When I’m Weak, I’m Strong

20190413_093341-1.jpgThere are days, which I’m more than ready to go full stride with my writing without telling myself, “believe, believe in your giftedness.”

Then there are those days, like yesterday, which all I could do was to muster enough will power and not get lost on the path which I’ve been on many times. The path which accomplishes nothing.

I pushed myself to move, only to have felt the dragging of my steps in familiar groves. Fear of stumbling in the old rut of ‘lack of trust’ or twist my ankle from a previous deep footprint of ‘doubt’ entered my heart. I struggled all day and didn’t return to the road of progress, which I had hoped to be on.

On days like yesterday, I normally repeat to myself, Lord, I believe, please, oh please help my unbelief. Honestly, this prayer didn’t even cross my mind. For some reason I kept expecting something bad to happen. I couldn’t stay focus on anything long enough to do or accomplish what I long, to write, to be creative or even go for a walk. My body became fatigued. All I wanted was to return to bed and sleep. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.

Today, the verse about, “My Grace is sufficient,” came to mind.

My spirit remarked with sarcasm, really Lord? I don’t think so.

I went ahead and looked up the verse, for I didn’t recall the whole passage.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

When I read, “three times,” I felt my spirit harden. It told me, “I’m not asking three times. It should have been taken care of the first time, we asked “three times.” Why must the wait have to occur, every time? Why? I’m tire of waiting.”

For some reason, a spirit of pessimism overcame me.

I wondered, where in the heck did, I pick up this spirit? Or did it just floated my way and decided I was a perfect candidate? Well, I don’t know. But, wanting to get some writing done today, I thought I should do as Paul wrote, “boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Maybe then this spirit would leave me, and my mindset be on Whom and what I believe God can do through me.

It’s difficult to write when low self-esteemed conversations arise over shadowing my creativity, and questions of my true ability drown the little confidence I hold inside. The idea of being a good writer quickly slips from my grasp, when my weakness of spelling, grammar and punctuation face me each time. Plus, the fact that the proper words I want to use don’t fruition quickly, only concepts float in my mind which frustrate my heart. Last, the critique in me wins more often than I care to admit, leaving me defeated.

Often, I ask myself, “why do you need to be perfect and want man’s approval when you have both in Christ?”

My mentors’ advice return, “write Lidia, just write. Don’t worry about the errors, go ahead and tell the story. Later, return and rewrite with the help of others.”

But I don’t want others to see my mistakes. Which in itself is another weakness of mine. Yikes! Why Lord, why do you fill my head with stories that I can’t finish and at times not even start? I don’t understand, why you gifted me with this talent of story-teller?

The Lord reminded me of His Grace as I struggle with the assurance of what God sees in me.

With truth, I responded, “Yes, Lord. I know your grace is sufficient.”

Then, I heard in my spirit my Lord say, “Lidia why don’t you do what Paul did, delight in weaknesses, in insult, in hardships in persecutions, in difficulties. It’s not a delight of your weakness, but while you are in the state of being weak, delight in the knowledge that my grace is sufficient and allow the errors to be made. In other words, trust me as you obey and make mistakes. All you need to do is believe Paul’s words. Believe, when Lidia is weak, then Lidia is strong.”

Truthfully Lord, it makes no scenes to me. How in my weakness, can I be strong? How will your grace be sufficient for me? I do understand your power, yet not how it is made perfect in my weakness. Could you allow the Holy Spirit to help me understand your “grace?”

I heard my Lord say, “My Grace is many things, but here it refers to dexterity. Through my Grace you will receive the ability for the artistry which I’ve blessed you with. When you face the struggles, challenges, insults, difficulties and persecutions, I will give you the tact require to be strong as you hold on and accomplish each story.

Believe in me, in spite of your disbelief in yourself. Write and accomplish the stories.”

Lord, bring me back to this lesson when my will doesn’t want to obey, my spirit toys with disbelief and when self struggles with my old ways of thought for they return only to taunt me. I don’t want the struggle of my weaknesses, but I do desire for your divine power to be seen in me and through me so that many will trust in you.

Therefore, I will learn to say, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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Frozen Paths of Creativity

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Fears

Freeze ideas

Like

River paths

 

Uncharted

And Unexplored

They

Remain unseen

 

Along

Spring comes

Melting

Angst away

 

Trickling

Melodious Music

flow

Awakening wonder

 

Imagination

Sees possibilities

Giving

Details life

 

Ideas

Discharge scenarios

Blooming

Dreams alive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversing With Self

Hurry! Go.  My soul whispered.

I rushed to where the fire danced and popped. It seemed unreal. Mesmerized, I squatted. In my mind, I stepped into the cozy hot coals. The bitter winter cold vanished even though the ruby-red flames contrasted against the grand gray snowy mountains around me.

Sounds from people, family and friend diminished. Mesmerized by the fluorescent red coals, I existed alone. While the fire burned, I listened within myself.

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Self: “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

Me: Yes, like a ruby melting and reforming. If only I could stay here and write.

Self: “What would you write about?”

Me: “I’m not sure, for I haven’t been able to continue writing my stories. Silent, they hang on the tips of the roof of my mind like ice-cycles. I’m afraid they will melt and vanish one day. I will be left with the knowledge that I once had unfinished stories.”

Self: “Why do you suppose, they are no longer speaking to you?”

Me: “Not sure. Many times, I’ve quiet myself and sat in front of my lap top and nothing, not one peep. The only sound I hear is of an unseen ocean with my beating heart out there drifting on a boat.”

Self: “Why have you distance your heart from your stories? What are you afraid of?”

Me: “I’ve not distant my heart, wait, do you think I did this? No, I didn’t place my heart out in the ocean.”

Self: “Lidia, be real. Be truthful. See, your heart. You are the only one who can place your heart out in the ocean. Look out there for the boat. Don’t look away. Your fear could be telling you truth. You are afraid of truth. That’s why you allowed your heart to drift from your stories.”

Me: “Fear lies.”

Self: “Not all fear lies. This fear of yours is true. You’re not a good writer. Yet you are a good story-teller. Focus on the story, Lidia, just like your friends tell you.”

Me: “I’m tired of not writing well. I want to have a well written story, but my enthusiasm dies too soon after I get started.”

Self: “You have to learn to keep writing when the energy of the idea runs out. Don’t allow your story to become foreign to your own heart. Keep it close to you, pluck scenarios, story lines, details, thoughts and feelings of the character even if they may never make into the story. You have to keep the story alive. That’s your job. It’s your baby. If you don’t feed it, it will vanish. Now, start the fire and allow your story ice-cycles to melt and flow again. You have been given a gift to tell stories like no one else. Write and let someone else correct your errors. You will not create a perfect story. No one can, not alone. But you can crank on your generator.”

Me: “But, my fingers won’t move.”

Self: “Yes, your finger and thoughts will be stiff because of the cold of not being perfect. But, in no time the heat will get going and your thoughts will flow the story will breath and pump red blood again. Once it thaws out, details will drop into your mind as the ice-cycle melts. Get the page ready to catch the ideas. Remember, as you keep telling stories, your writing will become stronger.”

Me: “Thank you, for the talk.”

Self: “Don’t worry, I will remind you again, when I see that you’ve removed your heart for your stories. You are not just writing for others, but for me, self.”

Footsteps crunched the snow behind me. I came back to my surroundings. I heard my husband distant voice, “Are you coming and sledding or are you staying.”

With a smile, I answered, “I’m coming.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I started this blog back in December, and it wasn’t until today that I was able to finish it. It’s a major accomplishment for me. I’ve struggled with my writing for over a year. There are at least twelve unfinished stories on my files and I can’t seem to finish any one of them. From this self-reflection, I’ve learned that it wasn’t fear that kept me from my stories, instead it was truth.

Writing my blog posts, have been a great exercise to build my confidence and improve my writing skills. With short entries, I have less misspell words, less grammar errors and less wrong word usage. I still get wordy, but my skills are improving alongside my belief in my abilities to give what’s in my heart a voice.

To write a book, it’s much more challenging and difficult than a blog. But, if I can treat each couple of pages as a blog post, I might get myself going again and finish my next book. Now which of the twelve stories should I start constructing again?

Maybe, I will blog about my journey as I write my next book.

To be continued . . .

 

 

 

 

Posting for You, Because I Care

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Posting for you, because I care.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Where ever you are and what ever you may be facing, please know one thing, beauty is around.

Find her and she will show you the way to the One who will give you what you need where ever you may be.

May Love, Peace and Joy fill your heart, soul and life

today and every day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One word challengeCommunal;

Blogging; a communal space to encourage, assist, lift, promote, inspire, write, through concepts, drawing, painting, sculpting or photography. This community gives and receive from many artist all over the world. A safe gathering sight to interlock with one another through our craft.

Six word challenge – Posting for you, because I care.

 

 

 

 

 

Grateful ~ Liebster Award

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My boat rocked and I was blown out of the water of creativity when I read a message on my blog from Megha’s World.

Megha nominated met to an award I knew nothing about, the Liebster Award.  Minutes earlier, I read on her blog, of her two nomination by two bloggers and wondered what the award was for. Not sure why, I overlooked my blog among the other nine she had named for this recognition.

Let me tell you what I like about her blogs , her poetry has its own unique style and flavor. Her writings are open-minded and heart touching. She weaves her own experiences and perceptions in a way which makes the piece easy to read. I enjoy the topics she addresses and her suggestions. Take time and visit her sight, if you haven’t been introduce to her style of creativity. You will not be disappointed.

I feel honored and grateful for Megha selecting my blog. I’ve learn much in the process of writing this blog Thank you very much for this recognition, Megha.

My questions for the blogs, I will recommend later, will be on part 2 of this post. Why? I don’t like to write long blogs and this one is super, duper long.

Here are my answers to Megha’s questions. 

Why did I get involved in writing?

Over ten years ago, my best-friend Julia sat and read a story of mine and said, “Lidia, this is good. Very good. Do you know how many people could be benefit from your story?”

I learned, my short stories did help others. Women, I  counsel, read my stories and receive comfort. I kept hearing over and over again that I should publish these stories. My friend’s and the women’s encouragement sent me on a quest to improve my writing skills.

Getting published is not an easy endeavor. For the last six years I’ve been learning everything I can to write well. Mistakes still slip, but they don’t stop me.

What event in my life taught me the most?

Keeping the theme of writing I would have to say, it was the evening God sent me to unburied my talent. It took a long journal entry to find the gift of storytelling. That same evening, a short story was born. Six years later, the story received first place at the Cascade Awards from the Oregon Christian Writers. 

This experience taught me to see myself as a true writer.

What is the one thing that I like about myself and why?

Wow! I had to think on this one, because it is something I don’t evaluate about myself. I would have to say, my ability to capture natures beauty through photography  and write an insert from the photo.

Nature captures my attention and sets my creative process free.

Who is my favorite writer and why?

My mentor, Marion Duckworth took me under her wing five years ago and didn’t give me slack as she edited my work. With every critique came hours of work. It wasn’t all about the written word, but the heart of writing. She would ask me questions like, why do I write and what message do I have to tell the world? Who is my audience?

The one question she asked often was, “Is writing a calling?”

If I would had said, “It’s a quest,” then she would have told me, “Then you can quit any time. But, if it’s a calling and you quit, then it’s all between you and God.” She doesn’t sugar coat anything. Always tells me like it needs to be heard. Without her and God, I wouldn’t be answering these questions.

Marion Duckworth, is ninety-one and she just published another book on kindle. She’s an amazing woman of God. 

What is the definition of being successful in life?

Honestly, success intimated me.  Why? Because success can shrink hearts and enlarges heads.

I would have to say, success is when one of my story helps many, yet it will not shrink my heart.

How do I handle fear?

My first instinct is run and hide the fear. Fear will climb on my shoulders, weighing me down, not allowing me to do what I desire to do. I’ve realized, if I face my fear and ask it questions, it actually can help me.

Here are some questions I ask fear when it appears. Why are you here? What is it that you don’t want me to see about myself? Where did you come from? If I know the answers to these questions then I know if it’s the past, present or the future that I’m trying to avoid.

Fear is a friend and not an enemy. It comes to warn me about myself more than others, or forces outside of me.

I do find myself wanting to tuck fear in the “later box” which, I keep in my heart, I still react and flee. This is something I’m still working on and possibly an ongoing task.

Would I change anything about me?

Me, in the inside, no! Because that’s who I really am and where my stories come from. Yet, me on the outside, must change, or the circumstances that come my way will devastate me. Even though I have lived fifty-nine years, life, always has something new to show me. My dog, who has passed away, taught me, that an old dog can learn new trick on his last year of his life. He had to learn to live with the cancer that killed him.

Our world is changing, if I don’t change then I will become brittled and my stories will not be read. Instagram and blogging has changed the way I think and write. They are kinda scary, but fear doesn’t cripple me anymore, it propels me to move forward.

Who is my favorite Author?

Honestly, I do not have one. I have never been able to say he or she is my favorite, beside the author of life. I’m a very different bird than most writers. Maybe it is because my brain is wired to be more of a mathematician than a writer.

Let me tell you, why Jesus is my favorite author, He is my example for living my life. He helps me write my stories and ideas. He keeps me striving to be better than I was yesterday. He teaches me when it’s time to adapt, change, improve and grow. He reminds me, that I can’t stay small. I must get taller, wider and deeper with my thinking and understanding or I will die inside.

What inspires me most about writing?

Two things, other writers

The second, stories which transform, inspire and move the heart of the reader. That’s magical.

Give myself a tagline.

“To be an illuminating lamp, who burns from the oils of gratitude and gladness.”

Thank yo for bearing with my long answers. Blessings.

 

A Box Marked – For Later

I keep a box in my heart and I almost used it today.

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This morning my body whispered, “It’s a good day to stay in bed and sleep a little longer.” But the morning fog pulled me outside where I came face to face with a fear I haven’t over come. It was then when I realized, why I wanted to stay in bed.20171218_135536.jpg

Outside, I enjoyed the cool morning air, imagined itsy, bitsy snowflakes lingering about me and took a few pictures before returned home.

With the fear in mind, the end of a topic came to  mind. No beginning or middle, only the end. What ever I was about to write, it will end with acknowledging my fear.

I started my creative writing process. A short post on Instagram, editing  photos, and brain stormed topics for future projects while I ate my breakfast.

Before I sat down to write, I took care of a few shores and thought of how I should start the topic at hand, fear.

But, the idea didn’t develop.

Fist thought was, I’m procrastinating or writers’ block. Soon, I realized,  it was me, I didn’t want to write about the cause of my fear, because it was to real and fresh. I rather tuck it away in my “For later,” mental box.

When, would it be best to write about this topic?

Well, when my jitters would calm and the lump of fear in my throat has been swallowed and digested. Or after the winter snow has melted. Which ever comes first.

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In side the ‘Later box,’ are many subjects which I’ refuse to write about. Why? Because, I’m not ready to experience the pain or disappointment again.

Yet, in order to write a compelling, moving piece, the struggle has to be real, not made up. Which means, I have to revisit the pain, the conflict, the experience to give my words life and spring forth feelings in the reader’s heart.

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A well written piece, engages the reader’s mind, taps into their feelings and moves their heart. If I accomplish these difficult skills well, then I hope the reader could find resolution for similar circumstances.

Numerous times, I’ve started to write what’s on my heart only to never  finish the article or story. It hangs frozen in my mind. With time it’s forgotten.

Today, I didn’t want this topic to end in the box. So I asked myself a question.

20171218_134131.jpgWhy do I abandon my ideas?

I  refuse to give a voice to my past struggles, hurts and pain out of fear that they may cripple me again. I remind myself, of who I believe in and how much stronger I am because of Christ in my life.

Remembering the past, is like reliving my life experiences, which some  of those memories, I rather forget

Yet, I’m learning that my sufferings have melodies whom some people can identify with. The areas which I’ve grown stronger could possibly help a reader moved forward from their struggle. Once, they understood how they too can face their fears or past hurts with the right help.

Hope, is important for the reader to regain. Therefor, I must have, a beginning, a middle and an end to show how to prevail as one hold on to hope.

Questions I ask myself today:

What am I really afraid of? And why?

Am  I comparing myself with anyone? Is it beneficial?

 

If yes, how did they get where they are?

What struggles did they faced to achieve their reward?

If, I focus only on their success, I’ve missed the essence of their story.

The same is true when I write my stories. If I only write about happiness, I left the reader dissatisfied. For they know, life is not all sweet.  Life is about the challenges as one pursuits happiness.

20171218_135321.jpgFor we all are seeking ways to surpass, overcome, or hold on. We want to know how to get up when everything within us tells us to sleep our life away for we don’t matter.

One must understand and swallow the bitterness of doing what one doesn’t want to do in order to bring forth the sweetness of success.

I’m ready to seek not only for a strong engaging beginning, but a middle which the reader can identify with and a tangible, realistic, possible ending.

I, as the writer, must face the middle of my work and walk through he treacherous, dark and lonely times without fearing the end. The success of accomplishment.

With that being written, I‘m glad I started my day when I did, or else I wouldn’t have finished this blog today.

What about you, my friend? Where did you find yourself this morning, later in the day or maybe this evening? What were you avoiding and why? Are you willing to search your soul and face the truth? Don’t forget to call on God for help.

If you’re still in your robe, pick up your will and accomplish one thing. May that one task lead to another and then another and another. if not today, maybe tomorrow. Before you know, you’ll arrived at the end  of your task, and have faced your fear.

I acknowledge, I wasn’t avoiding pain, I was afraid of success.

Even though, I belief that I can do all things through Christ who strengths me, I still struggle with being successful.

I not only acknowledge what I’m afraid of, but I didn’t hide it away.

Without a doubt, I will finish my stories.  

Maybe, this article will act as a compass for you and guide you to arrive to your truth of why you are not getting out of bed in the mornings or finishing your project.

What are you avoiding?

Curled Within Myself

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🍂BEAUTY UNSEEN🍂
°
Insecured and damaged, I curled myself to hide and go unseen.

Protection I sought, from the ugly harm which kept coming onto me.

Alone and exposed, raindrops of life gathered about my whole being.

Then,

Heavenly light bounced from each tiny raindrop.

Sparks reflected beauty off my fragile pale skin.

Warmth soon brought worth back inside of me, again.
°
🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

When Change Comes

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Covered with raindrops, one on top of the other, two fallen leaves rest

🍂TOGETHER🍂
°
When it rains
Soak with me

When it’s windy
Fly with me

When it’s calm
fall with me

When it’s time
Sleep with me
°
🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

At The Edge Of Height

20171015_150407.jpgI stand at the edge of height, not for the thrill or to jump, but to see how far I’ve come. Besides, the view is much different looking down, than up.

When one is at the bottom of a canyon, a mountain, or life, the focus may fall on the difficulties, challenges and at time impossibilities as one works their way up. Finding a passage to higher ground, doesn’t always seem achievable. Many times giving up, is an option, which I refuse to take.

The Grand Canyon beckons me to the tip of where I can stand. My husband is always close by.  At times, he holds me by the back of my pants to make sure I don’t take another step.

It’s not that I want the risk, but a part of me wants to become what I see. I long to be a hawk, an eagle or any bird and soar through the canyons. A desire builds in me to hear the wind resonate the tonal sounds of the canyons as they sing. Imagining to be one with nature in this form, frees me and helps me see life from a different point of view, from accomplishments.20171015_150601.jpg

When realism returns to me, I sit and admire the canyon’s design and envy the crows flying by. To watch the colors of these rocks change from sunrise to sunset, a breath of life enters my soul and spirit. I can then relax and recall, God is present.

To study their cavities and realize their differences, they point to my own uniqueness. For many times I’m like many ladies, a wife, a mom, a daughter, a teacher. I’m a person who lines up with other women under many different categories. Like others, my oneness becomes hard to find.

At the edge, I’m reminded by the Creator of my design, why I exist and the reason of  why I stand alone. I shouldn’t be sad or mad or lonely. For the spot of where I stand is for a specific purpose, for a short time and for limited space.

Unlike the canyon’s crevasses, which remain in their spot, I’m privileged, for I choose my place to stand. My Creator showed me, how I am like a bird. I can fly any where and land on any spot, yet I will stand with only me.

As I think, I’m never alone, a small voice tells me, “you feel alone.”

It’s not about being alone, or the sense of loneliness, but being who I was created to be. Visiting the Grand Canyon, made me well aware of the fact, I’m the only one who occupies this specific spot at this exact time for a particular task. The reason has been, and will be, revealed when it’s time for me to take a stand.

Standing at the edge of height refuels the truth of my uniqueness, my oneness, my me.

Once I turned and faced my husband, immediately I knew, I didn’t get to where I am, alone.

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A Dazzling Snow Flower

I stopped.

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Snow captured by a flower’s remnant

She sparkled from the sunlight.

I turned.

Her glow penetrated my soul.

I thought.

A snow flower?

I gasped.

Her dried-up form stood strong.

I admired.

She held a beacon of snow.

I desired.

Her beauty after she was gone.