Interview with Debut Author and Cancer Survivor, Barbara Britton!

When I met Barbara M. Britton online, I had no idea I’d met such an amazing Strong Girl. But as my recent interview with her on YouTube progressed, and she revealed her journey with and triumph over cancer, I was in complete and total awe of her courage and tenacity. She’s also a pastor’s wife and a Pelican Book Group author. How is that for kindred-spirit-sisterhood?   As my regular readers know, I, too, am a pastor’s wife and my first book, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots was published by Pelican! I know  you’re going to be inspired by Barbara’s story. Scroll down to the video, grab a cuppa and kick back and enjoy! Tweet this: Strong Girl Barbara M. Britton writes inspiring strong girl fiction!...

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Testimony Tuesday featuring Amy Clipston

I’m so excited to have found Amy Clipston! Amy’s story is profound. And I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview. So, grab a cuppa, lean back, and enjoy the show! Amy’s next book will be out in June! And be sure to check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks Tweet this: She saved two lives with one of her...

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Public Shaming

Everyone’s talking about it. The recent scandal of a popular homeschooling family has tongues wagging all over the world. And even if I don’t mention their names here on this blog, chances are, you know exactly who I’m talking about. And it’s not all our fault. The family put themselves out there for public consumption. Except that, I like to think they started out as a family who saw an opportunity to share Jesus with the world in a unique way. Maybe I’m naive, but that’s how I like to think it started. As a former homeschool Mom myself, I know the idealism I embraced in those days. Looking back, maybe I was a little too idealistic. There’s no real way to know. But I don’t regret homeschooling. I wonder sometimes about some of my choices because I know I’m far from perfect. But I also know that my choice to homeschool my children was made prayerfully each year. I never took the decision lightly. It makes me sad to see a family taken to task for something so humiliating in such a brutal way. I feel for the parents. I feel for the children. It breaks my heart because I know how it feels. No, I don’t have my own reality  TV show. But I’m a pastor’s wife in a small rural town. We live in a glass house. Always have. And it’s not been easy on my children. Yes, we chose to be in the ministry. But that doesn’t mean the pain of public humiliation doesn’t hurt just as much. As a mother of sons who made mistakes as adults, I can identify with the TV mother’s grief. I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated as a family. The emotions are overwhelming and confusing. But I still don’t understand the delight people have in pointing their fingers and wagging their tongues. Even before my family went through such things I never liked the way TV programs and newspapers convicted people who were charged with crimes before they went to trial. I’m not siding with any crime. I don’t condone crime or abuse of any kind. But it does trouble me to watch people rush to harsh judgement as if they’ve never faltered or made a mistake themselves. But for the grace of God none of my mistakes have been hung out for the world to see. How many of those who point fingers have sin in their own lives? I suppose there have to be harsh critics in the world or we wouldn’t have judges or law enforcement officials. I know I wouldn’t make a very good one. I believe every soul is redeemable. I...

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Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes

This is a recipe blog hop! Go here to get the button and join us each week: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop. Then add your recipe post to mine with the linky codes at the end of this post. Whether you’re a paleo, vegetarian, southern cook, or baker, you’re welcome to join me and post a weekly recipe! Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes   It’s been a long cold winter in NE Indiana. The kind of winter that calls for lots of comfort food. (Thank goodness for baggy sweaters!) Last Friday I invited all the girls at our church, ages K-12 grade, to a Pinterest cooking sleepover. It was a total blast and I can’t wait to share the recipes we tried! I’ve been collecting Pinterest recipes for a long time on my Pinterest board. I will never find enough time to make all of them, but having a cooking sleepover allowed us to make and try six different fattening and  delicious recipes! Some were a hit and others were so-so. All were kid-friendly and fun. Before we started our cooking activities, I reminded the girls how God made us with His hands and how special we are to Him. I asked them to remember as we worked with our hands, how God loves what He made just as we love what we make. I reminded them that they are royalty–the daughters of the King of Kings. Recipe 1: Pepperoni Roll-ups This was so easy and the kids loved doing it. They were delicious, too. I spread parchment paper all along the table and after the girls washed their hands, gave them each two crescent roll doughs, five pepperonis and a handful of mozzarella cheese. Most recipes call for a stick of string cheese, but using grated cheese was less expensive. I had the help of three other adults and the older girls pitched in and helped the younger girls. This activity worked for all ages and all abilities. One of our teens has autism and an intellectual disability and she had no trouble participating like everyone else. We all had fun eating the pepperoni and cheese, too, as we worked! We used cupcake paper to put the spaghetti sauce in for dipping when we served them. The girls loved them. They were surprisingly filling, too! (Uh, the roll-ups, not the girls!) Since we have a western theme going on for our Children’s ministry, while the roll-ups were cooking, I read them a cute little book about a little cowboy and a very bossy cowgirl who’s a know-it-all: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door. We talked about how to be a good friend and the difference between being bossy...

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Substitute teaching

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 S I’m a Substitute Teacher for the Manchester school system here in North Manchester, Indiana. Because I’m also a full-time student and minister, I only get to sub once in awhile but I enjoy it immensely. In fact, I think I might like substitute teaching better than full-time teaching. Here’s why: 1. Subs don’t have to take work home with them. 2. Subs don’t have to attend meetings after school. 3. Subs aren’t required to attend after-school events. 4. There is great variety in subbing. Sometimes I’m in an elementary classroom and other times I’m in a high school English class. But my favorite sub experiences are with the students in the Special Education classrooms. (Which is what I’m getting my degree in.) 5. Subs don’t have to record grades, hold conferences, or meet with parents. What don’t I like about subbing? 1 .Recess duty. 2. Recess duty. 3. Recess duty. I’ve never liked recess duty. Especially when it’s 9F out and there’s ice everywhere. It’s just not my cup of tea. How about you? Have you ever filled in for someone on a job? What was it? What did you like about it? Dislike about it? Tweet this: I hate recess duty but I love subbing!...

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Strong Girl Saturday: Different? That’s Way Okay! By Elaine Stock

Today’s Strong Girl post is written by friend and fellow author, Elaine Stock. Can you see her? She’s the kindergartener reading a book in the corner because a speech impediment tossed bricks between her and the ability to make easy friends. She’s the one whose mom pushed her into awkward social situations that made her feel as if she were an elephant balancing on a tightrope while she watched her mom seclude herself behind a closed door. She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories. She’s the one who clung to God even before she understood the full meaning of faith. She’s me. And I used to struggle with being what others typed as “different.” The red and gold bracelet shimmy down her arm The ankle bells clanks and rings She hears music and dances steps that calm Closing her eyes to life’s stings. Others laugh They tease, they taunt They think they’re cool, but they’re only half If they really had it all, they wouldn’t have to flaunt. She hears the One who loves her so much Her confidence isn’t dependent on the cruel Her esteem, rather, comes from Him who has her in His clutch She learns to love the others, but lives on His fuel. (© Elaine Stock) It’s taken me many years to learn that it’s okay to be me. Really, I’m not a bad person. Not freaky. Don’t mess with drugs or drink. I do no harm to others. I admit to owning a few quirks, but nothing in the too-seriously-weird category. What I’ve come to realize the past decades of my life is that everyone—without an exception—is singular, as well as we should be. God created each of us in His image, but like each kitten with patches and zigzag stripes or like each snowflake that falls, we are all unique. If we obey God’s words, then our individuality is very okay. The popular singer, Taylor Swift, recently said, “Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” Yay, Taylor! What a bold statement from someone in today’s times who is pressed to be outrageous, but instead is creating her own way and is enjoying each day. Be true to yourself. Be a good person. Believe in the One who created you with an expressed purpose. You won’t go wrong. Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement. Author Bio: Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction. In the...

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