Happy New Year! Yes, this is late…..woefully so. But better late than never, right?
This past year has been crazy, and this new year promises to be crazy too.
But it’s a good kind of crazy. A wonderful, emotional, hopeful, joyful kind of crazy.
Amidst all the change, God is good. He is sovereign, and He continues to guide on us on this wonderful journey called life.
I have so many plans and goals for this new year, and there are so many changes coming this new year. I have no idea what 2019 will hold, and that is exciting and scary and causes me to be full of anticipation.
Lord willing, a wedding.
A choir performance.
I had no idea, in the beginning of 2018, that we would change churches. That I would become the church the pianist. I had no idea that my grandfather would have shoulder replacement surgery, that he would end up in the ICU, that I would end up in Michigan for two weeks, or that a group of us would be meeting to worship in our home.
I had no idea how many sweet babies I would hold and cuddle in a hospital bathroom so mothers could have their hands free to help other children. Or that I wold have the blessing of holding a newborn little baby whose daddy was in the SICU and whose mommy needed someone to hold her so she could go back and know what was going to happen with her daddy. Or that I would be the one holding a young lady in the hallway of a hospital while she sobbed on my shoulder because her father had just passed from this life.
I never dreamt, in a million years, that I would have the opportunity to actually open my mouth and tell two other people about the Saviour I love, about what true Christianity is, when I was planning fully to just walk away.
The Lord has opened many doors this past year, and I am grateful for each one of them. Each one pushed me outside of my comfort zone, into unknown, unchartered territory, and I have grown much over the last year.
I have so many plans to expand this corner of the internet that I preside over. So many exciting changes coming and I am praying about them, and excited about them, and am slowly going to start instigating them.
One of them is more consistent book reviews. Every Friday, I plan to post something about a book I read.
I will try to get back into posting on Wednesdays, like I used to do.
I’ve tried to get as many posts scheduled as possible during this season of busyness, but I’ve also left some room to write if I need to. Writing is therapeutic for me, a stress reliever, and I have a feeling I will be needing this outlet as the wedding day draws closer and emotions run amuck. I will warn you now: I will most likely be very transparent, which will prayerfully be a good thing.
Another goal I have is to expand my little sugar cookie company. What that entails, I’m not sure. Maybe a whole website dedicated to that business. I have plans, but I am not planning to do much until April, after the wedding and after we have a chance to catch up on sleep and get used to a new normal. Maybe trying to get cookies in local coffee shops around here, and I know I definitely want to bring them to more craft shows. I already have one scheduled for November, and I already have plans =)
And a bigger new thing I am working is actively pursuing freelance writing and proofreading/editing. I’ve had a couple of job offers already, and a publishing company has contacted me about possibly writing a series of several biographies for them, working with other authors to create a large collection. I’m still discussing and praying about that one, but it is one way you could be praying for me. On top of that, I have two projects I’m working on…..one more actively than the other. Guys, I have never wanted to be an author, but these stories are begging to find the way onto paper, so I am writing as I have time. Which means it is extremely slow going, but I am having fun. And that’s all that counts, right? :D Here are a couple of excerpts — but keep in mind that these are both pretty rough drafts =P
What Tomorrow Holds (working title):
“He couldn’t sleep. He had another dream. Another dream of another war, a war that he had willingly fought, as a newly married man. He had left his wife, given up the dream of having children, and faced his fear of making his bride a widow. He had done it then to keep his family from having to go through the same thing one day, and it hadn’t worked out quite like he had thought. His sons were having to go and finish what had been started more than 25 years ago. The war he had fought, they were finishing. He felt bad about it, guilty, almost, because he knew what they would face. He knew what death looked like, he knew the pain and the agony of losing men that you fought with. He knew what it was like to see your friend shot down. He knew the anguish of having to mail a letter to a family member telling them how their loved one had died. He knew the guilt of shooting down another living being.”
“He had known the day was coming that he would be going off to war. He had known it since he was seventeen years old and his older brother had marched off, never to come back. A shell had done it, and David was gone forever. It was a blur to him, still, to remember it all. All he remembered clearly were his tears. His tears, and his mother’s and father’s strong, unwavering faith in the Lord. That had been the single most important part of his life, for more reasons than just his brother breaking up the family circle. That had been the time he started asking questions, and started searching for his own faith, instead of leaning on his parents convictions and beliefs. The Christ his parents followed had become his own. It made him grateful that his brother died, in an odd sort of way. For in his brothers death, he had found life. ”
“He bit his lip. “I’m not afraid of dying, Emily. I’m more afraid of being captured. I would rather die, much rather die, then face the enemy day in and day out and have to forgive them. And I’d have to forgive them, because Christ demands it of me.” he shuddered. “I just don’t know if I could do that.””
A Song of Grace (working title): This one is a fictionalized account — which means semi-true story, I suppose — of what happened in 2011 when my mother had an AVM rupture in her brain, and my little sister was born prematurely at 24 weeks. This is actually something that Dad encouraged me to write, and I am wanting to get at least a (very) rough draft finished this year and start edits next year…..but we’ll see ’bout that one =)
“The emergency scanner went off on the table, and he went running inside. Being a volunteer rescue worker had its perks — he always knew everything that went on around them. He always knew who needed help, who needed to pay more attention, and who did stupid things trying to prove that they were stronger –or better, or smarter, or whatever — than whatever it was they did. Plus, he did it with his neighbors, who also happened to be various family members. Uncles, cousins, father and grandfather — they were in this together. He could hear the other scanners going off in the other homes around his, and knew if it was something ridiculous they would all laugh about it later. But this wasn’t some funny incident that he would laugh about over the table. What he heard filled him with dread and he picked up his medical bag, running out the door before he could hear any of the women-folk around him breath out even one prayer for that family. He was off, boots clunking on the pavement of the road as he ran next door. Next door — his neighbors. He gained the driveway and he could hear the others. He heard the cars turning in the driveway behind him, all heading towards a common goal. He was the first one inside. He didn’t hesitate at the door, he just went in. He ran through the living room, into the master bedroom, barely registering the children sitting on the couch. He was familiar with this home — he had been inside many times as a child, before it had been sold to this family. And there wasn’t too much changed about it, he still recognized some things he remembered. He reached the doorway and paused a moment. He saw a woman lying on the bed. Another, older woman standing over her — probably her mother — and a girl, barely out of childhood was in the corner. He was pushed into action as the others came barreling into the room, and his gears shifted into “urgent” as he heard — and saw — her breathing come to a stop. Then start again. These weren’t just slow respirations — what he was seeing was no respirations. He heard someone on the radio behind him, calling for backup. For the real deal — the real paramedics, the supplies, the ambulance. He prayed they could keep her alive for that long. She had a passel of kids that ran around that needed her. A husband who needed her. A garden that needed tending.”
“…well, the two pyrenees puppies were proving to be more troublesome than raising all eight of his children together. Never had he had to chase his children around in the middle night because they wanted to play in the neighbors garden. He was just relieved the neighbors hadn’t actually heard them — knowing them, and their down-to-earth, country upbringing, he would have been greeted with the wrong end of a shotgun. If he was even given a chance to say hello.”
“They came up the steps and she went back to her parents bedroom, to her mother. To see what was happening, to watch, to stay close. She heard her grandparents yelling her mothers name, over and again. But there was no answer. Of course there would be no answer — was she even breathing? Her body lay still and silent, without the moans that had begun to mark her breathing.”
“She waltzed through the double doors, coffee in hand, a big smile plastered on her face. She was cheerful, full of enthusiasm, and ready for whatever came next. “Helloo!” she sang out in a dipping cadence. “Good morning, one and all! What’ve you got going on in here?” A groan greeted her — one of the nurses who had pulled an all-nighter. She came out from behind the curtain, her bleary eyes rimmed with red. “Do you have to be so cheerful? It’s only seven in the morning. Even I hadn’t stayed up all night, this early-morning-happiness kick would drive me crazy!” “But Linda, why shouldn’t I be happy?” a far from subdued Summer replied. “I have a job I love, a drive that is interesting, I get free Starbucks from downstairs….what could be better?” she paused long enough to take a sip of her sugary sweet latte — and lick her lips. She would have to get another one of these babies. Her normal flavor she had added to it was french vanilla. Sometimes, if she was daring, she went for hazelnut. But this time of year, with the splendid colours and chilliness in the air, she definitely went for pumpkin spice. It smelled like fall. It tasted like fall. It warmed her up — what more could she ask for?”
So there you have it. Besides all that, I have no idea what the Lord has in store for our family in this coming year. I don’t know what I’ll be doing this time next year, or even in six months. I’m making a conscious decision to not worry about all the changes that are coming, but to trust in the Lord above all else; all human wisdom, all the emotions, and all the everyday goings on.
What plans do you have for your new year? Anything exciting?
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.