I had wanted to write a book since sixth grade, when Mrs. Schwartz read my story in front of the whole class and told me I was a good writer. Her words were a drink to me, a salve. Even at age eleven, I knew writing was my love.
I also remember walking in to this new store called Barnes & Noble my senior year of high school, gaping at the sheer magnitude of books available. These books were written by people with a similar dream—to be published. And there were thousands and thousands of them. How on earth would I even get my toe in the door?
These two memories keep my head level these days, as I prep for my next book’s release in 25 days (like a baby, every book is brand new, and just as thrilling/nerve-wracking/filled-with-the-unknown). The to-do list is insurmountable, almost undoable. I texted Lisa-Jo today that all of it makes me want to put on yoga pants with a pint of ice cream and watch Downton. This is how I handle the stress.
I stress because I want the book to do well, but I also stress because I want it to genuinely, truly bless readers, and not be about me. I don’t want to be a thundering drum on the Internet, another clanging cymbal shouting, “Look at me and my latest thing! Isn’t it great?!”
I want the hours and hours of soul-bled writing in those pages to stir deeply in hearts, cause peace and create change, encourage contentment and instill an unforeseen drive for people to be the change they wish to see in the world. I truly do want people to live simply, so that others can simply live. If this book crawls our culture one step closer to that ambitious goal? Then it’s done its job.
And so my inclination is to sit on my hands, to hope and pray that the book does its thing, and do my best to get out of the way. But it doesn’t really seem like God’s called me to that right now. He wants me to work, and work diligently.
I think we often mistakenly think God wants us to die to ourselves and our dreams, but this just isn’t true. He wants us to identify with Christ’s death so that our lives are a sacrifice to God. And not just be any sacrifice—a living sacrifice.
God wants me to be alive. To live. To be a living sacrifice. He wants my life to be full, active, teeming with desire and zeal to make His ways known, to use the gifts He’s given me for HIS glory. The work of my hands bring Him glory. I’m not doing His creativity any honor by acting as though He wants me to die to all this.
And so, I stay out of those figurative yoga pants (don’t worry; I stay in the literal ones), and I put my nose to the grindstone. I work. I do what I’m called to do, one step at a time. And I do my best to offer the work of my hands as an offering to Him, working heartily to Him.
I know there will be a season on the horizon for rest, and when that arrives, I will gladly relish in it. But today is not that day. Today, for me, is a day to work.
What about you – how is God asking you to roll up your sleeves this month?Leave a Comment