Pardon the Delay

Ok, so I’ve tried like crazy NOT to miss a day and to write at all costs in my Be Completely You writing challenge . I was out-of-town this past weekend, and there’s nothing like a bit of travel to upset your entire rhythm. I didn’t eat as well as I normally do, and I didn’t WRITE as well as I’ve tried to do either. However, I did enjoy myself, and we all know joy is priceless. 🙂

I tried to play catch up and write this evening, but that seems to be a no-go. I was hoping to post an E post for today and write a T post for tomorrow. Not happening. Fact of the matter is, I’m so sleepy I don’t think any words are flowing in my head unless they can be composed by a bunch of Zzzzzz. When I caught my head just as it was falling toward the keyboard I figured it was time to surrender to sleep.

So, I just want to drop you a line to say I’m still writing, but tonight I’m taking a much-needed break to get some rest. I’ll be back at these keys tomorrow evening. Hopefully once I get some rest I will be able to produce a worthwhile E post. I already have an idea in mind, so we’ll see if it still feels good tomorrow. Believe it or not, my T post was started last week. So, you go get some rest too. And if you’re reading this on tomorrow, well I hope you had a super good night. 🙂

Completely sleepy ME,

P.S. Hey, don’t miss this post just because it didn’t show up in your newsfeed on your Facebook page. Click the “sign me up” button to receive each post delivered right to your email inbox. Be among the first to know when I move into my new home at Completely You. If you enjoyed the post you just read and you know other women who may enjoy it too, please share it with them. Click the “share” button below to send the post via email, post it on your facebook page or send it out in a tweet. A tweet would sure be sweet! :-) Invite your girlfriends to join Full Circle Women’s Fellowship on Facebook and to subscribe to the Wisdom Virtue and Rubies (soon to be Completely You!) blog. I would love to meet them!

The Prayer Room, Part 2

We ended our meeting with a professional hand shake. I said my “thank you and good-bye” to the Senior Editor for a well-known Christian book publisher and exited the room, making way for her next appointment to enter. With her business card in hand, it hit me. She expressed interest in reviewing my completed book proposal AND gave me her card. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know what to do with that. I should have been elated. Instead I was numb.

I’d had 3 meetings that day, 2 of which I was convinced I wanted to cancel. And now someone may be interested. Interesting

Through the strength of Christ, I’ve found legs to stand under layers of disappointment I’ve faced in recent years. Today, the reality that I’ve misplaced my sensitivity to the excitement and whimsical pleasure of possibility gripped me as I left the editor’s presence. At first I didn’t know where to go – back to my hotel suite or to slip quietly into the rear of the room to catch the end of the session I’d missed. The navigation system of my stylish black heels had someplace else in mind.

When I crossed the threshold of the prayer room, I almost froze. There were two women praying together, and I felt like any move I made would disrupt the precious atmosphere. I silently slipped into a chair and began to reflect. Moments later a woman from the prayer team joined me. My private nature almost told her I just wanted to be left alone in silence. Instead I shared my immediate thoughts and allowed her to pray for me.

After prayer, the sweet woman (whose name escapes me now) directed me to the tables in the back to find my name attached to a name of God. I rounded the table carefully scanning 650 names looking for my own. I was eager to find out to what name His Spirit led them to affix my name. My heart began to pound as I neared the end and had yet run across Monica Watkins.

As I turned to walk away, the enemy of my existence began his choral response in my head. He put on a grand performance, singing negative tunes insinuating I’d been forgotten, gone unnoticed, was unimportant, flown under the radar or fallen through the cracks undetected once again. He begged me to agree with him that I shouldn’t have been there, at the conference, meeting with publishers, or pitching a book.

“You haven’t arrived,” he taunted. “The epicenter o f destiny is all in your head.”

The woman who prayed for me was watching the entire time. She whispered to me, “Did you find it?” When I told her no, she immediately jumped up to help me look. She took one side of the table, and I took the other. In no time she bid me come.

There I was (last vertical slip at the top of the page):

Attached to Jehovah, the great I AM!

The words written below the name are:

 “I Am”: The one who is the self-existent One

God never changes. His promises never fail. When we are faithless, He is faithful. We need to obey Him.

Exodus 3:14, Exodus 6:2-4, Exodus 34:5-7, Psalm 102

If you’re looking for a place to spend your devotion time today, the verses above may be a nice place to start. They have been for me. Later on, I’ll share which verses stood out most and how I am finding peace in these passages.

Completely ME,

I Stole Away

I stole away.

I have mountains of work to do, and I technically can’t really afford to steal away, but I did it anyway.  I’m proud of it, too.

For this entire day, I’ve been simultaneously trying to chip away at the assignments for my day job that are in fierce competition for my attention and secretly pining after this space right here.  I’ve been waiting for my official “quitting time” (even though I truly need to work far beyond that hour) to steal away so I could share with you.

I have so much I want to say.  There’s a lot going on.  It seems with each passing day, my plate gets more and more filled.  By day, I work a nine to five, as most of us do, and I’m so thankful for it!  I come home, go to the gym, and later begin my nine to five by night – working toward my personal goal of becoming a published author.

I will be attending the She Speaks conference next month, focusing on the Writer’s track.  When I registered for the conference I signed up for a publishers meeting.  What the heck was I thinking?  I have no idea!  This publishers meeting is my own “15 minutes of fame” – 15 minutes in a one on one meeting with a representative from an actual company that actually publishes books like the ones I actually hope to have on a shelf in your neighborhood Borders, Lifeway, or Barnes and Noble one day.  Yes! Your neighborhood and my neighborhood, too….  Oh and your sister’s neighborhood, your niece’s neighborhood, your mom’s, grandma’s and aunt’s neighborhood, as well.  Oh yeah, and your best girlfriend’s neighborhood, too.  I wouldn’t want to leave her out.

But I digress…

The truth is following a dream or a passion is a lot of work.  If we’re honest, the words dream and passion could very well be deceiving, when you really stop to think about it.  They both ignite a sweet sense of euphoria in our thoughts, but in real life euphoric is far from what I’m feeling today.  No, today I’m faced with mounting responsibilities, a beautiful ever-changing life, and a day job that is a MEGA blessing (especially in this economy) but sometimes just seems to get in the way.

Needless to say, in this season of expansion I’m learning a few things.  I’m learning balance.  I’ve discovered that I must learn how to manage my time OR ELSE.  “Destiny demands diligence.” I once read those words in a book by Dr. Myles Munroe, and they have been with me for years now.  I am learning that diligent hard work and balance are key to following a dream.  Last but certainly not least, I’m learning that nothing is impossible with God, and that I can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Fact is that’s pretty much the only way I’m going to get all that lies before me done.

There’s more to come.  I’m so glad I stole away. 🙂

Monday’s Thoughts

Never have I been more aware of time as I am these days.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s a by-product of my milestone birthday approaching in another ten months.  I’ve heard it said that, as it approaches, you begin to realize that a good chunk of life is now behind you.  You’re broadsided by the fact that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change that chunk.  It has been laid to rest in the annals of history, as is.  Now, you’re looking toward the future, the chunk of life that lies before you, with knees-knocking, nail-biting hope that “I can get it right this time”.

Usually, by this time, you’re traveling down one of two roads – either you’re on a road with clear visibility meaning you know exactly where you’re headed and how you’d like to chew on the chunk of life that lies before you.  Or you’re traveling a foggy road with low visibility representing the fact that you still have no idea what direction you want to go in, but you’re hoping you can feel your way through the fog.

I don’t know why I’ve thought about this so much lately.  I’m thankful that I do know which direction I’m heading in, but I guess now I’m wondering about you.  There’s no need to wait for an approaching birthday milestone as your invitation to really dig in and decide how you want to spend your days or what mark you want to make on the world around you.  Believe it or not, “What do you want to be when you grow up” is a question you aren’t too old to ask yourself.

So go ahead…

Ask yourself…

There’s no time like the present to get busy working on the answer.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

A Challenge, A Contest, and A Conference

Happy Monday everyone!  Just want to share a bit of the happenings in and around my world.  Today, I’ll chat a little bit about a challenge, a contest, and a conference.  Let’s get started, shall we!

A Challenge:

I think I must have bumped my head.  Either I bumped my head or mistakenly inhaled some intoxicant, because surely my sane, with a little bit of common sense mind, wouldn’t do what I have done.

I have signed up to participate in an A to Z Blog Challenge.  Probably, just reading the phrase “A to Z” gives you a clue as to what I’ve chained myself to.  The A to Z Blog Challenge is being hosted by Tossing it Out and a few other folks.  I learned about the challenge from my sweet, bloggy friend Wanda, over at The Watered Soul.  Wanda has courageously taken the challenge before, and this year I am daring to travel in her footsteps.

In the A to Z Blog Challenge hundreds of writers/bloggers (who obviously have a few screws loose) commit to writing one blog post a day with the subject matter being something (or someone, I suppose) beginning with the letter of the day.  It begins on April 1st, so the letter for that day will be A, April 2ndB, and so on.

Last I checked there were still 26 letters in the English alphabet (seems we’re still hanging on to those awkward letters like Q and X, lol).  So, my friends, for 26 glorious days straight you will be hearing from yours truly.  Seeing as though my pen has moved a tad sluggish out of the gate this year, I figured a blog challenge would be just the thing to get the ink flowing.  For more formal information on the challenge or to join in on the fun, click here.

Moving on to the contest…

A Contest:

Last year, I mentioned some upcoming changes to this little blog space we share here.  I know I said “coming soon” probably months ago.  As you can tell, “coming soon” turned into “coming eventually.  But there is hope!

Last Monday, I entered a contest hosted by Karen Ehman – author and member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries national speaking team.  The contest’s first prize was a blog hosting package.  Sweet!  The winner of said first prize – yours truly!  Yes!!  Click here to check out Karen’s blog and click here to see where she announced the winners.  I wish I could say “click here” to see my face when I read my name as the winner.  Trust me; I looked super silly as I rejoiced out loud in my home alone!

Lisa Boyd, who serves the Proverbs 31 Ministries team as their “Tech Dudette”, will graciously help me spruce up my corner of the blog world.  I really want you to have a nice place to come hang out.  Needless to say, I am excited and extremely grateful!  I’ll keep you posted on how and when this will all come together.  In the meantime, you can check out Lisa at two different places – click here for tech tips and services or click here for Lisa’s personal blog entitled Simply His.  I SIMPLY LOVE that title!

Oh how God loves His daughters.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  As I stepped up and embraced a challenge to get my writing back on track, He blessed me with something I’d been praying for, something that falls right in line with His will for me to write!  Thank you Father!

A conference:

Proverbs 31 Ministries will host its annual She Speaks conference this summer – July 22nd – 24th.  If you were hanging out with me this time last year you witnessed my many attempts at winning a scholarship to this event.  Well, some things never change, and I am trying again this year to be in attendance.  With tracks for speaking, writing, AND women’s ministry, this is truly a gathering I would love to be a part of.  If you’re interested in learning more about the conference held in Concord, North Carolina, click here.  If you want to learn more about the ministry, click here.

So I think I covered all of my bases – a challenge, a contest, and a conference.  Today my prayer is simple.  Lord help me through this challenge and, thank you for the contest, and, if it is Your will, allow me to attend this conference!

Post number one for the A to Z Blog Challenge comes to an inbox near you, Friday, April 1st.  Don’t miss it!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

 

Bound, Broken, Desperate

“The Lord reassures me of His call each time I listen to the heart of or have an opportunity to encourage one of God’s daughters.  I see the pain.  I know the pain.  I’ve found the freedom, and I want to share.”

Seven or eight years ago one of my girlfriends invited me to attend a women’s bible study.  A group of women met for 8 or 9 weeks, reading and discussing the book Showing Mary, by Renita Weems.

I’ll be honest; I don’t remember much about our time together.  Yet the one thing I will never forget is the very moment the Spirit of the Lord enlisted me to share the pages of my life’s story with a young woman I didn’t know at all.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  She was bound.  She was broken.  She was desperate.  I recognize the bold, piercing stares of those three predators anywhere; I’ve seen them glare at me through my own mirror.  Bound…Broken…Desperate.

One evening, as this young lady was sharing the heartbreaking story of her then current situation with the group, I distinctly heard God’s whisper.  His instruction was clear. I was not to leave without tending to the wounds of my sister.  I had no idea what I would say to her, but I knew leaving that church without allowing the Lord to use me would be blatant disobedience.

So I did go speak to this woman.  What I said back then escapes me, but I left her with my contact information and an open invitation to call me anytime.

And she did.

I was honored to walk with her for years.  Our journey together blossomed into a beautiful friendship.  I’ve had the extreme pleasure of watching God transform her life, moving her from a place of darkness into the glory of His marvelous light of truth.

Saturday, while hanging out at a local mall, one of my girlfriends and I encountered a woman.  She stopped to talk to us after overhearing one word from our conversation. We later learned that pain laced with alcohol gave her the courage to pour out her brokenness on complete strangers.  Out of the abundance of her heart her mouth spoke, revealing stories of loss, adultery and abuse.  The look in her eyes was familiar – bound, broken, and desperate.

Before she walked away, I asked if I could pray with her, and she agreed.  As the three of us huddled together holding hands, her weeping became the forlorn melody to my fervent prayer for peace, healing and direction.  I can only imagine what other issues of her life rolled down her cheeks in the drops of her tears.  After my friend and I encouraged her a bit more, I gave her contact information, and she went on her way.

As Saturday’s dust settled, I began to reflect.  First, I thought about my encounter from days gone by with the woman who is now one of my sweet friends.  As the Lord would orchestrate, she called me on Thursday.  Next, I thought about my She Speaks Scholarship Contest entry.  I just narrowly met the Friday deadline.  Then, my thoughts naturally drifted toward God’s sweet daughter I’d met only hours earlier.  Tying all of this together, my mind came to rest, once again, on these words from my contest post:

“The Lord reassures me of His call each time I listen to the heart of or have an opportunity to encourage one of God’s daughters.  I see the pain.  I know the pain.  I’ve found the freedom, and I want to share.”

Father, in Jesus’ name, I thank you for continuing to use me.  Amen.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

Mary – Mother of Jesus – Take 2

Good morning, afternoon, or evening – whichever is the case for you when you read this post.  It’s morning for me right now, and I am up WAY too early for a day off.  But, I had some writing things, some laundry things, some clean up things, etc that seemed to be poking me asking, “Are you awake”.  Finally, I mumbled the usual, “I’m up now” response and decided to get up and get moving.  I tossed a load of clothes in the washer and now here I am.

I hope you had an opportunity to read the post I sent you to yesterday.  If so did you enjoy MaryBeth Whalen’s “Pondering and Peaceful“?  I hope it blessed you as much as it blessed me.

Yesterday was a crazy busy day for me, but I lassoed a few moments to read another post by a blogger friend of mine.  There’s quite a bit of chatter and clicking of keyboards about Mary this Christmas season.  Maybe it’s because sometimes we inadvertently diminish her role in the story of Christ’s birth.  To me, she said the second most powerful “YES” of all times, falling right in line behind Jesus’ “YES” to the cross.  Wow!  That’s what I’m pondering this morning.  🙂  Thank you Jesus for saying YES!

So the ladies are  tapping into her courage this season and uncovering some amazing lessons we all can use.  (You know the sisters have to stick together! lol…)  I told Wanda, of The Watered Soul, that as I’ve read these posts on Mary, from different writers, I’ve enjoyed seeing how the Spirit of the Lord leads each person to see something fresh or from a different angle.  So today, I’m sending you over to Wanda’s place.  Her post from Tuesday is entitled “Favor Has Its Own Cost“.  I absolutely loved the insight she received about the favor of God resting on Mary.  Yet we all know it couldn’t have been all nuts and berries for a teenage virgin girl, engaged to be married, but somehow ending up pregnant.  Those had to be rough waters, indeed.

So, I’ll close here, and you head on over to Wanda’s to read “Favor Has Its Own Cost“.  It’s a pretty short.  I promise you, it took me 3 minutes to read.  I’m sure you have 3 minutes to take in an encouraging word from the heart of God, delivered through one of His faithful daughters.  So pick your 3 minutes and GO!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

P.S. Don’t forget to stay tuned for upcoming news regarding my little bloggy home.  🙂

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