Living As I Write

Life is so busy that I hardly have time to do anything. Thankfully I’ve been given the chance to spend more of my time writing. If I were to choose any profession in the world, it would be to write. (Pro Mom is already a given of course.) But even though I have more time to write, it doesn’t seem like I’m making much headway. No matter how much I think and revise and work my stories don’t seem any closer to being finished.

Of course it would be easier if I wasn’t becoming a scheduling fiend. I still hold to my standard of “grace time” so I make sure there is a fifteen minute gap between every task just in case, but I’m still working on multiple projects at once.

It hit me while I was renewing our chalk board. I’m not sure why, but I wrote “Go on an adventure.” Adventures are such a big part of my life that I’ve always been hungry for more. With chalk on my fingers and the board in my hand I decided that it’s been too long since I’ve had an adventure of my own.

I became a writer because my mind is filled with adventures. I want to edit stories so that I can help other writer’s share their own adventures. But sometimes I forget that it’s ok to live your own adventures. Life has been a whirl of schedules, work, more work and trying to balance more schedules. (Ever tried to make the absent minded professor organize – and then stick to – a schedule? Try authors. They’re insufferable!)

My mind was made up; I put the chalkboard above the book section of our little toy store and closed up for labor day weekend two hours later. With my laptop in hand I stuffed everything else I brought into my car and walked to one of our local coffee shops. We have two, but I chose the one that had the best atmosphere for writing. (Dim lighting, comfortable chairs, organic tea that would make a hippy cry in ecstacy, art everywhere….yep.) I have no idea whether or not they have wifi. I didn’t ask. With my own personal little pot of tea I settled down in a corner and pulled out my laptop.

For once I managed to edit a chapter for another writer and work on revising my novel. Once I finished I looked around for a minute and thought of something….I was living my dream. Going somewhere I didn’t usually go, writing, taking in conversations and the pleasant environment around me.

I want to live as I write. When I say that I mean that I want to enjoy my life. Writing is a passion, not a pest. What no one ever told me is that passions were meant to be painful. (Look up the greek, peeps. Thanks, my theology professor!) So now that I know what I’m getting into – the easy days like Saturday, and the hard days like today – I still want to be a writer. And a teacher. And an editor. And a wife. And someday, a mother. If God wills it, I’ll get a blackbelt – maybe teach some little warriors of my own. #Goals

I’ve been so overwhelmed trying to choose from all of these things that I’ve forgotten. It’s not my will be done. Not even my will be done in my life – just God’s will….for the story that He is weaving I am but a thread. Were I to venture out on my own it would result in such a chaotic knot that only He could get it out. And where would the story go then? Would it not be greater to fulfill my purpose, no matter how difficult or impossible for me alone?

One word cannot make a story. Thus, it must follow the words that came before, and lead to the words beyond. Why would a single word wish to stand out above the rest? That is not how a story is made.

Why must everything I write seem so unoriginal? why would I choose topics like writing or women in the church or theology points that are most certainly beyond me?

Indeed, why would such a simple pair of ink-stained hands be given the opportunity to share her words with the world when she herself is nothing more than a life breathed by God?

That, dear one, is the key. Unlike words which are nothing on their own, a life breathed by God is loved by Him no less than any other. But like the heroes of your stories, you cannot write your own. No character has the power to direct their own lives without the will of their author. At times they do try, but it leads to chaos.

My life is not simple. It never was. One saturday long ago I was inspired to write a blog post. Months later, life went from chaotic to absolute….well…I don’t even know how to define it anymore. Let’s just say that “grace time” has disappeared. Time isn’t mine, it never was, and I get the feeling that I’m never going to have enough of it again.

The grace remains. Grace to live, breath & write as I am given.

Shalom.

Yael Eliyahu

 

 

A Mini-Kingdom of the Democratic Nature

Perhaps you’ve wondered where I went the past couple of months. Sadly I must admit that the answer is “nowhere.” School has taken over my life.

Mine, and every other senior struggling through their last semester. It turns out that all of that procrastinating catches up on you eventually. Oh, well. Now I must do something few have successfully accomplished.

Graduate on time. Yep, it’s a simple enough task when you do your school like you’re supposed to. For me, I’ve got twenty days to do six(ish) months of work. Hence my absence of late.

Today I am cutting into yet another too-short school day to share something I feel is of equal value as schooling. You’re welcome.

For some time now I’ve been praying about a lot of things; one of which is my home town. (I should be praying all the time…truth is, I wasn’t and still don’t.) A few months ago I wrote about The Invisible America, which seems like its own little conservative kingdom. (Well, democracy of course, being a microcosm of the country at large.) Most people are more familiar with this little kingdom’s common name: the state of Wyoming.

At least, that is where you will find it. Not even a tenth of the state itself is touched by the world I know. A small town- though it is not even a noticeable fraction of Wyoming- has become my life. When I first came here I would have thought it impossible to fall in love with this place.

  1. It’s tiny. By tiny I mean, less than ten thousand people. In this part of the country that’s actually big. (Another complaint I first had.)  I have wanted to live in a small town since I was a child. The problem with it’s size will be best explained in the next complaint….
  2. Everyone knows everyone. If you move in, everybody knows within a few months. Good luck finding friends for a while…every kid in town has grown up with their friends since preschool or even earlier. (Akward when you’ve lived A Military Brat Life)
  3. There are not very many young people here. It turns out that they usually move as soon as they graduate, and end up coming back after they’ve grown up and had a family. Why?
  4. Because there is nothing to do here. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Wait, never mind. You can go to the local soda fountain! So long as you don’t mind being the youngest people there, if you are teenagers. If you have any energy at all your options are get involved at a church, go bowling, and/or be bored. (And eat food. We do have plenty of places to get food.)
  5. If you don’t want to break the bank, you go up to Billings, Montana. Our stores have limited and sometimes expensive merchandise. (Still waiting on peanut butter…) Again, there are some things that are worth shopping local for. It’s just that we don’t have everything. (Sports equipment anyone? Let me know if I’ve just missed it somewhere.)
  6. Everyone has relatives everywhere. You can’t escape. Ever. (Don’t try either; you might get more than you wanted.)

 

When did I change my mind?

I’m not certain, but I know it wasn’t me. Since I moved here God has put this beautiful little kingdom on my heart. The people here are moving for Him and those who don’t desperately need Him! (Isn’t that true everywhere?) I don’t have to leave to minister to others as God has called me to. Here I have grown, learned and built relationships that are irreplaceable. In the place that I am right now, literally the room I am in, I have been able to bless people, pray for them, encourage them, and receive the same.

Here I have learned that it is not the location you are in. God uses missionaries in Africa, Europe, South America and even right here in Wyoming. There is never going to be a town that is 100% Christian. We need each other. How blessed am I to live in a place where being a Christian does not guarantee persecution. Fear has no hold on this town.

The other day I went to the coffee shop and was amazed to find a new addition to their décor. Within the last couple of weeks, they have added a prayer wall. Leave a prayer, take a prayer. How cool is that? I decided to leave one of my own prayers. This is the prayer I picked up in return –

Pray for continued unity in this town. That it would be found in Christ alone!

On the end of the note, someone left John 17: 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

As this prayer was made public, so I have taken the liberty of sharing it with you. Many thanks to the one who first wrote it! I believe we should all be praying this same prayer. Where better to start loving your neighbor than in your home town? (Hey, here’s a thought. Love your actual neighbor.)

This has become my home. As the people within have ministered unto me, so I desire to do the same for them in Christ. I love this little town; it was loved by God first.

Shalom.

Yael Eliyahu