What’s Most Important to You?

When I start my day I tend to do one small thing and then another small thing which leads to one more. I look at the clock and it may be an hour or two later. Even though I use a planner, sometimes these small important or sometimes not so important things became a main springboard into my day.

Two days in a row, our loud doorbell rang and I jumped. I looked around the house to see what it looked like. I am not a visual person unless the doorbell rings and then my eyes become lasers. Thankfully I didn’t have to cringe with embarrassment, but whenever you choose one thing, another will suffer. When I spoke one on one with prolific author, Cec Murphey, at Montrose Christian Writers Conference, he asked me, “What are you willing to give up in order to spend more time writing?”

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Cec wrote twelve hours a day, he told the class I attended. That’s not even possible in my life since I’m the main cook, cleaner, and host more than one Bible study. I like spending time with people. At last year’s conference, one instructor asked how many of us were extroverts. I was the only person in the room with my hand up.

In the early 1990’s, I went to my first writers conference in Rochester, NY with Marlene Bagnull as the presenter. She , too, mentioned being an extrovert. So, I guess there are some out there. It was hard on her not seeing people when she was immersed in her work, she told us.

I love being outdoors and NYS is having a very unusual winter with lots of warm days. I’m mostly inside or running from the car to another place inside and barely noticing. So, one thing else I’ve given up is being aware of the great outdoors and taking advantage of this warm spell. We had a warm winter about four years ago, people prayed for no snow. I laughed at them. I shouldn’t have. The NYS apple crop suffered terribly. I’m praying the weather will right itself. I really like apples. I’m sure our local farmers like a great harvest.

Sometimes I wonder if God allows aberrations in weather so people will look up. I don’t see my housework results as well until the doorbell rings. Maybe others don’t think of God unless He gets their attention through the balmy winter in the Northeast United States. A relative told me once that she tended to ignore God unless she was in a crisis. I told her that’s a hard way to live. She’d be better off paying attention to God regularly so He didn’t have to wake her up.  

How do you start your day? Do you putter like I do until your schedule or the time grabs your attention? Or are you on automatic pilot with wonderful ingrained habits? I love how unique everyone is.

Savoring the Magic

Today started like any day might, but it turned into a day of joyful encounters with unexpected friends at a family reunion picnic. My sister invited a good friend and her daughter to the event but didn’t let me know. What a delight!

Then within a half hour or so, my daughter and her four children arrived. She drove her brother, my second son, to the picnic as well. More joy. Seeing extended family and family-like friends, plus my sister, Barb, made my day.

My husband and I drove on a newly paved highway through the valleys of upstate New York. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend accompanied us and we discussed the hilly terrain. Are they small mountains or high hills? I tried to find out on the internet, but it was inconclusive, in my opinion. So, I’ll do more research. That’s what writers do. We care about details that others may find boring or a waste of time. Then we ponder the wonder of it all. Give it our perspective and possibly turn it into a poem or a children’s story or consider it for a setting in a novel. Sometimes I have to remember to live in the moment because my mind starts fashioning new worlds and pretend people and I realize I missed what someone was saying, or I didn’t glance at the stars when I went from the car to the house.

If I live in a fantasy land, the important can be neglected. I remembered saying I was going to read the book I bought at Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference, entitled, “The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am,” by Kolleen Lucariello. So, I read chapter one this week. I thought of the vulnerability she displayed as she described an incident in her high school years. Marlene Bagnull taught at a writers’ conference in Rochester, NY, possibly in 1991. My first writers’ conference. She told us that vulnerability in an author is a key component in good writing.

I look forward to reading more of Kolleen Lucariello’s book. It made me think. I left its pages feeling encouraged.

If you get a chance to spend time with family and friends, savoring their smiles and the sunshine on a creek, hoisting little ones to view the seaweed and the black and jade-colored dragonflies, do it. Live in the present, and if you’re a writer, capture the magic of life.

When the reality of life gets hard, a story can catapult me into another time and place. I return with renewed vigor and hopefully some nugget of truth I never appreciated or understood before. Life needs balance.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to go to church and sing songs that remind me of the goodness of God. I expect it’ll be as most of the Sundays that have come and gone, but one never knows what God may orchestrate. 🙂