Saturday, June 13, 2009


Approaching the crossroads between an ending and a new beginning slows me down every time. I keep looking back at where I've been, and trying to plan ahead for where I'm going. Thankfully I don't drive like that, but when it comes to just living life, I seem to do a lot of slowing down and speeding up, with no steady travel time.
Traveling has been on my mind lately since I am writing some summer vacation devotionals for my church. I've been writing about maps, steering wheels, sunglasses, tents and campfires, and connecting them all to God's word.
This whole process has been like a journey for me since it is the first time I've done any writing like this . . . not my usual strange short stories or poetry. When I journal, I come close to devotional writing if I'm journaling about my Bible studies. I still think that maybe I was a bit arrogant to tell my music and worship director, and my Pastors, that I could write devotionals for summer that were as good as any that could be found for free online.
There is actually some decent writing done online, although not necessarily here at my "writing spot". When I named this blog, I was thinking of Winnie the Pooh's "thotful spot" at Pooh corner.
So here I am in my "thoughtful spot," thinking about endings and beginnings. Yesterday we ended our regular school year. We ended a four year long commitment to WAVA - a distance learning experience like none other. Next year we will be starting something new, and hopefully better at the Homeschool Co-op here in the Harbor, and with a completely different curriculum at home. Math will stay the same . . . at least in textbook format, but without the online component. tmi
Regular dance classes have ended, and we are headed into Recital Week, with rehearsals M-Th, then rehearsals and recitals F-Sat. The girls are signed up for two classes in July, just to keep their feet tapping and their "wings" sharp. Then they have zoo camp - 1 week, and VBS - 1 week, and we are going to try and sign up for skateboard camp - 3 days. We have one "camping" type trip planned out, and one nebulously working in our minds. Despite all these plans, we are looking at most days filled with swimming and friends, and relaxation. A nice change from our hectic pace these last nine months.
Tomorrow night I'll be putting the finishing touches on my summer devotional series, and yet I'll be starting summer and I plan on writing more steadily all summer.
Definitely at the crossroads.
Jeremiah 6:16a "This is what the Lord says;
'Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk
in it,and you will find rest for yours souls.'"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Writing Sruggles

An awesome day, and I'm already in the thick of life this morning. My daughters and I are working on our lessons, and I sent off two devotionals to the worship music director, and my Pastors at PLC. I volunteered to write some summer devotionals, and it has been challenging. Fun, and interesting, pushing me deeper into God's Word . . . so altogether good. However, some of my writing has been a struggle. Ideas that just don't seem to flow when I get them on the page, and overused words that keep popping up again, and again.

In my other writing, I have had a good news/bad news thing. Another poem of mine will be published at everydaypoets sometime in the next 18 months (love the timeline). Sounds like good news, right? However, I wrote that poem in a bitter mood, and there is no hope at all in it. I sent it off without thinking, and everdaypoets has an interesting submission process where the authors sign a publishing contract while submitting. If they don't accept it for publication, the publishing contract is destroyed. If it is accepted, the publishing contract is valid.

So, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to seeing "Night Terrors" in print. I wrote it well, as far as just writing goes, but from an ethical standpoint, it might not be something I can take pride in.

Night Terrors is a poem based on my Dad's experiences at a charity hospital where he lived for nearly three years, and the night terrors he's had as a result of those experiences. Not happy stuff.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"The heavens declare the glory of
the skies the work of his
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the
Psalm 19:1-4

Once, when I asked my dad earnestly about his beliefs, he replied, "I don't know about Jesus and all of that, but I know that there is a God. Just look around. Look at the mountains, the people, the oceans. There is too much detail for just some random event."
I don't know if I have his reply right. I was sixteen at the time, and we were driving from Enumclaw, Washington to Eugene, Oregon together.
His faith was, and is, of burning importance to me. At the time, I wasn't even sure what he believed. He had come to church with us, off and on, and had even sung in the church choir for a year. Most of the time, however, when I was growing up, he grumbled every step of the way to church and all the way home. He always seemed to come on those few Sundays when money was mentioned, and he believed that "the church" was just trying to swindle us out of our money so that someone of power in the church could live "high on the hog" while we didn't.
Thankfully, almost thirteen years later, my Dad attends church every Sunday. He has a small group with my mom, and they enjoy Christian fellowship and Bible study. He knows the Lord more intimately now. And I am thankful for that. My prayers have been answered in many ways.
I know that God is responsible for the faith of my Dad. I know that prayer is powerful and effective. I also know that having the heavens declare His Glory every day, God has a powerful witness in his creation. Am I, one of his creations and adopted daughter through Christ, declaring God's glory as much as the heavens, the birds, the mountains and the valleys do? I wish I could answer yes, but the real answer is no. God's creation declares his glory every moment of every day. I declare his glory when I keep my eyes on him.
So today, one of my prayers is: Lord, awesome God, creator of heavens and earth, help me keep my eyes on you, and help me to declare your glory as unconciously and freely as the heavens. Amen.