• Through the Wilderness



    Please share with friends, and as always, any reviews posted to Amazon and Goodreads are welcomed and appreciated!  Except below.

    Shining a little light in the darkness, Carol


    Excerpt:  Chapter 1 — Different, Not Ruined

    I slid off the exam table with the doctor’s diagnosis ringing in my ears. “We will schedule an MRI, but it will only confirm my diagnosis. I am ninety-nine point nine percent sure that you have MS.” I can’t remember what I said at that moment, but by the end of the day my resolve was, “I am in no hurry to receive my healing. I want to learn everything the Lord can teach me through this disease. I do not want to have to do another lap around The Sinai, thank you very much.” I did not want to end up like the children of Israel and spend forty years in my wilderness.

    It was December of 1995, when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Back then, I tended to define myself to others by what I did. I believed, as many do, that my worth depended on my job, on how much money I made, or on how much I could produce each day. Like any propaganda, if you say it enough, you come to believe it. My culture lied to me.

    My job did not define me; my value did not depend on what I produced or contributed. This chronic disease brought me an identity crisis that was devastating. When my body no longer looked or functioned as it did, and I was unable to be what I was before—who then was I? What purpose did I have? What was my value to myself and others?

    MS tends to shrink life, lopping off huge chunks. It chips away and chips away. Insidious! Now life looked nothing like what I had worked so hard to attain. The attack affected my vision. My ability to read was limited —for a teacher that was the end of a career. The end of being productive. Even if the eye problems were to heal, my energies were so fickle I could not count on them being there on demand. My ability to walk was impaired. Forget about graceful, I was thankful to the Lord that I could walk at all! Should I insist that my body function after it told me to stop, it rewarded me with excruciating exhaustion. It tore at my insides and demanded that I become horizontal—now! Little things required huge outpourings of energy and quickly become too much.

    After my diagnosis, I quickly lost interest in trying to do much of anything. Sitting and watching others function normally wreaked havoc on how I saw myself. My name had been synonymous with responsibility and conscientiousness, and suddenly I was unable to be either of those.

    I felt I had no value.

    At my diagnosis, I did feel a sense of relief—of vindication. “See! I was right. Something was wrong!” But that relief I felt didn’t make up for the huge chunks of life that were now being stolen; opportunity after opportunity just out of reach. Would I ever be able to grasp that golden ring? Doubtful. Even if I could catch it, I could not hold onto it for long. Physically speaking, the best I had been was the best I would ever be. That was a very cold, harsh reality.

    But once I looked at that and acknowledged the truth of it, I began to see that the Lord saw me differently than I saw myself. I had value in His loving eyes. When I looked at myself with earthly perspective and wept, He looked with the eyes of heaven, and—although He grieved with me—He also rejoiced over my declaration when I committed that diagnosis to Him. I even went so far as to ask that He would work sanctification and holiness in my life because of it.

    In spite of this perspective that God could use even this devastating disease to work His nature into me, I continuously questioned God. Was there life after MS? Who was I now? Was there any purpose to my life? Did I have value? I could not contribute anything! I was a drain on my husband, my children . . . and so on.

    Choices! How could I choose to believe God, now, when He says, in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you; to prosper you and not to harm you?” From where I stood, it no longer seemed there could be anything good left in my future.

    Yet, over time, I began to understand that I have an intrinsic value that has nothing to do with what I do, or don’t do. God—who loved me regardless of my performance—is who gave me that value. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). That was my true identity. When I accepted Him, I became a child of God whether I did anything else, or not. Just being His child gives me value. Jesus coming to earth to win our salvation is proof of the value God places on each of us.

    But it was a long time before I could realize that truth. I had already learned my value came from what I could produce. And since I had always been able to produce, I didn’t realize there was any problem with defining myself that way. Yet, those were merely social values, which came from my own interpretation of family values. From working hard and having something to show for all the hard work. They also came from the society in which I grew up, that reinforced those same values.

    My family had always worked hard. We had to. But we still managed to maintain a joy of life, so I never realized there was any disagreement or disconnect between the Lord’s value system and that segment of my own. However, these two value systems crashed head-on with my diagnosis. Clearly, they were not the same. I realized that determining my value by tying it to my job—and how much I produce—did not come from the Lord.

    Now, I was suddenly at a crossroad, and had to choose which way I would go. Believing there was value in me without doing anything was not easy. But I still had to choose. Of course, I wanted to choose to believe the Lord, except it seemed too impossible. I didn’t have the strength to choose, much less believe Him. But then, The Lord helped me make the choice to believe Him.

    He did it by sending me to a potter’s shop, to work with a lump of clay.

    That first day, I was a novice, and the lesson was how to cut the clay from the wheel. I adjusted the wire as instructed and pushed the accelerator. I had no idea of the speed required, nor how the machine and the pot would interact. The wheel went far too fast! My pot came free, spun out of control, careened off the wheel, and landed on its head. I let out a wail—my creation lay dashed on the floor! I reached to throw it into the scrap bin thinking it beyond repair.

    My instructor bounded off her stool, and scooped it up protectively. “No! No! It is not ruined. It will be beautiful! There is no such thing as a ruined pot! It is not ruined, just different. You’ll see.” Then she pushed, pulled, pinched, and tweaked it. It became a lovely pot—not the shape I had in mind originally—but nonetheless acceptable. I learned that I must not be firmly invested in anything I make until it comes out of the fire. Until a pot has gone through the fire, I cannot say what it is; not until it becomes what it is. I must wait and see.

    From there it was no big jump to realize that when I work myself free of The Lord, I go careening off His wheel in much the same way. When I am free and think I am in control that is precisely when life spins out of control and I land on my head. Thinking life is ruined, I wail and lament. Then the loving Father scoops me up, dusts me off, pushing here and there. Pinching and tweaking, He transforms and redeems my shattered life. At times, in my distress, I cannot hear His Words of comfort when He tells me, “You are not ruined; just different than you thought you were going to be.”

    I was not there to give God counsel when He formed me (Psalm 139:13-18), so I do not know how far from His original design I am (Job 40:1-5). I cannot know for sure what I will be, or how I will look until I come out of the fire! So, as I learned to control the potter’s wheel much better, I was also learning to stay where the Lord put me until He moved me. Also, to do whatever task He gave me to the best of my ability—even if it was just sitting on a shelf and being a pretty pot, nurturing all who see!

    My own little pots I have made grace my shelf and haven’t a clue the nurture they give me. I don’t have a clue the joy my company gives the Lord as I spend time sitting on His shelf, either. At times I feel banished, excluded from life, and of little value. But I am learning to recognize these as mere feelings. They are transient and have no absolute or eternal reality. Sometimes they are even the whisperings of the enemy! Then I remind myself that although I may feel banished, in reality, the Lord has scooped me up, pushed and pulled, tweaked and pinched. He has lovingly put me up out of harm’s way—where I’ll not be damaged—and He can enjoy His art.

    My early pots do not have the precision of my later ones, but they sit next to the latest creation, and I value them no less. I have not thrown even the lumpiest of pots away. Nor has the Lord thrown me aside when, to my eyes, I am lumpy and misshapen. The cup without the handle is a pencil holder of distinction. Misshapen is unique. “Oops” became a signature mark. Ruined has become beautiful. No, I am not ruined. I am loved by my Maker.

    Chronic disease can ruin me only if I take my eyes off my Maker. Chronic disease can also ruin me if I hold on too tightly to the world’s value system. Or, if I listen to and believe the lies of the enemy, linking value and purpose to production and dollar signs. Most importantly, I know none of those things can ruin me unless I steadfastly insist upon crawling off The Lord’s wheel, or His shelf, and climbing—all by myself—into the scrap bin.
True, I am different than I was; my life is different from what I thought He planned for me. But the Lord is a good potter, who takes what life throws into the clay mix and works it into a design of beauty that I couldn’t have even imagined before. 
And while it is a struggle to hold on to a sense of value and meaning, that struggle is part of the tension of creation. Because I learned that, in formation, every pot is under tension—both pushed from the outside and supported from the inside. So, removed from society’s hustle and bustle, I finally came to remember my original goal—the purpose behind all I have done—which was to bless the heart of my Father. Yes, what I do has changed, and even how I do it. But value and purpose? Never! Because that part came from the Lord, and not me.

    That lesson at the potter’s house contained several learnings for me. The first was that I must never become overly invested in what I do until it has been through the fire. Secondly, my value to God comes from being His child rather than from what I produce. Trials may change my life; they may constrain me in various ways. But they cannot define me unless I agree with the negative picture of my future, which is inherent in the trial. I must look past the trial to the hope and the future God promises in Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11. And as I came to understand what God was teaching me, and embraced those learnings, God counted that as valuable!


    Ask the Holy Spirit

    To make this lesson your own, identify a time, person, project, work, or ministry in which you invested hugely but the outcome turned out to be something other than what you anticipated.

    ! Did it define you? Did it become “who you were?” Did it determine your value and worth?

    ! Did you wail and moan over your loss? Did it feel like God didn’t care?

    ! Did you feel as though life was ruined?
! Did you try to wiggle free from the Lord’s wheel by asking Him to “fix” your situation according to your guidelines?

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reframe that event so you can see the Master Potter’s hand in it. Ask to see with the eyes of heaven what God was trying to build into you. An attitude, character trait, a skill set?

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit how to change your responses to your circumstances so that they will align with God’s heart for you and His values.

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit why He wants you to make these changes.

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit how to implement the changes He has shown you to make.


    Thank you God for making me Your child, for giving me belonging, value and worth—help me to be able to feel it. Forgive me for believing lies about myself and my worth. Forgive me for thinking ill of You, Lord, for allowing this trial to be part of my life. I cannot see what You see, or fully know what You have in mind for me. Grant me strength and grace, Lord, to stay on Your wheel. Today I  choose to focus on what is, and can be. Help me keep that focus! I declare that You are my loving Father, and Your plans are to prosper me, to give me hope and a future!

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).


  • Through The Wilderness, finding God’s presence when all seems lost


    If you have ever had a life altering event or trauma you have probably faced many of the same issues I did in regard to a sense of worth or value and purpose in life. Really questioning all of that and where God was in it and why He would allow such devastation.

    I love a quote that is attributed to Winston Churchill. “If you are going through hell, keep going!” We could say, if you are going through a wilderness, keep walking!” You will get through it if you keep moving. You will get through it if you do not lose heart and turn your back on God.

    And if you do keep moving through it with the Lord, you will come out the other side transformed. People may not recognize you!  “Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?” Song of Songs 3:6

    Some topics covered are:

    • After major losses, we will be different, but not necessarily ruined.
    • When we feel we are “on the shelf, use the “shelf time” to honor God and learn His ways.
    • The trouble with centering is that, like clay, we fight the hand that forms us.
    • When we turn to Jesus in our brokenness, He will take great care to bind us up in ways unique to our brokenness. He knows exactly the lines along which we break, so He knows how re-assemble us.
    • In Jesus we can have no fear or regret…once we see from His perspective. In His timing He allows us to see with His eyes, without condemnation. He knows when we are ready to see with understanding.
    • When we do not understand we can put our confusing circumstances and dilemmas on a “mystery shelf” as we wait in peace for God’s timing for revelation.
    • It may sound like a Christian cliché, but the joy of the Lord really is our strength!

    As soon as the technology finishes its processes, it will appear on Amazon and ebook distribution outlets. May you be encouraged as you slog through your wilderness.

    Shining a little light,  Carol

  • Reader’s Question

    Mystery Book CoverRecently a reader asked about how spiritual gifts fits in with being highly sensitive. I thought it was a very good question that perhaps many people have. So I turned it into a blog post! Here’s my take on the question…


    People who are highly sensitive are also spiritually sensitive–spiritual sensitivity is just another manifestation of high sensitivity. If you are highly sensitive, you are sensitive across the spectrum of experience—to light, sound, touch (texture), taste and environmental things like heat, cold, pollen in the air, or smog and food sensitivities, chemicals, etc. Your high sensitivity is also what makes it possible for you to hear from God.


    Being highly spiritually sensitive is not a Christian thing exclusively. There are highly sensitive people who are secular, atheists, and practitioners of other faiths as well. They tend to be the artists, poets, writers, the “religious,” witch doctors, shamans, etc. When these people come to know Jesus and are born again this sensitivity can be dedicated to The Most High and as you partner with Jesus to do Kingdom work, Holy Spirit guides you.Highly Sensitive JPEGThe issue of “spiritual gifting” is a real problem for most highly sensitive Christian people. Being HS means you are generally very itelligent and highly creative as well as empathetic.  So there are many things you can do, interests to pursue, and you are probably quite good at whatever you put your mind to. One caveat to that is how incredibly sensitive some Downs Syndrome and folks on the autistic spectrum are.


    I admit to you that I had the same problem with figuring out where I fit and who I should be. People would say, “You should be a counselor,” “You should be a teacher,” “You should sing,” yatta, yatta! For a long time, my bottom line was, “If I did all the things I should do and all the things I could do, I would never do the things I want to do!”


    The Lord finally came to my rescue. He told me that at times I will prophesy, at times counsel or teach, other times bear burdens, write, paint, do music, be a mom, grandmother, wife, etc. Other times the Lord and I will spin tales and weave yarns, but at all times I will be His friend. We don’t have to wear labels or feel we have to do one thing exclusive of all the others. He wants us to be fully developed—just like Jesus was.


    In your job you may speak prophetically to a colleague…but you won’t do that everyday. At times you will need to discern spirits, so you will…when that is needed. There is that scripture in Romans 5:3-5 that says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” There are times when being highly spiritually sensitive can cause you to suffer. It may come as a result of bearing someone’s burden, your own internal angst over who you are and where you fit, or as discrimination or rejection in the work place. When that happens, it is no fun. But please, do not hate the way God made you. He smiled and said, “that’s good.”


    As you see in the list of character traits above, one character trait is added to another. Fathers are admonished to teach their children line upon line. In other words, God wants us to build character a bit at a time. He wants us also to build spiritual character in the same way and to add relational skill sets, rounding out our personalities. So as we develop, God will gift us again and again. The more you work with God to mature and become skilled at hearing Him and prophesying then He will start working on another aspect—maybe training you to have razor sharp discernment. Then He will begin to work on developing another aspect without dropping any that you already have under your belt. There is also the passage in Hebrews 5:14 “who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” He expects us to put ourselves in positions to receive training. You need to practice each and every gift you have so you become good at it.


    Don’t be disheartened or think that you have to have just one “gift.” Although, just as we are predominately right or left-handed, there will probably be one gift that will be dominant. Jesus had a whole fist full of spiritual gifts. We are to strive to have the full stature and character of Jesus. The “full stature” means that you will need more than just prophesy, or discernment. Spiritual sensitivity will lead you to develop the full potential of your design. One man I know tried on each one of the spiritual gifts for a whole month. Some of them he quickly learned were not his! This is one way to narrow down the list so that you can settle on what you need to learn and practice.


    So, I would say that your calling first and foremost is probably to be a friend of God. You may exhibit any number of the spiritual gifts at any given time. He designed you with a highly sensitive nervous system. You take in more sensory data than most people—this is what allows you to sense the Holy Spirit’s guidance and tell the difference between good and evil. You sense what is going on in other people’s experience—that is to inform your intercession on their behalf. Some highly sensitive “Pre-Christian” people may use the information they gain about people’s vulnerability to control or manipulate them. God gave you that ability for purposes of burden bearing and intercession, for encouraging and building up the saints, not control and domination.


    You will find that He places you in “assignments” where you will be able to either learn or hone a skill set or a spiritual gift. These assignments will change but there is something to learn, develop, or solidify–so I would just advise you to enjoy the journey and not be overly concerned about gifts. The enemy has a ploy to push you to do more, be more and drive you into burn out or to so focus you on one aspect of your walk with God that he can distract and trip you up. Just enjoy God’s presence and let that be your focus. Be the very best you, you can be. Along the way He will guide you to fully develop your potential and that will bring you a great sense of fulfillment.


    If you would like to learn more about spiritual sensitivity from a Christian perspective, check out The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and its companion volume Highly Sensitive. Both are available from my website.

    Hope this helps.  Blessings, Carol Brown, shedding a little light!


    Wilderness-cover-B P.S. The Wilderness, my next book, a devotional/memoir is with the        publisher now. It is a memoir of my recovery journey after a major attack of multiple Sclerosis–I was catapulted into my wilderness. We are hoping to have it out in out in May. We will keep you posted.

  • Overall Vision for Sassy Pants Series


    I was asked what my overall vision for the Sassy Pants series was. I wrote the stories first and then in retrospect marveled at what the Lord had done!

    When a child is laughing, he/she relaxes and it is much easier  to learn—lessons slip in and stay. It is my prayer that these books will help children build a sense of belonging and value, positive character traits, self-confidence, and good self-esteem. By watching how Sassy Pants overcomes difficulties that are not all that different from the trials many children cope with, they are encouraged to believe that they too have value and a place. My hope is that by using Sassy Pants model, children can eliminate some of the difficulties of  learning these lessons by trial and error.


    This launch, Dec. 4-6 in Tacoma, WA is for Book III in which Sassy Pants Learns about Strange Creatures. Strangers can be scary. Even people you know, but not very well! Sometimes you worry they won’t like you or they will do something you don’t like. How should you act? Say? Do? And when you are not too sure about who you are and how you fit in…well, things become confusing. Sassy Pants models finding a way.


    Book III – Sassy Pants learns…about strange creatures talking points

    • Overcoming fear of rejection and worry
    • Fear makes the situation much scarier than it really is
    • Facing a situation is much more productive than running and hiding
    • To call for help when she needs it
    • Truth about her father reduces her fear of him

    Book I – Sassy Pants learns…

    • Choices have consequences. (She bumps into this fact in other books in the series also.)
    • Different kinds of “sorry”
    • The importance of listening…or not
    • Respecting feelings, fences and boundaries
    • Bullying
    • Some learn the easy way…and some learn the hard way. It’s your choice.

    Book II – Sassy Pants learns…about amends

    • Words and actions can both hurt
    • Why we apologize and ask forgiveness
    • What amends is and why it is important
    • How to make amends
    • About honor – what it is and how to do it

    Books IV and V are yet to be illustrated and published. These stories share what Sassy Pants learns when making amends with her parents.

    • Making positive choices for one’s self often benefits others as well, far greater than she could ever imagine
    • She can do things she has never done before
    • Including others makes everything more fun
    • How to give and receive honor
    • What it feels like to belong
    • Everyone has something they do best
    • Her father focused on her potential not her mess ups
    • She has a place in her father’s heart and in the herd






    Shedding a little light….   Carol


  • Developmental Needs & Tasks for Sassy Pants Readers!



    When can I buy the book? Right now!

    Where can I buy it?      on Amazon. (click on Amazon)

    We will also have “BUY” button here SOON on my blog and the Summers Island Website.

    And now I’d also like to share a helpful piece about the development of young children. As moms (and as grandparents) we often wonder if we are doing the right things or if we are creating problems for them farther along in life.

    A friend of mine, Dr. James Wilder has written a manual that describes what is going on at each developmental stage of life. I thought the following chart brilliant–so very helpful.

    The needs of children aged 4 to 12 are:  (This part we help them with.)

    • They need to be weaned of being a baby—having all their needs anticipated and met for them
    • They need help doing what they don’t feel like doing
    • Authentic help sorting feelings, imaginations and realities
    • Feedback on guesses, attempts and failures
    • Love they do not need to earn
    • Be taught the family history
    • Be taught the big picture of their lives

    The developmental tasks for this age are: (This part they have to work at and learn. Yes, adults need to encourage them and compliment them when they make progress but we cannot do it for them.)

    • Learn to take care of self
    • Learn to ask for what they need
    • Learn self-expression
    • Develop personal resources and talents
    • Learn to make him/herself understandable to others
    • Learn to do hard things
    • Tame their cravings
    • Learn what satisfies
    • Learn to see him/herself through the “eyes of heaven”—see their potential


    Excerpted from The Complete Guide to Living With Men by E. James Wilder III, Shepherd’s House Inc., Pasadena, CA, 2004, pp. 56-90.

    Shedding some light… Carol A. Brown

  • Update on Sassy Pants Learns…about strange creatures!

    We now have a date and a venue and updated art work! Woo Hoo!

    December 4-6 in the Tacoma Mall

    Tacoma, WA

     Look for our kiosk.


    The book launch for Sassy Pants Learns…about Strange Creatures is happening. There will be two other authors with me, along with friends. As well as being at the kiosk to sign books, visit with book lovers and kid lovers, we will be doing library readings and visiting schools in the area.


    Sassy Pants worries about all kinds of things…dad’s rejection, strange creatures on the farm and she is not sure how to act or what to say. She is worried about having something special to do that will make her important…poor Sassy Pants!


    It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts.


    Moms, Aunties, Grandmas

    Stop by and see us and scoop up this delightful series for your little “worry warts.” Help your little worrier through some of the same difficulties Sassy Pants had.

  • Still Alive!

    Sometimes life hits with such aggression that it takes your breath away. Notice that?  I’m hoping that aggressive phase is done and I can return to “business as usual!”  About business…


    We have a new publisher for my children’s books!

    Summers Island Press where you are sure to find TREASURE!   http://summersislandpress.com   

    Please come and puruse. We are working on book III in the Sassy Pants Learns series — fun stories that result in building character but no one really cares. They’re so intrigued by Sassy Pants antics no one notices. The title to book III is Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures. The title could change, as all things change in process.

    We have a new illustrator!  But I can’t post any illustrations yet.  I will be posting peeks into this new story as I get the OK.  Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures helps children figure out the difference between something that is strange-different (as in “different, or new to me”) and something that is strange-dangerous. Sassy Pants worries about many things and her worry exaggerates her fears. What to do? What to say? How to act? Nada’s illustrations captivate!

    Release:  We are shooting for completion in time for the holidays. Stay tuned; I’ll let you know the progress.

    We will go back and republish the first two books–redoing the covers and giving them color illustrations. Our ultimate goal is to have a boxed set of the full series.

    Please spread the word of these delightful stories.

    Blessings, Carol

  • Habits

    Habits are wonderful and habits can undo you! Ridding oneself of the bad ones and developing new ones is just plain hard work. When habits are good, they assist you in accomplishing even more because they free up the little bit of will power that is granted for the day. You can focus your will power on a goal rather than blow it to working your way through a “to-do” list. Unlike phone plans there doesn’t seem to be any roll over to build up will power points.

    I used to have some excellent habits in organizing my life, accomplishing the work I needed to do, and still have time left for some fun activities and contributing to my community. Then the MS hit and annihilated  all my good habits.

    When the brain fog mostly cleared and I could see the crumbled mess of my life and my home…dust buffaloes roaming freely through the house! I began comparing the old self with the new self–bad idea. It added to the downward spiral and the new bad self-image, It depleted an already severely weakened self-worth. Comparison works like a black hole and sucks up precious will power. Oy!

    I spend a majority of most days in my recliner…so I watch lots of video presentations. One I found particularly helpful. The presenter, Eban Pagan, told of a man who had  two large rocks, a whole bunch of smaller rocks, some pebbles and some sand to put in a tank…first the sand and pebbles, then the small rocks. When he tried to put the two big rocks in there was not enough room. But when he did it the other way around–put in the two big rocks, placed the smaller ones around them, then the pebbles, viola! the sand slid down between and around them all and there was plenty of room for everything.

    Aha! I had found my plan…identify my two big rocks and make sure I do them before anything else. I am aiming for these to be two-hour blocks. All the other tasks will fit around them and if something of a small rock or pebble size is not done it is no big deal. Each day I have identified one house work item per day as a “big rock” and writing as my second “big rock.” My goal is to make sure those “big rock” time blocks are uninterrupted. After that I am very interruptible, if that’s a word! If I can develop some strong habits around time flow it will free up the will power that is poured for me daily, some days a thimble full and some days a tea cup. If I can build a strong habit, I won’t have to use up the will power to think through what needs to be done next. It is already a habit. It might work!

    Michael Hyatt is a writing mentor I read and follow as I can. He says having a companion while you are in the “messy middle” (before you reach a goal) makes is much easier to accomplish. Thanking God for helping me see a way out! I’d love to hear how God brought you out of an impossible situation. Let’s help each other.

    shedding a little light…Carol A. Brown

    www.fromgodsheart.com  Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.



  • Allergies And Marketing. (How do they go together?)

    I am a writer and a member of a group of Christian authors (John 3:16 Marketing Network).  We help each other market our books. I hate marketing!…it is my least favorite part of being an author. I’ve often said that I have an allergic reaction to marketing–no business gene. And speaking of allergies…after my MS attack back in 1995, we discovered (the hard way) that I had become gluten intolerant. What could marketing and allergies have in common? Read on.

    My husband has been researching flours and grains (since we both really like bread, all things made with it, and I am an awesome baker!) He discovered that the wheat supply in the U.S. is so totally messed with that it has very little nutritional value. The reason they tinkered with it was the desire to produce a greater yield per acre so there would be more available on the market and more to export. Money, money, money! Then they also needed to make sure it would arrive at market in good shape. And, they were very successful. The marketing enhancements were successful. There is an abundance of wheat (in this country at least); it arrives at the market or the mill in good shape, and produces a beautiful loaf of bread. Celebrate the success of science, right? One problem. The more tinkering, the less nutritional value! Hmmm. That kind of backfired.

    Beginning about 1960, selective breeding and modern production methods gradually increased wheat yields by about threefold,” Davis says. “Unfortunately, this famous Green Revolution is accompanied by an almost-unknown side effect of decreasing mineral concentrations in wheat. Measured declines in the range of 20 to 50 percent have been documented in modern wheats for magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, phosphorus and sulfur, and they probably apply to other minerals as well. They presumably affect the health of people everywhere in the world, because inadequate intakes of many of these minerals are well-documented both in developed and developing countries.”

    Some of today’s varieties also have half as much protein as earlier varieties, Davis says, while old wheat varieties often have substantially higher amounts of valuable phytochemicals. Although some modern commercial flours are high in total protein, they do not necessarily contain the specific proteins important for good bread. Read  more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/homemade-whole-grain-bread-zmrz12djzmar.aspx#ixzz3PxTMclmg

    No wonder it gave me a belly ache!

    As I was taking all this in it dawned on me–the enhancements to marketing are causing my allergic reaction. All the extra “stuff” that an author must engage in…from tours to social media. It is stimulation overload and it causes a shutdown … kind of like throwing a circuit breaker.

    I wonder what the business equivalent to gluten free is. Is there a way I can desensitize myself to marketing or should I go cold turkey and swear off entirely–hide out in my writer’s cave? And how would one do that exactly and be able to remain a writer? And if I did that who would/could read what I wrote? Sigh.

    What do you readers do when you experience stimulation overload? Any ideas out there?

    Shedding a little light…Carol A. Brown

    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.



  • Don’t Need A Word For That

    The mind is a  funny thing. Mine had been ruminating on the fact that the Chinese language does not have a vocabulary category for spouses to scold each other. Did you know that?

    When I was in university I was part of a Chinese community–ya, the one American in the whole bunch. One of my friends said that when he and his wife argued they did it in English because Chinese doesn’t have those words. Now, all these years later my mind brings that up…at 2:30 in the morning! And now 45 years later I protest.

    Me:  “You don’t need specific vocabulary to scold each other. You can use ordinary words. It is about communicating feelings and mental images. I don’t have enough Chinese vocabulary to demonstrate, but here is an example in English.”

    “I am so angry…I am so angry with you! Oh! One breath of my white hot fury will incinerate  the feathers off of General Tzao’s chicken!”

    In my mind’s eye I see my friend collapse to the floor, helpless with laughter.

    Me: “Check. I won that argument.” It seemed so funny to me that I had to wake my husband and tell him to double check to see if it was as funny as it was in my head. It was.

    That happened several days ago but my mind was not done. Today it downloaded why there was no vocabulary for spousal bickering.

        1. It is not polite
        2. It is not honoring
        3. It destroys face (mien tzu)

    Politeness, honor and keeping face are three very important aspects of Chinese culture so they never invented words that would destroy it. Wow, that’s brilliant. I think Jesus is very pleased with that aspect of the culture. In fact He encourages us through the apostle Paul.

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8  This would be polite, honoring and not only save face, it would add to it, seems to me.

    Amazing what the mind will do without our direction! But I think now I will direct it to come up with something about the holidays! Hope yours are beginning well.


    Shedding a little light…


    Carol A. Brown

    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.