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Riffs, doodles & odes

New things for a new-ish year

Friends, in God’s great kindness, I have had time with my family this summer, a much-needed rest, and the luxury of head space which has helped me to think prayerfully about priorities for the coming year. So I’m making some changes, planning new things and tweaking others along the way.

Write What You See

By the end of February, I will phase out Facebook and Twitter status updates for Write What You See whenever I publish the latest post. It’s not the most effective way of keeping my readers up-to-date.

I’ll still post regularly and you’ll still be able to visit the site at any time, but only subscribers to the blog will know when the latest post is up. In fact, my small but faithful band of subscribers have already received an email update for this very post.

If you’re not a subscriber yet, it’s very easy to become one. Just look for the Write What You See newsletter update form in the sidebar, type your email address in the box provided, click the button and follow the prompts.

Once you’re a subscriber you’ll automatically receive email notifications whenever new posts are published. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

You’ll still be able to share posts through your social media platform of choice or by email. Just use the relevant buttons featured at the top and bottom of every post.

Letters to Emma project

I have been humbled and overwhelmed by the response to the Letters to Emma series of posts that I wrote last year about my experience of loss and grief. I never expected so many different people to find them helpful. And I’m especially grateful to you, my readers, for your support and encouragement throughout the writing process and beyond.

I hope to tell you more later in the year, but I can share this bit of news with you: I have been asked by a Christian publishing company to begin a writing project based on the Letters.

Remembering & reflecting

It’s five years now since my husband Paul died. Lately, I’ve been looking back, remembering the pain and the heartache, but also reflecting on the joys, especially the hard-won growth in my relationship with the Lord.

I’m still learning, so very slowly. Sometimes I struggle to trust God, because it’s hard to see what possible good he could bring out of our hardships.

Sometimes I struggle to rest in God, because I fight against what I know in my heart is true—that he really does know what he’s doing. I know that the Bible reveals his overall plan and purpose for the world and for those who trust in Jesus. But when I try to understand the grinding imperfection of my daily life, I sometimes feel utterly baffled.

And yet, one enduring memory I have of Paul is how patiently he would listen whenever I felt overwhelmed, anxious, discouraged or despondent (just a selection from a long list of feelings!). Once he’d given me the space to say what I needed to say, he would gently respond, ‘Yes, I understand why you feel that way, but does it change the facts?’

This was Paul’s way to encourage me to look to God and hold fast to what I knew to be true about him—true from his Word and true in my own past experience. Feelings are real and important, but I can’t base my life on them. So now I remind myself of what he would have said, had he been here.

A sure & certain anchor
Large anchor on rocky shore
Photo by Grace Darnell |

Whenever I’m tossed about and bewildered by my circumstances, the only sure and certain anchor I have is God, for he does not change. Sowing seeds of doubt in our minds about God and his character has been the devil’s business right from the beginning.

But it’s been God’s business right from the beginning to always keep his promises. And in spite of our sin, he always graciously acts for the good of his people—whether we see it now or not.

Friends, I really look forward to your company this year. Please give me your feedback and comments, so I can serve you better. And thank you for being there.

Featured image: Photo by fotoman |

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