Too Busy?

Why yes, yes I am. Aren’t you? Isn’t everyone?

I’ve still maintained my schedule of writing and working on my Young Living Essential Oils business in the mornings.

However, I’ve decided to do an online class called “Online Chemistry of Essential Oils”.

And let me tell you…this is text book type studying!

I’ve not done this in 15 or more years!

While I’m so glad that I can actually still pick up a book, read it and comprehend the dern thing despite it being a bunch of chemically jargon, I’m super mentally exhausted!

I’ve focused all my precious two hours on only studying this book, organizing my notes and I’ve still got to make graphics and line them up with the posts schedule.

The class starts on Saturday, and I’m no where near ready!

But, all I gotta do is breathe.

Just be still! There’s never a time when I’m alone, or too frazzled that I can’t be still and let the presence of the Holy Spirit diffuse my agitation and anxiety.

Plus side though, is that before I had to focus all my energy on this textbook, I was able to really delve into the “Rest” book I’m doing!

Good thing, cause I NEED IT!

Back to Studyville for me!

 

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Shaky Habits, Shaky Steps

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.”   -Psalm 143:10 NLT

I have made a lot of mistakes in life. Who hasn’t, right? These mistakes though, have lead to irrational habit: I want to avoid mistakes.

While this is noble and wise to a certain extent, I go to the extreme and become completely frozen.

Without even blinking an eye, I know why I’m like this. Some of my mistakes were so severe that my life, and the lives of those I love the most changed forever.

So, I can understand why my brain’s pumpin’ them breaks!

This is no way to live a full, victorious life. A life we’ve already been promised. This is definitely not to say we won’t have trouble or problems, quite the opposite is true actually! But God’s Spirit in us gives us peace, comfort and wisdom (and whatever else we need) through the storm.

Look at the love and grace overflowing here in this verse! In this precious promise to those like me who are frozen in fear!

It’s not easy to do God’s will, we have to let our own pride and agenda die. However, surrendering is as easy as a decision, possibly one you have to repeat every few seconds, but still, it’s not miraculous, it’s mental. The miraculous part comes when I just can’t, and the Holy Spirit in me will take over if I let Him.

My husband is totally the opposite of me in this area! He’ll run through an open door, and expect God to shut it if its not His will.

I look at the door and I think, hmmmm, is this REALLY what you want? Will I miss the next door that I should have known to take? Is this a trick? Is this door really from you? I examine the wood, the nails, the structure and tip toe back and forth with a constant thought of, I don’t want to mess this up!

I know, it’s exhausting. This is why I am frozen.

The last part of the verse is my sincere prayer for all of us suffering with fear:

“May your gracious spirit lead me forward in firm footing”

Ah, the sweet peace of relief. Hang onto this, familia. The Holy Spirit inside each of us believers will give us sure steps. He’ll show us. If we surrender it will be clear.

Be still for a second in prayer. Release the tension in your mind, and just be there. Keep your focus on Jesus. Be thankful for what He’s promised to us.

Our way will be secure. And heck, even if we do slip and fall on our faces, who better to pick us up than Jesus! 🙂

xoxo

 

How can I Start Something and FINISH?

I’m a habitual quitter.

Over the years, I’ve started so many things it’s almost comical.

This time, I’m not letting myself quit.

I’ve actually never felt this before. I have “decided” to do something, and I’m not letting my emotions decide what’s next. You know that feeling when the alarm clock goes off, you roll over, close your eyes, and all of a sudden, you’re late? That’s emotions deciding what happens. You have to get up, but you don’t want to. So now, you’re in a predicament. You know when you want to read a book, but it sits there for years collecting dust? You want to read it, but don’t want to take the time. That’s emotions deciding what happens.

I’ve been given the gift of writing. This is not something I take lightly. This is something I treasure. When I’m writing, I’m not just thinking in words, I’m also worshiping.  This is the purest piece of worship I have to offer Christ. Why? Because it’s my gift from Him! He’s the Author of our faith, the Creator of all creativity,. and when I create something with Him, it’s so intimate that I sometimes cry at the purpose I find there.

Us artsy people Have. Life. Made. I know we are supposed to be “starving artists” because getting a painting sold or publishing a book is really hard! However, we are the most fulfilled when we are DOING our art! There’s a reason for that. Not only is your art a gift, it’s a purpose, if you are using it, your are fulfilling that purpose. So, how do we bridge the gap between pursuing our passion and starving? I think I have an idea…

I usually start something and quit before I can turn around good (Sorry, that’s a Southern expression)

This is what it looks like:

  1. Have a good idea and decide to do it.
  2. Talk myself out of it.

UGH! WHY!!?!?  It’s not that I don’t like the idea of what I do, or that I lose passion for it. In fact, I have passion so big about writing, it’s overwhelming sometimes. Then WHY!!! WHY DO I QUIT?!

Because I did a number two. 🙂 potty humor. You’re welcome.

I talked myself out of it.

Our minds are more powerful than we may ever know. I completely talked myself out of doing something I KNOW I’m born to do…AGAIN!

But, this time, like I did when I began my Intuitive Eating journey two years ago, I decided to make a change with the root problem.

Nothing has changed, I’m still called to this purpose. The only thing that changed, and it changed in an instant, was my mindset.

Here’s how it’s gone so far over the last week (I’ll be using writing as an example through the steps):

  1. Decide to do something. (For my writing, I’m doing it! I’m finally making time. I’ve put the time slot somewhere on my calendar, and I will FULFILL my purpose!)
  2. Take small action steps. (Check to see where (and if) I could miss hours from my paid job, tweak my schedule, write down ideas, line up some posts)
  3. Let passion take a higher seat than logic. (Don’t get me wrong, quitting my job to pursue writing would be illogical. Don’t ignore logic, but don’t let it consume your passion. Be smart about passion, don’t set yourself up for failure by illogically pursuing it.) This is NOT letting emotions take over like before. This is letting PASSION take over! I don’t need an alarm clock 50% of the time if I’m excited to get up and fulfill my purpose.
  4. Speak truth to the lies. Example 1: I’ve never been published, so I’ll never BE published.  LIE. THE TRUTH? I’ve never been published because I quit all the time.  Example 2: No one will read what I have to say. LIE. THE TRUTH? I will. And that’s enough. Anyone else beyond that? Bonus. Example 3: I’ll quit again. LIE. THE TRUTH? If I keep taking small steps, I’ll get there eventually. There’s plenty more, but you get the point.

Want to do something? Comment and we can figure out action steps and lie detector truths together!

 

Who Knew?

I had no idea that simple time management was in my way of having a fruitful and joyful writing life?

Really does make me feel a tad bit stupid, but that’s okay, I just wasn’t ready to hear it yet.

I can’t really force myself to stick to an early morning schedule, so, the only alternative was a nightly schedule. An hour, that’s it.

Well, lemme tell you what happened in the first hour!!! I got the bones of the devotional book that’s been on my heart called “Rest” (Not the full title, I’m sure, but it’s about resting in prayer).

From start to finish! In ONE HOUR!

One hour of focused, determined writing got me exactly what’s been laying on my heart down on paper, er, Scrivener.

Here’s to Camp NaNoWriMo!

Rocking Chair Me

Someone challenged me to write what me in the future would say to me now, in reference to goals and dreams.

I wrote two versions…

The Rocking Chair Me that DIDN’T reach for my goals and

The Rocking chair Me that DID reach for my goals.

Now, notice I said “reach for”, not “reached for and failed”. There’s a big difference. If I reach for them and fail, heck man! I reached! If I didn’t reach for them…here’s what happened:

In the first version where I didn’t reach for them, I was bitter, frustrated, angry, and blamed everyone else for my situation and failures. I had a constant scowl on my face and rocked back and forth, short and precise. I’m not even kidding that it was rainy and I had a dirty, dark view from that porch!

In the second version where I reached, I was bold, bright, and sat on the edge of the rocker, excited to pack, my children had taken the “step over your fear” attitude into their own lives and were exactly where God wanted them. So was I! My husband (who in real life just finished his degree at FSU and is going for his teaching certificate) and I were taking off in a few hours for ANOTHER summer vacation, and I had not a care in the world. The sun was shining so bright that the grass was a vivid green and the sky was a vivid blue.

Now, in reality, my only question is this:

Where had we gone on our previous vacations, but most importantly? Where were we headed NEXT!

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Finale

As Mike rubbed my back slowly in a circle, I did my best to breathe.

“I was tired after walking from school that day, my bag was heavy and I had a project due with extra library books. The flowers were so bright, the leaves were so vivid green. I remember I wanted to gather some for mom but I didn’t, I knew I had very little time to do my project before school ended, and I had a lot of reading to do.

“I went through the bushes and came to dad’s back door. It was reserved just for the President of the Global Embassy, in case the press was hounding him. That day it was quiet. I made it up to his floor and heard men talking in the kitchenette. I slowed down, thinking something was odd.”

“What was odd?”

“Their voices, the way they spoke, it seemed like they were hiding something.”

“So you slowed down?”

“Yes. I stopped just shy of the door. Now I realize I heard Rembrandt. That’s whose voice I heard.”

“What did he say?”

I closed my eyes tighter, “He had the weapons ready for their trip.” I opened my eyes slowly, “That’s all I can remember.”

Mike leveled his gaze on me, “Close your eyes and think past what you saw. What else happened?”

I closed them, “Okay, I remember Jimmy, dad’s bodyguard came out of the kitchenette and led me toward dad’s office.”

“Do you remember hearing anything in the background?”

I slowly played through the moments, “Rembrandt said he had the weapons, and that his team was in position.” My eyes shot open, “His team? I don’t remember hearing that. What team?”

“What else?”

“His team was in position. I remember looking back behind Jimmy and seeing-” I opened my eyes, but closed them again, “No.”

“Who?” Mike followed me the few steps I took to the couch, “Who was it, Sara?”

“Delgado and Mr. Glenn.”

He stood and scratched the back of his head, “Wait, the guys that helped us out were planning this?”

My phone dinged with an email. “It’s from Delgado!” I opened it and let Mike see. He got his notebook off the lighted table and began writing down the letters I dictated off the copy of Delgado’s map quadrant.

“Wait, it spells my dad’s name. They threw us on a wild goose chase.” My chest began to feel heavy. “If this was nothing more than a circle, a game, then what was the point?”

“To keep us busy?”

My throat closed up, “Oh God.” I couldn’t get the words out in time before there was a crash through the office window. I pulled my gun out and got ready to shoot when Mike grabbed my waist and pulled me behind the couch.

“This was their security system!” Mike bellowed over the sound of gunfire. “They knew we were onto them when we asked for their maps!”

I watched with pride as Mike checked his magazine and loaded his gun. He looked up to me with an expression that said his goodbye and his resolution all at once. “If we don’t make it?”

“Don’t talk that way, look at this as target practice! You can’t-”

His lips crushed over mine and pulled my skittish soul out of hiding. Before I could react, he was gone.

I was left with burning lips while he leaned his upper torso out from behind the couch and fired off several shots.

My mind finally reached my body again and I leaned out the opposite side of the couch. There were three men. Two. Mike shot one! I was so proud! He’d never practiced prone positions or supine positions before. He adapted fast. I aimed at one’s leg, then shot his head as he leaned down. Then before I could get off another shot, Mike dropped the third and final man.

We huddled together and made a plan to get the bullets off my dad’s desk. “If there’s anyone else on my parent’s compound, we need to be ready.”

“I’ll get the bullets, you check those guys out, see if you recognize them. If we can get a handle on who’s behind this attack, we can get a handle on who’s in charge.”

I nodded, feeling a bit strange hearing orders from Mike. I actually liked the way he was taking charge. “Dad has an armored car, if we can create a diversion, we can make it out.”

“Maybe we need to start with the media since we don’t know what part of government to start with.”

“Sounds good.” Each man proved to be unfamiliar to me, until I reached the final face mask. “Oh God, Mike.” Before someone could come cover this up as well, I took pictures. “Well, we have enough evidence to take it to the media.”

“What’s up?” He carried the bullets and mom’s revolver, but when he neared me, he froze. “Rembrandt.”

“Call someone, anyone, your mom and dad, the media, everyone. I have the pictures of the genocide, and we have Rembrandt’s body. Call them now.”

~~~~

Sirens and news vans covered my parent’s compound. The news anchors asked questions of myself and Mike after the officers got finished taking our statements. I made a point to say, on national, live television that my father was innocent, and that it was his journal that led us to the truth.

Mike sat beside me on the fountain’s edge in the front drive. “How are you feeling?”

“Better now.”

“I heard the chief say his apologies to you, and also, I heard him say there were more mass graves? He also wanted you to be in charge of finding out who they were and notifying their families?”

I nodded, “And they want me to organize a mass funeral. It’s long overdue.”

“I’ll be right beside you.”

He leaned in and kissed me slowly this time.

“You’d better be.”

“Such a bossy zombie.”
via Daily Prompt: Create

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Day Ten

I looked up from the page we were examining in dad’s journal to see Mike’s questioning eyes, “What?”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, what happened to your family that day? Mrs. Glenn said her husband was waiting for your parents in the car, were they planning on going somewhere?”

“Mom and dad heard the bombing start, and knew we were in trouble. He hid me in the faux room, and he and mom went to their offices. They never came home either. I heard people come in the house, but like dad said over and over, I waited in the room until I didn’t hear anything. I was so hungry by the time I came out, and so afraid for where my parents were.”

“I’m sorry, Sara.”

“What about yours?”

“We live far enough away from the city, so by the time the military got there and stopped the terrorists, we were never targeted.” He fidgeted with his pen, “At least all this time I’ve thought it was terrorists. Come to find out it was someone from the Global Embassy.”

I could feel his eyes still on me, which made it hard to breathe, so I went to the lighted table and looked at the name we’d deciphered off the third piece of the map we’d tracked down earlier today. “We don’t know that yet, we don’t know who it was. Find anything in dad’s journal?” I felt like an idiot knowing I’d just been looking at the same page he was.

He sucked in a deep breath and let it out as he hung over the open pages, “Other than he wanted to spend more time with your mom, nothing yet.”

“Keep going over every page, we don’t want to miss anything.”

“Do you know that name?” He pointed at the map.

“Delgado. I think he’s the Mexican Representative. He and his wife were always so nice to us. I think he has the last piece of the map, dad trusted him. Once we get the map together, we can figure out why it’s important.”

I dialed the number on dad’s Rolodex, once Delgado got on the line, I knew I’d have to be quick. He answered yes and no to my questions, forcing me to get creative with them. He said no he wasn’t able to talk about it at the moment in detail, and no, the map wasn’t at his house, that yes he could get it to me. He would send it sometime today. Yes via email. “We may have to wait on that one for a while, he seemed pretty occupied.”

“I found something over here.”

His voice was getting that usual spark to it, I hadn’t heard it for a couple days. “What’s up?”

“Your dad mentions weapons here, and that he doesn’t trust some of the Representatives.”

“We already knew that. we just needed to know who.”

“I’ll find out who, you order dinner. I’m finally getting somewhere.” He looked to me and froze, eyes wide and blank, “Wait a second. You said you overheard someone speaking about the weapons. Did he go on the trip with your dad?”

“Yes, I had to practically catch dad coming out of the bathroom to speak with him privately that day in Florida.”

“Who went with him to Florida?”

I pointed to the journal, “I think he mentions it, flip forward to June thirteenth.”

“He mentions Delgado and also-” He froze again, although he tried to speak past the hitch, he only stared at me.

“Who?”

“Rembrandt.”

“The American Representative!”

He put down dad’s journal and came close to me, almost too close. I could feel his warm breath on my nose, “Think, Sara. What exactly did you hear that day?”

My mind was a total blank. Mike grabbed my hands, “Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.” I obeyed. “Close your eyes and walk me through it.”

 

via Daily Prompt: Total