Thank You, Arkansas Women Bloggers!

April Blogger of the Month

A big THANK YOU to the Arkansas Women Bloggers for featuring me as their April Blogger of the Month.

The Women Bloggers LLC community members (in eight states!) are natural megaphones and amplifiers, and their talent in curating and sharing content combined with life experiences and strong opinions as parents and consumers makes us the most unique talent agency our partners will encounter.

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Finding Hope When Life is Heavy and Hard to Take

Words That Change Everything

imageIt doesn’t take much negative input to pull me down to the pit of despair—a phone call, an e-mail, or even a glance in the mirror.

I’d like to say that I’m able to resist the fiery darts that come my way, but I still get broadsided at times, especially when I’m not on guard against them.

At other times, I’m fully aware of my vulnerability, and the darts still sting. You’d think I’d learn to sidestep the attacks by now. But I’m still learning.

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Words That Change Everything

Speaking Truth to Your Soul

“Write the books you really wish were out there in the world” (Anne Lamott).

Good news! WordsThatChangeEverything2My book, Words That Change Everything: Speaking Truth to Your Soul, is scheduled to be published this summer by Leafwood Publishing.

Words That Change Everything offers personal stories with biblical applications to help everyday women understand the purpose of their God-given emotions and identify biblical prayer strategies to help them confront their worries.

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Acting My Way Into Feeling

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

Photo/KarenJordanI’m about to do one of the hardest things I’ve done recently—WRITE!

“What? How can that be?” you ask. “You’re a writer! Isn’t that what writers do?”

I wish I could tell you what’s keeping me from doing what I need to do. But I don’t have any answers at this point.

In fact, I’m not even sure I have anything of substance to offer anyone now. But I’m just going to write—and hope something helpful surfaces. Anything is better than nothing at this point.

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Finding Grace on Narrows Road

An Energy Crisis in the Gray Zone

Photo/DanJordanThirty miles from home, my low fuel warning light flashed on.

How could I have forgotten to fill up before I left my daughter’s house two hours ago?

I panicked and called my husband, Dan, “Where is the nearest gas station to our exit from the interstate?”

“What? Where are you?” I could hear concern in Dan’s voice.

“I’m exiting I-30 right now.”

“How much gas do you have left?” Another question I couldn’t answer.

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A Wake-up Call

Grace in the Gray Zones of Life

Photo/KarenJordanWhat are some of the blockages to communications in your life?

 

Silence? Well, duh! Of course, silence would be a blockage to communication. But how do you open the door to conversation when the other person is not in the same room? Easy. Text messaging.

I’m embarrassed to admit how early I woke up this morning. Well, okay–it was three a.m. How’s that for vulnerability and transparency?

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It’s Always Something!

4 Tips about Rashes and Relationships from the Gray Zone

Retirement days never get boring here in the gray zone—always a new problem, pain, or predicament to test your patience.

Photo/KarenJordan

Patience. Did I say “patience”? If you haven’t pulled that “fruit of the Spirit” out of your treasured promise box lately, you might want to take it off the shelf and dust it before you graduate to the gray zone. Just saying …

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Every Day is Saturday!

Lessons from the Gray Zone

Many of you may have wondered, “What happened to Karen? I guess she’s unplugged for awhile.”

Photo/TaraRossThen again, you may not have even noticed.

Either way, here’s the deal—we’ve entered into a new season of life at our house.

EVERY DAY IS SATURDAY!

Gray Zone. Maybe you’ve noticed my gray hair and tennis shoes. If you happen to drop by our house, you’ll also see some subtle changes in the décor—like the two new recliners in front of our big-screen TV.

You’re laughing? What’s the big deal? Every day is Saturday!

Several of Dan’s friends have asked him, “How’s retirement?”

Saturday Fever. If you know Dan, you won’t be surprised at his quick humor and pithy comebacks. So, don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you dare to ask him that question, he’ll just smile and repeat his canned response, “Every day is Saturday.”

The first time I heard Dan reply to questions about retirement from one of his friends I thought, Maybe for YOU every day is Saturday. But I haven’t retired yet!

Writer’s Life. Do you know how hard it is to focus on a writing project when “every day is Saturday”?

Yet, the first eight weeks of Dan’s retirement, that is exactly what I needed to do. Why? I had a deadline to meet to turn in my first book manuscript.

Yes, I am a late bloomer. Just when my ‘baby boomer” decides to wind up his career, I’m stepping into a new role as a book author. 

How on earth can I do that? Good question. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.

In fact, I can’t wait to tell you all about my debut nonfiction book, Words That Change Everything, scheduled for release in Spring 2016. But I’ll save that news flash for later. But considerer yourself warned—I’ve waited a LONG time for this moment. 

First Lesson. Back to Dan’s retirement—I know what you’re thinking, “What a great time for a writer to sit down and write her memoirs!”

NOT! Remember, EVERY DAY IS SATURDAY!

I’m hoping this first lesson from the gray zone will help you understand a little bit more about this new season of my life. I never expected some of the blessings I’ve discovered with my husband’s retirement.

In fact, when one of my Texas friends found out Dan retired, she said, “Bless your heart!”

Now, if you’re from the South like me, you know what she meant. And I don’t think it was about counting my blessings.

So, I’m glad Dan didn’t hear her. He’s a native Texan, too.

I do plan to write more about the tribulations and celebrations of retirement—or my lessons from the gray zone. But at this point, I’m not making a lot of commitments. Remember–EVERY DAY IS SATURDAY. Right?

Hope to see you again next week—”If the good Lord’s willing and the (saints) don’t rise”!

GrayZone Q & A:  Do YOU have any helpful tips or warnings about retirement? Bring ’em on!