University of Nottingham. Picture taken in January 2013 when I arrived there.
March 8th, 2018 6:17 am
Good morning lovelies! I have been waking up mad early to participate in twitter’s writing community called #5amwritersclub and it has been quite fun. I managed to re-write EVREN’s ending and work on my twitter pitches for #PitMad. However, when 11 am rolls around, I am definitely feeling it 😉
That is when coffee lovingly calls my name.
Eastern Canada and the States are expecting a “snow bomb” (very descriptive of the weather channel ;). So we may get snowed in today or tomorrow.
Finding peace in the busyness of life
In any case, this month is filled with heaps of writing contests and fun opportunities to grow as a writer (#PitMad, #1st5Pages, #AMM to name a few) All wonderful things. I just wanted to make a post about finding some peace and quiet when things pick up and get busy. I find it difficult to concentrate on my writing when my mind keeps flitting to that contest I just entered or wondering if someone is going to comment on my entry on so and so’s website. It is hard to focus right now.
One of my favorite verses that I hold close to my heart is from Philippians 4:7:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Breathe in. Breathe out.
My first experience of deep peace
When I went to England in 2013 on a student exchange, I was so nervous I wouldn’t make any friends. I suffered from social anxiety and found it difficult to relax in social settings. I asked God before leaving if He could help me relax and make friends. I wanted to experience a new culture and stretch myself but I was afraid.
That was my first real experience of a peace that transcended understanding. I stepped on a plane in Toronto at the end of January and didn’t feel nervous about the prospect of leaving behind my home. I wasn’t thrilled about flying in a death tube for 8 hours but I wasn’t nervous about going to a new country. I was SO excited!
I landed in London the next day and foolishly booked my train to Nottingham eight hours later so I could explore the city 😉 HAH! Naive over-excited traveler I was, thinking I could actually be a tourist after an eight hour flight, haha. I lasted for a few hours, beaming over a latte in Kings Cross and then slumping over my basil tomato pizza in a sweet diner hours later, feeling the jet lag kick in.
When I finally got on the train headed to Nottingham, I ended up sitting next to an older gentleman (after struggling with my big suitcase) who politely asked me where I was from. When I told him I was from Canada and headed to the University of Nottingham for five months, he smiled and told me he used to be a Professor of Psychology there (which was my major!) and that I should go to the student exchange fair later that week. He told me it was where I would meet all my friends.
And friends, I followed his advice, and I met the most wonderful people! I don’t think that meeting was random. I know it was God taking care of me through His people. Very cool and encouraging.
That exchange changed my life, for the better. I got to meet one of my online writing best friend’s for the first time in person in Ireland and squee over our writing life goals together. We traveled to the Cliffs of Moher with her hubby.
Kendra Leighton and I went to a book signing together ❤ She was another friend I met in the online writing world. We met Marissa Meyer in London when she was touring Scarlet from her Lunar Chronicles series. Kendra also gave me some awesome raw and dairy-free chocolate. The link to her business is here:
I grew as a person and learned that we are better together. Everyone brings a different gift and way of thinking to the table. I met people from Australia, Mexico, Spain, Germany, and the USA. Everyone had different ways of coping with life struggles and I learned so much from them. I learned I didn’t need to stress or worry about certain things that I always ruminated on in the past, particularly social stuff.
God is so good. I asked Him for help and He answered.
So if life is getting crazy and busy – whether good or bad- take a moment to yourself and breathe in and out. You are not alone. ❤
Until next time,