Nothing Like It

August 26, 2014

There is nothing like ...

 // The community, fellowship and hands stretched in friendship across the miles.
// The bleary-eyed stare of typing something you need to write at an obscene hour of the night.
// The unexpected "I read your blog and I am so glad God led me to it! Keep on writing!" from mutual friends of family members or virtual strangers. Seriously--continuously blown away.
// Freedom; to process "outloud", think, feel, fangirl, and praise.
// Realizing and embracing that you are just weird.
// Gaining confidence not from numbers, but from putting yourself "out there" and embracing your unique blend of being a work in progress.
// Speaking/writing truth to your own heart.
// Making your voice heard to point back to the One Who's writing our stories with Mercy's pen.
// Losing track of time whilst reading and writing.
// The intense head-on-hand staring into your computer screen in public while others just look at you like you've got two heads.
// Imitation being the highest form of flattery {like this post.}

Blogging, I've missed you.
I'll always be a writer who blogs--just another word outlet to plug into in between the novels.

So tell me--what's your favorite part about blogging?

What a wonderful world

August 22, 2014

Just grateful.
Looking around my happily cluttered room. My typewriter, shelves and drawers full of books, the roses on my antique lamp, the photos of friends and family. The piano lesson paperwork I'm finally putting together a plan for to teach Ronnie and Anna. They've taken to it like ducks to water--especially Ronnie. The plans and blips of dreams for my next novel jotted down in random notebook pages while my novel sits as yet unfinished, but thank heaven  whole, in my computer.

I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

SO happy to be taking a family trip to Conneaut, OH for it's annual reenactment of D-Day this weekend. I am excited for autumn to arrive and so done with heat and humidity. And pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks next week{!!!!!}
I'm happy I get to write here, and write on things lesser-read instantly, but please Lord, will be read and held as a whole, beautiful paperback in the future...whether that be through indie-publishing or a traditional publishing house. I'm happy to give a genuine smile to the friendly older and elderly patients at work, to laugh off the frustrations with coworkers, and while it's tough--I'm thankful for God's strength and grace to smile at those less than patient or kind, and let it roll of my back.

I see skies of blue,
And clouds of white
The bright, blessed day,
The dark, sacred night
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world

What a truly amazing thought to think of all the unknown days ahead--some of the best--that haven't occurred yet. Some I can picture with rosy-hued fondness--my engagement, wedding day, each child's birth and milestones...but yet, they are not crystal clear in my memory. 
And just think on this a while--let it sink in. We have some of the best days to look forward to, yes...but we already have experienced some of the best days. It's the milestones and the moments. The lessons and the triumphs. It's a candid photo one day we'll look back on with a wistfully content smile and think, what a wonderful world. Thank you God.

Fix My Eyes

August 19, 2014

God my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs you now
God be near, calm my fear
and take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up,
Your love is all that draws me in
I will lift my eyes
to the maker, of the mountains 
I can't climb...

{  Eyes  }
An ongoing theme this past weekend at the Franklin Graham Three Rivers Festival of Hope downtown, my own church service, talking with a long distance sister and Scriptures from this morning's devotions. You think my Father God's trying to get something through His daughter's thick skull?
  • We sang I Will Lift My Eyes in church Sunday.
  • Tenth Avenue North performed their song Worn at the revival festival Friday.
  • My little brother's been singing Fix My Eyes by For King and Country. It's a favorite of his.

I tend to over complicate even the simplest things.
I'm a need to know every detail instantly person even if they don't directly involve/affect me.
I have my own agenda, high ideals and hopes as to what needs to get done,
what each day needs to look like.
It's exhausting, and it burns me out. I mentally pin the blame on circumstances beyond my control--yes, there are those much as I hate them--or others, or busyness, or what have you.
I struggle with relinquishing control, and fixing my eyes on the all-sovereign Lord who is as near as breathing.
I'm more of a Martha than a Mary. 
A control freak worry-wart who's patience is thin with herself and others.
Did I mention that, after ten years of dealing with the diagnosis and subsequent pain/limitations from my hip disability, that living with it still frustrates me to no end?

I will lift my eyes
to the calmer, of the oceans
raging wild
I will lift my eyes
to the healer, of the hurt
I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to you

The pain is hard. It's not getting better, nor terribly worse. A praise.
I can still do so much. But I have to watch, and measure my energy and my time wisely.
And some days, no matter how tightly I have things in my fists--something comes along to knock me on my behind and send me sprawling. It maybe surprise plans or a need or just a worse than usual pain day for no apparent reason.

I am in desperate need of consistently training my gaze
not on the things of this world.

The money, the job, the family, the chores, my agenda and expectations. All the stuff I load onto my shoulders even though my family is quick to remind me that I don't have to nor is it my place.

What can I say, other than this is where I'm at. I have no sufficient ending to tie everything up all pretty. The writer I am is miffed that I fail at sufficiently ending this post, but He whispers grace over me. He is the ultimate author and finisher of my faith.
I'm a work in progress daughter of the Most-High God. The ultimate pursuer of my heart
Who lifts my head upward to His fully capable hands and ever-sufficient grace.

God my God let mercy sing
her melody over me
God right here all I bring is all of me
Your kindness is what pulls me up,
Your love is all that draws me in.
via Pinterest

I will lift my eyes,
lift my eyes to You

'Cause You are
and You were
and You will be forever
The lover I need to save me
'Cause You fashioned the earth
and hold it together
God so hold me now.

I Left My Heart in Gettysburg

August 15, 2014

Happy birthday to my wonderful Mum. My biggest cheerleader, best friend, constant support and inspiration. Love you!

Just some randomly assorted photos of the end of my weekend in Gettysburg...
There was beautiful honeysuckle blooming everywhere, including here on Little Round Top.

Having done the PA monument Friday, we drove slow past it Saturday on the way back into town. As we were coming to Taneytown Road, I told Michaela to take a right. This is how exhausted we were.
She turned left. Luckily after a few miles there was a small visitor center we could turn around in and see where exactly we were. Once we got turned around it was a straight shot back into town.

I took a lot of pictures of split rail fences, too, now that I think about it. There is just something about such an old, rich in history, rural area like the Cumberland Valley and amidst the mountains we drove through to get to Gettysburg. Pittsburgh has mountains and old towns and history, but nothing quite like Gettysburg.

With our AC blasting driving back to town Saturday, we finished buying souvenirs for family and stopped by this charming ice cream parlor for a cone. Seriously so good, and did I mention adorable? I had cake batter ice cream and Michaela had chocolate peanut butter. We joked through out the entire weekend we could easily just eat our way through Gettysburg.

Some of Michaela's souvenirs for her sister and brother in law were some cupcakes from this cute shop. Inside is even pinker than the outside--I loved it. Definitely will stop there and buy a cupcake next time I go to Gettysburg.

Saturday night we ate Friday night's leftovers, took naps, and then wrote a while in our hotel room. A fitting ending to the day I spent "on location" for my novel.

Sunday morning it was hard to get out of bed, but we did and packed up with alacrity. Checked out, car all packed, we headed into town for some coffee and breakfast and more writing time. My sunburn was killing me so I didn't get a whole lot of words done, but it was lovely just being there and people watching as writers/introverts are wont to do.

The Ragged Edge coffee shop was so charming. It had local art on the walls, unique drinks, sandwiches and treats on the chalkboard menus ... if I lived in Gettysburg I'd quickly become a frequent patron of this place, let me tell you.

On our way to lunch I snapped some pictures near the town circle/roundabout, including one of the beautiful Gettysburg Hotel--the selfsame Lincoln stayed in before he gave his famous address in November, 1863.

Thanks to Mum and Dad as a birthday gift, we went to a really nice place for lunch on Sunday. Sharpshooter's Grille next to The Inn at Herr's Ridge. The food was phenomenal, and my first margarita was very good. *grin*

Obligatory Starbucks selfie en-route back to Pittsburgh. 

This Northern belle left a piece of her heart in her favorite place on earth...just like last time I visited there. But with my own car, a solid paycheck every two weeks--I know I'll make it back. And more than that--the memories I have there with both my family and friends, are truly priceless and yes, even greater than the immense history imprinted deep into the ground of the battlefield.