The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it, and they are safe. Hope Lives

Copyrighted material of C.H. Green

Hope lives! Hope lives, works, and writes from her little heaven on the hill.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentines 2014 For the Love of Truth

It’s begun.   The messing with my theology—the complete and utter necessity for laying my soul bare and examining what it is that makes me say and do and think like I think—about food and addictions, about life, about relationships, about everything.  You and I know that I have always been high-strung and contemplative, so my saying, “It’s begun,” has a bit of a ridiculous ringtone to it.  Yes, I meant ringtone.  You know, that annoying sound that you hear every time your past calls, and you hear the sound, and you groan, because you know what it is, and you don’t want to answer it to hear what it’s going to rattle your cage with this time.   Yep, you’ve heard it all before.  And so have I.  What makes this time different, I ask myself?  This time it’s different because it’s down to them or me.  Either God and I figure this out and get it under control, or I can’t survive.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Cyn, that sounds a little hyper dramatic.  Must you always get so emotional?

Well, yes.  Um, hello.  That’s who I am.  In touch with nuances and shades and reflections and flickers of light bouncing off the waters.   I don’t want to go through life blinded to feelings, unable to feel, unable to touch.  Unable to love.  So curse me for feeling too much, caring too much, loving too much.  It doesn’t matter. I know this about myself.  That part of me I am unwilling to change.   Yet, there is a whole bushel of things that I am dissatisfied with, that I despise in myself and that I just can’t live with.  I’m not suicidal.  Am I?  Does slowly and methodically killing yourself with sugar and fat and carbs count?  Does wrapping your pain up in walls of thick, suffocating, heavy chains of cellulite do anything to give you life and make it worth living?  Does it do anything to protect you from more pain?  Do I have a death wish?  Do I really not care whether I live or die, because I know my salvation is secured and I can go be with those I miss and love?  I think it’s deeper than that.  I do not have a death wish.  But I am tired of living this way.

If this is painful for you to read, imagine how it is to write.  And yet, I write.  Because lately, the more transparent I have been, the more messages I get from people saying, “Hey, that really helped me.”  So at the risk of sounding totally psycho some days, I write.  And I share.  It’s alienated some.  Some can’t handle the intensity of it.  Some are embarrassed for me.  Some just shut me out completely.  Because maybe I just mirror whatever demon their dealing with, and my coming to terms with things seems to make them uncomfortable.  I don’t know.  I’m rambling now, and it’s not the coffee.  It’s the insecurity. But there’s a point to it all.

The night before Valentines I got a precious note from a friend.  A friend who has been through some of the dark with me.  Aren’t those the best kind?  The kind that will sit with you in the dark with a flashlight and make animal shadows on the wall to keep you company when you’re terrified out of your mind for the future?  Yeah, those are the best.  I have several of those.   This friend again offered his shoulder, his ear, his phone number, his help day or night.  To which, through tears, I told him he was right where he needed to be.  And I meant that.  He is a knight in shining armor.  He is an amazing friend.  But we walk different paths, and we know it.  Still, the comfort of his friendship and the knowledge of his love and the transparency of that is a very precious thing.  You don’t find it everywhere.  And I publicly thank you, dear friend.
I have other friends and family that wished me a happy day.  I love them very much and am very secure in the knowledge that I am loved by them.   I have family that would drop anything if I needed them.  I have family that are tough enough to take me and my sarcasm and dish me out a dose of truth that I desperately need.  The ones that will tell you the truth are the ones that really love you. 

Which brings me back to this messing up of my theology.   Which god do I serve anyway?  Is it the god of my feelings, my pain, my addictions?  Is it the god of selfishness and self-pity and woe is me?  Isn’t the God I serve greater than these feelings of insecurity and loneliness and sadness that drive me to self-medicate?  Because let’s be real here.  That’s what I’m doing.  Problem is, it hasn’t worked for 48 years.  I’ve lain by the pool of Bethesda 48 years waiting for someone to save me—throw me in the healing waters—fix me.  And Jesus has been here all along, saying, “Get up.  You can do it.  You got to let go of the notion that you are unfixable, unlovable, incapable, and all those other things you believe you are not and grab onto what you know you are, which is MINE.”

So Valentine’s Day dawns, and as I’m cooking bacon, the enemy comes to defeat me.   “So, you wrote some pretty words.  Is that all you got?  Can you even live what you say?  You can’t.  You can’t love like that, because you are unlovable.  You don’t even love yourself.”
And before I could even consider the answer, God intervened, shutting the enemy up, at least for the moment: 

“No, you can't.  Not without me. No one can.  That's why it was necessary for me to show you what true love is...what sacrifice means...what giving involves... what it means to be reconciled.  I am the only way you learn unconditional love.  Give it to me.  And I will show you. Without me, pretty words are just pretty words.  But with me--they are powerful and life changing and life giving. Come, be with me and be my love, Daughter.  I have much to tell you.  Much to show you.  Much to lavish on you--in this life even--and more in the life to come.  You are the apple of my eye. I made the heart that beats within you. No one knows you better.  No one loves you more.  Come. Be with me and be my love and rest assured your heart and all you are is safe with me.”

I wish I could say that shut me up and ended the self-talk.  As wonderful as it was to hear, I heard it but did not take it to heart.  Instead, I immersed myself in self-torture, defeatist talk, forgetting the Valentine from the early morning hours, forgetting the love shown to me by family and friends.  Forgetting that God was listening and watching and crying with me.  Forgetting that one important thing—that above all else, I was HIS.  For hours last night, I tried to convince God that it was someone else’s problem.  That I had it together.  But I didn’t.  And don’t.  I’m a work in progress.  I’m a big tearful, sloppy mess.  But no, I do not have a death wish.  I have a life wish.

This morning I reflected back over what God had said yesterday.  It’s still true.  He loved me enough to tell me truth.  Without Him, pretty words are just pretty words.  I want life giving, life changing, and powerful.  And it’s not in a bottle, it’s not in a pill, it’s not in a piece of chocolate or a DQ Blizzard or a casual fling.  It’s in Him.  I hope that my sharing has not been in vain this morning and that you take something with you that will help you.  I’m okay, and I want you to be too.  Love to all.  ~Cyn




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Love Letter from Hope

When I thought there was no music left, you proved me wrong.  when I cried that he had taken all of me and left me for dead, you whispered my name, and my heart raced--assuring me that, yes, I still lived .When you had heard it all, and I thought surely you would run, you did; but you ran to embrace me and told me to dry those teardrops, because he was not worth them.  And you were so right.  He was not worthy of the love I gave and he trampled underfoot.

I have not yet exhausted all the love my heart holds, for I feel it ever so quietly beginning to knock on the door--not wanting in--but begging to be let out, and yet fearful of awakening something too powerful for words.

You know that I am grateful, forever will be.  Thankful that you believe in me and my music and words, and your love awakened that.  The heart knows when it has met with truth.  Thank you for being there.  For helping me understand that the only true failure would be for me to let him win--to give up--to give in to despair.  Instead, I have regained my self-respect, my self-worth, and my confidence.  I have found the will to live, and not only live, but thrive, and not only thrive, but to rise above every pain, every indignity, every infidelity, every slight, and every fear.Indeed, it was his loss.  I have my music back, my peace of mind.  I am stronger, wiser, more stable, and in time, I will be yet even more forgiving, as I know I must to be completely whole.

I know your teardrops fell with mine, though I was not there to see them.  I felt them.  I know they were not sad tears, but drops of compassion falling all around me.  For so long I lived with someone with no real emotion, a fake, a lie.  So much so, that I am bowled over with the truth of your love.  A love I can never repay, but I will spend my days telling the world how much I love you in return.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hope Learns

Every day I learn something new about writing, promoting, and selling my work. Sometimes it is just a matter of making myself spend the time and put in the effort. Other times it is about humbling myself enough to ask for help and to be mentored. I found another author, Gerald Darnell, who is from my hometown who has been publishing and promoting his mysteries,Carson Reno Mysteries, for quite some time now. I contacted him, asked for advice, and he has been a wealth of new information and tips to help this newbie author along. I now have a file of notes and things I can work on doing, including finishing that second novel, to grow in my writing career. Thanks, Gerald!

This little life lesson applies spiritually as well. "Ask, and ye shall receive," He said. Sometimes asking is humbling. It takes bringing our pride down a notch and admitting we really don't know what we're doing. It means finding your voice and not just wishing something into existence, but making the effort to speak up and out. It also means that once you receive, you express gratitude and give back. That's why I am sharing Gerald's links with you all. I appreciate the time he took to talk with me a little about my work and his work and share his experience with me. If we are truly grateful when God does things for us, we need to thank Him and give back. I also learned that no matter how much of an introvert I think I am, there is an extrovert inside the shell pecking furiously to get outside. A quote from Gerald: "An introvert is just an extrovert trying to crack the shell! It's in there..." and also, "Remember - 'don't write to get rich - but write to enrich others'." Sage advice from someone walking the path ahead of me.

I am grateful for so many things, and I'm grateful that God sends us the people in our lives that we need to motivate us in the tasks He has assigned us to do.

 As Dixie Carter once said, "I'm just a woman trying to get to heaven from Tennessee."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hope Smiles

It's been a month tomorrow since taking that big step to publish on Amazon. So many positive affirmations have come my way. So many good things. So many smiles. It feels good. I've made a new author page to keep the focus over there more on the projects I have going. It's at H is for Hope, if you want to keep up with my thoughts on that. I'm keeping this blog open for my inspirational/devotional thoughts. Again, I am so grateful to God. There were times when I never thought I would smile again, but His grace is sufficient. I love Him dearly.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baby Steps and Books


In 2005, I discovered blogging. After opening an account online, I began to be encouraged in my writing and the idea of putting it out there for the world to see. I met many new friends this way, including the founder of The Prodigal Hope Network, Diane Viere, who, at that time was brand new to blogging as well. She had found me from a comment I had made on a friend of her's blog. Diane soon became one of my greatest cheerleaders, along with many other bloggers, many published authors and quite a few aspiring ones. Some of the aspiring authors have since gone on to be published and are a great inspiration to me, like Catherine West, whom I had the opportunity to exchange critiques with many years back.

In 2006, while on a road trip and journaling, as I am prone to do, my son and I (who was a mere seven years of age at the time), came up with more ideas for my story the completion of which became known as my first novella, FROM PHARAOH'S HAND.

The bulk of the story was completed in about a year's time, and yet the story lay dormant on my hard drive. Life's obligations made demands on my writing time, and while the book was never far from reach, it had to lie languishing for months until I could return. Perhaps a year later, I took the partially edited draft to Office Depot and had it printed and bound. This step brought the dream into reality--a finished work, something I could touch and see and hold, which further cemented the dream in my heart, This was no longer just a whim. This was my work, a part of me, unfinished business.


What's the story about?  Elizabeth has made a terrible mistake. And as most teenagers will, she is trying to hide it before her parents find out. FROM PHARAOH'S HAND is the story of middle-aged, middle-class, blonde, blue-eyed Beth Merriweather. She could be anyone's daughter. Yours perhaps. But the stranger she meets on her prodigal journey is anything but typical. Catfish Jones is not your ordinary farmer. He is a hard-hearted, cold-blooded killer looking to make Beth the next Mrs. Jones. Finding herself in the scariest predicament of her 17-year-old life, Elizabeth Merriweather does the only thing she can do, pray.

FROM PHARAOH'S HAND is now available in Kindle edition only on Amazon.com as of 03/13/2013. Reviews welcome.



On the Rise

According to Tamar Lewin of The New York Times, "After more than a decade of declining teenage pregnancy, the pregnancy rate among girls ages 15 to 19 increased 3 percent from 2005 to 2006."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Overcome Evil with Good

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:21


Newtown, Connecticut has begun the overwhelming task of laying  the bright, the beautiful, the fallen to rest.  Wonderful little people.  Inspiring, incredibly heroic adults.  Such the opposite of the dark, menacing, cowardice that took the light from their eyes that day.

One soul.  One soul yielded to the darkest evil and changed a nation forever, changed a town forever, changed 27 families forever.  It leaves us asking, how can we overcome this?  How can we protect ourselves and our families?  How can we prevent this?   One soul changed the future for so many.  What would our world be like if more than one yielded to good, and light, and God?

See the damage one sick soul, one prepared individual managed to inflict.  And all it took was his willingness to yield his own body and mind to evil.  Once that was settled, the rest became a horrific and heinous ending to his empty life.  Once he yielded to the darkness, his end was written.  And the end of those little angels' lives as well, though they will live forever.

While we dare not minimize this losses suffered of these precious babes, these wonderful teachers and administrators--we must remember that in the midst of human suffering comes the opportunity for yielding ourselves to God as His servants to minister to a lost and dying world, to be His hands extended, reaching out to the hurting, the suffering, the grieving, and yes, the lost living in darkness.

Christ, one individual, yielded once and for all time to the cross.  Once that was decided, His future and the future of believers was written.  And the good that came from His submission to God and good and light had far greater reach than the acts of one demon-possessed, tormented soul.  We have an opportunity to share the good news to a hurting world.  We have the commandment to share with them the hope that we have, that Christ came to set the captive free, to open the eyes of the blind, and He has the power to deliver from a life of darkness.

It is not just a good idea to share the gospel, but it is a commandment.  Commands are given to soldiers from their superiors for good reason.  We are given our marching orders.  We have the instructions.  "Overcome evil with good."  What we must do in this life to fight evil is to be a light.  

Adam spent hours of his life in a dark basement with no windows practicing killing on a computer game. No sunshine.  No healthy light.  No words of encouragement.  Hours filling his mind with garbage and violence.  How many of our own have been exposed to the dark side?  How many of our own are struggling not to yield?   How many of our own are waiting, longing, needing godly counsel or a loving influence in their lives?  Who will shine the love of Christ into their dark worlds?  Who is going to tell this generation about the hope in Christ Jesus...that there is a better way.  

If one can do so much in one day, one hour, to destroy--what could many of us do for good and God in the time He has given us on this earth?  Take your candle, Go light your world.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hope Soars

Sometimes the light of her eyes would weaken, and she would long for a soft smile for them to land upon, the years of rising above having commenced and begun to consume her days.  Her "situation," (she wouldn't call it a 'plight' per se) called for strength, dignity, and the proverbial stiff upper lip.  And yet, it was often hard to maintain a meek and quiet manner that she knew ladies possessed.  Often she was called upon to keep flapping her wings and flying, keep reaching higher, and yet called upon to ascend higher still with each new trial--when all she really longed for was to fold her weary wings in upon herself and rest and try to remember what it was like to soar naturally and gracefully--instead of always against the wind; although she could not remember many days in her past that it ever happened--this natural soaring above the circumstance.

There was no magic to it in those days.  It was with hard work, purposeful  effort, and by God's grace that she had not faltered, given up mid flight and fallen to a tragic end.  And more so, that grace than anything else  in these days of rising above.  She did not consider herself the victim, though some would label her a blamer. She knew that some things couldn't be helped.  Some things just happened in life.  But so many more things that happened were of her own doing.  She knew where the fault lay.  It was not all hers, but it was her lot to bear the most of it.  Life was not always fair.  Some would label her overly dramatic, and yet if she were to tell the facts and only the facts--few would believe all the sad tale she told.  It was what it was.  And it was sad.  But not beyond hope's grasp.

Eventually she came to realize that no matter how fast and furious she flew, on her own she would never be able to rise above.  Until the day she broke away from earth's gravitational pull and flew to heaven, she would be called upon to constantly rise above--if not this certain bitter storm--then others that most assuredly were ahead.

But--the rising above did not have to mean all she thought it had.  Taking the humble path did not make her weak.  Rising above did not mean she had to suffer in silence and admit defeat.  Nor did it mean she had to face the flight alone--forever the little plain sparrow who never found a pleasant place to light; though God does love the precious sparrow with much fervor.  Rising above could mean having enough faith in her Creator to hold her up and while still in flight, begin to show her the bigger picture, the grand far reaching implications of His grace in her life that allowed her to become so much more.

She could hear the voice of God.  It was sweet and pure, and it said:  "Come close to me, Child.  Enter into my rest.  Get past the pain.  Get past the struggle.  Get past the hard part.  To rise above does not mean holding it all inside, holding it all back, or holding tight to what will never be.  Let it go.  Let it all fall away.  See how light your heart becomes, how strong.  How beautiful.  Do not see rising above as a burden, my love, but a blessing that enables you to come soar higher with Me."

More than what others saw or said, more than what others thought about her.  Flying farther and higher than just that spartan valley they would have her move in and be in--whomever or whatever "they" were.  All the "theys" would become smaller and smaller the higher He took her.  When she got to this sacred place with Him, nothing else mattered.  There was no above, nor below anymore.  It ceased to matter.  The cares of the natural realm were all beneath her, and all that really mattered was that her hope was in Him and Him alone.