July 30, 2013

Stories

Stories.

It's at the Beginning of a tale when the very heart of what it is all about is revealed.

The Middle, the End... these also play a large role in unraveling the truth about the meaning of a tale, but nothing should say it so plainly as the very Beginning.

The Beginning draws the reader in. A writer can tell so much that the reader may guess the ending, but can also tell so little that one feels draw to discover how that end may come about.

What makes a story so special? Is it the characters, and how loveable they are? Is it the drama, the plot, the atmosphere, or the words? No.

A story goes far deeper than words. It goes far deeper than the skill with which the story is woven, or even the material the writer has chosen for his or her craft.

What makes a story special is the writer.

What goes into a story is not just ideas or dreams or words... it is the writer. Their thoughts, feelings, needs, and yes, even their very heart must be poured into a story to make it so very special.

It seems to be quite proven that the stories which are close to us are the ones we grew up with, the ones we treasured, the ones that became a part of us.

Stories go beyond teaching us morals or guiding us on a path with a character to which we can relate, or through mysterious lands, or into curious circumstances in which we wish to partake. Stories tells us who we are when we least know what to think. They are our teachers, our friends... they flow through our beings like our own blood and are equally as essential.

Those who live apart from stories lack the fervor, the excitement, the love which we who cling to stories have in full. It is a dry, coarse world which neglects to stop and pay attention to the little things, to remember a childhood fantasy, a poem tied more firmly around their being than their own name...

There is something inexplicably personal about stories because a story is made up of a person.

This is what makes a story believable.
This is what makes a story so special.
This is what makes a story real.

July 27, 2013

Hope

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
-Hebrews 11:1

I'm sure we Christians all reach places in our life where we feel we've never needed so much faith ever before. I'm sure we've all come to roads so uneven, we barely have the energy to hope against all of the pain. And I don't know about you, but I've learned that the world can never carry our burdens for us; that's our Savior's job. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matt. 11:29-30.)

Well, I'm exhausted. About an hour ago, I thought I might collapse from lack of peace, anxiety, nervousness, and fear. God is so gracious to answer our prayers. The butterflies in my stomach have not ceased their dance, but my mind and heart are not so despondent as they were. I might say it helps to have a cuddly cat to keep me company, but I know for a fact that my only true solace if from the Lord's loving hand. He is my consolation. He has promised my destiny lies within the gates of heaven, ever eternally by His side... What more can I ask for?

I expect that my whole world might just turn upside down tomorrow somehow. I feel like Alice when she tumbles into Wonderland; so many curious things happen to her that she begins to wonder what isn't possible!

"From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
-Psalm 61:2

"You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
-Psalm 16:11

I was so deep in thought that I ignored food half of the day. I needed spiritual sustenance first, and my mind needed to be fed with the peace of prayer before I could fill my body with daily bread. The Lord has provided for me.

Rest, sweet rest, I welcome you this night. The sun sets... oh, sunsets! ... I will rise and praise the Lord because He is always there for me.

July 10, 2013

Sunsets

I've been thinking about sunsets; a collision of bright blues and burning oranges, beams of golden sunlight, and a harmonious choir of clouds singing a song of praise to God with their colors, until the sun is eclipsed by the horizon and the day gives way to night.
Sometimes I feel cold, alone, weak... so cold. And then next, the warmth of a memory returns. I am so easily discouraged, and yet so easily cheered-up again. Why is my mind so fickle?

I'm moved by the emotions of music, by the troubles and feelings of the characters in my novel as I write out their past, present and future. I'm so in tune with their story right now, I feel like I'm living their lives.

Where do the days go? I feel more like I'm in a dream than the real world. And sometimes tears build a bridge to a better shore, though it hurts to cry. And then I find myself flying, dancing, singing because of the littlest things. I'm on an emotional roller coaster. One day confused and afraid, the next alive and bright and happy. May God forgive my changeableness and insufficient faith.

I'm drowning in ideas, dreams, words, and worries. I find myself trembling, unable to breathe. I know I seem patient, controlled, calm on the outside, but the inward battle rages ever on. I have to speak up. I have to ask. I have to know the answer. Until I have that peace, I'm praying my heart out to the Lord for the patience I lack.

I spend all of my energy thinking and hoping and gathering courage, and once the few opportunities slip from my grasp, I'm left with an empty hole inside -- disappointment. I'm beautifully tortured.

The sun will rise. And then the sun sets.
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