April 26, 2018

I Write, Therefore I Am - Marnie Pohlmann

CCO license, courtesy of Pexels.com

I have the right to write,
To tell a story;
A fairytale
Or fantasy,   
Perhaps biography  
Of someone famous  
Or even unknown,
Whose life has meaning.    

I have the right to write
For my own heart's pleasure;
Clever wordplay
Or quick satire,    
Perhaps long essays         
On your politics              
Or my religion,
What gives us meaning. 

I have the right to write
For money and profit,
Or short-lived fame,    
Perhaps self-publishing,    
Traditional print,
Or in magazines.
Careers with meaning.    

I have the right to write
My very own story;    
As comedy
Or tragedy,        
Perhaps reality –
Survivor, Thriver,         
Or Overcomer. 
My life has meaning.

I have the right to write
But is right my reason
To stain white sheets
with sweat and words,
Perhaps reflect your life          
In creative lines
Or imagery
That gives you meaning?

I have the right to write,
Just as the wind blows here;
Sometimes softly,
sometimes harshly,
Perhaps completely wild.
This wind of nature,
My nature to write,
Right with no meaning
But that I am.

Marnie practices her right to write from her home in Northern BC, where her writing and the wind blows softly, sometimes harshly, and sometimes completely wild. 

April 25, 2018

The Write Reasons By Vickie Stam

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." NLT

This verse can truly serve as the very first stepping stone into my world of writing. 

I started pouring my thoughts onto paper back in the late eighties. I was a young mother, twenty four years old with two sons, aged five and three. My youngest son, Jason was diagnosed with autism in 1989 at the age of three. I was devastated but not so much by his diagnosis but by the way it was presented to me. 

I remember keeping a close eye on my beautiful blonde haired boy, Jason as he ran around the doctor's office. I wished he would just sit down. Sit still. He couldn't. He fluttered about the room like a gently butterfly. His hands flapping like wings in time to his own rhythm. He really was in his own little world running about on his tip-toes, completely oblivious to the fact that his father and I were getting ready to talk about him. We wanted answers into the strange behaviour he possessed and his lack of speech. 

My attention was suddenly diverted when
Jason's doctor  slid a blank piece of paper across the table at me and said, "Your son has autism. He looks at you no different than that piece of paper." 
"Your wrong." I snapped. "He knows exactly who I am."

Tears swelled in the corner of my eyes. I had no idea what she was talking about yet it didn't sound good. This was the answer we had been waiting for - autism. I said the word over and over in my mind all the while looking at the doctor.

Doctor N as I will call her in this story, was not the warm and fuzzy type. She never blinked after I barked at her. She never apologized, hugged me or even shifted uneasily in her chair. She simple broke my heart and wanted to move on. It was as if this was just another routine day for her. 

For me, it marked the beginning of my first journal. A book filled with heart-ache and pain. It served as more than a glimpse into the world I never asked for. If someone were to have read it, it would have been more like a window.

It was there in my darkest hours that I penned just how broken I felt. How inept I felt as a mother. How my planet had just been turned upside down. How the hopes and dreams that I had for my children immediately disappeared to a place I was no longer allowed to go. My life had abruptly changed.

I needed somewhere to transform my pain. Bury it. I began to put it down on paper. Each time I closed the cover I tried to make the hurt go away. Sometimes that worked. I felt relieved. Other times - the words only seemed to pollute the pages. Still, I continued to write.  

ventually my journal served as a healing tool. A learning tool. I began to write about Jason's progress and not only his struggles. His laughter and not only the sadness in my heart. I could see the sparkle in his eyes. I penned his first words that came much later than other children his own age. Most of all - I wrote about everything that I loved about him. And I hoped that he and Matt would one day be close like brothers should be.   

With a crushed heart, I needed to find a way to persevere. Little did I know that it was God who had provided a way for me to do that. In my suffering he opened the door for me to write. 

To this very day, I love to write. It's not as if I'm saying that I enjoy writing about the unpleasantries I've experienced over the years but more about the freedom I felt and still feel when I write. I feel at liberty to express myself in a way that I never imagined. There are times when writing takes the place of speaking out loud. It's less complicated. It's peaceful, relaxing and most of all safe. I can choose to write for my eyes alone or for others to see. 

When people learn that I am a writer, some simply smile at me. They don't know what to say in return. I've even rendered some people speechless. Their eyes widen and their mouth drops. I guess they can't picture me as a writer. For the most part people are quite curios. But they never ask me 'why' I write. They really want to know..... what I write.

I have a
story. It's my life. I write because God gave me a way to express my thoughts and feelings. And I just can't stop.  

Psalm 139:1-4
"O Lord, you have examined my heart 
       and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up
       You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
You see me when I travel
       and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
       You know what I'm going to say
even before I say it, Lord."

April 22, 2018

My Reason to Write by Alan Anderson

2 Corinthians 3: 2-3, You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

A gentleman I spoke with told me of his desire to write. He said he found it painful and hard to get things on paper. I agreed with him. The thing is he gave up. He still has a desire to write but is afraid in some way of how challenging it is.

Perhaps you will agree that writing is challenging. It can indeed be hard to put words to paper at times. It can even be bit scary. On the other hand, it is also alluring. It captivates those called to write in an almost teasing seduction. It is as if the words in our mind and heart dare us to write them down. Writing can be oh so cheeky.

My reason to write may not sound the most spiritual. I write because I have to. When I was a boy and young man I was quite withdrawn. I would only talk with certain people. I found it hard to trust people. I wasn’t sure if I could confide in anyone. Perhaps not only was my introversion holding me back but also I was shy. I’m not as shy now but I do tend to be introverted. It can still take me a while to get to know people and them to know me.

Writing has helped me gain confidence about my place in God’s world. For years words swam around in my head almost screaming to be let out. All they wanted was for them to be listened to. They wanted to comfort readers and give them hope. The tricky thing is they wanted me to be their spokesman and scribe.

As I was growing up I came to a realization the words screaming in my head were part of me. I realized I also needed comfort and hope. The words locked in my head wanting to get out would speak for me and to me.

I write because I am given the time, health and ability to do so. That will come to an end some day. A couple of days ago I was reminded of the brevity of life. A woman my wife has known for a few years died of a massive heart attack. I won’t go into details but it is one of the saddest situations I have ever heard of. Oh, what fragile creatures we are.

The situation I just mentioned brought home to me how final our ending is in this life. It caused me to reflect on why I write and also what I want to write. I write because I love to. I write because my mind and heart and hands are healthy. I write for my words often cause me to weep over the frailty of people. I write because there are stories that must be told. If I don’t write them, who will?

While we have our moments in this life, let us write. While we may have different writing “voices”, let us write. While our hands and fingers listen to our mind, let us write. While our hearts are open to God’s call, let us write.

My dear friends, we are written on the heart of God. We are His. He knows our stories. God has called us to write. That is wonderful and true.

I have read some of the posts for this month. I come away thankful we are in this calling together. Dear readers and fellow writers you are written on my heart. I love your words. Know too that I love you.


April 21, 2018

Stories From The Crutches Table ... by Jocelyn Faire

It was The Crutches Table ... earlier this month my husband and I attended a Samaritan's Purse medical recruitment brunch. This was his event, but I joined him, assuming that I would sit quietly on the sidelines, not knowing anyone there. To my delight and surprise, that was not the case ...
As we entered the church basement, I noticed a man on crutches standing at an empty table. Only twelve days earlier, I had a downhill ski accident that resulted in a fracture, and ligament damages. A G-2 brace from ankle to upper thigh was my new best friend, and I was trying to adjust to walking with crutches. The other man invited us to join he and his wife at the Crutches Table. Camaraderie developed over injury stories. Apparently I had had more fun attaining mine; he was four weeks post surgery with a walking cast, much more mobile than I.

People mingled as we waited to begin. A lady of similar age was looking at me ... I think I should know you, she says. I did not recognize her immediately, but as I introduced myself, a knowing smile spread across her face. I'm Olive, and you spoke at Providence two years ago. Her husband Randall had invited me to speak on the topic of 'Through Thick and Thin,' at the Bible College my son had attended. It was a delight to reconnect with her, and introduce her to my husband of sixteen months. She was absolutely thrilled to hear that my story had taken such a positive turn from the tragedy I had spoken about that day. When I met Olive at the speaking engagement, it had been by divine appointment. Olive had also been a nurse in the Emergency Department years earlier, the day of the accident that claimed three lives. (The thick and thin of my topic) This day, I felt her warm caring as she beamed with each word I shared. Wait till I tell Randy that I met you, he will be so happy to hear this. We chatted for a while and then Olive rejoined her group as I sat down at our table.

Other people at the table continued the joking about this being the crutches table. A lady whose husband was chatting with mine came to my end of the table and asked me if the seat beside me, occupied by my purse, was vacant. I nodded setting my purse on the floor. She leaned over and whispered, I probably fit in here as well ... I am going through my final treatment for ovarian cancer ...

As a nurse I knew that her type of cancer often does not have a happy ending. I am so sorry, I say.

Then she leans in close and in a conspiratorial voice says I've read your book. And I know she knows more about me. She knows I have gone through deep pain, she knows I know of some of her pain. She knows that I have gone through my questioning period. We share a common thread of a deep disappointment with life events. We also share hope.

Two hurting daughters of the king. She said that many days she was ok, but many days she was not. I told her I had many, many days I thought I could not make it through. But I had to speak myself into the place I wanted to be. There was a lot of self-pep-talk that happened. She nodded in agreement. I found that I was not always at the place I wanted to be, but I chose to believe it would be better, I chose to believe that God's hand was present, even when it felt absent. I spoke words before the conviction took root. I told her I firmly believed that we speak ourselves in the direction we want to go. Many times the strength and courage came after speaking myself in the direction I hoped for. Many days I heard myself speak, and I wondered Who is talking out of my head? (That became the title of my book on grief.) It was like being outside of myself, but there was someone inside me who knew what I needed to do. Tears glistened in the corner of her eyes. I think I was meant to sit in this chair, she said. Coming from you those words have meaning. To change the tone she asked: Do you like my hair? Her modern hairstyle was a very well done wig. She looked fabulous, one would never guess her story. Before we parted we had a quick hug and prayer.

Thirteen years earlier I had been obedient to write down my story, that morning I received affirmation through these women of the fruits of earlier difficult seeds. God tells us to cast our breads upon the water. When we are willing to share our stories, He uses them to bring hope.

You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it?
Isaiah 48:6 The Message.

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking Out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience.  She is offering a complimentary copy of her book, contact her at jbmarietalking@gmail.com  and she will mail it to you, or someone who has gone through a serious loss. She also blogs(sometimes) at https://whoistalking.wordpress.com

April 19, 2018

Why do I Write by Eunice Matchett

Why do I write? I need to sit and ponder the reasons. If I can.

To be truthful, I haven’t entertained thoughts as to why I write. Until now. Writing has always been a large part of my life, and a larger part of who I am. It is my best friend, and to whom I seek when the events in my external world are impossible to fathom. It is my Teddy Bear and fuzzy, warm blanket.

When my throat swells, and I am unable to produce appropriate words, my fingers quiver, encouraging me to find quiet corner and allow my feelings to express themselves on the paper pad I always carry in my purse.

Since I give worship a whole new meaning when I try to sing, I worship my Heavenly Father through my words. Doing so allows me time to pause and dwell on each word or thought, not just as I write it, but in the future as well. Often, when I reread my worship words I pause, and wonder did I write that?

  I am an introvert. I do not do well in large groups. I never learned the art of small talk, nor do I enjoy listening to it. If I have something to say, I’ll say it, which often gets me in trouble. After years of getting myself into deep water, I’ve learned that I write much better than I talk, and by doing so, my life is much smoother and less regretful.

I am also the middle sibling, and the second daughter in our family, which made growing up with a voice extremely difficult. Sometimes it felt like forever for me to get a word edgewise into a conversation. When screaming “I’ve got something to say,” or stomping my foot in frustration didn’t get me voice time, I turned to pencil and paper. It worked like magic. I could finally state my opinion uninterrupted. Not that it did me much good, because no one read it, but it did leave me feeling smug.

For me, writing is a privilege. It is my calm in a storm, a bridge across deep water. Experience has taught me it is the safest way to express myself. It fills hours in my day, and always makes me smile when I type ‘the end’ of my latest story.