Decision – Determination – Discipline:
I had a college professor give those words as he was talking about what was needed to pass his class. We had made the decision to take his class. Now we needed to have determination, as well as the discipline to do the readings and the homework to do well.
I think this is also true for the writing life. I’ve made this decision, better yet, God has thrust this decision upon me, to write for Him. I am determined to write and to finish my manuscripts. Now that I’ve made the decision and have the determination, I am dealing with the discipline issues.
Like most writers, I have set a schedule for my writing. I have a daily/weekly writing goal, and I treat my writing as my job. Since I also have other work (thankfully, I can work from home), I pick two days a week where I take care of my regular paying jobs.
The key now is to stick with this schedule, create a habit, and make this work.
Besides the 3 D’s — I need to add one more thing: PRAYER. As I sit down to start my work day, I am trying to be diligent about saying a prayer over my work day to help me avoid distractions and laziness, and to stay focused. Whether or not I succeed, well, it is up to me. God has given me gifts to use for his purpose, and why I realize that nothing I can do can thwart God’s plans, I certainly can derail myself. By praying and bringing God into my daily work world, I am hoping to avoid the terrible D’s of: distraction, doubt, and discouragement, and continue with the positive D’s of: Diligence, Determination and Discipline.
Friends Along the Way
In our journey in this life, we run across many people. Some become our friends, some are co-workers, and some are just passing through. Then there are the distinctive few, that become your best friends, your confidantes. There’s a special connection that puts them on a different level than other friends. Growing up, they would be your best friend.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to connect with our friends, Dan and Sandi. For the past 4 and 1/2 years we’ve shared the birth of children, music, cancer diagnosis (and recovery), the passing of other friends, and the struggles with our jobs and even with our spouses. Now, Dan and Sandi are leaving. They have a job opportunity they can’t turn down. We’re very excited for them, but as my husband and I are thinking about them, we realize we don’t have any other friends on the same level as Dan and Sandi. We have acquaintances, and other friends, but none we have the same connection with as we do with these extraordinary people.
We are thankful to God for blessing this friendship, and bringing these wonderful people in to our lives, but truly our hearts are breaking as we watch them leave and head out to new adventures. It’s strange knowing there’s no one here in our hometown that we have this same level of friendship with… but maybe that will change in time. We trust God to guide us and bring new people into our lives who will bless us as much as Dan and Sandi have.
We need to take the time to cultivate friendships, and make people count in our lives. We get wrapped up in day-to-day living, problems with the kids or issues at home. It’s easy to focus only on our own situations. But we can’t do that always. We need friends, we need fellowship, and we need to share our lives with others. Value your friends for they are precious.
The Journey and the Goal
I’ve often wondered if, going through our day to day life, we get so focused on the finish line, or on the completion of our goals or plans, that we miss the journey along the way. What’s the saying? “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” I agree with that. I want to make each day count, but I know there are many wasted days and time that I won’t recapture again. As a writer, there are those days when I let distractions take over and I do anything and everything NOT to write. Even when I have the time and nothing to interfere. Why would suddenly vacuuming the house become so much more appealing than writing?
As a Christian, I also don’t want to waste the time God’s given me on this earth. Every day is a gift, and every day is precious. Sometimes in the solitude of my day I’ve let things slipped by unnoticed or wasted the day with the television on instead of my eyes opened to the wonders of the world.
I’m not saying not to set goals. I have goals, dreams, plans for the future. I just want to pay attention and enjoy the journey along the way to seeing those dreams come true.