Bits and Pieces

Today, I needed to wait for my husband at an appointment, so I decided to read the Bible. As I was reading, I thought the Lord was directing me to Ephesians 4 & 5. Then I read chapter 6 while I was at it. In chapter 4 it reminds Christians to walk worthy of the calling that God has given them.

After that, we went to a large grocery store to buy our lunch and then I’ve been busy doing this or that. I want to ponder the writing path God has for me. I have such a broad interest range and I’ve heard for years that a writer should have a niche. Possibly ten years back I felt sure that God wanted me to purchase a book at a bookstore in a mall by Peter Bowerman entitled, The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Freelance Writer in Six Months or Less, copyrighted in 2000 and published by Fanove Publishing, Atlanta, GA.

The image is from http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml  

I read about 75 pages and then gave it to my daughter for a while. I began an online course a couple of years ago on copywriting, again at God’s leading. I may need it someday, and I do work professionally as a writer and the things I’ve learned have come in handy. The niche writing that I’m contemplating is for magazines or novels or non-fiction books or writing for the internet.

So, the reason I entitled this blog as “Bits and Pieces” is because that’s where my thoughts and my actions have been today:

  • Driving to a city I rarely get to early in the day
  • Reading Proverbs and then in Ephesians
  • Stopping for one item at a large store – a rarity for me
  • Stopping at another grocery store and getting one item again
  • Stopping at church to hand off copies I made of sheets of goal steps in the morning to some ladies and hardly staying at all – another rarity
  • Cleaning dishes
  • Watching television
  • Going to the library and mostly working the new puzzle
  • Getting home so I could ponder the writing path
  • Watching more television
  • Reading two teenage magazines that I’ve been considering to write for, and then
  • Moving to a different room so I could blog
  • Yelling at my computer and then admitting that that was not helping and to repeatedly do the same thing was not helping either.
  • I tried a different thing and it worked. Yay!

I’ve been wanting to take time to be quiet and to think and to jot down any insights that hopefully alight in my brain, but I’ve been procrastinating. So, I think I have about ten minutes before my husband notes the time and asks the inevitable question – “What time are you going to bed, anyway?”

I hope your day has not been as filled with a scattering of responsibilities and stress and leisure and procrastination as my day has been.

May God bless you.

Directed

Hi! How are you, today?

Have you ever noticed that the best plans go awry some days? I had three appointments today. The first one’s time snuck up on me so I realized I was going to be a couple of minutes late.

Then I got behind traffic and the lead truck liked to drive under the speed limit. So I was almost ten minutes late.

I got home and barely had time to grab a bite to eat and then off to my next stop.

At the second appointment I watched the clock. The lady said she’d finish soon so I could make my third in a timely manner. I figured I had a five minute window after I reached my car to get started and be on time.

That would have been great if my car didn’t meld in with so many similar cars. I even noted a sign near my slot to find it easier.  It didn’t work. After lots of exercise walking the parking lot, I found it. Praise God!

The dr.s office said I wasn’t too late,  so that worked out. But every once in a while I’m reminded: I may make plans but it doesn’t mean they’ll remain unaltered. God is in charge and if he wants me behind cautious drivers, so be it. I kept my distance and kept my cool. All is well, although eight hours later when I drove home, I didn’t feel as smiley as I did in the morning.

I wanted food, rest and to have my own way for a bit. Lol.

I’m asking God to change me and being stretched takes patience. I thank Him for the fruits of the Spirit He gives. That’s in Galatians 5, near verses 22, 23, I think. One is patience.

Even now my computer was configuring itself so I’m blogging on a small screen. My lesson today is to be flexible, I guess. He’s leading. I’m learning to follow.

Seeing Those You Love

Have you ever noticed in life that we can get so busy we think we’ll see those that we love another time?

I made an appointment in a nearby city for June 1, thinking I’d be sure and see my sister. She has decided to move to TX in the beginning of May.

I told my youngest daughter that I miss her, because she and I get doing what we need to do and sometimes our paths don’t cross. Today, she called to see if I want to get together and I’m looking into it. Sometimes I need to seize the moment, spend a little money I  think I don’t want to spare and just be with her. She loves to travel. I never know if she may travel to a foreign land and then God suggest she move there. So, I’m saying “Yes, let’s pick a day and go to a show.”

In the Old Testament, God wanted his people to take time to celebrate. I choose to relax in the presence of family and friends and say, “Thank You, God for giving me the desires of my heart.”

When we were younger, our friends would say, “Let’s get together sometime.”

We wouldn’t. My husband began to say, “Let me pull out my planner right now.”

That small habit changed our lives. We found time to see people we really cared about. It enriched our lives.

I may post a newsletter that I wrote for church for the beginning of May. It talks of Philippians 4:8, about thinking on whatever is lovely and pure and of a good report, etc. I love that verse. That Scripture turns my thinking around. I find things to appreciate.

Be blessed, my friends.

Change Hinderers

I have to admit, I like change. Yet, at a conference where my husband and I, as leaders, were being coached to change, I didn’t like it. Anxiety sat on my shoulder, what would this change do to the flow of things back at the building?

Who am I? Why did I resist the ideas for change. When did I, um, change?

After I looked at the resistance to change at that meeting, I decided to take a deep breath, get over the idea that I might not want to look at new techniques, and became more open. I’m sure the instructor appreciated that. If leadership won’t consider anything new, forget implementing anything after the training.

As some may know, I’ve started keeping a time-log. I’m on week two. It amazes me how quickly time flows and how hard it is for me to keep an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of paper with me at all times so I can keep track of the fleeing half hours. So, I’ve cheated and tried to remember. Where did that half hour go between eating lunch and finishing a note to my neighbor, now living in assisted-living quarters hours away? How is it that she’s gone and I rarely made it over to sit and chat? How is it that I didn’t know she was lonely until after she moved away and her daughter told me? And surely, it didn’t take me half an hour to say hi, how are you, I miss you.

The other day, I intended to clean for three hours and write for five. The phone rang. “What time did you say you were coming over today?” After setting up an appointment for the afternoon, I called my friend. “Remember our walk, can you make it this morning?” Oh, man. How many hours are there in the day? Overbooking when I’m actually keeping track shows the tendencies that have sabotaged me in the past, which is what this exercise is all about.

Today, a friend needed a ride to see some people. Her close friend called me to see if I could accommodate her, because she was too upset to drive. A friend looking out for another friend, and I agreed. I wouldn’t want emotional duress to cause an accident. So I packed my computer in a bag with a Bible and a writing book and money for lunch. I’m glad I was available, but as soon as I find my time paper, I’ll have to block out three hours of time for a sandwich and the drive and maybe two verses read.

Sometimes when people know you are trying to diet, or to be less available, or kicking the addictive behavior you enjoyed with them, they’ll give you little hints as to why you shouldn’t even bother. “You’ve tried that before and it didn’t work, don’t worry about it.” Or, “I’ll miss you. Surely you don’t have to skip time with me.” Or “What kind of a friend are you? We always go to the ice cream stand after class? One hot fudge sundae a week won’t kill you?” Etc. Etc.

I’m reminded of what Cecil Murphey said to me, “What are you willing to give up?”

For a person who likes change, I can see that I have some routines that I like. I read a book for a resource for a marriage book I’m working on. The man had Asperger’s Syndrome. If I remember correctly, his wife pointed out that he spent forty-five minutes looking in the mirror in the morning while she got their children fed, bathed, dressed, and then got herself ready for work. I think people can fall into time-wasting habits and not even be aware. This man wanted to help his wife and improve his marriage. His book is: “The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband,” by David Finch.

He altered behaviors for the benefit of his wife, himself and his children. He didn’t allow others to hinder his progress. As I change and grow, I’ll continue to note hindrances of my own making and maybe see some from others. Then I’ll have to decide, “What am I willing to give up so I can stay seated at the keyboard or to avoid a trip to the dr.s office or hospital, etc.?”

Dare I Say “Changed” So Quickly?

I feel such hope after attending the Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference. I e-mailed Cecil Murphey, a prolific, award-winning writer. He suggested I ask him for a critique he did on six lines of story at the conference. I signed up for his newsletter while on his website.

I also e-mailed Larry Leech because he said he’d be glad to send me notes on proposals, since I was at Cecil Murphy’s class: “The Power of Story,” when Larry was teaching “Nonfiction Book Proposal.” I signed up for his online newsletter as well.

I’ve come home from many conferences, but soon afterwards, my follow-through slipped away. I never came home with three people asking for a synopsis or a proposal. I never came home and sat down with my husband asking him for input into the scheduling of writing hours.

Cec Murphey asked me what I could give up, so I could spend more time at the keyboard. I really pondered that after our fifteen minute appointment.

Now, here I am, blogging for the second day in a row. I cleaned for three hours yesterday and wrote for five hours. I’m on that same time frame today. It’s amazing how much gets done when the mind is set to get started and set to continue.

I feel changed! Have you ever set a goal that eluded you before, maybe many times, and then you finally reached it? What was the turning point for you?