I just purchased a clock as a Christmas gift, and I wish I could sneak some extra hours on it. Wouldn’t that be the gift that keeps on giving—the gift of time? Yet, God ordained 24 hours in a day for a reason—which leads me to believe He thinks we can accomplish all that we need to accomplish in that bracket.
I’m glad He has more faith in me than I do in myself ::wink::
This week, especially, things are rough as I’m finishing decorating my apartment for Christmas—the second Christmas since the ending of my marriage, and the first Christmas for my daughter and I to be in our new home together, just she and I. It’s important to me that it feel like home—our home—for both of our sakes during this emotional time of year.
Then I look around, and the tree is lit—yay!—but empty underneath. So I need to finish Christmas shopping, need to get the gifts wrapped, need to remember to daily move the Elf on a Shelf my daughter is sincerely enchanted by (and named Snowflake Sparkle), need to remember to bake cookies for my new neighbors, need to take time out to give to the homeless, need to pause long enough to teach my daughter generosity and fight the “gimme spirit” that attacks during this season—all while under deadline for an upcoming novella compilation with HarperCollins (Thomas Nelson/Zondervan fiction).
I really want to reprogram that clock.
Yet, as my daily life and my writing life collide, I realize one important factor—they’re not separate. I tend to compartmentalize every element of my day, or switch hats, as it were. I have my single-mommy hat, my day-job hat, my writing-hat, my side-job hat, my housekeeping hat, my daughter hat and granddaughter hat and sister hat and friend hat and church hat and ministry hat…and yet, they all go on my head. (Now, the hair color of said head might alternate between brown and blonde on any given month, but it’s still my head! ::grin::)
I find I’m more productive when I quit trying to spread myself thin and just be me, and be fully in the moment, of whatever moment I’m in. Working. Playing Disney Princess Dominos. Shopping. Writing. Paying bills. Decking the halls. Whatever it is, if I’m not fully engaged, it’s a waste of my time. I don’t want my daughter, my boss, my family, or my publisher to get less than my best. I’d rather do fewer things well, than many things half-heartedly.
So while I juggle my many obligations and responsibilities, instead of choosing to view the clock as taking away precious time, I’m choosing to see it as giving me time—giving me gifts that the holiday season can’t buy. Love. Joy. Peace. Wonder.
Because at the end of the day, those are the gifts that keep on giving. Those are the feelings I want my daughter to have at the end of the night, and my readers to experience at the end of the book. I want my heart and my time to be an investment into theirs.
Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single. But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York. As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away. The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.