Want another SNEAK PREVIEW? Okay -- here are some thoughts from Lucy's head.
A. "Every time they told each other to shut up or did something else hateful, ____ would give them a loud BUZZ. When they did something that showed integrity, like sticking up for each other, they got a DING-DING-DING. Lucy didn't think there would be a whole lot of ding-ding-dinging around here."
B. "It helped that ____ was waiting outside the gate. Although he was glaring at Mudge, the Rooneys' fourth kitty, who was glaring back from under the century plant, he still made Lucy almost smile. WIth his Apache-black ponytail hanging from the nape of his neck and his lanky legs ready to be tripped over the minute he took a step, he looked the same as he always did. At least there was that."
C. "If ____ was here at home, instead of off in Albuquerque at the School for the Blind, he wouldn't let Aunt Karen make her be all girly when that was SO not her. He would say 'Leave her alone K. She looks beautiful to me.' And Lucy would grin -- because of course, he couldn't see her at all. She liked being the kind of beautiful you can't see."
D. "___ opened her Bible with its cracked leather cover and smoothed her hands over the pages. Lucy was always surprised they didn't tear because they were like the very thinnest part of an onion's skin. But then, she always handled the Bible as if it were a newborn kitten. She even spoke its stories that way."
E. "___ leaped from the kitchen table, freaking Marmalade out of his chair and sending him flying ino the living room in an orange blur. Her hands had so many punctuation marks going, Lucy felt like she was in Engish class."
Since you've been hollering for a CONTEST . . . If you can correctly fill in all five of the blanks in those paragraphs by TUESDAY in a private email to me -- email@example.com (don't post it here for obvious reasons), I will send you a free copy of LUCY FINDS HER WAY. To make it easier, here are the names:
How fun is that? BTW -- those of you who won the last contest -- I have not forgotten to send your books. I hit a few snags -- but they will be on their way to you soon.
Do you know what a thrill it is for me to announce a new book? Even though this is my 110th book, I still get excited when I know someone is finally going to read it -- an important someone -- someones like you, the people I wrote it for. And it still gives me chills when I stand in front of the tables at an event where my books are displayed, like in the picture above. I can't help thinking, "Look what God has done using funky, flawed, imperfect me." Who would have thought?
But, actually, I DID think. Back when I was ten years old and decided I wanted to write a Nancy-Drew-like novel. And when I was twelve and realized I could have a relationship with God of my own. And when I was a junior in high school and found my writing voice keeping journals. And when I was 28 years old and knew I wasn't going to be teaching high school forever, that God wanted me to be a writer. There were a bajillion snippets of events that happened before I was about 45 and REALLY began to imagine a whole, complete life for God. Not just as a writer -- or just as a workshop teacher and speaker -- or just as a lady with a house on a lake. I looked seriously at the PERSON God wanted me to be. I wasn't imagining an imaginary life-that-might-come-true anymore. I was discovering who I was put here to be FOR GOD. And you know what? I realized that had been happening for a long time -- and that I wished I had known it sooner.
RIght now, today, is "sooner" for you. You're already discovering through your creative adventures and dabbling in your imaginary lives that you don't have to wait for life to happen to you -- you can create so much of it with love and imagination and a sense of adventure. That is teaching you this very minute to become who you are for God. Not your hoped-for career or your dream lifestyle, but you as YOU. So --
Grab your journal (am I going to get more pictures of journals, BTW?) In it, in whatever way you choose -- drawing, painting, writing a poem or song lyrics, making a collage, writing in story form, or just good ol' journaling - describe for God the inside-life you would like to live for God. It will come from what you know about yourself, from what you love, from what brings you joy, and from what you admire in the people you really respect. Here are some examples:
"I want to be really, really unselfish -- you know, thinking about other people just as much as I do about myself. I want to be willing to jump up and do what a person really needs me to do for them and not think about what it's going to cost me or what I'm gonna get out of it."
" Me? I dream of always making people laugh -- being totally encouraging -- instead of always wanting to be in the spotlight myself. My dream is to be a team member, part of a group that works together for you, God."
" Okay -- this is a no-brainer. I am SO quiet, and I think that's the way you made me, God, so I want to use that for You. I can be the person who prays -- who waits until I really have something to say before I say it. I can be the listener. I can nod and focus and let people figure things out while they're talking to me. I love that I don't have to be the center of attention to do my thing for you, God."
Take your time with this -- really think and pray about it. Look through your journal so far because it will tell you a lot of what you need to know. And when you're ready, if you want you can post what has come to you. Of course, you can also keep it just between you and God, too.
Don't forget to EMAIL your answers to the contest to ME by Tuesday. Have a Fabulous weekend, Mini-Women!