When God says, “Wait,” we can control only two things: how we wait and who we become along the way. __Elizabeth Laing Thompson
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It’s always something. If it’s not waiting for your soulmate, it’s waiting for your kids to become independent, or waiting to retire, or waiting for your manuscript to be ready for publication.
I’ve just started reading the book, When God Says Wait, by Elizabeth Thompson. It’s easy to read with well-fictionalized biblical stories, personal stories from the author, and simple exercises at the end of each chapter. I sure could’ve used this book 15 years ago when I was wondering if I’d ever fall in love again, if I’d ever find a partner who’d be a good fit. Still, the messages about “navigating life’s detours and delays” clearly relate to my life now.
Finishing the manuscript for Trust the Timing (see my Work in Progress page) has taken a lot longer than I ever imagined, though I’m getting closer every day. Fortunately, waiting to publish and not rushing have allowed me to work through questions about my own history and about how much of other people’s history to include.
This has been a struggle. Early in the writing process, I was encouraged to dig deeper and to show more scenes, which is fine if you’re writing fiction, and okay when it comes to my own baggage, but not so comfortable when it comes to other people’s baggage, or what I call OPB. Even with name changes and changes in identifying characteristics, there has been an uneasiness about exposing some OPB. Earlier drafts have more OPB, and I’ve deleted and softened quite a bit of that. Yet, there are some pieces of OPB that are important to the story. This is one of the big challenges of writing a memoir.
I’ve been praying hard for guidance every time open the manuscript document. It’s helped to ask this question:
What does God want me to write?
Things often become clear when I ask that question, or some version of it, and then listen to my gut. God often talks to me through my gut. Sometimes God whispers in my ear. But I have to be quiet and open to get the message.
Waiting gives God time to work things out in us and others. Waiting gives us time to become who we are meant to be, to become ready for our heart’s desire. After all, that’s what my book is about. It seems to be my life-long lesson. And I’m learning, slowly but surely.
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Waiting. That’s what I seem to be doing lately. At least in my head. I’m busy as ever. But my mind is focused on something that might happen in the future. Now that I think about it, there is more than one big thing I’m waiting for. Exciting things, energizing things, things that could make very big changes in my life. (I should have written: life changing things.) Oh, stream of consciousness. So tempting to edit. I’ve been a rule follower all of my life. I’m tired of it sometimes. But I still follow the rules, mostly, but not always. That scares me to write that. I’m going to get caught. Stop it!
Back to… what was it…..? Waiting. For things I can’t reveal right now. Things that may not happen for a few months, or several months even, but within a year.
So, what to do when I’m thinking too much in the future. I do think too much sometimes. When the thoughts are not helpful, like… am I getting a cold or is this just allergies? or other worse thoughts that I’m not going to write, because they are not happening and why give them any more thought? What I do sometimes that works really well, is SING!
I love to sing. I’ve loved singing since I was about 11 years old and listened to the sound track of the Sound of Music over and over and over again. That’s how I learned to sing.
But I rarely sang in front of people, outside my inner circle, my ring of comfort, for singing, was small, until I was in my 40s – when I started going to a church that had contemporary praise music, and they invited me to sing with them after I went to a rehearsal and they knew I could sing. I eventually learned more guitar chords and sang and played guitar on the little stage. It was not a huge congregation, but anyway, it got me more comfortable singing in front of people. Now, I still get nervous in front of a new group, and I have to work harder to keep my voice in shape since I’m almost 60 (!) another thing that will happen in just a few months, wait, it’s in just over two months! My, how time flies.
My point is, that it’s never too late to become what you might have been. I don’t like to watch those shows on TV where amateurs compete with their talent, because it makes me feel like I could have been a professional singer. But I needed to learn some things first. Plus I want to be an artist and a writer. Correction. I am an artist and a writer!
So, while I wait for those things that I anticipate with excitement, I can sing to keep myself in the present moment. I find singing to be soothing. Singing to myself, with the radio, or a video, especially. When I’m worried about my health, which is really pretty good, all things considered, I sing these words to the tune of “I’m so Pretty,” from West Side Story. Oh, I just discovered it’s “I feel Pretty.” ! I’ve been singing it wrong….no, I’m not, because I’m making it up. Here are the words I sing:
I’m so healthy, Oh so healthy
I’m so healthy and happy and free
I’m so healthy
Cause I’m finally learning to be me……
I’m so healthy, Oh so healthy
I’m so health and wealthy and wise
I’m so healthy,
Cause I’m seeing through clearer eyes.
Here’s Adam Sandler singing his version in Anger Management, accompanied by Jack Nicholson.
Are you feeling prettier, now?
Today’s Stream of Consciousness post prompt was that our first word has to end in “ing.”
If you’d like to jump into the stream, start here:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.