NAME Canada – Men and Women Resolve Conflict Differently

Forgiveness

Bill & Pam Farrel shared some important reminders with us about resolving conflict with our spouse:

  • Women tend to confront issues while men tend to bury issues
  • Couples who can identify the real issues can grow closer
  • Emotions follow decisions

Decide AHEAD of time how you will deal with conflict!

Forgive One Another

People don’t fall out of love, they fall out of the willingness to forgive.

Colossians 3:13 – we are supposed to forgive everyone (even our spouse)!

What forgiveness is not:

  • Just letting it go
  • Saying “It’s okay”
  • Denial
  • Forgetting
  • Reconciliation

Forgiveness is a decision you make in your heart to not allow anyone else to control your emotional life.

Reconciliation is a decision to restore a broken or hurting relationship

Forgiveness makes sure there’s no bitterness in your life.

Six Statements of Forgiveness

  1. I forgive (name) for (offense) 1 John 1:9; Genesis 45 – reunion of Joseph and his brothers
  2. I admit that what happened was wrong. (If nothing was wrong, maybe a bad attitude just needs to be adjusted.) Romans 3:23; Genesis 45:5
  3. I do not expect this person to make up for what he or she has done. (Take them off your hook, and put them on God’s hook! Give God a chance to work on the person.) II Cor 5:17
  4. I will not use what happened to define who this person is. (Give up name-calling. Ask God to help you see that person as He sees them.) Forgiveness sets us free to be able to love in a healthy way. Ephesians 1 – God looks at everyone as desperately needing His grace.
  5. I will not manipulate this person with this offense. (Don’t beat people up with the past.) II Cor. 5:17 (Imagine the relationship you’d have with Jesus if he manipulated you by what he knows about you. He doesn’t do that.) Genesis 45:10 (If someone is moving from toxic to healthy, they own their issue: This is what I did. I’m so sorry I hurt you. What can I do to earn back your trust?)
  6. I will not allow what has happened to stop my personal growth. II Peter 3:18 You don’t have to be perfect, but you need to work on getting better. Bitterness stunts your growth.

Boundaries are put in place to give others time to allow God to work in their lives.

Psalm 103 – Bless the Lord, O My Soul

 


Plot: What makes readers turn the page?

Flower Pens
Centerpiece at His Imprint Conference created by Jenna’s steapin’ Party

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be involved in the His Imprint Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. One of the sessions I attended was about plot. Tammy Wiens did a great job of helping us think about what makes readers turn the page. Here are some of the thoughts that were shared:

  1. Conflict – There has to be conflict, or there’s no story. Conflict hooks the reader; they want to know how the conflict is resolved. Tammy reminded us that over 300,000 books were released last year. She challenged us to know our competition, be better, stand out, and be unique from the very first word.
  2. Characters – Your characters dictate your plot. Stories need well-developed characters, so make sure you do a thorough character sketch before you start. Tammy shared about a “scary guy” who lived in the town she grew up in. He was the person all the kids told each other to stay away from, but at the same time dared each other to knock on his door. One day Tammy’s mother took her to meet the “scary guy” and she discovered that he was a talented gardener who had grafted different fruit trees together. She challenged us to make sure our characters are well-rounded.
  3. Dialogue – Use dialogue tags to break up the monotony of “he said, she said”. For instance: “Stop!” Jack reached across the table. Remember that every speaker requires a new paragraph. Be careful to keep your point of view consistent and make sure the dialogue matches the character.
  4. Setting – Starting a novel with a long setting description is a waste of everyone’s time. Setting should be woven into the story.
  5. Ebb and Flow – Having ebb and flow in your plot is what makes your story keep moving. There will be “rapids” in the stream as well as quiet, gently flowing water. Our plots should be the same way. The reader needs to rest every once in a while, so balance tension with release.
  6. Editing – Tammy encouraged us to find someone from a different walk of life than ourselves to edit our books. She shared an example of her story which appears in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Tammy used the words “grid road”, which are well understood in Saskatchewan. However, the editor was from Ontario and had no idea what that meant. A whole paragraph describing the gravel grid roads was added to help readers who weren’t from Saskatchewan understand what Tammy was talking about.

Are there other points about plot that you’ve found helpful? Please share in the comments below.