Monday, January 30, 2006

Check Your Newstand!

It's official! I have three quotes in the current issue of Life & Style magazine. The article is on p. 46, about Tom & Katie. Crazy...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Meet Kira

My brother posted a few photos of my neice, Kira, on his website. She's a looker!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Life & Style

So a crazy thing happened on my way back from lunch yesterday. A reporter from Life & Style magazine called my cell about an article she was writing. She was looking for an expert's opinion on how a celebrity parent's actions, and lifestyle in general, can affect their kids. For example, if a child has a performance, soccer game, etc, and the parent's presence will distract attention away from the child, what should the parent do? I don't know if the reporter will use anything I say, but it was cool to be called. I had the best publicist in the world for my book and I'm sure he's somehow responsible for this. Thanks, Ben!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Jen's Schedule


October 23-27, 2006
FamilyLife Today radio program



September 2006
Article in Christian Single Magazine

July 18, 2006
1 pm Eastern/11 am Mountain
Interview on "The Abel Hour"
K-Star 1400
Provo, UT

June 23-24, 2006
"Creating a Personal Promotion Plan"
"Working with Your Publisher"
American Christian Writers conference
Grand Rapids, MI

June 3, 2006
Christian CoParenting Seminar
Nashville, TN June 24, 2006

June 2006
Article in Christian Single Magazine
"In a Moment: Don't Miss the Divine Possibilities in Your Days"
p. 32 - 35

May 24, 2006
taping interview with FamilyLife Today
Little Rock, AR

May 10, 2006
6pm Eastern/5pm Central
Interview on KKMS radio
Minneapolis, MN

April 22, 2006
Reality Marketing
Calvin Festival of Faith & Writing
Grand Rapids, MI

January 30, 2006
Restoring the Gift class at Kentwood Community Church
Grand Rapids, MI

January 30, 2006
Cited in Life & Style Magazine

November 4-5, 2005
After Eve Conference
McLean, VA

August 2005
Article in HomeLife Magazine
"What the Brady Bunch Didn't Teach Us"

July 17, 2005
WISN Radio Radio Interview

July 9-12, 2005
International Christian Retail Show Conference
Christian Authors Network launch
Denver, CO

More past events

Monday, January 16, 2006

Embracing Your Divine Moments

I've been contracted to write an article for Christian Single on embracing your divine moments. In the New Testament, there are two words to denote time. Chronos refers to time as a specific moment; it's 6:38pm as I type this. Kairos has to do with the fullness or potential of a moment, those forks in the road of life: making an important decision, choosing a particular path, meeting the love of your life. I've written a couple of articles for this publication. This is second assignment they've given me on a spiritual topic I haven't previously explored. Typically I've found it easier to write what's on my heart, but I've been amazed at how God has used both of these assignments to get me to dig into His word to discover something I hadn't yet realized I needed to know.

I suspect 2006 is going to be a kairos kind of year for me. I'm in the most serious relationship of my life, and am feeling rather confident there's a aisle to walk down in the not-so-distant future. Choosing that reality means not choosing other realities and that's the fork in the road of my life. It's crazy in a way, I mean, I've been praying for my future husband for more than a decade. Good things come to those who wait, and I've waited a LONG time! Tony is an amazing man, and I really can't imagine someone more ideally matched for me. He isn't perfect, and I certainly am far from perfect myself, but together, for us, it works. We have a few things to iron out and a few logistically challenges, but we're both fairly confident that God is directing us the same way. That is an intoxicating feeling.

And yet, there's a bit of fear in there for me, as well. Growing up with multiple divorces, I don't doubt Tony's love for me and his faithfulness to me. I doubt myself! Here I've written this book about my fears and how to overcome them and what struck me this weekend is the hurdle of moving from theory to reality. For a good decade, I've had this theoretical version of my ideal husband, my ideal marriage, my ideal self. Spending time with Tony, I'm overwhelmed with the recognition that I have the potential, the ability, to disappoint him, frustrate him, annoy well as delight him, inspire him, encourage him. The time we spend together is the process of transforming theory into reality: how we interact, how we look at our finances, how we define ourselves individually and as a couple. There's a process I underestimated is making that transition from my ideal relationship to the ideal relationship with Tony. I don't mean to say that Tony is not my ideal husband, I believe he is, and that's just it. Tony isn't competing with some actual mystery man out there, some real guy that I think is a better match. Tony's competing with my ideal man in my mind. I realize that that comparison isn't fair, because Ideal Man is always seen in my best possible perception of him. I want to be vigilant to choose to see the best in Tony, to choose to see the big picture, where we agree, and use that as a starting point for addressing our disagreements. I want to be someone who delights, inspires and encourages him more than I disappoint, frustrate and annoy him. This process of developing our identity as a couple is a humbling one, because it is revealing to me my insecurities, my fears, my selfishness. I don't want my fears and insecurities to keep me from experiencing what I believe to be God's best. This is my moment. I choose love.

Life is Precious

One of the first Christian CDs I owned as a new believer was The Robe, by Wes King. For most my post-college life, my professional career including music promotion in some form of fashion. For five years, I worked at Family Christian Stores, interviewing authors and artists. One of the best concerts I remember featured Wes King, Phil Keaggy and Scott Dente. Wes had written a song about infertility called, "Thought You'd Be Here." It's a bit of a tear jerker.

About a year ago, Wes was diagnosed with lymphoma. It's been a rough road and he isn't totally out of the woods yet. Musicians aren't known to have great medical plans, either, so his illness has been a strain financially as well. The beautiful thing is that many of Wes' friends in the music community have come together to create a tribute album, covering Wes' songs. Proceeds will benefit the family.

I hope you will join me in supporting this amazing musician and man. Even if you don't, please remember Wes and his family in your prayers.

Congrats to Jake & Meagan!

I'm an aunt again! My brother Jake and his wife, Meagan, welcomed their first daughter to the world on Sunday, which also happens to be my birthday. Congrats to you both!

Jake is a designer-extraordinaire based in the Twin Cities. Check out his website to see all the cool things he can do. Be sure to check out his comic strip, too, Step-in It Up, about life as a new stepfather, husband and dad.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tony's the Greatest!

I love flowers! Tony is a great gift giver (meeting my primary love language wonderfully), and this is a beautiful way to kick off my birthday weekend.

Thanks, Tony! See you in a few hours...

Attraction Distraction

For some reason, I'm feeling sentimental these days...thought I'd share a poem from the archives. Most of my poetry is prayer-oriented, and the quest for love has been a common theme. It's encouraging to read this now and see how much love has taken root, not only in my hope, but finally in my heart.

The Attraction Distraction, Revisited

This possibility of love is an intriguing thing
I am enamored by enamor
But am I really willing to allow this potential
Take the place of Your certainty?

You love unconditionally
You love completely
You love indefinitely
You define love
Because You are Love.

Why am I so afraid of what I desire?
I know that in You and through You
I too, have the capacity to love.
But it is so much more comfortable to live
Within the sheltered confines of theoretical,
Than plunge into the uncharted depths of practical.

Why is it that I am cannot expect what You daily give me?
Unconditional love.
Why, after years of receiving Your love,
Can I not believe that someone else would love me as much?
Forgive me for my doubt, but won’t there always be someone

This attraction is a distraction I do not want.
With You alone, I know the rules. I know my destiny.
With this desire for human love,
I am at risk.
My heart is in jeopardy of breaking.
I have learned not to give my heart to one who does not ask for it,
Yet I am caught between friends and more.
I understand friendship.
I am comfortably at ease.
It is the and more that confuses me,
Fills me with doubt, apprehension and still…desire.
I wonder what I’m missing and how I, too, can discover it.
Is there a whole other part of life I am lacking?

What has happened to me that I think You are not enough?
Who put this desire for human companionship in me?
And why doesn’t it correlate with someone who wants me now?
Where have I strayed that the idols of this world beckon me?
Am I now weak that I want this?

Is there really someone out there for me?
You have blessed me abundantly, is it greedy to desire more?
What will he look like?
How will I recognize him?
I pray for him today and everyday, until I know
That he is he, or that You want me solely for Your own.
I pray that he is seeking You, much more so than me,
And even perhaps in his pursuit of You, he has overlooked me.
I ask that he is a man of integrity and upright character.
A man who knows his future, because he trusts You for it.
I desire a partner in life, with shared vision and hopes.
Someone with whom I can serve You better together than alone.
I hope for a man of commitment: to his word, to his creed and to me.
I need to be assured of his love for me.
I don’t want to repeat my parent’s past.
Let Your love bind us together, through our insecurities and disappointments.
I want so much to demonstrate a human picture of Your love.

Thank You for my future
And all the things I do not yet see.
Thank You for loving me through my fear.
Thank You for embracing me with the hugs of friends.
Thank You for healing me with a desire to give what I have been given.
Thank You for this hope renewed.

Love and marriage are good things.
You call them so.
But this in-between is a distraction I do not want.
True love is a reflection of Your character.
Let me pursue that.

Help to be patient as I wait for the man You planned for me.
Let me be kind as I winnow out the ones You didn’t.
I don’t want to show envy to those who have found a life long friend.
You have given me so much, I pray that you keep me humble, so I do not boast.
I know it is not my own doing, but Your generous grace, so I am not proud.
When jealous thoughts overtake me, I pray that You prevent me from being rude.
When my desires overwhelm me, I ask that You keep me from actions that are self-seeking.
Grant me a gentle spirit, I do not want to be easily angered.
Let me delight in the truth of Your love around me.
And most of all, not matter what I see, no matter what I feel
No matter what I think or experience,
Give me overflowing confidence in the love You have for me.
Give me an unending supply of commitment to always protect Your integrity,
always hope in You as my true Groom,
and always persevere to become your true image bearer.
Let this be my one and only desire.

Jen Abbas


One of the ways I researched for for my book, Generation Ex, was through collecting surveys from adult children of divorce. I still get a few on occasion, and now that I'm gearing up for book two, I wanted to add a direct link to the survey. You can also find it on the sidebar. If you are a child of divorce, or know someone who is, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts. Thanks!

Friday, January 06, 2006


I discovered a pleasant surprise today. Sometime last year, I wrote an article comparing my experience as a child of divorce with recovering from my head injury. I say sometime, because honestly, I don't remember writing it!

Apparently, I submitted it to Relevant magazine, and the fine folks there decided to post it as part of the launch for their new sister magazine, Radiant. How cool is that?

The timing is especially cool. I've been wondering if it's time to start writing again, and in the span of ten days, with no initiative by me, I was asked to write another article for Christian Single (more on that later), to present at a writers conference, and this article was posted. Perhaps I'm getting a divine kick in the fanny?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Child of Divorce - Child of God

Every once in a while, I run a search in the blogosphere to see if anyone's reading (or at least mentioning Generation Ex). Especially now that I'm gearing up for the second edition, I'm looking for new information or resources to add both to my book and my pitifully neglected website.

Yesterday's search brought up a new blog, child of divorce-child of God. This woman is exactly the person I had in mind when I wrote Generation Ex. Good go check her out!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy 2006!

I think it's gonna be a great year!

Merry Christmas!

It's a little belated, but Merry Christmas!

I've had a busy vacation. I spent Christmas in sunny Arizona with my mom and gramma. With my family several states away, quality certainly wins out over quantity. It was fun to share some exciting news in person and enjoy leisurely time with my family. It wasn't a white Christmas, but it was certainly bright!