While trying to hone my writing niche, I’ve done a decent amount of introspection. Which pieces of my life do I feel deserve the most attention? What should I emphasize with my writing?
A few years ago, I wrote a manifesto, at the prompting of authors Kathi Lip & Cheri Gregory in their book Overwhelmed. The theme of the book is planning the life you want, rather than scheduling the life you’ve accepted. Stated a different way we have to look in the direction of our dreams or we will steer ourselves in the wrong direction.
Love God, serving others as an extension of His love.
Make long-term plans with my darling, having fun along the way. Love him well.
Be present for my family – laughing often.
Foster supportive friendships while not taking ourselves too seriously.
Speak truth, leading with love.
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I’ve learned (and am gradually accepting) that I can simultaneously pursue what makes me come alive while also serving God. The two were not mutually exclusive. I can travel, enjoy adventure, and write about the adventure all in a way that gives Him the glory. I can enjoy creation while pointing back to our Creator. This is the heart of my personal mission.
When I read a book, I often highlight phrases to emphasize the importance of those words. Or, in the case of a library book, I record quotes in my bullet journal. Writing in my prayer journal encourages me to explore key ideas and how the author’s words mean specifically for me.
Those highlights, the marks of emphasis don’t mean that the rest of the words in the book are unimportant. To reduce the book to only the highlighted text would be to remove bridges that connect the major ideas, the substance on which the book is built. Similarly, I ought not to begrudge the foundations on which my life built day in day out.
Clocking in at work, checking emails, and fielding phone calls
Drive home in the afternoon, prepping dinner, doing dishes, and starting yet another load of laundry
These moments don’t warrant the highlight reel of social media, but they are the moments that make up my life. The way I approach them builds the spine of who I am, and only with that stability can the moments of emphasis thrive. While I can and do, look forward to my next adventure, the moments in between sustain our marriage. Our relationship is built on the day-to-day. The adventure serves as a mere highlight.