Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Encourager

Do you have an encourager? Someone who believes in you? I have been blessed beyond measure these past two years. At the beginning of my writing journey, God gave me one of the biggest encouragers of my life, my critique partner, Ashley Clark.

It is obvious that God has placed her in my life. Whenever doubt creeps into my heart, prodding me to give up on this writing thing, Ashley comes to the rescue with her amazing ability to encourage. Her timeliness is no coincidence.

Her goodness, she is a wonderful writing coach! Sometimes I wonder if I could ever return such wise advice. And her writing is clever and warm, and as delightful as watching a cozy chick flick on a rainy day.  She has an amazing agent, and I am just waiting for the day that she signs that publishing contract!

If I didn't have Ashley in my life, I would have quit writing a long time ago. And I am not just saying that. She has "held my hand" through some pretty negative stuff, and pulled me out of my pity parties many times!

I wish I could see her more than once a year...actually, this year I'll see her twice! I am so blessed!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Recreate Fail

Gooseberry Falls, August 2010

Have you ever tried to recreate an event that is perfect and dear in you memory, only to be disappointed and frustrated when it just doesn't work out?
This weekend we planned to take the family to a state park for the day. We wanted to go camping but it just didn't happen, so we decided to take a day trip. After all, the past few years we have morphed into  the "nature hike, outdoor loving" kind of people who wear backpacks filled with water bottles and granola bars, whose first task on the trail is to find the best hiking stick nature can provide. So many wonderful memories have been made in our family. Such outdoor bliss often reels through my memories. This summer has already sped along, and our weekends are booking up fast. I didn't want to let another one slip by without that good ol' family time we have grown accustom to.

Uh, yeah, can we say major set-up for unattainable perfection?

We got there, and the grumbles started---and unfortunately, most of them were We didn't park in the right place, we forgot water bottles, we had to walk through a creek to get to the trails so our feet were soggy, and there were people EVERYWHERE! So much for bliss in the outdoors--we might as well have been at a crowded amusement park.

Yeah, I was grumpy.

But you know what? Once I threw my little fit, heard my kids try to cheer me up (ashamed am I), we spent the last moments creating special memories. Nope, they weren't what I expected, nothing like the grand hikes we took to the bottom of a volcano in Hawaii or around the wooded shoreline of Lake Superior, but our family isn't the same family that did those things anymore.
We've all grown. We've added Little Miss, and we have different perspectives. So, this time we made memories of Little Miss walking the dog, Daddy and our oldest having pitching practice at the bottom of a sandstone cliff, and the other boys playing in the pick up, soaked from our trek through the creek, and Little Miss and her brothers sitting on a parking curb to watch the baseball toss, cute as can be--all these aren't what I expected to be in my memory bank, but they are now.

We've been a family for twelve and a half years now, and each family outing is a learning experience on how "to be" a family. We'll never recreate an old memory...but we can always make new ones!