Monday, July 27, 2015

Hope Runs Amok!

Right now I'm hoping for a lot of things.

I hope to have all the snacks prepped in time for the conference. (feeding sixty people snacks seven times!)
I hope to finish the totes I hope to sell at the conference.

I hope the totes sell at the conference!

I hope everyone loves my home-baked goodies.

I hope I make good contacts that will bear fruit.

I hope to be a good editor and help writers become better writers.

I hope I survive this week with my brain in tact.

I hope to make new writing friends.

I hope I don't fall asleep in class.

I hope I can be God's Little Prayer Warrior.

I hope I can sneak in a nap sometime today.

I hope God blesses my family for helping me and being there for me for this conference.

I hope my writing makes people laugh while they learn.

I hope my cat Boo-boo stops scratching at the door and meowing to get my attention! (My writing space is a No-Cat Zone.)

Yes, I hope for a lot of things, and this list is just the tip of the mountaintop. My hope meter is off the charts right now. But my biggest reason to hope is God. God is going to get me through this week with a grin that's bigger than a Cheshire cat. He is the only one that can fulfill any of these hopes. He is the rock I stand on (and sometime thump my head against), and the Maker of Miracles. 

And if I get through this week without collapsing and with my brains in tact? That would be a miracle- trust me!

As I look for opportunities, learning, and new friends, I'll be seeing God also. He's like cat hair- He gets into everything once He's in your house! So i'll let my hopes run amok and have all the fun they want- because God is in charge here, and hope really does spring eternal when He's around!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Irony in Chaos!

I. Am. Insane.

It's one week before the writer's conference. I'm providing snacks for the faculty. I'm also a faculty member, taking appointments during the conference for Ruby for Women Magazine, as I'm Assistant Editor. I'm also an attendee, and have scheduled classes and appointments for myself as well.

This week? I'm baking cookies, breads and cakes for the faculty. In ninety-five degree heat.

I'm sewing tote bags and making paper jewelry to display for sale at the conference.

My editor is staying with me (which is a great, wonderful, fantastic thing!) and my house looks like the dust bunnies won the war.

And our back-up fridge died yesterday. The one that held foods I wanted to chill for the conference and our church picnic, which is the week after the conference.

I'm also out of butter for the cookies I was supposed to be baking this morning.

But I think the most ironic thing about all of this is I'm grinning like an idiot because God is just so darned good, I know everything will work itself out. The only thing I'm worries about at this point is if the staff will like my baking!

And no, I'm not telling you what I'm making- because some of you are attending the conference. Nanny nanny boo-boo- be surprised when you get there. Heh.

Oh, the irony in chaos!

Who bakes in ninety-five degree heat? Who is also insane enough to bake, sew, craft, and still manage to write and study up on the editors, agents, and publishers I'll be meeting? Who can blog, shop, and still manage to clean the house while doing all that other stuff?

I don't want it to be me- but it is. I even did my Monday morning workout this morning- I'm a lunatic, I tell you!

I might not get everything done, but the important stuff will be completed before Conference Day. Because God has my back and will give me the strength I need...right God?

And since You're listening Lord, I could sure use another back-up fridge. And a nap.

Yes, this week is crazy, and so am I. But I'm calm. I feel at peace with the world, despite the chaos. And you know that's not my doing- it's all God.

I have to get back to baking/shopping/sewing/everything, but I wanted to let you know the God can load up your chaos with an ironic peace too- just ask Him for it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Jackhammer and the Chisel

Sometimes God wants a Chisel. Sometimes He wants a Jackhammer. And sometimes we Christians get the two mixed up. Not saying which Christian that might be, but she writes this blog.

Sometimes God wants a Chisel. He wants His children to tap away at an unbeliever bit by bit, until he is ready to hear His Word. Sometimes that could take days, weeks, months, or even years. Chisels are patient people, who have the ability to make enough cracks in someones armor so the Light shines through.

Sometimes God wants a Jackhammer. He wants His children to shatter walls and boundaries and let others know that God is here, He is listening, and they need to acknowledge Him now. Jackhammers aren't subtle folks; They're more like the swat-you-upside-the-head-and-pay-attention kinda people.

Put a Jackhammer on a Chiseler's job, and you can shatter someones spirit. Put a Chiseler on a Jackhammer's job, and the person you're trying to witness to will lose interest and shut you down faster than a New York subway. Ugh.

I'm mostly a Jackhammer. I've done a little Chiseling in my time, but mostly I'm the one who would be blunt, and tell you in no nonsense terms that you need God. Now. 
I admire the Chiselers of this world, because that have so much more patience than I do. 

Some people are good at both- they know when to be a Chiseler and when to be a Jackhammer. My husband is one of them. Maybe that's why he's a Deacon. He can get anyone to talk with him and has brought many people to God. He amazes me sometimes.

Now that I think about it, I'm more of a Chiseler concerning writing, and face-to-face I'm a Jackhammer. A friendly jackhammer, but a Jackhammer, nonetheless.

Sometimes I mess up and I'm the wrong tool at the wrong time. That's why it's good to have many Christians around you who are a good mix of both- so you can learn and refer people to them.

Are you a Jackhammer or a Chisel? Are you a bit of both? And the most important thing- are you helping others meet God?

I know it's hard. But no matter which tool you are, God loves you no matter what!

Monday, July 6, 2015

God, Cats and Obedience

I have three cats, otherwise known as the Cat Lady Starter Kit. Two are brothers from the same litter, and one is a little girl we adopted from a shelter this past December. It's be a wonderful chaos ever since.

Boo-boo and Scootch have been with me for over five years now, ever since they were about a year old. They know the rules, and though it took a long time, they know commands and comply 99% of the time. And when they don't comply, I give a gentle nudge on their rear, and they get the point.

Then along comes Tinkerbell. 

She doesn't know the rules, therefore has taken the liberty of snatching food, traipsing about the kitchen table like she was a supermodel, settling herself on the very corner to taunt our boys with her ability to get away with it. At least until I see her.

I nudge her bottom and say the code words "Shoo shoo" to let he know that table-sitting isn't allowed. Does she jump down in compliance? Nope. She braces herself instead, making me either shove her off via my hand on her butt, or I have to pick her up and toss her off the table. 

The look she gives me is priceless.

Yesterday I moved to 'shoo-shoo' her and she scurried off the table- but the long way, walking across the entire table length before getting off. If she could speak, she'd say, "I'll do what you want, but my way, not yours, Lady!"

But she listened- and that was the important thing.

Her actions got me I that way with God?

You bet your bippy, I am.

God wants me 'off the table', so He nudges me in the right direction. But since I'm still learning, I resist, bracing myself because I feel I need to be on the table- and who is this Person anyway to tell me what to do? Lucky for me He's patient and just keeps nudging until I get the point. Eventually I do.

It's a good thing too- I don't want God to pick me up and toss me off the table!

I find myself resisting a lot. Go here he says. Nope- I go there instead. Do this He says. Nuh uh- I do that instead. Yet each time He does this, I'm more inclined to listen because where He's taking me is awesome- I just don't know it yet!

And it's the not knowing that makes me resist. 

Tinkerbell and I are cut from the same cloth. I just don't have claws, fur and a tail. But God loves me anyway and is willing to spend a lot of time nudging me off of the table- because one day when I learn what He has to teach me, I'll get to lay against Him and cuddle- just like Boo-boo does with me.