From Merriam-Webster Online

Sometimes life stops you. You think you can do it all, get more done, be everything to everyone. It doesn’t matter if there are too many tasks on your list. It doesn’t matter if you have a flat tire. It doesn’t matter if your kids have fits because this idea of a forever family is overwhelming. It doesn’t matter that you are squeezing doctor appointments into an already jam-packed schedule. It doesn’t matter if you are bruised. It doesn’t matter if your husband has an increased schedule at work, so tag-team parenting is in its 9th round. It doesn’t matter if your head starts pounding. It doesn’t matter if your stomach churns.

Well, maybe it does. And maybe that list, although using the pronoun you, doesn’t really apply to you, but it does to me. And eventually I realize I can’t do it all.

And that’s okay. 

So even though I stay home and try not to think about how much I’m not doing, I’m somehow getting the needed sustenance. It is straight from the Lord.

It was about mid-morning that I realized this is part answered prayer and part preparation for my next writing project. I never thought a rough day could be the work of a writer, collecting fodder for a writing project. But it is. I’m writing it in my notebook even though my stomach still stings and my task list is still long.

The project I’ve been planning and am ready to begin writing toward a daily word count until the draft is down, isn’t fiction and it isn’t a professional book. I’m not sure what it is or what it’s about. Maybe a little bit on faith. Maybe a little bit on adoption. Maybe a book you might pick up when you need a little inspiration.

I do know the message, though.

Life is for celebration, not survival.

 Before Tuesday I was a little afraid to say it aloud. I wondered if maybe it was rose-colored and I am inadequate to write a book with this kind of message. Maybe I haven’t lived long enough to say, even through the rough patches, life is meant to be celebrated. Compared to most, I know I haven’t even really had rough patches. I’ve been shifting through this message, wondering if it is a universal truth, or only something for my little bubble of the world.

It is not a coincidence that Tuesday happened. I was hesitant to put the words on the page, but I needed to test my hypothesis. When life is hard, is celebration possible?

Sure, it was only a day, but it was also a lifetime — remembering the hard patches, remembering my reactions are choices, remembering the way it feels in the thick of a fallen world. I was attacked on all fronts — professional, personal, mind, health, and faith. My world fell, just for a moment, and I was reminded I can still have joy when my identity is in Christ.

Today is a new day. Although I’m still feeling the residual effects, I’m empowered. I’m empowered to live celebration and I’m ready to commit to putting words on the page. I’m not afraid of this project any more.

I have you to thank. Those who left a comment or  sent a text or dropped an email or wrote a message on FB. Thank you. There are all kinds of ways to collect for a writing project. Once again, I’m reminded the writing process can’t be contained in a tidy lock-step plan. And writing is never a solitary act.

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  1. Your story does matter. Getting some words down is the first step and you can do it. Throughout your blog posts, you sprinkle in words of faith, forever stories of adoption, and always words of inspiration. I know I can't wait to read what you create next — words and stories that fill my soul. Celebrate this next step!

  2. You have so many reasons to celebrate. Your words are always inspiring even when you are writing about the “rough times.” I know I always appreciate the messages, the words, and the inspiration. Sustenance comes in many forms and you are one for many of us. Thank you!

  3. There will be more rough days, but you will survive and be stronger each time. Your faith supports you, you can hold on to it to weather any storm. You also have a powerful support system of followers, we are here for you and because of you. Continue on and celebrate, even when it seems like there is nothing to celebrate, because you know there is. Hugs to you Ruth! elsie 🙂

  4. I'm sorry it was a rough time, Ruth. It sounds like that perfect storm came on Tuesday, yet you rode it through and that's something to remember too. I love that you have chosen a different path of writing. It sounds both inspirational and invigorating. Best of wishes flinging your way during this time of change. xoxo Linda

  5. My heart is soaring in anticipation of this new project. When I read your title, I immediately thought of our Lord, the One who strengthens us through the tough times. My heart pains that you have had such opposition, tension, but I am so thankful for the example you are setting. Your words matter to me, to many. We are inspired by your celebrations.

  6. Ruth, your previous message brought tears to my eyes. I have been going through moments of self doubt. I was so thankful to hear that I am not alone. Your positive outlook was a reminder to reflect on my mantra to rejoice and to be thankful that thorns have roses. Best wishes on the road ahead.

  7. Made Me Glad

    I will bless the Lord forever
    I will trust Him at all times
    He has delivered me from all fear
    He has set my feet upon a rock

    I will not be moved
    And I’ll say of the Lord
    You are my shield, my strength
    My portion, deliverer
    My shelter, strong tower
    My very present help in time of need