Today is the Feast of the Three Kings. I know for many Mexican children, this is a little Christmas, but in the tradition of my mother, we shall have a reading, perhaps a cake with a hidden bean. I daren't bake a cake with a doll for fear the doll will melt. I've been known to do very silly things like that.
I have been thinking of all the gifts we've been bestowed with, and the gift of writing is one. Our dreams and deepest desires and what makes us happy and lost in that activity should surely make us realize what we are meant to do. It makes me happy when young people develop their gifts. Recently we were having supper with friends of ours, both their young boys who are applying for medical school. They are called to do this and have already established mobile clinics in poor areas in India. I too, was once passionate like this.
But fear stopped me. When I was a young woman of 21, even though I got into medical school, I rejected that call because the thought of borrowing $100,000 with no buffer just for my education was frightening. I was taught to never borrow money. There was no option to teach part-time. And I hadn't even figured living expenses. I did the more secure thing -- I got a job in research, got my PhD and paid my way by teaching and research assistantships. But I never felt that same calling. And I never did reapply to medical school. And it is one decision that I have regretted because it goes to my very core. I was called to heal. I believe that when you are given a gift, you are obligated to nurture and develop those gifts. I did not, and that is where this regret comes from. I think if I were a Christian back then, and had put all my faith and trust in God, I would've been just fine and God would've provided (maybe I would've learned that it is okay to borrow money and pay it back later).
God is good. He has given me other gifts. The gift to write. And every time I think of letting it pass by, my conscience tells me to not to give up. Now my conscience has been developed by the teachings of the Church, the Bible. I accomplished a tremendous feat last year. I read the entire Bible. Not that I understood it. Hah! I am showing my ignorance here. It is a very difficult set of books to read. Thank goodness we have priests who can interpret many of these stories. Many of the stories I already know well and their meaning is clear. But there are so many I did not even know and there are so many that are downright confusing. God did that? That's not very nice. But throughout my readings, one phrase leapt at me. "Do not fear" or "Fear not" and it is what I needed to hear.
We are all so fond of making New Year's resolutions. I have one writing related goal and that is to finish my novel revision and send it out to my top agent picks. I am not going to let fear stop me. I am going to say "Yes" to God when He calls me to do something in all areas of my life.
On the Blueboards, Anastasia asked what would be our word for the year. There are so many great words I could think of: faith, believe, trust, balance -- oh, there is much to juggle -- mothering, teaching, writing. But after much thinking, I chose the word SURRENDER because I want to surrender to God's will. I want to live my life with no regrets. Be more holy.
How about you? What gifts do you have? What regrets? What is the one thing you would like to change this year? What is your word for this year? Please share.
Here's a page from the January Highlights featuring my talking animal story Teeter-Totter. I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it with your own critters. The illustrations by Debbie Palen are darling.
Happy New Year, all. Persevere. And keep your balance!