Music Monday: Beyond Me, TobyMac

TobyMacVEVO. “TobyMac – Beyond Me (Lyric Video).” YouTube. YouTube, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 31 Dec. 2016.

It will be the second day of 2017 when this posts, but as I am writing it, it is still 2016 — it’s New Year’s Eve to be exact, and the radio is on and playing a list of their top 103 country songs of 2016.  It is that time of year when we look back on what has happened and look forward to what might be in the new year.  And so, I am taking a few minutes to look back at my year in writing.

One of the biggest changes this last year has been moving from a regular paycheck to being self-employed.  This change also came with a move from a classroom full of students to one — my son.  And it has been a challenge figuring out how to mesh his classes, my work schedule, and just regular house things together. We’re doing ok, but I would not say we are “there” yet. 🙂  But it has been a wonderful change — a definite blessing!

So besides giving up the day job, what tangible things can I point to that show what I have accomplished this year in my writing life?  Well, I have made a few changes on the front page of this website.  I have completed two Thursday’s Three Hundred stories and have another one started — and I have published several books.

  • His Inconvenient Choice
  • Her Heart’s Choice
  • And Then Love (written in 2015)
  • Finally Mrs. Darcy
  • Waking to Mr. Darcy
  • The Tenant’s Guest
  • A Very Mary Christmas

aesop_bending-reedWow — I guess that feeling of always being busy was not imagined! It has been a busy year, and not everything both professionally and personally was wonderful. There were some definitely difficult times that twisted my heart and bent me under their weight, but this little reed is still standing. 🙂 But here’s the thing, (and I am going to get a little “spiritual” here because my faith is part of who I am) I am still standing and have accomplished what I have not through my strength alone. God has been good.  He has sustained me in the rough places and granted me moments of seeing His blessing being poured out. The lyrics of the song above say

But here’s the thing, (and I am going to get a little “spiritual” here because my faith is part of who I am) I am still standing and have accomplished what I have not through my strength alone. God has been good.  He has sustained me in the rough places and granted me moments of seeing His blessing being poured out. The lyrics of the song above say

Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe

That You gave me the stars, put them out of my reach
Called me to waters a little too deep
Oh, I’ve never been so aware of my need
You keep on making me see
It’s way beyond me

I have definitely felt this way this past year, and as I begin the process of looking forward to 2017 and sketching plans, I still feel this way — the dreams are still big, the waters still feel too deep, and I am so very aware of my need of His sustenance. But, even if there is a flutter of nerves in my stomach and that little voice in my mind that questions if I can reach my goals, I will be moving forward — in His strength.

Now, in order to accomplish my goals, I must do my part and be faithful in my work, which includes writing — daily or nearly so. Life does like to mess up the schedule some days. This week, there were a few days that writing did not happen, but then there was one day when I was able to write for hours and managed to type out somewhere around 6,000 words. A few of those words are below in a short excerpt.  I will remind you again…this is the current Thursday story and we are getting to the end. Things are starting to be resolved, so if you read this, there may be spoilers.

EXCERPT FROM Willow Hall, Book 4:

 Ah, an opening to broach his intent.  Captain Harris took a sip of his tea and then, with a smile at Jane, said, “True they are not details related to me yet.”  He saw Jane’s eyes grow wide.  Good, she understood him.  However, the way she shifted uneasily in her chair did have him somewhat concerned until he decided that being a shy sort of lady, she was merely uncomfortable with having a gentleman declare himself so openly. 

“Do you intend to marry my sister?”

“Lydia,” Elizabeth hissed. 

Lydia scowled at Elizabeth and then returned her focus to Captain Harris. 

“I believe that is a topic to be discussed in private with Miss Bennet,” said Harris. 

“Was that not the meaning of your comment?” Lydia asked. 

Harris cleared his throat.  There was a certain gleam in Lydia’s eye that was unnerving.  “I believe Miss Bennet understood my meaning and that is all that is required.” 

Lydia turned to Jane. “Did you understand his meaning to be that he was planning to offer for you?” 

“Lydia,” scolded Jane. 

Lydia shook her head and shrugged.  “Well, if no one will answer my questions, I will assume that Captain Harris does indeed intend to marry Jane.”  She sighed and said, with a scowl directed at Harris, “I do hope you are more straightforward in your speech when you become my brother. I do so dislike it when people are purposefully duplicitous.  Jane, too, prefers people to be forthright and honest. I believe all my sisters do as does my father.” 

Harris cleared his throat again.  “As I said, Miss Bennet understood my meaning. I am sorry if you were not able to do the same.” 

Lydia’s eyes narrowed at the insult.  “I understood your meaning, sir. I just wished to see if my assessment of your character was correct.” 

Harris’ cup stopped for a brief moment in the air before he continued to lift it, take a sip, and return it to its saucer.  “And what assessment have you made of my character, Miss Lydia?” 

Lydia’s lashes fluttered and a smile spread across her face.  “Oh, I believe I made it obvious to those to whom it is important.  If you missed it, well, that is too bad.” 

Oh, she was an infuriating little tart!  He would be glad to see her brought low.  That thought brought a smile to his lips.  She would not be so superior when one and all knew how she had travelled with Wickham, and he would not refrain from sharing about her flirting in Brighton. 


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Leenie Brown

Leenie Brown fell in love with Jane Austen's works when she first read Sense and Sensibility followed immediately by Pride and Prejudice in her early teens. As the second of five daughters and an avid reader, she has always loved to see where her imagination takes her and to play with and write about the characters she meets along the way. In 2013, these two loves collided when she stumbled upon the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. A year later, in 2014, she began writing her own Austen-inspired stories and began publishing them in 2015. Leenie lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two teenage boys and her very own Mr. Brown (a wonderful mix of all the best of Darcy, Bingley and Edmund with healthy dose of the teasing Mr. Tillney and just a dash of the scolding Mr. Knightley).

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