On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rose, Reality, and Roads less traveled

Rose is the main character in Lady and the Sea

Life is what we are alive to.  It is not length but breadth ... be alive to ... goodness, kindness, purity, love, history, poetry, music, flowers, stars, the written word, God, and eternal hope.

I learned a lot about myself while writing about Lady and the Sea's main character, Rose (Rosie) Atkisson.  Go ahead, write a short story, choose a main character, and write away.  You'll soon discover many emotions, fears, dreams, and hopes that you have hidden deep inside of you.  I imagine the more you write, the harder it will be to put down your pen, or push yourself away from your laptop.  You'll be anxious to return the next day to find out where your character is going to take you.  Next door?  Down the street?  To the local cafe?  To another country?

With so much going on around us, here at home and around the world, life is not as dependable as it was in days of old.  I find myself longing for having just a day in the little two-bedroom house on Ibbetson Street with my mother, father, and brother ... had to share bedrooms, wait in line for the bathroom, stand over a floor heater in the mornings before heading out to school.  Okay, enough.  I admit that I have been a bit nostalgic lately.

I must keep this short, as I am finishing an essay that will be published on my author friend's Expat Chat blog.  Title?  "I Sailed the Seven Seas on a WWII ship and Lived to Tell About It"  Very true.  Read my novel, Lady and the Sea (based on my true story).

No matter where you are, what you are doing, take a moment to be thankful for the little things.  Call a family member who you haven't talked to in awhile (email and Facebook doesn't count!).  Hug a tree.  Kidding.  Hug a neighbor.

I wish you smooth sailing and oceans of blessings for the week ahead.

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  2 Thessalonians 2:16-27NIV

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Birthdays, BeLeaf, and Patience

Happy days in California (Shawn, Bosco, and me)
Today is my son's 39th birthday.  Shawn is my miracle child.  Thirty-nine years ago, after extensive tests, our family doctor said it was not likely that I would conceive again.  His words brought me temporary sadness, but they didn't shake my belief that all things are possible with God.  I wanted a baby now, but the Lord had a different plan.  Unlike us, He doesn't stress over the timing of things.  My trust was in Him, so I waited, and waited, and waited.

I already had a darling daughter from my first marriage, a child that was conceived out of wedlock when I was nineteen.  Yes, I admit that thoughts of abortion entered my mind, but deep inside I could not do something that was against my moral principles.  So I made a choice that would change my life forever.  I would not do away with my unborn child, and nine months later, Jacqueline Shane was born, one of the biggest blessings of my life.  But I wanted a brother or sister for her to  grow up with.  I was twenty-seven and time was running out.  I laugh now, but back then my clock was ticking loud and clear.

So I would exercise faith, and patience, for my miracle baby to arrive.  But things don't always happen in a day.  If you have ever wanted something now--a job, a mate, a book published--but had to wait, and wait, then you know what I'm talking about.  Many have lost the joy and reality of God's abundant life due to frenzy and lack of patience.  We try to force our own plans on God, who becomes more of a delivery boy for our flesh than the Almighty One.  Many times we have missed God's best because of our impatience.  Selfishly running about, comparing ourselves with others, we bustle into something that never was God's plan.

Therefore, patience is a great strength.  It is the ability to remain focused and to rest assured that even though weeks, months, and years pass, the earth will eventually yield its harvest.  Life involves constant growth.  Life is sowing and reaping.  If we do not grow weary, we will reap in due time.

A few years later I finally said, "Okay, Lord, if you want me to have another baby, I'll be elated.  If not, then I'll accept your will and be content."  Two years later, I delivered a healthy baby boy, Shawn Christopher.

Today, thirty-nine years later, I'm still exercising patience--presently it's regarding my novel, Lady and the Sea.  It is so easy to get swept away into hours of marketing research, wondering if perhaps I should be doing more -- book signings, speaking engagements, blog interviews, and such.  But I admit as time goes by that it's becoming easier to lean on God's timing and to see what He has for me, not what I can conjure up.

So today I wish a very Happy Birthday to my miracle son.  I pray that he is learning, like his mother, to have patience for those dreams that God has placed in his heart.  And I pray this for you too, my dear bloggy readers.

I wish you smooth sailing, sunny days, and oceans of blessings!