Weddings, Tree Sap and Transitions

My sister’s wedding ended with a drizzling out of: hype, excitement, energy, and relatives. After the last of our relatives left Monday, I fell asleep at 5pm and slept until 9am the next day with only a few hours awake watching movies in the middle of the night with my mom.

Now that that’s all done and she’s safely secured in Texas, I can continue on with my life: a threatening ogre of decisions about my next steps. What should be a most exciting time in my life, where I have a multitude of possibilities open, is overwhelming. Sometimes it seems a viable option to retreat back into the couch at my parents’ house in the mountains and do nothing but enjoy the peace and quiet. But that can only last for so long. While I seek peace and quiet time during this transition, my heart seeks for action, adventure, and new perspective. My hikes in the forest have proved a valuable time for contemplation and prayer, and I intend to hanker in on that even more so this week. I have a lot of decisions to bring before the Lord, concerning jobs, relationships, where to look for jobs and whether to move or stay where I am.

Sunday I went for a walk and prayed my heart out to the Lord. I wanted him to speak audibly to me, to show me a sign, something. I slowed down to enjoy the scenery and smells of this familiar path. All he showed me was what I had been missing by rushing along this trail, rushing from one thing to the next. I may think I’m on a mission to get something accomplished, but I am impatient, and often miss sign posts and beautiful moments along the way.  Even in my prayer life, I just talk and ask, and don’t wait for a response. I was telling the Lord about this, and this, and this, and what should I do about this, and how about this…but I wasn’t giving him time to respond. I didn’t stop long enough to listen.

I recognized this today in the clear globules  of fresh sap clinging to a pine branch that hung across my path. Rather than duck under it quickly as I normally do, I stopped to examine it. Look what you nearly missed, the Lord told me. Look at the beauty in my design, how simple the droplets of sap are, yet how complex. All of my creation is complex, majestic, and grand, yet I have time for it. I have time to look after each drop of sap from a tree. I would like to show you much, much more if you take the time. I want you to talk to you, to walk with you, to show you things and guide you. I desire to have conversations with you. Let’s work on having meaningful conversations before deciding all of these pressing things. We’ll get there, I promise.  It struck me that the Lord just wants me to slow down so He can talk to me.   He wants to have conversations with me. He wants to hear about everything that I care about, worry about.  Someone once told me the Holy Spirit is a gentleman; he will not force himself into your life if you don’t want him or don’t give him any of your time.

I am so glad God caught my attention today. This truth applies to my relationships with those I love as well. We have to invest time and conversation in any relationship that we want to be intimate or more than casually acquainted with a person.

The rest of this week I’ll be hiking at a slower pace, sitting and resting and listening once in awhile – to give the the Lord time to respond in my conversations with Him. In fact, perhaps I should do more listening than talking.

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How Anne Germanacos Became a Writer

Thanks, Freshly Pressed for posting blogger phdincreativewriting’s interview with Anne Germanacos which captivated and inspired me. From her interview, it seems she is a down-to-earth, lucid individual. Can’t wait to read some of her books!

ph.d. in creative writing

As writers, we live double lives: lived once in the world of others, and again, in the quiet of our own minds. It takes a certain amount of will and courage to leave with regularity the circle of humanity in order to enact a kind of theft, which is one aspect of what the writing life seems to be.

Anne Germanacos is the author of the short story collection In the Time of Girls (BOA Editions). Born in San Francisco, she has lived in Greece for over thirty years. Together with her husband, Nick Germanacos, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Studies Program on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete, and taught writing, literature, and Modern Greek. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared in over eighty literary reviews and anthologies, including Dzanc’s Best of the Web 2009. She and her husband have four…

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