"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Thanks to you!

Guest blogger: Amy Wallace

It's been an amazing week here and I've enjoyed sharing with you all! Thanks for coming by and for visiting my websites.

To close out our time together, I wanted to expound on my first post about how I learned to be thankful for God's "No" because I saw first hand how the answer I received instead was truly for my good.

I really didn't like being in a cast, but I love that I kept my toddler out of the ER. (To learn more about this story, please check out God Answers Mom's Prayers and the story "For This Child.") I felt a bit like a hero and it's amazing how much I was able to accomplish on the computer sitting there for 10 hours a day just writing.

That was fun!

In six great weeks I wrote my first novel, which is coming out in April 2007. Ransomed Dreams is about a Crimes Against Children FBI agent and a mom looking for answers into her family's death. Their stories become entwined because of an attempt to kidnap a British ambassador's daughter.

From typing "THE END" for the first time I knew God had called me into this career ministry. In other words, God's "No" about protecting my physical health was because He had something better: an opportunity to follow Him into an exciting ride of life to learn that while obedience is sometimes painful, it's the best ever place to be.

If you'd like to hear more about my story, what God continues to teach me through both painful and enjoyable times, or learn more about my novels and non-fictions stories, please come visit me at Heart Chocolate, Defenders of Hope, or my blog the Peek-a-boo ICU. When you stop by, sign up for my newsletter and get registered to win an awesome gift pack of 23 top fiction books, a Starbucks gift card, Defenders of Hope merchandise, and Godiva chocolate. (Sound good? Come visit! ;-))

Here's my prayer for you as we close our time together on Allison's awesome blog:

Heavenly Daddy, I pray You’ll wrap Your strong and protective arms of love around each blog reader. I give thanks to You for Allison and these readers allowing me to be here at this time. Please open our eyes to see the amazing plan You have for each and every one of us. Guide us to walk with our hands in Yours and follow Your path through the valleys and mountaintops of obedience. Heal and cleanse our hearts and help us see You. You are God. You are good. And Your ways are so much higher than ours. Thanks for knowing and doing what’s best for us. Help us trust when understanding and acceptance are slow to come. Thanks for smiling over us no matter what. We love You. Amen.

Thanks again for joining me this week! May your holidays be filled with the goodness and grace of God!

Because of His grace,

Friday, November 24, 2006


More Thanks the U-Turns Way

Guest blogger: Amy Wallace

God Allows U-Turns for Teens

God Answers Mom's Prayers

I sure hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! We enjoyed a quiet family time at home and it was awesome. Since this week we're talking about the incredible U-turns ministry and how God changes lives, I thought I'd share my top 10 reasons I'm thankful that are taken from my U-Turns stories.
Amy's Top Ten Reasons for Giving Thanks

1) I'm thankful I can call God Daddy.

2) I'm thankful I have a family who loves me and who I adore and enjoy.

3) I'm thankful I can walk. (Did I mention I'm in a cast again after yet another foot surgery? Trust me, walking is a big thing to be thankful for! For more details, check out "For This Child" in God Answers Mom's Prayers)

4) I'm thankful for the gift of sight~ both to see the world God has made and for the spiritual gift of seeing deeper with discernment.

5) I'm thankful for heart healing.

6) I'm thankful that God says I'm beautiful.

He says you're beautiful too!

(Please check out God Allows U-Turns for Teens "If Only I Were Beautiful" to see why I know this is absolutely true.)
7) I'm thankful for little kids' prayers and that I get to hear them every day.

8) I'm thankful that my husband and I have careers where we use the gifts and talents God has given us for His glory.

9) I'm thankful for an inner circle of friends who love me anyway and always point me to Jesus.

10) I'm thankful for blogs. ;-) And I'm thankful for the ability to make online friends and enjoythe community offered here.

My prayer for you as we wrap up our week together on Allison's awesome blog tomorrow is that you will allow the Thanksgiving holiday to prepare your heart and open the door for a Christmas season filled with deep joy and a greater experience of God's smile over you.

Praising Him with you,

Heart Chocolate
Defenders of Hope

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


You are beautiful

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!!

Guest blogger: Amy Wallace

God Allows U-Turns for Teens

What are you going to say tomorrow when someone asks why you're thankful? With my family, we’ll go around the table as we eat and name blessings we remember from this past year. My children will go far beyond their five pieces of corn we give to each person to name one praise per kernel. My husband and I will too. But for me it wasn't always that way.

So today I wanted to share a little about a reason to praise I wonder if you've thought of~ because God says you are beautiful.

Do you believe that? Do you thank God for that? Most people don't.

I didn't for years and years. I grew up in a painful home and jumped into a relationship as a teen that I knew I shouldn't be in. But I did it anyway because he said I was beautiful.

Then he raped me.

I didn't feel beautiful anymore. I felt like trash. And I spent the better part of my young adult years knowing God loved me, but feeling that I was "less than" everyone else. Ugly. Used goods.

My story in God Allows U-Turns for Teens is about how I went from saying "If Only I Were Beautiful" to knowing and receiving what God says is truth. I'd like to share two quotes and what made my U-Turn happen.

"No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first." (Oswald Chambers)

"We are not wrong to think we desperately need to be loved. We do. Our need does not constitute anyone else's call but God's" (Beth Moore)

So how did God make those two statements “real” to me? He had me teach them to a group of young ladies who didn’t believe God said they were beautiful either. I looked deep into their gorgeous eyes and into their even more stunning souls and caught a glimpse of the beauty God sees.

Then God led me to the mirror and said the same about me.

I wanted to turn away because I still didn’t see what God saw. But He kept speaking to my heart over the next few weeks. I became convinced that my bottomless need to be loved, to be seen as beautiful, would be satisfied first in God.

Or it wouldn’t be satisfied at all.

So I stopped saying, “If only I could lose a few pounds” or “I would be beautiful if only _____ changed."

We can all fill in that blank, can’t we?

What I started saying instead were the words God had spoken to me. “I see you. You are beautiful. You are loved and you are Mine.”

I still don’t always believe that. But those times are far less frequent. What happens more often now are the times I look in the mirror and smile simply because that’s what my heavenly Daddy does.

So this Thanksgiving I’ll enjoy some turkey and pumpkin pie and I will not step on the scale later. Instead, I’ll look in the mirror and smile.

I’ll listen to the words God says. Will you join me?

Take a good look in the mirror. God has much to say about what He sees there. Listen closely. He is enthralled with your beauty. (Psalm 45:11)

The King is enthralled with you. Enjoy Him.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Abundant blessings and praise,


Heart Chocolate

Defenders of Hope


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


What about when you don't want to praise?

Guest blogger: Amy Wallace

What about when you don't want to praise?

Yesterday we talked a little about what we're thankful for, but the thought God gave me this morning centered on when I'm not thankful.

Have you ever felt that way?

Everyone around you has hands lifted in praise at church, or every friend has great stuff happening and you feel any thing but grateful.

Yep, me too.

I wish I had written a great U-Turns story detailing an about-face from overwhelming sadness, depression, or dare I say anger at things not going the way I'd prayed. My story "For This Child" in God Answers Mom’s Prayers deals with hearing God say "No" to a prayer and how I learned to trust Him and be thankful even when I didn't understand.

But truth be told I still struggle with praise and thanksgiving at times. Life is never just what I want it to be. It's hard. It's more work than I thought I signed up for and more often than not, it just plain hurts.

So God had me doing Thanksgiving cards with my kiddos this morning. I was so NOT in the right frame of mind.

But God's funny like that. So I went through the motions until I read this quote from Francis Schaeffer, "We are not only to sing the doxology, but to be the doxology."

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy

The book I was reading aloud went on to talk about the birds, how they throw their whole being into singing and that being an example of how we’re to praise God.

Now that set my mind spinning. Birds sing because that’s what God created them to do. They don’t analyze it, argue with it, or decide they don’t want to sing. They just do.

So can I in terms of praising God simply because that’s what I was created to do: to glorify God by enjoying Him forever and singing the song that is my life. Sad notes and all.

So can you.

I’m not suggesting we ignore depression nor am I saying we should “put on a happy face.” There are reasons behind why we don’t feel like praising that we need to explore with God.

I’m praying as I write this that you’ll hear the Father call you to come talk and listen to Him and discuss those very things going on in your heart. He cares. He loves you. And He wants you to come real.

At the same time, I think there is much wisdom to be gained in doing what Job and King David did in their dark nights…

Praise Him anyway.

Turn to Him and just talk to Him, remember who He is. That simple act, however hard it may be at times, is praise.

Instead of recalling all the hurt, remember the times God Himself—with nail-scarred hands—carried you through.

Instead of focusing on what isn’t right, praise God for the little things that are right and consider that your journey through pain and joy is working in you something good.

Also, instead of trying to “be the doxology” consider that you already are. And God welcomes the words or groans of your life song as He sings right along with you.

Praise Him.

Tomorrow, I’ll share my continuing U-Turn toward praise in the form of my story in God Allows U-Turns for Teens about date rape and my healing almost two decades later.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15)

Trusting and praising anyway,


Monday, November 20, 2006


What are you thankful for?

Guest Blogger: Amy Wallace

What are you thankful for?

I'm thankful for ripped tendons and scars. Why? Because almost five years ago I took my eighteen-month-old daughter's place in the ER and learned that when God says "No" to my request for protection, what He's really saying is "I have something better."

For me God's "better" meant a painful surgery and six weeks in a cast. Those six weeks of having my wonderful husband take care of our children, cook, clean, and do all my mom duties plus his allowed me to write my very first fiction novel, Ransomed Dreams. Plus, my surgery left me with a scar that I look at now and remember that God's "best" is often difficult to comprehend, but in the end it is always GOOD.

You can read more about this experience in "For This Child," my very first U-Turns story in God Answers Mom's Prayers.

Welcome to Thanksgiving week at God Allows U-Turns! I hope you'll join me again tomorrow as we look at more of the myriad reasons we have to give thanks.

Abundant blessings,

Please visit me at Heart Chocolate

Monday, November 13, 2006


This Blog "On Temporary Hold"

Greetings to All!

As you may know, the Blogger/Blogspot program made a swtich to a Beta format and I'm afraid it's caused havoc on my blog design template. Until I can get things figured out, I'm afraid there will be very little activity on this Blog site. Thanks for your support and encouragement and please check back soon, okay?

In the mean time, please make sure you are signed up to receive our periodic e-blast mailings via our Bravenet email service. You can visit my web site and scroll down to the Bravenet button on the right side of the Home Page to register. We never sell or share our mailing list.

Have a blessed week!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Thank You to Nancy Anderson!

Bravo to Guest Blogger Nancy Anderson for an excellent week of postings. I sure enjoyed revisiting her work in the various God Allows U-Turns publications. Hope you did, too!

Check back next week for a special announcement from me....

Until then, have a blessed day!

Saturday, November 11, 2006



Guest Blogger: Nancy C Anderson

My husband, Ron, and I have been married for 28 years and we have a healthy, strong marriage now, but it has risen out of the ashes of my infidelity.

The most dramatic U-Turn in my life (other than my becoming a Christian at age 16) was
my decision to stay married to Ron, despite my “love” for my coworker Jake. My book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage tells the whole story, but here’s a snippet about my defining moment of change.

I wondered if there was any way out of the chaos I had created. I went into the living room, sank into the sofa, held a pillow to my chest, and called out —to God. I had been avoiding Him for months. My guilt and shame had built a wall between us. But, brick-by-brick—as I confessed each sin—I tore down the wall—and let the Light in.

I prayed, “Lord, please show me your will for my life.” Then, I remembered the simple words that Jesus said to the adulteress woman. “Go and sin no more.” I knew exactly what I had to do. I surrendered my will and my heart to the Lord and asked for the strength to walk away from Jake and make a full confession to Ron.

Ron forgave me and we started over. That was 26 years ago, and now we have a ministry helping other couples who think marriage problems are fixed by divorce. We know that repentance, love and forgiveness fix marriages—heal people.

We have had the privilege of telling our story on many national shows including Montel Williams, The 700 Club, FamilyLife with Dennis Rainey and Revive our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. You can read more at JoyfulMarriage.blogspot.com

It’s been great being with you this week! Blessings, Nancy C Anderson
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PS: ATTENTION BABY BOOMER WOMEN! Allison Bottke will be the Featured Author of the Month for November at America's #1 web site for baby boomer women.
Visit Allison's main web site at http://www.godallowsuturns.com/ and click on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women logo to join the NABBW or to visit the free forums at Boomer Women Speak. Join Allison in the Featured Author Forum in November and learn how wise, warm and witty baby boomer women are connecting, encouraging and supporting one another every day.


Thursday, November 09, 2006


Teenage Thievery

Guest Blogger: Nancy C Anderson

Well, it’s Thursday and I promised to tell you about my shoplifting adventure.

The full story appears on page 183 of Allison’s book titled,
God Allows U-Turns for Teens

In my small hometown of Winona, Minnesota, there was only one discount store, and I stole from it—and got caught. The police took me to the station where my father came to get me. He was silent as we drove home, but had much to say as we sat in our living room discussing my behavior. Here’s an excerpt from “Yes, Daddy, I Promise”

I said, “Each time I stole, it got easier. Until now. I can see how wrong it was.” tears bit
my face as I said, “Please forgive me…I‘ll never do it again. Stealing was easy…getting
caught is hard.”

He said, “Yes, and it’s going to get harder. Tomorrow morning, we will go to all the places
on your list and you will ask to speak to the manager. You will tell him that you were a
shoplifter and list the items you stole from his store. You will apologize and repay him.
I’ll loan you the money, and you will work all summer to pay me back. Do you

With my heart slamming, and my palms sweating, I nodded.

The next morning, I did exactly as he asked. It was impossibly hard, but I did it. That
summer, I repaid my father the money, but I will never be able to repay him for the
valuable lesson he taught me. I never stole again.

To read the whole story,
order God Allows U-Turns for Teens at Amazon.com
Tomorrow's post will be about my marriage U-Turn. It's a doozy--you won't want to miss it!
Nancy C Anderson
PS: ATTENTION BABY BOOMER WOMEN! Allison Bottke will be the Featured Author of the Month for November at America's #1 web site for baby boomer women.
Visit Allison's main web site at http://www.godallowsuturns.com and click on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women logo to join the NABBW or to visit the free forums at Boomer Women Speak. Join Allison in the Featured Author Forum in November and learn how wise, warm and witty baby boomer women are connecting, encouraging and supporting one another every day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


A soldier's story

Happy Wednesday from Nancy C Anderson! I’m on my third day of
blogging with you and I have a new story about a brave soldier.

This one’s from “God Answers Prayers—Military Edition” and it’s on page 34.

My Great, Great, Great Grandfather, Henry B. Rowe, wrote 29 letters which taught me about bravery, honor, and prayerful perseverance in the face of fear. He was a Yankee farmer, who wanted to preserve The Union and free the slaves, so he became a soldier—and marched south.

His letters from the battlefront, addressed to his wife, were poetic; filled with love and faith. He writes,” May heaven’s choicest blessings rest upon you and the children. Be true and faithful soldiers for Christ and I will be the same for my country. And if I fall for my country, then it will be an honor to you. I pray that we may meet again where wars will never separate us.”

Those letters are more significant than any history book I will ever read, because the words were written by a man whose blood still flows through me. I am a writer as he was a writer. I am a Christian because faith can also flow through families.

In his words from Winston North Carolina, March 16, 1865 he writes about loving his “enemies.” “Yesterday, I stopped at a house and there sat a woman with three children, not a thing in the world to eat. I saw that her baby girl was sick with the measles so I gave the mother my rations and passed on. She thanked me kindly with tears in her eyes…and so it goes. God speed the day that we may be a free and happy people.”


(To read the whole story, get the book from Amazon)

Tomorrow’s post will be about my father’s reaction to my shoplifting charges. It is from God Allows U-Turns for Teens.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I am Woman. Hear Me Roar?

Hello Again, I’m Nancy C Anderson and I’d like to tell you about another U-Turn Story in my life. When I married Ron in the summer of 1978, I thought we’d continue in our blissful, romantic mode. I was wrong. I turned into a nag-a-holic thinking complaining and criticizing would give me the control I wanted. Then, one morning, I had a U-turn moment:

Here is an excerpt from “I am Woman. Hear Me Roar?" This story begins on page 206 of
God Allows U-Turns for Women:

“I carefully spooned the vanilla nut de-cafe into to the pot, as I remembered the day I forgot the filter. The coffee was bitter and full of undrinkable grounds. I had to throw it away.
Then it dawned on me, the coffee, without filtering, is like my coarse and bitter speech.
I said, “Oh God, please install a filter between my brain and my mouth. Help me to choose my words carefully and speak in smooth and mellow tones. Thank you for teaching me the “Parable of the Coffee Filter.” I won’t forget it.”

Ron and I recently celebrated our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary and I’m happy to report that my “filter” is still in place—although it occasionally springs a leak. I’ve also expanded the filter principal beyond my marriage and I have found it amazingly useful when I speak to telemarketers, traffic cops, and teenagers.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you a story about my great-great-great-great Grandfather's Civil War letters
which are quoted in God Anwsers Prayers-Military Edition

Monday, November 06, 2006


This week’s guest blogger- Nancy C Anderson

I met Allison about 4 years ago at a Christian book convention and we “clicked” right away. She invited me (and my best friend Tonya Ruiz) to a luau, sponsored by her publisher, and of course, we went--and we’ve been pals ever since. As Allison became a publishing “machine” she included my stories in four of the books under the U-Turns umbrella.

The first one I’d like to chat about is “God Answers Moms’ Prayers” My story is called “Timmy’s Ring.” (page 168)

My son, Timmy was diagnosed with a terminal chromosomal disorder before he was born--when I was about 3 months pregnant. My doctor and many friends suggested that I get an abortion. I struggled to decide if my “pro-life” position was just my talk—or my walk.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“That afternoon, I prayed, “Lord, I believe abortion is wrong, but on my own, I don’t have the strength to fall in love with a baby who is going to die. Please show me how.”
I kept saying it, even before I meant it. “I choose to love this baby with all my heart.” I willed my words into actions. In faith, I moved my hands as I timidly caressed my stomach. In faith, I moved my lips as I mouthed the words, “I love you.” No sound came out. I kept repeating the phrase until my brain found the secret passageway to my heart and I was free to taste the bittersweet tears of loving a child who would never love me.”

Four months later, Timmy died, wrapped in my love, on his birth-day- 6-22-1990
Tomorrow’s post will be more fun. It’s about nagging wife-me!
PS: ATTENTION BABY BOOMER WOMEN! Allison Bottke will be the Featured Author of the Month for November at America's #1 web site for baby boomer women.
Visit Allison's main web site at http://www.godallowsuturns.com and click on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women logo to join the NABBW or to visit the free forums at Boomer Women Speak. Join Allison in the Featured Author Forum in November and learn how wise, warm and witty baby boomer women are connecting, encouraging and supporting one another every day.