Yesterday a sweet friend asked me to sign a copy of my new book. I smiled and said, “Sure!” and then proceeded to misspell my first name on the first page of her brand new copy. Well, nearly. I caught myself and turned the second e in Beeky into a blotchy c and hoped she didn’t notice.
It could be that my week of sleepless nights is catching up to me.
What about you? Have you been sleeping soundly or is worry knocking on your door too?
Just to get them out of my head, I made a list of the serious things and silly things that have been waking me promptly at 3:32 am every darn day this week:
- The election. (Obviously.) What will happen to our world? WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR WORLD, PEOPLE?
- The weather. November should NOT be shorts and tee shirt weather, not even in South Carolina. What if it keeps getting hotter and hotter and we all end up angry and crazy and melting like the girl and her paintings in the “The Midnight Sun” episode of The Twilight Zone?
- What if the election goes wrong AND it keeps getting hotter? I will lose my cotton picking mind.
- College Applications, Worry A. What if my baby boy doesn’t get into the colleges he wants?
- College Applications, Worry B. What if my baby boy DOES get into the colleges he wants?
- What if the people I love and respect who think it’s a sin to drink alcohol are disappointed in me because my new God book has two beers on the cover? (I’m comfortable with my own beliefs but I still hate to disappoint people I love.)
- What if people continue to discount the pain racism and sexism cause? What if people continue to REFUSE to see others’ lives from their point of view?
- What if all my hair keeps falling out and never grows back? Really. Some people look good bald. I would not be one of those.
- What if the election goes wrong and it keeps getting hotter and racism and sexism deepen and my baby boy gets into a dream school we can’t afford and people I love are disappointed in my bald self?
Okay. I’m not sure if I now feel better or worse.
But all this did remind me of a hint another writer/author gave me. It works for book signings- and now I’m wondering if it might work well for life in general. “Before you sign, get people to write down the names of whom the books are for. Then all you have to focus on is reading the names and copying them. FOCUS. READ and then COPY.
FOCUS! READ. COPY.
I think I can do that.
But what to read and what to copy that might help us now? That might help us with worries #1-9?
I think I found an answer!
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for God. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what God wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2 The Message
If my arms were longer, I’d write that on them. Maybe I could print it on an index card. Then, when I start to feel panicked or hot or worried about college plans or disappointment or racism or sexism or even sillier things, I can FOCUS! READ. COPY.
I’m my own offering to God. I’m all I can control and that’s enough. (Behavior wise. Not necessarily hair wise.)