Life

personal-update

I am so, so sorry for my ridiculously long absence! I’d intended to keep blogging as usual last month, but then I was transferring my site over to a new host and it was a little bit more time-consuming than I expected. I’ve also been working like a busy bee on a couple of other projects and my brain has shoved everything else to the back-burner, as usual. Multitasking is not one of my talents – let’s just leave it at that 😉

This year flew by so quickly, didn’t it?! I feel like it was just January and now we’re halfway through October. Seriously, how?!

The idea of time going by so quickly panics me just a bit. When I look back over this year, it saddens me to think that I didn’t accomplish all that I’d intended to. I believe in making every day count, and when I fail on that frontier, it’s easy to feel like everything else was a waste.

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However, if I look at this year through God’s eyes, it takes on a different colored hue. I might not understand or even know why things played out the way that they did, but I do know that He was in control all throughout and He was carrying out His works and purposes, even if it seems like I have little to show for it. 2016 was His year, after all, and my family asked God to do what He would in it.

Anyway, before getting back to posting in my Telling My Story series, I thought I’d do a bit of a life update and talk about some changes related to the blog!

personal + life

A couple of weeks ago Puerto Rico experienced a mass power outage – there was a huge explosion at our main power plant and millions of us lost electricity. CNN even covered the story! It felt like some kind of apocalyptic event, going out to purchase candles. It was stormy weather and the lights in the streets were off – there were police officers at every intersection, manning traffic. But, praise God, my family was only without lights for about thirty-odd hours; within a few days, everything was back to working order. Phew!

Another thing I’m so very grateful for is the fact that Hurricane Matthew completely bypassed Puerto Rico. Considering that it hit almost every other island in the Caribbean, this is remarkable. But my heart does go out to all those who were hit and who are being affected even now… my mother keeps me abreast of all the latest happenings on that frontier, and it breaks my heart to hear how Haiti and Jamaica have been affected. I pray that God would provide the help they need, and also that God would use this catastrophe to usher in more missionaries and preachers of His Word to those desperate people.

On a personal basis, I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’m working on a bunch of creative pieces and I’m also constantly brainstorming ideas for this blog. Starting this week, I’m embarking on yet another project, but I’ll share about that some other time 😉

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It’s so important to keep ourselves from getting bored and unproductive, don’t you think? Laziness breeds inactivity which breeds slothfulness, and having struggled with all three in the past, I try to stay on top of things and not let myself fall into old habits. It’s an uphill battle at times. It’s easy to get bored and unmotivated, especially at this stage of my life, and I definitely struggle BIG TIME with being a procrastinator. But I like meeting goals and I like having something to show for my labor. It’s like being your own boss. And while there are pros and cons to that concept, over-all I think it’s a really positive thing.

blog + theme

Blog-wise, I continue to have epiphanies. Like wanting to talk more about my walk with the Lord and provide encouraging messages for other girls my age, who may be struggling similarly with their current season. As always, my biggest challenge is simply narrowing down what it is I’m here for. A part of me wants to tell stories; another part wants to do life posts; another part wants to write about writing; and yet another part wants to scrap it all and revert to silence! Being indecisive doesn’t help matters. (And yeah, I’m horrendously indecisive. But I’m sure you’ve been able to figure that out by this point!)

If this is the first time you’re seeing the new blog since I changed hosts then welcome! It’s still subject to change (because when is it not?) but I like the way it’s looking right now. Switching over to wordpress.org has been great. Plug-ins are so addictive and so much fun, haha.

hope + holidays

On other fronts, I’m feeling hopeful and looking forward to the holidays. We’re praying we have a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Last year’s was just very sad. Most of my siblings have been taking music lessons this year and a couple of them are taking choir, so I’m looking forward to Christmas concerts!

I’ll be back later this week with another post.

See you then, and God bless!

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Memoir, Writing

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Now that the outlines are out of the way, I have turned to working on the final chapter of my book. It seems a little ridiculous, even to me, that it has taken so long. I’ve already had a few people read my manuscript and I’ve had to embarrassingly inform them all that the last chapter is still in the works. Today I sat down to work on it and I was surprised, yet again, by the total lack of inspiration that I found myself confronted with.

I think it’s a combination of the fact that somewhere in between announcing to my family that I had finished my book and present time, my brain has switched off writing. Not writing in general, but writing, specifically, related to producing new content for this book. I feel like my inner writing genius is kicking back somewhere in the figurative Bahamas, sipping on a piña colada, while I roam empty beaches, shouting desperately for help.

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and it’s that hard.”

Neil Gaiman

Now that I know what my direction is in terms of publishing, I’m more keen than ever to make sure that my book says what I want it to say, in the way that I want to say it. And that pressure only intensifies when I think about the ending and having it hit all those marks that I want it to.

But the inspiration just isn’t flowing.

It’s sitting like a stagnant pond instead of gushing like a river.

I have several pages worth of unfinished sentences, broken statements, and randomly placed paragraphs, and it all seems so unrelated. I know what I’m trying to say… I think. But it’s not meshing. It’s not coming together. I’m a little perplexed even as I write this.

I want to find that niche of inspiration, that little burning fire within that puts the wind in the fingers, the words on the paper, but I’m stuck.

I’m reading this article on overcoming writer’s block and it’s super helpful, but anyone else have any tips for me? I feel like I just need to get in the right mindset and it will just come together perfectly, but that mindset is being annoyingly elusive.

Abjgkrnlgbrfehgbvlkh perfectly sums up my current mood. I think it’s fitting that this isn’t a word.

Any tips on finding inspiration? What works for you, fellow friend?

 

Memoir

Today was a hard day.

It shouldn’t have been. I shouldn’t have let the drifting words of another’s opinion affect me so deeply. It didn’t make me doubt my skills or my vocation. But it made me question the execution of a certain task… which led me to go back and reread everything I’ve ever written on the theme, suddenly overcome with the sensation that I did it wrong – I did it all wrong, and it’s not good enough and I wasn’t the right one for the job and I’m not qualified and it’s trash and it’s not going to leave the impact or the mark that I’d hoped it would.

As a result, I’ve spent the entire afternoon scouring certain sections of my writing, growing more and more overwhelmed and depressed as I went.

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It’s so easy to forget, isn’t it, the things that God says about you when confronted with the opinions or the perception of others. It’s so easy to value their words over the Word. It’s so easy to discard the encouragement and nurturing the Lord has given you in your task when the enemy attack with the doubt and dismay.

The truth is that God did choose me to walk this path. He gave me this passion for His own good purpose. He is using me as He chooses. He has shown me that He is truly leading me, and that He really does have a purpose for me. The words of man can’t change that. I can’t allow myself to be so fragile.

My mother, wise woman that she is, told me what I needed to hear. I’m still struggling beneath the lingering echoes of those discouraging words but in the end, doubt can never prevail. God will comfort and succor me. He will draw me back into the rest found beneath the shadow of His wings. And this care I will cast on Him, as I have so many others.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

1 Peter 5:7