Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm so glad I don't have someone with a stopwatch standing over me every hour of the day! Imagine having to be clocked over every single task. Imagine discovering how much time you actually wasted. Yes, in a sense, we do need to be caretakers over our time.

In this shortened version, the Book of Ecclesiastes says it so well: "There is a time for everything...a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."

What time do you find yourself in now? I believe I'm in the throw away time. It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate. Mind you, there are times when you get rid of things then wish you hadn't. Still, it's far better to "clear the decks" once in a while. And that's not time wasted.

As far as my life is concerned, I often ask myself  'am I using it wisely?' I've only got one life with its fleeting span while here on earth. And am I fulfilling what the lord has planned for me? Have I cared enough, loved enough, helped enough, prayed enough? No. I know I haven't, but my desire is to please the Lord and so I ask Him daily to help me use my time wisely and to guide me in all of life's decisions.

Why not ask yourself how well you're using the time you have?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Romance or an Economic Transaction

When I was a very young woman, a family member once said to me,"Oh, you're just in love with love." And this, "You have a head full of romance. Come down from the clouds."

I didn't listen because some of these women in our family were not happily married. And I knew I didn't want to be forever quarelling with the man I'd someday marry. The whole idea of being courted and treated as someone extra special appealed so much. I wanted to be loved and cherished for myself. And if that's what romance really meant, then I believed in it and yearned for it to be true in my own experience. Why shouldn't a young woman have these hopes? I didn't want to be taken for granted, nor would I treat my true love that way.

In an upcoming book set in the late 19th century, I've given my young femle lead the same ideals. Ah, but the Victorian idea of marriage for the well-to-do young woman was an entirely different matter. Here's a snippet of an argument between Kate and her ambitious grandmother...

"Oh, Grandmama, you don't know him at all. He's a man of patience and integrity."

"Of course he's patient Wouldn't you be if a great amount of wealth was to be your reward?  I'm sorry child, but he will never do. And the only way to prove his avarice is for you to inform him I've struck your name from that of sole beneficiary of my will. Then we'll see how much he loves you."

She bristled. "Neither of us care about your money, Grandmama. Some people do marry for love."

"Love!" The word spat out. "How little you understand, child. Marriage is an economic transaction. A means of gaining power. A safeguard for one's heirs. A clever woman can only gain contentment if she is willing to set aside such foolish, romantic notions. Believe me, with money, love is of no real import." Her elder's face twisted. "However, love without money is a disastrous state of affairs!"

This scathing speech sliced apart any regard for her blood kin. And it hurt. How sad this reliance on money could so cruelly separate.

Now I can speak about this subject with some authority. Only because my husband and I have lived out these ideals during many years of happy marriage. Of course we've had our differences, but forgiveness always follows arguments and romance has been nourished. And in all this we thank the Lord for guiding us daily as we read His precious Word.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Inspirational Romance

That says it all. I love the inspirational romance genre where the love of a man is honest, lasting and self sacrificial. It is not obsessive or possessive. It is not infatuation, nor lust, but heroic. In other words true romance.

Sometimes, as they say, the course of true love never runs smoothly. This must happen in novels. If the hero and heroine met, fell in love at first sight, then married...end of story.

Oh no, we want them to experience some drastic situations before they can overcome them. We want some conflict. Maybe even with each other. We want to see growing attraction. We want to feel some passion, not overt, but controlled. We want to see some deepening of character as they face adversity. We want to see them struggle in their faith as they try to live it out, no matter the situation. We want to empathize when they make mistakes...big ones. In other words, we want them to be real, like us, not goody-goodies who float through life. Yes, we want our every emotion to be stirred and uplifted in our spirits.