The Sad Loss of a Good, Long Life

I apologize in advance for the roughness of this post, but whenever I lose someone I love, I write. Below is a jumble of my processing of yet another death in our family. This is family death number eight between my husband and me in the last two and a half years. Though it was expected, it is never easy.

What is this life that we hold on so tightly to? We think we have control of our existence, but the days of our life are not ours to number. We never know how many days we will have. I’ve scrolled through Instagram this week crying and praying along with people who have newborns and three-year-olds hanging on to life. I have cried with the posts of those who lost pregnancies and infants. And, today, I’m crying with the loss of someone much older, but whose death carries the same ache.

My grandmother passed away this morning at ninety-one.

I know most people unrelated to us would look at that number and say a trite “well, she lived a good long life.” And, while that’s true, that doesn’t ease the ache of the vacuum she left behind. My grandpa tonight won’t think “at least she had a long life” as he lays down in a bed void of the one he’s been married to for well over sixty years. It doesn’t ease the pain for my dad or his brothers who have yet another family member to say “goodbye” to in less than two years. Any loss in life is hard, even as Christians. We have the hope of heaven and the knowledge that we’ll see our loved ones again someday, but we still have to soldier on and pray that the Holy Spirit comes and fills the void our loved one has left.

I am not sad for my grandmother’s sake. She is freed from a body that ailed her for years, and she is in Heaven meeting our Savior and reuniting with her son she has yet to see whole. No, on this day, she has shed the skin that we live our lives fighting against and gets to live in whole peace and happiness. For the Christian, “to die is gain.” My grandmother has gained so much today, even while we mourn what we have lost. Continue reading “The Sad Loss of a Good, Long Life”

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The Book: Your Questions Answered

As a little tribute to finishing the first revision reading of my book, I wanted to address two questions that have come up several times during the process of my writing.

1. Why does your book focus on “subtle” sexual and gender harassment and not the “big” topics of sexual harassment and assault?

When I first started writing A Sacrificial Justice, I wasn’t even going to include sexual harassment of any kind. I wanted to make the entire story about the experience of a whistleblower without diving into the issues that come with sexual harassment. I tend to avoid hot-button topics when I can because I hate conflict. The problem was, as soon as I started writing the book, the sexual and gender harassment became integral. I couldn’t tell the story without it because both my sister’s experience and my own experience included it, so it became a large part of the story. Continue reading “The Book: Your Questions Answered”

Be Strong and Courageous and Other Impossible Things

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

As a child, I was a performer, despite being so shy that my mom tells me I never spoke to my kindergarten teacher. But, I loved singing and acting. I was the first to volunteer for any church play or solo. I starred as Mary in a church program when I was nine and had several solos. I loved it.

But, as I got older, something crumbled in my confidence, that continued to crumble as the years went on. I still tried out for solos in middle school and landed a handful. I even tried out for a solo my freshman year of high school, but I didn’t get that one. By junior year, I was in my school’s large concert choir, but when it came time for our one-on-one midterms with the choir director I opened my mouth to sing, and all that came out was a squeak. (My choir director was not happy, and she told me in no uncertain words.) I managed to scrounge up enough courage to pass that midterm, and I somehow managed to slip into the audition-only chamber choir my senior year.

Continue reading “Be Strong and Courageous and Other Impossible Things”

A Writing Life Update, and a Title

This is a long overdue writing update (I think the June 1st entry was my last actual update), so I have lots to fill you in on (especially if you don’t follow me on Instagram).

First off, I finished my first draft on July 29th, almost exactly five months after I started. That in and of itself felt like the biggest accomplishment and the most anticlimactic moment of this whole process. Finishing the first draft meant I got the bones and a little meat down, but there is still so much work to do. My celebrating lasted all of twenty minutes before I realized what was before me work-wise. Continue reading “A Writing Life Update, and a Title”

Her Story is Valid

I’m taking a deep breath when I write this and praying that everything I write here is heard with the heart I intend.

Let me start out by saying: this is inspired by the Kavanaugh hearings, but it’s not really about the Kavanaugh hearings. Many people I know are taking staunch sides on that hearing, and I can’t. In fact, I didn’t listen to the hearing for a few reasons: 1) I have no tried and true way to discern who is right or wrong in this situation, and 2) I think it is abhorrent that a sexual assault case is being “tried” in a political and public “court.” I think the whole case was mishandled, and my heart hurts for all the victims in this case.

This post is not about politics. This post is about the problems in our society that the Kavanaugh case brings up. This is about us. All of us. Continue reading “Her Story is Valid”

The MacBook

This is a story about a new MacBook. But, this is also a story of so, so much more. I won’t rewind too far, just to February, right around the time I started this blog. I knew I was supposed to write something, but I didn’t know what I was going to write. In fact, I was procrastinating on writing, and I decided to gather supplies. In my mind, I needed software (Scrivener) and I needed hardware (a laptop). We have a very nice desktop, but I convinced myself that I needed to accomplish 99% of my writing at a coffee shop. In fact, I had amassed Starbucks cards and squirreled them away for the sole purpose of using them for weekend writing sessions. Continue reading “The MacBook”

Let’s Talk

It’s been awhile since I’ve really written on the blog. I actually typed up my whole June Wrap-Up and July goals at the end of June, but I never hit publish. It, oddly, didn’t seem like the time to publish it. I added future goals to the bottom of that post, but I didn’t think the brief mention was enough for what I wanted to express.img_8516

So, today’s blog post is going to be a little bit of a heart-to-heart inspired by an Instagram Live video chat by fellow author Rebecca K. Sampson. I won’t delve into my journey much or how much I agreed with her talk about removing “aspiring” from bios (you can read the post I wrote previously on that topic here). But, I did want to clear a few items up, especially for those who know me in real life.

Writing is my career. Writing is Not My Hobby. Continue reading “Let’s Talk”

The Introverted Writer

This blog post is an exciting one, and I have Robin from Observe and Report Blog to thank for the idea of turning this concept into a collaboration. The following questions are being answered by nine other bloggers who are a mix of extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts. It is our goal to communicate how different personality types influence writers as individuals and the writing community as a whole. Our hope is to give this topic a well-rounded perspective from many different people. I’ll be including the links to all the other participating blogs below.

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Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
One of my favorite litmus tests that I’ve heard for determining whether you’re extroverted or introverted is this: there’s a large party that you attend. It may be filled with strangers or it may be filled with your best friends in the world. After that party are you wiped out or exhilarated?

I like this because your personality type is much more than liking people and not liking people, which often is what people boil down personality types to.

I am 100% completely introverted. Send me to any gathering of people, and I need several days to recover. It’s extra helpful if I recover quietly by reading or writing or gardening. It’s not that I don’t like people, I love people! But, both good and bad interactions with people leave me drained. Continue reading “The Introverted Writer”

May Wrap Up & June Goals

I have decided to write a blog post once a month with my goals. These are obviously a very different style from what my posts are usually, but I want to keep track of these stats to look back on later. In February, I didn’t even know if my writing would take off. And, it wasn’t until late April that I created my Instagram account. So, the outcomes below have been mind-boggling and 100% God-given.

May Goals:

Word Count: 25,000 (for a total of 50,000)

Instagram Followers: reach 200*

May Outcomes:

Continue reading “May Wrap Up & June Goals”

How do I Write at Home with Kids?

A long time ago, in a house not far from where I live now, was a bright-eyed teenager who dreamed of being a writer. I pictured my perfect life often. I would be published by twenty, and have several books under my belt before I got married and had children. In the midst of life, there would be plenty of time and finances to spend my afternoons in coffee shops writing the hours away. And, when my current life got too stale for inspiration, I’d whisk away on airplanes to exotic locales and write stories that took place in each of those destinations.

[insert record scratch here] Continue reading “How do I Write at Home with Kids?”