Like Any Good Exercise, Practice Makes Perfect: Write 31 Days

31 days of JoyDay 31 of 31 Days of JOY.  

Am I going to Grumble?  Or Trust?

When I go back and count, I only posted 13 days out of the 31!   Looks like I just got my numbers turned around.

We were asked to write a recap post.  Did I learn anything as I wrote?  Will it reshape me in any way?

And thankfully, they invited everyone to recap, even if we did not complete 31 days.

So, did I learn anything?  Well, yes, I did.

On writing, I learned that if I focus and bring ALL that I know, and ALL that I want to write about, down into something very specific, like grumbling or trusting, writing comes easier.  There were days in September when I wanted to write, and I had all kinds of things dancing in my head, but nothing specific.  Therefore, no words ever made it to paper: I wrote nothing during the month of September versus 13 posts in October.

Focus is key. 

I also learned that even with a challenge before me to write 31 days, sometimes life gets in the way.  And life, living it, still trumps writing about it.  There were a few days when I clicked that “publish” button at 11:59 pm, but typically on those kind of days, life won out as did sleep.   And I’m ok with that.

Living trumps writing.

I don’t write if I don’t take the time.   There will always be 24 hours in any day.   No more.  No less.   I am a task-oriented person.  I work from a to-do list.  Writing can no longer just be an add-on — if I have time.  There will never be any left-over hours.  If I want to write, then “write” must be on the to-do list.  It gets done if it’s on the list.  Because that’s how I roll.

Take the time to write.  Steal it.   It’s ok.

So those were the easy lessons.

I chose 31 Days of JOY — will I grumble or will I trust?  Life lessons that require attitude and perspective shifts are harder to learn.   And can I just say, they hurt more.

On grumbling, I learned that murmuring and complaining are often my default settings.  Ouch.  (No one wants to know that about themselves.)  But knowledge is power, and several times last month when I wanted to complain, grumble, or gossip about something, I stopped myself.

Often that’s as far as I went; I just reined in my thoughts.  I didn’t grumble.  Done.

It’s one step to not complain, but it’s a giant leap to praise God and trust Him for whatever comes your way.

Whatever comes your way.

Was I going to just not grumble?  Or was I going to trust?

On trusting, I learned that I could not savor trust and grumble in the same mouthful.  My trust required remembering God’s faithfulness to me in the past.  My trust reminded me that God works ALL things out for my good.

ALL things.  Even “this”?   Even “that”?

Yes,  ALL things.  

Then, and only then,  could my trust bring praise to my lips.  “Thank you, Lord, for what you are doing in this situation.  I trust you.”

Trust doesn’t grumble,  trust praises God.

I will focus and take time to write.  I will try not to grumble (too often).  I will trust God by remembering His faithfulness and praising Him for what He is doing in my life.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

It was a good challenge, and I’m glad I participated.   Did I do it perfectly?  No, I did not.  But it’s like any kind of exercise — practice makes perfect.

“The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.”

Just keep typing…  just keep typing…

keep typing

World Blog Tour….Here I Come!

A dear, sweet friend of mine, Ingrid Lochamire, invited me to do a World Blog Tour.  The idea intrigued and terrified me.   Ingrid is an inspiration and encourager to me and I absolutely treasure her friendship.  How could I say no?  She is a direct answer to prayer from God in this season of my life.  I have only known her for about 3 years, but I have learned much from her and am in awe of her love for our Lord Jesus Christ.   Thank you, Ingrid, for your kindness, outgoing personality, insight, and friendship.  To see why I love this woman, she reveals her heart in Reflections on the Journey at:  ingridlochamire.com.

The World Blog Tour asks us to answer a few questions.  So here we go…

What am I working on?

I am currently working on a journal about my relationship with my mother.  She became sick over the last year, and I have become her caregiver.  She has been living in my home for the past 4 months.  I thought the journal would be about our relationship; I wanted to capture my mother, and everything she had to give, before any disease took her away.  And yes, it is about our relationship –the good, the bad and the ugly — however, her illness has taken many forms, and the diagnosis has been illusive to a long list of doctors.  The journal has been about survival, hers — and mine.  I’m not quite ready to share that journal.   Maybe some day…

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My blog is about people and things I love, yet it has a little different flavor because of my history.  I just celebrated a 40th wedding anniversary with my high school sweetheart.  For 35 years of our marriage, he was a Certified Public Accountant.  We lived in the suburbs of a “larger” Indiana city.  But a few years ago, he decided to become a farmer.  Much of my writing has been inspired by that career change and our move to the country.   Does the name Zsa Zsa Gabor mean anything to you?

Why do I write what I do?

Even though I am relatively new to this writing thing, putting thoughts on paper has long been a passion of mine; something I was interested in exploring, but never found the time to do.  For years, a couple of books about writing have called to me from my bookshelf.  Books I had picked up in some quaint small town bookstore on vacation.   But recently I was challenged in an online Bible study to do a blog hop.   After one blog post, I was hooked. I often write about something that happened years ago.  I don’t have a lot memories; my brain just didn’t store them.  Writing helps the preservation process — these things I shall not forget.  I also journal about current happenings in my life as I don’t want these memories to fade as others have.   My writing is about me and for me.  Think therapy.  But if I can inspire, touch or help anyone, I give all the praise to God.  He takes our burdens and blunders, and if we are willing, uses them to provide healing.

How does my writing process work?

I rely heavily on inspiration.  I may go weeks without putting “pen to paper”, and then something just starts rattling around in my head, and I have to start typing.  My writing is raw — nothing poetic from these keys.  I just try to be honest and transparent.  Honesty comes naturally to me; transparency not so much.  So writing is my release.  The way I share my heart.

Next on the World Blog Tour...

I’d like to send you to a fun blog about rural life:  Rural Housewives of America.  Follow their link at ruralhousewives.com.  The blog started after one fun, lighthearted post went viral.  Their vision for their site is a venue for rural women to share their stories of joy, success, failure and fear.  The contributors to this blog are hand-picked by the co-hosts,  Jenny and Katie, and represent an amazing group of strong, independent women of the rural world.  From farm wives, to girlfriends, daughters, mothers, and friends, follow along with our amazing journeys living the rural life.