Sometimes I wonder, why do I blog? Who reads it anyway? But anytime I sit to write, whether a 250 word post, a 2,000 word short story, or a 90,000 word novel. I say, “God, if you don’t have anything for me to say, I’m outta here.” (I wish I said that prayer before I spoke a word–and I’m sure my husband does, too.)
But when someone said, “That’s the most healing book I ever read,” (about Invisible Wounds from a woman who was sexually abused) or “I’ve read your books three times, and I learn more each time,” or I hear of a reader who chose life for her baby or found God through one of my books, I know the tens of thousands of hours I have spent at my desk are worth it.
I write to hone my craft (be a better writer), to bleed my message, to touch one person or one hundred. I blog because it is required of an author, and even if my audience is only God, I pray I am pleasing to him.
I am certainly no expert, and definitely no saint. Nope, I haven’t arrived yet. I stumble along this journey we call life and invite you to walk beside me. Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and seek him together.
Once I was asked to picture God. When I was the youngest of three girls growing up, my dad sat me on his lap, surrounded me with his arms, and read to my older sisters, running his finger under the words as he read–Little Women, Black Beauty, and many others. Most of the time he must have carried me to bed. When I went to kindergarten, I was a reader.
When I picture God, I picture that little girl, sitting on her daddy’s lap.
I didn’t appreciate my favorite place in the world, reading time, until many years later. How privileged I was to have that precious spot in the arms of a father, and how blessed to have that image of Father God.
Because I do, I can cry out to God in any circumstance and feel His love surround me. Even when I pray desperate pleas.
I hope you do, too.
Today I am grateful for the fellowship of the saints. How blessed I am to have a church home where prayer warriors share my burdens without judgment or criticism.
Surrounded, encircled, and enfolded in love, each one of us seeking support stepped into the center, hands were laid, and prayers said. At the cross, where I first saw the light, the burden rolled away, and I return to the cross daily, and especially when my heart is overwhelmed. Once again burdens roll away, my feeble arms are lifted, and together we win the victory.
One of my characters, Missy O’Malley, says, “What do people do without Jesus?” (Missy is the heroine in Recovered and Free, published in 2014, by Oak Tara.) Like her, I don’t know–that’s why I am always eager to share the Good News of His redeeming grace.
New every morning is his love. He gives wisdom when we ask. His name is a strong tower, and when we run into it, we are saved. Again. Yet. Still.
Glory be to God on high!
Yesterday a gaggle of giggling girls descended upon my pool to celebrate a birthday. While moms, one new and breastfeeding her fourth, one newly expecting her third, and two grandmothers sat chatting on the deck, watchful dads, warriors all, supervised the swimmers and non-swimmers in the water, vigilantly guarding against accidents, drowning, and simple scary feelings. The little girls trusted their warriors, knowing they would beat off the monsters of fear and protect them from their own inadequacies. Innocent laughter, “cries of Marco” and “Polo,” splashes, and encouraging shouts of “you can do it” rang happily across the yard.
The birthday girl, our pastor’s daughter, has been in children’s church while her father preached his latest series: for better or for worse. These great messages touched on unconditional love, God’s plan for relationships, the need for the Holy Spirit to follow God’s plan for marriage, and, without apology, God’s plan for intimacy in marriage. He was bold, preaching in no uncertain terms the thesis of my blog: Sacred Passion–It’s God’s Idea. As a mentor, I preach Sacred Passion to my Mothers of Preschoolers group, but he preached it to a gender mixed congregation simply and straightforwardly. Christian marriages should proclaim God’s best to a divorced and broken world.
It’s not old fashioned, certainly not politically correct, but it is the key to a long and happy marriage, and every little girl in that pool has a watchful warrior–a committed daddy, who will protect her, watch over her, and pray for her that she will one day choose a Watchful Warrior for her own little girls.
As an Army brat, when it came to relationships, all my life I have felt like the poor kid with her nose pressed to the candy store window, watching those with coins buy their sweets. Because of the gracious invitation of my husband’s high school classmates, I have been adopted into Anderson High’s class of 1957. Now I am indulging in the rich sweetness of laughter, acceptance, forgiveness, and strength that accompanies long-standing relationships. I have been initiated into a circle of wonderful, sustaining love. God tells us there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Yet, we have the additional privilege of new friends to share our journey. We can hand them tips from our experiences, lessons from our mistakes, laughter from our own comedy of errors. This, too, is strengthening, God-given, and wonderful.
And we meet angels unaware, like the man who saw me reading my Gideon Bible as I sat beside the river in Greenville, S. S. “You have a Word from the Lord for me,” he said. I read from Colossians 1, and he related his testimony, how God took a homeless man and made him into a millionaire! We rejoiced together, two strangers who will share eternity.
God gives us relationships. We are created to love and be loved. Old friends, new friends, strangers we meet in passing. Let us take from those and give to those so we might become better people, learning from them, sharing life with them, and imparting a piece of ourselves in their lives as well.
This book by C. J.Mahaney, is a gem of a read for all Christian husbands! I particularly appreciate his defense of the Song of Solomon as a how-to, God’s word, manual for the marriage relationship.
My blog tag is “Sacred Passion–it’s God’s idea!” My writing goal in this blog and in my novels is to communicate and encourage passion in Christian marriage. As the founder of the Center for Pregnancy Care, I agree with a characters in my upcoming book who says the staff at the maternity home is always teaching girls what they should have learned at home. The church has failed to teach and model the amazing joy of Gods’ plan for human sexuality. We have too many “no-nos,” and not enough “Yes!” The marriage bed is undefiled and filled with God’s delights, to be found in covenant relationship.
Brother Mahaney can get out in the weeds a tad–what working stiff has time to sit in a coffee shop the first hour of every week writing down ways to romance his wife? Nevertheless, his basic concept is valid. Communication. Courting even after marriage. Committment. The primary relationship in the home is to be the one between husband and wife, and it must be nurtured.
A long-time, loving marriage with sparks flying is one of the best testimonies a local church has to offer this hurting world. In a culture broken by divorce and betrayal, God’s plan, made possible by His grace, is for every home to be a loving, secure environment for husband, wife and kids to flourish.
“. . . Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
This Scripture is even more meaningful when we remember the darkest period of the night comes before the sunrise. The darkness is oppressive, but the sun always dispels the darkness. In our hours of trials and temptations, when we see no end in sight, look for the dawn! For the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings . . . (Malachi 4:2)
How often illness besets us at night or symptoms become stronger as the sun goes down. We need the watchmen at the gates, fighting the good fight of faith. Remember our childish prayers “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. There are four corners to my bed, there are four angels at my head, sweet guardians come and bless the bed that I lay on.” A mother myself, I knelt down beside my aged father one night, and, although he had all his faculties, he prayed that simple prayer and told me his mother (who died when he was nine) taught it to him and he never felt he’d outgrown it. God keep us in the simple faith of our childhood, let us enter into the Kingdom as a little child.
How much more sleep we would enter into, how much rest we would have, if we but cast our cares on the One who cares for us.