Thursday, January 15, 2015

Keep the Light On

Yesterday I woke up on an air mattress.

I did the same today and I'll do the same tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that. For at least the next two months, my air mattress will be my portable bed for wherever I end up staying the night. (Primarily, I'll be staying with my friend, Jen, in Redlands, but it's likely that I'll be bouncing a bit too, as I hope to spend my weekends closer to the ocean and my church in Hollywood.)

It's not that I'm opposed to sleeping on an air mattress. But in sleeping on one I'm reminded I'm still unsettled, still a vagabond, and I've been living this way for two and a half years, ever since I lost my health to an African illness and my possessions to a hurricane.

I panicked for a day, wondering if I had made a mistake in returning to California for the winter season. What am I doing here? I questioned, as I turned to my air mattress for an answer.

On my first night back I journaled, "And I made it... and I'm so overwhelmed, having no clue why I am here back in Cali, yet knowing it's the very place I needed to come to keep my spirit alive."

Michigan winters are brutal. I knew it wasn't the location to process my reality that there's a good possibility I may never be well enough to work a full time job again. A part of me hopes that someday I might be able to support myself with my writing. I've been receiving enthusiastic response to my first book, and comments encouraging me to keep at my next one.

One friend wrote to me on my facebook: LOVED your book!!!!! Please hurry up and finish the next one! Lol

Another stated: The worst part of reading your book was knowing that I would have to wait awhile until the second one! I really enjoyed it.

On Tuesday, I sat down at a coffee shop to start on my 2nd book.

And I resisted. Even though I already have an outline for my 2nd book, the last thing I want to do is write another one. Writing a book is a lot of work. It's exhausting.

But then today I remembered, yes, it isn't easy, but writing is a gift that God has given me, and it's a gift that may someday be able to help me get off my air mattress, and into a for real bed.

So I wrote some this afternoon, not much, but I did write. And I'll keep writing these next two months. And, as the Sunday night sermon encouraged (see for podcasts), I'll be seeking to keep my light on.
Hank, who spoke, informed us, that even Oprah, a woman who has the world, keeps a gratitude journal. I may be sleeping on an air mattress, but I couldn't be more grateful for sunshine, palm trees, and mountain views.

Last night I climbed Mount Rubidoux, praying the prayer, over and over, "Jesus, heal my body... Jesus, heal my body." I'm not sure He ever will, but I'm going to keep asking Him to restore my body to full health. And as I learn to accept my present, I will seek to embrace the gift of now that He has given me.

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