Regular Mom or Hoarder

Regular Mom or Hoarder

Are you like me and have these piles of random things in your house that you have no idea what to do with? Like old paperwork you’re too afraid to throw away because as soon as you do someone will start yelling that they needed that receipt, statement, school note, etc. Just a few weeks ago, I had to dig some of my child’s homework from the trash and write an apology to his teacher around the food stains.

I also have a rather large pile of single socks taking up space on my dryer. This mystifies me completely because I’m pretty sure I bought them in pairs. And don’t get me started on my kids’ toys. In just about every room of my house lays a pile of forgotten Lego’s. Whoever came up with those should be shot. If you aren’t aware of the dangers of Lego’s, just come to my house and walk barefoot through my living room at night. One wrong step will have you limping the next day.

Oh, occasionally I get tired of looking at these piles and move them to another place just so the previous spot is clean, but in the end that solves nothing.

I’m sure many of you are saying ‘just get a file cabinet’ but the thing is, I already have one and it’s busting at the seams with an endless supply of my children’s misshapen art projects and tax forms. Heaven forbid you throw away a tax form. It’s like IRS embeds them with some kind of tracking device and as soon as they hit the trash can, the phone call comes that you are being audited.

As for those lone socks, well after a few unsuccessful months of waiting to find their mates, they join the pairs of old whitey tighties in my already overflowing drawer of dust rags. I wish you could see the looks my kids give me when I hand them a pair of old underwear to dust with, it’s priceless. And my son’s Lego’s, well let’s just say they make a lot of racket when you suck them up with the vacuum. 😉

So what’s a mom to do? Really, I’m asking, what should I do? I feel like I’m losing the battle against junk. We are having company tonight so my plan was to move all those piles into my bedroom. Only, I didn’t take into account that my husband might want to actually go in there. Sorry, honey, I’ve got to at least pretend that our house normally looks clean.

Any who, I just needed to vent today. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Maybe we should get together and compare socks, I may have one you need.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

Remarkably and Wonderfully Made

Remarkably and Wonderfully Made

Did you know that in 2012 there were 29.4 births for every 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19. That means there were 305,420 babies born to teenage girls and nearly 89% percent of these births occurred outside of marriage.* While the numbers have been declining over the last twenty years, the fact remains that there is still a large number of teenage girls facing this life changing event. Many of whom are scared and alone.

In my research, I also found that not all teen births are first births. In 2012, almost one in five births to 15 to 19-year-olds were to girls who already had one or more babies.* Wow, that’s a troubling figure.

Texarkana and the surrounding areas aren’t immune to the issue of teen pregnancy. Right now, there are girls at our local junior high and high schools that are pregnant. Maybe even in our middle schools. This past year alone, a local pregnancy center saw 830 girls, of which 502 had positive pregnancy tests. 2014 will likely be no different. According to the Center’s Executive Director, in January alone, they have already seen a significant jump in the number of clients that are abortion minded.

So why am I giving you these statistics? Well, first let me say these aren’t just statistics. These are girls that could be your daughter, your sister, your best friend, or in the past- maybe even you. Seventeen years ago, I was considered a statistic too. In my senior year of high school, I found out I was pregnant. Terrified, I spent many nights in tearful prayer, not knowing what to do. After a few weeks of struggling with my secret, I finally broke the news to my parents. They were upset, as expected, but lovingly accepted the fact that they were becoming grandparents at too early of an age. My mother spent the next nine months in prayer for me, and was by my side when my precious son came into the world. Today, he is a senior in high school. The Lord has blessed him with the ability to kick a football and that ability is helping to send him to college. I can’t imagine my life without him. I am truly blessed to call him my son.

Unfortunately, not all teen pregnancies turn out like mine did. Some girls choose to abort their babies instead. Maybe it’s because they were scared, or maybe they felt they didn’t want to become a mother so soon, but whatever the reason the fact remains, those unborn children will never get to live out the life God had planned for them.

This point brings me back to the why. Why I’m telling you all of this. Here in Texarkana there is a place where pregnant teen girls can go to receive Christian counseling and support. First Choice Pregnancy Center has been offering pregnant teen girls a helping hand and a listening ear since 1974. The girls are never judged for their choices, but are lovingly offered the knowledge that there are other options for their unborn child besides abortion.

The staff and volunteers at First Choice are committed to providing their clients with accurate and complete information about prenatal development, abortion, adoption, sexual health and abstinence. They offer a wide array of services such a parenting classes for both the expectant mother and the father. They have a “Mommy Store” where baby clothes and other essentials can be purchased with points the client earns from attending classes. The Center offers early ultrasounds to expectant mothers so they can see the unborn child that’s being knitted in their womb. First Choice is also in the process of opening a maternity home for pregnant girls who have nowhere else to turn.

But First Choice Pregnancy Center can’t do all of this on their own. They need help. Their ministry is possible only because of the support they receive from dedicated volunteers, local churches, businesses, and individuals. This means you. You can help by volunteering your time or by giving a financial donation to First Choice. If that’s not possible, then you can do something just as important. Pray for them. Prayer is powerful, and God hears our every plea.

I’m doing my part to help too. Beginning February 1st, for every copy of Katie’s Glimpse that’s sold, a portion of the profits will be donated to First Choice Pregnancy Center. God has laid it on my heart that I’m to do this indefinitely, and I’m trusting in Him to make the impossible possible. I know only He can take this simple offering and turn it into something huge.

Today, I pray that if God has laid it on your heart to help this amazing ministry, that you don’t wait or make excuses. Contact First Choice Pregnancy Center at 903-792-5735 or visit their website at firstchoiceprc.com to see how you can be a part of their mission to save lives. I ask that you also pray for the girls that visit this center. Pray that they will open their hearts to God’s truth about the precious life growing inside of them.

I’m going to leave you with Psalms 139, verses 13-16.
For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You
when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

* 2012 teen birth statistics provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services website.

Excerpts from More Than A Glimpse-Book 2 of The Glimpse Series

Excerpts from More Than A Glimpse-Book 2 of The Glimpse Series

Okay, so I promised you a couple of excerpts from the sequel to Katie’s Glimpse, but to protect my writing, I have to give you the boring legal stuff first:

More Than A Glimpse-Copyright 2014 by Robin Keahey. All rights reserved. No part of these excerpts may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from the author. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

Now with that out of the way, here is another glimpse into the lives of Levi and Katie Phillips. Enjoy!

Excerpt 1–I gripped the stroller handle and tried to keep myself upright as my vision tunneled. I could not pass out. I got a hold of myself and backed the stroller up as JT leaned down to look at Asher. I heard the squeal of tires and looked over to see Levi jump from his truck and run towards us. A look of rage contorted his face. He rushed to us and stepped in front of the stroller, blocking JT’s view of Asher.

With his hands clenched into fists at his sides, he growled out, “Stay away from my family.”

I picked Asher up from the stroller and backed up a few steps, certain it was about to get ugly. JT smirked at Levi and stepped closer to him. He was about three inches shorter and had to look up slightly to get in his face. He wasn’t nearly as muscular either, but didn’t seem to be afraid of Levi like Seth had been.

“Your family? No, I don’t think so. That’s my son and Katie, she has always been mine. I just let you borrow what was left of her,” he fumed and poked his finger into Levi’s chest.

Oh, bad move, JT. My husband was a smart man. I’d learn from his fight with Seth that he never hit first. He just waited and let the other guy make that mistake, and it looked like JT was really close.

“You are insane! If you come near either one of them again, I will have you arrested. Do you understand me?”

I held my breath as I waited to see what JT did next. I didn’t have to wait long. He pulled back a fist and before I could move, landed a punch to Levi’s jaw. The sound of his flesh and bone making contact with my husband’s face was disturbing but to my relief, I realized Levi’s head had hardly even moved from the impact.

He looked down at JT and smiled. It was a smile I’d never seen before and if I ever did, I would be running for cover. I knew what was coming, so I turned Asher’s face away. I didn’t want him to see his daddy fighting, but I watched in awe as my gentle husband landed two brutal punches to JT’s face. I saw blood fly from his mouth after the first one, and the second one knocked him to the ground.

Levi took a step forward, bent at the waist, and leaned over the crumpled, bloody mess of JT. He spoke to him in a voice so low I couldn’t hear it. JT looked up at him, gave a wicked, bloody grin and spit right in his face. I gasped, shocked that he had the nerve to do that knowing that Levi could and would hurt him again. I expected Levi to unleash his inner beast, but instead he stood up and stepped back. With a look of disgust, he wiped the bloody spit from his face with his hand. He looked back at me and jerked his head towards the truck. I didn’t need any more encouragement. I grabbed the stroller and took off in a rush to the truck. I threw the stroller in the back before climbing in to strap Asher into his car seat. I didn’t want to get back out, so I climbed over the console to my own seat as Levi got in. I could feel the anger coming off of him in waves. I frantically dug some liquid sanitizer out of my purse. As he held out his hand, I grimaced at the red stain across his palm and poured until sanitizer spilled from his hand. Levi didn’t waste any time rubbing it into his hands and face.

***

 

Excerpt 2–Hallie placed the last dirty supper plate into the dishwasher as I wiped down the counter. The alarm beeped its usual warning as Levi opened the front door. He led Blake into the house. Levi had called him with our latest JT news and being the concerned friend that he was, he rushed right over. I heard their greeting from the kitchen and grabbed Hallie’s arm. “Come on. I’ll introduce you to Blake Thomas. He’s one of Levi’s friends and a police officer here in Jackson. He’s been helping us with the JT situation.”

Blake wasn’t in uniform, but had on jeans and a long sleeve button down shirt instead. His police cap had been replaced by a tan cowboy hat. I noticed his eyes flash to Hallie and watched as a huge grin crossed his face. He didn’t wait for introductions, just stuck his hand out to her. “You must be Katie’s friend.”

Hallie blushed bright red and took his hand. “Yes, I’m Hallie. It’s nice to meet you, Officer Thomas.”

Blake scoffed at the formal name she used and replied, “Now there is no need for all that ‘officer’ stuff. A pretty lady like you can always call me Blake.”

Levi groaned loudly while Hallie and I both giggled. Blake seemed reluctant to let go of her hand so Levi cleared his throat. “Oh, excuse me, ma’am,” Blake crooned in a strong southern drawl and released her hand.

We giggled again as Levi shot daggers from his eyes at Blake. “Do I need to leave the room so you ladies can be alone with him?” he asked dryly.

“Levi,” I hissed while Hallie stared at him wide-eyed.

Blake laughed loudly and smacked Levi on the chest. “Now don’t be getting all jealous. I can’t help it if the ladies know a good man when they meet him.”

Levi laughed. “Good grief, can’t you turn it off for just a minute?” He turned to Hallie. “Don’t pay any attention to him. He thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”

“And you think you’re top dog. Don’t forget who put you on your butt the last time we tussled, muscle man,” Blake fired back.

Levi rolled his eyes. “We both know it was a cheap shot. I wasn’t prepared, and you just got lucky.”

I looked over at Hallie in disbelief. Were these grown men or twelve-year-old boys fighting over a pretty girl. “Guys, can you two deal with who’s the better man at a later time? We have important things to discuss right now,” I said, throwing my hands up in frustration.

Both men hung their heads and muttered a snickered apology.

***

I want to take a minute to thank all the readers of Katie’s Glimpse. I appreciate all the great feedback and reviews I have received. My best publicity comes from you, and you are getting the word out on Katie’s Glimpse. Thanks for that guys. You are the best!

P.S.- I’m working hard and promise to be finished with Book 2 as soon as possible.

Many blessings to you,

Robin

 

Signed, Sealed, and DELIVERED

Signed, Sealed, and DELIVERED

If someone were to ask me to define myself in two words, my answer would be- Forgiven and Redeemed.  For me, these two principles of Christianity say it all.

The blood that Christ shed for us takes all the bad things we’ve done and washes them away. And while we are now forgiven, the consequences of our sins still linger. If only those could be washed away too, huh? Well, that’s not how it works and as much as we’d like not too, we still have to face those consequences head on.

As I worked on the ending to the sequel to Katie’s Glimpse a few days ago, (don’t get too excited, I skip around a lot) I tried to relate these principles of Christianity to my characters and thought how easy it would be to end the story with the bad guy getting his due in the end. That’s what everyone wants right? For the “good people” to ride off into the sunset, while the “bad people” are left eating their dust. Praise God that’s not how He sees it for us. We are all loved equally in His eyes. We are all His children. While the consequences may be different, every sin is all the same to God.

So where does that leave me in the story? Do I let the “bad guy” have redemption, or do I let him suffer for his past actions?

I’m not going to tell you which one I chose. I’m sure you think you already know, but if you remember the last few sentences in Katie’s Glimpse, then you should know by now that I love a surprise ending. My characters aren’t the only ones with a sly grin.

For me personally, I’m in awe that despite all the rotten things I’ve done in my lifetime (and believe me there have been plenty) that God doesn’t see me as a bad person. He still loves me and forgives me. Even as I continue to stumble in my daily walk, He’s right there holding my hand, pulling me back up to my feet.

Now, let me ask you some questions. What about you? Do you look at the person next to you and acknowledge that they are just as important to God as you are and deserve His forgiveness too? What about the “bad person” that has done something to hurt you? That one’s not so easy, is it? Our human nature tells us to not forgive. Lots of times we want that person to hurt as much as we do, and God gave us free will to choose how we respond to those feelings. So which one will you offer? Forgiveness or condemnation.

Today I pray that if you are facing pain inflicted by another, that you open your heart and remember which choice God made for you.

“We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7

Many blessing to you,
Robin.

NO!

NO!

Rejection stinks! How is it that one tiny word could turn me into a blubbering mess and make me doubt my calling? Well, I’ll tell you how. I submitted my book to Bookbub last week with great expectations. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Bookbub is a free daily email service that lists a variety of e-books for sale. It has the potential to reach millions of readers nationwide.

Now, while I love and appreciate every reader of “Katie’s Glimpse”, most of them are local people, or people who know me, and I felt this was my chance to reach a broader audience.

Well, I got an email reply today from Bookbub telling me that they were sorry to inform me but my book was not chosen to be listed at this time. Man, that stings a little. Well, a lot actually.

God has opened so many doors for me throughout this whole process, but this one slammed shut in my face with a loud thud. Okay, Lord. I hear ya, no Bookbub. But where does this leave me now? I’m trying to not let it get me down, but it’s tough. Then I remembered a text message I received this morning from a very sweet lady I’ve recently come to know. While I usually don’t pay much attention to chain emails or texts, this one’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. This is what it said.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for YOU, declares the LORD.
Dear Woman of God, Be still for a while and praise God for His favor, His grace and His awesomeness. God is able to do the impossible and is always near. He loves us unconditionally. Together, let’s get 1000 ladies to praise Him with one voice in this next hour. Please forward this to every woman you want God to bless. Let’s all say this prayer during this hour: Dear God, This is my friend whom I love and this is my prayer for her. Help her live her life to the fullest. Please promote her and cause her to excel above her expectations. Help her to shine in the darkest places where it is hard to love. Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs You the most, and let her know  when she walks with You, she will always be safe. Amen!

How perfect. At the time I’m dealing with the pain of rejection and doubting my future as a writer, God uses this text to show me that He’s still here and has a plan for me that will be more than I could ever imagine.

But that’s not the only reassurance I received today. Below is a daily email devotional that I subscribe to. I skipped it this morning and only read it after I received my rejection email from Bookbub.

Seeing The Big Picture
by Os Hillman
01-02-2014

…”Everything is against me!” – Genesis 42:36

Eventually, Benjamin along with Jacob’s other sons learned that their brother Joseph was second in command in Egypt. Joseph revealed his identity, and Jacob was reunited with his son whom he had not seen for more than 13 years. He had thought Joseph to be dead.

So often we believe our dreams are dead. There seems to be nothing left in our world to live for. Everything appears to be against us. During these times, God is doing His deepest behind-the-scenes work. During these times, God is performing a deeper work in each of us — a work that cannot be seen.

When clients began leaving my ad agency and it dried up for no apparent reason, it appeared “everything was against me.” I could not see that God was orchestrating a whole new calling on my life. At the moment, it seemed like the worst thing in the world. It seemed that I had been a failure. But God said, “No.” All the years before had been preparation for what God’s ultimate calling would be. One of God’s methods for directing His children’s steps is through drying up resources: a job loss, a career change, or a disaster. In these times we are willing to listen more intently, and to seek God in ways we would not normally do. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Wow, I sure needed to hear that today. So what do I do now? I dry the tears from my face, and lift my eyes to the Lord. I lay my burden down at His feet and know that He has something even better than Bookbub in store for me. I just have to wait on His perfect timing.

Today I pray that if you too are feeling the sting of rejection, that you lay that burden down at the Master’s feet and remember that while He promised us an abundant life, He didn’t say it would come without pain.

I’ll leave you with a verse that came to me as I wrote this blog.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

Keeping it clean

Keeping it clean

I love to read, ever since my sister-in-law bought me the Twilight series for my thirtieth birthday, I’ve probably read over 500 books. I would rather lose myself in a good story then watch television any day, and as with anything else these days, technology has transformed the book market. E-books have made it so much easier to get what you want, when you want it. No need to drive all the way to the bookstore; the bookstore comes to you. All you have to do is press a button and the wide world of reading is literally at your fingertips.

And here in also lies the problem. Books that Christian women would never even think about carrying around in their hands are now accessible to read privately on their phones or e-readers, and shamefully, I must admit that over the years I have read my share of books that don’t reflect my Christian faith. It’s easy to get sucked in and think it is innocent fun, or something that will spice up your marriage, while in reality it’s nothing but a sin. A sin that tempts and ensnares many women, believers and non-believers alike, day after day.  It can be a hard thing to resist when those around you are discussing a hot book they recently read, but now I know that if I want to make a difference for Christ, then I must be different from the world. For me, that means being strong in my faith as I scroll through that list of book titles and turning away from that enticing book cover and teaser description. It also means deleting a good book half way through when I reach a part that takes my thoughts in an ungodly direction. It’s not always easy to do the things that are right in the sight of the Lord, but in the end, it’s always worth it.

Even as I strived to be different, when I sat down to write my first book I had already decided that it would NOT be Christian fiction. Not that I was going to make it explicit, but I knew if I put it into that category, it would not sell as well.

As my book progressed, I noticed that my writing was beginning to focus more on my characters and less and less on God. After reading my rough draft, my editor balked at it. She kindly reminded me that it was God who gave me this story and the focus needed to shift back to Him. I felt ashamed of myself as I had tried to turn my book into something women wanted to read instead of something God wanted me to write. I had let my desire to succeed get in the way of what was really important- leading others to Christ.  I prayed fervently and dived into my Bible. After repenting for my selfish attitude and with God’s continued assurance, I ended up rewriting several critical parts of the book to better reflect God’s unending love, grace and mercy.

So as I sit down to work on the sequel today, I ask that you pray for me. Pray that I stay on the right path and am not swayed by what type of books sell in this anything goes world and also pray that I will be steadfast in my conviction that all my writings continue to glorify God in the end.

I’m going to leave you with one of the verses that has been such a reminder to me of who I belong to and serve.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” John 15:5

Today I pray that no matter your calling- be it as a writer, a nurse, a teacher, or a stay at home mom, that you let God use your life to bring forth much fruit.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown

Well, this is it. My book is done, and in a few days it will be out there for the whole world to see. I’m feeling so many emotions at the same time that my head is spinning. I want to laugh, I want to cry, and part of me wants to throw up. This book has been my baby for the last six months. I have poured my heart and soul into it. I have cried buckets of tears and laughed joyously, sometimes in the same hour. God gave me a dream and helped me turn that into an amazing story and through it, I’m finally free from the heavy burden I’ve been carrying on my shoulders all these years. The mask that I’ve worn to cover all my pain and regrets is now gone, and my face is shining brightly. I feel like a new person, a person fulfilled and worthy.

God has held my hand throughout the whole journey. When I was afraid or doubt began to creep in, I lifted my eyes to my Heavenly Father and feeling secure in His love, kept on going. I’ve had my share of doubts and a lot of what ifs along the way. What if nobody likes my book? What if it’s not perfect? What if I’m laughed at and ridiculed for following my calling to be a writer? What if…What if…What if…I could go on forever, but you know what God keeps telling me? So what!! So what if nobody likes the book or there are comma errors. So what if someone says harsh words or doubts my talent. I’m doing what He led me to do, and He has me in His arms.  He has opened so many doors for me. When I left my full-time job and began to worry about the decision, He gave me another job. One that allows me to be flexible in my hours and gives me the time and income to follow my dream to write. When I doubted my abilities, He gave me a Bible verse or song that kept me going. When I felt alone in my journey, He had one of my friends call or text, just to ask how I was doing. He’s been there at every turn, filling me with His peace and love.

So now as I’m standing on the edge of the great unknown, I will lift my eyes to the heavens and jump, secure in the knowledge that my Father will catch me no matter what, just like He always has.

Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you,

Robin