Friday, January 27, 2012

Tender Means Strong

Another 5 Minute Friday with the Gypsy Mama and other writers. Aren't Fridays great?

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.
We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.
We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Word for the day?


Dad cried when something broke my heart. Still does. He and Mom would lay in my little twin bed with me, stroking my hair, and encouraging me.

"This too shall pass, baby girl," Mom would say.


As a child, everything is larger than life. Literally. As an adult, size shrinks, but lessons, situations, and friendships remain the same as my childhood perspective. Larger than life. Figuratively.

My parents have weathered it all. Through broken hearts and shifting friendships, through victories and graduations, through interviews and constant rejection.

"This too shall pass, baby girl." Both a reminder to treasure the moment and release it to Jesus.

Still, as an adult, dad cries when my heart breaks or when I celebrate a major feat. Mom still cheers or quotes her mantra. And I better understand the love of the heavenly Father for me, how He loves me through my victories and what I perceive as defeats but in reality are the prequel to better plans. He cries when my heart breaks and cheers when I celebrate.


Because His love is tender, like my parents. I understand it because I know theirs. It's tender and strong. It rebukes, redirects, challenges, and cheers. Never a sign of weakness.

Tenderness demonstrates strength. One doesn't exist without the other.

"How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure that He would give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure."

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3: 17-19

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Writing to Reality

When crafting a scene, I write my character into a corner (emotionally, physically, spiritually). Then, I stare at the screen wondering why in the world I created a situation I can't figure out how to fix. I'm a fixer by nature, or at least I try to be, and the "unfixable" occasionally causes frustration. Thankfully, I am learning that my role isn't to fix but to be faithful. After A LOT of processing, creativity, and rewriting, the character wiggles out of the corner into another problem.

So, I got to thinking....if fiction is a reflection of reality, then my life mirrors my character, and as the writer, I am a reflection of the master Author. As the Lord crafts my story, I am wholly dependent on Him. I cannot get out of the corner unless He sees fit to pen the scene that way.

"Faith in God includes faith in His timing."

Over the past couple of years, I've become convinced that the Lord loves to write Himself into a corner that only He, in His sovereignty, can fix. His fingerprints are all over my life. It fascinates and humbles me that I can take no credit for my accomplishments or my path.

Currently, I'm stuck in a corner beneath a sign flashing "WAIT." This character is not patient, but I also realize that I'm not the author of my story. Thankfully, the One who created all, sees all, and controls all is at the desk completely aware of the big dreams I imagine, the hope I cling to, and the adventures that will come my way. He can craft the perfect scene better than anything I could initiate from my limited viewpoint.

Until the Lord crafts the next scene, I am writing, waiting, wondering, developing a greater trust in Him.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Vivid

Every Friday, I link up with the Gypsy Mama and other writers to stop, drop, and write.

For fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication.

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.


I can see us all on the skywalk connecting buildings at our old church in downtown. Cars rush below us and horns blare. It's the sound of the city.

Vivid in my memory.

We're a team, untied by nursery toys and choir trips as teens. We've spent years together, and more are to come. Laughter plays continuously. It's our one night during the week to reconnect, our one night to treasure our friendship.

We can't wait to receive our licenses.

We're all so different, all attend different high schools, all involved in different activities....academics, football, band, choir.

But we are the Skywalk Gang, conquering the world together, destined for enduring friendship.

Eight years later, only a few bonds remain. Others have been lost to time. We live all over the country, licenses and cars no longer help. Visits are few and far between. It saddens me.

Yet, in my mind's eye, we will always be teens on our skywalk, now dust and vapor, replaced by a fancier addition. The cars and horns and sounds of the city will always be our anthem. Laughter will always be our theme. And there, we are still kids with nothing standing in the way of our friendship.

On that bridge linking substance and space, we stand side by side, the Skywalk Gang. Us against the world.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Under Construction

Hey friends and fellow bloggers,

Please pardon the mess the next few days. I am working on giving the blog a new look with new features. Unfortunately, this means a lot of trial and error. Any tips on what I should add such as social media buttons? Tips from experienced bloggers would be much appreciated!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ugly Packages and New Year Resolutions

Did you enter the new year with the need for a break, or did you enter it refreshed with the hope of a clean slate? Weary accurately describes my beginning of 2012. I've spent the last couple weeks of January playing catch up.

After reading Matthew 11, I realized that it's okay to feel weary. The Lord has designated a place for our burdens at the foot of the cross. Peace and rest are promised! However, I noticed that I try to package my burdens in nice paper and fancy ribbons before laying them at the feet of Jesus.

There are no pretty packages at the foot of the cross, no matter their wrapping.

I'll be honest, mine look like my brother wrapped them in newspaper, backed over them with his car, tried to fix them, and then ran over them again. (Sorry, bro! But you are a self-proclaimed wrapping paper mutilator.) The last couple of weeks, I've been down for the count, but I'm back on my feet and "resolute-ing" a little late. Now is the beginning of my year.

Here goes...

-remember my body is a temple and I how I treat it now will affect me years from now
-continue to identify how the Lord has gifted me and pursue those things
-build authentic relationships with those around me
-jump back into music - playing piano and clarinet again
-READ - a fiction, nonfiction/classical, growth, and 1 book for pleasure a month
-build up the blog (exciting plans coming...Stay Tuned!)
-write everyday, even when I don't feel like it
-finish polishing 1 book, writing another, and begin another
-memorize a verse a month
-try new things - travel, experience, see, and do (see my "Courage" post)

We'll see how I do! Laying my burdens at the cross, it's time to walk into 2012 feeling refreshed and motivated for the year ahead confident that the Lord has good plans for me.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Friday, January 13, 2012

Awake and Dreaming

Every Friday, I link up with the Gypsy Mama to write for fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication.
For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.



I glance at the clock every hour, every minute it seems. One AM. No, two. No, three. My brain sprints a hundred miles an hour with to-do lists, goals, events of the day, and ideas ideas ideas for stories. I wish there was an off switch. I wish it would shut up.

I pray for sleep.

My phone is silent, sleeping, and I wonder what friends are still awake. Then, I remember. My Lord never slumbers or sleeps. He doesn't grow weary. He knows the thoughts racing through my mind. And only He can grant peace.

So, I talk to Him. I dream big. I lay out my fears, faults, and failures. I share my hopes, dreams, and desires.

And slowly, my mind unwinds. The finish line nears, and my eyes begin to droop.

In my final moments of consciousness, I pray for the strength and courage to do in the daylight what I dream of in the night watches when I lay awake in the darkness and nothing seems impossible.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Roaring Lamb

It's that time - 5 minute Friday. For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes, let your mind and your words and your heart fly free; wild – no editing, no over thinking.


Sheep are in my blood. At least, that's what I discovered visiting my ancestral home in Scotland. Mist rolls over the ever green fields and thorny, yellow thistle bushes while sheep dot the countryside. Colored markings adorn their thick, woolly sides. Black faces peer out from a bundle of wool later to be converted to scarfs, coats, and gloves.

Sheep are nondescript - silent as the night and as unexciting as a game of cricket, but they do their job well. They bundle together when their master comes calling. They eat and sleep and eat some more and produce wool for the world.

Lions, on the other hand, only exist in zoos in my world, but I love to watch them. Mighty maws stretch open in a yawn, revealing teeth that could strip a gazelle in seconds. Manes adorn their faces like a crown, and they slink from place to place as if they know they are royalty.

Their is nothing dull about lions. They quietly slink up on prey, and then announce their presence when necessary. I can't help but better understand the analogy of sheep and lions in the Scripture after spending three weeks surrounded by sheep in the British Isles. Though we are called to follow our shepherd, we're also called to boldness. And I wonder, when the time comes, will I be inconspicuous, content to dot the landscape, or will I behave like a child of the king and roar?

Monday, January 2, 2012

One Word for 2012

One word can change the course of a person's life. By definition, this change requires dedication, commitment, and a strength derived from a source greater than ourselves.

I once heard that "Growing is not being satisfied, but to always be pushing yourself." I would amend that slightly. I would say that I am content with who I am, but I am not satisfied or content to remain there. A new year means a fresh opportunity to change and grow. I chose one word to define 2012 and on which to focus. So, the word for this year is....

© Flickr by LowerDarnley step out of my comfort zone believe in myself when reality argues against my creative genes try new things even if I'm freaked out be more in love with Jesus next year tell others about Him and share my story of grace freely remember why I love to write, and then write from that place not grow weary remember that what I do now will effect me years from now take advantage of every opportunity build relationships and not hold back be myself no matter what others say think outside my own box and not allow others to confine me to theirs be a better version of myself this time next year

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

What's your word for 2012?