Just Show Up

Sunday night after church I got thinking about this blog. Crazy week, last week. When I went to the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, SuzyQ made a point of telling me if I was going to blog to make sure I showed up. So I’ve been trying to write once or twice a week. I didn’t make it last week.

I went to a doctor on Thursday for a small problem, he got telling me I needed to know every procedure I ever had done and what the blood results were. I rely on the doctor’s records, even though a friend told me years ago that I should keep a journal of medical stuff. I thought it was a good idea, I just never did it.

I told him what I remembered. He told me it wasn’t good enough. Never met a doctor quite like him. His first question to me was, “What are you doing here?” It seemed to go downhill from there. After a thorough exam, he decided I needed to see a different specialist. He told me a couple of things I didn’t know, which I appreciated. Then he began telling me that I was an unhealthy person. I saw my regular doctor the day before and she was telling me how good things looked. So I told him I was healthy, he told me I wasn’t. Back and forth a couple of times. Unbelievable. Laughable today, no where near laughable last week.

It’s a funny thing, my husband asked me if I wanted him to come along. I told him I planned on stopping at a few different stores and having lunch somewhere. He agreed to all that and when I came out of the doctor’s office, my emotions all messed up, it was nice to have someone to lean on.

Sometimes you just have to show up. I’m learning that with him. Sometimes I just need to be there to listen and not say anything. I appreciated him being there and giving me insights that the doctor might have been trying to get across. And he listened without saying anything after his initial response.

He showed up on a whim. I’m very aware that God’s word says that He orders a good mans’ steps. (Psalm 37:23)

Yay, God!

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Write For Life

I set some goals to get my novel proposal done before October 28, which I’ve been meeting. I also decided to write everything for God a while back. It may not always be a Christian work, but it won’t be displeasing to God. I want to write words for life. Jesus said that He came to give life and that abundantly, John 10:10. When I die I want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” In a parable, Jesus talks like this in Matthew 25:21, 23.

In Philippians 4:8 it says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

With all that’s going on in the world, I want to write about Jesus and the hope of knowing Him as Lord and Savior. This life is short and eternity is forever. When I hear that the city of Houston is asking pastors to give their sermon notes to the government in America, where there is supposed to be separation of church and state and I hear of atrocities around the world, I keep thinking the prophecies of Jesus’ soon return are being fulfilled before our very eyes.

If you write, do you have goals set? Are you working on them? If you are a Christian, are you thinking on positive things and praying for others and letting others know of the hope of heaven and the ability to avoid hell?

I wish I was better at it. I’ve been asking God to help me. The gospel is offensive, calling people, all people, sinners. I’m too much of a people-pleaser at times. How happy will they be if I don’t tell them in love of heaven and hell, and they end up in hell? Dear God.

Writing and Living

People ask me what I’m up to. I’ll tell them about writing or seeing a movie or reading a book or attending family functions, or visiting with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve been writing on a novel proposal pretty steadily.

I borrowed a book from the library on writing a novel which was supposed to help more than any other book out there. I couldn’t finish it, even though the writing techniques were helpful.

I’ve heard it said that what you are comes through in your writing. This writer liked to talk about things that I didn’t care to hear about. Then every exercise referred to this author’s interest in one way or another. Anecdotes came out that I wished I hadn’t read. To kill or not to kill may be an example. Then it occurred to me, if more and more of the book lacked appeal, why was I reading his work?

There are many good books out there on improving fiction techniques. I own some that I have not finished, maybe a couple not started yet.

So if you ask what I’m up to, I’ll tell you I’m returning some library books, I went to see the movie, “Left Behind.” I had coffee with a friend I hadn’t seen in months. I keep reading Davis Bunn books this week, one co-written with Janette Oke called “The Centurion’s Wife,” because they touch my soul and I like the way he describes setting and because I identify with his characters. This applies to her, too. And I’m enjoying family.

What are you up to? Do you want to say?

Harriet Beecher Stowe: an Unforgettable American

I’m reading a book called, “Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers” by Jean Fritz, copyright 1994 by Jean Fritz, and published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s always liked to write. So she started as a young girl. Later in life, when her best friend died, she decided to console the grief-stricken husband. His looks didn’t appeal to her, but she thought highly of him. He was a professor of Biblical Literature.

After many months of trying to get him out of his despondency, they began to enjoy each other’s company. Friendship turned to romance and then they got married without much fuss.

I like to read stories of writers and to read of their choices as they become wordsmiths.  She wrote because she felt a compulsion to write. She wrote to become published when her family needed the money to survive. It’s interesting to note that she was an adept marketer. She sent essays to every magazine she could think of, and she found success enough that she hired a housekeeper for three hours a day so she could write.

When her passion for ending slavery arose, she wrote to influence the nation. People accused her of never having seen slavery, but she knew many people because of her famous father, Lyman Beecher. He preached to thousands of people about their need for a Savior to get into heaven and to avoid the torments of hell. So many people sought their family out, and she would listen to conversations from politicians, Southerners, New Englanders, people from Ohio, New York State, preachers and teachers.

When she heard of slaves being mistreated, her compassion stirred up her emotions, which found release in her pen. She met families that opened their homes to the “Underground Railroad.”

She wanted the country to wake up and see that there were no rights for slaves. She felt outrage. Women didn’t have much influence in her life time. So, writing a novel was the only way she could get her point across. She never expected her book to sell like it did.

I sat with a renowned pastor/teacher at a conference I attended one year for our church body. He wrote a book because he looked for one on his topic of interest and there wasn’t one. So he did a ton of research on the subject and wrote it himself. 🙂

It’s amazing how life can turn around with the right incentives, in a way that a person may never anticipate. I’ll bet if anyone told Harriet Beecher Stowe at age sixteen that some day she would write a book that impacted the world, she probably would have marveled at the idea. She was often overlooked at home and bossed around by her older sister. Yet, the fire in her spirit and the joy of writing, combined to create a life beyond her imagination.