Ever since my children started attending school, I have found myself in the quiet still of our home on the first day of school pondering goals.
Some of my goals are clearly kitchen related:
What interesting and nutritious meals can I prepare this school year for breakfast, packed lunches, after school snack, and supper? How can I vary them enough to keep my girls happy and satisfied? Funny how hubby takes the backseat with this set of goals. He's by far the easiest to please in the food category.
The apple french toast with prepared fresh fruit seemed to go over well this morning, so that's one meal I'll add to my rotating list for breakfast foods. I suspect the chicken caesar salad I prepared for their lunches will be equally satisfying, so I'm penning that into my rotating lunch menu. Snack and dinner I'm still at a loss for as of yet. Suggestions are welcome. Please!
Other goals are household chore related. You know, a schedule to scrub the toilet, shower stall, bathroom and kitchen floor, fridge clean-out, dust, vacuum, the never-ending laundry days that really need not be scheduled because it's really become like breathing--constant, force of habit.
Church responsibilities and spiritual growth is another one I tackle. How many devotions will I have time to ponder each week. When would be the best time to enjoy them and spend time with my Lord, listening for His answers, hearing His responses? Making sure we have the education hours at church all lined up and ready so that our congregation can be nourished by one another is another concern to keep track of often. I want to tithe my time to God, but as I look at all the other goals piling up, I'm tempted to plead "there just isn't enough time", and then I'm reminded that without Him, there would be no need for any of these goals, so He must come first.
Today's devotion was on Joy. Acknowledging the joy in your life. I'm joyful to have a life so full that I must prioritize and organize, and I'm joyful that I know that God will help do just that!!
And then we get to the fun writing goals. I tend to break this one down to yearly goal, monthly goals, and daily/weekly goals.
Yearly (and I go by school calendar for this, Sept./09 to August/10) : I'd love to write "get published" under this goal list, but if I'm truly writing for God, and trusting Him to lead and guide and answer, I feel what I really need offer in this yearly goal instead is three polished manuscripts (polished to the best of my abilities now) along with submissions of each to at least two targeted publishers. I write for God, therefore every manuscript I create I not only learn and grow in the art of writing, but I grow as a human being, as God's child. I stretch my comfort zone when I write, tackle tough emotional issues, and so if what God teaches me through these stories He lays on my heart are only for my spiritual and maturation growth, then I am joyful and grateful for His guiding me through that. If my stories are to help others and entertain others, then I know when God feels I'm ready, He will find the publisher for them. So all I have to do is write to the best of my ever-improving ability, grow in all kinds of directions, and send out knowing He's in total control!
Monthly: Well, for September, it's obviously centered around the ACFW conference. Preparing for it, and then organizing and absorbing all that I learned while at it. For October through December, I'll be polishing The Unlikely One with all that I learned at conference, and send a proposal for it out to at least one publishing house by Christmas. The rest of the year will be rewriting and polishing two of my current written stories. They need a lot of work, so it'll take me the eight months to deal with them. So the conundrum is: where do I fit in writing the story burning in my heart right now? It's a sequel to The Unlikely One, and I know who and where to go for the research of my hero's career, and subsequently, I know exactly where my tithing will go if this story should ever sell.
Have you ever pondered that? What organization will benefit from your tithing of income on each of your stories? I love thinking of this. It makes me all giddy to think that if God sees fit to have my stories published, that I'll actually be able to tithe from the sale of them. Not only is God blessing me hugely with growth in so many ways by encouraging me to write these stories, but if they make money one day, He's blessing me with the opportunity to help others financially as well. My first story is centered around creating a riding stable for the disabled. If A New Beginning ever sells, not only will my church and all the programs we support benefit from a portion of the tithing of sales, but Pride Stables, where I did research for that book, and where real horses therapeutically help the disabled, will also gain financially from that story.
Weekly/Daily: These I will create at the beginning of each week/day. They might include word count, certain proposals written, character sketches, research done, etc. They will be pretty specific. This week, I'm working on my proposal, gathering all needed for the early bird session at conference, and thinking packing-the-suitcase and all that that entails.
I've gone way to long on this post. Sorry. It's really more a diary post for me. But if you can gleam something from it, I praise God for that too!
Surrendering to Him,