As I wrote the title of this post I realized it had two distinct bits of relevance for my life. First, when I consider the words together it is a title for the type of life I hope to lead, a writing life; a life where one sees the world and feels compelled to share their thoughts through words, hoping along the way to connect with others, to help others see something in a way they may not have considered it before, to encourage, to communicate universal truths and find camaraderie through sharing them and receiving others reactions to your shared thoughts.
The other way the title speaks volumes of truth about is when you read the word "writing" as a verb rather than part of a noun phrase..that we are in fact "writing" life...We live, learn, experience and write about it. We see, watch, hope and write about it.
The product of this desire is different for everyone and sometimes it is not what we thought it would be. I love that verse in Proverbs that says, "In his heart a [woman] plans her course, but the Lord determines [her] steps" (16:9).
This could be my life's theme verse...and not because I have been gracious and devout and completely faithful to trust that God is in complete control. No, quite the opposite sometimes....
I plan and plan and plan and plan....I create big ideas in my head about where I want to go with my writing and how I would like to connect to others with it (While I could relate this verse to other areas in my life, for the purpose of this post I'm just going to talk about how it has related to my journey as a writer). The bigger the plans get, the bigger the frustration that follows when... the stuff of life comes along and asks for more time and energy than I was expecting.
I am learning (I'm a slow learner sometimes!) that we may have big plans but that sometimes God is asking us to take small steps. For a season (most likely!). For a reason-- perhaps because He is teaching you about other things, perhaps because your bigger role is to be teaching your little ones about life.
I have a confession to make here-- this has been one of the hardest things for me to accept in becoming a mother. Accepting that there are limitations to what I can do, about the time I can devote to an interest (dare I say a "passion") such as writing while raising my little munchkins the way I would like to raise them, and more importantly the way I feel God would call me to raise them.
And so there is a pretty regular tension that I carry around in my inner thoughts. It goes something like this...
"Lis, what about that blog post you were going to write?"
"Sigh. The week got too busy with the house and swimming and taking walks and bike rides and grocery shopping...all good stuff...but no blog post."
"Lis, what about those magazine queries you were going to send out. You know if you EVER want to be a freelance journalist on a bigger scale you need to start querying."
"Grr. I know...Shoot...I'll get right on that."
"Lis, what about that book proposal you had considered putting together? When are you going to start that."
"Right. Right. Right after I put the laundry away again...maybe after we go school shopping for Ava. Mostly after I clean up my office and am organized enough to start.Then the voice gets downright mean...
"What's your problem lady? Why can't you get more done? Why don't you stay up till 1 a.m. like some other women can do and then get up with your kids in the morning? Why don't you find a more efficient way to fit this all into your schedule? You will NEVER be a consistent writer!"Ever been there?
That's about the time that I have to stop looking in front of me and I really need to focus on looking ABOVE me...upwards rather than outwards. Upwards to a heavenly father who graciously says He's got it all figured out...That while I may be trying to plan my course that I just need to listen for directives as He continues to plan my steps. ONE. AT. A. TIME. And small ones for now.
And so I try to write my one blog post a week (for now...until the season changes), which is this one.
I've been keeping up a blog for my brother and his wife as they wait for a liver transplant for their daughter. This has been the most important "writing" in my life right now. My prayer is that by helping them to communicate their story that they will be blessed with wide reaching support and prayer. You can click on the "Praying for Cordelia" button on the side of my blog (and post the button on your blog!) to read more about their story (please do if you don't know it already!). They need BIG prayers!
I write an average of one article every 4-6 weeks for small local publications (mostly the over 50 magazine, Forever Young, here in Buffalo, which is kind of funny because you all know I'm in my 30's! I LOVE interviewing that age group though!). Click here to read a recent profile about a very passionate woman in her 80's!
And I submit where I can to online communities...I had an article about...no surprises here..."Pursuing Your Passions in the Midst of Motherhood" on a site earlier this week...pop over and leave a comment if you have a minute or two!
So YAY for the small steps. And YAY that I have the immense privledge of getting to be home with my girls. Truly, as much as I miss working more consistently in a more out of the house, "professional" way, I would not give up this time at home with my girls (Like the 3 year old who is standing next to me right now asking me to help her make stamp art for our babysitter who is coming over in an hour!).
Would love to hear about how God is directing your steps as a writer...
If that's not what is on your heart and mind this week though, would also love to hear about WHATEVER you have been up to this week.
Link up below. PLEASE! If I'm only going to eek out one post a week I figure I may as well connect with as many of you in the process as I can.