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Tracking Real Life Turning Points

August 12, 2019 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , ,
Wooden Arrow Sign pointing to right asking Is This The Right Way? Life is full of turning points blog post by Denise M. Colby

Real life is full of turning points. Some we ignore, others are decided for us. And where I’m at right now, “Turning Point” fits. I find writing about them helps me process them. What can I say? I love to journal. It’s the writer in me. Thus the title “Tracking Real Life Turning Points.”

Definition of a turning point: “Turning points are story events, either plot or character related, that mark where the story “turns” in a new direction. The new direction is usually caused by a big choice or dilemma faced by the characters.”

What new direction am I talking about for me personally? Quite a few small ones that are turning into really big ones. 

Yes I will admit my life has circled around my kid’s activities and schedules. I volunteer, I attend events, and I help out wherever I can. I’ve thrown class parties, graded papers, made props, and cleaned up after a performance. I’ve coached a robotics team for four years and choreographed seven years of musicals. I’ve attended chapels, assemblies, traveled to Sacramento and DC. After sixteen years of having our three boys attend Friends Christian School, our time has come to an end. Our youngest graduated from 8th grade in June and with that a new direction for our family.

The writer in me has to write this out since it’s such a ‘turning point’.

And quite possibly if I didn’t, I might inadvertently do something I shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t know if I didn’t write it out. Does that make any sense at all?

This past year I have worked more hours as an employee than any other. Robotics Coordinator, Substitute Teacher and Choreographer. I have to make a decision whether to continue in these capacities next year. I’d love to, but I really think God has other plans for me and my family. Hence why I call this a ‘turning point’ in my life. I need to say goodbye and then wait for God to open the door for the new direction He wants me to go in.

With my middle son graduating from high school, things will change there too. But I won’t be leaving EDHS, nor will we not have a kid in choir, theater or DMAA, since the youngest plans to be involved in all those things just like his brother. And with my middle son heading to college (even though he will be still living at home), that schedule will be new and exciting and a huge turning point for all of us as well. 

So with all this change, the biggest question is where will I spend my time going forward?

I don’t know. But what I do know is that I need to be ready and if I have year-long commitments, I won’t be available to do what God wants me to do. This is so hard for me to put down on paper. Whether it’s the fear of the unknown and worrying about how much I will miss it, I feel God nudging me to let go. 

I’ve been stretched so thin for so long, that there’s nothing left for me to give for the new areas God has called me to go. Writing, a regular paying job, more attention to my family and home. Rest. All of it. 

I’m probably way behind in letting go. God has been waiting for me. I sense it. I feel it. He can’t do more with me when I’m stretched so thin. And I want to be used by Him. Where he wants me. 

I have to be the one to close the door first, before other doors can open. And yet that is so difficult to do.

Maybe I’m more like my heroine, Olivia Carmichael, than I realized. I find it interesting that the novel I’ve been writing for the past five years is about letting go and trusting God. Give up control. Maybe I’ve been writing this novel for myself more than anyone. And I’ve been so focused on how to write it and what to write and getting it right, that I haven’t internalized what my story was truly about. 

Plans. Our plans vs God’s plans. And what happens, when we let go and let God guide us and direct us. 

My theme verse for my book is “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

But there are other verses that I have written down as well that fit.

bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 5 

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36 36

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

I began writing this post in June as I was processing all this change. In the midst of that a part-time corporate marketing copywriting job came about which has been much answered prayer for many reasons (i.e. paying for college!). A short-term project that now looks like it will last much longer. Yes, it has pulled me away from other things (like summer fun with my family), but it has also helped me get in a better writing routine overall and helped set much needed boundaries with my family because “mom is working from home.” These are the habits I have needed for my writing.

As I went back to finish this post, I wondered if I should scrap it alltogether.

But it’s so much a part of my writing journey, I decided to still post it.

I’m sharing my heart and hope there is some encouragement here for others. What I find amazing is how when we write about a point in time, how quickly circumstances or those feelings change.

And Yet…

Quote from Denise M. Colby about capturing our own life turning points

Capturing these turning points helps us to see where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and gives us hope for the future.

In essence, I just got through this big huge turning point and I’m already on to the next chapter. I can see my next steps on the horizon and even though it’s not all spelled out, I believe I’m headed in the right direction. 

It will be interesting to see the next part of my story unfold.

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