How many people woke up today thinking about preparations for Halloween? I woke up thinking about preparations for NaNoWriMo. I’m again reminded more of pregnancy and labor/delivery than anything else. My thoughts have been all about the coming date: November 1st. The start of labor. The beginning of a month-long delivery. By November 30th I’ll have birthed a novel. Excited & scared? Yes! Ready? Who knows?
I have been pining for a while. Pining and whining. I’m ready for a change. I’ve been ready for a change. On two separate occasions (once in 2005, once in 2008) I’ve started novels. Like miscarriages, conceived but never fully developed.
Sometimes life is all about perspective. Glasses that are half full are also half empty. Joy is a choice we make. A gift of grace available to each of us, but a gift that must be accepted. Because joy is a matter of perspective.
A few weeks ago I signed up for the National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) experience. I can tell you a million reasons why I don’t have time for this. I can fill my heart with fear and self-recriminations. Or I can choose joy and hope, faithful that if it’s God’s will, then it will happen and confident that if it’s not – it doesn’t matter.
I will remind myself daily to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
By stepping out in faith and free-falling into the unknown I have to trust Him. I will embrace Paul’s prayer to the Romans “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”(Romans 15:13)
Meanwhile, this week feels like my last week of freedom.
Samson, a man of God, was clearly foolish when it came to women. After his brief, tragic marriage and his rendezvous with a prostitute, he met and fell in love with Delilah – yet another Philistine woman. His destiny was to be the beginning of the end for the Philistines. Samson is a reminder that God uses us all through His strength and our weakness. Samson had a weakness for women and he was weak with women. Or maybe his weakness was his ego.
After 3 times of Delilah asking how to tie him up and subdue him and 3 times demonstrating her intention to do just that, he finally (on the 4th round) tells her the secret of his strength – to his own undoing.
When God was not with him, he was overtaken. Later, when he prayed for God to be with him, his strength returned. He is called out in Hebrews as a man of faith. His faith ultimately enabled him to fulfill God’s will for him. That is all that any of us can hope for.
In the beginning there was a standard template bearing the title of this blog “A Mother’s Angst. Soon after that I jazzed it up with the emo weeping eye. I’ve wept so many times over my children it seemed appropriate.
I’ve been open about my angst, my sorrows, and sometimes my joy. The banner evolved to reflect my evolution from pervasive sorrow to the overriding joy given to us through God’s grace.
Today the banner takes another step forward. I may tweak it a bit but this is closer to what I’ve imagined for a while now. I’m reading the book of Jeremiah and I’m overwhelmed by the example God sets for us. I can relate to God’s frustration with His children, the people of Israel & Judah. Jeremiah 31 is all about restoration. I pray for the restoration of my relationships with my grown children. Meanwhile, I thank God for all that I’ve learned and am able to share with others.
If you watched the video for Chapter 14, you can jump about 2 1/2 minutes into today’s lesson. Today’s portion of Samson’s biographer required some of the history previously covered.
I’m struck by how wonderful God is. We’re created in His image, but because we’re not God we’re flawed. We’re blessed and cursed with free will. We’re so darn HUMAN!!!
Samson is an excellent example of an imperfect human who is used as an instrument by God. Samson takes the Israelites on their first step in the journey to break free of the Philistines.
Samson’s life continues following his failed marriage. When he attempts to reconcile with his wife, he discovers she’s been handed off to his best man! He strikes back, attacking the Philistines by burning their harvest. They retaliate. He retaliates. Life goes on.
When the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon us we can do awesome things. The hard part is avoiding sin during those lulls when we’re not feeling particularly moved by the Spirit.
…when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott
Not long ago I was floored again – this time by the horribly immature response of Alice Hoffman to a mixed review of her novel. Not a bad review, just a mixed review. She proceeded to attack the reviewer via Twitter: she posted the reviewer’s e-mail and telephone number and she told “her fans” to contact the reviewer directly. This was a published author behaving quite badly, demonstrating for all how a lack of personal restraint can lead to public embarrassment and subsequent apologies. We’ve seen this sort of behavior from Hollywood denizens for years. Although Alice may wish to be remembered for her noble statements or her novels, she left a legacy with her hasty remarks. In the backlash of public reaction she deleted her Twitter account, but the Internet has memory and Google cache retained the information for some time.
Today I’ve been taken aback again by the drama played out between Nic and the TSA. Although Nic has “darkened” her blog (Update: her blog is up and she’s posted an apology of sorts), her post is still out there. After I watched the TSA video I did a quick Google search and found her post among the many related hits.