Tag Archives: hope

Fun with Characterization and Casting

I’m having a blast casting for my latest novel. A work in progress (WIP). I’ve come up with some creative ways for me, a visual learner, to get a better glimpse into the different personalities so that the characters aren’t all mirrors of one another, ultimately mirroring only my thoughts and personality. How boreing would that be? 🙂

So here is a colague I made of a minor character in the story named Hope. You can see that it is in a spiral notebook. The notebook folds completely flat and had fairly thick pages that I paint on, colague on and write on. It goes everywhere with me and even keeps sermon notes, research, sometimes a shopping list or two.

I used magazines and elmers glue so it isn’t expensive but gives me a quick reference when I need a reminder. I will put notes and thoughts on this character in the handprint later.

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Ready for raw honesty? Hope, promises, life struggles and things I can’t talk about.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”- Revelation 21: 2-4

I don’t like raw emotion and I really don’t like to cry so when it comes to my struggles I tend to keep myself busy enough to try and forget.

I had a wonderful talk with a dear friend the other day. We talked about ministry, family, and personal struggle. The person struggle part is something I’ve been avoiding.  The trouble is, I can only forget for a while and then the monster will start to sneak up on me from that deep dungeon I thought I buried him in. When he sneaks back, I don’t even recognize what’s wrong especially when I am isolated and completely self reliant.

Do you want to know what self reliance did for me? Loneliness, insecurity (and anyone who knows me IRL knows I hesitated to type that word 🙂 ), depression and two pretty major cases of PPD, along with general sickness and unhappiness, unrest and imbalance as I tried to keep that monster buried!

It all changed in a small group that I didn’t think I “fit into”. Afterall, I had few things in common with the older women in the group. I stayed because it was “the right thing to do” but I didn’t intend to know anyone, let alone be known.

What changed this time? Good friends, honest friends, friends who challenge me to face my fears and conquer them with Christ. Friends who won’t take no for an answer but will always be there until I’m ready. Friends who see through me, into me and really want to know me.

How in the world did I find such women? I didn’t. They are purely a gift from God that, thankfully, I choose to accept. Though I can say, I was not a quick one to break.

Because of recent conversation with some of those women, I’m ready to face my fear.

————

A friend and I, walking barefoot in the sand, were brainstorming the characters for my current WIP and the conversation turned to each of us. Here we were, psycho analyzing imaginary people and we decided to try it on ourselves. So I asked her, “What is your core value? At the end of the day what does it all come down to?” Nearly an hour and several stories later we came up with a satisfying answer for her. Then it was my turn.

I discovered that my greatest desire is knowledge. At the end of the day it all comes down to what I learn, how I pursue a new piece of information or not get daunted by a task I can’t figure out. It all comes down to learning and what I can know.

I had an “ah ha” moment. That’s exactly why I’m having such a struggle. Now what to do about it?

For the next week I milled it over in my head and bounced some ideas off of Matt. “Why can’t I have balance? Why do I have to pursue knowledge to such a degree that I can hardly sleep at night for some current obsession, er’ hobby?”

He had a good thought. “It’s seasons honey, you just have to ask God to give you clear direction and allow Him to take care of the rest.”

Okay that’s all fine and dandy but I still hadn’t identified what exactly was eating at me so I obsessed for the next couple day as to just HOW I was going take this new knowledge and learn something from it so I could not be so troubled.

Hmmm, sound familiar? Maybe that’s exactly the trouble and I haven’t truly gotten to the bottom of this… this… thing. Have I?

——————

So, after all that set up, here goes. The thing I hate to talk about. The current thing that I must surrender or continue to get eaten up by.

My daddy’s Alzheimer’s.

All the uncertainty that comes with that. How long? How bad? And the real chance that I could easily be next.

I really thought I’d forgotten about the fear, learned to live with the way things are now. I haven’t. I’ve been in denial.

You may have noticed that I put up a ribbon on my side bar but I don’t believe I’ve ever written about it. This is my one biggest monster right now. My greatest fear. A constant source of despair and confusion. I’ve prayed and fought it and hoped for a miraculous change but I feel I’ve lost that battle. It’s real and its not going away.

Well, I don’t yet feel better but I know that I need to face this thing. According to the verse I chose at the top of this post the way to win this battle is to go ahead and loose it, then forge ahead and win the WAR!

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Filed under Random, Reality, Ruse

FAB Friday – helping Haiti

Here’s what I want to do today.

Visit Beth Moore at the Living Proof Ministries Blog and read her post Cries For Mercy 

We could all use a little perspective in the Haiti crisis. Beth outlines some practical ways we can help in a seemingly hopeless situation.

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The doctor served me lemonade.

The doctor, my neighbor and friend who’se been trapped inside his own body over a year now, spoke volumes to me yesterday when I visited. Reading to him weekly has been my custom since the day of God’s harebrained plan about reading. If you’ve missed the two posts explaining what has happened so far be sure to read up.  The link takes you to the first post and from there you can read the second.

I showed up a little late after wolfing down my dinner. Every day I’ve visited before I have relied on my chatty nature to get us through the evening. Jane takes her daughter to youth group while the Doctor watches me talk and eventually read. Many times he tires, whether from my droning 🙂 or the mental taxation of keeping active when everything you once knew is so unattainable.

The extent of his movement has been one uncooperative arm and occasionally fidgeting of his feet. He rarely has moved his head though he can when being deliberate. I’ve received one goulish smile and during the first ever visit he attempted to whisper “Hi”.

Setting down my bag I walked over to the 60yr old Doctor’s wheelchair to say hello. It shocked me when he began to talk. Labored and extremely quiet, but talking none the less!  I shook my head and laughed. “You’re talking! Just a minute let me get my jacket off.”

I had to lean in close to hear what he was saying but the short conversation that ensued left me baffled, feeling blessed and encouraged.  “How are you?” He smiled broad and beconed me closer.

“I’m great. You don’t know how excited I am to hear you talk! I’ve been praying for you.”

He shook his head yes and smiled again. I couldn’t help myself, my heart bubbled over, elated and a little scared. I leaned in and gave him a huge hug! He wrapped both arms around me and hugged me back!

I pulled back and looked into his eyes now sparkling with new life. “You look great. Is this hard for you to talk. What I mean is, is it physically taxing?”

Shaking his head vigorously yes he scrunched up his face as if to protest the work! He made a FACE! Do you know how huge this is? The man had a massive stroke over a ago. Doctors say that after a year a person’s progress is pretty much stunted and yet each time I visit, he gets better and better.

I never read to him last night instead we visited. Sometimes pointing, sometimes with whispered words from him and a waterfall of words from me. Sometimes he made faces that explained his meaning. At one point while talking about the difficulties of breaking through the barrier that the mind imposes on him he mouthed to me, “We all need to slow down.”

In other words, life it so short. This is a man who had everything the world could ask for… success, financial stability, a beautiful family. One moment in the middle of the night took it all away and he was forced to slow down. Yet, he says “We all need to slow down.”

Forced into his situation I have a hard time believing I would have that perspective. I fear I would beg God to let me die and become bitter with time. Please Lord, let it not be so!

My Bible Study this morning reiterated that message with this passage…

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough touble of its own” Matt. 6:33-34

I am witnessing a miracle!

God, change my perspective as I seek to let go of my tomorrow’s.

How will you slow down?

This post is featured at Blog Schmog’s Fuget ABout it Carnival. Read how others make lemonade out of lemons HERE!

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Filed under FAB Friday Carnval, Random, Reality, Ruse, True Tales

I’m a Reading Rainbow

I did finally get to read to my neighbor.  It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

My friend whom I met with in regard to God’s harebrained plan about reading to her husband the doctor, was glad to see me and optimistic about our arrangement.  Unfortunately her husband had fallen asleep and she was not able to readily wake him so instead of introducing us she left me with her eleven year old daughter while taking her other kids to youth group.

Waiting made my anxiety worse.  My husband had asked earlier in the day if I was nervous and at that time I was not, even when I showed up I was not but sitting there I began to entertain my reservations.

What will he think of this crazy plan?  Will he think I intend to evangelize him without compassion.  I bet he is wondering if whatever I have planned will allow him yet another chance to sleep or let his thoughts wander.

I chatted with my heart in my throat, nervous about what to do if he woke.  At last we heard him coughing in the other room and that darling little girl got up and ran into his room exclaiming, “Good morning, sleeping beauty!”

It was actually six at night!

“Do you wanna meet a new friend?” she exclaimed and beckoned with her hand for me to enter.

Thank you Lord! 

I had been so nervous about how to approach him and yet this lovely little girl had taking away all tension with her plucky introduction.

Lord, help me not to talk down to him, help my conversation to be comfortable and respectful.  Lord give me the right words so that I don’t pity him but that your love shows through me and your hope is evident without my having to preach at him.  Jane and I want so badly for him to learn to trust you, help me to understand your timing.

She left us alone and I sat beside his bed and began to explain why I had chosen the book that I did.  Despite the fact that God clearly directed me to read House, by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, I had many other reasons for agreeing with Him and I shared those. 🙂

As I spoke I took in a couple quick glances at the pictures above the bed, they were of healthier times for the doctor and I was shocked at the stark difference.  Though he had thick cotton white hair even then, it was silky and bright .  Now his hair was a coarse gray mat against his head.  He had been a big man with a broad inviting smile.  Now, emaciated and limp, his smile ghoulish, his head appearing too large on his skeleton frame.  My heart ached.

I opened my book and read stopping now and again to take a sip of water and allow him to cough.

We finished one chapter and I paused to talk a little about myself.  I told him briefly about each of my kids and that I felt blessed to know his family.  His daughter came in to check on us and I took another drink of my water while conversing with her.

I read another chapter and twice I made major mistakes that sent us both into laughter.  His eyes sparkled and he tried to laugh but it caused a coughing fit.  I winced at the pain it seemed to cause him as he gagged and sputtered.  I could not believe that I was sitting there, next to a man who was so incapacitated and yet the Lord was allowing us to fellowship.  I was not disturbed by the monitors and wheelchair.  My mind was filled with compassion and my heart longed only for him to know my Jesus and accept the promise of complete healing whether on earth or in heaven.

I read a total of three chapters and in the third had another laugh fumbling around with my voice attempting to recreate a “booming” male voice.

Though I had seen the sparkle in his eye and thought I made him laugh it was hard to be sure how he was taking it until his daughter ran to her mother the minute she arrived and exclaimed “He was so into it, I haven’t seen him that alert!”

My reservations were wiped away and the Lord graciously confirmed that His thoughts are completely different from ours…and His ways are far beyond anything we can imagine.

I read again soon and will be sure to keep you updated.

“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your way and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.  They cause the grain to grow producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.  It is the same with my word.  I send it out and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  You will live in joy and peace.  The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!  Where once briers grew, myrtles will sprout up.  This miracle will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; it will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

Isaiah 55:8-13

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Word Filled Wednesday

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I am a woman of many words and I’ve long lamented the fact that I cannot participate in Wordless Wednesday because of that fact!  Nevermore will I be disappointed because this meme is simply beautiful.  Wordfilled Wednesday is a photo sharing meme where the point is to tell a story using God’s own words.  I love it.
I took this picture off my deck about a week ago.  The sunsets here are simply breathtaking.
Link up with your own Word Filled post by visiting All You Have to Give
Host of this weeks meme

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