May 17, 2013

Read a story, help a cause!

My beautiful imaginary-blog friend turned real friend, Amy, sent an email a while back about CausePub. If you don't know Amy, you don't know that her blog's mission is to introduce people to big and small ways to change the world. She is constantly posting about organizations, ideas, and projects in which average people like you and I can become involved and that will help make a difference in the lives of others.

CausePub, she told us, is looking for stories for a book they want to publish and the proceeds will go towards helping people in Africa to have clean water. Stories to help people, you say? 

I'm all there.

So I went to the CausePub website to find out more about it and what I found out made me want to help. From their website: "CausePub is a community of story-tellers working together to create best-selling books that directly impact specific causes."

Basically, CausePub wants to get a bunch of storytellers to submit stories for a book called Couch Rebels. A Couch Rebel is someone who got up from the couch and had a life changing experience. They say it best: "While the rest of society is imitating potatoes, you’re learning, growing, and experiencing the incredible things life has to offer."

Once the book is published they hope to sell 15,000 copies and for every book sold, an organization called Blood: Water Mission will be able to provide three people in Africa with clean water for one year.

Isn't that awesome!? That's 45,000 people for 15,000 books!

So how can you help and why am I telling you about this? Well, the stories that are published will be chosen based on a few criteria; one of them is number of votes. can help me by going here and voting for my story, can go here and vote for any story you like such as Amy's right here, and/ can commit to buying a book when it comes out. Judging from the stories submitted it will be a very cool book to own.
I hope you would take a moment to check this out. You can help make a difference with a few minutes and a few clicks.

Easy as pie.

May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

When you are five or seven, a broken heart, a monster haunting a dream, a stubbed toe can all be comforted wrapped in the arms of the one who loves you the most. Comfort is the warm lap of the woman who would give her life for you and whose tears mingle with yours because she can't bear to see you hurting.

But where do thirty-five-year-olds go when they are too big for momma's lap, or momma lives too far away, or they are simply too grown-up to crawl into a parents' arms for comfort? Are hearts not broken after childhood? Do monsters not haunt our dreams any longer? Do we not hurt physically and emotionally anymore?

When you are thirty-five, a broken heart, a hurting body, haunted dreams, and shattered hopes can be comforted in the arms of the One who loves you the most. Comfort is found in the Word of the One who gave his life for you and whose tears mingle with yours because He can't bear to see you hurting.

He is your Father, your Abba, your Lord. And like a child you can come and find the comfort you seek in the arms of your Savior.

"But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quite with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me." Psalm 131:2 (NLT).

**Linking with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday**

May 2, 2013

Pride and Prejudice (well, maybe more like Pride and Humility)

They say the first step towards recovery is to admit you have a problem. 

I admit it. 

I have a problem. 

I have a problem with pride that has reared its ugly head for a few months now. So last night I laid it all out to the women of my Bible study. We are studying the Book of James and James, man, James does not strive to treat you gently. He will lift you off your feet, shake you like a rag doll, and set you down roughly. And this week, he did me in again.

I have not written for a while and it took some wrestling to figure this out. I don't write consistently. True. I tend to write when something gets a hold of me and I have to put words to it. But lately there have been stories floating around me that I just can't seem to pin down. I'll start one and never finish it. My virtual waste basket is full of wadded pieces of paper with discarded ideas. But it took an ancient writer to confront me and point out the truth to me: you don't write because you don't write like her, her or her.

James has harsh words for jealousy but I sat smug in my chair. That is a illness from which I don't suffer. I don't envy these bloggers. I'm not jealous of them. I celebrate them. I encourage them with comments. I share their sites with my friends. 

But then he got to humility and my smugness turned to conviction.

I have read post after post about not comparing yourself to other writers, about writing the story God gave you, about how even if one life is touched by your words it is worth doing it. I know. I know. I agree. I've uttered those words. And yet... I'm struggling to accept that God can use anything less than this right here

And so, my friends, this is pride. 

"If I cannot write like that, I will not write at all," says my heart stubbornly, in essence denying that God is smart enough to know what gift and to what measure and for what purpose is ours to have.

I know God has called me to write. I know He has given me tools. I know when I write I am changed and I know that some of you also walk away a little different. So why is that not good enough for me? James would not mince words in telling me that it is because I lack humility to accept my place in the Kingdom of God. 

Joan Chittister said that "humility is the admission of God's gifts to me and the acknowledgement that I have been given them for others." Pride is forgetting where those gifts came from but it is also discarding His good gifts and His holy calling in our lives because they are not as important/developed/talent-full/necessary/interesting as other people's.

It was an epiphany. 

I have to stop hiding behind my excuses that I only write when I "feel" it, or that maybe God is not really calling me to write, or that I just don't have the time. The truth is I suffer from pride when it comes to my writing. And the road to recovery will be long because those amazing writers are still out there writing away. Temptation to compare and to desist will keep coming. But I took the first step and it was tough: I admitted it. And not just to myself. To a room full of women who know me.

The cure for what ails me is a dose of humility. And there is nothing more humbling that to speak it out loud: I am prideful.

So here is to step two: hit "publish" and pray for the Lord to continue to teach me who He's called me to be.