Mom and Me and Ministry

Saturday morning, 6:50, Mother called. “I’m on your driveway,” she said. “I’m early. I’ll sit in my car ’til you’re ready.”

Years ago, I didn’t plan to be speaking, teaching, and writing like my mother Marion Bond West. We were co-teaching at East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers Conference.

“Look at these terrible hose,” she said, hopping into my car.

“What’s wrong with them?”

“Last night, I laid everything out–my clothes, my shoes, and my wonderful toeless nude hose. I put on my hose this morning and they had a run. So I had to wear this ridiculous pair. I look like Carol Burnett.”

I tried my best not to laugh. Her hose were fine, but Eunice and Mama.



She stretched out her legs on the dash to show me. “I planned to wear heels with toeless hose, but I had to wear flats. And these stupid hose.”

“Mother, stop. You look cute.”

(Her shoes–I have a pair just like them.)

“You’re just being nice,” she said. “I look like ‘Marion the Librarian.'”

“Hush. You do not.”

“That’s real sweet of you to say, but–”

“Want me to stop by Walmart?”

Her face blanched. “Are they that bad?”

“No, Mother.” I sighed.

Later on…

After we finished teaching, she whispered, “You have a sticker stuck to your shirt.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t want to embarrass you.”

“So you let me teach with a sticker stuck to my shirt?”


“If I’d told you while you were teaching, you’d have blushed.”


On the way home…

“Today was nice,” I said. “Nobody noticed your hose.”

“I forgot all about them. I had fun. We laughed and they laughed with us.”

“I guess it’s not about hose or stickers, is it?”

“Nope. It’s about being real and giving yourself away,” she said.

Mother in her Carol Burnett hose, and me with a sticker stuck to my shirt shared a little bit about honest writing.

Maybe a little bit about honest living, too.

Have you stumbled onto this Truth?

It’s not about me.


Julie (and Marion/Eunice) 🙂







Free to Be Me…Finally!

I’ve wasted way too much time trying to be like everybody else. Even with writing. For a while, I tried to copy my techno-gifted friends and use a computer spreadsheet program.

I couldn’t do it.

Before teaching at a conference one time, I rigged a fancy-dancy PowerPoint presentation hoping to impress people.

I didn’t use it. I was afraid of it.

Little did I know, but novelist Julie L. Cannon had quite a life lesson in store for me this past Saturday.

Mother and I attended Julie’s class at the EMAC writers’ conference. We adored her latest novel, Twang, and couldn’t wait to meet her.

Who could refuse reading the story behind a cover like this? It’s about a wanna-be roaming the streets of Nashville whose dream comes true, but the price tag is hefty.

Mother and I’ve had fun quoting our favorite sentences from Twang. (Abingdon Press, 2012)

“That poor child’s words got all clotted in her throat like spoiled buttermilk.” pg 222

“I knew as the words leapt out of my mouth, they WAS a tad on the mean side.” pg 130

“I played with the sweetener packets while her words rattled in my head like marbles in a cigar box.” pg 182

“You’ve got to make peace with your past so it won’t screw up your present.” pg 264

Julie Cannon’s secret to success isn’t at all what I expected.

You won’t believe her method! She begins by writing scenes in notebooks. By hand Don’t you love that?

And her notebooks aren’t all neat and tidy-looking. Made my day!

Best of all, wonderful Julie Cannon used the quote below written in Magic Marker on a wobbly poster board.

I’m a little pencil in the hand of God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” Mother Teresa

No PowerPoint presentation. Just Julie Cannon holding her poster.

Being her real self. Which was a gracious plenty.

To find out how Jennifer Clodfelter who stars in Twang finally becomes real, you’ll have to read the book. 🙂

I’m not wasting another second trying to be someone I’m not. I’m going to be exactly who God created me to be.

Maybe that’s the only way to become a pencil in His Hands.

For more scoop on Twang and Julie Cannon’s other novels, visit her website book section.


The other Julie  🙂