Saturday, August 30, 2014

Why do I do that???

So today I was asked - in front of a group - if I am published or do I write just for fun.
I said that I have been published a couple of times but I mostly write for fun.
Which is true.
Sort of.
I do write for fun.
But ultimately, I really do want what I write to be published!
So as the words flowed out of my mouth and I minimized the stuff that has been published as just little nothings...
I wanted to kick my ARSE for doing that AGAIN!

Why do I do that??
Why is it SO HARD to see myself as a writer?
I was a mom the moment I became experience, no successes to prove my worth...
I was a student before I learned anything.
In every paid job I ever held...cashier, assistant manager, seamstress, secretary, receptionist...etc
The title was mine before I ever proved I could do the job.
Then I began to design cards, jewelry and other artsy creations...
"What do you do?"  people would ask.
"I'm a stay-at-home mom" I would reply.
I was.
But I was also an artist...not the paint on a canvas type of artist, but an artist just the same.
People paid their hard earned money for the work of my hands...
One of my designs was featured on the cover of Handcrafted Jewelry magazine...
The cover!
Why couldn't I say it?
Why are "artist" and "writer" titles I deem too lofty for me?
I don't know.
But I'm going to work on claiming my dream...
Giving worth to my work.
Owning my endeavors as more than just something I do for fun.
I do have fun writing...I love to write.
And maybe that's part of it.
It doesn't FEEL like work,
This thing I do, fingers dancing on keys, creating words and sentences and paragraphs.
It feels a lot like fun.
But it's so much more than that.
It's a calling.
A deep desire to share what God places on my heart.
A longing to inspire other women to do the same...
To believe in their ability to write and to put their work "out there"...
"Out there" where with one set of finely positioned words, a life can be changed...
A muse awakened...
A woman, who once thought herself just a person who liked to write for fun...
Can finally say with confidence, "I'm a writer...I'm writing a novel and I submit articles for publication and I love to encourage other women in their writing too."

1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Empty Nest....(again)...

My daughter and son-in-law are 1,089 miles away.
My youngest daughter is 2,104 miles away.
My son is a whopping 8,446 miles away.
I'm going to make one of those fun directional signs for the back yard...
The ones that cheerfully point the way to places we love...
Mine will include Gillette, Wyoming;  Chicago, Illinois; and Velburg, Germany.
Lemonade from lemons...
When the nest is empty, I must be creative!!

This fall will be interesting...
Lots of transition going on.
My husband is retiring (sort of).
Wait, we're too young to use the word "retire".
He will end his career with the State Patrol and the Army Reserves,
And begin a new career with the Department of Health.
We're excited for this new phase of life.
He'll be HOME more!
He'll keep NORMAL hours!
(Normal...what's that?  I hear it's awesome...can't wait to find out!)
My goals will focus on things like making dinner every night...
Running more regularly...(it's been a busy summer)...
I will focus in earnest on my new card line...
(Fun Christian cards that do not have flowers or birds or lambs or syrupy sentiment anywhere on or near them!)
On writing...and re-vamping the novel I began and left sitting all summer...alone...abandoned...
And settle into our new church...
That feels like home...
And start a new writing group for the nice ladies I'm meeting...
Oh, the fun we'll have!
And embrace once again, the nest that is empty...
Oh so empty.
Yet full of opportunity...
For what?
Who knows!  I'm asking God to lead...

Psalm 37:23
The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way.

This directional sign is made by Lori of Whimsey Studios. She makes and sells these signs and many more wonderful illustrations of which I've purchased several!  Here's a link to her etsy shop.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Shadows and Sunbeams...

I took a bit of a break from running this summer.
LOTS of stuff happened...
It was a busy one.
I've been fitting runs back into my mornings lately.
It hasn't been easy to "start over".
And really, I haven't had to start over.
Breathing is easy...
My legs get very tired though.
And then there's the aches and pains afterward.
Buck up, Heather!

So the other day, I was running on the trail...
It was 7am on a sunny Saturday and no one was up...
I was all and my iPod...some bunnies...
and Needtobreathe.
I kept pushing replay.
Multiplied...Washed by the Water...Lay 'em Down...Difference Maker...etc.
I appreciated that they had been shuffled together.
It doesn't always turn out that way.
Bunnies darted out from the hedge of fern, salal and Queen Anne's Lace...
They would run with me for a while and dart back into the brush.
They distracted me from how tired I was getting.
I'd only run about a mile or so.
I didn't want to quit but I really, really did want to quit.
I saw a patch of sun ahead.
I'd run to the sunbeam.
The shadow seemed to stretch as my eyes locked on the patch of light.
Keep on going, keep on going..
Needtobreathe serenaded me...
"Your love is like radiant diamonds
Bursting inside us, we cannot contain
Your love will surely come find us
Like blazing wild fires singing your name"
The sunbeam came and went and I hadn't collapsed in a heap, so set my sights on the next sunbeam.
But... I had to go through the shadows first.
The shadows always seem to stretch...
But the sunbeam finally came and I looked ahead to see how far the next one was.
It was do-able.
So I kept going.
"God of mercy, sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to Your design
May this offering stretch across the skies
And these Hallelujahs be multiplied"

It occurred to me as I ran from sunbeam to sunbeam,
That life is like that.
Shadows and sunbeams.
Sometimes the shadows stretch, but we know that if there are shadows, there's a sunbeam ahead.
And sometimes the sunbeam is wide and long...
Warm and bright...
We soak up the light and then another shadow.
God is faithful in the shadows and the sunbeams.
And I'm so thankful that He runs with me...
On the trail...
And off.

Psalm 36:5
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.