Category Archives: Writing

A Chaotic Winner…

ShortStory

I entered a writing contest over the summer for a short story on the topic of chaos in a theme park.

A couple weeks ago, I was notified by Mary Ann at All Things Writing, that my story had won the contest and it would be posted on the blog!  (Thanks Mary Ann!)

When I first wrote the story, I didn’t think much about the contest but the topic was perfect.  Immediately I knew a direction to go with the story.  If you’ve read it at the link above, I’ll tell you now, parts are fiction and parts are not.  The big chaotic story did not actually happen.  That part is fiction but you wouldn’t believe the calls I got asking when it happened and why no one had heard about ;)   The beginning of the story was very much true as far as the emotional roller coaster I went through when our middle son, Caleb, was big enough to ride the big rides!

Anyway, I just wanted to share my short story with you :)  Also, they interviewed me and posted that on their blog as well.  You can read it here.

I am definitely looking forward to more of these contests in the future!

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Just Keep Swimming…

JustKeepSwimming

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

I hope you’ve watched the movie, Finding Nemo and if you haven’t, go watch it … right after you finish reading this ;)

When I started this blog back in August 2011, I wondered if there really was a purpose?  I felt a strong desire to write but who would read it?

Would anyone really care what I had to say?

Would my life really matter to others?

Could my experiences actually help others?

Could I really help someone through a blog?

Would this actually make an impact on anyone’s life?

Even today, I find myself asking these questions over and over.  My blog isn’t viewed by many.  In fact, probably only a handful read it regularly.  I’ve poured two years of my life into writing here (not always very regular, mind you!).  But the answer to the question, “Would this actually make an impact in anyone’s life?” is most definitely, YES!

If nothing else, it’s impacting my own life!  It’s keeping me in God’s word.  It’s making me think and it’s helping me to step out of my comfort zone, to learn to embrace new things and new challenges and preparing me for greater things to come!

I don’t always get to hear how my stories, trials, triumphs have helped others, but this blog has very much had an impact in my own life.  I know God is using me.  Perhaps this is how he is preparing me to write a book.  Perhaps these are the stories he’s having me collect so that some day, I can speak them with my voice.  I know he is growing me.

The most encouragement though is when someone shares how God is working in them through my blog.  If you have a story, please share it!  It’s very much an encouragement for me to hear how God is working in your life.

Last week, I posted about perception here and here.

And then someone shared this story…

“I read your blog about perception and darkness.  I read it several times but wasn’t really getting what you were saying.  I opened my Bible to the verse you had mentioned “…If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”  Matthew 6:23.  I read it a few times but still, it just wasn’t getting through.  Then I read the verses before and after…

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Immediately, it was clear to me that God was not speaking to me about the darkness.  He was using your blog, your story, to lead me exactly where I needed to be.  I needed to hear about treasures.  I needed to hear about money.  God was speaking to me, through you.

Later in the day, I sat with my daughter to read her devotional book.  We had struggled for weeks to make very much progress in this particular book and when I opened the page to today’s lesson, I said, “You’ve got to be kidding.”  It was the exact verses from above.  That was just confirmation that God was speaking to me and he did all of that through you.

Had you never taken the time to share your thoughts, I would not have searched for that in my Bible.  Had you not taken the time to share your heart, I would have missed out on a lesson that God had for me.  Keep on keeping on!”

A few days later, this same person called to add to her story.  She had prepared for a prayer meeting with a group of ladies but the date got changed.  The next prayer brought her right back to these verses.  Once again, God was teaching her and by this point, it was so clear to her, maybe not the lesson he’s trying to teach, but he that he is very much trying to teach her something.

And that my friends, is why I sit here amazed.  I am just a girl who is more broken and messed up than most and yet God chooses to use me.  Being able to see that my brokenness can and does have an impact on someone else is the most amazing blessing ever.  I am so thankful that God has given me eyes to see his blessings in my life and the blessings in others!

I hope you will share your stories!  Remember, you may never know who you’ve had an impact on or how your story has changed their lives but I can assure you, your story can change lives.  God can work in you and on others through you if you let him.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  2 Peter 2:9

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Oops…

Do you ever mess up?  No?  Really?

I never sure do!  In fact, I messed up here on my blog just today.  I had written this great post about dishonor, anger, disgrace, etc. and then somehow I managed to save yesterday’s post over it, losing the whole new post.

What happens when you mess up?  Do you beat yourself up?  Do you feel like giving up?  Do you feel inadequate?  Like a failure?

I came on here planning to get caught up on my love series and share a bit about my weekend.  When I noticed what had happened with today’s post, my heart sank.  I remembered pouring out my heart into a post about anger – oh how I shared some deep feelings when I wrote it and now, it’s all gone.  That’s the beauty of this whole internet world … we put some things out there, later wishing we could take it all back but can’t and sometimes we try to put things out there and end up losing it all.

Sometimes the simple things can be so beautiful…

So for today, I am going to leave you with my love of writing.  There is something special about being able to put my thoughts in ink.  For years, I have been afraid to talk about so many things.

Writing was easy.  I could tell a story through my pen and paper when my voice just couldn’t muster up the words.  Somehow, writing was safer than speaking.  Writing was an escape.  It was my safe place.

Sometimes…
I wrote just to be able to let it out, to see it in pretty letters scribbled on a tear covered page.

Sometimes…
I quickly erased the words while at the same time trying to erase the memories from my life.

Sometimes…
I ripped the pages to shreds just as my heart had been ripped apart.

And sometimes…
I just sat there is amazement of the life that poured out in front of me, the stories I could tell, the trials I had walked through, the overwhelming grace only God could give.

My apologies for the duplicate post and the mess up.  I am human.  I will pour out my words on anger, disgrace, dishonor again … until next time, blessings to you!

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

2012: A Year In Review…

 It’s been a roller coaster kind of year.  Our family has experienced many blessings while at the same time, we’ve faced many trials.  Through it all, we’ve grown closer together and closer to God.

My year began with turmoil between friends.  It was difficult facing the reality that relationships don’t always last forever.  I realized that I needed to put my focus on moving forward in my life, building and growing my relationship with Christ and let go of the life I was trying to hold on to.  My heart still aches for the losses but I know I am growing and going in the direction God has laid in front of me.

Our boys are doing great in school.  They both excel and we are very proud of their accomplishments.  Our oldest, Noah, enjoys Math, Spanish and Chess Club.  Math, Science and Soccer top the list for our second, Caleb.  Miss Olivia has several years before school begins but among her favorite daily activities are anything Dora, lots of dollhouse fun, drawing and writing.  She is quite the social butterfly and has most certainly never met a stranger.

In July, we faced our biggest struggle in years.  Our home was broken into while Tony was away at work and the kids and I were out with friends for a 4th of July celebration and fireworks.  We came home to broken doors, busted walls, shattered lamps, and many of our favorites taken.  One of those that I struggled with most was my laptop.  Most of you know my life revolves around my computer – both my work life with my photography business as well as my God called life with this blog.  I lost so much stuff and worried about the information someone else now had.  We got through it with no other explanation than God saw us through it.  I leaned on His word, prayed like crazy and found an overwhelming peace through it.  I won’t say it isn’t still hard.  I still struggle and worry but God has proven to be my Prince of Peace.  I don’t think I will ever get back to the stage where I’m not constantly checking doors and windows, hiding my pocket book and laptop in my own home and feeling just a lack of security.  It’s not a constant worry, but more of just a change in life.

We also faced mounting auto repair bills and the death of our beloved Minivan.  What, at first, seemed like the end of the world and led to one of my little mommy rants, soon turned into such a blessing from the Lord and I was quickly reminded that His plans are far better than my own.  We said goodbye to our Oldsmobile Silhouette and introduced an almost brand new Kia Sedona to our family.

And speaking of introducing newness to the family, we also added another family member this year.  After our break-in in July and a little convincing to Tony, we visited the local Animal Shelter.  While there, we fell in love with this quiet, sweet, beautiful Border Collie mix.  She’s been a great addition to the family (shy of all the hair!) and is quite vocal when she wants something!  She has made us all feel a little more secure here at home and for that, I am so thankful.  If we can survive the hair and daily vacuuming, I believe she will be our “fur”ever friend!

Throughout 2012, I had the opportunity to lead several evening classes at church.  I look forward to continuing with that in 2013.  It has been such a blessing to me.  I have learned so much through teaching and it’s only fueled the desire to continue pursuing writing, speaking and teaching.

A few weeks ago, my mom, Olivia and I, had the opportunity to visit my great aunt Henny.  She had been moved to Hospice House.  It was a great visit and her mind was as sharp as ever.  She loved on Olivia and what a joy it was to see the two of them together.  Last week, she earned her wings and we said goodbye to a strong, loving, beautiful woman!

Tony continues to work with the Fire Department.  He recently faced his toughest call of the year when a nine year old boy died in a house fire.  Please say a prayer for Lareik’s family as well as his school family and the emergency workers that responded.  

The boys and I spent an evening packing gifts for local families.  It’s part of an annual ministry ran through some folks from our church and a group called Toolin’ in Town.  Saturday morning the boys and I loaded up with many other volunteers and we distributed these toys to families in town.  I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it was to see the smiles on these kids faces.  Many of them won’t get anything more than the gifts we gave them.  What a joy it is to be a part of this and to know my boys are learning to not only help others, but to reach out to them with love, encouragement and understanding.  

My blog is growing and I hope that you have gained something through my year.  I know God has done a lot of work in me through this place.  I look forward to what God has in store for me in 2013.  I pray that I continue to grow closer to Him and seek Him with all my heart.  I pray that for you as well!

On top of the kids list wish list this Christmas are…

Olivia – Hello Kitty anything, Baby Alive walking baby, Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse
Caleb – Monopoly Millionaire, money & jeans
Noah – Tablet, money, phone

We’ll see tomorrow if they’ve all been good enough for their Christmas wishes.  I have a feeling they won’t be disappointed ;)

I’m signing off until 2013 but first…

Some of my personal favorite posts from the blog this year:

Who You Are
The Not So Lovely Truth About Baggage
Heart for Home
Security in Christ
Some Things Never Change
Role Model Wife
My Own Prison
All Glued Together
Baby Steps

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Baby Steps…

This week in Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study, from the book, Greater, written by pastor Steven Furtick,  one of the choices of topic to write about was…

2.  Baby Steps. What small steps of faith do you feel God is calling you to take? What are some ways you can begin taking those steps?

That moment, when you look across the room and there stands a little figure, leaned against the sofa, arms pulling away and hands raised high above her head, then it happens

One little foot forward and then another…

And another

And soon, you realize, she just took her first steps.  You’ve witnessed what seems like the greatest miracle ever.  You saw it with your own eyes.  Your baby is growing up.  She’s not crawling, but instead, walking … baby steps.

How did she get there?

Patience
Persistence
Practice

And probably a little encouragement, support, and guidance.

I wonder if that is how God sees me.  His little girl, stumbling along the way, bumps, bruises and a few tears but learning and growing, desiring to walk … with Him.  I wonder if He lights up with joy as I began to let go of the safety of the sofa and stretch out my arms, completely trusting in Him, believing it is possible.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

We get subtle and sometimes not so subtle nudges from God, leading us in His direction.  Sometimes we don’t recognize it was a gentle push in the right direction from Him until we realize we took two steps backwards, in the wrong direction.

I believe God has a plan for my life.  I have believed that for as long as I can remember.  Even through the years when I turned my back on God and life, I still believed that someday, He would find a purpose for me.

I’m taking baby steps.

Patience.  Persistence.  Practice.

I am patiently waiting for His lead.  I know the path He is leading me on.  I know the direction.  I am waiting patiently for Him to open the doors needed.

I am being persistent.  While I am being patient and waiting, I am still actively searching and working towards His direction for my life.  I am asking questions.  I am seeking guidance.

I am practicing.  I am writing here, in my blog.  I am reading everything I can to prepare myself to someday step out from behind this computer and into a world of public speaking and writing.

I will get there.

With His encouragement, His support and His guidance, I will get there.

He is teaching me to walk, but first … baby steps.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I shall hear a word behind me, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever I turn to the right or the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

I follow Jesus so I shall not walk in darkness, but I have the light of life. (John 8:12)

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com