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What’s Your Passion in Life?

Diana Savage’s passion in life is to help others succeed.DianaSavage2015

Using her writing, speaking, and editing skills, she’s already helped hundreds of others on their journeys to success. Browse this site to learn what she can do for you.

Below, you’ll find her blog—an eclectic assortment of observations about writing, life challenges, and spiritual journeys.

Win a Book to Nourish Your Soul with Hilarity

This contest ran from July 6 through July 11, 2015. Thanks to those who entered. Congratulations to winner Tracy MacDonald! A copy of Janette’s book is being rushed to her right now. The rest of you can purchase a copy here.


Do you need a vacation from stress, worry, and global whining? Would you like to know the secrets of how laughter can help you

  • live healthier and longer,
  • deepen your relationships, and,
  • trust a God who has the sense of humor to give a baby to a 90-year-old lady?

heart of humor coverI thought so. That’s why I’m celebrating The Heart of Humor, the newest book of my dear friend, Jeanette Levellie, by sharing a chapter and giving away a signed copy for one fortunate winner!

Read to the end to discover how you can win…

Finger Foods Are for Wimps

by guest blogger Jeanette Levellie

The idea of serving finger foods began innocently enough at a meeting of the Missionary Mamas. Mrs. Practical suggested we bring sandwiches, veggie plates, and fruit skewers to our next church supper instead of the usual noodles, fried chicken, and peach cobblers.

Illustration (c) 2015 by Ron Levellie

Illustration (c) 2015 by Ron Levellie

“It will save us preparation time, we won’t have to wash silverware, and finger foods are much healthier,” she said. Sounded reasonable to our mama ears. We decided to give it a trial run. Little did we imagine we were guillotining the mainstay of our fellowship suppers: recipes handed down from one mama to another, delighting the souls and taste buds of all who partook.

I realize that Nora’s homemade noodles contain enough fat to give the Loch Ness monster a coronary, but they glide down your throat ten times smoother than a celery stick with fat-free peanut butter. Betty’s ranch-and-bacon cheese ball may make my gallbladder throw a hissy fit, but it entertains my tongue far better than wheat-something squares with cucumber slices cut thinner than my patience. And skewered melon balls just don’t zing for me like Tonya’s double-chocolate fudge cake.

We ladies used to exchange the best methods for removing coffee stains from upholstery and catch up on family news while we washed casserole dishes and cake pans. Now we just flip the plastic containers from fruit and veggie trays into the trash and wave goodbye. So you see how this whole healthy-finger-food obsession is ruining our deep Christian fellowship.

Yes, I know Jesus served rolls and fish to the crowds. But that was a picnic—centuries before anyone invented green-bean casserole, shepherd’s pie, or apple fritters. I’m positive He won’t settle for low-fat finger foods at His marriage supper.

From My Heart to Yours: Women’s groups can be bastions of comfort and friendship, or battlefields of strife and division. The Lord gave ladies the gift of influence. Although I prefer noodles and chocolate cake to finger foods, I refuse to argue the point. I’d rather use my influence to talk the Missionary Mamas into hosting an old-fashioned potluck dinner.


JeanetteHeadshotPublished author Jeanette Levellie is a spunky, sometimes reluctant pastor’s wife of thirty-plus years. This guest post is from her newest book, The Heart of Humor. Find Jeanette on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Amazon.

 If you’d like to win an autographed copy of The Heart of Humor, filled with clever essays like the one you just read, leave a comment about your favorite food for women’s luncheons or church potlucks. You’ll be asked for your e-mail address when you sign in, so be sure to use an address you’ll actually check, because we’ll contact the winner via e-mail. However, your e-mail address will not be posted publicly.

The contest will end at 11:59 p.m. PDT, Saturday, July 11. I will draw one winner and post his or her name on this site on Monday, July 13.

How I Came to Be a Reluctant Amazon Bookseller

Here's what 2,971 books look like when boxed and shrink-wrapped for shipping.

Here’s what 2,971 books look like when boxed and shrink-wrapped for shipping.

Eighteen months after releasing my book, the publisher took it out of circulation and offered to let me buy as many remaining copies as I wanted to before other sellers had a chance to get their grubby—I mean, had a chance to take advantage of the deep discounts offered.

All the five-star reviews on Amazon and encouraging notes from readers motivated me to find a way to get my fifty-two humor-kissed devotions into the hands of discouraged Christians. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing the fruit of my labor piled in bargain bins.

That’s how my garage ended up with fifty boxes of 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

A week ago I spent two hours reading through all the legalese required to become an Amazon seller. I used the name of my business, Savage Creative Services, and set my price to be the lowest in the “new” book category. Immediately afterward, another seller dropped his price to a penny below mine. Ah, the joys of market competition!

I'm the newbie among booksellers, but as the author, at least I can offer autographed copies.

I’m the newbie among booksellers, but as the author, at least I can offer autographed copies.

I’m convinced that many folks need the encouraging message—and accompanying chuckles—they’ll find in this collection of humorous meditations. Now I’m motivated to push beyond my natural reticence and focus on bringing the books to as many people as possible. Sounds good in theory, but it’s still a difficult task for an introvert.

As the book’s author, I can add the incentive of providing autographed copies. That shouldn’t be hard for an introvert, right? I guess I’ll soon find out.


© 2015 by Diana Savage. All rights reserved.

The Ancient Art of Motherly Nagging

NaggingMom“King Solomon . . . got up and welcomed her, bowing respectfully, and returned to his throne. Then he had a throne put in place for his mother, and she sat at his right hand” (1 Kings 2:19 MSG).

Scottish comedian Billy Connolly defines an intellectual as someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.

I don’t know whether comedienne Anita Renfroe thinks of the ancient archer or the masked horseman when she sings that melody, but a video of her performance has gone viral and has received millions of hits.

During the three-minute song, Anita rattles off everything a mom says to her kids in a 24-hour period—phrases such as brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, wash behind your ears, clean your room, were you born in a barn, close your mouth when you chew, I’ll count to three, I don’t care who started it, and look at me when I’m talking. Especially clever is the triplet, “Get a job, get a life, get a PhD.”

Just one day of the year isn’t often enough to convey sufficient gratitude for our mothers’ valuable input. Perhaps that’s one reason God commands us in Exodus 20:12 to honor our mothers—along with our fathers— continually, “so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (NIV).

Did you recognize any of Anita’s lines? Motherly instruction isn’t all that new. Some 3000 years ago the wisest man on earth urged his son, “Do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (King Solomon in Proverbs 6:20). Maybe the young man’s mother was like Anita and continually reminded her son to close the tent flap, straighten his headpiece, and finish his bowl of camel stew. Who knows?

Proverbs 31 lists some of a godly mother’s attributes:

She is worth far more than rubies . . .

She speaks with wisdom,and faithful instruction is on her tongue . . .

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:10, 26, 28–30

Children with mothers like this sterling example usually don’t need much prodding to express their love and appreciation. But not everyone is so blessed. Some people grew up feeling unheard, disrespected, and misunderstood. They’ve been deeply wounded by arrows of complaints, criticism, and put-downs.

As Proverbs 18:21 points out, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Death from a mother’s tongue usually creates anger and bitterness. If those offspring were to choose a verse to represent their feelings, it might be Judges 16:16: “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.”

Yet the command to honor mothers still stands. One key to fulfilling that commandment is to honor the position even when we can’t respect the way someone treats us. It also helps to consider the motivation behind the nagging. Most mothers offer advice because they want the best for their children. Sometimes they regret their own parenting mistakes and attempt to compensate with ramped-up suggestions, clinging to the hope that one day they’ll get it right. Every mother on the planet has her own struggles.

God understands how difficult it can be to forgive years of verbal abuse. It can also be hard when mothers continue to nag grown children about their hairstyles, careers, living arrangements, significant others, and grandchildren—or the lack thereof.

That may be why the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to remind us that the instruction to honor parents “is the first commandment with a promise” (Ephesians 6:2). A reward gives us extra motivation to forgive critical, unsupportive people.

Keep in mind that honoring someone doesn’t mean allowing more damage. It is possible that honoring someone doesn’t mean allowing more damage. It is possible to show honor by overlooking some slights while refusing—with respect—to accept others. It also involves asking God to bless those who hurt us. If at first you can’t think of anything specific to say, simply ask the Lord to do in your mother’s life whatever he desires to do, trusting that our loving God will never answer that prayer in a way that would cause you additional pain.

Whether motherly nagging has helped you, hurt you, or simply annoyed you, choosing to show honor out of obedience to God will open channels of healing in your life. Learning how to break the cycle of destructive nagging is also a wonderful gift to give our own children. So if you’re a parent doing the best job you can, take joy in knowing that giving godly instruction to your sons and daughters will bless them all their lives.

And who knows? A video of your wisdom might even go viral on the Internet.

Lord, thank you for the godly training I have received. I appreciate your promise of long life as a reward for choosing to honor my parents. Help me to forgive any less-than-perfect moments that occurred. I know my parents did their best, just as I am trying to do. Amen.


Adapted from: 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times. Copyright © 2014 by Diana Savage. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

Changing the Picture

A selection from  52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us” (1 John 3:1 NIV).

Like most toddlers, my grandson loved to test barriers that barred him from tantalizing delights. When my daughter caught him sampling fresh mint leaves he’d swiped from her herb garden, she laughed. “You’re sneaky!” she told him.SneakingMint

The word immediately became a new favorite. He ran around the house yelling, “Neek-nee! Neek-nee! Neek-nee!”

I’m thankful my daughter and son-in-law are great parents. They shower their son with attention, respect, and unconditional love. That doesn’t mean my grandson will grow up unscathed, but it certainly increases his chances for emotional wholeness.

Many of us didn’t have that kind of upbringing. Criticism, disapproval, and even abuse may have been the norm. Our collateral damage often includes a warped view of God.

Just when I think I’ve put away my early picture of God as a humorless enforcer, always watching for an opportunity to smash me with his cosmic billy club, that view pops up again. Sometimes I think my emotions are a bit like the dwarves’ in C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle. Once their trust was broken by an Aslan imposter, they wouldn’t risk trusting again, even when the genuine Aslan showed up.

I don’t want to be like that. I want to allow God’s Word to soak into my wounded spirit so I can fully trust “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

When my grandson was three, he had to undergo a serious dental procedure involving general anesthesia. Medical professionals took him from his parents into another room, and as the anesthesiologist brought a face mask close, my grandson screamed in fear.

“It’s okay,” the doctor said, assuring him he’d just go to sleep.

“No!” my grandson wailed. “I’m not going to sleep!” Of course, he succumbed quickly to the drugs, and the dental procedure went much better than expected, to everyone’s great relief.

Throughout the entire ordeal, each decision his agonized parents made was for their beloved son’s benefit. How like our relationship with God! What happens to us in life may cause us to be afraid of God, but in reality, our heavenly Father always has our best interests at heart.

Even when we’ve been sneaky.

Loving heavenly Father, let me see your true divine nature. In each new crisis I face, please heal my misconceptions so I can see you for the gracious, compassionate, forgiving God you really are. Amen.


Adapted from: 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times. Copyright © 2014 by Diana Savage. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.


Enjoy a Sample Devotion from My New Book


This selection is from  52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.


Matching the Chip

“God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love” (Psalm 103:8 MSG).

When a homeowner hired a man to paint her living room, she handed the painter a little paint chip and said, “I want the walls this same shade.”

He mixed paint and covered one wall with it, but she wasn’t satisfied. “It’s not a perfect match,” she explained.

He tried again. And again. After his fifth attempt, the woman continued to point to the chip. “You don’t have quite the same color.”

When he told a friend about it the following week, the friend asked, “Were you ever able to get the correct shade?”

“No. But she was okay after a long phone call to her mom.”

“You mean her mother convinced her that a perfect match wasn’t possible?”

“No,” said the painter. “While she was on the phone, I painted the chip.”

Often we perfectionists resort to “painting the chip” in order to present a flawless image to others. Perfection isn’t possible, but we learned early in life that the only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others. One of my most vivid lessons on that subject took place when a Sunday-school teacher assigned me a “piece” to memorize for our holiday program.ChristmasCurls

Mom combed tangles from my never-cut locks. Then she washed my hair and rolled it up in little blue rubber curlers to dry over the next two days. She did that only twice a year—at Easter and Christmas. When the curlers came out on Sunday morning, I put on my best dress, and we left for church in the family Studebaker.

Not everyone in my class was so prim and proper. Fidgety Willard Jackson always seemed to be getting into one scrape after another. Even his first and last names were troublesome. They both sounded like surnames to me, and I had trouble remembering their proper order.

My strict upbringing had already taught me that if I followed rules, I had a better chance of escaping punishment. So, when the teacher stressed that we needed to deliver our pieces s-l-o-w-l-y, I paid attention.

The morning of the program, we all filed onto the platform. I proudly and loudly recited my holiday rhyme in a slow, measured cadence. My parents’ beaming faces assured me I had done a good job.

Then it was my high-strung classmate’s turn. He rattled off his piece so fast, it was unintelligible. To my surprise, the teacher didn’t correct the boy, so I turned toward the end of the line and said loudly enough for him to hear, “Slow down, Jackson!”

The audience erupted in laughter.

I wanted to die. Everyone’s laughing at me for getting his first and last names mixed up! I thought. I could only hope my gaffe would soon be forgotten. Instead, it became a Family Legend. I was in my fifties before I could even smile about it.

Many perfectionists who struggle with insecurity have been fettered by rigid rules and hammered by such Bible verses as Matthew 5:48 (NIV), “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Talk about an impossible goal! Some Bible scholars believe Jesus was saying that aiming for perfection is what’s important, even if we can never truly be perfect. Others, looking at the scriptural context, assert that the previous verses in Matthew 5 emphasize a Christian’s duty to love, so anyone who loves can be considered perfect. As a child, I knew nothing of those interpretations. All I knew was that in order to be acceptable, I couldn’t make mistakes.

Most perfectionistic Christians have difficulty understanding the true nature of God. We were taught to be on constant guard because the Almighty’s wrath was just a lightning bolt away.

Although I wasn’t worried that my comment to antsy Willard would make me miss heaven, I was humiliated by what I perceived to be everyone’s scorn and derision. I was ashamed because I’d failed to pull off a flawless performance. It took studying Scripture using correct principles of interpretation to see how loving, patient, and kind God really is. In fact, God knows better than we do that attaining perfection is impossible in this life. King David declared, “The Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13–14).

While it’s never fun to let others see our dusty side, we struggling perfectionists need to realize that we’re valuable individuals even when we miss the mark. The good news is, God doesn’t punish us for our fallibility. Instead, he makes up the difference when we trust in him. He also knows we don’t need reminders of every commandment and regulation. We’ve already got ’em memorized. What we need is grace.

Coming to understand the true definition of grace stops me from panicking whenever I end up a slightly different shade than the model paint chip. I’ve learned that the Master Painter will still make room for me in his palette.

Right there next to Jackson.

Compassionate Father, thank you for releasing me from the prison of persnicketiness and for your assurance that you won’t reject me when I fail to measure up to impossible standards of perfection. Amen.


Adapted from: 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times. Copyright © 2014 by Diana Savage. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

Encouragement for Difficult Days

52HeartLiftersHave disappointments or unfair situations dragged you down? Diana’s new book, 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times, offers an entire year of joy-kissed meditations to help you regain a bounce in your step. These upbeat meditations include:

– “Having Our Cake” – Learning to enjoy God’s spiritual feast

– “Seeing Through Dirt” – The benefits of God’s x-ray vision

– “A Big Eraser on Tax Day” – The joy of seeing God write big fat zeroes

– “Escaping the Jaws of Distress” – Lessons from battlefields and the briny deep

– “The Good and Bad, the Nice and Nasty” – Encouragement for terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days

This book offers more than chicken soup. It’s a reminder that God does care about you and promises never to abandon you. Begin each week with a refreshing meditation to lift your spirit and tickle your funny bone. You will be encouraged by Diana’s seasoned wisdom and unique perspective of how God works in our lives.

Learn more about Diana at DianaSavage. com.


© 2014 by Diana Savage. All rights reserved.


My webhost recently lost all my blog files, and now I must rebuild this site.

What an apt metaphor for life! Even when we’ve experienced losses and reverses, we can be confident that, through God’s will help, our lives can be rebuilt, and we can experience true restoration.

Hmm. I need to hold onto that thought while I deal with domain pointers and temperamental passwords in the coming days.