It rained here again today (Austin, Texas is home). It has officially rained every day this week. In Austin. In July. I've lived here almost my whole life, and I can't remember the last time this happened. Sunny summer storms. It's beautiful, life-giving, refreshing. And we need it. Praise God for this provision.
I am busy at work on my novel this month (and working at Arbonne, and playing with the kids, and keeping the house). I started writing it in February of 2011, finished the first draft in February 2012, and now I'm halfway through my first round of revisions. By the time I finished the first draft I was so tired of it I could barely stand to read it.
I gave it some space for about a month. You know, room for both of us to breathe. Much to my surprise and delight, when I went back to it I felt much better about it. I actually liked it again and looked forward to entering the world of my beloved characters. Since the 'season of space' we've had many wonderful days together. They teach me as I inform them. We form a healthy symbiosis in this habitat called writing.
(For those of you who have asked for more details: the novel is a young adult fantasy fiction work. It follows the lives of three protagonists: Tris, Iliana and Lara. They live in the Empire of Mellock, where the Chief Elder has created an oppressive rule that keeps him at the center of everything. He lives for power. Masquerading as a benevolent leader, the Chief Elder holds the citizenry under his spell. Only the three Chosen Ones and their friends in the Underground Resistance know the truth, and only they can fulfill the Prophecy to set humanity free.)
(Yes, it's the first book in a series....)
The rain has stopped, as quickly as it began. An un-forecasted surprise for this Friday the 13th. I'm glad it came. The world is greener for it.
Did I mention that today is Friday Fun Day? This is a tradition we started last spring, when my husband was unemployed. He would spend all week looking for jobs for 10-12 hours/day. The stress and tension of that life-space was affecting all of us, so, in a moment of divine inspiration, I decided that Fridays needed to be our Family Fun Days.
My husband started work last May - praise God! - but the tradition continues. Today we went to the Austin Children's Museum:
Lily putting shingles on a roof...she loves building and moving; she's my busy bee
Gunnar and Lily learning about volume - the challenge is to fill up different containers with dried peas using a measuring cup, but before you do, you're supposed to guess which container will hold the most peas (or the greatest volume)
We had so much fun together today. I was reminded that I have been too busy this week. I have forgotten what it means to be a mommy. I have forgotten my first love, my greatest calling (besides being a wife, of course). I need to play with my kids. Not drag them through errand after errand, not park them in front of the TV while I clean the house, not tell them to go play with eachother while I chat on the phone to friends.... Those choices are valid and must happen too, of course, but only sometimes. The majority of my time should be spent on the floor, getting down and dirty with my toddler and preschooler. That should be my default choice, not my last resort.
What prevents me from doing this? Anxiety. I get stressed out about all the things I need to get done. Selfishness. I put my needs first.
But today I was reminded...when I put all of that stuff on a shelf, the anxiety dissipates. I am so much more at rest when I choose to meet them on their level, to engage with what they want, to let them lead sometimes.
And, of course, when I'm operating out of rest (or an internal sabbath place), I ultimately get so much more done. It all works out, whatever the 'it' of the day is....
Okay, I'm done rambling. The sun has emerged from the passing storm cloud. It's time to get back to my novel while the kids sleep. I'm signing off now.
With love and affection for my blog friends, Jenny