Friday, February 27, 2009
Write or Wrong? Where are your priorities?
“Mommy will be done in a minute, sweetie. Then I’ll make you breakfast. Why don’t you go and play.”
But a minute turned into ten, and Katie grew restless. Climbing onto her mother’s lap, the little blond with the big blue eyes cupped her mother’s face in her tiny hands.”
Jennifer shifted Katie on her left thigh so she could finish typing. Just a few more sentences then she could take a break. She didn’t want to break the flow. Katie didn’t nap any more, and Jennifer’s muse seldom returned after 8 pm.
Katie squirmed. “I’m hungry, mama.”
“You need to sit still or else it’ll take longer,” Jennifer snapped, feeling her temper rising. Why didn’t Katie just go and play in her room? She could finish much faster without Katie bouncing on her lap.
Katie pulled at her mother’s hands. Heat flushed Jennifer’s cheeks. “Don’t touch mommy’s hands when she’s typing.”
Katie slid from her lap and toddled away. She turned, her big blue eyes on the verge of tears. “Mommy, you never play with me anymore. You’re always on your ‘puter.”
Jennifer’s heart sunk, her writing flow lost in a tidal wave of mommy guilt. When was the last time she played with her little girl? Or did the laundry or cooked a decent meal for her family? When was the last time she sat before her heavenly father?
Jennifer pushed away from the keyboard and scooped Katie up. Little arms, wound tight around Jennifer, wet kisses blanketing her cheeks. It was the best feeling in the world.
Carrying her precious child downstairs for a home cooked meal of eggs and pancakes, Jennifer wondered how her life could have gotten so out of balance. With the rest of the children in school, she thought she’d have more time to devote to her writing. She’d recently been published in her hometown magazine and was knee deep in a fiction project. She knew God had called her to write, but he also called her to be a mom.
Gazing at her little cherub, syrup dripping from her chin, Jennifer felt the guilt creeping to the surface. How could she do everything God had called her to? She had such a burning desire to write. If she didn’t get her daily fix on the computer Ken often said she was a bear to live with. But writing interruptions also brought out the Grizzly in her.
Jennifer offered silent prayers to God.
Prayers of surrender.
Prayers of hope.
She knew in her heart that in her own strength she could do nothing. She also knew all things where possible with God. That’s why she’d been failing so miserably with running her household and pursuing her writing career. She’d left God out of the equation.
Well, right after breakfast every thing would change. First, Jennifer planned on playing Chutes and Ladders, and then when Katie and watched Sesame Street, it was time for Jennifer and God. The dishes could wait. They always had before.
Unfortunately this is a mostly true scenario, before God got a hold of Gina’s priorities by having her give up writing for a season.
Though she doesn’t always get it right, Gina tries and shares her struggles and triumphs at Portrait of a Writer…Interrupted where she often interviews writing moms who seem to have found that balance between family and career.
She founded Writer…Interrupted the blog and Writer…Interrupted the Community where she rallies writers to encourage and support each other on their faith and career journeys.