29 July 2013

crushed

My heart is crushed by the senseless teasing of kids.

I know - I really, really know - that kids don't always "get it" and typically don't know what on earth to do or say to the other kid when they seem different. But it saddens every single fiber of my being when children lack compassion, kindness, tact. Effort to be nice.

My 12 year old son has Asperger's. His social skills are clumsy and random, yet he craves friendships. Adults find him amazing because he talks on their level comfortably, then often don't understand that this makes life more difficult, particularly at his age. They easily fail to see that his needs and struggles are far deeper than the awkwardness that shows on the surface. You have to know him to understand it. You have to care to see it. And in doing so, you might easily love him. But unless you try - you're just one of the many who skim the surface.

Like the kids up the street.
The kids who teased my son today.
The same kids who invited him out to play 30 minutes earlier.

I was hesitant because they haven't asked him to come out in a long while. When they see him, they often look away - awkward and unsocial in their own right. But they have played with him nicely in the past. They had a basketball - something my son can enjoy. It seemed common ground.

So I was willing to give it a shot, in spite of my hesitation. Instead, I felt the sharp sting of rejection almost as much as he did.

But you know what? 
As my mother and I prayed for my son this evening, and for the kids up the street, we prayed that my son would see and experience The One who never rejects us, who loves and accepts us unconditionally.
And my own heart was comforted by that all-encompassing love. He eased the hurts a mama feels for her child. I love my son so much. But how much more does my God loves my son!

25 July 2013

thankful thursday

Thankful Thursday is simply a chance for me to stop and reflect on a few things I'm thankful for each week. I'm not attempting to make or meet a criteria. If you would like to join me, I'd love it! Feel free to share what you're thankful for in the comments, or leave a link to your own blog if you want to copy Thankful Thursday there...

1. Change
I hate change -  and more so as I get older, apparently! But sometimes change is a good things, be it a change in atmosphere, a change in jobs, or just a change of clothes (haha!). A few small changes the past week have brought about new peace for one of my children, and in turn for the rest of us. Grateful barely skims the surface of how I'm feeling.

2. New Friends
Along with change, meeting new people can be tough. Again, the older I get the more introverted I feel (my husband disagrees, but perhaps circumstance and stress have played into it). This week, I stepped out of my comfort zone to go to a writer's meeting. My heart was fully blessed to be among these praying, God-loving women. I came away encouraged and happy at the end of a day that was dark and exhausting. 

3. Old Friends
Saturday I had a lovely, long breakfast visit (that runs through lunch, without fail) with someone who was a new friend a few short years ago. Now she's an old friend I love dearly and always look forward to seeing. She's good for my heart; I hope I'm good for hers. Plus, she loaned me some pretty dresses for some upcoming occasions - an added perk in our friendship!


18 July 2013

thankful thursday

On another blog, long, long ago...I started something I called Thankful Thursdays. Eventually it fell away but I've been thinking about it recently and decided to give it another go on my sweet little blog here.

This is simply a chance for me to stop and reflect on a few things I'm thankful for each week. I'm not attempting to make or meet a criteria. If you would like to join me, I'd love it! Feel free to share what you're thankful for in the comments, or leave a link to your own blog if you want to copy Thankful Thursday there...


1. Cancelled appointments.
I needed an appointment this week - one that felt rather pressing to me. When I called yesterday, they were scheduling a month out. This morning they called with a cancellation and fit me right in. I was thrilled!

2. My mommy.
Today, she dropped what she was doing to baby sit her four crazy grand kids at the very last minute while I went to that appointment mentioned above. (And no, it's not the first time she and/or my dad has dropped what they are doing and come rushing to my aid....they are amazing and I am beyond blessed!)

3. Jesus.
Specifically I have been thankful for Jesus' humanity in recent weeks. I've been wading through some personal things, and in the midst of those I've found myself just calling out to Jesus as a person - not as my God or even as my Father. I've needed to see Jesus in His humanity, asked Him to meet me in my own human place. Thankfully, God's divinity is mingled with Jesus' humanity, making Him not only approachable but receivable. Sitting in my car, doing my dishes, anything - I hear myself just speaking His name. "Jesus, be with me." "Jesus, help me." And sometimes I lack words, but still call out, "Jesus...." You know what? He meets me each and every time.


Your turn! What are you thankful for this week?

12 July 2013

learning

I was almost pleased with my story, with my revisions that never end...but I want to improve my writing, never settle.

So I picked up The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. The cover says:
Avoid Common Manuscript Errors
Attract the Attention of Agents and Editors
Take Your Writing to a Higher Level

I tingled with anticipation of seeing my work in a new light.

And then I cringed. Adjectives and adverbs abound in my head and on my pages. Chapter Two had lectures in exchanging those for stronger nouns and verbs, with exercises to be done on the first page of my novel (I used the first two pages - my prologue). In truth, it wasn't as awful as I expected; I didn't have the excess I thought I had; I was pleased with the outcome. Mostly.

Some parts felt wrong, as if the cadence of my story was tempered. But I slogged on, forcing myself to complete the exercises. After all, the point is to learn, to get better at this craft.

Chapter Three: Sound.
"Accomplished poets often make for the best writers of prose because they bring to their art years of paying close attention to the sound of language, to its rhythm, breaks, to subtle elements like alliterations and echoes. They can spend years working on just one line, and this devotion to the craft of the individual word almost always translates into immaculate prose, beautiful to hear and beautiful to read." (pp. 41-42)

I don't know about "accomplished", but I have a binder busting at the seams with poetry. I should work on filling another; it's good for me and it's been too long since I dabbled with it. I do love playing with words.

This chapter gave balance to the lack of adjectives and adverbs. It soothed away the rigid lines of strict noun and verb usage. Some adjective and adverb use is acceptable. It's about not overusing it.

Many years ago, a friend said to me, "You need to write prose the way you write poetry."

Yes; you were right, my friend...

08 July 2013

backtalk

Talk to me...

What would you like me to post about?

I want to blog once or twice a week and I'm an open kinda person.
I've got a few ideas -- but ask me questions, beg me to discuss! What do you want to read on here? It can be writing related or not. Either way, I'll give it my best shot!

At the moment, I'm reading some books on editing my own work, trying to make sure my novel is polished for the conference, for a pitch (or just for someone experienced to give me insights)...I've got some thoughts on that coming in a few days. Stay tuned!


04 July 2013

conference

I'm officially signed up for the American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference in September!

It took me a little time to sort through the various appointments and such. But, I finally had to just be done.  I'm praying that God arranges the right people for me to talk to - be it for encouragement or learning or something else entirely. It's a thrill ride, planning and contemplating and wondering, with a sure dose of nerves mixed in. Only He knows what lies ahead...

You can find me on facebook now, too. Join me here!



And HaPpY 4th of JuLy, friends!!


03 July 2013

love

This week I have been crabby and tired and unmotivated.

Some of this stems from the fact I am outnumbered 4 to 1 all day long.
My children, as beloved as they are to me, can tear a house apart in nothing flat. And I simply cannot keep up. The dishes, the laundry, the toys - oh my, the TOYS - the food, the whining, the schoolwork, the chores....even when they help it eventually spirals into overwhelming.

Like two days ago, when the five year old brought down Every. Single. Stuffed. Animal. and dumped them all over the floor. The living room was not passable. The next day *most of them* got moved to another floor. There were blankets and pillows and miscellaneous toys added to the mix. But my son, JB, assured me they were soft when I complained of not being able to walk through the room. I understood his reasoning. He did not understand mine.

Had that been the only thing, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But my days were compounding and the messes were, too. I could not keep up. And a small cold is working its way through the family, leaving my children as unmotivated as I am. Schoolwork? Ha! Play? In every room? Why yes....

I found myself crabby and tired and unmotivated.

To the point of tears. I went outside to paint my nails just to get a few moments alone (the outside thing ensures no spills with permanent effects).
I stopped JB from playing the harmonica while the toddler, Bitsy, napped.
Twice.
I prayed. Or tried to.

As the day drew to a close my oldest son made pancakes for dinner. The joys of eclectic homeschool learning and a son who enjoys cooking. I can tell you I wasn't in the mood to make dinner. And I didn't like myself very much for it. My crabbiness was at myself as much as toward the people I love in my house. It's been a rough week on many levels.

Then my husband came home.

He helped the kids tidy the large room we spend so much time in. He encouraged them to carry all the stuffed animals back up. He spoke with the kindness that was trapped inside me, unable to get out no matter how much I wanted it to. He hugged me and told me he loved me. Several times.

He vacuumed the large room with chocolate brown carpet, now void of stuffed animals and Littlest Pet Shop and random Lincoln Logs. It is beautiful again. Except for the Silly Putty that's been stuck for a few weeks.

I thanked him for making my week less overwhelming. His answer was that he remembered reading that homeschool dads needed to pitch in, that there would be times like this - a lot.
And that he loved me.

Wow.

He loves me even when I'm crabby and tired and unmotivated. 
I'm sure I don't deserve him. But he's amazing and I plan to hang on to him for a long, long time....