Limit

This post was written for an online discussion group over at Kate Motaung’s place.  We are working our way through On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig.  This post was prompted by the last chapter of the book:
Chapter 12: LIMIT— Because I write, I let some things go

 

Limited.  Yes, I know this word very well.  Not sure if I’m using it as an excuse or if it’s really just the reality of the season I’m in— raising both small and not-so-small children— but “limit” feels like the theme of my life ever since these adorable munchkins came into my life.

There is only so much time in a day, as we all now.  And only so much emotional and mental and physical energy to expend during the limited time we all have.  And for me: keeping my daredevil toddler alive and helping my big kids with homework and coaching them through their emotional, pre-teen drama, and trying to be there for my police officer husband who is constantly seeing trauma and chaos at work every day, and being a support to my friends who are going through challenging times, and taking care of all the normal life stuff (like laundry and cooking and dishes and vacuuming and yard work, etc.)… it is tiresome.  And time-consuming.  It is hard to find and make time to do so many of the things my soul wishes it could do— including writing.

So yes— prioritizing my time is a must.

As a matter of fact, I recently read Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes and I found it to be tremendously helpful in giving me practical tools and scripturally-based truths regarding how to discern where my time and efforts can be best spent.

“Because I write, I let some things go” is the subtitle of this chapter.  As a matter of fact, I just had to “let something go” this past summer.  After a few years of making jewelry with/for a dear friend’s Etsy business, I finally had to say goodbye to that beautiful work.

Although it was ridiculously hard for me to finally settle down and make a decision, once I faced the fact that I simply did not have the bandwidth to be able to do everything I wanted (and even enjoyed!) doing (if I wanted to follow God’s lead deeper into this writing path I felt Him taking me on), I felt an immense level of relief and peace when I finally chose to stop working for my friend.

I was beyond max capacity.  Something had to give.  And that time commitment was the only thing that offered any wiggle room in my life.

It was rough, though.  Because I actually really enjoyed the work and I enjoyed spending time with my friend at her home once a week.  I didn’t really want to say goodbye to it.

But the fact of the matter was that writing was helping me come alive in a way I hadn’t felt in fifteen years.  The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write.  And the more I wanted to write, the more I planned my time around it.  And the more I did that, the more I heard back from readers regarding how much my story was encouraging or inspiring them… which made me want to do it even more.

And I just didn’t have any margin of time left to be able to give any good energy towards my friend’s beautiful jewelry-making business.

It was a hard decision, but I know it was the right one— at least for this season of my life.  I realize that as my kids grow and as seasons change, I may have the time or energy to dabble in some of the things that I am currently having to say no to.  But for now… I and my family are enjoying benefitting from the fruit of the “best yes” decisions I have recently been making.

***

What about you?

In what ways have you had to limit yourself from other activities in order to dive deeper into the writing life?  Do you feel a sense of guilt for this?

Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Your personal example of giving up the jewelry work demonstrates that tension and difficulty of giving something up–and the relief that followed. I’m glad you shared it. Like you said, it IS so hard to find and make time to do everything our souls wish we could do–including writing. It means we’ll have to let go of something good, most likely, rather than simply chopping away bad things. Many of us have already dealt with time-hog vices and don’t have a lot left to eliminate.

    Keep listening with discernment to find your best yes, just as you’ve done already, and inspiring others to do the same. Then let’s see where your writing takes you!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by to encourage me, Ann. I have absolutely loved your book. It’s been such a delight to discuss it with all the rest of these fine folks. Thank you- and Charity- for all your work in getting this resource out to us!

  2. Choosing between many goods is the most difficult. Yes, I feel guilty if the choice involves someone else. It can take an agonizingly long time to come to the point of saying this has to go. And it never gets easier. Hurray to you when the choice is made and another chapter opens up. Keep writing!

    • Hard indeed. Thank you for stopping by, Gabriele! I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts over the past several weeks as well!

  3. Oh, I identify with so much of this post. I’ve just been through a period of reviewing what I want to commit to and, as you say, it’s incredibly freeing. Love the idea of ‘Best Yes’. Helen

    • Thank you, Helen. I wish you discernment and freedom in your decision-making!

  4. It’s sometimes hard to make those decisions. I’m sometimes not so easily convinced. Recently God closed a door shut to something I loved doing, but I’m finding that He had other plans for me and I had to let go of that for the new, and best. I’m reading Taming The To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study (did The Best Yes a while back with them). Glynnis gets even more specific than Lysa did I think. It’s dovetailed perfectly with this On Being discussion and is very timely for me, as I NEED to limit some things so it opens me up for the best work that God wants of me. A great 6 weeks! I’m gonna miss reading and writing this series!

    • I agree, Christy. I’ve missed the “On Writing” discussion group as well! Good for you for diving into the books you know will help you make better “Best Yes” decisions. That Whitwer book sounds great– thanks for passing along the title.

  5. It’s hard, there are so many good things we could be doing, but, as you say, it’s important to know our limits. Well done for making a difficult choice and following God’s leading! I have really enjoyed reading your posts and getting to know you a bit throughout this discussion.

    • Thank you, Carly! Likewise!

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