Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 36)

Invitation to A Quiet Life

Does anyone have time to read blogs anymore?

Not with any regularity, if we’re being honest.

Which is why, instead of making another attempt to revive this blog, I’m switching to a monthly newsletter format — the type of content you’ve come to expect from Daydream Believer, delivered directly to your inbox once a month. I’m calling it A Quiet Life. Keep reading below for the details.

A Quiet Life(3)

In this culture that prizes ambition and pushes us to hustle non-stop for material rewards, I’m choosing to follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonian church to “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.”

A life of faith and obedience over hustling and striving.

A life fully aligned with my values and beliefs.

A life that moves at a slower pace, making room for what matters most.

If that’s the sort of life you’re after, this newsletter is for you.

Every month, I’ll get a little vulnerable, sharing the things I struggle with, and also sharing what I’ve figured out so far. Part personal blog and part practical advice to help you shape the life you want, my hope is that this newsletter will inspire you to find ways to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life, or at the very least, to slow down and get some rest.

You can read this newsletter on Substack, or you can subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, all for free. Subscribers will also gain access to community features like discussion threads and Q&As, and if you sign up, I’ll send you a free gift — a set of self-coaching worksheets to help you craft a more values-driven life.

Head here to sign up!

Don’t Fence Me In

It’s been a little over a year since I wrote this post. Oh, what a difference a year makes. God is faithful, y’all. I’ll resume some sort of regular blogging schedule next week (…hopefully) and tell y’all all about how He’s answered the cry of my heart and made a way out of our wilderness. Hallelujah!

The Meaning of the Manger

Reblogging this post from last year that provides a lot of insight into the circumstances surrounding Christ’s birth. I’m pretty sure this will be an annual reblog because it (the lesson it links to, not so much the post itself) is just that good.

In other news, this blog will be going quiet until the New Year. I wish I could say it’s because I’m going to be taking a work break but actually a lot of work is coming my way starting right after Christmas. Thankfully I’ve got some posts pre-written for the first few weeks of January. So watch for those in the new year.

In the mean time, I wish everyone a very Merry and peace-filled Christmas!

Link Roundup: Struggling Doesn’t Mean Your Faith is Broken


Sometimes — more often than I like to admit — I struggle with obsessive thinking. When those obsessive thoughts get stuck on a negative loop, it puts me on a downward spiral into anxiety and depression.

I’ve learned that when this happens, I need to take those thoughts captive and redirect my focus through prayer and time in God’s Word, but at times that is way, way easier said than done. I pray and I pray and I cast my cares on God and I proclaim truth and claim His peace, but inwardly I still wrestle with negative thoughts and feelings. And I in turn feel a lot of guilt and shame because shouldn’t this be working? Shouldn’t this be easier? Is my faith broken? Am I not trusting God enough? Am I a bad Christian?

I’ve felt God speaking truth into my life on this topic this week, and that truth is this: we all struggle like this. We’re made to. Our brains, while not all wired to be obsessive, are wired with a bent toward negativity. Our feelings work against us. This is natural and normal and even Jesus and Paul and King David experienced it. Probably every believer ever has.

The fact that we wrestle like this doesn’t take God by surprise, and it doesn’t make Him displeased with us. It’s not something to feel guilt or shame about. The fact that we wrestle against our thoughts and feelings means that our hearts are turned in the right direction. It just takes our minds a while to catch up to what our hearts already know.

Even more importantly, God uses this struggle for our good. He uses it to strengthen us, teach us, grow us, draw us closer to Him and deeper into His Word.

Today I want to share the posts that helped me arrive at this understanding. These first two laid the groundwork:

When Gratitude Feels Unnatural by Heather Enright on InCourage

“What can we be thankful for?”

His startling words broke the dark night. He knows me well enough to read my thoughts, and so he added, “The Bible doesn’t say we have to be thankful for all things. But God asks us to be thankful in all things. I’m just reaching here. But can we find anything to be thankful for to help us look at the bigger picture?”

The Bible talks about the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. These words never ring more true than when you are stumbling through the valley of loss and searching frantically to find your way to God. A sacrifice of thanks, indeed.

Gratitude When You’ve Got an Attitude by Holley Gerth

We also don’t have to feel thankful. Our brains are wired with a negativity bias. This means we tend to pay more attention to what’s wrong (like a bear charging at us). This instinct keeps us alive but it also means our emotions and perspective can take time to catch up with our wills. God knows this and we don’t have to feel shame or guilt about the disconnect.

And this one gave me my “A-ha!” moment:

What to Do with Tough Relationships by Lysa TerKeurst on Proverbs31

1 Peter 5:10-11, “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. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

In the end, this struggle can be used by God to make me stronger and more capable in my relationships. If I am humble enough to receive from Him in the quiet what He wants to teach me through this, I can rest assured with whatever the outcome is.

It was those words of Peter — “after you have suffered a little while” — that brought it all home for me this morning. Lysa refers to that passage throughout her post, starting with verse 6. Peter walks us through the process of humbling ourselves before God, casting our anxiety on Him, remembering who our true enemy is and resisting him, promising that the end result will be that God will make us strong, firm and steadfast — but only after we have struggled a while.

Y’all, God knows this stuff takes time. He knows it isn’t easy, and He’s okay with that. He doesn’t condemn us for it. Instead He patiently helps us through it.

We have a good, good God, you guys.

In Love,



PS – Find more encouragement at the following linkups:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart

Missional Women’s Faith Filled Fridays

#DreamTogether at God-Sized Dreams

Save is not me.

So apparently someone has taken over one of my old domains and used the Wayback Machine to pull up one of my old website layouts and are using them both to impersonate me for some reason that only God can fathom.

Not only that, but they’re using my picture and they’ve scraped old blog posts of mine and changed wording in an apparent attempt to avoid (further) copyright infractions and made the writing terrible in the process. Just compare this blog post I wrote in 2011 to the one of the same title on the imposter site.

Even worse, until about 20 minutes ago they were also displaying photos from my Flickr stream. I went and made that private as soon as I discovered this site.

Here’s the imposter site. I hate to send them more traffic (or help their SEO rankings), but I’m hoping that if they’re tracking stats they’ll see this and know that I’m on to them and I’m going to shut them down. I’ve already reported them to both their web host and their domain registrar and if that doesn’t get it done I’ll get a C&D. And if THAT doesn’t get it done I’ll see about getting a lawyer because, seeing as how I make part of my living as a professional writer, this site could do a lot to damage my professional reputation and I may very well have a case for damages.

In the meantime, hopefully anyone who stumbles across that site will click through the link to my LiveJournal and see this post and know what’s up.

… to blog, I guess.

I’ve been thinking and praying a lot over the question of whether to continue my blog, and suddenly I’ve been flooded with ideas for stuff I want to blog about. So I guess there’s my answer.

So instead of doing anything drastic like eliminating my author blog or putting it on indefinite hiatus, I’m just going to relax and give myself permission to only post when I have both the time and the energy as well as something to say that’s worth spending those resources on.

It’s the first two things that are the most difficult to come by, of course. Or rather, the problem is that when I think of something I want to write a post about–which actually occurs pretty frequently–I don’t have the time or the mental energy to do it at that moment. I’ve tried jotting down notes about what I want to say for times when I do have more free time, but that just hasn’t been working. By the time I finally sit down to write the post, I read over my notes and just can’t get back my train of thought. So I still need to figure out what to do about that. But it’s not something I’m going to stress myself out over.

There will still be greater changes coming. My web hosting account expires this year and I hate my current host, so I won’t be renewing with them. And since my past experiences with other inexpensive web hosts haven’t really been much better, and I can’t afford a better quality of hosting services, I’m just going to move my site to, which has everything I need at this point for free.

At that point I may probably will go ahead and separate out my blog from my author site. I think part of what I struggle with here is that much of what I want to write about isn’t the sort of things one might expect or want to read from a paranormal romance and dark fantasy author, and that’s hanging me up. So when the time comes I will probably cease having an “author blog” and just set up a static author website with a link to my personal blog, which is a separate entity.

Where to host this personal blog (which will really still be this here blog, just with a different name at a new location) is the big question. The simplest thing would just be to make my LiveJournal my main blog, seeing as how I’ve been cross-posting there this whole time and everything is already archived there, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about cross-posting from another platform. LJ has its drawbacks, though, not the least of which is the difficulty of commenting for non-members (or their willingness to do so).

I had long been a proponent of Blogger/Blogspot–that was the first blog engine I ever used, back when it was a wee startup run out of Ev Williams’ garage, and I stayed loyal to it for much longer than common sense dictated (I’m even at this moment wearing a Blogger hoodie I received as a reward for my loyalty after Google bought them out)–but the fact that Google treats it like a forgotten step-child and the customer service is terrible to non-existent has cured me of said loyalty. Still, I’ve already got this old blog archived there, so starting that up again is an option.

I think the most attractive option is moving it to its own url on By now I’m used to the WordPress interface, they make commenting pretty easy for everybody, and they also make it really simple for other users to follow you, which would make it easier to build the community I long for. Of course, I would still have to work out the problem of cross-posting to LJ for the benefit of the small community I’ve already established there.

Also there’s the problem of LiveJournal constantly getting hacked by angry Russians who take the whole site down for long stretches of time. So….

At any rate, these are the things I will be pondering as I gear up to move this site. In the meantime, you can expect posting here to continue, albeit sporadically.

What about you guys? Do you have a vote as to where I should park my blog? This isn’t necessarily a democracy, but feedback will definitely help my decision, and I always love to hear from my readers. So leave a comment and give me your two cents!

A quick update from infirmity land

I was feeling kind of hermity in the week leading up to my birthday. It wasn’t so much the getting older, but I got some bad news that kind of threw me for a loop and, well, the getting older part wasn’t helping. But then I had a long weekend, which was productive as far as spring cleaning goes, and a nice Easter, and a lovely birthday spent over-eating on cheap sushi and Chinese food followed by makeup shopping with my mom, and I was feeling well sorted and kind of gung-ho about digging back into everything today.

And then I managed to hurt myself in my sleep. Not just sleep in the wrong position, wake up with a crick in your neck hurt, but actually managing to severely strain a muscle hard enough to wake yourself up with the pain while turning over. And now just sitting here propped up with a heating pad and holding my head just so to avoid mind-numbing pain is using up quite a lot of my energy, and I’m back to not feeling so great about this whole getting older experience.

I haven’t done my bullet journal yet for the week, but I’ve still got two book critiques on my plate, and a freelance blog post, and a bunch of client e-mails that I’m trying to psych myself up to answer. I’d hoped to get some walking in this week, and to make more progress on the spring cleaning, but as much as it hurts to move right now I’m thinking those things are going to have to wait.

At least there isn’t any pressing yard work that needs to be done. There is no big loss without some small gain…

So how are you guys doing this week? Better than I am, I hope.

Cancer sucks. So do tornadoes.

Yesterday, I opened up my laptop to be greeted with the news that a family member of a family member lost her battle with melanoma. As a writer, words are usually my strong suit, but in this instance I’m kind of at a loss. There’s really nothing you can say that feels adequate. “Cancer sucks” only scratches the surface.

I knew this brave lady from kids’ birthday parties, but I’m sad and ashamed to say that I never got to know her well because I was always too shy to have a real conversation with her. The last time I saw her was in November at my great niece’s third birthday, where she was anxiously awaiting the results of a liver biopsy. She asked my mother to pray with her, and they stepped aside to pray while the cake was being served. Not long after, she and her husband excused themselves to leave, and on the way out the door she stopped and patted me on the shoulder. I was extremely touched that she felt enough familial warmth toward me to do that, despite my quiet tendencies, and I resolved to make more of an effort to talk to her at the next birthday party.

Except there won’t be any more birthday parties, at least not with her in attendance. She received her test results, and her diagnosis, later that week. Now, just five months later, she’s gone.

Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband and kids. As much as it pained me to watch from a distance as things took a bad turn, I can only imagine how hard all of this is, and has been, and will continue to be for them. If you’re the praying type, please remember the Rohde family as they go through this.


As if that wasn’t enough to ruin a day, yesterday evening we got hit with a tornadic thunderstorm. Once the tornado sirens started blasting, I shoved the cats (and the turtle) in a pet carrier and placed them in a central hallway, then held Pete, ready to dash for cover as I kept one eye on the TV weather coverage and another on the skies.

In true Okie fashion (which is funny considering how much of his formative years he spent in California), Matt kept going outside to see if he could see anything. Thankfully, the rain arrived and forced him back inside mere minutes before a gust of wind blew the tops of a couple of dead trees down into the yard right where he’d been standing.

Other than the tree parts scattered all over our back yard, we didn’t sustain any damage, thank goodness. Sand Springs, a suburb to the northwest of us, was hit the hardest, and the funnel cloud stayed about a mile north of us as it moved through Tulsa.

Last year, Oklahoma mostly got a break from the really scary storms, like after that awful spring of 2013 nature said, “Okay, Oklahoma, I’mma lay off you guys for a while.” But I guess we’re back on the hit list. I really hope last night wasn’t just a sneak preview of how the rest of this season’s going to go.

Local folks, how badly were you hit? Did you take cover when you heard the sirens, or head outside like my husband?

In which I go ginger(er) and host a Super Bowl shindig

I’ve been gradually making myself over these last few weeks. This was prompted by several things, not the least of which was feeling frumpy-dumpy after weeks of wearing various combinations of layers of fleece and flannel and a big wide knitted headband/earwarmer on my head.

It started with a haircut. When we had a warm spell that actually made it too hot for said headband, I realized that my hair had grown out to a really awkward length, and it was time to either commit to growing it long and making friends again with ponytail holders and barrettes, or cutting it short again. I opted for the latter and gave myself a chin-length wavy bob with straight bangs. It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

Next, I finally bought some new glasses. They’re just readers; I can’t look at a computer screen or small print for very long without them without giving myself a headache. But my old ones were pretty scratched up, and I was really bored with the frames. The new ones are black/green rectangular frames with a slight cat’s eye thing happening, and I think they’re quite fetching. Better yet, I can actually see out of them, which is nice.

Finally, this past Saturday I did something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now: I put henna on my hair to cover my ever-increasing number of pure white hairs. I’ve never used henna before, and it was quite the project. After a lot of research and combing through a lot of reviews, I settled on Light Mountain pure henna. Following some suggestions left in the reviews, I added lemon juice and ginger to the mix. The day before, I did a strand test, and after letting it set almost two hours, the strand overall had a lovely boost, just a shade more vibrant than my natural hair color, with the white hairs having turned a coppery gold. The effect was subtle but lovely, and it was just what I wanted.

So I repeated everything for the main event — which, let me tell ya, was messy and tiring; applying henna to your hair is definitely the sort of thing that’s best done with the help of a partner — and actually shortened the time I left it on … and it came out just a couple shades shy of bright Bozo red. I mean, it’s bright. The picture below doesn’t really do it justice.


New specs, new 'do.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Jan 21, 2015 at 12:35pm PST

Note that the white balance in the above pic was off and made my hair look much redder than it actually was at the time. Which doesn’t really make it a good “before” pic to pair with this one…

Henna'd my whitening hair. It came out just a LEETLE brighter than anticipated. #neon #ginger #owmyeyes

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Feb 1, 2015 at 12:27pm PST

I don’t hate it, but it’s taking some getting used to. It definitely looks better when I’ve got on makeup, and use eyebrow pencil to make my brows match. Otherwise, it looks pretty fake — and the last thing a true redhead wants is to look like a bottle redhead. Other than that, though, the henna left my hair really soft and manageable. I’ll be sticking with it — I kind of have to for a while since I bought three boxes (that’s how they were sold on Amazon) — but I hope I can figure out a way to tone it down a bit next time.

At any rate, I’m hoping that my slow makeover and my recently acquired cute green jacket are going to add up to some kick-ass author portraits, just as soon as the weather warms back up enough for Matt and I to head out and do a photo shoot somewhere picturesque.

In other news, the friend I thought was coming over on Saturday came over Sunday instead, along with my nephew, so we had a bona-fide Super Bowl party. Matt cooked lots of yummy stuff and I mixed up some dirty margaritas, and the game was close enough to be interesting even to a non-football-fan such as myself, although we were all rooting for the Seahawks (or rather, for NOT TOM BRADY, really), so the ending kinda blew. Still, it was a very nice time overall.

The commercials were also pretty disappointing, but there were two that stood out for me: the Liam Neeson “Revenge” one, and the Breaking Bad one, with Walter White having replaced the lady’s pharmacist. I have no idea what that second ad was selling, but it was funny, so good job, I guess?

After everyone left, we were both still pretty wired, so we watched a couple eps of Breaking Bad (we’re still in the middle of a nightly BB binge) before turning in, after which we both wanted to read, so it ended up being almost 2 AM before we finally turned out the light and went to sleep. And that is the latest either of us has intentionally stayed up (insomnia notwithstanding) in a very long time.

And then our dog woke us up at the usual time this morning, so we’re both very tired.

What about you guys? Any changes you’ve made recently, big or small? Did you watch the Super Bowl, or did you find something else to do with your Sunday night? Did you sit around cracking “The more you know” jokes at the finale of Katy Perry’s performance? Does Tom Brady’s face make you want to stab somebody? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Weekend Wanderings & Shopping Wins

The last time I posted here, I mentioned that part of the reason I was too busy to write up a real blog post was because we had to get the house clean enough to entertain my mother on Friday. Well, we ran out of time before we got the house all the way up to Mom code, but that’s okay because we ended up going out instead.

Thanks to the whole truck rear-ending/insurance settlement rigmarole, we weren’t able to do anything for her for her birthday in December. So on Friday she came into town and we took her to our favorite Chinese place, and then we all went to Kohl’s so Matt and I could combine the gift certificates she’d given us for Christmas with a 20% off store-wide coupon she’d gotten in the mail. I ended up scoring a $100 pair of boots for about $2 (sale price of $29, minus the $20 discount, minus the gift card). Win!

Since I was unable to find the pair of dark brown flats that I initially started out shopping for, we decided to go check out the selection at Goodwill. I didn’t find any shoes there (it’s always so hard to find things I like in my shoe size; either there are too many women with size 10 feet out there shopping or there aren’t enough women with size 10 feet donating shoes to Goodwill — probably because it’s so hard to find shoes that size anywhere else, either, so they feel like they’d best hang onto what they’ve got), but I did score a really cute green jacket for $8, along with a cute $5 top.

My $15 shopping haul from last Friday.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:49pm PST


And while my husband and I were debating whether or not I really need a cute green jacket in my wardrobe, a very kind and generous lady named Betty, who was standing nearby, whipped out $10 and handed it to him to buy me the jacket. He did his best to refuse, but she was incredibly insistent, so we finally relented with a promise to pay it forward. So we need to be on the lookout for opportunities to do that. At any rate, thank you so much, Miss Betty, for my new jacket. May you receive a blessing in kind.

The rest of the weekend was just as lovely. I spent Saturday making some tweaks to my website and book sales funnel, and then we had wine and pizza and a Breaking Bad marathon. On Sunday we watched the Dinesh D’Souza documentary America: Imagine the World Without Her, which I think is worth a look regardless of your political leanings. After that I caught up on Castle and Supernatural, and then started a Gilmore Girls rewatch on Netflix, all while I worked on a crochet bunting for the living room wall.

Which brings us to Monday, a day in which I’m trying something new: I’ve decided to dedicate Monday to writing, publishing and marketing tasks, as well as planning and dealing with the things that clutter my mind, in the hopes of laying a solid foundation for being productive the rest of the week. This will hopefully include getting my own blog posts written and scheduled for the week so I can focus on client blogs, and here is one post down.

It’s shaping up to be another busy week. I’ve already got a full freelance workload, and we’ve still got to finish getting the house in shape for entertaining, because we’ve got at least one friend coming over on Saturday. We may also have my nephew joining us on Sunday for the Superbowl, but we’re not sure yet. If that happens, next Monday will have to become an Introvert Day (™ Rebekah Loper) to give me a chance to recover and recharge.

What about you guys? Did you do anything special over the weekend? Score any great shopping deals lately? Do you have Superbowl plans, or do those plans involve skipping it altogether? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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