I've also, I must confess, stayed away because I feel overwhelmed about what to write. I have a million ideas swarming around in my head but can't seem to make any one of them stick long enough to develop. So, this will be a random catch-up. It's my attempt to get back into the swing of blog writing. Here are some of the things that have been occupying my head/heart space:
- Christmas shopping. I'm obsessed. First, my husband and I love giving gifts, and, second, money is tight. The confluence of these two realities is making me research, research, research the best deals so that I can make my money stretch. I am absolutely NOT the crafty type, so making things is out. Anyway, I've been living on sites like dealmoon.com and blackfriday.com. Last night I decided I needed to cut myself off. At least for a day!
- Thanksgiving. I'm cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the first time ever this year. I'm so stressed out about it that I actually dreamt about prepping the turkey last night. My turkey anxiety dream woke me up! (Feel free to laugh out loud here. I'm fully aware of how ridiculous this is.) Self-talk: "Okay girl, time to take it down a notch." As my son says, "it will be ooohhhh-kay" (with a pointed finger for emphasis).
- Manna. My sweet two-year-old learned about how God sent manna from heaven at his preschool last week. The school used the story from Exodus to explain why we celebrate Thanksgiving. So, he came home talking about how God provides during a week when I was particularly despondent about how we're going to make it on just one salary. I spent the week half-listening and half-answering his questions about the manna story. "Yes, yes, Gunnar, that's right; God sent down manna so His people wouldn't go hungry." All the while incessantly checking our bank account and reworking our budget. Then, FINALLY, one evening after putting him to bed and going over the manna story again, I decided to go read the grown-up version. I realized God just might be using my son to tell me something (ya think???). Exodus 16. It blew me away. I had forgotten. The Israelites were to gather enough for that day only and were forbidden to keep any until the next day. God promised to provide daily and He called them to trust Him. My heart was convicted. Since then, I've been chewing on those verses in the hope that I will sincerely digest them. Praise God for little voices.
- Writing. I've submitted four children's stories in the last two weeks. I'm excited about all four of them. I need to keep submitting them to other places, but I at least have the process started (on those - there are two other major projects in the works that are still in the very early writing stages). I am so hopeful that these will get picked up. More than hopeful, actually - I'm longing for it. If you'd like to pray for that, I would GREATLY appreciate it!
- Raising Godly children. As my son gets older my desperation in this area increases. Right now I feel overwhelmed by my inadequacy. I feel like there are so many things to teach him, on so many levels, and I sometimes think there's no way he'll get it all. I know in my head this isn't true, of course. We serve a transcendent God; He explains things that defy understanding at times (and then, often, lets our brains catch up later!). I'm just sharing that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the start of this journey. I can pray - I know how to pray. I'm just not always that great at teaching. Lord Jesus, please make up for my lack!
*For those of you who might have a problem with fantasy, as Christians, I just have to say that, in my opinion (I definitely don't claim to know all on this), God uses all things to point toward Himself. I find that transporting myself to these elaborate worlds that others create helps me reflect on my own. And, I also enjoy watching creativity - always a gift from God, whether acknowledged or not - take its many shapes and forms. I find it leads me to worship the Creator as I stand in awe of his limitless supply of interesting ways of seeing things.
**I recently came across an excellent blog about Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. I particularly found the interviews under Random Buzzers to be helpful to anyone thinking about becoming a professional writer. Paolini is very open about his process, and he gives several references for aspiring authors. Check it out: http://www.shurtugal.com/.