Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stupid Tacos

Last night I was making tacos for dinner... something I have done many, many times.  My son LOVES tacos, as does my husband.  Even my little one year old likes the taco meat... me, I could take them or leave them.  But last night when I was making the tacos I had a random memory strike me.  It was something I hadn't thought about in a very long time... probably haven't even ever specifically thought of it at all.  The memory was of me having tacos with a band that I used to do some filming for.  We were somewhere in Oklahoma eating tacos at some dive restaurant.  I don't remember much else about that particular moment.  Not sure if the tacos were good or not, don't remember what I had to drink, don't even remember how I got there... did I drive or did I ride with them?  I have no clue.  There was no purpose for this memory... none as it was a very unremarkable moment in time.  I have no clue why my brain pulled it out of my vault and shoved it in front of me.  The brain is a strange little machine.

As we ate dinner, that memory sparked some other memories and my family and I started to discuss some of my crazy times, back when I was a raging alcoholic and a complete wacko nut-case.  I found myself laughing hysterically at some of my antics and experiences.  My son kept asking for me to tell him more crazy mommy stories... and my husband just sat there shaking his head with a smile on his handsome face.  All in all, it was funny.  Dinner ended and life moved on.

Shortly after dinner, I was giving my daughter a bath.  As I sat there watching her the humor in all those antics began to wear off.  All of a sudden, I wasn't laughing anymore.  No, my heart was struck with shame and guilt.  Is it funny to get in a car with strangers I met skiing and end up in the basement of a drug dealer's house?  Is it funny to go inside a brothel and get beat up by a hooker?  Is it funny to have life's priorities so screwed up that I left my child and husband for the weekend to go hang out and get drunk with a band?  Is it funny to get so wrapped up in trying to succeed that I wasted hundreds of my family's dollars on juice.  No... not so funny.  I started to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.  My heart began pounding in my chest and I started struggling to breath.  Anxiety found me, and I tell you, anxiety is not my friend.

I didn't sleep well.

This morning, I reached out to a friend who has 'been there and done that' and told him how I was feeling.  I told him of the memories, the laughter and then how it all came to a screeching halt with shame.  He knew exactly how I felt... like I said, he has been there and done that.  He gave me some good advice.  He told me what he does when it happens to him...  he bows his head and says to satan...

In the name of Jesus Christ... do not tempt me!

Tempt was the perfect word, even though I wasn't feeling what I would say was standard temptation.  I wasn't wishing I could go do those things again or longing for the past.  No, my temptation was different... it was the temptation to let the devil make me forget that GOD HAS ALREADY FORGIVEN ME for all of that stuff.  I only had to ask once.  I do not need to feel guilty or ashamed any longer.  He cleansed me with His blood and I am free.

I have repeated the phrase "In the name of Jesus Christ... leave me alone!" many times today and it has helped.  But I've had to continue to say it because the devil is really at me.

I'm thankful for my friend's wise words, I am thankful to have a God that saved me and made me new again, I am thankful for the love I have for Jesus but mostly, I am thankful for the love Jesus has for me.  I only had to ask once and it was done.

Stupid tacos.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

So Frustrated

It's been a crappy last few days!

I have poured my heart and soul into writing my book "As Is."  I love the story, I love my style and I love how God trusted me with this task.  He gave it to me... I typed.

I needed someone to do a professional editing on it for me to clean up mistakes, clear up some redundancy and just give it a good proofread.  Instead what I got was advice from a stranger that the only thing I needed to change was... everything.  The first page of my manuscript was returned to me COMPLETELY RE-WRITTEN.  Not one sentence remained in tact.  It didn't sound like me at all, and the story had a COMPLETELY different feel to it.  Soft and mushy instead of raw like I like it! When I kindly objected to the total revision of my work, I was met with a response that made me feel as though if I keep it the way it is, it will suck and no one will be able to read it.

I know my writing is far from perfect.  I know my style is unique... and I gotta tell you - I like it that way.  I am not a perfect person and I am very unique so why shouldn't my writing reflect that?  Why should I have to conform to some standard that isn't what God fed me in the writing process?

I want this to be a successful venture... not for myself, but for the message God has because it is a powerful one!!!  I am amazed He is using me to get it out there so I want to do it right and do it to the best of my abilities.  I want to get out of my own way to make sure His purpose is fulfilled.  If God knew I was going to need to change everything because of my skill level then, why did He choose me?  No, He chose me for a reason.

Even still, I have been struggling the last 24 hours with wondering if I need to humble myself to the advice of another .... or.... if I should just let my light shine for God the way it is.  If I am going to be honest, one of the reasons this is bothering me so much is this is the second person to give me very similar advice.  I feel attacked now, I hear a nasty little voice in my head saying, "You stink... you can't do this... you will fail...give up!"  That is satan, no doubt.  But what if there is a shred of truth to it... isn't that how he works???  I find myself back at.... do I need to humble myself and change everything for the sake of God's message... or... do I let my light shine brightly for Him and plow forward with confidence knowing He is going to make what He wants out of it regardless of me?

Interestingly enough, today's sermon was about salt and light.  The title was " Be Who You Already Are."  My pastor actually said these words... "If you are a writer... then wouldn't it be great if you could fill Hollywood with your works for Jesus instead of just letting what's out there grow?"  POW!!!

I'm searching for a different editor now, one who will do what I asked... clean up mistakes and redundancy but allow me to be who I am.  Not sure that exists.  Not sure I like editors very much right now but I'm guessing there isn't a writer out there who hasn't felt the way I feel right this minute.  Frustrated, less than, attacked, horrible, useless.  That's satan again, no doubt.

Luckily, I don't have to figure it out myself.  I've got God for that.  Just hope my ears are open enough for me to hear His answer when He tells me what He wants.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Writing Again!!!

I am so excited to say... I am writing again!  And not only writing, but writing fiction.  I have not done that in YEARS.  How did it happen???   Here's how...

My husband bought me a tablet for Christmas and I wanted to see if I liked reading on it so I ordered a book called Silence by Natasha Preston on Kindle just to try it out.  I discovered I liked reading on the tablet.  I also discovered... I like Natasha Preston!  Her writing reminded me of my own from years ago when I published Desco.  Reading her work inspired me to get back in the game.

With a new vision for my writing (Christian fiction) I started writing As Is right away and finished it in only 14 days!  God fed me the story and I typed!  It has been edited and reviewed by several test readers getting excellent reviews!  I am currently working with an excellent photographer (Gutzman Photography) for cover art and I am waiting on a theological review of my writing to be complete... waiting is hard!!!

I will be publishing on my own again, by choice.  It will be available on Amazon as a paperback and an ebook on Kindle.  Not sure about Nook???  My hope is to have it live by Mid-March but we will see!

Here is the write up on As Is:

Life had been nothing but hard for Mara Shaw.  One bad relationship after another left her as a single mom with no faith in anything. A move to get away from the past and a declaration to never allow herself to be hurt again gave her a new start.  What she didn’t know was how much of a new start she was really going to get.  He showed up and showed her the truth.  While the truth was ugly and hard to accept, it was also the key to her freedom.  Would he be the answer to all her dreams?  Or would a new nightmare take over her life?  It was up to her to choose.

I just started a twitter account  @wendyoleston if you'd like to follow my writing updates.

My writing goal: Give something of value to the world instead of taking something valuable away

Blessing to all of you out there...