“H” is for…

Home

It’s my favorite place in the entire world.  But more than a place, I think of it as a state of being.

Home is where I am when I have my kids and grandkids with me, whether it’s at my house or elsewhere.

Home is where I am when I’m on a nature walk, feeling complete serenity and peace, at one with mother nature, drinking in the sights and fragrance of the woodsy fullness around me.

Home is where I am when I’m having my quiet time with God every morning in the silence of my study, lamplight and candlelight, before the rest of the house is stirring, and when I’m lying in the stillness at night, just before I drift off to sleep, giving Him thanks for the day He gave me.

Home is where I’m going to be with my Savior one day.

Home is where I am when I’m snuggled next to my husband watching a movie or each in our own chair, yet together, enjoying a good book.

Home is where I am when I’m outdoors, the sun’s warmth on my shoulders warming through and through, or snuggled under a blanket with a cup of hot tea and a good book listening to the raindrops pepper the roof.

Home is where I am when I’m alone in the quiet of the evening, knowing everyone is tucked in their beds, and believing God has each in the palm of His hand.

Home is where I am when I’m curled up with a good book, a bowl of popcorn and an A & W 10 cracked open beside me. Mmmmm… 🙂

And Home is where I am when I’m writing, whether the words are flowing or whether I’m simply sitting and pondering a thought, story idea, character sketch…writing is where I find solace, comfort, and sense of security, as insecure as I can be in my writing.  The words themselves, are balm to the scrapes and bruised accumulated throughout the day.

Home is where the heart is

Write on.

Peace.

 

“F” is for…

Faithful

So I couldn’t decide to post on forgiveness or faithfulness, because both are critical for me to live a joyful, successful life.  Faithful, however, seems to jive with my theme a little better for the A to Zing fun, so Faithful it is.

Dictionary.com defines “Faithful” as such:

faith·ful

[feyth-fuhl] Show IPA

adjective

1. strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
2. true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.
3. steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
4. reliable, trusted, or believed.
5. adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful account; a faithful copy.
“Faith” is a trust or belief in something that is not based on proof. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 (NIV), “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
I think it would be fair to say that most people connect faith with Christianity.  In that way, faith is what I live by.  It is of all-importance to me.  Without faith, I would have nothing.
But “Faithfulness” encompasses such a wider breadth of meaning.
Being faithful to someone is what makes a successful relationship.
Being faithful to one’s beliefs is what gives life its meaning.
Being faithful to my writing is what makes me so incredibly happy and feel successful.  Writing is what sets my mind and heart free to explore the unknown.  It’s what sorts out the complications life brings, helping them to make sense.  Or at the very least, to better cope with them.  It’s sticking with it, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health…
And it’s believing that after the storm of rejections and insecurities will come the calm and serenity that can only be felt by weathering the storm and not quitting.
Being faithful is not giving up. Ever. No matter what.
Today I will strive to be faithful to my loved ones, my God, and my writing.
Peace.

“E” is for…

Edit.

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
Shannon Hale

That four letter word that I actually enjoy.  It’s the editing phase that teaches me the most about being a better writer and a better person.  It’s the refining process that turns tarnished metal into gold.

When my stepdaughter was an elementary teacher, she took a writing class for needed earned credits.  In that class the instructor told the participants never to use red ink when correcting papers because it was too harsh.  They were told to use any color but red.

That got me thinking how far back it is ingrained in kids to fear the correction–or editing–process, and how it frequently carries into adulthood.

Leanne-Sype-Pen-to-Paper-Communications-5-Reasons-Why-You-Need-an-Editor-[1]

I read about a process called story editing in which small changes in one’s own life stories and memories help with emotional health.  My bet is it doesn’t use a red pen.  It includes making small changes in how one interprets life events, and essentially taking control over that which once controlled you.

Today I will wear red, as a color of power rather than dread and fear, and I will rewrite–and edit–the color for what it is.  Vibrant and beautiful! 🙂

Peace.

 

“B” is for…

Baby Steps.

Remember the excitement you felt when your child (or niece, nephew…you get the picture) took his/her first step? What a monumental stepping stone, if you will.

As we get older, baby steps lose their appeal and we want things bigger, faster, easier.

With so many get-rich-quick schemes thrown out to the world like bread crumbs to pigeons, or in my case, so many books I want to write, so many lifetimes to live in the one lifetime I have been given, it sometimes takes more restraint than what I have to refrain from jumping into the puddle with both feet without giving a thought to how deep it might be.

It’s after those impulsive jumps I wish I would have waited just a moment, taken a breath, a moment to think, and proceed one step at a time, rather than drown in the middle of chaos that comes from taking in the whole shebang without experiencing any of it.

This quote by Grace Marshall says it all.

And may I remember this today.

baby-steps-move-mountains

Peace to you.

A Writer’s Heaven

I’ve been waiting for this weekend since about this same time one year ago.  Why, you ask? If you didn’t, I’ll tell you anyway.  🙂  It’s my second NCW writer’s conference, and it’s less than three days away.

The first one gave me so much – ideas, motivation, inspiration, new writing friends, and time to re-evaluate the direction I wanted to take my writing. And, yes, it forced me to get out of my comfort zone which is my study with my computer and books, and to socialize with the other living, breathing beings.  By the time we all left the hotel at the end of the conference, our eyes were bulging, and our brains were jumbled, wires misfiring, from so much information being fed into it. But what beautiful sparks those misfires created!

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the first one brought me close to none other than Andrew McCarthy. (Think Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, Mannequin…) I have to admit when he talked to me I was dumbfounded and speechless.  And I’m quick to say my husband would tell you that simply does not happen often.

photo (4) - Copy

Here we are, a little bit blurry, as I believe the person taking the picture with my phone was likely as  giddy with “teenage heartthrob-itis” as I was, but here we are nonetheless.

Andrew McCarthy's Book

Uh-Hm…back on topic – Andrew is not only an actor but an amazing award-winning travel writer, and was at the conference as our keynote speaker.  Not only did he entertain, he taught me what writing can do to and for a person.  It can lead us on a journey one never wants to return from.  A journey of self-discovery, hope, pleasure, and even the greatest pain.  And yet, a writer can’t help but write.  It’s what we do.  It’s what makes us complete.  As insane as it can make us, it’s also what keeps us sane.

So “all my bags are packed, I’m ready to go”… Oh, wait–that’s John Denver, and he took a jet plane.   I’ll just hop in my car and head to writer’s heaven. And to listen to Chuck Sambuchino teach me from his infinite writer’s wisdom the scoop on literary agents, humor, and anything else my sponge brain can absorb.

Write on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday – Freedom to Express my Faith

photo (28)
My faith plays a significant role in my day-to-day thoughts and actions. It’s who I am. Having the freedom to outwardly express my faith, in essence being free to be me, is a freedom I cherish, allowing me to live by faith rather than fear.

I’m so thankful I am able to:

1.     Attend the church of my choice and that I don’t have to follow a religion that has been chosen for me, or follow a set of religious  guidelines set out for me. I can go where and when I choose, allowing me to worship my God rather than live in fear of persecution.

2.    Pray, whether sitting at my desk at work, riding in my car, on a park bench in a public park, or on public transportation .

3.    Wear jewelry as an outward sign of my faith, as well as a visible reminder to myself to whom I belong and serve.

Blue Crystal Cross Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.    Write spiritual pieces, whether on this blog, or a faith-based work of fiction, which my work-in-progress is, The Inheritance. I’m in the final stages of editing and am looking forward to sharing it through publication.

5.    Speak of my faith to others without fear, state expressions of faith, and to observe Christian holidays that are important to my spiritual life. (ie: Christmas as Christ’s birth and Easter as the death and resurrection of Christ–the true foundation of my life.)

6.    Display actions that show my faith, whether it be kneeling in reverence to God and in prayer, making the sign of the cross, raising my hands in worship and folding my hands in prayer, or even a loving hug or touch.

I don’t make a practice of screaming my faith for the world to hear, but I am free to express it and live it quietly and gently. And that freedom is priceless.

All is Grace.