Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas!

I hope today is full of family, fun, food, and love. Of course, I hope you find ways to honor our Savior, born of a virgin. I pray that you are drawn closer to God by your celebrations and by this great reminder.

Later this week I will share a few pictures of our festivities and some of the fun things we did this year.

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Waiting for the Right Time

I spend a lot of time waiting for the right time to do things I want to do outside of raising children, caring for our home, and working with my husband. (Those things sure take up a lot of time, whew.)

The big one is how I wait to write. I’m always waiting until I feel like things are perfect, or just right, or me squeezing in time for a few lines here or there isn’t going to infringe on anyone else. If I sit down to write but the laundry needs switched, it seems to create a false sense of writer’s block, and I have to switch the clothes – a task that never ends there. Somehow once I switch the clothes, I find fifteen more chores to do and the morning has suddenly transformed to the afternoon and I have to feed the kids again. (I feel like I am always feeding the kids. That takes up like 50% of my time I think. They always want to eat.)

So I wait through the afternoon crazy hours, dinner, baths, brushing teeth, prayers, and bed time. The sun is long gone, it’s dark outside, and I sit down to try again. But the laundry needs switched again, or our small business needs a marketing boost, or my husband has stories from his day to relive. I don’t want to miss out on any of those things, so I often find it hard to pick to write instead of be present or accomplishing other tasks. Despite the fact that I want to publish novels, despite the fact that I love this silly blog, despite the fact that writing is like a salve to my soul. I keep waiting for the right time.

It’s not always waiting for the right time that stalls me. Sometimes I sit to write at the right time, and what stalls me is waiting to have the right knowledge to be able to truly speak in to a situation, circumstance, or idea. I disqualify myself from sharing my thoughts on my blog or in a book because maybe I just don’t quite have the right experience. Or enough experience. Or maybe my experience is too unusual (or too usual) and it won’t really help someone else.

So I wait some more, I wait to get older, I wait to experience more, learn more, do more, see more. I wait until I am smart enough, bold enough, old enough, wise enough. I wait and I wait, then I wait some more.

God has been tugging at my heart and reminding me of all the times He’s inspired me to write. He’s been showing me ways and places and spaces where I have something to offer to the people around me – stories, experiences, age, wisdom, youth, a fresh perspective. He’s really been pushing me to quit waiting for things to be perfect and to step out in faith with the words He’s called me to write.

So then I wait some more, to make sure it’s really Him. Or I find myself saying things like, “I don’t want to just be part of the noise.” “There are already so many great authors covering this area,” or “There are already enough people writing confusing stuff about xyz,” and I don’t want my contribution to be futile, convoluted, mixed up, messed up, or mistaken.

The waiting has to stop, and it has to stop now. Even if I mix up, mess up, or mistake a message. Even if I have to apologize for something I said that I shouldn’t have, or explain further because my first explanation fell short. There will be grace for the failures, and failure is part of the path to success. The truth is, writing is part of who I am, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, is getting in the way of me living out God’s call on my life, and a dream that means so much to me.

What are you waiting for? When will you put the waiting aside and start?

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Realistic Expectations

We were watching an episode of Bob the Builder (a long time favorite in my book), when some of the characters decided to go snow boarding. Bob starts off thinking that snowboarding was going to be easy, and that he would just stand up and take off on the board. He realizes quickly that it is difficult to snowboard, and at one point he asks the lady giving him a lesson, “Is it supposed to hurt this bad?”

One of my favorite things about Bob the Builder is that they showcase realistic expectations. Sure it’s a cartoon, but messes and mistakes abound, and so does grace. The idea of being able to just stand up and ride off on a snowboard is silly – but as someone who grew up in Colorado, and thought snowboarding would be a breeze when I first tried it, I can attest to the fact that it’s a real challenge. While the pros make it look like they are floating down the slope, the truth is, it takes a great deal of strength, skill, and coordination to actually make it down the hill.

Throughout Bob the Builder episodes, the characters face challenges, sometimes the challenges they face are made worse by thinking something isn’t a challenge, or by actions or mistakes of the character facing the challenge. Nonetheless, Bob and Wendy give the equipment room to make mistakes, and help them recover when a mistake does happen. (Maybe it isn’t totally realistic that all of the equipment is self driving and capable of mistake making, but it’s still such a sweet picture of making a mistake, and being helped through it.)

Funny, I always thought I put this cartoon on so my kids could watch something equally entertaining and educational, seems I might put it on so I can be reminded to shout less and offer more grace, a chance to re-do or fix a mess, a chance to grow from a screw up instead of acting like a screw up is the end of the world (which we all know, most the time when a kid screws up, it’s far from the end of the world).

Thanks, Bob the Builder, for giving us something worth watching, for giving us realistic expectations, for embracing the mess and muck that is life, and for showing us to keep trying.

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