Six Words

So what a week, huh?

That crazy voting, the winners and losers, the tears, the tension…seriously, I was on the edge of my seat, watching. But enough about The Voice.

Something else is on my mind this morning–well, it’s been on my mind for a couple of days now and I thought that maybe it was time to share it.

512zor9gsfl-_sx332_bo1204203200_I read Daily Guideposts 2016 every night; I found the book when cleaning up Dad’s place and I brought it home, thinking how comforting it would be to read this devotional that Dad may have read in the months before he died. And it has been comforting–and inspiring and interesting.

So on Saturday, November 5th, I read about summarizing your faith in six words and I was immediately struck with the concept. Partly because I’m a writer and love a challenge, but mostly because I often preach about story, that if you can summarize it in a sentence, you know your story. And I wondered, do I know my faith that well?

And so I grabbed my pen and within a minute, I’d written these words:

“Love. Forgive. Serve. Repeat as needed.”

Maybe it’s simplistic, but those six words have resounded in my head and my heart this week. Love. Forgive. Serve. And who knows what mighty things my faith can accomplish when I repeat as needed?

I’d love to know what your six words would be. And before I forget, I also have a post over at the Muffin today, talking about favorite writing tips, websites, insider info. I’d love for you to share any of your favorites there as well. And you know you don’t have to keep your response to six words, right? But hey, you’re a writer–challenge yourself!

TV Research and Writing

file511249349101I read something recently about millennials and TV and their viewing habits but what struck me most was the number of hours they were watching daily. I think the average was around four hours. Four hours! That seems like a lot of TV.

Even though I work at home, I don’t have the TV on during the day unless it’s a weekend afternoon and there’s football. Or baseball. Or golf. But even then, I’m not watching so much as pacing. Getting stuff done and checking scores. Because if I sit to watch, it gets a little scary. Not for me so much, but Mister Man has been known to run screaming from the room when I get worked up.

But in the evenings, I watch a little TV for relaxation purposes. I have specific programs I like so I’ll watch for an hour or so and I’m done. Which is a long way to go to get to The Voice and how I love it. And how it inspired my latest post over at The Muffin called “Turning An Agent’s Chair.”

The writing of that post was downright zippy, but the research? That took hours.

Synchronicity and a Song and Mom

Back in the day, way back in the day, I read The Celestine Prophecy, a sort of New Age-y, spiritual journey novel that enjoyed serious best-seller status.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about the story. What I remember is the concept of synchronicity, the belief that coincidences have a meaning for those who experience them. The thing is, I’ve always ascribed to Albert Einstein’s theory, that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” I woke up thinking about both synchronicity and Einstein’s quote and so I’ll share my story and you can let me know what you think.

On Monday night, in my daily phone call to Dad, he mentioned a song that he’d been thinking of lately. He couldn’t remember all the words and so he asked the woman who leads his bible study if she knew the song. She did; it’s a beautiful, old Christian tune and Dad sang to me a bit of the chorus, the part of the song he remembered. “You won’t know it, of course.” But he croaked out a couple lines, anyway, “And He walks with me, and He talks with me.” And I smiled, because I do know that song and I picked up the chorus: “And He tells me I am His own.”

Dad was surprised that I knew it, but he was even more surprised how I knew it: Mom used to sing that song. Not in recent years, but when I was a child.

I have few memories of my years in Texas; we moved to Georgia when I was seven. But I can see my mom, standing at the sink at our house in Arlington, washing dishes. And I hear that song.

I have not thought of that song in years. Years and years and years. But I thanked Dad for sharing with me, because it was a gift to remember Mom singing that song. And he thanked me, because he always loves hearing memories of Mom. “Perhaps your mother wanted us to hear that song,” he said.

Maybe, I thought. So I searched for the song and gave a listen to all the words. It really is a lovely song. And that might have been the end of it if I hadn’t been watching The Voice last night when Emily Ann Roberts sang In the Garden in the Live Playoffs:

Well, you don’t have to knock me over the head with it, Mom. I got the message.

So tell me, what do you think of synchronicity and coincidences? Writers are always chastised for including coincidences in a story, that real life doesn’t happen that way. But I think it’s just the opposite, that weird things happen all the time, events that defy logic or explanation.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.