Dear Tori

Dear Tori,

I heard a song this morning that reminded me of you. After I woke up singing Strong Enough, I thought Matthew West would be the perfect soundtrack to my writing. After selecting his playlist on my iPod, I settled into my chair to get to work. It’s not new music to me. I don’t know how many times I have heard it before. But today, the words meant something different. One song in particular, a song called To Me, caught my attention. The moment I heard him sing the words, “Well it breaks my heart every time I see the world break yours in two,” the story I wanted to write flew out of my head. All I could think about was my beautiful niece and how rough life has been on you lately.

I kept listening to the song, paying very close attention to each word. Maybe all of it isn’t about you. OK, so I suppose it is fair to say Mr. West probably didn’t have you in mind at all when he wrote the lyrics to this song. But there is so much in it that is just so YOU. If I were to write something about just how special you are (which I suppose I am doing with this letter) I couldn’t do much better than he did.

Your laughter really is one of my favorite sounds. You were the first baby I got to live with and see every day. I used to love coming home from work or school to hear you laughing as you played with your parents or grandparents. No matter how bad my day was, it was hard to be sad or upset with such a happy little girl in the house.

Ever since you were tiny, you have had a beautiful smile. Your smile fills up your whole face. It adds a special sparkle to your eyes. It has always shown the joy in your heart, the joy you find in life. Do you remember when my Rylee went to Heaven? I didn’t think I would smile ever again. But you kept smiling when you said, “Aunt Lynn, don’t be sad. Your baby is with Jesus. And you will always have me to play with.” Your smile helped to bring my smile back.

Now you are 17. Playing with your crazy aunt isn’t nearly as important as hanging out with your friends or boyfriend. And that’s OK. I know you had to grow up sooner or later. (Later would have been better for me….) You have grown into an absolutely beautiful young lady, both inside and out. How can I not be proud of that?

I know you have had your heart broken recently. More than once. I’ve cried right along with you. You probably want to hear that it will never happen again, that the next time you give your heart away it will be to the boy who will protect and treasure it the way your heart deserves to be protected and treasured. Oh how I wish I could promise you that. But I can’t see the future. And I can’t protect you from the pain and heartbreak that it might bring. If I could, I would. I’d happily take all of those bumps and bruises for you—without complaint—if that would keep the smile on your face and the laughter in your heart.

Some day you will find the right special someone for you. I don’t know when or where it will happen, or who that someone might be. But I have faith that it will happen.

Until then, I hope you realize how wonderful and very special you are. The world is a much more beautiful place because you are in it. I can’t say it any better than Matthew West did, so I will close this letter with the words from his song:

            To me you are

Heaven’s finest invention by far

So much brighter

Than the brightest star

What I’d give to make you see

Who you are to me

I love you, Miss Tori.

All my love forever,

Aunt Lynn

 

So much sadness

 

Have you ever had a week that seemed to be defined by the emotions around you? That’s what this past week was.

Last Sunday morning, I awoke thinking it would be a week full of bittersweet moments. The week was to start off with an impromptu picnic with some church friends. Our town has an annual parade celebrating the beginning of summer, and my house is only a few blocks from the parade route. In fact, the street right outside our house, including the space where my husband normally parks his truck, is part of the parade staging area. A family from church was planning to attend the parade, so we invited them to join us for lunch before walking to view the Rose Parade. It was a great afternoon, and something that I thought would be a good way of bracing myself for what was coming. After all, in the coming days I would have to attend two functions at the elementary school that would be “lasts” for my 5th grader—his last student of the month celebration and his last music concert. I was prepared for those emotions, for the pride of seeing the wonderful, intelligent young man he has become, mixed with the sadness of knowing the little preschooler I sent off to Hunt in the fall of 2007 would be entering middle school in just a few short months. Oh, where has that time gone?

And what mother would not be choked up at hearing her son introduce his classmates rendition of Disney’s A Whole New World by saying something along the lines of, “We are looking forward to the whole new world that is opening up to us as we prepare to enter middle school in the fall”?

Those bittersweet emotions associated with celebrating my middle son’s last moments of elementary school, as well as all of the other “normal” end of the year emotions and celebrations with his brothers…those are what I expected this last week to be filled with. What I didn’t expect was the deep sadness of loss that washed over me in waves.

Lost hope, lost life, lost love. It hit me more than once during the past seven days. I can’t be more specific than that, because in no case was the loss specifically mine. Not my loss means it’s not my news to share. But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect me at all. It’s left my head spinning and my heart broken. There’s an old Carman song from the late 1980’s or early 1990’s that contained the line, “It’s as if you’re sitting there in that stunned moment while your faith gets violated and all you feel is weak, powerless and lame.” That is kind of how I have felt. Not so much that my faith has been violated, though I will admit that one of these sad events did have me turning to God and asking, “Why is this happening? Why are You allowing this?” I questioned not really God’s goodness or His existence this week; rather I questioned His methods.

But “weak, powerless and lame.” That is a pretty apt description. As I have felt sadness sweep over me, I’ve thought about those more directly affected by these events. I’ve wanted—more than once—to gather my hurting friends and family in arms, to shelter them from the pain, to put all the pieces back together for them, to make the things that feel so wrong right again.

But I can’t.

I can’t fix this. Some of this can’t be fixed, not by me. Some can’t be fixed by human means at all. Even the parts that can be fixed by human hands require God’s intervention first.

God, You the situations and the people who are on my heart. Be with them all. Give them Your strength and peace. Even those who are acting strong now are hurting. Show them that You understand, that You are there, and that You love them all, even—maybe especially—in the midst of this storm. Don’t let them lose sight of You. If they have already been blown off course, Lord, help them find a beacon back to You. It is only in Your arms, in Your presence that they will find true healing and peace, no matter how their situations play out.

Love Letter

Dear Eric and Becca,

I am so tempted to say “I know how you feel.” But that’s not true. Having been in your situation, I have a good idea what you are going through. I know what my pain felt like. I remember hearing the ER doctor tell me I was miscarrying, that nothing could be done to stop it, and that I should go home and rest—and wanting to rip his heart out, the way it felt that he was ripping mine out. I remember the agony, the confusion, the anger, the emptiness. The hopeless longing that it was all a bad dream. And it’s not hard to imagine that the two of you are feeling some combination of those same emotions.

But I can’t say that I know just how you feel because each loss is different. Each parent is going to grieve in a different way. The two of you, as much as you love each other and as much as you both love that little baby, are going to grieve the loss differently. Some days, Eric will hold you, Becca, when you feel like you can’t go on. Some days, he will not be able to stop crying and you will need to hold him up. You will be strong for each other, even when you feel like you have no strength. That love you share, the love for each other and the love for God, is what will give you that strength.

People are going to give you a lot of advice. You have probably already noticed that.  You are going to hear things ranging from why this happened to how to grieve to when to try again. The advice will come from friends, family, and even from virtual strangers. Some will come from people who have gone through a loss like yours; some will come from people who never have. Please keep in mind that every piece of advice is meant to bring comfort. Some of the words won’t sound very comforting. In fact, some are bound to sound downright hurtful. It took me a long time—months, years in some cases—to move beyond the words and see the kindness at the heart of the one who spoke them to me. I don’t want that for you. My prayer is that you both can keep your eyes and your hearts focused on God through this difficult time, that you can do a better job than I ever did of handing your pain over to Him.

Eric, whenever I think of you, I think of you with a smile on your face. You were always a happy baby boys, smiling and laughing. As a child, you teased everyone. The only time I remember you not smiling was when I “forced” you to dance with me at my wedding. But I don’t think I ever saw a brighter, more radiant smile on your face than the one that was there the moment the church doors opened and you saw Becca in her wedding dress. Becca, the only time I met you was the weekend you married my nephew. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a couple as genuinely happy and in love as the two of you. It seems unfair that the strength of your love has to be tested in such a tragic way so early in your marriage. You made the conscious decision to invite God not only to the wedding but into your marriage. And I have no doubt that He will hold you up and give you the strength and peace to come through this challenge.

Will you come through it unchanged? Probably not. You will both carry that baby in your hearts for the rest of your lives. That baby, no matter how brief his existence, was—and forever will be—a part of you, an extension of your love for one another and your love for God. Just because you don’t have the physical reminder doesn’t mean he’s not there. Love him, remember him, cherish him—in whatever way is best for you.

This isn’t the way anyone would chose to grow. But so long as you hold on to each other and to God, you will grow and blossom through this in ways you can’t possibly imagine.

I love you. I pray that God continues to wrap you in His love, peace, and strength in the days to come.

Love always,

Aunt Lynn

Unawarded

I am feeling a little down today. Yesterday was May 31. Bet you already knew that…. May 31 is the date of the annual MomWriters Virtual Ball. MomWriters around the globe are invited to meet up in a chat room to talk, laugh, and have a good ol’ time throughout the day while waiting for the announcement of the winners of the Golden Pen Awards (GPAs). This year’s ball was a blast! With chickens on the loose and a nearly endless string of Conga Rats during the GPA ceremony, how could it not be? (Admit it, you are so jealous that you want to know how to become a MomWriter!!!)

As much fun as it was, I can’t help feeling a little bummed. And not just because it is over, though I freely admit that is part of it. Yesterday was a busy day, between end-of-season soccer games for two of my sons and a meeting at the church, so I wasn’t able to spend as much time in the Ball chat room as I wanted to. My disappointment is tempered a bit by the knowledge that I have the chance to meet a few MomWriters later this year during my family vacation (so glad hubby is OK with it!) and with the excitement of knowing I may meet a few more at an official gathering next year!

It was the presentation of the GPAs that began my sadness this year. Actually, I think the sadness started with the nomination process. In the past, I’ve been nominated for numerous awards. This year, I was nominated for only one. And while I’d love to show the class and maturity that many award nominees do and say, “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” I can’t. Even if I said it, I wouldn’t mean it. Especially since I nominated myself for the award.

In truth, it’s not the lack of nominations or the lack of awards this year that has me down. (I do believe I have won a total of 5 GPAs over the 7 years I have been a MomWriter, so going without for one year isn’t a big deal.) The disappointment comes from the knowledge that I don’t deserve a GPA this year. I haven’t put in the work. My blog has sat idle. I have read books but not posted reviews. I’ve written short stories but only for my college classes. And in all honesty, many of the sort stories I’ve “written” for college classes have been old stories that I found on various hard drives and just reformatted for class.

My frustrations and sadness stem from the fact that I have not done the necessary work to earn an award. Guess there is only one way to keep that from happening next year….

Dear Olivia

Dear Olivia,

                When I was a little girl, my head was full of dreams. I dreamed of being a beautiful princess, on a quest to slay a dragon and save the prince from an evil curse.

                Of being a space explorer, discovering new worlds and new life forms.

                Of being a famous singer/actress/athlete, amazing the world with my ability to do everything better than anyone else.

                Of being elected President and making the world a better place for everyone.

                Of being a “boring old Mom” and just loving my children

                The tone of my dreams changed—sometimes daily, depending on my mood. But in almost every dream there was a man who shared my life. In some dreams, my “dream man” looked like my favorite singer, my favorite actor, or my favorite classmate. No matter his name or who he resembled, there were a few things that were always true about my “dream man”:

                He made me laugh.

                He made me feel safe.

                He made me smile.

                And above all, he made me feel loved.

                No matter what I did, how I did it, or what mistakes I made (because even in my dreams I couldn’t seem to not make mistakes) my dream man loved me. Unwaveringly. Unconditionally.

                The same way my Daddy loved me.

                Because, you see, my Daddy has always been my hero. He has always been my safe place, my protector. Daddy is my laughter when I want to cry, my cheering up when I feel down, my pushing on when I want to give up.

                If you are still reading this, and as we have never met face-to-face I can’t say I would blame you if you had stopped reading by now, you are probably wondering why I am telling you this. That answer is pretty simple. From what I know about you, you feel the same way about your Daddy that I have always felt about mine. You have a very special relationship with your Daddy, one that is so touching to witness. His job in the military makes him a hero to many Americans, but no one else will every look up to him quite the same way that his little girl does.

                I want to thank you, Olivia, for sharing your Daddy. I know it can’t be easy to be away from him for months at a time. My imagination might work overtime, but I won’t claim to be able to imagine what that would be like. As hard as it must be for you to be without your Dad, you show such deep strength in your ability to do it.

                We hear a lot about the sacrifices made by our troops and by their spouses in order to protect our country. I don’t think enough people think about the sacrifices that are made by military children. They seem to be overlooked, maybe because the kids are so young. But I want you to know that not everyone has overlooked your sacrifice. Thank you for sharing your Daddy, your hero, with the world.

                Sharing your hero makes you a hero.

                Love and Prayers,

                Lynn McMonigal

Mary’s Memories

It’s Good Friday.  My sons, husband and I are watching The Passion of the Christ.  As I watch Mary follow her son on his way to Golgotha, I wonder what was in her mind.  Surely she knew that her son was The Son of God, that He was fulfilling the purpose for which He had been born.  (In the film, as Jesus is being beaten by Pilate’s men, Mary says, “My son, when, where, how will you deliver yourself from this?”  I may have the words slightly wrong, but that is close.)  Still, how horrible it must have been for her to watch that.  It had to have broken her heart to not only see each lash He was given but to hear the hatred and disgust those in the crowd–the same people who had welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem a few days before, were not hurling at Him.  Did she ever question her part in God’s plan? As her son was tortured and her heart was breaking, did Mary ever regret having agreed to become the mother of Jesus?

This is not the first time I’ve wondered about that.  A few years back, I wrote a little something from Mary’s perspective, examining just those questions.  I’d like to share that with you tonight.  Here is how I think Mary would have looked on her life after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

 

MARY’S MEMORIES

I didn’t know what I was agreeing to. That’s how it often works with God. He asks you to do something and you choose to say yes or no. He always gives you that option—that’s the wonderful part. He’s not going to force you to do something you are really not comfortable with. Of course, if you say no, there’s no guarantee He will ask you to do something else. The bad part is that He doesn’t always explain exactly what is going to happen.

That’s how it happened with me. I had a general idea of how this was going to work. Scripture told us what to expect.

But I didn’t have a clue just what would be involved. All I knew is that God was asking me to do something special. He could have chosen someone prettier or smarter or older. But He chose me. I didn’t understand why at the time and I can’t say I fully understand why now. But He asked.

All my life, I had wanted to do something for God. I hoped that He would find some way to use me. I just never dreamed it would be in such a big way.

I still remember that day so clearly. Or should I say that night. I had prayed before bed as usual. My friends thought I was too old to keep praying like that. They reminded me that my father had found a good husband for me. So what if we still needed to wait a while before the wedding? My friends said I should “stop bothering God and just be happy as Joseph’s wife.”

I wasn’t unhappy at the thought of being his wife. Joseph was a good man, a godly man. And he was always such a hard worker. He was a carpenter, which meant we would probably never be rich. I didn’t mind. He would be a good husband and I would work hard to be a good wife. Together, we would be good parents. Truly, I could be content with that. But if God wanted me for something more, I wanted Him to know that I was willing.

I can’t tell you how many times my friends said I was wasting my time. “God never uses women,” they said. I reminded them of Deborah, of Ruth, and of Queen Esther. Maybe there were more stories about the men, but God could use a woman, too. If she was willing to be used.

It was an ordinary night. I kissed my father, helped my mother put the younger children down, and then headed to bed.   But the light that woke me was anything but ordinary.

It was so bright. I had to shield my eyes. I was able to make out the outline of a tall man standing there. How had he gotten into my home? I was scared.

And then he spoke. “Greetings!” he said. “The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”

He said that I shouldn’t be scared, and for some reason I wasn’t anymore. Instead, I was excited. My prayers had been heard. God had a place for me in His plan.

And what a plan! For years we had looked forward to God’s promised Messiah. This man—this angel—was telling me that God wanted me to give birth to that Messiah.

For a moment, I did consider saying no. I wasn’t much more than a child myself. I wasn’t married and could only imagine what Joseph’s reaction to this would be.

Yet, I didn’t know how to say no. I’d prayed for years to be used by God. Now that He was showing me how He wanted to use me, it seemed unfair to tell Him no. If I did say no, would He ask me anything again? There was nothing more to say than, “May it be as you say.”

Joseph was very supportive—which in a lot of ways surprised me. He was so good about it. I wonder if he ever regretted it. Jesus was one of the best tempered children. Still, being his parent was not always easy. Joseph never complained but it must have been even harder on him than on me.

We did have to spend some time hiding while Jesus was very young. The only real trouble He gave us, though, was when He was 12. Though I can’t really fault Him for that. What kind of parents take a full day to notice their child is missing?

Missing isn’t exactly the right word for it. We didn’t know where Jesus was, but He was right where He needed to be. I remember Him telling me not to worry, that He was in His Father’s house. I didn’t know what He meant at the time. I only knew that I was relieved to see Him safe and sound.

Maybe it was foolish of me to be so concerned. I just had a small part to play in God’s plan. My son WAS the plan. He wasn’t going to be hurt, not until the time came for the Plan to fully go into action.

I was in Jerusalem the day he entered the city for the last time. I remember the crowds and oh how glad they were to see Him! For a moment, I thought the time for God’s plan was still years in the future. And to be honest, that is what I was hoping. I knew why my son was born—and to keep Him with me was selfish. But as His mother, I wanted to be selfish. I wanted my son to live—on Earth, where I could see Him and hug Him—for a few more years.

I knew the prophecies. Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be wounded and bruised. Knowing that would happen to some random person and seeing it happen to my son were two completely different things. I wanted to protect Him. Each time they hit Him, I felt it. Every drop of blood He lost felt like it came from my own heart. I wanted to turn away, to run off and hide. And yet I couldn’t. He was the Messiah, the King of Kings. But He was still my son, my little baby boy.

When they led Him to that cross, I could see the little boy who used to follow Joseph around while he worked. As He hung on that cross, I saw Him as the sweet little baby I had rocked to sleep. I cried as He suffered. I wanted to stop His pain. Even though I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t turn away. I couldn’t miss a moment of His life.

At the same time, I couldn’t help feeling so proud. He was so strong. He cried out in pain, but he didn’t resist, didn’t fight back. And at the end, He had the strength to ask for forgiveness, not for himself but for those hurting Him. I’ll never forget the sound of His voice—the pain and anguish in it—as he gasped, “Father God, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

One of His last thoughts before He died was of me. He saw me there, weeping, and told His good friend John to look after me. As my son hung there, in pain and utterly humiliated, He was concerned about me being alone.

When He breathed His last breath, my heart stopped. There was an earthquake and the sky turned black. I’m told that there was no light at all. But all I remember was seeing His head drop to His chest and I knew my first born son was gone.

I was able to smile then, even through my tears. I know it sounds strange to some. Most mothers aren’t going to smile after watching her child die. Then again, most mothers didn’t raise the Son of God. At the moment He died, His pain was over. In that same moment, He was with the Father. With my eyes closed and face turned toward Heaven I could almost hear the angels welcoming Him back. There was no reason for me to be sad. His death was not the end. His death meant life for so many others. It meant that I would be able to spend eternity with Him.

No, I did not know what I was getting into. I did not know how much joy His life would bring and I did not know how much the end of His earthly life would hurt me. If I had known, if I had understood just what He would go through, would I have still said yes? Would I do it all over again? Knowing what I know now, if God were to send an angel to me in the night, would my answer still be the same?

Absolutely.

“May it be as you say, Lord.”

Book Review–HOUSE OF SECRETS by Tracie Peterson

I’ve read Tracie Peterson’s work before, but until I came across this book at my local bookstore, I had no idea that she wrote anything other than historical fiction! Not only does she occasionally write contemporary fiction, Peterson writes it VERY well.

FiftHouseOfSecretseen years ago, Bailee, Geena, and Piper Cooper witnessed their father drugging their mother. They kept the secret, thinking that was the only way to reserve any sort of “normalcy” within their family. When their father invites them back to the same summer home where the incident happened, the girls decide it’s time to share what they know. Only the more the talk about that night–with each other and then with their father–the more they realize that really don’t know anything at all.

HOUSE OF SECRETS is a beautifully written book that about the bonds of sisters, and the power secrets can hold over a person. The story also deals with mental illness, and the far-reaching effects an illness can have–even years after the ill person has passed away. The characters are real and relatable. I found myself in or near tears at numerous places throughout the book. This one has definitely earned its place on my bookshelf.

Worth A Read

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Dreamer, a suspenseful novel by author Phillip L. Davidson, is not your typical Christian fiction book.  There are some moments of rough language and some situations that can be viewed as paranormal.  This is not the type of “easy-going” Christian romance that I normally read and review.  However, I am open to trying new things.  And the fact that main character David Elliot is motivated, at least in part, by his intense love for his wife made this book worth reading.

This book is action-packed.  If you like something fast-paced, this one will be well worth your time.  My only issue with it is the language.  I realize that in wartime, the language used is much different than what I am used to using and hearing on a daily basis.  However, if a book is being marketed to a Christian audience, I do feel the author should take that into account and tone down some of the language used.  Though I enjoyed the story line, the language alone will keep likely keep this book from making it my “read again” shelf.

Lynn

 

 

About The Book:

Is the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Desires

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

There are a lot of things in my life that I want to accomplish, especially where my writing is concerned. Some days, I look at all of the story ideas I have collected and I wonder where to begin. They all sound so promising to me. Oh, I am sure they are not all going to turn out to be best sellers (wouldn’t that be nice?) Many of them might not even make it off of the idea board. But there is so much material there, I just don’t know what to start with. What do I want to work on first?

And I think that is where my problem comes in. I get so focused on what I want to do that I lose sight of the real reason for my writing. It’s not to get my name on any Best Seller list or to pad my bank account or to bring any kind of honor to myself. Writing is a gift God. Using it to bring glory and honor to the Lord is my gift back to Him.

I know I’ve said it before, and I will likely say it again. This “writing thing” is not about me at all. It is all about HIM, about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing.

I lose sight of that every now and then. My dreams and desires come into play, and I forget that the focus needs to be on Him. I find myself needing the reminder that it’s not about me. It’s not about who I am, but what He’s done. It’s not about what I’ve done, but who He is.

So today, I am thanking God for the gifts he has given me. I am making a pledge to put Him first today, to think first about what He might want and pray for guidance before I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard!) As much as I want to write, it won’t matter without His blessing.

Lord, be with me today. Guide my thoughts and my hands. Keep me focused on You, so that my desires can match Yours. I love you and I thank for…well, for everything.

2014 Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

I’ve spent a lot of time in recent weeks thinking about plans. I suppose I am not the only one. As one year comes to an end, a lot of people think about what they accomplished—or in many case, failed to accomplish—in the preceding 12 months and begin to think of all the things they can do differently with the 12 brand new months just ahead.

Let me tell you, I’ve come up with a lot of plans. Especially where my writing is concerned.

Now, I don’t want to go into all of them here. Oh, I will share them with someone. My best friend will be getting an email shortly detaling my plans and goals, writing wise, for 2014. She is my accountability partner, my chief nagivator (yes, nagivator—she both motivates me to write and nags me to keep on track!) so I like her to know what I have planned. Kind of hard for her to keep me on track if she doesn’t know which track I should be on! I would like to share with you, though, some of the plans that I have for this blog for the coming year.

I would also like to stress that these are MY plans. One thing I know, and I freely admit there are days when is doesn’t feel like I know that many things, is that no matter how good I feel about a plan, if my plan is not God’s plan it is not going to work out. So even though this is what I plan to do, if God switches things up on me, I am going to go with that. My number one goal with my writing—a goal I am sad to say I have lost sight of in recent months—is to bring glory and honor to The One who gave me the ability and desire to write in the first place. This is all about God, what He wants, the stories He needs me to tell. Right now, I feel as if the plan I have in place is the direction He wants me to go. But if He asks me to change directions, I am willing to do that.

His will be done, not mine.

That being said, here is what I am planning at Lynn’s Corner in 2014.

  • One post per day, Monday through Friday, based on a Scripture. I have a personal goal to spend more time in The Word this year, reading my Bible daily and memorizing verses. Sharing them with help with that.
  • 52 book reviews, one posted each week through 2014
  • Spotlighting 52 Christian fiction authors, one each week, through the year. Look for the first author spotlight on Monday, January 6! (and if you know of an author I should add to my spotlight, please let me know!)

 

Those are my three main goals, my plans for the year on this blog. Of course, there will be other things in there, too. As I continue working toward my Bachelor of Arts degree (which I should receive in June!) I know I will be writing more short stories. Those will likely be shared here as well. And I am working on a novel. Something tells me I’ll be sharing progress on that throughout the year.

I am excited about this year! Hope you are, too!