Category Archives: Encouragement

And The Victory Goes To Chaos


I am a person who compartmentalizes everything. My brain constantly seeks to turn chaos into order and it will turn a thought, problem, or struggle, over and over and over trying to make sense of it…trying to make it work or fit into my own limited framework of reality.

Ahhh, there it is. My own limited framework of reality. I can only draw upon that which I know in my efforts to understand, process, or fix, and then “file” those things in life that don’t fit easily, the things that aren’t “fair,” the things that cause pain. I can only draw on my own understanding, which is so infinitely small in the scope of things.

The Bible is full of encouragement in the void of understanding…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ NLT)

…the go to verse when we don’t understand. Its words meant to be both comforting and instructional.

I also find solace in how over and over God takes seemingly impossible situations and uses what could be called chaos to win the battle. Think of Joshua and the victory over Jericho, Gideon and his victory over the Midianites. By staying obedient, even when it went against all conventional thinking, they were given victory. God redeemed the situation!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8-9‬ NLT)

God and His ways cannot be compartmentalized. We will diminish what He wants to accomplish in us when we try. I love the way Matt Chandler says it. “Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.”

Today, if you are struggling to make sense of something…turning it over and over in your mind, beating it to death with your thoughts, I encourage you to turn those thoughts to prayers and invite God into your battle. He is capable of victories beyond our understanding if we allow Him the latitude to move within our lives and remain obedient in the void of our own understanding.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬ NLT)

Joy Ride Challenge

According to a study I found online (which means it’s 100% accurate) I read that children laugh 400 times a day compared to adults who laugh 17 times a day.

Sometimes life gets a little rough, but we all need a bit of joy in our lives. We often talk about the more solemn warnings of the Bible…how to live our lives or how not to live our lives. But the Bible also talks about joy and laughter.

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) Laughter is good for the soul even though, as it says in Proverbs 14:13, in laughter the heart may be in pain. A cheerful heart is good medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

Today I have an assignment for you,The Joy Ride Challenge, should you choose to accept it. It may or may not be easy depending on where you find yourself today

Here’s how…If you haven’t yet, watch the Joy Ride video. Then, pick something from the video and go out and do it! Blow bubbles in your milk, make a splash, do a silly dance…

I would love to know what you pick. Laughter is contagious, so please share.

God knows your struggles, let him have them for today, even if it’s just for a moment while you take a deep breath and maybe find your laughter.




Weeds In My Flowerbeds

Why is it that as soon as I am a paragraph or so into sharing life with you my computer decides to shut down and “configure new updates” without so much as a warning? That pretty much sums up the way things have been going lately. Hmmmm…anyway back to where I was before this crazy machine interrupted me…

Happy Summer! Hard to believe it’s halfway over (at least in our house.) That depresses me because I feel like we’ve only just begun. June was a total write off for us. Our calendar was packed! Every single day had something planned or scheduled. Many days (which begin at 6 am) had multiple commitments. I am not complaining because we have also had our share of fun! Our family motto this summer has become “Embrace the Crazy!” This is why it’s been 3 weeks since I have been here, clicking away at the keyboard. (This is also why, dear neighbors, my flowerbeds that were once well tended and cared for have become littered with weeds popping up between the blooms. I will get right on that as soon as I am done here…)

I have this incredible, romanticized idea of what summer is supposed to look like. My “Country-Time Lemonade summer.” It’s all early-morning coffee on the back porch and lazy picnic basket afternoons at the lake or the pool. A tire swing hung from a massive tree for playing. Evenings spent around the campfire roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. The house always full, a revolving door of kids and friends. Ahh, summer.

It’s a nice picture but it’s not real life. Last night we made a fire and it rained. (Weather forecaster fail.) This morning the mosquitos about drove us off the back porch to drink our coffee indoors before launching into the day. We have managed the pool and beach a few times and there always seems to be a house and car full of kids which I absolutely love but our days are anything but lazy. This hectic, frenzied pace is what summer looks like this year and I am learning to adapt. (It’s either that or have it run me over.)

Right now, I want to strip the heavy coat of seriousness that I sometimes feel like I have boxed myself into, especially here, and share the lighter side of life for awhile. The “serious me” has mush for brain right now anyway and would struggle to put together a deeply thought out serious post because quite frankly friends (we’re all friends here, right?) it’s also been a tough three weeks. We have had to deal head on with some scary things that have been beyond the scope of my experience as a mother and caused me to stretch my faith in a major way. (But I am not going there today, like I said, mushy brain couldn’t muddle through that. It’s kind of like when you are waiting for something to load on your phone or computer and the little circle icon is spinning and spinning and you begin to wonder if it’s even doing anything or if it’s frozen up so you hit the refresh button and it starts all over again from the beginning and you lost any progress you had made. Maybe that’s just me and my impatience. At any rate, I digress…)

I used to have it all together (or at least it felt that way) but somewhere along the way this summer I became one of “those” people. You know, the kind that drops their kid off at piano lessons a half hour early because they were sure that was the right time? I am not saying that that happened yesterday or anything. (But if it had, in defense of “that” person, summer lessons had a new time and it had been three weeks since the last lesson and come on, that earlier time would be so much more convenient.) Embrace The Crazy!

This is summer in all of its chaotic glory. Not without problems but taken with a good dose of laughter. This is me…taxi driver, therapist, lifeguard, failed schedule-manager…a mom who looks at her growing kids and wonders where time has gone. (Our first year of high school and last year of elementary are on the horizon in just a few short weeks!)  A mom who looks at her kids and sees such amazing young people who are teaching me so much.

I really wish I had some great words of wisdom for you, something wise and thought-provoking and uber spiritual. But all I can offer today in the way of spirit-nourishment is “Embrace The Crazy!” It’s my summer version of eat dessert first. Go out and make some memories, laugh and have some fun. The weeds in your flowerbed can wait until tomorrow.  (Unfortunately mine have had too many tomorrows so I must go tackle that project…)

I Am A Cry-Baby (Not Really. Ok, Maybe I Am)


Confession:  I hate crying. Maybe, more correctly I should say, I hate other people seeing me cry. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the waterworks weren’t activated by something as simple as a sappy commercial for cotton on tv!

I didn’t used to be this way but at some point along this adventure I became an excessively sentimental, emotional (alright, I will just say it) wreck.  Not everyday, but I have my moments.

Me: Watching a YouTube video that has tripped the tear trigger, one of my family members walks in and I am furiously wiping at my face.  Nothing to see here, keep moving, mom is totally fine…

Me:  Worshiping in church and so overcome that my eyes are welling up.  Are you kidding me?!  Get a grip woman, not here, not now…

Me:  Speaking to a group of women at the end of May, the one thing I asked my husband to pray for as I walked out the door that morning was  – no tears! Pray that I can get through this without crying.  (Now, truth be told part of what I was sharing was an extremely moving reading about the burden of the blessing that motherhood is and I had about 99% of the women there in tears.)  By the way – I failed…I was “misting” before I ever got up to speak as a group of young ladies got up to sing a song about moms.  (Taylor Swift’s, The Best Day – I dare you to try to get through it without tears!)

So why does this trait, as I see it in myself, bother me so much?  That is like opening Pandora’s box.  I don’t think anything less of others who cry in public. (Even in the public of your own living room.) Most likely if I see you crying I will be fighting joining in.  If I were to make an educated guess I would say this has something to do with control.  It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith arrive at this conclusion when the starting point is control-freak.  Alright, I think that is enough couch time for today.  The point I wanted to make in this is something that I struggle with and I really need you to hear…

It’s ok not to be ok.

Joyce Meyer said, “We desperately want people to believe we are okay…to think we’ve got it together.  But it’s okay to not be okay.”

Everybody loves a story of someone who has overcome obstacles, trials, tragedy.  But too often we hit the highlights, skip the dark spots because nobody wants to tell that story.  We often hear stories like this one…Once upon a time something bad happened but our hero wasn’t fazed.  Our superhero, with their cape flapping in the wind, squashed the enemy without any problem and they lived happily ever after without suffering any sleepless nights or ever having shed a tear.

Not me, I want an authentic story.  I want to know that someone else struggles with the same things that I do.  Or if not the same things, at least I want to know that you struggle too.  But we are all so good at pretending!  We have been spoon fed the line that if we are true followers of Christ, and we struggle, we cannot actually admit it.  (Gasp!)  Please don’t buy into this!

Matt Chandler, pastor at The Village Church, recently said this.

…an issue that continues to persist among us who confess Christ as Lord are seasons in which we walk in the desert, seasons in which we struggle with doubt, seasons in which we are barely hanging in there. If we are not careful, we will pretend that’s not where we are and, instead, play the part of “Here’s where I raise my hands, and here’s where I take notes…”

In essence, we begin to pretend we’re not where we are. Hear me: that’s dumb. Why? Your conversation with other believers, your conversations in your groups, your conversations with those who are in your life pursuing Jesus Christ with you should be right around this subject: “It’s dry. I’m tired. I’m struggling with doubt. I don’t get this. I’m losing faith.” Why would you pretend that’s not where you are? I love you, but that’s idiotic.

So we confess, “I’m in the desert, and I don’t know how much longer I can survive out here,” and the people of God encourage and pray and they check in and they walk alongside. This is a practice we never get out of.

Also, I don’t know that you’ll ever outgrow seasons of being in the desert.  God accomplishes profound things in the dry times. What we must learn to exercise week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out, whether obedience feels like breathing air or obedience feels like a full-out assault on our hopes and dreams, is an openness and authenticity to say, “I’m in trouble. I’m jammed up. I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m lonely. I’ve been reading my Bible. I can’t remember the last time the Lord spoke to me through his Word. I’m praying. I don’t feel like anybody is listening to me but the cat,and I need to repent for owning a cat.” (I personally apologize to any cat owners…)
If the Lord has put you in that season, you will be in that season as long as he wants you in the season. My own experience is there have been multiple times I’ve walked through that season where I’m like, “Okay, I get it,” and the Lord has gone, ‘You ain’t got half of it yet, brother.’  We need to learn to trust the Lord in that while simultaneously being honest that that’s where we are.  God hasn’t asked you to be Superman or Wonder Woman.

So, it’s ok not to be ok.  It’s not okay to stay there.  If you are struggling, be honest, tell someone.

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do so we think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls you built up are just glass on the outside

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark,

(Tenth Avenue North, Healing Begins)

It’s ok…If you’re all busted up, welcome to the family. Oh, you’re dysfunctional? Us too! Come on in. You’re one of the crowd.


Afraid Of The Quiet


If we really want to pray, we must first learn to listen: for in the silence of the heart, God speaks. And to be able to see that silence, to be able to hear God, we need a clean heart. Let us listen to God, to what He has to say. We cannot speak unless we have listened, unless we have made our connection with God. From the fullness of the heart, the mouth will speak, the mind will think. ~Mother Teresa

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11, 12 NLT)

Silence can be a frightening thing. What might we hear or learn about ourselves in the silence? One of the things we do in talking is adjust our appearance, to others and in our own minds. We justify and rationalize our thoughts and actions. Even, and especially, towards God. We can so easily talk, talk, talk, at Him without actually listening to Him. We hand Him our grocery list prayer requests, hopefully remember to say thank you, and then it’s a goodbye, talk soon, without giving God the chance to speak to our hearts and into our lives. To abandon that white noise is really major, so we just keep on jabbering out loud or in our mind’s self talk. In silence we surrender our control of where the conversation might go and what we may be forced to face.

I find so much truth in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words. “Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking when they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God, either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God, too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life.”

God is not in the noise of your life…I challenge you today to quiet your heart so that you may hear His whisper. It may be frightening and I can’t guarantee it will be painless but this whisper also brings with it hope and love and peace and rest. Today be still…cease striving. Do not be afraid in the silence, for in your quiet you will find God.

Healing Begins

Whatever you are facing, whatever you are carrying today you don’t have to do it alone. Matt Chandler challenges us to get real, with ourselves, with others, with God. You don’t have to do this on your own. It’s a message that bears repeating because when the chips are down it’s one I tend to forget. It hits on all of the posts that I have begun in the last week and remain unfinished on paper and in my mind. Grace. Mercy. Pride. And Healing…

Half the joy of…

Half the joy of life is in the little things taken on the run. Let us run if we must – even the sands do that – but let us keep our hearts young and our eyes open that nothing worth our while shall escape us. And everything is worth its while if we only grasp it and its significance. ~Victor Cherbuliez

Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders. (Psalm 119:18)

This week as you work, cook, clean, drive, dream, cry, laugh, grumble, complain, sit, stand, run…and be still.  Take a moment to breathe it all in and acknowledge God.  Find your stillness amidst the running.

This too shall pass…


I have recently found myself pondering some very important questions. For example, is my car invisible? I have really begun to believe this may actually be truth with as many people as have pulled out in front of me, even though there are no cars behind me! This has not been a one time occurrence but instead more like a daily treat! And then as a follow up question. Why, if you are in such a hurry, that you must pull out in front of me, can you not at least do the speed limit? I have also been recently questioning if my speedometer is not set correctly as every car I am behind seems to be doing 15 miles an hour less than the speed limit. I am not a speed demon by any means, and I try to build some flex time into my travel, but not 15 extra minutes of flex time! This is white-knuckle driving, not because of bad road conditions, but because of the death grip I have on the steering wheel in frustration as the minutes tick by and I get later and later for wherever I am on my way to.

Quick, how would you describe your life right now in five words or less?

Me? I would say I am on my way. That’s how I feel like I live. I am always on my way somewhere. On my way to take the kids to school then depending on the day, I could be on my way to work, either on location or at home. Once there I try to cram as much as I can into the hours between 10 and 2 before being on my way back to pick the kids up from school. Then we are on our way to a music lesson or sports practice (or both), or possibly to feed a sports team if it’s an away game day (which often means fitting baking somewhere in between those precious “working” hours.) Then I am on my way to a sporting event, or on my way to the grocery store to pick up a random item that I need (even though I make lists, there is always something missing when I get home!) Many days I can be found at both. Then it’s on my way home to make dinner, probably do a load (or two) of laundry, help with homework (the dreaded math!) tidy up the mess we have all left in our wake throughout the day, then maybe work a little bit more if 10-2 didn’t accomplish everything on the day’s must-do list and then I am on my way to bed. A picture of a fairly typical day, where a lot of hours are spent on my way to somewhere, in my invisible car.

As the saying goes though, this too shall pass. There are plenty days when the last thing I want to do is get back and the car, and be “on my way” but there is going to come a day, in the not so distant future, when I won’t have to, so I am not complaining.

It seems like just yesterday I was tripping over toys strewn across the family room, changing diapers, and buckling kids into car seats. And now, I look at my two quickly growing children, young adults really, and I realize where we are really on our way to. I pray that as we quickly make our way towards the next chapter in our family that we can teach them enough, prepare them enough. I can’t always protect them from the world, although I try. I can’t save them from themselves some days, although I try. Some days I feel like I am literally in a tug of war match with Satan over them. We mess up, we get angry, I am far from a perfect mother, and I do not have perfect children, or a perfect family, but we try. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is not our standard. We just have to have a little bit of forgiveness (sometimes a little harder to come by than others) and love. Love the Lord our God, love our neighbor, love our children (and our parents), love our enemy. (That last one can be tough, I know, but this isn’t the a la carte menu. We can’t pick and choose, so love your enemy, with some help from God.)

I don’t know how you described you life (or if you even humored me when I asked you to.) I don’t know where you are in life. Today, I share my “spot in time” with you in hopes of encouragement. Know that whatever you are facing today, whatever your description was, good, bad, or filled with a little bit of crazy, I can only tell you this…it will pass. Sometimes that passing is bittersweet, but if you can keep God-centered, you won’t lose your way or your hope.

If you are having a bad day today, you are not alone. God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Heb 13:5) Find rest, refuge, and peace in Jesus. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

If you are having a good day, remember the Lord, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalms 107:1) “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.” (Psalms 103:1-2)

And if you find yourself more like me, with an invisible car, smack dab in the middle of crazy, hold on tight and use the Lord as your balance. Crazy can be wonderful if you don’t let it run you over. Remember, in the midst, God wants to be the center of our day, seek Him first, His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt 6:33) In all things (this goes for the good and bad days too) pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17.) Talk to God, share your day with Him. This is real life, and He wants to be a part of yours, no matter what it looks like.

And remember, this too shall pass…

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest… A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” (Ecc 3:1-2,4)

Still Moments – Glowsticks


To build in darkness does require faith. But one day the light returns and you discover you have become a fortress; you may even find yourself, sought by others as a beacon in their dark. ~Olga Rosmanith

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT)

Being broken hurts but be encouraged that your pain does have a purpose! You may find yourself shining one day very soon.

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 NIV)

Love Is In The Air

ImageValentine’s Day is almost here and love is in the air.  In addition to hearts, flowers and of course, chocolate.  The three things necessary to proclaim your undying love and affection.  If you aren’t walking hand in hand down the beach with your soul mate, and guys, if you didn’t “go to Jared,”  I am sorry to inform you, you’re a failure in love.  Or so retailers would have you believe.

This is not love.  Love can look like that and some days it does.  Some days however, love is messier, it hurts, a lot.  The people who love us will fail us.  But there is another source of love, one that will never run dry, never change its mind.  A love that is unconditional and undeserved.  A love that stands by our side through thick and thin, always and forever, into eternity.  Every one of us wants to be loved that way.

Today if you have blacklisted Valentine’s Day, if your heart is breaking, if you feel like you don’t deserve love, you can’t find it, or you’re tired of searching for it only to have it let you down, there is hope.  If your fairytale has turned into a nightmare, let me encourage you that all is not lost, and you are not alone.

Jesus Loves Me, an excerpt  from Run and Be Still

We have sung the song since we were little kids: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” The Bible is full of verses about God’s love for us. Perhaps the most often-quoted verse of the Bible is this one: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT). Watch any major sporting event on TV and someone will be holding up a poster with John 3:16 on it; players wear it on their eye blacks. But because it’s everywhere and we memorize it as small children, I think it sometimes loses its effect on us. It becomes just a few words strung together without meaning.

Before we can go any further, we have to fully understand the most basic principle that all of the others will be built off of. Love. Not love as you and I know it, but God’s love. This love is unfathomable; it extends beyond the bounds of our finite comprehension. My prayer is the same for you as Paul’s, written to the church at Ephesus. That you become empowered with inner strength, that your roots will grow down into God’s love and that you will understand how wide, long, high, and deep God’s love is for you. If we are unable to understand this, if we are unable to accept this, then we can go no further in our journey toward glory because everything else that I will share with you is based off this one truth. This is the firm foundation that everything else is built upon.

When you are tempted to doubt the overwhelming love that God pours out to you, when you find yourself thinking, “God loves everyone, but I am just one of billions, and by the time God’s love reaches me it has to be spread pretty thin” or “There are much bigger problems in the world; why would God want to focus His affection on me?” remember these verses:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrownot even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth belowindeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:3839 NLT)

There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. Love is not something God does. It is who He is.

Since my diagnosis, I have felt God’s love overwhelmingly. Does that mean that it wasn’t there before? No. God had been waiting to shower me with love, but I was too busy to take the time to accept it. Crazy, but oh so true. Life has a tendency to get in the way, but God has the capability to slam on the brakes and make you take a pit stop and take notice of Him.

God’s love came into focus very clearly for me on Easter Sunday three months after having been diagnosed with Takayasu’s arteritis, as we stood in church singing “I Stand Amazed.” Written in 1905 by Charles Gabriel, it is a timeless hymn, as true today as the day it was written. As we got to the second verse, the tears started rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably and continue to do so to this day every time I hear this song. Why? Because I finally had an idea of how much God loved me. I finally got it, in the true sense of God’s love.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore my burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered and died alone.
How marvelous, how wonderful
And my song shall ever be.
How marvelous, how wonderful
Is my Savior’s love for me.

On the cross Jesus took not only our sins but our sorrows and our hurts and made them His own! Why? Because He is a masochist? No! Because He loved us, even before we ever were and before we ever loved Him. Even before our hurts, suffering, and pain ever came to be. Knowing that we would turn away, knowing that we would hurt Him, knowing that some of us would never come to know Him at all. He still took all of them. And not only that, but He did it all alone! He was separated from God, abandoned by His friends. In order to offer us forgiveness and salvation, Jesus took our eternal punishment. The ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card. He took our heavy baggage onto Himself and suffered and died alone. It absolutely broke my heart. So how can we not sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know”? How marvelous, how wonderful!

So be honest, do you believe that? Do you believe that God loves you? Acknowledge that you have ignored His love. Tell Him that you are trusting in what Christ did on your behalf. Won’t you accept His love and His forgiveness of your sins? Won’t you rely on Him instead of on yourself? I would encourage you to take a moment right now if you can’t bring yourself to accept this gift of love and read Ephesians 3:16–19. Then close your eyes and ask the Lord to speak His love into your heart.

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Eph. 3:1619 NLT)

Today, no matter what day it is, celebrate Valentine’s Day, let God love you.

To read more,  Run and Be Still is available at, or for the month of February get 14% off on an author signed copy at  (Coupon Code LOVE)