December

So, I’m sitting here, procrastinating (or taking a break, however you choose to view it). And I’m in the middle of my usual December restlessness, but this time, it’s a restlessness of being worn out with all this writing and studying, not a restlessness of hearing once more the call I’d ignored for too long. This is a good restlessness.

I’m sitting here in a haze of joy because I am moving toward something again, and that kind of joy has visited me a few times this week, as I was hacking the ice off my husband’s car before a pre-dawn drive to campus for an early-morning exam because the headlights on my van are acting weirdly and I decided maybe seeing the road was important; as I was celebrating once again that final turn into the road that goes into campus, that my ancient van has made one more day with its transmission intact; as I was comforted by the thought that even though I’m fairly sure not all my answers were coherent, I have one more final exam finished. I’m thankful for the life in my heart and the heart in my life again. The light is on again –I’m once again walking the road of trans-rational faith, and it’s good. It’s very good.

Last December, I had a familiar stirring in my gut again about returning to school, and I knew I couldn’t run any further from my fear. Between mid-December and January 11, I had done the work to get back here in class, three weeks of whirlwind moments of panic and doubt, all sustained with an undercurrent of knowing in my soul that this was the right thing. And it is. All the disasters, all the contingencies, all the things I figured would go wrong? Some of them did, but God was bigger. Some never threatened to happen at all. Whether they do or do not happen is irrelevant to me now. What matters is that I know that no matter what, His is to plan, mine is to obey. He is big enough to handle it. He is never surprised.

And so, here I am sitting here in mid-December of 2015, carving out a new Ebenezer. This one’s all about reminding myself, reminding my children, reminding anyone who will hear of one thing: perfect love casts out fear. Every time.

 

Dusting Off -a ramble

So, I came back here this morning to blow off the dust and do some blog housecleaning. I’m home from class, due to waking up feeling rather wretched –and we’re getting the season’s first dump of snow today. Both things coincided, so I’m home with a (now cold) cup of coffee and a computer on my lap.

I’ve discovered after a couple semesters of writing countless papers that blogging –journaling, for that matter, which is what a lot of my blog posts tend toward– is an entirely different animal than writing a formal essay. I’ve looked back at some old posts, discarded a few that either are no longer relevant or are just so badly written that they’re plain embarrassing to me now.

I’d like this blog to be more of a writing-home after the schooling is done, a sort of self-published place to throw out ideas and stretch my legs before I go for a more formal writing run, so to speak. I’d like to make this into something as incredibly powerful as the other blogs I bounce around from time to time, but I’m not sure how realistic that hope is. When I’m asked about what I want to do after I have my degree, my first desire would be to join the Ann Voskamps, the Glennon Mellons, the Jen Hatmakers of the world and make my blog A Thing (in my own voice of course -if those ladies have taught me anything, it’s that as many wanna-be writers there are, there are about that many people with something significant to say), but …that’s like a high school football player hoping that someday he’ll be recruited into the NFL as a freshman in college.

I might be sinking into my characteristic Eeyore-ish disappointment-avoidance mode here, but I think that I’m being realistic. I’m likely going to be doing my time somewhere writing copy or doing work that isn’t my first choice. I’m old enough to have walked that road. And fame isn’t my desire, influence is. Influence can be had in small circles as powerfully as larger ones –sometimes more so. By “influence,” I mean being a channel of the heart of God into someone’s life. That sounds pretty grand put on a page, but it’s the best way I can put my heart’s desire into a single sentence.

Two things I’m hoping to find after school is done (May 2017 is my plan): a mentor, and a writing community. If I walk across the stage with those two things in place, I’ll feel a lot better about my future as a writer. However, they’re not things they automatically hand you or even give you instructions on finding. …Maybe I can change that. We’ll see. For now, I’ll sign off from the Home of Shameless Rambles (…maybe I should revert back to my “Flaming Edna’s House of Blog” days and make that my new blog title. …Nah.).

 

success is my only … option

…Or so went my going-home soundtrack a couple days ago. I’ve just about maxed out my phone memory on downloaded Spotify soundtracks for the ride home, but I forgot about making one for bad days, because up until Tuesday, they didn’t exist. Turns out, Eminem is massively awesome rage music. Who knew?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been floating in this sort of “is this really happening” cloud of elated incredulity that I could really, truly be doing this and not just daydreaming about it behind the wheel again. I still can’t stop smiling every stupid time I pass that “Dordt College” sign in the morning. Seriously. I’m kinda annoyingly happy. This is a new thing for me. …But I think I could get used to it.

As Newton’s law (it was Newton, right?) goes, what goes up must come down, and I managed to resist my internal pessimist (see, I told you I’m going insane…) enough to forget that with four straight weeks of this, something was bound to happen. Sooner or later, the static from KFKD (it’s an Anne Lamott thing…) would finally break through, and I’d be Don Music-ing my way home.

So, it happened. I survived. And now, I’m maybe a little bit embarrassed about it. As I reminded myself on the way home Tuesday afternoon (in between singing along with Eminem. All the words…), Einstein flunked math. Edison failed thousands of times before he got the light bulb right. Hemingway was a drunk. Wait –that’s not terribly encouraging. Scratch that.

Anyway, life is going on just fine beyond my initial happy fog of beginning a new semester, and I think I’m going to make it through, whether I have a couple spectacular failures or just a couple mediocre papers (which anybody who cares about their work can tell you IS THE SAME FREAKING THING) or things just go fabulously well the rest of the semester. And I know how to use semicolons now. And sentence fragments (although parenthetical statements… still a problem). I must be learning something along the way.

So, to those voices in my head (see also: KFKD): bring it. This is SO on.

Back to the lab again, yo.