Monday, September 27, 2021

How do writers work?

Before I became an author, I often wondered how writers worked. I pondered what a typical day might look like in an author’s life. Surely they are all disciplined, carving out eight uninterrupted hours a day for penning a novel, magazine article, or whatever project is looming.   

Now that I’m a published author, I realize there’s no such thing as a writer’s typical day. I’d like to say that I write every day, but there are times when other responsibilities take precedence; and, while I tend to be more productive in the morning after a good night’s sleep, my teaching schedule dictates that many mornings are unavailable. Often I must catch an hour here or a half hour there. 

So, if I had nothing else to do--no lesson plans, laundry, grading, cleaning, practicing, doctor’s appointments, phone calls, meetings, etc, here’s what an ideal day would look like:

  • Arise at 5:30 am

  • Proceed straight to coffee maker--robe and slippers optional--and stretch while waiting for the Keurig to warm up and produce that first medicinal cup of Starbucks Breakfast Blend 

  • Carry mug of hot, strong brew to sunroom, settle in recliner, snuggle under favorite flannel throw and sip adoringly 

  • Refill coffee mug

  • Open laptop and write for an hour

  • Eat breakfast

  • Write until lunchtime

  • Eat lunch

  • Write until dinnertime

  • Eat dinner

  • Write until bedtime

  • Go to bed

  • Start again tomorrow

Did I leave out anything? Oh yes, I forgot to get dressed or brush my teeth or do housework or laundry or exercise or interact with other humans. Somehow, it sounded better in my head.

Check out my author website:    

Monday, September 13, 2021

Standing on God's Promises

Have you noticed that when we are sick or grieving or afraid, it’s difficult to see beyond those limitations? When life is less than perfect, it’s challenging to focus on the positive aspects, to notice God’s blessings or even acknowledge God’s presence. Like a magnet, our attention is drawn to where we are hurting. Our pain, whether physical or emotional, distracts us from all that is still good in our lives. We just want the pain to stop. We may decide subconsciously that until we feel better, we cannot experience wholeness or happiness or fulfillment, so we put living on hold.  

The truth about pain, however, is that the more attention we give it, the more intense it becomes and the more self-involved we become. It’s like trying to reason with a toddler who is having a temper tantrum. Every parent learns that giving the child attention during a meltdown is just adding fuel to the fire. 

Both my husband and I have experienced illness this summer. At times it has seemed overwhelming. Fortunately, he has recovered fully, but I have yet to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. It’s frustrating and inconvenient. I confess to sometimes questioning God’s purpose. I confess to sometimes feeling like my life has been placed on I can’t live fully until my health issue is resolved. Any unresolved issue, whether relationship, career, financial, etc. can trigger a similar reaction. As we wallow in our pity party, perhaps we think God is testing us or even punishing us. We might begin to doubt God’s love. Why would a loving God allow (or even cause) me (my loved one) to suffer? 

When such paralyzing thoughts invade, that’s when we need to dive into God’s Word and claim God’s promises. There are so many beautiful promises sprinkled throughout the Scriptures! They are precious treasures just waiting for our hungry hearts to discover (or rediscover) and embrace. I decided to start making a list, one that I can add to and refer to whenever I begin to slip into destructive self-pity. Here are a few of the powerful promises I am claiming as a follower of Jesus Christ:

  • “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you (Hebrews 13:5c).” 

  • “This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).”

  • “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).”

  • “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).”

  • “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise (Hebrews 10:23).” 

Please check out my author website: 
where you’ll find a FREE gift just for visiting.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

We Fear What We don't Understand

It seems to be human nature to fear what we don’t know or understand. But we have a choice in how we respond to our fear. We can either ignore it or we can face it. Ignoring fear is the easy choice but can result in abysmal consequences. Fear that is ignored or denied invariably grows and metastasizes. Because it doesn’t go away, it produces anxiety, distracting us from what and who are important in our lives. As it festers, fear can make us angry, causing us to lash out verbally or even physically. It can make us tired and sick, both mentally and physically. 

A close family member, someone I have loved my whole life, is living in fear. As a result, he has cut off his entire family. He is so fearful of our political differences that he can’t even entertain a dialogue with us. In fact, he has shut down all hope of communication. Sadly, I don’t think our family is the only one going through this.

In his final communique with me, he lashed out at someone he had always claimed to love, calling me names like “Commy, left-wing Socialist, and anti-American.” Incidentally, we have never discussed our political views. It’s just that he discovered we didn’t vote for the same party/candidate. Am I frustrated by his words and behavior? Yes. Am I hurt? Of course! But, after much thought and prayer, I realize his verbal assault and rejection are based on fear. He is lashing out because, as a White man in his sixties, he is afraid of losing his comfortable position of White male superiority. 

I’m convinced that fear is a powerful force underlying much of what we see happening in our country and our world. Political divisions, racial divisions, religious divisions...all are based on fear. I see White supremacy as fear of what will happen if Whites are outnumbered or lose their position of power, if Blacks or Asians or Mexicans or Native Americans are given power--or even equality--what will happen to us Whites who have been conditioned from birth to think we’re superior to people of color. Will we then have to contend with oppression or prejudice or slurs? 

Fear fuels race wars and political conflict. What if someone reaches a position of power whose belief system is not in agreement with our belief system? What if we let Muslims or Hindus or Jews infiltrate our so-called Christian society? Will they out-number us, over-power us or, heaven forbid, try to convert us? We fear what we don’t understand. But, unless we try to understand those who look different, worship differently, or vote differently, how can we hope to achieve harmony? If we refuse to move beyond our base (often baseless) fears, there’s no possibility of engaging in a healthy discussion that doesn’t require us to agree but only compels us to be respectful. 

I still pray that my family member will one day move beyond his fear to initiate open communication in the spirit of love we once shared; but at my age, I must accept the possibility that I may never see or hear from him again. That realization hurts far more deeply than any name-calling. 

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear...(1st John 4:18)."

Please check out my author website: where you’ll find a  FREE gift just for visiting.