Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Christian Writers Blog Chain: Christmas

When I was a little girl my mother owned a beautiful porcelain nativity set. We didn't have much that money could buy but we did have that. It was lovely and I would spend hours rearranging it every year, replaying the Christmas story and wondering what it would have been like to have been there that day on the hill above Bethlehem, or atop a camel on some dusty road, or as Mary, the one God chose to bless, the one who held and nurtured the Son of God.

It was so long ago, two-thousand years and counting, when that first Christmas took place. No one was busy finishing their last-minute shopping, checking Christmas lights, or laboring over a stove to prepare a gourmet dinner. In fact, most were away from their family and friends that night. It was the census, the governor's edict. Tired and perhaps a little perturbed at their circumstance, there was no reason to celebrate.

And there, amongst the chaos of Bethlehem, was Mary, in labor, without the help of her mother, or the knowledge of a midwife; her husband, desperately seeking shelter for his wife, fearing for her, knowing it was time. She was in pain, tired, and dirty, the dust of the road clinging to her skin and clothes.This would not have been the night she'd have chosen for her Savior, her son, to be born. But with no place else to go, in a stable, surrounded by cow manure and hay, He came. He chose this time and place, It was no accident that it happened this way. He came humbly, in the most innocent and helpless of forms, and in the lowliest of conditions.

For many people, Christmas is not a time of celebration, but of heartache and discord; a time of dread, instead of a time to celebrate. In our memories, the loss of a loved one, or of a split family, homesickness, a lost home, sick and hospitalized family, the list is endless. But, it was at a time like this that Hope chose to be born. And that Hope was Christ Jesus. He exists in the midst of pain and suffering, in times where we don't think we can hang on, when we must settle for the stable, cause it is the only place left we can go.

Christmas is so much more than a holiday. It is a reminder that the most precious gift was not wrapped with fancy paper and a sparkling ribbon, but in swaddling clothes, the poor humble linens of a carpenter's family. The ultimate gift was a baby.

May God bless you as you focus on Him this Christmas season.

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This entry was part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain. Please take the time to visit the links on the right. What wonderful things the blog members have to say! You won't be disappointed! :) God bless!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Descriptive Seasonings


Adjectives and adverbs - modifiers. We are all familiar with them. And some, like myself, are too familiar with them. When I first became serious about writing my obsession with these modifiers was the first and most frequently pointed out of my many flaws. I would layer them on, one after the other, like a trifle dessert, with the firm belief that it made my writing better. But I couldn't have been more wrong. As Ron Rozelle puts it - it became "inedible."

According to the article "Kill Adjectives and Adverbs" by Melanie L. Martin, the reason for this common writer's issue goes back to our elementary years, when we were encouraged to use adjectives and adverbs in excess. And true to the article's statement my 2nd grade daughter began the use of adjectives. And now, at least one, if not more, must accompany every noun. Is it grammatically incorrect? No. But, how many sentences like, "The big, brown bear ran clumsily through the thick, green, grass," could we take?

So then, how much is too much? Good question, and I won't even pretend to know the answer. However, according to Rozelle, there should be a balance, a gentle sprinkling throughout as oppose to clumps of heavy use. Don't avoid these modifiers, just control them, regulate them.

The following is an excerpt from the book "Description & Setting" by Ron Rozelle in which he gives one of my favorite analogies on this subject.

"Adjectives, along with other modifiers, are the spices that good writers use to flavor their writing. A serving of scrambled eggs is okay all by itself, but it's much more appetizing, in  most peoples' opinion, with salt and pepper sprinkled on and even more so - depending on personal taste and inclination - with paprika or garlic or rosemary or Tabasco sauce. Eggs are good with a little spice or a lot. So is fiction. But remember, food that is not flavored at all might be bland, but when spices are poured on like mad it becomes inedible. So strike a balance between too little and too much, in your cooking and in your description."


Happy writing!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Can Writing Be Taught?

This is the ever controversial writing subject. Is the ability to write inborn or learned? This is just one of those subjects that rears my strongly opinionated side. So be prepared! :)

In the many writing sites I have been a part of I  have seen an abundance of potential authors discouraged by the popular belief that either you have it or you don't. And, well, if you don't, then you won't ever. This is a common belief, and as a writer I would be surprised if you had not yet heard this view. Well - I don't believe it.

All of us have witnessed gifts and talents, either in school, or with siblings or our children and note that some just excel where others struggle. Yes, this is true. My brother, for example, did not have to work to get an 'A' in school. He didn't have to dig his nose into a book for hours on end to pass a test or write a grammar correct paper. I did, however. But -  I still made As. It was much harder work for me,  my grasp on concepts did not come as easy - BUT - it didn't mean I could not do it. I put a lot of time, sweat, and tears into my grade. But I did, because I wanted it.

In the past years, working with children, my own and others through school, piano, and church I have learned that there is one thing that is more important then gift or talent. It carries you farther then mere ability, and that is - desire. I have seen children with average ability excel above those with talent from desire alone, where the latter lacked such.

How bad do you want to write? Are you like me and feel the need, the desire to put pen to page, to create with words, to pour yourself into a story? Then you were meant to write, talent and gifts aside. Pursue it. Study! Learn. If you fail.. good. You learned something. Move on. But, don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it. In the words of Chris Gardner "If you want something. Go get it. Period."

Here's one of my favorite movie scenes. I hope it inspires you the way it does me. Protect your dreams.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

If You Can Talk, You Can Write


What can I say about this book? It's amazing! I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to write and who does already. I picked this book up after hearing all the wonderful things my brother's college professor, a music composition teacher, had said about it. Really, for freeing up your writing, whether it be in manuscript or music, this is the book! Though not sold as a book on the writer's voice I feel it not only teaches how to release it but to break yourself free from the bondage of perfectionism and all the heavy rules and regulations of the writing world and just let yourself go. Go ahead, pour yourself onto the page and have fun doing it! And last but not least, if you struggle with "writer's block" you will learn not only what causes it but how to get rid of it for good! Pick this book up if you can, and enjoy!


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Christian Writers Blog Chain: Thankfulness

Every so often my children receive a package, in the mail, from their loving Grandmother who lives on the other side of the states. Their favorite gifts, of course, are the tapes of cartoons she records off of one of the many kids channels found on satellite or cable. Especially since we don't have immediate access to either one. This most recent tape, though, came from a Christian kids channel.

Now as a mom, it is amazing to me how many times God speaks to me through these little cartoons. Funny even, but stopping in the living room the other day, I felt God had, once again, orchestrated the message for my benefit.

The woman, whose smiling face lit up the screen, was explaining the design of her teaching puppets. Each puppet had a pocket, which enclosed a heart, and wrapped in each heart was a lesson, something that this puppet carried. And like the things we also carry in our hearts, it could be good or bad. In this particular puppet, as she unwrapped the heart, a tape measure spilled out.

Let me just say, I, Sarah, carry a tape measure in my heart. That puppet could have, very well, been made to represent me. I, like the puppet, am always trying to measure up to the standards I create for myself, making a point to note all the places I fall short; as a parent, a wife, a friend, a housekeeper, and a provider. Measure, measure, measure. I base my standards on another person's accomplishments, another's strengths, and of course, berate myself when I fail to measure up.

But, I forget too often, that my true worth is NOT measured in human standards, nor my significance in the eyes of man... or this WOman, for that matter.

As this Thanksgiving draws near I am reminded of how blessed I am to be a part of God's house, where there are NO tape measures. There would be no need. God sees us, as we are, individuals, each unique with our own strengths and weaknesses. And nothing we can accomplish could ever earn the love and acceptance He already freely gave. How grateful I am that He would take the time to remind me. As He always does.

I will never fully comprehend how the God of the universe, the God who oversees billions of people, could care enough, to send a message to this solitary woman from central Wisconsin. But - I am infinitely grateful.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you, for Your overwhelming and undeserved, love.


In the past couple weeks of following the Christian Writers Blog Chain I have read so many wonderful thoughts and stories, about thankfulness in times of trouble, for the beauty God placed all around us, direction for misplaced thanks, the list goes on. However, in each blog, the underlying message is this - we serve a God who cares. Please take the time to visit the blog links to the right. I promise you'll be blessed! Have a wonderful, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finding Your Writer's Voice

 "My own feeling is that voice is a natural attribute. You no more control it than you can control the color of your eyes - nor would you want to... To set your voice free, set your words free. Set your characters free. Most important, set your heart free. It is from the unknowable shadows of your subconscious that your stories will find their drive and from which they will draw their meaning. No one can loan you that or teach you that. Your voice is your self in the story." - Donald Maass

Had to post this paragraph. Please, someone let me know if by doing so I am infringing on any rights. However, I wanted to share this since it is probably the best explanation of "voice" that I have read/heard so far.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

I Can't...

Some of my biggest struggles in life stem from the diminutive voice which persistently reminds me of all my past failures and present inadequacies. This dark and pensive voice continues to feed my doubts until they grow insurmountable and I am driven to the point where giving up seems the safest and most reasonable decision. It is the detrimental influence in my life that drives me further and further from what God would have me to do.  The stab in the dark that makes me question the expectations God has for me. I am rendered incompetent, defective, unusable.

And yet, in the darkness, the voice of Truth speaks. His story is much different. Though His voice be but a whisper, Iwill hear Him. Though the waves of doubt crash hard upon my shore, He is there. Calm. Confident. Reminding me that it is not my strength that carries me, but His. Only through Him can I do all things. My weaknesses turn to strengths, failure turns to victory. Through Him, all that was impossible becomes possible.

The voice of Truth speaks... Take the hand of faith, stand upon the waves, let His strength be yours. Listen, and believe...


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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Old Fashioned Love

Our local Dairy Queen is rarely crowded, due to it's convenient location apart from the mass of restaurants that occupy the North end of our community. It is the reason I enjoy taking my three little ones for special treats in reward for good work in school or for prolong accounts of good behavior. But this time, I couldn't help but wonder if God had something special He wanted to share with me. Of course I had no idea, as we took our seats and waited for our food, and maybe to the average person this exchange would have gone unnoticed, but it touched me more than this couple could have possibly known.

In this day we live, where love is disposable, spouses are exchangeable, and vows are conditional, it is rare to witness the evidence of a long lasting love. True love. One that expands time. One that grows old, and never impatient. One that is 'Old Fashioned'. It is one we all long for but are not willing to give for...

This elderly couple, of which I speak, slowly walked to a corner booth, her arm draped through his, a pair of dark lenses shading her sightless eyes. He spoke softly to her and held her arm as she felt for her seat and slid in. After ordering their food he returned and sat as they waited, constantly talking to her, explaining what was on the muted TV screen, or out the large glass window. I watched somewhat entranced over the top of my kids heads, hoping not to be noticed for fear my gawking would be misunderstood. But not once did he look away from her.

When their food arrived he carefully unwrapped her sandwich, then tore away a piece of bun, to make it easier for her to eat, before pressing it gently into her hands. As she ate he smoothed the wrapper flat before her, sprinkling on it half their shared container of fries, explaining as he went what was before her. He did the same as he readied her drink and helped her locate it. All the while patient, as she fumbled and felt and he directed her, making sure she had everything she needed before he finally lifted his wrapped burger from the tray.

He watched her while he ate, reaching out every now and then to pick a dropped crumb from her clothing. All so light and gentle that I wondered if she even knew he had done it. His care of her was so loving, and tender, and so very evident in the way he looked at her, touched her. My words do no justice to describe it.

I continued to watch as they finished and he helped her to the counter, bought her an ice cream cone and took her to their van, slowly and patiently, holding her arm and steadying her as he helped her into her seat then shut the door. It was a beautiful display of love that had me dwelling upon what they must have been like before time had stolen their youth, back when they first fell in love. Back when love was love.

They are but a rare gem in a world void of meaningful relationships. A message to us all if we are only willing to listen. The definition of 'love' is not one of reception but one of giving. Love is patient, kind, does not seek for itself, does not hold records of wrongs, it gives without expecting to receive. This man could not expect to receive back the care that he gave his wife, and yet he did so with so much love.

Maybe our generation's proclamation of love has no meaning because the meaning is no longer known, or rather, no longer accepted. To love is to be selfless. A hard pill to swallow in a world obsessed with self. But until we swallow the meaning, "love" will never last. It will continue to fade. True love, however, never fails. It lasts until death, and even so, beyond the grave. Love...

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Trust and Wind

We had a windy few days, last week, here in the Midwest. Trees and power lines were brought down, homes ruined and vehicles blown off the road. A swath of disaster marks the path of this history-making Midwestern storm.

Living here in the lower half of Wisconsin we received gusty winds up to 60mph and sustained winds hovering in the 30s. It was enough to make a person go insane with the sound of wind that howled about the house, flinging twigs and leaves against the window panes. I was constantly braced for what I felt was the imminent destruction of my home, and the threatened safety of my children.

I have never been one to worry over God's provision for my family. I know he will take care of our everyday needs. He has yet to let us go hungry. But I struggle with trusting God for protection. And more so with trusting Him for my children's protection.

Things that I find of less importance to me, such as wealth and material things, I give to Him freely. Take it, Lord, it's Your's. But my children, who mean everything to me, I cling to. So on my own I shelter them, try to protect them, use all my mortal abilities, and yet it could never be enough. Nor should it be.

Who am I to think my hands more capable then that of my heavenly Father's? The King of Kings the Lord of Lords, Conquer of the world, Ruler over death, Calmer of Storms. Heaven and earth bow before Him. It is only He that nature listens too. Only He can lift the planets and change their course. Only He can speak a name and bring a person into being. Only He.... Only He. His power is infinite and His love unconditional. He Is. He Was. And He will always be... God.

No hands could be better, nor more qualified then His, to hold, protect, and love my children. None.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Forgiveness

I have never been a grudge holder. I despise the anger, separation, and conflict that it causes. Forgiveness just seems easier. In most cases, anyway. It is what releases the offender and the offended from potentially, and almost inevitably, producing more damage. Forgiveness is necessary for healing.

A wound left to fester will rot. Its stench seeps into the fibers of everything it comes in contact with. And if left untreated... the barer will die, slowly and painfully. I can't help but note the similarities in one who holds on to unforgiveness.

The struggle for me comes when the apologetic one continues the behavior. Not just once, or twice, but time after time. I continue to forgive, but each time it becomes more difficult. I begin to feel a numbness and yet a hardening. Numb to apologies and hard to any type of closeness with the individual. Am I alone?

I sense a kindred spirit in the one who asked Jesus, "How many times should I forgive? Seven times?" I mean, seven seems like a perfectly reasonable amount to allow for the same offense. Right? After that point they deserve to be shunned. Most people wouldn't even have given them a second chance. But no, that wasn't right. Seventy times seven, He said.

Sometimes I want to shake my fist at the heavens and yell, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS FEELS LIKE?!" But the answer would be "yes", He does, and how thankful I am that he also continues to forgive me. Not just seven times. Countless times. Seventy times seven. A lot. Could I be considered just as undeserving? Most definitely. It is humbling to think about, not to mention leaves me much less room to judge, if really I have any room to do so at all.

Christ not only died for my sins, he forgave me for them as well. The least I could do is also forgive. Seventy-times seven.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Bride Collector - book review


Book Review for 'The Bride Collector'

Ted Dekker is a creative, unique individual who brings a whole new style of writing to the genre of Christian Fiction. As a Best Selling Author of multiple thrillers he is known, also, for adding a little fantasy, and a little mystery. Though some of his books, at times, go over-board lending to my doubts as a reader, this book had just the right touch. Captivating and full of suspense, Ted Dekker, sucks you into the life of FBI Agent Raines as he seeks to unravel the mystery surrounding "The Bride Collector" and his strangely ritualistic murders, all while discovering the meaning of true beauty.

A definite 'must read'! I am giving this book a full 5-stars for originality, action, suspense, and for the overall read. A very satisfying book.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Bittersweet

How days do fly. To think about time in comparison to the vast expanse of history, we occupy but a mere fraction of a second. A mere fraction and our life has come and gone and the world moves into the hands of an entirely new generation. Our chance to realize our dreams or change the world is gone... Wasted? Or accomplished? The majority will end their life with regrets, things left undone. The minority will strive and fight until their final breath, and in that, they will succeed. Which will you be? At your funeral how will your obituary read? What will people say about you? What would you say about yourself?

What brought this on you ask? Well, nothing quite so deep as the above would suggest. :) My daughter wants her ears pierced. She is 7-1/2 years old. Already. There is something about this event to me that just screams how short time is. Wasn't she just born!?!

I'm sure there are many moms who would tell me if I had pierced them when she a baby I wouldn't have to go through this rather ridiculous emotional response. Haha! And they are probably right. But I remember the day I got my ears pierced. I was nine-years-old and the excitement of picking out my first pair and even the sacrifice of pain for that little bit of girlish vanity was something I wouldn't trade, nor would I steal that experience from my daughter.

She is getting older every day, closer to that day when she will no longer be a child, but a woman. Excuse me if I shed a tear. It is bittersweet, these wonderful years of motherhood.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Days of Innocence

How I miss them. Those innocent days of childhood, when life was simple and the emotional struggles of my day consisted of a missing toy or a push from a sibling. What would it be like to go back? To forget about the hectic low paying job, the mounting bills, and the leaking roof?

*Sigh*

And yet, I remember those days. Every year looking forward to a new age. I could hardly wait to turn 13, then 16, then 18. It seemed to take forever! And then I was grown, in love, married, then a mother. And now looking back at the years I so willingly wished away, wishing only to take them back, if just for a moment.

So it is with life, with us humans who inhabit this less then perfect world. Our nature longs for something else. Always something else. If we are old we wish to be young. If we are young we wish to be older, wiser. If our hair is straight we want it curly. If curly we want it straight.  We long for more, what we have is never enough. More money. More possessions.

Contentment might be in our vocabulary but not in our hearts. But it should be...

If you are reading this, you should be content because you live in a country that provided you with the education to do so. If you are reading this, you live in a location that gives you access to the internet, which you are either blessed with the funds to pay for or are provided free of service by such wonderful gifts as your local library. If you are reading this you are most likely not among the poorest of the world accounting for 40% of the earth's population. If you are reading this you are alive and not one of the 24,000 children who die every day due to poverty.

Maybe it is time to put things in perspective. Instead of comparing our lives to the minority of wealthy individuals we should be comparing it with the majority of needy and impoverished. Maybe we have more to be thankful for then we thought...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sisters in Arms

Six years ago, a friend of mine lost a cousin who gave her life in the fight for freedom. These are the first few pages from her father's memoir which is due out in print soon. Thank you to all those who have given their lives and those that continue the cause in their absence.

John Witmer: The Book: Sisters in Arms - A Father Remembers



Prologue

Raising five children has been the greatest adventure of my life, yet, when I started this journey, I never dreamed it would bring me to a day where I would say goodbye to all three of my daughters as they marched off to war—not as part of a women’s auxiliary, but as part of a fully-trained, fully-equipped fighting force. There was no fanfare to mark this change in the way the U.S. military operated; it came quietly, born of necessity. As America’s military struggles to recruit the soldiers it needs, America’s daughters have stepped in to the gap, training alongside our sons and taking their place among the troops. Yes, women are still barred from the infantry and other “frontline” roles, but these rules have little effect in wars without frontlines, like those we are, at the time of this writing, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just like their male counterparts our women are frequently under enemy attack and like their male counterparts they return fire with their M-16s or their turret-mounted machine guns.

In 2005, the House Armed Services Committee held hearings on the role of women in the Military. It was prompted by rising female casualties. At that time over 35 women had been killed in action in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and another 260 had been wounded. There was some brief grandstanding on the part of some committee members expressing their concern and proposing legislation designed to make sure female soldiers would be removed from harm’s way. But the controversy quickly dropped out of the news. I suspect it was the result of some five-star general giving the Representatives this simple math lesson: one in seven of the 150,000 troops stationed in Iraq at the time were female. Removing all of them from hostile fire zones would have crippled Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This book is not a political statement; it is simply my story, a father’s story about sending children off to war and waiting for them to come home and what it’s like if they don’t come home.

Chapter 1 – Up on My Roof


Baghdad, Iraq, 2003

Rachel and her squad took their positions on the roof of the battered concrete building that served as the neighborhood police station. In recent weeks, insurgents had focused their assaults on these fragile beacons of law and order. In this war without frontlines, the 32nd MPs were given the task of providing security for the Iraqi Police, so attacks on police stations were both an attack on the post-Saddam regime and the U.S. government. Police stations were a convenient and efficient target.

The sun was low and the day-shift convoy had just pulled out heading back to Camp Victory after their twelve-hour watch. The police station, in Al Adamia, was just large enough to house a few cells and some dingy offices. It was far from inviting, and Rachel never completely trusted the IPs (Iraqi Police) she worked with; if she found herself in the unfortunate circumstance of needing to use the dilapidated commode, she kept her sidearm ready.

She began her routine, setting up her M-16 and scanning the streets below in slow, rhythmic sweeps, watching for anything that seemed out of place: a truck moving a little too slowly, a pedestrian moving a little too quickly, or a moment that was just a little too quiet. In the months that preceded this one, Rachel and her team had taken small arms fire and mortar fire and had dealt with their share of grenades. She was just a few minutes into her watch when she heard it, a sound she couldn’t place. It was like the sound of the surf in the distance.

Rachel struggled to understand where the sound was coming from. Her apprehension grew as she attempted to find an explanation. Her eyes carefully traced the streets below until she saw it—a wave of humanity, off in the distance, making its way toward the station. Not the roar of the ocean, the roar of the crowd, an angry, roiling, gun-waving mob.

Now she could make out the voice of the mullah (a religious leader) crackling over a loudspeaker. The rapid-fire words seemed to be urging the crowd on. Rachel could only imagine what was being said, but the words erupted from the primitive speaker with anger. The streets of Iraq traded in rumor and conspiracy, and this uprising could have been sparked by any one of the wild stories that routinely circulated about American soldiers: that they desecrated mosques, molested children, or spread pornography. It was clear that the gun-waving mob was heading their direction, hell-bent on taking revenge on this handful of soldiers, the most visible manifestation of the American military. The sergeant radioed the day shift and told them to double-time it back to the police station. Rachel was grateful for the reinforcements, but still, there was no way they could fend off an armed mob of this size. As Rachel took her stand on the roof, time began to expand, seconds passing like minutes, altered by the adrenaline that now pumped into her bloodstream. In that heightened state of awareness, in a moment of clarity, Rachel accepted the fact that it might end here, that this might be her last stand, her last day on Earth. As she prepared herself, she was suddenly calm. Peace came over her as she reflected on the people she cared about, bringing their faces to mind, one-by-one, as the pounding of her heart subsided.

Her sisters came to mind first. Michelle served with her in the 32nd MPs. Michelle’s platoon was pulling the same kind of duty in a different part of Baghdad. Then Charity: she was a medic with the Company B 118th Medical Battalion, stationed at BIAP, Baghdad International Airport, on the other side of town. She brought her brothers’ faces to mind, little brother Tim, just two years younger, and baby brother Mark, now a senior in high school. Then she thought about Mom and Dad and aunts and uncles and dozens of cousins. She wondered what it would be like for them if it all came to an end, here, on this rooftop in Baghdad.

This was not the first time Rachel had experienced this: time standing still, recalling the faces of those she loved, making peace with death, bracing herself. There had been a mortar attack on her barracks, in the middle of the night, that had shaken her awake. As she lay on the floor calculating how long it would take the insurgents to dial in the next strike, which would likely be dead-on target, this same sensation came over her. Fear left her; she was resolute, ready to accept her fate. Then the choppers came in and she heard the report of a big gun and she knew the insurgents would not fire another round. The threat had been neutralized. The chopper hovered, standing watch over the barracks, and the sound of helicopter blades sang Rachel to sleep that night.

A new noise pulled her back into real time: the unmistakable thudding of helicopter blades. The Blackhawk hovered above the crowd, and all forward motion stopped as its guns were trained on the crowd. The mob continued to shout and wave their weapons, but now tanks were rolling up the side streets, blocking the way to the police station. The standoff continued as the sun inched toward the horizon. But slowly and steadily the crowd thinned, melting into the twilight.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Autism

April is Autism Awareness month. It is a month that has special meaning to me.

In was around this time four years ago when my son was first diagnosed. 


Though deep down I myself had been concerned about Autism to hear a doctor first suggest it was crushing to me. Not for me, I would love my son no matter what the disorder or dis-figuration, but for my son. I felt as if they, in one hesitantly spoken word, had swept away my little boy's future. I spend the next week crying, holding and kissing him, all the while with him seemingly oblivious to my nearness or even my existence. It was as if he lived in a world apart from mine, and in a sense I guess he did.

When the week was over I dried my tears. The only time I cried over my son's condition following was with each leap and bound he made. Tears of pride and love as no one can cry unless they witness the hard work and success of a beautiful handicapped child.

The past four years have been filled with uncounted hours of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and in home early education teachers. I have watched him struggle first with resistance, then acceptance, and then with change.

The best day in my life was the day my son, for the first time, called me "mom". I had grown to expect that I may never hear those words from his lips. No word spoken since has ever had so much meaning to me.

My little man has come so far. I would not trade him for the world. He is the light of my life, my joy, and my hero. God trusted him to me and I could not feel more honored!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sweat and Blood

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
~ Theodore Roosevelt From a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910

Failure is inevitable, the critic will always be there, but ultimately it is you who decides to either succumb to the opposition or continue on in the face of it all. Only one of these has a guaranteed result. If you quit you will never see success. Guaranteed.

"Never give up, never surrender!" - Galaxy Quest. It may come from a comedy but I find it a handy phrase! :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Family

A little about my family and myself. I will try and keep it short. :) My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. I, thankfully, still enjoy his company and am very grateful to him for all the hard work he has put in to support our family.

I have three beautiful children. My oldest is 7-years-old and in first grade. A beautiful girl who is too quickly growing up and looking more and more like a young lady.

My son is 5 and is an amazing little guy. He was diagnosed with Autism before he was two years old. He has worked so hard since then to overcome his many obstacles and I couldn't be more proud of him!

My youngest little girl is 3 and she is both the light of my life and my strongest contestant!

Overall, parenthood is a joy! I love them dearly!

Flowers in the Desert

Welcome to my blog! I will do my best to post here at least weekly. I have found that as a mom my consistency with other things in my life have been a little less reliable then I would like. Starting a blog is something I have wanted to do for sometime so, I will do my best!

The title of my blog has a meaning to me. I tend to think of this world as a desert and the flowers that manage to survive and thrive in the extreme temps, scorching sun and lack of water,as those who do the same against the trials and turmoils that seem so prevalent in life.

I hope that the contents of this blog will inspire. That is my goal! With all the depressing happenings in the news it is time we heard something good!