Daylily Dilemma

>> Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(A2ZTake2 Meme is on the letter "D" this week....)


1st Corinthians 14.33 
For God is not a God of 
confusion but of peace.  ESV


Most of the country has been experiencing weird weather lately. Michigan is no exception.

Fifties one day, freezing temps the next. Thundersnow and January lightning. The barometric pressure tap dances on our sinuses. Illness abounds.

Even nature is hopelessly mixed up. One of my unsuspecting daylilies sprouted, tricked by warm sunshine. I was horrified when he peeked out, knowing that a blanket of white would engulf him soon.


Didn't take long for that to happen.

I kind of felt sorry for the poor thing, if one can have compassion for a plant. Even started to grab a shovel and go on a rescue mission in an effort to "help".

But I was stopped when the above verse popped into my head. (Not sure why that happens sometimes, but I try to pay attention when it does.)

So there I was, shovel poised, contemplating scripture over a perplexed perennial. Then I slowly turned and went into the house. It was really hard as I felt like I was abandoning him in his time of need.

God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

It dawned on me that God didn't need my help in this situation. Sure, maybe the plant was confused, but it also is taken care of by the Master Gardner, who always knows best.

Had I moved ahead with my brilliant idea to scrape the snow away,  the lily would have been completely at the mercy of the elements. How was I to know that the snow doesn't act as a buffer, sheltering it until spring?


Bottom line is that the situation didn't need my intervention.

How often do I stick my nose in places it doesn't belong? Sometimes its in the name of helping. Often it's out of love. And there's the whole "being in control and thinking I know best" theory.

Do I check with the Master Gardener first? After all, if he cares about plants, surely he can handle the things that concern me. Scripture also talks about how he cares for every sparrow and that he has the hairs on our head numbered. Sounds like he's got it all under control, eh?

The daylily is right out my back door so I glance at it often. While my heart still tugs as I pass by, I know that the "hands off" approach is best.

Maybe I should adopt that mindset in some other areas?

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My Pal Lynda

>> Friday, January 27, 2012

We met through FaithWriters. I'd seen her on the message boards and sent an email that went something like this: "You're from Michigan? So am I!"


A "meet & greet" was arranged and after lunch, laughter, and several hours, I came away fired up: this gal was a REAL writer. And now she was my friend.

Allow me to introduce newly-published author, Lynda Schab.

Fun at FaithWriters Conference
We don't get to see each other often, but hang out at the FaithWriters conference and get together when we can. She lets me pick her brain, is kind and encouraging, and has great hair.

In other words: the total package.

Lynda has recently published her first book and has been contracted for two more. "Mind over Madi" is whacky chick-lit about a gal that everyone can relate to. A great read and oh so fun!

Check out my review below then take a peek at Lynda's site for more info. You can also buy it at Amazon.

"Mind Over Madi"

Madi McCall can be a lot of things: Narcissistic, neurotic, and nutty. Queen of the Morons and Princess Pathetic. And one who thinks that denial is a river in Egypt.

In other words, she is just like us.

When we meet Madi, she is struggling with insecurities, body image, and general boredom with life. She tries to find a job, but her skills are limited to acing computer solitaire and personally boosting stock for Edy’s Dibs. (Not much demand in the job market for those talents.)

Before long, things get interesting as Madi jumps to conclusions faster than Super Man leaps tall buildings. Her insecurities get the best of her and her husband moves out of the house…and in with her detestable brother-in-law. Could it get any worse?

Yup.

Life marches on, despite the fact that Madi’s world has been knocked off its axis. Her children struggle with various assorted kid issues, her best friend is acting weird, and then there’s her mother, Maxine…

Maxine has chanted a mantra of “all men cheat” for as long as Madi can remember. And even though her father eventually turned his life around, her mother isn’t about to let anyone forget what he did. And she certainly isn’t going to forgive him. According to Maxine, he is the culprit of every rotten thing that has ever happened and ruined her life.

Maxine could win a medal in grudge-holding if it was an Olympic sport.

Madi’s own issues ramp up as she ignores God and tries to ‘wing it’ which of course, doesn’t work out so well. It all comes to a head when she’s dragged to a class reunion she doesn’t want to attend. Everything snowballs out of control until Madi finally figures out she doesn’t have to do it all on her own.

Lynda Schab’s fun and light-hearted tale could be anybody’s story. I found myself snickering at her predicaments (most of her own making), getting teary when the pain threatened to take her down, and letting out a cheer for her victories.

All in all, Mind over Madi is a fun and entertaining read that offers a little hope for the moron in all of us.

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The Letter "C" Presents "Observations of a Newbie"

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This week's meme letter is "C" and my word is....COOKING.

Not exactly one of my strong points.

The family joke is that I'm the token deviled egg maker because it's the one thing I don't mess up.

( I do make a mean deviled egg.)

I've tried following recipes, but invariably I'm missing ingredients. Then I try substituting. You can only imagine how that goes...

Somehow I just never grasped the whole cooking concept. And when I hear someone say they actually enjoy it, I can hardly wrap my brain around it. The only thing it ever did for me was leave me impatient, frustrated, and usually still hungry.


But eventually I had to tackle the issue because eating healthy and off-the-shelf should never be used in the same sentence. And fast food is limited to salads, which I'm pretty burnt out on.

So I started to experiment, got a little braver, tried new things. And had some success.

A few observations:

  • I am not incompetent. Cooking is just like anything else: you need to practice.
  • When I try something new, there will be a learning curve. If it doesn't go so well the first time, I learn from my mistakes and hope it will be better next time.
  • Help is usually a phone call, text, email, or scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs away.
  • Simple is good. 
  • My stove and I have become friends. (I've always used it as a desk in the past and it seems much happier being utilized for its intended purpose.)
  • I don't like vegetables. But because they are so important, I've learned to disguise them by getting creative (the only way I can choke them down.)
  • Spices are our friend.
  • Grocery shopping doesn't have to be as painful as a trip to the dentist. 
  • My nifty iPhone app helps make grocery lists fun.
I'll end by sharing one of my successes: Grilled scallops with green beans and cauliflower couscous.


Be impressed.








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"Hear Ye, Hear Ye...."

>> Friday, January 20, 2012

It dawned on me recently that anybody who happens to stumble upon "Roar of a Lioness" might wonder what's behind the theme.

So as part of my "I WILL pay more attention to my blog" vow, I decided to add a background page.

You'll find the new tab near the top labeled, "What's all the noise about?"

And if you're so inclined, give me your opinion...inquiring minds wanna know!

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Catching Up: A2ZTake2

>> Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ordinary Lives. a 2 z Take 2Hard to believe it's the middle of January already. We've leaped into a new year, made resolutions, and possibly already broken a few. It's a time of cleaning closets, re-organization, and a fresh outlook. 

I've decided to jump-start a new blogging year by once again participating in a meme (rhymes with cream) sponsored by my pal, Patty Wysong.

For those not familiar, a meme is where bloggers write on a particular topic and all post on the same day.

Last year I was involved in Patty's "A2Z" meme. Every week, participants do a Tuesday post for the 'letter of the week,' eventually working all the way through the alphabet. (If you'd like to read other A2Z posts, just click on her link above.)

Since I've already missed week one, here's a catch-up combo:

"A" is for...AWOL

Please accept my apologies for being absent without leave and ignoring my blog.

As many of you know, I've turned my manuscript (Photo Finish) over for professional editing. But that was after several weeks of intense first run-through pre-editing on my part. I say all this not as an excuse, but to beg for mercy and understanding.

My bad.

Thanks for hanging in there with me and I promise to do better.

"B" is for...(New) Beginnings

2012 is going to be an exciting year. Not only am I  moving forward with my writing, but I'm also on a mission to become a little more adventurous.

I adore the low-key lifestyle I've created. That being said, too much sedate-ness can get dull. I tend to be a bit of a hermit (what writer isn't?) and don't want my solitary lifestyle to get out of hand: balance is crucial.

Before you roll your eyes, let me clarify: I'm not having a mid-life crisis. I just want to open myself up to the possibility of new things. Shake up the status quo. Experience life. Explore new worlds.

Go where no (wo)man has gone before....

First on the agenda?
Travel.

I'm heading to Colorado in a few weeks to see family, followed by a writing retreat/BFF fix in the quaint town of South Haven in June. Nebraska (somewhere I've never been before) is in the mix and can't forget the FaithWriters conference in August.
After that, who knows?

So here's to new beginnings..."Beam Me Up, Scotty!"


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Past, Present, and Future...

>> Sunday, January 1, 2012

Like most people, I've been evaluating the past year. I've also taken a look at where I'm at now, and what might be on the horizon.

A few thoughts...

Lifestyle
2011 was pivotal. I turned 50 and the "gotta get healthy cause I'm getting old" thing kicked in.

Before...
I lost 20 pounds, but more important, I learned the value of listening to my body. Getting in tune with what it needs helps me make the conscious effort to maintain it. (In other words, being responsible.)

...and after
I choke down vegetables *blech*, have been concentrating on healthy cooking (as opposed to no cooking) and now I exercise. (Click here for more on that adventure.)

I've been able to maintain my loss, but also know that unless I keep a healthy lifestyle, those pesky pounds will reappear: it's all about the choices.



Another change is that my career lifestyle has been up-ended and I will soon be going back to five day work weeks. My boss has been kind enough to allow me to work four-ten hour days for the last three years.

And I've become very spoiled.

Having three-day weekends has allowed me the freedom to have more fun, increased my writing time, and generally been awesome.

Now I have to figure out how to adjust my life back into that of a mere mortal.

I've tried to look at the positives (I won't be so tired after long hours at the office, it was nice while it lasted, and I'll get a little extra sleep) but I'm still trying to convince myself its a good thing. And grieving the loss of my Monday golf games...


Writing
My writing has been like a roller coaster on steroids this year. Up and down with twisty turns, but for the most part, all positive. I started my blog (thanks to all who read it!) and look forward to continuing it into 2012.

Entering my current work-in-progress in the FaithWriters Page Turner contest was definitely a highlight. I placed in the top 20 out of 81 entries and couldn't be happier. The contest gave me confirmation that I'm heading in the right direction: something all writers yearn for.

I'm currently finishing up the first run-through edits, have test readers lined up, and will then turn my precious baby over to professional editing. *cue scary music* The possibility of entering the rocky road to publication is on the agenda for 2012...stay tuned.

My Faith Journey
God and I have had a wonderful year. His kindness and love has helped me through many tough spots. And even when I've messed up, he always welcomes me back with open arms.

I've settled nicely into the new church that he directed me to, have made friends, and started singing on the worship team.

Our daily walk together gets better all the time and I'm excited to see where he will lead me next.


So There It Is...
I'm not wishing 2011 away, but I do look forward to the new year. I have no doubt that it too will have its share of good times and bad. Yet I anticipate the future with excitement and hope.

Oh yeah, that's another thing I've learned this year: Be strong and courageous. I don't have to be afraid--God's got my back.

And for the times when life gets scary...


Do they still come in a "Day of the Week" pack?

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