Tuesday, August 26, 2014



Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this great army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”               II Chronicles 20:15 NIV

A flawless pebble, smooth and golden, lay on the path ahead of me, a perfect worry stone. As I reached for it, I thought of David choosing five stones with which to face Goliath. I picked it up, stroked its glassy surface, turned it over…

My thumb slide across the smooth edges and into a rough, ragged hollow on its underside.

I’m like that flawed stone. I lie here on this dusty earth showing my best side, hiding my faults, waiting for God to choose me, to pick me up, to use me in the battle.

But an imperfect stone won’t fly straight, and neither will an imperfect saint. What can I do? How can I mend my flaws? I want to fight, to do great things for Him. How can He possibly use me? I’m not good enough, not big enough, not strong enough, not… anything enough.

But what is that to me, a lowly, daydreaming stone? The battle is the LORD’s, and He has chosen me. If He wants to work with imperfect people—and in this world, broken people are all He has to choose from—He is able. He’s very good at adjusting His aim to allow for our flaws. When I quit trying to fight His battles in my own strength, when I just lie quietly in His sling and wait for His timing, I fly straight and true.

PRAYER: My Lord, whisper to me as You whispered to the sea, “Peace; be still.” In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NIV

Choose your metaphor:

The current is too swift, the waters too muddy, my boat too small.

The west is too far, the wagon train too slow to cross this trackless wilderness in the time I have left.

The mountain is too young, its slopes too steep and rugged for this old mountain climber.

The weapons are too heavy, too awkward, too sharp; my battle steed is a wild bucking bronco.

The words are too new for these old ears, the landscape too strange for these old eyes. And this old brain? Don’t even go there.

Sigh. Can anyone relate?

I’m a word nerd. I like learning new words and the cultural nuances of their meanings—but there’s one foreign language that eludes me: Computerese. I will never be a computer nerd.

My handle is No-Tech Nanny.

Every time I try to launch into the muddy current, I’m swept away, over the falls and into a whirlpool of meaningless words. Every time I step onto a foothill, the ground gives way in a mudslide. Every time I lift these new weapons, I’m the one who is wounded.

But my God wants me on the other side of that wilderness, across that river, standing high on the mountain of victory.

The battle is not mine, but His. The journey is not mine, but ours. The destination to Him is as close as His next thought. He will make a roadway through the wilderness. The mountain to Him is but a footstool, the raging river but a mud puddle. He who walked on the stormy Sea of Galilee can surely take my hand as He took Peter’s, and lead me across a mere puddle. The weapons to Him are pocket knives. He will train my hands to use them. If I need an armor bearer, He will provide. And the wild horse? Hey, my God can handle Leviathan!

I have a God-given purpose—and I am failing—but I have this promise: whatever He gives me to do, He will do through me. He will help me. Whatever weapons I need, He will provide. And, He will teach me to use them—or provide a weapons bearer, someone with more computer savvy, more marketing savvy, to share that part of my load. He gives me strength to keep on keeping on.

He is the Word, and the Creator of every word—even Computerese. If I need an interpreter, He will provide.

So, my hand in His, I’ve left No-Tech Nanny in an unmarked grave by the side of the trail. My new handle is (Imagine a game show host shouting into his mike) Tyroooooo* Techie!

Now watch us, my Father and me, as we build this blog together.

Father, I need You to hold my hand pretty tight here. I smell the enemy, but I can’t see where we’re going, and I still don’t know how to even hold these sharp weapons You’ve given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Tyro: a rookie Roman soldier.




Tuesday, August 12, 2014



Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I Corinthians 13:12 NIV

Sitting here trying to write my bio in 1200 characters or less. How do I cram 71 years into so little space? I’m a nice, ordinary person. Ordinary, but there are some pretty interesting parts here and there. How do I cram in just one little interesting incident?

Aha! I have it. Ordinary person extraordinaire. God didn’t make but one of me.

Done, and nearly 1200 characters left.

But you, dear reader, still don’t know me.

OK. I’m a country girl who could never feel at home without elbow room, fresh air and trees and gardens and animals, good neighbors and family nearby, stories to tell, books to read, and lots of solitude. (And no, that doesn’t always balance out.)

My ancestors hailed from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I’m a Southerner born and bred, and adopted by the King of Parables—so it’s no surprise that I love stories, both written and oral. I’ve told myself stories for as long as I can remember.

1200 characters, 12 million words, 1200 days, 1200 years. No matter how many pens I wear out, no matter how long we have together here, you will never know me, nor I you, this side of Heaven.

But on that day, when we know as we are known, I will see in you the treasure I have only glimpsed now.

And what will you see when you look at me?

Father, You promised to complete the work You began in me. Please, let all who look at me see You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.










Saturday, August 9, 2014



“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.”  Matthew 25:21 NIV

I’ve been struggling for a long time with my novels. No progress, no focus and, finally, no enthusiasm. But, much as I’d like to go on to something besides writing, something “normal”, writing is what I’ve been given to do. I can’t quit.

For a long time I blamed my struggles on the pressure to take care of other writerly tasks—platform, social media, marketing—at the expense of actually writing. After all, how can I write if there’s nothing left of me at the end of the day for what counts?

Finally I asked myself, “Self! Every day I run out of gas spinning my wheels on trying to learn and do these necessary evils, not to mention the energy that goes into trying to think of a way around them. If I never finish a book because I’m stressing out over these things, what’s the point of trying to do them, anyway?”

So I quit and went back to my Work In Progress, but my focus was gone. I had to force myself to try, again and again and again. I prayed and pleaded for inspiration and enthusiasm, for someone to set up and run my platform, for a techie mentor with enough time and patience to teach me, for HELP, but God just left me to my wheel-spinning.

I get more of my best ideas in church than anywhere else. A time of enforced stillness, alone with God in a crowd. Others around but certain not to try to engage me or require a response. A song lyric, a Scripture, a sermon illustration. The just-so reflection of light off something otherwise mundane. An expression on someone’s face, a memory stirred—and I’m leaping across a river from stone to sandbar to stone. Ahead, left, ahead a little. Whoops, a dead end. Left again to that stone just behind me, then ahead… Then I land on an insight and am brought up short to examine it, to pray, to plead for help with writing it... To ask again for forgiveness, for I know I’ll let the busyness of my life prevent me.

Three servants, three assignments. Two succeeded, one failed.

“Well done…” I want to hear those words more than anything. And I don’t want to hear Him add, “But look how much better you could have done.”

“Remain in Me; by yourself you can do nothing.”

I try to remain in Him with this, but I’m so overwhelmed that it’s hard to pull my eyes from the storm to the Master of the sea, my Prince of Peace. Hard to find time or energy to seek Him, to pray, even to wait. Like the disciples in Gethsemane, I try to keep my eyes open to watch, and the hungry lion creeps closer…

Then one Sunday a sudden insight almost blew me right off a slick stone into the raging current: Is it possible that I’m having so much trouble with the novels—the big things—because I haven’t yet been faithful in sharing the many small things I’ve written? Maybe I’d better set the big things aside for now and get busy.

It’s time past time to start posting—not for marketing what I have yet to write, but just for touching people, for sharing, for encouraging, for inspiring.

It’s enough.

Father, You are enough. Help me to remain in You when I have no more strength to hold on. Help me to serve You in the ways You choose. In Jesus’ name, Amen.