Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why Writing A Book is Hard.

Because it just is.

When you blog, you have the freedom to cut out quite a few details due to the fact that you don't want to bore your readers to tears.  However, when you are attempting to write a story in its entirety, details you must include.  I've always been really good at giving way too many details when telling a story, but for some reason THIS IS HARDER.

It may also have to do with the fact that some of the details in this story are hard and messy and muddy and fuzzy and scary to tell.  Navigating through the way to delicately lay them out in an organized line can be tricky.

Progress is being made though.  I have a working title (Sweet Richard) and at least the draft of a first chapter written, with the shell of a second chapter in place.

How cute was I to think this would be just a piece of cake.

Chugging along and questioning myself daily.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I'm Tired of Your Stupid Lists. No Offense.

Trying to figure out your identity as a blogger, in a heavy blogging society, can be a little bit of a challenge.  For a year, my blogger personality was to write about grief.  Now that I've been focusing on moving forward, I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is I want to be to the blog world.

One type of blogger I've been avoiding becoming is the "list" blogger.  Don't get me wrong, I have written out a list or two in the past and they can be easy to read and understand, while also being helpful.  However, I feel like every time you log on to Facebook or twitter or even a news site, there is some list staring back at you.  (Please note this excludes lists from Buzzfeed.  Buzzfeed is perfect in every way.)

"6 ways to show your husband you respect him."  "10 ways to keep your marriage in tact." "25,000 ways to find the perfect mate."  Our fast-paced culture has gotten so fast-paced that we think everything can just be squelched down into 10 (or 25,000) easy steps.  Since when did life get easy enough to condense down into a bunch of numbered pieces of advice to live successfully?

About a month ago there was one post in particular that was circulating around my Facebook newsfeed.  "10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry" (10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry).  I avoided clicking on it for several days because I had a feeling I was not going to particularly enjoy it.  I also felt that I did not need some random man telling me who I should or should not marry.  Eventually I gave in and read the blasted thing.

I hated it.

My favorite type of man  listed was titled "The Addict."

5. The addict. Churchgoing men who have addictions to alcohol or drugs have learned to hide their problems—but you don’t want to wait until your honeymoon to find out that he’s a boozer. Never marry a man who refuses to get help for his addiction. Insist that he get professional help and walk away. And don’t get into a codependent relationship in which he claims he needs you to stay sober. You can’t fix him.

 To find out he's a boozer.  Woof.  Insert rage.

Calling someone with an addiction problem a boozer is offensive.  Saying that because someone made poor physical choices in college that they will likely sleep around on you when you're married is offensive.  Being a Christian and making accusations about people that may have truly turned their lives around, or are working on it (as we're all works in progress), is offensive.  Imagine how an alcoholic, that has been sober for 10 years, will feel when he reads that description above.  An alcoholic and an addict are always alcoholics and addicts even if they're clean and sober.  

I realize I am taking this article extremely literal and that it was probably meant to be more lighthearted.  But guess what - lists are literal...and the issues listed are not lighthearted.  We have to stop trying to condense life down into simplistic lists, living by them and worshiping them.  We have to remember that life, love and relationships are complicated.  It's not as easy as just "walk away."  We have to stop pointing fingers and make hurtful and unfair judgments.  

Show more grace; spread less hatred.

Monday, March 3, 2014

If Only We Had Known What This Would Turn Into.

I'm really good at staying busy.  Possibly too good at it.  Lately, I've been busy.  Busy moving forward, busy making plans, busy living life to the absolute fullest that I can manage.  It doesn't mean I don't think about him anymore.  It doesn't mean that I don't miss him or bring his name up in weekly conversations.  It doesn't mean that I don't check out his facebook page often.

The truth is that I will never stop talking about him.  He's so embedded in my life, my soul that it is impossible to leave him out.  Not just because we dated.  Not just because I loved him more than I knew how to.  Not just because he adored me.  But because it was through trials with him that I realized, more than any other time in my life, how much I need God.  If this beautiful mess of a boy had not been brought into my life I would still be wandering around thinking that I could continue to live life like I was in complete control, like I had everything figured out.  It is because of him and the struggles we faced together that I understood what it was to need Jesus and nothing else.  We had the most beautifully orchestrated disaster of a relationship.  Always waiting for things to get better, to catch a break, to just have the opportunity to be in one another's presence with no stress involved.

If only I had known what the Lord had in store for us.  If only we had known what this would turn into.

Often we hear Romans 5 quoted when people are going through trials and sufferings, smiling and nodding and acknowledging that, yes, those are good verses to lean on when you're sad.  But after you've been through the actual trial, the suffering and have come out on the other side, that's when you truly understand and appreciate what scripture tells us.  It has never felt truer to me than it does now.

Praying for those that are grieving the loss of a loved one.  It is not an easy battle to fight.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:2-5