Thursday, August 14, 2008

Time for a Change

Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t exactly been writing much around here lately.

After I came back from She Speaks, the writing portion of my brain has basically been turned off. I had been so diligent in the days leading up to it, writing daily on my lunch hour. I prayed for God to bless the time that I had, and He did. I composed and edited and deleted and rewrote and right up until the conference.

But when it was over, I just didn’t want to write anymore. My “want to” was gone.

The funny thing is, I am not knitting much right now, either. And THAT is highly unusual for me. I’ve been "commissioned" to knit a pair of hats for soon-to-be twins, and I just can’t get into it. I’m bothered by that, but I just can’t.

I’m typically an all-or-nothing kind of girl. I am not lukewarm. I am on fire for something, or I could care less about it. And apparently, right now, I am in the care less category.

I frequently seem to be searching for what it is that I should be doing. I’m an “I need a Bible study all the time” kind of girl. An “I can’t just sit here” kind of girl. (Although my husband may argue on that one!) I always need some kind of project or goal to keep me going.

So, in my quest to find what was “missing”, I started thinking about improving my health. Changing my diet. Exercising. (YUK!) I am doing some of those things, but it just wasn’t it: that something that I thought I should be doing.

We’re in between Bible studies at church, so maybe a new, independent one is what I needed.

While browsing the aisles of a local Christian bookstore, I came across “Character Makeover.” It’s a Bible study of sorts, written by Katie Brazelton. It caught my attention, but I passed it by, only to keep returning my gaze to it. Finally I opened it, and saw what would be made-over: Me. I would be tackling things like Confidence, Courage, Patience and Perseverance.
But the first chapter?


Remember how God revealed to me at She Speaks that I was getting in His way? I was given a verse that weekend which I have been praying about: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

I flipped to the Humility chapter, and guess what was written across the top of the first page?

You got it: Philippians 2:3-4!

How’s that for a sign? So I bought the book, and went right to work on the Humility chapter. That’s when my writing and knitting desires really evaporated. So here’s my thought: is it possible that my desire for those things has been at least temporarily diminished so I can focus on becoming what God wants of me, instead of what I want for me?

My kids can’t write with me. My husband can’t knit with me. All of my activities are always so “me” focused.

Now they’re not.

I feel a bit more engaged with my family. That’s not to say that I never write, or knit, because I do occasionally. But I just feel like this time of restless discontentment is a time for me to listen to what God is teaching me. He wants to teach me humility. Confidence. Contentment. Patience.

I have always felt like I needed the next, biggest, best ministry. That if I’m not doing some Grand Thing, then I’m not fulfilling my calling. The problem is, the calling He wants me to fulfill right now is to be Mom. Wife. Daughter.

Not Exasperated Writer who can’t find twenty minutes of silence.

Not The “don’t talk to me, I’m counting” Knitter on the couch who doesn’t want to be distracted.

My family needs to be first. I see now that I tried to use “writing is a ministry” and “I’m knitting for charity” as excuses to get my own way. That’s the very definition of “selfish.”

Enough of that! So, I don’t know how frequently I’ll post here. When it works for all of us. The kids are back in school, and that means help with homework. The new puppy will require a lot of time and attention. And of course there's that handsome devil I'm married to :-)

So, for now, I’m not hopping on any bandwagons, like this post at “Laced with Grace” so beautifully said. Writing contests? Not right now. New charities? Nope. Right now I’m going to focus on my family and whatever my Heavenly Daddy tells me to :-)

How about you? Do you need a character makeover, too?


  1. Hi Beth,
    Thanks for your comments on my blog. Was the verse you shared from "She Speaks" the one you received on Saturday night? Just wondering what your word in the shadow was behind the verse on your card.

    Sounds like God is giving you His focus. Continue loving and serving Him,

  2. Hi Beth,

    Sometimes we are in those periods of "holy discontent". I've been there many times. Let him stir you. Let him speak to you. Let him be the pursuit every day, and he will begin to reignite the fires and it won't be about the best ministry ever, but "moving, breathing, and living" in him daily as he leads you. Then it truly becomes ministry because you are ministering to and through him, and whatever pours out of that is in his timing and in his purpose.

  3. I have been where you are with a lack of desire for those things that fuel my energy (writing & crafting). I was just thinking this morning about those seasons of "setting aside" those things to allow God to work/speak. And I struggle regularly with the whole family first thing when I'd rather be selfish and do my thing. I am excited for you that God is speaking so clearly.

  4. Beth:
    I've felt so much the same way in my own heart, and it's been a source of deep frustration for me. I started working on preparations for our upcoming fall study, "Anonymous" by Alicia Chole, and my times of focus with the Lord have been phenomenal. That being said, I don't particularly "feel" like writing these days, but I do so as a discipline.

    I do believe that God can and will work through our obedience, however that fleshes itself out in our lives (even when the feelings aren't there). I understand all the pulls you feel in regards to family; I feel them profoundly most days.

    Thanks for writing your heart tonight. It blesses me to know that the struggle I feel is shared by others in blogland.



So, what do you have to say?


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