Day 21: Start #write31days2018

For a procrastinator like me, the word “start” is sometimes a hard one to face. Starting can be the hardest part of a new project, or even an old one that has been set aside. When embarking on a new venture, I have a hard time facing my fears of imperfection or failure. So I procrastinate. I put off beginning the journey into the unknown. This can apply to creative projects, but it also affects areas of spiritual growth. And it definitely comes into play when facing tasks that I find mundane or distasteful.

The fact is, however, when I choose to start, whatever the activity may be, I almost always find my tasks less difficult, my obedience more rewarding and my projects more fulfilling that I thought they would be. My fears are unfounded. My distaste is overcome. And my reluctance is released when I just take the first step of faith.

Starting is active. Starting is strong. Starting is hopeful. Starting is energizing.

My hope for you today is that you will start that thing that you know you should do but have been putting off. I think you will be glad you did.

Day 20: Audience #write31days2018

The concept of “audience” has been on my mind lately, especially since leaving Facebook and Instagram for the month. Even before that, however, I had grown disillusioned with the ideas of growing an audience via social media and all that the “experts” say you are supposed to do these days to build a platform. I am tired of the constant push to hustle and the pressure to be a certain type of person in order to market myself.

The thing is, I don’t actually feel called to create a big audience for myself as much as I feel called to use words to communicate God’s truth and encouragement to others. If he wants me to have a small audience, but I actually do make a little bit of a difference to those few people, then so be it. As long as I can be obedient and faithful, I am pleased to be used by God in whatever capacity that may be.

Of course, I want to reach more people. In my humanity, I would love to speak into many people’s lives and have my words go far and wide. Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for saying something worthwhile? But if that isn’t what God has for me, then I am content to just keep writing for the pleasure of the process. In the end, my audience is really an audience of One, and He is the only One whose opinion matters.

Day 16: Pray #write31days2018

Not a day goes by that I don’t pray several times for help from God. Most of the time, it’s a quick prayer in the midst of sibling conflict between my two children. But in the morning, I usually do  have time for more focussed, less desperate prayers.

However, I have found that those short send-ups for patience, wisdom and grace in moments of desperation are still meaningful. I am learning these days that I cannot control my children or the outcome of my parenting. I can only do what I think is best at the time and pray for the Lord’s will to be done in their lives. The Lord alone knows what is best for them, and I need Him desperately in these days. I am not the potter. I am here to nurture my children and to teach them all I can about making godly choices. But I am not able to determine the path they will go. This is a humbling, and in many ways frightening, realization.

So I pray. A lot. I pray that I will faithfully mother these precious souls. I pray that they will see Christ in me, even through my many flaws and failures. And I pray with gratitude that my God is big enough to draw them to Himself no matter how much I may mess up in the day to day.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 15: When #write31days2018

In the early days of motherhood, I quickly realized how lost I was in the duties of housekeeping and homemaking. I had had all sorts of free time before having children, and I didn’t realize how much I would need to organize my days once children entered the picture. It was a steep learning curve, but I eventually got a handle on some sort of routine. I at least knew when I needed to do certain tasks to keep the house running somewhat smoothly.

Now that my children are entering more independent elementary and preschool ages, I find myself with a little more time again. I am enjoying getting back to pursuing more of my creative interests, like reading and writing. This week I decided to get back to practicing the piano a little. I starting using the Duolingo app to practice my Spanish vocabulary again, too. I have been getting my knitting out every day this week. I am also thinking about when I can add some time to draw in my sketchbook and nature journal.

If you are a new mother or in a stage with lots of littles underfoot, I don’t write all this to make you feel badly. I do, after all, only have the two children! I write to encourage you that someday, you will have time again to do those things that make you uniquely you. And I write to challenge you a little to find a few minutes (really, just 5 minutes a day!) when you can do one thing that makes your soul come alive. There will be a day when you can spend more time on your interests again, but even now, amidst all the diapers and laundry and feeding little mouths, don’t forget that you are a person, too!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 14: Ask #write31days2018

I’m playing catch-up again tonight! Here’s a late post with the prompt from yesterday…

The act of asking questions is the beginning of contemplation. When I contemplate, I ask questions of myself, of the world and of God. . . Questions that don’t always have to have an answer. . . Questions that make me think beyond my daily concerns.

Contemplation is my soul searching, my mind seeking, my heart longing for something beyond myself.

I ask life’s philosophical questions. I ask practical and pragmatic questions. I sit and think and wonder and listen.

Contemplation requires asking. It also requires silence and time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It requires an attitude of openness and of focus.

Asking questions leaves me vulnerable. Contemplation is not a proud occupation. It is humble. Contemplation acknowledges my smallness, my lack of knowledge, my need for the One Who Knows.

In contemplation I find peace, resting in the fact that I belong to the God who has all the answers to anything I ask.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”