Please welcome my new friend April Gardner as she shares a bit about the writing life:
Juggling—My New Profession
I’m a homeschool mom, author, and for the next six months, a deployment spouse. Throw into the pot a few church responsibilities, stir in a moderate dose of co-op responsibilities, and you’ve got the fixings for a busy life. How do I fit it all in? The better question is—do I fit it all in? Just barely. Hence the new career in juggling.
The recent birth of the new website, Clash of the Titles, has strained my time budget, but I think it’s worth it. With my debut novel, Wounded Spirits, coming out this November, my writing career has taken off leaving me almost breathless. While I stumble along trying to keep up with my new pace and all the major life changes I’ve faced, I plug away at my routine.
Ok, I’m lying. I have no routine, only the attempt at one. I’d like to say I have it all figured out. That I’m up with the sun and starting school at 8:30 sharp. That I live by the clock and my detailed, daily schedule. But nope. I’m failing miserably. I do manage to fit most everything in, but there’s no rhyme or reason to it.
Burning the midnight oil and sleeping in until 7:30 is new territory for me. My floors haven’t been mopped in 3 weeks (thank goodness for linoleum that hides dirt!), and weeds have taken over my garden. It’s PBJ again for lunch, and I haven’t even thought about dinner. I refuse to talk about my bathrooms. It’s just plain embarrassing.
Last week, while trimming my hedges and mentally characterizing my new heroine, I buzzed through the trimmer’s extension cord. I survived the sparks and bought another $24 cord, then did it all over again yesterday while finishing up the front bushes. Think maybe I have too much on my mind?
This story of adjustment doesn’t have a happy ending…yet. Just like that awesome novel for which I can’t seem to plot an ending, I have yet to figure out how to orchestrate my new, crazy life; how to create boxes for each area of my life and stack them neatly into my days.
Oddly enough, I don’t care, because I love what I do. I get to be a mom and a writer—my two dreams.
I might still be learning how to juggle it all, and I might even drop the ball more often than the average person, but it’s ok. Amazingly, God blesses despite my many, daily failures.
If you had told me a year ago I’d be muddling through the unorganized, chaotic life I now live, I would have laughed you all the way to the loony bin. Today, the thought of ever managing to straighten out my schedule has the same effect.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecc. 3:1
Yes, my life is dizzying, but I’m convinced that I’m fulfilling my purpose for this particular season. What season? Today. I can’t think about six months from now or even next week. I’ll go crazy. God has impressed on me the need to take life a day, an hour at a time.
Yes, I do think long-term and plan accordingly, but to get through today, I’ve learned to stop and ask myself “What is my top priority at this moment?” Sometimes the answer is obvious. Sometimes, it surprises me. But whatever the case, I can ignore the sticky floors, because I’m doing the best I can right now with the moment God’s given me. At least that’s the goal. The two busted trimmer cables wouldn’t agree that I’m succeeding.
But I imagine God looks at me much the way I do my little girl during phonics. I recognize her limitations, and so long as she gives it her best and has a good attitude, I’m pleased with her work. The difference is that my own loving Father doesn’t have moments when He loses his patience. Praise His name!
Just like He has every other time, God will guide me through this uncertain period. In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye on one juggling ball at a time—and refrain from trimming the hedges.