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The Idea of Celebration

So this morning I didn't feel a lot like celebrating... My brother was up all night puking and I really didn't want to get the flu (and still don't) and plans had to change because he has the flu. I was pretty bummed, not to mention I still had one more exam looming over my head

But it's almost 4 P.M. now. I finished my final exam and today is Weapon Icean's book birthday. I'm pretty sure I posted that on all of my social media accounts because I'm just so excited. It's a big accomplishment. And right now, honestly, I feel like celebrating. There's a lot to celebrate this time of year. The birth of Jesus, Christmas, snow! There are Christmas parties and family get togethers and yummy food and presents. Not to mention the New Year. But today I feel like there are a few other things I want to celebrate.

This semester was particularly rough. I took interpersonal communications and art history and you would think they wouldn't be that hard, but trust me, they are. The teachers expected a lot out of all of us and there were a few times when I was just done and exhausted and I didn't want to do it anymore. Seeing how its a college class and I'm freaky about getting semi-good grades I didn't not do my work, but some days I didn't give 100%. The past week I've been scrambling to finish everything. Final paper, final exams, all of it and it was just exhausting and stressful and now that it's done, I'm enormously relieved and happy that it's over. At least for a little while.

Also! It's Weapon Icean's book birthday!
I've said numerous times that I did the best I could last year with that book and now I probably could have done better, but I don't think that disqualifies all the hard work and countless hours I put into that book. Even this year I put in quite a few hours updating it and making it better! I worked really hard on that book. I wrote it and tirelessly revised and edited the heck out of that thing. I even got an editor and everything. The cover is fantastic and gorgeous and awesome thanks to my awesome mom who's a photoshop wizard. I was scared to take the plunge and put my work out there and Weapon Icean signifies more than just me being a published author for a whole year now. It reminds me that I can do this writing thing. That I've put the work in and the hours in before and I an do it again. That it's totally worth it all in the end when your holding that finished copy in your hand and that even though I may not get a lot of sales, that's Ok. It just makes me work twice as hard to improve my craft and make my next book better and it pushes me to work harder at marketing and learn more about the technical side of being a writer. But most of all Weapon Icean makes me really proud of myself for writing a whole book, revising and editing it and publishing it. If I hadn't published Weapon Icean, I don't think I would have had the guts to publish Of Magic and Mayhem and I don't think I would have pushed myself to improve my craft or work harder this year to make writing a priority. Weapon Icean and Delphi and all of the characters in that book will always be special to me, because it was my first book and I think that's pretty amazing.

But, anyways, back to the idea of celebration. What is celebration? Ironically my Bible study group was talking about celebration last night. We were reading in Ezra and the leader had us turn to 1 Samuel 7:12. In verse twelve Samuel sets up a stone of help, also called an Ebenezar (not Ebenezar Scrooge), after a defeat of the Philistines as a memorial for the help given to them by God. In my Bible study group they asked how we commemorate or remember the good times, or the celebratory times when God has helped us through a difficult time or when life has been just really good and we have a lot to be thankful for. In other words what are our Ebenezars? Our stones of help? I found that concept very interesting because I had never thought of that before. In hard times what are some things that I can look to that would remind me that I've gone through hard times before and God has always been there and taken care of me? What are certain things that I can do or make during times of celebration?

I thought a lot about that question during the rest of the study group and came up with a list of a few things that remind me of celebratory times in my life and of times when God has helped through rough times. One of those things is music. When we're in a good mood, when we want to celebrate we turn on upbeat, happy music. During the Christmas season we celebrate Jesus' birth by listening to Christmas music. Memories and celebratory feelings are permanently attached to some of my favorite Christmas music that I've been listening to for years. Another thing is my journals. A few other people said journaling as well. You can flip through the pages and look back on the hard and good times. Honestly, I think I would benefit from learning to prayer journal during the good, celebratory times. I don't prayer journal as often as I should during times that are good and without trouble and I think that if I did that more I could look back and remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It would also help me see the big picture. Look back at the hard times and then flip a few pages to when I got to the end of the tunnel and came out into the light. Seeing how it's a new year and all coming up soon I should put that into practice sooner rather than later and I intend to.

Another thing would probably be this blog right here. I've gone through my many blog posts since 2014 and see the blog posts I wrote during really hard, difficult times and then skipped ahead a month and can see how good God was and how He brought me out of those hard times. But I think the biggest thing that is my Ebenezar are my books. When I think of Lindsi I think of a... simpler time. A time when I was younger and didn't have to worry about a lot, before panic attacks and bouts of depression, before a lot of things changed and happened. When I think of the sequel that I wrote I think of a very, very hard time in my life. I was actually revising the end of Sabrina when that very hard time in life that changed a lot came about and Sabrina, for better or for worse will always carry that memory. Golden and Silver will always remind me of this years with all of its ups and downs. My books and my writing are my Ebenezars, my help stones.

So, while Christmas is only two weeks away and a new year is rolling around too quickly, take some time to think about what your help stones are and even during the hard days find something to celebrate or remember that God will get you through this because He's gotten you through hard times before. Enjoy the snow and the fun and the laughter and the celebration of the coming of Jesus this Christmas and don't be too intimidated by a new year. Instead celebrate all the good things that happened this year and celebrate the fact that we get a whole new year to make new memories and do more good and get more writing done and further the kingdom of God. (It won't be easy, at least for me, but I'm going to try my best to do celebrate on bad days and not be too anxious about the new year).

Have a great rest of the week everyone!!

What are some of your help stones?

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