the-OneThing: Life as a writer —a break to practice the-OneThing with my extended family, and planning —a most helpful tool during times of change
Seeking acute awareness of Christ’s immediate presence — the-OneThing.
At the end of this writing life update, look for a link to join my reader support group. I need folks like you who enjoy reading Christian Suspense and Thrillers to join the team.
I took a few weeks off in July so my husband and I could enjoy some of our family who lives halfway across the country. Our seven grandchildren, ages three to thirteen, their mother, and a friend, came for a visit the first two weeks in July. My daughter and her children have been through a rough patch over the last few years. They are hurting. Dealing with their pain in various ways. My husband and I can’t fix their pain, even though we wish we could. We can’t change their situation. But we can love them. We prayed God’s Spirit would minister love into their hearts while they were here, and multiply it after they left.
We needed a plan to set ourselves up in the best possible position to make their time here memorable.
“The duty of planning tomorrow’s work is today’s duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.”—CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
I started my plan with a reality check:
- I’m older than when I used to cook and manage my little army of 6.
- My home isn’t set up for children the way it was when I still had children in the home.
- These seven darlings with broken hearts would be out of their normal routine, which could invite a little chaos. Or maybe a lot.
Next, I set my expectations and hopes in order.
At the recommendation of a friend, I asked the Lord for one tiny moment of connection with each person. As faithful as he is good, he gave me more than a tiny moment with each person. As he did, I recorded the moments in my journal as thanksgiving entries. These brief moments were windows into their hearts. Whatever I learned about their hearts now translated into specific prayers for each person. This step of planning was my BIGGEST win.
Then, I thought through the practicality of serving eleven people three meals a day for a week.
I planned meal options, more than we needed, before they arrived, printing the recipes and labeling each with the day of the week and the mealtime I could serve it. The printed recipes with corresponding grocery lists made it super easy to switch things around as our daily activities shifted. A well thought out plan makes space for change. And it did!
After that, I considered how to keep myself physically strong.
- My digestion has been messed up since I had COVID in February. I’ve been working on an eating plan to heal my gut. It’s working. So, I planned to keep healthy ingredients on hand for an “eating clean” diet.
- Planned to walk many steps.
- Planned to go to bed each night between nine and ten.
Last, I thought about potential hiccups or trouble spots that might arise.
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near one.”—J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
I loved having my family here. Getting to know their hearts in new ways filled me with joy and gave me helpful insights to fuel my prayer life.
They left a week ago. Life is almost back to normal. Next week I’ll get busy on my revisions for Dangerous Exposure.
For my family, we’re praying for God to multiply any good he flowed through us into our grandchildren’s hearts.
For my writing career, I need to build a team of readers who enjoy reading Christian Suspense and Thrillers.
What does that mean for you?
- Add your email address to a special list of readers.
- Until the book goes on sale, I need your prayers.
- When I have a readable copy of the story, I’ll send you an advanced reader (ARC) copy of my book before it goes on sale to the public.
- Then, on launch day you can leave an honest review of the book.
An advanced reader team makes all the difference in the world to a writer’s success. I’d love to have you on the team. If you enjoy reading in the Christian Suspense and Thrillers genre, then please click here to let me know you want to join the team.
See you next time, as the story unfolds,