Thursday, August 10, 2017

Take a Step, God is There

What to write on, what to write on...

It's been so long since I've written and there is a lot to say, but probably not enough words in the English language to explain it all sufficiently.

Praise the Lord in even this, though, because we all learn our own lessons and are left speechless! All that God's taught me, He can teach you, too, and it'll be better than anything I could leave here for you to skim through on your lunch break.

One thing in particular my soul has been dwelling on often lately, is the thought of doing.

We're weird humans. We don't want to leave our comfort zones, try new things, get out of the bubble of the life we've dreamed up for ourselves. We're always saying we—and I quote—"need a sign or word from God on this", but we're all the while holding the Bible in our hands, on our pew in church. Oh, you know, the pew our family has been sitting in since the days of Jefferson.

Don't get me wrong, now: anything God has ever done, He can still do.

He can part the Red Sea, he can give Abraham and Sarah an heir. He can speak. The difference is, everything He wants or needs to say to us is in the Book. High five, literacy!

We have the sign and word from God in our hands, plus a couple extra copies back home.

When a door is open before us, even though it's scary, hard, and altogether the opposite of what we planned, maybe the only thing we should be comparing it to is the Bible. (As opposed to: our plans or dreams, others' thoughts of us, society's norm, etc.)

Does this align with God's plan or will for His children?

Is it obedient?

Is it good work for men, or great work for the Kingdom?


And do the thing. If this aligns with everything you can find in Scripture, you've prayed and have peace, your Spiritual authorities have prayed and have peace (parents, in my case), take the step.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Did God Create Me to Be a Wife?

A few weeks ago, I shared my heart on the topic of "what if I'm called to singleness?" (here).

Here is another limb of the same tree.

Maybe I don't think I'm "called to singleness" in the course of my life, and I'm not "preparing" for that, but maybe I don't think God created me to be a wife, either. And I want y'all to see both sides of the coin.

But let's zoom it out, first.

Why did God create mankind, as a race?

Before the great flood of Genesis, the Bible says God repented and grieved that He had made mankind. If He knows everything, and isn't constrained to time, didn't He know man would use their free will to choose the wrong path all along? Yes. Yes, He did. He created man anyways, though, because He can show Himself even more strong through something imperfect. Rocks and flowers and glaciers are already sinless and perfect, which shows Himself a perfect creator. But His peace, love, grace, mercy, and etc., can only be extended and proven with something flawed. Thus He gave us free will. (He is so perfect, He can't even create something imperfect.) So, He made us perfect and let us defile ourselves, always planning and paving a path to redemption, which does and will glorify Him even greater than all the other elements of His perfect Creation, and will ring throughout eternity when we're with Him, praising Him.

He created us for His glory, folks.

Step one: we're not in the will of God if we aren't glorifying Him in word, deed, and truth.

But as we zoom these binoculars of life in, there's just little me.

I'm a female. A lady. A maiden. A daughter, granddaughter, sister... future mother and aunt?!

What does the Bible say about my gender? Why did we even come about, specifically, even after mankind was created for His glory?

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

I'm not going to go bashing anyone, but I've seen a sickening amount of literature on 'help meets'. Sickening, not in self, but in that it's A-L-W-A-Y-S stripped out of context.

Because 'help meet' = 'wife'


Um. No. God hath not said.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Coronation: A Book Review

Today I'm honored to be a stop on Livy Jarsmuch's blog tour for the release of her newest novel, The Coronation! Yay!

Remember when I said my reading list was short because I was keeping a steady editing roster last winter? This was one of my projects! And, as far as editing projects go, this has been one of my most favorite, yet! Livy is truly budding into a beautiful author! I don't use the word 'author' lightly, either, because she is so much more than a good writer—she's great at plotting, character sketching, and creating depth and emotion with just 26 little letters.

She's got something special.

AND. I promised a book review. Not that anyone had to twist my arm for it or anything...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Fun Blog Tag

Aw, blog tags are fun! I always smile reading tags other bloggers post, so I like to think you smile reading mine, too! ...maybe?

I was tagged in this by Mykaela from Making Music for the Master, who is actually the creator of this tag! I'm not this creative at asking myself questions. So kudos to her. Ha.

1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
Only my family, eh? My dad has this really fast 'Kimberly' birdcall thing that sounds like the cross of a wild monkey and a bubbling brook. Have him do it for you sometime. My little siblings all gave me their own nicknames when they were little and learning to say such big, three-syllable names as mine, but it seems like they've all grown out of it and called me 'Kimberly' as they've gotten older.

2. What's a weird habit of yours?
Uh... Okay, so I basically have to pace back and forth to maintain any kind of decent/intelligent phone conversation. If I sit down while I'm talking on the phone, I go brain dead. It's like magic. A really bad habit of mine is neglecting emails. For, like, months and years. I'm such a terrible person, I know. 😟

3. Do you have any strange phobias?
I am sooo scared of ticks. I hate ticks. I freak out when I see ticks. Last week I was walking into my closet and saw a penny-sized bug crawling up the door facing to my closet—AND IT WAS A TICK. That just creeps me out so much MORE and I'm living in constant paranoia because how did it even get upstairs to my room?! Is its family living my closet?! In my clothes?! AHHHH. The house is ruined. Let us burn it to the ground.

(I'm highly terrified of ticks. But also highly sarcastic. So don't be too worried about my mental state.)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Project Marun 544: Weeks 11-20

It's been ten weeks now since I introduced you to the photography project I'm doing with one of my best friends, Janan, we call Project Marun 544! That was a fast ten weeks! Well, twenty weeks, honestly! Feel free to look back and read it/see my first ten weeks of pictures here!

I'll be the first to admit... some of my weeks of photographing according to theme have been very procrastinated and haphazard. You can probably guess which weeks I'm referring to just based on the pictures. Haha.

Nevertheless. It's good for me, you know? Being purposeful about growing and nurturing a skill I do wish to grow and develop. Finding my own style of shooting + editing. Trying to analyze and produce something to draw a viewer's emotions. I'm so thinking > feeling. So math > art. Sometimes the art side of photography... it just doesn't come naturally. I've gone through phases like this in other things, too... like personal devotions. Some seasons of life have been dry and personal, daily devotions have fallen to the wayside because I don't "feel" like I'm getting anything out of it. Let me not be a person like that. You won't magically find the ocean when you give up walking in the middle of the desert. That's kind of what "pressing on" means to me.

Week 11: Out of Focus

Week 12: Three of a Kind

Week 13: Brick

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Five Top Writing Tips (From an Editor)

“Did I hear you say you’re an editor?” Yes, indeed. It’s one of the many hats I wear. What’s not to like, though?! I get paid to read pre-release books?! I’ve always had the super critical “Grammar Nazi” eye, anyways, so it’s my cup of tea.

Long, long, long before I was an editor, however, I was just a reader. When my mom taught me to read at four years of age I unlocked not just a whole new world, but countless, immeasurable new worlds, just awaiting my exploration.

Next came writing. Now I could create worlds for others to explore with me! How powerful! Magical! Exciting! Most of my first short stories (which I still have somewhere, of course) were knock-offs or parodies of stories we all know—the three little bears and little red riding hood, to name a couple. I even had a whole series going of Winnie the Pooh stories for a while, with all of the same characters, just different names, because copyrights, you know.

Somewhere along the line I volunteered for tribute—eh, a-hem, I mean volunteered to beta read for an author-friend, and that somehow snowballed into a full freelance editing business for me! I have now fully edited all kinds of things, college papers to 400+ page novels, fiction, non-fiction, and whatever we call that genre right in between where it’s kind of like a stretched version of the truth. It’s fun! It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s really good for me, and I’m so blessed to have been led into this by my Creator. He is the only One who could have guided my paths into the places they are now, believe me!

Anyways. Livy, an author I've done some editing for recently (more from her coming soon!) asked me to write and share some writing tips, I guess from the perspective of an editor (it makes sense; I have read and written a ton!). Without further ado, I give you five quick tips for anyone writing—bloggers, published authors, anyone.

1. Tell the story you want to read.

One thing I wish writers would really stop doing is taking notes on other writings. Yes, read! Artists visit galleries; writers read! Don’t stop reading! But also, never ever pattern your book, plot, characters, voice, style, or anything else after someone else’s versions of the same. Please. We want to read your story. Not your mashup of all of those other stories. Besides, if I’m reading for pleasure, I only re-read one in a hundred books. Reading something once is plenty for me 99% of the time. So if your book is a lot like that other book I already read, what’s the sense in me reading yours? Make it you. Pour yourself on that page and don’t worry with anyone who isn’t interested. The right audience will love it.

Also: I really, really love talking to authors about their personal motive. Sometimes they know their characters better than they know themselves. So, here’s to you, why do you write? God’s glory? Your own? Money? Fame? Watch out and keep your priorities straight!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Called to Singleness? Is That a Thing?

"So what are your plans?" The peering, leering adult tilts her chin up and her nose down, poising attention stance, ready to pounce in judgement upon whatever answer I can sputter out.

I freeze up. I race through the data bank of career choices in the back of my mind, but the only legible card is Taxi Driver and I'm not quite sure that dream should be shared with the general public. I catch a coughing fit, hoping to buy myself enough time to come up with an acceptable "plan" speech for this nice—albeit strangely curious—cashier lady.

Just in case you are alienated—by years, circumstances, or maybe monastery rules—I will translate for you that any questions to those about 16-20ish years of age about their [*throat clear*] "plans" is a secret code for: "I would ask you what you want to be when you grow up, but you are technically fully grown, at least physically, so what are you going to do with yourself, you oaf?".

Suffice it to say the little game was absolutely 100% more fun when we were all just eight-year-olds and we could decide on big careers without the slightest taste of the sacrifice any of our choices would normally cost. Today if I say "maybe I'll be a doctor", I'm plagued with everything from scholarship applications to science quizzing and enough horror stories on student loans to give any young adult nightmares.

"I... uh... I want to be a wife and homeschool mother. Lord willing. Someday." I finish the last part in a feverish rush, hoping the mumble was intelligible and breathing a silent prayer the stun and shock from such an answer will give me enough time to run before more questions hit.

And it's true! That's my dream job. My lifelong career of choice. And no matter how many arguments they pose at me cynically and skeptically, it will continue to be.

"Poor kid," they mutter to one another under their breaths, "brainwashed homeschooler doesn't know what the world has to offer."

Yeah, I hear you over there. My ears work even if my reasoning process doesn't, I suppose.

One argument to my dreams that actually does uproot my sureness in my calling (sometimes) is this whole idea of "what if you are called to singleness?"

But—but, didn't I kind of just tell you I'm not?? If I had told you I was called to be a doctor so I was in med school, would you have questioned me like "what if you are called to be something besides a doctor?" No? Why would you not question that, but question the call I'm telling you I have? Just because I cannot pursue it actively right now?

"What if God would rather you didn't marry?"

Oh, but kind sir, what if God would rather you not finish your PhD?

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