Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life, By Me

 Life by me has been somewhat busy.  Let me rephrase that: life has been very busy.  I could ramble on about my [seemingly] countless activities, but it really wouldn't be worthwhile.  Just to give you an example, I am currently reading eight books (this is not including all the books I'm planning to read):
  • St. Bartholomew's Eve: A Tale of the Huguenot Wars, by G.A. Henty
  • Under The Black Flag, by Captain Kit Dalton: Guerilla Captain of the Confederacy, Border Outlaw with Frank and Jesse James, and Texas Ranger (believe me when I say this book is very interesting—"truth stranger than fiction"—and a good look into the true story of Quantrell's raiders, Jesse James, and The Southern fight for independence.  Indeed, it is on-the-edge-of-your-seat-exciting, but also sad upon viewing firsthand the tragic effects of the War.)
  • Sarah Morgan: Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman
  • Behold The Dawn, by Katherine Wieland
  • Where The Right Went Wrong, by Patrick Buchanan
  • Theonomy in Christian Ethics, by Greg Bauhnsen
  • The Reagan Diaries
  • A Woman's High Calling, by Elizabeth George

I have basically finished my "formal" education and will be beginning R.J. Rushdoony's pocketcollege lectures (which, by the way, Daddy said are much better than a "regular" college education. A+!)  I'm helping teach my younger siblings in their schooling, and thereby learning that patience really is a virtue, especially if one is as impatient as I am!  I'm continuing to blog, hence this post.  I've been developing ideas for article topics that my dad will soon be implanting into my [somewhat] busy schedule (but because writing is such a stimulation for me, how can I complain?).  I'm continuing to help my dad with typing, research, learning HTML so I can help run his website, and writing; writing poetry (I'm hoping to get a book of poems published in the near future if the opportunity ever arises, good Lord willing!); I'm practicing music every chance I get (which doesn't seem to be near enough); I'm balancing a life trying to keep up with friends and family on Facebook, blog, and email, and a life at home where my life's purpose is to serve Christ in every capacity—specifically by strengthening my relationship with my family; and finally, I reach my climax: I have just begun a hazardous journey of ups and downs, tears and laughter, frustration and bliss—ultimately, a treacherous roller-coaster ride of my life.  Yes, you guessed it.  I have begun to write a book.

A p.s. about my last goal...yeah, I know, I too think I'm a bit on the ridiculous/crazy side.  Here I am trying to keep steady a life full of activities, and now I'm giving fame and fortune a try.  Wait a minute.  Did I really just say that?  I'm contemplated my reasoning for wanting to write a book, and I've come up with a reason:

My little-girl-dream of "I want to be a writer!" always seems to take precedence.  I can still remember the very first story I ever wrote, when I was about seven or eight. 

A handsome young man was riding by a magnificent castle [you know, the one with lots of towers and waving flags], when his eye was caught by the beautiful princess [you know, the gorgeous, drop-down-dead type with perfect hair, teeth, and body].  The young men, struck with "true love" at first sight, rushes to the king: "Sir, I love your daughter because she is so beautiful! I want to marry her!" [Isn't that just every girl's dream of romance?]  Of course the king gives his permission (who could refuse such an ardent suitor?) and the prince and princess lived happily ever after.

Every little girl's dream, right?

Ever since then I have tried my hand at stories: short stories, uncompleted stories (the story of my life), tragic love affairs (which I later destroyed...bummer), beginnings of novels, historical fiction, and such like.  Several times I had the starry-eyed dream of actually writing a book, but I usually gave up in despair.  Thus ended my unhappy career as a writer, famous or not.  Or so I thought.  Every now and then I'm hit with that same feeling of, longing to use my imagination once more and just let the words fly, the pages increase, until...shzam!  One blast of the imagination and I've just completed my first book!  Unfortunately, it was never so simple.  I guess the reason(s) I gave up was because I didn't realize the hard work and effort writing a book would entail.  I didn't want to sacrifice that much, not yet anyway.  All that time, energy, thought, prayer, and, Rachel, don't even think about it.  Perhaps also I became disgusted with myself.  My worst fault was throwing away story after story because I compared my work to Dickens, Austin, Tolkien, Bronte, Henty, Janette Oak, and other favorite authors.  I seemed too infantile next to them.  No wonder I always fell flat on my face!

I finally decided I had had enough.  I wanted to write, write, write, and write, whether my story would get published or not (so many "not" loopholes in my life!).  So here I am now, two chapters along in "my book" and not a care in the world.  Not really anyway, only wondering how long this "experiment" will take, if it will even work out, if I'll be able to find a publisher, if I can ever fit "working for myself" into an extremely busy schedule, if I will ever succeed, if it will be all flops...
No, no major worries.

I don't feel like I'm doing anything worthwhile.  Whenever I feel like praising myself (selfish vanity, heaven forbid!) I back off and take a closer look at what I am doing.  "Is this really special at all?"  Come to think of it, I'm not doing anything spectacular.  I'm just an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life at home...or am I?

Anyone who serves the King of kings is far from ordinary.  In fact, they are extraordinary.  Extra-ordinary.  In the movie Voyage of The Dawn Treader, Reepicheep tells Eustace: "Extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people."   Extraordinary things happen to those who follow Christ with a faithful heart, whether they are ministering in the jungles of Africa, alerting the world of the communist conspiracy, teaching little children to read, scrubbing dirty bathrooms, denying the flow of daily "average" life, or respecting one's parents.

I'm not superwoman (believe me, I would not look good in tights), nor do I want to be.  I'll admit that I sometimes get swept away by the promise of a productive and satisfying life if only I would do this and that, or be this and that.  Take for example my dreams of authoress-ism.  It could turn into a disease.  If I let it overtake my life and become my number one priority, it will not bring satisfaction or even fulfill my dream.  That is why I have determined not to let it take over my life.  I have more important goals to deal with (such as a load of laundry when this post is finished).  This is where prioritizing comes into play.  The most important things come first.  If I have spare time (spare time? what's that?), then I'll deal with my own vision I would like to accomplish.  But—old fashioned though it may seem—my first duty is to Christ and my family.  A concept I sometimes lose sight of is that my life isn't all about me—it's all about Him and them.  I could be selfish and wish that it was all about me, but what am I, who am I, to think that I could be special enough to live for?  What have I done?  It's not all about me—it's all about Jesus Christ and what He has done.  If we are not willing to give Him that honor, we really have no right even breathing the air He has given us.

And there you have a brief critique of my life's happenings, for the most part.  Short, sweet, and to the point.


Kellie said...

Rachel, if God gives you the desire and the calling to write a book - then you can! No one is too young, too inexperienced, too much of a "nobody" or too ordinary to do what God wants them to do. I learned this myself as I embarked on a book-writing venture, altho mine was not fiction. It's not finished, but I still feel God blessing each word I write. If God thinks you can, then nothing and nobody can change that!! All those authors weren't born "authors." They became authors after they wrote a book...and they had to work at it too, I garantee. So, don't let yourself be discouraged by how big the job is - because if God calls you, then there's really nothing in your way! Go get 'em, girl! Grace and peace, Kellie. =)

Rachel said...

Wow, what a motivation! I can assure you I'm going to keep praying...and writing hard, even if it does take a long time (being a perfectionist—terrible fault that it is—I want things, no matter how hard they be, to get done ASAP. As I've found out, life isn't so. :-)

I love what you said about "if God calls you, then there's really nothing in your way!" Thank you for motivating me even further! :D God bless!

Chase Clift said...

Thanks for the link to the pocket college! Alot to go through :)
Good post!

Rachel said...

No problem. Great for anyone's use. Like my dad told me, he may be kind of slow at times and not very dramatic, but his message is great and his views are right on. Enjoy (even though it *will* take a long time to go through)! =)