Just like I do for every month of the year, I had big plans for September. Buuuut . . . things happened and I only “accomplished” a smidgen of what I had originally intended.
Nevertheless! Some fun and great things happened in September! Let us begin…
Some friends from Florida stayed with us to get away from the brunt of hurricane Irma. It was wonderful to be able to spend time with them.
Our family attended a WW2 Reenactment in Linden, TN and this was so amazing it will produce not one but THREE blog posts (one about the event, one about dancing, and one about soldiers) so stay tuned, I hope to have those up soon!
For now, suffice it to say that I had a complete blast. It was absolutely amazing and best of all, I got to meet an online acquaintance! My sweet friend, Elsie Stoltzfus, was one of the reenactors and I was so incredibly blessed to meet her and give her real life hugs! I keep thinking about it and every time I do, I thank God for the opportunity to meet her in person.
I was interviewed at Homeschooled Authors.com.
I was interviewed by my sweet friends Victoria Lynn and Sarah Grace at Ichthus Family Productions.
I was interviewed LIVE on Youtube by Livy Jarmusch.
And yes, I did go bouncing around the house quoting this line when she first asked me. 😀 I was excited . . .
. . . Until the day before and then I started looking more like this.
But by the time the interview actually started I was relaxed and just enjoyed it. I had lots of fun and I would definitely do it again!
I wrote four short stories.
I have started seriously pursuing submitting stories to magazines and in the middle of September, I found a magazine that looked promising. They were asking for Christmas story submissions but submissions were going to close in a week. My first thought was: “Ah, well – that’s not enough time to write even one short story and besides, I don’t even really like Christmas stories.” Then I kept thinking about the “cough” money and came up with three ideas I really liked and wrote them in two days. I also wrote a fourth story for a future theme and submitted that as well. I’m very excited to start experimenting in this new realm and whether I get accepted or not (not really expecting to) I’m learning a lot by honing my writing skills with short stories.
And yeah, SORRY TEAM NO-CHRISTMAS – I failed.
I did it for the money. #ihope
But I didn’t listen to Christmas songs or drink hot chocolate or do anything Christmasy while I was writing them. I miiiiiiight have hummed a few Christmas songs but it was against my will, I assure you. 😀
I PAID for some marketing for my books. “gasps” I know…. it killed me to do it, but I’m trusting in the adage that “you have to spend money to make it.”. Adage, don’t fail me!
I also put my short story, The Key To The Chains, on sale at Amazon. For three consecutive days it was free and my Amazon sales rankings went from somewhere near rock bottom to THIS.
Now, it’s still 4000 and something in the overall Kindle store, so…..obviously nowhere near the top 100 in that arena.
By the way, my short story is still free, today is your last chance to pick up a free copy!
And that’s about it for September. I had planned to get a lot of writing and other projects done but things changed.
And now . . .
“It’s Time To Talk About What We Have Learned Today!”
I spent most of September in pain and very limited in what I could do.
Aside from the pain, I struggled in other ways. One of the worst things that can possibly happen to me is to take away my work. I panic.
To be honest, I was both scared and angry. Frightened at how long this might continue, frightened that I couldn’t do what I needed to do and angry that it would happen at all.
All it takes is the smallest imbalance in our carefully constructed lives for all of our plans to come tumbling down like a child’s tower of blocks and then, like a child, we throw a tantrum that such a thing could happen.
All it takes is something like this and I can go from feeling pretty good about myself to realizing just how sinful I am.
The moment things didn’t go according to my plans, anger, rebellion, fear and frustration rose up in me.
I know that I am a fallen being, but sometimes I can be flippant about it; it can become trite, but then sometimes I am made acutely aware of how fallen I really am.
Luke 5:8 – When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees. “Go away from me, Lord,” he said, “for I am a sinful man.”
But the Lord does not go away from me, He pursues me, He claims me, He brings me back. And even when I can’t bear to have Him look at me – I keep running to Him for help, for there is no other help, no other way but through Him.
Where I end, Jesus begins. When I am empty, He is full. When I suffer, He is gracious. When I am rebellion, He is surrender. Where I am angry, He is love.
These aren’t things I can learn in one day, they are truths that must be hammered home every hour –but it is during the trials when we are constantly sent running back to him.
People often ask how a loving God could allow bad things to happen. There are many answers to that but one answer is – if it weren’t for the storms, would we forget our anchor?
We often do.
So, was it a blessing or a curse?
No one enjoys pain or feeling helpless, I can’t deny that, I didn’t enjoy it. However, you learn a lot.
I like to work, and there is nothing wrong with that. God wants us to work and he doesn’t want me to quit. He gave me the work that I have to do. But I can get so focused on my work and so determined to complete certain tasks on a certain deadline that I not only get overwhelmed with self-imposed stress – I can start to idolize my schedule without even realizing it.
But I believe the Scriptures and when it says “God works together all things for the good of those that love Him.” I know it is true. And even though I can get angry, even though I am sinful, in my weak, fallen way I do love Him and I do pursue him. So I know that He is working out my life with all its snarls in the best way, even if I cannot always see it.
Also, I know some of my friends and followers deal with physical limitations and pain. When I have pain of my own to deal with, this sharpens my sympathy and hones my prayers for those that are struggling far more than me.
In a very, very small way, I understand what it’s like to not be able to do things that other people are doing, to not be able to match other people’s productivity, to live with some form of repeating discomfort.
I don’t write this to depress people or (God forbid) to look for pity; Allison’s Well is about finding rest and refreshment. Finding that is not always easy, but we can find rest and refreshment in God no matter the circumstances – He may let the boat be battered for a while, but somehow, somewhere, sometime, there’s a safe harbor and a respite not a moment too late or too soon.
There can be joy in the pain – without the pain, there is so much I would not have learned. This month was merely a flare up of things that I have been dealing with for years and because of these struggles it has brought me to a different place – a higher place – and it continues to challenge me in ways that will only make me stronger.
So is a half-empty nutshell such a bad thing?
I would have to say – no.
It only has to be empty if I chose to be empty.
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be
to all the fullness of God.