Friday, February 25, 2011

Bieberhearts, Let’s Talk About Love…

Has Bieber Fever struck your home?

Across the country, millions of girls are heart sick for 16 year old Justin Bieber. With wispy hair, a cute smile, and popular voice, Justin has quickly become today’s teen heart throb. Girls download all his music to their iPod, can’t get enough of his face, and salivate over his every word.

Because his sphere of influence is so large, I was deeply disappointed by his comments related to sex in the recently released Rolling Stone.

What exactly did he have to say on the topic? When asked if he believed in abstinence until marriage he responded, “I think you should just wait for the person you’re…in love with.”

Great. Now all of the Beliebers who aren’t strong enough, mature Believers truly are going to be sick because their idol has just told them that love is the boundary for sex. Sadly, if girls buy into this cultural lie their chances of walking away from that relationship without true physical disease are not good. After all, one in four people are infected with an STD and more than one in two sexually active singles is already infected with HPV.

Hearing his quote made me think about another teen boy’s question in my new book with Pam Stenzel.

To finish reading my post, please visit MODsquad.
(photo credit by yangamat.com)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where's Waldo

Remember Where’s Waldo?

You know the cute little guy that was found somewhere within the chaos of different settings on different days? Well, that summarizes my writing life this week so I wanted to let you in on the find so that you can find me.

Everyone has a different talent. Some people make bows. Some people knit super cute trendy items. (I so wish that I could do that!) I make words. Not just words on a blog page, but words on the pages of books that you see at your local bookstore and bring home to enhance your life.

Unaware that this was a God-given talent, I didn’t always know that this would be my story. I thought God had other plans for me. But, after having my first baby, a request to write a manuscript with Pam, and an amazing conversation that led to an invitation from Wendy Lawton at Books & Such to be my agent, I was completely in. God had affirmed my gift and opened my eyes to all the potential that lies ahead making words fit in a way that educates, inspires, and brings the love of Christ near.

I love words. I love their power. And, I love the ability of a good book to draw its reader out of their busy lives and into a new world for a while.

My prayer is that my recently released book with Pam Stenzel will do that with today’s teenagers, their parents, and all who love/mentor someone in the 12 to young 20 age group. Our Facebook like formatting is the first of its kind and the stories and questions shared along with the information inside will answer any question a person has about sex and leave them walking away desiring abstinence until marriage.

Purchase your copy to get in the know and help the teen you love here.

This week you can find me in several different blog settings (and there will be some giveaways so make sure to check them out!) with different messages about the book. On Wednesday, I’ll be guest posting with The MOB Society. If you are a mother of boys, you most definitely need to check them out! Thursday I’ll be over at Teri Lynne Underwood’s site And, Friday I’ll be writing my monthly post for ModSquad Girl mama’s that post is for you! In addition, Erin from Home with the Boys will be writing her own review of the book on Friday and having some fun with it. I can’t wait to see what she has to say!

Get the Where’s Waldo effect?

Now it should be a little easier to find me in the midst of all your web pages. As I give thanks to God for the gift of putting together words in this form, (Pam and) I feel richly blessed to be invited to share in so many places.

Check them out and have a great week!

*Note: The book is also available on the Kindle ,iPad, and Nook*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dearest Baby Nesdahl

According to averages you are now about 17 inches & around 3 pounds. If my stomach is any indication, however, you have your father’s (tall) genes. Seriously, you’ve given a whole new definition to belly dancing. With the liveliness of the energizer bunny, you make my stomach move around & we watch in awe. To say you are a mover and a shaker is the understatement of the century.


Today I saw the pulmonologist and they were happy with how we were doing. Sometimes it feels like forever until you will be here. Other times you make it obvious that the day is coming. In fact, today during a live radio interview I had a contraction that momentarily took my breath away. Nice timing, kiddo!

The whole family is anticipating your arrival and as we’ve entered the third trimester (I’m 29 weeks), I want you to know how loved you are.

Your father, Charlie, is a man of God who will dote over you in ways that will only make my love for him continue to grow (if that is possible). As you age, he will be the one that loves to run around and play the crazy games like hide-and-go seek and monster, and he’ll magically finagle his way into the little plastic play house for imaginary play.

When he’s working, I will be at home with you. One of my greatest joys is seeing your every first. I know that I am blessed that way. And, when you sleep, I’ll be writing. As an author, I have the perfect balance between the being-at-home life and the opportunity to use my God-given skills to help minister to others.

You’ve heard your sisters’ voices by now and they have made the pregnancy with you beyond enjoyable. Discomfort from the reflux (hair maybe?) is all forgotten when they rush over to place their tiny hands over my belly and dream about you. Hannah even thinks she heard you laughing. :)

I have a feeling Hannah - who will be 3 ½ when you are born - will be more help than you are ready for. After a trip to the zoo today she proudly announced, “I can’t wait for spring so the baby will be born and I can hold it and hug it.” She routinely brings me diapers for you (already) and is enamored by any baby she sees. Be prepared!

Grace will be 5 ½ and is quite mature for her age. She will sing to you, dance for you, sit by you and read books, and pray with you. I am certain of this because she does it with Hannah now. If ever there was a tender-hearted soul, it is her. She will cherish you beyond measure.

I can’t wait to see your precious little face and find out whether you are a boy or girl. But, beyond the hospital, my favorite days will be those first days home, when your daddy is off of work and our nuclear family will adjust from four to five. Just like your sisters, you are a miracle. A definite answer to prayer. And, you will enter a house filled with love. So, incubate for a few more months, but don’t be afraid to come a couple days early. We will be ready for you!



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tune in for a Live Radio Interview!

Tomorrow, February 17, 2011, Pam Stenzel & I are going to be interviewed live about our new book on WMBI-FM radio at 10:30am CST. If you are in the Chicago area, tune in at 90.1FM. And, for all the rest of you, their site has a listen live option. So, no one has to miss out on the fun. :)

We are honored to be featured on the “This is the Day! with Nancy Turner” show. The program regularly features a mix of interviews with authors, inspirational speakers & other people of influence.

If you are unfamiliar with our recent release, click here. The reviews thus far are excellent!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Ultimate Valentine

Valentine's Day conjures up many emotions. You might be happily in love and anticipating a special date or already cherishing a heartfelt gift. Or, you might be single and planning an anti-Valentines celebration. Perhaps you were like me and consciously chose to put on red this morning. Or, you may have awaken and selected black like one of my dearest friends.

But, Valentine's Day goes so much deeper.

I don't know where you are at today. But, there is One who does. And, no matter what your circumstance, He longs to be your Valentine.

Some of the words in this Love Letter to you are featured in my new book. Listen to the message in its entirety and soak it in.



Christ is referred to as your bridegroom in Scripture because He is the ultimate lover. Regardless of your relationship status on this side of heaven, He is caring for you, intimately loving you, and providing for you the safe, secure relationship no earthly one will ever match.

"I love you," He says.

And this makes today a holiday we can all celebrate. Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Treats

Still looking for the perfect Valentine's treats for your child's class party?

How cute are these?!?!

I'm in charge of treats for Grace's party tomorrow and I must admit I struggled. Valentine's Day has traditionally been defined by a societal celebration of romantic love. But, let's be honest - little kids aren't celebrating romantic relationships nor do we want them to be!

I want my children to know the Author of love. When they think of Valentine's Day, the fun cards and good treats are fine, but I want them to think primarily of the love that Christ has for them and how He defines it.

Initially, I was looking for some kind of treat that I could do something with the Scripture

Love is patient, Love is kind... 1 Cor 13:4

Because God loves in this special manner and wants us to recipricate that. In young minds, that translates to respecting parents and being nice to siblings and friends. As they age and get into dating relationships, it means respecting the body of the person they date as well as their own (because selfish romantic desires are understood not to be of Him).

Essentially, understanding God's deep, personal love for them now will help them to have healthy Valentine's Day celebrations down the road.

Unfortunately, when trying to put this message into something food, my creativity failed me. However, I ran across this very cute recipe on Disney's family fun site and I made a few modifications.

Rather than saying "I choo-choose you" the banner reads "God choo-chooses you." With the cupcakes prepared, tracks pasted on, and train items ready to go, I plan to let the 4 & 5 year olds assemble and place the train on their treat while talking to them about how special they are to God.

Pretty fun, right?

I wanted to pass the idea along just in case you - like me - have procrastinated in the party planning arena!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Football Fun

If you are like many, last Sunday evening was spent in front of the TV taking in an American favorite - the superbowl. And, if you don't care about the superbowl, you may have tuned in just to check out the always anticipated commercials.

Each year, we host the football fun and this year we tried some fun new ideas that the kids could help with so I thought that I'd pass them along! :)

We started by placing a yellow table cloth on our dining room table. It created a team neutral setting.

Then, the girls helped to make brownies. When they were done, we used a football cookie cutter to cut them out and finished them off with white frosting.

As the brownies cooked, we made jello. What kid AND adult doesn't like jello?! It's a sure hit for everyone in attendance.

For Steelers jello, we used lemon with floating black licorice. I must admit, I wouldn't do black licorice again. It got pretty soft and definitely changed the flavor of the jello. But, for this year, it worked.

For the Packers jello, we put yellow gummy slugs into lime jello. This tasted excellent!

When everything was complete, we created a festive spread in the middle of the table. Then, we placed the "real food" around it.

Since we are a household of Vikings fans, the outcome was tough. But, we did call our family members who back the Pack to congratulate them in their joy.

I wonder if we will ever get to know that feeling?

Still, the time spent eating endless good food with friends while watching a great game made for a wonderful night.

What kinds of fun things did you do this year?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Smiley Goats

Today the Smiley Goats walked for a smiley little boy.

Sadly, this was the first year Sam watched us from heaven.

I must admit on my way there I was deep in prayer for strength over Sam's family... and my mind drifted to the "why?"

I don't know if you are like me, but when life doesn't make sense (from my perspective) I sometimes struggle. I don't like it when life feels grey. Confession: I'm a black and white kinda girl.

However, just as quickly as my mind went there, God smacked me Proverbs 3:5-6:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

So I let go.
I can never make sense of all pain, confusion, and suffering on this side of heaven. Nor can you. This makes the "why" a pretty much meaningless question that allows Satan to keep us from experiencing the riches God can provide when we submit to Him.
There is power in His all-knowing name.

Amazingly, while there were a few tears, today was filled with tremendous joy. An enormously large team of people celebrated a child who knew nothing but love. Jeff & Erin demonstrated confidence and passion for a school that helped their son to thrive while he was with them. And, we all clung to the love of our faithful God

to remember a much loved child.

I am so honored to have known Sam, to count myself a friend to this beautiful family, and for a powerful Word that gives us new focus and hope....ALWAYS.




Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do You Prefer Books on the Kindle?

NOBODY TOLD ME is now available for you!

In an age where literature can be read in so many ways, this is exciting news - particularly for those of you who have asking for our book in this format.

I must admit, I have something about hold a physical book in my hands, turning the crisp pages, and passing along that which I love. But, for those who are talented enough to workout while reading (which I have discovered is certainly NOT me), travel alot, or simply like the look and simplicity of the screen, it is a great piece of technology that allows people to have multiple books without consuming a lot of space - and that is GREAT news for all book lovers.

So, just quickly announcing the brand new news! You can now read our book in whatever format you wish: physical book, Kindle, or Nook.

Enjoy!

Also, I'm honored to be guest posting with Karin Kaufman today. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Love"ly Winners


Here we are in the month of love & I get to annoounce the five lucky winners of Pam & my new book about Godly love - Nobody Told Me. I used random.org for the winning numbers.

The people chosen were:

Jennifer A. Janes

Carson Waldrop

Elizabeth Towns

Lynn Cowell

Athena

Thank you to all who entered. If you didn't win, please know that Meghan Tucker is featuring a blog tour post today and is giving away one copy. I also am thrilled to have a guest post at Fill My Cuppie, and two copies are up for grabs there for an individual there (their instructions: "like" her post & TWEET "I LIKED IT!" from: ). Pam and I are so appreciative for all who have invited us to share through blog posts, ministry newsletters, magazine articles, and media interviews.

If you have interest in having us write a post/article for you please let me know!

The book can be found at Pam's site, Amazon, B&N, christianbook.com, your local bookstore or wherever you like to purchase books. It is our hope that even if you didn't win you will get it into your hands and the hands of the teens you love.

We are getting wonderful feedback from teens and parents alike. In fact, one Amazon review includes this:

"If you have a teenager this is a great book. I think all parents should invest in this. This book is filled with the things parents are all want to tell their teens or are telling their teens, but it comes from their peers. The real-life stories and questions are great and will make an impact on your teen. Within the pages of this book there may even be questions asked and answered that your teen won't ask you. It further impressed me that for most subjects there was a positive example from someone who had chosen God's way and an example of someone who did not choose God's way or did not know to choose God's way and how that has impacted their life and ultimately how God restored them after they admitted their sin. I highly recommend this book."

Once you read the book, we'd love for you to share your feedback online as well.

Lastly, don't forget to join the Nobody Told Me fan page on facebook! We update fun links there mentioned in the book and share info on planned media interviews. :)
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