Before becoming pregnant with Anna I was in a long season of waiting for time to focus on a book. During Jonathan’s law school years I blogged here and there, and wrote articles here and there, but found it very difficult to open my laptop after work when my eyes had been staring at a screen all day. Despite a passion to write, and a call from God to write, I also sensed he was saying, “Be patient.”
I thought my time to focus on a book would come after Anna’s birth, during her long and frequent naps which didn’t actually happen for many, many months. And then of course Jonathan got sick just as I was starting to find a freelancing groove. Between the baby and cancer I decided to put everything else on hold. Be patient, Lesley, be patient.
Last year, from July 2012 to July 2013, I got a small taste of the writing life. Anna started taking long and frequent naps, I had a babysitter one afternoon each week, and I swapped childcare with a friend. On good weeks I had 10-15 hours of uninterrupted writing time. And I got so much done! I wrote a few articles and guest blog posts every month and finished my book proposal. Finally, finally, I was living the writers’ life.
Owen arrived last July and I’m back in a patient season, a slow season, a not-getting-much done season. I wish I didn’t find this season hard, but a lot of days I am yearning for more time to pursue my writing career. During my productive writing year I experienced a new joy I hadn’t felt before. I love tossing words up on a screen and seeing what sticks around to encourage and inspire others, and setting goals (and accomplishing them) feels pretty great too.
I just finished a book called A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman. Ashlee brought the book back from the Allume conference a few weeks ago with a sweet, personalized inscription from the author that says, “Let’s make art!” which I first read as “Let’s make out!” (Obviously confusing at first, but, I digress.)
A Million Little Ways met me where I’m at –in all my trying-to-do-it-all glory. Page after page Emily reminds me, the reader, that our art happens only in the secret place of abiding in the presence of Christ. (p. 147) On waiting, she says:
“We have a Maker who doesn’t just throw the sun up into the sky in a shock of fire, but pulls it up slow every morning and down the same way every night. And if you stare as it happens, the change is hard to see, but if you close your eyes and count to twenty, everything is different when you open them back up. It’s because a lot happens in the transition–secret things, beautiful things, Spirit-led things. There is still movement in this waiting, though it may be hard to see.”
We all have times in our life when we’re waiting for the next thing. For Jonathan and I, the waiting season has ebbed and flowed over last three years, and I suspect it will continue to do so throughout our adult lives. We’ve gotten pretty good about giving God control over our health, finances, and family growth. When it comes to my career though? I’m still holding tightly to my dreams on my timeline.
But, like Justin said in his most recent post, “pacing yourself in your work achieves two very important things: it releases a lot of the pressure you have on your shoulders right now and it frames your work into long-game thinking.”
This week I’m reminded of my unrealistic expectations. Rome was not built in a day, and the sunrise doesn’t get thrown up hastily each morning. Brick by brick, tug by tug, line by line. Many days I won’t feel like there’s much to show, but there’s still movement.
Are you in a waiting season right now?
p.s. Stop by Ashlee’s blog today and read about the last time. It’s a touching one.