When Lightning Strikes

Lightning Strikes We Can’t See

Walking through Babbler State Park my husband and I discovered this tree.

lightning on tree


I’ve never been this close to a tree hit by lightning. I have heard it hit but not seen the fresh results. 

The lightning sends it’s razor hot light onto the tree and causes the water to steam inside and pop open the bark. You can see the bark resting on the bed of leaves.

Will this tree recover, probably. It’s young and soon will cover the scar by growing over it. Or it might not be strong enough to withstand the the trauma  of the strike.

lightning strikes tree www.dianabrandmeyer.com

In life we are often hit with lightning bolts of a different kind. Your husband has heart issues, a baby is lost, your child no longer calls home and it feels like a strip of ourselves is laid bare for everyone to see.

Except it’s not. The man at the store who pushes his cart in front of you can’t see the pain, a friend has no idea until you mention what  has happened, or we might say “I’m fine” to anyone who asks..

Keeping our scars fresh and old hidden can cause them to fester and not heal. Remember when you were a kid and scraped your knees? How you hide the injury under a bandage and try not to bump it? Then you fall again and the bandage doesn’t protect you anymore? Once again you were in pain because the old scrape hasn’t healed.

It’s better to tell someone what has happened. They can help you heal, protect you from getting hurt again before you’ve healed enough to handle another bolt of pain. Even better, take it to God because He understands. He sees your hurts, brokenness and scrapes.

Revelation  21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

Ultimate Christian Living eBook Bundle!

I’m really excited about this Ultimate Christian Living ebook Bundle. There’s so much here that can help you in your walk with God and your family. More than 75 ebooks are in this package! Yes, I love books and this many at one time on a topic so important I can’t pass up sharing it with you.



Who doesn’t want to lead a life worth emulating?


With great kids, a loving marriage, a successful career or business and a closer, faith-filled walk with the Lord. But for many of us, making that a reality is big challenge!

Balancing life’s priorities can seem a bit overwhelming at times. The pressures of work, the need for finances, the demands of parenting and the resulting strain on marriage can leave us weathered, weary and wondering what really works in life?

That’s where the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle comes in. Ultimate-Bundles.com called in some best selling authors, leading experts and top business professionals to address the most common challenges faced by families and individuals today – all from a solid, Biblical foundation.

For $34.95 (for the PDF version) or $39.97 (for the eReader version), you can get access to a carefully curated collection of eBooks and eCourses with a total combined value of over $1,140 that addresses these issues with stunning clarity and practical application.

For the family…

The bundle contains 10 wonderful books focused on incredibly inventive ways you can craft the marriage you signed on for. To complement that subject, they added 8 more books focused on parenting and passing on your faith to your kids. That wouldn’t be complete without books just for kids so they also included 8 children’s books that parents can read with their children. To close out the content for family life, the highly praised Singing Bible MP3 version was added (a $25 value all by itself). It actually teaches children the story of the Bible not just random stories.

For your professional life…

You will find John Muratori and Michael Pink’s six -hour Christian Wealth Building course ($77 value) which was complemented with Bob Lotich’s 31-day devotional Managing Money God’s Way. There are a total of 14 business related books and courses including Zig Ziglar’s powerful Born To Win course (that Seth Godin and Dave Ramsey rave about), Dr. James B. Richards, Wired For Success – Programmed For Failure and Untold Secrets for Creating Wealth by Brig Hart and John Beehner. You’ll even find one of the best selling Christian business books of all time, The Bible Incorporated – In Your Life, Job & Business.

To ignite your faith…

Rounding out the package, Bridge Logos and Moody Press made a series of classic Christian literature available from generals of the faith like Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, A.W. Pink, E.M. Bounds, Calvin, Wesley, Edwards and more who wrote about grace, prayer, faith and an overcoming life.

In addition to these wonderful classics, the Ultimate Bundles team snagged 12 heart-stirring devotionals from authors like A.W. Tozer and Nancy Leigh DeMoss that speak to matters of faith that are sure to inspire. Let’s not forget Gary Chapman’s Extraordinary Grace or Ray Comfort’s Way of the Master for sharing your faith with others. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, don’t miss Philip Cameron’s, They Call Me Dad, the story of one man’s fight to save orphans from human trafficking.

So as you can see, the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle is an extraordinary value.

But it still gets better…

The Ultimate Bundles team asked several sponsors to step up to the plate and with no strings attached, provide meaningful BONUS GIFTS. One of the first to step up was Dayspring Greeting Cards who offered a choice of heart-warming gift card packages to choose from. Another, is a downloadable DVD workout series for getting in shape and maintaining health. With a retail value of $62.99 it includes a Biblical study guide for stewarding your health. Bonus gifts alone have a total retail value of over $160

So now you know…

For as little as $34.95 you can receive over $1,140 worth of valuable eBooks and eCourses that address the issues of life most of us face at one time or another, from a profoundly Biblical worldview. The BONUS GIFTS alone are worth more than four times the price of the bundle! So, if you want to ignite your faith, strengthen your family and help your professional life, there’s no better place to start! All the hard work has been done for you…

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle will only be on sale until Monday, November 10th at 11:50 pm EST.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 18,500 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day guarantee: you have a full month to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s life, you’ll get your money back in full!

Here’s what you need to know about the sale: Get it until 11:59 p.m. (EST) Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

What? 75 eBooks plus eCourses and more, PLUS over $160 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE by clicking the Buy Now Banner below.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth over $1,140, and it’s yours for as little as $34.95. Sweet deal, right? When you’re ready, you can either buy here directly, or right through the website. It’s fast and easy, and you’ll have your bundle sent to you via email within minutes.

Click here for more information or to buy now.



Want to know exactly what’s included in the bundle?

Take a look through the categories, as well as the full list of included resources.

Business & Personal Finance

Christian Classics Series

Christian Living

Devotional Life

For Children

Inspirational Novels

Married Life


Reaching the Lost


This is an affiliate link but I don’t recommend unless I like.

Not sure you  know how to use this Ultimate Christian Living Bundle? Click here for information on how to get it to your ereader or computer.

It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase within the download time frame. The download links will remain available to you until April 30th, 2015. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download. Because we believe so strongly in both the quality and value of our bundles, we offer a full 30-day guarantee.

Learn Scrivener Fast and Christmas

Christmas and Scrivener

Scrivener is an amazing program used for writing books, articles, blog posts and more. It’s inexpensive and it’s filled with so many ways to use it that often I feel a bit lost.

Enter Learn Scrivener Fast!

I discovered this program and knew I should wait and ask for it for Christmas. But the more I tried to use Scrivener I knew I needed Learn Scrivener Fast. I’m also not very good at waiting Christmas seemed so far away! 

What is it?

I want to say it’s a life saver but I think there is only ONE who can save me. But Learn Scrivener Fast has saved my sanity many times this past few months. 

It’s a video lesson on the different aspects of how to use scrivener. There are lessons for Mac and Windows versions. And if your internet connection is slow-no problem. There are detailed steps along with photos on how to do the thing you are trying to do. 

Learn Scrivener Fast

Joseph Michael, the creator of Learn Scrivener Fast, is easy to understand on the videos. I’d even say he’s erased the panic I’ve felt many times trying to figure out something like ‘How to Add Files and Folders to the Binder.’

Why I love it

When I’m working on a project I don’t have a lot of time to flip through pages of a book, or long video tutorials on how to do something. Learn Scrivener Fast is set up in to be a time saver. In 5-10 minutes I can watch a video and put the information to work for me. 

What I’ve learned

How to import my files from word and how to get them back out of Scrivener into word for my publisher.

How to use it to write blog posts.

How to use it to make ebooks

How to work Smarter

And so much more! I’m still learning.

So for an early Christmas present I’m happy. If you write books, articles, blog posts or need a place to keep your ideas organized I recommend getting Learn Scrivener Fast before you waste any more time figuring something out on your own.

Click the link and Learn!

Click the link below and check it out. You can preview a video and see what you think. 


*This is an affiliate link but seriously I would not recommend this if I wasn’t using it.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

After years of trying to figure out why I’m so tired I have hope.
Hypothyroidism makes you draggy and not interested in life. I do have that and have been treated, my blood levels are fine. The only answers I heard were you’re getting older, you’ll slow down. Not willing to accept that I worked out, took boot camp classes, Zumba and walked a million miles around the park. Nothing changed. Instead I gained more weight and became more fatigued than before.

Adrenal Fatigue Zaps Energy

Adrenal Fatigue Zaps Energy

I was at my chiropractor’s office when she suggested using a saliva test to test for adrenal fatigue. Despite having to spit in a small tube the test wasn’t difficult. I did miss that my boys weren’t around for that. I can only imagine the things they would have said along with the laughter.
It took a few weeks to get the results back and yes, I did have it. What a relief to find out there was something that could be done! I’m at week 3 taking supplements and have recently started an anti-inflammatory diet which helps with healing.

Signs of Adrenal Fatigue

These are some of the signs. If it sounds like you, find a doctor who will order the saliva test.

  1. Waking up is hard to do—really hard to do, it’s time to get up but you can’t because you’re so fatigued.
  2. You feel more awake after you eat a meal.
  3. There is not enough salt on anything you eat.
  4. You can’t handle stress anymore—I actually screamed (not loud) when a grocery store worker spoke to me from behind. I didn’t know he was there. Poor man. Scared him too!
  5. Fuzzy thoughts.
  6. Memory problems!
  7. And my favorite—you can’t seem to get anything done.

A book Recommendation

Adrenal Fatigue by James L. Wilson, ND., D.C., PH.D.


Adrenal Fatigue Solution by Fawne Hansen and Dr. Eric Wood

It’s a good read as well. I found the second half easier to understand as that part is written for non medical types. The website has a lot of articles I found helpful. Check it out if you think you have Adrenal Fatigue or suspect you do.

Meanwhile could you all keep me in your prayers as I work on The Honey Bride? It’s due in November and could use some more energy.



Where to find more Information

There is an online test you can take if you want to see if this might be a problem for you. You can do this at Take the Adrenal Fatigue Test


This is a blog hope see what’s up with the Letter “A”

The Festive Bride is almost here!

A quick update: Me and THE FESTIVE BRIDE

I’ve been in my cave writing like a mad woman. Picture uncombed blonde hair, yoga pants and a sweater…sorry no real photo will be posted. You’re imagination will look better than the reality.

I wanted to share my new cover with you. It can’t be ordered yet, but as soon as it can I’ll let you know.


It was so much fun to work on this story. So much fun that I get to write a sequel! Right now it’s titled The Honey Bride. 

I’m also going to be making some changes to the way this blog looks so be prepared for digital drywall dust and scattered tools as I figure out how I can make this blog relevant to you, my faithful readers.

Don’t forget tomorrow is International Go Back to Church Sunday. I’m blogging about that on FaithGirls today.

Go Back to Church Sunday

Go Back to Church Sunday

Copyright: kagenmi / 123RF Stock Photo

Picking Values over Goals

Why Should you Pick Values over Goals?


I love making goals for about two days. Then I hate looking at them written in perfect penmanship, mocking me for what has been left undone and how far I must go to complete them.

The paper sits on my desk with unchecked boxes next to things like clean upstairs closet, clear out old spices, and read all my email. I don’t even know why I write them, they do nothing for my self-esteem whether I do them or not.

Values over Goals

A few weeks ago I read Jennifer VanderKlipp’s blog and my shoulders relaxed, breathing became easier and my goal setting has changed. Jennifer wrote about the difference between values and goals. I know Jennifer personally and the things that have occurred in her life would have flung me to the floor in tears, but not her. She’s my hero. She’s on her knees a lot talking to God, but she’s survived. Her story is pretty amazing, hop over and read it then come back. Oh please come back!

After reading her blog I realized I have a similar problem. My goal making has gone awry, it serves no purpose but to frustrate me. I need to be looking at what I value.

Yes, I still have to clean, grocery shop and clean the bathroom.  But those aren’t my goals. They’ve never been something I dream about and can’t wait to work on.

I’m making a new list.

What do I value? It’s beginning to look a little like this:

Values not Goals


Now I’m starting my days with, “What the most important thing I value today and what am I going to do to strengthen it?”

By choosing a value as my starting place I think I’ll be a happier person, the frustration of not getting to the important things in my life will fall away….or so I hope. 

Tell me in the comments if you think this would work for you? 


4th of July!

 How do you spend the 4th of July?

In America, the 4th of July is a family fun-filled event. Some cities, like mine plan a 4th of July extravaganza. This year the St. Louis River front is being redone so the celebration will be held at Forest Park in St. Louis. It’s a really big deal because the city turned 250 this year and I think it’s the first time the park will host the fair. Everyone here is a buzz about the traffic, shuttles, and buss routes. I’m hoping to go one of the nights to see the fireworks but the crowds will be huge and that might keep me away. 

I love the 4th of July with all the good food-yes I’m gluten free but there are some amazing hamburger buns out there, along with potato salad and watermelon…Now I’m hungry.



4th of July!


Then the fireworks, the sizzle, the bang and ooohs and awes that follow, what’s not to like?

It’s been a long time since America broke free from England. No one that I know of holds any anger toward that country, many of us have been there or would like to go. So why continue this celebration? 

Here are my reasons:

I get to gather with my family informally. There’s no fine china or crystal at this party.

We play Scrabble, shoot BB guns, and slap mosquitoes before we sit back and watch my sons light up the sky. Every year my mom and I wonder if the bull frog will call out or be scared. He almost always has something to say. 


It’s a chance to think about where I live and how thankful I am. It may sound arrogant, I don’t mean to be, but I think my country is the best. I can wear what I choose, speak freely about Jesus, and I can feel free to say what I think about politicians without fear. It’s my home, it’s what I know and I like being able to travel from coast to coast without a passport. Okay, I don’t have a passport and I seldom travel but when I do I like it to be easy.

I like that we stand shoulder to shoulder as a family to take a photo. It’s getting harder to do that now as my sons are grown and have brought wives and now a grandson into the photo. I want to be the family on the lawn that is so large it sprawls and the cameraman has to back far away to get us in the shot. 

Those fireworks in the sky give me pause to think about those who have fought to give me a safe place to live. I am thankful. This past year I dug around ancestory.com to find out where my family came from. I discovered I had family that fought in the Revolutionary War. I had to sit back in awe, it’s rather unsettling and yet satisfying to know my family has a connection to those who made this a free country.  

If you celebrate the 4th of July what makes it special for you?

Faith Happenings Your One-stop, Tailored, Faith Resource.

Faith Happenings has just had their official launch. I came on board a little later than the others. Not to worry soon the St. Louis Faith Happenings site will have tons of local information.

But what if you don’t live in the St. Louis/Metro East area? 

Faith Happenings has you covered from the east coast to the west. Our hope at Faith Happenings is that you will click onto your local site first for activities, service opportunities and a whole slew of other resources. Even better set it as your home page! Right now you can see who is playing in concert in St. Louis, read a devotional or watch a comedy video. 

It’s never been done, a Christian website that holds so much information all in one place. One of the things you can do there is sign up for a daily devotion SOUL CARE that comes to your inbox daily. OR find another resource you want coming to you. Please go there, sign up for St. Louis or the city closest to you.

While I’m excited about being the Area Coordinator for St. Louis Faith Happenings, I’ll still be writing books.


Your One-stop, Tailored, Faith Resource

Faith Happenings


Amazing Grace Hate it or Love it?

There was a time when the song Amazing Grace played on every radio station and at least once an hour. It was sung by Judy Collins. 

It became a song that my brother and I hated. To us it was the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Plus my mom liked it which of course made it not cool.

The minute it came on we raced to change the station. We  joked that whoever died first, the remaining sibling would request  Amazing Grace be played. Sadly for me the chance came too soon when my brother died young. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pick that song for him. 

 Flash forward to now.

I’ve since come to love the song Amazing Grace especially this version by Chris Tomlin.


Last month, my friend Don died. He’d been battling ALS. A disease that chains you to your bed by robbing you of the ability to move your muscles, while leaving your brain alone. It does other things as well, none of them are pleasant. This great man, battled with the grace of a God-filled man. He never complained to those who came to visit. He had a cheerful disposition when we saw him and wanted to know about what was happening in our life.

I would walk or drive past his house and wonder how can he do this? Being trapped in a bed all day, unable to go outside and visit with neighbors or help with the garden?

At his funeral Amazing Grace was played and it made sense! Don knew his chains would soon be broken. He had the hope and promise of living in God’s house when his body failed. I know this from conversations we had while pulling weeds.

Since then I’ve heard Amazing Grace a few times, and I’ve come to embrace it for its meaning. Someday all believers will have their chains holding them to this earth broken and we will be free.

Now when I think of Don I see him waving at me while mowing his grass, or washing his car or bringing me my mail on snowy days. I miss his him and yet I’m so happy for him because I know Don believed in Jesus and he is a free man right now.


Amazing Grace

I also need to apologize to my mother. The song is cool.

Have you ever had a song you couldn’t stand become one you loved?




Spicy Spinach Mac and Cheese Gluten Free

Spicy Spinach Mac and Cheese Gluten Free –oh yes you can!


I’m making this version of Spicy Spinach Mac and Cheese gluten free because I’m the only GF person at dinner. It’s so good though I’m getting mine before it is all gone. Unless I decide to double the recipe…I think that might be a wise thing to do. 

I have been able to find gluten free Panko at my local grocery store, but I’m sure Ian’s bread crumbs would work just as well. 

**Warning this stuff is addictive. Seriously, if you make this and don’t have a lot of people get your serving and FREEZE the rest. If you eat it all you’ll be working out for months.


spicy mac and cheese gluten free

Spicy Spinach Mac and Cheese Gluten Free

Yield: 4-6 servings

Spicy Spinach Mac and Cheese Gluten Free


  • 1/2 pound dried elbow noodles ( I used Barilla)
  • 1/2 fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup thawed, drained frozen spinach
  • 1/2 can drained artichoke hearts
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 2 cups white sauce
  • 1/2 cup gluten free Panko or Ian's bread crumbs


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Make white sauce:
  3. 2 cups whole milk
  4. 1/2 cup butter
  5. 1/2 cup gluten free flour (I use Better Batter)
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. Heat the milk until it bubbles about 4 min.
  8. Melt the butter in a pan, ad the flour and whisk until mixture turns light brown. Remove from heat.
  9. Add milk one cup at a time, then set it back on medium high heat KEEP WHISKING for 2-3 minutes.Dip a metal spoon into the sauce if it sticks it's done. Add the salt.
  10. Set it aside
  11. *If you don't know how to make white sauce here's a link
  12. http://allrecipes.com/video/3321/white-sauce/detail.aspx
  13. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add cheeses, spinach, shallots, artichokes and sauce to a large pan on medium heat. Stir until it melts.
  14. Add the drained pasta and stir. Pour into a 12 inch baking pan and top with the gluten free Panko or bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly about 15 minutes.


*If you don't know how to make white sauce here's a link http://allrecipes.com/video/3321/white-sauce/detail.aspx


mac and cheeseDoesn’t it look delightful?

If you don’t eat gluten free you can still make Spicy Spinach Mac and Cheese.

The inspiration for this dish came from The Mac + Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade. I’d recommend picking this book up for the clear directions–best ever for making white sauce and the variety of mac and cheese recipes.


 *affliate link

The Mac + Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from Homeroom, America’s Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant

Better Batter Flour Gluten Free — 5 lbs