36 Days, but I Will Not Give Up

It has been 36 days since I last posted to my blog.  Thirty six opportunities to do something that I love, sharing a bit of my self, shining my light onto the world.  As I make my honest admission I can feel those tears welling up behind my eyes.  You see my goal at the beginning of this calendar year was to post to my blog two times a week.

I want so desperately to be more consistent in so many areas of my life, but this is definitely one area that is dearest to me.  The only thing I have been consistent with in this goal has been falling short.  As I review my accountability tracker, it reminds me that I just made it through the 20th week of the year.  There have only been two weeks, two out of twenty, 10% of the time that I have hit my goal.

There have been seven weeks, where I have had no posts to my blog.  That’s 35% of the time.  Ouch!  That does not feel good at all.  The best of intentions do not amount to much at this moment.

I could walk down the path of rationalizing this all away.  I could tell you about all the things that I did during the last 36 days; meals cooked, rooms cleaned & re-cleaned, laundry mountains conquered, Girl Scout meetings planned & executed, Sunday School lessons, Youth Group activities led, hours at our Elementary school, lunches packed, stories read, and games played.  All really good stuff.

I still believe it is a really great goal to post to my blog two times a week.  I believe it is healthy and beneficial to me mentally, spiritually, emotionally.  I want to write.  I want to be a writer.  To do that one must build a habit of writing, hence the goal of two posts a week.

There is a part of me that would like to tell you just how many different things that I do write a week.  You should see the newsletter submissions, parent emails, youth group website and facebook page posts.  There are so many emails that I write and facebook messages that I respond to, helping manage details here or details there.  So much of that writing is driven as an attempt to disseminate important information & keep track of moving details, not as a movement of heart and spirit, which I hope my postings are much more of.

Right now, I do not feel very beautiful.  I feel as though my light is much dimmer than it use to be.  I feel quite like a failure.  I would like to think there are a few out there who are regular readers, but there have been no messages to my inbox asking if I was doing alright or inquiring why I had not posted anything for a while.  Perhaps there are just too many other amazing writers and blogs out in the world; maybe mine is just not important or of value.

Aren’t those sad and horrible thoughts?  I think so, and those are the kinds of thoughts that run through my head.

Do you ever have this sort of thing happen to you?  Do you experience a dose of doubt and question your value when you fall short of something you hoped to accomplish?  It is okay to admit it.  It’s even alright to declare it out loud.  “Yes, I doubt myself.”

Whew, glad we got that off our shoulders.

So now what?  Isn’t this the critical time when we can have a breakthrough or experience a breakdown?

I can not deny, that I wish I could spend an entire day hidden underneath of my covers in my PJs, eating ice cream, watching sappy movies, avoiding all contact with people, crying at stories I knew would end the way they do.  I want to turn this computer off and wallow in the pity puddle created by my own rain clouds.  I can let day 36 become day 37, day 38, day 39, day 40.  What’s the difference in a few more days?

Change isn’t going to happen because I hope it will.  Words won’t write themselves through my tears.  It’s not like I have been void of topics to write on.  I’ve scribbled here and I have scratched there.  I have toted sticky notes in my purse and plastered them all over my calendar book.

I’m tired, I have said.  I’m exhausted, I have said.  I need to just veg out for a while, I have said.  I have excused myself into an undisciplined heap.  How do I find victory over this battle that is raging in my head?

A heaping dose of truth from the Bible.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”  Zechariah 4:10 NLT

I instantly smile upon reading this verse.  A great peace overwhelms my heart, because it reminds me of the beauty of small beginnings.

A tiny seed that grows into a tree for birds of the air to nest in its branches (Matthew 13:31-32).  The small love of a man and woman as they become united as one flesh (Genesis 2:21-24).  The empty hands of a childless woman who cries out to the Lord who bares a son who will anoint future kings (1 Samuel 2, 9, 16).  A jug of oil and a jar of flour that are not used up in time of famine to feed a widow, her son and a prophet (1 Kings 17).  A baby wrapped in cloths and laid in a manager, who becomes the Savior who conquers death (Luke 2:4-12, John 20-21).

A silly woman to puts a stop to post-less days to write, really write from her heart, ending her 36 day drought.  Well, who knows what she becomes.  That is knowledge that only God can smile about at this moment.  Small beginnings.  The Lord smiles down upon those.

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This is my small beginning.  I am not giving up.  I am not giving up on writing from my heart.  I am not giving up on my blog.  I am not going to let 36 days hold me back from the work God is calling me to.  Today, I do a little.  What the rest of the year holds, I certainly hope will be progress in a positive direction, but I can only live in today, “for tomorrow has enough worries of its own” (Matthew 6:24).

So what about you, my dear reader?  What is it that you have not been able to get to?  How long has it been?  What thoughts do you need to take captive, that may have been holding you captive for a while now?  What can you do today to turn yourself in the direction of your goal and take a step towards it?

You can do it.  I’m right here cheering you on.  Even more so, God is cheering you on.  He “rejoices to see the work begin” Zechariah 4:10 NLT.  Through the greatness and goodness of God, rejoicing is probably a lot better than cheering.

It may feel awkward.  It may even hurt a little (the ache in my triceps from this morning’s workout tells me I’ve been too long gone on that goal too).

With God’s help, with His direction, with His encouragement, we can do it.  “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.

There are so many precious moments that can be found in the process and along the journey.  They are waiting for you.  Divine little blessings that God has in store, to nudge us all along a little at a time.

No matter how many days it has been 36, 63, 365, or 3,600 do not give up.  Today can be the day.  It doesn’t have to be a giant leap, a small beginning is all it takes.

Beloved and Treasured Lord,

We can be so eager to make it to the big finale, the giant finish, the great successes, that we belittle the small steps that it takes to get started, to build momentum and to overcome challenges.  The small steps can seem so small and unimportant in the moment, until we look back frustrated and defeated wishing we had started good things earlier or quit bad things sooner.  It’s so ironic that we declare that just a little won’t hurt when it comes to the bad, but we feel like just a little good will not amount to anything.  

Lord, help us to begin, help us to start over and help us to continue on.  Help us to be disciplined, to have self control and to persevere in all circumstances, not for our glory or accomplishment, but for Yours.  Help us to run those races that we have been called to by You, with our eyes focused on You not on the journeys of those running along side of us. 

Lord, may we rejoice with you and with each other when the small beginnings occur.  May we be richly encouraged through the celebrations.  May we celebrate with thanksgiving all of the gifts and talents that You have given us to pursue the work that You have called us to. 

In the Faithful name of Jesus, Amen. 

 

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2 comments

  1. Thank you, Julie, for your encouraging words. I can certainly relate to so much of what you have written. Write on, my friend!

    1. Thanks so much Sue!

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