Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lessons from Tangled

I posted last week on my personal blog "Do You Have a Dream?" (  and shared the video from the movie Tangled that plays that song - you know, the one where the big burly men are singing and swinging from the rafters about dreams and love and baking and collectibles :)

If the big guy with a hook really wants to be a concert pianist, have to admit, you have a dream too. If HE does...don't you?

Sometimes I think we kill our dreams for the same reasons those cartoon characters did. It doesn't fit the persona we've built. Doesn't match our reputation or atleast the one we'd like to have (That hobby is nerdy! I can't do that!). Or maybe like some of the other guys, we're scared of failure. (I could never make that happen!) We're afraid to trust the dreams God put in our hearts could ever come to pass. Or maybe its vivce versa. We're afraid they WILL come to pass and we won't be able to handle it. That we'll be a one hit wonder (any authors ever felt that way?!)

Whatever the reason you harbor, I think it's time to kill the excuse and revive the dream. Quit shooting down your dreams and go for it. Strive for your dreams - in the Lord. NOT on your own strength. We also have to remember His timing is perfect, and ours is, well...wrong. No one said it'd be easy - but isn't it worth it?

The way I see it - if you don't try, you're guaranteed to fail.

When I first decided I wanted to take my writing to the next level and actually be published one day, I had to work hard. I had to put myself out there and try. If I didn't ever send a manuscript to publishers or agents, then I was sealing my own negative fate. The death of my own dream. Yeah, I got rejections. Yes, it stung.

But now, through the grace of God and the gift and desires He's given me, my tenth traditionally published novel releases this Fall  :)

I had to try. Will you try?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Open Arms

Growing up, my dad was a police officer. Maybe that's the reason I've always wanted to stick to the rules. I'm a people-pleaser through and through. I love it when I get kudos for a job well done. I hate it when I feel I've disappointed someone.

Too often I find myself treating God as if He too were a police officer--hanging around, waiting to catch me crossing the line. Every morning, as I journal my prayers, I write out my confessions. Then I end with prayers seeking God's strength to help me be good.

This morning, as I read my Bible, I came across Pslam 40:5:

"Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count."

The part that stopped me in my tracks was "Many . . . are Your thoughts toward us." So I paused, and pondered this for a while. I pictured God thinking about us a lot. God thinking about me. Loving me. Caring for me. It brought tears to my eyes.

All around us we have people tell us we need to be good, to do the right thing, to follow the right path, to care for others more than ourselves. That is all fine and good, but sometimes we need to just be okay with the fact that God loves us--at this moment, how we are. He is thinking about me TONS. He is thinking about you.

And instead of the police uniform that causes us to keep our distance, we need to think of the Daddy who welcomes us with open arms.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Words, words, words....

I am deliriously excited that people are reading my new book!! And while there are a good many reviews on Amazon and a variety of other places...I find I have to avoid them.


Because I will scan and skip over the good ones and land on the bad ones and fixate there until I can't write anymore. Sigh. I really do care what people think, but that's not always a positive thing. And isn't that true in life too?

A hundred people can tell you you're pretty and then that one idiot will call you ugly or fat and then suddenly that's the only comment you remember.

People need encouragement far more than they need criticism.

So try to encourage someone today with a kind word. You never know when it could make all the difference in their day. or life.

And watch this - it's pretty amazing.

Sarah Jeffrey
brand new YA: Me & My Invisible Guy

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It Takes One to Know One

Last week, I had one of those moments that always stirs a whirlwind of emotions in me. A young girl sat forking a salad while everyone around her enjoyed pizza and chicken wings. As her best friend drank soda, she opted for water. Some might say, “Good for her! She’s making healthy choices,” but I sensed there was more to it than a sudden health kick. I knew this girl just well enough to know she loved pizza and soda. Besides that, it was a party and who passes over pizza for salad at a party? 

I comforted myself with the knowledge that at least she wasn’t picking at the salad, or that she didn’t claim to be full half-way through it. 

The next night at a basketball game, she was the only kid who didn’t run to the snack bar for candy, and it made me sad.  

Today, a conversation with another concerned adult confirmed my guess that she might be treading on the dangerous ground of an eating disorder. And she’s only in middle school. 

Why did I immediately jump to this conclusion when I heard her say, “No thank you” to pizza? Because when you’ve been there, you know the signs—you know that tone, that look, that sideways glance at what looks and smells so much tastier than what you’ve limited yourself to. This is one of those areas where it takes one to know one. 

My prayer today is that God will open up a door for me to tell her why I know she doesn’t want to go there.

That once you get into a habit of obsessing about your weight and going to extremes to lose it, it’s very hard to stop. “Five more pounds” never seems to be enough.

That the average girl is not created to be stick-skinny.

That she will feel like garbage all the time.

That depriving yourself eventually feels like a form of self-inflicted torture.

That our bodies need food to function well.

That no matter how much weight you lose, it doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself, because when you’re doing something like this, how you feel isn’t really about your weight.

That these patterns can stay with you long into adulthood.

That girls die from eating disorders.

That women are much prettier when they are healthy.

At the same time, I know she could respond to all these warnings with, “I’m not doing that. I’m just trying to lose a few pounds.” She might just get better at hiding it. That’s what I would’ve said and done. But I still want to speak up. At least I can say I tried.

As frustrated, grieved, and helpless as I feel over this, I am also thankful. While I am in no way proud of those years of abusing the body that God created, and the lies and driving loved ones crazy that went along with it, I thank Him for bringing me to a place where I never want to see another young woman live like that. I thank Him for giving me compassion that only someone who has struggled in the same way can have.

What has God rescued you from? How has He used it to offer hope, or a gentle word of caution, to others?