What Brings Me to Tears

What brings me to tears?

A sad love song. Or an inspiring one that gives me hope. A moving movie where someone or a favored pet has died. A romantic movie where there was no hope, then suddenly hope is found. The loser will finally win against all odds. Almost all the old animated Disney movies have made me cry.

Being surrounded by those I love, my husband, children, grandchildren and close friends. Enjoying each others company. Laughing together. Holding hands. Touching hands with hugs and sighs. Showing our love for each other in kind words and special tasks. Baking, cooking the food everyone enjoys. Showing respect and kindness to those I meet in my travels.

Peaceful walks outside where I can see God’s creation all around me. The trees, flowers, birds singing. The gentle lap of water against a riverbank or the sand of a beach. Sunsets and sunrises. The whisper of the wind against my face. The Carolina blue of the sky with a few fat cotton ball clouds lazily drifting. The warm feeling of the sun on my face.

Riding my horse, who has learned to trust me. She knows me now and she is now taking care of me. She helps me groom her and she loves taking the treats I have made for her. When I sit on her back, I know she is willing to take me where I would like to go and she is willing to do the exercises I set out for both of us. It is taking time to build up my strength again but I am grateful for what I can do. I am grateful that my Gizmo is careful with me and listens to me. I am trying to be a good rider and I am trying to understand what she understands. The sun and the wind on my face is glorious. I appreciate the songs of the birds around me and I pause to listen.

These are all things that will bring tears to my eyes.

But as a woman going through breast cancer treatments, the pain that sometimes wracks my body, will not bring tears to my eyes. The fear of the unknown. The uncertainty. The way the treatments have changed my body. These things will bring tears to my eyes but NOT the physical pain. I have cried enough for the emotions. I will not cry for the physical pain. The pain I can endure and I will rise above it. I have so much to live for. I have so much I need to do.

I am a warrior and I will survive.

I Didn’t Run

Well, there you have it. I didn’t run. God answered me pretty clearly the next day. But I don’t think it was just for me. I think it was also for all the other writers who were wondering the same things I was thinking. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts.

Wednesday¬† night at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference was the awards ceremony. BRMCWC offers the Selah awards for published authors in various categories. BRMCWC also offers the Foundation awards in various categories for unpublished works. I submitted my second novel to the Foundation awards in the Fiction: Mystery/Suspense category. And I placed third.

My novel, You Are Mine, won third. My heart jumped when You Are Mine was announced. Oh, and my name was announced as well. I was in shock and utter disbelief. I tried not to tremble as I walked onto the stage and had my picture taken. It happened. I won an award.

A friend of mine also won in the Foundations award for her short story. I congratulated her after and we hugged as she congratulated me. We were both in shock but we said it together. This award gives us hope. Hope that we are doing the right thing. This writing thing. Hope that our work was recognized as worthwhile. A group of our peers voted on our works and gave us awards.

I don’t like to brag about myself. In fact, I won’t do it. But the judges at BRMCWC have no idea what this award has done for me. It has put this smile on my face and this determination in me to forge ahead and write. I had been struggling with this for so long. But after my prayer to God and His pretty clear answer, I guess I better pull up my boot straps and get to work. I have always told God that He needs to hit me over my head with a baseball bat because I am pretty dense when it comes to His messages.

That was one heck of a baseball bat! Thank you God. I hope my writing pleases you.

I Almost Ran

I almost ran last night. I was at the point of getting up and leaving.

I am attending the Blue Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference here in Ridgecrest, NC. This has been the best Christian writer’s conference I have ever attended in previous years.¬† I did not attend last year but I wanted desperately to come this year. When I finally arrived Tuesday morning, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that are here. Over 475 attendees. The largest number ever.

I felt small. I felt insignificant. I did not see any familiar faces. I felt like I did not belong. Certainly after two women made very catty comments about skinny jeans, I felt devastated as I looked down at the skinny jeans I felt comfortable in. And I certainly did not feel like I was a writer that should be at this conference. That was it. I would leave and no one would notice or care.

Until Todd Starnes had his speech. I laughed with him and felt a little better. Then Todd talked passionately about Christians needing to take a stand. We all need to keep writing and keep standing up for our Christian rights. I prayed last night. I prayed for all my loved ones and I prayed for God to let me know if I was doing the right thing with this writing that I feel compelled to do.

Well, did He let me know. In the morning Edie Melson shared how insignificant she had felt in the past. She shared that she wondered if she should be writing. Why in the world should she be writing when there were so many wonderful writers around her who were so much better. Then God showed her a picture of a choir. There are many people in the choir. Many have the same range. But each one is unique and when blended together, the choir is wondrous and beautiful. God directs the choir as He directs all of us with our special gifts. We are all needed and special. God has given us a purpose and we need to listen and follow His purpose for us. The same goes for writers. Wham!

Then Bob Hostetler spoke. He talked about all the famous authors he is friends with. He talked about how he hated Davis Bunn and how irritated he was with all these people who were such wonderful authors and could do so much. He said we should all just give up and go home. Then he shared the story of Ehud from Judges. Ehud had a deformed right hand. But God sent Ehud on a mission and used him. God’s plan was perfect and the plan would not have worked if Ehud had a perfect right hand. Instead Ehud used his left hand. God has a plan for all of us. Even though we may think we are not useful, God has a plan for us and we need to be ready for it. God has given us a gift and we need to listen to God’s plan and be ready to follow it.

Okay, okay, God. You did hit me over the head with a baseball bat. I got it. I got You. Thank you God. I love you.