Where Are You on the Writing Path?

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Over thirteen year ago, I began writing my blog a couple of months before I left to serve cross-culturally in Thailand.  I had wanted a place to share my thoughts, my struggles and my victories while I served in a new culture, language and country.  It’s fun to look back now and remember the situations and people I encountered and how the Lord sustained me through it all.

After a long hiatus from blogging, I made a commitment to began to write again in April and I joined an amazing community of faith-filled writers called Hope*Writers.  Through access to their online learning library, which is updated on a regular basis, and the support of the staff and community of Hope*writers on their Facebook group page, I know where I’m at in my writing journey, and how to get to where I’m dreaming to go.  I am inspired to write again and it feels like fresh air!

I’m excited to think through how the Lord might use me and my journey – my failures and successes – to encourage other women to be involved in serving God and living missionally both cross-culturally and in their own backyard, so to speak.

Hope*Writers only opens up access to join their writing and learning community a couple of times a year and next week (May 21-25) is one of those opportunities to join!

Whether you’ve thought about starting to write a blog (or start writing on it again), have an idea for a book or maybe even have published a book but you’re still interested in learning and growing as a writer, Hope*Writers is for you!

Give this short, fun quiz a try to learn where you are on the writing path and know your next step is.

This is an affiliate link but I promise I won’t ever recommend something unless I’ve tried it before and have determined it to be helpful, inspiring or both.

Looking forward to journeying with you!

Day 9: Plan #write31days

A part of the bigger picture at play is the relationship between my sister and me (see!  here I am wondering if it’s me or I, like I mentioned yesterday).

Since the end of June, my sister and I, and our children (my four year old and 21 month old, and her 21 month old), and my brother-in-law and other various relatives (aunts, cousins, close friends), and my husband on two visits, have been living together in our childhood home.  This sort of living situation is not for the faint of heart, let me tell you!  It’s been stressful and beautiful, fun and crazy, annoying and lovely.

But through it all, my sister and I have been forced to deal with our conflict, and, as a byproduct, we have grown much closer than ever before.  And that is something my Mom would’ve loved.  She didn’t plan to get sick and die, but I know her heart for our lives and our relationship was that we would grow to become close friends, and not just sisters.

Kateful 2.0 – Spicy?

Last night we had green curry with chicken (and mushrooms instead of eggplant because that’s what was in our fridge). We added extra coconut milk to dilute the spice so Kate could eat it too. She is a big fan of green curry. 

But last night I wasn’t sure if I had diluted it enough and so I kept asking Kate, “Is it spicy?” She would pause slightly from shoving the food in her mouth and shake her head and say, “No.” Then she started asking herself, “Spicy?” “No,” she’d answer in response. Every few mouthfuls, “Spicy? No.”

Kateful 1.0 – Skating with Dora

I feel like I’m going to inundate my Facebook wall with the super cuteness of Kate and her antics so I’m wondering if this is a better outlet.  I mean, I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging about our daughter (but I guess I am really) but she’s basically a genius baby, and has cute as her middle name (a 3rd middle name?).  

Kateful is what I’m grateful for about Kate.  It’s her cuteness, her mischievousness, her boldness, beauty and brains.  It’s Kate.  Kateful.

Kateful 1.0

A few days ago, Kate was watching Dora.  Dora was helping her monkey friend (see how little I know about Dora) put on roller skates because they were going to a skate park.  Kate watched them and immediately went to her shoe/boot drawer in the front entranceway and pulled out a “just a bit too small” pair of fall/winter boots.  She INSISTED that she put them on.  With my help.  And then proceeded to dance/run/glide around the living room while continuing to watch Dora.

our dog, the mooch

Some days Tawee brings our dog, Jai Jai, to work at the Resource Center.  The kids love him and happily share their after school snacks with him.  He is a mooch.

And this is why he won’t eat the boring food that we give him at home.  Why eat normal dog food when he can get yummy bits of chicken and pork from the kids in the afternoons?

If you look carefully, you can see a white dog in the middle of this group of girls. 

That’s him.  That’s our pooch – the mooch.

humidity and frizziness: just another wedding and another lesson

Sunday afternoon was hot and muggy and although there was no thunderstorm in sight I slightly wished one would come and wipe out all the humidity that was making the air so thick.  I was at a wedding (of two people I barely knew but who attend the sister church of the church I attend in Chiang Mai) and I was melting.

I arrived at the wedding feeling pretty good.  I finally got a chance to wear the dress I had bought back in Canada (even though I had to wear a shawl to cover up my shoulders – it’s a tasteful strapless dress but still a strapless) and my hair (done extremely last minute) seemed to look decent as I glanced at myself in the mirror on the way out of my house.  I threw on some sunglasses – it was an outdoor wedding after all – and I was off.  And feeling somewhat Audrey Hepburn-ish.  But did I mention the humidity?

It didn’t take long for me to be sticky with sweat.  I’m confident everyone was feeling the same way: grateful that the sun wasn’t blazing down on us but sweating profusely regardless of the position of the sun beginning to set.

Sweaty.  Frizzy hair.  And I had to eventually take off my sunglasses since it wasn’t really that “sunny” anymore by the time the bride was about to walk down the aisle.  So off with my superhero/superstar sunglasses and back on with my normal glasses.

It was like this transformation of dressing up like a movie star was all coming undone with the heavy moisture in the air hitting us all.  I went from feeling pretty to feeling… bleh.

The ironic thing about this transformation was that earlier in the day I had met up with a friend and we talked about a book we’ve both been reading.  I had just finished “So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us” by Beth Moore and my friend was nearly done.  While it’s not the most well-written book I’ve ever read, I think the way that Beth communicates what she wants to say is really practical and relevant to her audience who, for the most part, would be female.  Beth writes as if she’s talking to a girlfriend of hers: you.

I had just been telling my friend how challenging the message of the book was and how I needed to apply what I’d been reading.  The two of us had talked about how hard it is to retrain yourself – though patterns or otherwise – to do or think something other than what you’ve been taught and done/thought your whole life.  But oh how we need to.

I find it interesting as I look back now and see the connection between that conversation I’d had with my friend in the morning, and how I was challenged to respond and think differently to how I’d normally think/act while I was dealing with my frizziness and stickiness at the wedding.  I responded nearly exactly how I normally would: letting my insecurities get the better of me.  But it’s a process, right?! 

Looking back at a few of the pics I took at the wedding, I can see something more significant than my frizziness.  Much more.  I see a community I’ve grown to love.  Thank you God for that.  For them.

I may still get frizzy hair when it’s humid and I may not look like Audrey Heburn but I am who God created me to be.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are His works, my soul knows that full well (Psalm 139:13-14). 

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come” (Proverbs 31:25 ESV).

badminton

bad.min.ton  |ˈbadmintn | 
noun
a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is played back and forth across a net.

ORIGIN named after Badminton, a country home in southwestern England.
(Oxford American Dictionary)

After playing this afternoon for a little over an hour, my arm is sore and shaking.  I haven’t played in years.  I’m out of shape.  Question: How do people who play sports like tennis or badminton not end up with one arm much more muscular than the other?

Aside from the fact that a sport I hadn’t thought would give me much of a workout has made me one tucker’d gal tonight, I actually really enjoyed playing today. 

It was an experiment of sorts.  A friend of mine had suggested badminton as a new option for getting some exercise and she told me about a fitness center not too far from our organisation’s office. 

[Yes, office.  I work in an office a couple days a week now doing work with the Internship Program that our organisation offers for new missionaries.  Oh office.  I’m still adjusting.] 

So we went and the three courts there were filled with some serious looking players.  Whack, whack, whack.  Because the courts were full, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to play.  But not too long after we arrived, one court’s match? set? was done and we were invited to play doubles.  Two of the super Thai male players – who also happened to be in their fifties… at least  – joined us.  One player per side.  So a farang gal and a stellar, older Thai guy per team.  The teams seemed pretty even.  Except for the fact that I am not terribly gifted in hand-eye coordination.  There was a reason I never liked playing baseball when I was little.

But the men were kind and offered advice about how to play.

And now my arm is sore and I’m left pondering questions like the one above.  So… do you condition both arms or what?