Monday, October 31, 2005

Cruisin' Through...

A cool quote I read recently:
"Religion is a guy in church thinking about fishing. Spirituality is a guy out fishing thinking about God." That's what it means to me. (Not the fishing part, I haven't done that in years.) Religion means being stuck somewhere when you'd rather be somewhere else. What holds your heart isn't religion. Religion is the law without having a relationship of worship. At best, worship is a chore. But spiritual worship can take place anywhere, at anytime. So what if the trees don't have a band. They wave their branches an rustle in the wind and live out Psalm 150. I believe we can live our lives as an act of worship.

At church we've been studying the book of John. I've read it before quite a few times. When I was much younger and went to a private school, we even memorized chunks of chapters 14 through 17. But when you really get into John's portrayal of Jesus, you'll see what a radical He was. (And is.)

On the writing front, I'm still working on my book quandary. The trouble is, I love research. I get so excited about a new idea I'd like to flesh out, that it's easy to spend time. Writing is hard work, place-your-butt-in-the-chair work.

I'm tired. Reading some new books, organizing my schedule for the next few months. They're going to be busy. Time to head off to dreamland!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I'm stuck on this story and the thing won't budge. I only have a month or so before I must leave it behind for a bit and focus on my contracted deadlines of January 31 and April 1.

This suspense story has undergone so many metamorphoses, and now I'm not sure if it's turning into anything better than it was before. Every time I hear someone's input, I feel I need to slice up the whole thing. Now, I think I'm afraid to write. What's happened to me?

This week on the ACFW loop we've been talking about rejections, and how it's important to keep submitting. It dawned on me not long ago that I haven't submitted anything new since the novella that sold this spring, and now I've only got one proposal sitting on an editor's desk. I think I need to get busy. I tell myself a hundred times that if I don't submit, I won't hear back. Is it being afraid of rejection?

I don't think so. I'm afraid of not getting it right once again. I've been told I need to knock it out of the park with my writing, yet somehow I'm not sure exactly how to do that.

I've been digging deeper into my heroine, and my hero. She's been easier to delve into--not easy, but easier than the hero. I see more changes on the horizon.

In short though, I need to just get it written.

I'll do some of that tonight. If I can keep my blog going all year, surely I can get this book proposal into shape and in the mail!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I taste the loneliness
thick enough to eat with a spoon

I hear their joy of belonging
and wish that I could bask in the warmth
they feel

I want to say
Don't be nice to me because you're a Christian and you have to

Be my friend because you want to.

Alone in the crowd

Still I wait.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ho, ho, ho!

On Today's Menu:
A nice cup o' hot chocolate (marshmallows optional)

Tonight, we decorated the Christmas tree. Yep, you heard right! I made hot chocolate, and we put on the Christmas music. It's a tad chilly tonight, damp and cloudy--perfect fall weather in Texas. This year we flipped for a good artificial tree, a gorgeous Noble fir eight feet tall. I'm tired of sweeping up pine needles and having the cats knock over a real tree like they did one year (don't ask--I lost some pretty ornaments in that two a.m. fiasco). If only this smelled like a real tree. But it looks real.

Cars have driven past our house since October first. Drivers sometimes hit the brakes, honk, or pass a little more slowly. Some men drink, some run around, some smoke like chimneys, some spend all their money on hobbies that don't include their families. My man? He's Kris Kringle's nephew and he can't pass up decorations and lights. If the original Saint Nicholas really had a long-lost relative, that would be C.J.

Last year, we didn't really get to decorate until the second week of December because of our living room renovations. (Poor C.J.) So, like the good wife I am, I promised he could start decorating the house in October.

The kids of course helped. I reminded Zach, who remarked he'd rather be in his room reading, that in a few years he'll be at college and we'll do this without him. Where did the little sprites go with blonde hair and sparkling eyes? Now they can look me right in the eye, and don't say I told you, but I think they're already a little taller than me.

Christmas just can't last long enough.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Scientists talk about synergy, which according to Merriam-Webster simply means, "working together." A more expanded definition is "An effect of the interaction of the actions of two agents such that the result of the combined action is greater than expected as a simple additive combination of the two agents acting separately." Better put, we're stronger together than we are separately.

I saw synergy in action this weekend. On Saturday, October 1st, C.J. and I went with our buddies John and Lisa to roast in the sun at Kyle Field and see Texas A&M beat the Baylor Bears--in overtime! What an experience. We were in the semi-nosebleed seats. All we could see throughout the stands was maroon-and-white (with the rare Baylor green and orange). I won't get into the Baylor-A&M rivalry, which is nothing when compared to the Aggie War Hymn bellowing the merits of beating UT--saw Varsity's horns off--short!

The Aggie culture possesses a ton of traditions, handed down from student to student throughout the years. One of the unique things about Aggie is that no matter where you meet one in the world, you'll find they know and understand the traditions. It's an instant kinship I haven't seen in any other group. Well, maybe one group. I'll get to that later.

Take a look at the picture above--thousands of cheering students, on their feet for over three hours in the blazing Texas sun. From the photo you can't pick out anyone's age, economic status, upbringing, or race. All you can see is--they're Aggies, and they're working together to win. Down on the field, the players recognized the power of the "12th man," better known as the Aggie fans. The players would turn to the crowd and raise both arms as if summoning the cheer. In response, tens of thousands of voices would unite in a roar so loud you couldn't hear the person next to you. When the Aggies won--I thought the shout would shake the stands.

In our Sunday morning Bible fellowship we've been studying the writings of John. This has stood out to me:

The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind--
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they'll be as unified and together as we are--
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.
(John 17:21-23)

That's the synergy God wants for us. For many years, in many ways, the Church has failed to show that oneness and unity. We meet a Christian in another part of the world, another country, another church, and when we see them, it should be like having an instant connection. Hey, you love Him, too, huh? Maybe we don't have the same traditions or sing the same songs. But we have the same foundation. I'm praying that John 17 prayer. We could use more synergy in the Church. We sure can't get the job done on our own!