Last week I stepped out of my comfort zone and was interviewed by the delightful Patti Shene on her Blog Talk Radio show, Step into the Light. I hate talking about myself and it took a few minutes to get my feet under me, but she made it easy. We agreed that it was a little like a cup of tea on the porch with a friend–even though we’d never met!
We got a chance to talk about life, faith, writing, and the movie Sinking Sand. It was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy listening to it here. And make sure you check out some of the other interviews. They’re great. Thanks, Patti!
Photo by Ricardo Cruz from Unsplash.com
Almost exactly six years ago, I wrote and posted this piece on my first blog. It was the most read post ever. I thought it might be nice to give it a fresh look and post it again.
At that time my two-year-old niece was just weeks into treatment for a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I wrote this as an encouragement to myself and our family. And I have been so blessed to think that others have shared it with their friends and family during difficult times as well. I’m happy to say that Amelia is now a healthy eight-year-old spitfire who shares her story freely and is a testament to medicine and prayer.
Maybe it isn’t cancer, but if you are walking through something hard–or you know someone who is, I hope this encourages you today. Please share by linking to this post, or downloading the *.pdf and giving it to someone who needs to read it.
If you would like to start a conversation, comment below, or use the contact form. If there is a need for prayer, post that too. It would be my privilege to pray for you.
Many blessings, Glynis
Death of the Dragon by Glynis Becker
The family laughed. They ate. They moved about their home, living lives as they always had, not knowing that just beyond their safe haven, a dragon waited. He moved closer, quietly, stealthily, day-by-day until one morning he was close enough to knock on their door. They opened it, still unknowing, and try as they might to slam the door against him once they recognized him, he swung wide with his tail and created a barrier through which they could not push.
That is the day the dragon moved inside. He brought with him sulfurous breath, burning fire and a heavy cloud of despair. From the day he roared into the house, he stayed with them, audaciously eating at their table, sleeping in the front room as an obstacle around which they always had to step.
Every day the family held hands around the table and asked that the dragon be removed from their home. They wanted him gone, to be sure, but as they were so few and small and only had so much power against him, they resolved to continue living their lives, stepping around him as best they could. They still laughed, they still ate and they had faith that one day they would have freedom from this dragon.
Once a week, they opened the door and marched out into the forest, a line of warriors holding their swords firmly and singing songs to encourage and strengthen each other. The trees that lined the road were thick, a canopy over their heads, blocking out the sun that they were certain was still hanging in the sky, although they could not see it.
When they reached the clearing, each member of the family, each a soldier in the fight, pulled out his or her sword and chipped away at the dragon’s tail or took aim at his clawed feet or open maw. Even the littlest one of them, although her sword was heavy and was too big for her tiny hands, stabbed away at the awful dragon. Because, out of all of them, the dragon had come especially for her. And when the sun went down, they trudged back through the dark forest, saddened although never defeated with the dragon following, scathed and wounded, but never dead.
Yet, behind them all, close to the tail of that dreaded dragon, followed Another. They knew He was there, even when they could not see Him, because He was a strong Warrior, a Healer, poised to defeat the dragon when the time was right. But until that moment, He would quietly march at the end of the line of soldiers and prayer warriors and would fight in the clearing with them, sword clashing along with their own. He walked back through the forest with them, entering the home when they did, smiling when they laughed and holding them close to Himself when they lost heart, doubting the dragon would ever leave.
Some days the dragon would shrink, becoming transparent, a shadow rather than shape. The family could imagine, for a fleeting moment, that he was gone. But as suddenly as he disappeared, he would fill out, becoming substance again and they were reminded that this battle was a long one, not to be finished overnight.
On occasion, when the night was especially quiet, the sky dark and starless, and the dragon slumbered the sleep of the victorious, the Healer would speak words into the ears and hearts and souls of each of them. “I am here. Sleep well, my warriors. I will keep watch. In the end, this battle is Mine. I will defeat your dragon.”
Those battles were relentless. The tides of championship ebbed and flowed, as one often sees during a long war. Victories small and large were celebrated with gusto. Setbacks always felt like defeat. But the Healer remained close, available for consult, though only seen through the evidence of His care, never seen Himself.
And finally, one day when the blanket of forest seemed ready to suffocate them, they came to the clearing as they had done so many times before. Set to take action, swords raised and ready to strike, they were taken aback as out of the darkness came One with a mightier sword, a broader swing and a greater authority. With one stroke, the tail was cut off, no longer able to sweep their feet from under them and with another slice, the dragon’s head was removed, no longer able to breathe his disgusting fire of sickness.
The dragon lay where he fell, defeated.
The family was free. They danced back through the forest, its darkness holding their joy close to them in comfort instead of suppressing and stifling it as had been the case just moments before. The littlest warrior was lifted high on their shoulders, home again and healed.
The Healer joined them as He had before and remained with them always, continuing to speak words of life and comfort into them, because He knew that even as that particular dragon was now gone, others always lay close by, each biding their time.
This family, as every family does, will have dragons come in and live with them for a time. But He will fight with them against the dragons’ pain and the brokenness and the suffering they cause, until that time when He defeats all dragons. Then each of us, from the biggest to the littlest, will be made whole.
After reading this piece, a dear friend of mine, a woman who has lost a husband and a son to cancer, as well as battled it herself said to me, “You know, sometimes the dragon wins.”
It is only fair to acknowledge that truth. And if the dragon is not cancer, then it will be something else. We are mortal.
The only way I know to live in the presence of a dragon is with faith that our Healer is good, and faithful, and powerful. I wrote this story to make some sense out of my two-year-old niece’s leukemia diagnosis. It was meant to get my own fear out of my head and onto the paper where it would hopefully lose some of its power. It was meant to give encouragement to my family and remind them that we have a big God and He is the only one in control.
I pray that whatever you are walking through, whatever dragon has made its bed inside your home, that you look to the One who loves you, fights for you, and of whom it is said:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, NASB)
My devotional for February is up at the God is Love blog. Join me today to talk about one of my favorite topics: Hope.
Send me an email or leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think. Be blessed!
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash.com
Silence is such a hard thing to come by. Our world is loud and busy and I’ve become accustomed to it. For better or worse, I’d rather fill the space around me with words and music and talking than be alone with my thoughts some days.
God’s voice is loud enough to make the rocks cry out, if He chooses. But isn’t better for us if we make room so He doesn’t have to speak through burning bushes and lightning strikes? Silence can be a very good thing, if we let it.
Here’s my January 2019 devotional for Devotions from the Heart about the topic of silence.
Do you have a daily practice of silence? Or is this something you’d like to cultivate but, like me, don’t always know how? Leave a comment or use the contact form to let me know what you think. I’d love to start a conversation about it!
Elements and alpha from Sweet Shoppe Designs‘ A Better Me kit (no longer available)
It’s a new year already. How quickly that seems to happen anymore! I haven’t done this in several years, but I love the idea of choosing a word at the beginning of the year to try to live into during that year. So through some prayer and consideration, I happened upon the word INTENTION.
I considered the word “purpose” but that feels less active to me. As I’ve learned more about writing craft and character motivation, I began to realize that I am not often the agent of change in my own life. I do not like conflict and I spend a lot of my time avoiding anything that even looks like conflict. Because of that, I find myself drifting through my days and weeks, allowing other people’s choices (for good or bad) to dictate the circumstances of my life.
The word INTENTION feels like me taking charge of my actions, thoughts, plans, goals, and making them part of my purpose (even if I’m still not sure what that is). I will be intentional, of course, in letting God determine what that purpose is and how I can be part of whatever work the Lord is doing here in my family, at work, at church, in this city, this country, and in the world.
After I chose my word, I found this great photo. To me it speaks of being intentional in choosing what things I will hold onto. I want to spend my moments and my days doing things that have meaning to me and that bring reconciliation, redemption, and the Kingdom of God to me and the world around me.
Have you ever chosen a word to meditate on for a year? What is/was it? Did it work for you? If you never have and you want to know more, MyOneWord.org is a great website dedicated to the “un-resolution” of the One Word movement.
I’ve got a new devotional up today at the God is Love blog. This has been a year of emotional struggle for me. I love to think, like the song Laura Story wrote, that sometimes our blessings come through the struggles, through the raindrops and through the tears.
For better or worse, this broken world we live in is constructed so that only through tearing down a muscle, can it be built up stronger.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve had a struggle that has ended up being a blessing to you. Drop me a line at my contact page or comment on this post. I’d love to start a conversation.
Have a beautiful day!
IT’S RELEASE TIME!!
After many years in the making–more than six, if anyone is counting–our first movie, Sinking Sand, starring Jenn Gotzon Chandler, Tom Clark, Jim E. Chandler, Kevin Sizemore and other fantastic actors, is ready for an audience!
Co-written by Brian Yarbrough and me, we can’t wait to have you watch it. This movie was a labor of love and a test of perseverance. I’m not sure if six years is a long time in the film-making biz or not, but it sure felt like a long time to me!
If you grew up on black-and-white episodes of Perry Mason or enjoy classic movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age like Hitchcock’s Rear Window or Notorious, I think you’re going to like this one.
We want to create movies told from a Christian worldview without being inauthentic or preachy. Hopefully we’ve done that with this film.
Released on DVD and video-on-demand on September 18, it’s available for pre-order now through these retailers:
Sinking Sand: Follow the story of Brooke McHenry whose loneliness drives her into the arms of a man who is not her husband and begins a trail of bad decisions, murder, and the prosecution of an innocent woman for Brooke’s own crime.
Also, in preparation for our release, we’re giving away a $500-value prize package. Two of the stars, Jenn and Jim, met on the set of our movie and have since gotten married! We’d like to pay tribute to that by giving away a romantic weekend package. Transportation to Savannah, GA is not included, but once you’re there, we’ve got some great prizes like dinner, two nights at a bed-and–breakfast, and a lovely carriage ride. We’ll also be giving away copies of the movie. See our Facebook page or film site’s contest page to enter! Best of luck!
When I get a weekend to spend watching movies or reading books, it’s a weekend well spent. This weekend was a triumph! I watched two fabulous movies and read a spectacular book. I’m only going to review the books, but I want to recommend the movies, too.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix was my treat on Saturday evening. I loved the book written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows when we read it for book club a few years ago, and the movie did NOT disappoint. I loved the scenery, the acting, the writing–everything. If you believe that a combination of books and friendship are the joys of life, then see this movie immediately!
The second movie this weekend was Ready Player One. The ’80s references and the retro Tron-ish feel were enough to make me buy in. But the greater questions about how much time we spend in our online lives and what that does to our view of the world made it a much deeper movie than I had anticipated. Plus, I’ll have to watch it about ten more times to catch all the jokes and product placements, so that makes it fun, too!
Now, last but not least, I’d like to say a few words about How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. This might be the most intriguing book I’ve read in quite a while. The premise is simply that there are people among us who age much more slowly than the rest of us. The hero of the book, Tom Hazard, is over four hundred years old living in London today. Looking at life with an almost immortal perspective gives Tom insights into what really makes us human. The story is all at once beautiful and sad. And I’ve heard that the rights to the movie have been obtained and Benedict Cumberbatch is signed on to play Tom. I’ll be there with bells on!
Have you seen any movies or read any books lately that you’d recommend? We all love to spend time with great stories, so if you have some to share, I’m sure we’d love to hear about them!