I remember being a kid and I just couldn’t wait until Halloween. I loved picking my costume and dressing up. And I really loved all the candy we got to bring home and munch on throughout the next few weeks (of course mom made us space out the sugar!).
Tonight was my first time Trick or Treating on the other side. No longer was I worried about what I’d be for Halloween or how much candy I’d rack up. No, instead, I was looking for a costume for my little boy and trying to figure out how to keep him happy for the hour we Trick or Treated with friends. He doesn’t know he’s supposed to eat candy, so he just played with it in his tub as we strolled between stops.
It’s strange being on this side of it. I don’t want the candy in the house because I’ll eat it (I’ve been working hard not to gain weight). There’s nothing appealing about dressing up, especially if it involves make-up. And I’m not real big into being scared, either.
It’s crazy how life goes full circle.

Got my first official rejection from a publisher today. Thought I would be ok with it. I’ve been preparing myself for weeks now. I opened the mailbox and saw the self addressed stamped envelop I sent to them. My heart stopped and I was filled with excitment. Maybe someone wanted my book! Then, all my hope crashed to the ground as I read a form letter printed on a green postcard. I thought that there couldn’t be anything worse than publishers that just don’t respond. I was wrong. A form rejection letter is worse. What did they not like? Was there potential? Should I fix some stuff and send it back? Should I just hang up the towel and stick to my day job? But, I keep telling myself that at least I tried. At least I have proof that I’m making the effort to do this. I am a writer. And one day…an author.

Getting a frame and hanging it on my wall very soon.

Sunday school today was thought provoking. I left trying to answer the question posed: In what area could I serve God Passionately and Consistently? That may not have been the exact question, but that has now become my question. The last time I served consistently I had mixed motives. I was serving ankle deep in a lot of areas that I thought were worthy of my time and energy and that had a real need. The problem was that I was doing it to make my outside look good. I felt obligated to serve and step up into a leadership role because no one else would take the lead. I CAN lead, but I shouldn’t have been leading during that time because of the condition of my heart. I was self-absorbed and over-ridden with sin.

So, now, here I am, 3 years later. I desperately want to get involved and I want to serve, but I’m really not sure what that looks like. I’ve always served with a jaded heart. Now, God has given me a second chance at life with new eyes and a new heart. My entire life has changed since He was invited to join. I’ve relearned a lot of things, but now it’s time to relearn how to serve passionately and consistently in an area that fits me and honors God.

The only thing that keeps running through my mind is that above all, I love to write. I’m moved and touched by a lot of things, but I have been given the ability to communicate with words. How can I use my words to influence others on a consistent basis? I already know that I’m passionate about words, there’s no question there. It’s the whole being committed and consistent with my passion. Unreigned passion is hit or miss and might impact a few, but reigned passion could impact a generation if applied appropriately. 

So, writing. Until I run across something else that I could pour my very being into without blinking an eye, writing will be my goal. God, open doors for others to be influenced and inpacted by my writing. Inspire my words and open doors. And please, give me the wisdom and the courage to walk through the ones you leave open.

Despite the impossibleness of the task, I trudge forward. Yesterday I ran the length of the claypit both ways and I also ran from the mailbox to Angie’s both ways. Today I will add running the big hill by Chip’s and also a few power polls here and there. 3.1 miles is my first goal to run. By August I want to be able to run that distance without walking any of it. Then my next goal will be 5 miles; slowly adding distance, steadily pushing myself harder than I have in a long time.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” Unless you have tried to train and then run, this makes no sense. Paul says in another place that he beats his body into submission. I think in order to be complete, in order to be whole physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, this must happen.

Physically: I must exercise. This means everyday, pushing harder than the day before. My body must be challenged. But I also have to take care of it. I need to drink plenty of water, eat meals and snacks that are good for my body or I won’t be able to push myself due to lack of energy. I have to remember, too, that when training, it doesn’t happen overnight. It is everyday, steady and continuous challenging until your body is beaten into compliance. I can’t let up or I have a lot of ground to make up.

Mentally: I have to have positive self talk. I have to affirm my efforts and encourage myself, but continue to present a challenge. I also need to expose myself to new ideas and challenge my mind daily whether by reading, or writing, or questioning.

Emotionally: I must have truth spoken to myself and not dwell on feelings all of the time. I need to acknowledge them, but not focus there. Examine them daily, hourly even, and make sure they are built accurately on God’s truth. Submit them to God for his view on the situation, too.

Spiritually: I need to be in the Word. I need to be praying, reading, discussing things with God. I need to dwell there and consult Him on the big and the little. I need accountability. I need contact with other believers regularly where we examine the word and learn together.

All of these really tie into one word: Discipline. Every area must be daily maintained. Every area depends on the functionality of the other.

For the first time in a really long time I want to exercise. Not because I want to impress anyone. Not because I want to compensate for a secret sin in my life. But because I’m tired of saying I wish I could run; or I wish I was in shape; or I want to be thinner. Dang it, there comes a time where the only way to change to get up off my tuff and just do it! So here I am, because I’m tired of excuses; tired of mediocre; tired of complacency.

Discipline Here I come!

One of my college students works at a convenience store. Due to the nature of her job, she has to have an attitude because she has to deal with a lot of riff raff. While on campus last week, two security guards rode up on a golf cart and asked, “Do you have the time?” She turned around with her gruff attitude and projected, “Do I have the time for WHAT?” The expressions of the guards fell sheepish and they tapped their wrist. “The time, just the time.”

She told me that story and I fell out. Later she shared that not only does she work at a convenience store but she is also a certified aluminum welder and a CNA. All this equals: don’t mess with me!