Through the Process

I did something.

Something that scared me.

Something that made me want to pull all my hair out.

And, in the end, something requiring courage.

I don’t know the outcome, yet. If I fail, then I fail. Because failing means I tried. I stepped out in faith using a gift God so graciously allowed. If not, He is still good.

And, if I succeed? I am only now beginning to wonder what I’ll feel/do since I’ve prepared myself for failure. Is that strange? Do I need a therapist? Self-protection, anyone?

What I do know is, no matter the outcome, growth in learning about myself is perhaps the greatest outcome. I’ve had to rely on God to get me through some negative self-talk and am learning to replace it with what HE thinks of me. I’ve gain confidence in a way I could never have received without actually DOING the “thing”. And so many more lessons.

Do I still hope? Do I still dream? You betcha. Without our hopes and dreams, can we truly grow in reliance on THE ONE who gave us those hopes and dreams. I have to believe that one day, we will be able to say, “Oh, now this makes sense.”

Whatever the outcome, I’ve already won. 

By the way, before I could type the above words, Annie F. Downs wrote a more eloquent post on Instagram basically talking about learning through the process. Check out her wonderful post on her Instagram page.

person typing on typewriter
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As a reward for reading thus far, this “thing” is . . . I submitted . . . and just so you know, it has taken me fifteen minutes of typing and erasing to tell you this – my learning isn’t done yet . . . I submitted a small portion of my manuscript (novel) to a publishing company holding a contest. There I said it.

Is It Time To Dig?

Hello. It’s me.

I’ve been wondering what to write but my mind has been wandering

in telling you what has been happening . . .

-*-*-*-*-

Allow me to apologize for the song by Adele in your mind. Annnndddd, if the song was not bouncing through your brain, it is now. You’re welcome. Shall we start this again?

Hello.

My mind is a jumbled mess of what I should or shouldn’t write in this post. So many issues and so much pain in the world. It makes me want to hide in a hole and wait for a world of rainbows and puppies.

But then I remember I would have to dig my own hole in the ground. I think of the necessities of life and realize I would need food, which means I’d need to make something nutritious, pack it, preferably in a cooler I’d have to bring to the kitchen. I’d need to clean up the mess I just made, then wash and dry the dishes. That leads to the laundry because of the wet dishcloth and seeing a pile of already waiting laundry, after all, no one wants to see me with nothing to wear. That little discovery reminds me of my body issues which turn into tears and a need to find a tissue. On the way to the tissues, I discover all the items not having a “home” laying on the dining room table and try to find a place for said items and discover how dusty everything is and cry. Because after dusting comes vacuuming and I hate that more than anything. And, I can’t even think about life without plumbing! I throw myself on the couch, turn on Netflix and wonder if I really want to go to all the work of finding a shovel to dig that hole.

I will stay above ground, for now.

planet earth
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many issues in this world are attacking us in one form or another. My heart aches for so many reasons. God is a god of love, yet a god of judgment. God is a god of mercy and grace, yet I must confess my wrongs/sins, asking for forgiveness, and honestly, that is a hard thing to do for me/most of us. I don’t know what to do when the world seems to go mad, but my eyes are on the One who created us. He sees, He knows.

As I read the Old Testament, my eyes are open to how many times we, mere humans, messed up His glorious plan, yet, through our messiest messes, His plan always won. His plan will continue to win until the end of the age. He aches when we ache. He is not a dictator. He gave us free-will so I will not blame Him for “not stopping this”. I will pray. I will act in obedience. I will try to remain with Him instead of getting ahead of Him and His plan. I won’t ever get this thing called “human” right. I will fail, I will get up. I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on YOU. Thank you, Jesus.

“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” ~ 2 Chronicles 20:12

So, I will stay above ground and dig into Him.

Another Day or Sparkly & New

Soon, the page will turn. A brand new year will arrive and with it a new sense of hope.

Some will see it as a sparkling new beginning. Goals set and a sense of excitement.

Some will see 2019 as a fresh start to what has been a long year (or more). Pleading for the year to be better than the last because, as she sees it, it can’t get any worse.

Some will see it as just another day. Another 24 hours around the sun. Another day when the sun rises and the sun sets and not much worth talking about in between.

Some create a perfect year only to have one disappointment after another smack them in the face.

Whatever the season, it’s okay. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Everyone’s tomorrow is different. And, it’s okay. As a friend once told me, “What a boring world this would be if we were all the same.”

As we head into 2019 may we enter it grace-filled no matter what season surrounds us.

May we cheer on those who set goals and go after it with wild-abandon.

May we surround those who can only put one foot in front of another just to get through the day.

And may we all know God has us in the palm of His hand.

palm of hand
via http://www.bluechairblessing.com

 

 

It’s The Little Things

In case you didn’t know, it is November 30th. And, basically, tomorrow will be Christmas. Can I get an amen? They say, “The older you get, the quicker the days go.” I don’t know who “they” are, but I feel like someone needs to tell “they” to be kind and mind their own business.

November 30th is the end of the month (you’re welcome) and also the end to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’m pleased to say I tore through most of the edits. I just need to search for those pesky overused words.

When I read the end of the story I am editing which is the story I wrote last year, I felt a bit sick. It was then I discovered the ending is cheesy. Cheesy like a bad Christmas movie on a certain channel. In my defense, I was terribly ill last November when I finished the book. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So, I need to do some rewriting. For sure and for certain. I mean, if I ever get this published I don’t want to be responsible for the ER visits from people getting their eyes stuck in the back of their head from extreme eye-rolling. I’m not dramatic. It could happen.

This month has been a month. As opposed to not a month, I guess… And, here is where I transition to love languages. I couldn’t think of a good transition so here we are. It seems I may need to reconsider the writing of a book gig if I can’t make a simple transition…sigh.

So, love languages. We all have one or two. You don’t need to know yours or your loved ones love language, but it helps. It really does help

For years, I was ashamed of mine because I felt like it came across as materialistic. Mine is gifts followed by words of affirmation. I actually was in denial about it and just claimed the words of affirmation language.

Little by little, I’ve come to realize the gift language isn’t a terrible gift (see what I did there?). What I mistakenly thought was materialistic, is really me appreciating the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift. I like gifts just as much as the next person, but someone actually thought about little, old me and took time out of their busy lives to show me visually they care. This explains why I can look at an item and remember who it is from and the occasion in which it was given.

This week, I was reminded of my love language. My dad had a minor outpatient procedure. He’s fine. And, we all know hospitals have their own time zone known as Hospital Standard Time. So even though we were called in early because of a cancellation, he still didn’t go into surgery until well past the original time. So, we were stuck in a holding room (not the official name but it feels like holding so I’m naming it how I see it). Usually, hospital holding rooms are a bit warm. Not that day. Even this hot-flash aged woman was cold.

Throughout the wait, the nurse layered my dad with heated blankets. I will admit to you I harbored a sin of jealousy. The nurse, after covering my dad with another warm blanket, must have noticed me sitting on my hands and asked if I’d like a heated blanket. Why, yes, yes I would like that warm blanket very much.

blanketNot only did she gift me with her thoughtfulness, I wasn’t the patient after all, but she wrapped the blanket around my shoulders. I mean, she could have handed it to me and been on her way. But, she physically wrapped that warm gift around me. I felt loved by the nurse. I’m betting her love language is the act of service.

My sister-like-friend came over to my house last night for some much-needed girl time. And, since it is harder to get together now than it was when our children were little, (we were so naive thinking it would be easier) we exchanged gifts. It was like she was inside my mind when she thought of the gifts. She knows me and that in of itself is a gift. Every time I look at those gifts, I feel loved.

The same goes for words of affirmation. The fact someone took the time to tell me or write those words of kindness and love, makes all the difference.

All those words to say, go forth and be a light in someone’s life. Like that bat-signal. Or something like that. You’ll never know what little things you do become huge in someone’s life.

Courage.

She grabbed my hand as dizziness swirled around her body. “I’m okay, it will pass,” she said calmly. And, it did. She’s lived with her body of rebellion for too many years.

The ones who have degrees hanging on office walls are stumped. “Let’s try this.” “Let’s try that.” “I’m sorry, the tests came back fine but there is something definitely wrong.”

Whatever her body is rebelling against has changed her life. A grand pity-party she could throw herself, yet, she doesn’t. She fights for normalcy every day. Things she loves to do are either put on hold or tried on the good days.

Yet, she hasn’t given up.

Courage.

cour·age
/ˈkərij/
noun
-the ability to do something that frightens one.
-strength in the face of pain or grief.

Courage is the opposite of fear. Oh, how that fear can grip me. I get caught up in the what ifs. Insecurity has been my friend for way too long. (I think it is way past the time for a breakup!) Even though my friend is in the throes of her illness, she encouraged me. Me. She set aside her aches and pains and spoke life-giving words to me. The body rebellion isn’t defining her. When she is tired of fighting but chooses to continue when her body screams to give up, that, my friends, is a shining example of courage.courage

I look around and see so many courageous people who are gracious enough to share a part of themselves with me. Courage in the face of cancer, family issues, continuing to focus on college with determination even when life throws lemons from all directions, care-taking for parents, going after dreams…and the list could go on.

Each of those courage-people, going through the examples above, has one thing in common. They know they cannot do it on their own. God. God is their inner-strength.

Keep reaching out and touching the hem of His garment, my friends. You are an encouragement to me and I thank you!

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you…”

 

Getting My Groove Back

If you’ve read along for the past several months, you’ve figured out this has been a rough season. You know, the ‘when it rains it pours’ season. I’m taking a few days off to get my groove back. You’re welcome for the terrible word picture that just created.

This morning as I talked myself into getting out of bed, I talked with God…and listened. We had a good talk. One of the things he brought to mind was a topic I was afraid to ask Him. I know, what was I thinking? He already knows my thoughts, yet, I feared the answer. Writing. Is all the time I spend pouring out words really something this almost fifty-two-year-old woman should be doing?

He reminded me of a book I read years ago called A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman. In it, the author wrote about God’s first recorded act in Genesis 1. “In the beginning, God CREATED the heavens and the earth.”

He created.

Sometimes I wonder if the time I spend creating (writing), is a waste of time. Should I do something else? Is this really a distraction from what God really wants me to do? My writing isn’t going to make a difference, is it?

Insecurity, anyone? I have plenty to share. (hangs head)

God created.

daylight forest glossy lake
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

And, what a fine job he did. He obviously didn’t think it was a waste of time to create for all of our senses.

I am a work in progress. Just like what I create. It seems so small. So insignificant. Yet, anything I do, that points to him, is worthy and will make a difference. It doesn’t matter if it reaches the masses. It only matters that I’m doing it for the One who matters most.

The Audience of One.

 

P.S. I am editing what I wrote last November during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Oh my word, I would so rather be writing. But, editing is part of the process…I may not have any hair left, but I am sticking with it.

A friend I met through a local writing group is also participating in NaNoWriMo. She is writing. And boy is she pumping out the words. We are keeping one another accountable. And, I am so proud of her progress. I can’t wait to read it when she is ready to share her story, her words, a part of herself with me.

Let’s meet back here after I’ve recovered from NaNoWriMo, okay? Okay!

Support Team

Every year for the past 6 years (I may have missed a year but who’s counting), a few friends and I volunteer to help with registration the day of a memorial run/race. A friend and cousin-through-marriage, along with her husband and daughter were in a accident eight years ago. My friend and their daughter died from injuries sustained in the accident, leaving behind her husband and five other children.

This was the first year I noticed something different from all the other years. At least two, maybe there were more, runners had someone there to support them. One half-marathon runner had at least six people armed with signs to support her.

In talking with her mom, this was her daughter’s first half-marathon. When the runner’s team showed up, the mom welcomed them with open arms. It was a touching sight. I don’t know the half-marathon runner’s story, but I know she is well loved.

And, like I’m prone to do, I began thinking…we all need a support team.

Imagine (because it is my favorite) a team of people you know and trust. Now, picture them with signs with words which motivate, inspire, and encourage. As you run (or walk, I’m not the boss of you) past, you not only see the signs with life-giving words, you see the person behind the sign smiling, cheering for you.

You get that second-wind of “I can do this” and charge on toward the finish knowing, no matter the time it takes, you’ll finish well. Isn’t that a beautiful picture?

We run through this race of life isolated and alone at times. It becomes depressing. It’s good to be alone and regroup. But, when life throws punch after punch your way, a support team may be just the thing you need.

And don’t forget about God. I tend to run to friends first and then remember, “Oh, yeah…hey, God?” (I am such a work in progress) I’m trying to remember to call on Him first in every situation. Honestly? I fail. I’m so glad God will never give up on me.

God has the biggest and best signs, ever!

woman in gray crew neck shirt running on brown soil during daytime
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