Speaking as Well as I Write

When I told my husband I was going to blog tonight I had no idea his comments would provide the basis for my thoughts.

Sometimes when I talk to him, he’ll say, “I thought you were a writer.”

I know the man loves me and wants what’s best for me, and he likes to kid me as well. So tonight when I told him I always put the horse before the cart, Craig told me that’s the correct way for the line up – horse before the cart. We both laughed.

I admitted I wanted to match make for someone I care about and I told Craig I was not going to do that. I don’t know exactly how I said it, but he had to clarify it to understand. “I had not match maked. I was not going to match make.”

“I will not match make.”

“Better,” he said. “Clearer.”

See, there is one problem with writing for communication. There’s always the need to re-write. I know this deep in my bones. So, I can’t really say, but I wonder if I speak now with less thought because I’ve been programming myself for years to just get the words out and worry about editing them later. As a sanguine, that’s my propensity anyhow. Man, I could be in big trouble.

Although, I have to admit that I ask God to guard my heart. I ask Him to guard my tongue. I ask God to help me not to say things I shouldn’t say, just to be perfectly clear. Like He needs that. lol

I’m always aware of words whenever I have surgery. I pray, please don’t let me embarrass myself when I’m out of it.

Once, an anesthesiologist told me I didn’t like it when I was under. I asked him, “Why, what did I say?”

He wouldn’t tell me. I remember seeing lights and a ceiling and I was moving forward and up and I was telling God I wasn’t ready to go. Not that I knew for certain that I was dying. I started telling God I still had stuff to do here. So, maybe that’s what he heard.

I don’t know and I’ll never know, or so it seems. I don’t remember ever seeing an anesthesiologist more than once, except for that time.

How’s your communication. Do you speak clearly? Do you have close family or friends that will tell you you’re not coming across in an understandable manner. I like my husband to read my writing because I trust his judgment, but he doesn’t like to do that for me. Maybe he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. Maybe he hates editing. I don’t know. But I don’t push it much. Hey, I didn’t marry him to be my editor. That never crossed my mind.

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To Divorce or not to Divorce?

There are times in my quiet time with God that I think He is saying “Feed My sheep.”

Then I ponder what He might want me to say. Lately, I’ve been running into people that are married and struggling, married and about ready to bail out of the marriage, and/or divorced and dealing with the downside of their choice – custody issues and money issues and the hurting children. I thank God that there are many married and doing well in their relationship!

My daughter recommended a Christian blog called ElisabethKlein.com. It’s for women in crisis relationships. According to my daughter, Elisabeth never advises anyone when they ask, “Should I divorce?”

The thing with couples, there’s always two sides to the story. Each may sound perfectly true from their own perspective. The real picture is only clear to God. So that sounds to me like Elisabeth Klein has wisdom in not telling people to divorce or to stay together.

When I was younger, my husband and I had very close friends that began to have marital problems. We started to take sides. I said, “We’d better not get involved here or we’ll damage our relationship.”

My husband had been thinking along the same lines. So we supported our friends the best that we could and we left “he said, she said,” out of our conversations.

I chose to write about marriage, so I did a lot of research. In “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study,” a book by
Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee says children suffer greatly from divorce, especially if they change homes every week. It’s hard for them to make friends and to make plans with the friends.

That’s only one downside. Yet, if their home is extremely volatile and they may be forever damaged being there, what can a mom or dad do? It’s no easy question.

I feel fortunate that I married a man that respects me and whom I respect. We never call each other names, even when we’re mad. We talk things out so we understand the other persons’ viewpoint. We offer grace when the other person isn’t getting it. We dated just about every week along the years, and still do, almost forty years into our marriage. We allow each other the freedom to explore hobbies and interests that the other is not interested in, when we can afford the money to do so.

My husband and I recently got online to take the Meyers-Briggs personality test and I told my youngest daughter that I’d bet we were totally opposite. Yep. So we thrive amidst the obvious tensions that can and do arise. We talk things out; we try to comprehend the other person’s viewpoint. I’ve gritted my teeth and held on for dear life a time or two when I really wanted to leave. Once, in an extended struggle, I called his best friends and told them I needed their help. They got in his face and told him a few things I never could have. He needed prodding to get outside his shell.

He stuck with me when some of my bad habits quietly eroded his well-being. I never knew that until a few years ago. I’m more of a confront-er; he’s quiet and ponders things deeply before he speaks. He told another friend that he was advising – on how to save his marriage – that he decided he loved me more than my inability to keep the laundry caught up and to keep the clutter away – my lifelong struggle. How important was the guy’s marriage to him? Could he overlook some things as well?

Maybe it’s because I keep trying to change, with God’s help, and he’s changed because of God’s influence in his life, that the longer we’re married, and the more we walk in the other person’s shoes, so to speak, the better it gets. I tuned in to Focus On the Family radio program often in my life and purchased helpful resources. Their website’s value seems priceless to me.

God hates divorce. Jesus speaks strongly about divorce in Mark 10:2-12. My oldest daughter thinks it’s because God knows the damage it causes. Many years ago, my in-laws divorced, so I researched divorce. One author said divorce caused grief worse than a death because the wounds keep getting re-opened when you deal with the other person. Plus, there’s no rejection in a death.

If you are thinking of divorce, think long and hard about it, I urge. Proverbs 11:14 (ASV) states, “Where no wise guidance is, the people falleth; But in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

Above all, pray. God may ask you to be patient; God may ask you to work on your own failings and ignore the other persons faults; God may say to separate because of the lack of safety for the spouse and/or the children. Another Proverb warns against acting hastily. Proverbs 25:8a (ASV): “Go not forth hastily to strive, Lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof…”

I’m writing this because people I care about have divorced or are considering divorce and it breaks my heart, along with hoping to make an impact on others. Strong marriages are great for society and as Christians, marriage is a representation of Christ’s love for the church, as portrayed in Ephesians 5:21-33.
These verses speak on the roles of husbands and wives and their responsibilities toward each other. May God be glorified in our lives.

To Fear or Not to Fear, That is the Question

I am working on a novel proposal, and I told my primary physician that I would get it sent out by January 12. For those of you aware of the calendar, that is not very far away. 🙂 She wants to read it when it comes out, she tells me. An article comes out tomorrow in “Live” Magazine and that did not invoke near the fear that the proposal writing did this past week. Maybe because it’s smaller and a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. I’m thrilled, that’s for sure.

I’ve gone to the library twice this week, because I don’t get as sidetracked there. I noticed the last time I was there, when fear hit that I needed to acknowledge it, say a quick prayer and then ignore it. Then I typed on. So today I re-wrote my beginning of Chapter One four times. I will do it two more times when I’m done here, that’s the plan. I’ve been working through a book by David Fessenden entitled, Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract. He published it through SONFIRE MEDIA in 2011. That’s one piece of advice he gives for an essay, plus writing six different endings. I actually liked the fourth beginning the best, so far. I figure if it’s good for nonfiction, it’s good for fiction. He talks of re-writing as part of the process.

At Montrose Christian Writers Conference in the summer, Cec Murphey chose my first chapter to dissect ( a few sentences of it, I should say), along with other writers’ first sentences, and he found a few places he thought needed editing. He is an expert, as well. So, I am listening.

Fear may be a part of life, and sometimes it’s a necessary part of life. It may save our lives, if we take heed. It can also steal life from us if it overpowers us. My daughter told me Jesus says “Do not fear,” often. Although, God told people the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge and the fear of God is the beginning of understanding in the book of Proverbs and in Psalms.

I choose to fear God and try my best not to fear change and opportunities and life. How do you conquer fear?

Life Up On the Hill

A friend of mine lives up on a hill. Sometimes she’ll say, “What is the weather doing down there? I’m in the middle of a blizzard.”

I’ll respond, “It’s sunny and clear down here, a bit nippy.”

We don’t live far apart, but in some ways we’re in radically different parts of the world. As I drove up a roadway, on the way to her home, I saw a lady with a mid-blue cap covering all her hair, wearing a long lighter-blue dress with a cinched waistline. Beside her, a much younger version strode with matching clothes and cap, holding her hand, both walking barefoot on the side of the road over the sharp stones with nary a glance down at their soles.

I wish I had their permission to take a picture.

Later, I sat on her front porch and listened to the whir of a hummingbird, louder than the playing card attached to the spokes of my bicycle zooming down the street many years ago, or so my memory tells me. She said sometimes there’s more than one and they get competing or playing, and sometimes they dive-bomb whoever’s on the porch, so Watch Out. 🙂

A bee shared the sugar-water at the feeder when the minuscule bomber flew away. As soon as the pointed beak headed our way, the bee would float out of range and wait until the tiny bird fled. The bee mosied back and suddenly retreated. Our blindingly fast flyer was back to sip again. “They must have an understanding,” my friend said.

We walked her unpaved street and avoided the horse droppings. We turned our backs to the dust clouds from a fast-moving truck. The driver stopped and talked to an Amish farmer a piece up the road. Her neighbors help her when she needs some service for her horse or when she needs a newly milled plank for her barn.

I stayed by her side. I felt a little like a visitor in a foreign land. What a rich life she leads. Would I like to live there? Would you, with dust billowing many times a day? With stores and friends many miles away?