Wednesday, September 30, 2015

There is a time.

Ecclesiastes 3:
3 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
   A time to break down, And a time to build up;  . . .
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
   A time of war, And a time of peace.

I don’t see a time to write.

Have you ever forgotten the names of your characters. I have. Amazing you say. What is wrong with you, you say. Well let me explain to you what has happened.

There I was writing my novel. I have all of 35 pages written. Now that is double spaced so really it isn’t a full 35 pages long. These 35 pages took me more than a year to write. Yup, more than a year.

Why so long .. must have been something tragic happened and I couldn’t write, right?

Ummm No. Life got in my way. Life seems to have a way of doing that, just kind of getting in the way.

Every Sunday evening I make out my “To-Do List”. I know all will 
not go as planned, but it gives me someplace to start.
  • Doctor appointments
  • Lunch Dates
  • Meet with friends
  • And of course the everyday – laundry, cleaning, cooking
I even plan a basic menu, even though I normally don’t stick real close to it.

I was so excited Monday evening when I realized that I was ahead of schedule for my list of things to do. I had even done a few things that I had scheduled for later in the week.

Then comes Tuesday morning. I get up and go to an appointment I had. I drive 40 miles one way and sit there thinking “Where is everybody”? I was a day early!!!

What – how can that be? I pick up the papers I had read them over and go yep, yep, right place, right time, right day – What – I take out my phone and look at the date. No it can’t be. Oh, yes it is. Talk about messing up my schedule for the week. I could have just come home, gone back to bed and pull the covers over my head.

I get home to find my repair man telling me I bought the wrong kind of fan to be installed on the deck. Really? What next?

Then I get a phone call reminding me that I have the devotion for Saturday. What?

So you can see how easily I get distracted.

How can I forget my characters name and what they are doing? Because I am not focused.

The point to this story is, we have to make the time to write. Prioritize the time to write. It may be once a week or every day, whatever works for your schedule. But we need a schedule.

Writing should be close to the top of my list. Right up there with brushing my teeth and my prayer time if I want to be successful. It should stay on my list and all other appointments should be made around my writing time.

So I ask you, are you making the time you should be making for your writing?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'm a worrier

Hi, my name is Lillian and I am a chronic worrier.

I think there should be weekly meetings for this addiction. I am not making fun of addictions, they should be taken seriously. I actually have a few, but those I’ll save for another day.

Yes, I am a worrier.

Here are some of the things I worry about:
  • My kids
  • My grand-kids
  • My husband
  • My health
  • My weight
  • My hair
  • The direction of our country
  • My church family
  • Am I good enough to get to Heaven?
  • What I watch
  • What I read
If I am in a full blown worry mood, I worry about how much I worry.

Now it’s out in the open, that’s me. I know I have some worrier friends out there and you know who you are.

My husband says I live in fear. I don’t know about that, but I am concerned about things. I think, a lot. Probably too much and that is what causes the worry. I have never been one of those people that just floats through life without a care. A good commercial about a third world country and pictures of children starving will get me going. Honestly, it does.

I know it isn’t good to be this consumed with worry. It isn’t good for my health, physical or mental.

One thing I want to point out is a worrier is not necessarily a sad person or a negative person. In fact I think I am basically a positive and happy person. A worrier just worries.

For me I know it comes from wanting to be in control of things. I like to know what is going on and what is going to happen next. Being a Christian makes this an internal battle for me. Knowing that God has told me through His word, the Bible, that He is control of all things.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I believe that, however, the battle continues.

I will give God my worries and say, “OK, God, it is yours”. Then walk away and be content, until the next day or so. Then the worry comes back.

This worries me that I can’t give it to God and leave it there. So I work on this problem - a lot. With God, I know I can do anything.

We all have little idiosyncrasies to work on. So grab your Bible, use your concordance and look some up. Read those verses and see what God says about them.

Matthew 6:25
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 

Luke 12:25

And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Share some of your worries with me and how you handle them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Just saying the word anticipation has an air of excitement around it.

My husband and I just went away for the weekend. I anticipated that weekend for several weeks. I thought about it and planned for it. We went to Cherokee, NC so I was familiar with what the area offered. If it was someplace I hadn’t been to before I would look up information on the area and search out things we could do or see.

The motel we stayed at didn’t have a microwave or kitchen just a small frig and coffee pot (the most important item). I made sure to pack my Half & Half so I could function first thing in the morning. We had bagels and peanut butter available for snack time or breakfast so we didn’t have to eat out all the time. A few sodas in the mini-frig and we were good to go.

I packed our clothes the day before. Some short sleeved shirts some long sleeved shirts. Jeans and shorts, you never know what the weather will be like. I made sure we both had our church clothes packed. A few magazines to look at, a book to read and some hand sewing. A book on local attractions and waterfalls was in the mix if we felt energetic.

That morning when we were to leave, I got up and fixed us a nice breakfast while my husband packed the car. Then we were off. A lot of planning went into just a 3 day weekend away. Only three days and it took a couple of weeks to make sure everything went well.

It made me stop and think about the anticipation I should have about going to Heaven. How much time am I spending preparing for eternity?

Revelation 7:16
16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
This verse is very comforting. In so many ways preparing for Heaven is easier than preparing for a vacation. I won’t have to worry about what to take with me. No clothes to pack. No concern for what or where we will eat. Everything will be provided for me. All activities will be planned. Sounds like my type of vacation.

Only this is not a vacation – this is ETERNITY and I can’t just show up without doing my part in the planning process. The Bible tells me what I have to do to prepare for Heaven. It doesn’t cost any money, just a commitment from me to obey God and His laws.

 How about you, are you planning a vacation? How about planning  eternity in Heaven?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Are You Brave Enough?

Nicole Unice
Are You Brave Enough?
"Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’" Mark 6:50b (NIV)
Lysa TerKeurst
I had my arm around my 9-year-old daughter, Cameron, while we watched The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe together. The spunk and transparency of the youngest character, Lucy, reminded me of Cameron, and I squeezed her a little, hoping she noticed the same.
At one point in the movie, Lucy speaks with Father Christmas, and he asks her if she is ready for the war that will take place in Narnia. He looks down at her and asks her somberly, "Can you be brave?"
Lucy smiles up at him and answers, "I think I could be brave enough."
I had no idea how important that moment would become.
The words brave enough kindled a flame in my soul as I began to think about all the ways I wanted to be brave enough: brave enough to speak up, brave enough to be graceful, brave enough to forgive.
I might not be facing a war of Narnian proportions, but what if my daily life still required bravery? "Brave enough for today" became a sticky phrase in my head — an inspiration for the morning and a personal challenge when I didn’t want to do the hard thing.
I found myself wanting to be brave enough for my job. Brave enough for my family. Brave enough to mother well and brave enough to make good choices in my marriage.
When Cameron struggled later that year with an injury, I wanted to be brave enough for her. But what I learned along the way was I would never have enough courage on my own to face life without fear. I needed a courage that came from outside myself. My self-manufactured bravery always fell short.
In the Bible, Jesus uses the word courage in very specific ways. The original word means something like "be encouraged" or "take heart." The phrase take courage is used four times in the Gospels, always by Jesus Himself. In each instance, Jesus begins with a command: "Take courage!" And then Jesus offers the essence of Himself to the person as the way courage will be enacted.
In one account, He says, ‘Take heart!" and then offers forgiveness of sin. In another, He says "Be encouraged!" and then offers healing. And when He walks out on water in the middle of the night, terrifying His disciples, He offers a simple exhortation, "Take courage. It is I!"
No matter what you need to be brave enough for today, Jesus offers to meet you there with what only He can do. He offers you forgiveness when you fail and grace that energizes you to try again. He offers you healing when you hurt and strength that replaces your weakness. He offers you his presence, giving confidence that comes fully from who He is — not who you are.
When you have Jesus, you have all the courage you need, for whatever you may face.
Matthew 9:2b, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’" (NIV)
Matthew 9:22, "Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment." (NIV)
Nicole Unice’s new book, Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free, and 8-week DVD curriculum are available now!
Hear more from Nicole on her book, and find more encouragement and Real. Honest. Truth. from Nicole’s blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's all in the Language!

Have you ever noticed that your language can make you feel different? It almost comes down to a state of mind.

I have the bad habit of saying “I have to do this” or “I have to do that”. One day I really heard myself and it sounded awful. I think it was when I was going to pick up some of my grandchildren from school. I thought to myself, that doesn’t sound very nice. It sounded like a burden and it wasn’t. How blessed I am to have grand children and be able to pick them up from school.

The more I thought about this the more I realized how often I talked like that. As Oprah would say, it was an “Ah-ha” moment. From that point on I have tried to watch how I say things. To be honest it is uncomfortable for me to pay attention to this little problem. However, considering how many times a day I did that, even just to myself or in my mind, it was a lot.

I have always been a deep thinker (or so my Aunt says). We have all heard about the power of the spoken word. How it can build up or tear down emotions. I’m sure we all try and be careful how we speak to others. So why not be careful how we speak to ourselves?

Colossians 3:8

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Well negative talk might not be filthy language, but it sure isn’t helpful. It doesn’t do anything but bring me down, so why do it.

Just making a few changes like this makes a difference in my life. First off I don’t have to do anything. No one is going to come in my house and get me if I don’t do something. Now, my husband, family and friends might not be too happy if I don’t do the things I am responsible for, but my life doesn’t depend on it. Plus I am sort of a rebel kind of person, so I only like to do things that I want to do.

Changes I have made are making a difference. I don’t feel so weighted down with things if I use different language when speaking to others or myself. Now I would just say something like, “I’m picking up the kids”. There is no negative sound in that sentence.

Do I accomplish this every day? Of course I don’t, but I can tell you this, it helps my attitude as I go through my list of things to do each day or week. If making this little change in my language improves my attitude, then count me in.