Write 31 days- Day 1

Write 31 days- Day 1

Hello everyone,
I am taking some baby steps to being brave this month. First endeavoring to write either here or on Instagram every day for the whole month of October.
Every year there is a Write31 days challenge. Taking every day in the month of October to write something. Whether it’s a random post on social media, 300 or 3000 words for novel, or simply responding to a prompt someone has specifically made for this writing challenge.

So here goes…

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Day One

Everyone has a story, you were created and formed and living your life. Your stories are what make you who you are.
Seasons in our lives are like chapters in a book. Sometimes we are just slogging along, you know those book that have parts that get bogged down. Or the chapters that seem to be nothing but background and set up for what is to come. That’s you, that’s me.
We all have times in our lives where we feel like we are just getting by. We all have those beginning chapters, or flashback chapters that form our foundation.

Then there are the plot twists. Especially with mysteries. Things we can’t see coming as we are reading along. But we all love the stories where the main characters overcome loss and, or hardship. Where they find love, where they succeed and win at this story of life.

My story is pretty boring by some standards. Pretty fun and exciting by others. But the one prevailing thread that has always run through it, is writing, reading, singing, make believe. There was lots of make believe in my younger days, I was the youngest by 11 years. So mostly an only. I had friends but there was a lot of alone time. Time to create plays from books for our parents, time to write and read.
I still have those very early stories. Written in pencil that has faded over the years.

The writing, reading and music took somewhat of a backseat in college because I just never thought I could do that and study. Note to younger self, find some that believe you can do that and learn from them. As in a novel, sometimes the action shifts.

Deciding to follow after Jesus and realizing my need for a Savior has only enriched my life story. Still there are struggles. As with a novel there have to be some conflicts for the character, otherwise it lacks substance and growth for both the flow of the novel as well as the characters involved. It allows the reader to feel empathy or sympathy for that character. And maybe some recognizable traits within themselves. And in the case of our life stories those times give us testimonies a ‘here is how I made it through’ type offering to others who are in that place we once were.

God has a marvelous way of drawing you back, returning you to the place of dreams. Because, after all, whether you are a believer or not, He is the one who placed those dreams and gifts within you. In a story there is usually change in one or more characters. Just as in life, a good character isn’t stagnate, your life isn’t stagnate. Growth is stretching, it’s stepping out into unknown areas. Or areas that at one time felt familiar and known and possible. But as we grow up those previous things sometimes get over shadowed by simply growing up and becoming an adult. With adult responsibilities.

God has nudged me ever so gently back to creating.

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I’m stepping out, taking baby steps to being brave. Some know I write, some have encouraged me beyond belief that I am a writer. Some have even taken my meager submissions and published them. So this month, I may not be consistent, I probably won’t stick to a theme. (I realized in pondering this that I have lots of ideas). I may not have pithy things to say every day. So some days will be dreck. But that comes with the territory of writing, of story, of living life. Not everything is wonderful. Many parts of life are mundane.
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But I will do my best to write something. Sharing mostly this month, the honing and practice of the craft. Sharing books. Occasionally sharing my Savior and all that that encompasses.

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Photo Credits:
-Book photo by James Bold on Unsplash
-Typewriter photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash
-To Be Continued photo by Reuben Juarez on Unsplash

When You Are Asked to Step Out on the Water

When You Are Asked to Step Out on the Water

You might have heard of the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United.

I have heard some say that you shouldn’t sing that song either individually or as a congregation if you don’t mean to take the lyrics seriously.

Kind of that ‘be careful what you ask for’ stance.
Now, water walking can look different for each of us.  But it will always be a place of stretching, a place of growth, of preparation, and probably a little anxiety.

In Matt. 14:24-31, the disciples are on a boat in the middle of the Galilean sea when a storm happens.  And of course Jesus, seems to be nowhere and the disciples feel alone.  Then suddenly, through the wind and rain, they see someone walking towards them on the water.  Of course they are frightened, they don’t know quite who or what it is.  Jesus is far enough away to not be seen clearly. But Peter being quite bold, asks,  “If you are Christ, bid me come.”   And Jesus does just that.

Peter, being Peter of course, just climbs out of the boat and steps onto the water.  He is looking at Jesus, eyes fixed straight ahead and he starts walking…on the water.   The storm is still raging, winds are still roaring , waves are still rolling. Nothing has changed.

Except Peter.

He took those first steps.

But then ,for some reason Scripture doesn’t say, Peter suddenly notices the waves and the fact that he’s walking on the water.  And that’s when Peter starts to sink.  Probably became frightened.

As any of us would be if we were honest.

He had taken his eyes off his goal, off what Jesus was calling him to do.

He took his eyes off Jesus.   He cries out and Jesus, who wasn’t next to Him before, is now reaching him and picking him up out of the water.  Then He asks why Peter started to doubt.

That’s why perhaps, when we sing the song “Oceans”, or maybe any similar song, we have to be careful.

We have to really know that we will go where Jesus calls us.  

That our focus will remain on Christ.

The beauty of this is that, if Jesus calls us to do some water walking, He’s right there supporting us.

In the scary parts, in the doubting times. 

Remember, the rest of the story?  Jesus, who was far away, the moment Peter started to sink and become frightened, Jesus reached for him and lifted him back up.

That’s the wonderful thing about God.  He may call us to do a bit of water walking.

A bit of stretching,  Asking us to get out of our comfort zone. But He’s right there with us.  He knows it’s out of our comfort zone. He knows He’s asking more of us than we think we can do.

But Paul wrote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

So we can step out, we can walk on the water.  Because Jesus is right there.  And if we get a little nervous, if we hyperventilate a little bit, He has His arm stretched out. Maybe not changing the situation, but supporting us as we walk with Him.

So what is out of your comfort zone? What are you feeling God is calling you to do? That next thing?

That new thing?

That God breeze you aren’t sure what to do with ?

Trying a new type of creative endeavor?

Keep your eyes focused on your goal, on your calling.

On Jesus.

He will never let you sink.

 

Day 3- Count Your Blessings

Day 3- Count Your Blessings

https://youtu.be/f4harwjweIY

Its’ so easy to go through each day, every day, just getting by.  Doing what needs to be done. Going to your job, getting the kids off to school, picking them back up again, chores, repeat.  

Easy to be all consumed with everything. That we forget to take the time to appreciate what is in front of us. To count our blessings.  We  lament that alarm clock going off first thing in the morning and forget to feel blessed to have a job.  

Lament about the daily chores and never stop to be thankful for a place to live.  Or things much simpler, such as the ability to laugh. To hear the birds, to enjoy a sunset or a sunrise. 

Count your many blessings. Name them one by one. Thank the Creator who provided all things for you.  

If it’s hard, start small. One thing as soon as you wake up.  
If you really want to be intentional about it, grab paper or a notebook and write 3 blessings a day.  Just three. 

We often think that when we count our blessings that they have to be those large, tangible things. But there are also many blessings in the small things.  In the intangibles.  

In Jesus’s words “The Sermon on the Mount” mentions a few blessings we can be aware of.  And we probably already fit some of those catagories right now. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecu
ted because of righteousness,

 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”- Matt. 5:3-10

 

Day 2-Plan

Day 2-Plan

Day 2-Plan
#Write31

Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” 

“Give us Hope and a future.” Can you imagine if you never had to plan at all? Totally trusted in the Lord to open the doors, push you through, make all the decisions for you? Etc.

But that isn’t exactly how it works. Yes, the Lord has a plan for our lives.  Plans that He knew about before we were formed in our mother’s womb. He is very much a forward thinker.  But even with that, He knows that we are free thinkers. He created us to have free choice.  So it truly is up to us to go about and make our plans. Not sit idly by waiting for God to move us as if we were but a marionette held up by sticks and string.  But seeking God.  Trusting Him.  Seeking Godly wisdom for our choices.  But even if He were to give us an open door, a Peace about any plan, it is up to us to make that choice.

Even when what we are about doesn’t seem like it’s a good thing, God says His plans are still there.  He knows the end from the beginning. (Is.46:10). So even in the midst of where we are God knew we would be right there.  And the very wonderful thing is…He’s right there with us. He has never left us or forsaken us.