Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reviewing Old Posts

As I often do, I reviewed past posts this morning to make sure I wasn't overdoing a subject or reusing a title. Turns out I was about to reuse a title. The subject itself was going to be different but then I read an older post and decided to do a follow-up. In November of 2011 I did a post called Friday Fiction. It was during National Novel Writing Month and I shared the rough draft of chapter 1 of what I then called Rehabilitation of Faith. I had 9 encouraging comments on the story of a woman struggling to deal with failing eyesight and mental illness, not to mention a husband who left her to raise her young son alone. 
Well I was encouraged to clean up the rough draft and keep writing. Most of my commenters looked forward to reading more. Since that time I have finished the manuscript and presented it at a writer's conference. The first thing one of the agents I spoke to told me was to change the title. Specifically, I was to go home, read her blog post on how to title a book and send it to her. Well a scene came to me during the next session so I wrote it out quickly along with the potential title: Nothing Left To Shatter. That didn't feel right but by the end of the day I'd decided on Seeds That Shatter. See, this story was inspired by the true story of a neighbor of ours and the thing I remember most is eating apricots in his backyard and then he would throw the seeds at the greenhouse. 

So Night Blooming Jasmine has been published and is book 1 in my Shadow of the Steeples series. Seeds That Shatter is book 2. It's now in a contest for publication. I suppose I could've waited til I got the results to catch you up on what's been happening but I just felt like doing it now. 

Here's the link if you want to order the first book. Night Blooming Jasmine

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Don't Destroy A Burnt-Out Bulb

Seeing people take down Christmas lights takes me back to my childhood when I was around eight years old. I am across the street at Neil's house. His father is checking the strand and discarding the burnt-out bulbs before putting them up. Somehow my friend, who was about a year younger than me gets them later. His father is nowhere to be seen now as Neil's throws a bulb in the street to watch it explode. I don't know if Neil's dug the bulbs out of the trash or if his father let him have them but for some reason he found a thrill in shattering glass.  

Strange, isn't it to want to destroy something that once brought light and smiles. Well, it was already broken so it couldn't bring light anymore. Still, the adult in me looks at the memory and the green shards on the blacktop and wonders: as Christians are we sometimes broken, discarded, and then shattered? Beyond repair?

They have lightbulb repair kits now and even if a bulb couldn't shine, it could be repurposed. But not if it's shattered. The same holds true for Christians. Yes, we go through burn-out but we can shine again. It may be we have to step away from ministry but we can be nurtured to serve again. We can be repurposed but not if we're shattered. 

So next time you see a brother or sister in Christ going through burn-out, don't stand on the curb and chuck them high into the air to see what will happen. Put them aside in a safe place and see what God will do. He may repair them to full glory or change their purpose. Still with God guiding, we will see them shine again, albeit differently, as long as that is what we are hoping for.