We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Your Life Story . . . Penned Without Ink


Life story.

Your life story.

We each have a story. In fact, we each are a story - penned without ink - known and read by the people around us. While the main characters wander in and out of our paragraphs, the plot thickens with tension and misgivings and relaxes with humor and celebration. We all hope for a satisfying conclusion.

So, what's going on in the current chapter of your story? In what season of life do you find yourself? Does the fall represent a new beginning as flexible summer days give way to predictable routines? Are you looking forward to new opportunities or do you find yourself grappling with loss and grief? What's unique about this time in your life - both the pros and the cons?

Today marks the first day of a brand new chapter for me

My youngest is beginning a new chapter in her life, too . . . on a college campus. Which means . . . my house is a little too quiet, a little too empty, a little too solitary. Elisabeth's in a healthy environment where she will learn far more than if she were home. But that ache in my heart, as I left the flat farmlands of the mid-west, made the roadway blurry as I wiped away the tears for an hour after crossing the Pennsylvania state line yesterday.

Perhaps, in the transitions of life we experience both gains and losses. In a day-to-day sense, I have lost my daughter's companionship yet have gained the freedom to come and go, serve and write as seems best to me. Just the opposite of when we welcomed our girls into the world. We gained the wonderful privilege of parenthood and relinquished a few freedoms in the process.

Whatever this new chapter holds for me, I want to do it well. Don't you feel the same way? My friend, Gail, sent a short note, which read, "I'm praying your sense of hearing will be so sharpened that you'll hear God's presence in the quiet." Ironically, I have been praying a similar prayer the last few days.
Wherever we find ourselves in our life stories, let's remember God's faithful presence . . . in our joys, in our sorrows, and in our transitions. We take the promises of God with us into each new chapter and into each new day. 

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. 
The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. 
Hebrews 13:5, 6

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

To Let the World Know . . . Behind the Scenes # 7

And then there's the marketing . . .

It's one thing to practice the craft of writing over many years, to schedule time to sit down and do it, to rewrite a chapter multiple times, to read it to your critique group, to edit it again, to gather up the courage to send your manuscript off to a publisher, and wait and pray for an acceptance letter.

It's quite another thing to market it. To let the world know. To somehow persuade people to like your combination of words all nicely packaged inside a great cover and . . . to actually buy it.

I'm an introvert. I'm the child who picked mostly white strawberries so everyone else could have the red ones. I'm the young woman in the circle who thought of a contribution ten minutes after the fact. I'm the graying grandma who, like many writers, finds it more comfortable to quietly peck away at my computer than put myself out there.

Then I remember that Penned Without Ink is not about me. Yes, it's our family's story. But it's more than that. It's God's story. He's the hero! And it's His words, jotted bold on the page, that make all the difference.  

Do you ever feel like the little boy who handed Jesus his lunch? I do. Sometimes our fish and bread seem insignificant against the needs surrounding us but Jesus blesses what we bring to Him. He multiplies our offering and somehow feeds the multitudes.  

But what encourages me today is that even Jesus accepted assistance to distribute this miracle meal to the hungry. The text reads, "Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowds" (Matthew 14:19).

I'm learning that it's important to accept a little help in order to offer our story of grace . . . God's story . . . to the world.

A special THANK YOU to all who are offering Penned Without Ink's message of hope to friends, relatives, and others who are hungry for a positive word, some in the midst of very challenging circumstances

Blessings to you all.