Monday, April 11, 2016

Bloggy Break

When I first started blogging I had so much to say! I wrote every day. I found lessons in everyday situations. God spoke to me through these lessons and I passed them on to you.

That was two and a half years ago! I can't believe I've been blogging that long!

My first post was September 23, 2013. It was all about being on the trail with God. Hubbles didn't even have the name Hubbles yet, and we still had Psycho Dog. 

If you're a regular reader, you know that I only post once a week now. I don't seem to have as much to say as I did in the beginning. It reminds me of how we start our Christian walk--or any new and exciting thing--with zeal and fervor, and eventually--over time--that fire wanes to a slow sizzle. 

I've often heard this scripture quoted:

Do not despise small beginnings...
(for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand). 
Zechariah 4:10

I know there is more to that verse than what meets the eye. It's not really about us in today's world...but it is. There is something wonderful and innocent and pure about the beginning.

Of course, I'm by no means a big name out in the blogging world--or any world for that matter (except in God's world. He thinks I'm great). And I'm glad I'm not. But after almost 450 posts, I need a break.

I started writing a novel in January, and I'm currently at a little over 50,000 words. If that sounds like a lot, allow me to inform you that the average novel has between 80,000 and 100,000 words, and it takes me a solid hour to write two or three pages, which is about 1000-1500 words. So I'm about halfway through. Right now, this is where my focus is, so I desperately need this blogging break in order to concentrate on finishing by my targeted June date (a goal I've set for myself).

If you remember my last post, I discussed being a starter or a finisher. I'm a starter. I tend to get to the middle of something and when I feel stuck, I quit. I'm determined not to do that to my characters. Quite frankly, I've fallen in love with them, and I can't leave them suspended!

The working title of my book is The Color of God. I never set out to write a book on racism or alcoholism, but that's where it's going. I'm not a social issues kind of person; in fact, I'm sort of ignorant when it comes to things like that. I'd rather not discuss it or read about it, much less write about it! But these feisty little characters tend to write the story, not me.

The opening sentence was something that a young woman in my church told me at Christmas this year:

The first time I snuck out of the house I was eight years old. I wanted to go to church.

I thought that was fascinating and wondered what I could do with it in a story. I never dreamed it would turn into a novel. Then, one night, the title came to me. That's all I had. 

Here's a quick synopsis:

Charlie Sullivan is six years old when she almost drowns and wonders if she saw God (true story-mine). Three years later, during the summer of 1970, she determines to discover the colors of God--not skin color, but the full color spectrum. Her parents are not church going people, and she finds a mentor in a wonderful older African-American woman through her bi-racial best friend, Marcus. When Charlie stumbles on some pictures from her alcoholic mother's past, she believes there may be secrets that no one is telling her--secrets that could change her life, but she's not even sure what those secrets are.

As she grows up and her mother's alcoholism worsens, Charlie distances herself from her family, until a tragedy brings her home, where she discovers that the true color of God is unseen, but found in forgiveness.

That's all I can tell you right now. I'll keep you posted along the way--maybe. At the very least, I'll post a "Yay, I'm finally done!" blog.

I re-read my first post before adding the link to this post (if you missed it above, here it is again). It's all about walking closely and in tune with God. Delighting in Him. 

When it's time to write, I just show up. I trust that God will be there every time. And He always is. I'm not so naive as to believe that "God is writing my book." It's not that good. If it were, it would become the 67th book in the (Protestant) Bible. But I will say that He is definitely guiding my hand.

Is there something that you committed to and quit? Are you stuck right now and considering quitting? What would happen if you just showed up and asked Him to guide you? What would happen if you dusted off your dream and allowed God to resurrect it, just as He did His own Son from the grave? Come on, walk with me. As tough as it may be, as scary as it is--that unknown--do it anyway!

I can't say when I'll be back, but I hope that in the meantime, you'll be deep in the midst of pursuing your dream. Stay close to Him.

Please don't forget me. I won't forget you. Feel free to contact me and let me know what's going on in your life. 

I especially welcome stories from anyone who lived with an alcoholic mother (since mine is not and never was one). Of course, all stories would be considered confidential, but I might include your name in the acknowledgements page, if you're agreeable to that.

I love you, dear one.

Blessings Along the Path,

Sharing this blog with some of these lovelies   


  1. While I'm saddened to see you take a hiatus from blogging, I totally "get" your need to do so. You go, girl, full speed ahead! "I'm not so naive as to believe that "God is writing my book." It's not that good" makes me chuckle and say "Amen"! Also love and relate to "I'm determined not to do that to my characters. Quite frankly, I've fallen in love with them, and I can't leave them suspended!" Your synopsis is gripping and leaves me wanting more. Bravo!

    1. Thea, you write such encouraging things, I think I might hire you as my personal endorser haha! Talk soon.

  2. I'm already "hooked" by your snippet. Best of luck with finishing the novel. Many prayers for God's words to continue unleashing.

  3. Oh, enjoy your blog break, and finishing your book! It sounds wonderful! I can't wait to buy a copy. Thanks for your encouragement to not quit. I needed that today. I'm a starter, too. Finisher? Not so much!

    1. Thanks, Ellen. I just read in one of my devotionals today that the best way to keep going with something is to encourage others. I do love encouraging. So...keep going, fellow Starter!

  4. Small beginnings... small things in God's hands can become great for the kingdom, can't they? This is when following through matters. I applaud you as you continue to write and push through... I keep hearing how hard some days can be when you hit the middle of a writing project, so I'm in awe of those that go after being a published author! God will give you endurance as you need, on this we can be sure.
    Grateful I got to be your neighbour over at the #TestimonyTuesday linkup!

    1. Christine-thank you for visiting and encouraging.

  5. I will be praying for you as you take a well deserved break and pursue the novel you are writing. The book sounds fascinating. May you use this time wisely, soak in all God has to teach you and come back refreshed. Blessings!

    1. Thank you Mary! From one Mary to another...heartfelt prayers. I'll take 'em all!

  6. This is my first time visiting, but I wanted to tell you Congrats! Praying that God will continue to guide you in your writing and prosper you in the place He has planted you! Visiting from Sitting Among Friends.

  7. I'm excited to hear of this novel, Mary! It sounds like an incredible premise. I look forward to reading it once it gets finished or published or both! I totally understand the need to pull back. I'm in that spot too, or feel like I'm up against it anyway. I am trying to write a non-fiction book that's about halfway or a bit more finished. I am not going to that She Speaks conference after all, but another one in Chicago this summer, I think. God has redirected me for some reason. I won't go into it, but suffice it to say, it's all a bit overwhelming to do both the blogging thing and the writing thing--not to mention my day job of coaching too. Ugh! So I feel your pain and will GREATLY miss you and hope that I don't fall off your radar completely. You are one of my favorites out there in the wide-open blogosphere! :)

  8. Mary...May the Lord bless your time as you finish up your book. Looking forward to having you back to blogging if and when God calls you back. Glad to have you share at Monday's Musings. Blessings. :-)

  9. While you will certainly be missed, I hope this is a growing and refreshing time for you. Best wishes on your goal and on your book. It has a very fascinating story line. Glad you are sharing with us at Sitting Among Friends. IF you ever want to come over and even shared previously written material, we would be happy to have you. We will look forward to the "I'm back post". Have a great time away.

  10. Hi Mary! I was your neighbor today over at Wedded Wednesday! I applaud you in taking a blogging break to pursue you dream of writing a book. I love how you love the characters and how you said that they are writing the story. Whatever you do, don't quit! We can't wait to see the finished product!


  11. Not gonna lie, I am going to miss you. Blog Land just won't be quite as much fun without you. But, my prayers go out as you pursue your dream! God is with you, friend, and He will inspire you with the words...


  12. Will miss your posts, but I won't be selfish. Go and take a break. Enjoy your sabbatical from blogging and hope to hear more about your life away from the computer soon.

  13. This is the first time I've come across your blog (I'm your neighbour at 3-D Lessons for Life ), but I'd like to encourage you in your writing journey :) Your book idea sounds fascinating—I've written a few books and totally understand how attached you are to your characters! Sounds like you're very much in the zone—keep writing and don't feel guilty (even a little bit!) about not blogging for a while. I'm sure you'll have plenty to share when the novel journey comes to an end (which is actually the beginning as you start the whole submission/ publication/ marketing world—so exciting!) Blessing to you and happy writing :)