Are You Angry at God?

pexels-photo-247314.jpegMaybe you’ve never really thought about that question. Or maybe you shake your fist at him daily. Perhaps you’ve had a loss or tragedy occur in your life, and you can’t reconcile the idea that a loving, all powerful God could allow something so horrific.

You’re not alone.

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t at one time or in a lifetime question where God was when ________ happened. I certainly have.

As a matter of fact, for six years I was angry at God and didn’t even realize it. You see, I loved Jesus and believed God was good so I never considered that I could be harboring anger towards him. I believed he was in control in a good (well, mostly good) way and had brought me into a better place than I’d previously been in.

And he had.

But when God had spoken through someone that “turn around time” was coming for my life, I believed God meant that my failing marriage and business, my soon to be foreclosed on home and my hurting children would all suddenly turn around and come out rosy – you know, butterflies and unicorns stuff.

But it didn’t.

We lost our business and home, were forced to file for bankruptcy and ended up divorced with kids that had suffered far more than I ever thought possible.

What the heck?

So, six years later, to the exact day, when that someone who had spoken those promise-filled words showed up at my now different church (in a different state) speaking promises to people, I found myself perturbed. Conflicted. Angry.

I knew our pastor to be full of integrity and completely trustworthy so I wrestled with what I felt had been lies spoken to me years earlier. Later, after a strategically orchestrated meeting (only God made that happen, but that’s a different story), I drove away, parked my car in a remote location and let God have it.

Screaming, crying and recognizing my anger at him for the first time.

Until he whispered in my heart, “Didn’t your life turn around?”

Well…uh…yes. I guess it did. Because up until that point, I had accepted behaviors in my marriage that never should have been allowed. All that tragedy caused me to decide that I wanted a different life. As a result, I made new choices, and my life completely changed.

What I believed God meant and what he said were two different things. My perspective was shallow and off. We both wanted better for me, but he saw big picture and I saw immediate. He had change in my heart while I looked for change in circumstances. He set my course on a new, amazing life that would never have come if I had gotten what I asked for.

I realized I had to forgive God.

Forgive the one who forgives? Yep. That’s right. And thankfully, his grace and love for us it so great that he doesn’t hold our anger at him against us. He took care of me and my kids and blessed us incredibly during those six years that I was angry at him and didn’t know it. He knew it and waited for exactly the right time and orchestrated my circumstances perfectly to gently speak to me.

I cried, told him I was so, so sorry and our relationship grew deeper that night. I’ll never forget that night. Sometimes I share that story and it helps other people too.

As a matter of fact, I wrote a book, Rachel’s Son, about a young woman who felt that same anger when her only son was murdered. It took her many years and a path of destruction in her life until she could face her hurt and anger and finally forgive the Forgiver.

You can get the kindle version FREE on Amazon right now through tomorrow, March 3. And, the print version is more than half off. This is what one woman said:

“…I just finished reading Rachel’s son and it has changed my life. It was a gripping book. Couldn’t put it down but the most amazing thing has happened. When u got to the end…I sobbed.” (omitted words to avoid spoiler!)

It might be something that helps you handle anger with God, even if you don’t know you have any. I pray it will bless you.

More Than Words on a Page

I recently marked my third year anniversary of blogging.

Originally I began blogging to build a platform as recommended by agents and publishers in order to help facilitate an audience for the book I had been writing. And yes, I published the book, finished another and have more in progress. But the best part of blogging has been the people I’ve “met.”

Relationships make life worth living.

From the deeply intimate ones I enjoy with Jesus, my husband and children to the casual liked-your-post types, they all add so much to my life. Every week I’m challenged, encouraged, or uplifted by laughter not only because of my dear family and friends, but also through you, my readers and fellow writers.

I thought I’d take a jaunt down my blogging memory lane and provide some of my newer friends with the links of my fondest posts and those readers found helpful.

Mostly, I pray that whatever I write will point people to Jesus.

 Here’s the Top Ten:

 Did You REALLY Meet Online? About Us

A Shout Out

Is Online Dating Gaining Popularity?

The Emptiness of Sexual Encounters

What I’m Learning From My Illness

Miracles Do Happen

What is Intimacy?

Getting Well Series – How Do You Rebuild Your Life?

Online Dating…An Obsession?


Hope you enjoy!


The week has been a challenging one

I’ve been through the proof of my book and found so many issues! Typos, formatting and some very bad writing. Naturally, I wanted to perfect as much as possible for my readers, and also for my Lord. I endeavor to work with all my heart for him, giving my very best to bring honor and glory. So I made numerous revisions and prepared to tackle the formatting issues.

I confess the learning curve for Word was pretty steep.DSC_0001

Many years ago, I worked as an editor for a Christian ministry, CTW, where I learned how to manipulate Word after taking many classes and notes. But, like anything we use little of, I had forgotten much of what I used to do. I labored and re-formatted and undid hundreds of actions. I checked out some tutorials on YouTube: ( and ( After tweaking my pages again, I realized I knew just enough to get myself into trouble. I had remembered some information incorrectly and assumed other parts so that my work ended up a mess. After being reduced to tears a couple of times, I went back and followed the tutorials step by step, pausing them while I implemented the exact instructions. I found them very helpful, but they still didn’t address all of my particular issues. Finally, I found the help of this gentleman:

My gratitude abounds!

At last, my work only needed one more issue addressed. This site helped:

If any of you are self-publishing a book, I highly recommend the previously mentioned resources. They fully cover the professional side of writing. But I learned a lot on a personal level as well.

Things are not always what they seem.

In Word, we don’t see the behind-the-scenes of what the program is doing. There are rabbit trails of tabs to open and boxes to click in order to get the finished product to look the way we want. The steps are fairly easy if followed in order and by simple instruction, but if we jump ahead (as I am prone to do) or try to fix something out of order, we end up complicating the situation.

As I worked, I realized that life is a lot like that.

Behind the scenes of our lives is an entire spiritual realm we don’t see. A battle ensues in the invisible, and only God knows the best way to navigate it and win. When I ignore the instructions, thinking I know the best way to handle something, I often end up frustrated and stuck. If I follow the Lord’s instructions to me, the way is simple without overwhelming obstacles.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy.

Sometimes, like Word, life is messy and needs fixing. But, I don’t have to panic when something isn’t exactly as it should be. There is room for change, and sometimes changes take a little processing and work. In the end, when the mess gets sorted, the answers and the fix aren’t as complicated as I feared, and the result is better than I expected.

This whole process reminded me of times I’ve cleaned out a closet or garage, or even when we cleaned out our overgrown jungle yard last weekend. The mess we made in the clearing out to organize seemed overwhelming and impossible, but as we worked methodically and with a steady plan, clean orderliness  revealed itself.

The good news?

My book is back on track. Anyone interested should be able to order it hopefully by next weekend.

The better news? I’ve learned so much this week. I guess once again the process was worth the pain. And isn’t that the best news there could be?

What have you learned during the writing process?

Confessions from an Author

Yesterday, Brendan tiptoed into our bedroom(home of my office) with the grin of a Cheshire cat.

“Darling, guess what?”

He held a small package in his hand.

Me holding my book

“It’s here?”

He nodded and held it out as if on a silver platter for me to open. My book proof had come. I pulled the tab and slid it out. My book. The culmination of a thousand starts and stops, tears, rewrites and re directions sat in my hands, my name on the cover. I like the cover.

I confess, I don’t know how other authors feel when they see their books in print for the first time. I’ve never thought to ask. There is something surreal about it, and I don’t think it’s fully sunk in. Writing is hard work. It takes practice and patience and gumption. It requires determination and fortitude. All of these thoughts have rattled around in my head since yesterday. And the work isn’t done. The final proofing will now begin.

But, the contemplation of process and pain, and questions of “am I good enough?” drift away as on a gentle breeze. None of those seem to matter now.

I mean, I absolutely hope my book will encourage someone, or bless them, make them laugh or sigh with hopeful longing. But the project has added so much to my life as a writer and as a person that I am content, I think. Whether anyone reads it, or likes it is now simply icing on the cake.

I’ve written a book. I’ve held it in my hands. That is no small thing, and I feel…satisfied.

For you authors, how did you feel when you first held (or saw the Kindle) of your first book? For those of you still in process, can you speculate?

For anyone interested, there are still a few FREE copies to be had. AND there is still a week left to pre-order for 20% off the retail price. Click here to fill out the form requesting either or to volunteer to review it on your blog.



Many of you have been waiting…(drum roll)

🙂 I’m thrilled to announce:

The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater is soon to be released!

miracle book cover_0001

This four year writing project has taken many twists and turns along the journey, but at last, the ultimate love story will be released on February 7, 2014 in time for Valentine’s Day.

In case you haven’t been following the Confessions of an Online Dater portion of this blog, here’s the scoop:

They met online.

Laura was a twice divorced mother of four grown children. After two decades of marital devastation, she wasn’t sure if God would give her another chance at love.

Brendan, shocked and devastated after the sudden death of his wife, was left a widowed father with three children. He didn’t see how God could overcome their unexpected tragedy.

But God held all the shattered pieces of both their lives, and He had a good plan. Could He bring together two families 8,000 miles apart? How would they trust Him with the risks required for such a miracle? With each step of faith, God changed their lives and replaced their pasts with a new story. A story of hope, healing and redemption. And it all started on the internet.

The best news is I’m offering a couple of ways to get your FREE autographed copy.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Be one of the first 5 (five) people to submit your comment using the following form.
  2. If you have a blog, be one of the first 5 (five) people to volunteer to read the book and write a blog post with your review. I appreciate your honest evaluation. Use the following form to volunteer.

And that’s not all!

For anyone who pre-orders by January 24 (you have 2 weeks), you can get 20% off the retail price of $14.99. I will personally send you an autographed copy. Use the following form to pre-order, and I will email you secure payment information.

Thank you for your readership and support. Your encouragement means so much!


Failing to Grow

A few weeks ago, I had a wonderful conversation with my eldest son. 301

During the course of our discussion, he made two comments in relation to life and career:

If you are unwilling to experience discomfort, you will not experience success.


It’s okay if I keep failing as a result of trying to grow.

Since our chat, I’ve thought a lot about that conversation and the wisdom of those two statements. I think they apply to life in general, but I’ve specifically thought about them in regard to my writing career.

Sometimes, I must really push myself outside of my area of comfort in order to find get to the place I really want to be. With trepidation I pressed myself to:

  • write my first book
  • approach publishers
  • attend writer’s conferences
  • start a blog
  • join Twitter
  • write a second book
  • have my work critiqued (several times)
  • submit proposals
  • re-write both books numerous times
  • entered contests
  • learn, practice, learn more, practice again
  • write articles
  • seed out the advice of established authors
  • attend a mentoring class
  • read a lot (okay, so that part is fun)

For some people, those things may be easy. For others, the same activities may feel impossible. Looking back on the journey, I see that I am becoming more successful as I am willing to be uncomfortable. Because we’re only uncomfortable for a little while, until we try, learn and become comfortable again with our new knowledge or abilities.

And even though I’ve failed a lot doing the above things, I’ve been growing. So the failure is part of the process and actually something to be embraced, not avoided.

I want to see my life in the same light.

Pushing outside my comfort zone, trying, failing, learning, failing, and growing.

Thanks for sharing, Josh. I love you.


What makes you uncomfortable? Where have you found growth in failing?



No Glamour Here

It’s not always glamorous…imagine your worst day, and know that’s going to happen twice a week.

Yesterday, confidence reigned as I finished some editing, worked on a novel, and began adding my husband’s latest contribution to our book, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of Two Online Daters. Tasks were moving along so well, I hummed as I typed. We were making progress.

My book proposal creation was moments away from commencing, when…

I copy pasted Brendan’s section into my manuscript and a blasted black line appeared across the bottom of the page. No worries. I’ll simply delete it, I thought. But, it wouldn’t budge. I checked my formatting and nothing indicated the reason for the black line. Apparently, it didn’t exist. Highlighting it, I then right clicked and hit delete. Nothing. Every way I knew to remove it proved futile.

I sent a message to my husband stating, “We have a problem here. I can’t get rid of the black line. How did you make it??”

He had simply used the underline key. No big deal. We’ve all done it hundreds of times, but this time the black line refused removal. Brendan couldn’t even dislodge it from his own document! Even when I copied only the first paragraph, the mysterious line appeared. Of course. Because only minutes prior to the cursed black line, I had been moving along at a great pace. (FYI – problem still not solved).

My situation reminded me of the above quote by Sunny Goode (DIY magazine, Spring 2012). It gripped me when I first read it because of its stark reality. Initially, her perspective even felt a bit discouraging. But Sunny went on to explain that she loves what she does so much, she can deal with a couple of bad days a week. I actually agree with her.

Yesterday’s challenge threw me into frustration mode temporarily.

But I love writing, and I can’t stay discouraged permanently when I get to do what I love. Even with the reality that I’m going to have at least one or two rough days each week; and somehow, figure out how to get rid of that black line.

What is your reality with writing? What discourages you? Do you love it enough to keep at it, even when it’s your worst day?

Passion and Perseverance

“If you’re passionate about something, it overflows into how you make people feel….”

This quote by Sunny Good in the spring 2012 issue of Do It Yourself magazine caught my attention and begged the question, “What am I passionate about that overflows to others?”

I’m passionate about so many things… I’m a passionate person, period. But obviously, one of my greatest passions is writing.

I’ve worked hard on the opening pages of my current book, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of Two Online Daters, to create a piece that would compel people to want more. I long for them to feel hope, encouragement and the promise of something great for themselves as my story unfolds.  When I re-read the beginning, I wanted to read more! If I was uplifted by my own story, maybe others would be as well.

So why, with all this passion, is it so difficult to sit down and write??

Emails beg to be read, tasks scream for attention, the children need help, friends and family want to chat or hang out, the phone rings with another urgent situation or request  and soon it’s time to make dinner. I wonder what happened to the day and my night as I sit down to finish a barely begun blog post at 11 p.m.  Where’s the passion then? It wants to go to bed!

Next, it’s the question of whether I actually have something worthwhile to say. Do I like what I wrote because it’s mine, or because it truly offers a benefit for someone else? What exactly is overflowing to others in a way that inspires, encourages or incites to action? Perhaps it’s the idea that the amazing things that happen to one person can happen for someone else too; or maybe it’s simply relating to other authors regarding the difficulty of getting to writing and staying on task. I find it encouraging when I read the story of another person’s struggles and how they overcame obstacles; like when a passionate writer describing the challenges of writing.

Finally, like any endeavor, getting the job done takes perseverance that goes beyond passion. I love writing, but it’s hard work and takes commitment and concentration.  However, when I’ve managed to commit to paper something that I enjoy reading, I savor the satisfaction and pride I feel.  A well placed word or phrase that paints a picture captures a place in my heart that fulfills a longing. Do you feel the same?

What are you passionate about that overflows to others? Have you felt challenged to live out that passion? Share your worthwhile comments below!

Writing in My Sleep

Last night dreams swirled through my head and I found myself waking up a few times momentarily convinced that I was living the story in my book. Since the book I’m writing is based on my personal experience, I have already lived it, but it felt strange to be in the middle of it again–if only in my dreams.

I suppose my over active mental activity during sleep (I use that term loosely) could be attributed to the nearly 5,000 words I wrote yesterday. The lines between current reality and re-living the words I was writing began blurring the longer I typed. It became nearly impossible to pull myself away for the night; hence the dreams that plagued my sleep.

Sometimes I wonder how authors manage to pour so many words out and remain sane. It seems to me that books practically write themselves, taking on a life of their own and carrying the one writing away as in a flood. I imagine it could be that way with a novel; my one beginning, still-in-progress attempt at fiction has affected me as such. But surprisingly enough, my own story has evoked the same effect. The other day I found myself thinking “what a great story this would be if it were real…oh, wait, it IS real!” Silly me. Hope it has the same impact on other readers!

This adventure of writing thrills me. Each day I wake up excited to start again. Even stuck places with their frustrations of where-do-I-go-next feel more like a challenging puzzle than something to dread. I may not always feel this way. Some authors crank out numerous books a year, and quite honestly, I don’t see how they do it. Maybe some day I’ll be that good. In the meantime, I hope to sleep tonight, but wish I could write in my sleep.

So many words. So little sleep.

The Bigger Picture

Is it cheesy to cry while writing your own book? I confess that it’s happened two times this week! At one point, the scene from Romancing the Stone  came to mind. You know the part in which Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner) is typing out the last page of the novel she’s writing and sobs “The End”? Other than the part about her holding her cat (mine lives only outdoors and hates to be held), that was me. Nose blowing and everything. Really?? It seemed a little much, even to me.

I wondered if that was good, meaning maybe it would be moving for others to read as well, or did it mean that I’m just a sappy emotionalist ready to erupt into tears over anything? After some honest (I hope) introspection, I came to this conclusion.

Sometimes the situations in life that we live through are truly more traumatic than we might realize when we experience them. I mean, we still continue living because no matter how difficult some things are, life goes on. But our emotions seem to stay in the moment, so at any point that we “relive” the circumstances by telling them, thinking about them or in this case, writing about them, the same emotions we felt at the time can rise up and overtake us as if we were in the situation again. It seems like the more we deal with the situation, the less the intensity of those emotions, and that’s good, but if we haven’t taken the time to address our feelings about something, they wait around patiently looking for an outlet.

My sobbing began as I recounted the scene of Brendan and me at the airport when he was leaving here after his one and only visit. It had been an amazing two weeks of him meeting and spending a couple of days with each of my three oldest kids and my brother’s family, meeting my parents and asking them for my hand in marriage, and spending time with close friends. We packed so much traveling and relationship into those days! God brought us to a whole new level in our relationship so when we sat in San Jose at the airport without a clue as to what to do next or when we would see each other again, we were full of joy and grief.

At first I didn’t remember it, and as I wrote that I didn’t remember, it came flooding back to me and I did. I remembered the look in Brendan’s eyes, the smell of him, and the taste of his kisses, the words we couldn’t say and how we tried to say something positive. And as I wrote and it rushed back into my mind, the tears began to fall and then pour, and I realized just how hard it all had been. “Oh, God!” I sobbed on the way home after watching Brendan walk away through security. “What are You doing with us???”

The second time I cried was while reading a section that Brendan has written for the book (it’s to be a joint effort). He related how he couldn’t go back to work after his wife died because it’s where he got the call about her, and because he felt like everyone there didn’t know what to say to him when he returned. I didn’t know that even though we’ve talked so much about that day, and I felt crushed for him all over again. Devastated, even though it’s been years now for both of those situations.

God is good, and we have obviously seen his hand in all of this; each individual set of circumstances has a place in a much bigger picture. And yet even though the big picture is great, the smaller events are huge in their moment, and the emotions they evoke are real, valid and sometimes all encompassing. I love that abundance of life means experiencing all of it. I hated how I felt every time Brendan and I said goodbye. It took the first year of our marriage for me to be okay being apart from him. But I would never give up the big picture of what we have and will have because of the pain of any of the pieces.

I guess that’s not so cheesy after all.