@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

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Last fall, I left a writer’s conference motivated to finesse the book I’d begun writing early last year. I was going to tear the story apart, make it stronger, put it back together, polish it, and send it to the people who had requested it.

Sometimes we have the best of intentions . . . and then life tromps right over them.

I had no idea I’d have to learn how to choose motivation. 

As I edged back into normal life, hubs left for a two-week business trip. The boy with the month-old concussion had worsening symptoms. The other boy was undergoing testing to determine some things. 

My personal December 31st deadline seemed unachievable as I chauffeured kids to appointments and commitments, worked with them through some of their issues, and kept up with online deadlines.

Real life stole my creative energy . . . which stripped my motivation to “git ‘er done.”

My story became this big, unwieldy thing that wouldn’t be finessed into submission. 

In mid-November, I decided to take a blogging and social media break in December so I could focus on family, Christmas, and my book.

And then my mom had a serious accident.

God knew I needed December open so I could be available to my family, to help my parents. 

As 2019 dawned with oodles of empty squares on my calendar, I tried to drum up the motivation to continue working on my story.

The thing about motivation is that I have to choose it. I can’t wait until I “feel motivated” to work on something. 

At times, life demands that I set aside my dreams because I need to be completely present with my family and loved ones. 

If I’m honest, there are times I don’t feel like investing the energy to work on my book. I make excuses and justify them. 

But . . . stories don’t edit themselves. 

God’s given each of us callings to fulfill. When we lack motivation, we need to ask Him to reveal the why.

*Are we hearing God’s leading clearly?

*Have we strayed off-base in how we’re trying to fulfill our calling?

*Is there a lot of life happening that saps all that we are? 

*Are we keeping things in balance? Family, relationships, job, responsibilities, fulfilling our callings?

*Are we caring for our bodies in what we eat, do, and how much we sleep?

*Have we allowed this calling to occupy more space in our hearts and time and minds than God intended? If so, we tend to pressure ourselves in a way that saps motivation.

When we stop to evaluate why we’re not motivated, we can talk with the Lord about them. When we seek the Lord, He promises we will find Him. When we come before Him with hearts open to His leading, He meets us and leads us where we need to go. 

He always equips us when He gives us a calling. We just need to remember that it’s His calling, not ours. We are the stewards, and He is the Giver.

Thoughts that help me choose motivation:

God gives each of us dreams. Mine is to be traditionally published. To share stories woven with His truths and encouragement. I’m the only one who can write the stories God’s given me. He offers the inspiration, but I must do the work.

When I set an achievable goal, I’m motivated to attain it. Knowing the goal is out there (and often having a little reward tied to it) motivates me to keep working.

When I’m weary because of life, sometimes I need rest. Life has a way of wearing me down beyond the brink of exhaustion. To renew motivation, I need to be refreshed in the ways that work best for me.

From time to time, I need a trusted friend to give me a good kick in the backside, to speak some truth and to re-ignite my motivation.

When I remember that writing is a calling God has given me, I must not make excuses for not living it out. Yes, life can be hard. And, yes, there are seasons when God may say, “Set that aside for now.” But, when I’m not writing because “I’m not feeling it…” I’m squandering this desire—this gifting—God’s given me

When our motivation is high, let’s work with it! When it’s low, let’s pray about it. And then determine to follow wherever God leads. 

What about you? How do you stay motivated to complete a project? What do you do when you don’t feel the motivation to do something?

Click to tweet: God’s given each of us callings to fulfill. When we lack motivation, we need to ask Him to reveal the why.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup 

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