What if Money was No Object?

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What would you do if money was no object? “If you say getting the money is the most important thing you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid!” This video came up on […]

Overwhelmed and Under-Qualified

Overwhelmed Writer

“Hit send! Hit send!” Michael enthusiastically peered over my shoulder. On January 9th around 1am, we finished the first draft of Real Men Don’t Text. The flood of emotions of turning in your blood, sweat, and yes, tears, in the form of a 52,000 word document was exhilarating. Was this really happening? Are we really […]

Running is Redemption

Image of Michael and Ruthie Dean

On Saturday, thousands of people–runners, people that would qualify as ‘elderly’, costume-clad individuals, & even non-athletes–awoke before dawn and gathered around Centeniel Park for the annual Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon. Adrenaline & the god-aweful smell from the porta potties wafted over the streets; people checked their watches obsessively counting down ’til race time; […]

Chin Up Buttercup | On Choosing Joy

Girl in a field

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing […]

Recommended Reading On Life, Marriage, and Christian Living

Several people have asked me to recommend books so I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the best books I read in 2011. Also, since I work in a publishing house and hate to see the bookstores closing down–I’d like you to read more! In 2012, I have challenged myself to […]

The Courage to Change | A Weight Loss Journey

On September 18, 2011 a visit to the doctor revealed a shocking number when he stepped on the scale: 408 pounds. Blake Mitchamore had battled his weight the majority of his life, but this was an all-time high. At 5’9″ the extra 200+ pounds he carried was threatening to kill him. He couldn’t stand up for more […]

Keep Fighting | Lessons from The Biggest Loser

As you may know, Michael and I don’t have a TV in our house because we wanted to start our marriage without the distraction. We both grew up in households where TV was either limited or non-existant. Even though we don’t have a TV, we do make sure to catch the weekly episode of NBC’s […]

Moving Abroad, Chicken Feet, & Life-Long Friendships

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This post orginally appeared on bestselling author Beth Wiseman’s blog on Tuesday. She is one of the fiction authors I work with at Thomas Nelson & I feel incredibly blessed to know her. Today’s post is a great way to gear up for next week’s guest posts. My friend Natalie will post on Monday about strength and weakness in relation to Chinese culture & the […]

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

Name the first thing that comes to mind. GO… “Write” is my answer.  Do you know how many years it took me to start this blog? How many excuses I made for why I wasn’t equipped or the right person to blog and write a book [one day]? Far too often thoughts of “what the […]

An American Dream

From the Sandstorms of Inner Mongolia to a Vanderbilt Ph.D–A Story of Genius, Triumph over the Impossible, and Perseverance Zhaoying Han, ‘Natalie’, received her Ph.D in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University yesterday– an impressive feat in itself – but what separates her from the rest is her unmatched perseverance and determination despite the impossible odds […]