Happy Birthday to me. (By the way, it’s chocolate or die.)
Long ago and far away, my parents brought into this world a bouncing baby girl. She was followed two years later by her brother, who’se been chasing her ever since. (Nanny nanny boo boo, and your mother dresses you funny, Stuart.)
I’ve been faithful in every way, but must confess a long-running affair with chocolate — the darker the better. Hot chocolate, chocolate cookies (I’m dieting, and this blog is killing me), chocolate candy, and especially chocolate cake with chocolate icing. No lightweight red velvet, strawberry, or pound for me. “CHAW’-CO-LET.”
As a “from-scratch” organic cook, cakes rarely happen in my kitchen. They’re a hassle; baking at altitude can be disastrous; we’re empty nesters; and the freezer is always full of high-quality protein — hard to find in this valley unless you shoot or catch it yourself.
The cake in this photo has to be my perfect cake: it has M&Ms on top. When I married Mr. Wonderful — longer ago than I’ll share — people dear to us didn’t throw rice or rose petals when we sashayed from the church. No, indeedy. They threw M&Ms. My oldest friend, Kathleen, was photographed patiently sweeping piles of colorful candies in front of an antebellum chapel. It was a very good day.
I ration chocolate now, being careful about boring things like calories while facing a slowing metabolism. But tonight, my blog friends, I’m going to find the biggest piece of the best chocolate cake this valley has to offer. And I’m not sharing — one fork only, please.
Happy Birthday to me.
I just returned from a writer’s conference where I, an unpublished David in the Elah valley of literature, was privileged to pitch manuscripts to editors from various publishing houses. Most were large corporations, some were divisions of Big Six Imprints — Goliaths — and all were extremely interested in my work. From here, the ball is in my gracious literary agent’s court, from which formal proposals will fly in coming weeks like tennis balls from Serena Williams.
My literary agent, Mary G. Keeley of Books & Such Literary Agency, and me.
But here’s the thing. When I was at seminary as an <ahem>
older female student, my profs repeatedly asked one question: what are you going to do with your seminary degree? It wasn’t a casual query. They were genuinely interested in what a middle-aged woman not destined for traditional ministry (by choice) would do after three years of hard labor chasing deeper knowledge of God. My truthful response was, “only God knows.”
I’ve dwelt on faith’s fringe all my life. As a kid wondering how the seven-day Biblical creation dovetailed with scientific eras of earth’s development. As a young lady pursuing afine education when others were marrying young. As a single adult building a business, knowing there might not BE a Mr. Wonderful. As a mother homeschooling while managing a thriving business, trying to sustain a relationship with the late-arriving Mr. Wonderful. As a mature woman at Dallas Theological receiving a doctrinally sound platform on which to stack boxes of experience, education, and enthusiasm.
The truly AMAZING conference news is every single editor loved the work and wants more, appreciating my desire to be a vigorous, joyful voice for intelligent women of faith while espousing a global worldview.
Brace yourselves. I am empowered by Almighty God. Hallelujah!
We have a decent snow base in the Colorado Rockies now thanks to a little storm last weekend. Mine were not the only prayers of thanksgiving for this watery, God-given gift.
When it snows, I cross-country (XC) ski. Downhill is for the more balanced and adrenaline-saturated. I stick to a swooshing, deliberate, cardio-pumping
walk slide in the park, regularly passed by diabolical children and crazed geriatrics. Dang it.
But as I rocked along humming disparate tunes (I Will Wait for You by Mumford & Sons, Angels We Have Heard on High, the 1812 Overture), I thought about how much I improved the more I practiced (DUH) — right before Methuselah flew by. How much easier it was to slide, almost gracefully, body centered over skis, motion steady, thanks to experience.
Between Methuselah and Dennis the Menace, epiphany struck. (It didn’t knock me down.)
The more I practice, the easier it is to slide. The more I sin, the easier it is to sin. At this point, I stepped from the course to avoid being creamed by a speeding bullet or skate-skier. (Never, before you ask.) Although I have a sin nature, sin is a practiced art. (Avoid discussion of commission versus omission.) I become progressively desensitized with each missed opportunity to seek forgiveness and repent. To continue my bobbly XC analogy, I got further from the clubhouse — God — with each smoother stride.
I have much to learn and winter will draw to a close in a couple of months. Until then, I’ll swoosh/crash pondering my sins, asking for forgiveness, surrounded by God’s magnificent general revelation of Himself.
And I’ll include thoughts about rotten little kids and immortal geezers laughing happily over their shoulders as they careen past on their speed-addicted ways. Dang it.
I crystallized a thought summarizing my writing goals. Drum roll, please…
Regarding generations of younger readers, I have to meet them where they live — as citizens of the world. I need to be positioned to shine light on the Christian path somewhat different from the one I walked, or that I’m on, and diametrically different from that of many Christians in my generation.
The younger ones are fundamentally conditioned to reject anything unappealing, a byproduct of being raised as the center of the universe. (Think about it. Even worship styles have evolved to meet their needs. Would you like smoke machines with that chorus? And fat, soy, or skim in your latte from the Starbucks kiosk in the church lobby?)
Unless we broaden our scope, the market for our work will become continually smaller. More thickly insulated until all that’s left is the choir behind us as we
Do we have the courage to change, expand, risk? To be truly engaged in the world, but not of it? (How much money do we leave on the table by ignoring this demographic?)
Only God knows, and only time will tell.