How to Intimidate a Wall

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Have I gotten your attention with that first paragraph?

That was my intent.

So, what kind of wall are we talking? One made of wood and wallboard? A painted wall? A brick wall? Stone?

It’s not made with human hands. It exists only in my mind. But it may as well be steel, like a vault. It’s cold and unforgiving at times. And it seems to have no beginning, and no end.

Sigh.

I have to be honest with you and myself. I know what makes up this wall. It’s fear. And this fear goes by many names.

  • Inadequacy.
  • Uncertainty.
  • Lack.
  • Loneliness.
  • Failure.

Oh, that last one, though.

I stare at the thing, and this cold, unforgiving wall stares back at me.

So, I wrote down some more words.

  • Fearless.
  • Loved.
  • Successful.
  • Over-comer.
  • Winner.

Then, I taped this list to the wall and stared at it.

Did it help? Honest answer—yes. I felt hope stirring in my heart. Silly? Not at all. What you look at, what you read, what you think about, who you hang out with, where you hang out…all these things contribute to who you are.

If you concentrate on your shortcomings, that’s all you’ll see. It becomes an impenetrable wall. It may live and breathe, because it’s part of you.

If you change the words to positive ones and concentrate on them, will you eventually become them? You have a very good chance. Why? Words can give life. Words can create.

I created that wall by concentrating on the negative. Maybe tiredness took me there, maybe illness or a disappointment of some kind. I fed the words until the wall became insurmountable.

What now? When faced with such a wall, how would you react? How have you managed to overcome a thing like this? I’d love to hear your story.

I tackled it with a butter knife when I taped the list to its surface. 🙂

There’s strength in the words I came up with, more strength in the Word of God.

Research is something I enjoy, so I went to work and found a couple of bulldozers to attack that wall.

I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for (me) to do. [Ephesians 2:10]

Okay. That one stirred my heart and gave me courage. If God has plans for me and the work I do, surely He plans to finish this work.

According to Ephesians 1:14, I am chosen. Predestined. “God’s possession–to the praise of His glory.”

I’m getting closer now. This one does more than stir. The wall doesn’t seem so intimidating now.

And finally, Joel 2:7-9 —

They charge like warriors;
    they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
    not swerving from their course.
 They do not jostle each other;
    each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
    without breaking ranks.
They rush upon the city;
    they run along the wall.

What does this passage tell me? I’ve been trying to destroy the impenetrable wall, when I really needed to scale it! I can run on it! I don’t need to tear it down.

Yes, fear and anguish and all those ugly words may have built that wall. It’s bricks may be held together by all my past failures, but the pressure of God’s great mercy will compact all its parts. What happens when pressure is applied to coal? It becomes a diamond. Strong. Unbreakable.

I hope you can make sense of my rambling here. I hope you’ve captured the gist of my thoughts. I’m an over-comer. Jumping over the wall—running along the top of the wall—whatever it takes to accomplish the thing that God has planned in advance for me to do.

Yes, you can intimidate a wall. You just need to know the right words to say.

Lost But Found

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m so glad you’re here and it’s actually Thursday, not Wednesday (like last week). November is here, and the whirlwind of activities begin for some as we prepare for the holidays and the end of another year.

Leah Diaz

I have a very special story to share with you today from my friend Leah Diaz, missionary in Cuenca, Ecuador. I first met her when I visited Cuenca a couple of years ago. She’s managing director at Unsion Plus. Unsion is a television station in Cuenca. Her efforts there include a program called The April Project, to help those struggling with addiction.


So, this is what getting lost looks like, or is it? Let me share a story with you.

A couple of weeks ago at the construction site for our new church plant and counseling center in Jima, one of the locals walks by and asks why we were there. Among the reasons, one thing I shared is that we hope to help families struggling with addiction.

He then points to the mountains to an area that from a distance appeared to be a bunch of trees. He said “there”! You must go “there”. He shared with me that the entire community struggles with addiction in a way that he has never seen and that there is no one to help them. He then told me the name of the community.

Every day since, that name has been on my heart and in my prayers. So today on the way to Jima I got lost, really lost. It was the no GPS, no phone signal, no people around, also fun, but also scary kind of lost.

San José de Raranga, Ecuador

Well, to my sweet surprise the first sign I see just happens to have the name of that same community on it! I could NOT believe it. I somehow stumbled upon the trees of San José de Raranga!

It was not part of the plan, or was it? I just love how God leads us even when we are lost. Found. Loved. Chosen. We can completely lose our “way” and find our “why”!

 

Found. Loved. Chosen. We can completely lose our “way” and find our “why!” #travel #adventure #Ecuador [Click to Tweet]

This is just another reason WHY I am here. Today was a reminder of that. Please pray for freedom in San José de Raranga!

If the trees and mountains are this beautiful, I just can’t wait to meet the people! It’s the difficult roads that lead you to the best destinations!

Find out more about Leah Diaz, Unsion, and the April Project here:

https://www.facebook.com/Unsion.Ministries/

Leah Diaz on Facebook

 

Robin E. Mason’s Tessa

The Birthday Blitz Bash for Robin E. Mason’s debut novel, #Tessa is under way, starting with this Blog & Social Media Blitz! Tessa is available on Amazon, both in print and Kindle format!

Purchase here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IPZ5JEE/.

“When you pretend to be something you’re not, it always finds you out.”

One mother.  Two daughters.  One favorite.  One not.

When Cassie Barclay is presented with an opportunity – or is it a curse – she jumps at the chance.  She takes on a new life, her sister’s life, and although at first, it holds appeal and promise, she soon realizes sometimes the fairy tale is tainted.

Assuming the name of Tessa, Cassie moves into the life that was her sister’s, and faces first one realization then another, one disappointment after another. Stepping into Connie’s life does not automatically grant her all that Connie had or was. But it does deny all that she had and was as Cassie. As herself.

Just when she believes her life is on an even keel, something comes along to ripple the waters and remind her of her secret. Until the day she gets a phone call that rips her world apart. Who is the mysterious caller? And who knows her secret?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

Ms. Mason writes stories of identity conflict. Her characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, her stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. “I know, I write from experience.”

Ms. Mason has seven novels, Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy, in the unsavory heritage series, and The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, and The Whispering Winds of Spring in her Seasons series. All of Ms. Mason’s books are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. She also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. She is working on a on One for the Price of Two, the first story in her new series, FourSquare, to release next year.

http://robinemason.com

http://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Robin.E.Mason/

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.instagram.com/robinemason212/

https://plus.google.com/+RobinEMason

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

Bird’s Nest Books is celebrating Tessa’s fourth birthday with a tour-wide #giveaway! Robin is gifting one reader a Prize Pack that includes:

A signed print copy of Tessa

3 oz packette of Tessa’s Tea

unsavory heritage mug

necklace with paint palette pendant

unsavory heritage bookmark

three (3) framed mini art prints

BONUS  BOOKS from Heather Gilbert, Lisa Lickel, and Linda Rodante

You can access the giveaway here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b1/?

Giveaway is sponsored by Bird’s Nest Books, and is not affiliated by any social media venues. Open to US residents only.

“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.”—Madeline L’Engle

 

Peace Through the Storms of Life

I have to laugh at myself, so this coffee pic seems appropriate.

Hello, Thursday morning friends! Thanks for stopping by this morning. I’m reminiscing again, but for a different reason.

NOTE: I accidentally entered the wrong date. This was supposed to post on Thursday!

Once upon a time, I had three beautiful aunts. Actually, I had one more out west, but I never met her. And oh yes, there is my uncle’s wife in Idaho I never met, too. But that’s another story.

My brothers and me with Aunt Edna’s kids, minus one not born yet. We were a handful!

Tennessee family. I had three lovely aunts, my dad’s two sisters, Jenny and Fran, and his brother’s wife, Edna. Growing up in a close family meant a lot of love. My aunts were like “other mothers” to me. Sometimes, I could talk to them more easily than my own mother. But, I always knew Mom would hear about it. They were all great friends who told each other things like that.

Aunt Jenny and Aunt Fran died several years ago, within days of each other. Aunt Jenny always looked after her younger sister, so I joked that she stopped by the nursing home on the way out and  took sis with her. And that was okay. Our hearts hurt, but we knew where they were.

This week, Aunt Edna left. She was a survivor. She survived colon cancer and lived with a colostomy for many years. She endured many losses in her life. But her love stayed strong. Though she was little, she was a fierce warrior where her family was concerned.

11738096_10205150625025104_478638103348948120_n
Mom on left, Aunt Edna on right.

I like to think she passed that fierce love to all of her children—those she gave birth to, those she loved like her own kids, and the numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren who called her “mammy”.

My heart aches at this loss. But if the alternative is not to have love, then I say it’s worth the pain. I’ve experienced great joy in life because of these three women who loved me unconditionally. I think it would be a greater loss and heartbreak to go through life alone.

Aunt Jenny, always smiling.

A kiss going in, a kiss going out, and sometimes, a kiss just because. That’s what we said about Aunt Jenny, but it could easily be said of all the aunts. They never missed an opportunity to show affection and love, because they had learned the value and importance of physical touch, and making your feelings known.

Peace through the storms of life, that’s what unconditional love provides. A shelter in the storm. Knowing you’re loved and accepted somewhere, by someone. In this in-your-face, confrontational world, it may be an old-fashioned concept.

Aunt Fran & Me (I’m the little one).

Or, maybe it’s a southern thing. All I know, is I will miss their hugs and kisses.

I’ll miss Aunt Edna’s voice. But the love is still there, because she never missed an opportunity to pass it on.

So, now it’s our turn. The baton is in our hands.

Over the Hill Love

Hello! Thursday MorningHello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m so glad you’re here. I’m writing another chapter of my latest work-in-progress, and I just realized something.

My main character is … well … kind of “over the hill.” She’s not a young chick, not even a pullet (that’s an adolescent chick). She’s already been married, raised two sons. She’s a grandma! chicken, hen, dominecker

She might be in love with her next-door neighbor. He’s a real hottie, though he’s also up there in years. Yes, they’re both approaching fifty, and love is definitely knocking at the door.

I’ve read a lot of books about young love. Falling in love, and getting married—I used to dream about it. Then it happened to me. I guess you could say I’m living the dream. I’m content where I am, but it’s still fun to read the stories.

Lately, I’ve read a few love stories that feature older couples. In fact, I’ve seen several movies on television, too. It’s kind of refreshing, because you know, it happens. All the time. Couples divorce, or one of them dies, leaving the other all alone. Some are content to stay single, others are … not.

I met a man at my church who remarried within a year of his elderly wife’s death, because  he “couldn’t be alone.” His new wife joked that his late wife had done everything for him, so he literally couldn’t be alone.

This is not the case with the guy in my book. Tom Franklin’s been single for many years. He’s lived on his own all that time. He’s a successful businessman, but he’s lonely. He grew up with Annabelle Wade (now Cross). He loved her in high school, and hoped to one day marry her. But she ran off and married a sailor. Now she’s back, and he can’t get her out of his head, or his heart.casal-1818171_1280

Will these two end up together? I hope so, but there are some definite problems in their way, and who knows? Maybe they’ll decide it’s better to stay single. That’s a realistic ending, isn’t it?

What do you think? Do you like reading an “over-the-hill” romance?