The Detox Diaries: Radio Silence

This picture doesn’t really have anything to do with the post. I took it about a month ago and just like it. I hope it makes you feel peaceful.

Gentle Reader,

It’s just after midnight.

I can’t sleep.

Truth is, I’m upset. About everything. It’s the chemicals (or lack thereof) in my brain. It’s the pain in my side, right where my liver sits, a pain that I had hoped would disappear upon a few hours of relief earlier this evening. It’s the heat. It’s the smoke in the air from the fires raging half a state away. It’s my mismatched furniture. It’s the stains on our carpets that will never go away no matter what cleaning process we use because the people who lived here before didn’t take care of anything. It’s my husband’s snoring. It’s the dogs barking.

There’s a good chance that the second I stop typing I’ll be a basket case.

Because I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best to avoid public writing when one’s emotions are out of check, I am going to be stepping away from here for the next couple of weeks. My plan is to join you again on August 4, but I’ll be honest and say that may not happen. August is usually the hottest month of the year around here, and therefore the hardest month for me.

I hope you all experience the wonderful blessing of feeling the tangible presence of God this day.

See you later.

Grace and peace along the way.

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.

Do the Blog Hop

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Gentle Reader,

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Jolene Underwood asked if I would like to participate in the Blog Hop. The purpose of the Hop is twofold: to give you, dear friend, some insight into my writing process and to introduce you to three “blogging buddies,” authors who have consistently blessed me with their words, a fact that I need to make plain with each of them as I am a notorious “lurker” rather than commenter.

If you aren’t following Jolene, you’re missing out! Head on over to her entry into the Hop and get to know her a little. You won’t be disappointed in the time spent.

And now, the questions:

What am I writing or working on?

I would love to tell you that I’m working on a book, but I’m not. Honestly, I am beginning to see why I have always felt such a pull toward journalism, though I’ve never worked for a newspaper. My style and voice are better suited to articles than to books. I don’t see a need to belabor a point, and so much of what passes for Christian nonfiction these days could be said in half the words. I don’t like it when people waste my time and I don’t want to waste yours.

So, my public writing appears in two places: this blog and the Far East Broadcasting Company Gospel Blog. I spend a good deal of time in private writing, whether in my journal or in sending out cards and emails. I believe that God has called me to share His truth and encourage others whenever I can, and a lot of that happens through a a few lines jotted on the inside of a pretty card.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I am a woman who blogs, but I am not primarily a woman’s blogger. I’m hard-pressed to think of any recipes or craft ideas I’ve shared here; my husband does the bulk of the cooking and I can’t craft to save my life. I don’t have children, so I don’t share parenting advice. I do write about my marriage, but I don’t offer marriage advice, other than to say, “Jesus, help us all.”

None of these things are bad. I’m not in any way dogging on any of the wonderful women who write about such topics. My focus is simply different. I explore theology. I study God as I walk this journey, and I share that study and that journey with you.

Why do I write what I write?

I have to write. I may not post here 365 times each year, but it’s rare that a day goes by without me writing something. This is the way I communicate.

God gives us all talents that can be used apart from Him. An amazing athlete is an amazing athlete because God made him that way, but that athlete doesn’t have to acknowledge God to be good at his sport. I was seen as a good writer long before I gave my life fully over to the Lord, and I say without any trace of melodrama that it frightens me when I consider the kind of damage my words could have done if I had remained on my own, rebellious path. I’m neither kidding nor boasting when I say that I could have become a very successful news reporter, but that success would have been based entirely in playing the media game. There would have been truth in my words, but that truth would have been spun. (I’m sorry, dear reader, but there is simply no such thing as “fair and unbiased” reporting).

It’s taken years for me to let go of the dream of commercial and financial success. When I submitted to God, I thought for sure that He’d make me the next Beth Moore. He has had to pound out of me vanity and pride. Over and over again, He draws me into questioning my motives. Why am I doing this? Why am I using this public platform? What do I hope to gain?

The bottom line: I write because God made me to write, but I write about Him and His word because He has given me the gift of teaching. He has taught me so much through the straightforward reading of His word and through teachers and preachers far smarter me, and I want to share what I’ve learned. I’m compelled to share what I’ve learned. Learning is a lost passion among the people of God. I want to do what I can to ignite a desire for truth and knowledge in the hearts of His children.

How does my writing process work?

I tried using a calendar to plan out my posts, but the art was lost on me. I hate, hate, HATE doing outlines. Oddly, for someone so riddled with anxiety, I’m not much for vision casting. I don’t really know what this blog will look like next week, let alone a year from now.

As talked about above, I usually write about what I’m learning. Sometimes a clear idea for a piece or a series comes into my head and I assume that such direction is where God is leading. I edit as I go along. Recently I’ve had the need to pray over each entry pressed upon my heart. It’s not that I don’t pray; I want to share what God wants me to share and I want Him to bless the words. The Holy Spirit has just given me a heightened awareness of the privilege and responsibility it is to have this blog. I don’t want to write anything that is detrimental to His name or His people.

Now, the fun part! Please allow me the distinct pleasure of introducing you to:

* This lovely lady will forever be Mrs. Solsvik to me, as I came to know her through the student-teacher relationship in high school. She taught me and my rowdy classmates literature, journalism and creative writing – and somehow emerged with her life. Mrs. Solsvik’s writing never fails to refresh me as she combines humor, thoughtfulness and a sincere devotion to Christ into the lens through which she views life.

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Heather Solsvik is a teacher, wife, friend, lover of animals, books, writing, and Jesus; she is also work-in-progress and self-proclaimed nerd. Born and raised in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Heather enjoys the way all four seasons highlight the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and speak to her soul. Her blog, A (Slightly) Worn Path, is a place for her to practice writing and chew on the details of life, and share those things with others. Stop by for a visit!

* Deanna and I connected through Five Minute Friday and the #fmfparty Twitter chat on Thursday evenings. Though I have not been a follower of her blog for long, I appreciate how honestly Deanna writes. She shares her life openly, high and low points, all while giving praise and glory to God.

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Deanna Wiseburn is a Christ follower, writer, encourager, survivor, and dreamer.  Her personal mission is to love others by becoming involved in community, helping others to learn Gods word and bring encouragement as she follows Jesus wherever He leads as she lives out His call on her life. Her mission on The Pure Sacrifice is to challenge you to grow in your relationship with Jesus, to remind you of your hope and future in Him, and to encourage you to live in surrender of God’s plan for your life. You can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

* I’ve been following James at Morning Meditations for…I don’t know how long. Long enough to consider him a friend even though we’ve never met. I never fail to learn something when I read his posts. We interact with each other through this blogging world regularly, and James always encourages me and pushes me to think a little deeper.

meI’m an ordinary guy walking a path of faith and trying to understand my relationship with God. I’m not a Pastor, teacher, or leader of any kind. All of my opinions are solely my own. I don’t claim to have any special insight into what makes the Bible, Jesus, or God “tick”. I’m just a Christian husband married to a Jewish wife.

Part of this blog has to do with the joys and challenges of being intermarried and part of it has to do with my return to church, struggles with faith, and the unique role of the Messianic Gentile. Sometimes I write reviews of sermons, books, and other “religious” content. I also write a great deal about how a Christian can look through a Jewish lens and get a better perspective on life, love, and the God who made us all.

I hope you take the time to check out each of these fantastic writers. You’ll be blessed!

Grace and peace along the way.

The Detox Diaries: Confidence

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Gentle Reader,

I’ve been working on memorizing a few passages of Scripture, one of them being Proverbs 31:25 -

I am clothed with strength and dignity. I laugh without fear of the future. (NLT; personalized and emphasis mine)

That’s what I want. I want to be in the moment and enjoy it without any fear of the near or distant future.

Matthew Poole, on this verse:

She lives in constant tranquility of mind, and a confident and cheerful expectation of all future events, how calamitous soever, partly because she hath laid in provisions of a rainy day, and chiefly because she hath the comfortable remembrance of a well-spent life, and, which follows thereupon, a just confidence in God’s gracious providence and promises made to such persons.

A just confidence in God’s gracious providence.

Yes.

Grace and peace along the way.

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.