It was a collaboration between Matthew, my youngest brother, and me. A back and forth, debate/argue/healthy discussion blog appropriately named, Sibling Says. We would choose a controversial topic, assume a position, and then hit the keys. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Until one of us conceded or got bored with the rhetoric. Very few individuals attempted to read these hot topic forays.
Matt and I loved words. The bigger the better. The more the merrier. Bottom line? The rest of the world would weary of our multi-syllable entourage after the first paragraph.
We didn't care, though. He and I had bonded over countless games of Scrabble and verbally challenged one another on the daily. Loving the sound of your own voice? Yep, we owned that.
Outside of the blog, we did a lot of talking. A lot of creating. A lot of plotting. He inspired/pushed/encouraged me to dip my toes back into the world of publishing. He collaborated with me on the covers of seven of my novels. He asked me questions, challenged me, and pushed me to think outside my perfectly square box.
Then he got sick.
When conversation wasn't centered around that terrible six letter word, we continued to create.
After he died, the tip tapping of the keyboard shushed.
Words and ideas stuck in the mire of missing him and the slow comprehension of tragic loss gobbled up precious energy. Mourning sudden silence created a sludge of pushing through the paces of what would never again be normal.
Creating content felt forced—a word I had never used when it came to the writing process.
Thankfully, my army of thoughts have recently begun to discard their mourning apparel item by item and as a result, the creative energy is sparking, bit by bit.
Luckily, the echoes are true and faithful. Words Matthew wrote or spoke that remind me to NOT squander what God has given. To NOT squander the gift of life. To NOT squander the gift of creativity.
Matthew would often quote a random bible verse just to prove me wrong in an argument. He had a knack for flustering me when he did that.
I very much hear the echo of his voice when I read this version of God's Word.
I Peter 4: 10-11
Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
We would have discussed Saint Peter, Rome, the original Hebrew language versus the above translation, and then proceeded down delightful rabbit trails—for hours. He would have rolled his big green eyes and made a sarcastic comment about infinite encores that would have caused me to belly laugh.
But he would have made his point. He always did.
Amanda, just write. Write about what moves you. Tell your stories. Express your thoughts. Inspire conversation. Lean in. Be real.
Okay, bud. Heard.
Thank you for reading my scribbles, for commenting on my thoughts, for signing up for my newsletters, for allowing me to read your material, and for cheering me on. I hear you and love you for it.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.