Have you embarked on a new adventure lately, Dear Reader? Have you prayed, planned, and worked like your life depended on something, and finally reached a summit of accomplishment, if not completion?
Maybe you made the sale or closed the deal. Perhaps you shook hands with a much sought after recruit. No money in the bank or signatures on the line, but still a minute to puff out your chest or give your colleagues high fives. Maybe you even broke into your happy dance.
Such moments are blessings to be enjoyed.
Last week, I submitted Jubilee and the Stinky Fish to Christian Manuscript Submissions After months of preparation, and several weeks of glitches, it was finally time to push the button.
What a rush!
Then I started this post: time for reflection.
The rush is terrific, and who doesn't enjoy savoring it, at least for a minute? There's nothing wrong with that.
But, I've been blessed by a very knowledgeable and gracious consultant, Tawny, through this process. Tawny offered guidance without criticism, and correction with kindness. Her encouragement fortified me to keep going on days when the voice of darkness whispered, "What's the point?"
Dear Reader, who's been your inspiration, your "guide on the side"? Who's had your back on the way to success?
9 Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more work done.
One of the foundations of my faith is that I don't believe in accidents, coincidences, or luck. I believe God has a plan, a plan specifically designed for each of us.
And I believe His plans include the right people to come alongside of us at the right time. It's when I forget that, and embrace pride and vanity instead, that I get into trouble.
Dear Reader, I pray God's blessings and direction on your endeavors. I also pray your success will be ensured by a host of mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders who easily discern when you need candor, correction, or kindness.
Dear Reader, do you ever get tired of doing the responsible thing? Typically, being conscientious is comfortable for me. But sometimes.....
A couple of weeks ago, the weather forecast took a turn toward dangerously cold and hazardous driving conditions. Tom and I agreed doing our monthly grocery shopping after work on Tuesday was a better idea than waiting until Friday.
This OCD couple shops once a month and nearly always with a list. Shopping without one was painful. And then Tom blew me away.
The other day, my young colleague, Alex, and I were discussing a brochure we were working on. We discovered that both of us thought about going into marketing when we were in high school. How things change.
These days, the most challenging part of being a writer for me is promoting and marketing my books. Dear Reader, it's absolutely painful for me! It's not that I don't believe what and who I write for; I'm passionate about both.
Perhaps not passionate enough.
Like most educators, the day school gets out for winter break is like a opening a seemingly endless gift. The days of sleeping in, eating out, and not grading papers roll out like a red carpet.
And then I got home.
In October, Tom and I adopted a petite, but older playmate for Maisie from a friend. Maisie and Prissy got off to a rocky start, probably because Prissy was absolutely the sweetest cat we'd ever had. Maisie is more spoiled than sweet.
Sadly, Prissy began losing weight almost immediately after we adopted her. She was showing the same diabetic symptoms our cat, Magellan, had.
The afternoon school got out, Prissy could barely drag herself to the door to greet me like she usually did. The food the vet had prescribed a few days earlier was too late. The follow up appointment was coming too late.
Sweet, sweet Prissy died in my arms later that evening.
Flashback to last summer: I decided it would be a good idea to get a betta fish for two of my special friends at school to take care of. And so I did. His name is Bob.
Back to winter break. Bob's journey home for winter break started off rocky when his travel carton sprung a leak. So instead I used a coffee mug with a small ziploc over it to take Bob home. Unfortunately, Bob managed to leap out of the mug on the way, but did manage to stay in the box with my other treasures.
We got Bob into his tank in Tom's bathroom. So far, so good. Then it was Christmas and life got hectic. I thought Tom was feeding Bob. Tom didn't tell me that he hadn't seen Bob for several days.
Are you kidding me? Had we managed to lose not one, but two pets in less than a week? Where was Bob?
I may not be a card carrying member of PETA, but I really do care about our pets. Bob couldn't be seen in his tank, or lying prostrate on the vanity. Where was Bob?
Somehow in the craziness of holidays, pet casualties, and being MIA, the Lord spoke a gentle reminder to me.
7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
I briefly thought about times in my life when I'd felt lost. Times I'd strayed from my Heavenly Father's side. Times of grief for those I loved. Times of shame, and disappointment.
Dear Reader, have you ever felt lost? The Good Shepherd has encouragement, just for you.
3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
When I finally made myself clean out Bob's tank, guess what I found? Yep! Bob had gotten himself stuck in the plastic grass he loved so much at the bottom of the tank.
As soon as the artificial turf was removed, Bob alive and swimming. He was a little weak and a lot hungry, but already on his way to a full recovery.
Maybe Bob isn't a talking donkey or a heavenly host, but the Lord used that little fish to remind me of a big lesson: we can never get lost from the Savior's love and grace.
Hi, my name is Alice. A Way with Words is about sharing faith,
fun, & encouragement. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find a little something to take
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