Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Day #9 – 30 Day Challenge

Texas Flag Gate with Bluebonnet Background by Marji LaineYesterday, we completed the first section of the book Thirty Days of Devotion. But if you’re just learning about this, no worries. Jump in! We’re cementing a habit of devotion with daily quiet time with the Lord. And sharing what we think or learn right here!

Today begins discussion on the spiritual season of preparation.

This is a tough season to me. I mean, I know I have Continue reading


Day #8 – 30 Day Challenge

c08Today’s is the final entry in this season. We’re talking about a spiritual bog today. I know we’ve been talking about waiting the last couple of days, but simple waiting can become inactivity, leading to faith-questioning, depression, and despair.

Or in this case, a foreboding.

When I start to doubt God’s hand on my life, I start believing all the lies I’ve put down in the past. (Tweet this!)

Remember when I said I’m Continue reading


Day #7 – 30 Day Challenge

c07Doldrums is the section of Thirty Days of Devotion that we’re going through today. The word was used as a description of windless seas. And there is such an area in the Atlantic that sailors and explorers marked on maps to avoid.

This is where the waiting place in the last section becomes stagnation. Where lack of Continue reading


Day #6 – 30 Day Challenge

c06Have you been following along with this devotion challenge? Jump in. There’s no requirements. We’re going through Thirty Days of Devotion and sharing thoughts, prayers, and experiences in the comments section. You are invited to join us.

But more importantly, Continue reading


Day #5 – 30-Day Challenge

c05This entry from Thirty Days of Devotion is called “Using Other Glasses.” I’m a rose-colored-glasses type of gal. I stop just short of sticking my head in a hole, but I prefer to focus on positives as much as possible and will play Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” on a whim.

But sometimes, positives simply can’t Continue reading


Highs and Lows

Okay, you non-race fans. Bear with me. There really is a point to this! I was watching an interview with last year’s Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. In only his second Sprint Cup start, the 20-year-old (same as my Dear Boy) won the equivalent of the Super Bowl.

He was so green he had trouble finding Victory Lane. “I don’t even know where to go,” came over his radio after his burn-out.

Only a few weeks later, his career lay in jeopardy by a mysterious illness. Five weeks, he was forced to watch, mostly from a hospital bed, his car race without him.


Thankfully, the man recovered and has qualified for his second Daytona 500 race coming this Sunday.


High highs and low lows. They’re just part of life, whether you’re a race car driver, a parent, an accountant, or a writer.


The highs inspire us. Carry us. And the hope of them drive us forward in anticipation. It’s that hope that gives us our strongest motivation and propels us through most of our daily days. Reaching the highs is spectacular for a moment. Resting on it for too long can drag us down, but that element of reaching the high and the memory of it provide the fuel that creates our dreams in the first place.


If the highs inspire us, the lows direct us. As a teacher, misbehavior always resulted in redirecting. Not only did the word sound better than punishment, it was a more accurate description of what happened. I didn’t want to stifle the creativity or the spirit of my students. I just wanted to funnel it into an appropriate area.


Our failures treat us to the same instruction. Like a mouse in a maze reaching a dead end, we have to pick up and turn our enthusiasm to a different path. The lows threaten to rob us of hope and a positive attitude, but they don’t have to.


In fact, they really don’t have the power to do that. Dead ends only look like they stop us, but it depends on how we react to them. We can allow them to stop us, sit on our hineys and whine. Or we can pull a u-ee and try another possibility. (There are always other possibilities.)


Now this article isn’t an explanation of me making a drastic change. On the contrary, I’m riding on hope right now with my new story idea and am writing more than I have in months. But I have to be ready for set-backs: passes from agents, strong critiques, even poor reviews. I don’t expect them, but I have to be prepared for them so that when they come I can use them for growth instead of wrapping my emotions around them into a fetal position.


All of my goals, including reading, visiting other blogs, even my exercise, are on an upswing. It hasn’t been that way the whole time, but I’ve been able to find something to be pleased about with every update, even on weeks when I topple big.


Your Turn: Where are you this week? What’s spurring you on, or what’s holding you back?



Whatever . . .

Jody Hedlund posted the other day about staying positive in blogs and Twitter. I've seen Kristen Lamb and Rachelle Gardner advise the same thing. Their words keep revisiting me week in and week out.

Keeping that positive attitude in blogs and interactions with folks really starts deeper
Read more »

The Mystery of the Mavericks

My friend Dwayne had a comment to a Facebook post several months back. Someone had posted a frustration after a loss to the Lakers, stating that it was the mystique that LA held; that Dallas just choked when they went up against them because of who they were. Dwayne replied that he was full of malarkey. That Dallas couldn’t beat LA because the Mavs were just a mediocre team and he wished the Texas fans could figure that out and stop making excuses for them.

My mom had a plaque hanging in our home that said, “O Lord, make my words gracious and tender today for tomorrow I may have to eat them!” Remembering that, I refrained from responding to Dwayne’s obviously erroneous assessment of the situation. Besides, he’s one of my closest friend’s hubby. Wouldn’t want him to banish me from his house! 🙂

What is it about this team? It was obvious in the first couple of games that no one expected them to go five games, let alone be ahead at the end of five. ABC showed highlight after highlight of the HEAT during every commercial, even when the Mavs were winning.

They are the epitome of underdogs! How are they still in this?

No really, I’m asking. I know they have Dirk (I’m not blind) but Lebron is equally amazing, although annoying. Jason Terry has played well most of the games and I love his attitude. JJ Berea has to be the most fun to watch; does the man know how to slow down? Likewise the HEAT has their hot players, and so did the Lakers, and so did the Thunder. Why are the Mavs still in this?

I’m gonna hazard a guess and hope that some of you will either set me straight or add some of your own thoughts. As we get ready for the game Sunday night, I’m thinking the way the Mavs gel as a team makes all the difference in the world. I get that as much from the losses as from the wins. Seldom have I seen a game where all of them are off or all of them are on. When Kidd is off, Berea is hot. When Terry is injured, Marion is on fire. And as for Dirk, Mr. Amazing, himself; they’ve won on his bad days, too. This team is more than its star; (DUH) and when it works together, it is far more than the sum of its parts!

What am I missing? Help me solve this mystery!

Fierce and Determined?

>I watch baby eagles.  I know, they are 4 states away from me, but I have their weather link on a bookmark so I can keep tabs on them.  Seriously!  Look at them!  It’s like they’re right outside my window and I’ve been watching them since they were still in the eggs!

Free TV Show from Ustream

I’ve watched these babies grow from tiny little puffs of gray fluff into the sleek black beauties that they are now.  I remember checking on them while it was storming here and there things were all quiet until the dad showed up at the nest and he and the mom started squawking at each other.  I thought it was just a family squabble until I heard the screech owl somewhere in the darkness.

Those little feather balls wouldn’t stand a chance against an owl.  Even I knew that, and they stayed tucked deep into the nest next to Momma, probably by instinct.  During the day, they were fiercely determined to out-eat their siblings, but in the shadows of the night, they were thoroughly unequal to anything that lay outside their home.

Sometimes I feel like those eagle babies.  I’m determined to push my desires through, fierce in my confidence and conviction, yet deep down I know I’m totally unequal to the task.  It’s a good thing I’m not in this alone!