Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Love that Delights

Are there people in your life who light up when they see you? Who make it known they are happy you came? I realized a couple of years ago how wonderful it is when people show that they are delighted to see me. This weekend I went to a cider press and saw a friend I hadn't seen in months. She hugged me--a good, real hug--and told me how glad she was I was there.

I hope there is something about me that friends like this genuinely appreciate. But I also think that showing delight in this way is a part of who they are: People Who Love. When I experience this kind of love, it makes me want to give the gift of delight to others as well. It reminds me of the love of God, who is constantly opening His arms wide to me and telling me how delighted He is that I came. Even though I don't deserve it.

And I definitely want to be like Him.

Is there someone in your life you can show love to by being delighted to see them?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Quote of the Week: C.S. Lewis

I love this thought from C.S. Lewis! God knew what He was doing when He created you.

Read more great quotes here.


I have found the perfect apple.

It hangs here, smooth and firm against my palm.
It has a lovely curve, pink streaks and a green collar circling the stem.
It is the perfect apple.

Here it grew five months,
This branch its home,
Its cells doing what cells do:
Their secret, private work.

Now, it rests in my hand,
And I can take it,
Break its connection,
Sever its strength.

It will go home in my basket.
It will feed my longing, delight my desire.

If I left it, would it hang,
Its beauty unblemished, unscarred
By knife, teeth, or time?

It would fall,
Its cupped stem's lip unkissing the mother branch,
Shoving away toward the insistent earth

Birds would eat it,
Or worms, or deer,
And then, the earth itself
The earth, who eats all things at last.

Look. I will put the apple in my basket.
I will take it home.

No, I will eat it now, this moment.
It is ready now.

If I could choose, I too would go this way.
All of meripe, strong, sweet, ready
Delightedly doing
What I was made to do.

©2014 Deborah King 

Read more poetry here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Breathe Christian Writer's Conference

I had a great time last weekend at Breathe Christian Writer's Conference, held at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. If you're looking for a writer's conference to attend and live in or near Grand Rapids, I'd highly recommend marking your calendar for next year's conference on Oct. 9-10, 2015! (Bonus--you can enjoy the conference and celebrate my birthday with me!)

Me and my friend Alexis, who told me about the conference!

I've been meaning to go to a writer's conference for a while, and, believe me, I gleefully put a check mark by this item on my bucket list after attending. So here are a few highlights from the conference for me:

1. Getting to meet and interact with a bunch of really cool people who are published authors, bloggers, agents, or in other ways invested in writing. I never guessed how inspiring it would be to hear others' stories of their writing journeys, whether already published or still working toward that goal. I came away with a greater desire than ever to pursue my dream of writing and to persevere in whatever ways necessary to see my work published.

2. Workshops on publishing. I went to a lot of really great workshops at the conference, but the ones that were the most helpful and interesting to me were those that talked about the nitty-gritty details of getting published. I feel like someone just shoved a million tools in my hands that I didn't even know
Me and my friend Shannon, who recently got a book contract!
to look for before. Stuff about finding and working with an agent, writing a book proposal,
publicizing your work, and moderating your expectations when actually published. There's more for me to learn on these topics, but I feel headed in a good direction.

3. Resources. At the conference, I gathered a ton of resources that I'm super excited to use. Websites to help me keep in the loop about the book market (e.g., Publisher's Weekly). Blogs that discuss publishing topics. Magazines to send submissions to. Other conferences to possibly attend. Web tools and apps to promote my writing. Books on writing or just plain good reads (I've ordered a few! Can't wait until they arrive.).

Best of all was getting to chat with my friends Alexis, Jill, and Shannon about everything we were learning! I can't wait to attend my next writer's conference, and I'm on the hunt for a great one to try out.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Faves for September

This is my first time trying this, so I'm gonna stretch the rules a little bit. The idea is that I share five things for the month that I've discovered, loved, and that made my life happy! Obviously, I'm a bit late for September! Still, here goes.

1. Connie Willis (To Say Nothing of the Dog, Bellwether)

This is my top favorite for a reason. I can't say I've enjoyed an author so much since I first discovered Rick Riordan. (You can read about that awesomeness here.) Connie Willis writes science fiction, but both of the books I've read so far aren't at all like what I think of when I think science fiction (absolutely no aliens involved). My intro to Willis (hat tip to my friend Kim for that) was To Say Nothing of the Dog, a romance/mystery/sci-fi/just-plain-fun book that I had a hard time putting down. Most of the book takes place in Victorian England as two time-travelers (Ned and Verity) try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the bishop's bird stump, a hideous vase of sorts. I just finished Bellwether--the story of a trends researcher who is utterly un-faddish--and liked it nearly as well. I think what appeals to me the most about Willis is the way she fills her books with the most delicious details--history, literature, science--all in the minds of characters who are enthralled by knowing and connecting ideas. I am perfectly certain that if I met Willis' characters in real life, we would get along.

2. Noosa yogurt

Passion fruit flavor ... mmmm
This stuff is amazing. I've been an Activia fan for a while (I eat it almost every day), but this yogurt may just convert me. It is like dessert. Seriously. So far, I've had the pumpkin, the tart cherry, and the raspberry (all amazing), and I fully intend to try every flavor I can get my hands on. I'm looking at the website right now, and THEY HAVE PASSION FRUIT. These people clearly know me. (Thanks to Shoshanna for sharing your snacks, else I might never have known what I was missing!)

3. "Overwhelmed" by Big Daddy Weave

I love Big Daddy Weave! This song makes me so happy. It's been around for a year or so, apparently, but I heard it for the first time on the radio this month.

Here's the chorus:

I delight myself in You,
Captivated by Your beauty;
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You.
God, I run into your arms,
Unashamed because of mercy;
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You.

Listen to the full song here:

4. Breathe Christian Writer's Conference

This doesn't really count, because I haven't actually gone yet. But I am all signed up to attend Breathe Writer's Conference one week from today! I have wanted to attend a writer's conference for a while now, so I am excited to attend (and thankful to my friend Alexis for letting me know about it). I hope to share some of the highlights of it with you soon.

5. The Crow

Ze crow
The crow is a yoga pose that looks like this lady on the right:
I've been working on it for a while (read: two years) and I can finally do it! Yeah! It feels really good to say that. (Please don't tell me how you were able to do the crow the first time you tried. Please. Do. Not.)

Here is video proof of me doing the crow.
(Um--note: In this video I say I'm going to hold the pose for a "few minutes." Make that "a few moments." Ha. Not like you want to watch me hold the crow for even one minute anyway.)