Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Housing Development - Update December

Well, Winter is in full swing here in Meeker.

A winter like I've never known. And guess what?

I'm loving it!

This is our back yard and that's Scott's utility trailer filled to the brim!

Many who've moved here from warmer climates tell me they, too loved their first winter. And even the second. But by the third, their love morphed into something quite different. So knowing that is a possibility. I have decided to love this winter with a child-like quality and take in all this winter-wonderland has to offer. Scott and I have explored many of the areas around town and I'm amazed at how differently things look covered in snow! We got a close-up of this bald eagle the other day. What a treat.
Our house continues to progress, albiet too slowly for me. But that's just me wanting to be in my own home. I don't think I'll be able to truly feel like I belong here until then.

Here are a few pictures of the lastest developments.
Yes that's snow INSIDE the house! In what will one day be my kitchen and pantry.

TA DA! A roof!

We had a wonderful Christmas--WHITE Christmas. The day was quiet and we spent time just being a family. We did miss Scotty and Barbara, but we're hoping next year to spend time with them. I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and spent time in quiet reflection for all God has done to enrich your life. He has been good to us...and we thank Him.

From our family to yours: Have a wonderful New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Like Mary

Dec 25 2007

It's early Christmas morning, six a.m. and I sit and listen to the quiet of this blessed morning. Outside the window, snow droplets continue to fall as they've done most of the night. The landscape has donned a white coverlet. An answer to a small prayer. A smile automatically spreads my lips each time I glance out the window.

On my lap sits my Bible opened to the chapter of Luke. What else on this morning? But Luke 2 is not what captures my heart today, instead Luke 1:45 jumps from the page and wrestles me in. Makes me read it again and again.

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" (Luke 1:45 NIV)

On these words, it's my turn to ponder and hold them in my heart. Not only did Mary have to hear the Angel of the Lord, she had to believe the message. Believe that what God said would truly come to pass.
What incredible faith.
Unwavering faith when all logic and reason of her circumstances would push her to say, "No, this can't be true. It's not possible." But not Mary she simply said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." She really believed that with God all things were possible.

This year—.

I want to hear clearer.

I want to believe deeper.

I want to be more…

Like Mary.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Understand or Amazement?

This time of year usually leads to reflective thought more than other times. And as I contemplate the amazing miracle of the birth of Christ, I wonder how God could have sacrificed that awesome Son for sinners like me.

And as I try to imagine what He was thinking and feeling, I come to understand that I never will understand.

And that's okay.

If I understood what God was thinking or feeling, I would lose the ability to look at His miracles with awe and amazement.

In things of God, sometimes I would much rather be amazed than understand…

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Housing Update - 12/09/07

Last week we picked out our windows, siding, roofing, and stone. I thought it would be great and so easy, but the task was harder than I anticipated. So many choices!!!

We finally made our choices and settled on the colors and types. Hopefully the house will look halfway decent. But the funny thing about building--You never know what it will look like until it's finished. Which we're all ready to see...

Next week the daunting task of deciding on which appliances to choose.

Christmas Tree Shopping

This year our tree shopping took on a different tone. I simply purchased a permit from the National Forest Department then we trekked into the permitted areas and found a tree.

Of course, this sounds much easier than reality would prove…

First, we drove into the White River National Forest as far as our four-wheel drive truck could go. We soon discovered the roads were closed only allowing snow mobile traffic.

After we found a stand of suitable trees, our next step was to reach them.

We trekked up the path toward the stand and soon discovered the ridge was much steeper than it looked and the snow was much deeper.

Scott and Hope braved the climb to find the perfect, well almost perfect, tree.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Giant Step Closer to The End

National Novel Writing Month officially ended November 30th at midnight and I skated in on the 29th with 50,140 words. Yay!! Although not quite finished my novel, participating in NaNoWriMo was an amazing time of writing and discipline. I'm thankful that I took the challenge. It taught me several things.

1. I can write when I don't "feel" like writing.
2. I'm able to work under a deadline.
3. Even if the words are not pure perfection, write anyway.
4. I can ignore the words that are not pure perfection and press on. Until the edit phase…
5. Amazing things happen when you let go and let the characters have their way. {grin}

Steps that helped me accomplish this feat.

1. Created daily achievable goals.
a. Decided on number of words – 50,000
b. Decided how many days of the month for writing. In my case, I used weekdays only.
c. Divided the number of days into the amount of words and came up with a daily word
d. I created a spreadsheet with my daily cumulative goals and documented the numbers. Each morning I loaded the spreadsheet at the same time I loaded my manuscript. At any time, I could use the spreadsheet to quickly calculate how many words I needed to reach that day's goal.

2. Prayed
Each morning before I started writing, I prayed for God's words to flow from my fingers. Asked for His blessing on the writing.

3. Commitment
Committing each day to writing a specific number of words, helped me stay in the story and press through the "low" spots. Also committing to "finishing the race…"

4. Community
Knowing others were working as hard and under many of the same issues, made the journey easier.

5. Writing anyway—
Even when I knew the words were not the absolute best, when the dialogue lacked a little something, when I didn't feel like being creative, when I would have liked to do something else (like clean the bathroom), I learned to press on to meet the goals I'd set.

In other words, I gave myself permission to write.

To just write.

To open that vein and pour out the words. Sent my internal editor on an extended vacation where there were no communication lines! Let the story unfold. There's plenty of time later to bring the editor home and add or delete as needed.

To all of you who participated this year and met the 50K mark – A hearty Congratulations!!!

To those who didn't quite reach the mark -- Congratulations you've added to your story!