Monday, October 29, 2012

Much More

Hello, Monday.

Thanks for living up to your name. You never cease to give me material for my Manic Monday Challenge posts.

Today began with the realization that my furnace was broken. I didn't freak out, didn't lose all hope, or any of that nonsense. I did make a futile wish that God would heal my furnace, but that didn't happen.  

He did much more than that.  He spared my life, my husband's, and the lives of our pets.

Lest you think I'm overreacting, here's the scoop on the furnace.  The repairman looked it over and told my husband we were lucky to be alive.  He said that the wrong fuses were installed with our furnace, and instead of kicking the circuit breakers off it burned the fuses and the electrical wiring. Typically when this happens, it causes a house fire.  And our little single wide trailer would have burned down in no time at all.

Thank God that did not happen!

I'm thankful that God spared our lives.  I'm thankful He chose to keep my home from burning down and for keeping my family safe.  I'm thankful for life, with all the joys and challenges that come with it, and for another chance to breathe life into others.  To hopefully encourage someone else to keep going, to keep fighting when you want to give up, to live despite the suffering and hardships you face.  

My friends, I'm also giving myself this pep talk. Life is hard. My life is hard.

I wonder how I'm going to pay the bills that never seem to end.

I wonder if I'm ever going to have a little girl of my own to love.

I wonder if my husband and I will ever stop fighting and just get along.

I cry, scream, and get mad at God for being far away, quiet, and for never answering my pleas.

Yet I hold on to hope. I hold tight to what I know is true, what is right, what is pure.


He is all of those things, my friends.

And today, He spared my life.

If you need encouragement today, let me know in the comment section. I'd love to let you know you're not alone & to pray with you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What's Good Today?

Dear Monday, I hate you.

But you are not winning the battle today.

You see, I choose to find the good despite of my circumstances.

I choose to see today as a beautiful mess, with all its crooked lines, shadows, and craziness.

He is all that is good about today.  And that is enough.

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. (Psalm 62:1)

How was your day friends?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jake's Story

At the end of August, I reviewed Joe Bunting's new book "Let's Write A Short Story." As part of my review, I declared I was going to write a short story by the end of September.  Well, that never happened.  Fast forward to October, Writer's Unite month, and I said I was going to focus a bit more on my fiction project.  And also work on a short story.

Today I'm giving you a peek into a short story I started working on last week.  I'm hesitant to share this with you as it's not much.  But it's a start.

Here's the interesting thing about this story - it started with an image of a cowboy sitting under a tree. In my mind, I saw this cowboy going to a county fair later in the day with his sweetheart.  At the end of the evening, he was going to propose to her.  When I started typing, the cowboy turned into Jake, and his story does not end with a proposal.  I have no idea how his story is going to end as he is still telling me his story.

With that in mind, I hope you enjoy the beginning of Jake's story.  Feel free to leave feedback.


He reclines under his favorite twin oak tree on the sprawling family ranch, hat pulled down over his eyes, hands folded over his chest, ankles crossed. His jeans dusty and boots muddied, Jake has been hard at work since dawn, like every other day since he turned eighteen. Instead of heading to college as planned, Jake stayed on the family ranch hoping to alleviate some stress.

For the past two years, Jake has risen early to feed chickens and gather eggs, sweep out horse stalls, and tend the garden. He spends his afternoons in the office, managing the books, keeping tabs on funds coming in and going out. Jobs his father used to do.  Before.

A breeze stirred the leaves and threatened to blow Jake’s hat from its resting place. With a groan, he removed his sweat-rimmed hat from his face and sat up. He glanced at his watch, 5:32pm. Jake stood, relishing the last few moments of peace before heading back towards the house. His mother would have dinner ready soon. There was just enough time for him to shower and change.

Dinner with his mother and father was a nightly routine, one they had kept since the day Jake and his sister were born. His parent’s motto was “families who eat together stay together.” Jake didn’t mind. He had never been one to rock the boat. Not like Shaylee.

Jake’s twin sister, Shaylee was the rebel, bucking the rules of the family from an early age. As a two year old, she would repeatedly tell their mother “no,” hands on her tiny hips, shaking her blonde curls. Her blue eyes held a hint of glee at seeing the frustration on their mothers face.  Even then, she relished in causing her mother grief.  

Shaylee was a daddy's girl.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jackhammer Headache

Another Monday has come and is almost gone.  Thank goodness, right?!

Here in the great state of Ohio it is cold, damp, and just a generally dreary day.

Things at the office were OK. It started off slow, but ended up being rather steady.  The only truly annoying factor was that there were men outside using a jackhammer all afternoon.  Needless to say, I came home with a huge headache.

However, the day hasn't been all that bad.  In fact, my husband surprised me this morning by taking out the trash as I had forgotten to do so last night.  He also didn't argue with me when I asked him to feed Brutus and Twix as I was running late (as usual) for work.  And, he shaved his beard today.  Rather than leaving his hair all over the sink, he made sure the sink was wiped out clean.

I'd say my husband has been pretty wonderful today. Thanks babe!  :)

Monday isn't over yet, but it looks like this evening is going to be a good one, as well.  First up, dinner with my husband.  Then a meeting with some pretty awesome ladies from Centerpoint.  Should be home just in time for a new episode of Castle.  :)

So how was your day?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Does God Know What He's Doing?

Monday has come again.

And with it, chilly temperatures.

My home was quite cold this morning as was the office.  The guy that controls the heat in this office waited two hours to turn the furnace on this morning.  My fingers have just now begun to thaw out.  Thank goodness, as typing with cold, stiff fingers is difficult.

It's afternoon now, and I've already found one good thing about today - heat! :)

There's another good thing about today that I want to share with you.  It's from a devotional called Jesus Calling.  Last night I read the short passage for the day and was reminded why I started the Manic Monday series.  Here's what it says:

Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life. Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly present in it. Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank Me in all circumstances. Trust Me and don't be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty.  (1 Peter 5:6-7; Psalm 118:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Mondays suck.

Instead of having a pity party, however, it's time to rejoice!  It's time to find the good, positive things about the day and focus on them, remembering that God knows what He is doing.  Life is hard, but God is present in the difficult times.  He is abundantly present.  If nothing else, be thankful for that.

What are you thankful for on this Manic Monday?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October is Writers Unite Month

This summer I declared to the world that I'm a writer.  I started to blog more frequently, even creating a series called the Manic Monday Challenge.  I linked up with other bloggers, such as Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday, and Eileen Knowles who goes Into The Beautiful each Tuesday.  I even had a couple of guest posting gigs (Inspired by Love & Crazy Love) with Kirsten LeBlanc and Michael Perkins.

All these things are good.  

The above projects have enabled me to write more. They have allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and engage with new people, some who have become friends.

Yet I've lost a bit of my focus along the way.

My hope for my blog was to write about my heart, my passion, my faith.  And to some degree, I've done so.  But I've always focused so much on doing what others are doing, and writing what everyone else is writing.  My true heart and passion hasn't had a chance to come out because I've been trying too hard to be liked, to make friends.

As much as I want to be liked and to make friends, it's time for a change.

My friend Jim decided to start a writing revolution.  During the month of October, writers will unite to focus on writing what we really want to write.  For me, this involves four things:

1) Writing what I know I should be writing - my heart & passion of faith and outreach
2) Writing for an audience of One
3) Writing on my blog, but also in my journal
4) Encouraging other writers

Did you join the revolution? What is one thing you're working on?

P.S. Another thing I will do is work more on my fiction project.  Unfortunately, my fiction project has taken a serious backseat to blogging.  Oh, and remember that short story I said I was going to write by the end of September?  That didn't happen.  Yet.  While I make no promises to write it this month, I really want to write a short story some day soon.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wet & Wild Monday

Hello Monday. We meet again.

This fine Monday began in the pre-dawn hours long before the sun peaked behind Mount Logan.  My precious slumber was interrupted by a fervent howl from Brutus, my black and silver Schnauzer baby.  His tummy has been upset for a couple of days, and this morning it caused him to wake early for a bowel movement.  

Lack of sleep coupled with the fact that today is the first of the month hampered any expectation that the day would produce any good.  Add a few dark clouds with a bit of rain, and what do you get?  A wet and wild day.

The office was in bit of a frenzy as is always the case on the first of the month.  The phone was ringing and the door was swinging, all day long. Not to mention the continued search from Friday for a misplaced file (that I am determined to find even if I have to turn the office upside down tomorrow).  

Even in the chaos, good is found.

One of my co-workers is celebrating the birth of a grandchild.

Another is celebrating marriage.

These are good things - birth, marriage, life.

My good came tonight at a meeting.  Seriously.

The leadership team of Centerpoint is simply amazing.  This group of family and friends are dedicated, hard-working, passionate people who genuinely love and care for one another.  Their love for Jesus and people are inspiring.  God couldn't have given me a better group of people to lead with and do life with.  (Love you guys!)

How was your Monday?  Share one good thing from your day in the comments!