The Summer Files: Day 75

This week I got to be a full fledged grown up.

I went on a business trip.

Of course, it was one of those fun ones. I made the trip across the country to Philly, meeting a few friends at the airport where we stepped outside and slowly trudged through blankets of humidity (I think my mascara is still running).

phillyrain

Before we got down to business, we immersed ourselves in the middle of the city–Hillary and Bernie people swarmed the streets, dark alleys beckoned us into their creepy yet crowd-free walls, and we discovered that Philly bus drivers will go to any length to be kings of the road.

We visited a haunted prison.easternpen

At Villanova University, we attended classes and met many incredible people. Have you ever been in a room full of specular fiction writers? It’s not boring, not for a half-second.

There are changes going on in the publishing world…exciting, risky. Christian specular fiction writers have a very unique place in the world right now–we are forging our place onto bookshelves that don’t know where to categorize us, walking through darker alley’s than many of our writing peers, getting shunned by others, but that’s okay. We’re not ones to follow a crowd.

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God is a lion. He lives inside the hearts of His family, roaring when needed. Here you see His might in my friend, Louise (Furiosa, on the right).

costumenight

She came to this conference, lacking hair, full of cancer. For costume night, she showed her inner strength by donning the garb of Furioso. This is a true warrior, full of fight,  Lion roaring.

She goes back home to agonizing treatment, but full of hope. Look into her eyes, her heart. This is the Lion showing the world that we can walk through those dark alleys and survive. We can forge our way into uncomfortable places to where God calls us whether we feel at the top of our game or not.

So keep your head up and tell Monday to beware The Lion.

Will You Climb?

My son is going through an “I can’t” stage. He “can’t” eat but a millimeter of meat. He “can’t” run and play with his sister if she (and her longer legs) runs faster than he does. He “can’t” squeeze less than an ocean of toothpaste onto his toothbrush.

We encourage (Make) him to go through with his cants for obvious (you will respect me now) reasons, but we mostly don’t want him to be okay with giving up. Health problems have kept him from running and sporting like a 5 yr-old-boy should, so at a young age, he has reached that mountain he’s unable to spell yet: adversity. He’s happy by nature, but sometimes a challenge wells up in him so much that it lights his attitude like a flickering bulb. When his sister beats him to the swing set and the trampoline and the kitchen where cookies are fresh from the oven, his faces scrunches up into a million red creases of agony.

I decided to tell him about David the shepherd boy, who from a young age had to 100_1834kill lions and giants. I tell him how David had to run for years and hide in caves to avoid being murdered by a jealous king. How he had moments of overwhelming anguish, but despite those odds he didn’t let the cants lead him.

I know I’ve had days where the cants try to lead me. But I see Noah, and then drag my eyes to the sky.

If God gave David a mountain to climb in order to become a king, He will take our hands too, guiding us through the steepest crags to become what we are meant to be. One step at a time.

 

I truly hope you have a good Monday. Thank you, loyal friends, for coming back each week.

I wrote about another mountain–one where everything extraordinary has been banned by man. If you’d be interested in a review copy of Wake, visit Story Cartel (soon) to get yours.

 

Talent is for Showing

My faith in our future generation raised quite a few notches after watching the talent show at my daughter’s school. Not that my former estimation was really low, but maybe too low. It wasn’t the level of talent either—some were good, some needed a little more polishing, or a lot, but that wasn’t it.

For two hours, child after child conquered the stage. Lots of braced teeth, nerves either lifting or lowering eyebrows, and many girls on the balance between girly-girl and sporty-girl strode across the stage. When I was in elementary school, there were nowhere near that many kids willing to show their skills—maybe it’s because Chloe’s school emphasizes the arts—maybe the current culture values entertainment more than it used too.

But what impressed me the most? They got up there. They danced or sang or did a

Be Bold

Be Bold

few tricks and showed their willingness to be bold. That’s it—they were bold. Some of them sang with shaky hands clutching the microphone, but they gave us their voices anyway. Some forgot their dance steps, but they caught up and plowed ahead.

These kids all have something to say, and expressed that to us the best they could—they just don’t know yet they’re future leaders, teachers or artists.

Sometimes people try their “thing” once or twice, but a little adversity presses them down like a concrete sidewalk on a blade of grass.

It’s easy to feel beyond repair–but God specializes in rebuilding.

I hope Chloe and all those kids remember this talent show, and remember how to be brave. One big step can teach them how to fight their way through the cracks, showing the world how lovely and exquisite determination is.

Want to show us your (family friendly) skills? Feel free to post your links in the comments.

P.S. I want to give a big thanks for all of you who helped put Faith Seekers on Amazon’s bestseller’s list. Mostly, I hope you enjoy the story. Don’t have a copy yet? The ebook is on sale for a few more days…get it here.