Friday, October 21, 2011

What To Talk About?

It's been many mornings since I had digital hours to count off on my fingertips, hours not spent helping children with school work, getting out the door to the office, taking children to co-op, paying bills, running in ever so many directions.

This morning I've given myself permission to take a morning off.

It's nice.

Not that I wasn't bolted out of bed earlier than planned. It started with my husband accepting the free gift of a kitten for Annie. The co-worker dropped it off at our house this morning which led to merry hours of quiet play and sleep in her room until...

...until I was awaken by the undeniable sound of pitiful meowing. I instructed my 9-yr-old to take the kitten outside (which was the plan for the cat from the start) to use the potty. What followed was little girl drama which we haven't had in quite awhile.

A rush down the hallway. Tears. Sobbing. Denial. A tale of the kitten getting away. Tears. Something about 'under the truck.' More tears.

I crawled out of the warm covers, hoisted my jeans and stuffed my gown into them, and skulked down the hallway to the rescue.

I won't try to make it sound glamorous. I wasn't.

We tried everything. Grabbing. Coaxing. Whistling, Beckoning. Grabbing a leg and hanging on. Warm milk.

After reassuring Annie that the kitten just needed to get use to us and her new surroundings and that she would stay where the food was; I left the milk under the truck, the tearful little girl at the window, and went back to bed. I didn't mention fan belts and cats don't mix.

I'm not big on drama.

(Update below for anyone not wishing to read the rest of my Friday ramblings.) :-)

Anyway, I have this morning to write and decided to write a blog post because I honestly haven't sat down and written a blog post in quite awhile. I don't even know where I'm going with this one. For the most part my blog posts have been quotes, pictures, and one-sentence comments. Randomness.

That's all I've had time for. Randomness.

I want more from this blog than randomness. I want more than what I've been giving. I used to be so production and regular with my blogwriting. And it's been many years.

I got on the blog bandwagon many years ago (January 2005 to be exact) with House of Literature Bookmobile. Blogs were brand-spanking new and I wasn't sure what they were for but they sounded very journal-ish which excited my writer's brain and Melissa Wiley was starting one so it couldn't be a bad thing. My first blog post written on January 29, 2005 was whimsical and creative:

"Testing...I'm learning something new!"

I was off to a slow start but starting to take flight. I then flurried over to Typepad in January 2006 with several other bloggers and blogged there for 3 1/2 years. Lots of good blogging days there. Those were rich blogging days when I was able to get sometimes two, sometimes three posts a day. I published a couple of books and had lots of visitors at Typepad. Sweet days of fruitfulness.

It seems slightly ironic that my most productive writing times were when my children were babies, small, very little and very needy. I equate that into being home more and, thus, having more time to think, sort, write, and journal. Life entrapped within four walls is easier to journal than life spread outside. When one has lots of older children who are not as needy but just as demanding is a whole other ball of busyness. Life is more frantic when it happens outside the home than within and there is no place to spread your mind out and sort, condense, and reorganize. I do have notebooks. Lots and lots of notebooks with random writings and jottings but that is as far as those thoughts go. No time to unscramble and sort and make sense out of any of it. 

Back to blogging...I made a decision in June 2009 to save pennies and switched back to Blogspot. Since then my blogging has waned as have my visitors. I have lots of writing ideas but can't seem to find the time, the energy, or the brain power to get them from my head to the screen. Sometimes it happens. Mostly it's a litany that records and repeats over and over again in my head while I'm showering, driving, or sleeping.

I have also noticed a perfectionist tendency I never realized I had. Is it common to develop a perfectionist tendency later in life? Or does that happen when the children grow up and the baby toys are put away and sold? Whatever the reason, I believe this perfectionist tendency (something I scorned and scoffed at years ago) is the true culprit of my writing lag.  

What I write never sounds as good on screen and paper as it does in my head. It disappoints me, especially when I read better bloggers, better writers and decide that they have said it better anyway. The word is out, the message is out and why should I reinvent the wheel in this massive wave of words and messages that is out here. Readers' time is precious...I know mine is...why give them more words to read if they are not written well and meaningful?

The more I've written and the better writer I've become, the more my writing mocks me and galls me. And silences me.

So I crawl away, happy to watch and read from my home, let the words and messages of others pour over me, refresh me, revive me.

I have devoted more time to reading and studying which is where, I assume, God wants me to put my energies. So that is all good.

Years ago I realized that nothing gets written, much less published, without God willing it. Yes, I do need to make myself available, but if He desires it, He will give me the time, the energy, the inspiration, the motivation, and the brain power to get it done. There's a season for writing. I know that and, when the time comes, I'll know that too.

I did happen to pull and flip through Christmas Mosaic yesterday. It was sweet revelation to discover that my writing is not half bad and it's a beautiful, rich book. It excited me to think of doing another one.

I do have a children's book out to a publisher and I'm hoping (praying?) they accept it.

I'm doing lots of reading about spiritual direction and I feel a pull, a tug, on my heart. Is it a calling? Am I a good listener? Do I listen the right way? Is this a fruitful time when God is teaching me to be silent and listen more? Am I allowing the ground to be watered? Am I accepting and living in the season? Awaiting the fruit? I think so. God's timing is perfect.

My job as Director of Religious Education at our parish church continues to be rewarding and massive. The liturgical year goes by in a blur. Who would imagine that! But it is all God's time, not mine. So I read, study, plan, and implement as best I can. I place it in His hands and go to the next page, the next plan, the next week, the next month. I keep on stepping forward in faith.

Spiritual reading? I can't be without that. That's how God speaks to me. Recently, my friend Jenn @ Family in Feast and Feria placed this document on my computer screen: Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy. What a harvest within a harvest. Jenn always guides me along His path and that is where I see His will.

School is going well. Co-op defines our home school this year and sets the rhythm for our weekly lessons. It's a wonderful collaboration that is a perfect blend for our family. It is heaven sent!

We are slowly coming out of some teenage turmoil so my daughter and I have begun Ann Voskamp's message of Eucharisteo anew. Weekly I email Chelsea an email entitled:  "Live Your One Life Well".

Within the email I include:

(1) First watch this Video...(I give her one of Ann's presentation on YouTube)
(2) Read this...(I insert a link to one of Ann's blog posts)
(3) Focus on this... (a line or two of Ann's writing to focus on, usually something that spoke to me)
(4) Scripture this...(Scripture verse to put on top of her journal page)
(5) Praise of Gifts...(she lists her gifts for the week under the Scripture verse)

And I always end my emails with: "You are one of my Gifts! Did you know that? Love, Mom"

It's a non-confrontational way of communicating with her on a weekly basis...when our busy lifestyle threatens to cut these emotional days even shorter.

That's all I have in ramblings for today. I'm thinking I might like giving myself permission on Friday morning to write more often.

Flannery O'Connor says a writer needs to show up every day so when motivation decides to visit that day, the writer is present and waiting. I argue with myself about living life versus writing life. For a writer they go hand-in-hand.

Til next Friday...

P.S. --- Did I mention that we recovered the kitten? We did. I was summoned once again when the tearful child could not bear to hear the sorrowful wailing of the kitten under the truck. People probably thought I was making repairs on the truck but one simply would not find me under a truck for anything other than a crying daughter and a disobedient kitten. Never!

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