My one word focus for 2020 is WRITE.
This weekend, I spent some time creating a vision/encouragement board for desk area. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out when I started, but I love it! It has a fun vibe that makes me eager to plow ahead with the work I feel God has called me to do.
On the board, you may notice two handwritten squares. One of them boldly states, “I am a WRITER.” I’ve never called myself a writer before, but I decided that starting in 2020 I would use this descriptor.
Last Wednesday at our church supper, a rather precocious 5 year old girl was sitting at the table where Jon and I were eating. She peppered us with all sorts of questions. She asked Jon what sort of job he had, and when he told her that he was a geologist, she nodded her head as if she knew exactly what that meant. Then she turned to me and asked, “What is your job?”
I almost said, “I am just a mom.” But I caught myself.
“I’m a writer,” I said.
“A writer. I write books.“
There was a moment of silence as she considered my words. Then she asked, “Do you mean librarian?”
I have to admit that even though the line of questioning was making me feel a bit like I was about to be accused of just pretending at what sort of job I had, I was impressed with this kid’s vocabulary.
“No,” I said. “I’m not a librarian. I am a writer. I write the words that you read inside the books at the library.”
“Oh … a writer.” She sighed, picked up her fork and said, “That’s a weird job.”
Weird or not, it’s what God has called me to do.
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In 2012, I attended two writer’s conferences.
Up until this point, I wrote as I felt the urge. I had a blog, but it was mostly just a hobby for me. But then my parents insisted I go to a local writer’s conference one weekend in March. I couldn’t say no as they paid the conference fee and kept all five of my kids for the weekend. I spent the entire conference wondering why I was there.
But, when it was over, I met a sweet friend named Christie … and somehow we ended up in Michigan three months later at a big national writer’s conference. Talk about being out of my league! I left there questioning what it was God wanted to do in my life in regards to writing.
All that summer, I prayed and asked God, “Do you want me to write?” Over and over and over I prayed and asked for direction.
That September I turned 40.
Remember Christie, my writer friend? Well, she sent me a box of gifts to open, one gift for each day of the week of my birthday. Each gift was wrapped individually and had a tag with a Scripture reference.
I had been opening gifts for three or four days when my actual birthday arrived. That morning, the kids excitedly asked if they could pick me a gift to open from the box. When I agreed, they brought me a gift … and when I opened it, I found a beautiful new ink pen, tagged with the Scripture Psalm 45:1.
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready writer.Psalm 45:1 (CSB)
And that was when I knew God was calling me to be a writer.
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It’s been 7 years since that September morning. Honestly, I haven’t done much with that calling other than blog. I tried but as a homeschooling mom I often felt pulled in many directions. Ask any stay-at-home mother and she will tell you it’s a full-time job!
Last year, I began to feel like I didn’t have a job anymore. One by one, my teens were leaving the home for college and jobs. With just two left at home, I had all sorts of free time on my hands. I felt confused about what I should do. Go back to teaching? Take in more foster children? Volunteer at some worthy place?
And then God graciously reminded me … He already gave me a job. I’m His writer. I work for Him.
At first I felt guilty. Had I just been wasting time the last seven years? Had I neglected my calling?
And this is the verse God gave me:
Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:19 (CSB)
In the Bible, the number seven represents perfection or completion.
I don’t think the seven years between my calling to write on my 40th birthday to this new season in my life was wasted. God was preparing me and growing me. Instead of feeling confused and uncertain, I am confident in knowing my calling, and eager to do what God has given me to do.
It’s January 2020 … a new month, a new year, a new decade. And for me, it’s the start of a new career.
I am a writer.
Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you.Jeremiah 30:2 (ESV)