Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words – Book Summary


I must be honest here, this book both challenged me and encouraged me. The aha moments I identified with were tempered by flagrant emotional tension of those stories that left me shocked. The book begins at the title with a badge of courage, “Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words”. To understand the title is to understand the environments these three authors grew from; all of them children of alcoholics.

Read the full book review here: BizCatalyst360 – Transforming Memories
There are no pages bleeding out poor me, feel sorry for me, sympathy-seeking, parent-slamming, passive aggressive, co-dependency. Instead the book is predicated on what it was like to grow up in a family dysfunctional due to alcoholism. The first part of the book by Liz Crocker, Polly Bennell, and Holly Book describes their discovery of writing as a healing mechanism for their souls. Through their practice of writing and seeing its advantages, they agreed that they needed to share this form of therapeutic benefits with others. This book, Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words, is the result.


If I had a Hammer …

If you don’t have a prayer partner, I highly recommend it. If your prayer partner doubles as your friend, it’s even better. You know – A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway. That kind of a friend. Kim Boonstra is that friend to me and I am that friend to her. Every day we text each other and ask, “How can I pray for you today?” Sometimes our requests are pretty insignificant, but other times we need to bring out the truth of Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think…”

Recently we’ve had a few of those days. I’m sure you have too. Yesterday I sent up an SOS to my prayer partner. “I need to get my head around this project and it’s not coming together as easily as I hoped. In fact – today when you pray I hope you’re working on your house and have a hammer in your hand. Every time you pound, pray for me.” Of course I was kidding – sort of.  She texted back, “Sorry. I have no hammers in my hand today. I’m cleaning at the church. Would a vacuum head work?” Of course I thought that would make amazing prayer language and asked her to pray that the cobwebs would be erased from my brain so I could think.

I used to think writing came easy to people whose articles I find online and books I read. Millions of articles are available with a simple click. Surely those authors can sit in front of a blank screen and fill it up with eloquent words and effortlessly spill their thoughts. In the past months, I’ve found that assumption to be entirely without substance. Writing and editing is just tough – but if that’s what you love to do, it’s like tough love and you write because it’s worth it. Uh-huh .I guess you could call it bordering on insanity.

I took out my Bible, my study guide, and prayer notebook and spent time with God praying for people I care about. I prayed for Kim and then gave my day to God. You know, giving my day to God doesn’t release me from the responsibility of acting. That would be sweet, wouldn’t it? I mean if we could just tell God to take our day, and then go off and do whatever we want to do that’s fun, but not productive. “Here’s my list, God. I’ll check back with you at the end of the day.” It isn’t like that and it wasn’t like that for me yesterday. I put my doubts aside, got to work, head in the game, focused and making progress.

About an hour later Kim texted me. “I was in the closet at church looking for something. I have no idea how it happened but a hammer fell off a shelf and landed right beside me.” If ever there was assurance from God that I was tracking with his will for me, it was in that moment. The enemy of my soul works overtime, scheming to make me uncertain of the call of God. He sends people to infiltrate my thoughts with doubt and steal my joy. The enemy of your soul will do the same thing. I’m telling you right now – kick him to the curb. This morning I read in 1 Thessalonians 3 “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father.”

What are you doing today? What’s on your list? Ask God for a hammer. He will give it to you.

Google Doesn’t Know Everything

Good workI received this comment on my blog:  I see a lot of interesting posts on your website.  You have to spend a lot of time writing.  I know how to save you a lot of work. There is a tool that creates unique, google friendly articles in a couple of minutes.  Just type in google ….  And it came from someone calling themselves ‘Chairman’.

I don’t know this person’s angle and surely they don’t know me. All of you experienced bloggers out there are going to say, it’s spam, just delete it.  Of course it’s spam and it’s already deleted, but that’s not my point.  There’s a lesson here.  There are good reasons to reject assistance and invite compromise. What do you think?

Let’s put this idea into the perspective of being authentically who we are, engaging in activities we enjoy, working in a vocation we love, and relentlessly practicing our craft, while learning from the experience.  In our quest to develop expertise and strengthen our affinity for knowing what we were born to do, we cultivate the cycle where our interests match our skills, match our abilities, match our responsibilities, match our aspirations, mastermind our vision, and through rigid determination create inspiration to press on, keep learning, keep striving, and never giving up.  There is no free pass to carry us without effort into becoming the authentic person we were meant to be.  Listen in while I explain all that to Chairman.

Dear Chairman,

Thank you for your interest in the content you found on my website.  We agree on one thing. Every word written was by my hand, from my thoughts, and with a fair amount of effort. Yes, I spend a lot of time writing and it does take a lot of time.  But Chairman, for me to stop writing is to stop breathing. I have never sold even one paragraph of my writing. You see, I don’t blog for income; I blog because I love it.  It’s a simple exercise that grows my writing skill and allows me to encourage readers by conveying comfort, motivation, and joy for their day through the way words are strung together.

Letting Google create my articles robs me of the opportunity to learn by doing.  Google doesn’t know my heart and can’t empathetically impart concern for a hurting soul or confused person struggling through discouraging circumstances.  Google is a goldmine for information seekers and I don’t doubt the power of your suggested resource, but Google can never replace the sentiment of a sincere message from my heart.

I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but Chairman, to follow your suggestion cheats me of the opportunities to be creative, increase my value as a writer, multiply my capacity, and expand my proficiencies, and sharpen my aptitude.  When I’m not writing I feel my talent diminishing and competence evaporating.

You’ve expressed concern that I am working too hard.  I love writing so much, it is not work at all.

Wishing you a day blessed with authentic joy, and work that doesn’t seem like work.





Some things take time

The hardest time to write a song is when you don’t have anything to write about. – Amy Grant

The hardest time to write a blog is when there is so much to write about and so little time to string all the thoughts together and write with conviction and interest those things that are burning to be said. Today is one of those days.

I hope you enjoy this video from Amy Grant – the story of her new album that was 10 years in creation.