Friday, September 2, 2011

Many Thoughts, One Mind

Remember, a writer writes always.
~Billy Crystal as Larry in Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

Things—just all kinds of things—are crowding my mind right now and I am finding it difficult to take aim at just one subject to expound upon, so I am going to just write about anything that pops into my head and see what happens. (Scary, I know. More likely boring.) As I write this I am thinking it will probably be about me, not a particularly entertaining subject and one I find rather indulgent of my self-centered nature, but one I think with which all fellow Christians wrestle as we try to be more Christ-like.

Some months ago, I began this personal campaign to change myself into who I really want to be, a person I push into the background because I always think I should be doing something more worthwhile. At least, that is my mind talk. I never really think I am the person God wishes me to be and yet I am never really sure what that is either. I have rested at oases along my life journey where I was confident I was doing what He wanted, but so much of it was only for a season and then there was the necessity to move on in my journey, like a spiritually-driven nomad without a permanent home...well, I do have one I believe, just not in this world.

It has been a blessing that I am talented in many areas, but it has a price. I love being creative and I have enough intelligence to learn how to do just about anything I set my mind to do. The problem is I can get pulled in too many directions because of this and I end up using escapism into whatever seems to take the least amount of effort or is just fun for me.

Less Computer Time and/or More Productive Computer Time

My daughter made some comments quite a few times in the last year resulting from her observations of my computer and me, mostly about how glued I had become to my "I can take it anywhere" laptop. Honesty slapped my left cheek, sooooo I did what any good Christian should do...I turned it, but in honesty it probably was more to just obscure that view of myself. Then, the right cheek got slapped when I began to realize that the Princess was beginning to take on the same habits, spending unnecessary time on her computer in the same way and asking to start a blog also! All I could think is "when will she have the time?" if I really had the time myself?

It is so true that we teach our children more through our actions than our words and I realized I was not being a good role model for the child I wanted her to be. However, I have to say that the Princess is quite a writer, not disciplined yet but she has the heart for making up stories and has been writing since she could pick up a pencil. Maybe she picked up some of that desire because I write...? So, maybe not all she has learned from my habits are bad things.

Now, blogging is one of my time consuming endeavors serving two main purposes. It helps me have a more creative outlet for writing, thinking out loud, if you will, and I tell myself that my peculiarities may help someone to think from a differing perspective as that is something I feel is always worthwhile. (I am not ignorant to the possibility that this just be a rationalization, even though it just works for me.)

While I am spending less "fun time" on my computer, I am using more computer time for homeschool related things: lesson planning, my own spelling curriculum, and so on. Just this weekend, however, the church has again asked me to work on the church website, which means more time on the computer again and it is for a good cause, but I am trying so hard to be careful with how much time I spend on the computer overall. I need this area of my life to stay balanced and realistic. It is not about what I can do, it is about what I should do. My Lord always has to remind me of that.

Tearing Down Barriers One Brick at a Time

I have come to this realization that the things I keep, often thinking one day I will use them, can also be the things that weigh me down so I do not use them because they end up being clutter, even when organized. At least that is how it works in my mind so I have taken some steps in removing obstacles, both mental and physical ones. For instance, I want to be the artist I know I am. My biggest obstacle has been...well, me. I blame it on the clutter in the arts and craft room, but I am the one who has not cleaned up that mess. However, I am removing the obstacles there one box or bag at a time.

Instead of holding on to things we hoped to place in a yard sale, I began, a few weeks ago, sorting through and just giving some of those things away. There are two reasons for this: One is yard sales never do well here and worse since the economy has been down. Second is that we were planning to haul these things down to Florida to have a yard sale at my mother-in-law's but that has not happened in the past year and is unlikely to in the next. The things of worth, I will try to sell on Craigslist, but there is not much.

Then what will I do? I have one project I have wanted to do for years...maybe even a decade now, but it is a new technique and I have my doubts if I have the ability to do it. Perhaps I am just afraid. Creating art is a very emotional undertaking for me. At times it has been relaxing, but rarely. I think too much while I work. I become too much of a perfectionist. I get lost in my work and my thoughts. Then, again, that is how I used to be, I really do not know how I would be now. Maybe I would have a differing mindset. Maybe I just am different and that obstacle is completely out of proportion but I have others. Once I have done a few things, then there is what to do with them...? Do I try to sell them? Use them as examples to get consigned work? Get a canopy and enter into arts and crafts sales in the area taking up entire weekends which are so precious to our family because of my husband's crazy schedule?

What would my Lord have me do with my art? You know, I do not even think I have really asked Him this question. Maybe I secretly thought art was my own little thing of which I would keep my Lord shut out. I cannot think of a time I have ever asked His blessing on it. This realization that I just now have had leaves me dumbstruck with shame and unbelief that I have not surrendered this critical part of me to my Lord! Something to be remedied this very day!

The Journey of the Blind

Once a woman blinded in her later years by diabetes asked me to guide her down the stairs into the sanctuary of a church, because her friend did not show up to do it. She did not really know me nor I, her. I was nearly overwhelmed with the responsibility of it. It is not a simple task. It is not like playing blind and leading someone around who could open her eyes. I would be the one making sure that her feet were planted solidly on each step so she would not fall. There was all this trust in me to do this.

Do I trust God to lead me blindly? At times I know without any hesitation that I times. Those times when I felt I was resting in an oasis, which is not really resting but really trusting my Lord. That is the real oasis. It is not a place but a state of the spiritual heart. I wish I could learn to stay there forever, but somehow I end up wandering off lured by distractions. Does it take blindness to make me appreciate and completely trust is His leading? Perhaps it takes a change of perspective. Perhaps the problem is that the distractions are only there because of my attraction to them, because my heart is not pure so that I am blinded to them.

And so my journey continues....

Where are you in yours?

~ My Lord, I had no idea about what I was going to write. I had no plan and yet spiritual thoughts spilled out from the cracks in my life. You are my Oasis. Help me to trust blindly in You always. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.