Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Refuels Me

In my last post I asked the question, "What refuels you for your work?"

It's an important question. 

We need to know the answer to the question so we can continue to fulfill God's purpose for our lives. So we can continue to be fishers of men, or makers of products, or finishers of projects, or caretakers of family.

We need to know the answer to the question, and then self-supply that fuel regularly, so we can work with excellence and energy and passion. As unto the Lord.

And so we can continue to experience that nearly intoxicating feeling, the divine spark known simply as "flow."

So I've been thinking this week about what refuels me for my work as a writer, teacher, and speaker.

Here's my list in progress of what fuels me:

1) Well Written Words - I'm a word girl. I can be very motivated by what I read. So I read pretty much every day. Reading something inspiriting, motivating or just really well said can pick me up and fuel me forward. Quotes. Verses. A really good book. All can work for me.

As a side note, if I read too much well written stuff in one sitting, it can have the opposite effect. I can start to feel that it's all already been said before by people much more talented than me. So I have to watch this one and not read too much at once. I usually spread my reading out throughout the day ... like shots of courage.

2) Time in Nature - Last night after dinner two friends and I grabbed ice coffees and went down to the beach to sit by the water. No agenda but to be, to talk and to stare at the waves in the fading light. We wound up talking about novels we'd read recently, then I told them an idea for one of my next books. The combination of the surroundings and their input made me even more excited to get started on this book. 

Many of us feel closer to God when we get closer to nature. And that has a way of melting stress, unlocking creativity, and redirecting us to what is important. I know lots of writers who take daily walks outside as part of their writing routine.

3) Encouraging Words - I keep a file of notes, emails and thank you cards others have given me. Each time someone tells me how my work has impacted them, or just that I have a "godly spirit" or a "way with words," I save it.  For future fuel when my engine starts to drain and sputter. 

My love language is Words of Affirmation so this one works quite well for me. But I suspect this would spur anyone on. When someone compliments you, record it. Save it and revisit it often.

4) Encouraging Others in my Field - Find someone who is well behind you. New in their faith, or new in their work in your field. See their desire to be where you now are. Absorb that passion. 

Pour into them, and let their enthusiasm fuel yours - making you excited and grateful that you get to do this work.  That's what the She Speaks conference does for me each year.

I'd urge you to make your own list of what motivates you. Keep it by your desk or on your fridge. And regularly use the things on that list to refuel your passion for your work.

After all, I bet you, like me, long to someday hear from God, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."


  1. My list of what fuels me...

    1. inspiring people to push their limits

    2. great writing - like you I am a lover of words:inspirational quotes, poems, blog posts, books, magazines...

    3. running! I need the endorphin boost from running on a regular basis

    4. girl time + exercise

    5. date nights with my husband

    1. one more... a scripture that speaks directly to my situation

    2. Hey Kendra. Great list! I should probably add exercise to my list too. It reliably clear the head and energizes me. :)


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