My series on priorities – Taking up your cross daily to follow Christ – has spread to a number of different authors. I’m loving getting to meet new people and learning how the Lord is working in their lives.
This time last year, God let me know clearly I was to leave my teaching job to be a full-time wife/mother/writer. After a lot of prayer and confirmation, here I sit, totally blessed to write without distraction.
If only that were so.
You see, I have no doubt God has called me to write. But life often intervenes, even now that this is my full-time job. Want to know what interferes the most with my writing? (Tweet This!)
Before I published, I had the luxury of writing a book, revising it, then moving on to the next one. It was this beautiful, wandering thing.
I still love writing. I can’t imagine ever not loving it. But that wandering beauty? Today, I sit down to write the opening lines of a new suspense novel. I’ve done all of my pre-writing and I’m ready to go. But this will not be all I do.
I will be a wife and a mom.
I will write blog posts.
Help a friend with some knots in her story.
Visit social media to work and have some much-needed downtime.
And the writing? Well, there’s the story I’m starting, which is part of a series. There’s another suspense series in development. A stand-alone contemporary that has been begging me to write it for the past two years. And another contemporary series I’m revising for publication. At some point, the revision letter for the novel I turned in yesterday will come and everything will stop to focus on that. All of these characters and plots compete for attention, even as I sit down to tell Sean and Jessica’s story.
Is this taking up my cross? That’s an interesting way to think of it. Writing doesn’t seem like a job most days, but it definitely is hard work. I’m reminded there have been days when I literally laid in the floor and cried and told God I’d rather feed rabid alligators by hand than write another word. Thankfully, those days pass.
Sometimes I think we get the idea that taking up our cross is supposed to be painful all of the time. I wonder if our cross isn’t the callings God gives us—in our jobs, our families, our communities—and being faithful to those… Even in weeks like this one with the tasks on my to-do list… And my daughter’s athletic banquet, a meeting at church, two days o f working in a classroom, researching for a seminar, and prepping for two book festivals.
I suppose I could drop everything and curl up with the fabulous book I’ve been reading. I could stuff my face with Doritos and Mountain Dew and lose myself in someone else’s story for the rest of the day. But that’s not what God’s called me to do. So I will sit down, fire up my desktop, take up my cross… and write. And I will love every second of it, because my God deserves all I have to give.
Jodie Bailey writes novels about freedom and the heroes who fight for it. Her novels include Freefall and Crossfire, from Love Inspired Suspense, as well as Quilted by Christmas, from Abingdon Press. Her devotions have appeared in Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. She is convinced a camping trip to the beach with her family, a good cup of coffee, and a great book can cure all ills. Jodie lives in North Carolina with her husband, her daughter, and two dogs.
Her latest story, Quilted for Christmas:
Taryn is keeping a secret she never should have kept.
You’re needy. Manipulative. You used me. In Taryn McKenna’s last conversation with high school sweetheart Justin Callahan, his angry words rooted themselves deeply into her heart. After Justin abandons her to join the army, Taryn vows to never love again. And she decides to keep a closely guarded secret from him—forever.
Focused on being completely independent, Taryn pours herself into teaching high school in Hollings, North Carolina and helping her spunky Grandma Jemma. But when Jemma’s health takes a turn for the worse, and Justin reappears, Taryn’s emotions get more tangled than a knotted piece of thread.
A hand-stitched Irish chain quilt holds the message of healing Taryn needs. But will she realize the depth of God’s unconditional love for her?
I can hardly read Jodie’s post without standing up and shouting AMEN! So many truths captured in short sound-bytes. My favorite is “my God deserves all I have to give.” How does that look for you today?