"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Friday, May 25, 2012

Short and Sweet Friday: A Shade Of A Difference

We are in the process of choosing siding color for our house. It's not as easy as it sounds. Since my husband is a contractor, he has the privilege of obtaining boxes of different color siding to nail onto the house and "try out." Our supplier is being very patient with me and my indecision. Finally, I narrowed it down to two very similar colors. Only a shade of difference. But a shade makes a big difference, doesn't it?

I can't help but think of words. How often do writers, myself included, agonize over that perfect word? You know, the one that will make that sentence shine, that paragraph shimmer. There might be only a shade of difference, but oh what a difference a shade makes.

As I continue contemplating my siding, I'll remember that I need to take in the big picture. One shade of difference won't make my house look ugly. One choice of the wrong word won't completely ruin your story. But it will make a difference.

Can you relate to these comparisons in any way? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Simple Living

This weekend was filled with simple pleasure for me. The days were slow, and at times lazy, but I delighted in them. I delighted in just being.

I delighted in:

~watching my sons play baseball. It fills me with joy to cheer them on, to rejoice in an especially good catch, to encourage them after a strikeout. To simply love on them.

~going for a long run on a beautiful Saturday morning. The scent of lilacs and warmth wound around me. The birds sang praises to God, and I never felt more a part of His awesome creation as I ran with joy, and felt His glory.

~yard work. I’m not big on gardening or mowing the lawn. I’d much rather lay on a hammock reading a good book than dirtying my fingernails. But there’s something simply satisfying about a freshly-clipped green lawn, about vibrant flowers blooming in a new pot. It’s all worth it at the end of the day.

~worshiping with other believers. Wow. There’s something about being with God’s children that always blows me away. We all need quiet times alone with God, but spending time with other Christians on Resurrection Day is how it’s meant to be. I feel God’s Spirit powerfully.

~quilting. Working my fingers with needle and thread has always brought me simple pleasure. The repetitiveness is therapeutic. That I’m creating something from nothing gives me joy. God made us to be creative and it fills a part of me that nothing else can. I feel the same way when I craft a story.

What simple things did you take pleasure in this weekend?

photo credit: flickr

Friday, May 18, 2012

Short and Sweet Friday: Field Trip Day!

Today I'm going on my first ever field trip as an adult chaperon with my oldest son. Their first grade class is taking a trip to our local Audubon Society.

Do you remember how special field trips were when you were a kid? The morning excitement?The special brown bag lunch you ate as you picnicked with your friends?

Tell me--what is your favorite field trip memory?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Paper Airplanes

The stomach bug is running rampant through my house these past few days and everyone is home sick today. As we all recover, I hope you enjoy this repost!

Last month, as I prepared to enter ACFW's Genesis contest, I printed out the first chapter of my new work-in-progress in order to edit directly off the paper, as opposed to the computer. After the rewriting was complete and safely stored in my laptop, I placed the chapter by our woodstove to use as kindling. I didn't give it a second thought...until hubby and the boys decided to put their efforts into perfecting a paper airplane. They didn't need to look far to find the scraps of paper. That's right. Mommy's manuscript.

Page one was a failure. It barely flew across the room. Page two didn't fly straight. Page three, a bent nose after its first run.

I think they achieved perfection around page seven. Page seven sailed effortlessly through the kitchen, into the hallway, and across the boys' room until it was stopped by a wall. Cheers erupted from the men in my house. I couldn't help but laugh.

Well, my husband refused to let a small thing like a wall stand in the way of page seven's potential. Out the back door he went. I didn't think much of it until I saw his intention: attempting to launch page seven in flight over our roof. Granted, we have a small roof, but it was a windy day. And that was my page seven! What if the wind zipped it down the street where a passerby chanced a glance at my vulnerable words--dismembered from the rest of its body?How can anyone be a true judge of a page's value with six pages missing?

I was too late. Prompted by my two laughing, prodding boys, my husband threw page seven up over the roof. It didn't come back. Around he went to the front of the house, boys still whooping and cheering. No airplane in sight.

Page seven was gone.

I didn't make a big deal of it. It was just one page of saved writing, after all. Still, my precious, vulnerable words being sent to the wind gave me a slight feeling of unease. Like all my children weren't safely tucked in for the night.

Why do I feel so vulnerable over a couple hundred words? Why do I feel a need to protect them? Simple. I don't want to fail. I don't want someone--anyone--to judge them unworthy. Yet...what can I gain without the risk?


And so I continue to write. I continue to keep on. I will remain faithful to what God has put on my heart. And if all it is ever good for is paper airplanes, so be it. In this case, it gave my family laughter. Maybe that was God's intention all along.

It wasn't until two weeks after the paper airplane incident that I found page seven fluttering in the breeze beside the front door of my house. I don't know how it survived all the wind, or where it found shelter. But here it was, never far to begin with.

How about you? Can you relate to my feeling of vulnerability--in any way? What are some things you do to force yourself out of your comfort zone?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Short and Sweet Friday: JESUS THE SAVIOR

This week, as I meditated on the personal name of Jesus with Ann Spangler, I simply relaxed in His presence. In the fact that He is my Savior, my Rescuer, my Deliverer.

Ann Spangler writes, “If you have ever pictured God as a distant, wrathful Being, you will have to reconsider that portrait in light of Jesus Christ, who is God bending toward us, God becoming one of us, God reaching out in mercy, God humbling himself, God nailed to a cross, God rising up from the grave to show us the way home.”

This week, I pray you relax in this awesome truth and rest in the arms of your Savior.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Social Networking Frustrations

I'd planned another post for today, but as I logged onto my computer this morning after being away for most of the weekend (I especially like to ignore the laptop on Sunday and focus on my family) I realized my Twitter account had been hacked. Again. I'd reset my password once, but apparently that wasn't enough.

I don't often vent my frustrations on this blog, but this really got to me. How many months--years even--have I tried to present myself in a professional light, to build my name as a respectable writer? Now, agents I'm seeking out are receiving spam from me.

It's enough to make me swear off social networking for life. To close all my accounts for fear of more failure. To bury myself in obscurity with a good old notebook and an old fashioned pen. 

And yet, if you know me, you know I can't leave the post here. There has to be something positive here. Thinking....thinking...okay, maybe I have it. :)

I did connect with some other writers through this ordeal, and ALL of them were sympathetic. None of them made me feel badly or stupid for clicking on that hacker link. So, if any of you happen upon this post,

                                  Thank You

Because of you, I am not as discouraged as I could have been. Because of you, I'm going to persevere. Because of you, I'm going to continue trudging through this social networking swamp to pursue my dream.

Have you ever had similar problems/frustrations with social networking?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Short and Sweet Friday: ALPHA AND OMEGA

Alpha and Omega. Most of us probably recognize this name of Jesus as the Beginning and the End. But have we ever really thought about what that means? Yes, Jesus was present at Creation, and will of course be present at the arrival of His new Kingdom. But what about all those places in the middle? Yes, He’s there too!

Every Bible story whispers His name, and whether we realize it or not, every day of our lives is woven—somehow—in the greatest story ever told.

Canadian preacher A.B. Simpson writes:

Jesus, in the story of creation, already planning the new creation; Jesus supreme above the ruins of the fall; Jesus in the ark, the rainbow and the dove; Jesus in the sacrifice on Mount Moriah, the ladder of Jacob, and the story of Joseph; Jesus in the Paschal lamb, the desert manna…. The face of Jesus can be traced like water lines in fine paper back of every page, for He is the Alpha and the Omega: the first and the last of this Holy Book.