Girls Write Out
Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm curious. When is Christmas officially over at your house? In other words, when do the decorations come down?

I admit it. I struggle making decisions. I go crazy every Sunday trying to decide which screen to look at, the one on the left, or the one on the right? It's too much for me to handle so I end up looking back and forth and making myself crazy. I'm sure there's a label for that, but I don't know what it is. Maybe I'll look it up. Or maybe not. Or maybe I will . . . .

Okay, so normally we take the decorations down right after Christmas. We have company coming today, though, for the weekend, so we've opted to leave them up. But I have to tell you, it's not easy. I'm one of those, turn-out-the-lights-the-party's-over kind of gals. Time to move on to the next thing, you know?

Still, here we are with decorations in tact. They look nice, by the way. Hopefully, I won't go all OCD over it.

So my question is how long do you leave up your Christmas decorations?

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Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:28 AM  
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Here we go again. I posted this on another loop, but thought maybe there would be a few here who hadn't read about it:

You know from my whiney posts that I had shoulder surgery six weeks ago. The pain has been worse than expected, and I hate taking narcotics, so I whine a lot. A couple of days ago, I had taken my narcotics and other meds to kill the pain, but it didn't work. Must have been a weather change. So as I lay there on my Lazy Boy recliner, aching and feeling sorry for myself, a strange thing happened. One of our rescued cats, Hobbit, who is very fat, jumped onto the headrest of my chair. This is something new for her. She isn't a lap cat, but she's done this since a few weeks before my surgery. She's more attentive for some reason.

Soon after, Mel's cat, Teddy Bear, another rescued cat, jumped onto my chair and lay on the armrest. She isn't a lapcat, either, so this was weird. Then Data, my two-year-old kitten, rescued from Walmart parking lot, who is very attached to me, jumped onto my chest and settled in, purring and grinning into my face, from time to time touching my cheek with his paw lovingly. Hobbit-the-fat started purring very loudly. All three cats were touching me. I couldn't get out of the chair, because Hobbit is really heavy, and I couldn't raise the chair back.

The shooting pains across my shoulders, arms and hands began to go away. Within ten minutes, that pain was gone, and remained that way for several hours,

Call me crazy. As I've said to other friends, I know about the laying on of hands, but the laying on of cats has not been common knowledge. I had just prayed for God to ease my pain. He did. He used these cats to do it, I have no doubt, though it feels really strange to admit that. I had just been complaining two days before that our cats didn't keep up their end of the housework. I won't complain like that again.

I'd love to read about other stories of animal aid. Do you have animals you love who have had an impact in your life in this way? I know we've discussed this before, but this healing thing, it's all new to me!

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 11:22 PM  
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I've mentioned before that I'm a huge Star Trek fan. I used to refuse to leave the house when I was a teenager back in the day when it was a new series on TV. I had a hopeless crush on Mr. Spock. When I first heard there would be a new movie with new actors, I thought no one could play Spock like Leonard Nimoy. Boy was I wrong. Those actors NAILED the characters. Totally! Kara got it for me for Christmas and it was the best movie ever! I just loved all the character references that harked back to the TV series. But enough of the raving because what I really want to mention is, um, political correctness.

At the end of the movie, the familiar Star Trek mission statement began: These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before. SCREECH. Wait a minute. That's not what the new movie stated. It put in NO ONE in place of no man (it also changed 5 year to ongoing but we won't quibble about that.) It was the only thing that marred the movie. This inclusive language stuff is just getting to be a bit ridiculous. Since when are we too stupid to know that man means mankind? Are we going to rewrite the Bible too and take out any mention of man where it means mankind? Not that I think Star Trek is on a par with the Bible, mind you. I just get so tired of all this kind of thing.

I'm about to brainstorm with some other authors in Kansas City in an annual outing. Last year I mentioned someone in a story was a waitress and I was corrected. It's evidently supposed to be SERVER now. Um, not in my town in the midwest. We still say waitress and waiter. I still chat with my MAILMAN on the front porch and have never thought of him as a mail carrier. If Indiana has stayed behind the times, I'm glad I live here. :-) Let the rest of the world barrel on to all that ridiculous PC stuff while we still help our neighbors and stop to chat in the grocery store. it was interesting to talk this over with Kara. She grew up in a very different world than I did so she didn't even remember mankind was once was referenced as man. I guess I'm just OLD. LOL I love change but sometimes it's just silly. So what about you? Have you noticed this in your area or is your town more like mine where life moves on at a placid course?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 7:57 AM  
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

We all know it's more blessed to give than receive . . . so, what was the funnest gift you gave for Christmas? Did you pull off a major surprise or catch someone off guard? Did you get someone a hard-to-find gift or a much-wanted one?

My siblings and I took a photo of all ten grandkids, had it printed to 8x10, and framed for my dad and step-mom. It's not often that all 10 are together and the gift was unexpected, so that was my favorite. Your turn!
Denise Hunter  
posted at 11:19 PM  
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Saturday, December 26, 2009
I heard that most of the country was socked in at Christmas due to massive storms. I was socked in only because I was at my parents' country house. Which meant, no Starbucks. See, in the city, they tell you which Starbucks will be open on Xmas so you can get your fix. Here, people don't work 24/7, so you don't get that luxury. And that's fine. Fine, that I got a headache because I'm addicted to a legal substance that I can't get on Christmas...but I digress.

This Christmas saw a lot of downtime for people, and I truly pray you were blessed by that quiet time. My cousins, who are more like my brothers, came up and shared their wonderful kids with us. The cousins played obnoxiously, just like we did all those years ago. In fact, when my cousins started fighting with each other about a magic trick, it took me right back to childhood.

I got to hold my precious baby cousin Levi all night. That baby is never unhappy. If all babies were like him, we'd be run over with kids. The boys wanted iPods, and in an effort to lower their expectations in life, that was their one and only gift from Grandma and me. Actually, Jonah got an iFlip and has been trying to catch Mom without makeup for fun.

So this Christmas morning was no big production. We leisurely ate breakfast, drank coffee and played Scrabble and card games. Then, we all went to town for a movie. Came back and had leftovers and BBQd steaks for dinner. It was luxuriously relaxing. This year my goal is to simplify life and spend less time around toxic people. So far, it's looking good. I'm well-rested and rejoicing in Jesus' day. Even without espresso.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Okay, I just have to ask. How many of you already know what you're getting for Christmas? How many of you know at least ONE thing that you're getting for Christmas? Uh-huh. That's what I thought.

I've stumbled upon so many people who already know what they're getting for Christmas. I have to ask you, where is the surprise in that, people? Granted, you're no longer waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve, but don't you like the unknown, even a little?

For me the excitement builds in watching that present under the tree for days. I check it to make sure it doesn't move. I shake it when hubby isn't looking. I do everything in my power to figure out what it is before I get it. The anticipation is so much fun!!!

One year when I was a kid, I kept spying my present under the tree. I had no clue what it was. So when my mom went downstairs to do a load of laundry, I unwrapped a corner of it to see what it was--she was too smart for me. She wrapped it in a fake box. I had to put the wrap back on and still had no clue. Turned out it was a beautiful winter coat.

Okay, so maybe I'm still a kid at heart. I know that sometimes there are good reasons for knowing ahead of time. To each her own, I guess. But me, I want a big surprise on Christmas! :-)

So fess up. Do you prefer to know or NOT know what's under the tree for you?

Diann Hunt  
posted at 9:23 AM  
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Do you have memory problems? I do. I mean, I'm at the age when I can't remember my own age or social security number half the time. Yesterday, when I was wrangling with a mortgage company, I was able to remember Mel's number before I could recall my own. Weird stuff like that happens all the time.

My poor mother has lost her short term memory. She asks the same questions over and over again, talks about things over and over again, forgets appointments, forgets to pick me up for physical therapy. She's lonely living in the country, and talks about moving into town, which would help her memory, but she's afraid to move from the home she's grown to love.

She drives to the doctor's office when she doesn't have an appointment, and irritates people who don't understand her situation. They don't realize she's desperately trying everything she can to be a responsible, independent citizen and helpful mother.

At first, I have to admit, I became frustrated. That has changed. I know how frustrated she is with herself, and now it just breaks my heart. I'm going to do anything I can to help her, and when she slips up, I'm just taking it in stride and going with the flow. I know how she struggles.

If there's someone in your life who is struggling with memory, be gentle. Give them love and acceptance and take it in stride. They probably know they're repeating themselves and irritating others, and it bothers them immensely. Help them through it, let them know they're still loved. You'll be glad you did.
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:46 PM  
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The frenzy of last minute preparations are going on in the Coble house. Our daughter and her husband are home from Arizona. We've been checking our lists to make sure I haven't forgotten anything, and I got to babysit yesterday while the girls went with Dave to buy my gift. But at church Sunday I realized there is one person in the holy family I really want to talk to. I hadn't thought much about him. We focus on Mary and baby Jesus, but wouldn't you love to know what Joseph thought? He was such a good man. He could have had Mary stoned. He could gave refused to believe the angel. He obviously listened to what God said and did it when he was told to go to Egypt to protect the baby. He raised Jesus too and was the male role model in his life. I'm so looking forward to getting to heaven and finding out more about Joseph and what he did and thought through those years. He's gone by the time Jesus steps into the limelight, but I just know Joseph played a huge role in our Savior's life. Kara, Mark and I were talking about faith yesterday and how difficult it is to wrap our heads around the immaculate conception. Imagine Joseph's reaction! Wow.

How about you? What part of the Christmas story are you most curious about? And Merry Christmas, friends! We're so thankful for you and your constant friendship!

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 10:01 AM  
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's time for my annual Favorite Books of the Year! Aren't you thrilled? These days, if I can get through a book, it's automatically a favorite. Oh, how I miss the days of being content to read any novel my fingers stumble upon.

In no particular order--hey, it was hard enough to narrow it to ten:

The Host by Stephanie Meyer (A strange speculative fiction story that somehow held me captive anyway)

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner (Compelling romance and history in a contemporary setting)

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck (A heartwarming Christmas story)

Windless Summer by Heather Sharfeddin (An engaging tale of a man and his mute daughter)

Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck (A fresh contemporary romance)

Vision in White by Nora Roberts (Could've done without the bedroom scenes, but it's a romantic, captivating story)

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin (A well-told tale of three generations of women)

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand (Intriguing story about a murder amongst a group of Nantucket couples.)

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (A touching tale of friendship)

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer (3rd installment of the Twilight Series)

That's my top ten. Of course, I'm telling you all this in hopes you'll share your favorites, which just might make my list for 2010.

The photo is our youngest son and our dog, Daisy, after our first snow on Saturday. Have a merry Christmas, friends!

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Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:04 PM  
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Friday, December 18, 2009

(Daryl Hannah from "Splash")

I haven't hidden the fact that I'm vain. Like Posh Spice, I believe in making the most of what you've been given. She knows she wasn't born a ten, but she does a lot with what she has -- and she married Beckham (sigh!) Not too bad.

However, I am really disturbed by the lack of aging I see going on in Hollywood -- because it sends out the message from TMZ (thirty mile zone, where most of the world's information comes from) that we don't get better on the inside as we grow older. We only get uglier. Think about your grandmother in relation to that statement! Think about what the Bible says about beauty being fleeting and charm being deceiving.

The world is really deceived here. How else can we explain that the Kardashians are famous? I even heard Sophia Loren complain she could lose a few pounds. Lady, you're not supposed to be a size two at 80, all right? It's creepy. It's like the world has become one big picture of Dorian Gray and our insides get uglier and uglier. Can you imagine if the world's women put as much into their internal beauty as their external beauty?

So give us your best beauty tip -- internal or external that won't make us look Stepford.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

You all know I've been knitting and crocheting. Well, this week I discovered the knitting looms. Those little plastic doo-dads that you can knit on instead of using knitting needles. Pretty cool.

Now, I don't think these will replace the knitting needles for me. I still enjoy knitting the traditional way, but the looms are pretty amazing. The knitting is much faster using those. I bought one for my granddaughter and she's spent a few days with us and we've been knitting on our looms together. :-) Such fun memories! I made a baby "cocoon" this week and it took no time at all. Then I made a matching bear hat with traditional needles to go with the cocoon. Sooooo cute. I would show you pictures, but my husband is the techie when it comes to that stuff and I'd have to have him do it. :-)

I've knitted scarves and hats for gifts, but I'm not skilled enough yet to make anything really amazing. :-) I know that sometimes when we think of homemade we think of cheesy or cheap. I hope to get good enough one day that people will look forward to my homemade gifts (instead of trying to switch presents with someone else).

What do you think of receiving homemade gifts for Christmas? Do you ever make any to give away?

Diann Hunt  
posted at 9:26 AM  
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Are you a party animal? I'm definitely not. I have mentioned here before, I believe, that I hide behind ficus trees at parties. We were invited, however, to attend a party tonight hosted by Mel's employers and the hospital board where he works, so we felt it would behoove us to attend and show our appreciation for their generosity. The closer time came for me to walk into a crowd of strangers and start up a conversation, the sicker I felt. In the first place, Mel had to work today, and knowing he would probably not arrive when the party started, and since I still am not allowed to drive with my post-op shoulder, my mother delivered me to the hospital where Mel was still on duty so I could ride with him to the restaurant. I decided, last minute, to haul a bunch of our books to the dinner. Mel got off work in time to arrive "fashionably late," and we were met by his director and wife. This was an answer to prayers. The books were a hit, too.

I had friends, who know what a weenie I am about things like this, praying for me not to pop a cork. Prayers were answered. Mel's director and his wife are both Christians who do mission trips. We immediately had a conversation going. The bad part came when she told us their son died from diabetes four years ago, and I started crying. They handled it well and I was glad I was wearing glasses--maybe they didn't see? Because when I talk about the death of my stepdaughter, even 24 years later, if someone is the least bit emotional about it, I'm ripped apart all over again, and I don't want to do that to someone else.

I had a whole list of suggestions I'd written down given to me by friends today, and though I left it at home, I remembered the advice. Ask questions and listen. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Gather info for the next book. Listen. Ask questions. Did I say that already? It bears repeating. Everybody appreciates that.

Here's another piece of advice the mother of my stepchildren gave me many years ago, when I was uncomfortable about walking in front of others in a crowded room. She asked me, "What makes you think you're so important that all eyes are on you?" In other words, "Lighten up. People are more self-involved than they are you-involved."

I always knew my shyness had a bit of self-centeredness about it. Wish I could overcome that. Any other suggestions for the next party?
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 2:25 AM  
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I had an epiphany last week, and it was all Denise's fault. My realization was that I've become my grandmother. I asked my grandma's advice about everything, and even if I didn't ask her, she was happy to give it anyway. :-) Someday I thought I might know as much about things as she did. Last week Denise asked me a question about gardening. I gave her the answer and she shot back the response of, "How come you know so much?" I gulped and told her, "It's because I'm old." When did that happen? In my thirties? In my forties or now in my fifties?

But that response was only half right. I've just lived a few years on the earth and have gone through periods of different interests. In my 20s I was interested in gardening, crocheting, and crafts. In my thirties I took up knitting and even more craft stuff. In my forties I got interested in natural medicine (that interest continues to this day) and writing (that passion just grew stronger.) I'm a take charge person so if there is a problem, I'm going to figure out a way to fix it. But that strength can also have a downside. You ever notice that? Because I take charge, I can be pushy and I want people to take my advice because I'm quite sure I know what's best for them. LOL I have to work on tempering that all the time. I'm such a mom! Sigh. My grandma was the same way. A steamroller.

Oh and I used to make quilts as well. See? I've totally lived long enough to learn a lot. So what do you know now that surprises you? What are your passions that you're learning more about every day?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 4:23 AM  
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Last night, I had a prednisone-induced dream, where I was at a very colorful (primary) restaurant (think Disneyland with vinyl booths!) The tables were on a track and they moved (for what reason I haven't figured out) and when you sat down to the table, as I did with 8 (my family and two extra kids), we were met by a snack of what I think was Fruity Pebbles Cereal in a wine glass. Before the meal was over, my kids had spilled the fruity pebbles everywhere and I was trying to pick it all up while the table moved. It's a perfect image of life, isn't it? You scooping up one mess while another is being created at that very moment.

My mess is multi-colored, loud and unending. Tiger Woods' mess is public, ugly and questionable. But I'm reminded in that when David sinned with Bathsheba, he said against God only had he sinned. It's so easy to judge someone else's mess, isn't it? In fact, Us Weekly, makes it easy, you can read the text messages, but if you're not prone to that kind of mess, you think only of the person's weakness, not what created it.

There are Christians who would NEVER look at another woman/man -- but maybe their hearts are cold and their spouse can't access them either. Do you remember Jesus trying to talk to Martha about what Mary had chosen? She couldn't see it, because she is not created to be strongly emotionally-connected. She is created to be a worker. How can she understand the desires of a Mary? It just reminds me to remember when I judge, maybe that's not my bent. What am I missing about me? Oh my gosh, if I'm missing something, I'm scared because there is SOOO much right out in the open for me.

What does God want from you that's not easy? If it's easy for you to host a party, maybe God wants you to attend one and not bring anything, but just work the room. If it's easy for you "do right", maybe God wants you to meet someone who is doing wrong and find out why -- not just lecture. As King David said, "I will not offer to the Lord, that which costs me nothing."
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Kris and I have traded spots, so after this week, I'll be posting on Wednesdays and she'll be posting on Fridays. It just so happens I have something to get off my chest today--figuratively speaking:

Most of us have financial woes right now. I received a shocker in the mail yesterday that totally put me under. It was a property tax charge that was unexpected and so much higher than it should have been. It seems we're being eaten up by taxes lately. I just put the bill down and covered it up with other paperwork. I couldn't face it, and in my heart I cried out to God to take care of it, because it's all I can do to muddle through my days right now. I prayed several times about it.

Today, in my morning Bible reading, it just so happened that my day's chapter is Mark 12, which, among other things, deals with paying taxes to Caesar--we have to do it. But then we also need to give to God what is God's. That brought tears to my eyes. Not because I'm upset because the Bible reinforces the fact that I'm going to have to pay this huge bill, but that He was listening. As I read my Bible daily, some kind of supernatural activity takes place, and the passages I read just happen to pertain to what is vital to me in my life on that day. God answers daily prayers that way, among other ways.

My next question to Him, however, was, "Okay, fine, I'm rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's, but if I have to do that, I for SURE want to give what belongs to my beloved God. So...what's that right now, God?" And I'm not talking money, here, though I do believe in giving tithes and offerings. God wants more than those things from us--unless our spiritual gift is that of earning and giving scads of money for His causes over and above the usual.

In the past, my answer has been easy. I'm a writer and I sing, and both of those things I devote to God. This past year, however, I've been on a sort of sabbatical from both writing deadlines and singing engagements--and those sabbaticals have been from God. He's made that quite obvious But what now? Right now, this minute, as I remain in limbo creatively, what part of me can I actively devote to Him?

What about you? If you somehow lost your spiritual gifts for a year, what would you devote to Him? What in your life can you offer Him? And don't give me the "everything" answer. That's a given. We should all live for God like we mean it.

A little farther along in that same chapter, Mark 12, Jesus comments on the widow's mite. Right now, I feel like that widow. I've been rendered poor and helpless for this time in my life. And yet, what can I give Him in my neediness? How about you?
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 11:11 AM  
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last night I came out of church and the wind was blowing fiercely across the parking lot, scattering snow sparkles everywhere the eye could see. I felt an instant kick in my spirit. Snow does that to me.

Now, I hear some of you groan (waving at Colleen), but I just can't help it. Truly, I get as cold as the next person (well, aside from the hot flashes), but there's just something about snow before Christmas. So, last night, while others burrowed deeper into their coats, I lifted my head and sang at the top of my voice, "Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!" (While my husband dragged me to our car.)

I know Colleen thinks I need counseling, and most likely, I do. Let me make it perfectly clear that I do not like frigid cold--even during a hot flash. Nor am I crazy about snow in March. BUT absolutely nothing can pull me out of a slump quicker than a lovely snowfall in December.

Oh, one more thing. We have a flock of seagulls (here in Indiana) that hangs out in our Target parking lot all winter. Some say they have lost their way (they're here every year). I say they banded together and said, "Let's go where they have snow for Christmas." See, not everyone heads south for the winter.

Anyone else out there like a little snow?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:18 AM  
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This is me with my baby brothers out in Arizona. It's the first picture I can remember ever being taken of just us kids. I wish we had one with us and Randy, but we'll see him in heaven. It was great to see family, but my aunt Lee was in the hospital the whole time with heart problems, but she's doing better. We flew home on Sunday, and that's where things got, um, tricky. LOL

Ever since I've been a Christian, I've tried to remember the admonishment to be an ambassador for Christ. I realized on our trip just how important the image we project really is. The day started out great. Got up in time, Mark made us a killer breakfast, no traffic on the way to the airport. The security line was a little long but we got back to our gate in plenty of time. Then we saw the board. Estimated departure time: 1:00 pm. Our schedule was to leave at 9:50 a.m. Over 3 hours! I approached the desk and asked if we should try to reschedule for another flight. I had a baby granddaughter to go see, after all. :-) The US Airways agent told me it really shouldn't be that long because they were getting us a different plane. I found a seat with Dave and prepared to wait a bit.

There was a group behind us who were business travelers. One guy was loudly complaining that he got stuck in a middle seat. This had happened even before we got a smaller plane so I'm not sure what the problem was initially unless he didn't get to select his seat because of overbooking. The agent was inundated with irate customers. The one gal, Donna, handled them all with grace and a sweet spirit. I suspected she might be a Christian. After things calmed down, I went up and told her and the others they were doing a great job in such stressful circumstances. When I got back to my seat, I heard one of the other men in the party say, "They wouldn't dare move me because I'm the chairman." I immediately thought about what Jesus would have done. He wouldn't have lorded it over the others in the party because of his stature. He would have given up his seat. The chairman was a smaller man who wouldn't have been nearly as uncomfortable in that middle seat.

The agent changed our gate when they got us a plane. At that gate, the complaining passenger loudly demanded to be moved as well. The agent told him there was nowhere to move him since the plane was actually smaller. We got moved to a different plane and a different gate. He also yelled at that agent and demanded to be moved from the middle seat. By now Dave and I were watching in fascination as the drama continued to escalate with him getting madder and madder. The agent finally agreed to keep his ticket in case there was a cancellation. There wasn't. LOL Every seat was totally full, and as boarding was announced, he stalked back to the counter to snatch his ticket from the agent and take his seat on the plane.

I would like to have thrown a tantrum too. After all, I wasn't going to see Punky on Sunday after all. But the man's behavior was a stark reminder that the world is watching. People can tell a lot about our inner character by watching what we do and say. Now if I can just remember that the next time a plane gets cancelled. LOL

What about you? Is there anything that pushes your buttons that you have to watch? Or is there a situation you are proud of how you acted? Or one in which you aren't so proud and resolved to do better?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:42 AM  
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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Today I dusted my dining room table. Now, mind you, we only have one table and yes, there was an actual layer of dust on it. Not proud of it, but there it is. Proof we haven't used it in at least a week. I remember when I had to wipe it down every night to clear away crumbs, drops, and spills. Now? Just dust, thank you very much.

Between after school activities, games, practices, and homework, we eat on the go a lot these days. Even when I do cook, half the time we end up eating at different times and scarf it down at the kitchen island over the Journal Gazette. Thank God for the crock pot.

I don't want you to think we never eat together. It just seems that when we do, it's over a stuffed crust pizza, surrounded by all the other busy families, between Chad's practice and Trevor's game. I remember several years ago reading that families should aim for dinner together at least once or twice a week. At the time I thought that was crazy. Now I realize we just hadn't hit the busy middle years.

Not to worry about spending time with the kids, though. They're trapped in the car with me half the day. Of course, they only see the back of my head, but still. I have a captive audience. What more can I ask for?

Denise Hunter  
posted at 4:49 PM  
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Friday, December 04, 2009
This post may make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever, because it's based on a pet peeve of mine. Maybe because I was raised by a mother who never had any self esteem that I even notice such things:

I was in a public restroom the other day when a door came open and a pretty young woman came out and apologized to me.

"For what?" I asked.

"I took too long. You had to wait."

I frowned and shook my head as she washed her hands and left. I didn't get it. She has as much right to the facilities as I did. Neither of us owned that restroom. So why did she feel the need to apologize to me?

I was shopping recently and turned the corner around a stack of cute jeans at the same time another woman did.

"Oh, I'm so very sorry," she said as we both deftly avoided collision.

After a simple "Excuse me," I turned and watched her walk away, confused. Since when did, "I'm sorry," become a substitute word for, "Excuse me"? These two phrases don't mean the same thing at all.

When someone apologizes to me for being in the same place at the same time in a store, it's as if she believes she less right to exist than I do. Yes, maybe I'm splitting hairs, but still, it bothers me. Excusing oneself politely when discovering oneself on a collision course with another is simple human graciousness. Requesting forgiveness--"I'm so sorry"-- for existing on this earth speaks to me of deeper problems--of feeling unnecessary, of feeling worthless. I've noticed apologies such as these much more often as I've grown older. Maybe "I'm sorry" is the new "excuse me." Or maybe the writer in me is made curious by this special mark of women believing they have no right to be where they are. I can understand what she's feeling, because there are times I feel the same way--such as when we stay at a posh Branson timeshare. I was raised poor, and I keep expecting someone to come up to me when I'm walking through the grounds or swimming in the pool and telling me I don't belong there, even though I know I paid my timeshare dues.

Do you ever find yourself apologizing for your very existence? Stop it! You are a child of God, made in His image. You were created to live on this earth, to be here in this time in history. You are special, loved, and where God wants you to be--unless you're sinning right this moment, which is something we'll have to talk about later. ;-) Stop apologizing.
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:32 AM  
  Comments (15)
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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