Friday, September 14, 2012

The Christian Writer's Prayer

  • Reading two new textbooks.
  • Preparing new Power point slides.
  • Creating new assignments.
  • Creating new tests.
  • Traveling new routes to work (90+ miles round trip)
  • Fighting with the new college's computer program.
  • Screaming at old college's new computer program.
  • And answering emails from 200 students. 
     These are just a few of the new job duties that have me drowning in self pity. Why? Because other than this blog, I haven't written anything in over a month. And I miss it like crazy.

    You see, this semester I doubled by college work load to six classes at two different colleges and a high school. My husband is going back to school and I needed to be the breadwinner for awhile.

     Don't get me wrong, I love my job and believe with all my heart that God in his ultimate wisdom, perfectly equipped me to become a college instructor. But I also believe He is the one leading and moving me to write. And the creative side of my brain is crying to be let out. Or maybe that's just me, feeling sorry for myself; can't quite tell where that whimper is coming from.

    Ideas storm my head on the the long car trips to work, but I simply can't find the time or energy to do anything about them. It saddens me to miss so many blog friends' posts the last month and wonder what is going on in "writer world".  I feel so out of touch.

    I wish I was one of those writer's who could make progress with only a 20-30 minute window open to them, but my writing brain doesn't work that way. I need huge blocks of uninterrupted time with a stockpile of Coke Zero and lots of chocolate close-by. (One has to offset the other, don't you know.) Right now, I don't see any huge blocks of time floating my direction until maybe Christmas vacation.

     So in the meantime, I'll pray for a more patient approach. I'm grateful God sent these jobs my way, just when we needed them the most. His timing isn't my timing and I need to remember that.

 Next week's ACFW conference maybe just the shot in the arm I need. I've only been to one other conference. I attended The North Texas Christian Writers conference a year ago and learned so much. But there was one item that I brought home and immediately pinned to the wall above my writing desk. 

                       The Christian Writer's Prayer
Heavenly Father, let every expression from my heart bring honor to your name.
As it is in heaven, have your way in my life, so I can complete the work you have assigned to me.
Today, give me the right words to say. 
Forgive my narrow-mindedness as I seek to help others. 
If I am tempted to let other desires consume my time, deliver me from evil that prevents my picking up the pen and releasing the burden of my soul.
You are my King, possessor of all ability and wisdom.
If I should write any worthwhile words, they will be from you, and always for your glory.
                                                            --Frank Ball

I hope you enjoy it and recite it as much as I have this past year . . . and in the future. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

For Better or Worse . . . In Sickness and in Health

My parents on their wedding day - Dec. 1958
Two weeks ago today, my father, Bob Walker passed on from this life. Jesus welcomed a wonderful new angel into the fold when my father arrived. I rejoice in knowing Daddy is free from the shackles of the stroke that stole the better part of his life years ago. I'm happy that my dad is finally home, but I miss him. More than words can say.

 And I've been missing him for the last 18 years.

Only one year after retiring, my father was vacationing in Colorado when an abdominal aneurysm burst, leading to a debilitating stroke. After he came home from the hospital, only a shadow of the man we knew remained, and we grieved for all we had lost. It would never be the same. Gone was the mechanical mind that could fix anything, useless were the hands that had fashioned countless carpentry projects. Silent were the lips that offered such helpful, fatherly advice that steered our worlds back on track. And gone was the teasing grandfather my children would never fully know. In place of my strapping 6'3" father, was a child-like man who could no longer speak.

We've been told by many  medical experts that it was truly a miracle that my father survived the severity of the aneurysm. Others have not been so blessed. Some may remember the abrupt, shocking death of actor, John Ritter, of the old "Three's Company" fame. The cause was identical to my dad's. We were so grateful that Daddy survived, but the detour it caused in all our lives was not an easy one.

Especially for my mother.

 Her life changed  forever on that  fateful, September day. Not only did she lose her husband and best friend of 35 years, but her beloved role of wife had come to an end. The future was bleak, and I won't candycoat the emotional toll it took on all of us.

But we were never alone. Not once did we think God had abondoned us. In fact, that rocky detour forced us to lean even harder on our Guide . . . our Heavenly Father. And somewhere along that journey we all grew stronger. None more than my dear mother, Donna.

My sisters and I watched my mother transition into new roles of caretaker, teacher and nurse. Shy and reserved by nature, my mother was forced to break out of her shell and take on all the tasks my father had been responsible for. She lifted her chin, squared her shoulders and got out of her comfort zone, attempting things she had never done before.

 The woman forged a backbone made of steel and wrangled with insurance and medicare representatives to get  the best care for my father. She memorized every prescription and every dosage Daddy needed. She took thousands of blood pressure readings and made hundreds of doctor's appointments, accompanying him to every one. Even as his health declined over the last few years, she vowed to keep him at home and refused suggestions of admitting him to a facility. So we stepped up the care and my sisters and I pitched in and helped on our days off, but it was a mere drop in the bucket. Through it all, my mother never wavered in her beliefs, praying daily for  God's strength and direction. Her faith grew stronger with every passing year and filtered down to all of us.

At the funeral, when asked by relatives and friends, how she manged to hang in there for all these years, she smiled and recited her wedding vows, "For better or worse, in richer and poorer, and in sickness and health." When she took those vows, she meant them. She lived them.

And to me, that is the most beautiful love story of all.
Mom and Dad - Christmas 2010