Phoning It In

First, let’s dispense with the necessaries:

Happy Halloween!

I Made It!

Last Day of the Write 31 Days challenge!

Happy Halloween!

(I already said that, didn’t I?)

You know that moment where you’re driving along a highway and you are so zoned out that you miss your exit? Or turn? Or, state line?

I kind of feel that way about what just happened here, over these last 31 days. I assumed that there would be a few bumps in the road, as I sought inspiration each day. While I did, indeed, plan a few of the posts out ahead of time, most of them were written only a day in advance, if not the actual day of. Missing at least one day of writing, if not many, was what I believed would happen.

But, Grace pushed me through. It gave me the extra hour that I needed, encouragement in the form of your comments, and even a gentle nudge to check why my post still hadn’t “published” by 9:30 at night! (TIP: It helps to specify A.M. as opposed to, you know, P.M.)

Even the passage of time was a grace to me throughout this challenge. I feel like I must have zoned out for a while, because MY LANDS, how did the end of October sneak up on us this way?

You see, on the very first day, I mentioned that Commitment and I don’t get along too well.

Apparently, we are now friendly. Oh, yes we are!

Thank you Write 31 Days challenge, for that.

So, today, I’m phoning it in! With this picture of my Halloween Costume from 1981. If you can figure out what I was, comment. You’ll be entered to win a copy of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful by Myquillin Smith (The Nester). I think it’s fitting, since she hosted us during this challenge. Yes?

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P.S. HINT: I wasn’t actually all that hot, was I?

P.P.S. I’ll close comments on Monday, November 3rd at midnight EST.

(What comes after P.P.S.?  This is day 31, OH YES IT IS, of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click my button below to be transported to a list of each of my 31 Days of Grace posts.)

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The Worst Four Letter Word

Fear can instill some mighty heavy feelings in this heart of mine.  I keep kicking the can down the road, where some of this fear is concerned. But, dang it all if it doesn’t so one little thing to help soothe that erratic heartbeat of mine!

If I know anything, (and let’s just agree that I know next-to-nothing), it’s that when fear grips, faith grows.

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Faith in being an Overcomer.

Faith in The One who overcame all.

Faith that this grand story that I get to be a part of turns out Beautiful.

Next weekend, I will be swimming that quarter of a mile that I committed to swimming, a few careless weeks ago.

Sweetman asked me if he and the kids could come cheer me on.

I said no.

I’ll let that hang in the air a minute.  It’s okay.  I’m as ashamed to write it as I was to be feeling it.

Why in the world did I say no?

Fear.

I didn’t want them to see me fail.

I didn’t want them to see me struggle.

I didn’t want them to see me come in last.

Fear really is the worst four letter word, isn’t it?

How dare I say that My People can’t come see what all of these morning “work” swims have been all about.  Why shouldn’t they see me work hard and follow through on a commitment? Why shouldn’t they watch as I try?

Because, actually, to try is to win. I’m halfway there just by giving it a go!

And, you know what? I want them to see me give it a go!

Did you see what just happened there?

My faith… it just grew.  It out-gripped that fear and overshadowed it and made my heart beat a little more steadily.

God, you tell me that I can do all things through you. And, that it’s You who gives me the strength to scoop and cup that water and slice through it with enough power to see me through to the end.  Get me there, God. See me through, in Your power.  Let my family see that I can indeed do all things through You, who strengthens me.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!  (taken from Philippians 4:13)

Oh God, what you can do with some Words.

My no has become a yes.

Oh, yes indeedy!

Like a Victor

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There are fights that you know, going in, are going to be tough to win. I sometimes question why it is that I always seem to pick the hard fights.  Why can’t I just pick the “Which Color Should I Repaint The Master Bedroom?” fight?

Nana always said I have to do things the hard way.

Maybe because the hard way leaves a deeper impression in this thick head than the soft way.  Possibly, I really do have an inability to focus on one thing at a time and need that extra knock, face-down in the hard dirt, to really zero in on the source of my fear. Or pain. Or anger.

I harbor no delusions about my personal battle ahead. It will be fraught with careful choices, difficult decisions, and denial of impulses. Some, are impulses that have been given in to so often that it may take a sweet forever just to retrain a single one of them.

But it is a fight I’m choosing to pick.  With this new year comes fresh vigor.  I don’t know why vigor seems to come freshly canned for me only in January, but it does. And I am willfully opening a 28 ounce can of it right this minute.

Come March, heck – come February – I may be dragging my heart back into the ring for the umpteenth time. I know that already.  It’s okay.  I have many standing outside the ropes just waiting for me to tag them in to fight the battle with me. In prayer. In person. In love.

That’s the beauty of picking fights, you know.  It’s seeing those who surround you to cheer you on. It’s knowing, with certainty that this is a worthy fight. A good fight.

The good fight.

And, even if I lose, I’m victorious.

He already won It All for me.

Like a Victor does.

Like The Victor Of All Time did.

It’s been a good long while since I’ve linked up with the writing friends over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday Community.  Hop on over there by clicking the button below and you can read all of the thoughts on “Fight”.  I’ll just bet you have your own, don’t you? “Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

 

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