Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Emotion permeates our actions, body language, and words.

My emotions spur me to better living or worse reactions. Some people appear grounded in fact, not feelings, but are they really? Facts can be altered to meet our worldview, our beliefs, or our interpretation.

WRITING TIPS Regarding Emotion

Emotion deepens our writing. Until we make the reader feel for our character, he or she won't like what we write.

Understated emotion in our stories hurts worse than allowing us to see the character cry unless we've proven that the character never cries.

Withhold the showing of emotion. Wait. Wait.

Tantilize us with episodes of fear that turn out okay. Produce a longing for love that remains unfulfilled. Build the anger to a fever pitch.

Name several things that would sadden your character. Bring to pass the worst things on your list. Make the reader sense the full brunt of shock.

In my family, we have a saying, "Murphy's Law." That means if it can get worse, it does. Be mean to your protagonist. Put them in a maze, and watch them crawl out in their own power.

In writing inspirational fiction, the writer takes the form of the devil seeking to tempt the protagonist beyond their ability to stand. Then, show God overcoming the devil through that person.


Emotion is tied to compulsions and addictions. For other compulsive overeaters out there like me, how many times have you binged because you were sad, anxious, or happy?

Each day give your life, your will, your choices to God.

Allow God to heal your emotions. Bouncing from the highs to the lows wears you out and prevents God's control.

Reward yourself with a non-food item when you conquer a difficult situation.

Thank God as soon as you realize you've had a God moment where His power took over your compulsion.

Spend quiet time alone with God every day.

Pour out your emotions (tears, fears, anger, resentments) like Mary's costly perfume at Jesus' feet. Giving them up can cost more that monetary involvement.

How do your emotions affect your eating?
How can using those emotions on paper improve your writing?

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Power-hungry men and women do strange things. Young women marry or have an affair with old, powerful men. Otherwise nice individuals tear apart coworkers to reach the top, or get the sale. People lie, cheat, or steal for fame.

Power possesses people.
Power corrupts.
Power makes us sell our souls.

What power do we truly have?
Think about it, and let me know your ideas.

Life thwarts every effort to obtain and retain power or control.

I retain power to react in an appropriate manner despite the trials that come my way.

I can choose to be happy regardless of turmoil.

I can decide what type work I begin to do.

I can decide how much effort to expend for success.

I can determine my friends.

Other things I have power over:
1. how much I sleep
2. how much I eat
3. what I say
4. what I plan

Even in these things, power can be stripped from us by illness, bad people, storms.

The only true power comes from God.

Only He never fails.

In addictions or compulsions more than any place are we faced with our powerlessness. When we can't conquer even the simplest elements in life like killing ourselves with drugs, alcohol, or gluttony, we submit to being powerless. In our weakness, His power sustains us.

But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

POWER - The world goes crazy for it.
God brings power to our lives.
He alone is sovereign God. He can do whatever He wants to do, and we can't stop Him. What's the power in that? How much power do we really have?
None, outside of Christ.
I spent years trying to maintain complete control over one area of my life - what I ate - and I failed.

What do you control in your life?
Only one thing can you, and you alone control, and that is your surrender to an Almighty, All-powerful God. Is it time to hold our hands over our heads and say, "I give up. Be God in my life?"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I'm thankful to all who read my blog and look at my site. I pray God's blessing on you today and through the Thanksgving holiday.

Count your blessing.
Keep the focus on God, family, and friends.
Remember food can be fun, but it's not so important in the scope of everything else.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful In The Valley

God commanded we be thankful in all things. How does that work?

I don't like it when I'm sick.

I like it less when a loved one is sick.

I worry when there are no resources with which to pay our bills.

Yet, God says, be thankful in all things.

The secret lies in the preposition used. We may not be thankful for all things, but we can be thankful in all things.

When we camped outside Ruidosa, New Mexico, we traveled out across the desert to the White Sands National Momument. (see another post about the White Sands). That phenomena is situated on flat desert land.
Three mountain ranges lift their peeks to overlook the flat land. From south, east, or west of White Sands, the traveler can see the mountain tops. Only from the north, can the high ground not be seen.
Mountain peeks of life are like that northern viewpoint. We trudge valleys of distress without a view of any mountains in sight, but they're there. God promised us mountains. He promised to walk with us through the valley and over the mountains.

Once upon a time, years of depression took a toll on me. I could see no mountain in sight. God healed my emotions and then we dropped off the peak and into a time of sorrow at the loss of our baby granddaughter. We loved the high of pride loving her and watching her for eight days, but then came the valley. We shuffled our way through that only to be plunged again to the depths of bankruptcy, despondency, and the wavering of our faith.

Now that I'm older, I can say that for every valley, we climbed another mountain. Like southern New Mexico, another mountain range lies ahead even if it's not close enough to be seen yet.

Because I trust there is another mountain, I can be grateful during or in the longest valley--a thought that warms my heart at the time of Thanksgiving.

How do you make it through the rough times with gratitude in the valley?

Another post I like about gratitude in:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Do's and Don't's

Thanksgiving day approaches. I love this holiday. Our focus should remain on counting our blessings. Many on FaceBook count one or more blessings each day of November. Though this should be a year-round activity, this special effort enhances the season of gratitude. Too often, compulsive overeaters dwell on the food.
The Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving said thanks for the food, but mostly for their survival. We need to focus more on family, friends, and faith, and less on food.

I do thank God for the turkey and pie, but I realize that for me, like many others, it's scary because we don't trust ourselves to control our eating. We fear eating Thanksgiving treats will bring on an eating binge that will last until January. How many pounds could be gained over that 5-6 week period?

The New York Times reports the average weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas is 7-10 pounds. For a person who's lost ninety-five, gaining seven pounds terrifies me.
Here's a list of Do's and Don't's that help me:

Do Give the problem and your will to God every day. Quiet time honoring the Lord lightens our load and minimizes our cravings.

Do Visualize what you'll eat. See the portions you put on your plate. In your mind, push back the plate when you finish, or throw a napkin over what's left. Scoot back your chair. Move to another place to continue talking to those not finished. Plan how you will handle it when your mother or aunt asks you to taste her dish. What will you say? How will you act?

Do Prioritize your foods. What is the one thing you can't do without on the holiday? If it's pie, which one? What are you willing to cut out to make room for that. I must have cornbread dressing, so I lighten it with less fat, and eat a big serving, but I leave off mashed potatoes and broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole, and rolls.

Do Wear slacks or jeans that fit a bit snug. It's harder to overeat when the waistband restricts, but easier with an expandable stretch.

Do Prepare vegetable salad and fruit salad to power-fill your appetite and decrease your hunger. Leave out the nuts and creams and use low-fat dressings.

Do After the clean-up, take a walk or challenge half the group to a football or volleyball game.

Do Reward yourself with a non-food item after you follow your plan.

Don't Go into Thanksgiving without a plan to eat at least one thing you're excited about having.

Don't Allow others to fix everything without you adding a dish or two that fills you up, not out.

Don't Forget to pray about your selections.

Don't Eat the same meal twice. If your big Thanksgiving meal is at lunchtime, add some of the turkey to a salad for dinner. If you fix big at dinner, eat a big breakfast with light snacks every four hours so as not to get too hungry.

Don't Leave out fresh fruits and veggies.

Don't Eat dessert with the dinner. Wait, anticipate. Eat it when everyone else snacks 2-3 hours after the meal. Savor.

Don't Put yourself down because you ate more than you planned. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. (as an old song says).

In case you don't follow Hungry Girl, I highly recommend it. Here's the link to her on twitter.
Another good blog on eating Christ's way is:

If you have some suggestions you could share, I would appreciate them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Back Story

Writers talk a lot about back story or what happened before the story began.

Think of meeting a person for the first time when they're fifty years old. How do they appear to you? What made them say something like that? Why does he/she get mad over that? We can only guess. The more time we spend with the new acqauintance the more we understand their back story. We grow to like or dislike who that person is.

My husband and I are on a short trip with our RV as our home while we visit both immediate family and extended family.

I am an only child, but while my mother worked, I spent summers and after school with my aunt and her family. Aunt Charlene had five children. How I loved being there. My mother and dad doted on me and spoiled me rotten, but I missed the joy of a boisterous big family. At Aunt Charlene's house, I cherished that feeling. I had three brothers and two sisters. Beverly, at five years younger than me, idolized her big cousin. She followed me around and begged to spend the night with me. I couldn't shake her. I longed to run with the big boys more my age or older. I visited my cousin Beverly on this trip. I haven't seen her for two years. I got to see her new grandbaby.

Cousin Beverly is big part of my life. We relished memories and told tall tales of when we were young. I include her in my back story.

My mother-in-law is a widow. My father-in-law's sister, Joanna, lives across the street, but the other sister, Doris lives about an hour away. When my husband, Charles, was a child, three generations lived in a big house together on Ervay St in Dallas, TX. Yesterday, we picked up Charles' mother and aunt and drove to the other aunt's house. All three ladies are widows. It was like a small Brown reunion.

Joanna and Doris belong in Charles backstory and mine too since we married.

We've visited with all three daughters, all three grandkids and so far, one of the sons-in-law. They, too, belong in our story; something you might not know when you first meet me.

When you start a book, learn your characters back story, but don't tell the reader. Let them get acquainted with them and learn for themselves what makes them react like they do.

Whether you're a writer or a reader, what's your back story? How does it affect your personality, reactions, viewpoints?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

7 Steps to Better

A coach once said, "We don't talk about winning and losing. We talk about getting a little better every day, about being the best we can be, and about being a team. If we do that, winning and losing takes care of themselves."

When I lost my ninety-five pounds, I needed daily affirmation. I made small changes every day, sometimes every hour. After nineteen years of maintaining, I strive for small changes every month. Little by little, I grow healthier and thinner. Here are some of those small changes:

1. More fruits and vegetables.
For one who didn't like vegetables, that has been a series of small steps, but I've come a long way.

2. Increased activity.
I found things I like to do like line dancing and visiting with friends and incorporated them into my exercise plan.

3. Less carbohydrates
Striving for only one serving a day of pasta, corn, or potatoes makes losing easier.

4. Add two teasponons of olive oil or canola oil daily.
When I eat the oil, the hunger is less.

5. Cut down to one carbonated soda a day.
I was a person who drunk diet Coke and ate fudge. On a diet, or not on a diet, I drunk six-seven diet sodas a day. They cause me to retain water, make me feel hungrier, and increase my cravings for sweets. This seems like a small step, but for me, it was a major change.

6. Go for broiled, grilled, stewed, but very little fried anything.
Fried food clogs our arteries and puts on weight. Lightened coatings can still be added for more flavor.

7. Try new foods.
Variety increases our interest and thereby our staying power.

What small changes have you made?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are You Acclimated?

Have you, as a Christian, acclimated to your environment? Do you no longer blush at sexual language on TV, or look aghast when a curse word is used? Do you turn the TV off when something offends you?

Recently, (as many of you know who follow my blog) we spent days in the gorgeous mountains around Ruidosa, New Mexico. The weather was perfect. One day warmed quickly. By ten, we decided to go up the mountain to the town of Cloudcroft. The last time we visited there in the fall, we found snow. I wore jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and my favorite Ugg boots. I carried my all-purpose coat believing the higher elevation would chill me.

We wore our coats as we toured the town. Cold wind blasted through the gift shops and cafes. Natives buzzed around with short sleeves. One man wore shorts, and a shopkeeper left the store in a halter top. Since these people lived in the higher elevation, they had become accustomed to the cooler air. They would be hot in Ruidosa, while I was more comfortable. For those who weren't raised there, the adjustment probably didn't come overnight, but gradually, it did come.

Charles and I love to hike in the mountain air, but we must start slowly. The thin air causes us to huff and pant the first day. We can walk farther the second day, but it takes three days to be able to climb a mountain trail.

I'm reminded of the story of the frog in the boiling pot. He won't jump into it when it's boiling, but place him in the cool pan of water and turn up the heat and that frog will fry.

The devil knows my weakness. He hooks me on an interesting drama. When I get where I anticipate seeing the show, he adds more corruption with each week. I fall in love with certain entertainers and then continue to watch them or listen to them after their example is shattered. I support favorite teams, but when top players act in an inappropriate way, do I still laud their athletic abilities?

Though America strives to dispel everything Godly from it's ranks, do we stand up for Jesus? I mentioned some ways I've realized I fell short in this. Can you think of ways you've acclimated to this secular trend? Post your ideas.