by Jenny Glazebrook
I'm on the phone, the doorbell is ringing, the house is a mess, friends are lonely, I have Bible study to prepare, the church bulletin to edit, accommodation to arrange for my daughter's hospital visit, and all I want to do is write. In fact, my heart is yearning for it, my mind is working so fast the thoughts feel like a volcano about to erupt.
What should I do? There are so many 'shoulds' and I am driven by them.
The shoulds are never-ending so there's no time left to write and no time left to sit with my children and listen to what they have to say about their day. And there's no time left for God.
Because I'm busy doing things for God.
I don't sleep well. In the quiet of the night there is finally time to think and my mind starts to race with all the interrupted thoughts and ideas of the day. When I sleep I write in my dreams because God has given me this innate need to do it. It's like breathing.
When I wake I manage to fight through the tiredness, send the children off to school and prepare for Bible study.
As I prepare I read these words:
'Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.' (Matthew 7:21-23)
And a still, small voice breaks into my racing heart and mind:
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, did we not listen to our neighbour and put together the church bulletin and run a Bible study? Did we not answer every call for help, did we not let good things drive us?'
Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
'But Lord,' I cry, 'didn't I do it all for you?'
Those words come back: ‘I never KNEW you.’
I find my heart breaking because I long to spend time with Him and know Him more. I long to worship Him and writing is the way I worship best. Loving my children and sharing Jesus with them is the way I worship best. Deep in my heart I know these are the things God has given me to do. They are not 'shoulds', they are a joy because I do them with him, not for him.
Where along the way did I start to listen to the guilt that said if I enjoy it or find it satisfying it can't be pleasing to the Lord?
When I am trying to please everyone, then I am not loving Him and knowing Him.
Lord, may we do the good works you have prepared for us. Please drown out those voices telling us writing is not good enough, not important enough, not spiritual enough. If, like Noah, we find it takes 100 years to accomplish our task, help us not to give up, not to be discouraged by those who laugh at us, who pressure us to build something else, not to be disheartened by those who built their arks years ago and are already safely floating through the storm, those who have managed to reach hundreds and convince them to come on board. Even if it is just our family you want us to reach, we will be satisfied with that, because we will have satisfied you.
May we write, not because we are driven, but because it refreshes our soul and deepens our relationship with you.
Jenny is the wife of Rob Glazebrook and the mother of Micah, Merridy, Clarity and Amelia. They live in the country town of Gundagai with lots of pets. Jenny is the author of 4 published novels with the final 3 of her Aussie Sky Series due out this year. Jenny enjoys inspirational speaking, and is passionate about sharing her writing knowledge and experience and encouraging others in their walk with Jesus. To find out more about her and her books, go to www.jennyglazebrook.com