Saturday, February 25, 2012

Of Brevity and Chapstick Friends


Brevity. Not something I'm really good at, but it's high time for me to practice it. New buddy of mine, he's one of the co-hosts of the A-Z Challenge, wrote a great post today over at the main A-Z Challenge Blog. He outlined what we should pack in our April Survival Kit. First item? That brevity thing. I'm planning on taking his advice. I've not done so well on my “posting every other day” pre-challenge work-out routine. However, I've learned some good stuff from countless seminars, that though they were on a variety of topics, all stressed goal setting. We know that when we fail to meet a goal, the only thing to do is get back up and keep trying. We are not to let a set-back completely derail us. Each day is a new day. A try it again day. So here's me writing a brief post.

One of my pet peeves is when well-meaning people throw you the phrase, “I'll be praying for you!” at the end of a conversation. I suppose some people really mean it, but for the most part, I find it as heartfelt as the standard, “How are you!” greeting. You're supposed to say, “I'm good, how about you?” I've found that when I say, “It's a really crappy day today!” most don't know how to respond. I went off script and they stand there, speechless, as they try to improvise an answer.

I want my words to be meaningful. I don't think that's something that only writers look for. I want you to know that if I say, “I'll be praying for you!” I mean it. Personally, I believe that prayer should be included as a tool in every situation that enters my world. It's a cornerstone of my faith, and I've come up with a good way to remember to do what I've promised.

We all have personal habits that we repeat daily, or even multiple times daily. We brush our teeth, drive our kids to school, pass through that same intersection that's on our way to work. I use these everyday occurrences as a memory tool. I do a lot of praying in my car because mostly I'm alone, and I find it's a good time to have a talk with God. So if I say to you, “I'll be praying for you,” I usually share what the reminder will be.

For example, I have a friend from high school whose son has multiple health issues. I made him my chapstick friend. (For the record, it's the highest status. I put on chapstick a kabillion times a day.) Most of the time, I remember to ask for healing for him. I also have a blogging buddy down south who's having a rough time lately. I made her a chapstick friend, too.

I could use some prayer right now. Having respiratory issues again, same as the last two winters, only worse this year.  I've finished my three weeks of bed-rest (earned an extra week for showing up at the lung specialists office for a progress check, with a blood ox of 84.)  That's out of 100, and at 90 they marched me from my doctor's office to the hospital across the street.  Ok, not literally, but just about.  I'm healing so slowly, and feeling so frustrated about it.  Would you, if you're the praying kind, please pray for me?  I'd really appreciate it.

Brevity?  Not so much.  Guess I'll have to try again tomorrow...





17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I say I am praying for you, I mean it - and for you, I am!
And you're becoming briefer...

Cheryl said...

I'm not much of a formal prayer (prayor?). I will hold you in my heart and keep you in my thoughts while sending hope on butterfly wings.

I only participate in hops where brevity is queen. Outside of hops, if the writing is good, I'll show up when I've got time to be in blogland.

Heal, dammit, heal!

jnana said...

That's a good way of remembering all the prayer requests. I will make you my blogger friend (will pray for you whenever I open my blogger account)!

About brevity, I read that post and got super worried that I'll be driving people off my blog with long posts.

Brian Miller said...

i hear you on the hollow offers of prayer...and i have been just as guilty of them too i guess...but i will def be praying for you...

tera said...

I think most people mean it when they say it but sometimes life gets in the way. I know that happens to me sometimes. However, my lovely mother writes her prayer lists down so I often let her know too, because I do believe in the power of prayer.
I will do my best to remember to pray for you. I like jnana's idea of having a blogger prayer list... :)

Jo said...

lol Brevity will be my biggest challenge too...

Heather Murphy said...

I am praying for you FOR REAL but you have to be good and follow doctors orders too! :) I'm sorry you are having such a rough time. Take care of yourself. By the way, when I ask you how you're feeling...I REALLY WANT TO KNOW

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Hope you're feeling better soon. It must be very difficult to live with a respiratory issue.

Pearson Report said...

Hey Tina - I'm holding you in my talks with the Universe...hopefully someone out there is listening and your breathing starts improving.

This is my blogging formula: I write it, read it, cut it by half - I read it again and cut some more. I do this until there's no fat, just bone. It's tough, but I love doing it. And, I limit myself to 750 word count max.

It's like going on a diet...eventually you get used to the greens...

Smiles coming your way,

Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Twitter: @AprilA2Z

inspirenordic said...

I don't know if my comment just posted or just disappeared...

Anyways :) you must have a lot of lovely memories from Sweden. I love it there, it's so free and natural. My favourite memory is of making Midsommar crowns from the wildflowers we'd picked. It feels almost old-fashioned there, if that makes sense. Or at least much more simple. I adore that about the country.

I hope you're feeling better very soon! (and of course I mean that :) ) I like your ideas about praying at certain times, that's smart!

Pat Hatt said...

I've never been good at keeping things short either, but I figure what the heck. If I want to blab on I'll blab on until I'm done. On the a to z too, but posting everyday is no big deal for the cat..haha...a lot of people just use such phrases out of habit I find.

Kelly Robinson said...

You might appreciate the fact that when my Mom came out of surgery, the first thing she said when the anesthetics started wearing off was, "Where's my chapstick?" (My first visit to your blog, BTW!)

criticalcrass said...

thanks for the prayers, tina. i'll do my best to send some up on your behalf. :]

Al Penwasser said...

We've just "met" but you certainly have my best wishes!
I've always had trouble with that brevity thing. The only short thing about me is...me. In school, I never had a problem with being told to write a 500 word essay. My problem has ALWAYS been to whittle 1,000 down to 500 words.
Stephen King is the same way. No sense saying in 500 pages when 1,000 will do.
Wow. Comparing myself to a popular millionaire writer.
I guess I also have a problem with humility.
Darn it.

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

I am what some people call a "prayer warrior." I pray all the time. In the morning and at night. Before, during and after mass. My prayer list is long, but I always remember to pray for those whose names I have forgotten. Yes, I'm praying for you now. I know you will be feeling better soon. Keep us posted.

Brevity is the yoke around my neck and I look forward to the challenge to help me in being brief. I posted about the Challenge on my blog and hope it gives All some inspiration.
dreamweaver

Christine said...

I think we are kindred spirits. Since I live with constant health challenges, I don't ever really know how to answer the "how are you?" question. Some people care, and some don't. A friend and I came up with the phrase "church fine," for when you put on your happy face and just say you're great. Prayer is powerful, and I wish everyone who said they'd pray for me did, and I wish when people asked how I was doing, they really cared!

I'm terrible with brevity too, so we'll see how it goes!

M.L. Swift said...

Hey Tina,

You just made a comment on my post that referred me to this post. Thank you!

I'm of the same mindset. If I say something, especially about prayer, I mean it. And I also do the same...pray in the car an awful lot. I'm alone, and talk to God as if he were in the seat with me. We have a reverent, but informal relationship.

I didn't know your health issues were so many or so serious. Please take care, my inhaler friend, and I will be praying for you.

M.L. Swift, Writer