Where do I start? Can you relate to rest being hard??? Maybe the word “rest” conjures up images of lounging in a recliner or laying out by the pool. But if you are anything like me, rest = struggle. Hence rest picked me as my word for the year.
Here’s how that word continues to change me:
Since my daughter Shelby has aged out of the public school system, she now attends a dayhab program. This leaves me with 2.5 less productive hours in my day. Her new program has shorter hours and I drive her to and from (she had a bus pick her up in our driveway before). Minus 2.5 productive hours I have still been attempting to get all of the same things accomplished. As you can well imagine, it’s not going well.
I work a part time job, teach 2 yoga classes and manage our household. You know, pay the bills, do the laundry and ironing, plan and cook meals, attend to a teenage daughter and do all the shopping. In addition to those duties, I manage Shelby. My severely disabled child requires many doctor visits, case manager check-ins, constant supervision, complete care and more paperwork than you could possibly imagine. And after all of that, I try to write. When do I rest?
This blog and the writing I do are very important to me. I consider it a big piece of my ministry and spend countless hours and a little chunk of money on it every year. It birthed in me the dream of writing a book one day. But this thing that gives me a sense of purpose and joy has become a stressor. Once I complete the nonnegotiable items every day, there is little to no time left for this. And it weighs on me.
Word of the Year Decisions
I considered whether or not I should quit. Or take an extended break from blogging. To be real with you, I wondered if my writing even makes any difference. I brainstormed with my husband on whether my time would be better spent volunteering more at church or a pregnancy center. Or if I should find additional work to help with the mountain of expenses coming when our 17 year old goes off to college next year. This last one just isn’t very feasible with the 9:30-2:30 schedule I have available between dayhab drop off and pick up. Working from home would be ideal if I knew of any reputable opportunities (hit me up if you do).
I took a hard look at my priorities and decided that getting a good workout 5 days a week and quality time with God every day ranked higher with me than getting to write every day. And my Allie Rose is heading into her senior year of high school. The way I choose to spend my time feels more important than ever in light of this. I want to be completely present for every single moment. Missing a concert, play or a plain old Tuesday with her is not an option. I already told her that I won’t say “no” to anything she asks me to do this next year. And I want to stand by that.
So, I made the decision to keep writing, but cut back. This choice came with many tears. I had to admit that the things I’ve been doing to grow my readership (which is necessary for a book contract) aren’t working and I’m spinning my wheels. Someone wiser than me once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I’m no closer to getting a publisher’s attention than when I started. And I’m sitting with that, leaving myself open to the possibility that it’s not the right time or that God may hold something different for me. So some of that hustle has to go.
All this to say that I’m cutting back to one post a week (on Fridays so I can continue to host the Grace and Truth Link Up). I’ll also no longer be participating in most of the other blog link ups I’ve religiously kept up with. I actually quit those a couple of weeks ago and I already miss the engagement of my fellow writers. Most non-writers don’t comment. But that’s a sacrifice I must make.
Praying God’s Word Wednesday won’t go away completely. It will morph into a once a month post on Friday because so many of you are faithful to pray scripture with me and I love it. It may need a different name, though. Comment below with any ideas.
I hope we will still see each other every Friday. I believe God placed this endeavor on my heart for a reason. But I also know that this season must be about taking care of my family, my relationship with God and myself first. And then maybe after all that I’ll have time to rest. It is my word of the year after all.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up.
I couldn’t resist Michele Morin’s post this week on…rest. Yep. Check out Finding Rest and Being Satisfied in the Land of See and Trust.
1. Share 1 or 2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. (No DIY, crafts, recipes, or inappropriate articles.) All links are randomly sorted.
2. Comment on 1 or 2 other links. Grace & Truth linkup encourages community.
3. Every host features one entry from the previous week. To be featured, include this button or link back here on your post (mandatory to be featured, but not to participate).
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Lauren Sparks is a wife and mom of 2 daughters – one with special needs – and one bonus son. She lives, worships Jesus, and teaches yoga in Dallas, TX area. She is a contributing author on 3 devotional books, she shares her adventures, victories, and flub-ups from her laptop at laurensparks.net.