Tuesday, June 26, 2012


{photo source}

Only this isn't quite as cute as that guy.

Blech.  Isn't that navel-gazing, who-am-I-really, insecure line of questioning supposed to slip away with junior high?

Still, that's where I find myself these days, questioning my writing.  And then I pulled out an old mixed CD from high school--how fitting.  Back in those days, music mattered more than anything.  I could live inside a song for days, weeks, playing it over and over and losing myself in the lyrics.

So it only makes sense that a song from way back when would bring me through this funk.  Ladies and gents, I give you Be My Escape by Relient K--my own "aha" version.

And I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity

Yep.  I've realized lately that neither my blogging voice nor my noveling voice is quite me.  I'm trying to imitate others, which can work to get you started, but it can't be sustained.

I adore blogging as a medium; I devour blogs of all kinds, and I try to make my voice honor them all.  But when their voices and choices conflict, I can't do that without coming across as insincere and...well, flat and lifeless.  And I've had a nagging feeling that while I occasionally write something worthwhile, when I'm writing in my own strength and purpose, I miss the mark.

I’ve been locked inside that house all the while You hold the key

Why haven't I turned to the Lord in prayer?  I do this over and over: have problem, try to fix it, dig in harder, get frustrated, try again, realize I haven't consulted--or even shared my plans with--God.

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).  I've read it a million times...will it ever sink in?

I’m stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake
I gotta get outta here
And I’m begging You, I’m begging You, I’m begging You to be my escape.

My writing style has to change, has to be truer.  But my projects have to change, too.  I'm stuck in a rut with the draft of Sergius Paulus, so I'm tabling it for now.  It's scary to abandon an entire manuscript for a new project in a new genre (mainstream Christian fiction rather than historical Bible fiction), but I'm actually (starting to) pray over this project like I haven't in the past.  So we'll see what the Lord establishes.

As for blogging...you know how people start a blog to learn about a topic?  Like they want to learn to cook with their crockpot every day or lose fifty pounds or dress better, so they start a blog to track the progress and share the things they learn?  My heart has to come from that place--not a place of expertise.  I want to learn how to love people like Jesus does, and I want to share that adventure with whoever's willing to join me.

I’m giving up on doing this alone now
Cause I’ve failed and I’m ready to be shown how
He’s told me the way and I’m trying to get there

So, there's the lesson: a big serving of humble pie for this girl.  More time on my knees, less time on my high horse.  And definitely a lot more love.

All right, I promise the introspection and high school angst is over, and we'll get back to regularly scheduled programming soon.  Until then, the song really is great; have a listen...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not Jesus...but a Mixer

making the chocolate mousse
{photo source}
Two weeks ago, a snippet in a sermon got to me that boils down to this: if I know what Jesus has done for me, what on earth is keeping me from sharing it?

And during the sermon, I kept thinking of my conversational English partner; we'll call her P.  P is from India, here with her husband as he does post-doc work, and raising their first baby.  Their daughter is beautiful--a one-year old with a full head of thick, dark hair and a sweet, shy smile.

Pookie and I head over there every week to help P practice her English just by talking about life and babies and food mostly.  We prayed together once when she had to go back to India for a season unexpectedly, but otherwise I've been pretty quiet about Jesus...beyond mentioning Bible study or what we did at church.

After hearing that sermon, I had a whole little speech mapped out.  It wasn't pushy, it wasn't loud, but it was heartfelt and sincere.  I prayed and prayed as I prepared a few utensils and extra ingredients to take to P's house to teach her to make carrot cake.

I waited and waited for the right moment to give my spiel, but it wasn't coming the way I had expected; the conversation never fell where I wanted.  And then when it got close...I knew that speaking out in just that way would have been forced.

I didn't feel the Spirit lead, so I stayed quiet.  And this quote from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary came to mind:

If there is one thing I’ve learned about loving people in the last five years, it’s that nobody wants to be featured as a prayer point in your newsletter. Nobody wants your unsolicited, but loving Christian counsel. Nobody wants your corny Bible tract.

Indeed, nobody wants to be your pet-project for Jesus.

And as I stood in P's tiny student-apartment kitchen, measuring carrots and laughing at our daughters' antics, I knew that it wasn't the day to speak; it was a day just to love.

I left my hand mixer with P, promising that I had one at home and this was just an extra, so please keep it.
I left knowing that P is my friend, and I love her and her family.
I left knowing that I need to be ready to share about Jesus naturally--not because I've prepared a speech but because I really have no greater joy than in Him.
And I left a friend feeling my love...and that's a good step.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I have a confession.  I've never read the whole Bible.

I've started all sorts of times, but somewhere in the middle of the Law I lose steam and let "life is busy" take over.

Now, I've joined up with a Bible in 90 Days group and am beyond excited!

{photo from amazon}

And this time around is different, because...

1. I signed up online...and they have a Facebook group.  If you've ever seen my Facebook page, you know that putting something online = instant accountability for this girl; that's why I post my word counts (which, you will notice, have been few and faaaaaaaaar between since le bebe took up residence).

2. The hubs is doing it with me!  I mentioned it casually to him over gchat while he was at work, floating it by as if I didn't really care too much which way he went, just that it might be sort of fun...and good for us.  AND HE SAID YES!  I don't know why I was so shocked, but I was...but so grateful and excited to grow together.

So, today is Day 3.  If you'd like to sign up (there are more than 90 days scheduled, so it'd be easy to catch up!), it's being hosted by Kelleigh Ratzlaff, so go have a peek.

Not much else to say about it as it's only Day 3; we're staying on track so far, and the discussion in our house has been really fun as we wade through Genesis, pondering different things and shaking our heads at Abraham from time to time (although we always realize that we do some pretty ridiculous/sinful things ourselves).

I'll update at each month marker--one more accountability step!

Have you read through the whole Bible?  How did it affect you?

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