Psalm 25: 4-5
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Many years ago, when the children were young and I was staying home with them, I felt a bit overwhelmed. We had had three babies in three years, my husband was in full-time ministry, and we had one car. Yup, one car. So, he left in the morning and I was there with the children. He came home in the afternoon and I was there with the children.
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. But any of you who have been or are stay-at-home moms know that there were moments when I felt a little trapped, exhausted, and frustrated. My husband saw this and started encouraging some outlets. It started with, “Here are the car keys, I have the kids, go get some lunch or coffee; take a walk or something.” It progressed to “I got us a membership at the YMCA. How about you go swimming before I leave for work every morning?” Both of those strategies helped, but it wasn’t until he said, “Go up to my office and do some writing,” that I finally felt a true release of pressure.
I had been writing at home the whole time…I would send the kids to their rooms for ‘quiet time’ every morning at 10:00 for thirty minutes. None of us were allowed to speak to each other for those thirty minutes…because we all (mostly mommy) needed a break from one another. They would each play or look at books in their rooms while I would have my devotion and journaling. But it wasn’t enough.
When my husband ‘sent me’ to his office at the church to write for a couple of hours a couple of times a week, I had permission to really do some writing. It was such a gift to me. I began to write chancel dramas for our church, lyrics for worship songs, and articles for newsletters and parenting magazines. It was life-giving writing. It became even more powerful when the chancel dramas were used in our worship services and people commented that they had meaning. When my lyrics became songs and the whole congregation sang them. When I saw my articles in print and people actually commented on them. I was connecting with people outside of my home, sharing my relationship with God, and it was feeding me.
When we moved to the seminary ten years ago, I had to put a lot of that on a shelf. My energy was diverted to teaching and parenting, period. Both very fulfilling, to be sure. Both very demanding also.
Well, I am no longer teaching. My kids are all moving on. So, I am returning to my writing. I have ‘sent’ myself to the office in our little home by the river. I have given myself permission to write every day. I am trying to connect with people outside of my home, sharing my relationship with God, and it, again, is feeding me.
I am loving this next chapter.