Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fixing my focus

I struggle with writer’s block pretty consistently. I drink coffee and stick earbuds blaring Derek Webb in my ear. I clean out my desk. I stare at the screen.

Nothing.

It’s a common affliction among writers and if you ask them, they’ll tell you to “just write.” Only what springs onto the page for me looks like this:

I’ve got nothing. I need to get out more and bump into some weird people so I can have good stories to tell. What makes a good story anyway?

I do tell stories. About politicians. And taxpayer money. That’s important. What am I making for dinner tonight?

Focus.

Maybe I need some caffeine. I love caffeine.

I love Dr Pepper.

I love lamp.

It’s undeniably clear. It’s so hard for me to focus,  and I realized I do it with my faith. When I feel disconnected from Christ, my first reaction is to fix myself. Only my tries are woefully useless and I just can’t focus.

This world is full of things to keep me from focusing on grace because this world says grace is boring compared to other things. This world says God’s will is impossible and doesn’t make sense.

It didn’t even make sense to the disciples. In Matthew chapter 16 when Jesus is predicting his death to his disciples, Peter pulls Jesus aside and tells him “Never. This shall never happen to you.”

Jesus responds: “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Because the things of men, the things that keep us from God, are stumbling blocks, and so maybe we should mirror Jesus’ words when we can’t focus:

“Get behind me, Satan, I have a job to do.”

“Get behind me, Satan, I have kids to teach.”

“Get behind me, Satan, I have people to love on.”

“Get behind me, Satan, I have a purpose.”

Because I don’t want to be so disillusioned that I miss that. I don’t want a clean desk or a good story to tell. I can’t fix my focus, so today, “get behind me, Satan, I have writing to do.”

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The Tyranny of an Older Sister

A few weeks ago while visiting my hometown, my dad burned the barbecue he had been carefully tending to. He had stepped inside when his phone rang and by the time he made it back to the pit, our dinner was a charred mess.

As my mom grabbed her purse to go get more meat for a second try, I stood up and told my sister that she needed to go with my mom and then told my husband to drive them to the store. Finally, I told my brother he needed to help my dad and then I volunteered to take care of the potato salad.

And here’s what my brother said:

“How come you give all the orders?”

I hadn’t realized I had snapped back into big sister mode. If you’re not an older sibling, you might know it as the bossy mode.

All my life, I’ve told my siblings what to do. Call it bossy. Call it tyrannical, but I’m very good at it. As I saw it, my brother and sister needed strict direction and plus, their crying was annoying.

Over the years, however, I’ve (sort of) grown out of my totalitarian ways, and I’m sure my husband would say that I’m never bossy.

Or else I’d tell him to say it.

In all seriousness though, I have hoped I’ve become a better big sister.  If they didn’t learn from my commands, then I’m sure I gave them a great example of what not to do when I was punished for my bossy behavior.

Anyway, with my brother towering over me now as a high school student and my sister off at college, it’s harder and harder for me to tell them what to do. My tyrannical skills are fading, and I may be becoming just a normal, boring older sister.

Yeah, right.

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Man, I’m Blessed

I’ve been fighting an awful cold all week and thankfully, my sweet husband has been great. I think it worried him when I slept all day on Monday, but he realized by Wednesday I was feeling better since I was jokingly singing a few bars from “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

I can be a bit dramatic.

For me, this is a week to be thankful. In college, I had excellent roommates who, when I was sick, would first ask me if I needed anything and THEN go to dance at the now-shuttered Texas Hall of Fame. They would crack the door open and put some medicine down on the desk and then check up on me later.

Then, my senior year, my best friend and Derek took me to the emergency room at midnight even though I put up a good fight. I seriously was blessed with some stellar friends in college.

So this week, I’m grateful for a husband that loves me enough to bring me soup and watch girly movies with me while I’m under the weather. He has let me control the remote all week— partly I think because the Texas Rangers baseball season ended last week and partly because I coughed on the remote.

Be praying that Derek stays healthy despite his living with a walking infection like me around him. Lockheed Martin needs him to be on his A-game so he can help save the world and I need him to keep being brilliantly awesome and to help me carry heavy objects.

Just last week, I took him to the store, pointed to a chair I wanted and watched him lift it over his head and narrowly miss knocking over a shelf of Christmas decorations and an older lady. He then strapped that chair down in the back of my truck before lifting it up again for the hike up the three floors to our apartment.

It must be the manly body wash.

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