writing, faith, life ~ update October 21…

The “tagline” for my blog is writing ~ faith ~ life … and I’ve decided to experiment with posting a little weekly update that covers each of these areas. I’ll try it out and see how it goes, and how it feels, and just take it a step at a time.

So here’s the update for this past week…

W R I T I N G

I got some work done on the novel, and that was my only writing focus – and I feel conflicted about that.

On one hand, yay for making progress with the novel!

On the other hand, I didn’t do anything with the anthology, and the only blog post I put up was another printable (which didn’t require much actual writing).

It feels like I didn’t spend as much time writing as I could have. I wasn’t as productive with the writing as I wanted to be.

In thinking about moving forward in a way that feels better, I’ve decided I want to try a more structured schedule (again) than what I’ve had lately.

F A I T H

Time in prayer steadies me, comforts me, sustains me… and this week reminded me of that truth again and again.

This month I’m participating in a challenge to write out the book of Ephesians. I write a few verses each day and use a variety of tools to go deeper into the book, and this week I continued with that study.

This week I was reminded, daily, of the importance of my personal relationship with Jesus. I was also reminded (again) that I’m not good at apologetics (for a variety of reasons).

And I was reminded to take my life moment by moment, staying in the present moment, not looking too far back or too far forward.

L I F E

After summer weather continuing into autumn, we suddenly seem to have jumped to more winter-like temperatures. (I hope things swing back a bit so we can experience autumn.)

We were having to run the air conditioner just a few days ago and now we’re running the central heat. Not even a full week passed between them – and it used to be that we could go for a few weeks without running the a/c or the heat (and save some bucks on the electric bill) … but the past couple of years have been different.

I won’t get into ideas or theories about the weather changes, but I’ll just say things are not the way they were for most of my life, and I’ve been alive for quite a while.

Our kitty has sought lap-time on these cooler mornings.

My husband had the day off work on Monday, and didn’t have to go to work on Friday until early afternoon, so we had extra days this week of relaxing mornings and taking-it-easy time.

Even though it’s cold outside right now and I get grumpy if I think about the weird temperature changes, the sun is shining and the sky is a beautiful blue…

And I am grateful.

 

trust is always a thing…

As the anthology seems closer to becoming a reality, it feels like I have to trust even more that the writing will come.

As the new novel gets closer to being finished, it feels like I have to trust even more that the story will come.

As I continue to go through the days – and continue to deal with my lifelong stuff of anxiety, self-doubts, feeling like few people care – it feels like I have to trust even more that Jesus is with me.

Maybe it’s not that I’m really having to trust more. Probably it only feels that way because this is now, this moment… and past times and past feelings can feel less intense (sometimes) when we look back.

In reality, trust has always been a “thing” for me, whether it’s trusting God, trusting other people, trusting myself, trusting my voice and my writing.

Earlier this month, I made myself a small, easy TRUST bracelet.

I’ve been wearing it every day.

Around 20 years ago, I made a similar TRUST bracelet because I wanted a visual reminder to trust God, trust Jesus, on my faith journey. Because, like I said, trust has always been a thing for me. And back then, as it has been through so many periods in my life, my anxiety was amped up big-time.

(I believe there are many reasons for the severe anxiety issues I’ve had most of my life… and trust definitely plays a part.)

That particular trust bracelet was on a gold chain, dainty, easy to wear. After daily use for a very long time, I put it away. When I decided recently I wanted to return to wearing a daily reminder of TRUST, that old bracelet wasn’t an option anymore.

So I decided to make myself a new one. Inexpensive. Simple. Easy.

The main thing is the message it carries, the reminder whenever I glance at my hand.

TRUST.

God is with me. Jesus has my back. I’m never alone. The writing I’m given to write will come.

I see my bracelet with the simple block letters. I’m reminded of what I already know.

And I remember to trust.

It’s not always easy for me. But it’s oh so necessary.

 

what you do matters…

This is an excerpt from the last newsletter I sent out, back in December. (I’m not current doing newsletters.) The message is one I want to share again – a reminder that what you do matters and makes a difference… more than you know.

So often, in various ways, I’ve talked about how you make a difference, more than you realize, even in simply going about your day and in seemingly small ways.

Smiling at someone. Holding an elevator door long enough for someone to get in without having to wait for the next time. Sending a text to ask how things are going. Responding to a text, to let the other person know you heard, you care, you like being in touch. Giving someone four quarters in exchange for a dollar bill so they can get out of a parking garage.

These are a tiny, tiny fraction of examples – and they’re examples from my own life, small acts of kindness given to me during very stressful times at hospitals and surgery centers these past months.

And I can’t even begin to tell you how much small things like these helped me during those times, and how I’m so very grateful to everyone (many of them people I don’t know and will never see again) who helped in any small (or big) way or showed any small (or big) kindness. (And really, I don’t believe any kindness is too small – I believe all kindness counts, and I believe the world could benefit very much from more kindness.)

These kinds of things matter. What you do, how you go about your day, your acts of kindness, your words, your smile, your prayers, your thoughtfulness – it all matters, it all makes a difference.

And you never know when your small touch of kindness, or one sentence, or one smile, will be the thing that helps someone hold on a little longer, or will ease their fear or struggle even just for a while.

Of course, doing “bigger things” out in the world or with your work can make a difference and matter too. But so often these days, I think we hear so many messages of “going big” or “changing thousands of lives” that we can forget how even our ordinary days, even touching the life of one person, matters… and can matter more than we ever know.

So please remember that what you do, in your ordinary everyday life, does matter – and you create ripples in other lives you often never even know about.

You make a difference.