The sun is shining!
Easter is this weekend!
And I'm holed up in a hotel room, all by myself, writing, reading and planning for a few hours this afternoon....and I'm completely giddy about it all!
I'm a thinker who feels most centered when I can find quiet places to contemplate and work through life on paper. As you know (either because you're a busy mom, or because you've heard me say it before!) finding "quiet" time can sometimes feel like looking for a watering hole in the middle of a dessert...you keep seeing water off in the distance, but as you get closer it just keeps disappearing. Until, eventually, you find yourself really, really thirsty...at which point you usually just snuggle up to share a juice box with one of the wee ones along for the ride and call it a day.
All that to say, quiet time is in short supply so when I do have a few minutes, I treasure them deeply.
So here I am, in a hotel in Syracuse, New York, while my husband is running business meetings and my mother in law (who is a saint!!!) is hanging with the girlies this afternoon and evening.
As a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor I was invited to attend a regional event at Syracuse University this evening-- a panel discussion on non-fiction writing in general, and the mission behind the Chicken Soup brand, followed by a dinner with the Publisher and several other contributors from the region. Since I don't know a soul I almost turned the invitation down, but then realized my hubby had business in Syracuse anyway, offering a chance for him and I to travel together and for me to meet some new, local, writing comrades.
I've brought books and notebooks, file folders and scraps of paper. I have my calendar, notepads, computers, and I-phone. I'm not completely sure where to start, or what to focus on...I'm hoping focus is something that comes out of this time.
Has that ever happened to you?! You have so much that you need to do, and even aspire to do, and then you finally have the house to yourself, or the babysitter shows up, or you find yourself all alone in a hotel room, and you just stand there dumbfounded? "What do I now?! I have no idea!"
I'm currently working on several projects...two separate "books"-- one a spiritual memoir, and one a collection of reflections on motherhood. I have a half dozen ideas for other books, and oodles of blog posts I'd love to write if time allowed. Today I'm throwing many of those ideas down on paper to save for the future, when the time and season allow...but for today I'm just thankful for this quiet time.
I've found a lot of internal peace about my writing lately (the writing I am able to do, and more importantly the writing I am unable to do right now). There was a long season where I found myself frustrated by how seldom I was able to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard), and would get discouraged and irritable about it all...but lately...well, I guess God is doing work in my heart. Truly.
It's like King Solomon says in Ecclesiastes, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."
In this season, I have been called to full-time stay at home motherhood, a job that requires a lot of time and energy...more than I could have ever imagined, actually. And so I find myself fully coming into myself as a mother, bit by bit and day by day, while still trying to integrate time for other parts of my life that I value.
It's the age old dilemma, right? How do we find balance, keep our priorities straight, and make the most of the pieces of our lives in a way that is honorable to ourselves, our families, but most importantly, in a way that is honorable to God?
We put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, trusting that God will offer wisdom and that the path will become clear. As you get stronger, and learn a little bit more, you start to trot instead of walk, and than jog instead of trot...sooner or later you are running a race that you didn't know you had the stamina to run.
It feels good when you start running and you realize that you are capable of so much more than you thought you were when you first set out. When you realize that you can only do so much in your own strength, but the spiritual refining that happens as we journey through motherhood teaches us a very, very important lesson...we can do so much more and ALL things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
I am incredibly thankful for that truth and hope that you are finding the same to be true in your lives as well.
So, today I am thankful for the life I've been given (all things, people and circumstances included!), the blessing of my family, and a quiet space to think and write for even a short time. I'm hopeful for the future, and all of the adventure it holds. And I'm trusting, that in the right season and at the right time, God will take these scraps of a writing life that I've created and turn them into something meaningful.
Hope you all have a very happy and blessed Easter weekend!