Shawna Atteberry

Baker, Writer, Teacher

Because Company Girls and RevGals Should Do Coffee Together on Occassion

Good morning Company Girls and RevGals! The Hubby and I are getting ready to leave for Las Vegas tomorrow for the Magic LIVE conference. There are classes and lots of performances. I plan on going to the performance, but I don’t want to be at anything where I might learn secrets. I don’t want to know how it’s done because I want what I see to be magic. We’re staying at the Orleans, which has a beautiful pool. When I’m not attending magic performances, you will find me poolside with a book and the notebook I’m writing my novel in, and an alcoholic beverage might be beside me as well. I’ve been saying for the last few months I plan on being poolside with a book and a mojito. But I’ve never had a mojito. Mojito is just fun to say: Mo-heeee-toe. So next week, I am going to see if I actually like mojitos, and if that would be my poolside, book reading beverage of choice.

This has been a great week. I’ve gotten a lot done. For three weeks in a row I posted to my blog, so I’m back to regular posting! Whoo-hoo! This week’s post is on Jesus and Syrio-Phoenician woman. For churches that follow the lectionary, this is the Gospel Reading, and I thought one of my takes and a friend’s take on the passage might help some pastors who want to preach the Gospel reading. I also wrote seven pages on the novel! And started translating Colossians for the upcoming editorial meeting I have with The Christian Godde Project. Plus there was all the shopping and glamming up to go to Vegas: I got a haircut and my brows done. Tonight I need to paint my fingernails. The toes still look great from the pedicure I got while we were in Nebraska.

Today I need to make a Target run to get the last few things we need and clean the house, so the cat sitter doesn’t have to walk into a mess (and I don’t have to come home to a mess). I want to write a few more pages on the novel today too, since I didn’t work on it yesterday.

Here is the reason why I thought today would be a good day for the Company Girls and the RevGals to get together. Terri made gratitude the RevGal Friday Five this week. She shared this powerful May Oliver poem then issued a challenge:

The Place I Want To Get Back To

is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay,
let’s see who she is
and why she is sitting

on the ground, like that,
so quiet, as if
asleep, or in a dream,
but, anyway, harmless;

and so they came
on their slender legs
and gazed upon me
not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life
bring to me that could exceed
that brief moment?
For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
Such gifts bestowed,
can’t be repeated.

If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named

(Mary Oliver, “Thirst”, Beacon Press, 2006)

For this Friday Five I invite you to offer five gratitudes you recognize in your life.

Here are my five:

  1. We get to take a vacation this year! (It’s been 2 years.)
  2. The migraines are under control.
  3. I’m back to writing and I have some great creative mojo flowing through me.
  4. My husband: I waited a long time to get married, and he was worth every second of the wait. I am his ezer cenegdo: the power equal to him.
  5. The gorgeous weather we’ve been having Chicago and getting out and enjoying it.

I have a favor to ask: if you have sometime this weekend, could you read my post on Martha: The New Testament Church: Built by homemakers like Martha? I’d love to get some feedback on it. Thank you.

What are you grateful for?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

RevGal Friday Five: What to Do, What to Do Edition

Kathryn writes about vacations and staycations:

I’m wrapping up a two week vacation that has taken me from beach to basement.


It’s true, I took a week off of work to clean out the basement. Sadly, to look at a before/after photo would not make it look like my time had been used wisely. Just about everything is still down there, it’s just in a different pile. BUT… our church rummage sale this year is going to be very, very blessed.

I’m wondering if anyone else out there takes a week off of work to do a different kind of work:

1) Have you ever ‘staycationed’ in order to work on a project? If no, would you?

Yes. In fact, a couple of years ago I took the week between Christmas and New Year in order to clean out the office and other odd jobs that needed to be done but never got done.

2) What project did you or would you tackle first?

The office needs to be shoveled out and organized again. It’s the place where we throw everything that doesn’t have a home.

3) Any other projects?

I would also like to clean out the cupboards in the kitchen and get some things arranged in a more natural order of how I use it. Oh and filing–the mountains of filing that need to be done. Oomph.

4) What are the pitfalls of a staycation for you?

I don’t work on the projects, I use it as an excuse to watch TV and movies.

5) Never mind this staying at home business, where do you want to go and what do you want to do there?

I want to go to Ireland, rent a place and stay for three or four months. Living, writing, and exploring. In fact that is my long term game plan: to pick a region and go there live there for a few months then come back home. Ireland is just a the top of the list.

You can see what projects other RevGals are up to here.



Company Girl Coffee: Kicking Back with the In-laws

We’re on vacation this week in Nebraska visiting my in-laws. We’re having a great time. Yesterday was my father and mother’s in law 44 wedding anniversay. We went out to eat and people they have known for years joined us. I got to meet friends My Hubby has had since high school. It was so much fun. Earlier in the day my MIL treated me to a pedicure, and they had massage chairs! I was in heaven. Here are my pretty toesies:

Blue sparkly toes with flowers! Squee!

We went to the zoo with my sister-in-law and her family Wednesday. It was a lot of fun. As you can see there are three kiddos, whom I’m calling Thing #1, Thing #2, and Thing #3 because I love Dr. Seuss.

Thing #1 riding a horse.

Thing #2 riding a horse.


Things #2 & #3 feeding the goats


Thing #1 in the butterfly tent. Thing #2 is to the left, also in the butterfly tent.


The whole family

I love flamingos. Don't know why, but I do.

Grandma finally got Thing #3 to look at the camera. She looked away from the camera all day.


I’ve also gotten some work done. I posted a review of an excellent book yesterday: Touching God: Experiencing Metaphors for the Divine. I really enjoyed reading this book, and it challenged me to be more mindful of where I see Godde, and how I experience her in my every day  life. I highly recommend it.

Today’s plans are up in the air depending on the weather. If it stops raining, we’re going to the county fair. I’m excited. I haven’t been to a fair in years. If the rain keeps up, then we’ll go see a movie. We head back home Sunday. It’s been a really good week, and we’ve had a lot of fun.

Not only is there coffee by the FIL provided donuts as well! Have a cup of coffee, grab a donut, and tell me about your week. Then go sit and have a chat with another Company Girl.

Company Girl Coffee: Wow Where Did the Summer Go Edition?

It’s been awhile since I actually did a post specifically for Company Girl Coffee. I’ve combined it with the RevGal Friday Five a couple of times, but it’s been a long time since I just did coffee. So I’m doing coffee today.

I’m trying to figure out where the summer went. I spent most of the summer dealing with migraines and sinus problems. Needless to say I haven’t gotten a lot done in any one particular area of my life: finding an agent, finishing the novel, updating this blog, and my poor house. (Really need to get back to the Small Things.) Between a new prescription for my glasses and finding the right sinus medicine to aspirin ratio, I’m doing better and have the headaches under control.

Once they were under control, I was all prepared to throw myself full tilt into all of my projects, and this whole week I spent…procrastinating. Yesterday I went back to my old faithfuls of getting my  rump out of the procrastination rut: Jen Lounden’s The Satisfaction Finder and Havi Brooks’ Dissolve Procrastination. I find that if I use them together, I get things done. Havi’s Dissolve Procrastination helps me deal with the soft stuff: why I procrastinate, negotiating with the fears and monsters that want to keep me safe but are doing it all wrong. Jen’s Satisfaction Finder helps me put goals down on the paper that are measuarable and do-able on a normal day–not the perfect day–but a normal day. Combining these two things wonderful programs usually gets me out of the procrastination rut.

But it all hasn’t been procrastination. Last week I decided to attend DePaul University’s Summer Writing Conference, which was incredible. It was three days of wonderful classes on all kinds of writing. I loaded up on the non-fiction and fiction classes, particularly the fiction classes. I’ve discovered after a two year hiatus from fiction writing, that my fiction skills are just a wee bit rusty. I feel like I received help and advice that will help me get the novel done. I also met some wonderful people. I’m glad I did it, it was worth every penny I paid to attend.

Company Girls, I have coffee and lots of fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches, plums), so have a seat, pour yourself a cup, and tell me about your week.

RevGals Friday Five + Company Girl Coffee = Summertime Friday Five Fun

So, what’s up, Rev Gals and Pals [and Company Girls]?  How are you spending your summer?  (I know, some of you are in a different hemisphere and it may be chilly…sorry!)  Are you experiencing fire or floods or tornados?  Vacationing?  Working harder than ever?  Experiencing change?  Longing for change?

Share five things that are happening in your life, personally or professionally or some of each, in this season of life.

  1. My big summer thing are all the sinus headaches and migraines I’ve been having this year due to the funky weather Chicago has been having. I’m not the only one, and it looks like we’ll just have to tough it out.
  2. I’m determined to finish my novel this summer.
  3. We’re going on vacation in August to Las Vegas for the Magic Live convention. Hello pool, mojitos and lots of great magic.
  4. Trying to figure out how to grow more houseplants and herbs without using soil. Hydroponic units are expensive, and I’m thinking there has to be some sort of soil-less mix I can use in pots. I’ve been researching and hunting down viable options.
  5. Looking forward to my glasses prescription getting in. Hoping it makes working on the computer easier.

To found out what other RevGals are doing go here. And go here to see what the Company Girls are talking about over their coffee.

Lent, Self-Care & the 2nd Greatest Commandment: Love Yourself

A little over a week ago my ebook posted on why I had suddenly disappeared after all the posts and fun in March: I got sick. And not just sick with one thing. I’ve spent the last three weeks being sick or recovering from being sick. It has not been pleasant. I think it all began back in March when I stopped taking care of myself. When I thought I could push myself for a month,  and it would be OK. I was wrong. I think Godde took particular pleasure in some of my favorite people writing about the importance of self-care last week.

First up was Jen Louden at The Savor and Serve Cafe. April 13th’s dollop was from Karly Randolph-Pitman:

Are you proud of your self-care? Or do you try to hide it?

Women can be excellent stoics. We can feel bad asking for help. We may want to appear “normal,” lest others think we are too high maintenance.

Think of the word “needy:” it implies fragility. Something to avoid. To hide.

When we drive ourselves hard, we suffer. When we neglect our basic needs for healthy food, sleep, alone time, and exercise, we suffer. We suffer because we’re ungrounded, and then we suffer again when we beat ourselves up for feeling funky and inside out.


Then my good friend Alexia Petrakos wrote this in her Customer Love post:

You are your greatest asset. And there’s only one of you. Unless, of course, you’ve managed to clone yourself. In which case, contact me now because we need to talk.

And since there’s only one of you, you need to take care of you.

This means eating right, exercising, showering (!), spending time with your family, reading, goofing off, vegging in front of the TV, going to parks, movies, museums, art galleries, taking art lessons or karate lessons, going for coffee with your friends.

This means filling your own well before you fill others. The Permission Fairies say it’s OK.

If you’re spent, you can’t give your best

Love yourself, be kind to yourself, before you love on your customers. They can tell when you’re fully alive and when you’re half-dead.

DOUBLE OUCH. You see in February I wrote a post for Customer Love called: If You Want to Love Your Customers, Love YOU First. Um…yeah…I wrote about this topic two months ago. I’m really bad about taking my own advice.

It hasn’t helped this is Lent on top of it. Lent is a time of self-discipline and self-denial. My Lenten discipline lasted three weeks this year before I got sick and hasn’t happened since. So I don’t feel like self care should be a big thing right now anyway. This time of the year is about self-denial, not self-care. Of course my self-denial led to getting sick, not working, and not being able to follow through on my Lenten discipline. Didn’t that work out well?

I was also reminded a couple of weeks ago how hard self-care can be for women when Katie left this comment on Battling Depression and Sloth: Routine and Ritual:

Thank you. It’s so hard for me to separate self-care and indulgence, but I think you’re right about routine… Indulgence happens when you deprive yourself of the things that nourish you for too long.

I think it is a doubly hard message for Christian women:

Give it until the very end, until you have nothing left. And then your reward will come.

How readily women hear that message! How easily we believe these words. Give all. Don’t question. Don’t be angry. Don’t doubt that your reward will be on some distant horizon….

The parable of the Good Samaritan came to my mind, but with a new lesson, one particularly for women.

…a Samaritan, as she journeyed, came to where he was, and when she saw him, she had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring oil and wine, then she set him on her own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day she took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay when I come back.” (from Luke 10:33-35 KJV)

She left. She left! The woman tended to his wounds, brought him to a safe place, took care of him, and paid his way. And then she left.

It sounds almost sinful when we replace the “he” with “she.” You mean she didn’t stay long enough to be sure that he had a job or a home? What woman would leave so quickly? Yet the parable tells us that the woman had compassion when she saw the the man. The lesson is that she also had compassion for herself. She knew her limits.

–“The Good Samaritan Woman” by Peggy Weaver in The Wisdom of Daughters

(A very big thank you to J. K. Gayle for pointing me toward this fabulous book.)

I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this. I know I need to take care better care of myself. But it’s something that does not come natural to me. And I know a lot of that is due to the religion I grew up with. Like Peggy pointed out I grew up hearing women being told our job was to love, serve, and give and give and give. That’s what Jesus did, and that’s what we should do. It seemed to apply more to women than it did to men. In fact if you read down the comments of the post Katie left her comment on, you’ll see a whole bunch of Christian women who have trouble taking care of themselves and not feeling guilty about it. It’s both cultural and religious.

That gets me thinking may be women need to do something other than self-denial for Lent. We do self-denial all year. May be our Lenten discipline is taking care of ourselves and not feeling guilty about it. Think on that: Six weeks of giving yourself permission to take care of yourself and (gasp!) may be even self-indulge without feeling guilty for your Lenten discipline. And for most women–not allowing ourselves to feel guilty would be a discipline.

What if next year’s Lenten discipline was adding what you need to your life instead of more self-denial. What if it was more resting and less going. More feeding yourself and less being everyone’s maid.

How would your relationship with Godde change if you took 40 days to love yourself before you loved your neighbor (or your family)? After all that is the second greatest command: Love your neighbor AS you love yourself. Would you have any neighbors if you loved them like you loved you? What if women took on the second greatest commandment as our Lenten discipline next year? What would our relationship with Godde look like at the end? What would our world look like at the end?

A Post from Women Who Didn't Sit Down and Shut Up

Dear Shawna’s people,

photo © 2010 Courtney Carmody | more info (via: Wylio)
I’m sure you’ve noticed that after all the flurry of giveaways in anticipation of my eminent launch, that Shawna has gotten very quiet. Too quiet. There is a reason for this: she has been sick. Two different kinds of yuck have laid her low the past couple of weeks. She recovered from one only to get sick from a totally different source. She hasn’t been doing much of anything other than lying on the couch watching TV shows that something called a TiVo recorded for her. She’s also done a lot of napping and cuddling with her cat.

And the poor thing has the guilts. You see the original plan was to have me launched back in January. But that didn’t happen. Then her February deadline flew past. And now the March one has come and gone. Now Shawna’s looking at that April 19 launch date while hacking up a lung and knows she can’t make it. She feels guilty, guilty, guilty. Because this is the fourth time she’s given you a date she’s not going to follow up on. Plus she did all of that fun stuff in March to get you ready for my appearance, and now: sick. No brain power to write. No finished me. And the guilts aren’t helping.

So I, Women Who Didn’t Sit Down and Shut Up, decided to take matters into my own hands, and tell you I’ll be ready for you on May 1. This makes me happy because it means that I get to be launched with a bunch of other cool products over at the Customer Love site. We’re having another challenge this month, and I love that I’m getting to take part in it. Now Shawna can sit back this weekend, do some healing, and not have the guilts.

Oh and you Customer Love people that Shawna loves so much, my maker could use a little help in the accountability department. I love her to pieces, but the woman can make procrastination a fine art. She needs a little tough love to get her writing done. Just throwing it out there to you.

Shawna’s people: please send Shawna some healing love and prayers to get over the “crud” she has (that’s what she calls it: The Crud). Also let the control freak know she can’t control getting sick and not getting her work done. Then when she’s all well and better, hold her accountable for getting me done! (Please remind the control freak what a shitty first draft is.)

I am ready to go! I love bouncing around in Shawna’s head, but I know there are so many women out there who need me, and I want to help you! I want to show you that Godde never intended for women to be second-class citizens, wholly subsuming their lives to men. I have powerful, loving things to say to you that I hope will help you, heal you, and empower you to be the woman Godde created you to be. So when Shawna gets back to work, make sure she’s working on me! Because I really, really need to be out in the world, in your hands.

I’m noticing stirring coming from her general direction. Shawna may be coming of out her Nightquil-Mucinex-cough drop induced haze. I’m going to hit send and get this posted before she becomes lucid and finds out what I’m doing.

All my love,

Women Who Didn’t Sit Down and Shut Up

Holiday Blog Hiatus

I have decided between getting my novel finished, getting The Book Proposal all nice and shiny to send to agents, and the holidays with all the traveling we’ll be doing, that I’m going to go on a blog hiatus the rest of the year. Don’t worry: I’ll be back in January to continue to tell you that women are made in Godde’s image, that Godde did not create you to be second-class citizens, and that Godde has called you to wonderful things in all of life: family, work, and (gasp) even leadership positions in the church.

Until then there are plenty of posts in the tabs above and the sidebar to the right to keep you occupied, if you have a little time during your hectic holiday schedule. I’m also still doing spiritual direction through the holidays (because let’s face it: sometimes you just need help to get through the holidays no matter how much you love them or love your family). If you want to make an appointment, please email me. REMEMBER: I am offering a free 30 minute session through November. If you prefer to schedule an appointment via Twitter, send me a DM, so it comes to my inbox. I am also cutting back how much time I spend on social media sites through the end of the year, and I don’t want to miss you.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season:

  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Happy Hanukkah!
  • Merry Christmas!
  • Happy New Year!

I will see you in 2011!

Happy Halloween!

Here are the pics from the annual Halloween party!

I went as ghost with a nametag that said "The Evil Clown Did It"

The Evil Clown making balloon animals


Costume contest

Victoria and I

This unintentional blog hiatus

Has been brought to you by Shawna feeling lousy. Shawna is sorry for not blogging this week, but believe me when I tell you it was not her idea (it turns out brain chemistry is a really funny thing when you go off the birth control pill then one of your antidepressants is the wrong dose). She is on the mend now and plans to be blogging next week (and putting in a call to her shrink to get back on the right dosage of the anti-depressant).

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Shawna’s Blog