End of Intermission

My blogging voice has done its level best to desert me and go on a frightfully long intermission. I had grand plans for posting when this year began, which, as you can easily see, have not reached the fruition of their potential.

Still, I really do miss keeping up with my blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve been consistent, I know, but LORD willing, from here on out, the intermission has reached an end.

Since I last posted, Presumption and Partiality has been moving along – slower than I wanted, but moving. It has proven a challenge to write, but challenges, in the end, are very good for us, and so I hope this one will prove to be.

I’ve haven’t ever written a book in full Historical Fiction genre before – only one story-line in Grandmother’s Letters and after that, a short story set in England during WWII – so that aspect has been fairly new. I have enjoyed the research, however. I’ve learned a great deal about Arizona during the 1930’s, which has proved to be quite fascinating.

I have also come to love the characters that I am working with, though it took awhile, since I struggled at first, to separate them merely being cardboard echoes of Miss Austen’s originals, on which they are based. I do believe that I have shifted from that difficulty though. Sidney still doesn’t talk enough and Eloise simply jumps to conclusions too quickly, but I am quite enjoying moving on to the next page right now. God willing, this book will be released in the shortly coming months.

As this book progresses towards publication, I hope to post updates, sneak peaks, and I even have a new cover to reveal soon, as the last one needed a bit of remodeling. Besides that, I have other posts planned, including some book reviews, an article featuring Kylo Ren, a poem or two, a long-coming paper on death in films, and, if I can get it going, a serial story that I’ve thought up.

In the meantime, I’ve added a few new buttons on my sidebar, where you can see my Pinterist, Instagram, and FB pages. You can find clips from my works-in-progress, a folder of ideas as I build part of Sidney Dennison’s library, and some of the things that happen in my day to day!

“Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

To the KING be all the glory!

Save

Save

Farewell, 2016. Welcome 2017.

2016 is an era of the past. Though, I suppose, that really doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you, since January also an era of the past, as well. I always do seem to get to my New Year’s posts rather late.

For me, 2016 was shrouded under a cloud of confusion, marked with hesitation, and haunted by flashbacks to the darkest time of my life. And yet…

– In May of 2016, my beautiful, sweet, darling niece made her appearance. I know I am just her auntie, but I had no idea how much I needed this little girl in my life. Her smile is enough to make one forget about a difficult day, snuggling with her is the best, and she is just absolutely precious.

– Also in May, just after my niece arrived, I reached my twenty-sixth birthday. Every birthday to which I attain, nay every single day, minute, second, is a testimony of God’s grace, goodness, and protection in my life.

– In July, I was blessed to man a booth at our state Homeschool Convention. It was a blast, as usual, and I loved seeing my friends, reconnecting with previous book buyers, and meeting new people. The booth, too, was a success!

– Also in July, our dear friends in Colorado came for a visit. We had a lovely week reconnecting, laughing, playing games, and enjoying life together.

– In August, the LORD showed me His ability to provide and brought to a head, that His directions are there to be obeyed. I stopped transcribing, and He brought me to two families, who I now nanny for, much to my enjoyment and delight.

These are the events that stand out the most. That and the Christmas season, which was a combination of haunting memories and rediscovering the absolute joy of celebrating the birth of my Savior.

Now, the new year is not only upon me, but already turning on its wheels. The LORD is good. He is faithful. He is majestic, sovereign, and beyond my comprehension amazing. Yes, I still have fears that try to assail me, regarding the coming months. Things that, for the most part, I have absolutely no control over. Yet, the LORD has provided and taken care of me thus far and He won’t change that. 2017 is no foe; it’s a tool in the hand of the Creator, to be used for my greater good, no matter the events that come to pass.

I pray that this year is a year of growth, faith, trust and excitement – excitement in the adventure that is awaiting me. Because, isn’t that what life is? It will be difficult at times, there may be seasons when the sky is so dark, that I don’t know what to do or think, but there will also be days, when the rain is pouring and revealing rainbows, and the sun is shining in a bright blue sky. There will be days of battle, where I’ll be weary and ready for the end to come, but there will also be days of rest, when the path is easy and bright. What kind of adventure would it be, if everything stayed the same?

Welcome, 2017. I’ve got my armor and my God is in control of every detail, so I welcome you. I am ready as a handmaiden of the LORD and a warrioress of my King.

To the KING be all the glory!

~Why I Love Being an Author…

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My friend and fellow author, Ashton Sweeney, put up a post awhile back titled, Why I Love Being an Author. That sounded like a fun idea for a post, and while mine won’t be filled with all the lovely photographs that she graced her post with, I decided to do my own version, listing just a few of my favorite parts of being an writer. It simply took me forever to take this post from paper, to Word document, and then to blog.

~ I get to work and play with words. All kinds of words. Long words, short words, complicated definitions, and simple meanings. I get to create word pictures, use similes, and research synonyms to my heart’s content!

~ My characters. Maybe this should have been first. Obviously, this is only related to anything that I write that is fictional though. (And I like writing non-fiction. Don’t let the long periods of my silent blog fool you!) Still, I love my characters. I learn so much through writing about them – more than I ever thought I would. And, while it may sound cliché, my characters are almost like my “friends,” because they are very real in my head. Even the ones who aren’t based after someone I know. Sometimes those are even more “real” to me, than the others. I even go back to read my own books, just because I start missing them.

~ I get to weave a complicated tapestry with these fictional lives, as best as I can, and it’s just so much fun! I also get to delve into one of my favorite things – a mystery. I almost never know the end of my book, before I get there. I love that! It keeps life adventurous.

~ The LORD teaches me so much, while I write. I’ve mentioned this before, but He does. And I hope He doesn’t stop. Often, it’s been downright painful, but it’s also been beautiful.

~ The readers. I love hearing that someone enjoyed my book or how one of my writings touched them in some way. Anyone who might be blessed, because of something I wrote, is an answered prayer.

~My imagination gets to stretch. The part of crafting a story, where you know what A represents and you understand C, but you have no idea what B is or how it builds a bridge between A and C – and you really just haven’t a clue how any of these tie into E and F at all, but you’re still missing G… My imagination gets to work a lot and, sometimes, that means lots of dishes get washed. Because my imagination’s sidekick, seems to be a stack of dirty dishes.

There you have it! Just a few reasons for why I love being an author!

To the KING be all the glory!

Definitively Defining

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Joy.

Have you ever lived your entire life, saying and hearing and writing and seeing words, knowing the meaning or thinking you know the meaning, and then, one day, you decide to try to define those words, actually define the meaning in clear simple English… and you find that you can’t?

Thankfulness.

Have you ever believed that your life reflected a virtue, believed that other people can see it, then you find yourself brought face to face with a definitive picture of that virtue… and you realize that you don’t have that virtue at all. Or if you do, it’s pretty shallow and not very strong.

Praise.

Trust.

Some people don’t think definitions are very important. All my life I’ve heard words, connected certain definitions to those words, and lived my life based on those definitions.

You know, a dictionary is an amazing thing. I’ve always loved ours, but I don’t think I ever used it enough. The Bible is even more amazing, but have you ever thought that a proper understanding of the definition of a single word, can make a well-known Scripture verse even more powerful?

For instance, the definition of joy. To rejoice; to be glad; to exult. That can certainly give new meaning to “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…” James 1:2

Or how about thankfulness: Gratitude; a lively sense of good received. Follow that up with “In everything give thanks: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Then there is the definition of praise… To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works. And To do honor to; to display the excellence of. Then I find this verse: “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

How about trust? Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I got these from Mr. Webster’s 1828. It’s my favorite. :)

So, you might be wondering what my point is, about now.

I’ve read these verses a hundred times. Maybe more. But I haven’t always either fully known or just brought to mind the fullness of the definition behind the words. For instance, if I am to consider it all joy – whenever I face trials – I am to rejoice when I am facing trials. Rejoice!

Taking these definitions in hand, I can say that I am to rejoice during any trials, while having a lively sense of gratitude at all times, extolling my LORD in song continually, while resting my mind on the integrity, veracity, and justice of the King of Kings.

Also, notice the continual use of “whenever” or “continually” or “in everything.” There shouldn’t be a break in any of these. There will be. I am finite, human, and lacking in perfection. I am fallen and not without sin, therefore, I will fail. But these should be in my focus. They should be in the forefront of my life. I should be joyful, thankful, praising, and trusting every day and every minute of my life, and when I am not, I should be realizing that and working to fix it.

But, when I do fail, it’s a sin against my LORD and that brings me to repentance. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God. “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:12-14)
 
If I truly repent, than He truly forgives. To relinquish the practice of my sin, means I must acknowledge or confess it first. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Forgiveness: The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty. The pardon or remission of an offense or crime; as the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.

The pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty. That line… The LORD offers me that. Despite the fact that I sin so much and so often. Praise Him for that! “Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117)

The dictionary is an amazing tool. One that should be utilized more often and not forgotten. Methinks I shouldn’t let it get so dusty quite so often.

To the KING be all the glory!

Climbing Mount Difficulty with Shouts of Praise

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I had so many aspirations for posting on my blog in 2016. I was going to start in January and be quite consistent. I even wrote out several posts, but never typed them.

Then, before I knew it, May had arrived and my blog still hadn’t been touched since December. Granted, I’ve been really busy with things… Still, it’s time I resurrected this silent, sad place. So, here’s my New Year post… Just five months and twenty-four days late.

What did I say last year, when writing about the Longest Year of My Life? That I wanted my year-end post to reflect the LORD and what He was doing in my life – and not just focus on myself.

I have commenced this post many times, only to tear it out of my notebook and toss it aside. The primary reason was that I couldn’t seem to get my focus right. It just kept coming back to me, not what the LORD was doing through, in, and around me.

Borrowing from John Bunyan, I have called 2015 my climb up Mount Difficulty. Much like Christian, who, as he trudged over rocks and avoided cliffs, began focusing on his trials and the weariness that he felt, I have wanted to focus on the circumstances and trials that made this last year so difficult. Even when my rocks were silver and the cliffs showed sparkles of gold, I wanted to notice the rough edges or the scrapes and bruises that I’d accumulated.

Still, the LORD is gracious. He keeps reminding me and convicting me of the importance of praise and focus on Him. All year, He kept reminding me, and while I often failed, the LORD kept pushing me toward giving those shouts of praise, while I struggled on.

So, as a belated good-buy to 2015, here are a few works of the LORD from those twelve-months:

-I became a sister-in-law, when my younger sister, Bethany, got married in May.

-I am an auntie! And I have the chance of sharing my birthday with my nephew or niece. We’ll see. (As of this month, I have the most precious little niece outside her mama’s tummy. No, we didn’t share a birthday, but it was close!)

-I typed, edited, and finally published 24 Days Before Christmas. I never would have finished without the LORD’s help. Certainly a project beyond my human abilities alone.

-I got to stay with the Marr family for three different visits, including around the birth of their little Susannah in March. Always a blessing.

-Lastly, the LORD brought me so far this year. I may expound in a later post, but it was in the later part of the year, when the LORD reminded me where He had brought me from in a year. Despite the trials and struggles of 2015, despite the climb up Mount Difficulty, I have come so far from what felt like the Valley of the Shadow of Death in much of 2014. The LORD has been so good to me. So good. I still have much to learn, I am still anything but perfect, but he has brought me so far! I stand amazed.

-Fear and trust. The LORD has convicted me much on these two. They’re opposites. Fear doesn’t allow trust. Trust kicks out of fear. Fear of man, life, circumstances. Trust in the God of the Universe.

Do I have any idea what this year will be like? No, not really. A move and the arrival of my nephew or niece. [Well… The move happened. Wow, that’s a long story in and of itself. My niece is here too! Still, I still have more than seven months that could bring all sorts of things.]

Prayerfully, I’ll grow closer to the LORD. I have a new book to write. And maybe some short stories or a serial. I could give into fear. There are several things that I could list, that could easily fill me with rather more apprehension.

Still, I’m learning. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

That last is what I’m doing. Committing this year to the LORD of Hosts. After all, He does know what He’s doing. He has my life in His hands. I can trust Him.

Maybe I’ll move beyond trust and actually get excited. Because, if the God who made the Universe is in charge of 2016, who knows what He has planned?

To the KING be all the glory!