Following Through

10426856_10204329484716157_6242537118572845057_nFollowing through on my commitments has not always been my strong suit. Indeed, the list of things that I have quit in my life is probably too numerous to count. Or, with my lagging memory, to remember.

I have often allowed my feelings to get the best of me. My good intentions have flown out the window when I have felt the sting of rejection or simply boredom.

As Nicki Koziarz states in her new book, 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit,

“Momentary feelings will always try to convince us to forfeit our faithfulness.”

Whenever my feelings changed, I allowed them to lead me, rather than my controlling them. I retreated from rejection or raged at changes.  And in more cases than I would care to admit, I followed my emotions and simply quit.

Something began to shift in me recently as I began to read the Bible during an intense period of crisis that seemed to go on and on. I didn’t realize it at first, but something was happening in me.

When the crisis reached a high point emotionally, I suddenly became calm. Shock? Perhaps that was part of it. In the past I would have immediately walked out the door or done something stupid. This time, though, I was able to talk things over.

And I stayed.

Do I have any illusion that this was me? Nope, I sure don’t. It was all God and relying on His Word. Because if it were up to me, I would have been out the door with the first shocking revelation.

Koziarz goes on to say in her book:

“There is something to be said about a woman who follows through with her commitments, despite how she feels. There’s strength, honor, and God’s glory on the other side of remaining steadfast.”

Some days it is a daily, hourly, or even a minute-to-minute struggle to stand firm. I’m still a quitter at heart. I often falter, but I get back up and dust myself off. But with God’s help, I can follow through on my commitments.

 

 

Writing a Life…

Writing a LifeSometimes, blogging (or writing in general) can be a bit discouraging.

I write…and nothing.

And then I look around on the internet, and it seems like everyone else is succeeding at this writing thing.

Have you ever felt this way?

Honestly, I’ve wondered lately if I should continue my efforts. I felt that surely this was a confirmation that I am most assuredly not a writer, that I should just get back to my regular work.

This morning, though, I got a bit of encouragement in my mailbox, and I realized that although notoriety may not come from my efforts, my only responsibility is to stay faithful, serving God and others.

That loud and clamoring voice in my mind said in response, however, “Maybe this really isn’t what you’re meant to do, though? Perhaps you are just a bad writer.”

I listened to it, for awhile.

Logging in to check another blog this evening, I was surprised by several responses to a post.

Shocked even. People are reading what I write?

One person commented, “Me too!” She had had similar experiences to what I had described in the post and seemed to feel a sort of validation of her own experiences after reading my blog.

Wow.

Holley Gerth writes in her upcoming book, You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be

“We are closest to and most like Jesus when we are fully being who he created us to be.”

If one person reads and is encouraged by my writing, then that’s enough.

Popularity doesn’t matter, but being faithful to God does. And maybe that’s all I need to be concerned about at the moment.

 

Catnip Mice and Me

Catnip Mice and MeSince I have become a cat lady, much of my life seems to be devoted to caring for cats, whether in real life or in my Second Life. Spending so much time with them, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years. For example, cats generally enjoy variety, and they will typically do as they wish.

One of the most important things that Katniss has taught me, though, is that some catnip mice are particularly special.

When we first brought Katniss and Grant home from the humane society, I purchased a big pack of the mice as I was uncertain what they might like. We scattered a few on the floor and attempted to entice our new arrivals with the catnip toys. After awhile I noticed a pattern. While Grant played with any mouse, Katniss had chosen to play with only one.

Three years later, nothing has changed.

As that mouse has gotten more ragged, we’ve purchased other mice, but they quickly wound up in a forgotten heap in the corner of our living room. Like the Highlander, there can be only one catnip mouse in our house, at least for Katniss.

Cat mom that I am, I found myself with some anxiety one day when I realized that her mouse was on its last legs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember where I had purchased that original bag of mice. With a bit of searching on the internet, I finally found a replacement. Yes, I did indeed spend about 30 minutes researching and finally ordering catnip mice.

But will she accept a brand new mouse, even if it’s identical? I have yet to find out.

Her favorite catnip mouse is still hanging in there, providing her with hours of enjoyment. Frayed and worn, it still has its shape and stuffing. Let’s hope it has enough life for many more fun hours to come.

Small Changes

Small ChangesThe other night I was bored. Really bored.

This doesn’t happen often as I typically have something that I should be doing. However, with the current flux in my work hours, I was left feeling depressed and shiftless.

Both my real life and virtual kitties were napping, so I turned on Netflix and began browsing through the most recent movies. Nothing new caught my fancy, but then I saw one movie that my husband and I had enjoyed quite awhile ago. With that in mind, I clicked on it to begin watching.

The movie was Constantine.

I was not a Christian when we first saw the movie. My tastes in entertainment often tended toward the darker side, to be honest. Back then, this movie was perfect for me.

But now? When I attempted to watch it during my night of boredom, I was a bit disgusted. It no longer held any interest for me, and I quickly turned it off, preferring instead to read before going to bed.

Part of the change in my tastes could, of course, be due to the years that have passed since the movie was originally released. But I also think it could be a result of my faith and the different perspective on the content found in this and similar entertainment that it provides.

I hadn’t really noticed the growth, but it was there, small changes over time.

As Ellie’s father says in the movie Contact,  “Small moves, Ellie, small moves.”