The alarm went off at 6 a.m. today! Oh my gosh, what was I thinking? I shut it off with hopes of sleeping for another hour but that did NOT happen. Rather than waste time tossing and turning I ground some Dunkin Donut beans, thanked God for waking me up and started making chocolate & caramel chip cookies for our Christmas caroling this evening.
When I first got up the grass was green and the sky, cloudy. Twenty minutes later our Rottweiler was at the door covered in snow. Only in Central New York can it be clear one minute and an inch of snow in less than a half an hour. After forty years of living in Oswego County this process still amazes me. With the aroma of freshly brewed DD coffee and homemade cookies filling the house I sat to spend a little time listening to hear what God had for me today.
Before I could do this I heard the “beep” on my cellular phone to let me know I had a text. I knew who it was but couldn’t believe it was that late already. I was helping a friend today before she did my hair so I knew this was my “I’m up.” text. I loaded my stuff in the car, scraped the ice from the windshield and slid my way to her house. As I drove and prayed for travel mercies I tried to figure out when in the day I would have time for God.
You heard me I thought and even said out loud while I was driving, “When do I have time for you God?” Yikes. Later in the morning a friend invited us to her churches Bethlehem village at church and I half joked, “I don’t have time for Jesus; I’m trying to get ready for Christmas and help others.” As I shook my head side to side like a wet dog trying to dry herself off, I wanted to bury my head in the sand yet knew at some level it was how I am feeling.
I’m reading a beautiful Advent Devotional written by Paula Davis and her words are inspiration to keep Jesus as the focus this and every Christmas season. Yet instead of opening my Bible, praying for taking time to listen for God’s direction in my day I went straight to work baking cookies, looking at the calendar, and trying to make sure everyone was set for the holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, we need to look out for others and share the love of Jesus with them – especially at Christmas BUT…
The hustle and bustle should NOT REPLACE Jesus. He deserves our time and I’m a much calmer and clear-minded woman when I’ve started my day with him and not with my list. My mood was like the weather when I got up. At first I was calm and ready for the day but by afternoon I was a storm settling in and I buried myself and loved ones under the snow bank with crankiness and ick because I wasn’t happy with my choices for the day.
Thankfully the words “I’m sorry” when spoken from the heart, followed by “Will you forgive me?” are gifts in themselves. We moved on and enjoyed a fabulous evening of Christmas caroling and sharing Jesus with others for a couple hours.
Tomorrow…I start with him. Will you?
My friend Elaine W. Miller shared this song with me. I pray you take a minute to listen, what line will you stand in?
Thanksgiving has come and gone with Christmas fast approaching. July 2010 I set goals for myself as it pertains to my writing.
July 2010 Goals Set:
· Develop a Website
· Start a blog
· Finish another draft of my 1st manuscript
· Attend the 2011 Delta Lake Christian Writer’s Gathering
· Attend a bigger writer’s conference
· Be a “writer”
· Start to seek publication by November 2010
I am so excited. As of July 2011, one year later I had achieved all but two. The website and blog were up and running less than twenty-four hours from returning home from the conference in 2010. I didn’t have a revised or manuscript ready to start the submission process by November of 2010 but I was working as a writer in all my free moments.
I attended the writer’s gathering in Delta Lake again for 2011 and also traveled out of state for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference with my friend and mentor, Elaine W. Miller. While at the conference I met agents, publishers, editors, and authors from across the country. I learned how to “pitch” my book, made friends, and came home from Philly one year older and motivated to write for God more than I ever had.
Once home I submitted my book proposal to a few publishers and put the finishing touches on my manuscript. While I may not have achieved my goals in the time frame originally strived for but I believe all have been achieved with a level of success and not a hap-hazard methodology. As I wait to hear from the publishers I have started to reread and revise my book proposal, one-page sell sheet, and manuscript of Where’s Heidi? The Search Begins.
I continue to pray for the publisher God has for this book and understand it is in His time, not my own. God’s timing is not like ours. I think back to my full-immersion baptism in 06’ and although I was only under the water for seconds the Lord blessed me with six pages detailing my experience while covered with the water of baptism.
Psalm 37:7 tells us to “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” so regardless of how long I wait to know where Heidi is or to hear from the publisher he has chosen – I will write, revise, speak, and share of His goodness and blessings in my life. If I can touch one life with any of these venues then I the blessing and joy to praise Him, the One who strengthens me.
I devote time to write daily I have learned a few things. My writing improves the more I write and especially when it is critiqued by my writer’s group, writing accountability partner, or my mom. The more I write, the more you read. Hmm…nice correlation don’t you think.
I follow a few blogs myself and some of my favorites are the ones that have “New Blog Posting” emails or “Book Update” notifications. As of today, this isn’t offered through my server provider but I would still like you all to have the option to be added to my mailing list.
There are a couple ways to do this – 1) Enter your email below and select “submit” or 2) Visit my “contact me” page and list your name and email in the “comment” portion of the form.
Thank you in advance for following my blog. It is my hope to keep everyone up-to-date on news related to my book writing, blogs, and speaking engagements. Feel free to link this page to your friends, family, and co-workers you believe would enjoy also following my blog.
Have a great rest of the week!
I spoke with a woman named Ann for over thirty minutes last week. A business call unrelated to my writing or speaking career but God opened the door to share about both. Before the receivers rested on their base I shared about my upcoming speaking engagement (this past Thursday, 12/1 – see 12/2 post to read more about this or listen to the audio). I told her to Google my name and she would find my website and blog.
Just before we disconnected something in our conversation made me say “My husband and I are like oil and vinegar but thankfully the Lord blessed us with a great Italian dressing of a daughter.” I could hear Ann’s smile as if it were the same one stretching across my face. This blog is dedicated to Ann for her inspiration and to all the married couples out there that wonder “Why?” when they might be so different.
I’m not sure who is the oil or who is the vinegar in our relationship but my husband and I are very much different while also quite similar in the heart. I spied my husband for the first time when I was just fifteen years old, if that, while he played backyard football with the other boys in the neighborhood. I “loved” him which of course we all know is merely infatuation at this young age but still, he was all that and a bag of chips. He was eighteen or nineteen, newly graduated from high school and waiting to leave for Marine Corp. boot camp. Hurrah!
We “dated”. Of course in the mid-eighties this meant we went to the movies or beach together along with at least one other couple, if not two car loads. He was in love with basketball and hanging out with his friends before he left and I was a selfish teenager with the big googly eyes with the cartoon hearts lifting to the heavens like a cartoon. Needless to say this did not last due to our age difference, my immaturity, and the fact he was four years older leaving for boot camp was parental motivation to move on.
Fast forward to when I am nineteen, going to college full-time and spending as much time partying as I did studying. My friend Yvonne calls me and says, “Eddie is going to Dessert Storm!” I cried my eyes out over this arrogant, basketball playing, jock for the rest of the afternoon. My only response to her was, “But I’m going to marry him?” Whoa, where did that come from? Long story short – by the time I worked up the nerve to call him, he had been deployed. I sat down and wrote him. He needed to know I loved him and planned to marry him.
Can you imagine being overseas, serving our country when you open a letter from the googly-eyed girl of four years prior? As you can predict, the connection began. We started writing back and forth so by the time he arrived safely back to the states, I fell in love with him all over again. We are still very different in mannerisms and drive yet this balances itself out. My Ed has the potential to make me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt. He knows how I am without asking and puts up with me and my OCD tendencies well because he is so relaxed, it just doesn’t bother him. Quite the mix – we make a great Italian dressing of a team with the proof in our daughter. The best and most challenging portions of us rolled into one spunky, driven, fun-loving, and driven bottle of Italian dressing we call, daughter.
I don’t know if you and your husband are “oil and vinegar”, “salt and pepper”, or “night and day” but know this God brought you together for a purpose. We complement each other and when we work together we can produce a beautiful harvest of blessing and positive things. It may not always be Italian dressing in our relationship but thankfully we are made new and refilled with God’s Word daily to replenish our supply to try again tomorrow. I pray you’ll keep mixing and measuring until you get it right or write down the recipe that leaves other’s mouths watering for what you have.
Honest scales and balances belong to the LORD;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.
A question I hear often from friends, family, and my co-workers. There is a company called Café Press and they make fun t-shirts, my daughter’s favorite and the one she wants to gift me with at some point is, “My Mom is so blogging this”. Seriously, I enjoy writing this blog so much. God opens my eyes to so many “typical” or “ordinary” things and events every day. The blog is one way I can share God’s beauty and hand in the most typical and ordinary of things we might see or encounter in our daily lives.
Common Places for a Buske Blog to be birthed
· During our Sunday morning Worship Service (especially when Pastor is preaching – don’t worry I only chicken scratch my notes on a sticky note, with the date so I can give Pastor my attention again. I do take meticulous notes for when I sit to write the blog at a later date.)
· While at my Parent’s House (my level of inspiration is at its peak here)
· While carrying on a conversation (whether it be over the phone or in person and the topic generally has nothing to do with what we’re talking about)
· Through journaling exercises
· While exercising (2012 goal - more exercise inspired blogs, lol)
· During my prayer and devotion time
I generally have over fifteen blogs saved in my draft folder at one time. The level of the draft varies from only a title, to hen-pecked notes, and some completed waiting for the day God leads me to hit “post live”. There are some drafts from this fall and even a couple from this summer still awaiting their debut.
Last week I spoke with a woman named Ann on the phone and while we were talking business I made a statement, she laughed and it ignited the fervor to write. I ran to the kitchen and wrote down this draft title, “Oil and Vinegar Do Mix”. Once off the phone I logged into my website and blog, opened up a “new blog” to save the working title and make some notes. I told Ann this blog would be dedicated to her for her inspiration.
You never know when a blog or friendship will occur. God’s timing is always perfect. Be sure to read tomorrow’s blog and learn how this title relates to my marriage. Have a great day!
Thursday morning I had all I could do to keep my thoughts focused on the necessary routine involved in getting my daughter ready for school and myself off to work. “Thank goodness I took a half-day” was repeated often as I looked forward to a few quiet hours to wrap up a few things, pray and rest. Although I didn’t rest much, I had the opportunity to run through my presentation again, make changes, and fold brochures. The entire time of course – praying to speak the words He had for me.
Thursday afternoon passed ever-so quickly and it was time to get dressed, load the car, and drive to the church. With a kiss to my hubby and one to my daughter I said a little prayer for “Jesus to Take the Wheel” because my mind was flighty and thinking of my message. Once at the church I set up my table, learned how to use the wireless mic and clicker, and then mingled with the others setting up. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful; it would be a great night.
The ice breaker was fun and while I joined the other “Krackle” candy bars in one corner I spied one of Heidi’s best friends coming through the back door. First a smile and then a few tears, it was lovely to see her. I’m blessed to call her friend and sister! From chocolate to worship – this evening was only getting better. As the first song started my nerves fluttered a little but as soon as the worship started, the nerves ceased and I could feel the prayers of my friends and family as my heart calmed and enjoyed being in His presence in anticipation of the message I would share.
The presentation flowed smoother than I could have practiced, planned or hoped. Thank you Jesus. Throughout my binder I placed various Scripture verses to help me through the more challenging sections. I shared a couple things I had never thought or planned to share, but know it was God’s orchestrating and someone in the audience must have needed to hear it.
My mother hugged me before I could reach my seat and handed me two dozen orange roses. And the tears began. Happy tears. My mom was in the audience. I prayed my words would touch hearts and people would see Jesus, not me standing on the altar. I believe this is one more answered prayer.
Yesterday I spent the day at The First Presbyterian Church in Mexico as part of Christmas in Mexico. I met and reconnected with so many wonderful people. A few churches have expressed interest in having me come to their church to speak in the near future. A couple other opportunities were discussed too. I’m so blessed. God is amazing and I’m thankful for being obedient, I tend to be stubborn, lol.
Both Thursday night and yesterday I was asked, “When is your book coming out?” My response, a few publishers have requested it and it is in their hands and God’s. God is control and I pray for the publisher He has for my book. I’ve invited those asking to join me in this prayer ~ God’s timing is not like ours so I wait. I’ve waited, and still wait to know where my one and only sister is so I figure God will give me the strength to wait for the publisher He has chosen.
An exciting answer to prayer through the responses I’ve heard so far. If you were unable to attend or would like to hear the message again, click on the photo above. You can also comment here or on the Feedback Forum. The Feedback Forum is your page to share with each other. You never know when your thoughts or comments might encourage someone else.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.
Micah 7:7 NIV
Twenty-four hours later and my heart still flutters, my eyes still tear up, and my smile continues to stretch from one ear to another. I am so blessed by last night’s experience. I’m thankful and appreciative of all the prayers lifted for me as I prepared and spoke, the prayers for everyone in attendance, and the prayers for God’s Word and love to be felt in the hearts of us all in a personal way as the message was shared. The response I’ve heard so far, those prayers were heard and answered. Thank you, Jesus!
It was amazing to see the community come together for a time of fellowship, worship, prayer, and fun. Women, chocolate, and the Lord ~ how could the evening go wrong? It was a God-orchestrated event from the beginning. As we prayed, planned, and emailed it was obvious His blessing was upon this time together. Just think, it’s only with God as your PR agent that Mexico, New York ends up on the AOL homepage for two days in a row! Go God.
During the time of fellowship I was overwhelmed at those coming through the doors to hear my story. My initial plan was to remain in the sanctuary for the entire fellowship time yet my emotions overcame me as friends, neighbors, and complete strangers flooded the doors. I retreated into the loving arms of Jesus in the prayer room for a time of quiet reflection and prayer. And of course God went above and beyond, just like Ephesians 3:20 – 21 tells us. Before a few moments alone with Him, the ladies of Believers’ Chapel prayed over me and for all those on their way for the evening’s event with the ladies of Community Alliance worship team practice serenading our prayers heavenward. A blessing…
My dear friend Beth introduced me with words that moistened my eyes as I ascended to the podium. Upon my first look into the audience my heart melted at to see how many people set aside time in their busy schedules to hear the message the Lord placed on my heart; and so I began with the His strength and your prayers to see me through to completion.
It was a great evening with audience participation, interaction, tears, and laughter. We had a great time together; even when my “visual for reinforcement of my message” physically broke ~ we still learned “There is always hope when we have a relationship with Jesus.” Although the search ribbon busted, the message was heard. Such a God-thing, thank goodness.
After I finished and Chrissy closed us in prayer I was overcome at the hugs, love, and words of encouragement expressed by so many as they left. Oh my…My first hug was from my Mom. And so the tears came ~ what can be better than sharing how God has worked in my life with the ladies of the very community that loved on us the day Heidi disappeared? I think the hug and orange roses from my mom take the cake, pardon the idiom, but it was the best way to end my presentation.
· Believers’ Chapel North for hosting
· Community Alliance Worship team for the harmony in your voices and hearts
· Beth A. and Chrissy for their event planning
· Beth S. for her beautiful introduction
· Katherine for taking photos
· The Women (and men, yes I saw you) who set time aside in their calendars
· My many prayer partners and warriors
· My friends and family for supporting me
· For all of you who came together in the name of Christ – may He be glorified
If you were unable to join us last night Believers’ Chapel North has graciously posted the audio of last night’s message on their website. Click on the top photograph for a direct link to their site or copy and paste the address from below. The message is titled, “A Time for Everything” on December 1st, 2011. http://www.bcnorth.org/messages.php
Thank you ladies for everything, you blessed me. I’ve also developed a “Feedback Forum” for you to comment on and respond to each other. Feel free to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections either here or in the forum.
I look forward to hearing from you. http://lisabuske.weebly.com/feedback-forum.html
Isaiah 60:1 – 5a
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;
Last night was exhilarating, heart-wrenching and warming (all at the same time) as I stood on the altar at Believers’ Chapel North to share my story with the ladies, and some gentleman, of Oswego county. The Lord was in charge of the event and I was blessed in so many ways.
A longer blog and a couple photos this afternoon but I wanted to let you know the evening went well and was a blessing.
If you were at yesterday’s event and would like to share your thoughts about last night with others, please visit my “Feedback Forum” page and post your comments there. This page is for those who attend my speaking events and those unable to make it. Feel free to comment back and forth, share your thoughts and encouragement with each other.
Thanks everyone – until this evening!
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323