Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sometimes Technology Makes Me Scream

Photo by Mary Vee, Arizona

Today's late post is brought to you by a Mary Vee who has only seconds ago taken a BIG chill pill.

Good grief.

I opened the site to write today's post...whatever that topic was is long gone--wiped out by epic frustration.

Although I could open my blog's schedule and examine settings and other details, I could not get to the composition page. 

That's when I discovered my blog had been shut down.
That's when I discovered my blog had "expired".
That's when I discovered my blog did not revert to the failsafe address. The dorky one with blogspot.com in the address.

That's when I slipped into dysfunctional mode.

Okay, I am not a dork when it comes to technology. I have taught myself HTML survival and can modify mostly any code to look the way I want. I can find help desks. Follow directions. Sheesh I set up this blog with my own domain.

But today I wasn't expecting a spiraling demise. The system had breached my problem solving fortress before I had coffee.

I made one wrong turn after another slipping down so many rabbit trails.

I'm not going to lie, I had over twenty tabs open, hopping from one to the next trying to solve this problem that was NOT as easy as it should have been.

Thanks be to God, I still have a teen in the house. She took pity on me. I gave her thirty minutes to solve the problem and get this blog back on line or .... confession... I said I would just close down this blog even though technically, it already was.

I have my coffee. My yogurt. The domain is restored. And I am happy.


Let's talk about the good technology that detected temperatures too high for air travel, cancelling flights from Phoenix. Did you know that smaller planes can not get the lift they need when the heat is 118 degrees and above? While those customers were inconvenienced they are alive to tell the story.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


It's rare to have post day fall on my birthday. This year it did.

Having a summer birthday had some interesting advantages. All my siblings, and there were several, had fall or winter birthdays. Since my parents didn't have much money, anything expensive for the family was given as a birthday present. Made sense, right? Yep.

So, when summer came and the brood needed an inflatable pool out in the backyard, it appeared as my gift. Too awesome. Well, we all couldn't fit in the smaller pool at one time, but we managed to have a ton of fun.

There was also a few other perks given to the birthday person in our family. The honored one could choose one place to celebrate, pick what was served for the family dinner, and they got out of chores. 

I usually chose to either go miniature golfing with Dad, he always beat me, or have the whole family visit Aunt Betty. She is a funny, make you feel-good-to-be-around-her person. Her personality is one I still aspire to reflect.

Is there one person that God has put in your life, even for a day who impressed you so much you just wanted to be around them, visit them, talk with them, do things with them, hear them laugh, see them smile?

These treasures are reminders for us of God's goodness and what life is like with Him.The closer our relationship is with God, the more we want to be around Him, visit with Him, talk with Him, do things with Him, hear Him laugh (yes, God laughs), smile with Him, etc. because we just have a good and memorable time.

We are blessed.

And today I am so happy to celebrate my birthday with you. Because today you are the special person who reminds me of God's goodness.

Usually I give away books from other authors at this celebration. This time, I want to share with you my first junior fiction book.  It is a mystery, has a spry boy character who has to solve a mystery, and includes veterans.

With summer time coming there are sure to be moments when the kids need something to do while traveling or inside due to weather. Here is an excuse to turn the TV and devices off to read a good story. Join the fun with William Worthington Watkins the III. Great for grandkids, nieces  nephews, etc., too. Prepare to laugh. Only $5.99 in paperback, also available for Kindle.


Someone took cookies from the church kitchen platter, and William wanted to know--no, he needed to know who did it. He and Grampa had spent all afternoon making those cookies for the shut-ins and now the plate was half empty. That night, a wounded war veteran living at the home for shut-ins bit into William's cookie then told a story about the guys in his unit. In that story, Willam heard something that glued all the clues together. Themes: truth and forgiveness Juvenile Fiction - Mystery - Humor - Veterans

Hope your day is filled with great weather, fun, laughter and maybe a bit of spunk ;)

This post has been brought to you by the one word-Celebrate

Friday, June 9, 2017

God's Timing

I didn't know what I was getting in to when I met Ruth Logan Herne. From the first moment I said hi, she cracked a joke. She has an amazing ability to make anyone smile and appreciate life. Need proof? Read her words today:

God's Timing

Mary Vee, thank you so much for inviting me over today! I brought coffee… and an old-fashioned “Angel Pie” from a garden club cookbook I found at an antique co-op… 

I first want to say, God gives us the power to create our own path no matter where our journey begins. 

My little urchins (I watch a small herd of diaper-clad local monsters with chronically runny noses)  love Candyland, but you never know when the turn of a card might send you back to the rainbow bridge or the peanut brittle swamp!!! And that’s life, isn’t it, the whole fly on the wheel, sometimes up… often down…

My life began in poverty, but I refuse to dwell there or revisit often. When God handed out opportunities, I clung to them. When he put gentle folk in my path, I accepted their wisdom. When he sent me six amazing children, I realized my first job was to them…. And I put my writing on hold until they were raised. 

I tried writing a few times, but first there were those children…Who knew they’d be so stinkin’ demanding???

And then we fell on tough financial times that meant I needed a second job (and sometimes a third) to make ends meet. But always in the back of my head was the knowledge of what God planned for me: to be a writer, an author. 

And with each new hairnet –nametag-job, I gained insight into businesses, restaurants, the wedding industry, private schools, industrial and commercial baking, sales, special education, raising youngsters to reach for the stars. Every one of those jobs was the baseline for research I use in my stories today. 

My mother was a brilliant woman, a shining light of intelligence, but she also bore the strain of depression and addiction. I never knew her sober until I was in my thirties. She attempted suicide several times, and spent months locked in a small, dark upstairs room during my adolescence.

I didn’t get to know the pure light within her until I had a houseful of children of my own, but I see that later time with her as a blessing. She was funny, bright, and delightful (with no small bit of drama) and her writing talent made mine look minimal by comparison, but… and this is a huge BUT… she allowed the darkness to enter and then take over her life.

God lays out choices. 

He offers us paths. We might choose the one less taken or the one well-trod, and that’s not the point. It’s what we do on that path, the hands we touch, the faces we wash, the hugs we give and receive that make the difference.

I won’t argue with folks who say “works” aren’t important. In my life, those “works” were crucial, path-bending, Heart-forging. 

I’m a believer in letting Christ’s light shine through smiling eyes and a good handshake. Some might call my faith simple, but that’s the highest praise. Like someone saying your book made them CRY. Simple faith. The faith of a child, freely given, unexplained. That’s my kind of club!

At one point (after receiving WAY MORE REJECTIONS THAN JULIE LESSMAN EVER THOUGHT OF RECEIVING!!!!) one of my sons asked why I didn’t talk about my writing anymore. I said, “I can see that my rejections make you guys sad, and I don’t want to disappoint you.”

To which he said, “The only thing that would disappoint me is if you quit.”

That made me smile, because he’d thrown my own words back at me. And now with more than nine books out, more contracted, eleven grandchildren, and  a husband who still puts up with me after decades of marriage, I see God’s work coming to fruition. 

Way back when Sr. Mariel and Mrs. Bagley told me I had what it takes to be an author, I knew they were seeding a pot that might not grow for years and years, but that, given God’s time and my effort, the seed would flourish.

And I couldn’t be happier! (Well, except when I’m making fun of folks. Nicely, of course!)

You can find Ruthy hanging out at these sites:
Ruthy's Place
Yankee-Belle Cafe

Wow! I am touched by Ruth's testimony, as you probably are. She mentioned some ways to let Christ's light shine, handshake, smiling eyes, etc. What other ways can you let Christ's light shine?

Thank you, Ruth Logan Herne for Joining us This Weekend!

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Christ'sLightShines

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

An Abandoned Wycliffe Compound

A Remote Village in the Mountains of Honduras
An Abandoned Wycliffe Compound
Miles from any road bigger than a two-track.

There he sat. 

A boy about eight years old.

At the top of the hill overlooking a Wycliffe compound.

He pulled at the grass and fiddled with the earth while watching us, and, I think unknown to him, in my view. 

About thirty of us sat in an early morning meeting huddled on benches set in a circle. 

Doctors, nurses, child ministry workers, and teen translators gathered that morning first for Scripture reading, a devotion, songs of praise, then to divide into teams and head out to villages beyond the two tracks. According to officials, medical workers rarely came to this boy's village and the ones beyond.

The boy probably couldn't understand the mixture of Honduran, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, American, and Canadian languages spoken by our blended medical team sent to help him and others. 

But he watched and appeared to listen.

Early each morning, the teams sat on benches arranged in a rectangle on a veranda made of broken cement. My chair leaned against the building giving me the view of a mountain to my right, the hospital center, and the hill where this boy sat.

Our leaders took turns giving the devotions, patiently waiting for their words to be translated into the three needed languages by two teen translators. The Nicaraguan leader spoke one day, another translated his words into Honduran, and the teens translated Honduran to English. Even prayers were translated three times so that everyone in the group could understand.

Each morning the boy came.
Each morning he moved farther down the hill, closer to our group until the last day when he sat at the edge of the broken cement. 

He ran his hands through the grass and plucked a few blades. 

Looking up every so often.

We sang praises to God. That morning each member prayed in his/her own language. We listened to the day's instructions: break into teams, go to a designated village tucked in the mountains far away from...anywhere, open a day clinic, and be a witness to the the people.

After the instructions, an American leader closed the meeting. 

What intrigued the boy to move from the top of the hill toward our group? I'm not sure. We didn't have games, movies, toys, gifts, or food. What drove him to sit only a foot away from the group the last morning and listen to the worship meeting? Well, at least the Honduran portion. I don't know.

I opened my eyes after the closing prayer and didn't see the boy.

I can't help but wonder how much he heard. What he understood. What he told his friends or family about the people who stayed at the abandoned Wycliffe Compound for ten days.

Who knows. Maybe I'll see him in heaven.

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: EarsThatHeard

Friday, June 2, 2017

Suzanne Woods Fisher - Overcoming the Fear of Failure

We've all had something fail. Maybe a school assignment, baking a cake, changing a car tire. Well that was my shortlist confession. There really is a mile long list that you don't want to hear. 

Talk about a quick drive to the blues. Even one negative comment in a barrel full of praises can take us down. Sigh. Why oh why do we remember the one negative one and forget the positives. 

You are not alone. We all do this. But there is a way of escape. Today, Suzanne Woods Fisher is going to share her story.

The Fear of Failure

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13, niv).

Years ago, before I received my first book contract, an editor returned a manuscript to me with the comment that the writing wasn’t up to her publishing house’s “caliber.” 


That was a tough remark to swallow. But I did. I gulped down my pride, asked her for editorial comments about the manuscript, and she gave them to me. I read them carefully, incorporated what I could, and then I moved on.

I didn’t wallow. I didn’t stop writing. In fact, truthfully, I didn’t agree with her assessment. Instead, I kept improving the manuscript, sent it out to other publishers and, eventually, received a book contract. Since then, I’ve developed a very thick skin, taking rejection in stride so it doesn’t derail me as it has in the past. And trust me, it did! 

What changed?

It started when my youngest daughter ran for class treasurer of her high school freshman class. The night of the election, she received news that she had lost. I found her sobbing on her bed and sat down next to her, not saying anything for a while. 

After her sobs drizzled to sniffles, I told her how proud I was of her for trying. Just for trying. For being willing to take a risk. She did something that ninety-nine percent of her class couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I couldn’t have been prouder of her if she had won or not; I only cared that she was willing to try.

It dawned on me that God was rooting for me in the same way I was rooting for my daughter. He wasn’t waiting to be proud of me until I was successful. He already was proud. By continuing to write, I was willing to face my fear of failure, trust Him, and just keep trying. 

Little by little, failure became less of a big fear. If the worst thing I faced in life was a ton of rejection letters, well, I could handle that. My confidence rests in God alone.

By the way, my daughter ran for sophomore class treasurer and lost. She ran again in her junior year and, this time, she won! But I think she really won in that first election—maybe not with votes, but with something far more important.

About Suzanne Woods Fisher: She is an author of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books for Revell about the Old Order Amish. Learn more about Suzanne, her books, and her weekly radio show by stopping by www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. Download the free app, Amish Wisdom, to receive a daily Amish proverb. A moment of peace and calm in a busy day.

Suzanne lives in California with her family. When she isn’t writing, she raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne’s way of thinking, you can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth. 

Thank you Suzanne for joining us this weekend!

This post has been brought to you by the one words: TrustGod and KeepTrying 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Kudos to the Turks

Let's talk about Turkey. The country, not the bird or the food.

Turkey happens to be the bridge county between Syria and European nations. 

You've probably heard about the Syrian refugees who've fled their country. Syrian men, women, boys and girls generally have fled their war torn country and headed north into Turkey with the goal of reaching Europe.

A while ago we talked about the Olympic swimmer who escaped Syria and saved the lives of those on her boat, also fleeing Syria, by pushing the raft many miles to shore. 

Today's thoughts go to the people of Turkey who have spent may liras helping the Syrians. If you could imagine a national budget that did not expect this need. Not only did this cost liras (the Turkish unit of money), but man power, education, water, food, the list is very long. Humanitarian aid was important to the Turkish people, but their pockets were only so deep.


In recent news, the Turks have magnanimously stepped up, beyond any expectation. They have built a new city for the war orphans. Over 900 children will be aided. Given a place to stay. Have schools to attend. Receive food and water.

Photo Courtesy: from BBC article
Four schools have been built in Orphan City, which means about 250 boys and girls per school.

Two story buildings built. Each unit will house 18 children plus a caregiver.

Okay, our minds hop to possible issues. Little Orphan Annie issues. I don't know the quality of care.

What I know is the children will have a roof over their head, a bed to sleep on, food and water, and education. They will have stability. Be able to make friends. 

And have a chance at a future.

Hopefully have a chance to understand that someone cared enough to help.

Hopefully ...well...I can hope...have a chance to know that there is a living God loves them.

If you want to read more about this here is the article: BBC News World in the Middle East

I am happy for the children.

Kudos to the Turks.

It's easy to give a few dollars here to help someone in need. It's difficult to give our time and space to the extent of a 24/7 aid. 

Aid isn't just food or water. Sometimes it's more than that. Sometimes it's assuring someone there is hope and a way of escape.

This post has been brought to you by the one word-BeyondHumanitarian

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Time To Remember A Time to Be Thankful

Every once in a while two celebration events happen on the same day. Isn't it fun?

The first event I celebrate with you is: Memorial Day

A day of parades, patriotism, and parties.

Memorial Day is a time to celebrate the sacrifice of soldiers both past and present. 

My family participated in this way:
My husband served in the Air Force, 
My father in the Army, 
My brother in the Marines, 
My brother-in-law in the Navy 

I believe all four served during a time of war or "police action". How blessed our nation is to have the men and women who protect us.

Let us celebrate and appreciate each one's sacrifice.

I am thankful to you. May God bring great blessings in your life and your family's life.

The second celebration event today is my daughter's birthday.

Birthdays are always fun, but when a holiday enables family to come together and celebrate as a larger group the merriment increases tenfold. 

My daughter's birthday doesn't always fall on Memorial Day, but every once in a while it does.

We'll probably have the traditional American meal, hamburgers on the grill, potato salad, leaf salad, watermelon, birthday cake, go for a bike ride (it's supposed to be sunny), laugh, tell stories, and sing happy birthday. 

She'll smile her lovely smile, not say much because she never knows what to say at times like this. But she will know she is loved. And when I peek in her bedroom, I'll see her holding her gifts and smiling again. She is happy.

So there you have it.  This is how we will celebrate our Memorial Day. What are you planning to do? 

Do you have someone you would like to acknowledge for his or her service to our country.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Level Motorcycle

Photo Courtesy

When riding a motorcycle around a curve, lean into the pull of gravity no matter what your body says to do.

No mater what your head says to do.

No matter what your eyes say to do.

Make friends with gravity.

Once giving into the natural lean, the motorcycle will move forward as expected.

We are faced with seeming contradictions almost every day. 

If we stand on the edge, even if the ground below our feet is sure, we feel like we will fall.
If the lights go out and everything is pitch dark, we feel like we can't breathe.

If...then...we all have personal if....thens that mess with us and skew our decisions.

Jesus said to His followers, "If you lose your life then you will gain it." Studying God's Word and getting to know Him helps us understand the principle of this statement. If we stop focusing on what we want for our life and turn instead to the activities that God designed for us, we will gain far more than we could ever imagine.

After being raised by an Egyptian Pharaoh, killing a man, and disappearing for 40 years, Moses had the difficult task of convincing the people of Israel to give up the miserable, yet stable life of Egyptian slavery. He asked them to follow God's direction designed just for them. He said, "This will be risky. It will be difficult. You may doubt. The Egyptian army may threaten our bodies, but they will never be able to harm our souls. Go with what God says."

And they did. They believed.

Consider Jonah, the prophet told by God to go and witness to the most evil nation on the planet. The one that delighted in torment, conquest, and gluttony. Jonah made the wrong choice. He ran away from God. Hah. He thought he could, but he couldn't. After living inside a big fish for three days, Jonah changed his mind and followed God's instructions. So why did God ask Jonah to tell the evil city of Nineveh what would happen if they didn't repent? 

BECAUSE God said in His word that no one. Not one. Will be with excuse. Every person who has or will live has had the opportunity to learn about God. 

Sometimes it is so hard to grasp the truth: our ways are not God's ways. 

It takes time to be willing to trust God. Time invested every day. We may never understand why circumstances happen...but we can always know that God has the big plan in His hands. 

For I know the thoughts that I think about you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Sometimes our world will tip like a motorcycle traveling on a curve. If we take control and sit straight, our weight will cause the motorcycle to tip over. If we lean too far, the motorcycle will tip over. If, however, we give in, and lean with the natural pull, we will do well.

God loves you so much more than you will ever know.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: SeemingContradictions

Do you need prayer? You can leave your prayer request in the comment section, or email me at maryveewriter@gmail.com...knowing that I will pray for your need.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Those Annoying Roadblocks

This weekend I am off to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Internet reception usually isn't great in remote areas, so I asked my friend, Karen Witemeyer who is also an author to stop by and share a thought we could talk about.

The topic that came to her mind involved road blocks.

Hah, yeah. Well, with the construction I'm driving through to get those lovely Blue Ridge Mountains, I know about road blocks. Sheesh, I hope I make it to the meetings on time.

Anyway, Karen wanted to share how road blocks can actually be a good thing. Yeah. I know. Doesn't seem possible, right? Take a moment and check out what happened to my author friend, Karen Witemeyer: 

Those Annoying Roadblocks

I was no fool. I expected the road to publication to be arduous. So I prepared. I put my craft muscles through years of intensive training and stretched myself in critique groups and contests.

Then I took my first completed novel to a writer's conference. 

I arrived a day early and worked at the volunteer station stuffing envelopes. A woman who had the same first name worked beside me. That was fun. However, as time ticked on, I realized who she really was. This was Karen Schurrer, an editor from Bethany House, my dream publisher. 

Only the Lord could have orchestrated such a meeting. I resisted telling her about my novel right then. Two days later, I sat at her lunch table, and after everyone talked about their projects, one brave writer asked if we could send her our proposals. She said yes.

After the conference, I sent in my proposal and soon had a surprise request for a full manuscript. Surely a contract was right around the corner, right? Wrong. The acquisitions editor rejected my manuscript. She considered the plot too similar to something they'd already done. It wouldn't work for launching a new author. 

She complimented the writing and said there was one component to the story that she liked—the dress shop. Could I come up with a new idea surrounding a dress shop?

Now you have to understand, in the original book, the dress shop burned to the ground in the prologue. It didn't even make it into chapter one. Yet she wanted me to create an entirely new book from scratch based on this shop idea. Unbelievable. It would be easier to look for another publisher.

But publishing with Bethany House was my dream. 

I started brainstorming, and even met with the editor in person at the next conference. She gave me feedback and encouraged me to send her the new story. Early the next year, Bethany House offered me a three book deal launching A Tailor-Made Bride. Yep, the dress shop book.

Just because I had a three-book deal didn't mean the roadblocks were cleared. Not even when the books sold well. 

Contract time rolled around again. Bethany asked for three new book ideas for the committee. I worked hard and wrote the best synopses I could. I like them. They should like them too. After all, my editor had already said she wanted to sign me for another deal.

Nope. They turned down two of my three ideas. Ouch. 

Roadblocks are never fun to hit, but they do teach important lessons. You see, my first books were light-hearted and fun. However, I have a soft spot for dark, wounded heroes, too, and one of my synopses featured such a tortured soul. My editor wrote that it wasn't what readers would expect when they picked up a Karen Witemeyer book. In other words, it didn't match the brand I had formed. I needed to go back to the drawing board and create ideas that better fit readers' expectations. 

That's what a professional does. She doesn't whine and complain about the publisher who doesn't understand her artistic genius. No, she opens a new document and gets to work.

Mary here. This is so true even with our Christian lives. God has in mind the projects we can do. He knows our strengths and weaknesses. If we teeter off to a project off the path, God will remind us of His will. At that point we can choose: follow God's will, or walk away.

Contract renewal time will come up again soon. I must admit, I'm still nervous about proposing ideas they will like. But now I know more about keeping true to my brand, and more than that, I know that if one or more of my ideas come back to me with a big red No stamped across them, I can persevere, be a professional, and get things done.  That's what this writing journey is about—doing our best for God's glory.

About Karen:

Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com  

Thank you Karen for joining us this weekend!

So, what roadblock is possibly helping you?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

That's Right. We ARE Entitled!

Sleeping Bear Dunes-Traverse City, MI, photo by Mary Vee
It's time to take back our lives!

Since the dawn of communication, I'm talking all the way back to Eve and Adam, persuasion and stretching the truth have become the core of communication.

Beware what you believe.

Hold on, don't run away. I'm not writing one of those "The Earth is Going to End" doomsday posts. Sheesh. Wouldn't that put me in the same boat?

What I'm trying to do is to cause all of us, me included, to consider what we hear/read/see before we jump on a bandwagon.

Not that long ago sayings like, "Do it Your Way" and "You Deserve" were the theme of commercials. Those phrases became a norm. A mantra for unions. An enticer for sales. The focus has been on me. Me. ME.

The current phrase, and this one is not so new either, is: "I'm Entitled."

Okey doke. Let's talk about what we are really entitled to.

BECAUSE JESUS died for us and took on the punishment for our sins, we are entitled to life everlasting.

BECAUSE I WORK, I am entitled to a paycheck.

BECAUSE GROCERIES ARE BOUGHT AND ORGANIZED IN THE KITCHEN, we are entitled to make meals for ourselves and our family.

BECAUSE I WEED THE GARDEN, I am entitled to the flowers and other vegetables that grow there.

BECAUSE THE SUN SHINES, you are entitled to feel warm.

BECAUSE I GO TO CHURCH and PRAISE GOD, I am entitled to feel blessed by God.

BECAUSE WE HELP OTHERS, we are entitled to feel happy.

BECAUSE GOD ESTABLISHED A SCIENTIFIC SYSTEM that placed the earth where it is, we are entitled to a habitable planet.

BECAUSE THERE IS AN APPROPRIATE BALANCE BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS, a system designed by God, we are entitled to breathable air.

BECAUSE A PERSON FOLLOWS THE RULES, he or she is entitled to not suffer consequences.

BECAUSE SOMETHING IS FUNNY, we are entitled to laugh.

BECAUSE GOD LOVES US, we don't have to fear what we are truly entitled to.

Help me out here, what else are we entitled to?

This post has been brought to you by the one word: TrulyEntitled