bubbles in my tummy

it’s one of those days where the sun cannot compare to my countenance. i am radiant, shining, glowing, and on top of the world.

i have an agent for my book, ‘Save My Children.’ she wants to represent me. what an honour. little ol’ me. i have been waiting since before Christmas to hear from her; i’ve been praying every night, and some days just folding over on my desk and begging God for his will to be done.

so what does it mean to have an agent? it’s almost impossible to get a book published with a notable publisher unless an agent represents you … and it’s very very hard to get an agent these days. so this is a miracle. she’s a strong believer in Christ, and really believes in this book. she has scouted around, asked the publishers what they’re looking for, and found some which she believes would be a good home for Save My Children. now she’s working on developing the ‘pitch’ and selling the book to them. so I just have to sit back and pray. once she’s sold it, she will get 15 % of whatever the book ends up making, and Bethany Homes will get the rest …

the other route (self-publishing, or going with a small canadian publisher) would have required me to do the marketing and selling of the book; now it’s out of my hands, and will hopefully reach a wide audience (particularly since this is an american agent)

what a big week! all this, plus i’ll be appearing on TV next Tuesday! (May 6th).. I’ll be on 100 Huntley Street, on Crossroads Television Station (CTS) at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. thanks for joining with me in this celebration folks! love you. em.

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the truth about fireworks

An explosion of colour splatters into a million pieces across the sky.

I peer closer; see little boys and girls’ faces amongst the bright lights; wonder why they’re interrupting the fireworks display. See their arms and legs dismembered their faces burned and ugly.

Stop this madness! I yell at the conductor of lights. They’re ruining the show!

We made the show! They call from the sky then disappear behind the clouds.

Everyone pauses, ponders, then another explosion deafens our minds and their voices are lost amidst the glorious display of manufactured beauty.

(this ‘rant’ is based on a news article i read recently about boys and girls in india making fireworks in factories for westerners to enjoy on their holidays; the number of injuries and deaths occurring as a result is stupefying)

my husband

i love my husband.

selfishly. you see, i love him because… he loves me. isn’t that horrible?

he lives to make me laugh. if i don’t laugh because i thought the joke was in poor taste or don’t have enough food in my belly, he gets sad. he hangs his head and pitter patters into the computer room where he then proceeds to kill a few people on the computer screen. sigh.

he’s so willing to help, at the drop of a pin. a very loud and heavy pin, mind you–i have to make it quite obvious– but when i prick him in the butt with that pin, man does he jump and perform! 🙂

no seriously, he’s very helpful. unless he’s absorbed with killing people on the computer screen.

he praises my paintings and tries hard to understand the words which i write, and tries even harder to empathise with me when he knows, as he calls me, i’m “misses flip flop”… swinging from one extreme to another.

and most of all, he is good to my family. he loves my mum in all of her stages, and when i’m not able to sit with her or care for her during a fuzzy period, he does. he even watched sleepless in seattle with her–knowing she wouldn’t remember it the next day, and wasn’t even really watching it (her head constantly falling onto her chest, her eyes mere slits of light).

and when the reality of her tumor hits me (which isn’t very often because i’ve erected a wall around that particular issue) he holds me as i try to understand the unfairness of it all.

some would say we’re complete opposites, and in many areas, we are. the key is, we have enough similarities to keep us comfortable, and enough differences to keep life exciting. “Variety is the spice of life.”

yup, i love my husband. til death do us part.

tiny little buds

Sometimes you have to look closely to see the real picture.

Yesterday while warm winds blew I walked around my lawn, pondering how each of the plants I’d cared for in the fall had somehow died in winter’s wake. None of them seemed to be responding to Spring’s nurture.

But then I looked closer. Tiny little buds appeared on every single stem, red, unfurling, full of promise and breathing life. But to step back and observe the plant, one might as well assume it dead for the overall picture.

Sometimes I wish people would see Mum’s sprouts of life. They seem to mostly focus on the large picture, which Cancer has painted with a black brush of death. But right now, Mum is living, and people would see it if they merely looked closer.

‘hold on’ music video

yesterday i was running under morning madness of sun and crying out to God why now? why her? why my mum? and his answer came in the form of a song which i’d like to share with you:

gratefulness

Kerri makes me want to jump in spring puddles for the sheer joy of it.

“I have these moments,” she tells me. “It happens around 3 p.m., right as I’m getting off work. I step out onto the sidewalk and all of a sudden I’m flooded with this incredible sense of gratefulness. I’m grateful for my life, for the food I eat, for the people I know… and it happens every day. And I wonder, will life ever be normal again?”

She stops and sticks her face in some yellow tulips which are sitting alongside the road. I tried to comprehend. “You’re overwhelmed by gratefulness?”

She nods, her eyes bright. “Every day. I can’t get over how blessed I am.”

It’s not like she has an extraordinary job (she teaches English to Korean students) or that she has everything mapped out (in fact, she was having boy-problems). Rather, she finds life beyond her own circumstances. She is someone who, despite loving to travel, will NOT fly unless it’s a very meaningful trip because otherwise it would be simply self-indulgent.

I’m blown away. I have to sit down and digest. Why the heck am I not more grateful?

starting to understand… something

Healing.

The word flaps its wings lifts me up into swirling clouds and rainbows dips me down just a bit then I see all of the crimson pain, the sorrow screaming up from the gutters and I come crashing down into the blackness we call our lives.

Jesus came to earth and healed a few blind people. Why didn’t he cure blindness?

The Bible is littered with verses professing God’s liberal perspective on healing, expounding on his desire to “shower” us with mercy and pasting band-aid terms like “oil dripping down Aaron’s beard” and “Balm of Gilead”.

His stripes have healed me.

First of all, this cannot be taken literally for his stripes vanished with the resurrection. So this verse must be applied through resurrection lenses. His figurative stripes have figuratively healed me? Or perhaps it’s referring to the damage my sin has cost me, and healing within.

When should we expect healing of a physical kind?

What caused Jesus to march over to the man beside the pool of Bethesda and command him to roll up his mat? What made him walk past all of the other cripples and choose that man in particular, the man who would ultimately disobey him by telling what happened?

Why wouldn’t Jesus pay heed to my mother? A woman who’s renounced all of her sins ten-times seventy, who’s been prayed over, hands pressed into her flesh, sacred oil pouring down faces the Balm of Gilead being beckoned into existence heaven splitting glory falling and angels descending only to pat her on the back and return back into the silver-lined clouds?

“Life is temporary,” people tell me while holding their loved ones who’ve been miraculously spared disease or resurrected from the grave. “Trust God” they admonish, almost severely, then turn and roll away in their savvy SUVs with their family tucked safely inside.

My mother has gone to the farthest ends of the earth, plucked all of life’s sage wisdom and spiritual advice, returned and applied it head to foot in desperate effort to find this healing which the Bible speaks of. Meanwhile we all continue to raise our hands in church and close our eyes and beseech a God we really don’t understand, whose existence seems aloof and nearly absent in face of life’s overwhelming tragedies.

Healing is not by works, but by faith. It doesn’t matter how many generational curses Mum breaks, nor how many ‘Amens’ she utters in church. God is not budging.

“He is healing me on the inside,” Mum assures me on one of her strong-faith days.

I nod, stir my coffee. “I know.”

Think back on how Jesus shook his head while the men lowered their friend through the hole in the ceiling. On how he insisted on forgiving the man’s sins before curing his ailment. On how he insisted the spiritual requires special eyesight, on how we need to realize life is so much more than what it appears to be.

I scream. Bow my head. Wonder if I’m starting to understand… something.

Lightening strikes

This week was tough. You know how we joke about God striking us down with lightening? Well, this week he did. Literal lightening. Only it struck down my brand-new laptop and printer instead of me–for which I’m thankful. Sort of. 🙂

Thankfully my Dad was able to retrieve my files from the hard-drive, but our insurance will not cover the loss due to our high deductible.

Prior to this occurrence, my husband and I got in a big fight over my most recent book… By prior, I mean the night before. It was one of those ear-splitting fights that make your eyes puffy and red the next morning.

What have I learned from this? Writing should never, ever come between my Love and I. So my priorities have been shocked into place. And secondly, I’ve been challenged not to complain. I practiced not whining when my laptop got fried; instead, I prayed. And everything flowed more smoothly.

Mum has Sprung

Last night Spring came to Blyth. It came with a crackle and a pop, as thunder and lightening ripped across the skies and struck unsuspecting trees, homes and passer-by. Rain licked at piles of weary snow with the ragged tongue of a starving monster. We stood clinging to our belongings loving that Spring was coming yet scared it might destroy us in the process.

Today, the after-effects lay in swollen lawn-ponds and jagged tree branches scattered on sidewalks. In the gardens, green shoots gingerly poke their heads above black winter blankets, wondering if it’s safe to come out yet.

I enter my parents’ home as the winter is melting away behind me leaving rivers of rushing springtime flooding the lawn and dripping off my shoes. I close the door, see Dad feeding Mum. She’s wrapped in many layers and her eyes are red and puffy.

Stubbornness courses through the veins of my heritage. Even when she’s unable to physically lift a spoon to her lips, Mum will often insist that no, she can do it, and one hardly has the heart to tell her No.

Today Mum has slept until 1 p.m. But she is determined to attend Coffee Break leaders’ meeting at 2. Dad doesn’t think it’s such a good idea. He opens the living room window; the sound of rushing rivers reaches Mum’s ears. She looks surprised.

 “Spring has sprung,” I tell her. “You slept so long it finally came!”

 She looks at me knowingly. “Really?”

I laugh.

 She closes her eyes. “I love that sound. The sound of water.”

 Awhile later I return to the living room. Mum is standing, arguing with herself. Dad is in the other room, pretending not to hear.

 “Mum? What’s wrong?”

 “Dad says I can’t go to coffee break leaders.”

 Dad’s voice: “I just don’t think it’s a good idea today.”

 She shakes her head. “I am fine!”

Takes my hand, leads me over to her abandoned blue arm chair. “Look.” She points. “I pushed that blanket out of the way. I stood up,” she makes the movement with her arms, “I looked at the rushing water, I looked at all of the Robins, and it was beautiful!

 Then she leans her head on my shoulder. Puts her arm around mine. “And so are you.”

 For a moment I cannot speak. I just swallow. Hard. Then, I walk over to Dad, recite what she just said, convince him she is well enough to go to coffee break leaders.