A WRITING STAYCATION {and a BLOG HOP}

girls july 4

We skipped our summer vacation. Who needs all that sweat, sand, and the beaming sun anyway. However, my writer friend Karina, who blogs at For His Name and His Renown, asked me to do a little traveling with her. Well, kind of.  She graciously invited me to join her on a blog hop, where we women get to reveal our writing hearts, and then pass the baton on to others. Sharing our love of faith and story, and the God who intricately weaves them together.

So it’s kind of like a writing relay race. Except without the running, or the perspiration. I’ll answer a few fun and simple questions about writing (at least that was the promise), and then quickly pass it on.

Sounds as easy as 1, 2, 3, (and 4). That’s what I thought anyway. But this post still had me sweating, thinking, and just about snotting all over myself. Yeah, I said that. But no worries. I kept the Kleenex box close by.

1. What am I writing or working on now?

Besides this weekly blog that God uses to bolster my pen and my faith, I’m focusing any tidbits of time and attention I can get on research and writing about a woman I can’t get enough of.   I’ve been drawn to her for a decade. I could almost trace her face–and God’s hand–with every word. You’ve surely heard of her. That woman with the issues. You know, the one Jesus healed. I want to be like her. In ways, I think I’m becoming her. Grasping for the hem, while reaching for Him. The book of Matthew called out her issues. Jesus called her daughter. Faith and healing.  That’s what I’m writing–while God’s working on me.  A work in progress.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There’s nothing new under the sun, as the Word tells us. And that applies in the non-fiction, women’s issues genre. However, there is only one you, and one me. My voice, my view, just like yours, can’t be duplicated. (I can hear my brothers shouting Hallelujah from here.) The truth, the power of the shared story, remains the same. But a fresh, new story-telling voice can make a difference.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I was chugging right along, going at a steady pace, with baton in hand and question 1 and 2 behind me. But this third one slowed me down, so I hurdled it instead. I sprinted to finish number 4, made a U-turn, and landed right back here.

To avoid a dripping nose and some painful prose, I’ll borrow from my about me section:

“Why do I write? Kind of hard to say, but I’ll go straight from the hard part and hit straight to the heart part. It’s about that daughter part. What this daughter misses most about her mama are the encouraging words. So I’m just here leaving a legacy of love and words to mine.   For them, for me, and for anyone else who could use the same. Sitting at the well. As I simply write out life and fight out fears in the light of His Word.”

That’s the reason we all share what God’s done in our lives, whether it’s to children of our own or to our spiritual legacy He’s given us to steward. So I write to pass the baton of faith on to my next generation.

4. How does my writing process work?

That’s a work in progress too. I’m in a teetering balance between trying to gain pockets of writing time without losing precious moments with my ever-growing, pre-school aged girls. And without letting the walls fall down, or get grafittied, around me.

It’s past midnight now, and the tap-dancing clicks of the keyboard are competing with the sound of my husband’s snores, while my eyes keep veering off the screen to my sleeping 5-year-old, late night intruder. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

*Addendum. Maybe I typed too soon. It’s after 6:00am. Last one to bed. First one up. And I’m sandwiched between the midnight intruder and the 3-year-old one who climbed in our bed at 4:00am, after a sweet husband arose to answer her request (ahem, demand) for milk. Not a usual occurrence. But usually on nights I need to write.

So after a sleepless night filled with knobby little knees digging into my back and wispy little fingers thrown across my face, I smile over at three good reasons why I write. Just before getting up, ever so quietly, minus the crackling noise of aching joints that mimic the sound of old, creaking wood floors. But I’m still thankful for the chance to breathe, love, and write when I can. Sometimes the “process” looks like running on fumes (and caffeine), but writing on a heart of gratitude.

You show that you are a letter from Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  2 Cor. 3:3 (NIV)

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I’m also thankful to be able to learn from other writers. I met Lindsey at a writer’s conference, who then connected me with Amy and Crystal.  I’m blessed and better for it, and you will be too. Between us, we share a love for the power of stories (and Starbucks, and 80’s songs, and motherhood and messes). And even some sorrow and pain. But mostly, we share a deep love for our Savior.

And the baton goes to…..

lindsey brackett

Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle school literature, but now she writes from home about the grace she finds in the everyday random chaos of motherhood. Her four children keep her home full of laundry, lost library books, and strong coffee. Currently she is a community columnist for The Northeast Georgian and is working on her first book. Connect with her on her blog, Lindsey P. Brackett, random acts of motherhood and everyday grace.

 

amy

Amy Lanham is a Midwest wife, mother, and women’s ministry leader.  She loves searching for the grace in the middle of the everyday mess of life.  She’s also an e-book author of Roofcrashers, How to Start a Successful Bible Study.  Check it out on Amazon. She strongly believes in the power of story to motivate and encourage, and hopes to connect with you on her blog, Middle of the Mess, finding the beautiful in the broken.

 

crystal

Crystal Walton is a contemporary new adult fiction writer from Chesapeake, Virginia, who’s addicted to sunshine, Starbucks China Green Tips tea, and the power of words. As a blogger, a novelist, and a writer for iflourish magazine, she gets to invest her life in something she absolutely loves: encouraging you along the journey of discovering and flourishing in who you’re called to be. Crystal shares weekly words of encouragement on her blog, www.crystal-walton.com and would love to have you join in the conversation with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

What’s YOUR Name?

worthy

I met myself last week. OK, it wasn’t actually me, but she sure could’ve passed as me. And it had nothing to do with looks, but had everything to do with identity. Stolen identity. And you might have the same problem as us.

She was our waitress and her words cut deep. They plunged through my skin and dove straight to the bone when she said, “I don’t think I’m worthy.” That’s all it took for me to forget my manners and my dinner, as I darted in after them. I gripped each word with all I had, and I ripped them right back out.

“Oh yes, you ARE!” I nearly spit in response. In about three minutes, we’d gone from exchanging niceties to sharing vulnerabilities. She shared her desire to serve God more and maybe sing in the choir at her church, but didn’t feel worthy or righteous enough.

Then she said I looked familiar, but couldn’t quite place me. If I’d forgotten her face, I sure knew the spill. I was looking at her, but I recognized me.

And it was the same case of stolen identity. I recently heard a phrase I thought I’d coined myself. It goes like this–we have a huge case of identity theft when Satan slithers in to steal our identity in Christ and remove our value to God.

The father of lies, as I shared in my last post, gets a foothold, makes a stronghold, and then takes a chokehold on our worth and our purpose. He slithers in and out, shedding his skin, and leaving behind a hollow carcass of who God made us to be.

Until–and oh, how I love this part–until we resolve to take back what’s ours, and realize we’ve been bought, purchased in full, redeemed by our Savior. So we can sit eye-to-eye with truth, and face-to-face with our worth. And then–stand tall, arm-in-arm and heart-to-heart as we live out our God-given gifts and our purpose.

I reminded her, “If you’re waiting to be righteous enough, you won’t be here–because you’ll already be there,” as I pointed up through the ceiling and beyond the stars.

And if we think we have to do something, be something, wait to be free of something, before we’re good enough to accept Christ and serve Him, we’re wrong. God takes us just as we are, right where we are.

Way before dessert and well after my sugar-filled smile spilled out pure salty grit, the lightbulb went off. She must’ve recognized the feisty voice. My waitress, brimming with newfound confidence, said, “I DO know you. I think we go to the same church. It’s been a while, my hair is different, but I’m pretty sure you’ve prayed for me before.”

I flashed a knowing grin, and I knew right then I was speaking to her, but still preaching to me.

And here I was thinking we were sitting there because of my sleepless kids and this cook-less wife. Turns out the God who fashions our form and determines our steps, also made our dinner reservations.

I walked away full, fulfilling my purpose, and writing it out in my head. And I guarantee she left singing a new song in her heart. I meant to get her name, but I didn’t, so I’ll just call her WORTHY.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:21

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

It would sure bless me if you would scroll to the bottom or hop over to the sidebar to subscribe to my weekly emails.  I hope to bless you right back!

Cornerstone Confessions

Spring Cleaning and a CHANGE for the Season

blog headshot

I’m all smiles, but still sweating about my profession to get my house in order, from the inside out. So although my blog home is a little bare today, I’ve carried much of my mess with me and skipped over to guest post for Blogs by Christian Women.

Come check it out here:

Spring Cleaning and a CHANGE for the Season

http://blogsbychristianwomen.blogspot.com/2014/04/spring-cleaning-and-change-for-season.html