hurting more than me. Instead, I pray. I ask God to help me honor her memory through my own faith and never forget her. I don’t ever want to forget her, even though I barely knew her.

A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann

Noelle St. Claire is on the run. She jumps at every shadow and cringes at the loud noises. The bruise on her wrist aches as she sits on the bus headed….somewhere. It doesn’t matter where. She just has to go.

Meanwhile, her father, a wealthy and high-powered defense lawyer, and her ex-fiancee have no idea where she has gone. She only left a cryptic message for her father saying she was ok…but was she really?

Her ex-fiancee, Michael, seems to be acting peculiar. Does he know something?

Noelle finds her way to Rick Spencer’s ranch in Colorado. Against his better judgment, he allows her to rent a room in the main house – his house. Being a Christian establishment, his hesitancy is only natural because of his polished reputation. Having a single woman stay in his house would be inappropriate, but he seems the broken, brittle look in her eyes and takes pity on her.

Noelle begins a journey to find herself and piece together fragments of images haunting her dreams. What happened to her? Why is she running? Will she ever stop shaking uncontrollably?

I loved this book! I cannot tell a lie. I picked it up two days ago and just finished all 382 pages about an hour ago. It was a very satisfying read and I look forward to picking up more of Ms. Heitzmann’s novels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

My Birthday Extravaganza Part 1 & 2


This part occurred on my actual birthday, Thursday November 4. Unfortunately, my 8:00 am class would not take a day off for my birthday so I had to go to class and chapel. In between the two, my darling husband and Jamison C. Smith arrived to say hello. Jamison awarded me with my first birthday present: a bright pink Warner University sweatshirt! Yay! I loved it! It was very nice and fuzzy. After chapel, the three of us moseyed down to Avon Park to have lunch at the Depot (one of my favorite small town restaurants). I still love that they remember us when we go there. Chris and I used to go on dates there pre-budget and marriage so it was nice to go back. After lunch, we did a little clothes shopping for Mr. Smith who was about to start a new job at the previously mentioned University. Several outfits later, we parted ways and headed back home. Chris had to work that night at 5, but he pulled some strings to get off early so we could go to Lakeland for dinner. During the in-between time, Ms. Tara Bent arrived at my door with a surprise cupcake cake in the shape of an ice cream cone. She made it herself! It was very sweet of her and her husband, Jimmy, to bring it by and completely surprise me! (Thanks again, you two!) Then I picked up Chris at 8 and we headed over to Lakeland to have dinner at BD’s Mongolian Grill. I had a BOGO coupon so I ate for free because it was my birthday (even better!). Then we came back home and Chris gave me a present – my long anticipated Nora Roberts book that had been released two days earlier. Yes, I’m already done reading it. Part one continued with a pedicure with Tara Bent on Friday (my toes are still adorable). It’s been my first pedicure since my wedding, which is crazy to think that so much time has passed. I loved having quality girl time, though, because for me that’s about as rare as pedicures are so it was great and will hopefully be a tradition for Tara and me. Then on Saturday, we had lunch with the in-laws to celebrate my birthday and spend time with them.


Part two took place in Orlando on Friday the 12th. Chris booked us a hotel room at the Gaylord Palms!!!!!! and we were meeting six friends for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Jamison was nice enough to take Casey (dog) for the weekend so we didn’t have to worry about him. We went to Orlando around noon and had lunch at Chick-fil-a; after that we headed to I-Drive and went to see the movie “Morning Glory” with Rachel McAdams. It was a great movie with a fabulous moral about separating work and home. It was really cute. I told Chris we need to buy it when it comes out. For dessert, we split some Coldstone Creamery ice cream and then headed to our hotel where we relaxed for about an hour before going to the restaurant to put our name on the waiting list. The wait was around an hour and everyone else got there about 30 minutes after we did. Once we were seated, we enjoyed each other’s company for about 2 hours at the table. It was so much fun! We took pictures, shared food and drinks, and laughed over and over again. Even our waitress joined in. It was a fabulous night! We got back to the hotel around 10 and I was done. I slept until about 9:30 the next morning too. Once the room the was packed, we checked out and headed to Five Guys for lunch, then went to the mall for some wandering and shopping. After the mall, we relaxed at the bookstore before heading home. We made it home in time for Chris to go to work that night.

I almost get a part three for my birthday too with the arrival of a package from my folks which should be here on Monday or Tuesday of this upcoming week. That’ll be a bright light during my week of homework galore.

All in all, this has been a marvelous birthday experience! Thanks, sweetheart, for making it fabulous!

Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

After graduate school, Amy Gallagher is left to her own devices. She’s on the verge of turning 30 and with rejection letters piling up from publishers, she’s feeling out of control. The college she graduated from offered her an adjunct teaching job that has her teaching Freshman English. Not exactly her dream job.

Meanwhile, her roommate Zoe’s writing career is taking off with a publication in a nationally read magazine. If this doesn’t set Amy enough on edge about her future, Zoe also brings home an old friend who needs a place to stay for a while, Eli. Suddenly, Amy’s life is being turned upside down and she attempts to gain a little control only to have everything come crashing down around her again and again.

In the midst of everything, she learns a whole new aspect of her faith in God through a student of hers who recently lost her sister. Suddenly, Amy realizes her efforts to control everything might actually be stifling her ability to live life.

This book hit home for me. The control freak in me cringed as the author perfectly described my own issues through the life of Amy Gallagher. This insightful story is quite the page turner and I barely was capable of putting it down.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


I’m “lucky I’m in love with my best friend” in the words of Jason Mraz. I love my husband. I don’t think I say it often enough. So here I go:

* I am blessed beyond belief to have married a man who respects me and my dreams enough to put his on hold so I can accomplish what I need to.

*I am so thankful to be treasured at much as I am by a man who does the dishes for me because he knows I hate it or walks the dog every night because he knows I get a little jumpy at  night.

*I married a man who, even though he doesn’t care much about birthdays, goes out of his way to make sure that mine is amazing and event-filled.

*He loves me exactly like I am…i.e. He doesn’t mind the fact that I never wear make up so much so that when I do get really dolled up, he doesn’t even have words.

*He brings me a cherry coke when I’m at school just because it’s my birthday week.

*He works hard to meet my needs, whatever they may be.

There are so many other things I could mention but I will leave it at this. He’s amazing and he’s all mine. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. I love you, Christopher Weatherly.

My Life Since Saturday…

Here we go:

SATURDAY: It was an AMAZING day! I had been planning for Saturday for months! Why? It was photo shoot Saturday. Chris and I had an appointment with the very talented Tara Bent (and her husband Jimmy tagged along) at the Leu Gardens in Orlando. We met up with them at 9 a.m. and got to the gardens shortly after 10 a.m. Tara did my makeup because I’m hopeless at even attempting and then we traipsed around the gardens for two hours taking pictures at every stopping point we could. It was such a blast! Hundreds of pictures later, we left around noon and went to eat at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. It was very yummy and the atmosphere was so cool, but the prices were a bit steep for us. It was a great experience, and a great day all around. That evening was dedicated to homework so I won’t bore you with those details.

SUNDAY: Church always takes up a majority of our Sundays. Chris went to both services and I just went to the second service. After that, we came home and ate the lunch I had prepared with five other friends of ours. We had an herb-encrusted pork loin with homemade mashed potatoes. It’s one of my favorites! Yum! Then we all just hung out until Chris and Jamison went to high school small groups at JJ’s house. At around 5:45 p.m. I picked up Chris and we met up with the Alberts for some trick-or-treating with their family, and wrapped up the evening with dinner at Applebee’s.

MONDAY: The morning was preparing for my group presentation and the afternoon full of classes. It was uber busy. I don’t think I stopped much at all during the day. I had to present in two different classes so it was just craziness.

Now, it’s Tuesday. Today I have vowed to relax from homework for the rest of the day. I am not picking up a textbook, nor am I studying for some upcoming test. I am blogging, then cleaning, then finding something artsy to do, and possibly a nap if I feel like it.

So there you have it, my crazy busy weekend. Toodles.

Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron

Chase Falson’s faith fell apart. After two years of attempting to suppress his spiritual questions and struggles, he breaks down…in front of his whole congregation of thousands during a Sunday morning service. Needless to say, things did not go well.

After the sudden aftermath of being asked by the church elders to take a undetermined leave of absence, Chase calls the person he his closest to other than his therapist: his Uncle Kenny, who happens to live in Italy and happens to be a Franciscan monk.

Kenny urges Chase to come to Italy on a pilgrimage and follow the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. His journey over the next two months changes Chase’s entire perspective on Christianity and the purpose of the church. When he finally returns home to Connecticut, he has to face the members of his congregation and his elders. Will they accept him back? Will he be able to apply the lessons he learned in Italy to life in Connecticut?

This book challenged my faith. The history that litters the pages fascinated me and yearned to keep reading and learning. The end of the book contains questions for each chapter if you want to use it in a book club. All in all, I would recommend this book to just about everyone.

Thank you, NavPress Publishing, for my free copy! The opinions expressed are completely my own and I was not pushed to write a positive review. I just happened to truly love the book.

City On Our Knees by TobyMac

Anthologies are something TobyMac knows about. Back when he was a member of DC Talk, they published a series known as Jesus Freaks, which contained a collection of stories about martyrs. The book gained so much momentum that they published multiple ones, and continue to publish them today.

With this new book inspired by his chart-topping song “City on Our Knees”, he gathers together stories from all over the nation of people who are trying to live out Jesus’ principles in everyday scenarios.

Each unit is entitled after a section of the lyrics in his song, such as “If we gotta start sometime, why not now?” or “We are one choice from together”. The stories range from raising money to help cure a vicious disease to moving to Africa to help the orphans over there to overcoming life-altering obstacles.

Despite the various stories, the main idea of the entire book speaks volumes: by placing our trust and faith in Jesus, ordinary people can accomplish anything. It does not matter how old you are, where you were born, or if you are a boy or a girl. The world is aching for someone to help those inhabiting it, so in the words of TobyMac, “If we gotta start sometime, why not now?”

Thank you, Bethany House Publishers, for my free copy!

Tag Cloud