I spent the weekend with my sister writing for the 3 Day Novel contest at a cabin in the woods. As the last tick-tock of Monday night flew by, we had very sore backs and butts, the giggles and two finished stories.
The time away was wonderful but not what you might call a relaxing getaway. We wrote non-stop - between the two of us we accomplished just shy of 80 thousand printed words in three days. That does not count all the back spacing and deleting required to get to the finished product.
The funny thing about the weekend was my sister had an unusual case of laryngitis. She can only whisper. She is not ill, but her voice hasn't come back yet after many, many weeks. So, aside from needed to focus on writing instead of visiting - we couldn't visit much. So after spending Friday evening until Tuesday afternoon together we probably typed double the amount of words we spoke - easily.
Why do I tell you this little morsel of random information? Because
some people know you so well you can sit silently beside them for days and never feel awkward, self-conscious or forced to fill the air with needless chatter. In fact a few days before we left for our 'working-holiday' together she facebooked me this comment.
It has been said that everlasting friends go long periods of time without speaking and never question the friendship . These friends pick up like they just spoke yesterday, regardless of how long it has been or how far away they live, and they don't hold grudges. They understand that life is busy…… and…you will ALWAYS love them.Our weekend was a testament to that! Thank you Kathy for your unspoken support, friendship and sisterhood. You are a blessing to me as you make me feel 'okay' and accepted in my craziness. I love you.
Something that has stemmed out of that thought as I opened my Bible today is that there is One who knows me better, loves me more and waits patiently for me to come and abide with Him. To come and spend a week-end in His presence.
Today I read from a popular Psalm. It shook me despite its familiarity for two reasons. First Psalm 139 spoke of a love that time does not erase or fade with time. The same love that misunderstandings, dishonesty and shame cannot shatter.
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. (Yet, you love me still.) You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (And you accept them lovingly without pause.)The second reason is this: I sometimes forget how well God knows me to the deepest core of my being, that He made me. I tend to glide over the understanding that nothing I do is a surprise to Him. (In a novel I am reading right now, the author says "God never leans over the balcony of heaven and gasps." Beyond a Moment, Tamera Alexander. Page 100.)
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. (Not only can you see all that I do in the light and in secret, but you know my words before I form them. You see me as I will be in a moment and in time.) You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.Wow. Do you ever get the sense that you've read scripture hundreds of times before but somehow you missed the gem hidden inside it?
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?"This weekend I was away typing furiously on my keyboard I had a crossroads moment. A time where I made a choice and then later considered the consequences. I went into the weekend with the story idea I was to write. Then I made the big "oops" of altering it. This is bad for many reasons but two I will point out. First is when you only have three days to complete an entire story, altering from the pre-planned course can be . . . well, let's just say bad.
Second, I have claimed from the beginning that God authors the stories but I write them. So as is a common thread in my own life story - the clay tried to tell the Potter what should happen from here. Now, for clarification(and redemption) sake, I prayed about it, asked for God's guidance but then jumped in and wrote the story.
I didn't change the storyline totally, I simply altered how the main character was going to react to the plot line. In the end I have a complete story, although different from the original strain. It is not lacking because of my change, it is only different. However my heart felt a little queasy at the thought that in changing the character's reactions, I changed the outcome and thus changed the image of God I had originally set out to show. In other words, my moral theme is different. Not wrong, I don't think - just different.
As I shared with my dilemma with a Dear Little Friend, she commented to me; "Did God change it or did you?"
My immediate response was "me". However having had an evening and night to ponder it I have to say I am not sure. I entered into my weekend with prayer. I have committed my stories to the Almighty Author and Editor and 'before a word is on my tongue' He knows it.
So, . . . who changed the story?
Search me, O God, and know my heart: test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.How has God shown his love and understanding for you? Do you live as though he knows all your thoughts and your words before they see the light of day?