If you could do anything, what would it be? Is there something in you that stirs and taps your insides, asking if it can come out and play? In that deep, dark part of the day, when the lights are out and the family sleeps scattered under your roof, what do you hear that voice telling you?
You know, it’s that voice from God who whispers, if you’re really listening, what He’s made you for. Have you heard that voice lately?
Susan said something simple a few weekends ago, almost in passing. I’m not sure she even remembered she said it; it was between two larger thoughts, I’m pretty sure. She said this: “Why do we women feel the need to apologize for enjoying work? Men don’t do that; they don’t say, ‘Sorry I’m spending time making us money.’ If you’re good at something, and your family would be blessed by your doing it, then go do it.”
It percolated in the deep part of my mind the rest of my day.
I wouldn’t necessarily say I apologize for working, but I do sometimes feel guilty for loving it so much. It’s almost as though I feel saying I love writing means I’m saying I don’t love my children as much as I could. I’m dividing my love—not only do my husband and my children get love from me, but words do, too.
But here’s what I’ve come to find in the few years since I’ve rediscovered my love of writing: Practicing this craft, and letting my love for it pour out on the paper and the screen, multiplies my love for my kids and my spouse. Much like having another baby enlarges your heart, exercising the gift and the passion I’ve been given makes me a better lover, not worse.
I asked Susan how she balances homeschooling and writing, and also how she keeps her writing creativity bubbling when she’s dividing her brain between finishing her book, business running, teaching, and farm managing. Her overall answer was simple:
“I make the time for it.”
See, she can’t not write. It’s part of her makeup; it’s like asking a bird how it makes the time to fly south. It’s just what it does.
I knew what she meant, and I was also convicted to make the time for it. I don’t mean quantity, because I already do my best to find the hours in the week to write and run this business. I mean making the time; acting as though were as essential to my day as eating and brushing my teeth.
Before that weekend, I’d been squeezing my writing in the empty corners and puckers of my schedule—filling it first with answering email, managing the business details, and other less important stuff. And as such, I’d felt less and less like a writer.
Susan reminded me that if I’m a writer, I should act like one. Just like I act like a mother and a wife. Because I am those things.
All the photos in this post are by Heidi Scovel
A few months ago at Blissdom, Jon Acuff says he steals the hours in the day that no one else in the family wants. For him, that’s 5 in the morning. Except for a few sick days, I’ve been rising at 5 a.m. to write. It feels really good to have gotten several hours of writing in before the first child rises.
I don’t apologize for being a writer, because that’s how God made me, and there’s no reason to justify His creativity. I’ll bet He made you for something, too, and you don’t need to feel sheepish about it.
Perhaps you’re good at sewing, and you light up inside at the hum and whir of your sewing machine. Maybe you’re a runner, and you feel God’s pleasure when you do it. You might be the absolute perfect parent for the children you’ve been given, and there’s something they need that only you can provide in your unique way.
Whatever it is, don’t wish it away. Be happy with how you’re made. And then exercise that gift. Share it with the rest of us.
What’s something you love?