Being a writer is hard.
I admit it.
I am an author. I've tried to be other things and it didn't go well. Bursts of imagination set me on fire, characters leap out at me from the pages and tug me along on their adventures. Stories run in my veins, but that doesn't mean they come easy. Sometimes, to get those stories out, I have to sweat. I have to cry. I have to bleed.
Anytime you pour that much heart and passion into anything, you risk something. Hope is a driving force, a spark that makes your heart beat faster and thrusts you onto journeys you never thought possible. When it shatters, it takes some time to piece together again. Hope is terrifying.
War stories have always intrigued me. I understand that too often war is sugar-coated and romanticized by those who have never experienced it. War is darkness and death, yet we read stories of it to be reminded that even in the most devastating of times, there is hope. There is courage, there is goodness, there is redemption where we least expect it.
The deeper darkness is, the brighter light will shine.
I am thrilled to announce that three incredibly gifted authors of World War II fiction have agreed to partner with me in giving away one of their books! Each story weaves the gritty days of war with a strand of beauty amidst ashes and will leave you breathless.
Spring is humming on the air, my windows are open as I type, and bursts of sunlight are dancing across my bedroom floor.
There is something beautiful about the sunshine, the way it soaks into my skin the moment I step outside, how it bathes every facet of nature in pale brilliance, and transforms morning dewdrops into flecks of gold.
There is something beautiful in seeing God's creation flourish in the role it was meant to fill. It leaves me wondering how radiant life would be if I spent more time focused on glorifying Christ rather than myself.
I stumbled across a favorite quote by George MacDonald along that vein of thought: "The flower expressed what God was thinking of when He made it; the face, what the girl was thinking of herself. When she ceased thinking of herself, then, like the flower, she would show what God was thinking of when He made her."
I once stumbled across the idea of assigning a word to each new year. Be it a character trait you hope to develop, a challenge you want to overcome, or a goal you would like to reach, narrowing down a single word that you want to define your year does wonders to put things in perspective.
But at the beginning of January, I looked back, trying to remember what my resolutions were a year ago, and instead accidentally assigned a word to my 2020. Considering the fact that the year is over, and in retrospect was nothing like I imagined it would be, this one word was backed by a dozen stories, a thousand emotions, and weighed on my heart as I tried to decide where I go from here. How does one look back on disappointment and still race ahead with joy?
In a word: remember.
Novembers leave me grateful for flannel blankets, apple orchards, first snows, and cozy novels. I woke up this morning before the sun did, but my socks were warm and coffee smells especially amazing when all the rest of the house is asleep. Chocolate is delicious, my favorite song just surprised me on shuffle play, God didn't have to make ice sparkle but He did anyways, bury your nose in the pages of a brand new book if you want to smell adventure...
It's the little things that make life incredible. Especially the hidden ones.
But this year, along with all the goodness of life, I want to be thankful for the hard things.