Day 31 – The End!

Day 31 – The End!  The past thirty-on days have sped by.  I am of course late in the day with this post.  How do you wrap up a thirty-one day series?  It should be profound, right?  For me, I decided that review was in order since from the beginning I have looked at this as somewhat of a self-discovery journey.  It is only fitting, then, that I should see what I discovered.  So, I went back and read all my posts to see if there were any nuggets that jumped out at me.  I decided to list an excerpt from each post that I felt highlighted the main message for that day.

1.  I do have a jumbled ball of yarn rolling around in my head waiting to be untangled…

2.  Since we’re going to be unraveling … I thought procrastination was a good place to start.  After all, that’s kind of why we’re on a 31 Day trip.

3.  The truth is that depression rears its ugly head and…. is really the root of the procrastination.  This journey…is all about…living even though my heart feels trampled; trusting, even when my soul feels crushed… weaving beautiful words from truth.

4.  “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Deut.32:2.    My words descend; I want them to be dew worthy.

5.  Whatever genre you write, it has to be authentically yours – your voice, coming from your experiences and grounded in your truth.

6-7. No matter how unacceptable the truth is to me I have to trod the path I’ve been given…Today that is my truth.  God can weave the words much more beautifully than I can.

8.  As writers we need time to reflect in order to process all that we’ve seen and heard…time to organize our words so they are ready to be used…time to sift through the phrases and rearrange them just so.

9.  The words always have a mission. As the keeper of the words it is our obligation to send them forth prepared and ready to engage.

10. Sometimes life is interrupted by the mundane.  Sometimes even in the mundane we can find inspiration.  “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  1 Cor. 10:31

11. The tip today for writers, or anyone else who is listening: Live life and make memories.  You can write about them later….

12-15. I learned something about myself.  1.) I really have control issues. 2.) I find it really hard to let go of things. 3.) I allow things that aren’t in my control to derail me.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”    Proverbs 3:5-6

16. No matter how beautifully the words are arranged if I haven’t addressed the condition I haven’t moved the reader.

17. Sometimes you find yourself in a place wondering what your purpose is.  In those times looking back at the journey of how you got there can be helpful.

18. When I see beautiful art or photographs, it can inspire words…the opposite is also true…As I read I can see the scenes in my mind’s eye…the words and images are linked together.  I have always wished that I could paint beautiful scenes, but then I remind myself that when the written word stirs my soul, that too is art.

19.  The good writing is harder to let go of because it is the writing that tears your soul apart.  When you are willing to face the hard stuff and put your good writing out there it won’t matter to you if it’s read by one or one million all that will matter is that you wrote the good.

20-21. I am currently in a relationship with at least 13-15 books and am considering a couple more…Reading feeds the mind and the soul, and it inspires me…Writers should be reading.  Always.

22. We need to be careful that the beautiful writing is a vehicle for the message, not a mask to hide the truth.

23. It was more important today to encourage you to pray than it was to write about writing.

24.  I love lists as you may have guessed from this post.

25.  I dare you to write for five, even if you think you have nothing to say.

26-28. Doing this 31 Day challenge has been challenging, but also rewarding.  One of the rewards is in discovering new blogs to read.

29. He can be our strength, our very present help in trouble.  He can give us freedom from fear. Will you join me in prayer and in learning to cast all our cares on him? “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.”   Lamentations 3:22-23

30. …sadly there are many times spiritually when I stay in the dark.  I know I need the light, but I stay in the shadows ignoring the truth…Thankfully, I have a loving savior who doesn’t give up on me.  He tenderly woos me back to the light… I stand in his embrace, cross light flooding my soul, and wonder that I was ever afraid of the light.

31.  See all of the above

So did the ball of yarn untangle?  Not completely, but it is a work in progress.  If I had to narrow the journey down to the main message it is simply this.  Truth.  It all hinges on truth.   Thanks for taking this journey with me.  And stay tuned.  There will be more.  But not every day.

Discovering Truth in Grace,

Sadie

PS – I also learned by doing this list that a lot of words can be removed and the message is still there, only better.  So I guess I learned that little nugget of truth too.  Edit. Edit. Edit.

PSS – I also learned that it’s ok not to have pictures with every post, which is why this one doesn’t have any.  I know people like pictures and I try to oblige, but the words should be able to speak for themselves some of the time.

31:30 – Cross Light

“The cross sheds light for souls who stumble in darkness.” –Sadie

Are you afraid of the Light?

As a young child I was afraid of the dark, so my parents found a nightlight that said “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”  (Psalm 56:3).  I would lie in bed at night repeating that verse to calm my fears.  It helped me learn to trust instead of be afraid of the dark.

I love light.  To this day, if I am home alone at night there will be light.  And during the daylight I love to open the curtains and let light flood the room.  Sunlight gives me a renewed sense of hope and lifts my gloomy moods.  For me sunlight is like a promise from God.

Once during a worrisome time I was setting by the window praying.  As I finished my prayer a shaft of sunlight broke through caressing my cheek.  It was as if I’d been touched by God and he was saying all is well.  Many times God has used sunlight to remind me that he is near.  It’s one of the ways we communicate with each other.  I like to think of it as a love letter from God.

As wonderful as those experiences are, sadly there are many times spiritually when I stay in the dark.  I know I need the light, but I stay in the shadows ignoring the truth.  It may be fear of what God is asking me to do, or rebellion over a sin that needs to be confessed.  Spiritual darkness creates a rift between me and God.  It zaps my strength and hurts my witness. I find myself much like Adam and Eve trying to hide from God.  The more I hide the more I become afraid of the light and what it will reveal.  Living in the dark is a miserable existence.  The only way out is confession and repentance.

Thankfully, I have a loving savior who doesn’t give up on me.  He tenderly woos me back to the light.  He reminds me that I belong to him and once again I stand at the foot of the cross where he shines his light of truth into my heart and lovingly restores me.  I stand in his embrace, cross light flooding my soul, and wonder that I was ever afraid of the light.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”  Ephesians 5: 8-10

Standing in Grace,

Sadie

31:29 – Freedom From Fear

Image

Fear can be paralyzing.  It can cause us to do nothing.  As a young child I had no fear.  I think children who feel loved and are in a nurturing atmosphere don’t know to fear, so they don’t.  I can remember standing on our front porch as a little girl, during the beginning of a storm.  It was wonderful. I felt so free.  My mother allowed me to stay out to the last possible minute before finally making me come in the house.  I think that was the last time I ever felt such abandon, such freedom.

Soon after that time, through a series of life changing events and trust that was broken, I learned to fear.  The rest of my life seemed riddled with fear.  Even after I became a Christian I still lived in fear and struggled to completely trust.  I would remember thinking at different intervals in my life that I’d grow older and overcome the fear someday.  That never seemed to happen.  Even now I struggle with fear.  As I’ve matured in my faith, I have learned that only God’s perfect love can cast out fear, and I know this, but even so, it is a daily struggle to let go of fear and just live in his freedom.  I know it’s there, but sometimes my emotions don’t get the message and I find myself filtering life through the lens of fear instead of leaning on the one who has the power to calm my fears.

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, even though it is not close to me and so far, there have not been any predictions for major events in my immediate area, I am still reminded of how vulnerable we are and how fragile life is.  It would be easy to let the grip of fear overcome rational thought.   I know there are those today in the path of the storm that are fearful and worried.  I know the ramifications of such a storm could be far reaching and there could be ripple effects that touch many.

So, I pray for those in the path of the storm.  I pray for God’s protection.  I pray for people to seek him and trust in him.  I pray for this to bring people together.  I pray that we will wake up and be stirred to seek God’s will in our lives.  I pray that we will learn to completely trust his sovereignty and let his perfect love cast out our fear.

He loves us so much and there is great freedom in his love.  We just have to rest in his love.  Oh, the joy and abandonment we feel when we can do that.  Whatever has happened in life that has brought us to fear, God can heal those wounds.  He can be our strength, our very present help in trouble.  He can give us freedom from fear.

Will you join me in prayer and in learning to cast all our cares on him?

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”   Lamentations 3:22-23

Trusting in Grace,

Sadie

31:26-28 Weekend Blog Hop

Doing this 31 Day challenge has been challenging, but also rewarding.  One of the rewards is in discovering new blogs to read.  I thought I’d share a few of the one’s I have found enjoyable.  Some of them are also 31 Day participants and some are not.  But I found them all through this 31 Days of Writing.  Some of them found me and I in turn found them.  I may not have read their blogs every day, but I have visited them more than once and found myself captivated by their stories.  A few blogs I have visited have led me to other blogs, either through an interesting comment by another reader that made me curious about them, or by looking at the blogs they follow.  So, in no particular order, and certainly not an exhaustive list I give you some suggested blogs to visit on this my first  blog hop.

Encouraging Words for Writers

Claygirlsings

The Stanley Clan

Flower Patch Farm Girl

Chatting at the Sky – discovered before this 31 Days, but had to include as it is a favorite

Roots & Wings

Decor to Adore

thewaywereallylive

Patheos

Susan In Words

Annie Blogs

Crawford Paul

Nesting Place – this is the one that started it all – discovered a few years back and a favorite.

Happy Blog Hopping.  If you have a favorite blog you think I’d enjoy please feel free to post in the comments.

Hopping in Grace,

Sadie

31:25 – Five Minutes

Picture from my drive yesterday; has nothing to do with this post.

Writing on demand is not easy.  Writing when inspired is fairly easy.  Both can be rewarding. If something inspires me I can write fairly effortlessly.  However, if I have a deadline and no inspiration, then it is like writing in a fog and my mind keeps asking “what’s the point,” while my fingers keep typing relentlessly trying to force feed words onto the page.  If I’m lucky I end up with something coherent.  If I’m really lucky I may end up with something worth reading.  Or not. Some days the point is not how worthy are the words, it is just that you put down some words. Writing for the sake of writing is not about being profound, or having something of substance.  It is about establishing a habit.  A habit that tells your brain to tell your fingers that this is what we do.  We are writers and we write.  If it is good, then it will be read and enjoyed.  If it is not so good, then let the critics criticize and call it the drivel that it is.  Tomorrow is another day and it just may produce the masterpiece we’ve been waiting for.  So go ahead, set the timer for five minutes and just write.  Then if you dare, hit publish and let the chips words fall where they may.

I dare you to write for five, even if you think you have nothing to say.

five minute grace,

Sadie

31:24 – A List

I’m very, very, very, late posting today due to the following list:  (note to self: find a better adverb to replace very)

To Do Wednesday

1.  Drive to Grayson, KY to the Kentucky Christian University Library so Mr. Piano can check out a book for his dissertation. Check.

2.  Drive to Lexington, Kentcky – stop at Red Robin for lunch and eat the limited time Oktoberfest Burger (minus the ham). Yummy. check.

3.  Stop in at Panera Bread for Raisin Bread and Orange Cranberry Muffins (need to use up some gift cards).  Check.

4.  Travel on to Hobby Lobby (love this store) for Letters to go with my coat hooks – for a project that I may post pictures of when finished.  Also. buy Christmas lights and a Christmas Door hanger. Check

5.  Stop in at Lifeway Christian Book Store for a book for Mr. Piano.  Check.  They don’t have the book. Uncheck.  Will have to order off Amazon. (Note to self:  Since the book was the main reason for going to Lexington, make sure Mr. Piano calls ahead next time.)

6. Go to Trader Joes!  Love me some Trader Joe’s.  Buy some favorite items.  Check.

7.  Take the long way home (from Lexington to Flemingsburg) to see fall color. Check.

Whew! That was a long Day.  I think I’ll have a Chicken Salad on Raisin Bread sandwich.

Traveling in Grace,

Sadie

31:23 – Or, in other news 40:26

Today is Day 26 of the 40 Days of Prayer for our Nation.  It is also Day 23 of the 31 Day Challenge hosted by the Nester.  I felt it was more important today to encourage you to pray than it was to write about writing.

He holds your heart in his hands.

Mere man cannot control the tides of time or take the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. But we serve a God who can and does. Our job is to let him be in control and pray for his guidance and protection for our great nation and the nations of the world. He needs our humility, submission and faithfulness.

“If my people, which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,

and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Praying by Grace,

Sadie