The road to where I am began with passive aggression. I never wanted to be a writer. I didn’t want to edit or work in publishing. Nevertheless, God had a different plan. After years of ignoring His nudges and whispers that I should write, I decided to prove Him wrong. (That always goes well, doesn’t it?) I was quite sure that, if I obeyed and failed miserably, He’d leave me alone.
Is there a term for rebellious obedience? If there is, that was my plan.
I did a quick search online for writing opportunities and found a contest. The deadline was a week away. Perfect. I submitted a short article and — I won. Yup. I won the contest for that category and was contacted within a month about publishing that grudgingly submitted piece.
So much for proving God had the wrong girl.
This is hard stuff.
What began as passive aggressive obedience, soon turned into an avenue of exploration and growth. It was fun and liberating! Writing became a cathartic platform of authenticity. It provided connection and introspection.
But then that turned into a ministry and a responsibility. Expectations were set. Suddenly writing wasn’t so fun and easy. It required work.
I don’t want to vomit flippant thoughts on the page. Nor do I want to offer clichés of shallow platitudes. I want to be real and thoughtful and wise and purposeful with my words. It may be that nothing more powerful than words exists on this planet. I need to wield them carefully.
That’s hard stuff. Really hard stuff.
See this? This is also hard stuff. This is one of many corners in my house filled with belongings we need to sort.
Two years ago we finished our basement. It took just a few weeks to convert a third of our house from a cold, dark storage room to an open space that now houses our family room, a craft area, and my husband’s home office. It has taken us much, much longer to sort through all the junk we had stored there before the renovation.
It’s not easy to sort through boxes and boxes of stuff, some of which predates our marriage.
You know what is easy? Procrastinating.
Choosing easy stuff.
I like lists and I like having things checked off my lists. So, I often start with the easy-to-check-off items first. It makes me feel tremendously productive! Who doesn’t like a list that looks almost all done?
But you know what I’ve noticed? There are thousands and thousands of easy tasks. If my list doesn’t have enough easy stuff, I can always add more. I could do easy stuff my whole life! And that is how many, many days never see me do hard stuff.
Each morning for about two years I have started the laundry right next to this mess and very efficiently ignored the hard task of tackling it.
I can spend weeks editing other people’s manuscripts and tidying my house and volunteering at activities, all the while perfectly ignoring the whispers and nudges God sends toward writing projects He has given me to complete.
I want to stop choosing easy. I want to do hard stuff.
What’s funny is that, when we tackle hard stuff, it crumbles into a million little bundles of relatively easy stuff. It’s like we wear intimidation glasses as we look at it, and those glasses make it appear far scarier than it needs to be, far more formidable than it really is.
Take off those glasses and see: it’s not really that scary. It’s not really that hard. It’s just a tangle easy stuff that needs to be tackled one at a time.
Now I could put a list here of action steps and all the ways I plan to change my lazy procrastinating habits, but that wouldn’t help you too much. You likely have different hard stuff to tackle. Different tasks that require different approaches and first steps to untangle. Only you know what God has been whispering to you, the nudges He has been giving you.
You’ll find no specifics here. Just one admonition: Take the first step.
TALK TO ME:
Sometimes the first step is simply stating the task. Once we verbalize our hard stuff or share it with someone else, those intimidation glasses start to fall off on their own. Bonus: now we have someone to check in on our progress and help when we need it.
If you need to verbalize your task, this is one place you can do it. What hard stuff are you facing? And how can I help you figure out first steps to take?