Inspired and Encouraged

Thanks, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, not to mention today’s NaNo words of encouragement! Your email was just the ticket! This phrase liked me:

and now it is all grown-up and book-shaped and published and bestselling

I feel like you were speaking prophetically about my current project. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Since there was no way to respond to the NanoMail you sent, I thought I’d blog my appreciation and question: Does Scrivener come with a pricetag? No need to reply. I discovered the free trial option.


Responding to Norway

A friend responded to the tragedy in Norway with an encouraging post at this link. My hopes are in agreement with hers. Let all the lives wasted at the hands of extremists not be in vain. Let those of us who live and witness unite in prayer to defeat hatred which is the common enemy.

Unconditional Love For Dummies:

A 13-Step Program For People Who Used To Find Love in All The Wrong Places
Sitting around the dinner table after one of our First Sunday potlucks, three women began laughing at the stupid things we’d either done or heard of someone doing in the name of love. Unconditionally of course, but not in the right direction. The only remedy, we decided, was to hold ourselves accountable for not reading the writing on the wall even after having prayed for revelation. We laughed till our sides’ ached. Title after title for books, chapters, sitcoms and dramas came to us but we were too drunk on monkey bread and having survived the tragedy of so many years spent in recovery from our own bad decisions to record them. This much I remember and promised to share.
STEP 1: Acknowledge, I was the one who…
Insert details of your part in said fiasco, then love yourself unconditionally by not doing that again.
STEP 2: Repeat.
Step 3: Refer to step 2 ten more times, teaching one more person to do the same each time.

After Reading An Email

I just want to stay home with my dogs and listen to the cars or the wind rushing purposefully by.

I write the following to the friend whose words brought me crashing back into contact with my would-be-writing-self:

breath-taking, ,
how can i go anywhere now
except back to the blank page
a life’s reply is the only response
respectful enough

did i mention i am launching an immigrant lit class for summer 1
then in class 16 weeks this fall
somehow, until now,
i thought i might be ready…to read…to cipher through
the sinews of such shared pasts
suffocatingly present

i am the one laid out
in need of some hand to hold



Borrowing Genius

Thanks to a group of folks who are also geniuses of the heart, we all now know the answer to the question, what can I do to heal the world?

In a world fraught with competing claims on human solidarity, we have a moral obligation to direct additional resources to where they can achieve the most good. And that is as true of our own small-scale charitable donations as it is of governments’ or philanthropists’ aid budgets.

In 2008, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which I direct, asked a group of the world’s top economists to identify the “investments” that could best help the planet. The experts—including five Nobel laureates—compared ways to spend $75 billion on more than 30 interventions aimed at reducing malnutrition, broadening educational opportunity, slowing global warming, cutting air pollution, preventing conflict, fighting disease, improving access to water and sanitation, lowering trade and immigration barriers, thwarting terrorism, and promoting gender equality.

By Bjørn Lomborg for SLATE

The next step is ours.

Waiting Practice

Yesterday I got to school late enough to have to stalk people for a parking space. Deciding it better to wait in one spot after three minutes of trawling after people (mostly pedestrians cutting through the parking lot), I pulled into one lane and put on my flashers. Three, then eight more minutes went by as I listened to a sermon on CD I keep in the dash. I looked up from time to time to check that I wasn’t blocking my blessing. You have to wait somewhere after all, and I could have been preventing someone from vacating a space. Most of the time, no one was afoot. Occasionally, I’d see someone exit a building, head for a car but only to retrieve or leave something in a trunk or on a back seat. You can always tell those folks from the rest. They walk with their keys hidden. What I noticed not long after my place was revealed to me is that I never got anxious while I waited. It helps that I had no pressing appointments, course, but I noticed my temperament remained unruffled all the time waiting. Imagine if we were similarly patient and unflustered all the time. Imagine how God could use us then! Once, maybe twice, the thought occurred to me to join the commuters’ circling ritual, darting between rows, following hard on the heels of those who dared to walk in plain sight. Both times, a still, small voice inside simply said, wait. Doing so I landed a spot far closer than I’d imagined likely at that late hour in the morning. Doing so, I was reminded that God wants us to wait on Him before dashing off on a wild tare to “handle things” all the time. I’m glad to have gotten in some waiting practice yesterday morning. I believe I’ll try it again. And often.

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

Oswald Chambers does it again! This time, with Matthew 5:8. Imagine:

Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well are to be brought into perfect accord with the purity God gives us by His grace.

To maintain the heavenly vision, simply aver, “That man, that woman, perfect in Christ Jesus! That friend, that relative, perfect in Christ Jesus!”