Saturday, August 31, 2013

Love Hurts - Shared Post

Picture from Flickr

    I both smiled and ached at reading this post on my friend, Theodora's blog: As Amhráin Agus Scéalta . It brings to mind many friends and situations that have made me cry and wonder why this kind of love breaks me inside... Theodora makes good points in this post and brings the focus back to God. It was such a blessing to read when she first published it, and these months later it is a good reminder again. "Love hurts because it is a glimpse into how God feels about us. "

   What I'm primarily thinking at the moment, is how much love hurts. A lot of books and movies portray it as a beautiful feeling, all warm and glowing and pleasant. But that's really only one aspect. There is a more painful aspect of love - it's hard to put into words. We've all been at the point when we worried or were afraid for someone we love. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe someone you loved left you. Maybe someone you loved was in pain and you wanted to help but couldn't.

   At those times, haven't we all wished with all our heart that there was no such thing as love? Wouldn't it be so much easier to be dead to the feeling, and not have to love someone who was hurting?

                                                                           Click to

Friday, August 23, 2013

Striving To Write Honestly

September 30, 2012

    "Honestly, writing can be scary. It's frightening that someone can know glimpses of my heartstrings- to casually touch the fears that I don't often speak aloud.
    So I drop what I have and let it go, the wonder of knowing, and not letting it show. " -Excerpt from my free-writing doc.

    Once upon a time I didn't share my poetry. I could capture my thoughts and feelings through writing but the idea of sharing it... Uh, no. Sharing part of me was scary. . . Did anyone really need to see that me? The me who was wondering about the future, fighting the jealousy of sharing friends, struggling with pride, and losing my temper? The me that questioned what God was doing, that broke for friends' pain, that felt lonely and afraid? What if people read them and... rejected what I had to say?
    It took me awhile to be willing to share my writing, and even longer for me to start signing my name to what I shared. Thankfully God placed people in my life who were able to encourage me. Slowly I  began to lose the fear of letting others read my poems, even the ones that clearly showed the real me.
    God has taught me that He can use what I write, no matter how small it is. My poetry may at times not have the correct meter and my free verse may be strangely broken up (Kind people use the word “unique” and at times “unusual” ;) ) and the whole thing can be over-all rough, but God can use it to bless others. If I pour out my heart and don't worry about who is going to see it, or how it will be taken, I can write honestly.
    Poetry is something I write from my heart... I draw upon what I know from God's Word, as well as my experiences, conversations with others, and lessons learned. Often times that results in highly personal poems that clearly lay out how I'm feeling... or, at least what I'm thinking about. That can be scary – scary because if you read it you can see me.... Yet, there are very few poems I won't share publicly. I can list less than ten that I've shown only to a select few, and out of the over 300 I've written, there are none (besides random bits in my free writing doc I ended up not turning into full poems) that I have kept totally to myself.
    Why? Why do I share my poetry with people, often in its roughest forms?
 Because they mean something to me... and I hope that they mean something to others. It's always surprising to me when the poems that have the most of /me/ in them, are the ones others relate to the best. In other ways, it's not surprising at all. I'm not the only one who has felt far from God. I'm not the only one who sometimes feels alone and out of place. I'm not the only one who has struggled in friendships. I'm not the only one who worries. I'm not the only one who at times lies awake at night thinking about the past and future. I'm not the only one who wonders about pain, death, legacies, our Christian walk, or what love means... and because I'm not the only one, sometimes the things I say strike the hearts of others.
 I want to write honestly to share the lessons I've learned.
 I want to write honestly to be an encouragement.
 I want to write honestly to remind others they are not alone.
And for that, and other reasons, I strive to write with honesty.

To God be the glory.
~Ophelia - Marie

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wanna See Something Cool? (#2)

    Have you ever heard of gallium, or hot ice? Have you every seen Ultra-Ever Dry at work? It's all very neat!  O.O


(Google it. You can really buy this stuff. o.O )

Thank you Roager for showing us all this neat stuff on the Holy Worlds' Skype call. ^_^

~Ophelia - Marie

Friday, August 9, 2013

How to Write A Book Review - Shared Post

    Do you write book reviews? I don't currently, but it's something I want to try in the future. In this post Rachelle Rea gives some good thoughts on how to write a good book review. Her blog, Inspiring Daring, is full of great posts, book reviews, helpful tips, and things she has learned; I encourage you to go check it out.
   First off, I should say that there is no correct way to structure your book review. You don't even have to have a consistent structure if you don't want one! Some reviewers prefer to just write about the book they read. I applaud them, but I'm a list-maker, organizer, and plotter, so I split my book review into sections.
                 Click to continue reading...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Don't Belittle Your Gifts


    I wrote briefly on this topic in my post 'You are Fearfully And Wonderfully Made' but I want to try and better expound on it. Why? Because this seems to be something I talk about with people a lot.

    Let's start out with some questions:

    What is something you enjoy doing? You know, when you do something and you feel a sense of accomplishment when you finished? What do you love to do, and would do even if no one else thought it was worthwhile?

    Now, what do you feel you have a talent for? What do you consider yourself good at? Some of you are probably scrambling about looking for something to put in this category. Take a moment and look back at the first question. Is something you're good at, the same as something you enjoy?
"Oh, I enjoy it, but I'm not very good at it."

   I've heard these words too many times from people's mouths, including my own. Why do you suppose we do this?  Why do we say we enjoy something, but often not let ourselves consider we may also be good at it? Why do we often hide our gifts, or belittle them? If you love something, it's hard to step out and face possible rejection by sharing it... at times it can seem better to belittle our gifts so if someone should dismiss them, maybe it won't hurt so bad if we act like we don't care... We think maybe we should skip even the possibility of rejection and never show others the things we dream about...
But fear shouldn't keep us from shining a light with the gifts God gives us.

   Now, you may truly not be good at something, even if you enjoy it, but here's a pretty good way to find out: Has anyone told you that you were good at something? If you've been told once by someone you trust - depending who it is, you can go by that. If you've been told several times by different people - you'd better start paying attention to their words. :)

     Let me tell you something honestly. My singing... my fantasy writing... those are things I tear down about myself more than I'd care to admit. Sometimes when I'm really frustrated, others hear about it too. I've been blessed with some great friends who don't let me badmouth myself too much... but, like most people on the planet, I have days that I wonder about my abilities.

       I can sing fine, I know that, but there are many others who sing so much better... why should I do things like sing solos in church, or write songs? I don't play any instruments. I couldn't tell you if someone is singing flat or how to change keys. I don't even know how to read sheet music yet...

      I can write fantasy and I love my story, but there are so many who write better... Why should I continue to write this one more story with an orphan girl who finds dragon eggs? Why should I let anyone see my blundering through as I discover seemingly simple things?  I don't have oodles of ideas and worlds and wonders waiting to be written. Besides very random short stories I don't write any other story besides the one I've worked on forever...

     These are things I enjoy doing, but I can easily slip into downplaying them - not in humility, but in outright tearing down of the gifts God has given me to enjoy. I look at these things some days and go, "Why?" Why try? Why not let someone else do these things since they can do it better? Why me?

    Ah. But this is the wrong mindset. It's not about me. God gave me gifts in these areas and He wants me to bring Him glory through them. These gifts don't look exactly like everyone else's. There are people who are better than me, but I can keep improving. My focus needs not to be on me - what everyone thinks of my writing, of my singing, of the things I do. My focus needs to be on God - what He wants, what joy He gets from my service, what ways I can bring Him glory.

   There are, in all likelyhood, always going to be people better than you at something, but don't let that be your focus. Keep your eyes on God. When we serve God with all we've got, He is honored. Serve those around you - both those in the church, and outside of the church. It doesn't have to be something huge and seen by all to be a blessing to others. Give of your time and help in whatever situation God has seen fit to put you in. Love to do what you do because God gave you the ability to shine His glory in that way.

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,    24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Romans 12:3-8
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,  do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
1 Peter 4:10 - 11
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

~Ophelia - Marie