To my dear readers

Dearest Most Darling Reader,

My website hosting is weird. Half the time it doesn’t let me in to blog. In its eagerness to protect me from hackers it even blocks ME! And the server people don’t work on weekends (when I have more time to blog) so by the time I’m allowed back in to work, my inspiration has flown to the land of missing socks.

That is part of the reason why I haven’t had a post recently. The other reason is that my husband, Mr. Himself, is in the Philippines doing missions work and I have total care of mother Ellen while he’s away (she lives with us). I spent most of the day yesterday in the ER with her. I also have total care of my twins with autism and another son with bipolar.

I live the life of a circus mom. Seriously. I also have four dogs and two cats. The fact that I’m still walking in an upright position without severe twitching is a miraculous thing.

Mother Ellen is home now, doing well, and Mr. Himself comes home in a few more days. But, of course, the interruptions won’t cease. Along comes the holidays. Not to mention I am doing 60 hours of observation at the local school for part of my degree requirements. (I’m getting a degree in Special Education.)

Does life ever slow down?

No. I don’t think it does.

Leave me a comment and let me know how chaotic your life is right now so I don’t feel alone!

And if you could click on the little twitter bird over at the left and help me spread the word, I’d be most appreciative.

Love,
Karla

The Many Adventures of Mr. Himself: In Which He Gets Ready to Travel Overseas to the Philippines

Yesterday I introduced you to my husband, whom I lovingly refer to as Mr. Himself and explained that I’m dedicating a blog post category to him. After I wrote the post yesterday, I realized I failed to let you know the important work he’s up to besides hoarding toilet paper. 

My husband is a gifted guitarist, song writer and worship leader besides an extremely knowledgeable theologian. He is going to the Philippines in October to minister to some churches there and to teach and minister at a pastor’s leadership conference.

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If you’d like to contribute to his missions fund, feel free to visit his website. You will be blessed!twitter34

Tweet This: Besides hoarding toilet paper, he’s actually a gifted musician and preacher, too!

All the shiny things

SHINY

Blogging is like exercise. It’s too easy to get in the habit of not doing it.

I love to blog. I’ve blogged since the 90s and have had at least a dozen blogs over the years. My problem is finding a focus. 

I tend to lead life that way, too. There are so many shiny things that distract me: theology, writing, music, history, conspiracy theories, politics, entertaining, disabilities, advocating for children (my CASA work), my church ministry–and I haven’t even begun to brush the surface of my family, job and college responsibilities.

Barking dogs

Because I’m attracted to so many things, I’m easily distracted. Sadly, I remind myself of that verse in Daniel 12:4:” Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Sure, I run to and fro doing regular human stuff, but I also go here and there indulging my insatiable appetite for knowledge. How far I run! Via google I can browse the National Palace Museum in Taipei and then fly over to Venice and purse the Ca’Rezzonico. If I want I can squeeze another couple of hours at the British Museum before sauntering over to study the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. 

many shall run to and fro, and knowledge

So, dear reader, I’m learning I have a need to get focused.

Right now I’m in the throes of college math exams — working on my degree for Special Education — another shiny thing that is important to me. Just as important as writing.

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And, to be honest, there’s also a family crisis in our lives right now that is emotionally draining.

But as I sit here in the library waiting for my granddaughters to get out of one of their summer fun classes, I’m filled with gratitude for a patient, loving God. I know He’s waiting for me to quit running around like a toddler and settle in and pay attention. (I’ve always said you can’t teach a moving target. Is that what I am, Lord?)

-Be still and know that I am

I may not have been here writing very much these past few weeks, but one thing I’ve managed to keep up with is prayer and bible reading. I’m thankful for that. I don’t think I could survive the buffeting without time in His Word. I’m so thankful for the hunger God has given me for Him . And I wonder — is that what He’s calling me to focus on more?

My heart is so full. I have so much to share with you. But where do I start? How do I begin? And just what is it you want to know?

Your Questioning Servant,

Karla

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Tweet this: Help! Shiny things and barking dogs!

What’s on Your Writing Desk?

What's on your writing desk- (1)

In the coming weeks, I’ll feature an author’s writing desk/den/cave/lair on my blog. I’m super excited about this! I love peeking into writer’s spaces to see where they tune into their inspiration.

Some spaces are more glamorous than others. And I think it’s fun to see how other people do it.

Where in the world do you write-

As for me, I have a room called an “office,” but right now it’s a storage closet. <sigh> So I’m hoping to be inspired to dig it out again as I feature other authors on my blog.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have already realized how obsessed I am with home office spaces. 

My ultimate dream is to have my own “she-shed” as a writing space. I keep trying to talk Mr. Himself into it, but he’s dragging his feet because he likes having me around. It’s nice to be wanted. Still, I like the idea of hiding. Until that day when he can part with me, I write pretty much like this:

writingoffice

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As you can see, I have a full range of office staff to help me. Fur and skin people are constantly at my service to advise me and help with editing. <cough, cough>

They work long hours, well into the evening, too. (Click the images twice and once again to enlarge and see full photo.)

If you have an office space, writing lair, or desk you’d like to share with my readers, download the guidelines below and contribute! I’ll feature one office space per week. You don’t have to be a writer or published author to share! I can’t wait to see where you go for inspiration.

What’s On Your Desk Blog Guidelines

This image is owned by Karla Akins and cannot be used without permissionTweet this: What’s on your writing desk?

 

Behavior is communication

KarlaAkins.comAs a Mom with special needs children, my mantra has always been, “behavior is communication.”

Before my twin sons learned to speak at the ages of 7 – 9, they were constantly frustrated because they couldn’t express their needs and desires in words. Tantrums were a constant.

As I watch the riots on TV, I have to wonder if part of the problem is that people don’t know how to express themselves. When commentators question them, many of them can hardly speak in coherent sentences. They are out of words or they don’t know how to access them.

Be not quick in your spirit to become

I’ve read about the conspiracy theories, that these riots are our government desensitizing us for marshal law. I don’t know about all that, but if that’s true, then the oppressed masses have played right into their hands.

It’s easy to manipulate those who feel they have no voice.

There is definitely a time and place to stand up and be heard. But if you feel that every time you try to speak out you’re ignored and misunderstood, I can see how you’d get to the point of throwing a tantrum. But that doesn’t make it right. Civility and citizenship requires that we use those processes provided us by our republic. But those who haven’t been educated regarding these feel their only recourse is violence.

O Lord, you hear the desire of the

I think people are feeling frustration at a level they haven’t felt in decades. It’s ironic that at this time of technology and knowledge that there’s so much ignorance. The breakdown of the family, poverty, joblessness, lack of morals, lack of leadership all contributes.

But the bottom line is this: people need the Lord. Until they can know Him, and know that He is the father of the oppressed, and He will fight the battle, there will be violence on this earth.

Until Jesus comes there will be no peace.

All the more reason to keep living a Christ-like life.

To be available with THE answer for folks when they have nothing but anger, frustration and questions.

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Tweet this: Anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

 

 

 

Ruminations on the “F” word

fbombWhen I was growing up the F word was the one forbidden word that no cussing heathen ever said in the presence of a lady. And a lady certainly never used such language.

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Today, F bombs are used as casually by the youthful masses as toothpaste. Their vocabularies have become so limited that it’s the most accessible word on the tips of their tongues. In casual day to day conversation it can be heard a myriad of times. Movies, music and other media have certainly contributed to this.

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Call me old-fashioned, but I still find it offensive. The only word I find more offensive is taking the Lord’s Name in vain.

I’m not better than someone who uses the F word or the Lord’s Name as a curse, but I do hope I never become so accustomed to such language that I don’t cringe the way I do now when I hear it. I stray from movies that use those words because they cause a visceral reaction in my gut. I. Do. Not. Like. Them. Call me an old fuddy-duddy but that’s where I am on the matter.

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It occurred to me that people who use the F word may not realize there are other options. So I’m writing this post to solve that problem. I propose that society replace the current F word with the following:

“What the floccinaucinihilipilification were you thinking?” (floccinaucinihilipilification: setting at little or no value ).

I mean, isn’t that a lot more impressive? It has 28 letters! And surely our counterparts would be dazzled. Their word has only 4  measly characters!

Untitled design-7Okay, so maybe the meaning isn’t all that great. How about this one then:

“Oh, fadoodle!” (fadoodle: nonsense). This one may not appeal to the younger masses because it sounds exactly like something an old granny like me would say. I like it. I’m going to adopt it.

Let’s consider these instead:

“Fiddle-faddle!” (An oldie but goodie; means trifling talk. It’s also some really great popcorn! My favorite is butter toffee. What’s yours?)

fiddlefaddle

“Fiddlededee!” (Scarlet O’Hara used this. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. Means nonsense.)

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“Flapdoodle!” (Means gross flattery; nonsense.)

“Flexiloquent!” (Speaking ambiguously or using words of doubtful meaning. This one is rather appropriate, I think.)

“Futtock!” (This one sounds way too similar to the offensive word. Besides, it means the rib of a ship, and in context of swearing would be a little silly.)

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As for me, I’m sticking with floccinaucinihilipilification ?/fläks??nôs??n??hil??pil?fi?k?SH?n/. The next time one of my younger counterparts uses their F word, I’m going to use mine. By the time I get done saying it, they’ll nod off.

And my ears will be singed no more.

(For more impressive F words check out The Phrontistery.)

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acriddle.com

 

 

Tweet this: What the floccinaucinihilipilification are you talking about?

 

 

“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” Colossians 4:6

Questions: God’s not surprised


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter Q

 

q

When I get to heaven, I have a lot of questions for God.

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Some questions are a little humorous:

What were you thinking when you made the platypus?

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Why is everything that tastes so good so bad for me?

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What was Jesus like as a little boy?

What do dogs dream about?

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When babies laugh in their sleep, are you tickling them? If not, what’s so funny to a newborn baby?

Did animals talk in the Garden of Eden?

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What kind of mood were you in when you created giraffes?

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Some questions are more serious:

Why did you make men and women so different?

a6b9Why did you let such a wonderful person die so young?

Dustin

This is my friend, Dustin. I watched him grow up. Taught him in church. He was the third Wise Man in the Christmas program when he was little along with my twin sons. He was killed two weeks ago when somehow his truck got stuck on the railroad tracks during an icy blizzard and was run over by the train. He was the sweetest, most generous, kind-hearted person. So young. Only 19.

Why did you let such a giving, generous couple die such a horrible death at the hands of a thief?

Click to read their story

Click to read their story

Why must so many children starve or be abused?

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Why didn’t you stop abortion?

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How has it made you feel to see animal cruelty?

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Most of the serious questions, as you can see, are in the “why” category. And while I do know the theological answers for them, I’m still uncomfortable with the outcomes.

This world is not my home. I long for a better place.

For this world is not our home; we are-1

I take comfort in the fact that God is not surprised by my questions. He made me and expects me to ask them. He doesn’t want his children to check their brains at the door to follow Him. I believe in this age of reason, it’s more important than ever to explore questions and seek God’s Word in finding the answers. In this way, we can help other seekers find answers.

Not all questions are negative. Here’s a question in the Bible that I’m particularly fond of:

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

What questions do you have for God? Share them with me so I can ask them, too!

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 Tweet this: Did animals talk in the Garden of Eden?

 

 

 

 

 



You know you’re a writer when you know where all the outlets are at the hospital cafeteria…

And at the mall, and the bookstore, and the library, and anywhere else your path may lead.

Parkview-Hospital

Where I’m writing today

Because I work several jobs, I take my laptop with me everywhere I go. Sometimes, it’s a waste of energy because I may never find a bit of time to write. But most times, if I’m diligent, I can locate an outlet (because my battery needs replacing and it’s expensive) and pound out a few hundred words. I have to do this because I don’t have the luxury of hours of writing time.

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There are only two outlets in this huge cafeteria, and I’m using one of them.

You’ll know you’re a writer when you’re obsessed with telling your story and you have an irritable itch to get it down on paper regardless of your schedule.

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Brain food

Today I’m writing from the hospital cafeteria after a pastoral visit. The hospital is an hour away and I am taking advantage of some time away from home distractions to pen a few hundred words.

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My hospital office in the cafeteria

I know where outlets are on almost every floor of this mammoth building. If they kick me out of the cafeteria, I know where I can go (should I stay that long) to find another writing nook.

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Lots and lots of nooks, but not a lot of outlets!

I’m not alone in writing this way. Agatha Christie started out writing on her breaks when she worked as a nurse — on a typewriter of all things. If she can do it, so can I.

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There’s a waterfall in the corner that has great seating–but no outlets

Are you a writer? Are you as obsessed as I am with getting the words down? Weigh in!

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 Tweet this: You know you’re a writer if you can find the juice!

L, M, N, are probably not going to get me noticed in search engines. O Well.

LMN

When my computer crashed, I missed the weeks of L, M, N in our A to Z blog hop. Horrors! And now it’s already time for the letter O!

So here goes.

L

L is for lazy. I had a very lazy Christmas holiday. I slept tons. I mean, I never knew it was humanly possible to sleep as much as I did and still be alive and breathing. If there’s such a thing as Christmas Coma, I invented it. I was utterly and completely exhausted. For this reason, I’m sure God had a plan for my computer crashing and burning. And I’m grateful. My life is a steamroller of expectations and responsibilities. It’s something I’m working on changing.

M

M is for movies. I was going to watch a bunch of them over the holiday, but L for Lazy interfered with that.

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N is for noshing:

noshI did far too much of that this holiday and while I don’t really know how much weight I gained, I know that I did gain a few pounds simply because of the way my clothes feel. (The scale is broken. And I hear you laughing. No, I didn’t break it. “Not me” broke it. “Not me” also starts with the letter N.) Now my stomach feels all rumbly and icky and while I promised to detox from sugar after the holidays were over, I’ve yet to make the complete and final leap. (See letter L.)

Finally we come to this week, which is brought to you by the letter O.

O Well

O is for “O Well.”

I’ve been using this phrase a lot lately. Living three weeks without a computer taught me a few things about submitting my day to the Lord and going with the flow.

Admittedly, I have had more opportunities to learn how to go with the flow as the mother of twins with autism and the caregiver of a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s. (Did I forget to mention the son with bipolar and the husband with ADD?)  Going with the flow should have been something I mastered long, long ago.

StayCalm

But there’s still that rebel inside of me that wants what I want when I want, how I want. There’s that ornery little imp that kicks and screams and throws a fit if things don’t go her way.

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What, me? Rebellious? Nah.

Instead of throwing up her arms and saying, “O well, that must mean God wants me to _________.” She stomps her foot and says, “Fine. Then I’m going to play 55,000+ games of Words with Friends and pin 783,278+ pins on Pinterest via my phone.”

O Well would lead me down the path the Lord has lit for me to walk. As in, “O well, my soul is O so very well, and God has a better plan.”

But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

Why is it so difficult for me to submit to the O Wells in my life?

I believe that anything that is a strength, is also a weakness when it’s used incorrectly. God has given me a stubborn streak that serves me well when writing books, finishing college courses as a full-time online student pursuing a degree. I have the tenacity of a bull dog when it comes to the goals I believe I’m to pursue.

Tenacity is good,rebellion is not

But that same ability to hang on to a dream raises its head as rebellion when I’m asked to diverge from my plans.

God can’t bless disobedience. Why can’t I get that through my “N is for noggin?”

God has my best interest in mind. If I keep that at the forefront, I’ll be able to say, “O well, this is the way God wants me to go today, and it is good.”

Psalm 37 (KJV) has a lot to say about God’s best interest for us:

Psalm 37:3-7; 23-25

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass…

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread…”

O WELL O WOW!

If I obey, my steps are ordered of the Lord. How much more relaxing it would be if I’d simply walk peacefully in those steps instead of stomping through them.

What frustrates you the most when things don’t go your way? Am I alone in this submission thing? Weigh in!

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Tweet this: Beware: Your strength is also your weakness

 

 

 


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

 Find more info about the A to Z meme here.



I’m baaaaack!

harddriveb

This is what a dead hard drive looks like. Which is pretty similar to what a live one looks like. But trust me. This one is dead. Gone. Kaput.

My hard drive crashed and burned the last week in December and I’ve been without my computer until today. Talk about withdrawal! Those of you who blog and write, know what I mean.

Thankfully, I backed up all my works in progress via Carbonite. Now I wait a few more days while it works to restore all my files.

We interrupt this message for an unscheduled announcement:

Note: I wrote the above last week–when I thought I was back in business with my computer. Turns out that now my computer cord is fried. I ordered one, not realizing it was coming from China. It should be here, oh, in February.

So, here I sit, daring not to move so that my computer stays plugged in. If I manage to sit extremely still, if the cat doesn’t jump on me, if I don’t scratch my nose–it stays plugged to power. (Something inside the port isn’t working right and I’m sincerely hoping it’s the cord not something inside the computer.)

Carry on….

Carbonite1

I’ve had crashes before without Carbonite and lost all my files, so the sacrifice of waiting a few days to retrieve my files is worth it. I have lost complete manuscripts of several books before, both on Mac and PC. If you’re a writer, beware: it’s not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail, but WHEN. Nothing lasts forever. BACK UP YOUR WORK! Or at the very least, work in the cloud.

carbonite2

Right now I’m facing the headache of trying to find all my codes to restore software. I can’t find any of my office software serial numbers. I’ve moved my office several times since getting my software and I can’t find that itty bitty piece of paper. <insert heavy sigh and banging head on wall> I’ll probably end up buying the software again. In the meantime, I can’t edit any documents!

harddrivea

R.I.P. Hard drive. You were dearly loved.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and writing during this forced hiatus and am looking forward to sharing them all with you. Now to get my mind organized again! Just getting back on the computer shows me how overwhelmed I feel mentally, which I didn’t realize was happening.

Computer jail.

Computer jail.

For now, when I’m not typing this post and trying to catch up on emails (ugh), my computer sits in jail aka in an upside down laundry basket so the kittens won’t hack my Facebook page. They’re sneaky like that.

Have you ever had a major crash? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tweet this: Always back up–or at least work in the cloud!