2 weekends of inspiration and encouragement

I had the blessing of scooting off for two weekends, one after the other, on my own!

The first was a weekend in Dublin. I caught up with lots of family, with two dear writing friends, with one of the first Christians ever to make a real impression on me, and I went to a baby shower. It was full to the brim.

I had a bit of a revelation while chatting to my writing friends (neither of whom knew each other – so it was nice to connect them). I consider myself a failed writer – that’s not the revelation bit, I’ve always felt that. BUT, I’ve let it stop me writing. It’s like I’ve been waiting for someone to give me permission to put my heart and soul back into it, as I did in those lovely days before I cared whether anyone read what I wrote.

It was a liberating conversation in the middle of a fab weekend.

The following weekend I was in London, blessed to stay a couple of nights with a good friend, have chats and a hot chocolate with one of my smashing nieces, and join with other Christian writers for the ACW Writers’ Day with Glen and Emma Scrivener. What I took from it, as well as some great books and practical tips, was a confirmation of what my writing pals had told me the previous weekend. Get it writ! 🙂

I asked a question during the panel time. Basically, what if the crushing doubt that writers feel is actually valid in my case? What if I’m just no good?

The answer was like a welcome splash of cold water on my face. Basically it was to stop whinging. Amy Robinson compared my questions and hesitations to Moses when God called him.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:11-15 

I’m paraphrasing here, but what I heard Amy say was, if God had given me stuff to write, then I should stop finding reasons not to do, and just write it.
Whoosh!!! How refreshing.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. My #NaNoWriMo2017 novel idea has been shelved, and I’m going to write the non-fiction book that’s been forming in me for the last year or so. Will fill you in soon… 🙂

Thank you Amy Robinson! Thanks too, to the other panellists, James Prescott, Glen Scrivener and Emma Scrivener x

A couple of the ACW members have shared their take of the day – well worth a read. You can read them here and here.

After more hate, there’s more love

It’s hard to comprehend what is going on in our world in these days.

Acts of terrorism and tragic events which I was used to thinking about happening ‘over there’ are now happening  less than a couple of hundred miles from me. It shouldn’t make them more terrifying or tragic to me, but it does.

Most people who know me, disagree with me, but I’m loved by many of them. Lots of my nearest and dearest think the opposite to me on most things about faith and social issues, but I thank God (even if they don’t) that we’re able to hug, and laugh and sing and dance together. It is possible! I don’t know how anyone DOUBTS there is a God; but many, if not most, do.

You might be one of those who reckon that love and compassion were invented by John Lennon and the Dalai Lama. I BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART they were invented by God – the Bible tells me that and I believe it. But though you may disagree with me about where love comes from, can we at least agree that it is FANTASTIC that it’s still there?! Despite all that’s happened, in vast quantities, in the form of blankets, money, a bag of toiletries from Asda, someone’s spare room, someone’s spare jeans – love really is conquering all.  The stories of the mighty courage of first responders running into danger to do their jobs just blows me away.

There’s that stop-you-in-your-tracks quote flying around at the moment from Maya Angelou, “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.” Amazing words, from an inspired woman.

Here are some more amazing words, from Jesus. “You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matt 5:43,44)

I’m not saying that no Christian has ever said a hateful thing, but hate is not Christ’s way. I’m sorry for the times I’ve been a bad ambassador for Jesus, or just a bad human being. I believe the world needs His counsel more than ever. Disagree with me if you like, but give us a hug first. If you’re not into hugs, then let me put the kettle on. Cos I love you, and so does HE!