Thursday, October 16, 2014
Why would someone put a license plate like that on their car?
Had their heart been so wounded by loss that they were compelled to shout it to the world?
Had they given up on hope? Claimed a new identity?
I've grieved mightily in my life—for relationships that fractured and for well-loved people that slipped into eternity much too soon for my liking.
But I never quit moving forward. I never quit believing life would again be joyful. Honestly, at times I had to force myself to believe. I had to remind myself that I was, indeed, a prisoner of hope. I trusted that the good and the sad in my life was a condition of being human, and that God would redeem the pain and sorrow.
To overcome my grief at failed relationships, I had to learn the practice of forgiveness. To overcome my grief at the loss of life, I had to accept that pain would be a part of my life for a season. After all, grief is hard work. But I believed grief would not last forever.
And in the end, I passed through that veil of grief. In the end, there's always hope. Always. For me, because of Whom I place my hope in.
Friends, don't lose heart. Don't allow circumstances to ensnare you with grief. Don't cling to sting of the loss of a loved one. Don't give up hope.
When I was trudging through some of the darkest days of my life, I chose to give myself a new label. I chose to become a prisoner of hope. I believe that choice helped to propel me forward. It caused me to think of myself in a new way.
I hope "the griever" has a legitimate reason for that license plate. I hope whoever it is doesn't stay locked in that place, claiming that label.
Choose hope. Choose life. Choose to keep pressing forward.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Today I want to tell you about two non-fiction books that have moved me. Yes, occasionally I read books other than novels. I don't read much non-fiction books, so when I pick one up, finish it, and recommend it, you know it's good.
Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World by Lucille Zimmerman has the distinction of being the only book that I've ever bought multiple (lots!) copies of and handed out to women in my life.
This book is a wake-up call to women to remind them to carve out space for themselves. Renewed encourages you to care for yourself. It's a how-to on how to live happily amid the stresses of everyday life. READ IT. It's like a spring breeze after a frosty winter. It will wake you up and help you to appreciate the little things in life that contribute to your peace and satisfaction.
Another book that blessed me is Secrets to a Happy Life by Bill Giovannetti. This book illustrates how God is working in your favor, how to move past negative emotions that ensnare your thoughts, and how to choose to be happy. Secrets to a Happy Life uses examples from the life of the OT Joseph, and boy did he have some difficult circumstances to live through.
I found the stories told and lessons explained in this book to be so relatable. Bill's writing made me stop, think, and pray about thoughts concerning past events that floated on the periphery of my consciousness, often dragging me down when I least expected it.
Over a decade ago, I endured a huge ache in my life that I'm still recovering from. Reading this book was another piece in the puzzle to refining my response to that life-changing event.
The chapters are divided into 11 secrets to happiness--all issues that impact everyone. The secrets contain beautiful, profound, and affirming words. We aren't promised a perfect life, but this book shows us that we can choose a happy life.
Both of these books are keepers. They'll live on my bookshelf for those days when I need a bit of wisdom to pick me up and keep me going.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Unfortunately to mask that, I was chatty. Too chatty. Ridiculously chatty. When the lunch was over I realized I hardly had gotten to know her. That regret still weighs my heart. I reached out with an email apology and followed that a while later with a FB message, but she never addressed the lunch or apology.
I still don't know what the outcome (publication) will be, but I was kind to my dreams and, as always, I placed them in the Lord's care. What will be, will be.
So when it comes to grace, please err on the side of kindness—to other and also to yourself.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Second chances are like a fork in the road. They can lead us in a wonderful new direction.
Sunday, May 04, 2014
And that, my friends, is what you call perseverance.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
For as long as I can remember, my mother put this reproduction antique post card on the table next to our nativity set each Christmas season. The nativity set was passed on to me several years ago. In the box was the post card with a sentiment written by Phillips Brooks, a man known as the greatest American preacher of the 19th century and author of the Christmas hymn, O Little Town of Bethlehem.
Each year when I read the post card, a thrill of joy bubbles up from my heart. At this beautiful time of year, I wish you a similar thrill of joy. . .
“Lift up your eyes to the great meaning of the day, and dare to think of your humanity as something so divinely precious that it is worthy of being made an offering to God.
Count it as a privilege to make that offering as complete as possible, keeping nothing back; and then go out to the pleasures and duties of your life, having been truly born anew into His divinity, as he was born into our humanity on Christmas Day.”
Have a blessed Christmas!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I'm delighted to host my friend Robbie Iobst today. I met Robbie about six or seven years ago when she joined one of the local writers groups I was involved with. That's a photo of Robbie at her book launch party a few weeks ago. It was a thrill to celebrate with her. I also had the pleasure of reading this novel and the honor of endorsing it:
Cecilia Jackson thought so and made it her final wish to have three women come home to Boots, Texas and make her top-secret, award-winning, sought-after tuna fish recipe for her funeral fixins.
Belinda Kite, Donna Dougans and Maggie Shanks haven’t been back to Boots since the incident that destroyed their friendship twenty-five years ago. Belinda is running from the law, Donna is desperate to find love, and Maggie holds a secret that could take her life.
Amidst tensions from the past, they begrudgingly make the sandwiches, and find themselves fighting not only each other, but the people around them.
Imogene and Lola Bee, cohorts of Cecilia, are frantic to get their hands on that recipe and not let citified young’uns high tail it out of Boots with the town’s coveted covert document.
Will the recipe bring reconciliation and redemption or all-out war to the West Texas desert?
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I'm a polite, middle-aged lady who lets other people participate in public disagreements. Truly.
The last time I felt compelled to stand up and make my voice heard was about in 1990 when my school district was forcing a propaganda program on early elementary students. My point was that if there was extra time in the school day, let's teach more math or science, and stay out of personal family decisions. I started by discussing my concerns with the volunteers who presented the program. Then I went to the teacher. Then I went to the principal. Then I ended up presenting to the school board. They changed the district-wide program to eliminate the inappropriate content.
But that was then, and this is now. For nearly seven years I've been distressed by the so-called war on women that has been manufactured by politicians and talking heads. The recent "war on women" was nothing more than a distraction from real issues.
I'm old enough to remember the actual war on women in the 60s and 70s, so when all that talk was thrown around for the past six years or so, I was annoyed. I wanted to stand up and scream, "Wake up, little sisters! The war on women was fought decades ago, and we won!" The issues of free birth control, etc. that were a part of the so-called war on women were manufactured to elicit a knee-jerk response. Imposing upon others the obligation for buying your birth control is handing over your own welfare and responsibilities to bureaucrats. Any mature, intelligent woman can see that's a disastrous road to start down.
But now I'm wondering if there truly is a war on women--that perhaps it's acceptable to say any vile or disgusting things about women you disagree with. Or perhaps it's simply a war on decency.
What's pushed me to speak out are the disgusting comments made by an MSNBC personality. And I am outraged that MSNBC and their owner Comcast support this type of discourse. I'm referring to the repulsive comments made by Martin Bashir toward Sarah Palin. I can't bring myself to describe what was said. It's too disgusting. If you curious, google it.
I'm not one to publicly get involved in political conversations, and my concern is outside of that realm. My concern is that a "professional" would use such reprehensible language in a public setting without incurring disciplinary action. The entire team that was complicit in preparing that broadcast should be disciplined as well.
Where are the people standing up for decency in public discourse? I know folks on both sides of the issues can stoop to vile name calling, but I'VE HAD IT!!
Isn't it time to say, "ENOUGH!"
Can't we reign in our language to reflect a certain level of civility? For the love of all that's decent, please join me in no longer remaining silent as our culture slides into the garbage pit of indecency.
*If any disrespectful or potty-mouth comments are made to this post, they will be deleted. Don't waste your time if you can't speak respectfully, please.
Thursday, October 03, 2013
I've been thinking about the dream I was having as I awoke the other morning. I was walking down a wide hallway on an upper floor. To my right was a turned staircase, leading down. As I walked down the hallway, beautiful sculptures of flowers bloomed on the walls. It was incredible. The walls were ordinary and flat, then as I passed, art burst from them in gorgeous 3D colors and metallic tones.
While I was eating my lunch it struck me that the colors and tones of the sculptures in my dream were like the art that hangs on a parking garage I drive past when I'm heading north. It's at the Lincoln Station Light Rail. Have you seen it? It's called Sun Stream. Check it out here.
Back to my dream. Before I walked down that hallway I encountered an unpleasant person who was trying to bully me. But I refused to be moved by that brute, left the room we were in, and found my way to that magical hallway.
And of course, me being me, that scene may very well end up in a novel one day.
The photo is of one of my favorite spots. Another spot that moves me as I write or read or spend time with loved ones. My lavender Adirondack chair sits beneath my aspen trees among the hollyhocks. It's early autumn, and my poor flowers are too tired to stand on their own. This will soon be a precious memory as snow is in our forecast for the first time this week.
Be blessed, and sweet dreams, friends!
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
I'm fortunate to be a contributor to the Novel Rocket blog where all things literary are discussed, and the contributors I rub shoulders with are all an inspiration to me. I write the monthly column on industry news. I hope you hop over there and take a look.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
I met Wendy about a year ago. The first thing I noticed about her was her warm smile, and then she hugged me. Wendy's a hugger. I was thrilled to hear about her new release, The Disappearing Key. The premise captivated me.
I'm delighted she stopped by my blog for a visit.Here's some info about The Disappearing Key:
The secret must be kept.