Dear Reader, Have you ever wondered what an author’s life is like for her kids?


Dear Reader,

Perception often differs from reality.

Take the writing life, for instance.

If you’re tempted to think it’s a glamorous lifestyle, think not just pajamas, but the same pajamas, three days in a row, with maybe an occasional tooth brushing in there somewhere. 

My dogs stare at me all day long, wishing I’d take them for a walk.

My husband does a lot of the cooking, 1) because he’s an amazing cook and 2) because he realized you can’t feed teenagers solely waffles and Pop-Tarts.

But don’t take my word for it.

Just ask my kids.

(Note: I don’t post pictures, information, or the names of my kiddos online, so they’re identified by birth order: O = the oldest, M = middle, and Y = the youngest. They’re all teenagers and they’re every bit as astute and hilarious and convicting as their answers indicate.)

1) What’s the best thing about having a mom who writes books?

O: We get to read her books before anyone else.

M: She could be famous.

Y: I like to think that my mom has done something big in the world.

2) What’s the worst thing about having a mom who writes books?

O: She gets really stressed out and worried whenever one of her deadlines gets close. 

M: She doesn’t feed me at night. Just kidding. I’d say, probably the writing all the time, I guess.

Y: I don’t like her being on her computer all the time, even though I’m on my computer all the time.

3) Your mom writes about some pretty serious topics sometimes. How does that make you feel?

O: I think that she writes about topics that are either rarely discussed or topics that people try to avoid even though the topics she writes about are incredibly relevant and important and today’s world. 

M: That’s cool she’s passionate.

Y: That’s cool. And I become interested in the topics she’s writing about.

4) What sort of book do you wish your mom would write?

O: I think that the types of books she’s writing right now is perfect. I honestly can’t see her writing anything other than christian fiction.

M: Historical fiction, like The Jungle or The Great Gatsby.

Y: Historical fiction, an alternate version of reality in history, like instead of George Washington saying “no” to becoming a king, he says “yes” to being a king and it would show what America would be like.

5) What are some of your mom’s worst or weirdest writing habits?

O: Her weirdest writing habits would have to be the absurd amount of coffee she drinks whenever she’s writing. 


Y: Editing all of my school essays.

6) What’s the one thing you wish people who read your mom’s books would know about what it’s like to have her for a mom?

O: I want people to know that it’s hard to write a book and that sometimes a writer needs their space in order to come up with ideas. We’ve had to learn how to deal with that situation a few times and it has taught our family to be patient and caring whenever she’s trying to finish her writing. 

M: I dunno.

Y: It’s fun, but it’s boring.


Ahhh, out of the mouths of babes!

So you see, I don’t have it all together.

Not anywhere close.

And I clearly drink too much coffee. 

What do YOU want to know about the life of a writer?

Post or email me a question and I’d be glad to answer it on one of my future posts!


Dear Reader is a series I post on every week. If you’re a reader and have an idea or question you’d like me to write about, relating to books or writing or editing, etc., jot me a note and I’d be much obliged to take a stab at your request. Also, if you’d like to read all the Dear Reader posts, click here. If you like insider information into my books or writing life, be sure to sign up for my author newsletter by clicking here.

hems and notions. a poem.

i used a colored pencil to mark the seam 

against the same heel that 14 years before 

pressed against the inside 

of my belly and made me giggle with the hope of

what he will be.

I used a hot iron to stiffen the creases 

and a needle to press through the fabric 

tacking up the hem

tugging at my heart.

what’s a mama to do with the bittersweet seams

on one side, the world

on the other, emptying arms


rest, dear mama. rest.

As the days shorten, the to-do list of a mama lengthens, and we are, so many of us, worn plum out.

See, mama love and mama tasks don’t end with a check mark next to an item on a to-do list.

By mid-October, the gimp sets in, our psyches sulking and spent from back to school and the start of school, first report cards and first dances, car pool lines and school bus bullies, IEPs and 504s, SATs and endless school fees…

…but may I whisper something to you? Something that was whispered to me? I heard it the other day as the sun shone down and lifted the morning fog from the fields…

…be still.

God’s got it.

God’s got your kids.

He loves them more than you do, remember?

And God’s got YOU, mama.

His strength is made perfect in weakness, in our inability to do and be everything to our kiddos and husband and bosses, to teachers and PTA leaders and The Jones’.

Rest in Him and let Him take the reins blistering our worn out hands.

Rest in Him and know that after you’ve kissed your kiddos goodnight, He’s still with them, always.

And He’s with you, too, in the unforced rhythms of grace.