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30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 13} Poetry and Prose

13 Nov

My poetry is not something I have shared as much on this blog.  I have used Allpoetry.com as the outlet for those words.

But I love poetry, prose, limericks, and the like.

Raw emotions harnessed within the lines of meter and sometimes rhyme; poetry is the world’s window to the soul.

I am grateful that God has gifted me in sharing written words, whether as story or metaphor, imagery or fact.

I pour my soul from pen to paper as if my blood is the very ink with which I write.  I convey that which I cannot speak.  I create from hope, tears, love, pain, and grace.

My life lines the paper and I am laid bare.

This was a poem I wrote for Allpoetry Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 9} Drama Queens

9 Nov

I love to read.  It is a luxury that I took for granted before the hubs and I had children.

Pre-children, I could lose myself in a good novel or series and read cover to cover, no interruptions.  I would read non-stop and often experience a book hang-over after completing a really great read.

Post-children, I usually have to wait until after bedtime to pick up my latest novel(s) and I am often too exhausted to read more than a chapter or two, not able to summon the enthusiasm to let the book transport me to another world.  It has been a real adjustment for me to not finish a book within a day or two of starting it.  Continue reading

Want to Add a Little Sunshine to your Week?

11 Apr

Well, I got my first blog award!  Whether you put much stock in these awards or not, I’m proud to claim mine!  Thanks to Wendy Reid for offering up the chance to win the Sunshine Award!  I recently started following her great writer’s blog, Wendy’s Works.  You should stop by and check out some of her work!

Wendy was recently awarded the Sunshine award by submitting a flash fiction story of 100 words or less.  Instead of then choosing 10 people to pass the award to, she set the same challenge to her readers.  Submit a flash fiction story of 100 words or less, containing the word “sunshine,” and you were eligible to win the award.  If less than ten entered then everyone was a winner.

I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Continue reading

Beautiful Sacrifice: Day 36: Lent Journey~

4 Apr

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Matthew 26: 6-13

I can imagine the disciples grumbling to one another about how foolish this woman was for wasting such an inexpensive gift.  “How can she be so wasteful?”  “Imagine all the good that we could do with the money that perfume would bring.”  “Why is Jesus just letting her do that?”

Instead of ignoring them and letting their grumblings linger, Jesus immediately silences them by defending the gracious actions of this woman.  He calls what she did beautiful.  Jesus acknowledges the disciples concern and the fact that yes, there are the poor to help, but that the poor would still be there to take care of, and he would not.  He was reminding them not only of his impending death, but of a deeper lesson; to be able to see the big picture of how they were to serve, as well as those who had an immediate need of extravagant grace and love.

Sometimes the need to demonstrate God’s extravagant love is the only way to bring healing, hope, or grace to a broken life.  Perhaps through an expensive gift offered in an extreme demonstration of loving surrender says, “You are valued and worthy of this sacrifice.”

Let me paint a picture…. Continue reading

Must Share MWF

16 Mar

I am not alone!

In my search for a new best friend, in close proximity, that is.  (You can read about why I am searching HERE)

Thanks to WordPress, I came across an amazing blogger and author, named Rachel Bertsche, who not only started a blog about seeking a new best friend.  She wrote a book about it!

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend

I ordered it!  (Yes honey…I love you honey!) And I ordered the paper version, not the Kindle.  Sometimes you need to hold the actual pages.

After perusing her blog, I cannot wait to get my hands on the book and read away.

Do I think it will be a magic bullet, cure-all and will automatically land me a best friend?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But it will help me not feel so alone in my search.

Here are the details: Continue reading

Are You White Rabbiting God?: Day 15: Lent Journey

9 Mar

“God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness.  He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost.  He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”

2 Peter 3:9 (The Message)

I enjoy the classic Disney film, Alice in Wonderland.  I adore the mischievous Cheshire Cat.  I think the Mad Hatter is endearing, and what a dear little mouse.  I even find a soft spot of sadness for the unhappy Queen.  I do not, however, care much for the persnickety White Rabbit.  Whenever I watched dear Alice chasing the rabbit’s retreating tail, I found myself wanting to flick him in the head for being so darn rude.

Instead of just repeating, “We’re late. We’re late, for a very important date,” how much trouble would it have been to take 5 seconds to explain what you are late for, and why things are looking so very strange?  You have time to consult your giant pocket-watch, you have time to explain yourself, rabbit!  Instead he scurries off, repeating the endless phrase, We’re Late, and leads Alice into Wonderland.

I wonder if God gets tired of our endless white rabbiting?

Image courtesy and copyright of Disney. Image is a screencap and displayed for personal and fan use from http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/pictures/white-rabbit-pictures.html

Continue reading

Day 1: My 40 Day Lent Journey

22 Feb

Day 1 of my journey to deepen my devotional life and draw closer to God, and all He has in store for me (read us) has dawned. (Read here to figure out what I’m talking about.) After posting last night I did some praying and soul searching.  I wasn’t sure how much I was going to share through these devotional insights.  I was feeling led to really open up some of the darker, less pretty parts of where I am, but I was…… well, I was too chicken to commit to that.  I have to be careful as a pastor’s wife not to offend anyone.  Really.  Then after checking in on facebook today I got a swift kick in the behind.  Plumb (aka Tiffany Arbuckle) is one of my favorite singers and she had posted about her plans for Lent. She is planning on posting each night via her FB account about those dark places in her life “as they are exposed to healing.”  It felt like God speaking to me in that moment. “Hey Heather! Toughen up. Trust Me and open up.”

So, as I reflect on the devotionals daily, I am going to really be doing some soul excavation and restoration.  It will not be my intention to offend anyone along the way, but to be honest and open.  I hope God will honor this transparency and bring some needed healing and hope, not only in my life, but maybe in someone else as well.  So, here we go….. Continue reading

Research Update

27 Oct

I went in to the flower shop finally.  After my sweet boys came back with a birthday arrangement from said shop for my 29th.  One more year in my twenties….

I was hoping Aaron had done the hard part for me and asked if the shop owner was needing help, or better yet, hiring.  No dice.  All he did is bring home roses tucked away in an OU coffee mug.  The nerve!  He said that people like a good story and that I had a good story to tell this woman who owns the flower shop.  Linda.  Really, is Linda dying to hear my little story? I would find out.

I had to drive in to Broken Arrow to pick up my mom who was coming to stay with us for a visit, so I decided to swing by the shop on my way out of town.  I had Micah with me and I thought I had managed to make myself appear professionally cute, hip, and put together, but still casual.  The perfect shop girl!  (This is my point of view and I stand by said description.)  So, in the shop we went.  I carried Micah in even though he has been walking for almost 4 months now.  I knew the pretties inside would be well within his grasp and oh so tempting to touch.  Holding him was safer, as I wanted a job, or at least I did not want a bill by the time we left!

Linda greeted us and commented on how darling Micah was, and yes she did think she recognized that cutie pie, and Oh, I was the new pastor’s wife!  She was delightful.  I had hope.  I had run over in my head what my spiel would be.  I had prayed God would give me the words and open the door.  I was more nervous than my dog on the 4th of July.  How do writers do this?  “Hi, I am a writer and I would like to study you.”  Seriously?  I should have googled it.  So, as quickly, clearly, and articulately as possible I told her I was an aspiring novelist who felt led to write a novel about a girl who owns a flower shop, and are you in need of assistance as in I NEED a job, or can I at least come observe, and no I don’t have real experience but I used to watch my mom make arrangements and I think flowers sure are pretty, and I will shut up now and let you comprehend the avalanche of thoughts I just threw at you.  Phew.  It was out there for her to accept or deny.

She was flattered that I would think of her shop and she was impressed that I had a book published so young, and oh my, a novel, she loves to read, but unfortunately she already has some ladies who help her part-time, but I could surely come in and learn and she would love to answer any questions I might have.

Ugh.

Well, I tried.  I didn’t fail.  I have a resource and who knows what may happen down the road, but two birds, one stone, not so much.

The search continues…..  I’ve been taking some great notes and even have a paragraph written!  I also painted some walls in my house and have a few more to go.  Maybe the new color will strike some inspiration….paint colors italicized

“She was sipping her hot chocolate, hoping the warmth would dislodge the chill that seemed permanently attached to her soul lately.  Sitting in the grassy meadow, watching the sun shift and shimmer through the gold and burgundy hues of autumn, Emmy wanted nothing more than to change as freely and beautifully as the leaves.”

Say it with Flowers

5 Oct

It’s time to stop dreaming. It’s time to stop talking. It’s time to start writing. Over the last few weeks, I have been inundated with ideas for novels and blog posts. So far, not much has come of them. Why? To put it simply; I am afraid.

Afraid of what you might ask? Failure. I am scared to death that if I put myself out there, specifically in the form of a novel, that I will fail miserably. My perfectionism is leaving me paralyzed. I’m afraid that if I write a novel, that no one but friends and family will want to read it, it won’t get published, and worst of all, that it will suck.

I dream of being a successful writer. Heck, I dream of just writing. I have for a very long time. I had a poetry book published at age 21! People say they enjoy my blog posts. But I am scared silly to go after my dream.

I’m threatened by my darling husband’s ease with which he seems to write. Just the other day he sent me a chapter he had written just because he felt like it, and it was good, which is no surprise; it’s just intimidating. His desire to write is wonderful and I have enjoyed watching it develop over the last few years as he has blogged quite successfully and played around with ideas here and there. However, I have been jealous. I am supposed to be the writer in this relationship. If he wanted to write, that should have been stated from the beginning, right? Ugh. Jealousy is so unbecoming, especially when he is nothing but supportive of my dreams. I love you honey, and I am so proud of you, and your mad writing skills! I promise to work on keeping that green-eyed monster away and continue to enjoy and support your talent.

So, back to my other issue. The fear of failure. So silly isn’t it? Yet, there it is, blinking up at me from that darn cursor on a blank screen. Blink. Blink. Blink. You. Will. Fail. And it leaves me frozen; all previous ideas fly out of my head. Maybe it is because I have had some success in the past with my writing. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to produce quality work again. I also feel kind of cornered as to what I should or could write about.

As a pastor’s wife, I have been told I need to write Christian books, whether fiction or fact. They need to be holy. Not a bad thing, but I also struggle with the label. I know I am not the next Francine Rivers or Liz Curtis Higgs, who happen to be two of my favorite Christian authors. But as a writer, who am I? Who does God desire me to be? What message does He want me to share? Is it a message mainly for already believers, or does He want me to reach non-believers as well? Hello God. This is Heather. I am listening.

He has been speaking.

As I mentioned earlier, I have had a lot of ideas swirling in my head. Some have come while jogging and walking, some while nursing Micah, some while reading other books, some while driving, and others while watching tv or movies. I think “the idea” happened while watching a movie. In each idea I have had lately, I have heard His whispers. This last one was closer to a throat-clearing command.

I’m going to take a step out in faith, let the spirit move, and write. I’m going to write about flowers.

Huh?

Yep. Flowers. Okay, much more than flowers, but flowers are about to invade my life if this is truly what God is putting in my path. In order to write this book, I need to do some research and the perfect place came to mind about the same instant the idea struck. There is a little flower shop right down the road from our house. I haven’t been in it, and I don’t know if they are hiring or if they need help, but I am going in there and I am going to learn about the flower business. I will do this because my main character, Emmy, is going to own a flower shop and I can’t have her looking incompetent. So, I’m praying they can use my help, even volunteering, and let me learn all I can about flowers and how to let them speak.

I know that I will be posting some updates and maybe some sneak peeks as the book develops, but I am still very torn on posting large chunks or chapters, as I’m not sure how copyright applies to original works on a blog. If anyone knows, please feel free to inform me!

So, I’m going to stop talking about writing, and I am going to let the writing tell this story that I know God has placed on my heart. I’m believing in Him to open the necessary doors, such as florist shops, and rely on Him for strength, courage, and love. Lord knows I will need it and Him. Some flowers to make the creative space more inspiring would be nice too!