Happy New Year!
First I want to give a huge thank you to all of you who take the time out of your day to read my words. I have experienced swings of renewed purpose and doubting my calling, of spiritual highs and soul-deep dryness, of joyful growth and painful pruning; your likes, comments, and follows have encouraged me to continue writing through all of life’s seasons. Indeed, my friends, our Father has used you mightily to grow me up in my purpose here. I appreciate every one of you, and hope my words have given you encouragement, hope, and even a chuckle or two throughout the year.
(((Hugs to you!)))
As we begin this bright and shiny new year, my prayer for all of us is this: that we may truly comprehend the depth of our Father’s love for us.
May we become rooted in the knowledge of our position as beloved children of El Elyon, God Most High. We are royalty, my friends, secure in our status and infinitely treasured! Isn’t that a lovely thought?
May we allow that to become more than mere thought, but to soak down deep and become our reality. Then we can, through the grace of our Lord, be unshakable and filled with joy, regardless of what may come our way.
May we be the light of this world, our Father’s love pouring out of us in rivers, drenching those He brings our way. Let us live out our eternal reality each and every day this coming year!
Grace and peace to you,
*Photo by Serge Bertasius Photography, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
When I began blogging two years ago, I did not expect the amazing community of writers I would get to know. There are many wise and gifted storytellers out there. Once in a while, I stumble upon someone who can infuse their stories with such passion and vividness I feel as though I am experiencing life with them. Mary Ann Perez is one such writer.
As she has shared parts of her story on her blog I have been privileged to see life through circumstances very different than my own. I have seen through Mary’s eyes and I have both laughed and cried. Her story has given me much to ponder about my own life, and of how insulated I am. Her words have given me a compassion and empathy I didn’t have before, particularly for children growing up in unstable environments.
Herding cats would have been easier than trying to corral my young son’s attention. His eyes were constantly moving, taking in everything and nothing all at once. He would pace and chatter, touching whatever his hands happened across. Those hands would absently explore an item only to discard it and move on to the next, though never back to the place it was found. If I needed to impart instruction, I’d grasp him by the shoulders and say, “Stop for a minute and look at me. Listen. Are you with me?”
Fuzzy head nodding, his soft, hazel orbs would settle on my green ones for a moment before darting away like a school of fish. They would swim back to mine every so often as I spoke my instructions, but never for long. There were simply too many other things to look at and process. Our doctor said he had Superman hearing, but my words often got lost among the many distractions in his young head. Touching him and making eye contact seemed to help. A little.
I’m an affirmation junkie. Gary Chapman would say that my dominant love language is ‘words of affirmation’, but that sounds too tame. I think I may actually have a problem here. The mailman once told me I was beautiful. No, he wasn’t hitting on me, he was simply being his normal friendly self, but his words impacted me. I grinned all day. I ran those words through my head more times than is polite to admit. But more importantly, I felt beautiful because of his compliment.
I used to keep every nice note given to me. Each word of thanks or praise was read and reread, then tucked away for safekeeping. They made me feel good. Mere words on a page have a mystical power over me. Reading them makes me feel loved, and more, worthy to be loved.
I watched the numbers climb with equal parts delight and dread. As a writer, I want my work to be enjoyed. Each piece I put forth for public consumption represents hours of painstaking labor. A crummy first draft can be pounded out in short order but I refuse to post the first unpolished words that find their way out of my cerebral cortex. A significant amount of time is spent rereading, rewording, and bouncing off of my manly Muse before I present the finished product. So as the number of views broke my admittedly modest personal record, I couldn’t help but feel a tingly sort of thrill.
However, as the number of people viewing this particular post continued to rise I began to feel a sense of unease. I became rather obsessive about checking my blog stats that week and my heart became unsettled. Thankfully, the furor died down quickly. After all, I am but a blip on the radar of the blogosphere. But the conversations that ensued in my own circles as well as the ribbing I received only served to burden me more. Why?
I cursed a blue streak this morning. I’m not quite sure what came over me. Perhaps it is related to the fact that my left ovary woke me up at 5:00 this morning; the pain shooting all the way down to my knee, for Pete’s sake. The ol’ hormonal roller coaster of my advancing years is…notably more intense than I’d anticipated. Or maybe I can blame Microsoft for making things so danged convoluted. I am convinced that they are conspiring to drive the average person insane so they can take over the world.
I was recently given the opportunity to be a part of a book launch. This was something totally new to me, and it has been fun to see a little of what it takes to get a book off the ground. I must confess to some feelings of apprehension though. I knew that, while book reviews aren’t really what I do here on this blog, I would feel compelled to at least mention the release of this book as part of its launch team.
But what if the book was a real stinker? Anyone can self-publish these days, but that doesn’t make them all good writers. What if it was only so-so? What if it had no impact on me whatsoever? I wanted to be able to, in all good conscience, give a positive yet honest review. In spite of my reservations, I accepted the challenge.