Thankful for the Detail

I actually think I’ve blogged about this before, but if I have, forgive me.

Last week I read what can often be considered some of the “tedious” chapters of the Old Testament—the details of the tabernacle’s construction. Now I know there is so much to learn from these dense chapters when studying each detail in depth, but last week I found great comfort in this portion of Scripture simply because of the minutiae of detail.

Think about it. God cared about the exact dimensions, the exact construction, the exact materials that went into building His tabernacle. It wasn’t a whim. Or a gaudy showplace. Or something slapped together, ready to collapse at the first blast of wind. He accounted for every contingency, including the weather and the moving of it from one place to another. And so He gave Moses the plan in excruciating detail.

Fast-forward a few thousand years. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Do you think God cares any less about the details of His living temples than He did of His moveable one in the desert? Or of the one He again detailed when Solomon was ready to build a more permanent structure? No. God is unchanging. If the details of His dwelling place were important to Him then, they are important to Him now.

So that’s where I rest, receiving great comfort from the reading of dimensions and construction materials. He knows the intricate design He has planned for my life. And He won’t let one detail of it fall by the wayside. After all, I am His temple.


A Sunday Psalm

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the Lord, for He comes
He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.
     --Psalm 96:11-13


The 11 Secrets of Getting Published

Hey, writers! Ever wish you knew what steps to take to move toward publication? Mary DeMuth has compiled a book to help! Based on her many posts at the wildly popular So You Wanna Be Published blog (that we sadly had to quit posting to several months ago due to other projects), The 11 Secrets of Getting Published is available as an e-book!


Shadowed in Silk by Christine LIndsay

I know of the British rule in India mostly from literature—and then often only in snatches. The Secret Garden. A Little Princess. Rudyard Kipling stories. Vague references from the lives of British authors, whether their biographies or their stories from the 19th and 20th centuries. So when I realized that Christine Lindsay’s debut novel, Shadowed in Silk, covered some of this history, I knew I’d have to read it.

And I’m so glad I did. Christine made post WWI India come alive, with all its sights and sounds, its political unrest, its clash of cultures and religions. I was captivated by Abby’s story, how it intertwined with the British military presence as well as with the Christians working with “the least of these” in Indian society. If you have a penchant for anything British or anything exotic—or even better, both!—I think you will find something to enjoy in this adventure/romance. I know I did!

Shadowed in Silk is available now as an ebook (Kindle, Nook, etc.) and will be available in print this fall. 

Disclaimer: I received this book at no charge from the publisher.


Two Down, One to Go!

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating our son's graduation from high school. Two more years and we'll do this again for the last time! While I'm busy catching up from the busy weekend, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy! (And yes, for the SECOND time, we have ZERO pictures of my husband and I with our graduate! Argh!)


A Sunday Psalm

O Lord, I call to You; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to You.
May my prayer be set before You like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies.
      --Psalm 140:1-4


Prepping for the Party

I hate throwing parties. I know this about myself. But there are a few times when I know it must be done. (And rarely was it ever for my child’s birthday!) My second child is graduating from high school on Saturday, so this is one of those times.

Not that I get elaborate or anything. In fact, our goal with graduation is just to celebrate with family and a few close friends that are meaningful to our graduate. But this year, that list was more numerous than I imagined—and everyone said yes! So now I am trying to pull things together to make it happen. I’m sure everything will be fine, but because this does not come naturally to me, I get stressed out!

Have you participated in anything lately that is out of your comfort zone but you did it anyway because of your love for another person?


The Dark Places of My Heart

I’ve mentioned what a stressful few weeks it has been for me. Yes, all the things that have been happening are good things. But stress is stress, and for me at least, it often exposes the dark parts of my heart. That’s what has been slowing happening this time. I’m grateful to see those places, because I don’t want them there. But of course they are painful and that pain adds to the overall stress, even in repentance. It’s emotionally draining at a time I am already emotionally drained. The one comfort? These days I am more willing to see those places before they turn completely toxic and spew out over everyone else. I’d much rather confront my sin before everyone else sees it, too!

Anyone else find it emotionally draining to confront the sin in your own heart?


God is so Good

The past eight weeks or so have been crazy around here. Lots of out of town trips for baseball and track. End of school awards and other programs. Throw in a few bridal and baby showers, along with a whole family get together at Easter. All this while having the editorial letter for revision on my second book. Needless to say, all that stirred into one pot didn’t help my stress level! By the first week of May I was in meltdown mode.

But God is so good. Last week my schedule cleared and I made great progress. So even though we’re back to the chaos with graduation week upon us, I’m much more at peace. The writing of book two—the first time to write something from research to completion with a deadline looming—has been a journey of faith from the beginning. I don’t why I expected any less toward the end!


A Sunday Psalm

Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.
I will listen to what God the Lord will say;
He promises peace to His people, His saints--but let them not return to their folly.
Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
    --Psalm 85:6-9


Lifeway Fiction Day

If you are looking for something to do this lovely Saturday, why not check out Lifeway's Fiction Day? Lots of deals on wonderful novels, but also many stores with author appearances. Click here to see if there is a booksigning happening near you!

This is a great way to support Christian bookstores and Christian authors--and maybe find your new favorite book or author in the process!


The Synonym Finder

If you are a word-lover like I am, sometimes you get frustrated in finding one that conveys your exact meaning. I find this especially true in my writing. So many words spill out of my fingers that at some point I’m throwing down the first word that comes to mind, but it often isn’t the right word.

Long ago, in my early writing days, I thought it was cheating to use a thesaurus. I convinced myself that “real” writers discovered the right word in their own heads. Of course, that was before my brain went on overload with three children and all their details—and before I hit that age where remembering didn’t come as easily!

Enter The Synonym Finder. I love this book! It’s a thesaurus on steroids and one of the best investments I made when I finally let go of the pride of being able to say I didn’t consult a thesaurus. Now I can almost always find the right word—or at least the more right word than the one that popped into my mind first! As you can see, my copy is well-loved. 

This is just one of my favorite writing tools. What are some of yours?


Untold History

The other day, I found myself wondering what happened to Esau in those years Jacob was living with Laban. I mean, we see him threatening to kill Jacob for stealing his blessing, then the next time we encounter him in scripture he welcomes Jacob home with no apparent malice.

What changed him? Did he have an encounter with God, like Jacob? One that brought him to a place of acceptance for the path of his life? Perhaps his parents begged him not to rip their family apart by murdering his brother and he loved them enough to forgive his Jacob. Perhaps he simply matured, realized he couldn’t change his situation and decided to accept it, make the best of it. Or maybe he was simply a man whose temper flared hot then cooled quickly, without leaving the smoldering ember of a grudge.

I have no idea what the answer is, but I love considering these types of questions.

What Biblical figure’s untold history captures your imagination?


Happy Mother's Day!
Her children shall rise up and call her blessed.
Proverbs 31:28


Summary of my week

Writing. Dishes. Writing. Laundry. Writing. Senior chapel. Crying. Writing. Meeting. Writing. Cooking. Writing. Reading. –with a dash of twitter, facebook and google reader thrown in.

So what have you been up to lately?


Hopeless Perfectionist or Healthy Work Ethic?

Good. Better. Best.

So many areas of my life I choose good or better, when what I want to choose is best. But sometimes I can’t recognize “best” until I look back. So then was it “best” if I didn’t know it?

I run into this as a writer. I think my writing improves with each book. At least I hope so.  After finishing (writing, rewriting, rewriting and rewriting!) each one, I’ve sat back in satisfaction and declared I’ve done my best. Then I go back and re-read—a week, a month, a year, a lifetime later—and I peg it as good. Or maybe better. Certainly not best.

That’s why revisions are so difficult for me. I go into the manuscript to change one thing and instead change ten—completely rework a scene or move it to a different chapter. By the time I finish, it is very different from where it began. Which is a good thing. I think. But does that mean all of that work took it from better to best? Would it have been the same result with less stress and headache if I’d just gone in and fixed the identified problems?

I wrestle with these questions as I am on week three of revisions and feel like I’ve made about as much progress as a turtle climbing uphill through molasses. And yet I feel good about the changes I’ve made.

Am I just a hopeless perfectionist or is this a healthy work ethic, a striving to do my best as until the Lord (for I can truly say this work is my offering to Him)?

Any thoughts out there in cyberspace? I’d love to hear them!


Oh My, Oh May!

I knew this was coming—and as much as I tried to avoid it, I couldn’t.

Yes, graduation and manuscript revisions are both on top of me in the month of May.

If my blogging gets sporadic, you’ll understand why!


A Sunday Psalm

Remember me, O Lord, when You show favor to Your people,
come to my aid when You save them,
that I may enjoy the prosperity of Your chosen ones,
that I may share in the joy of Your nation
and join Your inheritance in giving praise.
     ---Psalm 106:4-5