When I was in middle school and high school, I dreamed of writing the next great American novel. It would become one of the most beloved novels of all time. It would touch and change lives. I would think out plots in my head, dream up characters, and have conversations between said characters in my head. I had favorite heroine names....Ariel, Emma, and Alaina. I took my drafts into my middle school Language Arts teacher, for him to edit, correct and critique. Looking back now, I can see how foolish I was. I believe truly great writers don't set out to write the next blockbuster, but rather they have to write because they will go crazy if they don't. It doesn't matter if anyone else reads it or not.
When I got married, I took an online writing class, but once I found myself pregnant, my heart lost interest. After having Charlotte, I felt the itch to write again. But everything I would write felt generic, like I'd read it before. I wanted something original.
I was thinking the other day, about the end of Anne of Ingleside, after Anne has met up again with Christine Stuart, the girl who tried to win Gilbert's heart in Anne of the Island. Anne is feeling frumpy and not very interesting next to Christine who has traveled the world. Christine makes a snarky comment about all the children they have and how when Anne was in high school she had such high goals of being a writer and is now only a mother. Anne retorts that now she is writing "living epistles".
Sigh. I love that. I am writing "living epistles". I may not write the next blockbuster novel that turns the world upside down and restores world peace, but I am helping to write the lives of my five children. There are so many days when the never ending laundry, dust, stickiness on the floors, and sibling fights and ungratefulness grate on my ears and heart and I wonder if this is all there is. Does anyone notice what I do? Do I make a difference? The answer is always yes. I want my children to look back fondly on their childhood. To not feel as though they couldn't play and imagine their hearts out. To feel safe and loved. To know Jesus love through my prayers, touch, and care. It is a constant battle to see the bigger picture. It's always so easy to become consumed with the small, the frustration, the weariness of motherhood. I don't wake up most mornings feeling like I am embarking on some great adventure and I am so excited to teach and train my kids. Most mornings I just want to be left alone so I can finish my cup of coffee. That's all I ask. Please. Lukewarm coffee is just not the same. But it's my life. And reheated in the microwave just isn't the same.
But the grace and mercy of Jesus. Right there for the taking, if I just stop and ask. To stop and thank Him for the gifts. The countless gifts of each and everyday. Even the messy, ugly and inconvenient gifts. There is always a blessing, an invitation to come closer. From Him who gave all, to us, to me, who just whines to drink a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
So I just want to encourage those writing "living epistles". It truly is a marathon. Pace yourself. Rest in His perfect love and strength. Trust.....