Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kisses in the Curve Balls

Kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you’ll wait for me. Hold me like you’ll never let me go . . .

It was one of those moments. It happens periodically when I’m in the early morning sleep state, between quiet and reality. A song fragment awakens me and flows through my heart and thoughts. These are rare, breathless moments. Moments when He sings over me. I’ve learned to listen.

Yes, Lord?

Remember your speech?Carol_Award_Gold_-_no_base_transparent_background

The one I didn’t get to give. The one I’d already posted to my blog before I know whether or not I’d get to give it.

The one where I said to survive being a writer I had to hold onto God for all I was worth.

I’d fallen asleep  a few hours before with eyes squeezed hard in the darkened hotel room, eyelashes hot with wet that cooled to icky cold on my cheeks. I was okay. After all, it’s normal to be bummed in times like this. But I hadn’t only hidden sadness from the world. Anger smoldered, too, tinging the purity of disappointment.

Anger for the long path of a writer. Grief that only that week He’d again asked me to do something different than I wanted as a writer. To put the projects of my heart on hold again–after they’d been on hold for that last 5 years. Just when I thought maybe He’d let me move forward He again said, “no.”

The speech, remember? Live what you wrote. Hold onto Me for all you’re worth.

Yes, Lord.

I felt it, then–His kindness, His reassurance, His tenderness. Without words He spoke, “Smile for me, beloved. Don’t be angry I didn’t give you the win this time. Wait for Me. For My plan. Love me, dear one. Live in my joy. Don’t let the disappointment steal it away.”

Trust Me.

The anger dissipated.

Smile for Me?

The pain lessened.

Kiss me?

“I love you, Lord. Even when I don’t get my way.”

I thought back to all He’d taught me this summer. The preparation for the new twists of His plan.

And I knew this moment was about another surrender to another “wait.”

In His goodness He didn’t ask me to obey without also sharing His presence, His heart. Like the times Jerry has had to disappointment me for a greater good, He grieved, too. Was sad He couldn’t give what I wanted right then. Wished He could simply make me happy.

Desired, maybe even needed, my smile. My kisses.

Unbroken relationship.

I’ll write about His new plan soon. It’s a curve ball I never desired, but got excited about when He asked it of me. And then freaked out about and got mad about later, only to surrender once again.

Baseball_diamond_marines

photo from wikipedia

It’s a curve ball that will eventually allow a home run hit or two, but that in the short term means turning (yet another time) from my long-term dreams and resting in short-term preparation.

Learning to swing at this curve ball means another season of stretching, learning, allowing Him undo thinking patterns that hold me back. Another round of stepping out of my comfort zone and swinging on a new field.

I’ll let you know all about that soon, my friends. Until then, I covet your prayers for me in this new place where I stretch.

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Spirit Seeker Sunday~Beloved Before

“We must resist slipping into performance mode.”

Oh my goodness! I about broke into a cold sweat just reading the title of Lysa TerKeurst’s devotion, “Well Pleased” And I KNOW better.

Much of my life was wrapped up in performing. Feeling good when I succeeded and terrible when I failed! I DO NOT EVER want to be that girl again.

Spirit 17 stephen

Photo By Stephen Moldenhauer

Talk about bondage!

Yet I still often have to talk myself down from performance-driven, people-pleasing, ick.

When the Father spoke about Jesus He said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” God spoke that over Jesus before He began His ministry, before He was obedient even to death. God was pleased BEFORE. Just because Jesus is His.

He is pleased with us like that, too. Before we find success on our weight loss journey. Just because we’re His. It doesn’t get any better than that.

YOU are LOVED. CHOSEN. ADORED. With YOU He is well pleased. As Lysa said in that devotional, Let this truth “fill the drain holes that leach away your significance.”

Let’s follow Jesus’ example, hanging onto our identity as BELOVED, loved forever, always, and unconditionally. Loved BEFORE we perform. BEFORE we find success.

BEFORE we are skinny.

In the identity of beloved, let’s stand strong and move forward!

How about you? Do you struggle with knowing He loves you, deeply, truly . . . accepts you, fully and completely . . . on the good days and the bad? When you feel successful and when you don’t?

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Beloved even before the victory

Let’s Help Each Other!

News Flash!

I’m really close to meeting a personal goal in my new career as a business woman with Life Force International, the company whose products helped me lose over 55 pounds.

If you’ve been considering getting serious about the weight loss journey, I’d love to help you. And I’m offering a little incentive. If you order the BENew Life Shift Pack before Monday, 5 p.m. mountain time, Jerry and I will give you $25 off that first order. But it gets even better. The company is offering free shipping for two months if you sign up by Monday as well. That means you can save $50 off your first two months just by acting now.

But do this for more reasons than just saving money or helping me meet a goal. Do this for YOU.PaulaPinkPinkPixSmall Do this for your family and friends who will enjoy the added energy and joy you bring to your relationships.

And do it with determination. Think through the story I shared on my last post and make the choice to be all in. Use healthy products AND make incremental lifestyle adjustments that will change your life.

You CAN do this. You can be healthier and stronger and thinner.

Email me with your questions, and I’ll help you out: Paula@paulamoldenhauer.com

 

LOVE This Weight Loss Story

Sometimes an email just makes your day!

That’s what happened when I emailed my friend and fellow writer, Suzanne Norquist, to ask how HomePage_BENewProducts_245x219her BENew journey is going. It’s responses like hers that make me  jump up and down!

Here’s a clip from her email:

“The diet is going great!  It has been 6 ½ months.  I’m down 45 pounds with a goal of 60 pounds.  I went from size 16 to size 8.  My husband wonders why I need to lose more.

I climbed Mount Princeton last month with my daughter before she left for college.  I had given up on hard mountain hikes a couple of years ago.  I’ve stepped up my workouts and joined a boxing gym where I do the kickboxing power hour workout three times a week.  It is a hard cardio workout.

I have noticed that with the harder workouts, my body thinks I needed more food.  It is taking a while to convince it that it really doesn’t, kind of like at the beginning of the diet.  The other day I told my husband that I was extra hungry.  He asked me what the difference was between being super hungry and being extra hungry because I used both terms.  And, is super hungry more hungry than extra hungry or the other way round?  He is a goofball.

Anyway, it is working for me.  The loss has slowed but keeps going the right direction.  I’m enjoying my new clothes.”

I asked Suzanne if I could share her story. Stories like hers show us it IS possible to move forward. So thank you, Suzanne for being an inspiration to me and my readers!

Obviously I love the products Suzanne is taking since I’ve had such success with them myself, but I noticed several things in Suzanne’s email that showed she’s doing her part, too. She’s intentional about the two biggies–adding movement into her days and eating wisely. Though she supported her journey to a more healthy, active lifestyle by taking good, healthy weight loss products, she looked at to them for support, not to be a magic wand.

As I write often on this blog I want the changes I’m experiencing to bring about a lifestyle change, not a temporary weight loss. For me it’s about support–boosting the speed and chances of success–not dependence. It’s also about health. I choose products that have nutritional value.

The BENew products helped me have more energy to add movement into my day. Along withbody balance the Body Balance nutritional supplement I take, they helped reduce sugar cravings. I believe the research that says they are attacking visceral fat and blocking carbs.

But when I made the decision to take the products I also made a decision to made positive changes and take a journey to healthier living.

How about you? Do you believe in weight loss support products, or would you rather go it on your own? Have you used products as a magic pill? Did that work for you long term?

(And, friends, this post is not a guilt trip. We’ve all longed for a magic wand to zap away our problems. We’ve all stuttered-stepped in our journey to change. It may be that you’ve tried a product that has worked for your friends but not for your body. There is no judgement here, just a desire to have a balanced approach to weight loss no matter the method you choose.)

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Magic pill or sensible support system?

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Hi Friends!

I’m a bit behind on blogging this week! I attended back-to-back trainings, one with Life Force International, and the other at the ACFW Conference. They were AWESOME and full of epiphanies for me. I hope to share about them soon. I think I’m also about ready to write about some of the things I discovered this summer. Whew! A lot on my mind to download. I can’t wait to clear a space to write about all of these really cool things!

Also, just a hopeful note for those of you wondering about my weight loss journey. I’ve not only maintained, but this morning the scale showed me down a couple more pounds! While I had to let go of letting the scale dictate my mood as the pounds came off–often more slowly than I wanted–I have to tell you that I think it’s okay that I wanted to do the Snoopy Dance!

For today’s post, I’m linking to a blog that featured–ME!. I talk a little about the stuff we do here, the nomination for the Carol Award for my novella, and the writing journey. Please visit the Inkwell for the whole story–and if you want, tweet or share the blog on Facebook. That would help ACFW Colorado get the word out about their blog as well as support me in my journey as an author.

YOU CAN FIND THE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ON YOURS TRULY HERE

Spirit Seeker Sunday~In Words

He is WITH me. He leads, restores, guides, comforts, fills, and satisfies me.

In her Made to Crave Devotional Lysa TerKeurst asks, “Do I rely on the Lord in these ways or do I rely on food in these ways?”

Hmmm . . . if i’m honest, the answer is, “both.” I don’t think there is anything wrong with feeling satisfied after a healthy meal or even comforted by a nice cup of hot tea. But the question is whether I TURN to things or to Jesus.

What RULES me?

Where do I look for joy, or where do I look in times of need?

Lysa calls it a war. She says the enemy is always whispering defeat in our ears.

I’ll bet you’ve heard some of the vile whispers she talked about–the stuff that says we’ll never be free. I know I’ve heard things like that. The good thing about those awful thoughts is when something that negative comes at us, we can be sure of where it came from!

It did NOT from the One who created us, set us free with His own blood, empowers us to victory, and wants only GOOD for us!

Lord,
Thank you that you march before me, behind me, beside me in the battle for my soul. Teach me how to live in the victory You won at the cross. Teach me to reject the lies of the enemy and to look to You for my both my needs and my joys. Thank you for leading, restoring, guiding, comforting, filling, and satisfying me.

How about you? The vile whispers aren’t just about weight loss. The evil one constantly looks for a crack in the armor where he can place a long crooked claw and pierce our vulnerable places. Been thinking about that a lot lately. In fact, I have a whole blog in my head about letting go of the prefix “in” and using it only as a preposition. I need to let go of insecure, inadequate, incapable, and all such words and replace all of them with IN CHRIST. I am secure, capable, adequate and much more IN CHRIST.

So I just admitted I’ve been struggling with feeling lots of “in” words . . . what do you struggle with? What weapons do you fight with?

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Dropping the “In” Words

Bazillion Duple

I’m not home yet. As this post releases I prepare to board a plane back to Denver after Sunday night’s excitement. But as I write the day is last Thursday. I prepare to leave home, to face the unknown of the Carol Awards.

I’m pre-scheduling my blog because I want to share my acceptance speech with you. I don’t know yet if I’ll actually get to say it, but win or lose it needs to be shared. Being chosen as a finalist for the Carol (no matter the outcome) is an honor that is not just mine alone.

Below are the words I’ve prepared. I’ve practiced them over and over, not because they are difficult to say, but because I can’t get through them without crying. Not those nice quiet tears, the loud, sobby ones. So deep is my gratitude. So deep is my passion.

Yes, it’s the acceptance speech I was asked to write, but really, it’s a thank you note, maybe even a love-letter, to all of you.

For this blog I must begin with the words . . .

Dear Friend,

The dedication for my novella includes these words, “to all my friends who ‘bazillion-dupled’ my joy of a first book contract.”

It seems a fitting way to open tonight.

Ours is not a solitary journey. For the Christian writer, we first hold onto our God for all we’re worth, empowered to persevere through success and disappointment, and then we hold hands with our friends. The true ones cheer us to victory and soothe the wounds of discouragement.

In 2004 when I joined ACFW I had no idea how valuable this group would become to me. I mostly wanted a discount to hear Francine Rivers speak! But almost ten years later I realize how invaluable this organization and each of you are to my journey.

Part of the road to becoming an author includes, at least for me, a lot of refinement, digging deep to find courage, and stretching. The ACFW prayer team prayed me through some of the most difficult years of my life, as did other dear friends and my sweet husband, Jerry. Brandilyn Collins committed to pray daily for a year for my children–and ended up praying for several.

wedding picture jerry and paula sarah's wedding

Editors, authors and critique partners offer wisdom and encouragement and teach me to write. Those who’ve gone before, like Kathy Kovach and Darlene Franklin, opened doors so I could follow, and Rebecca Germany, JoAnne Simmons, and Barbour Publishing took a chance on a newbie.

broadmoor 8

Posing this summer with my dear friend and writing partner, Kathy Kovach

Rebecca Germany

Rebecca Germany of Barbour Publishing and I pose at the Barbour party in Sept. of 2011 when Rebecca awarded me my first book contract

Last year when a car accident shut me and my writing down, my agent, Rachelle Gardner, offered wise council, loving me through the difficult curve in my path, and the editor I felt I’d disappointed offered me hope and grace instead of censure.

rachelle

Taken September of 2011 when I got my first book contract, and Rachelle won agent of the year!

What a community we have!

At home, my dear family daily enriches my life and cheers me on despite burned or forgotten dinners when I get lost in fictional worlds.

Grundy_051913_183521

Photo by Kim Liddiard of the Creative Pixel

Yes, I’ve persevered. I study hard to perfect craft. I’m intentional about learning how to become a professional, but when the rubber hits the road, this victory is not mine alone. It is a collective one, an honor given first to my God, then to each and every person who taught me, mentored me, prayed for me, and believed in me.

As we endeavor to write for our Lord Jesus Christ, believing we help shape eternity as we do, we need each other.

Thank you for being there for me. Sharing this moment with you bazillion-duples my joy.

Blessings,

moldenhauer signature3

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We need each other