Encouraging Words

It’s been a time of distraction.  Family and friends’ medical and emotional issues, House-beautiful projects, financial planning, summer-time events – plus headline news of world concerns, and of political and natural disasters. All of these things have a way of claiming attention.  I still have a book to write.  I am still in progress and if I’m not careful, emotions and distractions can pull me off track.  Since the book’s focus is encouragement for handling emotional roller coasters – I wondered if sharing my latest ride would be of any use to my readers.  I guess the only way to find out is to take the leap and share it with you, through the writing exercise I completed this morning.  It’s scary to be so open with you all – but here goes …

I need to write. It hardly matters whether or not I can use this as a launch for my next chapter, article or blog post – it doesn’t even matter if anyone else ever sees these words. What matters is that I need to write them. I need to show myself that I AM A WRITER – and writers WRITE.

I am 74 years young – or old – depending upon the morning and my mood. I’ve been knocked off my stride lately, or I have allowed myself to be distracted and meandered away from the point of my commitment.

I do have a passionate desire to share my heart and express whatever I may have within me that could do someone some good – an encouraging word, my quirky view of how magnificent our Lord is, and how much JOY truly exists in life if we can just accept it. I have dreams. I have hopes. I have ideas, and I am easily flummoxed by my own doubts, fears, and wandering thoughts.

DISCIPLINE is a word that gets a bad rap. It really describes beauty in life – but it takes on the harsh tones of Have-To, and Should – fouled by the MUSTiness of our prejudiced views so that we often avoid it, deny its power, or deliberately turn from it. I need discipline, and in rare moments of clarity, I want discipline … so why is it so hard to hold on to? Have you ever wondered ?

If I consider my nutritional plans (for example) – I find myself liberated on one day, celebrating success and approaching a goal. The next day may find me over-confident, chafing at resistance and fighting the urge to rebel, or just losing the focus that is sorely needed. The same pattern holds for many of the worthwhile projects that I hold dear – including my writing goals.

I have seen myself as a person with a Go or No-Go will. I don’t seem able to handle moderation (or variable speeds) very well. I am either 100% committed and joining the race (‘in it to win it’ as they say) – or enjoying the spectacle from the side-lines, on television, from the comfort of my recliner, with plenty of privacy and popcorn.

I know I am capable of following step-by-step rules or instruction – especially when I have accountability. If I have committed to someone else, I will do everything I can to avoid disappointing them, or breaking my promise. There is strength in shared commitment.

So, I ask… who can I confide my commitment to? To whom am I willing, and able, to be accountable? I need a buddy who is, able to hold my hopes (my goals) up in clear view, to renew my sense of direction. Who, without judgment or attempts to ‘control’ me, is able to offer the right questions, or encouraging words that empower self-control. Someone who will support, cheer and comfort me. One who will celebrate my victories (allowing me to dance and shout, without embarrassment or envy) and who will help me back to my feet when I crash (without blame). One who will call me on my ‘stuff’ — holding me accountable, with respect, and with utmost confidence that I can achieve what I have committed.

I had such a partner for almost 50 years – before cancer took my Dear One from me. I’ve been weepy for the past couple of days as I bemoan my loss all over again. Good grief … another distraction (pun intended).

With Joe’s encouragement and support I accomplished much that I had never dreamed was possible.

I thank God for that relationship. He was my friend. He was my playmate. He was my partner and the love of my life.   If he were here now he’d have something to say about getting up and getting on with my business.

He believed I could do anything if I truly defined what I wanted, believed that it was worthwhile, and realized that my strength is built on faith. If I listen with my heart – I can still hear his words of encouragement, reminding me that …“I can do all things – through Christ who strengthens me”. Phillipians 4:13

Joe would emphasize the most important point of that verse, which is that everything of value and meaning in my life exists only through Christ. OK, I have been reminded.

Our Lord promised that He would never leave or forsake us. So, as I ponder these things in my heart, I can give thanks for the love I have known. I can rejoice in the partnership I was blessed with for so many years. I can survive the loss because I believe (with all of my heart) that it’s temporary.

And most important of all, I can stand, dry my eyes; look up, and begin again because the ultimate ‘buddy’ I truly need (my Lord) is with me always… even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20 NKJV).  

May you be reminded that you are loved, and be encouraged today.

Blessings, love and laughter to you,

Marge

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PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS in the Comment Section at the bottom of this screen (scroll all the way down the screen).

  1.  If you don’t currently have one, can you think of someone you could invite to join your ‘buddy system’?
  2. As a writer, disciplined routine practice helps keep me on track for my goals – it also helps me to process emotions for greater clarity.  What routines help you?  Can you share?

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6 thoughts on “Encouraging Words

  1. Marge, glad you write so candidly and honestly. I share some of the same distractions. One disciple that is never slacked or put on the back burner is early morning Bible study and time with God. When failures and disappointments are confessed daily, that is when I hear that small quiet voice guiding me, yes even chastising me in a loving way, to have the encouragement and direction to go on. With a humble confession that I am a sinner, I get the reassurance that Jesus died for me while I was yet a sinner, and that He gives new life, new hope, new renewing of my mind daily as I submit to Him daily.

    Looking forward to seeing you at BSF tnis coming Thursday at First Christian Church at 9:00.

    • Diane, THANK YOU. I appreciate your words of encouragement and I am so grateful to you for sharing your strategy of early morning time with God. That’s a fabulous way to start the whole day off on the right track. I confess, early mornings are not my finest hours – but it’s something to aspire to. Thank you so much for your generous message. I too am looking forward to BSF. See you there!

  2. Marge thank you for sharing this important and intimate message. The picture of you and Joe is beautiful. He was an amazing, sweet and generous man.
    One thing that helps me is regular meditation time and connecting to source. During those times of reflection I often get messages from loved ones that have past and even from the divine. It’s all divine. I love you and I know your book is coming.
    Love, Wendy.

    • Wendy, Thank you so much for your encouraging words – and for sharing your meditation strategy. It is an important reminder that we all need to step away from the stress of day-to-day busy’ness. In scripture we are advised to…’Be Still, and know that I am God’ … It’s always good to do that. Sharing ideas can be very helpful for others, and we may never know who we have touched – at least on this side of heaven. Thank you for your encouragement about the book. I am aiming for late Spring or Summer publication 2018. Most of all, thanks for your love … and right back at you!

  3. Your “encouraging words ” have helped me more in the last few days than you will ever know. You are a “writer” there is no doubt. You must continue sharing your ride with your readers. I too lost my
    husband it will be 20 years to the day tomorrow. I often think of Shakespeare’s words, “The saddest words of tongue or pen are the words it might have been”. We didn’t get to have retirement time together (the 10 year age difference). But we had almost 40 years together so I have my memories.
    I too find myself easily distracted and emotional at times and weepy also. I have my projects – my lifelong quest to be organized!!! Dinner’s with friends every week, chair exercises at the Sr. Ctr. and my love of a good book keep me more than busy. I have just enough discipline to keep my current read in the bedroom so I don’t get distracted while doing my chores. I too have an adult child living with me (in the back house) and my 2 grandkids. These living arrangements have there are good points and bad. Never stop writing. I’ve read “Encouragement” Everyday since Thursday. My faith in the good lord has never left me. I believe in the power of prayer. I feel that I’m a survivor – I survived a difficult childhood (my mother), the loss of my husband and heath issues. I’m still standing and I’ve learned that I have the power to make my life better. A good sense of humor really helps. I’m so grateful that I survived my health problems a year ago and that the good lord has allowed me more time. I cherish everyday.
    Margie forgive me for rambling on. I’m definitely not a disciplined writer. I just ramble on.
    I can hardly wait until your book comes out. I want to share your thoughts with so many people I know. I’m hoping that I will be able to attend Mary’s birthday party on the 1st. I will keep in touch.

    • Connie, Thank you so much for your comments! I cherish your encouragement, and shared input. I totally understand the wild, unpredictable, emotional rides we take as widows (I hate that title – but it’s the one that fits). I think most everyone can relate to the same kind of ups and downs regardless of the causes. I am so grateful to be able to share the journey – and to hear that it has some benefit. Our faith is surely a lifeline. The book is well underway, just slowed development. I was so overwhelmed with encouragement, instruction and critique from the Writer’s Conference this Spring (and with two other publishing projects since then), that my schedule ‘stalled’. I will be re-shaping my planned content. It seems I have already written too much for one book. I must re-organize, prioritize, and then (of course) revise, refine, and revise some more. Who knows, there may actually be a short series. I do not plan to remove any of the content that I have already posted – so anyone interested can feel free to check out and apply helpful strategies. The book will fine-tune and re-organize chapters – and include content not already seen. I hope to see more comments, to guide future revisions. The Blog seems to be morphing into more personal observation (rather than book chapters). I hope my readers will stay with me. Thank you for doing just that. I’m hoping to see you soon! Blessings, Love and Laughter to you. Marge

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