It was on the radio. It was in sermons. It was in my Bible study. Everywhere I turned, I felt God was trying to tell me something. Over the past year, I've felt very frustrated over the fact that I've been sooooooooooo busy with various jobs and responsibilities that my personal writing - the writing I feel called to - has been pushed to the side.
I'm not sure why this writing always gets the lowest priority, but maybe it's the urgent seeming more pressing than the truly important. I mean how many times have you elected to clean the bathroom rather than just hang out with your child? Yeah - me too.
Or maybe it's because I think of it is as something for me and that usually gets stuck on the back burner. Whatever the reason, I was whining about it and feeling just a tad sorry for myself. "I would do that but when do I have time? I feel so stressed, how can I possibly focus enough?"
It was while watching Priscilla Shirer that God really drove home to me that I was making excuses. I was listening to her and thinking - How awesome would it be to speak to thousands of women and impact their lives for God? How awesome would it be to write the Bible study I've been working on for over a year and share my passion for the treasures of God's Word to a bigger audience?
Over the past year, I've tried to make my calling, my dream small and manageable - something that doesn't require me to be uncomfortable in any way. I've told myself that it didn't matter if my audience was the 10-15 women in my Sunday school class - if they were the only ones I taught, that would be fine. Please don't get me wrong - those women are very important. Each one is precious to God and as the teacher, I have a responsibility to share truth with them, to pray for them and to love them. However, they became an excuse - "See, God? I am doing something for you. I'm teaching. I'm sharing your Word."
The thing is, without sacrifice and self-discipline, I can't realize my calling. Why in the world did I think my dreams would come to fruition with no sacrifice, no discomfort on my part? Why did I think that things would just neatly fall into place - as if my husband and I would somehow become independently wealthy and I could stay home and write at my leisure? How many people actually have that luxury - to not have to work at all? Not many these days and certainly not me!
I was frustrated and, to be honest, just a little bit annoyed, that God would call me to something that seemed impossible to achieve. It seemed just a tiny bit unkind. I wrestled with it in my mind because I KNOW God is good so what gives?
The truth is God was still calling me, but I was going to have to sacrifice and experience some discomfort to follow through on that calling.
God has used a couple of verses these past few weeks when He's been trying to get my attention.
"The first one is, "Therefore,to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17
In other words, I know what God wants me to do and I'm making excuses not to do it - that's disobedience, plain and simple. Ouch!
The second verse is "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, this he will also reap." Gal. 6:7
So far, I've reaped exactly what I've sowed in this writing business - nothing. Why? Because I have not put the time in to hone my craft, to practice, to actually write. To be a writer you have to... wait for it... WRITE.
You may be thinking, "So write all ready!" The thing is, I have two regular part time jobs, and I also have two variable part time jobs. I work most of the day and do my housekeeping things like cleaning, laundry, etc. Then most weekday evenings, I work at Sylvan. Weekends I spend time with my family because I don't get to do much of that during the week. One of my jobs IS writing - for the newspaper. While I enjoy that, it is not the same as my calling.
What God has impressed on me is that in order to do this, to follow what He's asked of me, I'm going to have to get up early. Now some of you may wonder what in the world is the big deal about that? Well, first of all, to say I am NOT a morning person is a gross understatement. Not only do I HATE getting up early, but I also HATE going to bed early which is really a necessity for me since I also happen to need a good eight hours of sleep to function.
I'm also very slow moving in the morning. I workout and have my quiet time in the morning, so by the time I add in all that, I have to get up quite early - for me anyway.
However, I have made a commitment to God to get up at least a half hour to an hour earlier each morning and use that time to write. I know God will bless my obedience because He promises to do so.
I can't explain all the circumstances in our lives in the past 18 months. It's been a bit of a wild ride. I don't know what God is doing and where He is taking us, but I DO know what He has called me to. That hasn't changed, so I can start there. But that's the thing. I have to actually START. I can't just sit around and wait for hours of uninterrupted writing time to fall into my lap. I can't wait until we have a brand new computer because that would make things easier. I have to get up and put the time in.
My intention was to do this, starting on Monday. Monday my alarm did not go off. Yesterday was more of the same. Today, I staggered out of bed at 6:30 a.m. (I know that isn't early to some of you early birds but it is to me). My goal is to gradually move that time back until 5:30 a.m. (I shudder even writing that).
I want to be faithful in following what God has for me. I want to be fearless and joyful while doing it. I want to be intentional.
What is God calling you to do that you've been making excuses about? If you know to do it and don't, it's sin no matter how you try to whitewash it. Just so you know, that stepped on my toes, too.
~ Blessings, Bronte