Who Really Said It?

did God really sayI’ve been so focused on working out the bugs in my manuscript that I’ve hardly come up for air.

I hate what I become when that happens. I become boring and a bit self-absorbed.

I can make it so that it isn’t my fault. “But God’s directing me to write!” or another one of my favorites is “If I’m not productive, God will take these ideas away and have someone else write them.”

I’m disgusted with myself when that happens. And I have the audacity to bring God into it!

How do you shake off the grip of egotistical living? What brings you to your senses and pulls you up for air?

Time to Apply

typewriter I’m still floating in the clouds over the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers conference I attended last week. There were so many gifted writers there … and their primary goal was to help writers like me.

I’ve been replaying some of the conversations I had with other conferees as well as faculty members in my mind. They all offered pretty good feedback and advice.

Then my thinking became polluted with pride.

Why did he think I needed that type of critiquing, anyway? Why didn’t she like my writing?

My goal all along was to go to the conference to get help from those in the literary field, yet for a moment I tried to defend myself and my work.

I’m so pathetic … completely pathetic.

After fighting my way through my mental arrogance, I hunkered down with my laptop and started applying some of the suggestions to what I had already written. I knew this process would include deleting and rewriting large sections of text. Many hours would be needed to apply what I had learned.

After my first marathon writing session and I finally closed the top of my laptop. I was blown away. It looks better … my writing is stronger!

Proverbs 15:31-32 says, “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”

I heard words of truth, but had to apply them to gain the benefit. I pray I will continue to be open to those around me who offer wisdom. How about you?

every sinner has a future and every saint has a past

As we all discuss the plight of Lance Armstrong and the error of his ways, take a moment to read this article. Brokenness is everywhere and we need to remember that we carry our own share of it in the lives we lead.

http://thedailylove.com/why-we-should-forgive-lance-armstrong-right-now/

Panic Set In

Panic set in this morning; when my alarm went off it was still dark outside.

Summer is leaving!

My first reaction was to try and make it stay. There were so many experiences I still wanted to have during the Summer of 2012. There were still places I wanted to visit and people I wanted to meet.

But I knew I had no power over my days. David reminds us:

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.” Psalms 39:4-6 NLT

I might not have lots of time, but I want to make sure I use every moment as wisely as I can. How about you? Don’t let panic cripple you to the point of missing out on the sunshine and warmth of summer that is still here. Enjoy … make new friends … see new places. Do these things while you still have the time.

… The Rest of the Story

I posted not too long ago about some fears that I had regarding returning to my childhood hometown to catch up with friends and family I haven’t seen for many years. Would they welcome me with open arms or would they hold me at arm’s length because I hadn’t measured up to their expectations?

The answer is yes.

But I must say that God blessed me abundantly though it all. I experienced the warm and all-encompassing love that only could come from a person who has known someone for years. It was wonderful to chat over pizza and share my heart with them. What a blessing it was to offer up my brokenness—not try to hide it or justify it—and have them see it as a part of my past, not as what defined me; and then love me unconditionally. It was also incredible to get together with my best friend from years long past and pick up on our relationship just as if we still lived down the street from each other. The only noticeable changes were our waistlines and the ages of our children. I even had the opportunity to share my brokenness to the next generation—as an example of God’s grace. Additionally, I was blessed with the gift of spending time with a grade school classmate who had dealt with her own brokenness … and we shared with each other the miracles that can only come from an all-powerful Heavenly Father. I get chills thinking about sitting with her at her kitchen table, holding hands and praying together. To top off my time away, I had the greatest opportunity to connect with new friends who told me I was a blessing to them. What a gift!

And I concerned myself with not being enough?!

I could tell you about the moments of awkwardness when I was with other folks who did, in fact, continue to see me as someone who will never meet up to their expectations. It happened; it was real. But it’s not worth mentioning. I can say, without a shadow of doubt, that the blessings I received far outweigh any snubs or awkwardness I dealt with.

It’s always scary to face down fears … but I didn’t do it alone. Thank all of you who prayed for me in my struggle. I felt God’s protection was all around me.

I can’t wait for my next trip back!

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

I have never re-blogged another person’s words, but Dannah Gresh’s words need to be shared.

God bless you, Dannah, and all other women who boldly stand on keeping their mind on things that are: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

Uncle! (for now)

I need to be honest with you … I’ve been working on a subject for this blog for a couple of weeks, but the topic refuses to cooperate. This is how it’s gone over and over: I think the ideas are coming together just right. I’m feelin’ the flow … feelin’ the love …

then WHAM! Everything just stops.

I regroup, step back and take a breath. I let it sit for a few hours and return to the computer, hoping that a fresh perspective will offer a better view of what I just wrote.

But I get nothin’.

I talk with my husband and my friends, hoping that something in our conversation will align all the stars in what I’m keystroking. I see a glimmer of an idea; maybe THIS will be the glue that pulls it all together. I start writing again … again, feeling the flow, love, yada-yada …

Then WHAM again. Nothin’. I feel like I’m Charlie Brown and Lucy is holding my football with the promise, “Really, Charlie Brown, I won’t pull the ball out from under you THIS time …”

I have 50,000 words sitting on my bookshelf, that looked good in my mind. After writes and re-writes, I’ve decided to leave it there. It’s not mish-mash per se, but it isn’t what was living in my brain, either.

So, to all of those half-written blog posts that are out there in eternal draft format and to all those unpublished manuscript chapters sitting in Staples boxes not getting published … I scream Uncle! (for now)

I cannot force creativity; I can only accept its leading. I cannot pull insightful phrases out of the air when I all I want to do is giggle at the range of colors I see in the font palate.

I enjoy reading. I enjoy writing. I enjoy reading what I write. But if it isn’t flowing, stressing over it will not make it come any faster. I need to give myself permission to step back, re-charge my batteries, and allow the process to take me over again.

I have no doubt that God’s blessed me with experiences to share with others. It isn’t that I’m all that special, but my Lord in Heaven certainly is. But God even told Elijah in 1 Kings 17 to beat-feet it from where he was, hide east of the Jordan, and allow the ravens to feed him for a season.

I’m excited about the prospect of writing again soon, but I’m more excited about doing it in the timely manner that God has set for me. When I am in obedience with my time, I don’t experience whams … and I’m ready to experience a non-wham existence for a while.

Please know this is not good-bye . I’ll still be out here … maybe as much as I ever was. But I need to make sure my motives are pure. Thanks for your support … and prayers if you’re so inclined.

(BTW) I am open to revisiting the subject matter that’s stymied me of late … but I’ll need to check my motives first.