My parents (age 78 and 82) live in Georgia. I'm an only child and I live in Ohio. My children are scattered. One in Illinois, one here in Ohio and one in Arizona. We were/are extremely close but it's getting harder and harder to have everyone meet here at the same time.
For the past twenty years I've had my parents come up for Thanksgiving and stay until New Years. It gave them a special time to experience a lot of quality time with all of us. It was nice being together when the children were young and as they moved into the work force - it was helpful to have one place for everyone to gather. It also gave me peace of mind to know that my parents wouldn't be alone on a major holiday.
Was it a challenge at times? Of course. Were there times when it interrupted our normal schedules? Yes. I was cooking more, celebrating more, concerned about more people and were they okay and.....you get the idea.
Looking back I wouldn't change those times for anything. It was a special gift that I could give to my parents and to my children.
But now....I see problems and a need to formulate a new plan. My parents have multiple illnesses and special needs that require more interaction from me. Fulfilling those needs means less time to write. My adult children have needs and that can also take away from my writing schedule.
Some of this truly is my fault! I was a stay at home mom who wrapped herself around her family. I was the go to person and I served my family with great pride. My commitment to family is a huge part of my resume and my ability to be a "mommy detective". Then...God called. He placed within me a desire to use my writing talents to share my knowledge and research with others. My family wasn't/isn't doing anything wrong - they love and appreciate me and I want to serve them. They are proud of my work and encourage me to continue. But how do I make the transition from total involvement to creating a place for my writing?
Here's the problem. Being with them and taking care of my family is the right thing to do. Yet...even the right thing to do may cause damage to the calling God has placed in my life. Damage can be as strong as a complete rejection of what needs to be done or it can be as simple as procrastination in favor of daily disturbances.
It's as if I'm standing in the middle of a field with my family all around me. It's proper and right that I take care of them. Amie needs this. Jamie wants that. My parents need this and Ken is calling for advice. I look up to see Ron on the outside of this circle of love patiently waiting for his turn. His sad eyes look at me as if to say, "I'm waiting. I know you are busy, but I hope you will have time for me."
Suddenly on the edge of this field I see Jesus. He has a big package in his hand. It has a bright red bow on top and bold black letters across the side, "Debbie's Writing".
I want both. I want to serve my family and yet I want the gift God has for me. I realize that he is not going to bring the gift to me. I have to walk away from the normal - loving - situation I'm in and walk toward the package. It's not going to come to me and stand in line waiting for my attention. I have to make the time to walk toward my gift. I have to consciously make the effort every day to open and protect and cultivate that gift.
Every popular author I've talked to admits they have this problem. It's nothing new. Just like the selfish and mean who fight for your attention - the ordinary, absolutely good things will also fight for your attention.
If we are to change this world, if we are to following our Holy calling, if we are to get the work done - we must find a way to handle this issue.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas season with your family. I hope that you had a great start to a Happy New Year.
I believe it's time to get busy and "be about our Father's work". With only a mere 7 days of "Happy New Year", while Congresswoman Giffords was getting back to work - evil attacked with a vengeance. You may have watched the news like I did and cried. I was horrified that a nine year old girl had to endure that horrible situation. Then when I read about her life Christian Taylor Green - I was reduced again to tears. You may have shook your head in horror and prayed for all the victims. But...you also may have listened to some views and shook your head in amazement at the ignorance of their rantings. What to do? What to do?
WRITE....Go to your computers and write. Write the truth. Write with compassion and strength and the knowledge that you have answers that others don't. Be verbal. Be strong. Be filled with the Holy Calling God has given you. You must write and be part of the conversation.
"Be very careful, then how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
This world is evil and I'm afraid that in many ways I have not been wise. I've been so busy being good to those I love that I've sacrificed a portion of my calling. I want to make changes, but how?
#1 The first thing we should always do is take our problems to God. I'm going to spend time everyday praying for God to give me wisdom on what area's I need to change in order to have more time for my work. I think I give a lot of time to my work now....but the reality is that I could do more.
#2 I have made schedules before but when they don't work - I quit. Just because my schedule is interrupted doesn't mean I should be unstructured.
I hope you will join me today in prayer. Prayer about God's will for your life and prayer about how to structure your life for optimum work. Let me know if you have insight into these issues. What changes do you need to make in order for God to use your work to it's fullest?
God loves you and has called you to write,