Found Mommy, Following God   Leave a comment

This has been a hard post to make myself sit down and write. Not because the subject matter is difficult, but just because the very nature of what I’m going to say doesn’t lend itself well to being written. But, if I’m going to continue on this blogging journey in any form, this post has to come first. Because the last thing I posted was talking about making a decision about whether or not to continue blogging. And that question needs to be answered.

When I changed my blog from Maidenfine’s Musings to Finding Mommy, Finding God, I had a mission. My mission was to explore who I am and who God wanted me to be, while also trying to strike a balance between being a mother and wife and my writing. And while I could continue to write here, I can’t really continue on that mission. Because I feel like I’ve found the path that God has for me. And I feel like I’m living the life he wants. And I feel like I’m not just someone’s mom or someone’s wife. I’ve found my own identity again.

My sister, mother, and me at the Rock and Worship Roadshow in November 2011.
My sister, mother, and me at the Rock and Worship Roadshow in November 2011.

 

So what do you write about after you’ve reached the goal you set out to achieve?

I suppose the answer to that is. . . whatever I want. But I’m not wanting to hold myself accountable to some posting schedule that a social media expert said is the minimum for blog growth. I don’t want to force myself to produce, even if it means producing junk. So I’m going to keep going. But I have a few other things that I want to do that don’t necessarily fit here. And I don’t want to sacrifice those things for maintaining a writing schedule here.

So, I’ve set up a MailChimp mailing list. I’ll still write here as the Spirit directs. But I’m working on other things. Things that will require a hefty chunk of my time. And I don’t want anyone who’s interested to miss my posts here. So if you want to keep reading as I’m inspired, sign up. It’s not likely to be a lot of emails, but there will be some.

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Posted February 1, 2013 by Maidenfine in God

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A Decision To Be Made   Leave a comment

Something is going to be cut out. I’m not one hundred percent sure yet what it’s going to be, but I’m leaning toward the blog. I enjoy it. But I don’t always have time for it. And the only way to be a “good” blogger is to be a consistent blogger, so when I realize a week has gone by without a post, I feel shades of guilty and wonder if I should be apologizing, or if, since it’s my blog, I should just do whatever I feel like and who cares if other people decide not to read anymore because I just wasn’t feeling it for a couple weeks.

I’ve been enjoying doing the book reviews. Though I’ve slowed down considerably in my reading. I had a couple weeks in there where I was just devouring anything I could get my hands on. And while I’m still reading, it’s not as much, or as quickly, and the couple things I still need to review just haven’t grabbed me like past items. The urge to share them with everyone right now so they can get their own copy just isn’t there. So the reviews haven’t been written.

Then there’s the computer issue. For various reasons that make me want to spank every single person that lives with me and then go find the electrician who wired our house and spank them too, my netbook battery is fried. So it will only work when plugged in. Which is, unfortunately, more difficult than it sounds. The plug-in that’s hidden enough to actually keep the thing plugged in, is part of a group of things that like to randomly have power outages that leave the rest of our house unaffected. Plugging in to an outlet not affected by this random wiring issue that I hope doesn’t burn our house down before we have a chance to move out of it, means using an extension cord that my children then step on because if there’s an empty room with one small item on the floor, they will find a reason to step on that small item. Please tell me this is not restricted to my children.

The result of all that is that I haven’t been spending much time on my computer. And when I’m on there, I usually have a bazillion emails that need to be dealt with because I can’t do a lot of things on my phone so any email that requires an action gets left for me to deal with “Later, when I can get on the computer.” And then there’s the fact that I’m the education director for my church now and I have this grand plan for our front bulletin board. But it requires me to spend some time making the various elements to put up. And then, through God’s crazy workings, I’m the Sunday School teacher for kindergarten through 3rd grade, and that is definitely a class that requires preparation. They are so easily distracted, if I don’t know what we’re doing, they’ll have us dancing around listening to music for the whole hour.

Plus, we’re getting ready to move. Sometime. We have to wait for someone else to move out before we can move in, so right now we’re just waiting and hoping we don’t lose our house before we can move.

And while all of this is perfect fodder for blogging, and I seriously have moments when I’m out and think “I need to write this down so I can blog it,” the reality is that I’m too busy living it, to blog it. Maybe if I had an easy way to get things from my Kindle to my computer, I could do it. But I don’t currently have an app that would allow me to create a document on the Kindle and get it to my computer. And I hate handwriting stuff that I want to blog because I just don’t have time to do the retyping later. When you barely have time to write, you don’t want to cut that in half by making yourself repeat work.

So. All that to say that I don’t know how long I’ll be trying this. And really, my hosting runs out at the end of November, and unless life takes a drastic turn for the prosperous, I can’t afford to renew it. Which means going back to wordpress.com. Not a completely unhappy thought, since I actually rather liked all the things they took care of for me (like having an email list where people could get updated when I post or keeping really awesome statistics regarding visitors and such). But in the blogging world, it seems you’re not a “real” blog if there’s a “wordpress” or “blogger” in your blog’s address. But maybe I can upgrade from wordpress.com and get my own domain name without paying an arm and a leg for it. If I decide to keep going. I still haven’t decided that.

For now, I’m going to keep giving it a go. Next week, hopefully I’ll get around to talking about what we’ve been doing in school. And how in the world I ended up teaching the age group that frustrates me most. And I still have a couple reviews to write.

Should be good times if I can get myself to the computer to write it all out.

Preparing To Move   Leave a comment

The beginning of things is the fact that we can’t afford the place we live. When we decided to purchase our current home, we were allowing a woman who was eight months pregnant to make our decisions (yes, I’m talking about me). And the fact is, our last place had mold from a hole in the ceiling and I was freaked out. If I’d spent an extra five minutes looking at our finances, I would have known we couldn’t afford it. And if I’d spent another five minutes beyond that praying, I’m pretty sure God would have told me to do something else. But I didn’t, and we’ve spent the last two years struggling to make our house payment and lot rent every month (yes, we have both). Because a mobile home isn’t really all that expensive (in terms of houses), our loan was only a 7 year loan (much like a new car). So if we’d been able to keep it up for another 5 years, we’d be down to just the lot rent and life would have been fine.

But then the owners of our community decided to sell the place. And the new owners sent everyone a letter indicating that they are going to be raising rent in the next 30 days. Our precarious balance (that wasn’t balancing very well due to medical debts) was gone. If the lot rent goes up, we go from barely making ends meet to not making ends meet. So we’ve decided to move. We’ll attempt to sell our house, but if it doesn’t sell quickly enough, we’ll just have to give it back to the bank. Which sucks on your credit report, but not as bad as foreclosure, which is the other option.

Finding a place that would actually be affordable for us, wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped, or as hard as I’d begun to fear once I got started. The biggest problem with moving, is motivating myself to get started packing. I may or may not have mentioned that I went to 13 different schools growing up. And each of those schools involved at least one house. Sometimes more. And then if you add in the places we lived before I hit school, and the places I lived between high school and getting married, I’ve probably lived in close to 30 places. I may not remember them all, but I remember enough moves to know that I hate moving. Really hate. So even though I know that procrastinating makes the problem bigger, it’s hard to get started. Because I hate the whole thing so much. Not to mention, we’re not 100% sure when we’ll be able to actually get into our new place. So I have no idea how much time I have. Which makes it all that much harder to plan. But I am definitely figuring out that I need to get started. I need to make a plan, even if it’s not an accurate timeline yet.

This week is Elisebeth’s birthday, along with a couple cousins and  family friends. And there’s a baby shower. And then Labor Day weekend is my birthday. And all that really means is that without a plan, I’m sunk. We have too much to do for me to be putting it off.

So, in an attempt to get myself going, I’m going to hop over to flylady.net and get her moving tips. And I’ll just put it on a two-week timeline, since that’s probably the shortest amount of time we’ll have and if we end up with more time, then it’ll just be a bonus. I can do this. I will do this.

Posted August 31, 2012 by Maidenfine in Randomness

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Review: Let’s Write A Short Story   Leave a comment

Let’s talk about writing. Actually, let’s talk about the writing process. It’s not just writing. Anyone can write. And most people can pull off something good. A majority of people can pull off something great. And quite a few people can pull off something extraordinary. At least some of the time. That’s where the rest of the process comes in. Prewriting increases the chances that awesome is going to also be coherent. Editing and revision pull the awesome out of the muck and highlight it, adding to it in order to increase awesomeness. And publishing. . . well, publishing is a whole different beast, but it’s the culmination of the process that takes the awesome and gives it to the world.

But how many of us get to experience the entire process? As a novelist, I sure haven’t. Prewriting, yes. In fact, I’ve gotten really good at prewriting (hence my 30 Days of Prewriting book). Over the years, I’ve used just about every method of prewriting there is. Writing, yes. I’ve written until my hands were sore. I’ve typed until my eyes were blurry and my brain had long since stopped functioning. Editing. . . well, not so much. Not that I’ve never edited. I have. But I wouldn’t say that I’ve finished editing anything. I write rough drafts and then I get started on the editing and revision and it just starts to feel so overwhelming. And then my projects die. Which is where Let’s Write a Short Story by Joe Bunting~ has changed my way of thinking.

Not only does this book go through the information you’ll need to write better short stories (and just plain write better in general), it also explains why you should bother with short stories in the first place. And the biggest reason that stuck out for me? You get to experience the entire writing process and practice your craft from start to finish. That appealed to me. And it also got my brain going. Honestly, I could have finished this book much sooner if it didn’t give me so much to ponder. And there are action steps in the book as well. Places where Bunting basically says “Now put the book down and go do.” This is definitely not some book about theory. It’s a book about practice. And it will get your mind going in new directions. It certainly did so for mine.

After reading the book, be sure to join the online community designed to continue where the book left off. If Bunting can cram so much stimulation into a fairly short book, I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can provide in a community.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Links in this post are affiliate links.

Birthday Season   Leave a comment

1163242_65740280-682x1024I got so far ahead with all my review reading, I really thought I had something ready to go for last Friday. Apparently not. But it’s pretty much the end of birthday season around here (4 birthday parties and a baby shower in 2 weeks), so I should be getting my act back together. This Friday, I’ll be reviewing a writing book (a double whammy in the fiction-related category!). Then, I’m going to finish up reviewing a book I finished a couple weeks ago. And for Weight Loss Wednesday next week, I’m going to try to review a book I got free for the Kindle that has information on working out without a gym. I definitely need to find a reason to get my butt in gear after all the birthday cake in the last couple weeks. Reviewing a book will work for me. And I desperately need to get a Teach Me Tuesday post up. We’ve been doing school since July, because I want to have as much of December off as possible. So there’s plenty to talk about. And a dilemma that’s causing me quite a bit of mental anguish (even though I know it probably has a simple solution). And there’s going to be a product review in there somewhere. So basically, I’m going to be busy writing for the next few days. And it’s going to mean that I’ll hopefully get a little ahead and no one will even notice I’m gone while we move (which will probably be at the end of September).

Posted August 27, 2012 by Maidenfine in Randomness

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FF: Review of Eye of the Sword   Leave a comment

I accidentally did it again. I snagged a book that wasn’t the first in a series. Again, I ended up in a trilogy, this time in the second book, rather than the third. You’ll see from my review, however, that I’ve been having much better luck with sequels lately.

Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley

Where angels walk the ground and the future is told in song, does a man of low rank have a chance at love with a princess?

In Camrithia, a land of shadows and mystical secrets, Trevin lives to serve King Laetham. But his heart belongs to the princess, Melaia. When the King sends Trevin on on a dangerous quest to find the missing comains—captains in the king’s army—he must leave Melaia to the advances of a swaggering Dregmoorian prince.

Challenged to prove his worth, Trevin throws himself into his quest. Striving to prove his love, Trevin undertakes a second mission—find the harps Melaia seeks in order to restore the stairway to heaven. Through fire caves, rogue winds, and murderous threats, Trevin remains steadfastly dedicated to his quest—even when he is falsely accused of a heinous crime. As Trevin’s time runs out, he realizes he must face the shame and horror of his own past and the nightmare that has come to life. Will he have the courage to finish what he has started?

The book starts out with our would-be hero losing a fight and ending up down a contaminated well, about to be boiled alive. Which doesn’t really seem like fun, but was probably better than some of the other things that happen to poor Trevin later on in the book. I really felt for this hero, without even having read the first book. He was humble and had an unsavory past. But he was loyal, determined, and honest. When someone that he’s come to care about dies, he weeps. There are a lot of male main characters these days that are “too tough” to cry, even when someone dies.

There were parts of the book that I had difficulty reading quickly. Not because it was boring, but because it took a little extra time to process all the tidbits of backstory that were being provided. By the end of this second book, though, I could pretty much tell you what happened in the first book (and before). So while the first half took me a little longer, it was still enjoyable. And I felt like details were provided in exactly the right way. I could definitely read this book, never read the first one, and feel like I could continue on with the series. However, I enjoyed this book so much, I plan to buy the first one, then loan both of them to my friend who has done tons of research on Nephilim and therefore would get a kick out of the series, so that she can read them too. And hopefully, the third book isn’t too far away. Because my first thought when I finished this book was “Oh crud. Now I have to wait for the third one.”

As a fantasy lover, I really enjoyed this book. So if you’re into swords and magical creatures (or in this case, Heavenly creatures), this book would be great. My general recommendation is to read series in order, but really, you don’t have to with this one.

You can get the first book here. Or this book here.

 

Disclosure: In exchange for an honest review, I received a copy of this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program. The free product did not influence my opinion. Also, links in this post are affiliate links.

Posted August 17, 2012 by Maidenfine in Fiction Friday, Reading

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Review: The Bride’s Bible   Leave a comment

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I’m not putting this one on Fiction Friday, since the Bible isn’t fiction. But something beautiful came in the mail for me today. It’s the Bride’s Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers. It’s a KJV Bible and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I don’t even think that my pictures will do it justice. My family’s wedding season for this year is over, but I think this would make a really great gift for a bride. Maybe something from the maid of honor or one of the mothers. Other than the incredible cover, it’s also smaller than the usual Bible. Not quite as small as the pocket Bibles, but smaller than my Personal size one. I took some pictures to compare the size and the thickness. The green one in the back is my Personal size Bible. Since I carry my backpack with me everywhere, I have enough room to stick it in there. If I were still carrying a purse, I would definitely prefer the smaller size of the ultra-slimline Bride’s Bible.

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As you can see, their provided graphic, does not do the actual Bible justice. Yes, the pattern is accurate, but their graphic looks like it might be gray or black. In reality, it’s a gorgeous, shimmery silver. Even my pictures don’t truly show how beautiful this Bible is. It’s been a long time since I got married, but I would have loved to receive something this beautiful. At the front of the Bible, it contains the usual presentation page, but adds to it. There’s a page for documenting your wedding details, including space for wedding pictures and a message from your wedding party. It will not only be a beautiful Bible, but also a really amazing keepsake.

IMG00599-20120809-2125My green Bible, contains two maps. They’re located inside the back cover. This Bible contains 8 pages of maps at the back. They’re full color, just like the ones at the back of my larger Bible, but they cover a lot more, simply because there are four times as many.

I only have two things that I would say detract from the Bible. The first, is that it appears to only be available in KJV. Now, I have nothing against KJV, but it is most definitely harder to read than other versions. I’m pretty sure it reads at a 12th grade level (if my random trivia knowledge is correct).

IMG00597-20120809-1831Since the average American only reads at the 6th grade level, that’s something to consider. The other issue is the size of the type. Yes, it’s bigger than those pocket Bibles, but really, even little kids with perfect eyes can have trouble reading the words in those things. And really, it’s not too bad. But the type is noticeably smaller than that in my regular Bible. So if you suspect any sort of vision problems, a Bible magnifying lens is a must-have accessory. They aren’t that expensive, but you don’t want to give a gift that requires the purchase of something else, so be sure to spring for the lens.

IMG00597201208091831_thumbOverall, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m in love with this Bible. I was so excited for it to arrive and opening it was like Christmas. I think any bride would be lucky to receive a Bible as beautiful as this. So definitely keep it in mind for the Christian brides in your future.

Disclosure: In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of this Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers, through their BookSneeze program. I chose it to review because I thought it looked pretty in their picture, so if I hadn’t received it free, and knew a soon-to-be bride, I probably would have bought one anyway. Thus, my opinions are not affected by the free item.

Posted August 13, 2012 by Maidenfine in God, Randomness, Reading

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