Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A God Who Knows Grief

I'm honored today to be guest posting over at Sarah Ruut's blog. Here's a snippet:
Private grief is sometimes what we want. 
It's not always what we need. 
And it's never our only choice. Why? Because we serve a Lord who is familiar with suffering...
Please go read the rest over at Sarah's beautiful website! I hope it offers you a bit of encouragement for your day.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yarnalong: baby blanket and "The Winner's Crime"

Today I'm linking up with Ginny, over at Small Things, who says, "Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading . . . I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?"

I'm reading "The Winner's Crime", by Marie Rutkoski. It's the second in a trilogy, and you can read my review of the first one here. I think my favorite thing about this book is that while it gives you all the angsty emotions you'd expect from a YA, it doesn't let its protagonists be idiots about their emotions. Yes, they're in love and they're young and they'd like to Romeo-and-Juliet all the consequences . . . but they don't. They keep the broader picture in mind, they temper their emotions with reason - maybe not well, maybe not perfectly, but wow, I just like that they're teenagers who are trying.  

(And yes, I think the angsty emotions and gorgeous setting and quickly-moving plot are awesome, too.)

Now, the knitting!  This is a heavily modified version of the "Hip To Be Square" pattern in "60 Quick Baby Blankets", using some of the oldest yarn in my stash: Universal Yarns Classic Shades. Some friends just had their first baby and I wanted to make her something snuggly!  I love how the subtle color changes work with the mitered squares in this pattern.

Thank you for stopping by! For more yarny goodness, head on over to the link-up at Ginny's!

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link; if you purchase a book from this link, I receive a small percentage of the purchase price.  (See full disclosure on sidebar of my blog.)

Sunday, January 24, 2016


If you're here from Daily Sci Fi, hello!

I blog about a variety of things, but here are the tags for my reviews, links, etc. on:
-sci fi

My favorite of my archives is, I think, this post about Lois McMaster Bujold's "Borders of Infinity" and (glory be!) Bujold's own response to the same.

Hope you enjoy poking around the site and hope - even more - that you enjoyed the story "Expensive" over at Daily Science Fiction. I surely enjoyed writing it!

-Jessica Snell

so here's some excitement

My short story "Expensive" went live tonight over at Daily Science Fiction. I'm so pleased to have a story up at a site I enjoy so much as a reader!  Please head on over and read, rate, and enjoy.

(And subscribe to their email list: it's free, and you get great short fiction in your mailbox every week day. Not a bad deal!)

-Jessica Snell

Friday, January 22, 2016

Come and say hi! (plus, a giveaway!)

I'm honored to be the Friday Featured Guest over at June Foster's blog today. Come on over and say hi in the comments!

Also, have you been curious about "Not Alone", but not quite sure you wanted to buy? Jennifer Hallmark has your solution! She's hosting a giveaway of "Not Alone" over at Elaine Stock's blog. Head on over in order to enter!

-Jessica Snell

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Diligence and Anxiety

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.  
-Proverbs 12:24 
I think Proverbs 12:24 might end up being my verse for the year. I’ve been in Psalm 28 for the last two years, but . . . but now, this is probably it.

I keep trying to explain why, to write about why, and talk about it, and I feel like I keep losing my words. I think it’s because I keep trying to talk about it while I’m slightly anxious. That’s never the best time to do anything (but, me being me, that's sometimes the only time I have).

Speaking of which . . . maybe that’s how I can explain it: diligence saves me when I’m anxious.  Because diligence doesn’t submit to anxious questions. When my emotions and mind are spinning with, “what if? what if? what if?” diligence answers, “Now do this. Okay, good. Now, do this. Okay, good. Now . . .” and is not flustered.

Diligence calms me, if only by forcing me to work. Not franticly, but properly.

Diligence knows what is next and commands me to keep walking.

And the walking itself brings me to a place of peacefulness inside. Because if I am doing (not hurrying! not scrambling! just steadily doing), then I am seeing progress. And eventually, I am seeing completion: that floor is clean, that chapter is edited, that email is sent, that batch of dishes is done.

For a long time, my housekeeping motto has been: Not Perfect, But Better.

Diligence improves that. Diligence makes it: Not Perfect, But Better . . . And Now Better Again. And Now Better Again.

Diligence is refocusing every time my anxiety causes me to careen off into the wild blue. 

Diligence says, “Don’t worry about what might happen; do what you already know is your duty.”

It reminds me of what Corrie Ten Boom said (and I’m quoting from memory here, so forgive any lack of accuracy): “Don’t worry about the parts of the Bible you don’t understand. Worry about the parts you understand but don’t obey.”

Diligence is the obeying. It is the action.

Not in a scurrying rush to be found acceptable or to prove my worth. But in simple gratitude that I have good work to do.

Huh. Diligence is gratitude.

I like that.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Weekly Links: Ice, Oxy, Red Letters, and More!

Wow, I'm posting my weekend links while it's actually still the weekend! This is progress indeed.

Let's start with things that are either funny or pretty:

-This Icy Hair-Freezing Contest definitely falls under the "funny" category. I love it because it reminds me of my childhood in the Northwest Territories, and how my ponytail would freeze into a sharp spike while I walked back to school from the (indoor) swimming pool.

-"Mesmerizing Space Photos of 2015" - This one falls into the "pretty" category or, maybe more properly yet, into the jaw-droppingly gorgeous and awe-inspiring category.

-"Home Soil - 1:18" - aaaaaaand, back to funny. A particularly enjoyable recap from "Fashion It So" - that fake novel cover!

And, on to our more General Interest Links:

-"Standford Professor Who Pioneered Praising Effort Sees False Praise Everywhere": The "growth mindset" described here is a really helpful concept.

And, the links specifically for my fellow writers:

-"We Regret to Inform You": Maybe this should have gone under the "funny" category, but, no. No, it's just too real.

-"Writing Your Manuscript a Third at a Time": I'll admit that I'm just linking to this one for my own sake - because it's something that I think I might want to try!

Finally, the specifically Christian links:

- "Burning and Yearning" - I appreciate the distinction the author draws in this article.

-"The Spirit of the Red Letters and 'Progressive Evangelicalism'" - There's some very useful clarity in this piece. (Pitting Jesus against Jesus is not a good idea.)

-"Before the Birds and the Bees" - And finally, this goes in the "sad but necessary" category. Fellow parents, take heed.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell