Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was filled with blessings from the Lord. I took some needed time off and had a relaxing week. I spent part of that time working on my new website and posting past issues of my newsletters when I suddenly realized I did not send out an October newsletter. Oy vey! I guess I let my
life get a little busy. Sorry about that. I hope to do better in the future.
There has been a lot going on to keep me busy. Over the past few months, I have had a small nagging thought pop into my head: you need to homeschool your daughter. What? I pushed that thought out as fast as it came. I have been a single mom for over thirteen years, and I don't have time to work full-time, be a mom to three (almost) teenagers, and homeschool my daughter. What about me? I need some space for me. Not to mention that I don't have the energy or time to figure out how to do any homeschooling. But the thought kept coming back. I pushed it away without spending one second of time on it.
Then, a different nagging thought popped into my head: when are you going to do what you need to do for your daughter? I pushed that out of my head too. I will not live with guilt. I am doing the best I can and I will not allow self-condemnation into my heart. I don't have the strength or resources to deal with anything more than I am already carrying. However, the Lord made it crystal clear to me that those thoughts were His thoughts I was pushing away.
As I wrestled with that, I realized I needed to obey. After spending time with others who are homeschooling, and seeking counsel for this decision, I decided to do a crazy thing and homeschool my daughter. Feeling overwhelmed, I told the Lord I will not give in to fear but I will choose to trust Him for all the things I need. If this is His leading, then He will give me what I need in order to do this well.
During one of my drives home after dropping off two of my kids in the morning, I allowed myself to cry out to the Lord. I told Him: If You want me to give up writing my book so I can devote time to homeschooling, I will do that. I let go of the deadlines I had set for myself. I let go of the control I was trying to maintain. I let go of any thoughts still remaining that I could do this myself, without His help. And, sadly, I let go of my book.
Then, a funny thing happened. Just a few hours after I had given up my book, I received an email that someone signed up to receive my newsletter. I haven't had anyone new sign up for months. A little while later, someone else signed up. Then a third. I laughed out loud. Ok, Lord. I get the message. I won't give up on my book. I'm not sure what You are thinking, but I will choose to trust You.
The following day, three more people signed up. Then another the next day. Just in case there was any doubt in my mind, the Lord clearly confirmed what He wants me to do. But now I am free to throw away my deadlines and just write as the Lord leads. Which probably means I will get more done than before. So, I am back on track again.
Over the past two months, I have been creating my website. Apparently in this day and age, authors need to do their own marketing as they are writing. If you are interested in visiting my website, you can click here to see what I have done so far. I have also been submitting writing for publication and having a little fun with this new adventure.
Please pray that…
One summer when I was in high school, Dad and I drove our motorcycles to Colorado to see Grandma and Pops. It was exactly twenty-five hours of drive time. We rode until we were hungry or needed gas, then we were back on our way. We pushed hard all day, but around 10pm, I started getting tired. A rest area was just ahead, so I pointed to it and turned on my blinker. I glanced back at Dad. He nodded and followed.
I parked my bike next to a round, concrete picnic table well-lit by a twenty-four-hour light pole. Dad pulled up next to me and we both pulled off our helmets.
I leaned back against my rolled sleeping bag that was hooked onto my back seat. I looked over at him. “I’m tired.”
He nodded at me. “Okay. We can sleep here for a few hours. If we stay under the light, no one will bother us.” He dismounted, unhooked his sleeping bag and threw it out on the sidewalk.
I pulled my sleeping bag from underneath the bungee cords and walked over to him. I pointed to the ground next to his sleeping bag. “There’s a June bug.” The plump, brown beetle shimmered as it crawled across the sidewalk near where Dad planned to sleep for the night.
“So what? It’s just a bug.”
“I’m not sleeping on the ground next to that thing.”
Dad shook his head and laughed.
Walking to the picnic table, I threw my sleeping bag on top of it. “I’m sleeping up here.” I climbed on top of the table and slid inside my bag.
Dad continued to laugh as he glided into his bag and zipped it up. “Good night, you nut.”
After getting comfortable, I soon fell asleep. Occasionally, I woke to the sounds of semi engines or car doors slamming. I was careful not to roll off the table. That would be bad. Hitting my head on the concrete would hurt, but even worse, June bugs might be down there.
Morning greeted us with the warmth of the sun. I slowly woke and sat up. I rubbed my eyes and then remembered where I was – on top of a picnic table, happily bug free.
I gazed over at Dad. He was still snoozing on the sidewalk with his sleeping bag up over his head, the drawstring pulled tight around his face. I could barely see his nose poking through the hole. He was completely, entirely, utterly covered by June bugs. There was a dark cloud of beetles surrounding him for three feet in every direction. He couldn’t move without disturbing the entire lot of them.
I slowly and quietly edged out of my sleeping bag. “Dad,” I whispered. He didn’t move. “Dad,” I said louder. He moved slightly, and a few beetles started buzzing around his head. “Daaaad.” He woke and tried to sit up. The brown cloud of beetles transformed into a storm. I ran. Straight for the bathrooms. I didn’t look back. I heard the commotion. A yell. Buzzing. A zipper unzipping. Louder buzzing.
When I reached the building, I ducked behind the glass doors. I turned and watched a bearded man, my dad, enveloped in a swarm of June bugs, swinging his sleeping bag like a weapon and dancing to a tune only he could hear.