Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: Partnering

Here is today's 15 seconds of inspiration,
your Tuesday Tidbit.

The truth of Diana's words fills me with wonder. How about you?


Thursday, September 25, 2014


This is one of the saddest passages in the Bible:

They believed His words;
They sang His praises.
They soon forgot His works.
 Psalm 106:12-13

God has told us many times to remember all we’ve seen Him do and to tell our children and grandchildren (Deuteronomy 4:9), and yet:

“Many churches have forgotten
the premium that the historic Judeo-Christian tradition
placed on remembrance
and recalling the right things.
The ‘great sin’ of the Old Testament
was forgetfulness
(at least it is the most recurrent offense).
Remember’ is the most frequent command
in the Old Testament.”
(Clapham Memo, January 19, 2007,
“Back and Forth,” by Mike Metzger; emphasis mine)

Memoirists have a great honor, a high privilege: We get to “Remember His marvelous works which He has done (Psalm 105:5).

Memoirists have the joy of putting into words what we’ve seen God do. I’m not talking about supernatural events that would get tweeted around the world—though such noteworthy things happen sometimes. No, mostly we write about everyday events because most of us are ordinary people living ordinary livesyet God is in the midst of our everyday lives, working out His best for us, blessing us, working out His ultimate purposes.

“Almighty God,
You are a very present help in trouble.
Today, I want to remember all the times
You have helped me in trouble.
I am quick to cry out to You for help,
but I am slow to remember the countless times
You intervened to meet my deepest needs.
Especially I remember _______ and _______.
Thank You, Lord.”  
(Lloyd John Ogilvie, Quiet Moments with God
emphasis mine)

Remembering takes time. Remembering requires commitment. Be intentional. Carve out times and quiet places that will give you opportunities to remember, and be sure to have pencil and paper with you.

Remembering, rediscovering, what God has done—and connecting the dots—will knock your socks off. You’ll be more blessed than you can imagine.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: Autumn!

Here’s your Tuesday Tidbit, 15 seconds of inspiration:

Autumn is here!
What does autumn sound like?
Taste like?
Feel like?
Smell like?
Look like?

If some of your memoir’s stories took place in the autumn, be sure to include a few sensory details.

Sensory details invite readers to more fully experience your story with you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

“From where does that thrilling and terrifying insight come upon us?”

"Every now and then (from where does that thrilling and terrifying insight come upon us?), we feel compelled to act. Each one of us are (sic) messengers on a sacred mission.…

Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
For some there are more pieces.
For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.
Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.

… You do not have within yourself
All the pieces to your puzzle.…

Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else’s puzzle.…

And when you present your piece…
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High."
~Lawrence Kushner, Eyes Remade for Wonder; emphasis mine)

In writing your memoir, think of yourself as a “messenger on a sacred mission.”

Someone, likely several people, helped supply missing pieces to your own puzzle.

Now it’s your turn to pass on the blessing.

Recognize this: You carry within yourself, and therefore within your story, “at least one and probably many pieces to someone else’s puzzle.…”

Starting today, believe that writing your stories for others makes you a messenger from the Most High.”

You stand on holy ground.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What's your memoir's ultimate purpose?

Here's today's 15 seconds of inspiration,
this week's Tuesday Tidbit:

What is your memoir's ultimate purpose? Have you given it any serious thought?

Here at SM 101, Deuteronomy 4:9 is our focus:

“Always remember what you’ve seen God do for you
and be sure to tell your children and grandchildren!”

With that in mind, please read What is Your Memoir’s Ultimate Purpose?

May those words help you focus 
and organize 
and write 
and finish 
your memoir!

P.S. The photo at that link is of my sweet daughter and my second grandson!  :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Evidence! Shouldn't you be writing about it?

Have you ever held in your hands a chunk of God's love?

Silly question, I know.

You and I can't hold in our hands a chunk of God's love.

We can't take a photo of Him or His promises, but when we live each day by faith, God gives us evidence of who He is and evidence that He's involved in our lives.

He gives us tangible evidence of His love, His power to help, His creation, His protection, guidance, forgiveness, and answers to prayer.

"God has blessed his peoplejust look at the evidence!" (2 Chronicles 31:10b, The Message).

Shouldn't you be writing your stories about all this?

“ … But he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts” (Acts 14:17 NLT).

“There's no end to what has happened in you—it's beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives” (1 Corinthians 1:4, The Message).

 The poor and homeless are desperate for water,
   their tongues parched and no water to be found.
But I'm there to be found, I'm there for them,
   and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty.
I'll open up rivers for them on the barren hills,
   spout fountains in the valleys.
I'll turn the baked-clay badlands into a cool pond,
   the waterless waste into splashing creeks.
I'll plant the red cedar in that treeless wasteland,
   also acacia, myrtle, and olive.
I'll place the cypress in the desert,
   with plenty of oaks and pines.
Everyone will see this. No one can miss it—
   unavoidable, indisputable evidence
That I, God, personally did this.

   It's created and signed by The Holy of Israel (Isaiah 41:17-20, The Message).

What “unavoidable, indisputable evidence” do you have that God has acted on your behalf?

Perhaps He provided for you in a time of financial crisis.

Maybe He caused someone to notice you were in danger and call for help.

Maybe someone prayed for you and sat with you when you were desperately ill, or brokenhearted—as if God Himself had sat beside you with His arm around you. 

Perhaps there was a time you were "desperate for water, ... tongues parched and no water to be found," maybe literally, maybe figuratively, and yet you experienced God's assurance, "But I'm there to be found, I'm there for them, and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty" (Isaiah 41:17-20, The Message).

What do those verses symbolize in your life? 

In what specific ways were your "hills barren" and what "rivers" did God open up for you?

What were your "baked-clay badlands" and what was the "cool pond" God created for you?

What caused your "treeless wasteland" and what were the "cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees" God planted in it?

When did you find yourself in the "desert" but God provided "cypress, oaks, and pines"?

You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it...? (Isaiah 48:6, The Message).

Write your stories of the "unavoidable, indisputable evidence that...God personally did this."

Writing your stories of God's involvement in your life will strengthen your faithfor today and for the future, whatever it holds.

Writing your stories will also strengthen your readers' faith.
Who knows what they'll face in their lives?
God can use your stories to prepare them 
and mature them
and use them 
and bless them
in the future.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: Are you a memoirist, a genealogist, or a scrapbooker?

Here’s your Tuesday Tidbit,
your 15 seconds of inspiration:

Are you a genealogist, memoirist, or scrapbooker? Or all three?

“Memoir writers, genealogists, scrapbookers,” writes Matilda Butler. “Most people interested in recording their family consider themselves as one of the three. But only one.”

If that’s you—if you think you’re involved in only one of those three—stretch your thinking. Get beyond that “only one” perspective because these three interests have lots of overlap.

Utilize all three to maximize the richness and impact of your finished works. You’ll really enjoy doing so, and your readers will thank you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

“No such thing as happenstance”

What do you and your memoir have to do with Joseph? You remember Joseph—the guy with the coat of many colors.

He was sold by his brothers,
relocated in Egypt,
elevated to a position of exceptional power and influence,
falsely accused of rape by Potipher’s wife,
imprisoned, an innocent man, in a dungeon,
reconciled with his family,
and resettled in Goshen.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner observes:

“The characters in the tale are so consumed with trying to manipulate their own fortunes that they all (like most of us) fail to notice what is really happening not only around them but—and here is the key idea—through them and despite them. Nobody gets it. Nobody but Joseph.

“… He realizes that something else has been going on all along.… ‘It was not you,’ he tells them, ‘who sent me here but God!’”

Memoirists need to be like Joseph. We need to step back and take a long look—a deep, wide, high look.

Memoirists must shun shallow living and superficial thinking.

Memoirists look over their lives and say, “Something else has been going on all along!

“God is … quietly, invisibly, secretly planning our steps; feeding us our lines; moving us into position; unifying everything we do,” writes Kushner.

“…What we thought was an accident was, in truth, the hand of God. Most of the time we are simply unaware. Awareness takes too much effort.… But every now and then we understand, just for a moment, that God has all along been involved in everything. As Rabbi Zaddok HaKohen taught, ‘The first premise of faith is to believe with perfect faith that there is no such thing as happenstance.… Every detail, small or great, they are all from the Holy One.’” (Eyes Remade for Wonder; emphasis mine)

What are you discovering as you write your memoir?

Be a Joseph! What was God doing,
“quietly, invisibly, secretly” to bring you to today?

What was happening around you, 
through you, and even despite you?

What new person have you become?

What new direction has your life taken?

In what ways has your faith changed?

What messages of wisdom and hope can you write
into your memoir for your readers?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday tidbit: Tests and messes

Here’s your Tuesday Tidbit, 15 seconds of inspiration:

Are you having a good time writing those special stories that will one day be part of your memoir?

In the process of writing, are you discovering the truth of Kaitlyn’s words—that God can and does transform tests into testimonies? That He can and does turn messes into messages?

Just think, decades from now your great-grandchildren might be reading your stories—and discovering that indeed, God turned your messes into messages and your tests into testimonies

That’s a staggering thought!