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"Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God." Psalm 102:18

"Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Signs of Spring

Sunshine bright
Warmth and comfort
Flowers blooming
Trees budding
Bright green grass.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reflections

I'm very slowly working through a Bible study for writers entitled, Write His Answers by Marlene Bagnull. I haven't made it any further than the foreword by Lee Roddy. In it he commented the following:

"Many writers, filled with inspiration, start off strong. Then they get discouraged and quit. When they do, God's vision for them is lost. How sad!

If it's God's will to write, then it's logical that publication should eventually follow. After all, an unfinished manuscript cannot change lives. Even a finished script cannot minister in a drawer or filing cabinet.

Only in published form can a book go where you and I will never go, to people we will never meet. Only in a published form can a book make a difference in eternity.

I don't know of a single successful author in the inspirational field who hasn't experienced doubts and discouragement. The unsuccessful are the ones who quit." *

It's been a few weeks since I read these words, but they have taken hold in my heart. I thought about them yesterday when I handed a friend a copy of a manuscript that I had written almost twenty years ago to read. It was in a filing cabinet. I had sent it off to one publisher many years ago, and it was rejected. Life got busy with having babies, and it remained in the cabinet.

A few years ago, I went to a writing conference and spoke with a publisher in regards to a nonfiction book and Bible study I had written. The editor took it along back for perusal. I never heard back, despite emails.

When I was in high school, I wrote a mystery for preteens and entered it in a contest at my English teacher's urging. It didn't win. It too went into a drawer.

I have written three different Bible studies that I have taught through the past several years. I haven't pursued publication for them at this point. I have shared them with others that are interested.

There have been some publishing successes through the years. In high school I was editor of our school's magazine and newspaper and had numerous things published. I wrote a few poems that were published in magazines and take-home papers. I currently am a by-monthly columnist for a homeschooling magazine.

Why do I share all of this? I desire to be a great writer. I'm finding this won't happen by writing and filing it in a drawer. I need to step outside my comfort zone. I know that God has a call on my life to write, and I don't want to be one of the ones that become discouraged and quits. I desire more.

* All quotes were used with permission from Marlene Bagnull and Lee Roddy. If you are interested in the a copy of the book, check out www.writehisanswer.com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beyond All Fears

Jessica's heart pounded with each step as she ascended the spiral staircase. She prayed with each step, trying to tamp down the fear that was threatening to strangle her. Taking a big breath, she blew it out slowly.

"Are you coming?" her betrothed called to her from above.

"I'll be right there," Jessie assured, taking a moment to rest.

Before she was ready, she reached the door leading to the outside of the lighthouse tower. John flung the door open and pulled her by the hand. "Come on."

"You are going to love this," John said with a smile as he drew her out onto the small walkway.

Jessie looked down, down, down to the ground below. She gulped as she positioned her back against the tower wall. The railing looked quite flimsy. It felt like her heart was beating in her throat.

"Don't panic," Jessie told herself. "You can do this."

John motioned to the horizon where a ship was sailing. "Isn't the view beautiful? I can hardly wait for us to be married and start our work together here as lighthouse keepers."

Jessica allowed here eyes to travel to the horizon. "It is quite lovely," she murmured.

"How am I going to ever do this? How can I be a wife of a lighthouse keeper when I'm deathly afraid of heights?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Keeper of the Light

The storm raged like a starving lion eager to devour anything in its path. The wind howled through the chimney. Waves crashed onto the shore. Lightning flashed, followed immediately by an ear-piercing clap of thunder, causing five-year-old Abigail Stevens to tremble and scurry into her mother's arms.

"I'm scared Mama."

Melissa Stevens smoothed her daughter's red hair, as she pulled her onto her lap. "There's nothing to fear my dear. God is with us. Remember what we read in Psalm 56:3 this morning?"

Abigail nodded as she recited, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."

"That's right Abi. God doesn't want us to be afraid, but to trust in Him," Melissa said reassuringly.

"What about Papa and Andrew? Can God take care of them too?" Abigail asked, curling closer to her mother.


"Even though your brother and Papa are in the tower tending the light, God still sees them and cares," Melissa comforted.


"But why can't Papa be here with us?" Abigail asked in a small voice, ducking under her mother's arms, as a brilliant flash of light pierced the darkness.

"You know that Papa needs to be making sure the light is shining brightly. It's important for Andrew to start learning how to help Papa. On a stormy night like this one, we need to be able to warn ships about the hazards if they would happen to get closer to shore. Your Papa has a crucial job as lighthouse keeper," Melissa said.

"But, why can't I help too? I'm the same age as Andrew," Abi said with a frown on her face.

Melissa smiled at her. "You'll have your turn to learn too, dear one. God has called each of us to be a keeper of the light."

"I never knew how right you would be Mama," Abi murmured years later, as she lovingly placed wildflowers on the graves of her parents and twin brother. She wiped a tear from her cheek. "How am I ever going to manage the lighthouse on my own?"



On July 30 - August 1, 2010 speakers, writers and women's ministry leaders will descend upon Concord, North Carolina to attend this year's Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference. I would love to be one of the ones blessed to be there. Cecil Murphy is offering a full scholarship for one person. To learn more about the contest and conference, check out Lysa TerKeurst's blog, as well as Proverbs 31 Ministry.
http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/2010/03/she-speaks-scholarship-contest.html
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http://www.shespeaksconference.com/

The competition is tight for this contest. Each woman expresses their desire to attend. Some cite the rough times encountered this past year. My family has undergone its share of difficulties too - my husband experienced a debilitating ski injury, complications from surgery, months without work, a leaky roof, and I endured months of physical illness. Others convey their passions to speak, write, or lead women. We all hope to be the one picked for this scholarship.

After six weeks of spiritual renewal, God has reaffirmed His calling in my life to write. This passion has been a part of me since I was a very young girl, but until now, something else has always taken precedence. I prayed throughout the past couple months, seeking God's discernment. I was open to writing nonfiction, Bible studies, articles, fiction, or whatever He desires of me.


While vacationing in Georgia at the beginning of March, God surprised me with the idea of writing a fiction (trilogy) on lighthouse keepers. This era of history is fascinating and often overlooked. I would love the opportunity to pitch my idea with a publisher this summer, and to step out in faith in my calling to write.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Knee-Deep in Research

My fingers are itching to start the writing process....but I am knee-deep in research at the moment. I have been learning about the daily life of a lighthouse keeper. I'm reading about all of the different lighthouses and trying to decide whether I want to base my story on a particular one, or come up with my own setting.

I had trouble sleeping last night (initially) because my brain was whirring with all the scenarios and possibilities that lie before me. (That's what happens when you work up until bedtime with research! :) I hope to pinpoint my setting soon and then begin the outline process for the plot. I'm afraid I'm a bit rusty with this whole procedure. The last time I wrote a fiction piece I was in my early 20's. Part of me wonders if I still have what it takes to write in this genre. One thing I do know is that God is calling, stirring and restoring my passion to write and I need to be faithful.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pedestal

I have had personal emails from two authors today. One writer has written over sixty books and the other author over one hundred books. Wow! It seems hard to imagine!

So how did they get in contact with little ol' me? I happened to be reading on their blogs, and contacted them via email to ask a question of both of them. I honestly did not expect to hear back from them personally. I thought I would hear from an assistant, if anything. So I was quite surprised to see a response in my email inbox earlier this morning.

Now, I could get caught up with the excitement that these two authors contacted me personally. The more I thought about it, I realized that they are just ordinary men who have chosen to faithfully follow the calling that God has placed on their lives. Granted they have a lot of acclaim in the writing business, but they still are no different than me.

I realize that in this world, it can become so easy to place people we admire on a pedestal. We think of them as better than we are. Perhaps it is just that woman at church that seems to have it all together. We think, "If only I could be like ....." We enjoy it when someone with notoriety responds to us, because it boosts our self-esteem.

What a wrong way of thinking. The only person in our lives that we should place on a pedestal and look up to is Jesus Christ. He is the only one worthy of following and emulating. When I grow up, I want to be just like Jesus! :) Even at 44 years of age, I know I have growing to do!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Transition

I spent the morning perusing different writing blogs, book marking some for further reading. I am slowly getting back into the craft of writing. The cobwebs are in the process of being cleared out of my brain, as I start to think in this capacity once again. Part of me wonders whether or not I still will be able to excel in this area. It has been a long time.

I have noticed a subtle change in my way of thinking though. My six weeks of taking a spiritual retreat has been beneficial in many areas of my life. I surprise myself with how God has altered my way of thinking during this time. I anticipated to be different in a few things, but God has radically transformed me.

The biggest alteration has been the stirrings and calling back to being a writer. Amazingly that is how I have begun to think of myself - as a writer. I realize I have a lot to learn and perfect in the process of becoming a word craftsman, but I am excited about the transitions that God has performed in my heart.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Distinctive Character

"...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

I've been reading a book by David Jeremiah entitled Signs of Life. In the passage today he talked about the importance of Christians having distinctive character. He encouraged excellence in all that we do. He went on to say the following:

"We should write the best books, produce the best movies, record the best music, design the best buildings, and display the best manners. We should be the most generous people around, the hardest working employees, and the most dependable friends. And characterizing all we do should be the distinctive flavor of our faith."

This was a good reminder to start my day, particularly since I have the day to myself. My youngest son is working at camp during the day and also helping out until tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to have some time to work on my research and writing, as well as planning.

I pray for my time to be productive.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sunshine

Rays of sun
Beating down on me
Liquid gold
Warmth untold
Amber lights for all to see
Sunny days cheer me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Honey!!!

My best friend,
Lover, beloved
My soul mate
Treasured one.
Man I adore and respect
Happy Birthday Hon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What Makes a Great Character?

My family and I traveled to Virginia late last evening, and along the way we listened to part of Focus on the Family's Radio Theater Anne of Green Gables. I had purchased it back in May of last year, and this was our first opportunity to listen to it. We often use long car trips to hear things like this. It reminds me of when my two boys were young, and we would drive cross country trips to Kansas. We all looked forward to the time spent together in the car, listening to these types of programs. How quickly the years have passed!

I digress. Within just a few minutes of listening to the performance, I was struck by L.M. Montgomery's knack of having her characters jump off the page through her written words, particularly Anne. This young heroine becomes endeared to the reader, through the depth of her character.

I guess this is uppermost in my mind, as I start to think about and plan the details for the story that God has put on my heart. It has been a very long time since I have written a fiction piece. My latest writings constitute blog posts, nonfiction pieces, Bible studies and home school articles. I guess you could say that I am out of practice when it comes to this type of writing. My brain is a bit rusty in this area of developing characters.

I contemplated this on the car ride to VA, as we listened to the audio drama. I know that there are books that I have read that the characters are quite flat, and others where they sparkle and just seem to jump off the page. Sometimes when I am in the middle of reading a good story, I may find myself thinking about the characters from it.

I guess a great writer is able to breathe life into their characters and allow the reader to witness their story as if they were living in it themselves. Sometimes as the reader, you may feel that you are watching the story unveil by viewing it through a window. Other times, you may find yourself intimately involved within the saga itself.

Jesus too was a story weaver. He taught His listeners, through the parable or adventure that He created. He was the master of characters with depth.

These are the thoughts that I am pondering this day...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Balance

My fingers are eager to begin the writing process. I find that I am not allowing myself to think a lot about my writing project YET! I know that once I begin, it becomes extremely time consuming and thought absorbing. I am excited about starting, but feel that I need to come up with a plan first, on many levels.

This has been a rough year for our family. It has been one that has been full of stress, on many different levels. In the process of just trying to keep up with what was happening in our lives, the house has kind of fallen by the wayside. It is in drastic need of attention. I know that working some on cleaning up will also help me to think more clearly. I don't seem to do as well when there is a lot of clutter around - which there is right now! Probably why I get befuddled in my thinking as of late! :)

This weekend we are going to Virginia to visit my in-laws. While we are there, I hope (plan) to spend some time coming up with a game plan for how to balance the various things in my life. I still have a little less than two months of homeschooling left to accomplish. I need to figure out a time each day that I can set aside for writing and researching. Then there also is the writing that I do with my two blogs too. I need to figure out time to address the needs of my home as well. Of course uppermost in my heart, is time with God, my husband and son.

So that is my thought, prayer and concerns for the next few days - to figure out how to balance all of these things that demand my attention.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Home

Home sweet home
A place I treasure
My dear ones
Gathered near
Peace, joy, fun and comforting
No place I love more.


I read about this type of poem in a writing magazine. It's called a shadorma. It is a six lined poem, determined by syllables. Why don't you try one of your own! :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

When God Answers

It's funny, for over a month now I have been praying about what it is that God would like me to start writing. During this time, I have been just drawing into God's presence each day and asking the simple question, "What do you want me to write Lord?"

I have been open to writing fiction or nonfiction - articles, devotionals, Bible studies, or full length books. I have written all of those through the years, also poetry and short stories. Each day I have given my writing up to the Lord. I wanted His direction and leading, not mine.

I prayed and waited all month...nothing came to mind. In the process, I have tried to faithfully write a devotional thought each day on my other blog. They have been just little things that God has shown me. Perhaps they don't mean much to a lot of people, but they have to me. If anything, it has been good to get back into the discipline of writing every day.

Before I left for Georgia to visit my friend, I had just a few short sentences that God gave me that could be a future fiction idea. I haven't done anything with it yet, but realize that it has good potential. I still was awaiting further direction from the Lord.

Yesterday my friend took me to see a lighthouse, off the coast of Savannah. The area is rich with history. As I fearfully climbed the stairs to the lookout deck, I had to convince myself not to panic. But somewhere in between the tour of the facilities and a walk on the beach, God gave me the idea for three books - a series of sorts.

As I wrote the ideas down this morning, I find myself eager to return home next week. I will be excited to see my husband and son! I also am anxious to start researching for this book series. There are burning questions in my mind, that I desire to learn the answers. I will have to wait until next week, but for now I am grateful for God answering my prayers. To God be the glory!!