Sunday, March 8, 2009

God's MIGHTY 2 x 4...

So, I owe you an explanation for the last post. Just so we are clear, that post was a small peek inside my brain. (I know, it's a scary place!) But God is good and when I slow down and put MOMMY first, He makes sense of all of the GIBBERISH!

It's hard to put yourself first when so much of your life is dealing with/helping/doing for other people. Some of those people are helpless little creatures but some of those people who rely on us are adults and sometimes we just need to learn to say "WHEN."

So, a lot happened this week and my brain was having trouble keeping up. Emotionally I was a wreck. Have you had those days? You know the kind, when you can hear your brain boiling, the hair on your neck stands up at the smallest of annoyances and you draw blood from your own palms as your fists are frozen in the clenched position. I know, that's a little dramatic...but I think I would be right on the mark if I said we have all had at least ONE of those days.

When you are having one of those days, do you let yourself slow down? I don't know about you, but when I am in "a funk" like this - I don't want to slow down. I think it's my 'fight or flight' nature - I just want to get through the day so I can start over tomorrow. But this is usually when God raises one of his Heavenly 2 x 4's and slams me on the back of the cranium and says..."Let me!"

It sounds pretty easy. Letting someone else deal with your stress. Throwing your hands up and walking away is what we sometimes WISH we could do. But we don't. And in the moment it's NOT easy to do. But let me tell ya, if you don't heed that first 2 x 4, the second one will come harder...and I think that's what happened this week in the Brownlow house...well, at least in my head.

So, you all know the illnesses that we were dealing with in my house...if you need a recap you can LAUGH your way to oblivion HERE and HERE and HERE!

Prayer was huge in our house...."Please let them get better!" "Please help me live through it!"

Here is the groundwork: I am an artist. Therefore, I have always been a quirky person. I have weird quirks, things people don't "get." It's just who I am and thankfully I have the BEST husband in the world to walk this wacky walk with me.

Maybe it's my age. Maybe it is my current stress level. But those little quirks have become amplified over the past couple years and, at times, are literally paralyzing. This week, b/c of one of these quirks, I let down my BFFs and they were angry. There is nothing I hate more than disappointing someone...let alone 3 of the greatest women on the face of the earth. But, all is good. I told you they are the greatest.

I let go of a couple writing gigs after a conversation I had with God.

So, God and I were chatting about my "gifts." How did I know God was talking to me, you ask? Well, everything I read, heard or thought was related to spiritual gifts, talents and children's authors. An interesting mix, huh?

Well, this is the SENSE I made of it.

I have always been passionate about children. I have taught them since I was a VBS volunteer in elementary school. I was a public school teacher. I ran my own art summer school for HS kids. I have done writing and arts activities in local schools. I have taught private lessons in my home. I am that mom that always has kids in the house (most of which are not mine). I have taught homeschool kids. And I currently teach the most amazing group of 4th & 5th grade girls every Sunday morning...they are my passion...they will someday change the world...each and every one of them. I could blog JUST about them!

Anyway, you get my point. God laid at my feet all these examples of where my passion lies. And then he asked me, "And who are you currently writing for?"

I answered sheepishly, "Ummm. Adults."

He came back with a resounding, "DUHHHHHH!"

No. He was a bit more graceful with his nudge after He knew I "got it."

So, I have gotten my act together. I wrote my LAST column... *sniff, sniff* I got some "stop freaking out on your friends" pills from my doctor. And I am trying to slow down and listen for His wisdom more often.

So, this week I am re-focusing and putting my efforts into my kids writing, ONLY. I have 30+ picture books all in various stages of completion. About 10 of them have been tweaked and critiqued by the best SCBWI critique group...MINE! I have an editor who has asked me to send some manuscripts (will send her Macy-Sue LaRue series probably), I have an agent looking at Old Mutt's Saloon, and a couple other opportunities that could make that all-important connection.

So, I am back on track. Our house has been Cloroxed. The sickies are on the mend. My niece is OK. The girls have forgiven me. My mind is racing with new and innovative kids' book ideas.

God is good.

But don't forget to DUCK if you choose to ignore Him!

8 comments:

tier1-living.com said...

Michelle, your blog is a new find for me. I LOVE IT! I am sending you a virtual pat on the back for recognizing your strengths and listening to the guidance you were receiving. The 2 x 4 analogy is perfect. If you miss the first one, watch out. The message WILL come through eventually. Best of luck on your children's books. I look forward to following your progress.

Pretty Whimsical said...

Michelle,
I'm new here too. Love your 2 X 4 analogy! Can totally relate and have been feeling God's loving wacks a lot lately myself. The process is very frustrating but only brings forth more growth. Excited to read more about you in the future.
Stacey

Josh said...

I work in a busy NYC ER, and sometimes I have days like that. Sometimes everything is frenzied to me, I can't focus on my patients, I feel constantly rushed, and it's generally a bad day.
And you know what? I realized that I see the same number of patients when I'm frenzied and rushed as when I'm relaxed and pace myself.
This was eye opening to me because I can make it my *choice* to reduce the stress and slow down my artificially frenetic pace. I'm the only one who can put a stop to that behavior.
I think that we all have days like this, and you have to remember that you ARE going to get through the day regardless of what happens, you can't stop seeing patients or stop taking care of your kids, you might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.
Just my two cents... (by the way, I'm also struggling with an anxiety disorder).
Josh

The High Family said...

Glad to hear that your family is finally turning the sick corner and on their way back to better health.

Great message...thank you for reminding me to stop and listen...

Good Luck with the kids writing! Can't wait to hear what you have coming out!

Hopefully I get my interview done this week and emailed back to you.

Take care! :)

Farmer*swife said...

Fabulous post. I too have had those days, and weeks. And, I've had to venture to those "stop freaking out on my friends/family" pills on occasion!

Your Macy-Sue-LaRue book sounds adorable!

Coffespaz said...

ROTFLOL!! I love that picture of God whacking us with his 2x4...and yes, I feel like he does sometimes too. Thanks for posting this, I think it was something I needed to read today. All the best with your newly found path, can't wait to send my brother some of the books when I see them on the Border's and B&N shelves so he can read them to his new baby daughter.

MaBunny said...

Ohh, I like the imagery of getting smacked with a holy 2x4! Thanks for the wake up call and I am glad you are doing better:)

AlaneM said...

Ya know somethin' funny? I totally understood your previous post!! Yup, been there, more times than I care to count. Love your 2X4 imagry - I can almost see the dent in my forehead LOL!!