I’m absolutely delighted to be part of a brand new book that has just been released: New Life: Reflections for Lent. Conceived by the committee of the Association of Christian Writers, they invited and accepted contributions from different members. Each contributor has written a devotional, poem, or story for every one of the forty days of Lent.
It’s a joy and honour to have been a part of this project and I can hardly believe that my dream of being published has now been realised twice. I co-authored Drawn from Words (another Lent project!) in 2016, and now New Life. Yesterday afternoon, I was kept busy posting out copies to friends. I can’t quite believe this is happening!
I have a few copies at the bargain promotional price of £5 plus postage. If you would like to order one, please leave a comment below with your email address and I’ll get in touch. UK only I’m afraid.
God is amazing isn’t He?! He puts dreams in our hearts and then fulfils them as we press on with Him. Wow. Just wow.
When I told Adi that I had a blog post to write on the word prompt ‘voice’ he laughed.
‘Well that shouldn’t be a problem for you, should it? The problem is getting you to shut up.’
But he made me think. I talk freely and easily, arms waving.
Yet sometimes when I sit down to write, I find myself writing what I think I should be saying rather than what is in my heart. If I pause to listen, I then hear the Holy Spirit’s quiet prompt to ‘just write’. Not to be so focused on the perfect opening sentence but to simply jump straight in there with what is on my heart.
When I take those few seconds to listen to Him – usually with a slightly sheepish grin on my face because this is a regular occurrence and you’d think I’ve have learned by now – and follow His wisdom, then writing flows. And sometimes I’m amazed at what has cascaded down from my mind to my fingers and out onto the screen.
But when I’m in a rush or tired (like being in the middle of this Lent word-a-day challenge), I think I haven’t got time to listen to Him and my focus shifts from Him to me. That’s never a good thing. At the end of such posts, there’s usually a feeling of frustration of not expressing whatever it is I set out to say, and even emptiness. Because I’d turned it into a striving, doing-it-in-my-own-strength, I-know-better-Lord thing.
Sometimes when I’m in striving mode, the blog post I end up with bears no resemblance whatsoever to the one I started out to write.
Of course, that can happen when the Holy Spirit is in the driving seat (so to speak) too, but when that happens it leaves me feeling satisfied and awed. Because He is using the writing gift He’s given me to bless others through me. And that’s really what we’re here for, isn’t it?
Day two of my blogging through Lent on VOICE.
There’s nothing quite like cuddling a brand new baby only a few hours old. This is my friends’ gorgeous little son Lucas. As I held him in hospital a few days ago, I marvelled at his tiny weeny fingers and toes, his cutesy little nose (he won’t thank me for saying any of this when he’s older) and his perfectly formed ears.
As I keep cuddling, feeding, and soon playing with him, Lucas will start to recognise my voice and we’ll both look forward to our visits.
But for now, there is one voice that will stand out above all others to Lucas. By twenty four weeks’ gestation, his hearing had developed and he would soon recognise the voice he heard more than any other in the womb: his mum’s. Other voices will be familiar to him too: his dad’s and his older siblings.
Now that he’s here and having cuddles with lots of different people, there are other voices Lucas is getting used to. But when he’s hungry or needs his nappy changing or is just plain upset about something, guess who will be able to soothe him quickest – mum or dad. Because it’s their voices he is most familiar with and will associate them with love and food and security.
I too have someone to go to for love and security, for everything I need. I’m learning to know His voice and distinguish it from all the other voices and influences in my life. Jesus declared that His friends hear His voice. I love His voice because He speaks truth to me that gives hope and sets free, and He gives me peace and joy.