“We run at a breakneck pace to try and achieve what God simply wants us to slow down enough to receive.”

Lysa TerKurst from Uninvited

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I have stood at many start lines. Shoes laced just so, head phones in my ear, music queued to pull me along the way. Early morning dew, frost on the ground, twirling snowflakes, from a fine mist to a pouring rain, I have stood in it all. Nerves spasm in my belly. Excitement laced with dread, a bit of fear over making it through. It vibrates from head to toe.

And here I am again.

I am counting days, watching the calendar, frantically scratching notes. Frantically scratching my head in wonder. Will I finish? Can I do it? Will I have enough words?

Eighteen days and counting down. 26.2 miles, 13.1 miles, and counting down. The similarities are there. The fears and insecurities the same. I stand at the start line and look around, compare myself to all of them, all of you. Am I good enough? Should I even be here? I could have slept in, read a good book. Stayed in out of the weather. Not taken any risks.

But then I would have missed it all. I would have missed the camaraderie. Building community. Cheering one another on. New friends. Mending fences, for that was the greatest reward of all.

Somewhere between the starting line and go, I find myself strangled in fear. I am a planner to a fault. Color coded bullet journal, colored pens, and moleskin notebooks. At first glance, I am organized to a fault. If you were to take a peek in the corners, you would find that I am a mess. And behind the closet door, well, let us just say, you will not be invited there ever. Ever.

If you put a timer on me, say a schedule, I fold up tight as a clam shell. I stammer, I stutter, I procrastinate. Deadlines and due dates send me over the proverbial edge. If I cannot find you two, or three, or ten thousand excuses, you can bet the enemy will heap them as gifts into my lap. Crouching in the edge of my heart at the ready with a ready made list. Netflix and brownies included.

I am surrounded by fancy decorated legal pads, sticky notes, and a stack of books. A topic. And pens.

I am scheduling time in my bullet journal. Putting on my best pretend writer’s voice, beginning to tell my friends, “I am working.” That is my unofficial way of protecting this time. The time I will invest over the next days and weeks. For that is what they are, an investment. An investment in me and I pray in you.

An opportunity to sow seeds. An opportunity to weave for you a trail of grace that points to the Author of all grace.

You see, there is a story I long to tell you. For now, I am holding it close, digging deep, excavating words.

It is a story I long for you to slow down and receive. To savor. A story, I hope will resonate with you as much as it has me.

The truth is, I have fallen in love. Again. Do not worry, my man is okay with this. In fact, it is safe to say he has fallen hard himself.

So yes, here I am, a former long distance runner, jumping around in giddy anticipation, laced with a touch of dread and bundle of nerves, preparing. I can imagine the finish line. Hear the music vibrating through my fingers.

There will even be a shirt.

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 It’s on its way. My Soul Sister will be proud, it’s not white. More stretching of myself.

If you are a fellow sojourner in Write31Days, “here’s looking at you, kid”. We’ll gather around October 31st, and share a virtual cup of joe. Extra caffeine please, and celebrate together.

If you are a faithful reader I pray you will follow along. If you happen upon this small place I call home, I pray you will join me for the journey.

You can find last years journey of Write31days here. A story close to my tender heart. My journey of walking in the dailyness of chronic illness.

“And as we go about our day, our hearts bump into the hearts of others, and we write a message on their hearts as well. When we write God’s grace words, we build up, love, and encourage the people we encounter. It gives me pause to think of the hearts I have written on today. What mark did I leave? Have I left a God word there for others to read? Will my marks on their hearts point others to Him? The most powerful place to write God’s truth is on the tablet of someone’s heart. We have to treat this responsibility with great care.” ~Stacey Thacker from Fresh Out of Amazing

I am looking forward to seeing you here! I pray there will be grace words left written across your heart.

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Before Write31Days, this sweet little book will be available. I am humbled to be among the pages.

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 Gifts of Grace