Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Practicing Patience

Today, my stoic self-control is slipping.
In between caring for my three youngest kiddos, conquering Mt. Laundry, and critiquing my writing friends' submissions for tomorrow's meeting, I have checked my email and the websites of the people/ organizations I'm waiting to hear from in regard to my writing...several times.
In my defense, it is past the time I should have heard from one, about the time I should hear from another, and hey, anything's possible with the third.
I could learn the fate of my submissions at any minute!
Literary agent Steve Laube blogged this week about how Writers Expect Good News. He prefers the idea of waiting in anticipation to waiting in expectation, and he's right that there is a difference. The foolish bridesmaids expected the bridegroom; the wise ones anticipated him.
Anticipation is what my favorite season of the year is all about.
No, no, no, not Christmas. ADVENT!
Advent is the season of anticipating Christmas, of preparing for the threefold coming of Christ. We ready ourselves to celebrate the incarnation, appreciate the saving work of Jesus active in the world today, and to wait upon Christ returning in glory.
The anticipating reminds me how special each of these is. As I read the passages about the coming of the Lord, my yearning grows, my heart opens wider to receive him--I become more ready.
Waiting on my fulfillment as a writer gives me the chance to be more ready to receive it, both in terms of being able to appreciate it and being prepared with what I need to achieve it.
And practicing patience is good for us, right? Right? Okay, maybe I'll just check my email one more time...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful on Turkey Day

Every year, my family gathers to celebrate my mom's and my favorite holiday. Before we ask a blessing over the food, we hold hands and go around the circle taking turns saying what we're thankful for. This year, I was able to share my gratitude that this was the year one of my dreams came true. I have wanted to write a novel since I was ten years old, and this was the year that happened! Was it Paul who said, "I thank God upon every remembrance of you"? Well, that's how I feel about my novel. I actually ache with happiness that God gave me what I needed to be able to do that. One of my dear critique partners said it made her think about God in a different way. I was so happy I couldn't speak. God is so good to have let me be a part of this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful Day 15

Today, I am very thankful that I am finally well (, and it looks like everyone else is pretty much well now, too). Hopefully, I had the flu and am now safe for the rest of this flu season!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You know that little rush of pleasure you feel when you catch someone doing the right thing--going out of his or her way to be kind when he or she does not have to--doing something only because it is the right thing?

I've read that fiction is so powerful because it can be more real than reality. Art can demonstrate/ remind us of how things should be. If I ever have the opportunity to teach at a writers' conference, this would be one of the topics I would love to discuss. Art is so powerful. Artists have such great responsibility.

Right now, I'm reading back over Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. The main character, Rand, has three love interests. While I am in Jordan's storyworld, I actually want Rand to end up happily ever after with all three. At the same time! How in the world could I want that?!!!

The power of story.

I have identified with the characters. I want what they want. And therein lies the danger.

We've all cheered when the good guys got what they wanted--when the bad guys got what was coming to them. The danger lies in what writers make the reader want to happen.

I don't have time to discuss the rise of anti-heroes and subjectivism today, but today I'm grateful for the reminder that there is objective good--that people do (cooperating with grace) rise to what God created us to be--and the reminder that I am called to glamorize that in my writing, or to at least make the dissonance between what-is and what-should-be so uncomfortable that readers long for what-should-be. May I always remember that.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Today, I'm grateful that at least 508 families were spared the pain of abortion during this fall's 40 days for life campaign.

To be honest, I'm also grateful I don't have to do a load of laundry for life today now that the campaign is over. Having in the back of my head that there is something I have to make sure gets done stresses me out. :-) It's a moot point today though, because the Jett and Emberlyn have a stomach bug, and I've already done TWO loads of laundry!

I'm also grateful for the chance to start back to Tae Kwon Do today!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today I am intensely grateful for what a reader my Joshy has become! He really struggled at first, but now, he is a wonderful and voracious reader. It makes trips to the bookstore even more fun (and dangerous!!!).

Friday, November 4, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

Fridays are my kind of days. Especially the Fridays when I get to meet with my writers group! I can't tell you how much I appreciate getting to meet with Henry, Diane, and LaWanda (we miss you, LaWanda; we can't wait for you to be back!).

In an appreciative frame of mind, it is so easy to find things I'm grateful for:
I'm grateful for the Society of Solitary Scribes!
I'm grateful for wonderful parents-in-law who watch Jack and Emberlyn so I can go meet with the SoSS.
I'm grateful for the coupon that made my delicious IHOP meal cheaper.
I'm grateful for Joren being such a good baby.
I'm grateful for sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) so I can make my allergic-to-nuts husband sunbutter cookies (that taste just like really good peanut butter cookies) to show him I love him and make him happy.
I'm grateful for how making cookies makes me happy because I know I'm good at it.
I'm grateful for being able to appreciate how good being grateful feels. :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today is November 3rd.
The low today was 36.

Why then do I have a thriving tomato plant?

Why are the bradford pears blossoming and the desperado sage blooming?

Today I am grateful for the reminder that even if frost follows flowers before fruit, in the doing is fulfillment.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Kariss Lynch, a talented fellow writer I met at last year's NTCW Fiction Mentoring Clinic with DiAnn Mills recently threw down the gauntlet on a National Novel Writing Month-esque challenge: to celebrate thankfulness throughout the month of November by blogging about a reason for gratitude everyday. Yesterday I was thankful my husband's free Freebird's burrito on his fan-niversary. Today, I am thankful for the cute Halloween decorations we still have out and all the fun we had making them as a family.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Laundry for Life

I wish I was more.
More capable, more faithful, more patient, know, better.
It's 40 Days for Life time again, and I'm nursing, so I can't fast. And I'm dealing with the voices that say, "You can't keep up with everything you're supposed to be doing now. Why in the world do you think you can add anything to it?!" And when I reconcile myself to simply doing a daily load of laundry for life like I did in the spring campaign, it's hard to convince myself it's "good enough."
But I know it is. And "good enough" isn't the right words.
I think fasting is a wonderful thing. As you move away from being filled with things of this world, even good things such as food, you can be more open to being filled by God. However, I'm not sure you have to take things away in order to make room for God.
I do laundry because it has to be done--it is NOT my favorite chore--but if I offer my daily struggle with laundry to God, my living sacrifice is sanctified, made holy and acceptable.
Even if I fasted on bread and water for forty days, even if I did a thousand loads of laundry with all the fervency of a thousand saints, it wouldn't be nearly "good enough."
However, God is pleased by the slightest opening of ourselves to Him, the smallest offering of ourselves to Him. So, the load of baby clothes I'm about to wash, done intentionally, will make the next ten minutes of my day holy. How much of the rest of our days can we live intentionally for God?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

With or Without Sugar?

This morning, I was afraid there was a serious problem: my coffee did not taste right.

No, stop laughing. Coffee is serious.

I looked at it. Pale with cream, warming the spoon from the sugar I knew I'd put in, it looked fine.

I tried another sip. Bleh!

I wanted to cry. I wasn't sure I could handle one more thing gone wrong this morning.

Then it struck me. I hadn't stirred. One thing after another had needed my attention, and I had neglected something so basic to the experience of coffee.

The sugar was there the whole time. I just hadn't brought it up to where I needed it.

Then it struck me. I hadn't prayed. One thing after another had needed my attention, and I had neglected something so basic to the experience of life.

The coffee's now gone, but God is near.