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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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Made It!!!!!!!!

I made it to 25,001 words. That definitely is the most words I've ever written in one month's time! I'm so excited I was able to make it 5000 words past my goal. I also managed to read and write a book review, finish two writing course assignments as well as keeping up with life. I realize I'm able (with God's strengths) to do more than I think I can, as long as I'm choosing to follow God. I'm thankful for His direction in my life.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Commitment and Plans

I've been reading a book entitled The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. I admit, it wasn't quite what I expected, but I am enjoying it. Actually I'm not quite sure what I expected! :)

Through its pages I've been challenged to take my writing career to the next level of commitment. Since I believe writing is a calling God gave me, how much am I willing to put into it? What am I willing to give up to follow this pursuit from God? Am I going to approach this casually or like a business woman? How much is God calling me to do? Will I simply dabble or chase wholeheartedly? These are the thoughts racing through my brain the past couple days.

As of yet, I don't have a definite plan - thoughts and feelings, but still seeking God's direction. I know above all else I want to be in the center of His will for my life.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Act of Obedience

Short post today with some random thoughts....

Sometimes I find myself affected by what is going on in my life, that I may not feel like writing. This is how I felt today. I know, often we are affected by our lives. Over the past couple years though I have learned to think more like a guy. You probably are asking, what does that mean? God definitely designed men and women differently, even in the way we think and process things. My husband has the uncanny ability to compartmentalize his thoughts.

I've heard it explained before that a man's brain is like a set of utility drawers. They process one individual drawer at a time. Not a bad thing. A woman's brain, on the other hand, happens to process feelings and emotions all at the same time. Kind of like a bowl of marbles that are swirling, with a rubber ball thrown in the mix. That ball is accessing all kinds of information at once.

So what does all this have to do with anything? :) Well, I've learn to be more of a compartment or drawer thinker. Able to put things in a drawer, close it, and move on to something else that needs my attention. It's an active choice I must make. For today, I chose to be obedience to the call God has placed on my life to write. I sat down and did it, even when I didn't feel like it. What act of obedience is God calling you to do today?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Elastic and Stretch-a-bility

I've been thinking today about elastic and stretch-a-bility. About three months ago I committed to something I hadn't ever done before. I signed up and set a goal to write 10,000 words in one month's time. I remember being a little apprehensive, wondering if I would be able to meet my commitments. But as time went on, I found that I easily completed what I had set out to do.

This month arrived, and I felt God calling me to double my previous goal. I admit, I really was sweating out whether I could accomplish it this time. 20,000 words seemed like an insurmountable task. We are only half way through the month, and I already have completed 11,597 words. I've been averaging anywhere from 650 - 1200 words most days. After I finish each day, I realize I easily could have written more. I admit, I'm often weary and my brain feels a bit fried when I'm finished, but I also know I could continue.

I can't help but wonder if there are other areas in my life where God is calling me to step out in faith to grow and be challenged more. Elastic has a great quality of being able to be stretched, but still return to it's original shape. I wonder if God has more stretching for me to do. I pray I will be faithful in stepping out when He calls.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Love the Way God Works

I admit, with doing a lot of writing lately, my mind is full with all kinds of things. Some of those have to do with my writing, and others are just things I'm trying to figure out. I had two items that were heavy on my heart before I went to bed last evening. I gave them to the Lord before I fell asleep.

It wasn't the most restful night's sleep for me, unfortunately. I from time to time struggle with pain in my sciatic nerve. Yesterday and throughout the night, the pain was pretty brutal. I had taken pain medicine and rubbed on some pain cream as well, but neither of them seemed to touch it. I don't know if the trouble was due to hiking on uneven ground the day before or what. At any rate, I was struggling.

I was groggy when I awakened this morning. Probably because my sleep hadn't been very restful. But I was surprised when my first two thoughts were solutions to the problems from the night before. I knew they were from God, and not something I had come up with on my own.I love the way God works in our lives when we least expect it. What a blessing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Up to 9,247 Words Written This Month

It seems hard to believe I'm up to 9,347 words written so far this month. My goal is to break the half way point tomorrow and reach 10,000 words. If I meet it, I will likely complete my eighth chapter as well. I continue to be amazed at this journey has God me on, of writing. It has been a desire of my heart for such a very long time. How wonderful God has me doing something I thoroughly enjoy. Way cool! Of course, I know writing is a passion God built into me when He made me.

Perhaps you are getting tired of reading my word counts and my writing progress this month. I'll try and be a bit more inspired in my next posting. I find after sitting down and writing 600-800 words in a couple hours time, my brain is pretty fried. Guess I'd better find a different time to blog perhaps. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Change of Plans

I admit, I've been anxious to sit down and see where my characters will take me next. My fingers anticipate flying across the keyboard, recording their story. But alas, it hasn't happened (as of yet) today. Other things have taken precedence. I have a writing assignment for the course I'm taking, which is due on Thursday. So instead of immersing myself in my story, I chose to be disciplined and finish my homework. It was a difficult task since I needed to come up with three separate stories of 500 words each. I plugged along, and have it completed and emailed to my mentor. Praise God!

My writing time was also disrupted since most of the afternoon was spent running to Wal-Mart for groceries. When I finally arrived back home, my time has been divided between finishing my stories and final preparations for my son taking PSAT's tomorrow. If possible I hope to squeeze some time to work on my novel. Even if I don't have the opportunity to write, my mind is still percolating with ideas of where to go next.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Most Words in a Long Time

I continue to plug along with my writing. Today I wrote the most words than I have in a really long time. I finished my seventh chapter, writing 1479 words, bringing my total to 7650 this month. I continue to have my characters move through my story with a mind of their own. Well, perhaps it isn't my story, but instead their story. Each time I think I know where I plan to go with my writing, my characters change on me.

Each day as I sit at the keyboard, I watch in awe as my characters create their own story. It's a weird feeling actually. It's such fun to sit down and write each day. I praise God for this opportunity.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Almost 5500 Words and Over Two Chapters

It's been a busy and creative last eight days. It seems hard to believe a little over a week ago I started on my journey of writing 20,000 words this month. I have already completed almost 5500, which is over two chapters. If I keep on this path, I'll have over twelve chapters finished by the end of October.

Tomorrow I need to work on cleaning up and preparing for company. I can hardly wait to see my best friend from Georgia and her husband! I also want to try and squeeze in double words tomorrow if possible. We'll see how it goes.

I'm thankful God has me doing a job that I thoroughly enjoy and take such pleasure in. What a blessing! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm a Blessed Woman

I'm a blessed woman. I'm so thankful to have a husband who supports me with my writing. I was on a roll writing this afternoon when my hubbie returned home from working all day. I was on a mission to try and catch up with taking a day off from my writing to recuperate. My goal was 1290 words, and I was still working hard.

Time was shorter than normal since our son had to be at church for teen choir practice. Supper still needed to be assembled and heated. My dear man stepped in and took care of our meal as well as dropping my son off at the church. I was able to finsh my writing and also get the dishes cleaned up before my husband returned back home. Of course, he also stopped at the store and ran a couple errands too.

It brings me such joy to be fulfilling the call God has called me to do. I praise God for my husband who supports and encourages me. I take such pleasure in being wheere God has me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Direction

I continue to plug along with my writing of my novel. I wrote over 680 words this afternoon, finishing chapter five. I guess I'm one sixth of my way completed with the book. I had a good general idea of the way I planned to head, but I find my characters changing on me. It's as if they have taken over and decided a different path than I planned. As I finished chapter five with things hanging, I found myself wondering what will happen in the next chapter.

I pray for direction and leading as I continue on this journey of writing. Above all else, I desire to share my faith through my words - written and spoken. May His words flow through me, so I'm only the vessel.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Untold Stories

My mother, brother and I were on the cemetery yesterday for a funeral in our family. After leaving the graveside, we decided to visit the graves of my great-grandparents. We spent some time tromping through the cemetery, noticing names and dates of the deceased. Some were born as far back as the 1700's.

As I stood at the top of the hill and looked down at the vast cemetery, I couldn't help but think about all of the stories represented with each of the tombstones. Every life that was lived. Here one day and gone the next. I was reminded of how fleeting our lives are. We never know when we will be called into the afterlife.

I wondered how many of the stories represented on the cemetery have since been forgotten. I was reminded of the old hymn by H. Ernest Nichol entitled "We've a Story to Tell to the Nations." Are we living out our lives in such a way to tell others of the hope we have in Jesus? Whether the words are written down, or spread by word of mouth, or shown by our example, how are we doing with sharing God's story through the story of our lives?

We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy,
A story of peace and light,
A story of peace and light.

Refrain
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noonday bright;
And Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
The kingdom of love and light.

We’ve a song to be sung to the nations,
That shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
A song that shall conquer evil
And shatter the spear and sword,
And shatter the spear and sword.

Refrain

We’ve a message to give to the nations,
That the Lord who reigns up above
Has sent us His Son to save us,
And show us that God is love,
And show us that God is love.

Refrain

We’ve a Savior to show to the nations,
Who the path of sorrow has trod,
That all of the world’s great peoples
Might come to the truth of God,
Might come to the truth of God.

Refrain

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Killing Habits

I'm taking a brief break from my writing this morning, to blog about a habit I desperately am trying to break. I have no idea why, but it seems I enjoy including the word 'that' in my writing. I'm sure if I looked back in previous blog entries I would likely find it lurking there.

It's a mystery really, since this word is not descriptive. Dictionary.com describes it as: "used to indicate a person, thing, idea, state, event, time, remark, etc., as pointed out or present, mentioned before, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis."

All right, I realize it isn't a deadly habit, and there are plenty of things much worse than this! But for me, I'm on a quest to eradicate 'that' from my writing. What areas do you need to improve?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Growth, the Christian Life and Suffering

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:3-7

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.  2 Corinthians 1:3-7

My heart has been heavy the past several days, for multiple reasons. I have been contemplating some weighty thoughts. I have some dear friends that are going through some rough times in their lives now. I struggle with how I can reach out and help them. I would love to be able to make their difficult times disappear, but yet I'm not able to do that. I can stand in the gap and be a prayer warrior for them, but there is nothing tangible that I can do to eliminate the situation.

I have been thinking about my own struggles. I have had some disturbing news the past couple days. I also have been reading via a prayer loop of various writers that are facing spiritual attack whenever they work on a manuscript that they feel God has placed on their hearts. I can't help but wonder if this shouldn't be happening to all believers. Don't get me wrong, I don't love struggles, trials or difficult times in my life. But shouldn't we expect Satan to be stirring things up and causing strife in our lives when we are choosing to faithfully following God? Isn't this sometimes proof that we are on the right path? We shouldn't be surprised by them.

I guess the important thing is what we do with those trials we face. Do we remain strong, and allow God's spirit to shine through us, or do we succumb to the hard situation? My prayer for myself and my friends (and anyone else) is that we will be faithful when we walk through the desert. May we seek to exemplify God in all we say and do.