Keli Gwyn
Christmas Wishes

Only four days until Christmas!

Only two days until our college daughter gets to come home.

Gwynly and I are excited that our gal gets December 23-25 off work and will be able to spend those three days with us. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without her. She’s one of those people so into Christmas she starts singing carols in November and wants the tree up with the gifts under it the weekend after Thanksgiving, which it was.

We wrap our gifts in drawstring bags made of colorful Christmas fabrics. Makes wrapping a clean-up a breeze.

One of our favorite traditions is putting out the German Christmas decorations we bought when we lived in Germany or made subsequent visits. I love the Holy Family figures, which we bought from the woodcarver in the town of Oberammergau where the famous Passion Play is held every ten years.

Some of our traditional German Christmas decorations.

Another tradition we look forward to is our candlelight Christmas Eve service. I love the hushed air of expectancy when the lights are extinguished, the glow of candles fills the sanctuary, and we sing Silent Night. That’s what Christmas is all about. Remembering the best gift ever given, God’s own Son come to earth to live among us in preparation for His incredible sacrifice on our behalf.

I’m looking forward to focusing on my family for a few days and am taking a blogging break. I’ll resume my posts on January 2nd.

I wish you a blessed celebration of Christmas.

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Keli Gwyn
My Real-life Romance

On this day twenty-four years ago I married my best friend.

Gwynly and I looked at each other recently and said words often spoken by couples who’ve been married as many years as we have, “I can’t believe it’s been that long.”

To me that statement is a testimony to the great relationship Gwynly and I have.

Now that doesn’t mean our two dozen years of togetherness have been all sweetness and light because they haven’t. We’ve dealt with a miscarriage, job uncertainty, and the loss of his dearly loved parents, as well as some minor annoyances along they way.

But we’ve shared many wonderful experiences: living in Germany four years, welcoming our daughter to our family, buying our first house, watching our daughter grow into a fabulous young woman we respect and admire, to name but a few.

Gwynly truly is my best friend and, as I like to say, my better two-thirds.

Happy anniversary, Gwynly. I love you!

• • •

I’m curious how many of you are December brides like me.

Did any of you get an engagement ring as a Christmas present at some point?

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Keli Gwyn
Life on the Ledge, or Leaning on the Lord?

Have you ever read a blog post that reached deep into your innermost being and begged for a comment, one that flew from your fingertips and ended up being a novella you were almost afraid to post because you didn’t want to appear rude for taking up so much space?

That happened to me when I read “How Do I Achieve Success as a Writer?” by Beth Vogt on her awesome blog, in which she talked about writers and how the writing road is lined with ledges. I posted the comment anyhow because I know and love Beth and knew she’d graciously accept my wordiness.

Since I lived on the ledge for several months this past year and survived that tough time, I want to share my experience with you and pass on the lessons I learned. What follows is my comment from Beth’s blog. (I told you it was l-o-n-g for a comment.)

I suffered a debilitating case of Second Book Syndrome earlier this year. I felt sure what I was writing was drivel or dreck or downright disgusting. My supportive hubby and awesome CPs held my hand as I teetered on the Ledge.

In time I realized there was no way to deal with Second Book Syndrome other than to trudge through it, so I wrote the story, such as it was, sure it was terrible. And I prayed, surrendering my efforts and the outcome to the God.

Guess what? He’s faithful and omnipresent, coming alongside me in my down times. No surprise there, huh? :-)

I wrote, but I wasn’t alone. The Lord plopped Himself beside me on the Ledge, ready to stay the course, and imbued me with renewed enthusiasm, energy, and ideas.

Gradually my confidence returned–in baby steps, mind–and when I looked up one day I discovered I was no longer languishing at the edge of the Ledge. It loomed in the distance, but as I kept my focus on the story I’d been transported to a new place, a better place.

Did I still feel the fears at times? Yup. But I wrote anyway, and the Lord honored my efforts. I finished the story, performed my self-edits, and will be sending it to my CPs soon.

When I delved into the finished story, sure it stank and eager to seek ways to improve it, I had a pleasant surprise. It was better than I’d thought.

Oh, I could claim creative brilliance, but that would be a laugh. I know the real reasons.

One is that my talent didn’t leave me; only my confidence did.

The other more important reason is that I tapped into the Source of my creativity and inspiration. I invited the Lord to be my partner on my writing journey at the outset some six years ago, and He’s been there for me all along.

With God beside me I can do this–even face the Ledge–because He’s there with me, upholding and uplifting me and blowing my mind with His goodness, guidance, generosity, and abundant love.

• • •

Have you lived on the Ledge? How did you respond? What lessons did you learn?

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Keli Gwyn
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