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Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

I know – it has been forever since I have posted. It’s just been one of those months. I have slowly been working on editing the sappy romance novel, for which I still do not have a title (this is new for me – I normally have pages of titles and not enough books!) and wavering between wondering if I actually have a chance of getting it published and telling myself over and over again how much it sucks and how I should just give up on it now – and yet, I keep going.

So, true reason I decided to post. I found a four-leaf clover.

2018-05-20 19.02.07

Now, I have a story about a four-leaf clover.

Once, years ago, my best friends were girls I knew from an online forum called the Gibson Girls. They are still my best friends, but back then, we had never actually met in person despite being friends for years. So, one day, we decided we were going to copy what we wrote in our fictional stories about each other and go on a “Gibson Girl Vacation” together. We were all going to fly somewhere and stay together for a week and meet in person for the first time. I was so excited – like – beyond ecstatic. Plans very slowly began to progress and then – it all just fell apart. There were a number of things, but the bottom line was that no one could afford it.

You have to understand – I was at a stage in my life where I didn’t allow myself to hope for much because I knew from experience I was bound to be disappointed. So when this fell through, this thing I had finally allowed myself to get excited about, I was completely devastated. I remember when the final decision was made not to do it, rushing out of the house and to the back yard, hiding in the shadows where no one could see me and just sobbing. There was a lot going on in my life with family at that time, and I think, in retrospect, that it just felt like the final straw. After I got my tears out, I prayed desperately to God for comfort, and asked Him if I would ever get to meet my best friends. I pleaded with Him to let me meet my friends someday. And at that moment, my eyes fell to the grass and immediately lit upon a four-leaf clover. I took that as a promise from God that His hand was on me, that it would all work out and, yes, that I would someday meet my friends.

Well, I did. And we’ve been on more than one “Gibson Vacation” together and the core group of us are still “besties” and keep an online chat going at all times. I feel like that was a milestone in my life. Like I was at the cusp of either breaking down or moving forward and God gave me a push forward.

So, lately, I’ve been rather down – or maybe confused is a better term. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a clear direction I am heading in career-wise. I can’t figure out my exact next steps and if I should be moving forward or happy where I am, and whether I should just concentrate on writing, or try to get a new job in the intel community, or what – and most of all, why God hasn’t been giving me a clear direction, the way He normally does.

And, this may seem minor, but what has really been depressing for me is how impossible it seems to actually lose weight, no matter how hard I try. I know a lot of it is my lack of self-discipline, but that makes it almost more depressing for me – that I can’t make myself lose it because I find it next to impossible to say no when someone asks me to go get a drink, or my amazing husband hands me ice cream. Or that I can be super good for a few weeks and all it takes is one meal to gain everything back. And then, I just spent two weeks [almost] strictly on diet and working out regularly, and the scale barely moved.

So, Sunday, we were on a long bike ride, and as we biked, I was contemplating life and weight loss and kind of thinking that I might as well just give up even hoping for losing weight because it was just too disappointing and maybe I should just sit back and see what happened in life and weight loss. And then we pulled over for a breather, I jumped off the bike, and my eyes instantly landed on a four-leaf clover – in the midst of a huge batch of clover. What were the chances?

I felt like it was another reminder from God. The same gentle touch He gave me years ago. He is here for me. He has a plan for me. Life will move forward, I will move forward, and, yes, it is possible to lose weight, even if it is slowly. And, yes, I may not know exactly where I am headed right now, but He still has a plan, and He will reveal it when He is ready. It just felt like a breath of encouragement. A symbol that I have just reached another stage of life and will continue to walk forward in His path.

Now maybe I am reading too much into a simple leaf. But hey, if God decides to use the leaf to remind me of His greatness, who am I to argue?
Image result for quote four leaf clover God

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I am home for Christmas this week. It is always fun to return home and get a taste of the chaotic, busy life that used to be mine. Not that it isn’t chaotic or busy in my life anymore – well, at least it is busy – but they are very different types of busy. Here in my parent’s falling apart house that was built in the 1900s, it is constantly a mess and in constant need of repair, but that doesn’t change the joyous attitudes of most of the people going through it. Every time you enter, you can count on being greeted with a gracious smile and welcome – and be offered food or drink every few minutes or so. My siblings are growing up fast but it has scarcely changed the chaotic nature of the house, as they bring friends through constantly. Friends who love coming over, despite the state of disrepair because of the love flowing through the house. Oh, don’t get me wrong – there are most certainly times with anger and impatience and well – let’s just say you don’t want to be around if my dad is in a bad mood. But a majority of the time, you will be welcomed with open arms and feel perfectly comfortable around my family. It reminds me every time that it doesn’t matter what circumstances you are in or how you grow up or what life throws at you. It matters what you make of it and who you choose to be.

Believe it or not, this isn’t actually what I signed on to say. What I signed on to say was much more bittersweet/reminiscent/and I don’t know what else. So my little sister just turned 18. I remember 18. Very clearly. In fact, it is hard for me to realize I am not still 18, but 28. She proudly showed off her room to me, which she just redecorated, having her own room for the first time in her life, as one of my other sisters recently married. I appropriately admired it, looking around at the dreamy Paris decor, the carefully decorated dresser, the re-painted vanity that had once been mine, and my heart sank inside me. I knew I should be feeling happy for my sister – for her dreams, for her room, for how pretty it all was, but instead I found myself feeling bad for – well – myself. For a moment I was back in my own room I had just finished decorating myself, which, ironically, I shared with this same sister (though she had no say in how I decorated it at that time). I was young, with a whole life full of possibilities waiting before me, and all my writing stuff set up just as she had all her music stuff set up. And I remembered being young and full of hope for what the future might hold. Not that I don’t any more – but – it is different somehow. It doesn’t seem as magical anymore – that ethereal thing called future. Now I am almost 30, married, with a full time job, and struggling to make myself write on the side, struggling to recapture just enough of that magic to make the stories I have wanted to write since I was 6 or 7. I love my life, I love my husband, I love my job – but – there is always that part of you that just wants to reach back and recapture that youthful moment in time when you had no idea what was coming.

Granted, I still don’t know what it coming, but now it seems more fearful to me than hopeful. But perhaps that goes back to what I started out saying. Life is what you make of it. Is there any reason that I, as a 28 year old woman, can’t still look ahead with hope and mystery, wondering what wonders God might have in store for me? Maybe if I looked at life a little more like that 18 year old I used to be, I will find that the present life God has given me is just as magical as the future used to look.

Ah, me. How bittersweet things always seem at 2:00/3:00 AM. I know I have said this before, but I am tired of being fearful. I am also tired of getting a sinking heart any time I look at anything that brings up memories of the past or reminds me of how fast time is flying. I want to enjoy what I current have and the memories I have, no matter how much time has passed. And I don’t know how to do that instead of being sad that certain time periods in my life have passed. I guess only by looking up to God and trusting that He knows all the right timing for where I am going in life, even if I thinks something went away too fast. I don’t even know if that made sense. So I will stop now. 🙂

 

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Sorry I haven’t posted in so long – I have been busy with life: Settling in to my new job, setting up Christmas stuff, recovering from a week and a half with my in-laws . . . all that. 🙂

So, here are my upcoming writing goals. I think it will be significantly harder to keep without a whole community of writers doing it, but I am going to do my darndest anyway.

By the end of this month, I would like to have finished the (extremely) rough draft of my book, since 50,000 words by no means finished the book. Then, by March 2015, I would like to have finished the editing process enough to send it to friends for critique. By June 2015, I would like to have it finalized. At that point, I will decide if I want to actually try to get it published, or just enjoy the fact that I completely completed a novel. Maybe I will even do Nanowrimo’s offer to get two free self-published copies.

In the meantime, I have decided to start entering some of the Writer’s Digest writing competitions. I finally subscribed to Writer’s Digest a few months ago, and am amazed at how inspiring the articles are to me as a writer. I think having goals to work toward (as in, writing contests) will help improve my writing speed and style and whether I win the actual contest or not, I think it will help me move forward, and I am tired of putting off something that I have always wanted because I am afraid of failing.

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