Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blue on the River

Hi, I’m Blue, the guest blogger. You’ve probably heard of me: “Me and you and a dog named Blue,” or something like that.

D’s busy getting ready for what she calls a women’s retreat up in Larkspur, Colorado. She’ll be gone about three days talking a lot. No dogs. Sounds boring.

Anyway, she asked me to do a blog for her about the Arkansas Riverwalk where we take a pull almost every morning. She doesn’t call it a pull, but that’s exactly what it is because she’d never make it without me. I’ve gotta pull her all the way along the river about a mile or so and then pull her all the way back again. I’m either going to have great shoulder muscles or no hair on my neck, one or the other. She gets such a tight grip on the leash that I have to strain to get anywhere.

I still have a good time, though—there’s so much to smell! D’s not as fond of the bushes as I am, and only occasionally lets me follow my nose. But that’s how I find out who’s been there. Chihuahua, female, 4 years, 5 pounds. (A little chubby, if you ask me.) Collie, 9 months, male, way too excitable. Pit bull, 8 years, male, nonaggressive. And that big white one that makes me nervous. D says not to worry, he’s just poofy. Lots of hair. I could take him, she says. But she sure chokes up on my leash when we pull by.

Some of these fellas look just like the people they’re tugging along the trail. Like that white poofy one. The woman on the end of the leash has white poofy hair too. I’m black and white, a fairly even mix of both. And D.? Well, I think she has a little more white than black. Come to think of it, she … Never mind.

This morning we crossed paths with one of those little mops on a stick. All bark and no bite. Like some cowboys I’ve met: all hat and no cows. I should know; I’m a cow dog, a Queensland blue heeler, though I don’t see too many cows anymore. Lots of deer at the river—skinny, long legs, big ears. I know better than to heel one of them. They’d kick my lips off.

Occasionally I smell a bear. This morning I heard one gruntin’ in the Russian olive shoots along the back water where the bull frogs hide. I don’t think D noticed because she just kept going, mumbling something about “river of life” and “the voice of many waters.” I don’t pay much attention until she says “no.”

Besides, I’m too busy checking out the squirrels that run de-lib-er-ate-ly in front of me and dash under a rock on the river bank or up a tree. You think I get to chase ‘em? Nope. And the Canada geese squat over on the other side of the river, honking and raising my ears. I can’t get at them, either. There’s just no swimming that river; it’s too fast. Sometimes it pushes people along on big plastic floaty things—bunches of ‘em, like they’re all out there on purpose with one guy holding a paddle up front.

Well, that’s all I have to say about the Riverwalk. It’s just about my favorite place to go, except when she makes me jump in the back of the truck to get there. I don’t get enough bacon treats for that trick. I like the car better. It’s closer to the ground for these old bones.

You probably figured out that I can’t spell D‘s whole name. Who has a name with three syllables, anyway? Every self-respecting mammal I know has a short name. Blue, for example. Duke, Red, Jack, Buck, and so forth. Of course there are plenty of others like Lady and Junior and Fluffy, but I don’t hang out with those types if I can help it.

Then there’s Mike. There’s a good, solid name. But that’s another blog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

You are worth the wait

I just completed another draft of my inspirational romantic-suspense novel and laid it aside to let it simmer. In a few weeks, I will go back to it with fresh eyes and work through it again.

The manuscript is not perfect. I need to grind down a few rough spots, flesh out certain scenes—do the whole nip-and-tuck thing. I will cut away entire sections and breathe life into others. It’s not ready for the publisher, maybe not even for an agent, but I’m not giving up on it. I believe in it.

I believe in the story’s message: that Christ cares about individuals. That He went out of His way to talk to people one-on-one and still does. That He imparts peace through His presence.

Considering the value I placed on this story, I was a bit surprised by the almost parental zeal I felt. And that’s when I realized that God believes in me the same way. I am His work.

I am not perfect. I have rough edges ready for grinding, places that need to be fleshed out, and others than should be surgically removed. But He believes in me. He’s not giving up on me. I am not yet perfect, but by the time He’s finished, I will be.

Someday I’ll be published in paradise. God will say, “Look what I did. Look what My son’s blood bought.”

I am His workmanship created in Christ Jesus.

So are you.

Don’t give up on yourself.

He hasn’t.

Ephesians 2:10