When You Have a Dream and You’re Afraid You’ll Fail

When you have a dream, all sorts of doubts, fears, and negative thoughts hound you.

You can’t do this.

You’re wasting your time. 

Stick with something you know.

When you fail, you’re going to look like a fool.

Forget this silly idea and get on with your life.

A few years ago, I had a dream.

I wanted to become a novelist–which is peculiar because as a child, I never planned to write. My mother was a writer. When I was ten, she made me her Junior Editor–a job I didn’t want.  (Marion Bond West, my mom, is below.)

Writers–people like my mother–were strange.

By the time I reached 40, life had blindsided me.

I’d survived clinical depression, lost a full-term baby boy, and attended Al-Anon. Writing helped me focus and listen to God’s healing voice.

In 2004, I entered the Guideposts writers contest and won!

I became what I never planned to be.

One of those weird writers.

For instance–

A writer can be talking to you and suddenly float away to another world. We don’t mean to be rude–it’s just that our minds get crowded. Right now, my brain looks something like this.

This is where I interview my characters. My people. They’re so real to me that I catch myself asking them what’s for supper. 🙂

Another bizarre thing about writers–

At night we dream answers to our plotting problems and hop out of bed to jot them down. We’ll even do this for a good sentence or just the right word.

I’m still working toward my dream.

As I’m writing this post, I’m packing for a novelists retreat in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. I can’t wait! Next week, I’ll learn new things and have fun, but the best part is–

I’ll get to hang out with people who don’t think my dream is strange. 

When you have a dream, surround yourself with friends who believe in you. Sometimes it only takes one! 

 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thank you. 

You encourage me every week.

I’m so very, very grateful. 

Do you have a dream? Has someone encouraged you along the way?

P.S. I’m taking Lolly my laptop and will be checking comments. 🙂 I haven’t even left home and I already miss you!

Love,

Julie

 

Three Sweet Blessings from Friendships with Women

Rick and I’ve been married for 36 years. We have no secrets. He’s my best friend, but sometimes it’s fun to spend time with lady-friends. When we get together, the conversation shifts from deep talk to silliness. In a heartbeat.

Saturday, a girlfriend invited another friend and me to go shopping. I’m attending a Guideposts writers’ workshop in two weeks and wanted something spiffy to wear.

“There’s an antique shop down the street,” she said. “Let’s go there.”

Clothes in an antique store? 

She took us to a place I’d never noticed in my very own small town of Monroe, GA.

Good friends are like that–always teaching us new stuff.

When we arrived, I didn’t care if they had clothes or not.

I felt like a little girl again!

Hodge Podge held the same splendor I remembered from childhood when I went antiquing with my mother and sister. There’s a certain thrill in rounding the corner of a shop and discovering dusty surprises.

The front door was wide open and welcomed us like a warm smile.  I took a step inside and childhood memories came alive.

Miniature tea sets.

Sparkling chandeliers.

Handmade lavender soap.

Oh me, oh my —

My heart went pitter-patter at the crocheted shirt.

My sweet friends.

They insisted I try it on in all three colors–aqua, black, and oatmeal.

“Definitely, the oatmeal-colored one,” they said in unison.

After we shopped, we stopped for coffee at The Cotton Cafe.  Sitting at a small table, we laughed and shared secrets the way little girls do.

At home, I hung up my new crocheted top in my closet and smiled.

Good friends are one of God’s greatest blessings. They:

1. Help us not to take life (and ourselves!) so seriously.

2. Always want the best for us.

3. Encourage us to sparkle and shine. 

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9 The MSG

Have you had fun lately with your friends? What’d you do?

What sweet blessings have you found in friendship?

Love,

Julie

 

 

Porch Party in New York — a Preview and a Promise

This past Friday, 5 a.m., I felt a twinge of I’m gonna miss this as my husband and I ended our PORCH PARTY.

“You’ll only be gone a couple of days. I think you’ll be okay,” he said.

“I know.”

But still.

I was flying to Rye, NY for a GUIDEPOSTS writers refresher workshop.

At the last minute, I put JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young in my suitcase. The little jewel of a book has become part of our routine every morning.

Maybe I’ll have a few minutes to porch party alone.

Here’s the gang of workshoppers…

Early Saturday morning at the WAINWRIGHT HOUSE, I poured a cup of coffee and felt the familiar tug to sit on the porch.

The weather was glorious.

Everything appeared to be scrubbed clean from the Friday night storms. I took Jesus Calling and headed for the door.

Would God show up so far from home?

On a different porch.

In a different state.

“You gonna have a porch party this morning?” PEGGY FREZON asked.

“I sure am. Wanna join me?”

“I’d love to.”

It was early.

And unscripted.

A few more of us gathered together.

Our view…

JANET SMITH on the left, Peggy on the right…

Sheryl Smith-Rogers

Marilyn Turk on the left.

Lisa Bogart

Sharon Mangus

Stu Reinenger joined us toward the end of our porch party.

I read from JESUS CALLING,  May 17th.

“These glimpses are tiny foretastes of what you will experience eternally in heaven.”

Tiny foretastes of Heaven–whew!

Sunset that night.

Beauty that exceeds our imagination …

Heaven.

We can’t even imagine, Lord.

A Preview.

 A Promise.

You’re with us.

Always.

P.S. If you’re interested in entering the GUIDEPOSTS‘ Writers’ Contest, the deadline is June, 12, 2014.

Here’s the scoop: Tell Us Your Story.

Love,

Julie