>Delighting in Deadlines

>I used to delight in deadlines. They kept me focused and gave me direction. They made me feel as if I was breathing deeply in crisp mountain air.

Then came 2009.

I had many pressing deadlines. Personal and family concerns weighed heavily on me. I frequently felt unwell with health issues that required many doctor’s appointments and tests. About halfway through the year, my work load increased exponentially. My sister with Down syndrome and early onset of Alzheimer’s was placed in nursing care.

I did not delight in deadlines. I dreaded deadlines. I could not keep up with deadlines. I felt as if I was being strangled by an iron grip around my neck.

Feeling as if I must catch a breath, I submitted resignations for some responsibilities: church librarian, editor of the newsletter for Classis Central churches, Managing Editor of Mid-America’s newsletter: the Messenger (effective next spring). A primary reason for giving up the Messenger was that my daughter expects a baby in April and I hope to care for this grandchild two days per week. I recognized that the number of my deadlines must be greatly reduced before then.

Before Thanksgiving I was able to complete two huge projects. I finished the last of the twenty-five lessons (with Teacher’s Tips) in Not My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism, which is the fifth-grade volume for the “Life in Christ” catechism curriculum being produced by First URC in Chino, CA. I completed a very rough draft of Matthew Marches On, the third in my series of four juvenile fiction novels about “Matthew in the Middle,” using that novel to meet my NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words and becoming a NaNoWriMo winner for the fourth year in a row!

This week I submitted six articles for Christian Renewal, one over 1,000 words and another over 1,500! The next CR deadline is after Christmas. My next deadline for Mid-America is an editorial meeting in January.

Before the end of the year, I want to finish my book on early infant loss for Reformed Fellowship and I want to send a revised manuscript of Matthew Muddles Through to the publisher.

I still face deadlines, but they haven’t been this viable for at least six months. I no longer feel as if I’m being strangled. I feel as if there’s a tightness in my chest, but I can finally breathe.

I begin again to delight in deadlines.

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