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The Power of the Pen

“I don’t have any talent”.

 

I vividly recall saying that to my father when I was about 13. I was a decent dancer but not good enough to compete. I was on the softball team but spent little time on the field. I didn’t play an instrument. I couldn’t sing. Yup, talent-less.

 

But….the notebooks, the journals, the legal pads filled with writing.

 

Poetry. Short stories. Endless journal entries. Later news stories , articles, essays.

 

One spoken word piece I wrote 20+ years ago starts, “The pen and pad is all I ever had…”

 

I always thought that writing was just my way of escape; a coping mechanism I developed in early childhood to disconnect from what was happening in my environment. But with my father’s insight, I came to see that my writing was not only an escape but a vehicle by which I could bless others. My Dad said writing was MY talent.

 

The power of the written record.

 

The power of the pen enables you to go back, reflect and see the progress you’ve made. Two nights ago I stumbled upon a large binder with notes from when I was a new Christian. I was completely in awe of how God had taken all that Word, pages and pages of material from classes, workshops and bible study and stored it in my heart. I sat in amazement as I reflected on how those words are now my LIFE. Those words have been inextricably written on my heart.

 

From written records we learn about people, their cultures, and their habits. We learn about our planet, its variations and its inhabitants from maps, a form of written record. And we learn about the Most High God from the best-selling written record ever, The Holy Bible. The written record has POWER.

 

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

 

Today we have access to a wealth of information. The Library of Congress has more than 162 million items in more than 470 languages in its collection. And while that is a large breath of information, it is not all applicable to us individually. God has divinely wired us to receive information in ways that are specific and relative to us. There is a saying, “There is nothing new under the sun”. And be that as it may, God has attuned our eyes and ears to see and hear message in ways that we can receive and perceive. God has a group of people whose eyes and ears are attuned to hear from Him, through YOU. Click To Tweet

 

Yes, God has a people who are waiting specifically to hear from YOU. You and I may have something similar to say but your background, age, race, and life experience will color the message differently than mine. So don’t you ever doubt, not for one minute the value of your message. Don’t you ever question if the marketplace is saturated. Don’t second guess if you’re supposed to step into the already flooded arena. If God has called you to it, no matter how many others are doing it, there is only one with YOUR voice and that’s you. So take your wealth of knowledge, understanding and wisdom and write it down!

 

Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. Revelation 1:19

 

God is looking for writers.

 

Who will chronicle the great and mighty acts He performs?

 

Who will leave a written record of hope for future generations?

 

Who will inspire those currently in despair?

 

I know you can do it. In a matter of months, I wrote 57,000 words and that finished product will be in your hands in late Spring 2017. In fact, I actually have a ridiculous goal of publishing 3 books this year. Yes 3 books in 2017. God is pouring His oil out on writers. He will give us supernatural grace to record His testimony. He simply needs our obedience.   As a busy mom of 6, I too wondered how I’d find time to write a book. From shuttle kids to and fro all day, ministry commitments, along with a nursing baby attached to me constantly, I wondering how I could get it done. He simply told me, “Just follow My lead”. I obeyed and watched him perform the miracle of writing the first of many books. And He can do it for you too.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Write on my friends, WRITE ON. The Holy Spirit flows healing out of your pen.

 

Have you heard the call to write? If yes, are you obeying? In the comments below tell me what you’re working on so I can pray with you and hold you accountable.

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth, Chasing Community

 

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It Is Finished

Hey Family just stopping in to tell you how much I’ve missed you. I treasure the sacred space we share here on the blog. Just know that even in my absence I’ve been praying for you. I also wanted to let you know…

 

IT IS FINISHED!

 

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:28-20

 

In case you didn’t know, I’ve been away for nearly two months. I’ve been in the writer’s cave giving birth to a book. This is a work that has been in progress for nearly eight years. I had buried it, but in January God told me he was going to resurrect the dry bones and put sinew and meat on them. When he said that, I immediately rejected it. I was 90% of the way finished with another book that seemed a lot more fun to work on. But God being God, knows his purposes and plans. And me being me, a Grace Girl, I had to obey. So out came old hard drives and old flash drives as I attempted to cull together the old material.

 

Well God is faithful. When he calls you to it, He’ll give you the grace to do it. Click To Tweet That old material took on new life and grew in ways I could not have imagined. Though I did not meet my initial goal of completing the book within 40 days, it was completed in 47. For a moment, embarrassment and pride tried to hold me in its grip when I didn’t finish by the date. But we serve a God who supersedes our man made timelines. I thank my sweet friend for reminding me of that truth. And though I say, it is finished; it is just truly the beginning right?

 

In the above verses, when Jesus surrendered himself, it was just the beginning for us. It was our entryway to grace. And this first stage of completion for the book is just the beginning.

 

Writing this book was no easy feat; it’s on raising godly children after all. While it is not an easy subject, it is one that the Lord says this world needs. Our world is in crisis and we need to raise godly children who are filled with love and compassion to help heal humanity. So starting with my own little flock of six over here, I’m doing my part to help move the kingdom building agenda forward.

 

While the initial writing phase is done, I will now be working on implementing the feedback I’ve received from my early readers. I thank them for their eagle eye and critical analysis. It’s good to have people in your camp that don’t merely tell you what you want to hear, but provide feedback to help you grow. If you are the creator of anything, it can sting when someone critiques your creation, but I say to remember why you are doing the work and that’s to meet the audience’s need. And if the work can be improved to better meet that need, while staying true to what God’s called you to do, then make the adjustments.

 

Friends I ask you to continue to pray for my family and me as I move forward to get this book into the hands of its intended audience. Let me know how I can pray for you.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith Mommy Moments

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A Baby, A Book, And A Break

Oh Inspired Life Family where have you been? I guess the more accurate question is where have I been. I’ve missed you tremendously. It has always been a delight to meet you here is this sacred space. I thank you for receiving the words of grace that God pours out from His heart, to mine, to yours.

 

A BABY

 

Baby

The last 2 months have been filled with cuddles, snuggles & kisses. Throw in constant diaper changes and being milked like a cow, all the while entertaining my other children since school let out, it’s made for a non-stop flurry of activity. But even in all this, I’ve purposed to SLOW DOWN, to take my own words to heart and EMBRACE THE NOW MOMENT. So I’m savoring the sweetness that a newborn brings to the home and enjoying the raucous laughter that the older children bring. Then mix in some sweet sayings from an innocent 5 year old such as, “Mommy, you need that feet thing from off the TV to get all that white stuff off the back of your feet”, endless fun indeed. Even the 3 year old is giving me plenty to smile about with,

 

“Mommy when I’m a grown up and I have money I’m gonna buy you a lot of stuff.”

Me: “Like what?”

3 year old: “Candy.”

5 year old: “You know mommy doesn’t want candy. She only wants vegetables!”

 

Didn’t I tell you I’ve been entertained? The Lord had been impressing on my heart to laugh more and He has certainly been providing countless opportunities.   I don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun, so come visit me on INSTAGRAM.

 

A BOOK

 

A book & A Baby

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved to write. From poems to short stories to news articles, writing has always been in my blood. I’ve got a degree in Journalism. I’ve known for a very long time that I would one day write books. I’ve drafted plans for several books. I’ve got chapters of several different books living on hard drives and flash drives. Last year I began writing 2 books that I thought would come to fruition this year but the pregnancy last year threw me for a loop.

Early 2016 God told me to put those on hold and to resurrect something I began working on nearly 8 years ago. God has called those dry bones forward and is putting flesh on them. I ask friends that you pray for me as I crucify my flesh so that HIS words can flow freely out of me and onto the page. I feel so ill equipped to write THIS book. But I’m comforted to know God specializes in using ill equipped people.

It is said that a dream without a deadline is a fantasy. With that said, my accountability partners challenged me to “PICK A DATE ALREADY!’ So I’ve got a date to have the manuscript complete. And I’m hiding behind fear so I don’t even want to post the date here. See, this is why y’all gotta pray for me. I’ve been slow to obey with this.  And we know that slow to obey = disobedience.  I would be remiss if I did not point out that OBEDIENCE is one of the three pillar THIS ministry is built upon so I’ve got to take my own mission to heart.

 

A BREAK

 

A Break

Visiting you weekly is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I never set out to take a a mini blogging break. Each week I pray for you and each week, in my mind, I’ve met you here in this space. I was quite surprised one day when I looked up and realized I hadn’t blogged in over a month. But the break has given me time to focus on my 1st ministry, HOME. But I feel you are family too, so I’ve missed you a great deal. In the event we don’t meet here in this space, I’d love for us to remain connected. You can find on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Though my goal is to still meet you here weekly to share from Jesus, to my heart, to yours.

 

So friends, bask in the sun, embrace the now moment and live your days fully inspired.

 

Until next time, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Titus 2 Tuesday, Grace & Truth

I Still Believe

A fourth of the way into the year and I’m assessing my state of belief. Like the State of the Union address, I’m reporting in with myself on my current health, vitality and concerns regarding my state of belief.

 

For the last few years, I’ve adopted one word that has served as my compass for the year. This year my word is BELIEVE. Go back and read that post when you get a chance by CLICKING HERE.

 

To gauge where I am in my believing, I began by asking myself a few questions.

 

What would my life be like if I truly believed I could do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me?

 

Do I believe Christ can do ALL things?

 

Do I believe He’s willing to do ALL things for me?

 

Do I believe I am worthy to receive ALL the things He wants to do in my life?

 

Am I prepared to receive the things I believe Him for?

 

Are the things I believe Him for in line with His Will and His Way?

 

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:22-24

 

Man…these questions will really get you thinking. I pray you spend some quiet time with the Lord, asking yourself these questions, listening to your heart’s response then listening for what God has to say about it.

 

Even though I’ve been a writer all my life, I’ve been hesitant to call myself a writer. Since I was a very little girl, writing was my way of escape. When I was in elementary school, a reading teacher introduced me to the wonderful world of journaling, and it’s something I’ve done ever since. I’ve written in journals and diaries. I’ve written short stories and poetry. I’ve written for school newspapers, city publications and for a Fortune Top Twenty company. I’ve got a degree in journalism. And I have the pleasure of writing in this sacred space on the web. Suffice it to say…. I’m a writer.

 

Almost 20 years ago the Lord has told me I would be a published author (and I wasn’t even saved then). I’ve got many notebooks over here filled with writing, layout, cover ideas and more for several books.

 

One day while having a waking vision, I saw my book cover unfolding before my eyes. My eyes went from the top of the cover and began to scroll down. I could see color, typeset, the title and as I came to the end, where the author’s name would be, where I would read my OWN name, I abruptly stopped the vision. I aborted the vision God was writing right before my eyes. I allowed fear to keep me from SEEING what the Lord has in store for me.

 

NOT ANY MORE!

 

I will no longer abort the vision, I will abort the lies and BELIEVE. Click To Tweet

 

My husband and I were in a conversation recently and he was encouraging me to get a new laptop if I really wanted to be a writer. I quickly cleared that up, telling him I AM indeed a writer. And I agree in making the investment in myself so I will soon get a new laptop as the one I currently have has a cracked screen and 1/3 of the screen is one big blotch through which I cannot see. The computer is also slow and has little memory. Yes I will invest and believe in what I’ve been called to do.

 

I AM A WRITER.

I AM A SPEAKER.

 

Not only is it the way God wired me, He’s given me a double anointing in wiring me for writing and speaking and upon salvation giving me the gifts of exhortation and teaching. No way to escape it, I’ve been called to encourage, exhort and challenge His people and the medium for that is writing and speaking.

 

So what now?

 

My believing is in alignment with His and I’m aborting lies.

 

Now what am I to do?

 

Here’s the prescription:

 

~Assess Your Believing

~Align Your Believing with His will

~Act on what you believe

 

ASSESS. ALIGN. ACT.

 

I will stand my watch

And set myself on the rampart,

And watch to see what He will say to me,

And what I will answer when I am corrected.

Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision

And make it plain on tablets,

That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;

Because it will surely come,

It will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:1-3

 

We see in these versus, he stood watch, assessing. He aligned by watching to see what the Lord would say and how he would answer once the Lord had corrected him. Then he went on to act by following the Lord’s instructions.

 

ASSESS. ALIGN. ACT.

 

If I am a writer, I must be disciplined and diligent in writing. Not only that, I have to write the words HE’S calling me to write at this season. While I want to write about wellness (an area I feel very comfortable with), He’s calling me to write about parenting (insert sigh. Really God?! This area is an ever moving target). But that’s what He said so I must move forward in obedience.

 

So what are you believing God for?

 

I’m praying with you friends as you dare to believe God to do exceedingly and abundantly above what you can ask or think.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

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Ten Things I’ve Learned In A Year of Blogging

The last year has been an adventurous ride since hopping aboard the blogging train. I’ve made some stumbles, met some friends and had a blast along the way. So come along for the ride as I share Ten Things I’ve Learned In A Year of Blogging. Here they are in no particular order.

 

Press The Button Already

 

Oh the angst of hitting the publish button. When I write a post, I let it freely flow from my heart out through my fingertips. I write exactly what the Lord tells me to write, even down to typing fragments, using slang and sharing difficult truths. The only thing I edit for is spelling. Otherwise, I leave the idea as is. And that can be frightening. Will people receive what I’m saying? Did I clearly communicate God’s message? Should I have used a different illustration? Did I offend anybody?

 

Yup, a wide range of emotions in publishing a piece of writing.   But ultimately, I hit the button and trust God to do the rest.

 

Community: Those I’ve Met Along The Way

 

This has been one of the best yet unexpected blessing along the blogging journey. I would have NEVER imagined I would have met and been joined in heart with so many other bloggers. These women write from the heart. Their transparency reminds me I’m not alone. Their love for Christ compels me to deepen my walk.

 

Here are a few writers that inspire and challenge me.

Ann Voskamp

Tai East

Deb Wolf

Kelly Balarie

Candace Creates

Susan Mead

Sue Detweiler

 

To the regular visitors and commenters on the blog, I am amazed by your openness and willingness to share via comments. I thank the readers for allowing Inspired Life to occupy space in their hearts and minds. I thank you for praying for me.

 

Vulnerability

 

Ugh! I shared on this in yesterday’s post. Click here to read more on my reflections on my 1st year of blogging. I usually let few into my “personal space” of sharing my deepest feelings and thoughts. But to truly connect with hearts and out of obedience to Christ, I’ve had to bare my soul. Not an easy task by far. But Revelation 12:11 tells us, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

 

The Life Of A Writer

 

You guys want in on a secret? I’ve been writing since I was a very young child. Until age 11 I was an only child living in tumultuous circumstances. One way of escape was reading and writing. I’ve kept journals for as long as I can remember. In middle school I recall complaining to my father that I had no talent. I wasn’t athletic or musically inclined. My father said to me, “you create with your pen”. I’m ever so grateful for his affirmation. I continued to write for my school newspaper and even have a degree in Journalism. Suffice it to say, I love writing!

 

OK, now real life. In a much as I love to write, I don’t always feel like writing. As a busy wife, mother and ministry leader, I don’t have long stretches of free time to write. And the windows of opportunity that I do have to write, are not when I’m at my peak. I roll full throttle between 6am-2pm. Oh how I wish I could write then. But that’s when I’m most consumed with other activities. When I can actually sit to write is after 9pm. By then I am drained, hence not always pumped to write. Nonetheless it’s my passion. I love to communicate through the written and spoken word.

 

So parents, if you’ve got a child that like to write, write and write some more; the child that practices their penmanship, the child that likes to doodle, make little books, give speeches, talk too much in class, talks, talks and talks some more, see the gifting for what it is and look for opportunities to cultivate it. That’s my story. That’s the story of my role model, best selling author and world-renowned speaker Priscilla Shirer.

 

Schedules, Calendars and Such

 

Because I am the consummate planner, I thought I’d follow I strict blogging calendar. Its one of the “pro” tips you read for those new to blogging. Well, that just didn’t work for me because I write what the Holy Spirit tells me to write when He tells me to write it. I’ve had something that I thought would be one post turn into a series. I’ve had a headline written and bullet points for which direction I’d take in a post to have it veer in a completely different direction. Thus I’ve been unable to stick to a strict blogging schedule and that’s actually been quite freeing contrary to what I originally believed.

 

The Comparison Trap

 

As a blogger, I come into contact with many other blogs. In visiting their pages, I am so inspired. But there is a fine line between encouragement and envy, between confidence and coveting. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. Oh some bloggers are such great photographers, some write such lyrical prose. I am so so grateful to the Holy Spirit for reassuring me early in the journey to stay true to my voice. He told me directly, “Tyra, I’ve attuned a remnant to hear ME coming through you.” Don’t change your voice. They will hear MY voice through your authentic voice. Click To Tweet Yes Lord, I will stay true to my voice, which is Your voice.

 

What The Expert Say versus Reality

 

More of the expert tips say to read many other posts and leave comments, to be active on mostly all the social media platforms so that you send readers back to your blog.  They say consider taking on sponsored posts and the list goes on and on. In the beginning, I considered trying all the expert advice. But you know what I found? Doing all that literally was a full time job. It is time consuming to post to social media all day every day, read a ton of blogs (to really read them), and to leave meaningful, heartfelt comments.

 

There are suggestions on how often to post, the length of the posts, writing catchy headlines, using the right keywords and on and on. Again this is where I just have to be true to my voice and write from the heart as opposed to writing content that’s marketable. My goal is to write that which inspires, encourages, and challenges while conveying timeless biblical truth. So while my strategy may not garner me a hundred thousand visitors, I know I am remaining true to myself and true to Christ.

 

What Matters Most

 

Award winning photography, catchy headlines and tweetable quotes. I can’t spend a great deal of time and brain space trying to craft those. I do like to take pictures. My dad is a photographer and I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was about 3. So I do enjoy pairing the posts with original pics that capture the essence of the message. There are times though I don’t have one on hand and I’ll use something from Flickr. But even in that experts say to always brand your pics to drive traffic back to your posts. When I’m ready to posts, juts can’t take another 15-30 minutes selecting a photo, editing it and adding a catchy phrase with stylish fonts. I’ve tried but I discovered it’s not the most effective use of my time and energy.

 

Kryptonite: Tech Issues

 

Oh my I completely come undone under the pressure of tech issues. It’s my kryptonite. Since I launched the blog, I’ve had tech issues. I’m so grateful most if the issues aren’t visible on the front end but on the back end I’ve got to do loops and hoops just to even publish one post. Somewhere along this journey I’ll be able to hire someone to help me fix the broken pieces. Until then, grace is carrying me through. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

 

Check The Stats

 

As a person whose secondary love language is words of affirmation, in the beginning, I would check the stats daily. BAD MOVE. Again the Lord swept in with His truth. “Your affirmation comes from ME, not from man”, He reminded. So I had to let that go. I will not be held hostage by stats. I would love for my posts to reach the masses and minister to a large segment of the population but looking at the numbers is not going to change that. I put my faith in the Lord that He will lead me and He will guide the readers to the site via His will, His way.

 

In every situation and circumstance there is something to be learned. I’m happy to share with you ten things I’ve learned in a year of blogging. This past year has stretched me tremendously and I’m grateful for the process. This past year has made me accountable to live by what I’m sharing. It’s enabled me to be more vulnerable. It’s shown me my faith is still growing and that Christ and Christ alone is my source of strength, not me.

 

Thank you friends for hopping aboard the Inspired Life train.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with others sharing the Good News Cheerleaders of FaithGrace&Truth, DanceWithJesus