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Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

First of all, I can NOT believe we are facing 2020! It seemed unbelievable when we hit the year 2000 and now we have passed it by 20 years! I find that quite surprising! Ron is into his 80’s and I’m a little further into my 70’s. It all seems quite surprising. My oldest grand is driving and will graduate from high school next year in the class of 2021. Three years after that, we will have two high school grads coming up and 3 years after that will have 2 grads again!. The grands are all growing up fast! The years are flying by and I am barely keeping up. I hope I”ll be nice and healthy when all those things are happening!

Blog

But back to the present! This has been an interesting year of highs and lows. In terms of the blog, It has changed from gritty grace dot com to marthagrimmbrady.com. I’m still making changes and developing things to serve my readers better. You will hear more about them in January. The change was made this past summer based on some new directions I’m going with the website. The more feedback I get from you, my readers, the more beneficial and helpful it will be to you.

Family

In terms of our family, Ron’s physical health has stayed stable. He now he has vascular dementia as a result of his strokes. He is able to function decently as long as I”m not too far away. On his good days, he does not appreciate that I am into his business. He doesn’t like that I am checking behind him. I try to be unobtrusive about it, but he often notices. He forgets to turn off things like the water spigot or the electric range, so I have to watch out for that.  On his hard days, he realizes his memory isn’t good and it makes him sad. On his bad days, he doesn’t remember much and he plugs along in a decent mood, unaware of many of his losses. I am learning to function in the middle of this as I try to complete various activities that need to be done, help him accomplish what he needs to do and still allow him his independence. I can’t deny it is a tightrope act! I know many of you are experiencing the same thing.

Our move

In November, I went to a writers conference. It took quite a bit of planning. I bought the ticket about 6 months before. Shortly after I bought the ticket, a house was given to us. I got to pick it out too. It took a month or so of looking, but we found one, slightly larger than our apartment. Since it had a garage, it made the house seem much larger. It is perfect for us and gives us some breathing space. It is on a wooded lot not far from where our daughter, Holly lives. Our out-of-town daughters came to help us move at different times for different parts of the move. One came before the move to help sort and pack. She helped us get rid of a lot of stuff we didn’t need to bring.

Shortly after our move, our other out-of-town daughter came to help us with other parts of the move. She helped cull a lot of paper. We got rid of bags and bags of paper that had to be ground up. I have forgotten how many pounds it was now, but it was many! We also got rid of more furniture that we didn’t need after the move. I still have a few boxes left in the garage to go through now that the weather has cooled down, but it is manageable.

Hope Writer’s Conference

Oh yes, back to the writer’s conference in Charlotte, NC. My brother from PA, flew down to stay with Ron. I was gone for 2 nights. My brother Steve was the perfect person to stay with him. (My brother is a retired American Airlines Captain who can fly anywhere on a pass.)They have known each other for years. Steve is very quiet and calm. Steve is also a great cook! Ron relates well to other men. They seem to stimulate his mind in ways that being around women doesn’t, even brainy/bookish women.  Ron, of course, didn’t think he needed anyone to stay with him but he acquiesced. It sounded like they had a great time together. I returned on Saturday evening and Steve left on the return flight so he could get home that night. He made it home about midnight.

My writing conference may have been the highlight of the year for me. Part of my ticket involved being able to meet with an editor. To prepare for it, I had to write a book proposal. I had a rough idea of what i planned to write, but the book proposal really helped me harrow the focus of the book. If you had asked me five years ago if I ever planned to write a book, I would have laughed you to scorn! Two years ago, I might have thought I’d write a self-published book that was made up of a collection of my posts and would be more like a devotional book.

But I decided to meet with the editor and have all the work for a book proposal done. i didn’t get it all printed out. I ran into some major glitches. But they said that would be ok it we knew what we were talking about. That last few days before I left were getting way too stressful! I was prepared. Well, almost. I was not happy with my hook sentence, but I had time for it all to mull around in my head. I knew it would come to me by the time I was getting it all together the night before the interview.

It did! As I was collecting my thoughts and going over the information, it all came together in a great hook sentence. I really got excited. I finally had something to say that would catch someone’s attention. And I was right!l The editor and I clicked. She liked my proposal and said it was very unique and marketable as well. The other surprise was that she wanted me to write a regular book not a devotional book. This surprised me too! I was not expecting that at all! All in all, I was pleasantly surprised as far as what came from the interview! So over the next year, I’ll be trying out a lot of information on you. I hope you all are up for it! I’ll need your feedback for sure!

She gave me two assignments. 1. Go back home and build up your platform…that is, get more followers who are committed to you! 2. Get a nice, tight book proposal written. Then come ack to me in 6-12 months when that is done!

I was stunned! You mean you like what I have to say? Yes. I couldn’t believe it! So I’m back home and working on connecting better with my readers in the New Year. Who are my readers? You are older women…and I’m not defining you by a number in terms of age. Are you 68 or 73? It probably doesn’t make a lot of difference.Some of you are older, some, because of some of your life experiences, are considerably younger.

But here are some characteristics about you.

You often feel invisible. You have been or are now giving care to parents or a spouse. You may be widowed or divorced, but often are either alone or virtually alone because of your caregiving. By virtue of your age, you have suffered many losses at this point in your life…a child, parent, spouse? You may have suffered other losses as well such as status, job, or even the loss of a dream or two.

Whether you live alone or feel alone, there are many that are just like you that I am writing to. For many of you, there have been challenges to your faith that are causing you to question the faith paradigm you have been living with for the past number of years. Believe it or not, that is actually a good place to be. Even if you were like me and believed the Bible, you may have not fully believed what you thought you did or said you did. When life turns upside-down like it did for me,

it is a good time to reevaluate what you actually believe and how you have been putting it into practice. It often turns out that many phrases that once held meaning for you, no longer make sense. You also realize that your view of GOD is going to have to change. Is He as big as you think He is? Then your everyday life is going to have to reflect that belief! What I have often found is that I have been confining Him in too small a place…to my own detriment. Then, when hard times come, I find that the GOD I was worshiping was way too small for the life I need to live. I also need to be around others, often from my church, who challenge me to grow in that direction.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
    The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
    you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

Psalm 45:6-7 ESV

I want to say more, but must stop for now.

In the comments or in the email, let me know if you identify with who my reader is and at what points. Talk to me. I need to hear from you. What do you need to hear more of. What do you need to hear less of?

What have been the big events in your life this year? I would love to hear.

 

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