Thursday, September 30, 2010

Writer's Block

I hate going through the cycles of a writer.

I'm working on a book (not editing one this time, writing one myself) and I go through these really frustrating phases.

First, I get an idea. I become really excited. I write and write and write. I carry a little notebook with me everywhere to put ideas down in.

Then, I get stuck. I stop writing for awhile. I feel stagnant. I am stagnant.

Something motivates me and inspires me to start writing again. I feel good. I write and write again.

I get writer's block and feel like I'll never finish.

I'm at that point now. It's not a lack of ideas; I feel like I've written so much that some of it is just mumble jumble and meaningless. I don't want to delete everything, but I don't know how to fix it. I want this book (if it ever gets published) to mean something to people. I want them to be able to relate to it and be inspired.

Darn writer's block.

Focus, Leah, focus.

Back to the writing board.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Help or a hug

Kade and I were looking in the bathroom mirror this morning and I pulled my bangs down so that they covered my eyes. (Sidenote: I got bangs about a month ago and Kade is not very fond of them. He's always pushing them out of my face.) I was hoping he would push them out of my face, but he just looked at me.

I said, "Kade, help me!"

He wrapped his arms around my neck, buried his face in my neck, and patted my back.

I said, "Kade, I said 'help me', not 'hug me'".

Immediately, I felt something move inside of me. He may not have helped me the way I meant to help me, but a hug is help. When I'm sad and Michael or Kade give me a hug, it makes a world of difference. When I'm hurting or stressed out, a hug IS help.

Reminds me of God. We're always asking Him for help, and when He doesn't help us the way we wanted Him to, we pout. Sometimes, parents divorce, children die of cancer, wars rage on, people lose jobs, and instead of stopping these things, God just wraps His arms around us. We don't always appreciate it. "That's nice, God, but why couldn't you have done so and so." I can't say why He doesn't stop all of the bad things in the world. I wish I could understand. I realized this morning, though, that when we ask for help, and He just wraps His arms around us and gives us peace, it doesn't mean he's not helping us. Take his help. Rest in His arms.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" Psalm 91:1

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was trying to think of a catchy title for this post, something that started with "F" and sounded good with Friday. I thought of "fabulous", but there's nothing very fabulous about this post OR Friday. I also thought of "fantastic", "freaky", and "fanatical", but those weren't right either. SO, if you can think of a good "F" word to go with Friday, let me know.

I missed having cable for the first time last night (we got rid of it a month ago and subscribed to Netflix), because the season premiere of "The Office" was on! Luckily, it was posted all over the webz first thing this morning. I have watched 2 minutes of it, and then paused it to do some work. I just want to savor a new episode, because I think we have watched all the seasons through twice since the end of last season. We are "Office" fanatics.

Mostly, not having cable is nice. We didn't watch much on TV anyway and there's such a huge selection of movies and children's shows that we're never bored. There's so much crap (for lack of a better description) on cable television and we were paying somewhere around $50/month for nothing to watch. Seriously. We got several hundred channels and would just sit and flip, flip, flip. Plus, one can watch all kinds of shows on websites like hulu or fancast. So, I'm happy with our decision.

Kade got his first amber teething necklace in the mail yesterday. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but I put it right on him (he doesn't know the difference anyways). He hasn't had it on long enough for me to tell if it works, but it looks so cute on him! I'll post a picture when I upload them. Actually, I have several cute pictures of the boy. I'll do a post of those soon.

He is becoming such a daddy's boy. They hang out a lot together at night (because I have the most awesome husband in the world who gets up with Kade at night and puts him back to sleep). This morning, he didn't want to let Michael go. I know it broke daddy's heart. In the evenings, I'll say, "Daddy will be home soon!", Kade sucks in all of his breath and grins and looks toward the door. He loves his dad!

On an unrelated note, it's hard to believe that it's fall here! The heat is almost unbearable in the middle of the day! I can't wait for real fall. Cool fall. Pretty leaves fall (right now, they're just brown and crispy). Fall also means that the Fall Jesus Party is coming up at church (our alternative to trick or treating on Halloween; plenty of candy, but no walking door to door). I've got to find a costume for Kade. I thought about sewing one, but my sewing machine is MIA somewhere "being repaired", and I don't know if I could learn to sew between now and then even if I had it. Anyone have any good ideas for costumes, though?

Well, I am supposed to be working on writing some things, but I got distracted, so......

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are you listening?

I was just rocking Kade to sleep and praying (and by the way, he's still not asleep; his daddy has taken over) and something struck me, so I wanted to get it down while it was fresh.

I've been praying for a certain person for a long time (and don't try to guess who it is, it doesn't matter). Years, in fact. I've prayed for this person to change, for God to soften this person's heart, etc., etc.

Tonight, the matter came up again while I was praying and God spoke something new to my heart--or maybe I was just actually listening this time. Often, He wants to tell us things far before we actually hear them--we just haven't been paying attention.

He said, Stop praying for this person to change and start praying that I will help you to love them just the way they are.

Wow, what a revelation! God will have to work on this person Himself--I really don't have any control over the situation--but I can choose to love them no matter what. I need to stop focusing on what I think God should do and start focusing on what I actually can do, which is to love.

After all, that's what God does. Even when I'm headed in the absolute opposite direction of where He intends for me to go, even when I'm stubborn as a mule and refuse to do what He says. He doesn't force me to His will. What would that teach me? He just loves me, and He waits.

So tonight, I choose to love.

Night, all!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Moments

So, I've got to say, putting a baby to sleep in his own bed is not easy--especially when he's been sleeping in yours for most of the last 13 months.

Kade is a very light sleeper and the tough part of this is not putting him to sleep, but in getting him down into his crib without him waking up. I've been successful at this for the past 5 nights, but only after developing a routine. After he is in his pajamas (if it's nighttime) with face washed and teeth brushed, I sit in his rocking chair with him and read a book, pray, and then sing a couple of songs. Then, we rock (which may or may not involve nursing). When I feel like he's asleep, I stand up and sway back and forth with him in my arms. Now, this is the hard part. If I don't hold him long enough, he will wake up as soon as I lean over the crib. If I hold him too long, he will wake up because he senses that something is changing.

The first or second night I got him down in his crib, I discovered that counting to 360 is the perfect amount of time for Kade to get fully asleep. I sway to the left and count 1, I sway to the right and count 2, and so on and so on. At 360, I slowly lean over his crib and gently lay him down.

Well, today at naptime, I was swaying and counting and suddenly, I thought--what a waste of time! And I realized something.

I pray for Kade several times a day, but I realized that mostly, I pray with Kade--for lunch, at bedtime, etc. I've really slacked on praying for him--for his future, his health--all the things I admired that my parents prayed for for me when they thought I wasn't listening.

So, today, I stopped counting and I started praying. Sometimes, we only get a few quiet moments in the day. The rest of the day, our thoughts are everywhere--work, husband, housework, money--everywhere but the really important things. Sometimes, we push the things that should be on the top of our list to the bottom. I want to make even my little moments count.

You know, people always say, "It's the quality that counts, not the quantity". Make this true in your life. Maybe you don't have a lot of downtime during the day. Most of us don't. So make your little moments count.

Friday, September 10, 2010

You never know....

Every Friday, one of my favorite high school English teachers would say to us,

It's Friday. The world is a sudden place. Take care of yourselves, take care of your hearts, and take care of each other. Come back safely to us on Monday, because you are loved in this place.

She wouldn't let us leave the classroom for the weekend without telling us this. If the bell had rung, you knew not to move, because Mrs. Short still had something to say. I remember one Friday, when I was in eleventh grade, she wasn't there, but she left us all business cards with her Friday saying on them.

In a way, it was surprising. Many teachers just seemed to care about what you were doing during the 90 minutes you were in their class, but Mrs. Short cared about us beyond that. She left such an impact on me, that when I decided to come back home to college and had to change my major, the very first thing that popped into my head was English class. Oh, I love to read and write--don't get me wrong--but it was the experience that had stuck with me. She had such a way with us, even when we were bad. She never yelled at us, but if we made her mad, we knew she meant business. Heck, we didn't want to make her upset. We had the most wonderful discussions (even when they were about nothing of any literary value whatsoever). She taught us about life. If I could ever be half of the teacher she is, I would be satisfied.

I guess, my point is--you never really know the long term impact you're going to have on someone. Even if you're doing all the "right" things, you still don't understand the full extent of your influence on someone. You might do something small that doesn't really meant much to you, but that sticks with someone else for the rest of his/her life.

I want to be this kind of person. I don't know if I'll ever be a public school teacher again, but I want to be the kind of person who makes a lasting positive impact on people, whether it's because of my passion for Christ or music or books or writing or breastfeeding or even just on my son. Whatever it is, I want to make a difference with someone, somewhere.

Lord, use me to do what You need me to do.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Catch up

I've been a major blogging slacker lately, but we've had a lot going on--and I've been trying to stay off the computer except during naptimes and sometimes, late at night. Plus, I don't feel like I've had much of value to say lately, and don't want to put anyone to sleep. However, you could probably use a good nap, so read away!

I'm doing some freelance writing right now, which is extremely fun and fulfilling. I like writing on this level, and hopefully, will do it again sometime.

I've also been substituting a little since school started back. Everyday that I go reiterates in my heart the knowledge that home is where I'm supposed to be (as opposed to full time teaching), but it's nice to keep my feet wet.

Michael is going back to college this fall, which I'm sure is exciting and nervewracking all at the same time. I'm so proud of him, though!

Kade is 13 months old and almost walking. He has stood by himself a handful of times, but won't quite let go of whatever he is holding on to. When he does finally let go, I know he's going to take off (We could all probably learn a lesson from that).

We went to Dollywood yesterday and Kade rode the Ferris wheel, the cars, and the carousel (which promptly broke as soon as it started). We had so much fun together, and it was nice to spend a day away with daddy. I'm pretty sure Kade's favorite part was the trip to Olive Garden, though.

After almost 3 months, Michael drove his car to work today. It has been out of commission all summer, so he has been driving his motorcycle to work and back everyday. Good for our gas budget, but not so fun for Michael. I'm sure he was glad to be inside of the car on such a chilly morning.

My little sis is back in college, with a year and a half left till graduation! She is also the director of their college sports network. Go Bucs! She has a wonderful boyfriend and most of her life is hunky dorey! Except she no habla Espanol, which could be a problema. (Just kidding, hermana.)

I could tell you all the boring stuff, like my parents just got back from the beach (Booo to them!) and I cleaned both of my bathrooms, washed the dishes, and took a shower by 9 this morning, but I'll spare you!

Happy kind of Monday!