one word, personal, writing

My One Word for 2019

One Word 2019My One Word for 2018 was CULTIVATE. As I look back on what I wanted to cultivate last year, I’m amazed at how I was able to work on the different areas of my life, cultivating and growing those areas to where I was able to accomplish more than I thought possible. True, some of my ideas didn’t come to fruition, but I grew in my writing, my home, my relationships, and my beautiful garden. It was a good year.

As I prayed over what my word for 2019 should be, I kept seeing the word WHISPER show up in different writings I was reading. I thought that was a weird word to choose, but after many confirmations, it is the word I ended up with.

WHISPER:  to speak very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords, especially for the sake of privacy.

VERSES FOR 2019: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you, a voice will say, “This is the way you should go”, whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 NLT

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I want to be still enough to quiet my soul from the world’s chatter so I can hear His whisper. I want to hear his directives for my life and step out in faith to follow Him wherever He leads.

I also want to whisper Him to everyone in everything I say and everything I do. I don’t want to shout about Him and turn people away. I want to whisper Him…a subtle thing…a tantalizing whisper that makes people lean in to hear.

One of the beautiful things about the word whisper is that you use your breath to speak. The English word ‘spirit’ comes from the Latin word ‘spiritus’, which means breath. The Spirit of God is the breath of God.

I want to feel God’s breath move over me…to know Him, experience Him. I want my words (spoken or written) to breathe His Spirit into all aspects of my life. I want to be fruitful for Him.

So that is my word for the year. Do you have a word for the new year? Resolutions? Goals? What are your hopes for 2019?

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Christmas, decor, personal, Uncategorized

2018 Christmas Home Tour

The Alley Cats were challenged by Pepper Basham to give a tour of our Christmas Decor. I decided to share the little decor I have. I only decorate two rooms for Christmas, my living/dining area and my kitchen. I don’t do a lot, but I think it makes my small home cozy and inviting.

I made a video if you would like to check it out here: 2018 Christmas Home Tour

Here is a picture of my mantle. I made the canvas a long time ago. (No, I can’t sell it, as I copied it from someone online.) I also made the stockings, which will NOT face the right direction. Any tips on that are appreciated!

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Here is my nativity. I share it because it is very old and worn. As you see, the poor donkey looks more like a dinosaur here without its ears.

We went small on a tree this year, but I love the old ornaments on it from when my kids were little. We have collected so many over the years, I cannot even put them all on the tree anymore.

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Because I got a puppy for Christmas and I think he is adorable, here is a picture of Phineas napping in front of the tree.

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Okay, one more of little Phin…he has started lifting one ear all the time. Cracks me up.

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I hope you have a very merry Christmas filled with family, love and lots of laughter.

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personal, writing

The Value of Writerly Friends

Ladies_StockSnap_pixabayWriting is a solitary adventure. Writers spin tales inside their heads, then spend hours pouring their stories onto the page … alone. But there comes a time in every writer’s life when they need people. They need a hug. They need encouragement. They need a friend who truly understands.

Writers need writerly friends. 

I’m writing my second book. I have a good foundation for this story, but at the end of chapter three, I froze. I had just finished a massive edit of my first book and I was paralyzed by the fear of writing a book that needed so much rewriting. I would start and stop, start and stop, thinking everything I wrote would have to be deleted and rewritten.

I don’t want to have to do that! But I need to write, especially when I’m supposed to take ten pages to my critique group.

I belong to a fabulous critique group that meets every other week. We share chapters/scenes and discuss them … the good and the bad. This week I had nothing to bring because I choked while trying to write. I was embarrassed. Writers write and I hadn’t written anything in two whole weeks! I didn’t go because I was so embarrassed.

I forced myself to go. I forced myself to be honest with the group and share my frustrations and my fears. And you know what? These ladies hugged me. They shared their own stories of fear, of writer’s block, of frustration. They prayed over me and then we brainstormed possibilities for where the story could go.

These writerly friends lifted me out of the pit of writer despair, and I left with a sense of peace and hope.

Friends, hope is such a powerful thing and gives life to the soul. 

Writerly friends – those people who think like you, daydream like you, talk to imaginary friends like you – these are the people you need to surround yourself with on this writing journey. They are the ones who will encourage you on the road that God leads you on. They will pick you up when you fall, and they will speak hope into your dark days.

There’s nothing more valuable (besides the good Lord) than writerly friends. I know I’m thankful for mine!

Do you have a writerly friend(s)? Do you have support on your writing journey?

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**Photo by StockSnap at pixabay.com
editing, personal, Uncategorized

Finishing Edits, Being a Slug

slug.Micel_van_der-Vegt.pixabayI turned in my second round of edits last week and, as I did after the first round, slipped into a bit of a funk. I tend to hyper-focus when I have a deadline (or must get something turned in ASAP). It’s great to be that focused, but when the job is completed, I crash.

I won’t say I’ve been a complete slug. I have cleaned my poor, neglected house. I’ve pulled weeds and feed my flower beds. I got out and scouted for used books to send to Amazon. I’ve been a little productive, but …

I’ve also binged on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Have you all been missing romantic movies like I have? While I like superhero movies, I’ve been ready for some good romance. Netflix released The New Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Oh my, it is perfect. Definitely my kind of show.

I’m loathe to admit this, but I’ve been binging on America’s Next Top Model. My daughter enjoys it and so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m captivated by the makeovers and the creativity of photo shoots. I tend to fast forward through the bickering in the house, but the shoots and catwalks are fun to watch.

So now that I’ve rested up after edits, I’m sinking in to my new story. I’ve struggled getting it plotted, so I’m digging in and brainstorming some ideas, praying the creativity with flow. I’m several chapters in and really want to take this story deeper.

How do you rest/recuperate/rejuvenate after finishing a major job or project?

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personal, Social Media, Uncategorized, writing

Fearing Authenticity

mask
Yep, that’s me.

I have a confession to make. I’ve been in a slump this year, afraid to post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’ve even been afraid to blog. Why is that, you ask?

I’m afraid to be me.

Since I’ve signed a publishing contract in April, I’ve choked at being just me. It’s silly, I know. But being an author and having to promote yourself as an author has me all twisted up in trying to be a “real author” — you know, someone who is serious about the business side of writing.

Don’t get me wrong. I am serious about writing and all it entails, but I miss being free to be just me. I love to laugh, not take myself seriously, and have fun with life. That includes all aspects of my life.

People talk about finding your “voice” in writing. If I can’t find my voice in real life and express that life (even on social media), then how can I ever find and free my voice in my writing? Indeed!

So this month I am focusing on authenticity. I want to be real. I want to be me — the real me. This should be fun, right?

When has your authenticity been stifled? Is it hard to be real, either in life or on social media?

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