Coming down from a mountain top is always difficult. This week was a mountain top experience for us spiritually and literally as we spent time at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.
It is so good to have times of renewal and expanded vision that come with a get-away. We bring back insight and fresh ideas, new friends and good memories.
Life’s journey is long. Times of rest and renewal are essential in our work. As we navigate life we find valleys and mountains, quiet byways and crowded highways. If we slow down we find that God gives us companions for the journey.
Listening to the sharing of stories from the podium as well as around the dining table and in rocking chairs we learned that we are not alone in the journey. New friends reminded us that they have had similar experiences in life and writing and publishing. Our companions also reminded us in their stories that we have a Companion walking with us, guiding us on this journey.
The journey is long but we are not alone.
Wrapped around these human encounters, the splendor of the mountains spoke of the Creator and put our small size into perspective. How beautiful to rest a while on the mountain top with good company!
Now home renewed.
Who’s walking with you?
Laurie and Betsy just home from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
I didn’t know THAT!
We read to know we are not alone. C.S. Lewis
Reading is about connection. Therefore writing is about creating that connection. Whatever world we enter, whatever the setting or the character, the connection comes on the inside when I find my own feelings and story on the pages of a book.
Can I write from the perspective of a man? A person of different ethnicity? A cat?
The details of our lives will be different but the emotions that we experience are universal. I learned once that there are only two emotions: Love and Fear. All others flow from these two. We are all more alike than we think. Reading allows us to enter the world of another and often to find ourselves there in the story.
God uses story to allow us to connect with Him. I’ve seen my story in the story of Peter who walked on water only to get distracted and fall. I’ve been in a far away land and decided to come back to the Father like the son in the parable. I’ve been too busy like Martha. I can relate to many people in the pages of the Bible and when I read carefully I can find my own story there.
The best books allow us to connect and grow in our understanding of ourselves.
Have you ever found your own feelings and story on the pages of a book?
Laurie and Betsy
“Who hasn’t had encounters with dogs, or who hasn’t experienced the strangeness of the human world. When we hear stories of others it reminds us of our own story.”
The Cat Diaries: Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey, Laurie Myers
Photo credit: Laurie featuring Samson
Writing With Insight
Writing With Healing
A United States mailbox. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Submission means to yield to the power or authority of another.
As a writer to submit means the moment of terror that I experience when I drop the envelope into the mail slot or hit send on my computer. Submission means judgment of my work. I love the story of E.B.White begging the mailman to return his just sent manuscript. I have felt the same desire to hold on one more day.
Can we write with the spirit of submission to God? What difference would it make to start with submission, instead ending with submission. If I can submit the work to God first then the fear of submitting it to man disappears.
Catherine Marshall writes in Adventures in Prayer about this Godly submission during the writing of her first book, A Man Called Peter.
About midway in the manuscript, I received devastating criticism from one whose judgment I trusted. He told me bluntly, “You haven’t even begun to get inside the man Peter Marshall,” And he was right, that was the sting of it. The realization of my inadequacy as a writer was not only an intellectual one. It was also emotional; there were plenty of tears. But out of the crisis came a major realization.
In my helplessness, there was no alternative but to put the project into God’s hands. I prayed that A Man Called Peter be His book, and that the results be all His too. And they were.
The book was published and sold millions of copies all around the world. My best writing comes when I give up control of the results and begin to see my books as God’s books.
May we write today with submission.
Laurie and Betsy
Submit yourself then to God. . . Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Although she won major book awards, the Newbery Medal, National Book Award, the Edgar, and others, to us she was “Mom”. She loved us, cared for us, encouraged us and sacrificed for us. She taught us to sew, helped with homework projects, and let us have lots of pets.
Our mother, Betsy Byars, also passed on to us a love of reading and writing. In our early years she read to us; in our elementary years she sought our opinions on manuscripts and now in our adults years we don’t share a meal where the discussion doesn’t turn to books. In fact, our first collaborative book with Mom was born over a BBQ dinner where we spent the evening talking about books while sucking sauce off our fingers – a great night indeed.
We have been blessed with a dynamic and energetic, yet sensitive and thoughtful mother who has given us much. Today we thank God for our mother.
Laurie and Betsy