Back in the (Writing) Saddle Again…

Rain, rain, go away come back some other day…Do you remember this little ditty from your childhood?  I do.  And that’s exactly how I feel.  We have been having a drought in Northern California where I live, and I am grateful for answered prayer, but the last three days it has been raining steadily and I am climbing the walls.

I sewed on my quilt, with all the frustration sewing brings, while I watched movies on the DVD machine.  Then I napped.  Then I ventured out to get a coffee at Peets.  Then I sewed some more. Repeat for three days.

But today, I finally logged on to my computer and opened the manuscript of my book.  Yes, that book, my memoirs, lovingly referred to as Finding God in the Midst of My Mess:  My Love Story with Jesus.  It’s been five months since I set it aside after finishing my third rewrite last summer.  It has been sitting in my desktop files as I knew it needed some additional work, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.

In two months time, I will know how.  I will be taking a class on writing memoirs at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference in April.  Yes, God has been faithful and blessed me with the money to attend.  Thank you to those of you who donated to my art and writing ministry, Gifts of His Glory. www.giftsofhisglory.com.

I am now on a writers roll.  There is nothing like typing away on my laptop as the creativity flows through my fingers and the rain pours down on the roof.  Did I say rain?  Yes, bring on the rain!  I love to write in the rain!  Not actually outside in the rain, but inside with a decaf coffee, a few pieces of sugar free chocolate, some inspirational music, and I am set.

I wrote the first draft of my book while sitting in a French cafe in my hometown, drinking French coffee, and listening to French music play in the background. I pretended I was in Pairs and wrote the book in two months straight.  Oh how easy writing is, I thought at the time, only to discover that what I lovingly referred to as ‘my book’ was actually called a ‘first’ or ‘crappy’ draft in the industry!  Yes and crappy it was!

Fast forward two years: one critique partner, two writers groups, three rewrites, many edits and now here I sit.  Not to mention building a social platform – BLOGging, TWEETing, FACEBOOKing and PINTERESTing. On top of writing devotions to get ‘published’ in order to ‘get book published’.  The Lord was faithful and three of my devotions were published.Smile. Oh and I forgot, the need to establish a speaking ministry.  So far I have spoken twice and will have more opportunities to speak once the book is published. WHEW, are you tired yet?  I am!

All to fulfill my dream of writing a book one day.  Don’t let anyone fool you and tell you it is easy.  Because it is hard work, with oodles, and I mean oodles, of rejection.  But in the end, I will have my story, a testimony of the healing power and redemptive love of Jesus Christ.  And it will bring healing to others and Glory to God.  Making it all worthwhile.

Thank you Lord for the rain.

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17.

To see my Scripture art paintings and greeting cards go to ‘my art’ above or click here.

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A Childhood Christmas Revisited

Yes, I know you are saying “Christmas already Miriam?”  But yes, it is only 5 weeks away and as we begin to celebrate the miracle of our dear Savior’s birth over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, I would like to share an article I wrote and was published by my local women’s writers group.  This group is a sanctuary for me, where we write to prompts that our leader lovingly prepares.

My story reflects on my Christmas time as a child in the 1960s. I believed in Jesus as a young girl and knew that He was the reason we celebrated the season. My story also reflects on my Christmas time as an adult when I knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I invite you to discover both the magic and the miracle of Christmas in your hearts this season as you receive the ultimate gift of Christmas, Jesus.

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The prompt that day was “What was your favorite possession as a child?

My Favorite Possession as a Child – By Miriam Sarzotti

I turned the page excitedly of the Sears Christmas Catalog.  It was Christmas time and I wanted an Easy Bake Oven.  I was five years old and had seen it advertised on TV many times.

Easy Bake Oven circa 1966

Christmas morning I threw off the covers to see what “Santa” had left for me under the tree.  Sure enough, there it was, all bright yellow and shiny, sitting under my stocking.  It had four tin pans and cookie and cake mixes to bake.  That day I mixed my first mix, a pink sugary cookie. I slid the pan in and then slid another pan after it to ‘push’ it out into the cooling rack.  Amazement!  The cookies were cooked all by a light bulb.  The smell of heated plastic and sugar filled my nostrils. The cookies were soft and mushy tasting.  I was proud to be a cook and baker just like my mother.

Soon the mixes ran out so we ordered some more.  I waited patiently at the mailbox each day for them to arrive. I was soon to learn the frustration of this toy, not being so ‘easy’ to bake with.  Many times the pan fell off the track and dumped its contents into the bottom of the oven. My dad would have to take the screws off the back and fish out the tray.  I would start over, carefully trying to keep the tray on the tracks.

I remember one rainy day waiting for my friend Joan, who lived down the hill, to come play with me and my oven.  I was so excited!  I felt like the neighborhood princess to have such a toy to share.

Sadly, I outgrew my oven and it got lost in my possessions somewhere. Two Christmases ago I wanted to give the ‘little girl in me’ a childhood Christmas as a healing for my soul.  I logged on to EBAY and searched for the oven.  Surprised I found quite a few for sale.  I began nervously to bid on a yellow one with its original box and four pans.  On no, someone was bidding against me!  As the minutes round down, I made one last bid of $40.  Aha!  My strategy worked and I was the proud owner of a retro easy bake oven.

My EBAY find, just like my original yellow one, under the tree

my EBAY find, yes, my first one was yellow too!

I placed my oven under the tree, expectantly waiting to open it on Christmas Eve.  My ‘little girl in me’ was so excited to have presents under the tree just for her.

My tree

That Christmas Eve, I excitedly got out my oven and plugged it in. It was very hot to touch and I wondered if it would blow up!  Was it this hot as a child, I pondered, trying to remember.  Did they let us kids play with things like this in the 1960s?  I was afraid the plug was too old and it was malfunctioning.

Putting these thoughts aside, I marveled again how a light bulb could cook a cake.  I had also bid on some cake mixes, so I carefully slid in the tray. It was bent slightly from age and use, but I was able to get it through the oven.  Boy did that cake taste good!  Memories flooded my brain as I shared my cake with Jesus, whom I knew was fondly looking on. (By the way He liked it too!)

Me in front of Castle at Disneyland in the rain!

A few days later, I flew down to Los Angeles to Disneyland  to give ‘my little girl’ a very special Christmas.  After spending the day with CInderella and riding the fairyland train, I flew back home content. A miracle had taken place.  My heart was healed.

Cinderella and her Prince photo at Disneyland

After the holiday ended and the excitement died down, I put the boxed oven back in the storage closet, one day planning to give it to my own daughter to play with.  By then, it really will be an antique, but one that will always bring a smile to my face and put a little bit of Christmas cheer in my heart. I’ll remember the miracle the Lord did for me that Christmas and be reminded why we celebrate Christmas after all.

 

What is your favorite toy or memory of Christmas?  Was Jesus part of it?

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Sharing my passion…an interview by author Kay Marshall Strom

New Press!  Read how you can use your passion like I did to make a difference!

I am interviewed by my friend Kay Marshall Strom, Christian author and speaker for her blog  www.kaystrom.com. Thank you Kay for this blessing and sharing my passions…

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What Can One Person Do? Ask Miriam Sarzotti~

Great things about writers’ conferences:  we learn, we share, we network, we gather ideas, we meet new people.  One of the people I met at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference last spring was Miriam Sarzotti.  I invited Miriam to join us and talk about the way she found to promote her passion.

Welcome, Miriam.  When I first met you, I was immediately impressed by your passion. Tell us about that.

First and most important, I am passionate about my faith in God.  I do have a particular heart for Israel and the Jewish people. And I love Israeli ice cream! My most tender passion is being a voice for the voiceless who are trapped in sexual slavery. I’m doing that through my art, writing and advocacy ministry.

Ah, yes.  That’s where we really connected.  How does your art meld with your passion?

I have loved to paint since the age of three.  I mix my love of art with my passion of sharing God’s Word through my signature biblical Scripture art.  These collages feature God’s creation with Scripture woven in.  Each is a way of demonstrating Isaiah 55:11: “My Word will not return to me void.”

You have recently become associated with She is Safe (SIS).  Can you tell us about that?

At the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, you shared your heart with me for SIS.  Then I read your books Daughters of Hope and Forgotten Girls.  With my heart broken for the young girls in sexual slavery, I prayed and felt led to donate 50% of all my art sales to the work that SIS is doing around the world. Now, I am an advocate for them here in the San Francisco Bay area.

Those two books you mentioned, which I co-wrote with Michele Rickett of SIS, changed my own life.  When I wrote Daughters of Hope, it was difficult to find a publisher.  Everyone told me, “Americans don’t care about anyone outside their borders.”  I am so, so glad to report that we absolutely do care! Miriam, you are also writing a book. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Yes!  I am writing my first book of my memoirs that includes my time as a missionary in Israel. My goal is to bring hope to others by showing them how the redemptive love and power of Jesus healed my life from trauma in childhood and on the mission field. It offers self-help sections to show how He can heal your life too.

What words of wisdom do you have for people who are looking for a way to make a difference?

Start by finding YOUR passion. Ask the Lord to show you each small step to take. Then use your gifts, no matter how small, for the Lord. As Zechariah 4:10 states: Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” You will be amazed how He will meet you and open doors for you.  Soon you might even be starting a ministry like I did, and being interviewed by Kay for her blog! (LOL!)

That just may be!  Any last message for us?

Please visit my website. If you purchase a painting, it will help rescue girls in slavery and abuse.  It is one small step you can take to make a difference!  The paintings make lovely gifts for home or holidays. View my artwork at www.giftsofhisglory.com.

Keep up the Good Work Miriam!


You can follow Miriam’s art and writing
journeys on her blog at
www.giftsofhisglory.com/miriamsblog. Please come follow me!

“Writing is my new passion, and I am grateful to the Lord for this gift that brings Him glory!”

Miriam Sarzotti