Friday, August 1, 2014

Still swimming

After much frustration with one of my picture book manuscripts, I decided to throw it against the wall put it aside and concentrate my efforts on getting some "required" reading done. I shake my head in disbelief that I have to be intentional about reading. So intentional, in fact, that it's scheduled. What happened to the days of staying up all night with a good book? (Oh, yes, now I remember. AGE happened. Well, that and seven children and homeschooling.) So, ummm, guess I'll get back to that schedule now.

Aside from reading deliberately, I also had to get over not being able to finish a book quickly. I've had to learn to be content with reading however much gets read in whatever time presents itself. It means taking advantage of, say, fifteen minutes and being o.k. with that. For a concrete, sequential person like me, this is tough! I want to finish what I start, and I want to do it in one sitting. Fortunately, being a mom of many children already clued me in to this. But, for whatever reason, I've had a tough time applying it to areas of recreation. After all, who wants to be interrupted doing the things they love doing?

I found, however, applying the principle of "work first, play later" to be highly effective. It gives me the motivation I need to get the job done, with the effect of a sweet reward. Writing, as well as reading, takes great discipline. It's been a muscle that was, quite honestly, neglected and weak. It's also one, however, that I've enjoyed rediscovering and strengthening!

Above all, though, I'm learning that discipline goes hand in hand with grace. Without grace, discipline is a harsh task master and leads to dry, dead results that lack joy. It is like a stagnant pond. Grace, with discipline, however, leads to life and joy. It becomes a stream of living water. I'm taking a swim with grace. See you next Friday, dear reader!

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