We’ve been in Tennessee about five months now. With all our combined health issues, I knew that the transition from one type of healthcare to the next would not be easy. We stored up our prescriptions and supplies just in case things took longer.
It takes many different supplies to keep my medical equipment running properly. If I run out of one (and I did) it messes up the whole system and blood sugars get out of control quickly.
In California, our healthcare came from one system, with most offices and services located in the same building or not far away. With our new insurance, my healthcare is spread out around our city. I have more freedom to choose which doctors I see, but not how my diabetes is cared for.
I’ve been longing for a new diabetes treatment system, but my insurance keeps denying the request. I refuse to give up. I’ve been with the same system for 27 years and its time for a change. I’m ready to go tubeless!
“Mom, your blood sugar is getting high.” Aiden is concerned because my blood sugars have gone crazy while trying to work out new insurance issues, I don’t have access to my doctor as readily as I had before.
Every diabetic knows that they are the one who best knows how to regulate their diabetes. We cannot be put in a box, even by insurance. I feel like David up against Goliath, but I will continue to fight for the kind of treatment I know will benefit me best and keep me healthy for years to come.
In the words from one of my favorite sci-fi movie spoofs, “Never give up! Never surrender!”
If you could ask Jesus only one question, what would it be?
As an adult I can’t think of just one question I would ask. However, the little girl in my latest book knows exactly what she wants to ask Jesus.
How it began…
Whenever I tell the story of how this picture book came about, I feel the presence of God fill me. At a writing conference ten years ago, this story was an idea pitched to a Focus on the Family editor who said the words every writer loves to hear, “Send it in. I want it.”
It was published in Clubhouse Jr Magazine in 2013 with full-color illustrations.
The gift of a talented illustrator
In May of 2021 at a women’s conference, I read the story on talent show night and received a standing ovation. Afterwards, an artist, Kerstin Fletcher, approached me and said she wanted to illustrate my book.
Since publication in the magazine, I’d always dreamed of it becoming a picture book and in God’s perfect timing, here it is:
How were the illustrations done?
The illustrations are made with watercolor, one of my favorite art mediums, and then converted to digital files. Kerstin Fletcher painstakingly spent hours developing them.
To get the initial ideas, she gathered church attenders and they posed in costume by her direction. Can you imagine young children standing still for long periods of time so Kerstin could get the pose she is looking for?
I’m so grateful for her talent that makes this “book of my heart” come to life, beyond my greatest dreams.
My Question for Jesus is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle versions.
I remember that feeling from the very first conference I attended back in 2008. I wanted to turn the car around and go home, despite the beauty of the mountains surrounding us.
Why did I feel this way? I’ve been attending conferences for more than 15 years. I am certainly not inexperienced. Maybe it was the three-year break due to COVID or maybe it was because I am in need of some serious change as a writer.
As things got started and the first general session’s speaker began, my exuberance bubbled out. I couldn’t help but shout a few “amens.” Afterwards a writer turned around and told me how she appreciated hearing them and she gave me a beautiful card and pen.
I met up with a friend from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.
To be truthful, it reminded me of my first conference: navigating a new campus, figuring out what workshops to take, and making appointments. But this time, the appointments were with old friends.
Needless to say, the nerves went away quickly. And thanks to my praying friends and time on my knees, the conference is now a priority for me, not only to attend, but to be involved in.
God gave me some divine appointments, including one with the director of the conference just as we were preparing to leave.
God is making all things new. Keep praying for me and the future of my writing. I will always keep you posted.
Childbirth is hard, but so is publishing a book. The fun part is writing; the hard part is refining, editing, communicating, cover art, and many other things that a reader may not realize happens before they hold the hard copy in their hands and turn the first page.
Most authors must do all the marketing themselves. I recently enjoyed marketing by sharing a booth with a family friend at a local fair.
I loved talking to interested readers and making connections which I hope will turn into speaking engagements.
The Rocky-as-Elvis prop drew interest, and I had a few posers.
One had to show off her Elvis tattoo.
Yes, It’s hard work to be a writer, but I love my dream career. No matter what pains I must go through, I am going to keep bringing my writing babies into the world.
If you have ever been to summer camp, I guarantee you will enjoy the Rubber Band’s newest adventure. I couldn’t resist writing this light-hearted, fun-filled, nonstop adventure for the band (but not without its serious message that I am hoping will encourage strength in my readers).
One week at Bible camp was always the highlight of my summer, giving me something to look forward to.
I’m on the far right, in the smiley-face t-shirt.
The week always ended too soon for me. Fresh out of high school, I flew to Southern California and worked as a counselor for inner-city kids at a Salvation Army camp in Malibu.
Me with campers, circa 1987.
It was so much fun that I worked three more summers at various camps on the East Coast and then two more back in Malibu. It was inevitable I would write about the experiences.
Although this is a fictional story, some of it is based on reality. Bearskin Meadow Diabetes Camp does exist and some of the names I used are real people who have given me permission to honor them and what they do. Becca’s exaggerated outdoor adventure camp is, however, purely non-existent and based only on my imagination.
I have many fun and crazy stories of my camp experiences, and I’d love to hear your stories of summer camp.
This book has come into my life at the most appropriate time. My life has been turned upside down, packed up, moved out and on to new things, thousands of miles away from my normal life, permanently.
In the process, I am hurting and struggle every day. Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s book, Today is Going to Be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right, has come to my rescue.
Dr. Michelle has been struggling with cancer, which has caused major health issues for months. Yet through her ongoing pain, she published a book to encourage and uplift its readers.
Dr. Michelle’s strength through a difficult trial, in and of itself, should inspire us. But she has opened her heart and bared her soul to share personal thoughts she kept through her days of painful struggles.
I have been reading her book daily and love how she includes scripture and a suggested piece of music to listen to. I find myself singing the song and if I’m not familiar with it, I will look it up. Christian music always lifts my spirits.
What is really cool is I already had a reminder on my wall about having a good day.
Dr. Michelle’s book is compact, making it easy to tuck into in a purse or briefcase. It’s one I plan on sharing with hurting friends.
God knows what He is doing if we trust Him, and I believe there is a bright side to life no matter how crazy it can get. This book has truly been a blessing to me, and I am grateful Dr. Michelle chose to share it with the world.
Recently I read a blog post on writing. I try to read things that are uplifting and encouraging, but after reading this one, I crashed into a deep, dark hole of writing woes.
The article said that if you don’t have anything to offer your readers, why write?
So, I asked myself, “Why do I write?”
It goes all the way back to second grade. I dreamed of writing all my life. Now that I am published, my purpose for writing is to keep telling stories.
But why do I write a blog?
Does anyone care about what I have to say?
After much evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that I write because I want to connect with people. I want my readers to know I am a real, imperfect person with all kinds of problems, pursuing her life’s dream of being an author.
The point is, people need each other. If I reach one person with my musings, that is why I write.
I also have stories roaming around in my head that demand I put them to the page. If I don’t get them out, the characters will drive me crazy!
Also, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God has called me to write for Him.
It’s easy to feel unheard and misunderstood in today’s age of hyper-speed communication.
But guess what? Feeling misunderstood is nothing new.
In this unique book, Mary DeMuth tells the stories of ten women in the Bible who were misunderstood in their own time (and often still are).
This book offers real-life conversations about what it means to endure the pain of being misunderstood and reminds you that there is always One who understands you perfectly.
Mary DeMuth has always been an author who knows how to address tough subjects with grace.
As a woman, I feel misunderstood and underappreciated all the time. I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough.
How wonderful it is to have a book that gives insight into the lives of Biblical women who went through the same feelings women go through but may not talk about. Those hidden feelings are universal and though women may experience them differently, this book gives camaraderie to modern women from relatable women of a different era.
Biblical women helping women deal with issues only women understand. I am reminded that we are not meant to be alone in this world.
DeMuth has crafted this book with great care to encourage and strengthen women in spirit and faith. It is worth every minute of a misunderstood woman’s time, or, if you happen to be a man, read it to learn more of how women think and feel.
The Most Misunderstood Women of the Bible – purchase on Amazon
Long before our move to Tennessee was even a thought, my favorite sister in the whole wide world (my only sister and sibling) bought eighth row, floor seat tickets to a MercyMe concert.
We’d been to one together in 2019 and declared it the best concert ever so I knew I wouldn’t want to miss it. As our move became imminent, I assured my sister I would return. A full day’s travel, early morning hours with little sleep and two airports later, I returned to California.
There is something special about the group MercyMe. I have been blessed by their music for years. The words always seem to heal my broken heart and minister to my soul with exactly what I need.
Every song on their latest album, inhale (exhale) spoke to my heart and kept me going through the long journey of ups and downs, barely breathing at times, in the process of moving to Tennessee and settling in.
MercyMe does a song called Happy Dance that encourages the audience to dance and be silly, then they shower us with confetti.
I took full advantage of the opportunity and found myself enjoying every moment of my own happy dance. Silliness relieves a great deal of stress.
Needless to say, the lyrics of that night’s concert keep me going as I inhale and exhale while missing friends, family and the network of self-care I had established after 27 years in Santa Rosa.
I am trying really hard and leaning on my faith, and thanks to the words of one of MercyMe’s tunes, I will prevail.
Patrick Barrett grew up on the back of a donkey. In the small village of Liscarroll, the young boy helped his family run a sanctuary for abandoned and abused donkeys.
Struggling in school, Patrick only felt truly accepted in the presence of these funny, fuzzy, touching animals. It was like magic, how he and the donkeys understood each other. He became a true “donkey whisperer”—reading their body language, communicating with them in ways they could understand, and teaching himself how to “speak” in their distinctive calls.
But when Patrick was of age, he shipped out with the Irish Army and encountered unimaginable wartime horrors in Lebanon and Kosovo. In the aftermath, he returned home a broken man, sinking into the depths of PTSD and addictions. He believed nothing could save him. But he hadn’t counted on the donkeys.
Sanctuary is the remarkable true story of how faith turned one lost man’s life around with the help of the rescue animals who loved him. It’s an antidote to despair and a call to hope, revealing the beauty and wonder of Ireland as you’ve never seen it before.
This true story of an Irish village, a man who lost his way and the rescue donkeys that led him home should be recommended reading for all those in recovery programs of every kind.
Patrick shares his raw, honest emotions at every stage in his journey, from childhood alcoholism to humble submission to God’s call on his wayward heart. His open sharing of his experience evoked a range of emotions within me from sorrow to joy, frustration to clarity.
Woven within the story by analogy is his love for rescuing and relating to donkeys and their personality traits. Animal lovers will enjoy this read as Patrick truly has a soft heart for his four-legged friends and should be known as the ‘donkey whisperer.’
Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory, co-authors of Sanctuary.
Sanctuary will encourage and uplift an addicted heart to seek help, reminding the reader that God’s love is unconditional. I enjoyed this true story of rebellion and redemption and highly recommend it.