For the past two years this blog has been on WordPress.com. I have gained followers and learned so much about the ins and outs of blogging.
I am so grateful for my regular readers and new readers.
Today I officially launch my new website! Join me at Lindasharonconnelly.com from now on. You will be able to research older posts, read series and new posts. I also hope add more samples of my writing outside of blogging in the future. This is a place where my hope is you find comfort, hope and joy. I look forward to what the future holds!
A place to call home on the internet.
The first Monday of each month I focus on story. Today, I am focusing in on the story of Christmas.
It is hard to miss the fact that it is Christmas season. Decorations have been put up, party inventations are being sent out, Christmas music is playing non stop in the stores. Beyond all this glitter is a deeper story. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy all the glittery aspects of this time of year. Watching my favorite Christmas themed films and specials. Spending time with family and friends while enjoying the tastes of this season. Perhaps a bit too much at times.
In all of the hustle and bustle of this month, running from one event to another that this is also a season of waiting and anticipation. Forgetting the story and reason behind all the glitter.
It is a story of God choosing to reconcile us to him. Leaving behind the security of heaven to come down to earth in the form of a human. To live and suffer amongst us. To experience all the joys, happiness, sadness and struggles. All the while knowing we would betray him, misunderstand him, and forget. Yet, he still chose to rescue us.
As I consider and savor the story of Christmas. I keep running into that word, chose. God chose to reconcile us with Him. He chose all that would follow.
This is my reflection this advent season, as I read through my devotional, as I ponder the gifts to make and decorate. I find myself stopping moment to moment to simply ponder. To stand in awe. God chose to come down to us. To meet us in our mess and sin.
How wonderful is that? This is a story of hope being delivered to us. A time of anticipation and reflection. In the midst of the busyness of this season, don’t forget the story behind Christmas.
This is a month more than any other where much is asked of us. Between work and family obligations, parties, shopping and food it can be overwhelming. Let me tell you a not so secret, it is fine to say NO.
No to that party.
No to the request for 200 cookies.
No to a gift exchange.
Saying NO doesn’t mean that you don’t care. Taking on more than you can handle because of feeling those expectations thrust upon you is nothing more than a disservice to yourself.
Say YES to those things you truly have a heart for. Say YES to what brings you joy. Say YES to what serves your family and lifestyle best.
For the past few years I have chosen a word to define and shape my year. In years past I have chosen Yes, Love, Boldness. This year was the year of Stretch.
It has been a year of ups and downs. Of grieving the loss of lives gone too soon, and others at the end of years of battling illnesses. A year of medical diagnosis’, witnessing the fragility of health. A year of evolving friendships, some getting closer while others stagnated.
It has been a year of changes at work. Adjusting to a new boss, being challenged with my writing. Finally being offered a new job in ministry with kids. A lesson in what God does through me, shows more than I ever believed.
It has been a year of gaining weight and finding myself searching for motivation to eat well and exercise.
Seeing God work through all of that and work in me too. Forcing me to face my neediness and jealousy issues. To pull back the layers of the why behind it all.
By choosing a word for the past few years, it has allowed for clarity. For me to view and process through it.
Make time for those healthy choices during this hectic month. And after too.
Plan realistically. Look at what waylays you from eating well and working out. You know exactly what your kryptonite can be. Mine is sugar and laziness in working out or choosing the drive thru instead of cooking. I try to keep healthier options on hand for when those treats start to fill up the conference rooms. Or eat my bigger meal earlier in the day since I may not get home until late that night. Plan work out dates with your friends. Or create a workout to go along with that Netflix binge. In other words, Adapt as needed.
Sleep! Sleep is key in overall health.
Earlier this year, I lost my Hershey boy. His loss hit me harder than I realized until weeks later. I honestly didn’t think I would get another cat.
Then an acquaintance posted on IG needing to re home her cat. I didn’t hesitate to message about her. I knew Nala would become my girl.
It’s been a few weeks since I brought her home. I’m learning about her personality, how different she is from Hershey. She has found her favorite places to make her own.
It’s nice to come home to sweet meows. To have another presence nearby. The love of a pet is priceless after all.
Congratulations!!!! Can you see the end?! All the coffee, chocolate and sacrifice is nearly at an end!
Hang in there! Just more days left! No matter where you are at with your word count, finish. Work until you get there. Stop on the 30th. Take a few days to regroup, reintroduce yourself to the family and friends.
Then continue on.
Later begins the next phase, revision. But that can wait, allow your mind to regroup. After all you need to figure out what happens to the fire breathing unicorn.
This has been a tough year thus far for a multitude of reasons. One aspect has been my health. Gaining weight after working so hard to lose it three years ago has been disheartening. My motivation to eat well and exercise fell by the wayside.
More and more I found myself choosing the comfort of food. Not that I fell back into full on binging as I have in the past. It is more making poor food choices when there are plenty of healthier options available.
Then a day or two goes by without a workout or good food choices. Since those days went by what does it matter if another one does? Then it becomes a week, and before I realized it a month. Sure, I’ve been busy. Juggling three part time jobs isn’t easy. But it also doesn’t mean I couldn’t have worked out those days.
Some of it is laziness, not being willing to wake up earlier to run. Or getting in one after a mentally draining work day. Not planning my meals ahead, which lead to me heading for drive thru’s instead of a waiting meal. Indulging in dessert when I shouldn’t have. Some of it is simply the reality of my new schedule, mostly eating dinner later than 7:30pm.
Then there is the difference in my body from three years ago. I am on the other side of thirty five, nearly forty. That’s something I need to remember, to honor and not berate myself.
And that I will need to work at being motivated. Something I didn’t need to do before. The motivation was just there, supernaturally planted. However, over time complacency set in for me. Complacency I don’t always fight against. In that I have lost the motivation that once came so easily.
This needs to change, I need to fight for my life. To care for this body, not to achieve some perfect body but in order to live a full life. I will plan ahead for my meals and snacks. I will fight against temptations at the office as the busy season kicks into gear. I will run at least three days a week and focusing on strength training the other two.
In doing so I hope to regain motivation. Caring for this body and my overall health.
Have you had to regain motivation?
Next week is Thanksgiving. A time to spend with family. There is also time to prep for the meal. Think about what this can mean for your writing schedule. Obviously, things must be adjusted.
How much will depend on what you hope to do for both.
Agree to what your able to do for the holiday. But also honor your hard work up to this point. This is nearly the finish to your novel.
Decide now if you are writing on Thanksgiving or taking the day off. By doing so, this will allow you to relive some stress. And also adjust your writing schedule accordingly.
That being said, congratulations on getting this far! I know that some days it can be like pulling teeth. At times your manuscript may seem more of a mess than not. Remind yourself that December is for revision.