Monday, September 26, 2005

Overflow of a Writer's Life

Long-time personal friend and blogging buddy, E. Natalie Johnson (or "Di" to me) wrote an excellent post today. Maybe she was irriatated with me for implying that I get frustrated when I go to her Cedar Chest and there's nothing new for me. Anyhow...she writes (and lives) passionately and I encourage you to take a moment to read her challenging blog.

And, if I'm the "writing police" that she refers to, don't feel guilty for not putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. When God's Holy Spirit moves your heart to write...DO IT! Until then I'll look elsewhere for my encouragement. Ha! Ha!

E. Natalie Johnson writes:

I cannot speak for all bloggers, but I suspect that my experience is not unlike most of you. That time to sit and write seems to come in ‘fits and spurts’. Life sometimes just overflows, and things which steal away writing time, are equally important in the purpose of our days.

“I am a servant of Jesus Christ.” “I am a wife.” “I am a mother / father” “I am a daughter / son.” “I am a sibling, a neighbor, and a friend.” “I am a co-worker, and a colleague.”

And so life overflows into an extended ‘coffee-break’ with a mentor and friend. A ‘love letter’ to a parent while they are still living. Caring for an eighteen year-old who throws his back out in a fake Sumo Wrestling suit, is off his feet for a week, and needs that time to discuss his future education & career path. Nursing a fourteen year-old who needs you by his side twenty-four hours while feverish and fighting an infection. Fellowship with a group of women at a retreat where you have the privilege to be involved musically, or to weeping and pray with them over the cries of their hearts. Sitting and talking over important issues with your husband or wife. This is the ‘stuff of life’ that many of us would not trade for anything…even writing time.

Add time to “Sharpen the Saw”, as author and motivational speaker Stephen R. Covey would say, which is basically keeping yourself fit spiritually, physically, and mentally, so you can ‘be there’ for the people who are prioritized in your circle of influence. Your spouse, your family, church family, neighbors, friends, co-workers…the list goes on. Last week, after a roller-coaster of events, I was forced to take time out for some professional massage therapy on my right shoulder and neck. ‘Sharpening ourselves’ is almost always worth the price we must pay, whether monetarily, or in time spent. Taking these ‘time-outs’ is not a selfish thing when at the end of the day they enable us to be more fully engaged with those who depend on us. Or, if they allow us to come back to things we are passionate about (i.e. writing) with renewed energy and with insights that we have gained through simply making time for life.

The tasks of everyday living which call us away from areas of giftedness we really enjoy, can seem menial or insignificant, yet they are where treasures are found, and where God speaks to our hearts through the simplest things in life.

And so, fellow bloggers, may you never feel guilty when you put your writing ‘on the back burner’ and let it 'simmer' there for a few days or even longer, in order to make time for life.

Time for lengthy conversations, or for extended periods of quietness and soul-searching. Time for laughter, or for grief. For hugs, or for ‘alone-time’. For reading, or for prayer. What inspires you and makes you a better writer in the grand scheme of things? May you be filled with the stuff of life, and a harvest of the fruit of God’s Spirit living in and through you. Time for love, for joy, for peace, patience, and kindness. For goodness, and faithfulness. For gentleness and self-control. For there is no law against such things, and the ‘writing police’ will not arrest you if you do not put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) today!

We promise to wait, and when you’re ready, be blessed through the things that you write which have come from the overflow of your life.

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