When one is a published author, each succeeding published book is expected to be better—greater—than the last one. Mary E. DeMuth has not only exceeded that expectation, she has soared above all expectations in Life in Defiance.

I have read Book One, Daisy Chain, and Book Two, A Slow Burn, in the Defiance Texas Trilogy. Both books were well-written, insightful and thought-provoking. Both books had that “stick-to-your-ribs” quality – the characters, theme and learned lessons stayed with me long after I had finished reading.

Book Three, Life in Defiance, touched a chord in me that very few books have ever done. I believe it will touch a cord in every woman who reads it. Not that this is a book just for women – men can benefit from reading it as well. But there is something about the main character, Ouisie Pepper, with which most women will easily identify—her continual work on self-improvement and her constant struggle for perfection. We follow Ouisie on her path towards perfection only to discover, as if we didn’t already know, there is no such thing as perfection in a human being. Jesus is the only Perfect One.

There is another important lesson learned in this book. “To reveal a truth or live a lie”…which brings me back to perfection. Are we not living a lie when we “pretend” to be perfect?

Life in Defiance is full of forgiveness, reconciliation and hope. It shows us that we cannot continually live a lie. We must reveal the truth before forgiveness can occur. And forgiveness must happen before there is a chance at reconciliation and hope.

Ms. DeMuth has taken fiery emotions and provocative words and woven them together into a quilt with characters who will insinuate themselves into your heart and mind and a message that will change your life.

Ms. DeMuth and Zondervan Publishing have graciously offered one book to be given away in a drawing on Friday June 4. Please leave your name and email address to be entered into the drawing. This drawing is open to mainland U. S. residents only, 18 years and older and is void where prohibited.


Writing the Heartache Workshop

I wrote a few days ago that I probably would not be posting again until after Memorial Day. However, I came across this information earlier and wanted to share it with you. If you are in the midst of grief because of the death of a loved one or the death of a relationship, this workshop is for you. I realize that many of you live locally, but if you need this workshop, pray and ask God to provide you with the means to attend.


Those of us in it know that grief can overwhelm us. Writing about our emotions calms our nerves, lowers our heart rate, and decreases our blood pressure. The tool of writing through the pain of heartache provides a respite for our sorrow and coats us with a soothing balm. No wonder writing has been called an essential tool for healing.

Writing the Heartache All Day Writing Workshop
When: Saturday, July 17, 2010
Time: 8 AM to 5 PM
Instructor: Alice J. Wisler of Daniel’s House Publications
(B.S.W., award-winning novelist, cookbook author, first place winner of Carolina Woman poetry contest 2001, workshop leader, conference speaker, writer of grief-related articles, Open to Hope contributor, former Tributes and LARGO newsletter editor, and designer of remembrance cards)
Where: Country Inns and Suites near the Raleigh/Durham Airport
201 Airgate Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560
What’s provided:
* All day workshop with instruction on writing from the grieving heart
* In-depth teaching on writing poetry, letters, essays, and keeping a journal
* Guided writing sessions
* Pen and notepad
* Mid-morning coffee/tea and snack break
* Light catered lunch
* Mid-afternoon coffee/tea break
* Gift for all attendees
* Two future follow-up online critique sessions with Alice
Objective: To learn how to use writing as an effective tool for healing and hope. While the primary focus of the workshop is on writing after the death of a significant loved one (spouse, parent, sibling, child, friend), some take the workshop to write about broken relationships.
Feel free to bring: Up to three pages of poetry
or a piece you’ve written pertaining to your loss.
Cost: $130 per person if payment received by 6/20;
after 6/20, $140 per person
Bring a friend and save! $240 for you and your friend ($20 savings)
For all past attendees of the online grief-writing course, Writing the Heartache, take $25.00 off the price and pay $105.00 per person.
One day only, LIMITED seating, register today!

To My Faithful Friends and Readers

If you read my post last Sunday, you will remember that my dad was in the hospital at that time, and I was taking care of my mom. This past Thursday, my dad was transferred to the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Rehabilitation Center where he will stay three weeks until approximately May 26 (hopefully less) receiving physical therapy. In the meantime, I will be staying with my mom, taking her to the rehab center, working, etc. And if all is well, my husband and I will be leaving for a few days of much needed R&R on May 28. We’ve not been away together in about three years so we are really looking forward to a few days away together!

Because of my schedule, I don’t expect to be posting many, if any, blogs for the next few weeks. However, when I return, I will have new blogs, new book reviews and hopefully, some lessons I’ve learned to share with you.

In the meantime, my prayer for each of you is that you will have a blessed and wonderful month of May, that God will keep you safe and that He will grant you the desires of your heart!

Love and blessings to all!


attack, God, test

A Test or An Attack?

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:29-30

I believe the Word of God. I believe it is all true. But I must confess that over the last few days I’ve questioned the above scripture. Maybe God has been testing my limits and if that’s the case, I’ve flunked the course.

If you read the previous blog I posted, you will remember that April has been a challenging month for my family. Please allow me to summarize:

1. On April 5, my daughter, Kim, had carpel tunnel surgery on her left hand. She is left handed so this was not only painful, but also very inconvenient for her.

2. On April 13, my sister had a total knee replacement surgery. On that same day, I had an attack of vertigo that was severe enough to keep me home, unable to do much of anything, for ten days.

3. On Monday, April 19, around 5:00 PM, my dad called and needed someone to take him to the ER. Because I was still having vertigo, my daughter drove him and my mom to the ER. Almost 10 hours later, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, they were back home.

4. I made it back to work on Wednesday, April 21, but at 5:30 Thursday morning, my phone rang and it was my mom. My dad was in so much back pain that I could hear him yelling over the phone. I threw on some clothes, made it to their house in record time and called the paramedics. This time, he was admitted to the hospital (as he should have been on
Monday) and has been hospitalized ever since. (The doctor just came in and daddy is going home today!)

5. On April 26, Kim had carpel tunnel surgery on her right hand and I was not able to be with her because I was at the hospital with my mom and dad. (FYI: My mom will not let my dad be “by himself” at the hospital anymore than she has to. I’ve been staying with her at night and we leave every morning by 7:15 headed for the hospital and we don’t leave to go back home until around 6:30 – 7:00 at night.)

6. On Friday, April 30, I dropped my mom off at the hospital, went grocery shopping for my parents, went by their house, put the groceries up and was returning to the hospital when I was in a car wreck. It was my fault – I did not see a car coming and pulled out in front of the car. I was driving my dad’s car and her car broadsided me. Neither the other driver or myself were seriously injured – bruised and banged up and still sore. My dad’s car is a mess. The driver’s door and passenger door were completely pushed in. I’ve not heard from the insurance company, so we don’t know what will happen in that regard. My sweet husband said that “maybe this is a good time to ‘take the car away.’” After all, my dad will be 86 in August.

So what’s going on here? Has the month of April been a test from God? Or an attack of the enemy? I would appreciate your thoughts and opinions because if this is a test from God, I need to repent for flunking. And if this is an attack of the enemy, I need to tighten up the armor. Or maybe I’ll just do both!