God’s Fingerprints

I see them all over my life

God’s fingerprints

He gave me

A believing mother

He led me to

Bible College

There I met

My husband of over 30 years

God tapped us on the shoulder

And let us know

It was time to move

So we prepared to do so

Then

We received a call

Asking if we were settled

We had no doubt

This was where He wanted us

(Still is)

With the first of three children in tow

We moved to a small city

I hadn’t even known existed

There He provided

A brand new townhouse

A church family

A readily-available shopping mall

(I didn’t drive)

Jobs for my hubby

The years went by

And still His fingerprints were evident

Income-earning opportunities

While I stayed home

With the kids

Fellow homeschoolers

After years of going it on our own

Eventually

We purchased

A home of our own

But more importantly

Than the outward

Faith

Hope

And love

During the good times

During the hard times

During the heart-in-a-vice times

When I couldn’t breathe

He was the Breath of Life

When my cathedral of faith crumbled

I found myself

Safely on the Firm Foundation

When tomorrow is uncertain

He reminds me

You have Today

And I am with you

I promised

Never to leave you nor forsake you

And I won’t

Your are secure in

My grasp

My fingerprints

Are all over your life

Always have been

Always will be

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

It’s Not Too Late

Stopwatch

Heartbeat

Check

Pulse

Check

Mental faculties

Check

Determination

Check

Support network

Check

Though I have missed

Many opportunities

Though I live with

The consequences

Though there is no

Going back

Today

I am alive

Today

I am blessed

Today

It’s not too late

To do the right thing

To apologize when needed

To pursue new adventures

It’s not too late for you either

“I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

ROW Check-In

ROW Logo

Round 4 is well underway . . .

Writing Goals

Morning Pages . . . Monday-Friday (three pages of unblocking my creativity as close to first thing in the morning as possible)

I plan to start again tomorrow.

As a participant in in OctPoWriMo, I will be writing 31 poems this month. I missed the kick-off, so I best get at it. (What a great way to get back into the habit of posting here!)

This is the first year I’ve used the prompts . . . at least for the most part. Although I’ve written multiple poems on at least three days, I’m on track to get 31 written this month.

Next month I will be participating in PiBoIdMo. I plan to come up with 30 new ideas for picture books and write at least four new stories.

I’ve already come up with a couple of ideas.

I have begun compiling a file of my writing prompts and hope to make it available as an ebook.

I’ve started the process of copying and pasting. Then comes editing and organizing.

I am also working on a book of devotionals based on the gospel of John. It’s going to take quite awhile to get it together, but I hope to make significant headway before the end of the year.

The plan is to get five devotionals written this week.

I also have my ongoing projects of writing four seniors’ living articles per month and at least six guest blog posts.

I plan to write two articles this week and two articles next.

I write weekly guest posts for Christian Editing Services and Kimberley Payne’s site. - on track

I write monthly posts for Under the Cover of Prayer and InScribe. - on track

I write a guest post for InScribe’s pro blog about once every six weeks. - on track

*NEW

- compilation of fitness tips (ebook)

- compilation of my photos and inspirational thoughts/scripture verses

Editing Goals

I am copyediting one project (and making suggestions on another) and hope to get several more in the near future.

I’ve completed the second read-through/edit of the first project and have made some headway with the other.

Submission/Publication Goals

I plan to submit 6-12 picture book manuscripts by the end of Round 4.

The plan is to submit at least two before PiBoIdMo begins and the rest during November.

I would love to have my ebook of writing prompts available by the end of the year. Since this will be my first foray into ebook publication, we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve got lots to learn before the end of the year. :)

*NEW

Enter writing contests and submit piece(s) for publication in one or two anthologies.

I entered four pieces in InScribe’s annual contest and won first place in one category.

I’ve entered two of “Write to Done’s” Flash Fiction Competitions. I didn’t win the first time round, but we’ll see what happens with my second entry.

I’ve entered a Kindergarten story writing contest. (Telling a story in 150 words, now that’s challenging.) Win or not, it was a good exercise.

Reading Goals

So, here are the novels I have on the go right now . . .

Laura Jackson’s Worth the Wait

Rachel Phifer’s The Language of Sparrows

Janet Sketchley’s Secrets and Lies (pre-published) - reading a chapter per day

Rachel Starr Thomson’s Exile

Cathy West’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow (revised) - reading a chapter per day

. . . and the nonfiction books . . .

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

Kathy Ide’s Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

James Scott Bell’s Self-Publishing Attack! - reading and highlighting regularly (part of that learning curve I mentioned)

Derek Murphy’s How to Write, Format, Publish, Promote Your Book Without Spending Any Money - also part of the learning curve (I’ll dive into this one after completing JSB’s book.)

Erin MacPherson’s The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby

Larry and Kathy Miller’s Never Ever Be the Same

And yes, I would like to complete them all before the end of the year.

Fitness Goals

30 minutes of cardio Monday-Friday - glad tomorrow starts a new week (hoping this virus takes a hike very soon)

Upper body workout – 2x/wk - time to 1) break out my exercise DVDs and/or put together a routine of my favourite exercises

Lower body workout – 2x/wk - same as above

Continue drinking more water and eating better (It’s coming!) - in the form of caffeine-free herbal teas at this point (It’s getting chilly in the Great White North.)

Miscellaneous Goals

I wrote this heading before filling in the above categories. I’m thinking, except for a little organization around the house, I won’t add miscellaneous goals this time.

My hubby’s on holidays this week. He’s completely reorganized his office/the guest room. It looks great. I s’pose I should help with some of the many other things that need to get done around here.

Well, except for taking advantage of Zenfolio’s free 14-day trial photographer’s website. Sigh!

While this was a bust, Christian Editing Services is starting a stock photography service and I’ve uploaded about 100 photos. Karen really likes them, so I’m excited to see what happens there. Some may even appear on book covers. That would be so cool.

I need to update my website.

I am one of the vendor’s at a local fundraiser in November, so I want to get the site tweaked before the end of the month.

Categories: ROW80 | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

OctPoWriMo (Poems 16-19)

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Fall days

The sights, the smells

Bring happy memories

My favourite time of the year

Autumn

IMG_9133

Winter

Despite the cold

The pristine snow cover

Diamonds glitter on the landscape

Lovely

IMG_9531

Springtime

New life abounds

Around ev’ry corner

With promises awakening

Joyous

IMG_7773

Summer

Laughter and warmth

Evenings in the backyard

The lightning bugs put on a show

Love it

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Journeying to Inspiration

Day 15 – Halfway There

IMG_0649

It’s halfway there

But does it know

Halfway across the path

Halfway to becoming delicate and beautiful

I’m halfway there too

(Or more)

I’ve journeyed at least

Halfway through this life

While the caterpillar must focus

On the Now

I’m often tempted to look back

To look ahead

To do anything but

Focus on the Now

Content that I will one day become

All I was created to be

I must accomplish the task that is

Here and Now

Content to learn from the past

Content to anticipate the wonder

That is Journey’s End

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14 ESV).

Day 14 – Inspiration

IMG_9554

For over three decades

This man has been my inspiration

Sometimes I’ve acknowledged it

Sometimes it has escaped my notice

But there he was

Fulfilling his vow

To love me as Christ loved the church

Selflessly

Wholeheartedly

Ceaselessly

When I didn’t deserve it

When I was hateful and spiteful

Over the years I’ve grown

Grown more in love with this gift

Grown

I trust

To be more of a blessing

To the one who has blessed me beyond measure

With God’s help

From this day forward

I will do him good

All the days of my life

I will inspire him

As he has inspired me

“She does him [her husband] good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:12 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

OctPo Catch-Up

Day 13 – Colour Your World

IMG_0374

Determination

I’ll add colour to this world

His beauty will shine.

“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 ESV).

Day 12 – The Art of Obsessions

IMG_9510

“Look, a bridge; look, a winding path!”

and i take yet one more picture

another bridge

another path

twists and turns

a hidden future

does it add uncertainty and fear

is my heart anxious

or is it expectant

a bridge to traverse

the dark waters

a path to lead me on

though I can’t see beyond the next bend

the sun is shining

what’s ahead

holds promise, opportunity, revelation

and after the Very Last Bend

the Son is shining

waiting

to welcome me home

so i will cross the bridge

and i will take

the path before me

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore(Psalm 16:11 ESV).

Day 11 – Courageously Speaking for Children

IMG_9446

run fast

pump arms and legs

for joy not from terror

would that the children could delight

and run

“Let the little children come to me [Jesus] and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ROW80 Check-In

Writing Goals

Morning Pages . . . Monday-Friday (three pages of unblocking my creativity as close to first thing in the morning as possible)

It’s hit and miss.

As a participant in in OctPoWriMo, I will be writing 31 poems this month. I missed the kick-off, so I best get at it. (What a great way to get back into the habit of posting here!)

So far, so good.

Next month I will be participating in PiBoIdMo. I plan to come up with 30 new ideas for picture books and write at least four new stories.

I have begun compiling a file of my writing prompts and hope to make it available as an ebook.

Sometimes the assembling is almost as challenging as the writing.

I am also working on a book of devotionals based on the gospel of John. It’s going to take quite awhile to get it together, but I hope to make significant headway before the end of the year.

I’m having trouble gaining traction, but it will come.

I also have my ongoing projects of writing four seniors’ living articles per month and at least six guest blog posts.

Looks like I’ll have to write two this coming week, but that’s okay. I’ve written four in one week when necessary.

Editing Goals

I am copyediting one project and hope to get several more in the near future.

I’m on target with this project. So far no word on any others.

Submission/Publication Goals

I plan to submit 6-12 picture book manuscripts by the end of Round 4.

I would love to have my ebook of writing prompts available by the end of the year. Since this will be my first foray into ebook publication, we’ll see how it goes.

*NEW

I’m also thinking of compiling a Life Through the Lens inspirational book featuring my photography.

Reading Goals

So, here are the novels I have on the go right now . . .

Laura Jackson’s Worth the Wait

The further into this book I get, the more I enjoy it.

Rachel Phifer’s The Language of Sparrows

This book grabbed me from the first chapter. I can’t wait to make more headway.

Janet Sketchley’s Secrets and Lies (pre-published)

Hopefully I’ll make some significant headway in the near future. I’d like to get it read quickly so I can write a review.

Rachel Starr Thomson’s Exile

It’s nice to have a fantasy in the mix.

Cathy West’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow (rev.)

I’m finding I’m enjoying re-reading this story. And here I thought I didn’t want to re-read novels.

. . . and the nonfiction books . . .

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

I haven’t gotten back into the book, but I am using the journal for my morning pages.

Kathy Ide’s Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

I re-read the section on commas a couple of times. The use of this little punctuation mark can be so subjective.

Erin MacPherson’s The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby

I got very little read this past week.

Larry and Kathy Miller’s Never Ever Be the Same

Now that I’ve fired off my endorsement and the edits are off to the publisher, I’ve slowed down.

And yes, I would like to complete them all before the end of the year.

Fitness Goals

30 minutes of cardio Monday-Friday

Upper body workout – 2x/wk

Lower body workout – 2x/wk

Continue drinking more water and eating better (It’s coming!)

Not a total washout this past week but close to it.

Miscellaneous Goals

I wrote this heading before filling in the above categories. I’m thinking, except for a little organization around the house, I won’t add miscellaneous goals this time.

Well, except for taking advantage of Zenfolio’s free 14-day trial photographer’s website. Sigh!

I think I’ll let this slide for the time being. It’s definitely something I want to dive into in the future, however.

Categories: ROW80 | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Hurting

Lonely Woman

(image thanks to pixababy.com)

hurting

and heartbroken

yet seeking acceptance

someone to love her as she is

God does

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Persevering Poets

Stairs in Woods

dear poet

don’t give up

we will not all write

epic poems

some will be

simple rhyming couplets

a cinquain

a haiku

perhaps an acrostic

as this was going to be

take courage

look inside your heart

what brings you pain

sadness

delight

like music

poetry reaches

from one heart to another

glorious sunrise to darkest night

and everything in between

whatever you’re feeling

wherever you are

whoever you are

you can be among

the persevering poets

“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Disciples Indeed Workbook Book Review

Disciples Indeed CoverIn Bobbie Cole’s Disciples Indeed Workbook, she shares how “writing an episode from your walk with God will remind you of what He has done for you … strengthen your faith … and focus your attention on what He is doing in your life.”

The workbook teaches readers how to do so in “a lively and coherent way,” a way that will “draw you closer to others,” who will be “inspired, comforted, and encouraged by your words.” What a great goal for believers!

There are tips for choosing the specific incident you want to focus on, how to draft, prune, hone, and share it. It isn’t about condensing your life story into five minutes, just telling a single vignette.

To walk you through each step, each module, Bobbie uses her own “5-Minute Testimony” and other examples as well, including an incident from the Apostle Paul’s life.

Bobbie’s conviction is that personal stories “cannot be challenged, are entertaining [when well-crafted], and have the power to stir emotions in our listeners.”

Bobbie encourages you to make your stories “authentic, engaging, coherent, lean, and relevant.” Again, through examples, the author shows you what that looks like.

If you’ve read much of my writing at all, you will realize just how important openness, honesty, and authenticity are to me. Though the author states that we don’t have to share a difficult or challenging circumstance from our lives, she does remind us that when we do, we can build a bond with our listeners/readers. They can see how God came through for us in our tough time and draw the conclusion that maybe He will do the same for them.

This resource, when used with the others the author has penned or on its own, will help you recognize what God has done in your life and zero in on one specific story you can share with others, whether how He met you in your dark time or just how He reached down and made Himself known in an everyday situation.

bobbie-ann-coleTeaching others how to tell their story is central to Bobbie’s ministry. She publishes the “Encounters with Jesus Blog” on the Testimony Train site, where you can read stories by people from all around the world. She also offers workshops on the topic of writing and sharing your story.

It’s hard to take off my editing hat when I’m reading a book to review—and there are a few things I would change in the Disciples Indeed Workbook. Even so, if you are looking for encouragement, motivation, and some solid guidelines on writing your story and sharing your faith organically, this would be a very helpful tool. (I think I will reread the workbook myself and as I do, I intend to follow the steps and polish one of the stories from my life.)

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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