Writing in Faith

28 Mar

imagesI just had a huge “Aha moment”. I read the following quote by George Burns and it really rocked my world: “I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate”. Ok, so here’s why this quote speaks to me. For the past nineteen years, I have been a stay at home mom. I love being a parent, hanging out with my kids and doing things for and with them. The one part about my chosen profession that I have never enjoyed is housework. There was honestly a time in my life that I would get angry every time I cleaned the house and would become this really unpleasant martyr. Also, I have a child diagnosed with adhd and as I learned more and more about that condition, I realize that apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. I could not for the life of me figure out how to run a household. In 2002, much to my delight, I found the Flylady system of housekeeping and with it, some success at keeping a home. I still don’t love housekeeping, but I can manage, and with the help of my family, it is a much easier job.

Now, my family is growing up. They have activities and jobs and girlfriends. My husband works an extra part time job to help pay for college. I spend more time alone, and this quote made realize some very important things about my life. The first is that I don’t get to spend as much time doing the thing I have loved the most over the past nineteen years of my life which is spending time with my family. That is a season of life, and I am blessed that I was able to be such a big part of my children’s lives by being home with them. Also, because I’m at home, I began to focus more on my home, which is great, except that having a perfect home has never given me the pleasure it does others, and frankly no home is ever perfect anyway. The biggest “aha”, though, has to do with my writing. I love to write and I write almost every day. Most of it is very personal, and I do not choose to share it at this time. Some of it, though, like this blog, is to share, as is the book I’m writing. It’s my writing, something I love to do, that doesn’t always “fit” into my day.

Today I realized in a deep way that being a success at keeping a nice house is a good thing, but being a success at writing will give me more joy than having a clean home ever will. The other thing I realized, and this is a biggie too, is that I put the writing on the back burner because I’m overweight. I’m afraid that any success I have with writing will be over shadowed by my weight, and that all people will see is the fat lady who wrote a book. Today, because of that quote, I understand that I have to let that go. You see, I hate going to the gym. I have never had success at the gym. For a six month period, I was incredibly diligent at the gym. I did cardio. I lifted. I ate impeccably and I didn’t lose a single pound. I was miserable and eventually just quit going.

So now I’ve said it. I’m fat and I hate the gym, but I love to write, so until the book is done, I will focus on the thing I love to do, keep up with the thing I learned to do and not worry about the thing I hate to do. It may sound easy, but I assure you it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It will require that I tell myself over and over that the writing is more important than having the perfect house which is the yardstick many use for judgment for a stay at home mom and one I’ve used on myself. It means I will have to say stop to the voice that says I should be working out instead of sitting on my already too big butt and writing. It means stepping out in faith and hoping that my gift of words will overcome the fear in and about my body. It’s frightening and exhilarating at the same time.
As they’ve grown up, I have always told my children to pick a profession they love and their life will always feel blessed. Starting today, I will be giving myself that gift with my writing. The plan is to have my manuscript finished by the end of April so that I can submit it to a contest that ends May 1st. Just putting that in writing and being willing to make that public is frightening, but now I’ve done it and I am excited by the possibilities. I’ll let you know how it turns out and will hopefully have some progress reports along the way. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

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One Response to “Writing in Faith”

  1. Chris Seal March 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Karen,

    You go girl! Write that book. Love your posts.

    Chris Sent from my iPad

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