Thursday, May 31, 2007

Generation X and money...

I did a little research and found that money is a big issue for us Xers (no surprise there). Check these out!

Generation X Finance helping a unique generation achieve financial independence
Sample post:
The Gen X Guide to Stretching Your Dollar
While I don’t like to regurgitate articles found on other sites very often I did stumble across one this morning that couldn’t be more appropriate for this site. Yahoo! Finance has a piece titled The Gen X Guide to Stretching Your Dollar which was actually a piece picked up from Reuters. Either way, the article doesn’t bring anything earth-shattering to the table but there are some key points to take away from it./

Bicentennial Baby musings on Political, Economic, Social Issues Facing Generation X and Gen Y
Sample post:
We Do In Fact Have It Worse Than Our Fathers
More evidence is out there suggesting that our generation is falling further into economic disparity. More evidence is out there suggesting that the American dream is becoming unattainable. A deadly combination of outsourcing and productivity gains are bankrupting the future of a generation that is already profoundly aware that they will have little if any Social Security. There is no more time for a bullhorn we need a damn battering ram. Gen X / Gen Y read below and then call your congressman…

NEW YORK ( — American men in their 30s are earning less than their father’s generation did, challenging a long-held belief that each generation will be better off than the one that preceded it, according to a new study published Friday.

The report, the first in an ongoing 18-month study on economic mobility in the United States, also revealed that the income growth of the median American household is declining.
The study was produced by a handful of politically diverse think tanks including the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Urban Institute. It looked at income levels of American men in their 30s, which can be a good indicator of lifetime income.

Relying on Census Bureau figures, the study’s authors found that after adjusting for inflation, men in their 30s in 2004 had a median income of about $35,000 per year, for a 12 percent drop compared with $40,000 per year for men in the same age group in 1974.

That stood in stark contrast to men in their 30s in 1994, who earned 5 percent more than their fathers did.

Similarly, American families, which experienced a 32 percent increase in income levels between 1964 and 1994, saw household income growth slow to 9 percent between 1974 and 2004, according to the report.

“There is clearly some story here that [U.S.] productivity gains are not trickling down to the median family,” said John Morton, a co-author of the study and the managing director of economic policy initiatives at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Even as male incomes have declined and household income growth has slowed, the nation’s productivity has remained robust. While the two once kept pace with each other, U.S. productivity has quickly outpaced income growth since the mid-1970s, according to the report.
The study’s authors, who plan to examine relative mobility, or the ability of Americans to move up or or down in social strata, said their report shows the canonical belief in an American meritocracy may be unraveling.

“The expectation that each generation will do better than their parents has become a fundamental part of what we call ‘The American Dream,’” said Morton. “But this new analysis suggests this bedrock belief may be shifting under our feet.”

~~And here's a book on the subject--Generation Debt: How Our Future Was Sold Out for Student Loans, Bad Jobs, NoBenefits, and Tax Cuts for Rich Geezers--And How to Fight Back. Synopsis: A new book tackles the 18-to-35-year-old generation's problems--those they face and those they create.Kamenetz believes the younger generation is hampered by the fact that salaries and job opportunities haven't kept up with drastically increasing costs of living. Because of the exorbitant cost of college, many young people can't afford to go, and those who do go graduate with huge debt. Graduates expect to pay off those loans once they get jobs, but entry-level jobs often come with low wages. The job prospects are even worse for those who don't finish or who don't go to college at all--some can't even afford living on their own, another drastically increased cost. The solution to these problems? Kamenetz makes a passionate argument for young people to take action, such as lobbying the government as a cohesive group and being practical and frugal about money matters.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Student debt...

Let me say up front that I am blessed. I have eight years of higher education without a single loan. I was blessed with scholarships and worked my way through law school.

Unfortunately, not many in my generation and Generation Y are so blessed.
Today USA Today has an article dealing with the growing crisis in the student loan arena. Fortune also has a fascinating cover article on Generation Y in the workforce. Although I found many things in the article right on (though it includes years 1977-1995 as Generation Y), one of the big concerns for that generation coming out of college is the high cost of student loans.

A generation that is saddled with an average student loan debt for graduating seniors of almost $20,000 (according to will be saddled with a heavy burden.

As a parent, I'm more than a bit concerned about how to prevent a heavy loan burden from falling on our kids. We're only ten years away from college, and my husband and I routinely debate whether we are better off saving for college or retirement. So we do both, just not at the ratios either of us wants.

We've also had many conversations with friends about what the right balance is. How much should parents pay? How much should the kids pay? My parents split costs for undergrad with me...fortunately for all of us, I had full scholarships by my junior year. And I knew from the beginning any grad school was on me.

So what do you think? Ready or not, if you have kids, college debt is coming.

Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- coming October 2007 (Heartsong Presents)
Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams -- 2008 (Heartsong Presents)
The Law, Life & Books:
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Little Things...

This morning I got the same messages from two different devotional books I’m reading. What are the odds??? There are no odds, because I know in God’s kingdom everything is for a purpose.

So what are these messages?

God desires you to be faithful with the small assignments He’s given you before He moves you on to bigger ones. He’s more concerned with character--training you into the type of person He can use.

When God gives you an assignment, the timing is now. Not next week or next year. He’s chosen this timing for a reason.

The most important person is the one right in front of you. Jesus was the perfect example of this.

No one seeks the things of God unless God is at work.

So, how am I going to apply this? I already have.

First, I was on my exercise bike when my daughter came into the room. “What are you doing today, Mom?” I was reading, but I put the book down. We chatted about nothing in particular, but it was nice. I showed her she was important. Later, I noticed her whole attitude was great. She even went out of her way to be nice to her brother, go figure.

Second, my youngest son had a frown. His dad had limited his video game time per day and it had him stressed out. “What am I going to do instead?” he asked. We talked about some things he liked, including two hobbies he enjoys but hasn’t developed: dog training and cartooning. I told him I’d put some books and videos on hold for him at the library for him. After we talked, his face brightened. “Thanks Mom.”

They are little things … or are they? I know that most of the time I run through my day with MY agenda in mind. I’m going to continue to work on these four things, leaving the leading up to the Lord.

Who knows what will come out of it? Peaceful hearts? Better family connections? Friends and family members who come to Christ better? Strangers that join God’s kingdom?

Now that will be well worth it.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Here is an excellent article...

Make Your Child Thirsty for God
By Brenda Nixon
this article is a reprint from WT online

When asked, "What’s God like?" one boy answered, "He buys His clothes at Big and Tall."

Over Sunday dinner, Mom asked her young son what he learned in Sunday School. Confidently, he replied, "We learned about God, Moses, and Batman."

When my daughter Lynsey was eight, she wondered aloud, "What does God do on His day off?"

Children are spiritual beings. They were born with a desire to know their Creator. They will ask naive questions or give confused answers in their quest to know Him. Parents must recognize that a child’s questions, misunderstandings and doubts are not disrespectful, but invitations to spiritual development.

As the parent of a tender, impressionable child, you have opportunities to teach your child about God. It’s sobering to realize that 85 percent of a child’s waking, learning hours are spent in the home. The home, not the school, is the center of a child’s learning, and parents are the first and most important teachers.

Scholar and theologian William Barclay counseled, "There are no teachers so effective for good or evil as parents." The Bible recognizes that parents are extremely influential and commands, “Fathers… bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”(Ephesians 6:4, NIV). In Deuteronomy 6, parents are directed to impress God’s instruction on their children when they walk, lie down and get up. We are to consciously and daily work at being our child’s religious educator.

Two moms were chatting when one said, “My son goes to a Christian school so he gets a Christian education.”

The other replied, “My child goes to a public school and she gets a Christian education, too—every day in our home.”

Rest assured you do not have to be perfect to be your child’s spiritual equipper. Many parents have shared with me their self-doubts. They felt they’d “mess up” or not give the correct answer. It is natural for parents to want their child to receive accurate guidance. Thankfully, we don’t have to have all the answers. If we are authentic, our child will see our deep belief and dependence upon God—His goodness, mercy, wisdom and power. Wisely, one mother recognized that she didn’t always have to "quench the thirst" of her son’s spiritual needs but it was her responsibility to "create the thirst." Here are a few practical suggestions to help you be effective in creating your child’s thirst:

Seize any occasion to speak of God. Each morning I wake my daughter Laura for school with, “This is the day the Lord has made.” Although Laura’s not always ready to “rejoice and be glad,” this is my way of reminding her that each day is a gift from our Creator.

On colorful autumn days when the leaves are a rainbow of vivid colors, I remind my children of the beauty God gives His children. Often I’ll quote Goethe who said, “Nature is the living, visible garment of God.” We can make any circumstance our platform to teach spiritual truths.

One mother told me she helps her son with Scripture memorization. “It is amazing what my 4-year-old will learn to the tune of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ or ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat,’” she said. I applaud parents who teach their children Bible verses because it is “putting on the armor of God” for life’s battles.

Weave spiritual lessons into daily conversations. One spring Laura and I did some gardening on our daffodils and day lilies. As we knelt in the dirt, I explained the importance of clearing away old leaves and debris from the emerging plants. This will allow them fresh air and sun for growth. “It’s like that in our lives, too,” I went on. “We must clear away attitudes and behaviors that keep us from growing toward God.” Even when we’re running to or from sports, school or church, we can sprinkle our conversations with spiritual instruction.

Around your home, place visible reminders that testify to your faith in God. I remember the bronze cast of praying hands Mom and Dad had for years in our living room. The well-read family Bible remains on their coffee table today. Now, as a parent, I tape up Bible verses on mirrors, the refrigerator and even on my car visor. The ones in the car humbly remind me that my children are watching my attitudes towards other drivers. Ask yourself, “Does my home have visual symbols of my faith?”

Walk the talk. Children are visual learners. What they see has more impact than what they hear. Our beliefs about God must be lived out rather than just repeated. If we want our child to accept the Father’s forgiveness, we must forgive. If we want our child to know that God is long-suffering, we must be patient. If we accept God’s grace, we must give grace. If we want a child to understand charity, we must give. One father testified that for him, this means going the speed limit to model obeying the law. Parents are God’s ambassadors—of His message and His image. What are we teaching our child about God through our behavior? Consider Martin Luther’s sobering comment: “I have difficulty praying the Lord’s Prayer because whenever I think of my own father, who was hard, unyielding and relentless, I cannot help but think of God that way.”

Attend church regularly. Belonging to a community of believers supports the Christian education happening at home. Perhaps the Sunday School lesson, music or sermon will generate interesting questions for dinnertime conversation. Regular church attendance puts your child in touch with teachers, leaders and other Christians who can help satisfy his spiritual thirst. It’s also a lesson in cultivating friendships with those who are like-minded in spiritual matters (Proverbs 1:10,15). May this powerful example of living be a pattern your child will follow. William Bennett, author of The Book of Virtues, said that the kids he sees who are grounded in faith, morality and decency had parents who took the time to instill these qualities in their children. It is those kids, says Bennett, who can overcome the world. He explains, “When there is Christ, there is grace. And it’s in that grace that we can stand firmly rooted.”

Today—in every way—make your child thirsty for the God who loves him with an everlasting love and who will enable him to overcome the world. What a significant opportunity!

As a parenting speaker and writer, BRENDA NIXON is dedicated to building stronger families through parent empowerment. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and can be reached through her Web site

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Presley, Hendrix, MTV, or Cobain?

Here is an interesting article about my generation--X and the one after me, millennials. The article talks about each generation's employability, but still offers some good.

Generation X and The Millennials: What You Need to Know About Mentoring the New Generations by Diane Thielfoldt and Devon Scheef August 2004

Which of the following means the most to you?

Elvis joins the Army.
Jimi Hendrix dies
MTV debuts.
Kurt Cobain dies.

Your answer, of course, depends on your age—or more specifically, on the generation you belong to. While pop music milestones may not seem all that important, the sum total of experiences, ideas and values shared by people of different generations makes for a melting pot of work approaches and priorities. Once you understand where the newer generations are "coming from," as a Boomer (born 1946-1964) might say, it’s easy to target your mentoring style to bring out their strengths and make the most progress. Remember to discard biases and pre-conceived notions, and you and your mentees from all generations enjoy your generational differences—and similarities!

Generation X: Declaring their Independence
The 51 million members of Generation X, born between 1965 and 1976, grew up in a very different world than previous generations. Divorce and working moms created "latchkey" kids out of many in this generation. This led to traits of independence, resilience and adaptability. Generation X feels strongly that "I don't need someone looking over my shoulder."

At the same time, this generation expects immediate and ongoing feedback, and is equally comfortable giving feedback to others. Other traits include working well in multicultural settings, desire for some fun in the workplace and a pragmatic approach to getting things done.
Generation X saw their parents get laid off or face job insecurity. Many of them also entered the workplace in the early '80s, when the economy was in a downturn. Because of these factors, they've redefined loyalty. Instead of remaining loyal to their company, they have a commitment to their work, to the team they work with, and the boss they work for.

For example, a Baby Boomer complains about his dissatisfaction with management, but figures its part of the job. A Gen Xer doesn't waste time complaining-she sends her resume out and accepts the best offer she can find at another organization.

read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

All the statistics seem to show that our country is getting heavier and at a younger age. I even saw a study a couple weeks ago telling moms not to gain too much weight when they’re pregnant because their three-year-olds will be overweight.

Yikes! Who needs that kind of pressure?!?!?

Now that spring is in full swing in Indiana, I love watching my kids play outside. They could spend the whole day out there if I let them. And that’s a good thing on so many levels.

For the last couple weeks part of their outside time has included training. You see, part of the Indianapolis 500 Festival is a Rookie Run. That took place on Sunday. They have little races for kids from 3 to 12. Jonathan and the other three year olds ran three blocks (with their mommies and daddies). Abigail and the other six year olds ran ¼ mile. And the older kids ran a mile.

Jonathan was a tad overwhelmed by the sheer number of people, but did a great job running his two blocks. He is so proud of his medal, too. I can tell he knows he earned it. I was so thrilled to watch Abigail run the entire ¼ mile. She was exhausted afterwards but has the success of completing her first race by running the entire distance.

What a great way to introduce kids to the idea that exercise is fun. And fortunately they enjoyed it. My husband already has them signed up for another fun run.

So what are some of the ways you integrate exercise and staying fit into your family lifestyle?
Cara C. PutmanCanteen Dreams -- coming October 2007 (Heartsong Presents)
Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams -- 2008 (Heartsong Presents)
The Law, Life & Books:
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

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Monday, May 21, 2007

A Review...

Here is a review of Generation NeXt Parenting by Lynn Worley.

Read it and see if you agree... I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I’m not sure I agree with the basic premise of this book. Or maybe I’m just letting the fact that I fall into the category of the age of the author’s parents. I wasn’t raised the way her parents were. I didn’t raise my children the way she was raised. So I have to wonder, how many people she is trying to group together simply because they were born during a certain time span were really raised the same way she was and really have everything in common that she claims. Yes there are historical events that all who are alive at the time go through. But each goes through them in their own way and while at different ages.

As the author goes through the different things she wants to discuss, she gives the reader a lot of insight into what her childhood was like. As with each of us what we go through shapes into what we become. What she assumes is that everyone else who was born around the same time she was went through similar things. I find that hard to believe.
read the rest

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gen Xisms from the 90's...

as coined by Douglas Copeland in his book, Generation X!

Disclaimer: Entertainment only! (Also a reminder how bleak life without God can be!)

McJob: (page 5)
A low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one.

Historical Slumming: (page 11)
The act of visiting locations such as diners, smokestack industrial sites, rural villages -- locations where time has been frozen many years back -- so as to experience relief when one returns back to "the present

Safety Net-ism: (page 34)
The belief that there will always be a financial and emotional safety net to buffer life's hurts. Usually parents.

Voter's Block: (page 80)
The attempt, however futile, to register dissent with the current political system by simply not voting.

Poor Buoyancy: (page 82)
The realization that one was a better person when one had less money.

Occupational Slumming: (page 113)
Taking a job beneath one's skills or education level as a means of retreat from adult responsibilities and/or avoiding possible failure in one's true occupation.

Tele-Parablizing: (page 120)
Morals used in everyday life that derive from TV sitcom plots: "That's just like the episode where Jan lost her glasses."

Paper Rabies: (page 127)
Hypersensitivity to littering.

Squires: (page 135)
The most common X generation subgroup and the only subgroup given to breeding. Squires exist almost exclusively in couples and are recognizable by their frantic attempts to recreate a semblance of Eisenhower-era plenitude and their daily lives in the face of exorbitant housing prices and two-job life-styles. Squires tend to be continually exhausted from voraciously acquisitive pursuit of furniture and knickknacks.

Option Paralysis: (page 139)
The tendency, when given unlimited choices, to make none.

Terminal Wanderlust: (page 171)
A condition common to people of transient middle-class upbringings. Unable to feel rooted in any one environment, the move continually in hopes of finding an idealized sense of community in the next location.

and there's more...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

This has been one of those springs. You know, the kind when you have to deal with issues you never thought in a million years would confront you.

Tuesday our Mason chased her last bunny rabbit. She was our first child and the only dog our children had owned. We often joked that we started to have kids because we hadn’t killed the puppy and she’d actually turned out really well.

On top of the miscarriage, losing Mason was a lot to deal with for Abigail and Jonathan. In many, many ways, this loss was much more real. They’d wrestled with Mason, hugged on her, taken her for walks. The baby was an idea, an exciting one but still an idea of things to come.

Our house has seemed horribly empty this week without someone to greet us each time we came home. So yesterday afternoon, we headed to a local shelter. We didn’t intend to bring home a puppy, but we did. Isn’t she cute?

As we spent time at the shelter, I was reminded of why I am so glad that God loved each of us enough to send His Son just for me. Or you. Or your neighbor. If He’d selected who to love like we selected our puppy, it would be a truly scary world.

We left a lot of great dogs behind. We only had room for one. God has unending room for each of us in heaven.

We didn’t want to spend a lot of time retraining an older dog who might have quirks we couldn’t quickly identify. God delights in teaching us about Himself and pruning our character.

Some of the dogs were too big. Or too energetic. Or too needy. With two small kids, we carefully weighed the personalities and other issues of the dogs. This one had no training and was two. That meant too much work.

This one was bigger than Jonathan. This one had too much energy and while trainable would scare Jonathan. Ahh. This one seems perfect.

Fortunately, God doesn’t require perfection from us. Instead, He knows that the only way to become perfect is through His Son Jesus. It’s only when I’m covered in His blood that I can stand in the throne room of heaven. Not because of a single thing I’ve done. But because when God looks at me, He sees Jesus. He also sees me as His perfect creation. And that’s enough.

And I’m so grateful. Because on my own, I could never measure up.

Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- coming October 2007 (Heartsong Presents)
Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams -- 2008 (Heartsong Presents)
The Law, Life & Books:
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Mommy knows best...

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Check out what some of your favorite authors have to say about their mothers at

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cool news!

My non-fiction teen book, "My Life, Unscripted" is going to be featured on Barnes & Noble's, "Back to School Teen Endcap" from July 31st through August 29th!!!
The Barnes and Noble people seem to love the book, which makes me very excited because it's all about helping teen girls seek God to help script the drama of their lives.

Also, I'm looking for a few good people to help spread the word through blogs, or through youth groups, small groups, Sunday school groups, (any ideas?), etc. The target audience is girls 12-18.

If you're interested in participating in the blog tour or helping to spread the word in some other way, please email and I'll add you to the list to get a copy when the book comes out mid-July.

Stay tuned too, there will be promotions coming and I'll be posting the first chapter soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Best advice from MOM...

Cj Darlington of is running a Mother's Day post asking author's about the best advice they've received from their mother's.
(I think it will publish on Mother's Day)

The best advice from my mom wasn't something she spoke often, but lived with her life. It was, " Everyone is worthy of being considered a friend."

My mom is the type of person who you sit next to on the airplane and at the end of the flight you're exchanging addresses. And she will write, I promise!

My mom is friendly and caring. She proved with her words and actions that people matter--all people, not only those the world considers important.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Interview with Gina Conroy

Here's is an excerpt of an interview with Gina Conroy at Mom2Mom Connection

Gina has contributed to my blog on a regular basis (just last week infact)!

Help for Praying Moms: Gina Conroy

With Mother’s Day coming soon, I want to highlight some special moms who reach out to encourage those of us deep in the trenches.

Gina Conroy is an author and mom of four who has a heart for using her gift of writing to build up her peers. According to her website, Gina grew up in a New York Italian family where she says “there was never a lack of drama, love and interesting dialogue.”

At the age of 15, she went to a Wayne Cochran retreat and gave her life to the Lord. She graduated with honor from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Communication Arts. Gina is founder of
Writer…Interrupted and writes about her experiences trying to balance it all at Portrait of a Writer…Interrupted. She’s the co-author of Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms and has also contributed to Reach for Your Dreams Graduate.

Welcome, Gina!

Why do you feel it’s important for mothers to pray?

Believe it or not, praying is not an easy thing for me to do. I’m not talking about the quick prayers we moms mutter consistently under our breaths every day. I’m talking about the more concentrated and thoughtful prayers, specific to each child. I’ve always known it’s important to do, but knowing and doing are two different things.

When I wrote
Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms, God met a need in my own life through my own prayers. The topics I was assigned to write about were exactly what I was going through. My prayers flowed naturally from me and ministered to me.

read the rest of the interview here:

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

Saturday I accomplished a life-long goal.

My husband and I joined more than 30,000 of our closest friends (not!) and ran the Indianapolis mini-marathon. It was an amazing accomplishment to run 13.1 miles. Especially considering three months ago I’d taken a break from running.

I don’t think I fully understand what I learned through this experience yet. But I can share a few things with you.

1) I didn’t run 13.1 miles without starting small. The training regime had us start at 3 miles, and then we slowly ramped up. Before I thought I’d be ready, I was running 7 and 8 miles. And after a few of those, 9 didn’t seem so far. I never ran further than 9.5 miles, but once I hit 10 miles, I knew I could finish, because…

2) I can do anything for thirty minutes. You’ve probably heard the saying: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do we do anything in life? A piece at a time. Break it into measurable units, and we can do just about anything.

3) It helps so much to have a partner. I helped Eric stay at a steady pace for the first few miles. Then he helped keep me going when it started to hurt. I wouldn’t stop, because I refused to slow him down and make him choose between waiting for me and running ahead.

4) Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. I had to train on days I didn’t want to. I had to run when it would have been more fun to wax my legs (ugh!).

These principles cross over to other areas of our lies. Are you a parent? Feel like this is one of those stages you’re not sure you’ll survive. Yes, you will because you can do anything for a season. We just have to determine to do it.

Is one of your dreams to write a book? Then make the time. Sit in a chair and do it. As Nike says: Just do it. Even as I approached the starting line, I wondered if I was crazy. But I had to try. And it was the same way the first time I sat down to write. Who did I think I was to think I could write a book? But day after day, word after word, page after page, I wrote one book. Then a second. And now I have two books that are contracted that I have to write. And my first book releases in October. But if I hadn’t put my behind in the chair, I never would have had anything to sell. And my dreams would still be nothing more than dreams.

But don’t try it alone. Ask God to bring people alongside you to help and encourage you. Whether it’s as a parent, homeschooler, writer, or anything else, we can do it so much better when we don’t feel alone.

So dust off that list of dreams that’s lingering in the closet. Which one are you ready to tackle? As for me, I’m looking for another mini-marathon because I have a time to beat.

Cara C. PutmanCanteen Dreams -- coming October 2007 (Heartsong Presents)Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams -- 2008 (Heartsong Presents)The Law, Life & Books: Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

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Monday, May 07, 2007

The Spiritual Role of Moms

I was checking my email this morning when I came across an interesting email from George Barna (

Here is a short excerpt:
May 7, 2007
(Ventura, CA) - Mothers inhabit many roles inside and outside the family. Within the household, they are often counted on to be the emotional compass, organizer, and multitasking manager of the family. Add to that list another common function: spiritual energizer.
According to a new Barna study, women who are raising children are among the most faith-minded and spiritually active segments of the American population. The study explored faith-related activities, commitments and perspectives, relying upon nationally representative interviews among more than 10,000 adults and nearly 2000 women who are currently parenting children under the age of 18.

The study shows that more than three-quarters of moms identify "family" to be their highest priority. At the same time, a majority of mothers strongly agree that their faith is very important in their life. In contrast, fathers also tend to list family as their top priority in life, yet they are much less likely to equally attribute importance to faith.
You can read the rest of the article here.

I am blessed that my husband has grown as a spiritual leader over the years. I think there are three major reasons for this.

1. God convicted me years ago of my tendency of being John’s “Jr. Holy Spirit.” God reminded me that He can and will speak to my husband ... Thank you very much.
2. I’ve allow John to "do" spiritual leadership his way … not how I think things should be. I have my ideas of the types of family worship or Bible Study I’d like to try, but my way does not mean the only right way.

3. I pray for my husband’s success. I pray that He will listen to God’s leading. I pray that I will follow and be an encourager.

Also, I thought of something else that ties in … as parents its our job to raise our sons to be the spiritual leaders of their future homes.

In fact, just this morning I was talking about this with my 17-year-old son. I told him, “You know what? The type of girl you’re looking for will be more attracted to your spiritual maturity than anything else. So the more time you spend with God, the more you’ll attract a girl who has a heart for God.”

I’m also excited because of a new resource I just bought. This weekend I was super-blessed at a women’s retreat that featured the speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd. Sheri is a fellow Multnomah/Waterbrook author.

One of Sheri’s books that I bought is Preparing Him for that Other Woman. I can wait to start reading it! With two teen sons I need all the encouragement I can get!
Oh, and if you haven't read Generation NeXt Parenting yet, then make sure to check it out. I give more ideas about how to train our kids while also being a helpmate to our husbands.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

My Life Unscripted...

Coming soon to a store near you … My Life, Unscripted. In it I've shared more about my messed up teen years than I ever thought I would. In fact stories I SWORE to never tell will soon be in print!

Yet, years ago, after I dedicated my life to Christ, I prayed He would redeem those years and bring some good out of them. This book is that redemption in print! It's a dream come true.

So what do you dream about? Check out this quote I found:

"God never simply buries our dead and broken dreams because He'd be burying our hearts along with our dreams. One of two positive things will happen. Either the dream will become fertilizer for something even better, or the Lord will give me the gumption and oomph to bring my dream to fruition. I can't lose either way!" ~Noni Joy Tari

To put in bluntly, the crap (excuse my French!) from my teen years became fertilizer for something better. Believe me, it took a lot of gumption and guts to bring this dream to fruition, but if it can help one teen to choose a better path for her life it's ALL worth it!

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Redeeming the pain...

Author Sharon Jaynes interviewed me on Rick Warren's A Purpose Driven Life's website.

Sharon Jaynes is an international, inspirational speaker and Bible teacher. She is the author of 10 books including Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Discovering the Purpose in the Pain of Your Past. For more on Sharon’s ministry and her books, visit

Here's an excerpt and a link to read the rest of the article.

Tricia’s investment

Tricia Goyer faced teen pregnancy … twice. It was a scar she would wear for the rest of her life, but would she wear it with guilt and shame or grace and forgiveness? Could God take something that was obviously out of his will, sexual intimacy outside the bonds of marriage, and use it for good? If we believe Romans 8:28, then the answer must be yes. Let’s take a moment and let Tricia tell us her story.

Your Scars are Beautiful to God
By Sharon Jaynes

“I don’t remember the face of the nurse who gave me the news, but I do remember the quiet car ride home with my mom. I remember the first words out of my boyfriend’s mouth: ‘I don’t believe you. It’s over, anyway.’

“I was 17, pregnant, alone, and I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t the first time. Almost two years prior, I’d been dating the same guy and had received the same news. For that pregnancy, I chose the ‘easy way out’ – only to discover there was nothing easy about the heartache and shame of abortion. There was nothing easy about facing the fact I chose not to carry my child.

“This time I knew having my baby was the right choice. But what about my life? One week I was a cheerleader and an honor roll student. The next week I wasn’t. The embarrassment of my expanding waistline compelled me to drop out of school, out of extracurricular activities, out of life. I spent my days sleeping until noon, working on homework for my credits, and watching soap operas.

“When I was six months pregnant, I reached my lowest point. I woke up one day at noon, reaching for the remote control. I was angry my friends didn’t call and angry my boyfriend had moved on to someone else. Unexpectedly, I erupted into a torrent of tears, realizing what had become of my life. Yet even as my heart ached, something deep inside told me I didn’t have to face this alone. I thought about my Sunday school lessons when I was a little girl. I remembered the joy on my teacher’s face as she told me that Jesus loved me. And as I let the words of Jesus Loves Me drift through my mind, I wrapped my arms around my stomach and cried out to God.

Read the rest here

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

Your Worth as a Mom

We all know the verse about a woman’s worth being far beyond rubies, but I have to admit that there are days that I wonder.

I mean, after cleaning toilets, wiping noses and making another uninspired meal, it can be hard to feel truly valuable. What kind of contribution am I really making to society? Now, I wouldn’t choose to invest the time in raising my kids if I didn’t know it matters, but I ran across something yesterday that really quantifies it. And as an attorney, I like evidence. Lots of it.

Similac (the formula maker) is running a contest right now to give some lucky mother $135,000…the amount says is the median worth of a mother. Not bad.

So I popped over. There’s a salary calculator that allows you to plug in how you spend your time and your zip code to land on a salary for your part of the country. I had a little too much fun this afternoon plugging in different numbers to figure out what my contribution was. The local median for where I live in Indiana is $127,667. Sounds good to me.

Then I plugged in hours. As a home-schooling mom, I spend more time than the average on day-care (for lack of a better term in the survey). By the time I adjusted the calculation for that and my writing, it pulled up to $148,593.

I can’t find my value in a salary that is as elusive as anything I can think of. But it does help to know there is value in all the little things I do that seem to suck up the time in my days.

And it’s a great argument for why I need more life insurance.

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