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“Dangerous Southern Writing” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Southern writers like to use catchy phrases for their unique style. Southern Fried Fiction, Southern Tales of Sweet Tea Days, etc. They all sound innocent, warm and friendly with a “bless your heart” drawl in the background. Don’t be fooled. Southern writers can be downright dangerous.

My husband and I were traveling home from Long Island last weekend. It was later in the evening on a lovely summer day and everyone, EVERYONE decided to go out at the same time.

Traffic was bumper to bumper and no matter what parkway or bridge we aimed for, it was all backed up. Grand Central Parkway: cars were lined up for miles. Cross Island Parkway: traffic would move for about 3 minutes then come to an abrupt halt. Whitestone Bridge: yeah, we’d get across it eventually, hopefully before the Second Coming. Though that would certainly have lifted us out of it in a flash.

We finally reached a point where cars were moving along at a decent pace. I settled back and begin catching up on emails. “Hey, Connie’s got a new blog post up, want me to read it to you?” Dwayne nodded, happy to have some comedic diversion to our long stressful travels. So…I read it out loud.

About my crazy dazed TN gal and her views on the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. We were both laughing, agreeing that yes, Connie had spent some tulip-tiptoeing time and definitely worked hard at restful retreating. (I couldn’t even find her one day because she escaped to Black Mt. and hunted through boutiques, coffee shops and what not before slipping back into Ridgecrest under cover) So here we are sailing down the highway and laughing it up but really, it was the last line of her blog that almost put us into the river. Dwayne swerved, I yelled and all was well, we were back on the road.

Oh yeah, I know you’re wondering about that last line. Check it out at https://wisdomfromthedoublewide.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/writer-dazed-after-conference/ 

Just be careful.


 


“The Forgotten Few” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Returning home from Blue Ridge Conference is an experience in itself. Re-acclimating to normal day to day life and no longer surrounded by all those crazy, lovable, amazing and creative writer friends. I agree with many of the recent posts on what a marvelous conference we had this year. And kudos to the hard-working, never-slowing-down staff who manage to pull it all together.

But I’m thinking of those who may have been unable to attend and feel like they have missed out. Over the past eleven years, I missed one conference and I was so miserable I wrote a saga of the “Blue Ridge Blues.” : )  My suggestion to those who missed this year is to go back over notes from other conferences. We receive so much material, bring it all home and don’t always find the time to go back to it. Use this time to review and re-visit the conference spirit! Stay active on the Blue Ridge FB page.  I know I missed many people this year including Al & Becky Gansky, Latan, Jan Willis and the list goes on. Please know you were missed! 

The other “forgotten few” are those who may have attended for the first time and felt lost and overwhelmed. I do hope we made you feel welcome so you’ll come back again. Maybe you entered a contest and didn’t win. Congratulations – you are now a legitimate writer who can talk about rejections! Seriously. We have all been there. Perhaps you had appointments that didn’t go as you expected them to. Remember Edie’s farewell speech about God’s scenic journey. He DOES have a plan and a purpose for you. Be encouraged. Think about the inspiring keynotes of T. Davis Bunn, (working on that creative space?) and Steve Laube. I keep hearing his voice in my head saying, “Don’t you dare…!” and it will be my mantra this year to continue the craft of writing. 

Forgotten Few, you are NOT forgotten! Don’t you dare stop writing, there is no excuse.

 



Mother’s Day Survival..Once Again by Cynthia A. Lovely

Warning: if you love Mother’s Day, don’t read on. 

Personally, I try to ignore it every year. Though not an easy task when bombarded by commercial appeals for gifts, cards, flowers….you name it. All it takes is a browse-through a card shop and I’m in tears. I miss my mother and the missing will never go away.

My biggest complaint about this day is that it is no longer personal. It would be lovely if people simply honored their mother quietly at home. In whatever manner they think best. Perhaps taking some of her daily responsibility upon their own shoulders. Sometimes I think they would appreciate that gesture much more than cards and gifts.

But no, this “holiday” is wide spread and you can’t escape it. Unfortunately it has infiltrated our churches. I know many women who will no longer attend church on Mother’s Day. It’s not worth the insensitivity and the embarrassment. If you’ve lost your mother and/or never had children, you understand. While more than half the church are honored, lauded and paraded before the congregation, you sit with the minority and want to crawl under the pew. And it gets worse if they try to point you out as “mothers of the church,” trying to find some appropriate title to include you in their celebration. Count me out.

My husband and I have a standing joke of who will be the first to put their foot in their mouth and wish me a happy mother’s day. It’s guaranteed within the church but one year I was standing on the church steps waiting for the door to be unlocked, when a neighbor strode by and called out a happy mothers day to me. I couldn’t even get in the building without it! And this year, we’re ahead by many days, as an office supply rep wished me a happy mothers day mid-week! Sorry people, not all women are mothers. I’m going to spend some time with other motherless and kidless friends that day and quietly, simply honor the memory of our own dear mothers.

Rant over, and I did warn you…


“Wisdom of the Elderly” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORD – “A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness.” Prov. 16:31  

I have a deep and sincere respect for the elderly mentors in my life.

Seasoned saints who have lived for God through every imaginable circumstance and come out on the other side…in victory.      

I look to them for an example. I need their advice, guidance, encouragement and strength. These wonderful men and women of God have affected my life over and over again.

Look around you. Are there elderly people among your congregation that sometimes go unnoticed?

You may be missing out on an opportunity for a relationship filled with rich treasures of wisdom. 

Do you already have someone like this in your life?  I pray we learn to hear the voice of our elders. They can help us on this path to avoid some of the rough places because they have made their own mistakes. Let’s learn from them. 

“Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding.” Job 12:2

 

 


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – I asked my husband if we could watch a Christmas movie tonight but he refused.

Of course, it was his third time in from snow blowing and he looked like an unfriendly snowman dripping icicles and wet snowdrops all over the carpet, so I closed the subject quickly.

Snowstorms always remind me of God’s power. I find it amusing how so many people today think they can control everything and they have absolutely no need for GOD. And all He has to do is gather together a few snowflakes and the whole region closes down.  No, I’m not happy about the two feet of snow outside but…we do live in upstate NY and it is only March.  Let’s celebrate our final snowstorm (please pray with me on this) with some good Words:   

Lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding. Psalm 148:8

He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes Psalm 147:16 NIV

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 KJV

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 KJV

HAPPY SNOW DAY!

 

 



” Words of my mouth…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORD - Do we ever pause in our daily conversations to think about the words we speak?

Not only the words we speak to others but…when we are “talking to ourselves.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.

Lately I’ve been noticing how many times I utter these words, “I am so tired.”  And different variations along that theme.

The speed of life continues to accelerate and we manage to plow through but I imagine many of us are using this phrase on a constant basis. Convincing ourselves how exhausted we are. Bringing more weariness and a defeatist attitude.

Let’s change it up! Every time this phrase or a similar one starts to form, try a different slant.

  • I am so blessed.
  • God, I am thankful.
  • I am pressing on! 
  • I can do all things through Christ!

 Imagine what a difference this will make in our attitudes.

Do you have a repetitive phrase you fall back on?

Will you join me in using positive words?

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord…”


 

 


“Shred” by Cynthia A. Lovely

 A WORD – SHRED: to tear, cut up.

The winter storms we’ve had recently in upstate NY have kept me in, house-bound and bordering close to cabin fever.

I am determined to put the time to good use so I continue to work on de-cluttering and getting rid of “stuff.” I started shredding some old documents and found bank statements and cancelled checks from…the 90′s.  Yeah, about time to get rid of them.

Going through the papers, I’m reminded of God’s provision and faithfulness through the years. Supplying our every need. Guiding us through all our decisions.

And as the papers move through the shredder, leaving tiny undecipherable bits of paper left, I am grateful for His grace.

The grace that takes our past sins and problems and shreds them to nothing as we repent before Him. 

No longer readable .

We can’t go back and look at them again.

And He has forgotten them in the great sea of forgetfulness.

Moving forward in Christ. 

His mercies are new every morning.

Oh, God is good to us!

So…do you have some old things that need to be shredded? Both naturally and spiritually?

 

 


“Step carefully…” by Cynthia A. Lovely


Do you trip easily?

Are you a fast walker?

Do you pay attention to where you’re going? 

How often we get caught up in the chaos of everyday life and find ourselves in places we never intended to be in.

This may not always be a forbidden place or dangerous territory. But it can be a place of complete distraction to where the Lord wants to lead us.

As I get older, I find myself intentionally slowing my pace. I’ve fallen before from not paying attention to where I was walking, tripped on a broken sidewalk and broken my wrist. Painful consequences of not “pondering the path!”

I’m sure we don’t want to stumble or fall in our spiritual walk. Or to rush ahead of God’s plan.

My prayer for you: God help us to learn how to ponder the path of our feet and allow all our ways to be established in You. 

Question: This week, have you thought about where you are walking? Is it time to slow down?

 

 


“Surviving Mother’s Day” by Cynthia A. Lovely

I confess I avoid Hallmark stores at this time of year. Just walking through the mother’s day selections brings me to tears.

If you have lost your mother, whether at an early age or later in life, it never becomes easy. Add to that scenario the fact that I am kidless. So it is two strikes against me.

  • If you are struggling this weekend with either of these situations, turn your eyes and your heart upon Jesus. He alone can fill those empty places. And His understanding is infinite! Remember He has a perfect plan for you. You are never forgotten. You are cherished as His own treasure!
  • On a practical note, find out what works best for you on this day. Meet another motherless friend for lunch and treat yourself to spring shopping. Or take off for a day trip to a fun location. Sometimes, I skip church. Rather drastic, huh?  If they are “over-the-top” with “mother” being mentioned 350 times during the service and every bit of focus is on that occasion…I’m out of there!
  • I have nothing against mothers; I had the most awesome,wonderful mother in the world. But in a church service, once the focus turns away from Jesus, it all goes downhill from there. Yes, let us honor our mothers but it should never take up more than a few minutes in a church service.
  • Be kind to those who automatically “Happy Mother’s Day” you : ) They don’t get it. This doesn’t only happen in church. One year just standing on the church steps, a stranger walked by and gave me this greeting!

Enjoy this weekend and keep your eyes on Jesus.

We will not only survive, we will find our  joy and contentment in Him.

 



“It is written…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORD – The above verse is a favorite scripture for many people. I have recited it often enough in my walk with God.

I chanted it all the way home from work one day last week. While battling a sinus infection, I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my vision and motion. Till I tried to drive home.

I couldn’t see straight. At times, the middle line seemed double. Which threw me off when another car came by in the other lane. I pulled off the road to clear my head, rather shaky at this point. The last leg of the journey was five miles climbing up my hilly, country road. Whoa. Did not want to land in a ditch.

I confess I did feel a bit frantic but what choice was there at this point? I couldn’t just leave the car in the middle of the road and walk. I prayed and continued to repeat this verse over and over again. It is written, it is written, in Your Word…. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

When I pulled into my driveway I was almost in tears. No, scratch that. I did cry, from sheer relief of avoiding an accident. God’s Word is powerful. Read it, memorize it, quote it, live by it. Thank God for HIS WORD!

 I carpooled with my husband the next day  : )

 


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