I am more determined than ever to “get it written.” That is, get my manuscript written.
I really feel like I need to get it done in 9 months.
A friend emailed me last night and said, “9months is totally doable to get your 1st draft written, then 3months for edits.”
Except for one hiccup. One thing I had forgotten from not so long ago.
When my only sister died back in 2011, my nephew requested my help in cleaning out her condo. That was tough, for a number of reasons I will write about in the book. But the biggest WORD lesson I took with me from that trip was what I would call, “Clutter Paralysis.”
When I arrived on scene at her condo near Vancouver, WA, there was so much disarray, my mind began to spin.
My nephew had created “pathways” for walk through.
Without going down too many rabbit holes, the scene was likely something straight out of the TV show called “hoarders.” And he had already thrown out dozens of bags of trash. It was when he took me upstairs, to what would have been considered a guest room, that he said:
“This is where I need you, or where I think you need to be. There is a lot of family history stuff in here you probably would know more about…since she didn’t share much of it with me. I’ve looked through some of it, but this is beyond me.”
I could see why. And all I could do was nod.
I was ready to weep, but just stared at the mess for a couple of minutes.
My sister had inherited much of our parents furniture when they died decades ago. She still had all of it (OK, most of it).
In addition to what she’d inherited, she had collected stuff since then, too. Tons of stuff. She’d collected some of the same kinds of stuff I had thought about buying over the years. Stuff I had kept myself from buying – because I wasn’t sure I would use it.
Yet, there I was, staring at it. My heart, literally and physically, ACHED.
I am not going into additional detail. I am not following that specific trail any further. God will use that experience to help me fully heal when I write and complete my manuscript.
I only mention that specific fragment of time because God needed me to see it and it’s important to share here. He needed me to see what I had been missing up until that point.
“Don’t invest in things, in this world.”
He needed me to see what it looks like from His point of view, looking in.
“I want you to see what I see. Don’t hold so tightly onto this world, that you lose your grip, your focus, on me.”
My Sister is the 2nd person I’ve known who fell prey to this human longing. Who got caught up in “acquiring.” What she lacked in her personal relationships, she attempted to make up for in store-bought, man-made, materialism.
Most of the things she acquired had gone un-touched and were now left behind: un-opened, unused. Cluttering up a room, taking up space.
Even if they’d been bought for a reason, with good intentions.
Here is the beginning of the irony. My sister died in 2011. My mother-in-law died in 2012. Both died unexpectedly, without warning (Like a thief in the night: 1 Thessalonians 5:2) Almost exactly one year apart.
I received from their estates what was leftover (which was very bittersweet). So imagine, me…with a household and family of her own; Inheriting furniture and stuff from two other women and their households within a year of each other. Two women who had clung tightly to their material possessions.
By the time the moving truck left (yes, a moving truck), my house was a disaster. For a long while. Until God reminded me to:
“Think outside the box.”
It had taken 6 months for the initial shock to work through the reality back then. Our household was at an impasse of what to do with all the furniture we had. No one was willing to “cave” on what to get rid of.
By the end of the first year I decided to try and make use of everything or place it in a way that allowed full use of the house.
I tackled the master, front room and dining room in a day. The family room the next day. That accomplished the downstairs.
I didn’t have a clue what to do with the upstairs (that I hadn’t already done). Home decorating and organizing isn’t my, “thing.”
That was a year ago; But, I had to, we had FAMILY coming to stay with us short-term.
I’d switched room usage and configurations around. What the former owners called the “Movie room” became my sewing/embroidery and writing room. The bonus room was big and roomy enough to accommodate the TV and seating; which had been cramped in sewing room. Now, of course, my sewing room is a disaster! 😦
The bonus room has always bugged me. I’m not an organizer by nature. If the Spirit didn’t push me to move, it wasn’t goin’ to happ’n!
That is, until yesterday when I re-opened my Scrivener trial to write my opening scene of Manuscript Part I — and then God said:
“Yes, I want you to write. But you made yourself a promise a long time ago. You need to work on that right now. Don’t attempt to write until you do. And another thing…be cautious of the promises you make. To yourself, Me or anyone else” (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7)
I instinctively stood up from my desk and walked into the bonus room. I quietly thought to myself: “Ugh! No!” And then whamo, where I was smacked me right in the face: “Clutter Paralysis.” I had become caught up in the same wretched emotional roller coaster as my sister! I was drowning in clutter and playing the avoidance game. Clinging to this life I wasn’t letting God BE God….
I let out a *Deep Sigh* and realized, Your Will be done, Lord.
We went to WORK
In the far corner was the card table and on it:
- the table top tree
- my serger
- and other “stuff.”
Under the table:
- “Tech” stuff
- a Christmas storage box
- and shipping paper.