1. Prayer: Life is nothing without it. I always strive for a better prayer life. God desires our communication with him and he cares deeply about how we feel. Sometimes we forget that. I have to remind myself to consult with God during every season in my life, during the good time and the painfully ailing ones. Prayer always puts things in perspective for me.
2. Organizing my life: As of this post, I am married with three small children under 4 years old. (one is almost four). They are all very demanding. Throughout the day, I move from nursing a baby to wiping spills, coloring, arts and crafts, abc's and potty training. BUSY! And that's just the mommy part. I'm a wife too who cares deeply about my husband and my home. So, after the mommy stuff (or rather, in between the mommy stuff) I'm washing clothes, cleaning and cooking. Again, BUSY! However, I have to set aside blocks of time to get work done since I am a freelance writer. Last year God was teaching me how to balance this life. This year, he's guiding my steps as I move forward. I'm thankful. It's hard sometimes, but definitely not too hard for God.
3. Addressing my writing as a ministry and business: I struggled with this for a little while. How can I view ministry as a business? I wondered. Well, this was another thing God was showing me. I don't pay the primary bills in the house, but writing does provide an extra source of income. In fact, the virtuous woman helped contribute financially. (See Proverbs 31:10-31) My husband works hard at providing for us and God has been faithful to him. But, since I am a stay at home mom, I personally wanted to make sure I contributed in some way. Now, the messages God gives me to share is definitely for ministry purposes first and not for financial gain. But, now that I have three small children, I do want and need to sell books! So, my writing books and freelance writing helps with that. My prayer is as Job's was. (see Job 1:10). Lord, bless the work of my hands.
4. Take small infrequent breaks: This is the part that really helps a lot. I have to make myself take short breaks through the week because if not, I'll just keep going and going. Nice breaks allow me the time to paint, have unrestricted time with my children and my husband. It also gives me the chance to do other things to enjoy life. Can't always be all work and no play. The Sabbath is perfect for this because it grants me a day. But, throughout the week, I like to pause and play just to clear my mind from the noise of work.
5. Persevere: It gets hard sometimes. With Freelance writing, there's rejection letters and with book writing and seeking publication there's the same coupled with deadlines and a host of other things. But, you have to keep moving forward no matter what. Be not weary in well-doing, Galatians 6:9.
Whatever it is that you're doing, I want to encourage you to keep moving forward. Pray that God gives you peace, joy and the motivation needed to press forward against all odds. The Holy Spirit will give you direction and speak to you specifically about your life. Just ask him to. There are challenges everywhere, but greater is He...