Posts Tagged 'confusion'

A Glimpse into the Chaos of My Life

I can’t believe all the things that keep happening — not only the mixed bag of categories, but the unrelenting succession of different distractions/ problems/ dilemmas that keep arising. If it’s not one thing, it’s another…

Which is, I guess, a good thing, because it’s all forcing me to trust my God more than ever, as well as to surrender my delusions about being in control of pretty much anything…

Anyway, because I didn’t get much sleep last night, I spent the time I’d allotted for blog writing this afternoon having a nap instead. Thus I’m going to post this excerpt from an email I recently sent to a friend — the only email of any substance I’ve sent to anyone in weeks.

And though this was written two weeks ago. I could write a similar one now, with all new subject matter. So here is my recitation of some of the things that befell me in April and early May:

“Just in the last month [April], there was a huge to-do at church when Pastor John threw out “rebound.” I’m fine with it, makes total sense… in fact, I’d stopped officially rebounding some time ago, more or less by default…others in our local assembly were not fine with it… so as I said, a huge to-do.

Then there was my step-mother who’s 92 and lives alone in California, falling and hitting her head and so her niece (who has power of medical attorney and is her “primary caregiver” in the sense of seeing to everything she needs) admitted her to the hospital for a pacemaker. Then a week after she was out, she had to go back in for shakes that turned out to be a diagnosis of “heart failure” in the sense that the muscle is no longer strong enough to pump her blood at the proper pressure, making her weak, easily tired and breathless.

This was followed by my hubby taking off for a wedding in Idaho, where he visited with his 93-year-old aunt/surrogate mother. Several days later, she was admitted to the hospital in Colorado for an infected leg that was going to need amputation. Except that after they put her on antibiotics via IV she improved so much they sent her home. Whereupon the infection, which had apparently gone septic, showed up in her liver and other organs and now she’s officially in hospice at home.

Then I got a call from Bethany House… the Christy Awards Board of Directors decided that authors can only win 4 awards, and after that will be inducted into a “Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame.” Since I’ve “got my four” as the editorial director put it, they’re inducting me. In St. Louis, at the end of June [insert another three or four paragraphs detailing all the ways this was more traumatic, distracting and time-consuming than exciting and welcomed. My first response was to say I wasn’t going to go, but God persuaded me otherwise. Partly because I’d like to be able to publicly thank Bethany House for all they’ve done for my books and partly because it’ll be fun to see friends I’ve not seen in years. Okay, and yes, it will be nice to get an award like this — a gracious gift of encouragement from the Lord ]”

[[And as an addendum from the present, I am excited about it now for all the ways God has clearly paved the way… Once I gave the entire project over to Him, I’ve watched almost all the things I needed to do or figure out how to do fall into place in His timing. And  my work on Sky is actually finally going somewhere even with all the chaos.]]

“There was also stuff going on with my car, which had a dent in it after having been run into by a cyclist, and the repair shop finally had a loaner for me to use while they repaired it… [insert paragraph about going back and forth from home to the shop several times before the loaner showed up and other details of waiting around for calls to come and get it and several postponements…]

The event for last weekend was my hubby being gone to the mountains in northern AZ on a fishing trip with friends, where he’d be out of phone reception until his return Saturday evening. So Saturday morning I find the water pipe that connects the main with the house was leaking… my husband likes to do his own work so I knew calling a plumber was out of the question.

And if I turned the water off, not only would I be without a toilet but we have an evaporative cooler and the temps were supposed to be in the upper 90s… I asked the Lord to bring him home around noon instead of the 6pm or 9pm I was anticipating…  For an hour or so I  dithered over whether to call the water company to come turn off the water or not, finally called them  at 11:10am. They turned off the water at 12:01 pm.

Hubby walked through the door 39 minutes later. Awesome!

But then he had to dig up the back yard, and replace the pipe and [insert paragraph about all the confusion and vagaries that result from attempting plumbing repairs oneself]  then when he turned the water back on, the toilet broke…

I also had a guest post to do for Seriously Write last week, that will be out this Friday. [[ Note from the present — this was the piece I mentioned in my post on May 9]] They wanted one between 200 – 500 words. My first draft was over 1000. When I managed to cut it to 800, it read like a laundry list and seemed pointless… I kept trying to get it right, finally gave up and asked if the word count suggestion was flexible. It was. I finished at about 900 words and she was happy with it… Not much work got done on Sky during that time, however…

I don’t think I’ve written a real email to anyone for weeks. Wasn’t doing any writing either… And I was going to put off replying to you yet again, but decided that I’d waited long enough and so you get this weird reply. But at least you know I’m alive if somewhat discombobulated…

(I went to the dentist this morning — made sure I had my appointment book and a book to read and some water, made sure my phone had the number of a sandwich shop I was going to order from afterwards… then forgot my purse. And I wasn’t even in a hurry! Fortunately the insurance covers our dental so except for driving without a license I didn’t need my purse…)”

So there you have it. A glimpse into my chaotic life.  Since I wrote this, many more things have happened… the trench is still open in the back yard, as my hubby works (today in fact) on finishing up his planned replacement of the rest of the piping in the line, seeing as all the original pipe is quite rusted. (Well, it is about 60 years old, so that’s hardly surprising.)

My shingles has come back yet again, so I’ve had to keep going to the eye doctor. And instead of forgetting my purse that time, though I had “carefully” thought out when I would have to leave for my 2:30 appt… somehow I translated it into a 3pm appointment and so I was late… I have NO idea how I managed to do that. But there’s my note to self for the 2:30 appt:  leave at 2:45 so I’ll have plenty of time to get there… Sheesh.

And we found out yesterday that the aunt who was in hospice for the infection in her leg went home to be with the Lord in the wee hours of Saturday morning. We haven’t decided if we’ll drive – with Quigley —  to the memorial service in Utah, or if just my husband will go.

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He is Not a God of Confusion

Sea Voyage: Leaving the Land Behind

I think the thing that most helped me from the discussion on the open ended writing process wasn’t so much doing the process itself, but realizing that what I am doing IS hard, and DOES take a lot of time and I WILL feel chaotic and disoriented, even frustrated with all the choices, but that it is okay. It’s actually the point.

The point of the sea voyage is to leave the old “wrong” ideas behind and find a new vision. New ideas, something based on the old, but not the old.

All that was on Tuesday. On Friday I listened to a Bible class from summer 2011 about how the spiritual gift works. I’ve been slowly working my way through those classes as time allows and it had been awhile since I’d listened to this particular series. I can’t even say why I chose to do it that day, but the content fell right in line with what I had been learning about the writing process. Again I found myself transcribing quotes into my journal.

From my entry last Friday:

(This Lesson from Sunday, July 17, 2011) is speaking directly to me!

“The power that flows through my spiritual gift and the results of its function are up to God.”

In my case “results” can mean what I’m seeing as accomplishment, as acceptable “progress.” So even when I can’t see anything, it’s still Him.

“So what does that leave for us to do? We’re merely to nurture a willingness to do the work (write the story) and be prepared. And to put ourselves in the place where the gift can operate. We let Him pick the right time for its operation.”

Which means for me, when the story “emerges” when things finally begin to come together, whether plotwise or world-buildingwise.

“This is new! This is different! This is not the way you’ve been trained (by the world) from birth to get things done.

 “The results are up to God, not you.”

“Therefore, don’t judge your effectiveness in your spiritual gift by the results. Be faithful to what God has called you to do, whatever it is. Just trust that He knows what He’s doing. Don’t freak out. Don’t get depressed, despairing, thinking that maybe you’re not doing what you’re supposed to. If you’re following the Word of God, hearing the Word of God, and being obedient to it, God’s gonna get you where you need to be.”

This on the surface relates to physical position, like at the corner where there’s a person waiting to hear the Gospel from you. But lately I’ve been reading about writing in terms of a journey – the sea voyage. You set out, leave land behind, get lost, don’t know what you’re doing and then gradually you come to a new land…. God will get you where you need to be.

This all SO applies to my circumstances right now. I’m looking through notes, reading various writings, doing open-ended writings and nonstops… trying to figure out/decide whether to have a more direct parallel to our situation today as a nation ( with other nations in my created world, covert ops, war, military actions… ) or make it a more abstract, even stylistic allegory, without all the grand political arena and dispensational stuff…Except I’ve already started both in the prologue, at least hints… And here I’m conflicted again. I feel like I’m getting nowhere..

But in all this mess I must stop and reflect: God will get me where He wants me to be.

Oh! And another message in today’s lesson:

“God is not a god of confusion. This is a very important principle when it comes to your spiritual gift because there’s a big temptation for them to get out of hand, lead to chaos rather than clarity. And God is all about CLARITY. Making things clear.”

So trust Him to do just that. Trust Him to show you the way you should go and believe that He is, even if it doesn’t look like you think it should look.

A Fresh Infusion of Interest

Well today, after having taken a month-long break from writing (though even before the break I was having trouble with intrusions and interruptions and lack of motivation)… today I came into the office feeling completely out of it. As I wrote in my log this morning, “I have this book to write and absolutely no interest in writing it. No excitement, no anticipation. Am I even supposed to be writing it?” Worse, I had no idea what to do to renew my interest in it.

Well, as it turns out Pastor John Farley has just been teaching about how sometimes God leaves us in dark places, where we’re confused, where we don’t know what to do, where “the excitement is gone” and we need a fresh infusion of life and energy. Could that possibly apply to my situation with Sky?

So I went to the Lord, and asked for it. Then I went off to do Morning Pages again for the first time in a LONG time because I could think of nothing else to do. They were somewhat helpful. When I was done I took down my logs from during the time I was writing The Enclave and randomly opened to a page where I had highlighted and boxed in the following words from a message by Pastor Bob in 2008:

“I am convinced  this spiritual life is not about us. You must go at the pace God has determined. Your own ways, plans, will and power need to be handed over to the Lord Jesus Christ.  You must learn to enjoy the ride. Don’t let the Kingdom of Darkness [or your own flesh] come and say you’re going too slow, you’re not where you should be. God will tell you that, and it will be conviction, not condemnation.”

Well. Could that be any more pointed?

I went on from there and as the day progressed, the chaos in my notes and in my mind slowly subsided. Order began to take over. New ideas came to me. I saw ways to put the old ideas together where before they just lay there like spilled laundry on the floor, nothing seeming to go with anything else.

But now that’s passed. I have the beginnings of a new vision, an infusion of fresh life… For today at least. But today is all I’m told to concern myself with.

Thank you, Lord!

[I am, by the way, finished with chapter 4, chapter 5 has already been sketched out (years previously) and I started on ch 6 this afternoon. See the little Chapter progress widget up on the left!]


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