The Sunday Dish April 4, 2021






Happy Easter, friends! I hope you’ve had a chance to see family or friends this weekend and celebrate all that this day means. We’ve had family in town and it’s been a rambunctious mix of laughter, Easter eggs, kids all over the place, and our dog barking excitedly (and a little nervously) in the middle of it all.

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One of my favorite parenting books is Paul David Tripp’s Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Readily Change Your Family. In talking about the calling of parenthood and how we can sometimes feel at the end of our rope, he tells us to fight fear and discouragement with expectancy. As in, we’re not alone in this. As in, let’s wait and see what God may do here. I’ve used this reminder in so many ways in my life since I read it a few years ago, and it even works its way into my writing. When I finish the writing portion of my day and feel the weight off all the pages left to write, when I feel my deadline inching ever closer, I’m choosing to look at it with a spirit of expectation instead of discouragement. Instead of “I have so many more pages to write” or “I’ll never finish this thing on time and my publisher will finally see that I really can’t pull off this whole ‘competent author’ thing,” I try my best to look at the situation with expectation and hope. I do have a whole lot of pages left to write, much more to figure out as I walk with my characters through their days, but who knows what in the world God may do with this story when I do finish?


Of course, there are days when I give into the discouragement—those “pit of despair” days I mentioned last week—but I’m getting better about avoiding those. Maybe that’s one thing I can point to when I wonder if I’ve really grown as a writer over these years since I started publishing—knowing how to avoid the pitfalls of discouragement is a definite grace.

What I fell asleep reading last night…

I’m still working on The Book Charmer, but I also picked up two more from the library that I can’t wait to start. Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi and The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan. My problem is I’m so tired when I go to bed that I’m only able to read a few pages before falling asleep! So I’m not getting in as much reading these days as I’d like.

A link or two…

Do you use a bullet journal? I started a version of it back in 2012, but mine is much less involved than many of them are. It consists of a box and 366 index cards. Each card has a date at the top (one for leap year).

Every night before bed, I pull the appropriate card, write the year, and write a line or two of what happened during the day. Over the years, I’ve jotted down the mundane (Walked, kids’ dentist appt, tons of errands), the momentous (BIG DAY: Offered representation by agent Karen, other agents interested, HCCP loves my story and wants to move forward. I’m dumbfounded.) (That was June 11, 2015.) And the hilarious (Sela has decided napping is overrated.) (She was a little over four months old at the time.) Sometimes it’s just something poignant that I want to make sure I never forget. (Hard day, everything seemed to go wrong, apologized to Kate for being in a bad mood, she said “It’s okay, I still love you.”) I usually skim back over previous entries after I write that night’s entry, and Matt and I usually have a big laugh over something that happened in a previous year. If you don’t journal or bullet journal, the index cards are really easy. You could try it for a few weeks and see if the habit kicks in. If it does, you’ll have an easy way to store away memories.

Remember Steve Urkel? (“Did I do that?”) The Winslows? My kids have started watching the old late 80s/early 90s sitcom Family Matters—what am I saying? We’ve all been watching it! We’re now somewhere in season 4, and I’ve decided the family values on this show are better than any show I can remember my kids watching. There’s a lot of humor, of course, and nerdy Steve, but on the whole, it’s a story about the love of family, forgiveness, honesty, and humility. I love that my kids are seeing siblings Eddie and Laura making mistakes and dealing with the consequences, learning to stand up for their friends, learning to stand up for what’s right, and dealing with what life throws at them. (Okay, off soapbox. But seriously, if you’re looking for a good show for your older kids—or if you just want some laughs for yourself—this one is a winner.)

Last things…

The Summer House is in Target stores now! This was a recent surprise–Target it up for its spring refresh (whatever that means) and it’ll be in Targets across the country through mid-May! This is the first time one of my books will be on the shelves there, so I’m a wee bit excited. So excited, I’m going to keep a Sharpie with me any time I go into a Target so I can add sneaky signatures to books! ALSO…if you find yourself in a Target store that has my book, please snap a photo, post it to FB or Insta, and tag me! If you do, I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a $25 Target gift card!

The Hideaway is on sale! If you haven’t read my first novel, The Hideaway, the ebook is on sale for $1.99 for a limited time! I don’t know how limited that time is, but I know it won’t be around for too long. If you’re looking for a spring read, you might want to check and see if the sale is still on!

Hope you all have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you here next Sunday!
Love, Lauren


  1. Colette on April 6, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Bullet journal sounds great! Think I’ll give it a shot!

    • Lauren Denton on April 17, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      If you try it, let me know how it goes!

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