Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In Which I Become Humbly and Embarrassingly Honest...

I've been learning something lately. I've been posting about not getting ahead of God, about waiting until He gives the "go-ahead." I've been telling you all about how I have clearly been given the yield warning in my head.

Yet, mentally, I've been sprinting ahead.

Here's the raw truth: I want to write a book.

I adore writing. I find it much easier to express myself through pen than through any other way. We all have ways that we connect with God, connect with our emotions, connect with our feelings, connect with others.

Some do this through music. Some through painting. Some through speaking.

Mine is through writing.

And lately I've been feeling this disarray of sorts in my head. It's hard to explain, really, how it has felt. Just lots of thoughts bouncing violently off of the sides of my brain (if that would even be possible) with no outlet, not even a pinhole for them to escape. I feel like I have a story yet no way to organize it.

I posted these thoughts last week. And one reader who commented shed some light on my apparent lack of focus. She said that she was feeling the same way. And when she looked at the picture of the unfocused acorn on the leaf, she realized that she didn't lack focus at all, it was just that she was focusing on the wrong thing.

Thank you, Regina. Because I've been doing the same exact thing.

I have a passion to write. And I do write almost everyday. Some of those thoughts make it onto this space, but most of what I write is contained within the pages of my journal.

And I do know that God knows this is a desire of my heart ~ to take what I've learned, what I've experienced, and write it down for others.

But He has clearly told me (as much as I've tried to suppress it or chalk it off as fear or timidity) that this stage in my life is not the time to be focused on a big writing project. Not today. Not this moment. Maybe in the future. But not right now.

But I look at other women, women who homeschool, women who also lead busy lives, and I see them writing and publishing books, and I think, "well, why can't I?" If they're doing it, why can't I do it?

Ummm... Maybe (and most importantly) because He is telling you "not now." Period. Stop the speculation, dear self.

And here's what happens when we try to run ahead and do our own thing (even if it's intrinsically a good thing)...

1. We lose focus on our current purpose He has for us. When we're focusing on what we want to do, even if it entails using a gift He has blessed us with, when it's not what He has for us at that moment, we lose focus on what He does want us to be focused on. (Forgive me for that horrible sentence structure.) In my case, that would be homeschooling my kids and raising them to love and know God. Serving my husband. Seeing our home as my main mission field. Not that I haven't been doing those things. I just haven't been doing them in the fullness He has enabled me to do them because I've been distracted.

2. We become discontent. If I really want to write, but He's really telling me it's not time to go all public with it, yet I keep focusing on that desire to write a book, I'm going to breed discontentment in my life.

3. Which always leads to unhappiness. When we're discontent, we're unhappy. When we're focused on what we can't have, what we want to have, we become grumpy and grouchy because we're not able to have what we want.

4. And our grumpiness can lead to other things such as bitterness, selfishness, resentment, etc., etc.

So, if you're still with me, what exactly am I trying to say to you?

Dear sister, is there something in your life that you really want? Something that's actually good and wholesome and not sinful or necessarily worldly?

But you feel a twinge (or maybe a full-blown punch) down deep in your gut that says "no, do not precede. Slow down!"

If you do, and you can identify that it's not fear of stepping out and failing, but, rather, it's your Spirit-voice telling you to heed to the warning, then that's exactly what you should do.

Maybe you're wondering how to identify if it's the Spirit-voice and not just fear of failure or fear of stepping out in faith. Pray and ask God to give you discernment to identify the origin of these feelings. And He will. I guarantee it. 100%.

And here's my little confession...

God, my Father, my Abba, I have taken my eyes off of Your perfect purpose for my life right now. You have gifted me with the ability to express myself through words and pen, and You have given me outlets to do this through personal journaling, letter-writing, and my blog, but I have wanted more. I've wanted bigger, more impressive, more ego-stroking outlets of expression.

And this has left me feeling very discontent. It has left me comparing myself with other women. It has left me indecisive. It has left me operating at second-rate. Why? Because my mental energy is being expended in thinking on what I want to do, how I want to be used, rather than on what You have for me right now in this moment of my life.

So forgive me for taking my eyes off of Your purpose for my life right now. Forgive me for wanting expanded borders of influence when I'm clearly not ready for that right now. Help me to prove faithful in what You've already given me, and I know that You will expand my borders when You have prepared me to deal with that expansion.

Help me to use the gifts You've blessed me with in the way You have purposed for them to be used at this point in my life.

And when I live in the fullness of Your perfect will, I will not be sold short. However, if I run ahead of You and Your leading, I'm bound to head full-force into disaster.

So, thank You for the influence You've given me in my husband's life and my children's lives. I pray that You would help me focus on these things in my life. Help me to be content with the sphere of influence You have for me right now. And may I prove faithful in that which You've purposed for me.


Dear sisters, we cannot rush the Will of God. We must abide in it. The Will of God cannot be forced into existence. If we're forcing something along, against that voice inside, if we're feeling like it's up to us to make it happen, then it's not the Will of God. Because the Will of God just happens to those who are obedient to Him. He makes it happen and takes us along with it on a most joyful and fulfilling ride.

Have a most blessed and full day in our Savior!


Wendi said...

I can relate to this. I sometimes I have my eye on the prize and that is all that I can see. I am frustrated that I can't get it soon enough. I have been praying for patients and boy has He been trying to teach it to me!

As I read this I keep thinking about Jeremiah 29:11.

Although I don't always comment I am reading your post. Many days I go away with things to ponder.

Enjoy your day!

Unknown said...

Awesome post Amber. I can so relate.


Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh my yes; how true! In a little while, I'm posting about a writing contest on my blog; perhaps it will interest you...?

Gary said...

Thank you for the post. I've been reading some of your blog posts per suggestion of a mutual friend. Good for you that you want to write a book. That's a daunting task, but trust in Him and trust in yourself, and you can make anything possible. I know exactly what you mean about making new homes a place for Him.

Mandy said...

Wow, Amber. This is exactly the way I have been feeling about my Etsy shop.

I LOVE creating - it's a God given gift. However, I feel that when I'm working on etsy orders, I'm not giving my family the attention that I should be.

Like you, I see other moms homeschooling and running home based businesses with no problem. (or so it seems)

Thanks for posting this.