Thursday, May 19, 2011

Questions, Preparations & A Writing Sabbatical



Often I sit in my "writing chair" (aka: the cuddler recliner I stole from my husband), the place where stories are formed and words are strung together to take on new meaning, soaking in moments of solitude when the only movements left in the house are those made by sleeping beauties.

Today, I sit alone at my breakfast table (aka: dining table, craft table, game table) reflecting on the last five months and peeking into tomorrow. 

And listening for divine direction.

After years of being a stay at home mom, I am now in the middle of my pursuit of a degree in teaching.  This past semester proved to be difficult and challenging, perhaps of my own doing, as I wrestled -once again- with the famous question "Is this it?"  And with the current education dilemma in our state and the loss of 59 jobs in our school district alone, I have decided to take a step back and re-evaluate this plan.

I know I am called to ministry.  Have my education pursuits been but a distraction to a higher calling?

I have just recently allowed myself to say "I am a writer."  I know this is part of the ministry God has called me to. Should I focus all my efforts here and not register for school in the Fall?

After having our own home based business for five years, a decrease in contracts resulting in financial pressures caused my husband to return to work for "the man" in November of last year.  Should I also look for a part-time or even full-time job outside of our home?

I am believing these questions will be answered over the next few months.  I am following God's leading and attending a Writer's Conference, as most of you know, in July.  I am going expecting and anticipating great things, but most of all, to hear Him speak to me.  I will be gathering knowledge, meeting with publishers and editors and connecting with other writers and women who feel called to ministry.  By faith, I will come home armed and ready to go where He says to go, speak what He says to speak, and do what He says to do! 

Please say a prayer for me. :)

I am spending this weekend away with my mom and sister for my sister's birthday.  My return will mark the beginning of a 30 day research and writing sabbatical as I prepare for the conference.

What's going on in your neck of the woods?  Have any of these questions haunted you lately? :)  Is there anything I can pray with you about?

Establish my steps and direct them by [means of] Your word... Psalm 119:133a

7 friends had this to say:

Hollywood said...

Shelly, I have been asking the very same questions this spring. I decided to do what I feel God is calling me to be, a Christian Counselor. I love helping and listening to people and my Faith has become such an important part in my life I want to share it! Please pray for me as I journey down a path that I know only God would send me on. I will be praying for you as well. Melissa

Mining for Diamonds said...

Oh, girl! I can relate!! Have you read my blog today? I'm right there with you and like you, praying for God to speak to me this summer!!!!

Bless you!!!

Stacy said...

Praying for you, my sweet friend.

From the moment I was blessed to be introduced to you and your gift of writing, one thing has always been undeniably obvious: the desire of your heart is to follow HIM. In all that you say, in all that you write, in all that you do, in all that you are. You want to be where HE wants you to be. As long as this remains the desire of your heart, you can step boldly into each new day, each new opportunity, each new moment KNOWING the lover of your soul is leading.

So often we allow anxiety to fill our heart as we wonder, "Am I following His will for my life?". I have a feeling the most important question is rather, "Am I willing to follow Him with my life?" If we are willing to follow, He will be faithful to lead.

I happen to believe our precious Saviour is already using you to minister in ways you may not even be aware of. His will for your life is not in the future, but in so many ways, is already being lived out in your life at this very moment. :)

Blessed by you-
~Stacy

******Shelly****** said...

Melissa...I will definitely pray for you, my friend! Exciting things are happening in the body of Christ as people begin to step into the place they were created to occupy. I read earlier...don't ask God to direct your path if you aren't willing to move your feet! Let's get to stepping, girl! :)

Kimberly...Sounds like I need to head over to your blog! I'm going, I'm going! :) God IS going to speak to us at the conference!!

Stacy....Ahem...you made me cry...again. You always know the right thing to say...thank you for your continuous encouragement. You are such a blessing to me!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Angel said...

I can identify and I like your idea of a "sabbatical" to seek the Lord. Many blessings to you and to all of us seekers. :)

Sharon said...

Shelly -

My friends and I attended a Writer's Conference here in California in April. It was wonderful. It was the second time we had gone together. We meet once a week to uphold and encourage each other, but also to support one another as we pursue speaking/writing goals. We are just now starting to feel comfortable saying that we ARE writers...

I will be praying for you - I understand the haunting questions that linger in the mind when you truly believe that God has *something* in mind for you - and yet, not quite knowing where to go.

One of the speakers at our conference has a book out - The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Spirituality with Creativity in the Writing Life by Vinita Hampton Wright. We are going to be reading this book together. I think you might enjoy it too - it really speaks to a writer's heart...

The Lord will make things clear - you can pray for that in my life, too.

GOD BLESS!

Toyin O. said...

Praying for God's guidance and direction.