My Book and My Blogs

Launch: A Guide to Adulting (Messy Marvelous Guides)

As the word "adulting" became more popular, the skills needed to get there became more and more elusive. Having worked with hundreds of emerging adults in their therapy practices, Drs. Rhea Merck and Amy Montanez began to see the need to offer practical life skills for this generation of humans. Were you well-trained in elite soccer, competitive piano, test-taking skills, and how to write an entrance essay? Wonderful. Are the skills necessary to live independently and successfully woefully missing? As the authors of an already popular life-skills blog,, these two well-respected mental-health professionals have now written a book to inspire readers to reflect on areas of adult life most necessary for success and happiness. Some of the topics and questions explored are: How comfortable are you asking for help?

Do you have the necessary grit to hang in there when adult life doesn't go as you planned? How well do you meet people and participate in community? These are just three of the eleven basic skills covered in this book. At the end of each skill are questions and resources designed to encourage self-reflection, journaling, and conversation. The book has been carefully designed so that any reader can use it alone as a resource for self-improvement, or use it in a group to foster discussion. Launching into the adult world is difficult. The phrase "failure to launch" is a real thing. This book will help you hone the skills you need to thrive and to feel competent in the real world. Get to know yourself better and you'll be well on your way to successful adulting.

Moment to Moment: The Transformative Power of Everyday Life

My first, and at this time, only book, Moment to Moment: The Transformative Power of Everyday Life, was released Fall of 2013 by Morehouse Publishing. This book is about the power of everyday life to transform us, and is ideal both for individual use or small group study. In 2013, it was awarded Spirituality and Health’s Top 100 Books of the Year. It is available from Amazon and Cokesbury. I also keep a few copies in the office if you are close enough to stop by or want one autographed and shipped to you.

Messy Marvelous

With my friend and colleague, Rhea Merck, Ph.D., I write a blog called messymarvelous. This is a skill-based blog designed to help make your messy life more marvelous.  We try to share some of the lessons life has taught us along the way, and we also try to offer some professional help to you, for free.  You can subscribe by clicking here.

My 5 most popular blogs have been:

Practice Your I-Am-s
Be The Light
Stop Chasing Happiness—Choose Joy
Crack The Door
When Necessary, Reinvent Yourself

laptop plants

Blogging & Publications

Before messymarvelous, I was blogging here. It’s been a few years, but you might find some of these helpful… maybe just plain fun. I am hoping to get back to this blog soon!

I have been published in several other online venues, including and the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina’s bi-weekly e-zine.  Award winning entries have included:

  • 2007 Award of Excellence “Spiritual Direction Journey.” Crosswalk, Epiphany, 2006.
  • 2008 Award of Merit “Anything but the Kitchen Sink.” Devotional/Inspirational
  • 2008 Honorable Mention “Love with Wild Abandon.” Devotional/Inspirational
  • 2009 Award of Excellence “Election Panic.” Editorial/Commentary
  • 2010 Award of Excellence “Failing Lent.” Devotional/Inspirational
  • 2010 Honorable Mention “Evangelism.” Devotional/Inspirational
  • 2013 Top 100 Books by Spirituality and Health