April 25, 2013

the devouring of books...

...and the adventures of spring

It's always a treat when one is able to sleep-in an extra hour and then wake up to see sunshine, feel the warmth of the day, and breathe a thankful prayer to God.

Lately, I've wanted nothing more than to READ. I've been having the worst time with self-control when it comes to reading my Bible first thing in the morning. I actually did it today, before anything else. As always, just finally obeying God brought a beautiful peace and joy into the day.
    Yesterday, I read Leviticus 26, which is about God promises, either for good things should they obey Him, or for punishment should they disregard Him and fall into sin. This is the first time I've ever read Leviticus all the way through (just chapter 27 left, then I'm done!), and I can absolutely see it's value as part of God's Word. That is to say, a lot of people don't find it necessary because it's so full of SACRIFICE and LAWS, and all kinds of things that Christians don't need in order to live to God in this age.
    But it is necessary.
    God takes sin very seriously, and He wants His people to be set apart from the sinful ways of the world, to live a righteous life and to give Him the glory. He promises to bless our obedience and provide for our needs, but He will discipline us if we should fall away into temptation, forgetting His promises.
    I believe God has preserved this record (Leviticus) for us to remind us of the importance of godliness, holiness, true faith; it isn't a prayer-a-day kind of lifestyle, it's COMPLETE DEVOTION to God! If He was willing to DIE to spare us from an eternity in hell - we who are sinful, unworthy sheep who will stray from fields of hearty food and protection for one blade of withered grass - then we better not waste this one short life we have, but cooperate with the Holy Spirit in order to be sanctified, in preparation for God's one day perfecting us and - at last! - the eternal bliss of heaven.

Oh, I could go on and on about all that forever!

Along with suchlike weighty thoughts, I've been having lots of pretty little dreams at night and a great deal of story inspiration. Having discovered Shannon Hale's eight month-old book Princess Academy: Palace of Stone, I've found an ocean of new ideas and insight into characters I've loved for years from the prequel, Princess Academy (which I've read four times). I always marvel at Shannon Hale's knowledge of her characters - she always knows just what they want, just how to express all that they think and feel, and just when to give them what they need or want most. I'm a terribly distracted reader, so it takes me forever to finish a book, but my word... when I sit down with this, it's really, really hard to put it away!
    As far as my novel-in-progress, I've been able to finish some exhaustive editing and am adding piece by piece to a new chapter. It takes self-control to jump on the laptop and work on my novel instead of rushing onto Pinterest or 700 other websites at my fingertips - it's so easy to run out of time in a day by wasting it on useless games. I don't like having hardly accomplished anything useful by the end of a day. When I procrastinate, I'm reminded of a favorite quote from Princess Academy:

No wolf falters before the bite
So strike
No hawk wavers before the dive
Just strike

When struggling with the desire to do something else besides writing, I say 'no' to my distractions and command myself, 'just do it, just work on it, and you'll be so, so glad you did'. (Which is pretty much what I had to do to get myself to read my Bible, even on such a beautiful, motivating day.)

I bought a new purse from Thirty-One, a cross-body, just large enough for a notepad, a smallish book, my mp3, a pen, various re-charger cords, my keys, my glasses case, travel toothbrush, flashlight, travel Bath & Body lotion, and my library card. Now, that probably sounds like a lot, but I usually carry all that plus two or three MORE books, a small journal, an extra one or two pens and a pencil, a camera or yarn and knitting needles, and sometimes a thermal tote besides all of that if I'm babysitting and need to pack food.
    So, yeah... I decided to downsize a bit, and although I love having a variety of things to read and no small amount of trinkets I probably won't end up using with me wherever I go, it has been nice to not have too much extra weight on my shoulders (literally). Besides, the new little purse is a cute style, and in a favorite teal/mint color that seems REALLY popular right now.

Tea. Thesaurus. Cashews. Books. Novel. Music. Blue dusk. Spring. God's Word. Life.

It has been a lovely day, full of much more than I mentioned to the brim of what a mostly-relaxing day can contain, including errands to the grocery store, bank, JoAnne Fabrics & Crafts (my little sister is making a Steampunk 1880's dress for her drama class performance next month), a visit to one of my best friends (the library; I now have four more books I've never read before), and naturally frequent trips to my imagination - but if I went into detail, you'd never reach the end of this post, or worse, be bored stiff before you came close. ;)
Thank you for reading this, even if only a tiny bit; the number of page-views I get encourage me to keep blogging, more than you know! God bless,
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