Writing Camp Success

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Because I never wrote a camp letter and I though it might be fun…..

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

I have been at camp now for a whole month. I can’t believe how fast the month has gone by and I still have so much writing to do. It has been blazing hot all month at times I didn’t even want to go outside to go to work because it was so hot.  I have had a lot of long nights and too many early mornings. It will all be worth it in the end. I think you will be proud of what I have accomplished. 

 

The best part aside from the writing what this year for the first time I met my goal. I liked choosing hours because sometimes I got eight hours of writing in a day and other days no writing at all. My cabin this year was full of believers which were a change for me as well this year. It was great to hear all their encouragement and passion for the task ahead. 

 

I wish I could have visited with you more, but I really want to get this book done. I feel like there have been so many things come up to distract me. I know you would be happy that I am doing what makes me happy, what I am passionate about, and my calling in life. It is kind of odd that it has taken me so long to get back to it. If I just would have hung on at 13 and kept going man I would have probably gotten really far, but it is time to just keep looking ahead to the next goal. 

 

Kiddo and I did take some time to go swimming. We didn’t get to make s’mores this year because we were in a drought and fires were dangerous. I got to play with the dogs some too when the sun was going down. I might go hiking next camp if it is cool enough. I think I want to come back every year. It is the best. 

 

Thank you so much for being there for me. I appreciate your encouragement even though there are many times you don’t understand. You know it is important to me and I thank you for everything you have ever done for me. I love you.

 

See you soon,

Chari 

 

Open up Let the Light in

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I was a girl who exhausted myself by trying to be the perfect child in every way to be less trouble for my parents. They always seemed to have their hands full with life. I just wanted to make things easy.  It had not crossed my mind to works for God and because I didn’t see Him as a visible being for most of my life. I didn’t even know how to please God aside from going to church. 

I wondered what it would be like to let the God into my life. I was curious what it would be like to devote myself to something so completely that nothing could move me or shake me. I have seen the world of religion from both a personal standpoint and an academic study. I have seen people so devoted to God and they never seemed to grow weary. They just kept going and doing for God. I had admired them from afar most of my life because I didn’t really understand why they did so much for God. I couldn’t see the motivation behind it unless it was to get into heaven. I thought that if I believed Jesus was my Savior and asked for forgiveness I would end up in heaven but without having to do all those things. 

So why did all these people do these works? 

In my opinion, there are some people out there who are doing good works for God to please other people, to show they are “good”, or because it is the trendy thing to do. I have found that doing works for these reasons usually causes burnout and sometimes for the person to walk away from God. I have seen this happen to many people because they are still in the world mindset of needing to do things as opposed to first having a relationship with God. 

Before I became a believer I didn’t understand doing works and getting nothing out of it. I know it was a selfish mindset but why would I do things for others when they were doing nothing for me. I was in the mind frame of the world. I could see how people abused each other and tore them down. I was not willing to sacrifice my sanity or others. Yet, I was a people pleaser….yes I know this makes no sense.  

Now, that I am a follower of Christ and I have really given my life over to Him my mind and especially my motivations have changed. I haven’t done things because I have to but because I love Him. I do things out of love for Him. It is a lot like any other friendship or love relationship. You buy them dinner because you love them, money doesn’t matter because you love them, and you do special things for them just to see them smile. 

If I didn’t let God’s love and Holy Spirit in my whole life, how was I ever going to give to other people outside of my comfort zone? Even with love and the Holy Spirit if I wasn't really spending time with the Lord then I would expect to get burnt out as a believer.

There can be so much darkness and tragedy in the world and we need time with God. We all have choices we can either listen to the darkness or we can look for the light. I wonder how many different people have just given into a life of darkness or this is as good as it gets. I know for a long time I had lost hope that my life would get better. 

Sometimes we resist and say no not this time, or I have got this now.  There are many times when I have given it all to God and tried to take some of it back. I wanted to work out my own problems and I could manage my finances better than He could. I wanted to date this guy I thought was so great and right here in front of me. Every single one of those times it ended in more pain and more complications than I was in before I started.

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So is letting God in so simple? I suppose this can be answered in three different ways. Yes, no, and I have not idea what you are talking about. God is the light and the light of the world. It is easy to let God in if you want Him, but usually you have to come to a point where you are done living your life for yourself. It is easy if you have reached the bottom. If you are tired of the pain and exhaustion that is overwhelming you. Jesus is right there waiting with open arms.

God is good. His mercy endures forever. God’s grace is there before you even ask for it. He is waiting for you to notice Him. You are the apple of His eye. Open up let the light in.

-Chari 

 

The 30 Something Goes to Camp

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I remember a few years back people were surprised when I said I had never been camping….who I am I kidding they are still surprised. I guess they think I am really missing out on nature and other things. It seems normal to me to not be the camping type. I grew up on a farm and our work was always outside in all types of weather no matter the temperature. We would spoil ourselves by being inside when we did get a vacation. I am not saying that every farmer in the area has the same point of view as me I’m sure there are many that do go camping. It was a good excuse for me, however, to limit my time with being around bugs and snakes. This year I am camping but once again it will be indoors. I am excited!

I have started the month of July off with a big bang and I don’t mean fireworks! The relaunch of my blog has happened and I have I signed up for Camp National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This will be my second year participating in camp because I did not know it existed until a couple years ago. 

What is the camp about?

The camp is a great way to challenge myself as a writer and to try to connect with a community of writers. The writer picks the project they would like to work on, and the goal they would like to accomplish by July 31st. It is great!  This website gives me the opportunity to track my goal by using minutes, hours, lines, pages, and words. The project can be a revision, new project, poetry, short stories, script, and nonfiction.

The camps sections are held yearly in April and September. The regular NaNoWriMo is in November. The November session has less flexibility than the April and July camp. The writers in November are grouped together with people in your region of the world. November’s goals are the same for all 50,000 words. It has been difficult for me to keep my daily writing momentum in November but I am planning on being a planner this year to see if it will change my progress. If you would like to be my writing buddy my handle on the site is emeraldlove. 

Every year for camp I had chosen to be with people who have similar goals. There was the option to pick a group of people my own age and also to be put in just a random cabin. The campers were given the option to host my own cabin and invite other campers to it. I am not brave enough to host my own cabin yet.  I would recommend doing cabins because talking with people while trying to write has been helpful for me. Since I have taken up writing again in conjunction with my full-time job it can be isolating at times. I have longed for friends interested in writing and faith.  

In the cabins, people can talk to others around the world and they also encourage each other. Many of the campers share what is going on in their lives and about their projects. This year I was lucky enough to find a Christian cabin and it has been wonderful to read all their posts. I have not been much of a talker this year. 

I set my goal this year to 30 hours after attempting to do word count first. I am used to word count goals but quickly realized editing has been more about time than words. I have been just prompt writing to get my creative juices going about once a week. I have loved going on Pinterest to find writing prompt by image or words. I have a book I have been working on during the weekends and moments I have to spare. 

My head has been overflowing with plot ideas and dialogue which was one reason I had turned to camp to help me get some of these ideas out on paper and do something with them. I have continued to do as many online writing groups so I can to keep perseverance going and continue on in my writing. 

Camp resets my focus to the writing I need to get done and this year I am focused on editing. No, it will not be the number one priority (Jesus is hello!) but writing has become a part of who I am. The truth is I love writing, but I took a ten-year break from it due to unforeseen circumstances like graduate school and single parenthood. 

I am happy to be writing again and please hang tight with me while I dust off the cobwebs and create a new voice that sounds much different than the one of my former life.

Thank you,

Chari

What is Vestige Spirit?

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A few years ago, I attended a conference and I felt God spoke to me about writing again. It was strange to me God would place writing in my heart again after I had stopped writing for well over 10 years.

I stopped writing because I had experienced a lot of rejection after I graduated from college.  When it came to pursuing a writing career I really didn’t even know how to do it. I applied to many different writing jobs with no success. No one told me till after graduation I wouldn't get hired without experience or connections.  

I decided to pursue something else because I had lost hope and I needed an income. However, my life had changed drastically once I had finished my masters degree.  I had ended up in a place in my life where I had lost everything and I found myself thinking of writing again. I had used writing in the past as a way to work through my life. I wondered what kind of life writing again would give me. This blog was the first steps of writing again for me.

I started this blog in 2016 and I was immediately caught up in the numbers. I was worried about having followers on social media and if I was writing about the "right" things. I wondered if anyone read my blog and if anyone was moved. I wrote in a pen name because I didn’t know how I would be received. I have since let all that go and I am just going with the flow.

I have recently changed platforms and started all over again. This the first blog of many to come with the words I am given.

For me, Vestige Spirit means a lot of different things but let me explain a little bit more about the words because as a writer I love words. 

The vestige of something according to the dictionary is:

  • a mark, trace, or visible evidence of something that is no longer present or in existence
  • a surviving evidence or the remainder of some condition, practice, etc.:
  • a very slight trace or amount of something
  • Biology. a degenerate or imperfectly developed organ or structure that has little or no utility, but that in an earlier stage of the individual or in preceding evolutionary forms of the organism performed a useful function.
  •  archaic. a footprint; track.

Now we have defined vestige and we will quickly run through the definition of spirit. The complete definitions can be found through the link on the words. 

The definition of spirit according to the dictionary

  • an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms
  • a supernatural being or essence
  • temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated in high spirits
  • the immaterial intelligent or sentient part of a person

I believe definitions can be entertaining, and I never can be sure what I will find in the dictionary about a word.    

Vestige becomes a remnant the evidence of something. The something for me in this life is the evidence of God. God is the first creator of all things in this life and His spirit remains in us. He has essentially imprinted His creativity on us. We are the vestige spirit of our creator, God, and many of the things that come forth in our lives are the use of His love, grace, and creative spirit. 

The spirit of God within us wishes to shine out and touch all those in darkness.

I believe through the art God can shine through in His awesome creative power. God can put powerful creative ideas in our hearts to touch many different people in our lives. 

There are many other things, of course, that will manifest with a life devoted to God. I believe it takes faith in Jesus to carry out anything in this world we want to be successful at. When Jesus is the center of my life it is truly the most amazing experience I ever had.

When there may be doubts about your creative outlet and you are unsure where to turn I  challenge you to go to God in prayer and seek His counsel first.

I will leave you today with these words from the Bible about the Holy Spirit, prayer, and purpose.

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Lots of Love,

Chari