Divine Surprises, Excellence, Finishing, Life Choice, New Year, Writing Goals

A Word for 2017

change

I’m a little late, but once again, I’m joining my fellow bloggers in choosing One Word to guide me through the year. My word  in 2016, FINISH, was chosen to motivate me to complete my first novel, which I’d been working on sporadically for several years.

That Word, plus the opportunity to meet with agents and editors at a national conference in August IF the book was finished spurred me on.

FINISH, I did.

However, there’s a big difference between completing a first draft and having a polished, marketable manuscript. Having worked as an editor, I knew that. But I got in a rush. However, it was brought home to me anew when I didn’t get picked up by an agent nor hear back from that editor. Consequently, choosing One Word to guide me this year was easy.

My word for 2017 is REVISE.

According to the dictionary revise means to reconsider and alter (something) in the light of further evidence.

revise

Even though revising that novel is at the top of my To-Do List, I’m applying my word on a larger scale as well. Here are a few things I’ll be reviewing and possibly changing in 2017.

MY SCHEDULE

Looking back at my 2016 calendar nearly wore me out. I knew I’d been gone a lot, but listing the trips, conferences, and retreats was an eye opener. In 2016, I

  • Made six trips to our condo at Navarre Beach
  • Attended four conferences (two were multi-day events)
  • Attended two overnight writers’ retreats
  • Hid out at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow twice to work on the book
  • Spent several overnights with out-of-town friends
  • Entertained family for major holidays
  • Traveled for a granddaughter’s college graduation and to help a grandson move to the big city

In between, I managed to socialize with friends, host the writers’ group that met at my house once a month, and attend another monthly  writers’ meeting in Searcy–that usually involved going up the day before and spending the night before with a friend. Then there were two devotionals I contribute to, and you know how Facebook can eat into a day.

See what I mean?

EXHAUSTING!

I don’t know about you, but I am NEVER at my best when I’m tired. Consequently, I’ve decided to keep closer tabs on how I spend my time this year and to make adjustments to get rid of activities and relationships that steal my joy while adding those that increase it.

SOME THINGS WON’T CHANGE

  • We love the beach, and now that we have our own place, we’ll continue to go there at least four times a year. (Yes, I feel blessed.)
  • We don’t want to miss being with family on holidays and showing up at our grandchildren’s important events or to help them.
  • I’m a social person so getting together with friends is important to my wellbeing. I’m looking forward to occasional coffee or lunch dates.
  • Writing can be a lonely endeavor, so I’ll continue to meet regularly with other writers.
  • There’ll be lots of lap time with Max, Timmy & Lola–Nothing like a purring cat to relax you.

lola-loves-dad

SOME THINGS I’LL NEED TO DO

As a person who struggles with people-pleasing, I’ll take a deep breath and

  • Give myself permission to say NO.
  • Limit the number of meetings I attend and volunteer less.
  • Adopt a more formal schedule to revise the book, which will mean ignoring the phone and email during those hours.
  • Research publishers and agents. Then submit the manuscript and other things I write. (There are lots out there, you know.)

INSPIRATION

Some people also choose one Bible verse or a quote to inspire them during the year. In the past, I haven’t done that, but there’s a phrase from Psalm 46:10 that has been rolling around in my soul for over a month.

Be still and know that I am God.

As I pondered those words recently, I glanced down at the charm on a bracelet Maria had given me for Christmas. I’m not sure why, but the engraving hadn’t registered with me until that moment. Look at what it said.

be-still

What better way to start each day of the year?

What about you? Did you make any resolutions or choose a word or quote to mark the beginning of 2017?

I’d love to hear about it.

And I’ll keep you posted on how things go with the book.

 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

©Reflections from Dorothy 2017
Beaches, Footprints, Good News, Navarre Beach, New Year

Where Are We Going?

I always find myself looking at the different shapes and sizes of footprints left by passersby when I walk on the beach.

In areas away from the water, it looks like the morning after a beach party.

Nearer the surf, all evidence of their passing disappears within minutes.

I think about who might be walking together. 
Where were they in their journey when they left these tracks?
 Had they just started out?  
Or were they almost home?

Were they just out for a stroll? Or was this serious exercise?
Did they talk? If so, what about?   

Or did they just walk along in companionable silence?

 

If they were barefooted, weren’t they cold?

On the way back, I try to tell which footprints are mine.


And with the birth of a new year, personal questions come to mind.

      • Where did I walk in 2014?    
      • What did I do?    
      • Who did I serve?
      • Did God direct my steps 
      • Or was it just my doing?
      • Where does He want to take me in 2015?
      • What should I carry into 2015? 
      • What will I leave behind? 
      • Who will accompany me? 
      • Who will I leave to His plans for them?  
      • Does God have any specific goals for me?

Not my plans.
Not my critics’ suggestions
Not even my encouragersideas—because we’re all limited in our understanding. 
I want to know what His plans are.
Where does the God of the Universe want to take me this year?
What will we do together?
  
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, Eph. 5:15
Of one thing I’m certain, wherever He takes me, 
I want to be the bearer of 
His Good News.
That very thought brings me comfort, courage and the growing conviction that 
if I will Stop, Look and Listen, 
He will lead me.
What about you? 
Where are you going in this new year? 

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, 
Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, 
Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 
Isaiah 52:7

Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2015. All rights reserved

New Year, Positive Thinking, Possibilities

WHAT’CHA THINKING?



REFLECTIONS
 (An Acrostic)

Reviewing the year,
Evidence of my
Feeble accomplishments becomes a
Litany of failure,
Engendered by
Comparison with others. In an About-Face, I
Toast the good. There’s always good.
I free my mind to
Override the hyperbole of failure. Instead I
Nourish my
Soul with the power of possibilities.

…be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2