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Learning to Write from a Kite

This is what they looked like after we tried to fly them. And this is also what they looked like before we tried to fly them. Parents of future high school students, take heed: The Tetrahedral Kite Project is a mess. How do I know? Well, I watched my students flying their lovely creations with their Algebra II class, and I was intrigued enough to want to make one. "Are they hard to put together?" I'd asked later, when a couple sophomores arrived to my room. They told me it wasn't difficult to build a tetrahedral kite, but it took a long time. There were YouTube videos aplenty, they said. The day after school released for the summer, I gathered the YouTube-recommended supplies and went to see my nieces and nephew. Their kitchen table became my laboratory, and we proceeded to build four kites, one for each of them. That's right, four tetrahedral kites. (This is what I do, see: I get a pretty good idea, and then I take it to the crazy level). Just try to make four ...

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Praying When It’s Hard

When it is hard for me to pray, I turn to a tiny library of three books that have grown to mean a lot to me. They are one of the resources I point toward first when people ask me how to pray effectively for their children, husband, or friends. This tiny library is the Power of a Praying ... series by Stormie Omartian. She offers 30 days of prayers on certain subjects of great concern to all of us. Bible-verses support every prayer written in the book. I pray through them by the day of the month, meaning, if it is the 14th day of the month, then I will pray prayer #14. I first purchased The Power of a Praying Wife to have a guide in praying for the men in my family. I even wrote over the word "Wife" on the cover, penning "Sister" in gold ink. As I read through The Power of a Praying Sister, I changed all of the pronouns, of course, so that whenever a marriage relationship was specifically referenced, I mentioned a name other than mine. For instance, when I read sentences like, ...

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Our List of Things To Do

Today I came across a verse that left me mute. I'd read it a thousand times, had seen it emblazoned on mugs and posters and all manner of faith-phernalia. But it is another thing to paint it across my heart. Today, there are things I would like to address in a friendship, hard conversations I am ready to have. I didn't sleep well last night, thinking about how I would phrase certain complaints. Instead of resting, I crafted my defense. This morning, I showered and readied, then sat down to read the Bible and pray, asking for His strength as I go about my confrontation later in the day. Shh. Do not open your mouth to correct anyone. This is not the business I have for you today. I have other things for you to do, I heard Him say. True, I had much on my plate, but I had planned to make the hard conversation part of it. Shh. Do only what I ask of you, He said. Uggh! Defending myself was not on the list of things God had planned for me today, as I was hoping it would be. ...

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Starting the Project God Put on Your Heart

Right now, I am wrapping up a writing project that God put on my heart. Finishing a manuscript is a lot of frustration and a lot of fun. In a couple days, it will be time to begin my favorite part: going back to page one and reading through everything I have written, tweaking and rearranging and deleting. I have written four manuscripts in my lifetime. Twelve Clean Pages (2011) was self-published, Hunting Hope (2016) and Everyday Genesis (2017) were traditionally published, and one finished manuscript has not been published at all ... yet. The one I am now finishing will be my fifth. Yet, this project is different from any other writing project I have done because it is fiction. I have always wanted to write fiction, but I never have because it scared me. When I say I have always wanted to write fiction, I mean ALWAYS. My earliest writing memories are of me at 10 years old, sitting at a typewriter in my bedroom, inventing stories about the high jinks of Texas teenagers who go on ...

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Be Careful What You Promise

When I was in elementary school, my mother made my brother and me homemade costumes for trick-or-treating every October. One year, we were Raggedy Ann and Andy, wearing calico jumpers and wigs made from red yarn that she had pulled, strand by strand, through a pair of stockings we stretched over our heads. Another year, He was a pirate, and I was a baby doll (the sweet and innocent kind, circa 1984, not the kind you find in the costume racks at Walmart these days). Sometimes my mother sewed the costumes from patterns, like my poodle skirt and those Raggedy Ann and Andy get-ups. But even when they were created from a mishmash of items we had around the house, I thought we had the best costumes around. Later, as an adult, I offered to make a homemade Halloween costume for a boy who was a family friend. At the time, he was ten. I promised him that homemade costumes could be just as good or better than purchased costumes. I promised him I was an experienced seamstress and creative ...

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Forty Is the New … Beginning

There is a screenshot I keep on the desktop of my computer. Every once in a while, I open it and get tears in my eyes. I look at that screenshot and remember the day, feeling the emotion all over my body, not just in my mind or heart. It is in the tightness of my stomach, in the thinness of my breath, in the tingling of my fingers, in the sudden burning in my legs, the urge to run away. On this day in 2015, I had $6.48 in the bank. I owed $120,121.03 to the bank. And I had another credit card at $12,000. And I had a car loan at $10,000. And a student loan at $68,000. I was 41 years old. Why is 40 such a critical age marker? In America, we make a lot of dangerous inner vows, saying that we will earn or save a certain amount of money by the time we are 40. Nobody ever said we were supposed to do all the most important stuff by the time we are 40, but that is the lie we live by. We almost swear outright that we will accomplish, see, do, have, be something by that ...

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Please Join My Book Launch Team!

On December 12, Everyday Genesis will be in bookstores. But nobody buys a book they don't know about. Will you help me get the word out by being on my book launch team? I need you!  We want this book in the hands of anyone who longs to know their purpose and spiritual gifts in Jesus. We are accepting up to 50 team members, and would love it if you were one of them. Please fill out the confidential application by clicking the link below. CLICK HERE SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave ...

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