We All Have A Story

Today’s post features one of my favorite Christian songs from the last few years…My Story by Big Daddy Weave. What makes this song special is how personal it is, and how focused on Jesus, not self. Then it ends with a fragment from that classic hymn, Blessed Assurance: “This is my story, This is my song; praising my Savior all the day long.”



The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel

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We all have a story…

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Single Parents Unite!

Authentically 50 ~ Embracing Life's Changes


Ever since I got divorced (and even before that official decree), I was mostly a single parent even though I was married.  Let’s face it, as the kids got older, it was more me than him because I was home and he traveled for work at times.  Then, when he disconnected, it was just me.

I’ve gotten used to it, as parenting is a joy for me and I love being Momma Bear to my kids.  But there are times now, that when something goes wrong, there’s no spouse to turn to because if you’ve been following my posts, you know that he’s vacated the parenting piece, much to the kids and my disappointment.

So the other day, I had a little issue with one of the kids.  It was a minor thing, but I needed clarification.  I needed to bounce the subject off on someone else, to vent a…

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What does an author do during a dry spell?

I was honored to be featured on “The Readers Blog” yesterday. If you’re an aspiring author but have hit a dry spell in your writing, perhaps some of these tips I offer may help.

Click here to read the article on my friend KyLee’s site.  

And here’s the article in its entirety:

Hello there, I’m an indie author from the great Pacific Northwest, and I write under the pen name of Dawn V. Cahill. I began my self-publishing journey on Kindle Direct, then branched out to Smashwords. I’m here to share a little of my journey and some words to encourage you on yours!

First, let me tell you a little about my books. My “brand” is Hot Topic Fiction. As my website describes it, the characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about. “Hot Topic Fiction” isn’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers–because there aren’t any–HTF tells stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in an upside-down world.

A few summers ago at a writers’ conference, I met an agent who showed interest in my debut novel, Sapphire Secrets, and asked me to send the entire manuscript. Excited, I did so, and concluded that, although not a guarantee that she would take me on as a client, it meant my writing was good enough to draw attention from a publishing professional. A few weeks later, I received her response. She did enjoy my story, but unfortunately the edgy factor made her decline. But by then, I’d gotten enough positive feedback, lifted enough “what-now” prayers to the Lord, that I felt it was time to go ahead and indie publish. I had heard of too many wannabe published authors who had been waiting for years for either a book deal from a trad publisher, or even an agent to pitch for them. I’m the kind of person who goes after what I want, and I didn’t want to wait untold months to get my story out there. So the DIY option turned out to be the perfect solution for someone like me.

Some new authors find that after their debut hits the market, burnout can strike. After all, writing is hard work, and takes a lot out of you. What if you become weary of it all? I would say, a mini-sabbatical might be just what you need to infuse new life into your writing. Put away your manuscript for, say, a week, along with your writing books and your writer loops, and just read some good Christian books. This will give your mind a rest from the strain of putting words on paper…er, screen. There’s nothing like a mental break that can revive a weary writer. As long as you stick with the time-frame you’ve promised yourself.

When I need inspiration, or I’m “stuck”, a hike up my favorite mountain trail almost always gets those brain juices aflowin’. I’ve had some of my best “epiphany” moments on a mountain trail. Now, not everyone has access to a mountain trail. But do you have a happy place, or a favorite outdoor spot, that calms and soothes you? A place where you feel close to the Lord? Meditate on His presence, and wait for His reviving touch!

“What about those lazy days when I’d rather do anything else but write?” you may be asking. Here’s where an accountability partner can give you that push you need. I encourage you to make some goals and share them with that person. Another place to find accountability is through ACFW’s Novel Track. When I make a monthly goal and make it known to my fellow loopers, I write a lot more than I would have without them. Accountability is key!

For you perfectionists out there… A long time ago, I resigned myself to the reality that I’ll never achieve perfection. Instead, I downgraded to “excellentist,” which is, unlike perfection, attainable. The more we keep learning, the closer we get to excellence. Fortunately, the resource reservoir for writers is full to bursting! Nearly to the point of information overload, in fact. Before I finished my first novel, I took an online fiction-writing course from a well-known Christian author. If you have the monetary resources to do so, it’s a smart move. If not, I highly recommend one or two novel-writing books which contain exercises to hone your skills. Also, join a writers group—local or national—if you haven’t already, and get plugged into a critique group. I can’t tell you how valuable other authors’ feedback is. They spot things we can’t see ourselves. For me, entering writing contests generated additional feedback. Before I published my first book, I entered about five contests for unpublished authors, and it seemed that in each one I received better scores and more favorable comments than the last one. It was encouraging to track how much I’d improved! If not for professional coaching, I doubt my debut novel, Sapphire Secrets, would have received the glowing reviews that it did!

If you want to know more about me and my books, come visit my website at www.dawnvcahill.com/mybooks. Thank you for sharing my journey today.




Promoting a Positive Environment for Youth Development: Traditional Sports vs. Martial Arts

Youth Development Through Recreation and Sport

by Jake M.

Sport and recreation have served as tools to aid in youth development for many years. Particularly, team sports are most often chosen for children by their parents to engage them in physical activity that promotes social development through teamwork and build confidence in their physical abilities. However, I believe that martial arts can offer even greater youth development when compared with traditional sports due to the climate of respect that goes along with training in various combat sports.

It has been my experience in several team sports that I was not always given the opportunities to develop specific skills in positions on the team that I was interested in. For example, my first couple of years playing baseball, I had really wanted to be a pitcher, but because the team already had several other skilled pitchers, I was not given the time to develop my own skills…

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11 Promises for the Single Mom

Today’s post is a two-part series by my friend, Samantha Ferguson. She’s an amazing single mama and photographer in Birmingham, Alabama. If you are looking for someone to take some great family photos, make sure you check out His Hands Photography.

I was researching a few months ago about encouraging things to say to a single mom and I came across a blog post from Huffington Post. It was sweet, perfect, and FUNNY!

From Huffington Post, 7 things to say to a single mom:

  1. Your kid is going to be so proud of you.
  2. Of course it’s OK to leave him/her with a babysitter!
  3. It’s also totally OK if you didn’t reeeeeally miss your baby too much.
  4. A family is a family, no matter who the major players are.
  5. Your hair looks great!
  6. You are enough.
  7. You’re doing awesome.




I have been a single mom…

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Substance Abuse in Youth

Youth Development Through Recreation and Sport

by Carson M.

As youth become older, they are exposed to an increasing number of factors that can negatively affect their development through sport and leisure. One of the main factors that influenced drop out in older youth’s participation in sport in my community was the use and exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Growing up, I experienced a large number of my friends drop out of sports that they once found so much enjoyment and overall benefit from because they made the choice to go out drinking on the weekends instead. As early teenagers, my friends had very little knowledge on the long-term effects that these choices would have on them and I feel as though they changed for the worse because of it. Aside from the negative health effects that can be caused from substance abuse, they were also putting themselves at a disadvantage in development of…

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A Message to Single Parents Who Raise Children Alone

The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel

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A message to single parents…
for raising children alone is hard to do.
But as we look back upon the years…
we can see how God has helped us through.
For we seldom choose to raise children alone…
but as we look back over the years…
we can see how God has blessed us…
through all our brokenness and tears.
And as we celebrate today…

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High-Achieving and Religious Students At-Risk Youth For Substance Abuse?

The Accidental Apologist

New research shows high-achieving kids are more likely to drink and use drugs during their teen years and develop addictions by adulthood.

182417552DO YOU ASSUME THAT since your kid gets good grades and goes to a good school that they’re not drinking or doing drugs? Think again. That’s the takeaway from two new studies suggesting that academically gifted youths are more likely to abuse substances, both as teens and adults. One surveyed 6,000 London students over nine years. Those with the highest test scores at age 11 were more likely to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana in adolescence – and were twice as likely to do so “persistently by age 20.”

Notably, a study taken by Arizona State University (ASU) study found that high school students who were more afraid their parents would punish them were less likely to drink or get high as adults. One professor, Luthar, said her…

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The life of a single parent

Neal's Epiphany

You know what does it take to be a parent? And then a working parent? And then a single working parent?

Lets just say.. in short.. “a lot”!

My heart feels overwhelmed when I see the lives of some parents around me. And I do not feel like this on why their lives are difficult, I feel this for the strength that they display despite of it.

It could be their choices or destiny that landed them where they are. One could judge, advice, or criticize them.. but one can never match the sheer courage they show in every single moment of their lives; as they bear double the burden of parenting while also relentlessly trying to hide that from the child, who incidentally, is the very reason for that.

Single parenting is difficult for anybody. I do not believe in anything that stereotypes us on the basis our…

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Reflections on Single Parenting

Guest article by Dena Johnson ~


September 1, 2017.

The day is coming quickly, the day I will stand before God and pledge my love and my life to the one God has chosen for me.

It’s also the day I turn in the title “single mom,” a title I have worn for well over eight years. I have to admit that it’s difficult to let someone else into this part of my life, to step back and let someone help me with the chauffeuring and supporting and disciplining and everything else that goes into single parenting. I’m so used to doing it all, I sometimes struggle with allowing him to help me.

As we embark on this new chapter of attempting to blend two very different families—complete with five teenagers and all kinds of hormones and chaos—I find myself reflecting on the last decade. Single parenting is hard—really hard. But I hope my kids have…

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