June 14, 2020

My Writing Theme: Finding Hope and Beauty in a Broken World - Ruth L. Snyder

I found it challenging to define my writing theme. However, "Finding Hope and Beauty in a Broken World," sums it up well. I find myself sharing messages of hope and beauty. In this blog post I will share some of my journey, along with some recent beauty I've captured with my camera.

The first bloom opening on my new rose bush

The Meaning of My Name

When I think about God's calling on my life and writing, it starts with definitions of my name I found as a teenager. Ruth means "compassionate friend," and Lucile means "one who brings light". Since then, I have made it my goal to be a compassionate friend who brings light.

Geese along Jessie Lake, my favorite walking path

An Attitude of Gratitude

One thing I used to struggle with was having a positive attitude. Over the years I have learned that attitude is a choice. I cannot necessarily choose what happens to me, but I can choose how I respond. Writing in a gratitude journal has helped me develop an attitude of gratitude. I have discovered that no matter how bleak a day looks, I can always find at least three things for which to be grateful.

Charles Swindoll puts it this way:
I grew up hearing and singing hymns and enjoy playing them

The Joy of Music

I'm grateful that my parents shared the gift of music with me. My Dad played an E-flat alto horn and my Mom played accordion. They also sang. I have many memories of singing as a family—during family devotions, as we traveled hundreds of miles across Canada and the United States to visit those who supported our family's mission work in Africa, in church, and in nursing homes. I didn't realize what a gift this was until I started Bible college. One day I was singing alto along with a CD that was playing in my dorm room. My roommate gaped and asked, "How do you do that?" Singing parts became second nature, thanks to my parents. 

My parents also invested time and money into allowing me to take music lessons. I remember wanting to learn to play the piano from the time I was very young. Pianos were rare in Africa, but the year my siblings and I attended school in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), I had access to both a piano and a piano teacher. I started piano lessons at age nine and now I enjoy sharing music with others by teaching Music for Young Children and piano lessons. 

Music also became a unique doorway to share special times with my Dad after he developed dementia. Even when he no longer remembered who I was, he remembered the lyrics to hymns. We spent many hours together—my Dad singing bass and me playing piano and singing soprano.

NOTE: On Wednesday, June 17th, two pianist friends and I will be launching a virtual hymn sing, streaming to Facebook. Our goal is to provide joy, especially for those who live in senior residences. If you'd like to join in, go to https://www.facebook.com/HymnSingTime/ from 9-9:45 am MST on Wednesday mornings.

One of my flowerbeds

My First Published Piece

Although reading and writing were an important (and enjoyable) part of my life, I didn't think of myself as a writer or dream of publishing my first book. I did take some writing courses through the Institute of Children's Literature, and entered the Fresh Ink Contest in 2009, hosted by The Word Guild. I was shocked to hear I won first place and the award of a free Write!Canada conference registration. At that time our five children (ages 1-11) and work on our local school board kept me busy. However, several months later, Gifts From a Loving God, our journey through the grief of infertility and into adoption, was published in Testimony. I also joined InScribe, happy to find other Christian writers closer to where I live. I kept entering contests, learning, and getting short stories and articles published. 

My peaceful place to relax

I'm an Author!

It took me a while to call myself a writer. I knew I enjoyed writing, but a writer? An author??? Little by little I added to my writing repertoire and wrote longer and longer pieces. Books still scared me...until I figured out books were made of chapters, and I was capable of writing chapters. I thought my first book would be a devotional, but people kept asking me about Twitter and how to use it effectively. Twitter Decoded was born—giving hope to those who thought they would never understand or be able to use Twitter. I also enjoyed some collaborative projects—Kathi Macias wanted to publish a Christmas book and asked if I would be interested in writing a 10,000-word story. She included my story, Cecile's Christmas Miracle, in her 12 Days of Christmas book. Then I joined four other writers to work on The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series and Uplifting Devotionals (which also includes devotionals by Tracy Krauss, Marcia Laycock, Janice Dyck, and Murray Pura).

Pansies are one of my favorite flowers


During this time, I also began exploring the world of self-publishing. I eased in by learning how to publish a Kindle book. Then I joined Author Audience Academy with Shelley Hitz and learned how to publish a paperback as well. (Her program is now called Christian Book Academy.) I enjoyed the challenge and decided to self-publish both an ebook and paperback copy of Equipped: Ephesians 6 Devotionals to Empower and Make You Victorious in Everyday Struggles.

A recent sunset


Last year I enjoyed taking training through Beautiful You Coaching Academy. After I graduated, I started working with a business coach to put together a book coaching business. God has really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but after months of work, I'm starting to reap the results. I help Christian entrepreneurs write, publish, and profit from their books. I am aiming to help 20 people publish a book this year. (Check out my updated website.) God has been bringing opportunities for speaking and coaching to me, and I'm stepping out in faith. One of my clients thanked me last week for "providing a safe place and giving me hope."

Thanks for allowing me to share my writing journey and my theme of finding hope and beauty in a broken world. I look forward to hearing about your journey and theme!


  1. You forgot to mention your time (5 years!) as inScribe's president. You have had a huge impact on many in InScribe because of your example of humility, honesty, work ethic, tenacity, fearlessness, and much more. I'm sure you didn't want it to sound like a bragging session, so I thought I would mention it here in the comments. A grateful attitude is such a powerful thing and you have showed us that, despite the personal trials you have been through, you always seem to have a positive spin on circumstances.

  2. Tracy,
    Thanks for your encouragement! I appreciate your friendship, and am glad you are at the helm of InScribe now :) InScribe has been one of the anchors in my life since I joined. I feel like I have received more than I have given. I'm blessed!

  3. We must be kindred spirits in some way, Ruth. My post is on a similar theme. I can see words of your theme falling on to the page and being comfortable there. You are a definite creative. One of you themes also seems to be, "giving." You give a lot to others. If my memory serves me well I believe you were president of our beloved InScribe when I first joined. You and Tracy both inspire me with your skills but also your welcoming ways. Thank you to you both for making me feel a part of InScribe. Keep on doing what you do, Ruth.

    1. Alan,
      Yes, I believe we are kindred spirits. Isn't creativity fun? :) I'm glad you have felt welcome in InScribe and are sharing your creativity, your encouragement, and your heart with so many. All glory to God. With His help, I will continue to be faithful.

  4. Thanks for your inspiring post, Ruth. Never ceasing to grow and expand your vision and helping others achieve their God given dreams along the way is both amazing and encouraging to me. Thank you

    1. Sharon,
      Thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement along the way. May we continue to be faithful and give God the glory :)

  5. Thanks for sharing all that God has done through you, Ruth! Thanks, too, for all the prayers and inspiration you have poured into us at InScribe--and others.

    1. Sandi,
      Thanks for your faithful encouragement and support. I feel blessed and want to continue to pass on that blessing to others.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.