I’ve been a bit of an emotional mess these past few weeks. I know it’s the new tempo our family is keeping with back-to-school, a new co-op, and a new job for me; all big transitions, all at the same time!
I know we will settle in but in the meantime I have had to reframe some thoughts and make some things clear in my heart.
This past year has been one of extreme focus for me. It’s been a year of some big goal setting, particular attention given to achieving those goals, and a hope that the year ends with many of those hopes and dreams fulfilled.
One of the main areas of focus for me was to devote the year to writing. I wanted to say yes to that big dream of writing and publishing a book (which I did), but also I wanted to devote myself to the habit and practice of writing. For me, this felt even more vital, pressing, and important than the book.
All year long, each month, I’ve had a regular blog “editorial” schedule and calendar. I’ve written and posted three and often four times each week. I’ve been regular, thematic, and the habits have stuck.
I have realized that with taking on a full-time job again, some things in my life are taking a hit. I’ve had to reprioritize and re-establish what makes the proverbial list and what does not. Thus far, regular writing has not made the list. Things like sleeping, feeding my family, exercise, and homeschooling have been more important; things like teaching and planning for classroom time have eaten up quite a lot of the free time I once knew.
Each day that I mentally strategize, or each week when I make a big-picture plan, I haven’t been able to find a regular and predictable time to write.
And that is bumming me out!
I am not counting myself out just yet, but I know realistically that I just don’t have the time to write and post like I used to. Here are some of the lies I’ve been telling myself:
- there’s just no time
- this has to be an all or nothing endeavor (you either write four times a week or not at all)
- no one really reads or cares or see this, why bother
- this part of your story is over; you’re a teacher now and not a writer (teachers teach and writers write…the two are mutually exclusive)
By the way, none of these statements are actually true…they are just the lies and excuses that I’ve been allowing to play on repeat in my head.
Have you ever been in a similar quandary?
Have you ever been in a place where you felt like one dream was taking over another and you didn’t see a way to do both? Have you believed a lie that all of life has to be neatly compartmentalized into boxes? That motherhood can’t overlap a career? That homeschooling can’t overlap a full-time job? That writing and teaching can’t live in the heart of the same person?
Today, as I dissect and decimate those lies, I’d encourage you, too, to get your head about you and realize that yes, multiple passions CAN co-exist. Yes, multiple talents and affections can connect. Life isn’t about isolating and insulating one-thing-at-a-time. Our lives are stories and they are complicated, messy, and they each have multiple plot twists.
So what if my writing isn’t as regular as it was in earlier months this year. So what if it’s more sporadic and random, not scheduled and planned out. When we live with passion and purpose, we find time for what matters most to us. We make time and carve out even the quickest moments to make room for our earnest endeavors. Writing is writing and I’ll take it where and when I can get it.
The theme of my blog since it’s inception back in 2008, has been telling the story that God is writing for my life, one mundane or ordinary story at a time.
Today I’ll be reminded of that. The chapter of my narrative that deals with writing isn’t over. That plot line continues and will be a thread of my life story. In this moment, another plot line has re-emerged. That’s the story of full-time teaching. It’s a story that’s still on the theme of listening to the still, small voice of God. It’s a story that’s still on the theme of obedience and submission to walking through the doors God opens and trusting Him on the paths where He leads me.
It’s a story of a platform He has given me to be an encourager, a leader, an influencer, a coach, a mentor, and a preceptor to a group of nearly 140 college students. No doubt, the protagonist (that’s me!) will face her share of conflicts and struggles; no doubt she’ll be a character who, as the plot evolves, continue as a dynamic character who undergoes change.
My story isn’t over and neither is yours!
I’ll leave you with two quotations. One from a humorist and the other from a theologian.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next…” – Gilda Radner
“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own…” -C.S. Lewis
What’s your story? What chapter has just begun for you? I’d love to hear from you!
One thought on “our stories continue…”
Elizabeth, thank you for expressing my own thoughts. I, too, have been challenged with my writing, due to the increasing demands of my time. Once again I was reminded to simply aspire to write 500 words a day. I can do this. So this is where I am. Later I’ll tell you if this works for me.