by Kathy Parish
Often life seems to be a bit of a whirlwind, tossing me from one task to another like a leaf blown in the wind. Sometimes I even feel like I’m in a spin, like the windmill on the island in our pond when a brisk wind blows. Today’s culture prizes the skill of multi-tasking above many others. This ability is, indeed, a prerequisite for a wannabe author who is juggling a life of faith, marriage, family, and a fulltime, income producing career/profession (nursing for me). Sometimes my priorities drift all out of whack, and I find myself having to reorient them. Have you ever been there?
This restructuring often occurs when I have been reminded of the admonition to “be still and know that I am God” found in Psalm 46:10. I experienced that epiphany once again this past Sunday. The words become a refrain in my mind, reminding me why I exist, to whom my allegiance belongs, and who ordained the purpose for my life. He not only ordained my purpose and equipped me for it, but He gives direction to my life, and to my writing, in the most curious ways.
I was driving home from a much-needed massage yesterday when I began to think about the road signs that were guiding me to safely navigate the traffic and find my way home. They told me where to turn, when I might pass, how fast to drive, and when to stop. They named the streets and highways and warned me of upcoming hazards like sharp curves and road construction. Wouldn’t it be nice if the road to writing success was so clearly defined?
Perhaps it is, if only we open our hearts and minds and heed the Psalmist’s advice to take time to be still. Perhaps the signage is ever so clear, if we recognize it, read it, and heed it. What if some tragic life event that has touched you can be best channeled as inspiration to write a devotional, poem, short story, or a chapter in that novel. Maybe those frequently repeated questions such as “How’s that book coming?” or “When’s that book going to be finished?” are hints that you need to spend more time at the keyboard and less time binge-watching your favorite series on TV.
I have come to realize the huge difference in hard work and hardly working. Procrastination is a trap, maybe worse than writer’s block, both roadblocks set in our path by the enemy to keep us from honoring God with our gifts. Conversely, the subtle signs that God uses are like gentle taps on the shoulder as if to say, “What’s with you, Child? Get your act together and write already! Write, but do it with passion and dedication and purpose! And, in all you do, glorify Me! It’s what I’ve called you to do.”
Paul had a message for the church at Colosse. “And whatever you do,” he said, “do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Colossians 3:23) May everything I write serve your purpose and glorify your name. With your help, Lord.
Kathy Parish announces the release of her debut inspirational romance novel, Freely Given. Parish says that she has been an avid reader since childhood, and that she has always dreamed of writing inspirational fiction like the Grace Livingston Hill novels she read as a young person. Married with three adult children, three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, Parish lives with her husband Donnie in Judsonia.