Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to school...

I bid the kids farewell this morning bright and early.  Back to school.  It's a fresh season of learning, and I hope there may be some in store for this old mama, too.

I think I set as many goals in the fall as I do in the actual new year.  Summer becomes a blurry mess of disorganization and nothingness, and I long for the structure of a new school year as much as the quiet time it gives me.  I have more time to think and read, more time to collect myself, than when the rowdy kids are here.

I definitely have a long list of things I want to accomplish this fall.  Having been in our house nearly ten years, it's time to do some basic things.  All the interior trim and doors need painting.  That should keep me busy enough.  But add in David's room, the downstairs, and the kids' bathroom, and that means I will have a paint brush in my hand for most of the school year.  I will hire someone to do the living room, stair well, and master bath as the vaulted ceilings are just a little too much for me, but I am not a fan of hiring someone to do what I am able to do myself.  Especially inside my house.

It's more than home improvement I want to focus on, however.  A few weeks ago, I woke up with Lillie on my mind.  Lillie, the main character in the novel I started three years ago.  She's been sleeping since my mother passed away, but I think it's time to wake her up and work on her again.  I know it is.  I can look at her story through a different set of eyes now, one I had no idea I would have when I wrote  her history down on paper.  You see, her father was killed when she was in her late teens, and now I know what it feels like to lose a parent.  I've been brainstorming about her for past few weeks, even editing the first few pages.  I have grown and changed as a person since the last time I sat down with her character, and it's time to infuse that into her story line.  I am excited to see how it all comes together.

And I have another little project in the works.  I have had a desire to write something specific for families caring for a loved one who is terminally ill.  A compilation of little nuggets of hope that would be easy to read and full of the peace and hope only found in the Lord.  So much of it has already been written here, but it's an arduous process of going back through my posts, editing them into a different style, and then putting it in a format I could either self-publish or submit to a publisher.  I think I have an idea the direction in which I want to go, but sometimes (well, most of the time) things don't fall into place as we plan.

I am feeling better, more settled, as of late.  I have been working through an amazing study entitled Named by God by Kasey Van Norman.  Some of her focus has been on things I already knew or realized, but she presents it in a really different way.  I am growing again.  And it feels nice.  Truth is, I can either move or sit still.  Literally and figuratively and spiritually.  This study is opening me up to some truths about me I didn't really understand.  That maybe I have worked through some of the obvious resentments and bitterness in my life, but one big one remains, the one I built up against the "body" of Christ.

I've talked some here about my experience as a minister's daughter, one in which I saw the not-so-nice side of the church.  What I am learning is that I have taken that experience and built a wall.  It's thick and high and difficult to break through.  I am learning that, at an early age, I created a complicated equation for evaluating who was worthy of trust.  To be honest, it's a crazy equation that simply doesn't work.  And I am at a time in my life where I have to learn to open myself up to other Christians, or I won't move forward.

So many things have been swirling around in my adult ADD mind.  And I always come back to my most favorite Scripture, one that means so much to me now:

May the God of hope fill ME with all joy and peace as I trust in him, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  {Romans 15:13, emphasis added by me}

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