The Jonah Within

Image courtesy of Richard Hedrick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are few Bible personalities I really connect with. You know: Ruth was so good, and Esther was fearless and beautiful, and Mary was amazing. Paul is hard for me to get my head around, and the disciples, well, they were interesting and funny, but relatable? Well, maybe not so much.

But start talking about Jonah, and I’m right there with you. Somewhere amidst that moody, intense, prophet nature, I sense a personality at war with itself. He knew what was right, but he also knew himself. Maybe even doubted himself. And feared failure. And likely even feared success. Continue reading “The Jonah Within”

A Thank You (and a Top Three!)

Merry Christmas, readers!

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.netOkay, I can’t believe 2015 is so advanced that I’m even saying those words, but what a year it’s been. I know sometime between Christmas and New Years, I along with everyone else will look over my shoulder at this wild, crazy, wonderful year. I think I’ll shake my head—in both amazement and “who knew-ment”—and then I’ll smile. I hope your year in review evokes a smile too.

Speaking of review, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who’s been a faithful reader this year. My hope has always been that, in sharing what is on my heart, I can encourage you, and so many times you have encouraged me with your comments, shares, likes, etc. Thanks for being a part of this wild year and this blog.

If you’re curious, here’s an overview of the top posts of 2015. As you can see, it was a mash-up of a topics! Continue reading “A Thank You (and a Top Three!)”

When God’s Dreams are Yours

Image courtesy of Kenneth Cratty at FreeDigitalPhotos.netIt was the sort of question I hated. I took a sip of my latte as I formulated an answer. What would I like to be doing two years from now? Hmm.

The person across the table asking the question meant well. Perhaps the opportunity she wanted to lay out would be something I’d like to jump on board with. She waited patiently as I chewed my lip, unsure how to make what was in my heart sound logical—or at least more than a wild fancy.

I mean, I’m just a dreamer. Deep down, in those ten seconds as I tried to imagine not what I thought I would be but what I could be if I had my druthers, I knew I would always be a writer—was one regardless. But I also saw another dream I hadn’t discovered until earlier that year. Continue reading “When God’s Dreams are Yours”

The Weird I Love

Last month was weird. Wild weird. Good weird. The weird I love.

Why? It was writers conference time.

Brandilyn Collins addressing conferees: "Upstairs, there be normals."
Brandilyn Collins addressing conferees: “Upstairs, there be normals.”

Ah, the time word scribblers from across the country converge to spend three tumultuous days swarming around a crazy-carpeted venue, wearing our most professional clothes and most uncomfortable shoes. When we stain our hands scribbling notes in classes, workshops, and sessions. When we buzz on four hours or less of sleep. When we shakily tell agents and editors about the manuscripts we’ve poured blood, sweat, and years into. When we overtake a hotel and consider everyone with a name tag a kindred spirit, regardless of whether they write suspense or romance. Continue reading “The Weird I Love”

What No One Else Can Hear

ID-10011893Why do we associate silence with loneliness? Perhaps we mistake the blessing of solitude for the curse of loneliness.

Crazy as it may sound, I’ve learned that both solitude and loneliness can be good.

In the silence of being alone, the emptiness echoes a truth we don’t hear when we have people to turn to and the static of busyness to overpower the noise inside.

It’s the truth that our souls are utterly alone before God. Continue reading “What No One Else Can Hear”

Along the Back Roads

20140810_122833The woman looking at my paperwork glanced up and verified my hometown. “How’d you get here to South Dakota?” she said, almost in passing.

Picturing the miles between where I started and where I ended up, I smiled and said simply, “Via some back roads.”

Isn’t that the case more often than not? How often do we set about to do something and end up in a completely unexpected place?

As I got thinking more about back roads, I began to see ways God has used them to bring me closer to His plan. Continue reading “Along the Back Roads”

The Power of the Impossible

What a crazy few months it’s been! Thought with this month’s post I’d give a bit of an update.

I recently got back home from my working traveling adventure. Three months, fourteen states, and 12,000 miles later, I’m energized and ready to dive into another writing project. My next manuscript, In Lieu of a Plot, will be a full-fledged rewrite/ironing out of last year’s NaNoWriMo project. This story just won’t let me go, so I’m going to pounce on it and put it to page–officially, this time. (Meaning, other people’s eyes will be allowed to see it. Eventually.)

So, even though ILOAP is what I call a humorous historical, I’m presently researching funeral customs in all its morbid details and am learning interesting things along the way. For example, did you know that the word “parlor,” referring to a home’s sitting room, went Continue reading “The Power of the Impossible”

Jewels

I don’t often write—let alone share—poetry, but today I felt lead to share a sample. It was written a few years back in another country by what feels like another person, but the truth of what God was showing me at the time remains unchanged. Hope it speaks to someone.


 

Jewels

“Why me?” I cry to God

Under the weight of pain.

“It’s too hard, it’s not fair,

I’ll never make it,” I complain.

.

So lost in me I think

That no one suffers as I do.

“No one knows or cares.

No one know what I go through.”

.

“Not so,” You tell me.

“Did I not suffer and die?

I Who bore the sins of man,

Who knows more so than I?

.

“I Who raise the dead to life,

And turned water into wine,

Whose love required sacrifice—

I know what’s best for Mine.

.

“For the promise of glory,

I suffered willingly.

I place hard things in your life

To make you more like Me.

.

“Show Me what you’ve lost,

I’ll show what you’ve gained.

From my hand, dear child,

I give jewels out of pain.

.

“You won’t find them in your scars,

But in the days ahead you’ll see

From the suffering of today,

I’ve sown seeds that honor Me.”

.


“Jewels” Copyright Meagan Briggs 2011

Clash of the Accents: “Here” vs “Hair”

Time for a humorous story! Things have gotten a little heavy around The Empty Inkwell lately, so I thought I dig deep into my abounding arsenal of awkward experiences and serve up some self-deprecation for everyone’s amusement. Enjoy a cringe on me. 😉


ID-10076950When I lived Down Under, accents got me in trouble more than once.

One instance stands out particularly well in my memory because it is forever etched with the hot iron of mortification.

It was at a hair salon where I’d never been before. Now, anything that involves hair, for me, is emotionally scarring. At that point in my life, my hair frizzed and puffed on the brink of hopelessness. Even if the hairdresser smiled politely from behind the bush in the mirror, the look in her eyes said, “I can’t do miracles, so don’t ask for any.” Continue reading “Clash of the Accents: “Here” vs “Hair””

When There’s Just No Tellin’

ID-10013026As I write, I’m a week out from the day this is will post. Looking ahead at the calendar, I see that that Monday I will be a thousand miles from where I now sit and will be getting ready to hit the road again as I start a temporary job on the home school convention circuit.

There’s no telling what this spring has in store, nor when I’ll be coming home, or what I’ll do when I get back. 2015 has already cracked up to be a year of taking one uncertain step at a time.

Ah, uncertainty. Is there anyone who does not crave some sort of stability? There are days I wish my whole life were outlined and scheduled down to my last breath just so I could at least think I’m certain of where I’m going. Then other days, my greatest solace is that I have no idea what tomorrow holds. Continue reading “When There’s Just No Tellin’”