Being Still

I’ve been cooped up in the car for 21 hours the past two days. I hate long car trips. I can’t DO anything! My normally busy hands and feet are forced into quietness, as is my racing mind. No schedules to remember, no list of things to do.  

So I sit—listening to music, reading the map, and thinking.

It’s amazing what happens when I am still. So many thoughts pop into my head, so many things I can consider. Spiritual matters, personal issues, writing ideas.

Besides prayer and pondering some of the truths the Lord has shown me lately, I came up with a new story idea (probably a short story), some ideas for my work in progress, goals for the upcoming year, and an idea for a young adult novel.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been that productive!

Maybe I need to take a long car trip a couple of times a year. Clear my head, consider new ideas, make notes. It seems to be the only time I can manage to be completely still, think uncluttered thoughts.

After a week of Christmas with my in-laws we’ll drive another two days back home. Another bout of stillness, another chance to consider. I can’t wait to see what gems come out of that journey!


Forging Friendships

I love my writer-life. I love getting to know people via email, where a wall-flower like me can shed the inhibitions of time and place, of physical appearance and insecurity, and just be words on a page.

The first time I experienced this was over five years ago when I took a couple of writing classes on-line through UCLA extension. One woman in the class and I began corresponding regularly even after our classes ended. In fact, she introduced me to Nanowrimo (National Novel Writers Month) during which I wrote the first draft of my first novel. And I helped her slice words from an essay which later won a national contest.

I’ve come to know other writers through conferences, then kept in touch and deepened our relationships via email. And just these past couple of weeks I’ve begun a correspondence with a writer on an email loop I subscribe to who emailed me off-list concerning a post I’d made. We’ve written a little back and forth since then.

And then there is the neat relationship I’ve forged with the daughter of a teacher at my kids’ school—where the mom found out I wrote and told me her daughter did, too. I asked for her email address and plunged in—just words on a screen careening into cyberspace rather than the scary voice-to-voice or face-to-face meeting with a stranger. That was the beginning of a fun friendship. We do hope to meet face to face one of these days, but for the moment, our words suffice.

My introverted world has expanded and I love the people who populate it. Who knew that God would use a computer and an internet connection to push me into forging friendships I would have shied away from in person.



I finished SAHM I Am by Meredith Efken as I waited for my children’s school to pop up on the “closed” list for tomorrow (a little ice in Texas goes a long way.) Anyway, it was a delightful read!

Written as a collection of emails to and from various characters all connected by a Stay-At-Home-Mothers (SAHM) email loop, this book captured the frustration and joy and mayhem of stay-at-home moms. I could so relate to the issues of preschoolers and feeling worth and getting crosswise with your husband and wanting so much to be the woman God wants you to be. I laughed through the whole book—and cried at the end.

Now, I’m not sure that in the midst of those years in my life I could have laughed through it. I might have bawled through the whole book! But with my youngest at the ripe old age of 11, I can look back and see God’s faithfulness, not only in allowing us to survive those years, but in bringing about the heart change in me that I so longed for.

SAHM I Am would be a great gift for any young mom on your Christmas list this year. I plan to give a few of them.


Woes of a Writer-Mom

Sometime I wish someone else would be “Mom” for awhile. That someone else would keep up with the library book due dates, remember to give one child money for a project at school, fret about Christmas decorations still hidden in the attic in December, shop for groceries, figure out the logistics of getting to a birthday party.

Such are the woes of a writer-mom. It’s not just that I get weary doing the same old thing, staying on top of five schedules all at once—it’s that all of these things must take precedence over pulling words out of my brain and seeing them appear on the computer screen in front of me. Those words often require time—time that is eaten away by “motherly” duties.

Not that I don’t find joy in serving my husband and kids—I really do. In fact, that has been one of the greatest works in my heart that the Lord has done over the years. But some days I look longingly at my quiet computer and sigh. If only . . .

I know it really isn’t long now. Three and half years from now, the first chickadee will fly the coop. A mere seven and a half years (which used to seem like a lifetime and is not the blink of an eye) and they’ll all be gone. Though it won’t really be “over,” it will calm things down considerably.

Help me, Lord, not to wish away these days. Help me to enjoy them—to love and serve my family, knowing all the while that You hold onto my words, keeping them for those glorious moments when nothing else demands my attention.