ONE WORD TO GUIDE ME IN 2016




In keeping with a tradition of many bloggers, I’ve selected a Watchword to guide me through 2016.

Last year, I chose Kindergarten. I know that sounds odd, but it was a reminder to

 STOP, LOOK & LISTEN

I knew I needed to slow down, take stock and get quiet so I could hear that still, small voice inside. It was a good choice because it helped me come face to face with a major weakness I’ve ignored too long.

Although my problem is rooted in a positive trait—loving people—it sometimes leads to making too many commitments. 


I had to admit that I’m prone to sacrifice personal deadlines to social opportunities. I’d rather be with you than pounding the keyboard in solitude. Plus, I hate to disappoint.

Last year, I finally understood that I couldn’t juggle multiple commitments and get much writing done. I realized if I didn’t make some changes, I’d never accomplish the things that are most important to me. 

I also acknowledged for the umpteenth time that I have a hard time getting back to a project when I get interrupted. 



One example is a quilt top I pieced several years ago in a community course. The class ended before we completed our projects, but the teacher gave us finishing instructions and made herself available to answer questions. With her help, I pinned the batting and backing in place and selected a border pattern.

When I brought that little quilt home and spread it out in a guest room, I fully intended to complete it. But something came up that was more pressing, and you know the rest of the story. 



At some point when I tidied up the room for guests, I stashed it in the closet. Occasionally, when I’m looking for something there, I’ll take the quilt out, admire it and vow to finish. 

But I can’t seem to find the time to sew that first stitch—much less the last.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER

The busier I am, the more distractible I become. 

Consequently, I have more important things on my Not-Quite-Done List than that little quilt, which brings me to my Watchword for 2016. 


It is FINISH.

Specifically, FINISH that novel I started longer ago than I care to admit.

I’m serious enough that the only New Year’s Resolution I made this year was to complete Trust Love (the working title).



It’s not that I have writer’s block or don’t know where the story’s going. I have a good grip on the plot. I love Thomas, my main character, and the people who inhabit his small town.




His story about broken dreams and how opportunity for a second chance appears in the last place he expects or even wants to be. 

INSTANT GRATIFICATION


I understand that my problem is a matter of priorities.

I love to blog and write devotionals. They come easily to me. They’re short and more fun than grinding out that x#?*!% first draft of a book Anne Lamott talks about in Bird by Bird.

I love being with friends in Bible study, prayer groups and on committees.



I especially love lunch dates. I used to say I had a Lunch Ministry, but that’s a story for another day.


THE SEASON OF TRUST LOVE


I’m determined to finish Trust Love this winter. That means approaching it like a job, setting what feels like an ambitious working schedule and sticking to it.

I already know the hardest part will be staying true to that schedule.



If I'm to accomplish my goal, I can't go out to lunch as often or take on more commitments. 

I won’t be visiting Facebook or posting here as much. But I plan to check in enough to stay connected.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES


I may have already told you that I feel 
God inspired the idea for this book. 

I want to honor him by finishing strong. 

That's my main incentive.



After that, maybe I'll tackle the Quilt in the Closet. (Don't you think that would make a nice title for a self-help book?)


IN THE MEANTIME


If you don’t see me around as much or if I have to decline an invitation, please know it’s not personal. 

It's a commitment I want to keep, which is why my 2016 Watchword is FINISH.

What about you?

Do you have a Watchword for 2016?

Is there something you need to FINISH or commit to this year?

I’d love to hear about it.
 

FEEL FREE


If you get curious about how Trust Love is going, please inquire.

It will keep me accountable.

And let me know you haven’t forgotten me.

Also, I'd appreciate your sending up a prayer that I'll finish this assignment. 









P.S. I still love people, especially you, my friend. I'm trusting we can get together and celebrate once that first draft is Finished.

Please keep in mind, whatever your endeavors may be, I wish you all the best in this 2016th Year of our Lord.




No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.
Philippians 3:13-14 (LB)





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