... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sad & Happy Faces

When I taught little children, I had flipping mirror. One of those on a wire stand, that you could turn from the normal mirror over to a magnifying mirror. I had cut bright yellow paper to cover the mirrors. On one side I glued two large google eyes, a red pompom for a nose and a large smile; the other side was the same except the smile was turned upside. Yep, a frown.

When the children were well behaved the happy face reigned. The children ignored it most of the time, once its newness wore off. But when a behavior began to go out of control, I spoke not a word and turned the mirror to the sad side. Then I sat quietly and waited. Soon, someone would notice and I'd hear, "Oh, no!" They all knew that the fun stuff stopped when Mr. Sad Face was home. Peer pressure still works as children would rather have fun then do nothing. It never took long for Mr. Happy Face to return. No frustration on my part: therefore, no trying to be heard over little ones voices. Most of the time the offender or offenders realized that all the children were watching them and quit whatever they were doing. If not, one of the children would say something about the mirror and making Ms. Connie happy again. Leadership skills show up at a very young age; and I could always tell who were big brothers or sisters. They took charge.

Well, I am having a mirror flipping day. Happy, then sad; then happy, etc. On my emotion-flexibility days I strive for some balance. Its okay to express your God-given emotions, so I decreased my tissue supply. Next, I try to do something, anything out of the norm' for me. Today is was baking a batch of muffins. Now I am going to curl up with a warm muffin, a cup of tea and read a children's story. Let happy reign!

No Pitiful Pearl Party. Just acceptance that my God is in control even though I don't understand it... and He does not have to explain it to me.

Excuse me, while I fix my Chai tea...

Shalom, Connie

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hoar Frost

Dew turned to frost... turning white like old age. That's how the dictionary defines hoar frost. Outside everything is white with this thick frost- no snow, just heavy white & frosty. The trees are so interesting because the texture of the frost is more hairy than feathery. It is not ice, but the limbs hang low with the extra weight The roads are slippery in the morning until traffic- at least on the main roads- melts the heavy frost. Once every one's in for the evening it is slippery once again.

Being retired I don't have to go out most days until the roads are clear. Instead I watch nature's unique beauty & am thankful that it isn't snow. But if you're into skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, even just snowman making just drive a few miles up the mountain & you'll find all the snow you want..

I love the mountains! They remind me of God the Creator. The regal bearing of the mountain range shows His majesty. The consistency demonstrates that God never changes. The contrasts of rock, waterfalls, springtime wildflowers, winter snow, and evergreen are masterpieces by the God of perfection.

He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes...He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up the breezes, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:16, 18 NIV)


Shalom, Connie

Monday, January 29, 2007

Borrowed Thoughts

Happy moments, praise God
Difficult moments, seek God
Quiet moments, worship God
Painful moments, trust God
Every moment, thank God

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 8

Ahhhhhhhh. Feeling better today. Editing 3 pieces after my attitude adjustment yesterday.
I think I have figured out part of the problem I was having & maybeeeeeeeee a possible solution.
Part of the problem had to do with temporary files; the other might involve conversion. The failed edits were of my Auzzie friend's pieces & are formatted a bit different than our American computer pages.

Going to try it again today. If you hear any screaming coming from Central Oregon, PRAY!

I am not discouraged though; everything will work out! I just have to remember our theme verse from Ephesians.

Our e-book will glorify God! Because it is His. We 4 writers are just His hands at work.
I hope you're excited along with me as our book comes together.
Think how you and/or your church can use it.

Shalom, Connie

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 7


Remember that I mentioned struggles? Today is one of those "I want to scream!" days. I have lost everything that I edited both yesterday & today. Where does this stuff go??? And how do I fix it? Or at least keep it from happening again.

First, I am going to fix my bad attitude & decrease my frustration/stress level by taking a bubble bath. I'd go for a swim except with my respiratory infection still hanging on, it's probably not a good idea. I'll knit or read awhile after my tubbie & then see if my computer & I like each other better. Better idea than computer smashing don't you think?

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Shalom, Connie

Friday, January 26, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 6

On the Production Team I have been learning how to edit. Even though I have much more to learn, I am going to have a go at editing the other writer's pieces. Bonnie will edit mine.

I'm even learning HTLM codes. Aren't you impressed? LOL This computer technology isn't as easy to learn when you're a grandma, you know.
Gotta run.... have editing to do!!!

Shalom, Connie

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 5

Because books are the love of writers, all four of us reflected on books that have a difference in our walk with Christ. They will be listed as well as a brief on-line resource list.

My articles are completed after several re-writes. I am excited & eager to get feedback from my co-writers and our publisher.

As I read the other's hard work, I am amazed at how God has once again orchestrated the outcome of our idea.
We began with a larger group of writers, but several had to drop out, which saddened us greatly. We had come to know each other by then and it felt like losing family.

Our theme idea never wavered. The pieces we wrote changed from our originals, but that is the joy of writing for the Lord versus a publisher, editor or agent. When we give God control of our pen...well, fingers on the keyboard... it is His message that comes through.

Things are coming together!!!

Shalom, Connie

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 4

Although the e-book tends to lean toward women, it can be used in mixed groups or with teens as well.
It contains study questions as well as interactive exercises to complete. Knowing that many personal and small church budgets are limited in what they can purchase, we wanted to make this available for use in a variety of settings.
The possible settings include:
at home as a personal, private study; family study with teens; or for a "Mr. & Mrs." study
small group study in the home or at church
Sunday School series
one day conference or retreat
assisted living or nursing home study
We will include a "How to..." section.

Hope this is peaking your interest!

Shalom, Connie

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 3

The focus of our e-book is Christ's Light in our lives and our readers lives.

I used the idea of a crossroads: being able to see Christ's light on our path
Bonnie highlighted lighthouses - how to develop your light to save others from the danger of the rocky shore.
your light to save others from the danger of the rocky shore.
Kathlyn urged her readers to let their lights shine wherever they are – at home, church and the world
Kathie shared daily lights to encourage readers with real life
examples of what their light should look like in action

The final drafts are being posted for editing. It is very exciting reading each others articles and devotionals.

Tomorrow we will look at how to use this e-book.

Shalom, Connie

Monday, January 22, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 2

Today I'd like you to met my co-writers.

Bonnie lives in Maryland; and is a pastor's wife, mother of 3, grandmother of 5, & retired floral designer. She has authored a novel titled Daughter of Lot. She will be leading a Drama Team for Blessings Abundant this year as well as being a mentor for new Christian writers.

Kathlyn is our Auzzie friend; she is a retired pastor's wife, pianist, mother of 4 and grandmother of 10. I am always talking to her tomorrow today. Did I confuse you? As a night owl, I'm often chatting with her late at night, which is the next day for her time zone. Kathlyn is on a Leadership Team for Blessings Abundant also.

Kathie resides in Maine; is married and a mother also. This her second e-book and she has a book coming out in the spring.

As for me, I am a mentor and on the Production Leadership Team for Blessings Abundant.

All of us write for Reflections online magazine.

Shalom, Connie

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Writing an E-Book, Part 1

Through my Advanced Christian Writing Workshop I have the opportunity to co-author an online book or e-book.
Three other writers and I have chosen Ephesians 5:8 as out theme: "For you were once darkness,but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light." (NIV)

I will be spending this week telling about the blessings and the struggles of this adventure.
I hope you will enjoy coming along on our journey.
Shalom, Connie

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My TV Night

I do not watch TV very much, but I try to on Saturday nights. I love the British comedies. The dry, subtle sense of humor tickles my funny bone and makes me laugh- out loud.

Some of the scenarios are sooooo stupid, but they are closer to the truths of life than we wish to acknowledge. And it's a warm fuzzy feeling to me to see them do foolish things... I mean would I do anything that foolish? No way.

So Saturday is my Proverbs night- a great way to end the week: A happy heart makes the face cheerful ... (Proverbs 15:13 NIV)


Shalom, Connie

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's Not Fair

"It's not fair," whined my grandson. "I want to stay."

He's right, you know, life is not fair. But you don't complain about it, do you?

Well, I must confess that I whine to the Lord as badly as my four-year-old grandson does to me. Both of us appreciate the many blessings we have; yet we want more and want it quicker.

I call the generation after mine, the micro generation. They want everything instantly. My generation wants more of everything, but we're a bit more patient. Then I read God is like a crock pot- slow and easy bringing out the best in each of us.

When all is said and done, it isn't things that matter. It is being all that we were meant to be.
Hearing, "Well done!"

My grandson doesn't get his way when he whines. Neither do I, but God is very patient as He brings the best in me.


Shalom, Connie

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's a Mystery!

Tangled Heart by Linda Evan Shepherd is a new mystery about Madison, a young woman starting a new job without the blessings of her husband. It is also a devotional! What a concept for a mystery lover like me.
The devotion for each of the 90 days is brief; great for a busy lifestyle.
It is available at www.Jubilant Press.com.
Linda, I hope that there are more to come!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Dilly Mess

I forgot! I am so embarrassed... I'm sure you don't mess up, but I sure ended up in a dilly of a situation. I forgot my Writers' Bible Study... I forgot and I am the leader of the study!

My ladies were forgiving, but I didn't even know I missed it until one of them e-mailed me. :(

People, namely me, are fickle pickles. You never can be sure by just looking whether they are sweet or sour.

I could list the fact that I was ill, I was. That I was distracted as I anticipated an upcoming project. I was. But the truth is I wasn't soaking in the correct brine.

I should have paid attention to the lesson, which included, "I think back over... the many excuses I've made to shortchange my quiet time with the Lord. It's no wonder my writing is not bearing fruit." Guilty; I didn't feel good so I skipped my quiet time, and lost the opportunity to study God's Word with my peers.

If I had been soaking in God's jar of love, instead of "I" juice, I would have been reviewing my lesson. There would have been time to notify my ladies of my laryngitis.

Failing is not in the falling, but in not trying to get up. I'm up! And I gotta change the brine I'm in. "Hold the dill... I need some sweetener !"


Shalom, Connie

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Falling in Love

I think I am falling love with my computer. At least, I am becoming more comfortable with what it can do. I'll never be a techie (?) ... I'll stick to the simple stuff... but I am finding wonderful sites to help me with my writing, sources for researching, and new friends.

I have joined an online Bible Study, signed up for a FREE online writers' conference, committed to a critique group online, and have found more places to submit my writing. Downloaded free e-books and... It is so exciting!

I'm learning to ask, "Where are you?" This past week I have chatted with folks in the UK, Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada, California, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, & more. I have writing peers in Africa, Singapore, & places I cannot remember, right now.

This senior citizen has a new world around her. Don't be laughing now... I may be slow at this, but I am exuberant!

I haven't figured out how to play music and video stuff just starts and stops, but this is fun!

Need to get back to some serious writing though. So for now...

Shalom, Connie

Friday, January 05, 2007

She Moved Today

A 90 year old friend moved today- from an independent apartment to an assisted living facility.
It was a good thing and it is a nice place, but it is also sad.
At first, she was angry and defiant. (Hope I'll be that feisty at 90.) Eventually, she agreed. She knows that she's increasingly more tired and frail. She's experienced repeated times of falling and being unable to get up; and yes, her memory is not as good.
I stayed with her all day. First at her apartment, while her family packed and moved her things.
Then I took her to her new home. It looked like hers. Her recliner was in place; bed made; etc. New neighbors were dropping in to welcome her. I stayed for supper and met her table mate. I kissed her good-bye with a prayer of blessing for her remaining time on this earth.

I am a nurse and should be used to this, but I have mixed feelings. I am 25+ years younger, but I am slowing down. The aches and pains and decreased energy affect my life now. My grandchildren wear me out faster.
It's not a bad time of life; just different. I have the blessing of time... in my younger years, I used it up too fast. I pace myself better. I enjoy things more.

Yet the questions rambled through my mind as I watched my dear friend. Will my health remain? Will I need assisted living arrangements someday? Will I make the transitions of life gracefully? Can my mind stay sharp and clear? What will happen to me?

I don't know the answers any more than you do. I just hope that I have a friend beside me when it's my turn.

Shalom, Connie

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I treated myself to a computer version of Scrabble. It is relaxing, yet stimulates my little grey cells. Plus for a writer, it is a good way to learn new words while having fun.
But tonight my computer beat me 3 times in a row. Put another way, I lost 3 times in a row. (You'll note that "it" was not upset when I won 7 games in a row.)

Then I had an animated discusion when the "referee," who threw out 3 of my words that are found in my Scrabble Word-Building Book... 1991 edition. I mean words can't just come and go, can they?

OUCH!!! How often do we say what we mean or mean what we say?

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Prv 12:18 NIV)

"Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception... (but) the words of the Lord are flawless..." (Ps 12:2, 6 NIV)

Reminds me of a children's song called "Input, Output." What we put into our minds, comes out our mouths. And another pre-schooler's song, "Oh, Be Careful" little eyes what seen, ears what's heard, etc.

I'm glad that I am playing a good game, but good is dependent upon my mind. As 2007 gets under way I think I... maybe you, too? need to be careful what is on our heart and mind. I want it to be pleasing, encouraging, affirming, and honest.

Let's watch what we input so that we are better prepared with output that heals, that is trusted, and that is spoken in love.


Shalom, Connie

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

I have tried daily to access this site & received errors or not available messages. Tonight I entered the same info & got in- whew!

I started 2007 with a story being published on a page by itself. Usually there are several writers each day per page. Eleven e-mails followed with encouraging comments. Wow, they made me feel good!

Since then I have written several articles & devotions, found new helpful sites for writers, & sent out a newsletter for my writing group. Training has begun for the Reflections Production Team Leaders & I am contributing to an e-book.

Went swimming on January first to officially begin my "gonna exercise more" resolution. So I have had a great start to 2007.

Except for this blog's access problem...

Technology is great when it works, but I am glad that talking with the Lord doesn't depend on a phone or a computer. Just on me. I can "speed dial" and I never get a busy signal.

Lord, This is Connie (as if you didn't know.) Thank you for a fresh start... a new year to celebrate your love. Another chance to serve you. I am available, willing, and anticipating wonderful new adventures and memory-building moments. Please bless my readers with your love, hope, and joy! Thanks. Will talk with you again soon!

Shalom, Connie