Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Salt of the Earth



Matthew 5:13
"You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."

Last Thursday evening, my husband, Danny, helps me to cut and paste all the separate chapters of Redemption, my second novel in the Adventures in The Glade series, and I giddily and gladly send it to my publisher and to some kind authors who have agreed to review it.  Oh, what a relief!  My computer and I have been joined at the hip for two straight months now in the attempt to complete Book 3 so I can see where Book 2 needs to end.  My mood, as you can well imagine, is celebratory and carefree.  I find myself mentally indulging in the promise of all the activities I have foregone over these last months because of the writing, and I go to sleep anticipating a rewarding day ahead.

I could not have been more deluded.

I wake that Friday morning feeling out-of-sorts and at loose ends.  My thoughts are scattered, and I have trouble focusing on any task at hand.  Nothing, not even reading, appeals to me.  It is as if my very purpose in life is being called into question.  Yesterday, it was all salty goodness.  Today?  I'm as bland as a matzo cracker.

"I know what's wrong with you," Danny, ever observant, remarks.

"What?"  I ask morosely.

"You're missing your friends in The Glade," he says.

Bingo!  I begin to tear up.  Yes, I've sent off Book 2, completed Book 3 all except for editing, and I don't want the adventures to end.  I am immersed in that grief we feel when our children, now grown, leave home for good.  I feel like I've watched my "Davy" walk away when I wasn't emotionally ready to let him go.

But it is time.  Past time.  Friends and family have been asking me for months when Redemption would be released.  They won't have to wait much longer.

And I find solace in this probability:  I have a fourth book already gelling for the Adventures in The Glade.  Will my time with my beloved characters end after that?  Somehow, I don't think so.  Whether or not a Book 5 is ever penned, they will live on in my heart, for they have touched me deeply and profoundly, and have seasoned my soul with gladness.

They are the salt of my earth.

~

Have you ever become so attached to a creative project that it was difficult to let it go?

Prayer:  Father, may we live up to Jesus' proclamation that we who follow Him are the salt of the earth, and may we, through the Holy Spirit, flavor a broken and hopeless world with Your light and love.  It is in Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

13 comments:

  1. I look forward to reading the next two (or three or four or...). Although I have not had the emptiness of a creative project you are speaking of, I have had that feeling after accomplishing something big or seeing an event come to fruition and work well.

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    1. I'm so glad you are looking forward to the sequels, Bill; makes my heart sing! It's gratifying to know, too, that you understand the feeling I've described here about completing something big and the "let down" that can sometimes follow.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Hi Martha! I can relate so well to the feelings you've expressed here. It may sound strange, however, I felt quite low, sad after completing my master's thesis. Even though it was time to be done; I still missed the interaction with the words, the intellectual stimulation.

    Eventually, I found other meaningful projects to occupy my thoughts and time.

    The let down is normal, from what I've heard/read about others' experiences.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, I believe that let-down feeling is very normal. Here it is, Tuesday of the following week, and I'm pretty much running on an even keel, and forcing myself to take a break from any novel writing/editing at all so as to avoid burn-out. :) Still writing the blogs, though!
      Love and blessings, Kim!

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  3. Hi Martha! First of all, let me congratulate you on your next book, all done and ready for the beta testers. Phew! As you said in your last comment, I think you are feeling the 'let down' of all the nervous and creative energy. And of course you are going to miss your characters! They are your babies :)

    I have often had the feeling that I would miss the people and projects I have finished. I do think that sometimes I have such a hard time saying 'goodbye' that I don't and just stay! But like you, I need to make peace with the parting, and move on to the next great thing that God has in store.

    So proud of you!!
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you, Ceil, for your words of congratulations and encouragement. Yes, my characters are my babies, and I revel in their growth and discoveries. It is hard to say good-bye for now, but I'm sure they will come knocking on my door again, asking me to write their stories. I'll just try hard to take a break for now and learn how to live with the hiatus, knowing, as you said, that God has the next great thing in store!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, I am humbled by those of you who write beautiful stories. I have never had much of an imagination. I love to write, but have a terrible time fleshing out characters and giving them purpose. Congratulations! So thankful for those of you who take me to new places.

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    1. Deb, we all have our God-given talents and gifts. Yours is one of the top-notch blogs I follow: Always inspirational, always down-to-earth. Those are not easy qualities to integrate! And I'm glad I can take you to new places, too. If I can, then I have used God's gift to me to the fullest.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. More then once, more then once. My first experience with that feeling was taking teens to camp...loved it, loved watching their hearts get plowed by God's word, loved it. Then it was time to take them all back to their homes, some good , some not so good. They would always be very moody as we heading home from camp. More then once we would get a call from some of them crying that what they learned was not received. How badly I wanted to get them, drive back to camp, keep them there, away from the world. Little did I know the future of investments made in people would feel as you are feeling. Letting go of the ministry of dorm parenting was extremely hard. Looking forward to your latest book...

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  6. More then once, more then once. My first experience with that feeling was taking teens to camp...loved it, loved watching their hearts get plowed by God's word, loved it. Then it was time to take them all back to their homes, some good , some not so good. They would always be very moody as we heading home from camp. More then once we would get a call from some of them crying that what they learned was not received. How badly I wanted to get them, drive back to camp, keep them there, away from the world. Little did I know the future of investments made in people would feel as you are feeling. Letting go of the ministry of dorm parenting was extremely hard. Looking forward to your latest book...

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    1. Betty, please forgive me for getting back so late to you, my friend.
      Your story mirrors those exact feelings so deeply. Here I am, dealing with imaginary characters, and you were dealing with real, live, human souls with such present and pressing needs. As I read your comment, I could feel their tears and frustration. They had been on the mountaintop, and were now back in the valley which failed them once again. But I take hope in the fact that you and the others who ministered to them planted the seeds of faith and hope in our loving Savior. Let us pray they have continued to carry that forward in their lives.
      New book coming soon, Betty. Thanks so much for your support and love!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. almost sounds like the grieving process. I remember being so drained after finishing graduate school. I made a plan to do one good thing for myself in every dimension of life: physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional That gave me a focus and refreshed me at the same time. Those characters become family, don't they? Congrats on completing the books

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    1. Jean, it is very akin to the grieving process. Just minutes before I check my comments and write this to you, I told Danny that I've been depressed (not clinically) ever since I let the book go. It's been getting gradually better, but I know the signs. Today, I felt more hope as I finally finished a novel I'd been reading and started another. Not the same as writing, though.
      I love your advice, too, for folks who are going through this same withdrawal - to do one good thing each day in every dimension in life. So practical and so promising! I certainly find hope in your words!
      Love and blessings!

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