Good Monday Morning: Sept. 26

This is the last Monday in September. This month went by so fast.

Summer is over and fall is here. That turning of the season was a difficult time for me when my kids were in school. It was as hard for me to shift from lazy summer mornings to bustling everyone out the door in time to catch the bus or drive to school. In fact, many years during this change of season, I suffered from increased anxiety.

It feels like I still experience the aftershock of those hectic days when this time of year rolls around. My mood shifted a few days ago. A little bit of depression is creeping in, stealing my motivation and my joy. That affects my mindset and my thoughts turn inward. I self-reflect and pick out the negatives instead of focusing on the positive.

It’s time for another appointment with my counselor. I can get through this, but I need a little help to sort through my emotions.

Three years ago I was on top of my game. I was in great health and my first novella was about to be released.

Two years ago, I had good lab results and felt physically stronger than I ever had, but I struggled to find a job. Finances became a hardship. I learned how to cook dry beans and make up my own soups, as well as portion out the meat that I ate so that it stretched farther.

Last year, I’d already started to let down my guard, not paying attention to what I ate and not exercising regularly. I had some disappointments that I couldn’t seem to get over.

In November last year, I began working with children’s church. Like I often do, I came up with my own ideas for curriculum. For the next few months, I focused on preparing lessons weekly with Bible stories, games and crafts. It didn’t matter to me that we only had 1-3 kids most Sundays. It was a lot of fun for me to get back into the area of children’s ministry that I enjoyed when my kids were little.

I decided that last year, in 2021, I chased after things that weren’t important. I decided that in 2022, I would focus on what God had planned for me.

I spend a lot of time working on curriculum to use in our local church and in preparation for future publishing.

Although I have several ideas for Christian fiction, I haven’t written anything this year. I keep thinking I want to get something going, but I don’t have the drive.

I can’t tell if it’s because the church curriculum consumes all of my creative energy or if it’s wrter’s block that’s lasted for several months.

Maybe a little bit of both?

As any of you who follow my blog can tell, I’ve been lax this summer in writing new posts. One thing I have continued is the Pet Tails Series. I’ve requested photos and stories of pets who are available for adoption from our local animal rescue coalition. The last one named Hash brown almost tempted me to seek adoption.

My “baby,” my Black Lab named Rosie, turns thirteen next month and is slowing down. I think she may have a tumor and plan to call the vet this week and get her an appointment. I don’t really want another dog to replace her, but after my husband died, she was the only reason I went outside the house. She’s been a good companion in spite of her stubbornness and occasional digging into the trash. I don’t know when but we will be saying goodbye to her sooner rather than later.

I don’t think I will get another dog, however. We have several cats. Adding a puppy or even an older dog to the household will be more work for me. I’d like to do some traveling in a couple of years and I don’t want the responsibility of a dog that I’d have to ask someone else to take care of while I’m gone.

Then there is the expense: Vet visits, spaying or neutering, shots, as well as food. My kids have been paying for all of that over this past year as I have struggled financially. I can’t afford another dog until my finances get sqared away. I’m working on budgeting but there isn’t much left over after bills to budget.

I have to believe that will all change one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. I made some poor decisions in the past that have put me in this situation. I am unable to work full time due to mental health issues. But I’ve missed a lot of part time hours this summer due to illness or said issues.

The Passport Journey curriculum has gone amazingly well and is still a fun project for me. I’m also working on a series called Hall of Faith, based on Hebrews 11 and am making trading cards to go along with the stories. I’m also working on New Testament stories that we can begin in January if God directs us to.

So there are some positive things in my life, I just have to look a little harder for them right now. I’m also making the commitment to eating healthier and exercising more often, but we all know how hard it is to stick with those good habits.

I hope you all have a good week and I’ll see you back here soon!

Oh, and I’ve lined up some author interviews and book features for the next few months so I can introduce you to some great Christian fiction.

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