Can you believe that a month has went by and I haven’t written a thing? Some say it is writer’s block, but my 11 year old son calls it a an “author’s stump”. And stumped is what explains it best. Sometimes you just need to take an ax to the stumps that get in our way.
Stump number one is Facebook. I swung my ax, and deactivated my account, temporarily of course. Or maybe, just maybe, for good. I am sick of how much I have allowed it to consume my time, and my life for that matter. I mean I would sit for HOURS, no, more like WEEKS just scrolling to the never ending bottom of the news-feed with nothing to show forth in reality. It became the first thing I thought of doing when I woke up, and the last thing I did before I went to bed. Time spent on this social media site has stolen from my family, my relationship with the Lord, my real (not virtual) friends, and my goals to finish my next book. It had to be removed from my way.
Stump number two is busyness. With endless appointments, and needless activities time is quickly smothered. With so many things under the sun demanding our time, it makes it very hard to carve out the time needed for building relationships with your loved ones. They start to feel like they are a burden to you and when they feel less important than our personal agenda then we have it all wrong. Our priorities need an adjustment and the branches of busyness that are not bearing fruit need to be cut off. Or they may eventually choke out the fruitful life altogether. In my book Beauty Treatments:Prepare to Meet Your King, there is a chapter called the Treatment of Solitude. In this chapter, (which I have just reread to apply again to my own life) I write about the importance of getting alone with God. I love it when I can spend time alone with my King, and I feel the strong void in my life when I don’t. I had to re-evaluate and remove from my schedule all that stands in His Holy way for me.
Finally the last stump that has really gotten in the way of my writing is discouragement. Honestly, this can be the hardest stump to remove. It might even take a stump grinder to remove this well-rooted stump. Why? Because it is internal. It goes deeper than the surface stump that an ax can easily chop down.
Last August I received my first rejection letter to have my second book published. I had never received a rejection letter before, not even for the first book. I wasn’t prepared for it. The publisher liked my idea, and even liked my writing style, but the bottom line was that my platform was too small. That completely stumped me. I haven’t written anything for that book since.
Why? Because I thought, “Why bother?, it’s not going to get published.”
It is like my kids when they have to get up for school everyday, and say, “Why is it so important that I learn this or that, I will never use it in real life?” They get discouraged because it seems pointless to spend so much time in school and not really come away with anything they can use for the direction in life they think they are heading.
The Lord has said “no” to me trying to build my platform then and even right now. And even though I know the Lord knows best, it isn’t always easy to agree with Him. I really could build my platform triple the size it is, if I put all my effort into it, but I keep hearing the Lord say, “no, it isn’t time yet”. And so the tedious groundwork continues; as meaningless as it may seem to me. It really is discouraging at times to wait on the Lord. But here is the thing, I know the Lord has a plan. I may not understand the plan, and I may not agree with what I can see in the natural, but He is always at work. I know I can trust Him.
So this last stump is where I need to get out the Holy Ghost grinder and dig deep into my heart to get to the root of holding on to my own plan.
I am ready. Here goes…chop, chop, chop!!
I am chipping away at these stumps in my life and so hopefully you will see the fruit of this lumber jack soon.
Anyone else ready to chop down, ax off, carve away all that is keeping you from accomplishing your God given dreams?