I travelled to my first writer’s conference through fear and trepidation into expectation. What is my niche? Why would anyone want to read any of my stuff? Why would I even want to write it? The writers gathered there loved the conference but I came away more fearful than ever.
Fears that I wouldn’t be able to follow through on my personal commitments, that maybe after all, I’m only a mediocre writer; fears that I’d never measure up to my own standards, let alone those of others.
I dared myself to take bigger bites out of life; spent more time hanging out at the computer keys, started a novel, tried a short story or two.
I persevered, moved forward, started a blog, and even opened a twitter account. To my great delight, in no time at all, I sold my first piece via the internet. I started to describe myself as Writer.
Now, I dare to enter this contest, http://youareawriter.com/contest/
because I found a voice and it is mine.
Brenda J Wood
The new year is fast approaching…
I’ve been wanting to write about this for ages but the time never seemed right/write? You hear lots about being forgiven on my blog, but there is a lot to be said for FORGIVING.
For the past few years, I’ve been accused of something I did not do and it has been hard to just be quiet and say nothing. The unfairness of the thing bothered Ron terribly and he was angry on my account.
God expects us to forgive. When Ron was dying, I asked him if he had been able to forgive and though he was barely able to talk by then, he uttered out a firm YEP! I told him that I too had forgiven the people involved. We found joint peace together.
So we forgave. and the wonderful thing is that forgiving gives peace and comfort and even relief.
As for the other people, I do not know. If they continue to hold a grudge, I am sorry for them. Unforgiveness affects health,well being, peace, comfort, conscience, emotions, blood pressure, diabetes and on and on.
So here is the thing. The new year is only a few days away. Wouldn’t it be great to start it with a forgiving attitude? Maybe you were abused, or your family doesn’t treat you right or your boss was unfair or the banker doesn’t understand your problems or whatever. Whatever! Get over it. Give it to God and live free of the torment of the past. Find peace. God is just waiting to help you do that.
I put connections to Pat Day’s blog on the topic and will add one from Tammy Weins. They give more insite on the how of the thing…it is possible for you to forgive…….I pray you will.
And I’ve been having a pity party for the last two. That’s why you haven’t seen me here.
“Get out of the house. ” I heard this from three separate people in three different countries. I choose not to listen. It felt good to cry…so I did. And then I added a widget to my blog that tells my topics. The larger the letters the more times it’s been mentioned. Check for yourself…it is Common Sense… And I thought I’d better get some.
Then someone reminded me that even in laughter the heart may ache —-but you can decide which side of the ache to stand on. (Oh,who said that? Let me think! It was me!) I found the scribbled words I added at the last minute to my message at Ron’s going home to Jesus Celebration.
And I decided to stand on the side of joy for Ron’s sake. Because I don’t have to feel happy to put a smile on my face. Because God is faithful and true no matter what. Because God will tell me day by day what to do. Because my needs are being provided for in a myriad of ways. Because I choose to choose life…..
Oh and did I tell you? Just after I posted the note I found from Ron about “being ready to tell the world of my God and my love for you”…I got a call for a speaking engagement. God is working his plan in his way…. and I am going along for the ride.
Brenda J Wood
When I came back from working the afternoon Weight Watchers class, I found the house empty. In my ordinary life, Ron would have had a pot of potatoes on the boil and some kind of beef (his preference) on the BBQ. I’d push for a vegetable and maybe a salad and we’d each eat a little of the other’s choice, secretly grateful for our own.
But today, there was silence and me. As women do, I’ve been eating the stuff in the fridge that is close to expiry date or that has been sitting too long. I decided on poached eggs. I like them; Ron didn’t. An egg meal meant I’d cook his scrambled or whatever, first….not because he demanded it , but because that is how women love. We feed others and then ourselves. That meant that my meal tended to be on the cool side. I didn’t notice nor really care..
So I poached up those eggs. They were the best I’d ever eaten. Hot, seasoned perfectly. And I cried, because I’d willingly eat cold eggs forever…if only I could have my Honey here.
Brenda J Wood
Today is Ron’s special day. It is the day we’ll all talk about what a great guy he is (sorry-Sometimes I forget and talk in present tense.) We will share memories with one another. Then we will all eat birthday cake. (Yes, you heard right. I ordered ten cakes from Costco. They say “Welcome Home.”) After all, we are celebrating the day he went to be with Jesus.
Ron thoroughly disliked ‘funeral’ food. Musty tuna salad with mayo and pickles, ham chopped up beyond recognition, egg salad without onion, and phoney turkey made him leery. He would say, “There’s hardly ever a decent roast beef sandwich in the lot.”
Of course there’s always squares. Diabetics don’t eat squares. You can see why he often talked of a Wendy’s burger after these occasions.
So that is our day. After the cake we will all go home. Most everyone will chat on the way. They will discuss how awful the food was, how great the music, and how maudlin the family speeches.
But today, I drive in lonely silence toward a lonely home.
Brenda J Wood
You brought food. You cut our grass. You shaved Ron because he couldn’t do it himself (and because I only do legs.) You covered for me at work.
You left sweet messages on the phone. “Don’t worry about calling back. Just wanted to tell you that we love you.” You sent cards with encouraging Bible verses. You helped me lift and turn Ron so that he would be a bit more comfortable.
You picked up perscriptions, and shopped for essentials. You brought flowers to cheer us. You delivered all kinds of medical equipment to make Ron’s last days more bearable.
You brought your guitars and sang us songs of joy and comfort.
You lowered the flag in our yard to half-mast.
You visited and shared funny stories. You encouraged us. You prayed with us and for us.
“What is that you have in your hand, ” asks God?
And you answered him with your talents of giving, baking, writing , thoughtness, encouragement and more.
You gave us time. The things you did let me spend every minute with Ron. I didn’t have to cook or think about house upkeep or shopping trips. You were Jesus with skin. You didn’t just talk the talk, you walked the walk.
You cared about us more than you cared about yourself. You took the gift God gave you and you gave it to us.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways? For us, they are beyond measure.
Brenda J Wood
Most moms learn to tiptoe in the mornings so that everyone else sleeps in. This means we can have a shower without short people yelling “Mommy, Mommy”, under the bathroom door. It might mean we get our first sip of coffee without questions like “Where are my sneakers,” or “Honey, did you do the laundry? I can’t find any clean underwear.) As time goes on, we get used to this silence. It becomes our way of life.
Hubby works late and we shush the children so he can sleep in on a Saturday. Or maybe he finally gets a chance at an afternoon nap and we herd the crowd to the backyard. A teenager may not be at their best of a morning, so we whisper through the early hours because it is more peaceful for everybody.
When Ron and I retired to our little house in Innisfil, I continued this habit. Ron seldom had enough sleep through the night and I’ve always been a 5 am kind of gal. I made my coffee by the light of the fridge door so that the overhead kitchen light wouldn’t glare toward the back and wake him. I sometimes read by flashlight. I took a shower after he awoke.
When cancer entered our life, that quiet silence became even more necessary. Even though Ron’s hearing began to fail badly, noise desturbed him. I set the TV so that I could read the words on the screen. I turned the ringer down on the living room phone. I closed the windows against traffic.
Today I slammed a cupboard door by mistake…and listened for Ron’s feet to hit the floor in the bedroom.
And felt my loss in a new way…..because now my silence doesn’t matter…..so I guess it is ok then, to cry aloud.
Brenda J Wood
I remember reading a story about a magical monkey’s paw that gave each owner three wishes.Eventually it came into the hands of a couple reeling with grief after they’d lost their son in a mutilating accident. They struggled with their wishes. I forget the first two; wealth or some such thing. Then they left the paw on the mantle, each secretly wanting the courage to wish their son back.
Finally, the mom, in trememdous emotional agony, grabbed the paw and made that fatal wish.
There arose a frightening gasp as the earth split and yielded up the boy from his grave. They heard a dragging foot, wails of pain and more…..as the son returned, looking just as awful as when they buried him.
I always thought it was a stupid story. Why didn’t they plan ahead? Why didn’t they use the other wishes correctly? Why didn’t they ask for the son to be healed or else leave well enough alone?
I prayed for DH (Darling Husband) Ron to be healed.And by God’s Grace, no monkey paw included…he was. No more pain, suffering or sorrow. Right now, he is still shaking hands with all those who went before..but only after sitting on God’s lap and soaking in God’s love.
Brenda J Wood