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Thursday Thought: The Truth About Pain

Pain and grief manage to do a lot of things to a human being. They change them, hurt them, stretch them, and push them. But one of the biggest things I've noticed that pain and grief can do to a human is confuse them. How can they not? You drop a life-changing event into a person's life that hurts almost every step of the way, and that person will most certainly start asking questions in complete bewilderment, even if that question is just a small and helpless "why?".


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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Why You Should Take a Book Break

It’s one of the best parts of the whole book writing process: the moment you put a period on a sentence and realize it’s the last one of your entire draft. You step back, and holy moly you’ve done it! You have a manuscript! This is the best feeling in the world! 


So what should you do next? Get beta readers? Start editing? Begin the publishing process? For me, I choose none of the above. What I actually do is stop everything relating to that book and take a long break. Full stop. The book goes into exile, but a friendly one! I promise! 

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Thursday Thought: Kingdom Gifts

How many times have you met someone who felt they had nothing really viable to offer in some greater effort? How often have you been that person? It seems all too easy to convince ourselves that our skills sets don’t exactly lend themselves well to bigger picture events. We are professionals at listing off reasons why we couldn’t possibly do something without ever even trying in the first place.
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: How I Free-Flow Write

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t really sure how to write this post. Writing a book is such a unique experience for every writer and know to processes or books are going to be the same. That’s the whole point after all.


But in thinking about that, I recall how long I considered myself to be just a poser because I didn’t write books the same way I was always hearing or reading about. I’d read these articles and posts about authors complex outlining processes, storyboarding, and drafting and my heart would just sink.  I’d slip into a terrible habit of comparing myself to these authors and beat myself up for not doing things their way. I’d sit with tabs open to write my book and wonder what I was doing wrong. It was a vicious cycle.

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Thursday Thought: When God Drafts Your Story

The other day, I was absentmindedly doodling lyrics in a notebook. This is a long-standing past time of mine that I developed in college when waiting for classes to start. Pretty much came as a result of me not knowing how to sketch accurately but wanting the same feeling. So sitting there, I wrote the lyrics to a favorite song out in cursive and then started sketching over them in different colors and playing with the design. The more I sketched, the more refined the words on the page became. They were clear and exact and they looked better and better the longer I worked with them.
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Hard Work To Hard Copy: What to Do When Writer's Flu Hits

So you’re writing your book and everything’s just humming along. Life is great! Your book is going to be publishing ready before the year’s out! You’ve been getting great feedback from beta readers!  You’re going to be a best selling author in no time!
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Thursday Thought: God and the Art of Exhaustion

Not that long ago in a galaxy very, very near, I was having a rough day. It was nothing new and groundbreaking that was wrong, nothing fantastically large, and nothing that a thousand other people were likely dealing with that day. Everyone has those days. Somewhere around the age of eighteen, we start saying “adulting is hard!” and I’ve yet to meet a person willing to contradict that statement.
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Hard Work To Hard Copy: Five Tips for Busting Writer's Block

So you’re writing your book. Things are going well and you’re feeling like you’ve really hit your stride. Every day you smash another goal and it won’t be long before your book is finished, right?


Wrong

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Thursday Thought: Obedience in the Face of the Unknown

Throughout the Bible, we see many figures who reflect ourselves. We see ourselves in their struggles and hope for their same victories from God. In many ways, for those of us who have grown up with these stories, the names and actions of these people can become almost second nature. In that way, the story of Esther is not an unfamiliar one. The teenage girl who became a queen and used her influence to save her people. But the wider implications of the story have a much more impactful legacy of faithfulness in the face of impossible odds.
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Thursday Thought: God's Story, Our Story

It’s no surprise that I see just about everything in life through the lens of storytelling. I’m a writer. That’s kind of my job. I’m constantly looking at the story of things. When I listen to music in the car, I’m dreaming up new story ideas. When I take a walk by the lake, I dream up fantastic things that could happen to set a new tale in motion. And when I look at my past, I look at it as a story arc. Where am I in the story and where am I going?
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Thursday Thought: Independently Dependent

It’s no secret or surprise that humans are fiercely independent creatures. Most of the time, we’re applauded for being independent, and indeed there’s a lot of good that our inclination to do things ourselves can do. Independence has become a badge of success in our lives, with us congratulating people for their self-sufficiency and capability. We want to be able to do things ourselves, plain and simple, and we want the credit for having done them.
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: How to Make Time to Write

It’s nice to imagine that when we sit down to write our book we can treat it like a full-time job. For most writers, this isn’t even remotely close to being a viable option, especially for first-time authors. It takes a long time for an author to support themselves fully on writing alone. So the more common reality is a book that’s begging to be written paired with a job that pays the bills.
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Thursday Thought: Biblically Steadfast

It’s no secret that sometimes life is just plain hard. No one contests that. It’s not a matter of if our lives are going to encounter hardship, trial, and pain, but rather a matter of when. It’s not far down the road either. Talk to just about anyone for long enough and you’ll start to peel back the layers that reveal a hurting, tired heart. None of us are immune to it.
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Thursday Thought: Hosea and Hope

Anytime I’ve ever sat down to read one of the minor prophets in the Bible. I start making excuses. Lots of them. Clever little excuses until I skip back to one of the letters in the New Testament and say “Phew! That was a close one!”. This, of course, is no good. The Bible is God’s word, and all (yes all) of it is good for teaching. So trying to really drive that home for a change. I sat myself down and forced myself to work through the book of Hosea.
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Writing Your Characters

Characters. They’re the little engines that make the whole story tick. Without them, you would just have your setting. It may be an absolutely lovely setting, but without anyone to journey through it just becomes a barren landscape with the occasional tumbleweed rolling by. Every story needs a hero. We all know this. It just making the hero that’s the tricky part...
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Thursday Thought: Prayer in Practice

As Christians, prayer ought to play a huge role in our lives. Yet, it’s all too easy to have a strained and frustrated relationship with the concept of prayer. What is it even supposed to look like in our lives? I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert on a subject I can hardly figure out myself. Looking at Jesus’ prayer life offers some keen insights into the practice of prayer and how he carried it out. Who better to learn from how to pray to God than the Son of God himself? Here are some observable practices Jesus employed in and around his prayer life and what they can teach us. 
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Thursday Thought: Children of God

One of the first jobs I ever had was childcare and it’s been the most common job I’ve held ever since. I’ve always loved working with kids. They’re delightful and they always keep you on your toes. It’s no wonder I ended up writing books for kids. Still, every kid, no matter how sweet or well behaved, has their days when they completely fall apart.
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Outlining Your Book

Structure.


If ever there was a word to terrify me as a writer, it’s structure. If you know me at all personally, you know that I’m not exactly the poster child for organization and planning. It’s never been something I’ve been particularly adept at and I’ve never seen much use for it personally. So you can imagine how much of a struggle it was for me as a new writer to get bombarded with advice on structure, organization, planning, and everything in between. The number one fear-inducing, planning related concept? Outlining.

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Thursday Thought: Godly Discipline

In the summer of 2015, I got a wild idea that I wanted to play rugby. I was transferring to the University of Idaho in the fall and knew they had a rugby team there so I decided now was the time to go for it. The only problem? I had no idea how to play rugby and hadn’t been in team sport condition for years. Not wanting to be deterred, I enlisted the help of my Dad. He went all out training me for my new sport. He already had an outstanding legacy in coaching, having coached my younger sisters in soccer for years by that point. His team had the reputation for being the fittest at any tournament and there was an adage amongst him and his players whenever one of them mentioned some ailment: “You know what fixes that? Running.”

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Writing a Children's Book

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

- Thomas Mann


In writing and releasing my first children’s book, I’ve had the opportunity for some fantastic conversations with people about the writing process. I’ve met and talked with a lot of people who would love to publish a book, but like me at the start, they have no idea where to begin. Which is fair! It’s a daunting process and one that you can’t undertake without a little help! Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take you through my entire book process, from original idea to final release and marketing, in the hopes that you might learn something about what’s required and what options you have to pursue it.

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Thursday Thought: Tidying Hearts

About a month ago I turned on Netflix, saw a show titled Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, and wondered what it could be about. One thing led to another and now all my clothes are folded in tiny little stand-up bundles. Sue me.
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Thursday Thought: When Numbers Equal Worth

We live in a world that’s obsessively driven by numbers. They’re impossible to escape. Believe me, I’ve tried. We count absolutely everything. Run the numbers, check the numbers, raise the numbers, we all get very concerned with our digit friends.
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Thursday Thought: More Faith, Less Fear

There’s a lie that I’ve bought into many times and I know I’m not alone in it. It’s a seemingly little lie, but it can wreak havoc in our lives if we aren’t careful. Somewhere along the line we all get sold the notion that to be afraid is to be without faith, that these can’t exist at the time. In reality, that’s just not true.
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Thursday Thought: Pointing to Christ

You can’t ignore a neon sign. Bright and vibrant, they demand your attention whether or not you want to give it. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you know this to be true on a whole other level. You can’t go anywhere in that city without a bright, flashy, multicolored light display enticing you towards whatever it has to offer. “Come over here! See what I have! Look at me!” A neon sign will grab and hold your attention.
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Thursday Thought: Detours Ahead

Once upon a time, I was freaked out and worried. Happens more than I would care to admit. In this particular instance, I was freaked out and worried about job hunting and all things being an adult. I can’t remember the particulars but it very much boiled down to thinking my wheels were spinning and I was stuck in a rut and never getting anywhere. I know I’m not alone in ever having felt that way.
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