Dear Writer, Why It’s Okay (and good) to Write

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Each day, we’ve got this rhythm in place. After lunch and a little play time, I lay Samuel down for a nap, and Gideon (5) and Hope (4) head up to their rooms for a rest. Well, they can either rest or entertain themselves quietly. They do this for a whole hour.

At least, that’s the plan.

I had to buy an egg timer because it didn’t work so well at first. One of them always needed a drink and a snack and the other kept coming out every ten minutes, asking if rest time was over yet. So, I learned after several times, that it works best if firstly, everyone takes a bathroom break. And secondly, I round up a drink and a snack for each of them and set the timer. And thirdly, I threaten them a little that if they keep coming out to interrupt, they won’t get to watch a movie later. This is usually pretty effective.

Then, I go sit on the couch and I either read or take a little nap or I write. What I for sure don’t do is anything that has anything to do with housework. Because I’ve realized that there will always be laundry and dishes and dirty toilets and smudges on the windows and if I want to be a fun momma and a kind wife, then I need to be restored. So, I take a break myself and do something I love.

Over the years, I’ve found the one thing that I love the most. I love to write. Now there are lots of folks in the world who write. I know this because there are bazillions of blogs and articles and book excerpts constantly whirling around the internet at a ferocious pace. And if I wanted to, I could sit in front of my screen all day long and read and read and read and still not even put a dent in the endless amount of words regarding the latest of everything.

People write for different reasons. Some are motivated by this insatiable desire to always be on top of things and some want to be popular and get their name out there. Others figure everyone else is flinging out content, so they might as well, too, and they whip up some opinions along with a little advice and spin it out into cyberspace.

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But there are some folks who write simply because words burn inside their chests and they’ve found that they cannot not write. I’ve only just discovered that I am one of them.

You would think that I might have known that I was a writer way back in my younger days, with my pen and my journal and all my spilling out thoughts. Or when I wrote poetry and recited it in front of friends at special gatherings where you’re supposed to share things from your heart.

And you would think that I would have called myself a writer after five years of blogging and a book contract with Moody Publishers. But, I didn’t because something inside me didn’t feel worthy.

Somehow, around the time my book was published and began trickling into people’s lives, there was this slow but steady dawning on me. I’m a writer. Though, I didn’t say it out loud at first. No, at first, it was just the quietest little thought.

And then one day, while Brent and I were driving somewhere, I spoke it out loud in the car. I just barely whispered it as I stared out the window, “I think I know what I’m going to be when I grow up. I’m gonna keep writing books. (long pause) Because, I think I’m a writer.”

I could barely say it without tears. I had already believed that God made us all with special gifts and abilities, so that as we go along in life, we can share in His joy as we reach out to the world with Him, using these gifts that He’s given to us.

And I had noticed that writing made me feel most alive, most a part of something so much bigger than myself. But, I don’t suppose it had yet occurred to me that becoming a writer, was simply me entering in to who God had always meant for me to become.

God’s Word speaks these kinds of things to us. We are His masterpieces–the work of His hands–and we’re created in Christ Jesus to do good works that God had planned a long time ago for us to participate in. (Ephesians 2:10)

And God has given us gifts. (1 Peter 4:10-11) Not so that we can become all puffed up or so that our names would be great. But, because God is good and He is great and He cares about the world. Innately, we all want to make a difference here, to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. God tucked this longing down into our souls and when we use our gift–this is the Spirit of Jesus in us reaching out to care for the world. He tends to the weary and broken and hopeless using our own hands, our very own feet. Our lives become a light that shines beyond ourselves to Him.

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There are things God always intended us to do. When we discover those things, and enter in to our Maker’s creative plan, we become our truest selves. Our most fully alive selves! What kind of God is this who would hard-wire us in such a way that we do feel most alive when we are doing the unique things that He created us to do?

And there’s another part, too. When I take a little time to write, there’s this joy that wells up and flows into all the other parts of my life. My being a wife parts and my being a momma parts and my being a friend and a daughter and a washer of dishes and scrubber of commodes parts.

There’s something about getting to use this gift that God has given to me that colors all of life with wonder. The mundane isn’t so mundane because I’ve got a fire burning inside my chest. I’ve got passion and the deepest sense of purpose and so I hold my babes tighter and I kiss my man more often. I keep picking up all the stray toys and washing the morning grime off the counters and none of this is so hard because I’ve begun to feel it, how all of this is gift too.

So, friend, if you’re a writer, I hope you’ll give yourself permission to write. And I hope you know, I’m not saying that you should give up all your other important things to do and let your house go completely to chaos and disarray. And, of course you should tend to your children. Always take care of your kids. First. And if you’re a believer, by all means, spend time with Jesus in the Word. Yes, yes, if you want something good to give to others, then arrange your life so that you are content and satisfied and plumb filled up with God.

But, listen, it really is okay to sit down for a spell and carve out some time to do that one thing you most love. The thing that makes you come alive! Use the gift God has given you. Don’t wait till your bigger and better and smarter and have your life in order to do that one thing God has tucked down into your heart to help the world.

Jesus takes our little loaves and fishes, the small stuff we’ve got and He feeds thousands.

If you’re an artist, go create. If you’re a builder, build! If you’re a musician, sing! (Or make your instrument sing!)

And if you’re a writer, well, this is me cupping your face in my hands and looking into your bright and shiny beautiful eyes…

I’m whispering to you,

You’re a writer!

And now I’m shouting it out,

Go write!

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

7 Comments

  1. by Lydia on October 3, 2014  9:51 am Reply

    it's like you always know exactly what to say (write!) to me. thank you. I need you and your words in my life - I'm so glad that Jesus knew that and let it happen. Much love my writer friend.

  2. by Linda on October 3, 2014  1:00 pm Reply

    Just to say - this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much.

    • by Maggie on October 13, 2014  2:40 pm Reply

      Bless you, dear Linda.

  3. by Kaylene Yoder on October 7, 2014  10:04 am Reply

    Oh, my dear, you wrote these words for me. I am a reluctant writer, just embarking on my calling. To write. I don't always like it, but I'm finding more fulfillment in it every day. As God directs I write. Either gentle encouraging words, or bold 'hold on to your hat' kind of words. Many times I've wanted to throw everything away and ask "Am I even called to this? What am I thinking? I can't write. How can I write when what I write isn't what I meant to write and I don't even WANT to write?" lol Does that make any sense at all? So, thank you for these words! A friend who met you or your husband, recommended your book and blog. So glad I headed right over and read this! Thank you!

    • by Maggie on October 13, 2014  2:41 pm Reply

      Yes, yes. I feel that lots too! Thank you so much for coming here and taking the time to read. Bless you, dear Kaylene!

  4. by Marina on October 13, 2014  5:34 am Reply

    Thank you for those encouraging words! It is amazing how fitting it was to my situation. I needed t be reminded of those wonderful command in 1 Peter 4:10-11.
    May the peace of our LORD be with you and your family!

    • by Maggie on October 13, 2014  2:41 pm Reply

      Thank you, Marina. May the Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine on you and give you lots and lots of peace!

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