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Welcome to Word Canvas

Welcome! I'm Suzy Parish, a Southern Inspirational writer. When I'm not locked in my office wrestling with words, I'm also a wife, mom of three grown daughters, and keeper of two crazy dogs. I look at life as a blank canvas. We each bear the marks of God’s brush-strokes in our lives and like works of art, we can be confident He lovingly paints our lives with colors that are pleasing to Him.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Failures Don't Threaten Him, He's God

She bounces unsteadily across the room, sheer delight painted across her plump cheeks, her tender arms outstretched towards yours. She's never taken a step on her own before and you hold your breath, as if by that one action you can keep her upright.
"Come to Mommy baby!"
Her eleven-month-old legs stutter and splay, and she goes down hard on the floor. Looking up at you she wails her defeat.
A. Turn your back and walk away.She should have gotten it right the first time. Wicked child for wasting your time. You have better things to do than waste your time on such a helpless situation.
B.You run to her and dry her tears and tell her to try again.

No true mother would ever act out the first scenario.
No true father would do anything BUT the second.

To God we are all toddlers, faces smeared with jelly, pudgy hands making a sticky mess of everything we touch. 
We fall down. 
A lot.
And God smiles.
He smiles because we tried.
And if we come to Him, he wipes our sticky faces and hands, and cleans the mess we made on the furniture. He kisses the tops of our heads and says, "Go on baby, you can do it.Try again."

John 6:37

New International Version (NIV)
 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

Friday, July 22, 2011


A father walked with his young son on the beach. An approaching storm churned the ocean mossy green.
The two plowed into the waves, laughing and jumping over them until at last they stood shoulder deep in the briny water.
When the next wave came, the father called to his son over the roar.
"Drop into the sea and let the wave take you in."
The boy did as he was told, and the current took him far up the shore.When he had made his way back the father asked the boy,
"Were you able to make headway against the current?"
The boy gazed down into the waters, as if to stare at his feet.
"It took me farther than I  wanted to go." 
The father said,
 "Stand still now, hold my hand and face the next wave."
The boy's forehead wrinkled in fear.
 "It'll sting when it hits me."
"That it will," the father said,
 "But you must lean into the pain, and in doing so, you will stand."
A gray, foaming curl of water closed upon them.
The boy wanted to swim with the wave, but he did as the father instructed.
He planted both feet, teeth outlined beneath thin lips, and leaned toward the coming wall of water.
A sharp slap of saltwater nearly knocked him to his knees, but when the wave had passed over them, the boy emerged.
Slinging wet hair and wiping water from his eyes, he turned a freckled face toward the father.
The father slipped his hand to the back of the boy to steady him as the froth rolled shoreward.
"Did it hurt?"
The boy curled pruny fingers into his father's palm.
"Like the wind was knocked out of me." 
The father bent and studied his son's face.
"But see, the wave has moved past, and you still stand. You will encounter many waves of pain in life my son. I wish it were not so, but it is true.If you give in, they will take you where you do not wish to go, but if you take my hand and step into the pain, you will stand."~Suzy Parish

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."Ephesians 6:13

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer's Perfection

     "The perfect tomato!" I held it in my hand and felt it's plump, juicy roundness. It was still warm after being plucked from my neighbor's garden. We have a barter system. They give me their excess tomatoes and I bake homemade bread for them. It works. I  stand over this little marvel, knife in hand and hesitate. Shame to destroy such perfection, but then again, it'd be a greater shame not to eat it!
     Tomatoes represent summer to me. I remember my mom's garden, how she would come in wiping the sweat off her forehead with a dirty gloved hand. In her other hand would be a bowl filled with deep red tomatoes. Her offering of love to us.Plan, till, sow, water, reap. An age-old cycle repeated before my eyes.A sermon in a vegetable.A visible reminder of my Father in Heaven's love and his commands to us. 

John 9:4 (New International Version)

4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

Plan, till, sow, water, reap. Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Old dogs

My dog Brandy is neurotic. She is, really. She's a full-blooded black lab, beautiful with a graceful angular face and liquid brown eyes, but she is an emotional  pot-pourri. She's afraid of: fly swatters, dish towels, plastic bags, umbrellas, and loud sounds. If the noise level in a room gets to be too much for her, she quietly slinks to the hallway or the farthest room she can reach. Her father was a hunting dog, the type that does hunting trials. Go figure.Poor Brandy has been the whipping dog of our other dogs. She just wouldn't take up for herself. Until the other day. I guess after five years of being put in her place, something snapped. We were throwing a tennis ball in the living room for Charlie, our other dog. Charlie is a Heinz 57 who snarls and bullies her way around Brandy. If there is a tennis ball being thrown, it is without saying, Charlie's. That day though, we went through the usual scenario. Tennis ball thrown, Charlie lunges. Suddenly from the right corner of my eye I see a blur of black. Brandy's white teeth flash and the tennis ball is in her mouth! She looked proudly at my husband and I, wagging her body in her "happy dance." I cheered. Brandy ruled.That showed me there is hope, as long as we breathe, we can choose to change. That was the day I watched an old dog learn a new trick.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Last Runner

I'm stopped at a red light. A high school track team jogs past my car, the group is bunched together, each runner jockeying for position. Legs flail and elbows push to get that extra bit of advantage. As the trample of feet pass me, two stragglers come into view. They are a half block behind the others, probably won't catch up. The closer they get, I can see one is struggling to keep running. Her head is down, like someone pulling a load, like a draft horse. Her chest heaves. The runner behind her tries to pass, no wait. She is not trying to pass. My heart breaks when I see what she is doing. Her hand rests lightly on the back of the struggling runner. She is keeping pace easily, and by that light touch, she is saying, "Go on, you can do it." The last one is obviously a strong runner. She moves effortlessly.She sacrificed her place in line to strengthen the last, the least.


Isaiah 41:9-11 (New International Version)

 9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
       from its farthest corners I called you.
       I said, 'You are my servant';
       I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
 10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
       do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
       I will strengthen you and help you;
       I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference

"The Premier Christian Fiction Conference"


"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)

SEPTEMBER 17 - 20, 2009

Bestselling authors, publishing industry representatives, and newcomers to Christian fiction writing will gather in Denver at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s annual conference September 17-20 to compare notes, learn from each other, and encourage one another in the pursuit of publishing goals.

This year’s conference theme , Standing Firm…Moving Forward, will especially inspire the full range of talent and dreams in the ever-changing publishing world today.

This amazing conference will feature representatives from major publishing houses like B & H, Guideposts, Zondervan, Harvest House, Barbour, Steeple Hill, Summerside Press, Bethany House, Waterbrook Multnomah, Marcher Lord Press, Tyndale House, and Thomas Nelson, and top literary agents who will meet with writers and identify promising proposals from both new and veteran novelists. Conferees will have access to publishing panels, professional critiques, and customized workshops based on skills and interests.

The keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling author, Debbie Macomber, who has more than 100 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Learn more about the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference by visiting Click on the left sidebar on Annual Conference.

Copyright 2005
American Christian Fiction Writers

I will not be attending ACFW Conference this year, but am already saving for next year's conference. This year is sure to be a big hit. God bless everyone attending!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another Epic Battle

The battle in the supermarket began...Round one, Grapefruit vs. Chocolate chip cookies. Grapefruit won. Round two, Kashi cereal vs. Poptarts...Kashi won. Round three, Orange Juice vs. Coke, Orange Juice won!
By round four I was feeling cocky, "yeah, bring it on!" I breezed through the bakery department, stopping only to pick up a package of flatbread. Only one more product added to the grocery cart and I was done. Another epic battle, another triumph of the human spirit.
By the way, cheese danish is considered a dairy product, isn't it?

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