Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Notes on a writers conference and a book, "Love's Compass."

Freshly back from Mount Hermon's Christian Writers Conference, my stack of books to read is growing.

The Keith Green book is a reference to one of my favorite worship moments of the conference--the whole group of editors, publishers and writers, all singing a Keith Green song, and it was right there in the hymnal! i love Keith Green songs. i love Keith Green. He was becoming known in the early years of my marriage (about a hundred years back.) As soon as i heard him sing and play piano, i was a fan of his heart.

The "make your own travel mug" was purchased at Mount Hermon so i can line it with the business cards of people i met at the conference and want to pray for. That way the coffee can travel to my desk and remind me to pray.

The flashlight is the one i took to use in the very dark nights of the conference but forgot to ever take out of the room.

i think i'll tell you about the stack as i read through it. i've already read most of Angus Nelson's "Love's Compass: When We've Lost Our Way." It's a compellingly told story of how God can redeem even the most messed up man on the planet, the self-admitted "Man Whore."

WHAT did i just say there? Yup. Angus appears to be the poster child for "looking for love in all the wrong places." He writes, he speaks for groups, and he's a sweet guy. And though the topic speaks to the self-destructive way people often deal with relationships, the principle applies to much more.

It applies to me. I've spent years looking for someone to fill that role of nurturing mother. i just wanted someone to believe in me and not think i was a failure, think that i might be "good enough." i looked to my earthly mother, but she wasn't really capable of unconditional love and acceptance due to her own issues. When i was less than 5, my thyroid quit working. i became a round little ball of a girl. i remember walking around the house eating carrots, carrots, carrots, trying to lose weight, My mother would tell me that too much of anything was bad--look at horses, they eat carrots and look how big THEY are. Even apples. Pigs eat apples, and look how FAT they are.

My mother got me into a doctor to get treated--by the time i was in high school i was taller and reasonably lean. When not lean enough for my mother, she had her doctor prescribe me diet pills, as in amphetamines. When i had pneumonia with a 104 degree fever during Spring break of my senior year and lost 10 pounds, i remember standing in front of the mirror. "Dang, maybe i can barely stand up, but just prop me in front of the mirror!"

i weighed 115 pounds.

It's been a constant theme in my head ever since. Haven't managed to shake the feeling of failure. i think i have worked it through, but no. A casual word said and i'm a 6 year old trying to lose weight and failing again.

We look for love in many places that can't provide. Only our Creator God can love us like we need.

Anyway, read the book. It's good.

Skimmer's recap: went to conference. Met people. Bought books. Read most of one.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The New Year.

i thought perhaps a good way to start the new year and begin to post again (thanks to Marilyn for her sweet encouragement in her Christmas card) would be for Julia to interview julie. (Both me. Really.)

Julia: So, any brilliant thoughts to start us on this new year of possibilities?

julie: You mean now that it's March?

Julia: Well, right--but it's taken us this long to start much of anything.

julie: True, but no, not really. Oh! Can i talk about last year?

Julia: Okay--what about last year?

julie: i don't want to talk about it.

Julia: Uh--

julie: Well, it was a bit of a stinky year--dear hubby retired from United after 34 years, thank you very much, BUT he only retired to start a new job with the Port of Oakland doing the same thing.

Julia: But that sounds great!

julie: HellOO--you DO remember he then was laid off? Out of seniority? And had to find a new job? And--

Julia: (whispering) of course I remember--I'm just pretending for the sake of the interview--

julie: OH! Right! Haha. SO, Julia, to tell you the rest of the story (wink) he found a job after 2 months, and that was pretty amazing, and then his good friend worked with the union to prove the Port messed up and got him his job back. So he went back to work there.

Julia: i see--and how is that?

julie: He really likes it. Plus he passed probation while he wasn't even working there. How great is that?

Julia: That is good. Anything else?

julie: Well, daughter Cori and her executive chef hubby Luis stayed with us for several months so they could save up money and pay stuff off. But he didn't cook at home, really. Super sad stuff, that.

Julia: Anything other thoughts on 2009?

julie: OH! OH! Yes! i had the perfect storm of a birthday! It was on 09-09-09. How cool is that?! Plus, i started buying matching hangers for all my clothes and changing them over. It's gonna revolutionize my closet!

Julia: How, exactly?

julie: It's gonna look awesome every time i go in there!

Julia: Ah. Well, have you thought of anything to tell us about the year we are in now?

julie: OH! OH! i get to go to the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference soon-- Something like 6 days of no cooking or cleaning!

Julia: Now that DOES sound exciting. Do you have anything in particular you're trying to get published, any goal in mind?

julie: Not yet. But it's, like, 6 days of no cooking or cleaning!

Julia: I don't think we can top that, so I think we're done, our dear 3 readers, until next time.

julie: 6 whole days!

Julia: We're done.