Words of Hope

Are you beginning this new year the usual way – reviewing the past and considering your direction for the future?

acceptanceFor my 2019, I have set goals to complete three nonfiction books, begin a Coaching group and continue working on another novel.

Each goal includes its own set of action steps and deadlines for accomplishment.

But without too much of a focus on tomorrow, I am trying to learn how to live in the present. Grateful for the past and faith-filled for the future, it is nevertheless in the present that I live each day.

So what is it about words that helps us live well today?

The Power to Communicate. Whether expressing needs or chatting with a friend, communication is the core of how we relate.

If you’ve ever visited another country where you were not fluent in the language, you know how desperate it feels to not be able to communicate.

In my opinion, one of our greatest gifts is the freedom of speech – to communicate what we believe, using any medium, without fear of condemnation.

The Expression of Creativity. Every serious writer recognizes that moment when the a-ha Spirit invents a new word or crafts the perfect sentence.

That feeling of creating art gives significance to our craft and helps us realize we are co-creators with God Himself.

Each day, I am hoping to learn more about the gift of creativity and the quiet beauty God uses to infuse spiritual truths into my particular world.

Words as Tools. As a wordsmith, each construction becomes a building block for sentences, paragraphs and stories.

Without words, I am silent. Without words, I feel bereft.

I empathize with Reverend G who lost her words due to expressive aphasia. I cannot imagine such a terrible fate. Check out her story and the rest of the trilogy.

Words I loved in 2018 and want to use better in 2019 include:

  • Synchronicity – a meaningful coincidence. It brings me comfort to imagine a loving God who sends me a terracotta sunset just as I am longing for New Mexico. Or meeting a new friend who just happens to like chunky jewelry and lots of it.
  • Parameters – physical properties that determine characteristics or behaviors. This type of structure sets the boundaries for my character sketches.
  • Expectations – We all have them, good and bad. Often misconstrued, the proper expectations help me keep a positive outlook.
  • Fantabulous – I just like the way this word sounds.

I feel blessed to begin a new year thinking about words and their power to add or subtract from the quality of life.

The blessing of words comes inherently from how they are used – to destroy or to build up. I choose the latter.

How different would our world look if we used our words to communicate hope, express creativity and construct a truly caring community?

Wouldn’t that be fantabulous!

©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Check out all my words at Author Central on Amazon.

Hope Celebrates Freedom

Amer flagJuly Fourth is such a fun holiday. Whether it’s family picnics, iced tea with lemon, a favorite swimming hole or watching fireworks – everything about July Fourth seems fun.

But a serious side of the topic also presents itself. In our family, this date is a reminder of how fragile life can become. My son, diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, hooked up to tubes in the hospital bed. The fireworks exploding on the TV screen, trying to entertain us in the middle of a crisis.

Nothing colorful, exciting or fun about that time. But later – after a miraculous recovery – we did celebrate. And every year since, the Fourth of July represents extra hugs, a big meal and two scoops of ice cream – just because.

As a writer, freedom is precious because I type out my thoughts, my emotions and my opinions without fear of retribution or arrest. Our freedom of speech is such a precious commodity, never to be taken for granted. May we never lose it.

In the last few years, I have also watched another type of freedom manifested. Women I worked with who finally realized their abusers were not going to respect healthy boundaries. Brave women who said, “Enough!” and found the courage to pack up and leave. The freedom these women now experience is like coming up for air after drowning for years.

The freedom I now feel to explore my writing gift and to schedule my writing clients. No longer chained to the 8 to 8 job or the “available 24-7” mantra. This type of freedom allows me to read a book, take a nap or stir up some brownie batter when I feel like it.

Freedom also comes with a price. Saying “no” to compulsive buying because freelance work means balancing a precarious budget. Facing condemnation when the freedom to leave becomes a reason for judgment in the church pew. Making sure our constitutional laws are followed no matter how far up the ladder one has climbed.

Freedom costs, but it’s worth it.

The ultimate freedom for me is to know who I am and to embrace my authenticity by setting boundaries around anything that might try to take my freedoms from me.

On this Fourth of July – I will speak a prayer of gratitude for all the freedoms I enjoy. I will hug my son again and have another scoop of ice cream. And I will embrace the joy of living in this land of the free, begging God to keep us so.

How do hope and freedom coincide? Easy. Without freedom, we have no hope for a happy future. Without hope, we feel trapped within emotional prisons.

I am grateful for the hope freedom brings and the freedom hope clings to.

©2017 RJ Thesman, Author ofSometimes They Forget and the Reverend G Trilogy

 

 

Freedom to Write

It’s one of those things we take for granted, because it’s always been part of our lives – but only since 1791 when the First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.

James Madison and George Mason, the men credited with writing the Bill of Rights, must have realized how important free speech would become to the new republic, so they made sure that the First Amendment stated that freedom clearly:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

It is this freedom that allows me to post this blog and write whatever I feel – as long as I don’t slander anyone or commit an act of treason.

It is this freedom that feeds my creativity so that when I type out the story in my head, I know it can be submitted and published without fear.

It is this freedom that helps me appreciate all the publishers, agents and editors who work so hard to make sure that writers tell the absolute truth with the most effective words.

It is this freedom that warms my soul every time someone asks me what I do and I reply, “I work as Program Director and Life Coach at a women’s ministry and that is what I do. But a writer – that is who I am.”

It is this freedom that allows me to question when someone speaks or writes a sentence I might not agree with. Analyzing and digging for the truth is also who I am as a writer and to not have the right to disagree would be appalling.

It is this freedom that I salute every time I finish a manuscript and send it through cyberspace – hoping that someone somewhere will see my words and be moved in some way, perhaps even to the point of taking action and finding hope.

It is this freedom that gives me the right to say, “Thank you” to my readers and respond when my words bring comments.

It is this freedom that keeps the libraries and the bookstores open, feeding the dreams of young boys and girls who want more than anything else to become writers.

And it is this freedom that allows us to cherish the oldest and longest-selling book, the one manuscript that has been on the best-seller lists over and over and continues to sell in its various versions, dialects and languages. The truth sets us free, and the freedom to read the Bible is still one of our greatest treasures.

Amer flagSo writers and readers, be thankful this Fourth of July. Be grateful that you live in the land of the free where your words can fly from your fingers to your computer screen into a reader’s soul.

Be grateful for the freedom to write what you feel and what stirs your creative juices. And celebrate the freedoms of America.

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” http://amzn.to/11QATC1

Image: Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography, Boise, ID http://www.garrisonphoto.org