Welcome to the “office hours” for This Homeward Ache, friends! The comment section here will be open today for questions about details in the chapters, points I can clarify, or thoughts you might like to share.
Come in and take up a cup of something warm and delicious, and — if you’d like — please feel free to say hello even if you haven’t got a specific question or read the book. It’s been a gift to hear from kindred souls over the past few months. I’ve been especially honored to hear from readers about the signposts of joy they’ve encountered in their own lives, so that is a question I’ll put to you, if you have an answer: Where have you encountered a Homeward sort of longing? What was it like?
(And if you’ve read the book — was there a passage or chapter you found particularly resonant?)
By way of celebrating the book’s one month birthday, I’m hoping to pop in throughout the day to update this post with recent autumn snapshots and more snippets from last year’s writing log. Thank you for stopping by!
Snippets from the writing log
2.2.22 – I’m a few paragraphs away from the end [of Chapter 7] now… and also realizing that I ought to keep a record of what is happening as I am writing. So much of it feels as though I’m being led, which reminds me that all of this has come from Him, and that gives me hope that this thing will come safe into harbor in November.
2.3.22 – If this chapter were a quilt, I would sitting among the pieces of a top that once held tenuously together, seam-ripper in hand. Went back to present tense today because the last section rang truer [in that mode] than in all the preceding versions. Ordered [someone else’s memoir, told in present tense] to give me some courage to keep to what I think is the right road!
2.8.22 – Started the day with “finish the first section of Ch. 8” on today’s THA list; by noon I had changed it to “start the first sentence”; at 9:55pm I still haven’t done it.
2.19.22 – There is a music to [writing].
5.1.22 – Ch. 8 has been chugging along but also been on hold, because I haven’t felt that my recollections [of my college fellowship] are comprehensive or clear enough to make into a story. But today in church they all came to mind out of nowhere, and for the first time I missed this aspect: worshipping with them with music.
After that I worked a bit on Ch. 8 this evening and only now I realize that — I think — this, too, was a stepping-stone from the Lord.
6.27.22 – There are bound to be holes — things that somebody wishes I had addressed but didn’t; things some people don’t resonate with; things that just plain exasperate others. I think I’m going to start writing the one-star reviews I anticipate toward this end. For some reason I expect that to help me put those objections out of my mind and concentrate on writing for the reader I do have in mind.
8.18.22 – I recognize where I am now, here on the writing track. There is a point at which the course has been mapped out, and as many path-lights strewn as possible . . . though the finish line isn’t in sight yet — now comes that stretch where one puts one’s head down and puts all one’s strength into the springing and dashing of the feet. What has been laid has been laid, and if I can let that be—relinquish the could-have-beens and perhaps all the thank-goodness-nots—I can run this well.
– Some days I benefit from the sheer manipulation of writing-a-book sequences from movies!
8.19.22 – Worst morning yet [health-wise]. All the same — I am glad to be alive.
9.5.22 – I think one of the things I love most about Ch. 13 is how it has led to conversations with my parents, which have led to conversations between my mother and grandmother, and my father and his older sisters… these chains of memory being refreshed and passed on.
10.31.22 – After getting ready for bed I felt a lightness and a relief I have no felt for perhaps a year or more — always there has been an undercurrent of knowledge that this work was not done — and then, [chronic illnesses] being what they are, the adrenaline kept me from falling asleep and, when I finally did, filled the night with vivid and poignant dreams. But for once — I did not mind at all.
It is very nearly done. I could stop at Ch. 18 and still have a complete book, but I ask for Your help and grace to write these last few words now.
But — thank You.
11.1.22 – Down to the last line now. […]
For my sisters and brothers who live with this Homeward longing, strengthen them with Your joy. In their moments that border or dwell squarely in grief, I pray for the covering of Your comfort, and for daily, visible, undeniable eucatastrophes. I pray that You will keep them from the clutches of the Evil One, and that You would help each to recognize Your voice. Kindle this ache. Prepare us to live in the place You are preparing; whet our appetites for exactly what it will be.
Give us relief and endurance. Keep our hearts burning within us at the sound of Your voice and the glimmers of the place You are preparing, so that we may be alive to the working of Your Spirit in our lives. […]
*Photo by Lydia Matzal on Unsplash