Saturday, April 25, 2009

While I Was Away

I just got on the computer... yes, I actually do take time away and venture into the real world, although at the Angel game tonight (2nd night in a row) Jacob wondered aloud if my laptop would get wifi in the stadium, and I had to confess I had wondered the same thing myself... but blogging or surfing live from Angel Stadium would surely require a sudden and severe intervention. And besides, what would I do if it got hit with a foul ball? Anyway, there's just a reflection of how blog/computer crazy I have become.

OK, so back to my original thought, I just got on the computer and realized it's been a WHOLE FIVE DAYS since I blogged last! Unacceptable! It's like the whole world has turned upside down! Were you wondering if I had fallen off the face of the earth? Thanks to the six people who still stopped by yesterday during the end of this little mini-drought! (I took this photo at the game last night with Tori and had to turn the camera upside down to get the button on the right side... I kept it that way since it clearly works with my them... smile.) Rest assured, however, I have not been slacking off.

First off, I have started writing another book. I say "another" because somewhere around here are four chapters of a novel I started more than a dozen years ago (probably) but that after the severe criticism of a valued friend (who was mad at me at the time) I shelved it and never picked it back up again. I had four chapters then, and this week I have completed the first four chapters of a new novel. I feel like I'm at a critical point, like I have to get that 5th chapter written just to prove to myself I can.

No, I'm not going to be sharing it here, especially right away. I have chosen two trusted friends (who had read the previous book as well, but were not the ones who criticized it) to be my sounding boards. They will be honest with me but they know to have kid gloves. If you're a writer then you already know that your writings are a lot like your children, it hurts you when someone criticizes them harshly. You are not oblivious to the fact they are not perfect, but you need the criticism to always be constructive and done in love. I suppose all criticism should be done in such a way, but for me, the profoundness of this truth is never more apparent than it is when it comes to my writings.

Both books are about topics that are important to me. The first book was about the aftermath of abortion, a topic that was in the forefront of my life at the time I wrote it. This time I am writing a story about a marriage because of my concern for what I see happening in the church today. Marriages are in trouble. I am a big "word picture" person when it comes to teaching, sharing and learning, and so I cannot think of a better way to express my heart than by telling a story. If you're so inclined, I would love for you to pray for me about this project.

Next to writing one of my greatest passions is teaching. There was a time when I got to do it very regularly as a part of the women's Bible study team at my church. I think the biggest draw for me is the sense of the Holy Spirit as I am doing it. I feel the pleasure of the Lord as I make myself completely submissive to His will in my teaching. I have my notes and make my preparations, but once I step in front of the women, I am open to allow the Lord to speak through me however He wills, I leave my agenda aside and wait for Him to reveal His. It's exciting.

So anyway, I get to teach a workshop next weekend at a half day women's conference at the church. I'm super excited, and I have been spending a lot of time thinking and preparing, and I stayed up till 4 am this morning putting together the outline handout I'm going to give to the women. Then I spent a big part of today making my teacher notes. I'm very pleased with what has come together and am looking forward to finding how it all comes about. I am teaching the workshop twice and I'm interested to see the differences between the two sessions. I know it will be two different groups of ladies and that the Lord will have something (at least) slightly different to say to each of them. It will be interesting to see where the emphasis falls. God is faithful to show up in a very real and personal way.

I've been doing a few other things like helping put together a couple skits for the women's event, and it led to me spending a good couple of hours yesterday sampling "rain and thunder" tracks. I am blessed that my very talented son has a much better mind and imagination for the theatrical then I do. It was kind of fun to have him help me with his gifts to better accentuate mine. That boy is growing into quite the talented young man.

OK, so no deep spiritual insights this week. It's not that I haven't had anything worth writing about, but I've been concentrating it towards my teaching for next weekend. I could tell you them here, and I probably will, but not now. If you're local I'd rather you come and here it from me live! As well as listen to a great speaker, take another workshop, participate in some awesome worship and have a nice lunch.

I do hope to fit in a few more interesting blogs this week (I have completed most of my preparations for next Saturday and only prayer remains) but I don't have it in me tonight... staying up till 4 am kind of knocks that out of you!


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