Robin Dance

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Stand with Secret Believers This Christmas

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 | 4 comments

Today, through a sponsored partnership with Open Doors, I’m sharing their message about something important to know. This is a season when many Americans have already begun decorating their homes for the holidays, a lovely tradition most of us take for granted. Please read and then act if you feel led to support this worthwhile initiative.

In North Korea, celebrating Christmas is illegal and believers must celebrate the birth of Jesus in extreme secrecy or risk arrest and life in a hard labor camp.

For the citizens of Brunei, celebrating Christmas can get you five years in prison and owning a Bible will get you nine.

In countries like Somalia, Christmas was banned several years ago. An announcement goes out every year reminding citizens that it’s illegal.

And in countries like Saudi Arabia, churches, crosses and Christian meetings of any kind are illegal all over the country.

All over the world, Christians will celebrate the birth of Jesus in late December or early January. But in many places, like Somalia, Iran, North Korea and other areas where it’s dangerous to follow Jesus, openly participating in Christmas can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. For these Christians, celebrating Christmas must be done in secret. There will be no parties or gift exchanges, and no church services or worship gatherings allowed. In places around the world, Christmas can be a time of fear and isolation instead of a celebration.

One believer from a Muslim background in Southeast Asia says, “We can’t celebrate Christmas openly…We can’t go to church and join in the celebration. Why? Because we are wanted by the government. Some of us can’t even tell our families we are Christians.”

Nevertheless, faithful Christians remind themselves that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

This Christmas, we have the opportunity to illuminate that light and remind isolated Christians around the world who must worship in secret that they are not alone … that the worldwide Church stands with them.  

You can make a difference today for secret believers this Christmas in specific and practical ways:

  1. Pray with them.
    Visit for prayer resources from secret believers around the world. You’ll find videos, prayer points and unique ways to connect to your persecuted family.
  1. Enter their stories.

Open Doors has created two resources to help you explore the stories of the persecuted church and to connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. You can download a free Secret Christmas eBook and even a Secret Christmas children’s book to read to your kids this holiday season.

  1. Join the fight

Don’t make persecution a seasonal issue, make it part of your daily life. It’s in the very DNA of the church to care for those who are suffering. Through Open Doors you can download a Prayer App, sign up for regular prayer updates and stay connected to the stories and needs of your persecuted family.

Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives, families and ministries of secret believers this Christmas and beyond as we stand with our persecuted family.

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We interrupt this blog to bring you a PSA for those who (n)ever text and drive (which pretty much you & me)

Posted by on May 24, 2013 | 14 comments

I'm probably a teen's worst nightmare when it comes to driving:  my mantra to my own children when they were of legal age to get their permit (and, later, their license):

A car in the hands of a driver is a loaded weapon.

They understand the depth and breadth of this truth from losing a 17-year-old friend in a tragic accident a few years ago; another beautiful young friend lost her arm just last year.  I can think of half a dozen friends between the three of them who've been in wrecks as recent as two weeks ago…and my own babygirl called  one night with words that froze my blood:  "I'm okay mom but…."


As a mom, one of the hardest seasons to endure is the "learning how to drive" season.  Perhaps The Hardest Thing Of Them All, though, is the first time they make a solo drive.  The minutes between home and "there" feel like tortuous hours.  The gracious advent of cell phones afford us a peace of mind our parents didn't have–they can easlily let us know when they've arrived.

It Can Wait Pledge Logo - Dont Text and DriveThe inherent danger associated with driving–especially inexperienced teen drivers who cannot understand ALL OF THE THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG–is why I tell my own "I will snap you like a twig if I find out you're texting and driving."  They'll lose their phone, they'll lose driving privileges…and they'll lose my trust in their judgment.

Here's the worst part:  I've been guilty of doing this very thing I rail against.

Someone should snap ME like a twig! 

Just this week I was driving 65 mph on the interstate when a four-car collision happened in front of me; I didn't see the beginning but I saw a red car spinning and smoking across four lanes of traffic, another silver car with airbags deployed and a shatterd windshield, and two drivers already to the shoulder, both screaming into their cell phones.  THE CAR SPUN DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME, and I, together with each of the cars in their respective lanes, stopped cold (fishtailing) on the interstate! 

It scares the ever-living daylights to think about what if I had been texting and driving.  

At a minimum it would have been a five-car collison.

When Verizon told their team of bloggers about how they were teaming up with other carriers for the It Can Wait campaign to discourage texting and driving, I knew I had to share the details with my readers.

And beg you to take the pledge.  I did, and I agree with its sentiment: "NO text is worth the risk." 

Pledge to not text and drive.

Teens aren't the only ones guilty of texting and driving; EVERY time I'm on the road I see it.  And then I find myself channeling my inner Barney Fife and I want to roll down my window and scream "CITIZEN'S ARREST!  CITIZEN'S ARREST!!"

Wait.  That wasn't Barney….it was Goober.  No…GOMER!  It was Gomer Pyle! 

But I digress.  Forgive me.

I don't text and drive anymore; I've tried voice commands but I'm still distracted when I see what my cell phone interprets for my words.  Sometimes what it comes up with is beyond laughable and possibly prosecutable under the law!  Mercy!

Ninety-five percent of my readers don't comment to my blog (and if you're one who does, you know you're my favorite, right?  You emailers, too 😉 ) but I'm asking you PLEASE comment to let me know if you signed the It Can Wait Pledge.

Comment by telling me what prompted you to do so; let me know how you're sharing the campaign with others.  I know a lot of you don't blog, so are you emailing it to your friends?  Sharing on Facebook?  Pinning to a board that shares important information (or parenting tips or teenager info)?  Printing out the flyers available on the campaign site to share with your kids' high school when it starts back up? 

If you're on Twitter, feel free to cut/paste the following. 

  • Take the pledge to stop texting and driving—I did! #vzwvoices #VZWA #itcanwait
  • It CAN wait: No text is worth dying for—take the pledge #vzwvoices #VZWA #itcanwait
  • #Verizon is taking a stand against texting while driving. Join in. #vzwvoices #VZWA #itcanwait

And if you're willing to BLOG about this, even if it's in a round-up or link list, please use the graphic on this post and link below; if there are at least 10 who join in by Friday, May 31, I'll give away a FANtastic prize (once I figure out what it is, at least $25 out of my own pocket.  It's a small way to say thank YOU for helping to save lives…I don't think that's an understatement.)

What say you…are you in?  Will you sign the pledge and let me know you did?  I sure hope so!  Memorial Day and weekend is when we remember and honor those who gave their lives for our country.  Isn't it the perfect time for Everyday People Like Us to do a small thing that might have a powerful influence…and maybe protect someone you love?

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It’s a Zen thing

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 | 2 comments

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors program and have been provided a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.  See for more information.


Blackberry Z10

Don't make the mistake of calling it "Zee Ten"; be the cool kid who knows it's a Blackberry "Zen Ten".

Well, I might need lipstick…

and I don't think my eyebrows will ever be the same level…

and there's little danger of me taking over Jay Leno's late night gig…

but none of that hinders my Vlogger Wannabe-ness.

Please take two minutes to find out what I'm up to now…

My amazing tech wizardry will most definitely astound you and make you feel exponentially better about yourself.  

You're welcome.


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The one which goes to show you I’ll write a poem about ANYTHING!! (Plus, a $100 giveaway at the end)

Posted by on Mar 14, 2012 | 68 comments

Vintage Vicks Pin{Revised with winner's name below.}

As my partnership with Vicks VapoRub comes to an end {sniff sniff}, and in anticipation of upcoming National Poetry Month, I've decide to write a poem in keeping with the unofficial ending of the Cold and Flu Season.  Make sure not to miss the FUN contest and giveaway details at the end!


An Ode to My Least Favorite Season

Winter and Spring and Summer and Fall

Four seasons, of course, but that isn't all–

A Fifth Season comes, the worst of the year

Cold and Flu is its name, spreading dread when it's here!

It often arrives when the weather turns cooler

(But can strike any time, just ask Ferris Bueller!)

It'll come without warning and no invitation

Nasty invasion, this germ infestation

Coughing and sneezing and fever and chills

The Cold doles out misery, cheap little thrills.

And meaner than Cold is his cousin the Flu

Who knows how to make you feel miserable, too.

Every bone in your body so tired and so achy

And when you get up sometimes you feel shakey.

Throat raw and itchy, nose sore and runny

There's nothing about being sick that is funny!

(Except maybe when I stuff into my nose

Lotion-soft Kleenex, damming snot when it flows!)

When your child has a cold, you turn into a nurse

(Grown men with the flu might be pitifully worse.)

Thankfully we have things that help us feel better

Like wrapped in your favorite, warm, woolen sweater?

Wait!  Over the counter, what's that I see?

A miracle potion that begins with a "V"!

Vicks VapoRub, been around 'bout forever

Invented by someone incredibly clever.

Medicated vapors, inhale one and all–

Ecalyptus and camphor and icy menthol.

Rub in this ointment and soon you will see

You can breathe so much better, you're almost ache-free!


Slapmenakedandhidemyclothes, but that was FUN to write! 

* * * * * *

Win a Medicine Cabinet Makeover valued at over $100! 

Includes all VapoRub products (Vapo, Vapo Cream, Vapo Lemon Scented, BabyRub), NyQuil (liquid & caplets), DayQuil (liquid & caplets) and Nature Fusion (liquid & caplets), and a special Feel Better Friend get-well kit– a Vicks SNUGGIE, pillow, soup, candle, slippers and a Cool Moisture Humidifier. 

Y'all, you'll be able to handle just about anything that comes your way!

TO ENTER:  Visit Vicks' Facebook page and fill in the YOUR response to their posted question, "I know I'm getting better when I can finally smell ___________ (be sure to "Like" them while you're there).

THEN, come back and leave a comment here (with your answer or anything else) at least once to be registered.

Though I'll have to use a random drawing, will you try your hand at a short poem about Vicks VapoRub–a haiku, couplet, limerick–whatever your fancy?  Vicks Bloggers will choose some of their favorites to post on Vicks' Facebook page for all the world to see!  You'll be almost famous…. 😉   Deadline to enter is 3/21/12.

Easy additional ways to increase your chances (leave a separate comment for each one, and you're welcome to enter multiple formats):

  • If you're on Pinterest and have a board for giveaways, Pin this post.
  • Tweet about this giveaway; here's a sample:

Comment to win a $100 Medicine Cabinet Makeover from @vicksvaporub & @PensieveRobin #giveaway || Poems=brownie pts!

  • Share this post on Facebook
  • Stumble, Tumble, Kirtsy, Digg, etc. this post on your favorite social networking sites


Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2012-03-22 06:48:08 UTC


Vicks-breathe-life-inThanks to Vicks for supplying the giveaway and for including me in this season's Blogger Brigade!!

Note:  There was some earlier confusion about how I was supposed to host this giveaway, so my apologies to anyone who's seen a different version of the rules.

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Leap-year lizards! It IS the best make-you-feel-better-when-you-have-a-cold medicine in the WORLD!

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 | 2 comments

Back when I joined Vicks VapoRub for their Winter campaign, I had no idea a few months later I'd be in another country 5,000 miles from home.  How in the world could I write a natural cough-and-cold-ish story that would support a product sold in the U.S.? 

Well, a story fell slap in my lap when I discovered it's sold in over 50 countries outside the U.S., one of which is Germany! 

My cousin, Ellie, has lived in Germany since the 80s, and a few weeks ago she and her boyfriend Walter came for a visit.  Walter could tell a cold was sneaking up on him, so he brought a few remedies in case symptoms persisted.

GERMAN NOTE OF INTEREST:  While aspirin and acetamiophen can be bought in Germany, they're behind the counter; stronger, "American" over-the-counter drugs require a doctor's prescription.  And there are NO drive-through pharmacies!

In Walter's cough and cold arsenol was none other than a container of Vicks VapoRub ~ obviously used ~ still in its box.


"Walter…" I shouted (I did, I really did!), "You just wrote my blog post for me!" 

Is it wrong that I delighted in the man's misfortune? 



6874488721_19ac684dd9_mSomethin' tells me he didn't mind too much….??

* * * * * * *

I'm publishing this on Leap Day, a rarity on our calendar, a day to do something for someone else or just plain fun or super special or maybe just a bit out of the ordinary.  Might you consider:

 ~ Liking Vicks' Facebook page and then send a virtual care package to one of YOUR FB friends who's under the weather.

~ Try a new recipe.  Vicks' Nature Fusion You Tube Channel with hunky celebrity chef Curtis Stone features EASY, HEALTHY recipes to incorporate into your family's daily routine.  The simplicity of Stone's homemade granola recipe has me wanting to try it.

~ Seth Godin has some lovely ideas; I'd say choose one or two, do 'em everyday for the next three weeks, and voilà!  A new habit is born!

Your turn:  True confessions!  Are you a Vicks "huffer"?  I'm not suggesting you use it inappropriately, but I've had several friends use that expression since I started writing for them!   Don't feel like fessing up?  Tell me your plans for Leap Day!!


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The results are in: YOUR choices for Beauty BFFs..and mine!

Posted by on Jan 22, 2011 | 1 comment

Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth,
wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie. 
~Robert Brault

Recently I polled friends on Facebook and Twitter about their favorite beauty item…the one thing they never leave home without, their “Survivor” personal item, the item that makes the difference in their beauty routine (I’ll share mine in a minute).  I was surprised on two levels:

  • There was only one item mentioned more than once (mascara)
  • No one mentioned my can’t-live-without item

Some responders interpreted my question in terms of skin care and maintenance items; others saw it as their favorite cosmetic product.

* * * * * * * * 

Real-Beauty-Blogger-Graphic-1 Please click through to Connect to see some of your responses and to find out the one beauty item I can't live without; if you're over 40 you might need one, too!


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