Timing Is Everything — Just Write

 

That’s what they say, right? “Timing is everything.”

Well, if that’s true, I’m feeling about everything’d out just now.

For two years, I’ve been working on this writing thing, posting several times a week, writing comments all over the place, finding a lovely community of friends and comrades on the way. I often wondered why. And then, I remembered . . . God asked me to do it.

Sounds weird, right? Well, it is a little. He asked this about seven years ago. And it took me five to believe it — and then, of course, retirement happened, which actually opened up exactly the kind of time and interior space that I needed to do the work.

So, I’ve been writing. And reading lots and lots of other people’s writing, too. Spending inordinate amounts of time doing all of that, actually, but learning a whole heckuva lot in the process. Like so many out here in cyberland, I struggled with the reality that not many people would ever read what I write, with the increasing pressure from all sides to be about things like ‘platform,’ and ‘SEO,’ and tweeting and creating an author page at Facebook. I worked through those peripheral issues (and for me, they are truly peripheral at this point) and gradually came to peace with writing when I could, saying what seemed good to say, and being grateful for whomever would care to stop by and leave a kind word or ask a question.

Then I got invited to write at another online spot — a magazine I loved. Wow! Cool! And then, I was asked to write for another one that I loved. Amazing! What a surprise! And then there was the Bible study series at another site and then a call for an essay at the place I long dreamed of writing. What? How did this happen? I have no clue.

And during all of this writing time, there has been our poignant and painful journey with my mom, the loss of cognition, the increasing confusion, the slow fading. Then it seemed right to us all that she should move closer to family. So we packed her up, we gathered the family love-team, and we moved her nearby. A lovely gift and a difficult reality, all at the same time.

Spiritual direction fits into this line-up, too. I stepped into training as my pastoral role was winding down, wondering if anyone would ever want to come and sit with a 68-year-old novice at this ministry. And just today, I added number seven to the list. Seven souls to meet with once a month, to listen to their lives, to listen to the Holy Spirit together, to discern where God is moving and prodding and transforming.

And then, of course, there was the completely surprising invitation to step back into work-mode again, doing worship-planning and leading, being an up-front presence for three months, after 2 years away. Also a gift. Also a puzzle to me.

Because ALL OF IT is happening Right.This.Minute.

Excuse me, Lord? Really??

Somehow, I think God is smiling smugly right about now. (Can God be smug?) “See, woman! This is what I made you to do — all of this. And if you open yourself to my grace and power in a new way, you might be surprised at how it all stitches itself together in lovely ways.”

So, I’m prayerfully (and tiredly) looking for the embroidery God is doing in the midst of what sometimes feels like the ragged hem of a garment I cannot quite see, trying to trust that the work being done in me and through me will come together. I’m looking for the silvery sheen of that thread from moment to moment some days, trusting that maybe, just maybe, I’ll catch a glimpse of what the Stitcher is up to.

Quietly joining this with Heather, Laura and Jennifer tonight. . .

“A Light Shining” – A Book Review

I have absolutely no interest in the Twilight series and I’m not into zombie television, either. What I am into is good story-telling about interesting characters who are struggling with real life issues, trying somehow, by the grace of God, to be the best people they can be. 

That’s why I love Michael and Sarah Kent-Hughes. When “The Dancing Priest” was released at the dawn of 2012, I wrote about it in a post describing the power of a good romance. And that book was indeed a most excellent romance, filled with powerful plot twists, intriguing characters, and a happy ending. That’s where I met Michael and Sarah and as I finished that first volume of their story, I heaved a happy sigh.

And almost immediately, experienced a deep longing for more. More story, more surprises, more intrigue, more romance. Happily, I soon discovered that Glynn Young, the outlandishly talented and prolific author of “The Dancing Priest,” was not done with Michael and Sarah’s story, either. 

Phew!

Well. Volume 2 in the continuing saga releases on Kindle TODAY, and is available at Amazon now.  If you have read the first book, go out there and buy this one now. If you have not read the first one — it is FREE until midnight, so download both of them tonight and have a rich reading experience over the next few days! 

“A Light Shining,” is a very different book from, “The Dancing Priest.” Yes, the same characters are here and some fascinating new ones, too. Yes, there is, once again, cross-continental travel in this saga, as well as glimpses into Michael’s everyday life as an Anglican priest. But from the very first sentence, you know that we are most definitely not in Kansas anymore. There is something ominous afoot, a threat that hangs heavy over every page. 

Initially, I found this almost 0ff-putting. I love these characters and did not want anything terrible to happen to them! So as the story began, I was cautious. However, I was very quickly drawn into the unfolding of this drama, once again a willing and happy prisoner of the strong plotting and wonderful characters. I will not go into that plot in this review because I actually think that sense of dread is important to the reading of this particular story. Rather than romance, this story is filled with mystery and intrigue, hooking you early and well.

This much I will tell you: not one of us knows what the future holds, even what the next moment might bring. Perhaps we’ll have some old questions answered in amazing ways (one character finds a family he never knew). Perhaps we’ll meet someone who will become dear to us, becoming part of whatever family we have (a couple of those turn up in this story). Perhaps life will be turned completely upside down in a matter of minutes, with the outcome decidedly uncertain and deeply frightening (yes, that happens, too). 

It’s all here and it’s all worth reading, believe me. You will be surprised, frightened, amazed and teary-eyed – the full spectrum! The central character of both these books is a priest, so be aware that people pray, talk about God a lot and even have their lives dramatically changed as they open themselves to God’s good work within. The story ranges far and wide and heads in directions that readers of the first book may find surprising. And as it ends, there is an open door, pointing to more story to come. May it be so!

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