time goes by…

Months and months have passed since I last put anything here. The year started out to be difficult for our household – literally, January 1st brought a challenging time – and then shifts seemed to come to the whole world as life in 2020 became something I often think of as surreal.

I’ve been spending time painting. I paint pretty much every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, and even if it’s simply playing with putting colors on the page. Painting calms me and grounds me, and connects me with joy, so it’s continued to be an important part of my life…

And although I haven’t done many, I’ve sketched a few more of my “long-necked” faces…

I’ve reconnected with a few interests from earlier in my life. Many years had passed since using a sewing machine – and long ago, I got rid of my regular-sized machine due to lack of use and minimal space around here – but now I have this little mini one…

There have been some drives and neighborhood walks with my husband…

And lots of sweet times with our cute Chloe, who brings so much joy and light and love to our home…

I’ve been diving deep into Bible study and prayer time…

And then there’s fiction –

After quite a lengthy period of not being able to focus on reading fiction – or writing it – I’m back to doing both. It feels good to be able to lose myself in a novel… whether reading one or writing one.

I hope to soon be able to report that I’m finally finished with the current novel-in-progress. The revisions are done, and now I’m proofreading and line editing and getting the format in place for the book’s introduction into the world. No major launch – this novel has been a work-of-the-heart for me, something I’ve felt I needed to do, even if only for myself… but I do plan to have it “out there” for others who might want to read it.

So that’s a bit of my 2020. A year unlike what I expected, or wanted.

Prayer, creativity, music, dancing in the kitchen with my husband, laughing at funny shows, talking on the phone with loved ones, finding nourishing routines, deliberately connecting to joy when I can, holding onto Jesus, spending time with my husband and our cat…

These are the things helping me get through the days.

 

a time of few words…

It’s been a minute since I’ve written here. I keep thinking about blogging, with ideas for posts coming to me… and then those musings pass without being written, and the blog remains dusty and without new thoughts.

It’s been a time of few words.

Oh, I’ve had words, of course. Talks and texts and phone calls with friends. Captions on instagram posts and facebook updates. Brain-and-emotion-dumping in morning pages and messy-raw-art-journaling.

But writing here, as well as fiction writing, hasn’t been flowing.

Creative flow in general, however, has been happening, and I’m so grateful. Creativity helps me (hugely!) in connecting with joy. It helps me get through difficult days when physical symptoms or anxiety flare. It nourishes my soul.

I’ve been painting at the easel regularly – acrylic on canvas.

I’m participating in #the100DayProject (which began April 2) with my project of 100 Days of Watercolor Playing.

 

And faces (along with some words) have been showing up in my quick pencil sketches.

 

Sometimes one avenue of creativity slows down for a while, and another wants to come through us in a larger way.

That’s what has been happening with me lately. And I’m going with the flow.

 

writing, faith, life ~ latest update…

My experiment with updating each area in my blog’s tagline ( writing ~ faith ~ life ) took a twist, because early last month I decided a weekly update wasn’t the way I wanted to go. I thought, instead, maybe a couple of times a month – but then I ended up not even doing a second one last month.

So…  the experiment continues, but with no certain schedule or frequency. At least not right now. As happens with experiments, though, it’s all subject to change.

And now on to the latest updates with writing, and faith, and life.

W R I T I N G

I’m close to being finished with the current draft of the novel, and that feels good.

Really good.

Finishing this draft won’t mean being finished with the novel, but this a big step. My self-imposed deadline is the end of the month. Really, though, I’m hoping it will take less time.

The anthology I was putting together is on hold for now. I’m waiting for clear guidance about going forward with it. Or not.

And the plan I discussed in my last update – based on my realization that I need to work on fiction in the mornings – is going well.

The writing is getting done.

Not always as fast as what I consider ideal..

But it’s getting done.

F A I T H

Last month, I wrote out the book of Philippians, one of my all-time favorite books of the Bible. Its reminders to focus on joy and thanksgiving – always helpful for me to remember – held some special importance the past weeks.

With November and writing Philippians both over, I wanted to continue writing out entire books of Scripture because the practice has been such a blessing to me. John is the book I’ve been guided to next and I started writing it at the beginning of the month.

This isn’t a December challenge for myself, though. I don’t want to rush through the Gospel of John (which is another very meaningful book for me personally) and so I probably won’t be finished by the end of the month.

And that’s okay.

I’ve also started writing out the book of Psalms, using a different journal than I’ve been using to write the other books, and writing one Psalm every few days. This is an ongoing project and I have no idea when I’ll be finished.

And that’s okay too.

The important thing about all of this Scripture writing isn’t how quickly I can get it done and over with. It’s about spending time with the Lord and in the Word.

L I F E

One thing I’m not fond of this time of year is the early darkness. And all the cloudy (or flat-out rainy) days we’ve been having.

My body, my mind, my emotions… all of ME seems to do best when there’s sunshine.

I also do best when it’s not too cold and not too hot.

Since I can’t control the weather, I try to find ways to make difficult weather easier for me to deal with. When we had a cold snap that made before-mid-November feel like the middle of winter, and I found myself struggling with the cold temperatures and the dreary skies, and I was wondering how in the world I was going to cope with the weather over the coming months if it was already having such a negative impact… I knew I needed to get very intentional about putting some strategies into place.

I set about rearranging a few things in the eating space of our kitchen (where I keep my table-top easel to paint on canvas) to uptick the cozy comfort of the area even more than it was.

I added more strands of fairy lights around the house. We have them all over the place, and use them all year long, but I realized more strands would be even better – and they’re being turned on even more than usual.

I made the decision to spend more time in certain rooms on cloudy days, to take advantage of the natural light those rooms get.

I created even more little spaces of cozy-comfort with throws and pillows and light… small nooks in corners or near chairs that feel inviting and warm.

It truly has been a very intentional process. And as I get more ideas of things that might help, I’ll put those into place too.

With writing, with my faith, with my life in general… I’m being reminded, again and even more, of how I need to be conscious and deliberate and intentional when it comes to doing things that can make a positive difference.

And it matters because it really does make a difference, even if it’s sometimes a small difference.

But you know what? Sometimes even a small difference is enough to make the difference.