Thursday, April 22, 2010

So Long. Good-bye. Farewell.

Last week Bonnie Gray invited me in a blog comment here to take a "What If" challenge.

Brainstorm five "what if" questions, she said. Fast. Choose one. And then let's jam about it.

Like today. A week later.

Say what?

I've learned not to stew in a pot of "what if's" or swim in an ocean of regrets any more. Too hot. Too deep. But I do sometimes wonder in a curious way how my life might be different. And occasionally I still wince at some of my naive and stupid choices. But only for a moment. Because I can see how God takes my out-of-tune self and orchestrates a moving symphony.

One He continues to write.



So I don't dwell in those shadows. Takes too much energy.

Then I thought about stuff like what if I got to go to somewhere as a Compassion blogger or to Kenya on a sponsor tour? Or what if I got to visit the Holy Land?

Or what if I actually finished and published a novel?

But it needed to be something that I had some control over--now--with results to report on within the week.

So I came up with a list that doesn't touch some of the more noble and deep ones that others posted, but I could focus on one for a week and see where it led.

Maybe an open door of possibility. Maybe a path to what could be.

1. What if I gave up my addiction?
2. What if I walked every day?
3. What if I was in bed by 11 every night?
4. What if I sat and did nothing for at least 15 minutes every day?
5. What if I took that online novel-writing course?

Not very deep. Simple. Maybe even a bit hokey.

But what if I gave up my addiction?

Hi. My name is Snady.

And I am a Bejeweled Blitzaholic.

What if I gave up that time sucker? No more clacking jewels or colorful explosions. No more words of affirmation and encouragement. "AWEsome!" "Spec-TAC-ular!" No more one more game, one more minute turning into one more hour.

Or more.

No more trying to beat my friends with scores over 300,000. No more late nights. No more blurry eyes or cricked neck.

And so I did!

I gave it up.

Deleted the application from Facebook.



For a whole week.

Cold turkey.

So long.




And what have I done with that leftover time?

I've walked. Only twice this week for 45 minutes. Three times if you count today. But that's more than last week. Or the week before, or before, or before.

I watched the dust rise from behind tractors.I marveled at tine-straight furrows and pondered my own life path that looks more like a curly straw.

I inhaled the aroma of fresh-turned earth and listened to frogs plop into puddle-ponds pooled in last year's corn stalks. I patted passing horses. I took pictures as possible illustrations for blog posts.

And I've been to bed before 11. Even before 1 a.m. Every night but one when I got caught up writing.

I sat still once.

I stripped more wallpaper while I watched the History Channel for 6 hours!

I read more.

I don't know if it's all because of giving up a game. Maybe I just want to believe that. But surely I didn't spend THAT many hours playing.

I hope.


I'm still thinking about the class. I have until the end of the month for the specific one I'm thinking about.

And I joined ACFW just this morning. On my to-do list for months.

And so with my new-found time, my new-found health (I'm giving up M&M's too, doncha know--maybe), and even with a soon-to-come new granddaughter to dote on, what new movement might God write next?

Because I said good-bye to an addiction.

What if I finish a novel by the end of the year?

Is it possible?

Could it be?

What if . . . ?

NOTE: To read how others responded to this challenge, head over to the Faith Barista Jam.

Do you live with regrets? Do you wallow in the past?
Do you have any "what ifs" that could open the door to a "what could be?"
What would you throw off, do, change, start if you believed God was in it?

"I run for dear life to God, I'll never live to regret it." Psalm 71:3 (Message)

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King


Glynn said...

A little over a year ago, I said, OK, so what if I started a blog? And a whole new world opened up.

Good Post.

HisFireFly said...

Well done, and again I say, well done!!

May God continue to use the time you have freed up for new experiences with Him.

rachelizabeth said...

I was addicted to text twist. I finally had to give it up because it was sucking all the life out of me. It's amazing how much we miss by sitting in front of the computer.

Good luck to you with your new found time. I can see that it's already been blessed!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

Congratulations! A big ouch for me. I spent waaay to much time on the ocmputer. This social butterfly loves blogging, email, Facebook, and Swagbucks.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Good post:)

Sandra Heska King said...

@Glynn: And I am so glad you did!

@HisFireFly and rachelelizabeth: Thanks so much for dropping by and for your encouragement. I don't think I want to know what text twist is. ;)

@Susan and Karen: Thanks for following me over here. I haven't entered the world of Swagbucks. Maybe I shouldn't venture there, either.

50centlove said...

WOW! I got chills reading your post especially when you gave up the game and started walking. Great job!! Inspiring!

Lynda Young said...

Yeah I had a bit of bejewelled addiction. I had to give it up also. But then I found another addiction: farmville. Sigh.

Great post.

Susan said...

Oh, the country is a wonderful healer in the spring. ... And full of what if possibilities. Lovely post. Thanks for letting us share a glimpse of your week.

Fr. Michael said...

"Not very deep. Simple. Maybe even a bit hokey." These can sometimes be the most powerful goals. It's not always in the big things. It's doing the little things well. You have an engaging writing style.

God bless you!

Duane Scott said...

About 5 months ago, I was asked to start writing on a blog.

What if I hadn't?

I wouldn't have met wonderful people like you. That's what.

Bonnie Gray said...

"No more late nights. No more blurry eyes or cricked neck."

Oh, Sandra! Dear, sweet sister! LOL.

You are SO bold, fearless... you INSPIRE me!

You did it!... Oh, my God (literally!)!

That is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME. This is no small matter. This thing called addiction.

Congratulations for your newfound time and freedom!

p.s. ditto Fr. Michael's compliment for you! :)

Sandra Heska King said...

You all have blessed me today!

@50centlove: My body seems to like that walking better than sitting. Can hardly wait to get out today. :) Thanks for coming by.

@Lynda: LOL! I managed to avoid Farmville.

@Susan: We live in an old farmhouse. There are days when I wish for something new. But I don't want to give up the country or this spot! :) Thanks so much for dropping in.

@Fr. Michael: Thank you so much! You have encouraged me today.

@Bonnie: LOL. It's a small addiction, really, in the scheme of things. But sometimes those small things can cause big issues. Funny how I come up to check comments and email and wonder what I did the rest of the time when I sat here--and remember. And I think--well, maybe one more game. But then I'd have to add the app back, and 50 friends would know I'd "fallen off the wagon." So no can do! Giggle.

Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your jam. You are a bright light, and I am incredibly blessed to have connected with you.

Sandra Heska King said...

@Duane: I feel the same way. It's like one big family! I'm glad you're part of mine.

Monica Sharman said...

THIS was just too cool: "Because I can see how God takes my out-of-tune self and orchestrates a moving symphony."
And your #4 sounds very appealing to me.
And...! Does anyone take big steps? Aren't they all a bunch of little steps put together? How awesome.
BTW, your self-control limerick had me cracking up. Loved it!

Sandra Heska King said...

Hey there, Monica!

I did do #4 once. Kinda rolled it into my walks, though after that. :) It's hard to just sit! One could fall asleep just sitting.

I think you are right about the little steps put together.

And I'm glad you liked the limerick. That was fun. :D

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

I'm so glad I came to this blog today...between the walk in the country and the Bejeweled addiction, I felt right at home...and reminded that I need to spend less of my time on the computer, more of it doing worthwhile things like noticing the furrows in the fields.

Thanks for a wonderful blog post!

Sandra Heska King said...

I'm so glad you came, too, Rebecca! Sounds like we have a little in common. :)

Amazing thing about the walking. Hard to go. Then hard to come in.

Billy Coffey said...

You're such a great writer, Sandra. Isn't it amazing how we can give up one small thing and find so much more? I'm gonna take your lead on this and try it myself.

S. Etole said...

you've given me much to think about ... but giving up chocolate ... bummer

caryjo said...

I look at the writing issues over and over again... trying to fit it into the schedule by adjusting MY "addictions." Keeping my mind focused as opposed to letting it flit around. Thanks for your input... much appreciated.

Sandra Heska King said...

@Billy: Oh. Wow. I can float on this comment for awhile. And what addiction are you going to give up?

@Susan: About the chocolate thing--I kinda doubt I'll be totally successful at that!

@caryjo: That focus thing can be so hard! Baby steps.

Cherie Hill said...

Good for you sister! Praying God fills your life with His presence and His purposes!
With joy,

Okay...I need to give up chocolate. (maybe) ;)

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