Saturday, September 28, 2013

Writers Shape Who We Become...

"Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this."   Revelations 1:19
(My favorite Scripture verse regarding writing :) )

From the fourth grade I have wanted to be a writer.  I had a wonderful teacher who loved to read and encouraged me to write.  She would tell me stories and read my stories with enthusiasm.  She made fourth grade my favorite grade ever.  She gave me the desire to write and thus she gave me a way of counseling myself...a free therapy...a way to remember.  By instilling into me a love of words, and reading, and writing...she gave me a way to express myself when my voice would not.  She gave me a way to speak freely when I could not.  She gave me a way to explore who I was on paper with different that I did not have to actually try out different personas in "real life" and make mistakes I would have been better off not making.
Writing is what I have always wanted to do.  I have been blessed to have poems published in magazines, win short story and poetry contests, have my poetry on greeting cards in stores across America.  I say this not to brag but just to share how much writing means to me.  As a relatively shy person, it means a lot to know that through writing I can communicate the way I wish I could in conversation.
I have dear friends who are expert conversationalists...and I am amazed at their skills in communication.  My communication skills are basic...but through writing and being published I am able to find a voice to communicate to many, many people.
Writing is not just about being published though.  For me, writing is about recording, remembering, and studying myself.  I used to keep a journal daily when I was in school.  As I went on to college, life became busier and I didn't have time to journal daily.  I firmly believe that I suffered because of this.  It is in the journaling that I "spoke" with myself about things going on and made my decisions.  As I have entered into this time period, there is this wonderful thing called "blogging".  Who knows who is reading what I blog!  Similar to being published, you never know who is reading your writings.  However, I still think being published is better than blogging unless you have put time into making your blog popular.   Writing for a publication gives you a voice to a certain targeted group of people...and you know they are reading the magazines because they subscribe.  Blogging...not so much :)
All of this I am writing about today because of the still small voice of the Lord that I heard today that reminded me of how I am to write, and MUST write.
Today I passed by a benefit yard sale at a local high school.  I stopped to look for a pair of pants for my husband.  Surprisingly I found just the ones I had hoped to find.  I was given a bag and told that I could "fill it up for a dollar".  So I continued looking, heading as I usually do to the boxes of books.
I look for the books with no pictures on the front.  You know, paperback novels always have pictures on the front.  That has no appeal to me.  I like the mystery books....the ones that are old, hardcover books with just a title on the summary on the back with the author's photo.  No blurbs in star shapes stating how many copies have been sold.  The solid, old books with meaning.

I found two today by one of my favorite writers as a young lady...Grace Livingston Hill.  One had another name on it...which I had never seen on her books before.  This made it special to me.  I had read the book as a teenager but it is just as good or better now.  It was published in the 1920s.  This writer taught me much about being a young lady.  I have always felt I would have been better suited being born in the early 1900s...but the Lord knows what He is doing.  Perhaps He needed a 1920s,30s,40s type woman to be living and writing today in the early 2000s'.  :)
I also found another one of my favorite writers plain covered book today...her name is Taylor Caldwell.  The book I found was Dear and Glorious Physician.  I have read it before as well but intend to re-read it.  Books that I can re-read are wonderful to me.  Some are only worth a one time read...even though they may be great books.  Some are not worth even a one time read.  And some...some are stories that stay with you and benefit you over and over again.  Grace Livingston Hill and Taylor Caldwell are two authors that have had that effect on me.

I heard the whisper of the Lord today in the writings of women from different time eras who loved Him dearly and wove that love into their writings in order to inspire young women.  I hope and pray that I can inspire others with my writings as these two wonderful servants of the Lord did during their lifetimes with their writings.
Where did you hear the whisper of the Lord today?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fog of Life

I was blessed beyond measure to find the book Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Graham Bell on a table at church with a sign that read " FREE BOOKS".  
I had been wanting to read this book for several years now...and voila!

As I have been reading it I am finding so much inspiration in these pages.  I wanted to share this one story with you all.  She calls it "Remember Your Position".

"The local sheriff had decided to tighten the requirements for his deputies.  Each man had to qualify on the firing range, and the distance had been extended from fifteen yards to twenty-five yards.  So the deputies gathered to try their hand at hitting the target at the increased distance.  Each man had eighteen seconds to get off twelve shots.

"The best shot in the area is also a personal friend, George Burgin, who, together with his wife, Corenne, keeps an eye on Bill and me.  The day before the trials he had been fitted with his first pair of trifocals.  When his time ame to shoot, he drew a bead on the target.
"Suddenly," as he told me later, " I began to perspire.  And when I perspire, my glasses fog up.  There I was with a bead drawn on the target, and all I could see was fog."
"Then I remembered what our old Navy instructor had taught us:  'If (for some reason) you ever lose sight of the target,' he said, 'just remember your position.'
"So," our friend said, "I just held my position and pulled the trigger as fast as I could.  By then I had less than eighteen seconds, but I got off all twelve shots.  When I took off my glasses and wiped them, I had hit the bull's eye every time."
     There are times when we, for some reason, lose sight of out target - which is to glorify the Lord.  The world is too much with us.  Tears blur our vision.  Unexplained tragedy raises questions that cannot be answered and shakes our faith to its foundations.
     Then we must remember our position, for the Christian's position is "in Christ".  As if we were tired or hurt children, He will gather both us and our loads. 
     Though we may not, for some reason, see the target, if we just "remember our position" we won't miss."

I just loved this story by Mrs. Bell.  So many times in life we do get "blinded" by the circumstances around us but we just need to hold our position.  
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.   Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In the Woods...and a Little Weird

Today it was wonderful to spend some family time in the woods!  South Mountain State Park has some beautiful scenery...all of it pointing to the Creator and His majesty and creativity.

Hiking up to the Falls is quite a task for me...I did much better coming down from the falls :)  I was glad to have all my men with me to help me on the big steps and the rocks.  They take such good care of me! 

We saw fish, squirrels, and a snake. The sounds of the water rushing around the rocks is my favorite sound in nature, with rain fall running a close second to that.  

I think J had the most energy of all of us.  Of course, he stays more active.  I will probably be sore tomorrow but the soreness will remind me of the wonderful time I had with my family :) 

I took a lot of photos and when I got home I was reviewing them on the computer.  I like to zoom in and look at the photos from a different vantage point because you may see things that way that you missed while taking the photo! Sometimes it is just a close up, sometimes it is something you missed, and sometimes it is something just plain weird.  That is what showed up in this one photo...At the top right  is the original .  To the left  is a tighter shot and on the right bottom is the close up.  Now is it just me but does that look like a face stuck in between the rocks?  And what is face?  Isn't that just weird ? LOL! 

It made me think about how we really do not see the BIG PICTURE like God does.  He sees things from a totally different vantage point than we do.   We may be looking at just the small things around us, not knowing how they fit into life....He knows how they fit.  Or we may be looking at the big picture and missing the smaller details...God doesn't miss anything.  He knows every small thing and every large thing and everything in between. 
When I don't know how or why things happen the way they do, I am comforted by the fact that my Lord, who loves me, knows exactly the reasons and that He only wants His best for me. 

I heard the whisper of God today in His creation once a snake who did no harm but just laid still on the the waters rushing over the the "wows" and "Man!" coming from little eyes that had only seen all this beauty for the first time (well, he saw it when he was two but says he doesn't remember it )...and in the rest that came from sitting down, wearily, and gathering breaths...I heard the whisper of God in seeing details where I missed them before. 

Where did you hear the whisper of the Lord today?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Still here...

A friend of mine just posted a blog about a blogger who blogged about why  she was not blogging.  Woah! That was an interesting sentence! LOL!
Anyway, it made me want to update my own blog...
I am in the process of changes in life, adding a new job, getting used to things around the house that are different...God is still speaking every day, I am just not having the time to blog about it yet :) 
I encourage you to continue to listen for the small (and large) ways He speaks to you!
Hoping to be blogging regularly again soon! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What is in the Air?

Today I heard God in the laughter and smiles of my little boy as I sat by his side and played with him.  I heard God in the smile of my eldest son as he enjoyed getting out of class early and being home.  I enjoyed the smile of my husband when he came home from work and was able to relax.
And I am just praising the Lord for being able to live in His love, grace and with the love of family.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Lightning and a Watch....

Today was Labor Day...and I labored.  I know most people rest on Labor Day... I have always labored. I don't mind really.  I like to labor...sometimes :)  I did get a lot done today.
I scheduled my evenings and my mornings to try to make starting my new job easier on the family and me.  I think it will work but it may need some tweaking after I see how it goes.
What I did not plan on was that I would not be able to sleep tonight.  As a stay at home mom, that was never a problem.  If there was a sick child, I would stay up and rest at some time during the day.  If I suffered the insomnia that hits sometimes in middle age, I did not worry because I knew I could sleep a bit later.  Tonight it is the aches and pains of middle age.  Hopefully after I write I will be able to get a few hours of sleep so I can be refreshed.  The good thing is that the Lord always provides the energy and strength I need to get done what I need to get I don't have to worry.  And I will probably sleep well tomorrow.
Today I bought a watch.  I haven't worn one in five years.  I have learned that several countries like Honduras and Nambia I would fit right in with no watch...because time is not that important there.  Here in America time does seem to be far as being on time, not wasting time.   A watch ...that was one thing I did not want to do because I like just being on God's time table.  If He shows me something here that I need to slow down for, then I can.  But you know...He is the author of time.  He is, was and always will be.  He is the creator of time.  He is time itself.  Eternity is in His hands.  So ...though I will be wearing a watch tomorrow and being more aware of the time and how much is passing and where I will be at a certain time...I will also be aware that whether it is measured or unmeasured, all of my time is in His hands.  Each second, minute, hour and day...belongs to the Lord.  Wherever I am...whatever I am doing...I am His and my time is His. He is my master and all I have is His.
So changing the way I look at time will not be difficult, I think.  It will just bring a new appreciation to me of how precious time is and of how He is in each minute.

In our devotion tonight we learned that the massive electrical charge in lightning actually produces nitrogen in the air which we all need to breath.  I do not remember having learned this and I found it very interesting.  Lightning which is a pretty scary thing actually is necessary to life.
I began thinking of how the really intense and sometimes scary parts of life that we wish would just go away...well, God allows whatever to happen to happen for a reason.  Sometimes we know that reason and sometimes we do not. But He is life and He brings life to us through a pretty scary thing that He did ...being crucified on a cross on Calvary.  We may look at the whole crucifixion thinking, How could they do that to Jesus?   But Jesus may have been thinking, How could they not?  It was the only way to bring life to the children He loves.

So don't be afraid of lightning...but do respect its power.  And don't be afraid of God...but do respect His power and the powerful and amazing way He gave His life to save us.

Today I heard God in the whisper of the tick-tock of a watch and in the knowledge of the benefits of lightning.  Where did you hear God today?