Saturday, February 15, 2020

Heading to a conference this year?
By Julie Lavender

With writers conference season on the horizon, my monthly post on The Writers Conversation references my walk with God and journey to publication with Revell for my parenting book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories. While writing my post on Groundhog Day, with the movie by the same name playing on a random television station in the background, I found some interesting correlations to my writing trek and meteorologist's Phil Connors', aka Bill Murray's, experiences during his day on repeat. I would be honored if you'd read the whole post here and add to the conversation on Edie Melson's site. 

Here's my bullet points for the post, "Writers on Repeat: Don't Give Up!" - my comparisons of the lessons learned by Connors to what I've learned at conferences in the past.   

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

by Julie Lavender

On our trip out west, my husband and I also encountered Steller’s jay birds on the same walk where we spotted magpies. 

Large songbirds, the Steller’s jay is a gorgeous shade of blue with a charcoal black head. Steller’s jays and blue jays are the only North American jays with crests atop their heads.

Friday, January 31, 2020

My guest blogger is my online friend Ben Cooper. He, too, is a nature-lover like me, and he has a lot in common with my biologist-hubby. I hope you'll enjoy an excerpt from his nature devotional (please see bio for info about his book), and feel free to comment and join the conversation about your walk with God, too. 

All Nature Sings: A Devotional Guide to Animals in the Bible 
by Ben Cooper

Hawk (Buteo jamaicensus)
common name: 
Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tail is the most common of the hawk species found in North America. It is well adapted to live in forested or open areas but can be found in cities and deserts. They are the easiest birds of prey to identify because they have pronounced red tail feathers as viewed from above. They are part of the soaring hawks. When the sunlight shines down on the rocks, water and soil; some of the heat is reflected back. This creates heat thermals or currents of vertical air that generate lift for the birds. These soaring hawks are captivating to watch as they glide for long periods of time without flapping their wings. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

by Julie Lavender

On a walk in the Rocky Mountain National Park, my husband and I spotted beautiful, winged magpies. With none of these gorgeous beauties in my neck of the woods in south Georgia, they especially attracted my attention.

Monday, January 27, 2020


I love sharing how God leads me on this writing journey on my walk with Him, and this week, I'd love to share a devotional that editor Beth Patch accepted for I met Beth at a writers conference and attended the course she taught about writing for CBN. 

I'm a huge advocate of attending writing conferences, because of the knowledge gleaned, but, more importantly because of the relationships formed - with fellow writers, editors, and agents. These personal relationships are so important in this writing industry! 

Beth Patch is a delight and you'll love getting to know her at a conference. She has a wealth of writing knowledge, and she's very encouraging to writers. 

Please take a look below at one of the styles of devotionals that CBN uses, and make plans to attend a conference soon! You'll be so glad you did!  


But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, kissed him, and they wept. –Genesis 33:4 (CEB)

We miscommunicated on aisle three.

“You said you’d meet me at the car, right when you reached for the powdered sugar,” David said.

“But I meant at check-out. Besides, if you’d brought your phone, I could’ve found you sooner,” I retorted.

The frozens never thought of thawing with the chilly drive home.

“I have my phone, in case you can’t find me in the back yard,” my husband
snarked after he unloaded the groceries.

I slammed a few things around – but not the eggs – and thought of another miscommunication, several years ago and in another state.

Six months pregnant with our fourth child, I planned an excursion to Venice Beach Boardwalk. We’d just moved to California, compliments of the U.S. Navy.

“I thought you knew where we were going,” David mumbled as we parked.

Well you promised you’d bring the map. Look there’s the boardwalk. And the Ferris wheel.”

“We’ll never make it there and back before dark,” said David. “I’ll move the car closer.”

What I thought was Venice Beach Boardwalk was actually the Santa Monica Pier. The kids and I walked along the edge of the water while David moved the car. We made it to the pier, but no sign of David anywhere. With no cell phone then, I had nothing with me but three kids – three hungry, thirsty, tired kids.

We searched the pier, walked the beach, talked to lifeguards, spoke with the Santa Monica Police Department, rested, thirsted, wept a little – some more than others - and started anew.

My worry was approaching panic as dusk drew near. Then Jenifer yelled, “There’s daddy!” We could see him pacing the beach frantically as we peered for the one hundredth time over the edge of the pier.

Jeremy cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled for his dad while the rest of us waved our arms in the air. When David spotted us, I could see relief flood his face, even from that distance. He made his way our direction.

“I’m sorry I got us lost,” I said as I threw my arms around David’s neck.

“I’m sorry I forgot the map,” David said, just before kissing me.  

My mind came back to the present as I placed the powdered sugar in its rightful place. Our argument was ridiculous and silly, and my sharp words to my husband were uncalled for, reminding me of the verse in Proverbs 15:1 (ESV) that says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

I think I’ll text David an apology. Then I’ll run out back for a kiss.

Dearest God of Jacob, Thank you for forgiveness. May I never lose sight of its sweetness.  

Saturday, January 11, 2020


Not only is it the start of a new year, but it's a fresh, brand-spankin' new decade! 

As I pondered my writing goals on my walk with God this year, I was drawn to verses about eyesight and vision, as I've noticed several social media memes referring to this year as the year of perfect vision! Get it? 20/20? (It took me a bit to catch on at first!!)

Monday, December 30, 2019