by Stephanie Rodda
More than once lately, I’ve found myself muttering these words. “I’m bankrupt on time.” It has become my standard response when being approached to consider joining a new activity that will require my attention, my energy, my precious moments of my busy days.
For decades, literally, I dreamed of writing, having a book published, being paid to write articles and of encouraging others with devotionals and blogs. I would dabble now and then, here and there. I kept the pot of dreams simmering, but alas, I was a #momofmany (fostering and adopting) and I could not make any significant progress in my journey towards “being a writer.”
Then, one day, I attended my first wrIters conference and everything changed. I was on track! I was inspired! I was focused! I was determined. I felt as if I had located my tribe and found my vibe.
Indeed, I met many of my original goals. With the love and support of my friends and family, I saw my dreams starting to come true. I was so pleased.
What came next, threw me for a loop and I found myself disoriented and discouraged. The rhythm of my life changed as I took a job outside the home and lost a large chunk of time that had once been dedicated to my writing.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Seasons change and when they do, we must change as well or be miserable. Just about the time you think you’ve figured out the routine, you’re rerouted.
That’s when I remind myself of my personal beatitude that I like to call my Plan B Beatitude. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break.”
For a while, I grieved the changes of lifestyle and felt as if my little train had been derailed. I struggled. I held pity parties. Sometimes I was even bitter.
But the day came when I decided to play the hand I had been dealt!
I looked up the actual definition of that old saying and here’s what it said: ‘to use the resources which one actually has available; to operate realistically, within the limits of one's circumstances.”
No matter how much I wished I had a different hand to draw from, I had to face realty and proceed down the unfamiliar path that was now available to me.
In the words of Kenny Rogers: “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run...”
In order to play my best game, I had to rearrange my priorities. It meant being willing to prune activities and commitments. I had to learn to let go of some good things in order to make room for the best things.
Rock your priorities!
Deciding what really matters can be sorted by classifying by category. Large rocks can represent the eternal and most important matters. Small rocks are necessary but not eternal, like our daily duties and tasks. Sand is just the filler stuff and should never be a priority. Sand could be screen time for instance. Water, well to me, that represents rest and I believe strongly in #restrequired.
When it won’t all fit in 24 hours, make sure you don’t fill your day with sand and gravel leaving no room for the big rocks that really matter. First things first!
Only you can decide if your writing deserves a place of priority and only you can make it happen by choosing wisely.
Remove the suckers!
A truly successful gardener understands the necessity of pinching off the sucker blooms of budding and tender plants. I never could bring myself to do it properly. But the results were smaller plants and less of a rewarding harvest.
Each plant can only support a certain number of buds. If the limit is exceeded, energy is drained and results are less than hoped for. The same goes for us. No matter how determined we are, we too have our limits that must be respected.
Stephanie Rodda is a freelance writer and book author, who is also on staff of the Southern Christian Writers Conference. She and her husband Henry fostered in Alabama for fifteen years and cared for forty-five children, seven of who they adopted. Check out her author page on Amazon.