I watch my 10 year old daughter lie on her bed and create stories, page after page of words and pictures as her imagination runs wild and she escapes to another world.
And I remember when I used to do the same thing.
|Some of 10 year old Clarity's creations|
I remember back to when I loved writing. Before I was officially an author.
|Presenting a school writing workshop|
I’ve been so busy helping others write the past few years that I’ve had no time to write. I’ve run workshops, mentored young writers, been on committees for writers’ festivals and conferences, done free proof-reading, written reviews, given inspirational talks … and in it all, lost my love of writing.
I have to ask myself, when did it become a chore? When did it become another ‘should’ in my busy world?
This year I felt that the Lord wanted me to pull out of all my voluntary roles. It started when I developed a painful condition of my wrist (De Quervain’s tenosynovitis) with associated radial nerve damage – a result of the type 1 diabetes I was diagnosed with at 8 years of age. I am waiting for surgery. I can no longer use a computer mouse without a lot of pain. But free-flow typing is fine.
|My 'No!' button|
I don’t find it easy to say ‘No’when people ask me to help. In fact, my mother bought me a ‘No’ button to help me with this issue. When you press it, a deep, masculine voice says ‘No’ in many and varied ways. My kids love it and have a good giggle when they use it to answer a question I ask them. And sometimes I get a shock when it’s buried under a pile of papers and I accidentally lean on it.
But I have to ask myself, why is it so hard to say ‘No?’
Is it because I don’t value my work and see other peoples’ gifts as more valuable than the one God has given me?
Is it because I have this warped idea that helping others will make them like me more?
Is it because I’m afraid to fail? What if I focus on my own writing but it’s not good enough?
Is it because my pride says I am able and more willing to help in these areas because I do the job properly, putting my heart and soul into it?
Is it because my default is to rescue others at my own peril?
Is it because I feel I have to prove my worth to the world, to prove I am valuable and deserve to be here? And that by pouring myself out for them I am making their lives better and therefore am valuable?
I have had a good, long, hard look into my heart and I believe it is actually a bit of all of these. Particularly, the last two.
But they are lies of the devil.
God does not need me to rescue people. That is His job and He does it way better than I do!
And despite the fact that I am on a government pension because of family health issues, I do not ‘owe’ it to the world to prove my worth. God, the King of the Universe, has made me His child. And the government pension is not so that I can wear out my mind and body rescuing others … it is so I can care for myself and my family.
|Pop in 2005|
I recently spent a day with my 90 year old grandfather in hospital.
And it struck my heart that I don’t want to be lying on my death bed regretting that I didn’t write more, that I didn’t do what I love and bless others through it. I wish Pop had written down the things on his heart, the lessons he’s learned through life, his spiritual insights. I wish it was here to hold onto when he’s gone. But now his memory is failing and at times he is too weak to even speak.
My time is now. The time to love my family, to live in the moment, to express my heart through writing, to sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary did and stop being a Martha. I am troubled by so many things. A couple of nights ago I went outside and sat looking at the stars while our dog laid his head in my lap and our pet goose made gentle honking noises, trying to get my attention. And I just breathed and soaked up God's presence as I remembered what it means to be alive.
And so, to regain my joy in using the gift of writing God has given me, to receive inspiration and strength from Him, this year I say ‘no’ to all the shoulds and instead, I will enjoy being a wife, a mother, a writer, and most important of all, God’s precious, valuable child … just because I breathe, because He made me in His image and He loves me.
May we never lose the joy of using the gifts God has given us. May we never get so tied up in the business and responsibility of being an author that we forget to write. May our inspiration in Christ be endless, our imaginations set free and our love for God and others grow stronger with every passing day!
Much love to you all, my brothers and sisters, my fellow writers.
Jenny Glazebrook lives in the country town of Gundagai with her husband, Rob and 4 children along with many pets. She is the published author of 7 novels, 1 traditionally published, and 6 self published. She is currently working on her next series with publisher, Breath of Fresh Air Press. She writes because words burn within her. She is an experienced inspirational speaker, a chaplain, and loves to encourage others to walk closer with God and hear His voice each day.
Jenny’s website is: www.jennyglazebrook.com