Winds of Change: Days 166-169

This post is an overview of the events that occurred over the past four days.

My writing process

On Friday (Day 168) I submitted two articles to my editor/boss. They dwelt on the same topic but the one was more of a dumbed down version of the other. After I submitted the second article I went to see my editor to tell her that I sent her the articles and to ask her how far she is with editing the first one.

She said that she didn’t get far with article #1. She had taken one look at it, edited the first paragraph and that was it. She said that she saw it wasn’t the way I normally write. It was not my best work. So she gave me leave to rewrite that article which ought to be submitted on Wednesday next week, that is after I handed in the third article on Monday.

I admitted to being stressed. The best way I can describe my state of mind when a drafted article #1 is: my thoughts were like a flame-thrower when they should’ve been like a laser. Thursday night was one of the toughest night’s ever. For the life of me, I just couldn’t seem to focus. I didn’t tell her my state of mind, of course . . .

This month I did things differently. I normally type my articles in LATEX which takes care of the references and typesetting for me. Once the first draft is done, I export the document in PDF format which is then converted to a MS Word document. The Word document is edited and submitted for further format and content editing by my boss and the editorial board. But this month for speed I typed the articles in MS Word. I did the reference list before I started writing the content. It was so much easier. I think I will work in MS Word from now on. LATEX is good for documents with a numbered refernce system. Rearranging the numbers is always a schlep. The BibTex database of references I will still keep up to date.

Programme planning

Saturday (Day 169) was another amazing day. The afternoon saw us launch our youth group for 2014. This launch and the lack of response from my team mates in the preparation stages contributed to the stress I experienced earlier in the week. The team met on Wednesday night over milkshakes and coffee to discuss the programme. I was at peace after the meeting knowing that we had a programme.

The stress of preparing for a class I had to conduct on evangelism Saturday morning also had me in its grip. Again I just couldn’t bring myself to prepare for it on Friday night. I was exhausted. So I got up at my normal time Saturday morning and prep’d for class. I prayed a lot and God didn’t disappoint.

Beliefs about nudity

Some of the things that contributed to my unrest this week were the arugments I read on mixed gender nudity. I was a little confused and tried to make sense of my paradoxical understanding of the whole issue: nudity is non-sexual in most contexts which is fine, you can look at the opposite sex naked without any lust in your heart, and yet it’s not good to do so because as Christians we are to avoid the appearance of evil; and other beliefs regarding nudity, modesty and propriety. In the back of my mind, I constantly measured what the ideas the authors of the articles and posts I read were advancing with my belief framework. My constant prayer was (and still is) that God would show me the truth and grant me a heart to accept it by living accordingly. I am confident that He will do this. He’s done so in the past.

The desires within

The longing to live in a moutain cabin among the trees, close to a lake and next to a waterfall with a rock pool was strong this week as I experienced stress. I wished that I could just relax by browsing through some landscapes on Flickr which I couldn’t do because my ban was still in place. It will end on Thursday.

The longing for companionship at this mountain cabin become prominent too mixed in with the question of interpersonal nudity between genders. How would I handle the situation if a woman were to interact with me while I skinny dipped? Would I excuse myself and get dressed? Or would I remain naked and talk to her? Would I invite her in? What would or should I do? I see this scenario as a sign of my need for companionship.

I experienced similar thoughts when I actively learned Spanish and prayed that God would send me a friend to practice with. I now have some Facebook friends and quite a number of acquaintances.

That’s my week in short. 🙂

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