Friday, July 31, 2015

What Really Matters

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on this particular blog of mine.  Last posting was in February!  Wow...I've been writing, trust me... just not here.  To the few who even read this blog, I thank you.  To those who never see it, I feel bad for you.  (Just kidding)...  I really have been busy writing in other avenues and venues.  Articles, essays, reviews, and yes, still plugging away on my novel.  Many of you know that I received my first rejection letter from the publishing company that I sent my work to.  That stung...but I have survived, and feel stronger than ever now.  Ok, that isn't completely honest.  My feelings are still reeling from the letter; however, I learned a few things from the rejection that I pray make me stronger and a better writer.  That's the whole point of everything, right?  Nope...I really wanted my story to get published, and a bunch of people to buy it and then I could take a vacation to Tuscany, Italy for a month, and do a little writing their for inspiration... (in my dreams, right?)

Enough about the rejection...the last few weeks I have found my inspiration and have been happily tapping along on my laptop and coming up with some new and exciting adventures for my new character, Clare, as she finds her footing at her new place on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  She's a journalist for the Washington Post, and also lives in a loft above the most fantastic tasting bakery/café on the Eastern Seaboard.  (I love being a writer because I get to put into my story all of these wonderful things I only dream about doing).  The person she leases the loft from happens to be the chef and owner of the café.  Clare is a twin; comes from a large family of six siblings, and was raised on a horse ranch fondly referred to as The Farm.  She is the oldest of the six children, so naturally the story starts with her.  I'm having so much fun fleshing her out on paper; doing background research on how to run a horse ranch and finding out how the Washington Post treats their journalists.  Coming up with names for all six kids, and each of their backgrounds has been fun.  Keeping track of their birthdates and being careful about putting in events that couldn't possibly have happened because it wouldn't coincide with their age has been challenging.    It's no problem when you are only dealing with four or five characters, but with 8 people in just one family, plus all of their relationships/acquaintances me, you have to keep a running chart on what's going on. 

So...that's how my story is coming along.  I just did a couple book reviews and a two movie reviews; those were fun.  I even did an article for a resort in Florida, and one about the lost art of hand-written letters and thank you cards.  A couple months ago I did an essay for a company about different ways to make things easier on children when you're moving cross-country during the summer.  That was memorable .  I also have three different blogs that I try to keep up with.  This one is primarily my "think out loud, and say whatever is on my mind" blog.  More like a daily journal about me, my family, the general goings-on in my life.  The other one's are more specific.  One is dealing particularly about things that really matter in life.  Faith, family, friends, future and fears (yes you heard me right)  Other things might fall into categories such as your health, wealth (or lack of it), relationships (romantic or not) and what's for dinner and am I going to get to take a vacation this year?  I try to have quotes, pictures or videos (typically songs) that inspire you, make you laugh, cause you to ponder, or just make you want to hit Escape!  :)

One topic that I've been thinking a great deal on is what really matters in the big scheme of this thing called life.  I use to think that everything mattered.  Then the landscape changed in my life, and I started thinking that I might be surprised to find out that most things really didn't matter that much.  Now, honestly, I'm not sure.  I often wonder what it will be like when my journey on this Earth is over, and I start my new life in heaven.  This amazing, unbelievably gorgeous place that God has prepared for me and His children to live forever in...will any of this stuff that I experienced here on Earth really matter?  Whether I chose to work at this place over that one; whether I bought this car instead of the other; whether I fell in love with this person but married someone else; whether I named my child one name over another; whether I pay this bill now and the other bill later?  All of those things that seemed so very important to me at the time; all of those nights I tossed and turned wondering if I was doing the right thing... In the end...will I look back and say, "wow, you're right...all of those decisions and choices were so very important, and they changed my life."  Or will I see that they mattered very little in God's great plan.  

I don't really have the answer, but I can tell you what I think, because this is my blog....  I think the important things on Earth are to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and body.  I think the important thing is to love your neighbor as yourself; do good to those that hate you and despitefully use you.  Be kind; be courageous.  Stand firm on the things that are really important.  But don't forget to be humble. Standing firm on what you believe to be right, should never have a goal of hurting others.  Remember, you can have convictions without being mean or rude.  Be courageous and brave but don't be afraid to admit when you need help or when you're wrong.  That happens sometimes.  Trust in the Lord.  Pray over everything.  Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people, try new things, go someplace else.  You might surprise yourself, and others.  

Be a light to those that don't have one.  Be thankful and thoughtful.  Live each day as if it's your last, and plan and dream as if you'll be here another 50 years.  Bottom line...God see's each one of us as our perfect self.  He doesn't see the flaws, failures, frustrations that we struggle with.  He see's the good; he see's everything else too, because He knows all things, but the only thing that matters to Him is the finished product.  Do I think the things we struggle with down here matter?  Sure...but only while we're here.  One choice might make our life a little easier than another choice.  Another choice might bring us into contact with someone that has an amazing influence in our life.  One decision may seem like the wrong one to others, but the right one for the moment to you.  Trust me, I've made some wrong decisions, ended up taking a few detours in my life.  But the great thing about detours is that you get to see things you never would have seen by staying on the main highway.  Sure there may be more dips, curves, potholes and rough roads along the way, but they always eventually come back to the main road. 

So yes, things matter on this Earth, but there are very few things that really matter when it comes to your eternal life in heaven.  One of those things is making certain you have repented of your sins and accepted the precious salvation that Jesus offers you, and asking Him to live inside you while you journey through life is the most important.  Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt where you will spend eternity when you take your last breath, is the most rewarding, freeing, amazing experience of true peace you will ever know. 

Living your life for others; loving life, and loving people; these matter.  Why?  Because you just never know when you'll be a hand, a rope, a tether or an encouragement to someone.  Somehow, I believe that's what our purpose here on Earth is all about.  Loving God and loving people. 

Just thinking out loud...

P Torres

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