The Top Page

December 26, 2011

By:  Staci Stallings

My son is amazing.  He really is.  Even through all of the dyslexia stuff, he had a way of being able to express what was going on with him.  Like that first night I knew it was dyslexia…

As I lay there, putting him to sleep, I asked, “So reading is kind of hard, huh?”

He said, “Yeah.”

I said, “So can the other kids read better than you?”

“Yeah, they brag a lot.”


“They say, ‘I can read this. I can read that.'”

“And you can’t?”


Long pause.

“So when you read, do you guess a lot?” I asked.

He looked at me very puzzled.  “Mom, that’s all reading is is is a lot of guessing.”


He’s just like that.  He grasps things on a deeper level.  Like yesterday… Now that we have the underlying causes of the dyslexia handled (his vision problems), we are working diligently to catch up with where he should be in terms of grade level work.

One of the things that almost immediately snapped to attention was spelling.  He has gone from way struggling to being able to do 90% of the list on Monday–even if he’s never studied some of the words for spelling. (Yes, it is a miracle!)

Well, we were studying the four hard words:  since (confused with sense), been (that extra e was throwing him), through (those last four letters must be memorized for how they look not how they sound), and Christmas (silent h, and swallowed t).

We started with since and through.  I had him write them four times each the night before.  So we were going to see how well he remembered them.

I said, “Since,” and he started to write it incorrectly.  Then he stopped.

“Wait,” he said and stared off into space as if trying to read something really far away.

“What are you doing?” I asked to see if he could articulate how he was locating how that word looked in his brain.

To which he said, “I’m sorting through all the papers because it’s not on the top one.”

I kind of laughed.  “The top one?”

“Yeah, you know, on the top page in my brain.  Oh. There it is.  S. I. N. C. E.”

Then we did through.  Same thing.  He had to “search through the papers in his brain to find it.”  When he did, he knew how to spell it.

As I drove him to school this morning, we were etching Christmas down on his brain.  We did since, which he spelled automatically, and through which he also spelled automatically.

I said, “So why can you spell those now?”

He smiled, “Because they’re on the top page. I don’t have to go looking for them.”

I told him that my top page is really long, but under that I have file cabinets in my brain that I can go hunt for stuff that’s not on the top page.  He smiled.  “You must have a lot of stuff in there!”

I think we will get to the point that he has vaults of cabinets with stuff in his brain.  The cool thing is, even in 3rd grade he is learning to access it so he can use it.  How wonderful is that?!

Staci’s Author Central page is now live!  Check out all the awesome books…


Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2011

In this most blessed season

May we all remember

God’s Greatest Gift…

The Christ Child

Born in a stable

Come to save the World!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
from Staci Stallings

Cowboy is Now an Amazon BestSeller!

December 21, 2011

I woke up this morning to some pretty incredible news!

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Amazon’s system, so I’ll give you a little crash course.

There are two ways to be a “best seller.”  The first (and easiest) is to be listed high on the Tagged pages.  Cowboy hit #1 on Christian Inspirational, #4 on Kindle ebook and #10 on Christian Romance at the beginning of this month on these pages.

Then there is the official BestSeller list… Well, guess what?!

Cowboy hit the official BestSeller list this morning (Dec. 20)!

#12,515 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#37 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Religious Fiction > Romance


Thank you SOOOOO much to my awesome, wonderful readers and friends!  Thanks for reading and encouraging and supporting all these years! Thanks for asking about my books and giving me great feedback!


And if you want to come over and do the Snoopy Dance with me… COME ON!!!!

Have a blessed, safe, warm, wonderful Christmas!


Oh, and if you’re looking for great ebooks for presents for others or to fill your own Kindle or Nook, visit my new site through Grace & Faith:

Have a blessed day!

The Magic of Christmas

December 19, 2011

By: Staci Stallings

Around my house, Christmastime is a magical time. I don’t know why that is exactly, but I know it to be true. For one thing, I have three children who each in their own way absorb the season. One records every last second with her camera.  One gets into holiday baking and cooking. And my little guy was simply made for Christmas.

He loves the lights and the songs and the tree and the stockings.  He wears a Santa hat with reindeer ears for three weeks, and he can’t WAIT to put up the decorations. You can see the joy and anticipation in his eyes any time Christmas-anything happens.  It could be a television show or visiting Santa at the mall.  Even Christmas Mass and going to the Grandmas’ houses is just… special for him.

And I think when something is in-your-heart-and-soul special, special things tend to happen to you.  Magical things that maybe everyone else doesn’t even get to see.

So this story, which really, truly happened, shouldn’t be that big of a surprise to anyone who understands magical, special things.  To those who no longer hear the bell ring on Christmas morning, every word of this is true, and I hope in the re-telling of it, you might hear a single jingle or a little jangle and remember that Christmas is magical because of the hope and joy our Savior brought us on that morning so long ago.

Two years ago we had guests come to our house in mid-Spring.  I remember seeing the first one because it nearly scared me to death when it sauntered right by my office window in our backyard.  The second came shortly thereafter.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a real-life deer up close, but I will tell you–they are truly beautiful animals.  These two deer hung out in our back yard, nibbling on the trees and enjoying the peacefulness of our yard.  Then one day, I glanced out in our garden and was amazed to realize that one of the deer had just had a baby fawn.  I called the kids and we watched out our window as it took its first few steps.

In a week we had two fawns and two mama deer in our 2 acres in the back.  They were quite the sight all summer!  Sometimes they would leave, and we would wonder about them.  Then after a few weeks, they would be back.  Then in September, they left and I didn’t figure we would ever see them again.

Then… as miracles would have it… the day before Christmas Eve two of the deer showed up in our backyard.  Again, I was working, and again, that deer went sauntering right past my window.  I called the kids and the oldest grabbed her camera.  We took several pictures of them, amazed that they had returned.

I’m not sure who thought of it, but someone said they wondered if Santa was wondering where his reindeer had gone.  The two deer were quickly given the names Dancer and Blitzen.

My husband was working at the shop, which is just across the street from our house.  At lunchtime we were in the kitchen baking when a call came in on his cell phone.  He said to our 7-year-old son, “I think you’d better take this one.”

The caller ID clearly identified the caller… Santa!

My son got on the phone, his eyes wide as he looked at all of us wondering if it really could be Santa himself.  And it was, in fact, the big guy!  He told my son that he had lost two of his reindeer and he was really worried about them.  He asked if we had seen them.  My son said that yes, we had seen them.  They were in our backyard!

Santa was very relieved.  He said that it was okay if they just stayed here.  He would get them when he came through on Christmas Eve if that was okay.  Of course, my son readily agreed to that and told Santa we would take very good care of them until he got here.

When we awoke Christmas Eve morning (Santa always comes to our house early so we can go to the Grandmas’ for Christmas), there were indeed presents under our tree.  And when we went into the backyard, both deer were in fact gone.  We have not seen them since.

I’m sure glad magical things happen at my house.  It makes me remember that sometimes you have to believe before you can see.


Discovering Up: How My Dog Taught Me A Lesson About God

December 15, 2011

by:  Guest blogger, Karen Baney

A few weeks ago, my German shepherd chow mutt mix, Max, discovered up in a very traumatizing experience for him.  It was another lovely sunny cool (low 70’s) day in the Phoenix area.  Hot air balloonists were enjoying the perfect weather.

Late in the afternoon, we began to hear this rather loud sound, much like what I image a fire-breathing dragon might sound like, coming from what we thought was our neighbor’s yard.  Imagine our surprise when we ran out into our back yard and watched as a hot air balloon tried not to land in our tiny 20 ft. by 60 ft. backyard.

Max and Ginger (our boxer mix) began barking furiously at this strange and frightening thing in the sky.  While we were side tracked with taking pictures of the hot air balloon, Max, our scaredy-cat dog, jumped our 8 foot brick wall fence—yet again.

When we got him back two days later, he was much mellower, but he constantly looked up—something he had never done before.  He would look at the ceiling fan, the ceiling, the dining room light, and the sky.  He discovered up as a result of his hot air balloon experience.

After a long week at work and dealing with my recurring back troubles, I have been rather discouraged.  Then, as I was reading my morning Bible study, the author asked the question:  Can you think of a time in your life where you experienced a trial?  Was your faith proved true?

Immediately I remembered Spring 2010.  I started having trouble with my back again.  Over the course of several months, I went through many different forms of treatment which finally led to a diagnosis.  The source of my recurring back pain came from a ruptured disc.

As I was going through this tough time, I came across Isaiah 41:10, which has become my theme verse:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

I learned through those difficult times that God was my strength and that he would not leave me.  However, over the course of a year, the lesson faded.  Until this morning.

I rediscovered up when confronted with the question of whether my faith proved true.  My faith had been tested and proved last year.  But what about now?  The past few days I’ve been discouraged and dismayed.  I’m tired of dealing with back pain and I was beginning to feel sorry for myself.  When I was reminded of a time my faith proved true, I was also reminded to look up, like Max does, and seek my source of strength again—God Almighty.


Join Karen and 9 other Christian authors as they  celebrate the release of her latest novel, Nickels.





The Most Important God Lesson I’ve Learned Is…

December 13, 2011

Hi, everyone!


In honor of the WoMen’s Literacy Cafe Launch of the book Nickels, by my friend Karen Baney, (that starts TODAY!) we’re going to do something a little different.

These awesome Christian authors have their ebooks available for 99Cents through the WLC.  So I asked them what the most important lesson God has ever taught them has been.  As you read their answers, consider how you would answer the question and then feel free to post your answer in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!

And now from our guests

The most important God lesson I’ve learned is…

Karen Baney (Nickels)

The most important thing I’ve learned in my walk with God is something that I have to keep re-learning.  So, I’m not sure if it counts to have “learned” it.  But here it is:  Stop worrying, God is in control.  So many times when I’m anxious and stressed, God gently nudges me with Matt 6:25-34 and reminds me that he will take care of everything I need.  All I need to do is take it one step at a time.

Naty Matos (Growth Lessons)

I think that one of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far is that everything belongs to God. It was both humbling and freeing to know that I’m just a steward and not an owner. It changed my perspective of my purpose in life and allowed me to focus on what I’m here to do, build the kingdom of God.

John Hileman (Messages)

I saw a bumper sticker that sums it up, it said, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Knowing who God truly is, and not who I want Him to be, has impacted every aspect of my life. When I seek to know Him as He is revealed in His Word, it transforms my thinking. When I imagine a god for myself-out of my own bizarre thinking-my life is always in a state of constant upheaval and misery. 

Sarah Witenhafer (Tamed)

While writing Tamed, I learned a life-changing lesson: God really, truly, deeply, loves me. He’ll catch me before I fall headlong. He’ll shield me when I’m weak, pursue me when I run and never, ever let me go.

Jonathon J. Dillon (A God Who Speaks)

I’ve learned that God is truly good and He wants the best for me. I’ve also learned He speaks and Hearing from Him can have a profound effect on the course of your life.

Matt Patterson (My Emily)

God is in control. Plain and simple – He is in control.

Linda Yezak (Give the Lady a Ride)

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my walk with God is that when I think he’s abandoned me, he’s there. Sometimes I see him only through hindsight, after the crisis has passed, but each time I look back and see his hand, I learn trust him more through the next crisis.

Shawn Lamb (The Hugenot Sword)

The most important lesson God ever taught me is how my relationship to my husband mirrors Christ’s relationship to the Church.  When one understands God’s view of marriage and why He ordained the institution, one’s whole perspective changes. It’s not a matter being forced to submit, but the more important role is a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. So how can I not want the best for someone who must fill Christ’s shoes?  My call to submission is small compared to my husband’s duty, but doing it, eases his burden.

Precarious Yates (The Elite of the Weak)

The number one lesson I learned in walking with the Lord is to LEAN. I’m not talking a crutch here, more like a stretcher (or a couch lovingly embroidered for us–Song of Solomon 3:10). Leaning, to me, means to be totally reliant upon Him, not wanting to go forward unless He goes with me (like Moses in Ex. 33). Who is this coming up out of the wilderness LEANING on her Beloved? (Song 8:5)

Staci Stallings (Cowboy)

That ALL things work to the good of those who believe in Christ.  I can’t account for it, but I have seen that even in those times I’ve considered to be failures, God both brought me through and showed me His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love and He crafted answers and insights around the situation that I never could have gained otherwise.  So now when I have a particularly vexing problem or situation, I can breathe and say, “Okay, Holy Spirit, what are You trying to teach me with this?  Show me what You want me to learn.”  Instead of how I used to handle such issues… “GOD! This isn’t fair! Why are You doing this to me?!”  He’s not doing it to me.  Life sometimes does things to me, but God only wants my best and He can make lemonade out of the worst of life’s lemons… even those that are rotten.  Learning that, understanding that, and using that understanding has made an incredible difference in my life and in my walk with God.

Nickels Launch…

December 12, 2011

By:  Staci Stallings

It’s a special event!

Beginning tomorrow (Tues. Dec. 13), Staci and 9 of her friends will be celebrating the launch of Karen Baney’s newest release… NICKELS!

The kick-off starts with something special from Staci tomorrow morning, so pay attention to the Spirit Light Books Blog so you don’t miss out!

Thanks to all of my loyal readers!  You guys are awesome!