3 Questions Wednesday with Robin E. Mason

RobinMasonHeadShotToday, we welcome one of our Crew members, Robin E. Mason, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

Hi, Robin! So glad you’ve joined us. First question:

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Robin: There are many, but the first name that comes to mind is Tessa Afshar. She writes Biblical fiction which is my favorite genre, and she does it in such a way that it’s totally plausible. She does extensive research of the culture surrounding the time in which her stories are set. The first story of hers that I read was Pearl in the Sand—a story of Rahab. The Bible doesn’t give much information, but Ms. Afshar has woven a completely believable account of how it might have played out. Marian Merritt is also a wonderful storyteller; her stories are deep and raw—women’s fiction—family secrets that won’t be silent. Characters the reader can identify with.

I love a deep story.  Especially with a good villain.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Robin: Darth Vader. I tend to see spiritual truth in unexpected places—stories and movies. Star Wars was one of those. Holy Spirit has no dark side, of course, but we do have a choice between light and dark. Even as Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side and was consumed by it, a remnant of his true self was always there, hidden behind the façade that was Darth Vader. Although his “mask” was literal and tangible, I think we all hide behind a mask of some type at some time in our lives. Some of us fight against it, to walk in the Light as we are called to do. Some of us, are never able to pull the mask off, and live with a literal war in our spirits, between Life and death. Darth Vader represents this truth to me more than any other villainous character I can think of.

He’s one of my favorites also :) Now about you…

What project are you currently working on?

Robin: I just wrapped up Clara Bess, the second in my Unsavory Heritage Series. When I wrote the first book, Tessa, I had no clue of doing a series. Only when I was asked did I realize there are two specific spots (in Tessa) that point clearly to a sequel. But wait, there’s more – I struggled getting Clara Bess moving, and realized there’s a third story in the series, Cissy. The series is entitled Unsavory Heritage because of an event that takes place in 1881, and words that Cissy speaks carry through several generations—the Unsavory Heritage. Each book focuses on different women, different generations, and their fight to know their identity. Clara Bess releases on the 30th of this month; I’ve also made some heavy edits and minor revisions to Tessa, including a new cover, and will be re-releasing her on the 30th as well.

Sounds exciting! Thanks for the visit, Robin.

Robin is offering a signed copy of Tessa and Clara Bess to one blessed commenter. (Within the U.S. only) So make sure and leave a comment below…


One mother. Two daughters. One favorite. One not.

When Cassie Barclay is presented with an opportunity – or is it a curse – she runs with it. She jumps into a new life, her sister’s life, and although at first, it holds appeal and promise, she soon realizes sometimes the fairy tale is tainted.
Tessa is a story of love and trust, hope and faith. Of lies and betrayal and deceit. An unsavory heritage, a tragic incident. Lies unravel, secrets are uncovered, masks removed, and the truth – and love – prevail.

A story of three generations of women, Tessa is a tale of family, the nuances, the hierarchy, the enmity.

Tessa is Cassie’s story.



“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

Robin E. Mason has been writing since 1995 and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  She lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years.  Her characters face many of these same demons.

Robin writes Christian-worldview–in other words, there’s no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.









Education and the Learning Environment

By Robin E. Mason

When I found out the topic of this month’s post, I was stumped at first. Then it dawned on me, I designed a school for my Senior Capstone Project! And I learned a few things in my research.

slide 1

The old—old to us, anyway—model of rows of desks facing a sage teacher is becoming, well, old school. Students in clusters, desks in a circular formation, team-teaching, and team-learning—collaboration—are the order of the day. “Most of today’s classrooms are designed with the teacher at the center. But if the classroom is focused on the learner instead, then learning becomes paramount.” Rick Dewar 3

slide 2

 I knew early on that I wanted to design a school for my senior project. Then the shooting in Connecticut happened and I wasn’t so sure. My professor encouraged me, though, and I addressed the safety issues as part of my total design concept. Turns out, this collaborative learning environment lends to the passive safety after all—high level of (interior) visibility between areas via windows and an expansive courtyard with zero street access. “Learning is contagious; success is seductive. Seeing other students engaged in interesting work can make young people want to do it too.” 1 “Posting student work, both current and past, up on the walls tracks progress in a visible way.” 3

slide 3

One of the key issues I discovered was the need for natural light. My high school had no windows, a pattern that was common in those olden days. “Light affects our motivation, energy, and vision—all of which profoundly connect to learning.” 1 “Of all the elements that make up a high-performance school, none has greater impact on the quality of learning than daylight.” 2

I included an abundance of windows, both interior and to the courtyard, to provide light and extended lines of vision. “ … there is [further] advantage to creating lines of sight that are at least fifty feet away from the students’ work area. This allows tired eyes that spend hours focusing on things close at hand, including notebooks, textbooks and computer screens a needed relief. There is evidence that this kind of relief of looking at objects that are at least fifty feet away exercises eyes (particularly those of young children) and keeps them healthy.” 2

Remember penmanship? And the lined paper so we could learn to make letters properly? Those are still inherent needs in a classroom, but so is access to technology. One model indicated a retractable eight-foot screen, but most classrooms now have fixed Promethean® boards that double as a white board.

slide 4

In my design, I took these and other factors into consideration. Access into the school is via double secured entry. One criterion that initially presented a challenge is that every classroom must have egress, which is a direct exit from the classroom to the outdoors. The plan I utilized lent to the solution—an expansive outdoor courtyard, completely surrounded by the physical structure and not accessible from the street. There is also a gazebo in the center that can serve as outdoor class space.

slide 5

The collaboration aspect became key in my quest; all grade levels are team taught, and all classrooms are interlinked, allowing for student interaction between grade levels. Each classroom “suite” consists of a teacher station, with sink, mini-fridge, and microwave as well as copier/printer and supplies. There is a reading niche, a computer lab, and a small meeting area for group projects. Restrooms are also within each classroom suite. This allows students to “Change up the locations of regular activities so the children can explore new surroundings with their bodies and their minds. 3 “I like to be in a small room. It’s easier for me to hear. Also, I’m small so I fit better.” 3 (I chose to design a first-grade suite because my granddaughter was in first grade at the time.)

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I drew my collaborative design from several sources and models.

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The advantages to team teaching and collaborative learning are many. Both teachers and students can draw on their strengths to help others, both within the class and between grade levels. Students can assist one another with assignments or study, or they can read alone in the reading niche or work on their own in the computer lab.

There is a meme I’ve seen floating around Facebook that attributes Einstein with saying, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” How many children have been made to feel this way because the method of teaching was akin to asking the fish to climb a tree? How many children have failed because they thought they were the only one struggling with an issue or a problem? (this blogger is raising her hand) Or how many children work best flying solo but are made to work in a group or vice versa?

This classroom environment provides for greater flexibility in teaching, and in learning. Which lends to greater teaching and learning. And isn’t that the objective of education? To learn?

slide 8


My Senior Capstone Project—SLIDE PRESENTATION


  1. Bersagel, Victoria, Tim Best, Kathleen Cushman and other; Architecture for Achievement; Eagle Chatter Press, LLC; Mercer Island, WA; 2007
  2. Nair, Prakash, Randall Fielding, Jeffery Lackney; The Language of School Design; DesignShare.com; 2005-2009
  3. : Syvertsen, John, Thomas Muller and Bruce Mau. The Third Teacher. New York: Abrams, 2010

PS—please forgive my designerly tone—my inner Interior Designer wouldn’t keep quiet!


Describe a scenario in your school years when collaborative teaching would have benefited you.


ME - 041115 - cropped“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995 and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She is currently working on Clara Bess, the sequel to Tessa, which will be released in November of this year.

Come visit me at:





#education, #thelearningenvironment, #collaborativelearning, #passivesafety, #naturallight, #classroomsuites, #everybodyisagenius, #promethean


A Dash of Daring by Elizabeth Maddrey

ElizabethMaddreyHeadshotToday, we welcome Elizabeth Maddrey on our blog to showcase her latest release, A Dash of Daring. So glad you dropped by. First question:

Have you always wanted to be an author?

Elizabeth: You know, I really have. I gave up on it as impractical for a while, though it didn’t stop me writing. But it’s always been one of those dreams whispering in the back of my head. Now that I’m published, I still sometimes have to pinch myself when I see my name on the bottom of a book cover.

What’s your favorite method for keeping a story’s middle from sagging?

Elizabeth: Ugh. They really like to try and sag, don’t they?! Honestly, I just keep writing. Then I edit the Dickens out of it. (Really, I capitalized that on purpose – ever notice that no matter how much you like a Dickens book, those middles of his are deadly?)

Do you write every day?

Elizabeth: I try to. Realistically, I end up getting actual words down five out of every 7 days, because life…just seems to really like to get in the way.

How will you market your book?

Elizabeth: Marketing is the hardest thing for me. I do a combination of blog interviews (like this one!), some paid ads with various reader websites, some pre-release reviews, and I’ve been working with The Book Club Network as well as a way to try and get out in front of more readers that way.

Have you ever had a funny experience connected with being an author?

Elizabeth: This summer, we went to a family reunion for my husband’s side, and I typically put my book news in my Christmas letter that all the family gets. But I guess they don’t all read down to the bottom (and I don’t make a huge deal out of the book stuff, just more a few lines at the end.) Anyway, at the reunion, I had four different people ask me if I’d written my second book yet. There was much laughter when I finally managed to explain (trying to spare feelings as much as I could) that I had just released my tenth book, so yes, the second book had, in fact, been written.

Great story! Thanks so much for taking a few moments to chat. If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Elizabeth’s newest release, A Dash of Daring, please leave a comment. You’ll have your choice of e-Book or print.

A Dash of DaringDashFront

God doesn’t always call us to do what’s easy.

Amy Harris is the after-school care coordinator and long-term sub at the same inner city high school she graduated from. She’s always avoided the complications of dating outside her multi-ethnic heritage. Until Zach got hired.

Zach Wilson took a teaching job in a D.C. public school as part of a student-loan forgiveness program. Nearing the end of his commitment, a possibility arises to move to a magnet school in the suburbs. But will leaving the city end things with Amy before they really have a chance to start?

As Zach and Amy work together on the school’s annual holiday program, they must each decide if they’ll dare to follow where God calls.


Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey

Social Media:

Website: http://www.ElizabethMaddrey.com

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey

Twitter: @elizabethmaddre

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/emaddrey/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ElizabethMaddrey/posts



Education: Hollywood Style

By Tammy Trail

I truly could not think of a single topic on the subject of education that had not already been addressed by my lovely crew members.

I began to wonder about teachers who had made a difference in the lives of their students. Teachers who love their profession, and were willing to sacrifice for those they taught. The kind that became the inspiration for stories told on the big screen.

Freedom Writers“Freedom Writers” is a true story based on the experiences of Erin Gruwell and her class of high school students at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School. This dynamic teacher sees how much segregation, poverty, and lack of support affects her students. To combat their own racism, she teaches them about the holocaust. Survivors of the holocaust come and talk to her class, and she takes them on a field trip to the “Museum of Tolerance.” She is willing to work extra jobs to provide more books, and journals for her class. In their journals, the students write about abuse, watching a friend die, or being evicted.

When she is told she can no longer teach her class, Erin fights to keep her students, convincing the superintendent to allow her to teach those students for their junior and senior years. Erin Gruwell’s success is proven with many of her students graduating high school, and going on to attend college. What I liked about this teacher is her willingness to do whatever it took to see her students succeed.

To Sir, with LoveI love Sidney Poitier. One of my favorite movies in which he plays a teacher is “To Sir, with Love.” Mark Thackeray is an unemployed engineer from British Guyana. He applies for a job in his chosen field, but until he receives an offer of employment he is awarded a position as a teacher in an east London school. His class has the reputation for running off qualified teachers, and are mostly comprised of kids who have been expelled from other schools. After one very offensive moment in class, he decides that he will treat them as adults and whatever they want to discuss as adults will be done for the rest of the year. What I remember most about this movie is the way this teacher kept his cool with the class even when they baited him to get angry. I know it’s still Hollywood, but I was so impressed. Mr. Thackeray taught his students about life; how to find a job, fill out a resume, and to dress to impress. He even had a very attractive female teacher teach the young ladies about make-up, clothing, and how to act like a lady.

In the end the students fell in love with him. He decides not to take the engineering job he was offered, but instead to remain at the school as a teacher.

Mr. Holland's OpusAnother movie that is a family favorite is “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Glenn Holland is a man with a dream, to write the great American Symphony. Unfortunately, writing music takes time, perseverance, and no distractions. In order to provide for his family, Glenn Holland takes a job as a music teacher in a school that does not support the arts. He inspires his students using rock and roll as a way to help them appreciate classical music. Through the course of his teaching life, we see Glenn Holland inspire many of his students into great life choices, while other aspects of his life become more stressful. His life takes an ironic turn when he and his wife learn that their son, Cole is born deaf. For a man who relates to life through music, this is a disappointment.

What I like about this story is the fact that he loves what he does. He overcomes obstacles using his musical skills, and the ending is my favorite, because we finally get to hear his symphony, his old students return to play for him, and he has reconciled with this son.

I know there are other movies with educational themes that are just as worthy to mention, these just happen to be the ones I remember most.

Who are some of your favorite “Hollywood” teachers?

3 Questions Wednesday with Sarah Rowan

sarah rowanToday’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is author Sarah Rowan.

Welcome to the Writing Prompts blog, Sarah. Let’s start out with your reading interests.

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Sarah:   The author I would never get tired of reading would be Ravi Zacharias. He is a Christian Apologetic. He preaches and teaches people how to defend their Biblical Worldview in today’s culture. I have seen him speak 7 times in person and read countless of his books. His books are deep so you can always learn more each time you read them.  I love his writings because they make you think.

I love authors that make me think. Second question:

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Sarah: I’m not sure if I have a favorite fictional villain, but the one that I remember most when I was young that gave me nightmares and made me scared to go to sleep was Freddy Krueger! The movies scared me to death, yet I remember waiting for the next one to come out so  Freddy could scare me to death again!  This fictional villain still scares me and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t sit through a movie now with him in it!

Scary. I couldn’t sit through one of those movies either. Now, about yourself. 

What project are you currently working on?

Sarah:   I am currently working on Unspeakable Joy:  Devotions for the Slumbering Believer.  This will be my second book. I am naturally drawn to write devotionals. They are little life lessons from the Lord that relate to the real world. Writing my devotionals helps put some of my emotions and perspectives in their proper place. They help me keep God as my central focus.

Sounds like a great book. :)

Thanks for dropping by, Sarah. If you’d like a chance to win a paperback copy of Sarah’s first book, Authentic Happiness: Devotions for the Slumbering Believer, please leave a comment below.

sarah rowan bookAuthentic Happiness: Devotions for the Slumbering Believer

Could you be a slumbering believer in Christ and not even know it? Is it possible that you are physically awake but sleepwalking spiritually? Do you have the deep and growing Christian life God intended, or are you sleeping through it? The Lord tells believers to wake up several times in the Scriptures. What makes believers go to sleep in the first place? Once awake, how can believers stay awake? Authentic Happiness is a collection of personal journals of one slumbering believer’s journey of awakening. While the answers to some of these questions were less than desirable to hear, the truth that was revealed changed a life forever. Every believer should ask these same questions and seek the answers for themselves. This devotional encourages all believers to look at their own Christian lives a little closer to see how awake they really are in Christ. It may surprise you.

Sarah Rowan is a Speech Therapist by profession. She works in an inpatient rehab facility in Albany, GA. She started writing personal journals about 3 years ago, sending them out to friends and family. From there she was encouraged to join her journals together in a book. Those journals  became her first book titled Authentic Happiness  Devotionals for the Slumbering Believer. She enjoys teaching youth in her church, along with reading and writing.

Find Sarah at  www.sarahrowan.com and Facebook. Her email is srowanslp@yahoo.com.

Homeschoolers: Complex Enough for Fiction

by Amy C. Blake

When I was a kid, I’d never heard of home education. Who could imagine never having to ride a school bus, doing subjects while in pajamas, and calling it a school day as soon as the work was done? Bizarre. By the time I was in high school, I’d heard there were a few weird people out there (mostly in California) who homeschooled, but I assumed they were all tree-huggers who ate tofu all the time, wore only bulky turtleneck sweaters and ankle-length skirts, couldn’t handle themselves in classroom settings, and didn’t know how to carry on conversations with normal human beings.

Then I reached the first year of my masters’ program in college, and I taught a Freshman Composition course. Many of the students aggravated me with their petty expectations that I coddle them like a bunch of five-year-olds who couldn’t spell or put together the most basic sentences, much less write decent essays. Okay, so a few did fine, but many did not. Still, there was one girl, Ashley, who stood out. She always listened attentively in class, participated in discussions, turned in every assignment on time, and wrote great essays. Imagine my reaction when she told me she’d been homeschooled all her life.

I was truly stunned. Ashley was cute, sweet, respectful, communicative, intelligent, and never wore bulky turtlenecks. She wasn’t even from California. Though I don’t know whether she ate tofu or hugged trees on a regular basis, I do know she was my favorite student. And she totally changed the way I viewed home education.

A few years later, my husband and I began our own family. As our oldest neared kindergarten age, we began to discuss our educational plans, and because of Ashley, the thought of homeschooling wasn’t incomprehensible. As Christians, we knew God had called us to train our children in His ways. We also knew from personal experience in the public school arena how much more difficult it would be for us to influence our kids if they were away from us most of the time. In addition, we realized we’d been teaching our kids since they were born. If we could train them to handle a spoon, say please and thank-you, and use the potty, surely we could teach them to read and write.

So we embarked on the homeschool journey with our four children. More than a decade later, I can say with confidence that it was the right educational decision for our family. I can also say that my high school notions of homeschoolers were way off base. While healthy eating and environmentalism are good things, nobody in my family eats tofu or hugs trees (well, there was that one time when my nine-year-old accidentally embraced a tree while trying to snag the ball from his brother during one of our backyard soccer matches…). Overall, my kids do well with their school subjects, participate in group classes through our homeschool co-op, and keep the Mom Taxi running nonstop to various lessons, sports, and activities. They have friends who attend public school and friends who homeschool, all of whom are fun people with varied interests and plenty of wonderful traits.

Given all I’ve learned about homeschool families over the years, it’s no wonder that when I began writing novel-length fiction, I decided to make my main characters homeschoolers, well-rounded, delightful people like my favorite student in college, Ashley, and like my own kids and their friends.

My debut novel, Whitewashed, released in February and is a Christian suspense about 18-year-old homeschooler Patience McDonough, who heads off to college in Mississippi and ends up on the bad side of a mentally unbalanced villain. In February, 2016, my second Christian suspense novel comes out. Colorblind follows Patience’s best friend Christy Kane to Buckeye Lake, Ohio, where somebody is reenacting history with potentially deadly consequences.

My young adult fantasy, The Trojan Horse Traitor, releases tomorrow (November 17th) and is about 13-year-old homeschooler Levi Prince, who goes to summer camp on an island in the Great Lakes and finds out it’s actually a haven for mythical creatures. I’m hosting a giveaway of two paperback copies of The Trojan Horse Traitor on Goodreads. You can enter tomorrow through December 14th.

Whether your family home educates or not, I’d love for you and your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and random strangers to read my books and get to know Patience, Christy, and Levi. You’ll find they’re not unlike you, intriguing people with characters worth exploring and heroic traits worth discovering. And my characters don’t even hug trees…at least not too often.

Writing Prompt –  Finish this paragraph in the comments section for an extra entry in our giveaway:  Gabe’s teacher asked him to come up with a great idea for a class project, involving his cottage school classmates. He spent an entire weekend thinking and planning, then presented this to his teacher on Monday…

AND don’t forget about Once Upon a Christmas! Our Holiday giveaway! Prizes…prizes…and more prizes! Click here for more information!

IMG_2793-2Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels–Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.

Also connect with Amy at Amy C. Blake Facebook author page, Amy C. Blake Twitter page, Amy C. Blake on Pinterest, Amy’s Amazon Author Page.

The Trojan Horse Traitor

TrojanHorseTraitor_FlatforeBooksLeft on Castle Island by his parents to attend Camp Classic, Levi Prince finds himself at the center of an enchanted world of amazing abilities, cloudy motives, and wicked beings that will challenge his very spirit. He begins to form friendships, but life at camp becomes more confusing as questionable activities and uncertain agendas bring about conflict that tests his character in ways he never expected. Finally, faced with a friend’s betrayal, Levi is forced to confront true evil. Will he find the courage to stand his ground, and to become the hero he was always meant to be?

Buy links:  The Trojan Horse Traitor       &       Whitewashed


Today is World Diabetes Day. To educate a little about diabetes and football, I’m sharing a post from my son’s devotional book – First and Goal – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up published by Harvest House Publishers.


photo by Sean O’Toole

Jake is a type 1 diabetic who pushed hard, fighting against diabetes highs and lows to climb to the pinnacle of football success and play in the NFL.

This month, National Diabetes Awareness Month, Jake is giving $1 from each AUTOGRAPHED copy of his book sold to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.) 

First and Goal is filled with short anecdotes and stories about overcoming and faith. Below is a devotional story, the first one in Jake’s book where he shares his diagnosis story. This A-Z football devotional is filled with short inspirational clips of his life, faith walk, and journey into the NFL.

Audible  – When the quarterback changes the play at the line of scrimmage, based on the defensive formation, he calls an audible, which is a better-suited play.

01f5b5aca74f53007313ae467f0f98784ea4d3f3edBeginning my freshman year in high school, through hard work, dedication, and by the grace of God I’d earned a starting spot as an offensive tackle on our football team. Standing at 6 feet 5 and weighing in as a 240-pound 14-year-old, I was one of the team’s biggest players. With early interest from college scouts, I ran full steam ahead, thinking I had life all figured out.

By the time the season had ended, I’d dropped 40 pounds and suffered from constant fatigue. The drastic weight loss confused me, my parents, and the coaches. I ate like a ravenous wolf and worked out constantly, hoping to gain weight. Instead, I shed pounds like a German shepherd sheds fur.

An unseen offense had launched a full-scale attack against my body. First, relentless hunger and weight loss. Then, the thirst. I guzzled gallons of Gatorade and water. My constant bathroom breaks annoyed my teachers and had me worried.

At the doctor’s office I expected a prescription for a bladder infection. Instead, I got rocked by the hardest hit I’d ever taken: a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

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 ).

Diabetes meant a major lifestyle change. My endocrinologist assured me I could still play football—but only if I did everything by the book. I had to call my own audible. This disease forced me onto my own personal line of scrimmage, where I had to come up with a new game plan and change my mind-set. Controlling my blood sugar meant huge dietary adjustments. I had to act as my own pancreas, injecting proper amounts of insulin each time I consumed carbs in order to maintain healthy sugar levels.

Support from family, friends, and coaches carried me through difficult moments, along with a peaceful reassurance that God cared about my plans, hopes, and dreams. Have you been there? Believed you had your game plan all figured out, only to take a hit from an unexpected challenge? Have faith and listen to the audible God is calling. Trust that He has plans for you—good plans for a future and greater plans than you can ever imagine.

Houston JDRF Ad 3Want a copy of First and Goal autographed to you or a special someone? $1 from the sale goes to support the JDRF. Click here Great motivational devotional for anyone. 

12016186_10156044039905635_176705038_oWRITING PROMPT: Know a diabetic? Type 1 or Type 2? Think of a character with high goals and dreams. Bam! They get hit with a diabetes diagnosis. How do they react. Also, if you use a diabetic character in your writing make sure you do some research into the differences between type one and type two. Type 1 diabetes has no cure. It’s an autoimmune disease. It means you are completely insulin dependent. Type 2 is curable.

Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger. Jake lives in Dallas with his wife, Emma, and two four-legged kids: Duke the Dogo Argentino and Yeti the Great Dane.

Jake blogs at www.typewon.net. He can be reached through the following social media:

Facebook Page (Type Won): www.facebook.com/typewon1

Twitter: @sugarfreejb82

Instagram: Jakebyrne81

Email: typewonquestions@gmail.com