reading · updates · WIF Camp · Write In Faith Camp · writing

Updates, Apologies, and an Invitation

If you’ve been around Writing to Inspire recently, you’ll likely have noticed there have been random lapses in new content. For that, I sincerely apologize. I’m working hard toward resuming consistency on posting articles, as I miss being good at this. I would appreciate prayers on this front, because it’s been a large challenge for me the last couple of years.

I’m hoping to bring back a couple of features (some newer, some older), and I have several guest articles I’m way behind on posting. Please be on the watch for those, as they should be heading your way soon. I do apologize to my guests for not following through as I’d expected to be able to do. Hopefully the new post dates will come at opportune times for my guests, and I do hope that you, dear reader, will make them feel welcome when their articles show up in the lineup here on the website.

Life has been busy in some aspects and relaxed in others recently, but one highlight was that my parents and I were able to squeeze in a brief vacation to visit one of my writing buddies. On that trip, I rediscovered my childhood enjoyment of putt-putt golf, met a lot of kind people (including a sweet waitress at Chepe’s Mexican Grill who actually had a connection back to my area of north Texas; small world!), and bought new, waterproof walking/hiking shoes before visiting the Little Rock Zoo and Pinnacle Mountain State Park. The highlight, of course, was hanging out with my writing buddy Hannah G. a couple of times during the trip. It’s always fun meeting up with her and catching each other up on our lives.

This was a working vacation for me, as I was on a tight deadline on an editing job, so I worked on the road and at the motel. The day we came home, I woke up with a sinus infection that morphed into a one-day flu only an hour or so into the drive back. We also had a bit of car trouble. Yet, by the grace of God, I was able to focus through the misery and chip away steadily at the chapters, working with a peace-filled heart and a determined mind. I chipped my way through seven and a half chapters that day, despite having chills and body aches, a low-grade fever that made my neck and face hot, fluctuating body temperature that had me alternating between roasting and freezing, nausea, and a bout of time when my energy was drained and I felt like sleeping for several hours — or days. The car trouble was strange and unexpected, as the particular issue that cropped up had already been fixed by a mechanic a while back and we hadn’t seen any recent issues, other than a bad starter that my dad fixed shortly prior to the trip.

Funny thing about asking God for help with weaknesses in one’s life: trials tend to spark up in order to test one’s mettle in such cases.

Let me tell you the absolute truth: God gave me not only the determination, focus, and follow-through I had desired and asked Him for; He also granted me the peace that is unmistakably from His hand. Beyond that, He showed mercy upon me in the way He helped me through the trials that came because of my request.

Not only that, but He helped my parents through the frustration and confusion over the car trouble as well.

Where we had pulled off the road to check the fluids and such, as well as to let the engine cool off a bit, happened to be directly across the road from a Walmart, where we could go and get transmission fluid to have on hand for the rest of the drive home. And we were just a couple of driveways past a Taco Bell, which sounded like it could actually settle with the nausea I was experiencing. The location couldn’t have been better, which meant God’s guidance and perfect timing were with us. Not that I’m at all surprised by that, just incredibly blessed.

I know this whole experience was a bona fide miracle, because the flu normally knocks me off my feet for a full week, a sinus infection typically makes it difficult for me to concentrate for extended periods of time, and the car trouble we experienced usually would spark up frustration and irritability in me. Because of God’s hand on me that day, I was able to act in ways unfamiliar to me under those circumstances. My character changed because of the grace of God. Because of His presence in my life, He changed my instinctual reactions. He drew away the dross of my former character and infused me with characteristics He demonstrates regularly (just look at the way Jesus behaved in the New Testament for dozens of examples).

Today, and even while it was happening, I thank God for those trials. He made me better because of them. He refined me. He crafted in me more peace and determination and focus and follow-through and consistency than I could have imagined when I’d asked Him for such things the night before. He showed Himself to be faithful to help me when I cried out for assistance, and He strengthened my core character traits in the process. For these things, I am utterly and completely grateful.

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Friend, you’re invited to attend Write In Faith Camp in July 2022. Registration is June 13-24 on this page. All the information you need to know is there as well as the registration form, but the short of it is that you’re welcome to join fellow Christian writers for a month of fellowship and writing.

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Speaking of writing, I’m also participating in 100 for 100 hosted by Go Teen Writers. This is a challenge to write 100 words for 100 consecutive days. It began on June 6.

Since I don’t tend to focus well on only one project at a time, I’ve chosen five projects to work on. A couple of them are in the outlining phase, while the other three are first drafts. The variety of stories is keeping my ADD occupied so that I can make progress on each story every day. I am finding that having this challenge begin prior to WIF Camp is helpful for me, because it lets me discover a good rhythm with the projects before diving deep for more significant daily word counts for the month of July. I love it when I can find challenges or tasks that work in tandem like that, since that creates more productivity in the long run.

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I’m also working through a summer reading list from this Goodreads challenge from The Lost Challenges group. I’ve already checked off a couple of tasks and have plans for many of the others. I would love suggestions for tasks 9, 10, 18, 21, and 22, if you want to chime in. I’m including those tasks below, but you can click the above link for the full list over on Goodreads.

9. Read a book where the MC (main character) goes on vacation.
10. Read a book where a character goes to camp.
18. Read a book with a summer vehicle on the cover (canoe, bicycle, camper, etc.).
21. Read a book with a swimsuit or sunglasses on the cover.
22. Read a book with an umbrella, a hammock, or towel on the cover.

Do you have a reading list picked out for the summer? What books are you looking forward to reading the next couple of months?

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