Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Being Selfish and Selfless

One of the things I love about being a writer is digging deep to give wisdom and meaning to my characters in dialog and action that's not trite or expressly something I would say or do.

While I'm pro life, I had to write convincing pro choice dialog for the book The Sweet By and By when my heroine was discussing why her Mama took her for an abortion an sixteen.

I am good at seeing multiple sides. Which is helpful yet frustrating.

Anyway, writing a scene yesterday, the heroine challenged the hero on being selfish. I can't remember what she said exactly at this moment but it sparked something in me.

Selfishness comes from what we want to do or be. Our desires and dreams energize our focus on self and where we want to go. We wind up comparing ourselves to others and feeling like failures for no good reason.

Perhaps a friend is a CEO for a major corporation while you're still at lower level management. Or another person you know started his own company but you're still working for "the man."

A friend is good with finances while you can't seem to save a quarter. So we get dissatisfied and grumble. We start to turn in and think of ourselves. If we don't succeed then we must be failing.

Selfishness is really about "me." And the "me world" is really rooted in fear and pride that I might just "lose myself and become nothing." That if I don't toot my own horn, chase my own dreams, do what I got to do, then I'll die in the dirt and no one will remember me.

This is why I follow Jesus. I can give of myself freely without losing myself. Granted, it's hard and I'm FAR from perfect but I don't have to toot my horn, He will.

If I focus on loving others, He will see to my needs. If I ask Him to increase in me so I can decrease, He'll accomplish the works of my hands.

See, we think if we surrender God automatically sits us on the bench. But the opposite is true. It's when we surrender, become selfless, He gives us a job to do and calls us into the game.

The best part? We don't have to worry about success or failure because He takes care of us. We don't have to worry about dying in the dust forgotten because He remembers us. We don't have to worry about leaving our mark in the world because this life is a vapor.

It's an internship for the Life to come. That is where we will really see and be rewarded. Did you work an internship in college? I did. A couple of them. I'm glad I did. Glad to have worked hard and earned a good grade, but it was not my ultimate career.

Can you imagine if I worked in internship with the force and drive of a forty year career?The intern people would throw a party when the school quarter ended. An internship is to die to self, to learn, to prepare for the work place.

That's this life. To die to self. To prepare and learn for the age to come.

Eternity is a long time to make up for anything you lost or didn't get in this short 70-80 year life.

Be selfless. Trust me, it will pay off in the eternal run!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thoughts on Writing Today

Need to edit about 30 pages. Fifty would be better. Sometimes it goes quickly, other times I have to cut and rewrite.

It's hard in this final stage. Last rewriting before turning the book in. I'm not sure if the book is good or if I want it to be good.

I'm so close to it, reading every work, dissecting every sentence, I get weary and bogged down in the "weeds."

"Is this boring? I feel exhausted."

So. I've done this enough times to know it's part of the process. I plod along.

Meanwhile, The Wedding Dress releases in a few weeks! So excited!

Here's the summary in case you've not read it.

One dress. Four women. An amazing destiny.

Charlotte Malone is getting married. Yet all is not settled in the heart of Birmingham's chic bridal boutique owner. Charlotte can dress any bride to perfection-except herself. When she discovers a vintage mint-condition wedding gown in a battered old trunk, Charlotte embarks on a passionate journey to discover the women who wore the gown before her.

Emily in 1912. Mary in 1939. And Hillary in 1968. Each woman teaches Charlotte something about love in her own unique way. Woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of faith, and the beauty of finding true love.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Standing n the Surf

I love this image. Standing on the edge of a turbulent surf, watching, the storm roll in. As I took this picture of friend Beth Vogt, I imagined for a moment I was not on shore but out at sea.

I wondered how high and how strong the waves crashed two, three, a hundred miles into the Gulf. No land in sight. No light to guide a ship.

I was comforted to have my feet were on terra slipping-sanda. ;) And deepened my resolve to never go on a cruise.

We have many conveniences today that ease the mind of a sailor at sea in a storm. Of a woman on the shore with her toes barely touching the surf. Of a parent who worries over his child.

The good, the bad, the pretty, the ugly, we all have some form of coping. We have some "technology" be it meds, music, technology, entertainment of all kinds, that kind of act as our "shore" in turbulent times.

As I've learned more lately about politics, our gov't, our President, my heart as often felt faint. I think I've made a safe place for my heart out of something that's shifting, washing away like the sand under my feet.

I've pledged alligence to things, people and places that do not really love me in return. TV doesn't love me. My iPhone doesn't. My local and national representatives don't love me. My governor and president don't love me.

They are not my source of strength and peace.

Jesus is my one true love. He's the only one whom I can truly lean upon in turbulent times. When I'm concerned or scared. When I see the dark clouds on the horizon, I trust He's got it all in command.

My job is to align my heart with His. And gratefully, He's able to do that for and with me, too.

What about you? What are your go-to sources for comfort instead of Jesus? He died for you, could you die a little to yourself for Him? All He wants is your heart.

Friday, March 02, 2012


The word peace shows up in the Bible something like 249 times. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Lying awake at 2:30 a.m. this morning, I meditated on Psalm 4:8.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

In a world of anxiety and turmoil, mounting fear, and content worry, I think the Lord wants us to remember He is a God of peace and safety for our hearts and minds.

Fix on Him instead of your troubles. Instead of your worries. Even instead of your physical aliments.