When Kris and I Skyped about me joining the team at Grace Table, we couldn’t believe how much our hearts had already been aligned. It was as though we were old friends who had been searching for the other and found home in each other’s stories. I’m so grateful and honored that I get to share the space she created and to have my first post be up today.
We go down this path a million times a day, and it takes me all those times for me to see beyond my anger, his disobedience, and what’s fair. For a heaven-sent second, everything slows down. His screaming quiets in my head, and I finally perceive what is good and profound through the loud fog of disciplining him. The generosity of his arms reaching out to me first, the relentless desire to reconnect – it’s the gospel, the hospitality of reconciliation.
The responsibilities keep piling on. The calendar gets filled up with more events. We’re moving from one thing to another with barely a moment to breathe. I run the family around from home to church, on errands, on playdates, to Target and back. Everything is always rushed. My temper is short, and my patience is never in stock. Everyone peeves me. I’m not myself anymore. I become only the things I do- the roles I play- and it’s suffocating me.
Writing is the first thing to go when I get busy. It’s hard to justify creative work when there’s laundry to be done, when the kids need attention, when someone at church has to be ministered to. “It’s just a hobby,” I tell myself. “It’s not important” or “It’s not as important as…” The lies start to pour in and make more sense than all the true things I’ve felt in my gut about my gift with words…
I started the month wanting to write freely. I had been chained by doubts, by the editor’s voice in my head, by my laziness and lack of discipline. I had been afraid of what others would say and if I was falling behind in the race to grow my influence. It was exhausting, it made me feel inadequate, and enough was enough.
The 31 Days challenge taught me more about writing and myself, and what I gained most from it wasn’t through focused effort on each post. It was through the process of writing often, of writing without the need to please that I learned to write freely. In a way, this challenge was the best kind of teacher- not giving me answers straight away but allowing the journey to bring me to these epiphanies.
I learned that talking and writing about my fears and doubts don’t help. Instead, sitting at the computer, staring at the blank screen, sitting in the discomfort of having to do the thing I’m avoiding, and actually writing is what will get me out of the funk, out of the rut. Just write.
I learned that I’m a writer so I have to write. Not the other way around. It’s how I’m wired, how I was created, and if I don’t write, I’m not well.
I don’t need ears to hear for me to write. It’s wonderful to have influence, and I love it when people connect with my words, but even if no one were to listen, even if no one were to read, I can and still need to write because it’s how I’m meant to display His glory.
I can have the discipline and endurance to write often if I choose to do so. I only wrote 17 out of the 31 days, but I hope to work out better writing rhythms if I keep moving forward.
The challenge ends today, but I’m only at the beginning of writing freely. There is surely more to come.