NaNoWriMo, no more! Until next year…

Wow!  Just when I thought I could write no more, I’m writing a post about writing so much, my wrists are no longer my friends!  This past month, I decided to try something new, like abandoning my blog, yes, I know.  Some of us, including me might think it would be a new recipe, a new book, a new sport perhaps.  No, no, no, I decided I’d try this great new challenge, to write a 50,000 word novel.  How long did I have to complete it you ask?  Oh, you know, a month!  Crazy, right?  But, I did it!  And, since it was my first year attempting it, I was a little lackluster in my effort the first week or two or three and so half of my words happened in one week!  That’s right!  And, it’s important to know now I can do that much if I feel it’s important to me and I prioritize my life to reflect that goal.  This experience will stay with me as a metaphor for a lot of different challenges I will face in life. 

Two things made it unique for me, aside from the obvious accomplishment.  My mom is excited about writing a story next year and my daughter, who is 7 years old, walked up to me as I was standing in a rare moment of pause and she looked up at me with those sweet eyes of hers and said very simply; “Mama, you inspire me, I think I can write a book now too.”  I gave her a big hug and told her how much it made my heart smile to hear such a wonderful thought, and she was on her way nodding, saying; “Yes, I think I can do it now.”

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Complacency, the dream killer…

I just posted about my dislocated knee and my woe is me demeanor being rocked by someone else’s need for prayer in the midst of tragedy.  Sometimes, I need a little more filler, apparently of what others are going through before I go back to my little world and I was drawn to the story of Zach Sobiech, who passed away last month from cancer, and who left a rich legacy of love and songs of his inner emotions to help his family have multiple connections to him forever.  If you watch his video, “My last days”, the producer comes out and says he wasn’t inspired to do something for Zach because he was dying but, because of how he was living!  In the beginning of the piece, Zach himself says you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.  What a fantastic view of life!

His songs talk about hope and farewells and acceptance and, his friends and family describe him in a common theme: happy.  Nobody would blame him if he sank into a deep depression, or refused to communicate with anyone ever again.  He chooses to nourish himself and others by living with a purpose and a spark of compassion and love to give others peace and closure.  WOW!  He thanked his brother for giving him knowledge. He thanked his sister for keeping him strong, in his faith.

Who do you inspire?  Maybe it’s your kids or your spouse.  Are you intentional about what memories you are leaving behind?  Do the good memories outweigh those that lack luster because you lost it or were barely coping with whatever was going on that month or day or year?  Who are you missing out on giving words of comfort or love or real emotion to because you assume they will be there forever, even as unrealistic as you know that statement is as soon as you think it in your head.

Do you read to ingest or just escape?

I love words.  From the archaic to the verbose.   I’ve even been known to create a word on occasion when I just feel the description deserves it’s own dedicated verbiage.  I love being able to weave a tapestry of emotion, sight and, sound for the reader or listener, by using words that evoke whatever emotion or scene I am feeling or want to portray through my story at the time.  Some parents read stories to their children at bedtime and I do that as well but, my favorite nights are when they ask for a made up story from Mama!  Each child thinks up 2-3 characters either from other books or movies or made up out of their own imagination, and I mix them all together in anything from a one night heroic mission to a week long epic saga of adventure and tried and tested moral fortitude!  I would almost like to have a recorder going some nights but, they are rather private moments together, just our little trio of troubadours. Some day perhaps I’ll attempt to share the countless stories I’ve written with some publisher but, should they never make it into print, it would not affect the impact and unplugged joy they have brought to my family.  Mostly they’re created for my children and myself, an outlet of creativity, and a bond, not to mention it helps with their memorization skills.  Occasionally, we get Dad involved as well. We all go around and around, starting with one sentence and each adding our own piece of the action.

 I am however, constantly on the lookout for others who catch me off guard with a sentence or a phrase which changes my perspective on any given subject.  Today, it happened on Facebook.  I was reading yet another status update and suddenly, I was struck by the description this woman used to convey her experience of how she reads her Bible.

She wrote,:  “One verse that I savor, letting it sink deep…interrupting me, rearranging me, redirecting me”. Lysa TerKeurst with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  That’s powerful imagery right there!  It evokes in me a visual of her inner most thoughts actually changing and being altered by the living Word! It’s called that for a reason, right?  I get from her words, she is allowing herself to feel challenged and affected,  led and educated, her priorities rescheduled.  What an inspirational sentence!  It makes me want that too!  I read plenty to escape or educate.  I ask so many questions and devour knowledge from well written books, (and some not so well written), like a well prepared mutiple course meal, savoring each page as if it has been created just for me.  Yet, when I seek transformation of my mind, a shuffling of my chaotic world order, I find it in verses I’ve memorized, pages I’ve read from a God breathed manuscript of many different authors and one Editor.

What challenges you? Do you allow anything to penetrate so deeply, it changes you internally?

Fairy tales, fractured or otherwise?

How many times do we believe the fairy tale? Innocent girl suffers heinous injustice completely out of her control, only to be whisked away by absurdly successful, larger than life prince. How many people do you envy for living (you assume from your vantage point in the cinders), in a fairy tale?   Do you think the fairy tale will never happen for you?   There was a brief series of fractured fairytales on television put on by Shelley Duvall in the ’80’s. Famous actors of the day such as Robin Williams, among others played out happily ever afters…with a twist. They were humorous in their absurdity as well as their plausibility. I know many women living like Cinderella today…some before the ball, some after the shoe fit.  We all go through phases, call it paying your dues, living with your choices, reaping what you sow, everything has been reduced to taglines these days, or so it would seem.  I would challenge you to examine where you are right now.  Are you down in the trenches working hard towards worthy goals or, are you living with someone else’s choices and stuck in a middle ground of waiting on the opportunity to escape and follow your own path?  What is the long term consequence of where you are right now?  Do you look ahead and see a road leading to your version of the big castle, whether it be literal or figurative, complete with perfect happiness?  Would you be content to be content instead? Contemplate the difference of happily ever after vs. contentment.  If the opposite of happy is sad, does it place an awful burden on yourself to be happy your whole life?  Is being content a more realistic goal?  To be content means to me, there will be ups and downs, good and bad, yet I will stay constant through it all.  For me, I never dreamed of being Cinderella although there have been many times, I have knelt on the floor scrubbing away and felt her pain!  I did not dream of my prince rescuing me or the big wedding dress or any of that  whole package as portrayed in the story.  It was simply a story.  Now I have a daughter who has yet to see it and began talking about whom she would marry in preschool, complete with mock ceremony!  I cannot relate but, I relish her enthusiasm and, it has become a great way to communicate to her our family values and what to expect and what not to tolerate, etc.  Whatever your fairy tale, make it yours, don’t follow someone else’s format for your life.  Your story has already been written with the best possible outcome and, with God as the Author and Finisher of our faith, as long as your version of the story involves Him, I guarantee you won’t have a midnight curfew or end up as a pumpkin but, it will have a twist.