Tonight they are there. Live and in person. The FMFParty. The Flashmob. The Allume Conference. Greenville South Carolina. I am at my desk. Not there. And as happy and excited as I am for all my writer friends, I’m not gonna lie – there’s a little part of me that wants to be there! Right now. With them. This year is not my year and I know it. I’m really okay with it. I have a few things (cough, cough a few?) that I want to get under control before I go there. I’m assured from the tweets and the Instagram feed that walking will be involved and I’ve talked about my struggles there. I’d like to be able to walk around Allume when I go. So I’m hanging at home in my comfy clothes and no makeup with classical music on the radio and dreaming about next year’s autumn in the South while keeping my feet solidly and happily planted in this present.
Because no matter where we are; no matter what distance separates some or all of us, this is a fellowship of friends that gather here to write into the wee hours of the morning; then reading each others words and sharing encouragement as we go. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.
This Week: Together
Tonight I must marry the beautiful experience of the Five Minute Friday – write for five minutes on a given prompt with the other beautiful experience of the 31 Days project – write for thirty-one days straight on one topic. My planning and organization has brought me this week to speaking of things that I let die in the desert time in my life. The letting go of feelings, attitudes, behaviors, that did not align with what God had in mind for the woman who would walk out of the desert.
I wonder how to resolve that theme with tonight’s prompt.
But perhaps I’ll change the route just a bit, since I am the author after all, and tell you of something that did not die. Something that struggled, withered, suffered, but then flourished, grew, and ultimately blossomed in the desert.
Being married is hard work. In any circumstance. Being married when you’re working, healthy, happy, have good relationships with your respective families, are financially secure, and can take a moment to enjoy your life together can be hard work. Try doing it when you’re broke, unemployed, estranged from your family, sick and awaiting further diagnosis, probably a little depressed, and can’t afford to even leave the five mile radius around your house because you can’t afford the gas.
My husband and I have been together for just shy of twenty years. It’s been a long haul – and the three years on our desert journey may have been the longest of them all. But we learned so very much about ourselves and about our relationship during that time. I’m not an expert by any stretch, but here are three things that I picked up along the way.
Have some grace – when stress is high and everything is piling up: bills, dishes, laundry, tempers – this is the time to breathe deep and extend an extra measure of temperance and I love you to the one you truly do.
Hug tight – when life starts falling to pieces around you, sometimes literally, hang on to each other even harder. The comfort of your physical presence to each other will make a world of difference. Sometimes I wrapped myself into the comfort of his arms just to keep the constant call and rasp of the “necessary” at bay, if only for a moment.
Have each other’s back – when you’re in a desert situation, there will be enough predatory creatures and folks who act like vultures ready to pick your bones dry and tear you apart. Be each other’s best friend and champion. Defend each other from invaders. Be there to lean on if the other one gets tired on the journey or discouraged along the way. You will get through this if you share the burden.
There were times in the desert where I wondered if we’d make it. We were strained and sometimes fought over the smallest detail. But God wrapped His arms around us and gave us the strength we needed to survive. By keeping our eyes and our focus on Him, we endured this trial. And walked out of the desert. Together.
How to Join
Want to know about Lisa Jo Baker, how Five Minute Friday got started, and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation! Want more in the 31 Days of Lessons in the Desert series? Just click here!