It’s been a rough couple weeks as far as writing goes. Not having electricity will do that. A yard full of tree removal folks will do that. So will internet providers who want to get into the basement on days when you feel like your house had a tornado inside. And playdates (which have been gifts) and trips to the library and kids who are staying up waaaaaaaay later than usual.
Writing has been a little rougher than usual.
And I’m choosing to give myself a little/a lot/a truck load of grace.
I know. I want to have A Cup of Dust done on September 1. 44 days. And I could let myself boil over thinking about that one.
If I don’t hit my own deadline the world will keep spinning. I won’t explode. Everything will be just fine.
The other day, when the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief people were here, one of the women put her hand on my shoulder. She told me about the wind sheer that hit her home years ago. It tore into her house, nearly harming her children. She smiled and told me I was doing okay.
“One thing at a time. Somedays it’s good enough just to keep the kids fed. That’s all right, you know,” she said, her words a gift.
And then she proceeded to haul branches out of my yard, clearing space for my kids to play in again.
That was a gift, too.
One thing at a time builds up to two. One word makes a sentence makes a paragraph fills a page ends up being a chapter.
Somedays one thing at a time is colossal.
The other day, John Blase posted this on his Facebook status…
“Updike once wrote that there are days when the most spiritual thing you can do is place the empty milk bottle out on the steps. Yeah, not many of us do the milk bottle delivery thing these days, but his point was that sometimes a single act of defiance against inertia, even something as seemingly mundane as switching out an empty milk bottle, is a truly beautiful thing for it indicates a movement, albeit slight, in the direction of Life and Grace. Maybe you ‘switched out the milk bottle today’ and that was all you could muster. You may doubt the value in that act, but John Updike believed it means something, and so does John Blase…so that’s two of us at least, one of either side of you, saying ‘attagirl’…or ‘attaboy.’ Hang in there. Don’t give up.
Sleep well, sleep warm, my friends.”
And that, my friends, was yet again another gift.