Wonder Woman {My Faith Heroine Series}

PlaydateswithGodcoverIf you don’t know Laura Boggess yet, make haste to her blog. She is one of the most beautiful, lyrical, deep writers I know out here in the blogosphere…and in print! Reading Laura’s recently published book, Playdates with God, was an exercise in contemplation and serenity for me. I lost myself in her mesmerizing prose, and I know it’s a book I will return to time and time again. Today, Laura graces us with a story about her mother, her faith heroine. This one gave me a lump in my throat, friends – it’s a beautiful testament to the power of faith and prayer. Join me in welcoming Laura today (and for further reading, don’t miss this guest post she wrote here just a month or so ago).

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Text by Laura Boggess

When I was six or seven years old, I had a girl-crush on Wonder Woman, aka Lynda Carter. I waited eagerly each week for a new episode of her adventures, pretending in the meantime that I could repel bullets with my cool gold bracelets or make my brother tell the truth with my magic lasso.

It seemed to me that a heroine was someone larger than life, who had special powers and fought off evil at every turn. And maybe looked good in tights. I didn’t have a lot of real-life heroines. There weren’t many people in my young life that saw much worth investing in. But my mother prayed with my siblings and me every night. She did the hard work of taking four young children to church three times a week. By herself.

However, not long after my infatuation with Wonder Woman my parents divorced and our church family turned their backs on us. Life changed drastically and we became unmoored, drifting. I was angry with God. I was angry with my mother. It felt like she wasn’t protecting us. It felt like evil was winning. No dodging these bullets.

But my mother still prayed.

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It’s taken me a long time to understand what kind of courage it takes to maintain faith in the midst of the hard places in life. To hold on to the thin wisp of belief when our human frailty rises up within us and we make mistakes—this takes strength. To bend low and let grace cover the past; to truly believe that God made us for new beginnings … I’ve seen my mother do this with the purest humility.

As I read through 50 Women Every Christian Should Know, I was brought low by the stories of the not so shiny faith journeys these women lived. The doubt, the struggling, the angular paths they walked—these bits of story about real women living real lives illuminated God’s faithfulness to use the tattered bits of our lives for his glory.

We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be larger than life. We don’t have to be these things because God is. And though my mother and I still disagree on many things when it comes to faith, she lived this lesson for me and demonstrated how a heart can hold on through incredible darkness.

That’s why my mother is my faith heroine. Not because she is larger than life or has demonstrated superpowers. But because she has been unafraid to offer her broken self to a loving God, over and over again. That’s the kind of heart I want. That’s the kind of faith I need.

Though I still wouldn’t mind having one of those magic lassos.

LauraBoggessAuthor of the recently released Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, Laura Boggess lives in a little valley in West Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is a content editor for TheHighCalling.org and blogs at lauraboggess.com. You can connect with Laura on Facebook andTwitter.

This post is part of the My Faith Heroine Series in conjunction with the release of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith. Click here to read other posts in the #MyFaithHeroine series. 

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5 Signs That You are Just Plain Burned Out

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1. You mumble to your agent out loud, “I don’t think I like my writing life right now.”

2. You fantasize about getting a job at the local greenhouse.

3. You sit in front of your computer screen, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and at the end of the day, you haven’t written one word.

4. You berate yourself for sitting in front of your computer screen all day without writing a single word.

5. You’re unable to make conversation with friends because you have nothing to contribute or say.

Last week I had lunch with Deb and Ron. Deb is retired, and Ron, coming up on his 84th birthday, still works the same job he’s held for the last fifty-plus years. I worked with them both at Nebraska Public Radio and Television, before I left two years ago to pursue this career and calling as a full-time writer.

As Deb and Ron talked enthusiastically about the latest independent films they’ve seen, the plays they’ve attended and the trips they’ve taken, I sat silent over my tomato bisque. I realized I had nothing to add to the conversation. For months I’ve been holed up in my sun room, laptop open, fingers on the keyboard. I was writing — sometimes — but I wasn’t living.

My agent and I have been having some pretty heavy conversations these days about next steps.

“Who do you want to be as a writer?” she asks me.

“Who is your audience and how can you best connect with them?”

“Where do you want to be as a writer five years from now?”

I have no answers. I listen to her questions, and all I can say is, “I don’t know.”

The hard truth is, I don’t know who I want to be as a writer. The harder truth is that I don’t even know if I want to be a writer. Or at least the kind of writer I’ve become – the  traditional “book author writer.”

I have questions, as Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig observe in the introduction to their book On Being a Writer, about how to sustain myself over the long haul in order to create a writing life that will last.

I guess you could say I’m having a bit of a professional crisis.

And so, my agent and I, we decided the best thing I can do right now is take a break. A real break, with space and margin, during which I do something other than scroll and stew. Time in which to clear my head of social media detritus to breathe, think and be.

I’m grateful to Rachelle for giving me permission to step back and take a break. I’m not the kind of person to give myself that kind of permission. I’m a push, push, pusher, nose to the grindstone, full steam ahead kind of person. I’m grateful Rachelle was able to see so clearly that I need space, some time to figure things out.

And so, from now until the first of the year, I’ll be writing in this space much less, perhaps hardly at all. I’ll still post guest pieces on Fridays for the My Faith Heroine series. I’ll complete the writing projects I’ve already committed to. But I won’t be creating, or trying to create, new material. I won’t be promoting, Tweeting, Facebooking, Pinning, sharing, branding, pitching, curating or writing.

Instead I’ll walk the dog. I’ll jog my same-old, same-old route. I’ll drape garland and hang white lights. Wrap gifts. Mop floors. Read to Rowan. Cook dinner. Snuggle with Noah. Sip wine with husband. Have dinner with friends. Pray.

In short, I will live. And, I hope, live my way into some answers and some words.

 

Weekend One Word: Noonday

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What a Monk and Two Delivery Men Taught Me about Hospitality

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When I am expecting guests I typically work myself into a frothy frenzy. Not only do I plunge headlong into the standard pre-party chores – vacuuming, scrubbing toilets, grocery shopping, dusting, de-cobwebbing – I also tackle what most people would consider “deep cleaning.” I scrub the baseboards. I polish the hardwood floors. I re-grout the […]

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When Christians Choose Who’s In and Who’s Out

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“I don’t like the idea of having to spit out bones to get to the meat. This book goes on my ‘no-way’ list. It had potential, but it flopped.” I stared at my laptop screen, digesting the words that concluded the Amazon review. I read the paragraph aloud to my husband, and we both rolled […]

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Weekend One Word: Walk

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Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (whom we know as Mother Teresa) set sail for India in 1928 at the age of eighteen. She never saw her mother again. Sign up to receive posts by email {and get 3 free chapters from my book, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know!}

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She Let the Light Shine Through {#MyFaithHeroine Series}

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The My Faith Heroine Series continues today with Asheritah, who tells the incredible story of her modern day faith heroine, Silvia Tarniceriu. Prepare to be impressed…and blessed. And be sure to stop by Asheritah’s place to introduce yourself and say hello. She’s preparing a special Advent devotional especially for you that you won’t want to […]

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My Favorite Woman Yet {a podcast}

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Ok, this is super cool. Not only did I have the absolute pleasure of talking with Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, and blogger extraordinaire at The Art of Simple, BUT she’s also traveling the world with her family right now, so it was my […]

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Because the Church Isn’t a Place for the Perfect {and a book giveaway of For the Love of God!}

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  First a quick note: I know I’m a little guest-posty here these days. Thank you for your patience as I wrap my brain around a couple of projects: The How to Get Published Series that launches Monday, and (I hope!) a study guide to accompany 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. Plus I’m working […]

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When Today Feels Heavy

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I love how my friend Evi Wusk keeps her eyes wide open to God’s graces in her everyday ordinary. Right now she’s in the middle of a 30-day Gratitude Challenge – she’s aiming to reach #1000Gifts in just one month! Yowza! Be sure to stop by her beautiful blog, Gratitude Gal, to say hi, and while you’re […]

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