• On Writing

    Shaping the River Into Words

    “My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness.   I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words:” Psalm 45:1, The Message ~*~*~*~*~* Some people are artists who process their world through paint and pen, fabric, clay, paper. Thoughts become images or design, an expression of what’s inside or what inspires. Others are musicians, turning their experience or expression into lyrics and orchestration, poetry put to harmony and melody. My experiences and ideas pour out in words providing a way to rein in my random, swirling thoughts.  Perhaps the swirling is because I am currently seated on the couch surrounded by other voices–poets…

  • Life in General,  On Writing

    God Can’t Make You But You Can Let Him

    Just when you think there’s going to be a breather between some professional sports championship or another, a new season starts. Remember the Sweet Sixteen in basketball? Done. Now we have baseball to think about. Our Seattle Mariners have already played several games—they’re about even for wins and losses—but I still can’t get used to it.  In my mind baseball is a summer sport, but the April weather in the Pacific Northwest says anything but summer. No matter; our M’s are used to the rain and sunshine so they travel here and there, swinging at pitches, throwing, catching and striking out. It’s practice, practice, practice. ******* Little League baseball wasn’t…

  • Life in General,  On Writing

    Why Rear View Mirrors are Better Than Windshields

    “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, Shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18 When I began this year, God gave me a word–“adjust.” Last year I spent time ‘abiding’, year before that it was ‘dwell’ (very similar) and the year before that, my word was ‘fit’–how does what I’m doing in my walk with Jesus fit with what He says? When I heard the Holy Spirit say “adjust,” I had the sense that I’d be moving in a particular direction–writing a book this year–but as I was moving God would have to make some course corrections. About the same time,…

  • On Writing

    “Writing a Book is Easy” (said no one. ever.)

    When I set out from home last week, Sunday to be exact, I’d been crowing to all who would listen, “I’m going away for a week to write the first draft of my book.” As if…..as if that can be done. But God is so good–we just don’t know what we don’t know. Whether it’s, “Hey, let’s paint the living room this weekend,” “Honey, let’s take that hike. It’s totally easy.” “Wow, I think I’ll go back to school/get a job now that my children are older,” and other idealistic statements. Or maybe that’s just me. This week away at the lovely Grunewald Guild in the Cascade Mountains of Washington,…

  • On Reading,  On Writing

    Why Creation is a Messy Process

    It all began with my suitcase. I recently returned from a five day trip to Texas to see family and friends and attend a writer’s conference in the Austin area. I packed way too many clothes and shoes. And books. (One always miscalculates the amount of ‘free time’ to read while on a trip.) In fact, when I checked into our airport in Seattle, my suitcase was three pounds overweight. I had to do some quick reshuffling to manage everything. Sigh. Out with the laptop, out with the pillow (yes, I travel with my pillow). Out with the shoes. Buy new shopping bag to sling over my shoulder. Sigh again.…

  • On Writing

    Why Slow Starts are Best (or, Typing as Therapy)

    “For who knows how, Better than he that taught us first to Plough, To guide our Mind and Pens for his Design? And he makes base things usher in Divine.” John Bunyan, the Author’s Apology for His Book, Pilgrim’s Progress I wrote at the beginning of this year about starting small, starting now when leaning into God’s promises, those urgings from his Spirit that draw us closer to His purpose and plans for our lives. It is easy to become intimidated when we consider those God thoughts, wonder if the change He’s spoken of will ever come to pass. Perhaps it is a ministry gifting you’re pondering. Perhaps it is…

  • On Writing

    When Your Words Match Your Life

    The origin of the word ‘journal’ is from Old French–“jornel” meaning ‘daily.’ In Latin the word is ‘diurnalis’, prompting our English word ‘diary.’ A journal is “a record of daily events, a day book, a ship’s log.” People, myself included, used to ‘keep’ a journal, a place to collect important events, timely thoughts, the occasional prayer, challenges and triumphs. The word, like so many once-nouns, has turned into a verb; now people talk about ‘journaling.’ This action word, a practice of daily writing, is a tool that helps us find out what we think when we put pen or pencil to paper. When I began journaling about 20 years ago…

  • On Writing

    On Keeping Words-Notebooks, Quotebooks & Journals

    The whole universe was stilled as tho’ listening for a voice. For the space of one heartbeat there was peace on earth…Existence rested against the heart of God, then sighed and journeyed again.     Elizabeth Goudge, “Green Dolphin Country.” I enjoy saving and savoring words—new words, old words, your words.  Although I am not endeavoring to write a dictionary, I have quotebooks and notebooks of varying shapes and sizes containing all manner of language within their covers. Words with more than one meaning—like ‘make’ and ‘take’ or ‘pitch’ and ‘frequency’–all go in my ‘Defining Moments’ journal. (I got the idea from Kel Rohlf, who wrote a little volume on words…