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Posts Tagged ‘family’

This weekend saw the celebration of the life of my sister. And what a wonderful celebration indeed! We partied according to our unique style, incorporating all the things we value–which means nephews and coffee and cooking and Hobby Lobby and on-sale clothes. And if that wasn’t enough to make the weekend wonderful (despite my muscle spasm which my physical therapist has already begun course-correcting), then Sunday should have been the frosting on my cupcake. The worship service followed by an afternoon of conversation, laughter, and (you guessed it) coffee. Yet, this was not all I was blessed with. The weekend extended for Columbus Day.

It was supposed to be another work day for my parents. My dad was going to get up early, go to the family farm in Topsfield, and bring home some wood. But, instead, he and my mom moved those labors to a different day. They stayed home. And it felt like we were back on vacation together once more.

At a little before 8 AM, I woke up from my Benadryl-induced stupor (for some magical reason it helped with my tight muscles) to the sound of my father’s laughter. It put me on the right side of the bed and I hurried downstairs to enjoy freshly-brewed coffee and warm cinnamon-buns and episodes of a television show that make us laugh. Then we ventured into the universe to have lunch together and to (be still my beating heart, my dad wanted to…) go shopping. It was a wondrous weekend. As I get back to real life, I am grateful for the strength and encouragement of family.

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I have embraced my inner-nerd.

I think that may well be my favorite part about adulthood. The unapologetic, yes-I-do-memorize-for-fun and watch-educational-TV-before-bed and think-fictional-characters-are-cooler-than-most-real-people side that I no longer hide. Instead of cringing behind a forced label of I-really-AM-an-author, I freely define myself as a creative, nerdy, techno-music-loving, book worm who loves baking, designing advertisements, the fireside, and her family. And, while blogging a list of my nerdy behavior would probably bore you, be assured that I do not lie to you.

One student who attended the Bible Quizzing Kick Off aptly pointed out something like this, “You can be a nerd here, and it’s okay!” I grew up surrounded by people who unabashedly loved me in all my awkwardness. That was a glory of being a Bible Quizzer. It was me who took a bit longer to realize that finding your place in life is more about finding who you are at your core, what you refused to give up. So, now, a little more each day, I discover who I am.  There are some perks to growing up…

(Written on 9/11/13. Scheduled for you while I am on vacation.)

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There is nothing quite like bonding with one’s brother over the iPod game Swordigo. He is the guru for all my gaming questions–whether he has played the game or not. Thankfully we discovered this latest adventure game, Swordigo, on the same day. I was able to call him up, tell him where I was, and follow his directions to solve the puzzle. I love my family!

My ankle is still purple, swollen, and sore; but I can put more weight on it than ever before. It is healing well. I started a new class yesterday and it looks like it will be interesting and good. Tomorrow I’ll head to Boston for Bible Quizzing Regionals, and from there to Six Flags for a mini family vacation. This week looks promising!

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Most heroes initially want to get out of their home towns. But by the time their journey is over, they cannot wait to get back. As book two of a series opens and a call is placed again in the heroes lives, readers will typically see them struggle with the new mission. They do not want to leave. But what if a hero made a stop home in the middle of the battle? I think it would be ten times harder to keep going. There would be no knowledge of previous success, no memories of the struggle being worth it. Don’t go home in the middle of your adventure!

I should have listened to my own advice.

I jumped on a plane on Thursday after class and made it back to Maine. It was such a wonderful visit filled with doting nephews, a wonderful sister, nice meals and all around good family. I did not want to board the plane for the ride home. I wanted to stay in Maine, at my house, with the people I loved. I stopped home in the middle of my adventure and now the only place I want to be is home.

After some concerned facebook posts, let me just add, I am fine! I just love my home. Adventures have their value. Being away from home has its value. But I miss it and that’s okay.

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Rushing to the hospital at 8 at night to my sick grandfathers beside with little information on his situation, my mind could not truly wrap around the situation. It did not seem real. It could not be happening. We had heard bits and pieces that his heart and kidneys were failing, but we knew little else.

I had always thought that I would react differently to tragedy. I thought I would have a level head—now the only way to keep myself level was to push the cold reality of impending death away.

In the breaks between my father’s phone calls, I was the contact with my siblings. The entire Hodsdon family network was waking up. I heard their at first friendly voices, glad to hear from me. When I told them what was happening, I the tension, the tears, the need to do something were all I could distinguish.

We got to the hospital and found out that my grandfather should be okay. Poor health, yes, but also bad communication had led to our premature fears—though we are still praying and impatiently waiting for him to come out of the hospital.

I could find a way to connect this to writing: fear, impatience, communication, love, death, life family… but the truth is that the only way writing mattered in those moments was as a way for me to express the feelings that would have otherwise stayed bottled up and tormented me. Oh yeah; and one other thing: I remembered what I had been taught by the Word. My God was still in control.

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Ever noticed how the more loveable heros tend to take a sibling or a cousin along on the adventure with them? Not always, but typically the characters who are not proud and the ‘i don’t need any help; i can do it myself’ type sweep a family member along. Or perhaps they spend the entire book thinking about a parent–what would their father think? or how to avenge their mother’s death (I covered that in another post). What is the logic behind this?

Well, to make an exciting story, authors strip the hero away from their homes, lives and the people they love. And very few characters (the proud type usually) can do an impossible feat like the one authors give them without someone to support them. Heroes will meet many helpful characters along the way, but there will be that one person who stands beside them through it all–taking none of the credit and giving all they have to give. And the typical author makes this a cousin or a sibling or a friend that is like a sibling. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” People need other people and so the supporting cast is born.

Why is it usually a family member who bears the hero’s burden? Because family is the God-given support system. In the garden of Eden, God gave Adam his wife Eve. Later He gave them children. And the Bible has entire sections devoted to how parents should treat their children, children their parents, and spouses their spouses. When these relationships malfunction it can have dire consequences (think of how many times the story is about betrayal. Brother turns against brother and the fight between good and evil goes on between them). When Issac and his wife Rebekah chose favorites with their children, it led to Jacob tricking Issac  into giving him Esau’s birthright. Esau was planning on killing Jacob after Issac died, so Jacob fled the land and never saw his father again. He had lots of trouble with his uncle and the whole situation was messed up. When the family had issues, their lives had bigger issues. (Sidenote: if you have taken my previous challenge to trust God and do something ‘great’ right ‘now’ with your life, then remember to keep your family in order first. If you are a child, respect your parents in all things. If you are a husband or wife, take care of your spouse first. God gave us the family as our trust first and foremost. We must take care of them or everything else will fall apart.)

Look at a story that played out much differentially than the one above. You probably know this one a little better–that of Mary and Joseph during Jesus’ early years.  When Mary became pregnant with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, she was shamed before the entire community.  Joseph was not planning to stand beside her, but when an angel spoke to him, he did. He was Mary’s friend that supported her during her historic struggle. Her cousin Elizabeth was also a great comfort. And after the child was born, King Herod tried to have Him killed. God spoke multiple times to Joseph about how to protect his family. So we see that without the family, Mary and Jesus would have been in a lot more trouble. God would still have worked it out, but He used the family to save their lives and give the strength to go on.

That is why the family is so important to our heroes–because God gave them to us. When the rest of our security is stripped away, God (in His great mercy!) leaves us someone to help us through. Authors will forever mimic the way God runs the world. No matter how much writers change the environment–even creating entire new worlds with what they think to be entire new concepts–all creation bears witness to God. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “…there is nothing new under the sun” and writing is no exception. If you are a fellow writer, look for the principles that are basic in life and incorporate them into your story (it is okay, even good, to mix them up a little, too. People want to read about struggles different from their own that can correlate to their own.). This will make it believable and touching to the reader. Keep the family as important (in writing and in your own life), because, really, it is.

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