Do We Look Like Jesus?
I could tell something was wrong.
When I picked up my six-year-old son from school one afternoon, he did not flash his charming, toothy smile at me. His eyes spoke loud and clear, “I need a hug right now.” I gave him an extra tight squeeze. As we walked toward our car, waving goodbye to other children and parents, questions swirled in my mind. Ryan was a cheerful boy who enjoyed school and rarely got into trouble. Did someone hurt him? Did he hurt another kid?
When we were finally by ourselves in the car, I took a few deep breaths. God, please give me wisdom to handle whatever is going to come my way.
“Ryan, what happened at school? Why are you sad?”
Find out what happened next. Read my article in Leading Hearts.
4 Things Not to Do When You’re Rejected
Within a span of four weeks, I received rejection emails from three publications and two publishers. How did I react? I hid under my cozy blanket, warming myself with self-pity. I demanded attention from my husband, who spoiled me with countless cups of tea and hours of pep talks to make me feel better. I extracted cuddles and kisses from my son. I also poured out my heart to my pup, Kyle, who listened without offering advice. I tried to escape my reality by watching NCIS on Netflix.
And then, as I crashed and burned, I ran to God and asked Him to fix things for me.
I’m new to writing and publishing. I’m still figuring out how to get through a season of rejections but here are my thoughts on what not to do post-rejection.
Click here to read the article on the award-winning blog, Inspirewriters.com.
Inspire Christian Writers’ 2020 Great Openings Contest Nonfiction 3rd Place: Never Far from Home
(Opening page of my unpublished book)
I opened my eyes and fought back the dread as I watched my husband pack his laptop. It was a typical wintery morning in New Jersey. Through the gap in the window blinds I saw the sky unpacking snow on everyone and everything below. Our apartment was situated on a busy street in Jersey City. People in the streets were on the move, walking and driving hurriedly, as though they could not wait to escape the snow.
My husband kissed me on the forehead and whispered goodbye before leaving for work. He looked fresh and happy, ready to take on another new day. Oblivious to the sorrow that was fermenting in my mind, he smiled at me as he closed the door behind him.
I forced myself to smile back and waved him goodbye. I closed my eyes and held my blanket closer. A wave of cold crept into my soul. I felt completely alone, not just in the apartment, but also in the city, in the country. No family. No friends. No purpose.
Why should I wake up? Who is waiting for me? I drifted in and out of sleep.
Trapped in an unending cycle of loneliness and despair, I had nowhere to go.
What Matters Most – CBN.com
For a short period in our lives, due to the nature of my husband’s work, my husband and I moved frequently and lived in furnished apartments wherever we went. Our stay in these apartments lasted between six and 18 months. We learned quickly that having too many possessions was a burden. The apartments had all the basic amenities we needed. We only had to take care of our food and clothing. Whenever we considered purchasing something, we had to ask ourselves if this new possession would suit our nomadic lifestyle.
I am also an immigrant. When I moved to America, I had to leave things behind that I was not only attached to but were integral to my identity. I grieved the loss of my precious belongings but I realized later on that they were only things, things that I could, frankly, do without.
Parenting on My Knees – (in)courage
A loud thud jolted me out of my sleep. I sat up on my bed, wide-eyed. My heart raced. My thoughts raced faster. Was there was an intruder in my house?
My hands shook as I grabbed my phone from underneath my pillow and dialed my husband’s cell phone number. No answer. I called again and again till I heard his sleepy voice, “Are you okay? What happened?”
My voice quivered, “There’s someone in our house . . . on our house, I mean. I’m scared. Can you stay with me on the phone while I check on Ryan?”
I tiptoed quietly but quickly to my son’s room which was adjacent to mine. He was sleeping without a care in the world, cuddled up in mismatched night clothes with his favorite plush dog. As I walked back to my room, I took my husband’s suggestion and waited in the hallway for a few minutes. Clutching my cell phone tightly, I strained my ears to listen for more noises and then darted back to my bedroom.
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