• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

…On and On.

Adventure always comes when we’re not looking for it.  We’re just living our lives when suddenly someone or something comes along and completely changes our entire world, and from that moment on nothing is ever the same.  You’re pulled out of your quiet comfortable life and thrown onto some crazy road, unprepared and without a pocket handkerchief.

Was I thinking a year ago that at this time that I was going to be getting married in three weeks?  No way!  Was I even thinking last summer that I would be anywhere near close to getting married within the next year?  Nope. Not only was I not expecting to be getting married so soon, but I never thought I’d be leaving the area I’ve spent my entire life in and moving 2,000 miles away from everything I’ve ever really known.  Yes….The dwarves arrived while I was quietly eating supper, took me as their burglar, and pulled me with them to go steal back their gold from a dragon….and like Biblo, (the real hero of that story), part of me is thinking, “What just happened?”

I find it rather ironic actually.  For so long I had been praying for my future husband, asking God to use me, to take me on an adventure and make me His hero.  When I fell in love with Daniel, I started praying harder, asking for God’s best, for His timing and to make something happen if it was meant to be.  And by golly, He made something happen and what’s even more of a surprise, His timing has made things happen a whole lot faster than I ever dared hope!  My brain just having a hard time keeping up… 😛

So here I am, on an unexpected journey, heading off to the unfamiliar and leaving the known behind me.  But the great part about it is, it IS an adventure and one I am going to get to share it with my husband, my best friend.  Together and with God’s help we’ll take this road, pass through the mountains, the valleys, and the dangers of the dark wood, fighting side by side when enemies surround us and try to tear us apart.  I know with God on our side, standing as the third party in this adventure and guiding us along the way, there is no beast so terrible, or creator so foul that could stand in our way.

So here I go.  Stepping out onto the road, keeping my feet, but being swept off all the same.

 

"I'm going on an adventure!"

“I’m going on an adventure!”

 

Today in Hell, By Morning, In Paradise

This is a story I wrote for my Fiction Writing class.  Let me know what you think.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I would die at dawn, the guard told me that evening. 

As he held a plate of stale bread inches away from my groping hand he said with a sneer.   “We do not feed the condemned, Christianus.”  Christian. 

He spat the word out like bad wine and retreated, taking the treasured food with him.  I clutched at the bars of my cell staring after him, listening to his footsteps echo and fade into nothing.  Hunger clawed at my stomach, a painful ache digging through my gut.  Was it hunger?  Or was it the reality of my fate?  Tomorrow I would die.  I sank to the ground and wrapped my arms around my thin frame, the chains about my ankles ratting with the movement.  The coarse wool of my ragged clothing cut into my skin, the smell of my own filth hung thick in the air of my little cell.  I held my breath and squeezed my eyes close, shutting everything out.  No, no, NO!  What had brought me to this? 

My ears began to ring, my lungs begged for air.  I held on, maybe, maybe I could end it all right here, right now, save myself the pain of a Roman execution.  My life is no longer in my hands.  I had said those words, all thoughs years ago, putting my fate in another’s hands.    I gasped, opening my eyes and heaving in great gulps of air.  Tears stung my eyes and traced salty trails down my checks. 

As a boy, my father had told me men didn’t cry, but my father hadn’t known what would happen.  He hadn’t known the Romans would come and kill him.  He hadn’t known I would be taken to live out my days as a slave, never again to see my beloved Britton.  So I cried.  I cried for the past, for the boy I had once been, free in my homeland.  I cried for my fate, for the flames that awaited me come the dawn. 

My heart filled with anguish I raised my tear stained face to the small shaft of light flickering against the wall from a torch across the way. 

“Deus donavi meus ultionis!”  God give me vengeance!  I shook my fist, yelling in the Latin tongue at the light as if it represented the presence of God in this foul place.  Give me vengeance. 

My life is no longer in my hands.  I had given it away, let it go.  He had given his, what more was I to do with mine?  

I was afraid to die.  Afraid of the pain, but I could still escape it, I could still live. 

“Deny, deny your faith and you shall go free.”

I stared at the procurator; my chains seemed to grow heavier as if to embellish his words.  Deny, simple enough.  They were words only were they not?  God would still see what was in my heart, see I still believed though my tongue said otherwise.  I could live, continue serving Him.  What good was I dead?  All I had to do was say three simple words – “I deny Christ” – and I would go free.  Free.  The flames would devour another martyr, but not me. 

“Well?  What say you?”  The procurator stood looking down his nose at me, awaiting my reply.  “Stop preaching this false faith, deny the Christian God and your life will be spared.” 

Why was I hesitating?  Why was I silent?  Lord, I do not want to die.

The procurator gave an exasperated sigh and waved his hand at the guards.  “Take him away.”

I was dragged to me feet and hauled from the room, my chains clattering on the marble floor.

“There is still time, if you should choose to change your mind.”  The procurator’s words fallowed me from the hall, ringing in my ears.

I thought of them now, wondering where I would be and what I would be doing at this moment had I said those words.  Perhaps I’d be sitting with Laurel, our hands clasped together, speaking of our upcoming marriage.  Laurel, I could still see her face when they came to take me away.  She cried my name, her voice wrought with anguish and fear.

“Dafydd!”   

Oh, to see her again!  To lose myself in her dark eyes and the sound of her bell-like laughter. 

“Lord,” I prayed.  “Protect her; do not let her suffer my fate.” 

My fate; I wondered at my words.  Had I chosen to die?  I remembered that day, how many years ago?  The teacher, dying in agony on a Roman cross above my head, hardly recognizable as the man I had known.  He was innocent of any crime, just as I was now, but they had killed him and he had allowed it.  He had chosen death, could I do the same?  I followed him, I spoke in his name, but could I die for him?  So many had died already, they did not deny him.    

“Lord, you can see my heart, can you not?  You can see my fear, how can I do this?  Can I not serve you more by living to spread your Word?  What of my life with Laurel?  I will never see her again in this life, never have a life together.  God, how is this part of your will?  What have I done that you would abandon me to the flames?  Let me live!” 

My voice echoed back to me, bouncing against the stone walls, let me live! 

“He never abandons us Dafydd.  We are mere men; we cannot comprehend his thoughts or his plans.”  Stephen, his words returned to me.  “He sets a path before us and leaves us with the choice to walk it.  What will you choose Dafydd?” 

Stephen died, stoned for his beliefs.  He had stood fast, facing death.  Could I do the same? 

“Could I?” 

I thought back to the day I had met the Teacher.  The day he had given Laurel back her sight and in a way, he had given sight to my blind eyes.  I was a bitter slave, cursing those who had killed my family and taken me from my homeland to live a life of bondage among a people who thought of me as chattel.  My heart was filled with nothing but hate.  Laurel had tried to show me love, she had taught me Latin, nursed my wounds after beatings, but the hate in my heart blinded me to her kindness.  I was more a captive to myself and the bitterness inside then I ever was as a slave.  It ate at me, tearing my mind apart; then he came.

He healed my shattered heart.  Never before had I felt so liberated.  The hate, the bitterness, the hurt, it was all swept away at the touch of his hand and the sound of his voice calling my name.  He had shown me how to forgive those who had slaughtered my family and enslaved me.  Though by law I was still a slave, in my heart and soul, I was freed forever.

How could I deny that?  How could I deny the hope, the peace, the joy, the freedom I had been given?  I couldn’t.  I could not betray the love that had given me new life. 

“Acceptus calicis ex meus,” Take this cup from me.  “My life is in your hands.”            

As a cold chill crawled up my spine I shivered.  The night would soon be over, my last night on earth.  I leaned against the moist stones of my cell.  The slow drip of water sounded from somewhere in the gloom.  Laughter of the guards and cries of fellow captives could be heard as faint whispers in the silence of the prison.  I looked around me, the stench, the darkness, the hunger, this place was hell, but tomorrow, tomorrow I would find paradise.

My life is in your hands.     

The End

 

Pronunciation guide:

Dafydd – (Da-vith)
     a: short as in can

Rediscover (day 11): What is He thinking?

I woke up this morning with a fever.  Yeah, not good.  My first reaction was to tell God just what I thought about it. 

“Why?!  Not now! Don’t You know what’s happening this week?!”  (Well, duh, of course He knows what’s happening!)  

I was texting a friend earlier this morning and he reminded me that God’s timing is perfect, even though it may seem like really bad timing.  Now, I don’t know if me getting sick five days before my brother’s wedding has something to do with God’s all perfect plan for my life, but I do know that nothing happens without His say-so.  I know that’s not easy to except, because of all the bad things that happen; as I told my friend, “That’s a hard pill to swallow.”   You know what he texted back?

“I guess that’s where prayer and help from God helps to get it down.” 

Hmmm….

Even though I didn’t want to hear it, he was right.  (I know you’re reading this, so, thanks for reminding me. 🙂 )

I read this in my Bible today;

Praise ye the name of the LORD.  Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.  ~Psalm 135:1

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.  He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.  Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.  Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon his servants.  Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings.  ~Psalm 135:6-10

 God does all these things.  We may not understand why, but that’s where we need to come to Him in prayer, lift up our pleas, trust Him to take care of us and praise Him.   

Even though getting sick now was bad timing for me, it wasn’t for God.  Perhaps I needed a lesson in trust…  

Rediscover (day 8): Pleasure in the Simple Things

North Cascades

Image via Wikipedia

Our culture is so media dependant.  We tend to forget about the little, nearly mundane things.  Things like time with family, good friends, sunshine and hard work.  Yes, hard work.

Giving up media has left me with so much open time.  Time to spend in The Word and time to really make each moment matter, (plus my brain has nearly recovered from being TV watching mush. 😉 ).  It’s amazing the little things you begin to take pleasure in and stop taking for granted.  God has given us so many real, worthwhile things to enjoy.  Today was a perfect example.

It has been either raining or just gray for the past few weeks, so when the sun came out today I felt a thrilling lift in my spirits.  (It was a BEAUTIFUL day!)  I went into town, did my errands, then met my younger brother, (dropped off by my dad), at Goodwill.  My younger brother (Steven, who is thirteen) and I spent a super fun half hour shopping around Goodwill building him a pirate costume.  It was a blast!  Just me and my little buddy (who’s not so little anymore…) having a good time as brother and sister.  That was something we hadn’t done in a LONG time.  His excited smile just made me feel so happy and warm inside. 🙂

My sister had spent the previous night at a friend’s house, and after Steven and I were done with our pirate shopping we went to pick her up.  Her friend lives out in what we call “the boonies” because it’s so far out from town, but it’s worth the drive to get out there.  Roads winding through the Washington rainforest, trees covered in a thick layer of moss.  The sun shining down on the snow speckled Cascade Mountains and the Snohomish River.  It was gorgeous.  God’s creation in all its breath taking splendor right in our very backyard. 

After that is was a walk with the dog, Steven and my best friend Avalyn and her fiancé Matthew.  We had a great walk in the amazing sunshine, talking, joking, and watching Steven having a good time with our dog Heidi, (just a boy and his dog). 🙂

Because it was so sunny and nice, I took the time to wash my car.  It really is satisfy standing back and looking at a vehicle you just finished cleaning.  The way the sun glances off the bright paint and just the smell of car soap.  (Yes, I like that smell. 🙂 ) 

All in all, the day was fantastic.  The time spend with my brother, the walk with friends, the amazing sunshine and the feeling of accomplishment after completing a job.  As I thought back on my day I realized that those are the little things that we take for granted.  With media and internet to entertain us, we forget about the things God gave us to take pleasure in.  Our family, Godly friends, His creation. 

God, thank you for the little things You have given me to enjoy.  They not only fill my heart with joy, they fill my spirit with Your joy. 

Rediscovering the little, God-given pleasures in life.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. ~Psalm 37:4

Merry CHRISTmas

God in human flesh, a baby laid in a lowly manger.  The mystery of all creation, tucked away in perfect humility.

That night God offered a gift so small and pure, a child, his son, the love of the world.  Jesus, the Christ, the savior of all.

Angles song out the glorious news, shepherds and kings welcomed and worshiped him, while the world watched and wondered.    

He came as a baby, he lived as a servant, he died in sinner’s place, he is returning, a king.

Remember that night, in the stable, a cave, in a little town.  Jesus was born in innocence and love, to gift to the world is very life and blood. 

Remember the reason for the season.   

Merry Christmas,

God bless.

-Laura

How God Changed My Heart

“I hate Heart of Hope.  When this draft is done I don’t care if I never lay eyes on it again.  I am so sick of it I don’t even care if it ever gets published.  I just hate it.  God help me.”- Journal entry 4/12/10

I wrote that.  I meant every word.  I believe “hate” is a very strong word, and it’s not one that I use lightly.  Not only was this my attitude, I had also been wordlessly hating it in my heart for some time. 

It’s not any good.

What was I thinking when I wrote this?

Whose idea was this story anyway?  It stinks!

I’m no good.  Why did I ever think I could write? 

Wow, this thing just shouts “FIRST BOOK!”

What a mess. 

These thoughts and many more were my constant companions as I wrote, rewrote and read over.  I dreaded other people reading it, afraid that they too would see just how horrible it was.  I dreaded reading through it myself.  How was I to get through a book I despised?  How could I even consider sending to a publisher?  That was crazy!  Who would want it?  I went on mopping about it for months, silently disgusted with the whole thing.  Then that still small voice whispered;

You were learning.

You were following My Call.

It was My idea.  Do My ideas stink?

Yes, it is your first book, but it’s beautiful.  It’s from your heart.  It’s from Me.

You’re a mess, but I never gave up on you.

Oh dear Father.  What had I done?  He had given me the story, placed it on my heart, called me to be His writer to tell the world of the hope He gives us.  What had I done?

 Despised. 

Despised because it was my story and I had written it. 

But I had it all wrong. 

It wasn’t my story, not one word.  Hadn’t I given it to God a hundred times?  Hadn’t I said in prayer over and over again, “This is Yours Father, write through me.  I don’t have the words, only You do.”

But I had forgotten. 

Forgotten my promise. 

Forgotten Heart of Hope didn’t belong to me.

He woke me up.  Broke my discontent attitude apart and turned it around. 

Now, I’ve made my peace with Heart of Hope.  I still have to battle my human mind and thoughts whenever I look it and read it, but I’m on the right path.  The story is so much more than just my first book, it’s more than an allegory about a Spiritual journey, it’s a story that God gave me.  A story He used to teach me so much.  To trust Him, believe in Him, give Him everything and let Him have it all. 

Thank you Father for Heart of Hope.  Through it, You have changed my life.

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