Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Guest Post!

I'm welcoming my friend Becky G. to the blog today to share some of her wonderful writing. You won't believe that she only recently began blogging. Her poetry is amazing, and I have no doubt I'll be seeing her stuff in "hardcover" one of these days. Enjoy your Friday visit with Becky G., dear readers!

 Trying to Keep my FOCUS
Fixed eyes and heart
On the One and Only
Christ Jesus my friend and savior in
Unwavering faithfulness and
Steadfast love

Dawn of a New Day
The glowing dawn sky resembled the start of a bright new day
Full of renewed faith that God has a wondrous plan to reveal along the way.
Whether it be clouds, rain, storm, or a brilliantly shining and rising sun,
A tiny seed of anticipation is planted deep inside the meditative and contented one.
Though yesterday was speckled with tears from hurtful disappointment and a lost love,
The ever compassionate Lord showers his goodness and blessings from the heavens above.
So begins a brand new day, although sometimes dark, frightful, and stormy it may be
A glimmering ray of hope is shining from here and into eternity.

To Read A Good Book

To read a good book, a story; to open the cover and its’ pages slowly unfold

is like walking into a delightful place of wonder which only the mind’s eye can behold.

Its’ story, its’ scene, and its’ characters soon find a dwelling place inside the soul and heart

of the enchanted reader whose fond remembrance of them will not soon depart.

 You can find more of Becky's wonderful writing at her blog Becky G? Oh, That's Me!.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What we do with the gifts given us

I bought this gem of a book a couple weeks ago. Several people in my critique group recommended it, and I can see why it came highly praised. I actually do not own a lot of books. (*Gasp* Surprising, right?! And homeschool curriculum doesn't count!) First of all, it takes a really powerful book for me to purchase it. The story has to be one that "sticks." Second, I rarely, if ever, read a book twice (unless it's a children's picture book). And third, space is extremely limited in my house. Eight bodies and the clothing that accompanies them is demanding enough. Add in the aforementioned homeschool curriculum, and we've pretty much hit our limit on available square footage.

I'm not finished with the book yet and constantly have to remind myself of my mantra "How do you eat an elephant?" (One bite at a time.) I want to enjoy what I'm reading, but I'm overwhelmed by the amount of information overload. Learning the craft of writing and becoming familiar with the world of publishing is a dizzying experience, a bit like a case of vertigo. It is tremendously helpful to remind myself that I am not on a deadline for learning. I want to do this writing and publishing thing well, not fast. Fast would be nice, but not beneficial. Thankfully, I'm old enough to recognize this bit of wisdom. Not to mention, I'm trusting the LORD for His timing and wisdom in the process. God has given me a gift with the written word, and I want to glorify Him with it. The gift He gives may be perfect, but the receiver isn't!

More and more, I am aware of how little I am and of how big God is. My son's death was the catalyst for my writing moving from passive to active, private to public. Before July 29, 2011, my stories would have remained in a file on my laptop. But losing Matt catapulted me into a new reality. The reality that this life is short and fear is a mirage. I decided then that I would no longer be controlled by fear, and if life is short, then I was done dawdling. If God gave me a gift for writing, then it's my responsibility to use it well.

As a bereaved parent, I also know that my son was a gift, a precious, precious gift. A gift that I took for granted and too often neglected to appreciate. After loss, it's too late to change the past, but it's never too late to address the future. In 11 days, we will mark the three year anniversary of when our son was made perfect in heaven. We wanted to commemorate it with doing something that reflected Matt and his personality and the gifts God gave him. Matt was brilliant at computers, especially PC trouble-shooting and repairs. So to mark the occasion, we have set up a GoFundMe campaign in which we will pay a random customer(s) computer bill at a local business on the 29th. Thus far, we are over half-way to our goal. I am humbled and blessed that so many would honor our son's memory in this way. It is truly appreciated. If you are interested, dear reader, in participating, please click on the link below Matt's picture.

We are all given gifts by God, and we all have a choice in what we do with them. What are you doing with your gift? I'd love to hear!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Writers are readers

For many years, I've heard the saying "Writers are readers," but I honestly didn't realize that not everyone was a reader. I simply assumed that because I loved reading so much, everyone else did, too. It was quite a shock, then, after I discovered that my husband was not a reader. Unbelievable! However, oddly enough (or to his credit?!), he loves to read encyclopedias and Rock and Gem magazines. Not exactly what I consider fascinating reading material, but he has, impressively, redeemed himself by supplementing our kids' science and history over the years with his expertise in those areas.

Reading was my first love. It was a weakness of mine until I had children. Then reality hit. One simply can't read all day long and manage a household and rear children well. Not well at all. Ask me how I know. Subsequently, the fiction books got shelved for many years, and out came parenting books and picture books. I've loved them all, but have really missed reading fiction and reading for pleasure.

However, one thing that becomes keenly evident in rearing children is that time flies. And fly it did. So here I am, finding that I once again have time to read for pleasure. And in this technology-crazed, social media-saturated world, it's not always easy choosing the quieter, more solitary route of reading. But reading offers an escape, the kind which social media and technology can't. It offers a private world in which to ponder, where imagination is limitless, and acceptance is abundant. Picking up a book and reading for pleasure has been so relaxing, like sinking into a warm bubble bath after a grueling day of work.

I've found the time spent reading was well worth it the past several weeks. It's been rejuvenating, and I've found my writing has benefited as well. How about you, dear reader? Have you read a book lately? I hope so! If not, here's some "mother" guilt for you. Go read...and enjoy it!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Friday Funny

This is just too good not to share:

How to write gooder

Have a safe and fun weekend!