Thursday, March 15, 2012

Keeping Schedules: Grudging half-compliance or thankful submission?

Ugh, schedules! I hate them, and I can't keep them either. Never could, never will. Maybe I can't keep them because I hate them. But really, what's so bad about a schedule? What better way to coordinate several people living or working together in harmony? A schedule is like a traffic light; it makes things run more smoothly and prevents collisions and serious misunderstandings between people. While I do feel "liberated" when I disregard my schedule, the bad effects usually reverberate throughout my day and my relationships.

With the help of God, I want to have a change of attitude toward schedules. I want to respect and be thankful for them, not grudgingly half-comply and then get angry that I had to obey something. Why can't I wake up in the morning and be thankful that it's time to get up? Calmly stop working on that project in time for supper, instead of just plowing ahead until some unreasonable hour (and then getting mad because I've been "overworked")?

I'd love to be that kind of person. Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why I Have Nothing to Bring to Critique!

(I wrote this piece after missing two critique sessions in a row at my writer's group because I had nothing to bring.)

Why I Have Nothing to Bring to Critique!

Ah, the ultimate writing prompt, inviting excuses of crashed computers and clogged schedules. I could blame my new dog, or the tantalizing spring weather, or perhaps my brother, who spends hours each day talking to whoever he can find. I could also accuse myself of spending too much time on facebook (which I don’t, trust me.) But I would be lying if I didn’t charge Technology for causing the bulk of the troubles. Technology, or rather the failure of it, has caused my family more headaches than last month’s eight-inch slush storm.

Our technological difficulties center on the internet router in our basement. After two years of faithful service, it began giving us only sporadic connection. Several hours of attempted repairs to our wireless network not only proved fruitless, but ended in permanent loss of all internet connections. My brother diagnosed the problem as a dead router and ordered us a new one from Amazon.

Days of waiting followed. I discovered our next-door neighbors had an unsecured network and that any healthy computer within fifteen feet of the north wall of our house could access the internet. For the sake of practicality, my parents moved their laptop into my work area. Overnight, my quiet corner became the traffic center of the house.

My attempts to write are now punctuated by frequent conversations about news articles and requests for input as my dad finishes his spring nursery orders. My creativity, stubborn thing that it is, refuses to operate under these conditions. While I have little doubt my parents are reading emails rather than spying on my page, still I deem my thoughts either too personal or too incriminating to risk exposing them to the view of others.

But I keep reminding myself that help is on the way. The new router arrived this morning. After plugging it in and setting up, a process which took about an hour, we still have no internet. The new diagnosis? Dead modem. I hope Best Buy ships fast…

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


(I'm delighted to post this excellent piece from someone I love and respect a great deal. Although I never met her, I grew up listening to Katina's music on an old cassette tape my mom had. Those songs were my first clear introduction to the grace of God. Thank you, Katina!)


I will walk in love at all times and will not demand love from others for the Lord God loves me and His love is perfect and unchangeable.

I have no fears - other than the fear of God for all power belongs to Him in heaven and earth and it lies in His hand to make great and strengthen me.

I will walk in wisdom, strength and confidence for I am a new person and I have a desire to please God.

I am able to commit my ways unto Him and make the right decisions for my motives are not selfish and I am ever so pliable before Him.

He has forgiven me, therefore I can forgive myself and others. Neither do I hold grudges... He has accepted me as I am, therefore I have accepted myself and can accept others as they are... I LOVE THE FAMILY OF GOD... I LOVE ME... BECAUSE OF JESUS IN ME.

My Father gives me GOOD things so TODAY I rise in faith believing that all things work together for good because I LOVE HIM.

I will be patient and long-suffering with myself and others just as JESUS is long-suffering with me.

I will not fear about my future, my finances, my family or sickness for His grace is upon me and I am in union with Him - therefore His peace shall never leave me and He has made even my enemies to be at peace with me.

I will not live in the past or worry about the future for I am risen with Christ and I am seated in the heavenlies and my life is that of ruling and reigning with Him.

I will not compete with others but I will compete with myself so that I may win a prize - He alone is perfect in me.

I will go from grace to grace, glory to glory for I have no other Idols, images or Gods before me other than the image of God my Father and Jesus my Lord.

His Spirit is upon me, I am anointed of Him, I am as the lily of the valley. I neither toil nor spin, I have entered into a rest in Him by faith.

I am not carried away by every wind of doctrine for my foundation is standing firm and tall - I have the chief cornerstone which shall never, never crumble - JESUS.

I stand complete in Him - His joy in me is full. I am His workmanship - I lack nothing today.

(Katina Nicholas Ministries)