Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stepping out of my comfort zone

     It began almost eight years ago. The tiny voice inside, the desire to do something different, something bigger. An opportunity presented itself to me. Would I take it?
     I'd lived in a small town my whole life. I'd lived a small life, never venturing outside of comfort zones. Driving was limited. Panic attacks in different parts of my life held me back. Insecurity and thoughts of failure.
      Yet I had a good life. Good, loving family and close bonds. A job I adored, and friends who meant the world to me. But something was missing.
     When I met my husband, and we became close in a short period of time, I told him I'd never move the hour away from all that was familiar to me to be with him. He stubbornly told me he would not sell his house and if we were to be together, the move would have to come from me. I didn't like it. I mulled it over, even speaking to a beloved counselor. I prayed deep, heartfelt prayers asking God if this would be the right thing for my life. And many signs pointed the way. Messages I'd heard, things I read. That still, small voice.
     I sat with my writer's group last evening, only four of us, and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. In the seven years since I picked up my small town life and made a drastic change, I've come so very far. Had I stayed put, I may never have known this lovely group of people who helped push me toward my dreams of writing. Had I not moved, I would never have known the amazing people I've worked with all these years and how much we share with one another. I wouldn't have found a church home that has inspired me and made my life fuller. I would not have began speaking to God daily as my best friend.
     I drive father than I've ever gone. I love deeper than I ever thought possible. I've sacrificed and given away myself in ways I never imagined. All of this has molded me into the woman I've become. And with God's help, I will continue to step out of other comfort zones and leave myself open to all He has in store for me.
     May you find the strength to step out of your own comfort zones. Dream big dreams and imagine the possibilities in store for you when you take a small step of faith.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Introducing Wiley Cash

A Land More Kind Than Home: A Novel
I've heard it said before that those who don't learn from the past are bound to repeat it, and I just don't know what I think about that. I figure I don't have too much use for it. The past will just weigh on you if you spend too much time remembering it.”
Wiley Cash, A Land More Kind Than Home 

 Today, I'm going to do something different with my blog. I'd like to introduce an up and coming author Wiley Cash. I found Mr. Cash from a sidebar on Facebook recently when a mention of To Kill a Mockingbird was used to describe his recent book. 

The story is told in the voices of three major characters. It's the type of story that grabs hold of you and doesn't let you go as you turn each well-written page. The voice of Jess, the younger brother in the story put me in mind of Scout Finch. I love the Southern "voice", the southern ways. I found myself becoming lost in a time and place that's not mine. A time and place I've never known.

This story will stay with me for some time to come. And I look forward to anything else this amazing author may be up to in his future. Let me leave you with his biography and his book blurb. It is my hope you will come away feeling as I did when you discover Wiley Cash and "A Land More Kind Than Home."

For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to—an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. While there is much about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that a new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil—but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance as well.
Told by three resonant and evocative characters—Jess; Adelaide Lyle, the town midwife and moral conscience; and Clem Barefield, a sheriff with his own painful past—A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all. These are masterful portrayals, written with assurance and truth, and they show us the extraordinary promise of this remarkable first novel.