Losing a hat

I just read the title to an email, one of those inspirational, devotion type things, and it said:

“Be You.”

My first thought after reading it, was I don’t know who I am.

I honestly don’t.

For the past 25+ years I have been “Mom”.

But those years are coming to a close, youngest is 17, and in his last year of high school.

So where do I go from here?

I have other hats I wear, as Wife mainly, and daughter. But Mom has been the very essence of my being, my personality, my persona for so long, what will fill that void once my boys are all grown up and moved on? That is what everyone knows me as, is Mom. That is me.

I am Mom.

So I guess I become a stereotypical middle aged woman with no career, and nothing to show for the past 25 + years but 5 amazing boys who walk away and begin lives of their own.

So, what about me?

Dead Dog Like Me

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dead Dog Like Me

Worthy Publishing (June 23, 2015)

by

Max Davis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Max Davis is the author of over twenty books, has been featured in USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly, and has appeared on The Today Show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he’s done a variety of ghostwriting and collaboration projects. Max and Alanna have three grown children and a grand baby.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nick Gregory regains consciousness after a horrific car accident to find he’s been transported back in time and that he has become Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson. Aware that he’s experiencing another man’s life, he has to learn fast. When mega-church pastor, Nick Gregory, regains consciousness after a horrific car accident, he’s on the ground in agonizing pain. Nick realizes he is in a bizarre place – a foreign, parched, ancient land, having been transported back in time to 800 B.C. Unbelievably, he is in the body of a prince named Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan and King Saul’s grandson. Nick is fully aware of who he is and that he’s now living in Mephibosheth’s body, strangely able to speak and understand Hebrew. This experience helps him see that he, like Mephibosheth, is a broken man desperate for God’s outrageous grace and healing (2 Samuel 9:8). Returning to present day, Nick’s experience motivates a changed life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dead Dog Like Me, go HERE.

An Open Letter to My Sons

Dear Stud Sons,

You are all adults now, almost all of you that is, Youngest is a few months off, but for all purposes right now, we will call him an adult.

As children I watched each one of you grow, develop, and turn in to your own human beings. Each of you has your strengths, each of you has your weaknesses. Each of you has your bouts of jealousy, depression, joy, heartbreak, and when it seems life is just kicking your butt.

But I have watched each of you rally around the other and help him back up.

I have seen you fight like cats and dogs one minute with each other, and take up for each other fiercely the next.

Personally I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with any one of you, because I know the other 4 would be right there to take up the fight.

That’s what families do.

When it comes down to it, family is your backbone. It is what makes you, you.

I love that Oldest is the safe, responsible one. He is the voice of reason when you all are doing the “Hey, watch this…” stunts.  He sees the danger and warns you of it, then gets in your face when you do it anyhow and it blows up. He has a good, level head on his shoulders. I’ve never worried about where he would land in life, because he has the determination to do whatever he sets his mind to. He is an exceptional leader for the 5 of you. He has a brain and knows how to use it. He would do anything to get the recognition and acceptance he deserves.

Son2 has always wanted to be like Oldest. Almost from the day he was born he has looked up to oldest, and emulated him in every way. Except the safety part. Where Oldest is safe and calculating, Son2 loves the adrenaline rush. The harder, faster, rougher, the better. That’s why Oldest and Son2 have been good together all these years. Oldest keeps them out of trouble while Son2 pulls Oldest out of his safety bubble to have a bit of adventure. Together, they have fun but in a calculated way. Son2 has always loved with his entire heart, so much that it gets tromped on a lot.

The middle child, Son3, is the one chasing behind Oldest and Son1, he always wanted more than anything in life to be part of their little group. He would follow behind them when they would be outside playing, while they would be running away playing “Keep away from Son3″ .  All he wanted to do was be included. As a result of that; he is not afraid to blaze his own path. He doesn’t give a flip what his friends are doing, what they want or what they try to pressure him in to doing. He also doesn’t care if you don’t like what he’s doing or how he’s doing it. At the same time, he is generous and caring to a fault and would give you the shirt of his back if you needed it.

Son4 is the happy one. Rarely do you see him upset, angry or sad. Even when he gets angry, give him a minute and he will be over it. Like Son3, he is his own man. He is patriotic, God fearing, America loving young man. He works hard, but when he’s at rest don’t you dare interrupt him. Ask him to help and he will, no questions asked, and will keep his mouth shut while doing it. Again, like Son3, he stands his own ground. He believes what he believes and doesn’t care what you think about it. He is adventurous in that he loves to wander and explore new places.

Our youngest son is the typical youngest child. He is always trying to impress his older brothers and gain their respect. He wants them to see him as and equal, not as the baby. He is emotional, from happiness to sadness he feels it, and feels it strongly. Even if he knows he is on the losing side he will continue to fight, and fight ferociously. He is stubborn, to a fault. and while that may sound like all bad things, all of these things are good. Youngest has always had to fight for what he wanted, being the youngest of 5 boys, from clothes, to toys to alone time with mom and dad. He is scrappy and feisty. Combine that with shyness, and you have an enigma that is our youngest son.

When you get my boys together, there will always be an argument. There will almost always be injuries. And there will always be some sort of pissing contest. That’s just the way it is.

As a mom of 5 boys, I have long given up the dream of the Rockwell family type life. It’s not going to happen. But I have not and will not give up on the dream of my boys all being friends as well as brothers.

Each one of my boys has taken his own path, made his own choices. Whether they mean it or not, sometimes those paths tromp on his brothers dreams. They battle jealousy and fight fiercely. What I want each of my boys to know is this:

Each one of you is your own man. You are each my son, all on your own. There is nothing any one of you can do to make me love you less, because my love for all of you is unconditional, and it is unique.  While you may think that I love this one more than you, or that one less than you, its not true.

Each of you has your time, there will be times when you need me more than your brother. There will be times when you don’t need me at all and your brother does. There will be time when all of you need me at once. When those times happen, I will do my best to take care of each one of your needs. There will be times that I will drop the ball, and I will let you down. There will be times that you will let each other down. Those things happen. They are inevitable. When those things happen, its ok to feel hurt, its ok to feel let down. But, do not wallow in it. Do not let it climb in and take hold. Do not let it affect your relationship with each other. One day, when everyone else has let you down, your brothers will be there to pick you up.

You may see me or Dad slip one of you money, and not the other. You may see us help out when you don’t think its necessary. But as a parent, when one of you is hurting, we will do our best, and what we feel we should, to help that hurt. It doesn’t mean we love that son more than you, it just means right then, right there, that was what was needed. Nothing more, nothing less.

I know I haven’t been a perfect mother. No one is.

But I have done my best to make sure that each one of you knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is loved. Loved more than my life itself.

Each of you is a part of me that will forever be.  Each of you holds an equal sized part of my heart, and you carry it with you where ever you go. As long as you breathe, you will be loved.

That’s what mom’s do. I don’t love any of you more than the other, each love is different, unique and a love all its own. Never forget that.

Poke the Bear

Tonight is a rarity.

I am sitting here, at 2am, and I am the only one up and awake in this house.

Usually there is a minimum of 3 others awake with me.

I can literally say there is always someone up.

Not tonight.

The two youngest are gone camping for 3 days. And everyone else decided to go to bed.

So what does a mom do when she gets control of the thermostat, fridge and remote all at the same time?

She watches NCIS reruns, turns the temp down, and eats cheese right off the block.

Exciting huh?

Nights like tonight make me wonder what my life will be like once the boys are grown, with families and homes of their own. I’m not sure I like it. If tonight is any preview.

I enjoy the noise, the energy, the drama even of having a houseful. Because there is drama, you can’t have this many people in one home and not have some sort of drama. Especially when over half the population of Stud Farm has a favorite activity of playing “poke the bear”  with each other. Seriously, it is a game.  Son3 will pick a victim and sit beside them and poke them gently over and over and over until they snap at him, slap at him, or smack him senseless, then he will laugh maniacally, extremely proud of himself.

Stud doesn’t play the game well, so when they have all moved on with their lives, who is gonna poke the bear?

Blackberry wine

My mom was an enigma.

She was fiercely against alcohol, of any type. She would reprimand anyone who said it was ok as a Christian to drink any type of alcohol, so much that she would say it would send you to hell.

Many years ago, I was a young teen and mom was having severe stomach issues. The doctor’s couldn’t figure out what was wrong, she couldn’t keep anything down, and was eating packs of antacids a day. We should have bought stock in antacids she ate so many of them.

One doctor dared to suggest she drink a bit of dark wine to settle her stomach.She scoffed and told him no. But when she told the story to a neighbor, they gave her a jar of homemade red wine.  That jar didn’t last long. Even with mom only drinking a tablespoon with meals, she ran out of the homemade wine quickly.

At the time, my brother had a professional gospel singing group. They traveled the country in a tour bus singing in different churches, venues almost every night.  All of the members of my brothers group loved my mom immensely. She was like a den mother to them, and everyone she came in contact with.

One day, my dad and I were in town, and happened to see one of the members of the group walking out of a liquor store with a brown bag. My dad was crushed. He was so disappointed to see that man walk out of the store with a purchase. On the way home he was trying to figure out the best way to tell my brother what he saw.

When we walked in our door, the member of the group was sitting in our living room, and mom had a brown bag in her lap. The member had heard mom’s predicament, and had purchased her a bottle of red wine. He figured it would hurt his “reputation” less than it would her’s or my dad’s, to be seen in or around a liquor store.  After that, any time they were in town, he would call mom and see if she needed her stock replenished.

Over the years, her stance on drinking for pleasure never changed. She was abhorrently against it. But up until the week before she passed, she would tell me every night to get her “elixer”. I would pour her a glass of blackberry wine, and give it to her once she was in bed for the night.  It helped her sleep she said. But don’t you dare let her see me drink a glass of that same blackberry wine with my dinner, that would send me to hell.

No Safe,Harbor

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

No Safe Harbor

Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)

by

Elizabeth LudwigABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by I’ll be Home for Christmas, part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 Stars from the RT Book Reviews. Book three, Tide and Tempest, received top honors with 4 1/2 Stars.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she’d thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend–Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother’s warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara’s desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke’s true intentions come to light.

If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Harbor, go HERE.

Summer’s List

Some times we get so stuck in our lives we forget to live them. And sometimes we have to live our lives the way others see it, to really experience it ourselves.

Thank’s to a wise Grandmother, Summer Snow is on the road to adventure. Satisfied with life as it is, Summer in routine if nothing else. She has a wonderful relationship with her Grandmother, owns her own business and seems to be settled just fine. But not for long, her Grandmother wants nothing more than to see Summer settled, happy and completely fulfilled before she dies. Which, seems to be coming sooner rather than later. So she gives Summer a list of things she wants her to do, and insists she do them with a partner in crime so to speak, an old childhood friend.

A sweet read, Summer’s List kind of made me jealous of the relationship between Summer and her Grandmother. All girls should have that type of mentor, to guide them and lead them in life. Summer’s List makes a great summer read!

Summers-List-PK

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

Learn more and purchase a copy at Anita’s website.

anitahigman

About the author:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find Anita online: website, Twitter, Facebook