January 12, 2022 · 12:00 pm
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8b, (NLT)
Like many people, I tend to look back on the old year in January. As I remember situations, I think about the good things God did for me. Things like—
- He helped my mother through various health issues, as I wrote about here. He used that time to mold me, as I wrote here. Through that time, He gave me a better perspective on love, not as strictly an emotion, but as commitment and action.
- I wanted to live in a bigger comfort zone. God responded through a friend’s request to cat-sit for her. Even in that small effort, I learned some things. This post, here, is reflections on what stuck out to me.
- I wanted to try something new. As a member of Inspire Christian Writers, I had an opportunity to volunteer to serve as an assistant editor for the 2021 Inspire Anthology. I had never done any editing before. As an editor on four pieces, I gained valuable experience. To do the editing I used Track Changes on Microsoft Word. Although I use Microsoft Word regularly, that was the first time I used Track Changes. I looked at the pieces with an editor’s eye, certainly a different approach for me. I learned an editor’s way of interacting with a writer.
- In December I received a Christmas letter from an acquaintance. For whatever reason, envy reared its ugly head. I was so angry! I had no cause to be, but I was. I intended to write the person back in a way as to cut off any future relationship. But, thank God, a phrase from Steve Laube’s writing/publishing blog jumped to the forefront of my mind: “Never burn your bridges”. Another phrase followed, this one from a magazine: “Grace beats malice…” The need to write something in reply was almost overwhelming, but I didn’t know what to write. God provided the answer, as I believe the Holy Spirit told me to write the person a letter describing how God worked in my life through the year. I wrote it, mailed it, and had a wonderful sense of peace and relief about it. Had I allowed my envy and anger to go from me to the person, I would not be enjoying that peace today.
- For years I’ve known I should read and study the Bible more, but couldn’t keep up with whatever Bible reading plan I followed. I felt guilty and gave up. Through the years I read bits and pieces here and there, but never had any organization. God provided an answer through a journal and the Bible I started using (New Living Translation). The journal provided a page a day for Bible reading and reflection, and the NLT has headings above passages, breaking up chapters. I decided to read and reflect on just one passage or possibly two for each day’s reading. This is working out well for me. If I miss a day I no longer feel condemnation. I simply pick up where I left off. A bonus is that I want to read the Bible now; it’s not a “should” thing.
I am glad I can look back and see these things God brought into my life.
If you’d like more information on the anthology I mentioned, Inspire Christian Writers 2021 Anthology, Inspire Community—Inspiring Writings About the Power of Community, is available on Amazon. Seventeen writers share different ways community exists.
Filed under Country Ripples, Faith Matters
Tagged as commitment, God, Holy Spirit, Inspire Anthology, Inspire Christian Writers, Microsoft Word, New Living Translation, perspective, Steve Laube Literary Agency, Track Changes
June 5, 2019 · 8:00 am
The past six months I’ve been hit by a variety of health issues. Among them was a bout with depression, that darkness my doctor called “a heavy spirit”. For me, I felt as though my spirit was being crushed. I couldn’t find joy in the simple things I usually find joy in; I couldn’t get relief in the simple ways I could before; I felt as though I could cry at the drop of a hat; I had to push myself to do normal, everyday responsibilities. Continue reading →
Filed under Faith Matters, Life Issues
Tagged as anger, Chronic pain, depression, God, grief, Guilt, perspective, stress, Unforgiveness, Vitamin D3, Vitamin deficiencies
August 8, 2018 · 11:39 pm
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash.com
The more I write, the more I realize writing truly is a gift. It’s a gift given to the writer first, then a gift to others.
While writing a short story I discovered I was learning how to write–by writing. I learned to leave in only what was needed to fit the theme and intent of that story. I took out what didn’t carry the story along, as well as what actually distracted from it, no matter how much I liked the original wording. To learn what to leave in and what to take out is an important skill for any writer, and one I hope to have many chances to practice.
Writing forces me to learn more– about the craft, about publishing, about technology. I need to know much, much more. The more I learn, the more I find to learn! Developing the discipline to do this is a gift.
Writing is a narrow arena which gives me perspective on the wider arena that is my life. Reading blogs about how other writers tackle problems in writing (the notorious self-doubt, for one) gives me confidence and aids me in applying the same tactics to dilemmas in other parts of my life. The mindset which helps a writer to succeed can be used to resolve situations outside of writing.
For me, writing is a gift that keeps getting bigger.
Author’s Suggestion: A number of blogs motivate and inspire me. Check these out: http.//positivewriter.com, https//writingcooperative.com, http://www.kristiholl.com, http://www.writersinthe storm.com, http://www.stevelaube.com, http://www.booksandsuch.com, http://www.writermag.com. Andy Mort in the UK writes about creativity in different forms at: https://www.andymort.com. Down under, David Rawlings has a unique perspective in his blog and his short stories at: https://davidrawlings.com/au.
August 4, 2018 · 12:45 am
I don’t have fond memories of my school years. I was picked on from about second grade through eleventh grade. I never knew what would bring the teasing on–perhaps being the only person in second grade to have to wear glasses? (This was long before contact lenses.) Or maybe it was my shyness–often I couldn’t think of anything to say in peer-to-peer conversation, so I was quiet. (When you are in school, any little difference from what is considered “normal” makes a person ripe for picking on.) Maybe the teasing of the moment revolved around my non-existent athletic ability (if a team had to pick me, the kids groaned and I wished for the ground to swallow me). Continue reading →
Filed under Faith Matters, Life Issues, Life Lessons
Tagged as American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, bullying, Confidence, God, high school, life, maturity, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, opportunities, Out of the Darkness Walk, perspective, school years, suicide prevention, teasing
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