Thursday, February 25, 2021

Carpe Diem Writers

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Are you like me? Does every day start with a list of things that have to must be done? Many people can get through their day with a mental list. I’m not one of them. I need my written list. After it’s written, I need to set the proper priorities.

And then stuff happens. Some are simple distractions like Facebook, research that takes us down rabbit trails, Instagram, Twitter.

Or we discover we’re missing a vital ingredient for supper, and we have to visit three stores to find it. Or the boss asks us to work late a half-hour to finish a project, and two hours later we’re still working on it.

Sometimes, the unexpected comes up. A neighbor stops by. Aunt Millie from Minnesota calls and gives us every detail of her bunion surgery. The car gets a flat. The sink backs up.

Let’s not forget emergencies. One of the kids gets sick and has to be fetched from school and maybe taken to the doctor or emergency room.

We only have so much time. Sometimes we can’t control what happens to it. But we need to work on spending our time wisely.

Every day begs to be seized. Do we seize the day, or do we let the day seize us?

I’d like to think I seize the day through my calendar and my to-do list. But too often the day gets away from me.

When the day unravels, there’s a scripture verse that reminds me of a way to not lose: Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (HCSB)

When I let him renew my mind, the stuff circling my head like turkey buzzards, the tasks all demanding immediate action fall into order. His word sharpens my mind, heart, and soul. Scripture reassures me that change will happen. Order will come.

When I stop and renew my mind in his peace, it lets him guide me into what needs to be my priority, what I can postpone, and, believe it or not, what doesn’t have to be accomplished at all. At least by me.

The day can still feel hectic, but it doesn’t feel out of control anymore. And the most important things get done because he reveals his good, pleasing and perfect will for me.

What do you do when your day threatens to spin out of control?


Henry’s debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the 2009 Operation First Novel contest.

Henry edits novels, leads critique groups, and teaches at conferences and workshops. He enjoys mentoring and coaching individual writers. 

Connect with Henry on his BLOGTWITTER and FACEBOOK.


  1. Thanks for your wise reminder, Henry.... It's a good day for it!
    When this happens I slooow down and stop trying to multi-task if possible.
    It was Marla Cilley - aka Flylady - who taught me that multi-tasking doesn't work and although highly skeptical at first I'm now convinced she is right! :)

  2. Henry - Sometimes I wish I had hectic days like these. Now pushing 90 and in retirement, some immediate family members living far away, grandsons at their universities or working far away, granddaughters in middle school far away, a daughter-our angel looking down from heaven, but I am not complaining. I thank God daily for the years I had with them when they were close by. And I thank Him now for being in good health with my husband, and able to visit them in those far away places. I also occupy my time writing - a published novel, working on a memoir, and recently starting blogging. Your scripture verse is inspiring. I enjoyed you writing this morning. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you, Henry. This must be the umpteenth time I have commented that way on Edie's site, but I mean it as much as ever. I needed to hear that today.
    Jay Wright; Upstate SC

  4. Jay I echo your thoughts, I needed to hear this today. Thank you for this scripture, it holds true for our daily lives.

  5. Henry, thanks for an inspirational post. In answer to your question, pretty much all of my days threaten to spin out of control -- for many of the reasons you have in your article. When I pause and take a moment to recenter on God, things tend to sort themselves out.
    Thank you!