growing pains, they become us

(image via: pinterest)

it is pained, this act of growing.
and yet life is this complicated gift given.
her times are just stressful now. 
back and forth, a major contradiction.

she wears the mask of the thin, the confused.
over and over and over, she prays
there are more questions than answers.
what and where and who?
to give, or not to give?

and yet she tries to be daring still.
she's learning to remain restless all the while.
while giving heart and body and mind.

she remembers five things to thank her king for.
she tries to love and let go, as best she can. 
she constantly lives and learns and yearns.
wanting more, more and more.

then she flies and fails and wakes once more.
only to find there are small triumphs daily.
and she is held safely within her nest.
her peace, her all, her "Him."

many arguments now left trailing behind her.
fights not won, but nonetheless we move on.
hopes they had for her, do they die? 
has she died or just taken a different flight?

she's pained to disappoint them.
then with disagreement, we all are crushed.
and she scratches at the surface, for something to grasp.
is she truly a disappointment to them?

can she ever move, from this place of  mind-heart restraint?
her wonderment begins to grow wilder. 
...will he have the faith to just move?
questions are mounting.
and she becomes more restless.

growing pains, they commence and encompass.
and their circling breaths... oh, their stretching pains...
they become shortened and lame.
as she chooses to dare anyway.

growing restless, daring more. 
letting go and feeling again.
these pains, they become us...
unless they are all given over to Him.

(life is imperfect, these words are those of an imperfect restless soul. linking up with emily today.)

there you'll find me {book review}

I just finished reading the book There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones on Thanksgiving day and I LOVED it! Thank you so much for sending me a copy to review, Jenny! I really really appreciate it.

Summary: Finley Sinclair is not just your average 18 year old. She's that seemingly perfect driven girl who's been through a world of hurt since the death of her older brother, Will. While learning how to deal with a life that no longer holds her brother, Finley sets out to study abroad in Ireland. While there she spends much of her time working on her audition piece for the Manhattan Music Conservatory, which she hopes she'll get into. But the piece she is working on, a music piece for Will, isn't quite right yet. Hoping to find the pieces that will make her brother's song whole, she follows Will's travel journal, traveling to the places he ventured to where he felt closest to God when he was there, in the hopes that she herself will find God and the rest of her song too.

And of course every good story has to have a hunky vampire movie teen heartthrob in it, right? Well, TYFM has one indeed! Beckett Rush is Hollywood's "bad boy," and he's also the guy that Finley happens to sit next to on the plane on her way to Ireland. (Oh, circumstance you are good aren't you?) To Beckett's dismay Finley is completely immuned to his charm, unlike most of the girls he meets. Out of this uncanny meeting an unlikely friendship is born and an unlikely deal is struck. Beckett convinces Finley to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

With Beckett as her guide, Will's journal at hand for inspiration, Ireland as the backdrop and a heart that is full of grievance for a loss and a lack of communication with God, we wonder alongside Finley if she will ever find her way in life and hear HIS voice again.

...and I think I'll leave you hanging HERE! SO... GO READ THIS BOOK!

Final Thoughts: Jenny B. Jones has done it again. Her unique writing style possesses wit, sass, humor and in the case of TYFM a BIG ol' dose of life's shadier realities. While this particular novel is a bit darker in the themes that it deals with (compared to Save The Date) it stands up there right alongside all of Jenny's other works in a beautiful contrast, and proudly so. This book was deep and insightful and emotive, in a way that stirs the soul and cuts the kite strings all at the same time. This story of finding God and learning to let go is beautiful and I'm so glad that I was able to read it!

(Disclaimer: I received this book from Jenny B. Jones/Thomas Nelson for FREE for the purpose of reviewing. This review is of my own words.)

oh, restless bird

(image via pinterest
i'm so happy that everyone has loved the name change of my blog so far. "oh, restless bird" has really been my life message right now...this restlessness in all it's vast definitions. so, i guess i owe you all a little further explanation as to why i went from 'daughter of the king' to 'oh, restless bird,' huh?

Why The Name Change
it all started when i found a passage of scripture that said: "people who won't settle down, wandering hither and yon, are like the restless birds, flitting to and fro (Proverbs 27:8.)" it really spoke to me about who i was at the time. i was the daughter who was struggling to reside at the feet of rest. the one who always stressed herself out to no end. it was after reading that scripture that i knew i was a restless person...a very restless bird...but in not in such a good way at the time.

then in nothing short of a miracle i learned that with the extreme generosity of a very lovely novelist and her family that i would be attending She Speaks over the Summer (which was a dream come true!), which started setting the wheels in motion for me to start living a more restless and daring life, as a writer and as a woman of God. knowing that i was going to need to write something for the writer's peer critique group class that i had signed up for at She Speaks i started preparing an article that had a subject that was very close to my heart. the article/devo i wrote was entitled 'just relax restless bird.' the article spoke to the women in the group, and spoke to my own heart more than i even knew at the time.

since arriving home from She Speaks life has been an up and down roller coaster ride. work has never been always fun or easy all the time (actually work is rather trying at times), and neither has trying to maintain healthy relationships with loved ones while not hurting others and stepping on toes. needless to say i had been stressed out and super restless. i was the proverbial wandering bird, trying desperately to make nest. i've found that nest. that nest is Him. not that i didn't know that before, but that message of restlessness, in black and white before my very eyes, started to become more clear to me as the months dragged onward.

this year i've learned that being the restless bird is both a good thing and a bad thing. this untamed restless feeling began somewhere in the hot and hazy summer days of this year and has started to mean something deeper to me this autumn.

i've learned that it's okay to feel restless, ultimately, as long as it's not a restless spirit that drives a wedge between yourself and God. if you are restless in your insecurities, self doubts and fears, then it's not such a good thing. but if you, like me, are restless to write more, to love more, to minister more and to strengthen your relationship with God more, than being that restless bird is a wonderful thing!

needless to say God's been stirring some BIG things in my heart this year and i can't help but to feel restless about it all. so i will continue to pour out words from these ruffled feathers, not just as a daughter of the king, but as a daughter of the king who restlessly longs for more.

What God's Said Specifically To This Restless Bird
just relax RESTLESS BIRD << that's me proverbially (post soon to come)
you are MORE << my thoughts on identity crisis resolved (find my post on More To Be)
you are not your OWN << the Great Author writes my life (post found HERE)
you have a MISSION FIELD << words, devoid eyes and city streets (post found HERE)
you can be CONTENT << don't be complacent (post soon to come)
you can be DARING, dear heart << a daring life (post soon to come)

What Are Your Restless Struggles & Triumphs?
i would love more than anything for you to continue following me here on my blog, so that you and i can share our hearts, our Jesus and our journeys together. i pray that you will boldly embrace your good restlessness and cast aside the not so good restlessness that keeps you from making nest at the feet of Jesus. remain restless for Him, always, dear heart. ...and fly on.

Research: It's What Writer's Do

I will admit that I have not kept up with my writing goal of 1,667 words per day. No, I'm not giving up on NaNoWriMo, but I am gonna go out on a limb here and let myself, the usual idealist, be a realist for a moment and reveal to you that I believe that I won't be able to finish writing 50,000 words of The Water Bringer in only a month. I knew that was a crazy word goal when I started this, and I still believe it is.

All that said, sadly sickness and work at the bookstore and plot-holes have taken over my life this past week and I've not written one single word since the fourth of November. (I cannot believe I just said that on here, albeit truthful!)

Instead of panicking about the words which I have yet to write though I've decided to just not worry about it and keep on pressing forward. I'm going to take my time with this story. I'll be working on the plot outlines, my characters and some serious world building as I continue on and hopefully along the way I can still manage to get my word count up.

Since I've not been writing research is what I've been doing in the absence of crafting together words...

While I was sick I watched a TON of movies, and I must say that as a writer watching worlds come to life before your very eyes that were once a pool of words too is a brilliant place to find inspiration. It's like movies house inspiration for me or something! So, I thought I'd share with you about what I've been doing for research for 'The Water Bringer' since I haven't been writing on the actual novel as of late.

My Research Materials & Inspiration Found

The Polar Bear King, Doctor Who, Merlin, Snow White: A Tale of Terror [don't let the kiddos watch this was a really good adaptation and I learned a lot about story building from this one though], Beauty & The Beast

The Village Soundtrack

The Lord of The Rings Sountracks

Illuminations by Josh Groban

Plenty of Books

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

A Novel Idea by various authors

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson 

My Heart's in the Lowlands by Liz Curtis Higgs

Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Brother's Grimm 

The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John & Caitlin Matthews

The Frog Princess and Other Tales Illustrated by Nikolai Ustinov

The Ice Dragon by E. Nesbit

This site has proven to be the biggest and best resource I've used so far for my novel. They have excellent resources on Celtic myths as well as every other mythology that you can possibly imagine. Really you CAN wiki anything! 

There are a bazillion-and-one ideas and loads of inspiration on this site if you'll only look. Just type in Scotland for instance, or whatever else strikes your fancy, into the search bar and your off! I have a WHOLE NaNoWriMo board for my novel ideas. Check out my inspiration for TWB HERE

( <<< This is one of Jared's characters called "Voice" and it is also his original art piece. You can find his art gallery HERE


Now I doodle occasionally and will sketch out maps for my worlds sometimes, but admittedly I'm no great artist. My awesome boyfriend is though, PTL! Jared actually helped me conceptualize a scene in my novel and then being the sweet 'n' handsome 'n' artsy man that he is he sketched out the whole scene for me. It is brilliant and hilarious and I adore the sketch to pieces! I can't wait to go see him again soon so we can work on some more scenes and sketches of my characters together (of course I'll be the mega author brain and he'll be the awesome artist guy brain on the case!)

Chats with Writer Friends
This I think has been the most important thing on my writing journey so far: Writing Friends. They are there to ping ideas off of and to bring encouragement and they are truly invaluable. The talks and e-mails and chats that I've shared with my fellow writing companions have proven to be such a blessing to me. I'm so glad to have as many nerdy and fairy tale loving writer friends as I do who are willing to talk myths and story and dialogue and books with me all day long. Thank you for letting me share my pieces of my novel-world with you and for sharing yours with me! (YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

I really want to know... 
  • How do you research for your writing projects/novels? 
  • What kind of music do you listen to while writing? 
  • What is your NaNo (or non nano) novel about? 
  • What are some great reads that I should be reading? 
  • What is your favorite fairy tale of all time? 

So why not pick a question to answer or be uber daring and answer them all, but PLEASE don't be shy!

those devoid eyes that sparkle

i cannot help but think about the thin, very skeletal looking young man i saw yesterday on the downtown streets of "blended-ness." he wore mostly black, purple glitter adorned his eyes, making them heavy and distinctly shadowed. his face was also covered in an array of sparkles, and his head was crowned with a bejewled tiara. 

my heart ached at the sight of him. for there was no ounce of joy written on his face. there was no peace that i could sense from him, in the few seconds our eyes connected.

 i did not look upon him as if he were a strange sideshow freak, but as a desperate brother-heart crying out. an empty soul. a lost child searching for love. a set of devoid eyes wearing a thinly veiled mask.

do i walk away without a second thought?

...without a single prayer uttered for this man?

do i torment the shadow-ones with speech in the open or in the caverns of my self righteous mind?

do i protest without seeking to love and share the truth?

 do i seek Him?
do i ask for help from HIM for words to go and spread the good news to those many, those who are so devoid of love and walk this earth as zombies, lifeless and empty? 

those purple sparkle eyes held tightly set, on a thin unhappy face that spoke aloud. it screamed even. he screamed at me on the dingy city sidewalk, without uttering a single word. i could feel it, the emptiness and brokenness. there, that devoid face of his held no smile. there was not a shred of life. there was no love i could glimpse or sense. there was no peace. i saw a soul devoid, so i smiled and prayed.

this passerby stirred me to me core and set loose a wave of questions and a river full of emotions that have enveloped me since yesterday.

...and so i ask...

do we gawk?

do we make fun and carry on?

do we really want to look inside ourselves and free our shadows?

do we honestly seek to change the world?

do we dare challenge our comfortable secure? 
the one that says "i'm saved talking to anyone else about their salvation really doesn't matter as long as i'm fine."

 do we dare to love those whom we find repulsive, or even scary at first glance?

do we show them Christ's love?

do we share that hope-filled smile?

do we show them brilliant joy, that is found within The Giver of Life?

do we show His peace at work in our own lives, reflected outwardly? 

are we a shelter from the cold world for the hurting ones? 

i can now see clearly that we must question ourselves and our self-righteousness. the righteousness that doesn't want us to deal with "the others" and "the weirdos." do our knees find it hard to bend on behalf of the broken and scarred, the purple glittered faces, the prostitutes, those picket sign carriers, druggies and homeless slumbering on the cold sidewalks? do we giggle at the face of the Godless, poking fun, or do we have love and prayers and hope for them? does our Light radiate brightly in us and shine outwardly for all to see? because those devoid faces yearn to shine.

do we keep reaching out? or do we remain a silent passerby in the street, with no love in our hearts? are we just a soul as devoid and lifeless as them too? are we not also shadowed somewhat?

do we dismiss the ones that hide in corners or do we raise a battle cry against the enemy?

do we smile to show them kindness?
do we speak to them as a human to a human? 
as a brother to a brother and a sister to a sister? 
do we light the darkness and pray for it to flee?

do we show them Jesus on the broken streets?

this is a letter to you and i. a heart crying out for the shadowed-ones. if we would not turn our faces from them, we too would begin to see shadows fade and Satan flee. 

can we please, just cast aside the righteous judge within ourselves long enough to show the world HIS light?

our Jesus sat with sinners and thieves, prostitutes and murderous men. HE did not choose to close HIS eyes and walk away quietly from them. HE sat with them and talked with them and opened their eyes unto HIS marvelous light!

HE has never walked away from me.

HE chose you and i and lifted us out of shadow. 
do we not owe it to HIM to show HIS love to the shadow-hearts?

(all images in this post were via: pinterest)   

the water bringer

{image via pinterest}

celtic songs have flowed from my veins.
like water washing over me.
 my words are now freeing themselves upon blank lonely pages. 
five thousand two hundred and seventeen words written so far.
only day four.
...many more words to go...

ceana and the others.
they have all now been borne.
finally they breathe.
they've been set free to roam blank pages wildly.

{image via pinterest}

...and yet they want more freedom, more life, more words with which to convey their journey's.

i am behind. words seemingly stuck and not wanting to be forced out.
i don't give up, though many a writer is farther than i.
this story wants to be told.
whether in thirty days or the extra days that may be required of them.

NaNoWriMo you try me, but you also have moved me.
you have moved me towards words released.
you have moved me towards new found writer knowledge.
already you have taught me much.
and it's only day four.

already the many water coloured words of this writer flow.

{linking up to emily's imperfect prose as these words of mine have been found imperfect. the best way to be. incomplete so HE can fill.}