Leah and Me

I flip another page and my stomach starts to turn.

I pick up my phone. Maybe I’m running out of time. No.

Did I turn off the coffee pot?

Maybe I should…

No.

I keep reading, getting more anxious as each chapter ends. I almost convince myself that I’m just not that into it today and maybe I should put the Bible away until later. When I’m not as fidgety.

And then, Jacob sees Rachel and falls in love, and I know what comes next. I’ve always hated their story.

For the sake of Leah.

I didn’t realize until today just how much I identify with her. On the surface, there is no obvious reason. My relationship with my dad is great. I’m not married, so a disappointed husband isn’t the issue.

Leah knew she wasn’t beautiful.

She didn’t quite measure up to expectations.

Shouldn’t she be married already?

The list of emotions that I could give for poor Leah. And honestly, most of them are probably purely mine, but I do sense a kindred spirit in her.

Most days, I still don’t like what I see in the mirror.

I constantly fall short of the mark that I just know everyone on the planet is holding me to.

And really, shouldn’t I be married already?

BUT today I saw something that I had never really paid attention to.

I saw the way God treated her.

So tenderly.

God noticed her.

God loved her.

God honored her in a way that was oh so important in her culture. He gave her a son. And another one. And another one. In fact, he gave her six sons, and a daughter.

Reading her story today, for the first time, I felt hope. I felt loved.

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The End of the Story

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I love words.

It isn’t a secret that I am a writer and sincerely hope to be published one day.

It also isn’t a secret that the biggest and most important thing in my life is my relationship with Jesus.

Well, these things shouldn’t be secrets, but I have a bad habit of not speaking up about some very important things. I’m sorry about this. But I can’t promise this will change.

In an effort to grow in my relationship with Jesus, I am going through a Bible reading challenge. The goal is read through the Bible, in as close to chronological order as some unknown experts can guess, in just 4 months. I haven’t set the deadline in stone. It isn’t for a notch in a scorecard. I just want to get closer to Jesus, whatever that looks like.

So, I thought I would share something from this week that has me all excited inside.

I know the end of the story!

Duh, right?

One of my favorite things from day one of the reading was the repetition of “the evening passed and the morning came.” (my paraphrase) I love the creation story, but I always dread the moment I know is coming. When Adam and Eve eat that forbidden fruit. A decision that changed everything.

Day 2: I start reading Job, and it is hard. I want to lay it down, or at least skip to the next part. Having known loss, to at least a small degree, Job’s loss is personal to me, and it breaks my heart to watch him suffer. He didn’t deserve it. The man was careful to do everything just right and stay clean in God’s sight. What hope do we have?

And I remember the day before. The evening passed and the morning came.  I can keep reading and not get discouraged because I know the end of Job’s story. There is hope and restoration. Redemption. The pain of that original loss doesn’t disappear. Job isn’t told to “just get over it, already,” or, “deal with it.” But Job’s greatest fear happened, and he came out the other side.

And I will, too. So will you.

I know the end of the story, and it is amazing!

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Revisiting November

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Celebration time!

My month of challenges is over! So, I thought I would share a little about how I did with all that craziness, and a few of the things that I learned from my experiences.

First up, NaNoWriMo.

Sadly, there are not 50,000 words in my novel at this point. I can not say that I won this year. At least not officially. But while word count is definitely a consideration in a finished novel, it isn’t the most important thing. Telling a story is what it is all about. Last year, I wrote a silly story based out of one of my really random dreams. I was having fun, and getting the words on the page was super easy when I actually sat down at the computer. The story I chose this year has been hard in a lot of ways. It is very close to my heart, and my heart doesn’t like to share so much. So, I’m counting this challenge as a success. The words my be appearing on the page at a slower rate than desired, but they are getting there. And the finished product will be something I am proud of.

Second, 30 days of thanks.

A whole lot of people seemed annoyed with the abundance of thankfulness on their news feeds. I enjoyed every minute of it! Both writing down my own thanks, and reading all the others. I loved seeing people turn the hard things into something good, and finding things to be thankful for when life seemed to be going crazy. It definitely brought a change of perspective for me. I missed posting a few days, and I’m okay with that. There is always an abundance of things to be thankful for, and I do look forward to sharing some of those things in the future.

Last, and my favorite, NaBloPoMo.

By the numbers, I posted more than double in November than I did in the two previous years! No longer can I say that I have nothing to write about. Faced with a challenge, I found something. Lots of somethings. And I had so much fun doing it!

I didn’t finish any one of my challenges with a perfect record. A novel with a 50,000 word count eluded me. My Facebook has less than 30 posts of thankfulness. This blog has way less than 30 posts. By the numbers, I have failed. As a writer, I have succeeded. Sometimes, especially when your finances don’t depend on it, the hardest thing to do is sit yourself down at the computer and write. This month, that has happened on a more consistent basis than ever before. I have more confidence, and feel like I can tell a little bit better story.

Although I don’t plan on posting every day, I do plan on making this a habit.

Any ideas for a December challenge?

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Mmmm…

Time in the kitchen is one of my favorite things. There hasn’t been much of it lately, with all the craziness going on and starting a second job. But I had an unexpected night off.

So I made this:

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The recipe for it is in the Food Network Magazine 50 No-Bake Treats pull-out booklet. They break them into squares, but I figured that little bite sized pieces would be perfect to take to work and to my family Thanksgiving.

And they’re super easy.

The recipe just calls for 4 oz of melted chocolate spread over 12 graham cracker squares and topped with mini marshmallows.  Of course, I think I tripled it.

Good thing since my room mate and I decided that we could probably eat a whole pan.

 

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Valuing Myself

Today, I forgot to feed me.

I got busy.

With projects.

Conversations.

Getting ready for work.

Going to work.

And then when I got home, realizing that it would just be me for dinner, I said the most ridiculous thing to myself.

“I’m not going to waste time cooking just for myself.”

It made me stop and think. Cooking for someone else is okay. Cooking for just me, a waste.

I’ve spent most of my life with a very negative view of myself. It has improved a lot in the past few years. Moments like this remind me how far I still have to go, and just how far I have come. I do remember a time when I wouldn’t have thought twice about a comment like that. But I am learning just who I am in Christ and how much He loves and values me. I’m still a mess. I still mess up big time. But if He saw enough value in me to give His life for me, well, maybe there is something to that.

Needless to say, I cooked myself a little dinner.

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New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Enjoy your new beginning, friend. You sure are missed here.

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Everyone Dances

I woke up this morning with a completely random song in my head. Something we learned in high school French. It made me smile and feel like dancing.

Even though my feet feel like they are ready to fall off after a 12 hour work day.

So, I thought I would share.

I hope it makes you smile, too.

Cheesy, I know. But sometimes a little silliness is the best medicine for a long, stressful day.

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