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Entries in heart (3)



Today I got a word of encouragement.

So it's a funny thing, but I don't actually take encouragement well. I mean, I'm grateful for it. Love it, actually. I do like knowing that I'm doing well, that I'm appreciated. It makes all the difference in the world.

But what I mean is, I don't have a canned response for taking a real, genuine compliment. I can accept praise for something I've created. I can quip about deadlines or workload, and the super heroics needed to master both. I have responses for almost any casual question you can ask. But tell me you're proud of me? Man, I nearly dissolve into a blubbery mass.

We don't always know just how desparately we need that word of encouragment. Just a simple, "I think you're doing a great job" is enough to turn the tide and make a day go from so-so to so-yeah!

And maybe it's good that I don't have a canned response for that. It has a deeper impact. It means the praise is genuine, and therefore more heartening.

Sometimes we start to feel that no one is noticing those little things we do throughout the day. The "get by" syndrome we all seem to live in tends to make us numb. We forget that, just like our kids or our friends or our spouses, we need to hear something good about ourselves, too. If we don't, we start to doubt, somewhere inside, that we're doing things right. We start to wonder what everyone is saying about us, and we become more and more certain that it's not good.

God has a word for us, I think. Our problem is we don't spend enough time listening for Him. We get into our own heads, our own routines, our own funk, and we forget that there's a voice there, calling gently, saying that He loves us.

Don't forget that. You're loved. Really. Truly. Without doubt. And if you need that word of encouragement in your life, I can honestly tell you ... you are wonderful. You are beloved. Thank you thank you thank you for being YOU. God loves you. I love you. And you are doing an absolutely fantastic job with your life.



I shouldn't write a blog post just to write it. 

That's the conclusion I came to about two minutes ago, right before I highlighted every scrap of text I'd written and hit "delete." It was a good piece, about regret and decisions and making up for mistakes. But it wasn't really from the heart, ya know? It was me trying on a voice. Me trying to be someone I'm not.

Sometimes I write things that are heartfelt and, miraculously, inspirational. I see it when it happens. I feel it. And that gets me all jazzed up. 

"Yeah!" I think. "I'm good at this! I can motivate people! I'll be an inspiration!"

That's me up there, putting my own ego and motives above what God wants from me. I'm not exactly glorifying God with that kind of post. I'm glorifying me.

I don't plan my blog posts. Not really. I write whatever pops into my head, or I post an image I think is funny or a video I think is inspirational. I don't have any sort of organized plan concerning this blog. It's me. Brain dumped, gettin' all wordy widdit, doin' that voodoo that I do so well. I like writing. LOVE writing. I like to jazz things up, make things fun and exciting, inform and inspire and occasionally enrage. 

But when I pretend ... when I write something that's hollow and uninspired and disconnected, when I write something that's meant just to push some false image of me to the reading public, that's when it sucks.

Lately I've written several posts that come from a spiritual place within me. That's God talking, not me. That's God, doing the voodoo the He do so well. Reaching out through this wretched sinner of a Wordslinger, reaching past the goo and bile of my ego and self-centered interests, and saying something to the world that counts, that matters. God gave me a skill and a talent and a passion, and when He uses it there's nothing but AMAZING there. When I use it, for my own selfish agenda, there's nothing there at all.

What I want, the earnest desire of my heart, is to write and fulfiill God's will in my life. I want to touch others. I want to inspire. I want to entertain and motivate and move. I want to create that thing, that ineffable thing that God has placed on my heart, that burning desire I can't even define, and I want to spread it wide and far and deep in the world. 

And I can't do that if I'm writing a blog post just to write it.

I made a commitment a week ago. I want to post something on this blog every day. There will be days I miss, I know. There will be days when I repost something from social media, or post a picture I created or a YouTube video I found, or an excerpt from one of my books, or an article on online TV programming, or an open letter to a restaurant, or a million other things. I just want to make sure, make absolutely sure, that what I'm posting is real, that it counts, that it MATTERS. That it's me. And that, above all, always above all, it's glorifying the God who created me, and who rules in my life.

You have no idea how hard it is to write a sentence like that. Honest. I think that I feel some sort of weird "shame" about it. Like I'm afraid I'll offend a large swathe of my friends and my readers. I'll somehow turn people off to me. They'll scorn me, ridicule me, toss me aside.

Good! SO good! I need that. I want that. I've been promised that with that sort of scorn and ridicule, in God's name, I will be blessed. The shame? That's something I need to deal with, because it's not real. It's not me. It's not right.

Thanks for reading. I have to tell you that. I appreciate it. I love you for it. I hope that somehow I touch you, and I help you. But you touch me and help me, by reading and commenting and just being who you are. God bless you. Thank you. I wouldn't do it if you weren't here, reading it. 

And I promise, I will try with every post, every book, every article, every word I write to ensure that it is always something from within me, something that glorifies God, something that is real. No lies. No posts just to post. Always from the heart.


i am the tony stark of writers

Does YOUR heart get to have bios upgrades? I didn't think so.So, I have a pacemaker. Which, I know, just aged me by, like 30 years. And since I started at just shy of 40 anyway, I’m sure I’ve completely lost my “ladies under 30” audience altogether. And that’s a shame, because I have enormous pens.

I never get tired of that joke.

So … pacemaker. Yeah, I have one. I got it back in 2010 after someone finally realized that a resting heart rate of 30 bpm isn’t technically “normal.” Tests involving treadmills, wires taped to my body, and repeated stabbings from needles ensued. Turns out I have a heart defect that no one noticed before, and my heart was gradually slowing down to the point where I could keep a decent beat in a beatnik jazz club. They call it a “bradycardia.” 

On Monday, I went in for one of my every-six-months checkups. More treadmills and wires and stabbings, but they also roll in a little cart with a computer on it, and then lay something over my heart that looks kind of like a hockey puck attached to a wire. For the next few minutes they tinker with my ticker, running it up and down a bit, reading data, saying stuff that I’m actually not sure qualifies as real language. Then they unplug me and send me home. 

I should mention that the computer they use is old. Like, ancient. There’s something a little scary about the idea that the doohickey you rely on for life is being “fine-tuned” by a computer running Windows 2000. 

Maybe I should object more. “Get a Mac up in here or somthin’.” At least bring in Windows 7. I’d prefer adjustments to my life-sustaining-device be done with a computer that can’t be outpaced by an Android handset.

They made some adjustments and tweaks to when and how often the pacemaker kicks in and does its thing and then sent me on the way. Now, for the past four days, I’m having some trouble. For the first two days I had all the energy and motivation of a used condom. Sorry … for that image … sorry. But you totally get it now, right? Not energetic. Spent. Floppy. We move on.

I’m getting winded just getting up from my desk and walking to the restroom. Sweating a lot, too. Like bending over to tie my shoes is a major exertion now. 

So I suspect something is amiss. 

Or it could be a coincidence, because I seem to have a bit of a sinus infection. So maybe I’m not actually winding down, but instead need some vitamin C. Or maybe I just need to go all Jason Statham and clip my nipple to a car battery. “Crank 3: Sweaty Cursing.”

Anyway, in case you were wondering why I all of a sudden clammed up (by most standards) in social media and here on my external brain, now you have it. I didn’t have the heart for it. I was beat. But on the pulse side, I can still pun. Artery sorry you asked?