Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 8

How have you seen God’s glory in nature recently?

It is quite possible this response is due to the fact that I live in a town where, if it’s not snowing, it is raining almost every afternoon during the summer. I will say, this works great for someone who forgets to water her lawn about 89% of the time.

Back to the question at hand – where have I seen God in nature recently? I can say the mountains (I see the beautiful range every day) or I can say a beautiful sunset (which will never grow old), but honestly it’s been in the thunderstorms that sweep in during the afternoons and sometimes come back in the middle of the night.

The rumble (or clash) or thunder amidst the lightning strikes is one of my favorite things to sit back and listen to and watch. It’s beautiful and yet terrifying at the same time.

Much like scripture speaks of being in awe of God. Job 37:14-16 says:

“Listen to this, Job;
    stop and consider God’s wonders.
Do you know how God controls the clouds
    and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
    those wonders of Him who has perfect knowledge?”

And again in Psalm 19:1: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

How about you?

(Question from The Daily Question)

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 7

What organizations or people do you know that are making the world a better place?

One of my favorite scenes in The Two Towers movie is right after Sam rushes to save Frodo from the Nazgûl. As Frodo walked towards the Nazgûl, he was drawn to put on the ring, slowly allowing the power of the ring to creep in. Sam once again saves Frodo, but still under the spell, Frodo lashes out at Sam. With a sword drawn on his best friend, Sam reminds him, that’s he’s Sam, his friend. Frodo recovers and, understandably, is upset at his actions and wondering how they will ever move on. He wonders out loud if the fight is still worth it and worth holding on to. That’s where Sam comes:

Whenever I think of organizations and people who are doing incredible work to make the world a better place, I think of Samwise Gamgee. He knew the work was hard and risky, but it was worth fighting for. I think more than ever, we can use this reminder from Sam.

Here’s a list of organizations that are doing incredible work around the world and all incredibly organizations if you’re looking for a way to get involved.

(Question from Be Bold Every Day)

Bonus LOTR material 🙂

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 6

You Are a Children’s Book Writer. Write the First Few Lines of Your New Book.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

What do y’all think? I think I might be on to something.

Since that might possibly already be taken, let’s give it another go.

He had his bag packed and was ready to go. He’d only been on a long car ride once before, but never on a plane. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was a little scared. He’d never even seen a plane before! But his Mom promised it would be a grand adventure and that he didn’t have to worry about a thing.

Today would be the day. The day Max moved to London.

Alright, alright, this is what happens when it’s late on a Monday and I should be focusing and am not really a children’s author, but instead am thinking of another travel adventure. But maybe if I write about a cat moving to London, it might happen?!! 🙂 🙂

(Question from 300 Writing Prompts)

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 5

Do You Prefer Taking Risks or Having a Safety Net?

Today’s post is coming in right near the day’s deadline. Honestly, I wasn’t really in the mood to be online or anything social yesterday. I kept thinking about the innocent lives lost and the hatred that led to what happened in El Paso, followed by more tragedy in Dayton.

All that to say, it feels strange transitioning from that intro into today’s question. So maybe I won’t and instead say that I will never stop fighting against hate and racism. I hope you join me to.

 Jesus, be with us and be near. Be with so many who are hurting right now. May the church be a shining beacon to many and may we seek to represent you in everything we do. May that be in loving our neighbor, speaking out against white supremacy and racism, and in whatever areas you call each of us to. Amen.

(Question from 300 Writing Prompts)

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 4

What Unfulfilled Dream is Most on Your Mind Right Now?

Unfulfilled dreams – I wonder if life ever reaches a point where all your dreams are fulfilled. Or is it more like a TBR pile (a “to be read” pile) of books, that no matter how many you have you’re always adding more, knowing you’ll never actually reach the end of it. To be clear I don’t mean that in a depressing way, but in an way that means, as we continue to grow as humans we continue to have dreams both big and small.

I don’t know if I have one specific dream right now that has yet to be reached. Are there things I still want to do? See? Try? Absolutely. I always have a running list. Many of these take time and pieces are out of my control. Thankfully, just this week, I came, once again, across the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.

After everyone had their fill, John writes: “When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” John‬ ‭6:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A story and verses I’ve read hundred of times, but it hit me this week, as I was reading it, that this is what Jesus does. He turns nothing into abundance. And for that I am so thankful.

(Question from The Daily Question)

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 3

Why is Being a Part of a Community so Important?

I genuinely love this question. I love talking about community! My life is much richer, deeper, and fun because of the communities I’ve had throughout my life. These are the people who challenge you, encourage you, are there for you, and help you to the best person you can be.

I’ve also embraced that communities change. I have my forever core group of friends (who are there no matter where I am), but life often shifts how communities look. A lot of times that’s because of physical moves and it’s not always easy (I’ve been on the side of friends moving away and myself being the one who moves), but there’s always a new community waiting.

Finding that as adults can be hard. While it can take time and requires moving past the awkward, I promise you it is always, always worth it. I’ll end with a quote I recently posted on my Instagram:

We’ll never know our true selves in isolation. We know ourselves to the extent we are known. All of us are the sum of our relationships. Though our characteristics are unique. Our character is forged on the anvil of our community.

Core 52 by Mark E. Moore

Why is your community important to you? How have they played a role in your life?

(Question from Be Bold Every Day)

 

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 2

What Would You be Doing if You Weren’t Doing This?

Before I dive in, I’m curious… What first came to your mind with this question? Was it related to career, hobbies, life? My brain goes directly to career path. I’m sure that’s because of where I’m at in life, but what did you first think of?

Anyway, back to the question at hand. This is fun to think about though. And since I don’t want to take the easy way out and say I’d be a rare book collector who travels the world finding the perfect books, here’s a couple more real life examples.

1. Something to do with Criminal Justice.
2. A Professor of History (focused on either Civil War or Art).

All such random things, I know. Yet, it reminds and encourages me that we can be be passionate about a lot of things even if they reveal themselves in ways we don’t expect. Sometimes those passions look different than a career path (my heart for justice might not be as an FBI agent, but I can fight for people in other ways) and sometimes it can end up being something we nerd out about for fun (history books and travel adventures for the win).

But not matter if you have your one thing or many, may you always give it your all.

I’d love to hear from you, so please share!

(Question from 642 Things to Write About)

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 1

What is Your Favorite Work of Art?

I’m so excited to kick off this writing challenge! I love how different so many of the questions are and I hope you enjoy them to. And now…officially kicking off Day 1!

I can talk about my favorite pieces of art for days. One of my favorite styles of art is Impressionism (and Post Impressionism). I love so many of the artists from those eras. One of my favorite things I got to do in NYC this past Spring, was seeing A Starry Night by Van Gogh and part of Water Lilies by Claude Monet in person (they’re both at the Museum of Modern Art). But my favorite comes from a much lesser known artist (my mission is to change this!), who I encountered for the first time last year.

The Banjo Lesson by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Tanner was born in 1859 and was the first African-American artist to gain international acclaim. While Tanner was in Philadelphia in 1893 (he lived in Paris most of his life), he painted The Banjo Lesson. I love how much this painting communicates. The relationship between Grandpa and grandson, how music draws us together, and knowing Tanner’s history (his Dad was a bishop in the AME Church and his mother escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad), this painting is so much deeper than a snapshot of everyday life.

I can’t help but be drawn to stories that remind me of my own. When I look at this Elder, I am drawn right back to small town Louisiana. Where family is crowded in a kitchen full of Creole cooking (my favorite smell being that of freshly baked cinnamon rolls), sharing stories, giving opinions, or plotting the next round of Spades. And there would also be my Grandpa, except his choice of instrument was the harmonica.

Art is just as much for the painters, as it is for the person who encounters it.

What’s one of your favorite paintings?

(Question from 300 Writing Prompts)

Writing Challenges

30 Day Writing Challenge

For no other reason than it’s the month of August in a few days, I’ve decided to put myself through a 30 day writing challenge. Using a handful of different writing prompt books, my goal is to write a short post every day for 30 days. I’ll post here, since it’ll be the easiest to share around social media. Starting August 1st, my plan is to write the post the night before and schedule it for the morning. We’ll see how this goes! I may end up only writing out 5 posts next month, but I’m game to try.

You should join in too! Whether on social media or your own blog! I’d post the prompts beforehand, but that would mean I was super organized with this and we all know better. If you do, use the hashtag #30DayMusingsChallenge, so I can follow along.

Happy writing!

Love and Faith

The Most Random Round Up Ever

I’m kicking off something kind of fun next week (more to come), so I thought why not have a random round up beforehand? Here’s a few fun things I’ve found, am loving, and of course some books I’m reading and ones in the TBR!

Recent Reads

  • Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – Fun, light, cute romance. If you’ve been enjoying the recent rom com comeback (thank you Netflix!), I think you’ll like this one too. (Some minor language and adult themes)
  • Here’s a stack of books I’ve worked on recently for work. I’m biased, but they’re definitely worth checking out!
  • And in case you missed some Austen retellings, stock up on these titles!
  • Currently Reading: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
  • Up Next: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Fun Finds

  • Shopkick App! This is an app where you earn “kicks” while shopping (whether checking into a store, scanning items, or buying items you need). These kicks turn into gift cards. No joke! I already earned a $5.00 gift card to Amazon and I just went to my normal grocery stores. If you want to join (it’s free) use code WIN022926 or download https://getsk.co/win022926 and we’ll each get some kicks! Plus right now, for every person who joins Shopkick is donating $2 to Feeding America.
  • Norwex. Who would have thought I’d be so into cleaning towels? I went to party a friend was hosting and these are legit. I haven’t used any cleaning sprays in the kitchen, moping, etc for over a month! Seriously. It’s all in the science and the self cleaning material. You can find out more here. That’s a link to “my” storefront. I wanted to order all the things for my house, so I signed up! I also learned that many of my friends have been using it for years. My current favorite items are:
    • EnviroCloth® and Window Cloth (wiping up the kitchen and cleaning bathroom mirrors has never been so easy)
    • Microfiber Dusting Mitt (GAME CHANGER. I hate dusting and this makes it so easy and quick)
    • The Mop System (makes sweeping and mopping a breeze and you only use water!)
  • Vanilla Meringues. I cannot be left alone with a box of these. It’s dangerous.

The Super Random

Did I mention Max has an Instagram account? If you like a daily cat fix, check it out!

Skimm. I love this daily recap of what’s happening around the world. If you haven’t heard about it, you can find out more here and sign up too!

I hope you enjoyed the random break and, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to join Literary Rebels :)!