April McGowan

Cat’s In The Cradle

Grant_CatinWindowFun news! Some time back I was asked to write a real-life story about our kitty, Spookers, to be added into an compilation of short stories. Well, the book is out, and I have to say it’s a really great read. If you like kitties, you’ll love it.  I wrote a story about our Jack, too, but it felt grim and made me cry every time, so I didn’t ask to add it. Our Jack-kitty died of leukemia–but I don’t regret the four years we had with him. The story about Spookers is called Lost In Translation in the compilation The Cat in the Window. I hope you’ll get a copy and let me know what you think!

Jack-kitty has been gone two years now, and Spookers still looks for him on occasion. Jack and Spookers had an unusual relationship. Jack was a kitten when we adopted him. He had Spookers bullied from the beginning. He’d leap out at him, especially in the dark garage where their litter box is kept. He’d harass him until Spookers lost his voice from hissing. At the same time, they were nap and grooming buddies. Jack would always let Spookers eat first, waiting patiently at the side until Spookers was done. If Jack was in my lap and Spookers came by, he’d jump down and Spookers would jump up–taking the spot of the head kitty. I never could figure it out. Even two years later, though, Spookers enters the garage expecting to be pounced on–in fact we recently installed a night light directly over his kitty box so he won’t have to worry. He’s completely convinced that Jack, or something,  is out there–waiting.

I’m like that–needing a spotlight to shine the way in the darkness (especially on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!). There’s nothing there waiting (except maybe the corner of my desk), but I can convince myself there is. Those fears can be paralyzing if I let them. What will happen if I can’t keep up with housework and marketing and writing? What will happen if I rest today instead of pushing myself to finish the laundry and that blog post that’s been nagging me for days? Will I miss an opportunity if I let down my guard? Will I let down God?

God created work for us to do (see the verse in Ephesians below), but he also created times of rest. Questions and doubts can plague me and steal my peace if I let them. Instead, I need to submit to the Lord and just keep putting that one foot in front of the other–or take that much needed nap before continuing on. I’m not a linchpin in the Lord’s plan–if I don’t get something done, someone else will do it, or it will wait. I love that He is so big that He can use me–or not–and still accomplish His mighty work. That sure takes the burden off my shoulders.

What troubles plague you today? Do you need to let Him cradle you and give you rest? Take courage–whatever you decide, if you are walking closely with the Lord, that will be the right decision.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (full text here)

Mathew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (full text here)

 

 

 

 

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Dream Weaver

I’ve been dreaming, hoping, praying about getting a publishing contract for a long time. A long, long time. So, about two weeks ago I got the email every writer hopes to get, the one that said, “Good news! We’re going to publish your book.” (Although, it was probably more articulate than that).

After re-reading the email about five times, it sunk in. I proceeded to try and tell everyone I could think of—by the way, those of you that weren’t home…where were you??!! And then, it really sunk in. All my hard work, all my hopes and dreams were going to be out there for everyone to see. You might guess what follows: fear. Will I be able to keep up, will my health hold, what about all those unknowns?

Now, I know I’m not alone in this. I immediately went and panicked to my new author group and they reassured me they knew exactly what I felt like. My editor was very supportive (cool…my editor), and other writer friends were encouraging. All those things helped. But, it wasn’t until I turned to the One who planted the seed of this dream in my heart all those years ago that my fears subsided. I won’t say disappeared, because self-doubt looms over my shoulder (it’s rather black and fuzzy with green eyes..no wait, that’s my cat). But, when that self-doubt arises, I’m doing my best to remember the dream weaver, the original Author of life, has it all in hand.

I’d love to hear if you’ve ever had a dream come true—and what you did with those nagging doubts!

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Full text here.)

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