Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Torn

Today, I'm torn.

Torn between what I want to do, and what I want to do.

I have two competing desires. And I don't think I can do them both. So I have to choose.

I hate choosing. In the "either/or" questions of life, I prefer to be an "AND" girl. As in have the cake and eat it too.

When I was younger, maybe 12, I remember sitting in the dressing room for half-an-hour while my mom repeatedly held up items of clothing I'd just tried on. "You can't get them all so which three do you want? Pick three."  It felt like she was telling me I couldn't keep both my legs so I'd need to choose which one I wanted to keep. I didn't know which to choose.

My situation today is a little bit different. I'm not choosing between things - for one of them I must do. It's a given. An obligation. And that's ok because I want to do it. And I want to do it well. REALLY well.

The problem is I also want to do this other thing - this optional desire. At the same time. And if I do that thing too, I'm afraid I won't be able to do the first obligation REALLY WELL. Plus, I might not do such a hot job with the second thing, or enjoy the process as much, because I already have the first obligation on my plate.

So I'm torn. Can you relate?

The easiest and perhaps smartest thing to do would be to just do obligation #1 and do it well. Leave desire #2 for another time when I can do it well. And that would be my decision - it would be a painful one to make, but it would be my decision - except for my one word.

When I think and think on something and I'm still not sure what course to take, I consult my one word for the year. This year that one word is CREATE. And wouldn't you know, desire #2 is the quintessential outcome of my one word. At least in my head it is.

But obligation #1 is the first outcome of this year's one word. Here's the deal. Obligation #1 is spending November preparing to launch my new book My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word and it's accompanying speaking topics and life coaching package. The book releases in December. And I. AM. SO. STOKED. for what this book will do!

Meanwhile, desire #2 is to spend the month of November creating a novel with NaNoWriMo because November is national novel writing month. It is crazy to write a novel - much less your first - in one month. That will take so much focus and time. But my heart yearns to try it. And it would be so fun to do in the group process that is NaNoWriMo. (I dig fun.)

Yet I don't want to hinder in any way the launch of my best creation of my year with CREATE - My One Word.

So I remain torn, but trusting I will find my way into the right decision as I lean on the verses below. Maybe they will help you today too.

"For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." ~Proverbs 2:6

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." ~James 1:5

"To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness..." ~Ecclesiastes 2:26

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

I am praying to have wisdom and peace with my decision. If you can relate to any of this and you want me to pray for one of your decisions too, leave me a comment. This "and girl" would be happy to pray over my choice and yours. Anybody else out there doing NatNoWriMo?


  1. I'm torn between priorities as well. Jesus help us! I love this post and I love you! Sharon

    1. I will pray for us, Sharon! And I will have that thing I promised you on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

  2. Oh my Rachel! I feel as if you've plunged right into my heart and taken a peak at my own paradox! Mine isn't an A or B decision to make. It's an A, B, C, or D. Waaaayyy too many things this girl wants to do and appear to line up with God's plan for me, but there's no possible way of doing all! I'll pray for that wisdom and peace you so desire to settle in on you and SOON! :-)

    1. Hi Leah. I'm glad you can relate. I shall pray for us both to get clairity on what to do when, and what not to do at all (for now). Love to you.

  3. I can so relate!! I read/heard somewhere that sometimes neither of our choices in a situation like the one you relate here, are "wrong". Either would be OK; God would be happy with either choice. I'm not sure if you feel comfortable with that in this situation but I think of it often and it takes a lot of the pressure off.

    BTW I didn't know you were writing that book and I'm soooooo excited to get it! I've chosen a "verse for the year" for myself, that fits in the huge changes in my life right now...but I'd like a word as well.

    Just a thought--could you turn NaNoWriMo into JaNoWriMo? As in do it in January? Not quite the same I know but would help w/both things...I have no desire to write fiction but am considering spending the month of Nov. writing blog entries. I did an A to Z Blogging Challenge last April and loved the way it forced me to write every day. And it was a challenge because I have two blogs.

    Good luck on your decision and CONGRATS on the new book!!

    1. Hi Shelly. Agreed - I am sure neither choice here is "wrong." I just want to do what is wisest, and have no regrets.

      The thing about NaMoWriMo is everybody around the country does it at the same time, together. There is great social support, both online and in local meetups. That makes it fun and gives a sense of accountability to finish what you started by the deadline. So it wouldn't be the same in January. But I could write a novel without Nanowrimo, or I could wait until next November if the group experince is important to me.

      (Thanks for helping me think through my options here.)

      You must get the My One Word book - I know you'll LOVE it. I co-wrote it with my pastor this year.

      I'll have to pop by your blogs and see what your blogging challenge produces. :) Thanks for taking the time to "talk" with me here today.

  4. Praying that you will realise which of those options will help the most people because you're a caring, sharing, people person.

    1. Hazel, what a super-sweet, encouraging comment. Thanks for that.

      Hope you have great weekend.

  5. Rachel,
    I pray that God helps you find His best choice for you in each season of decision making and that you will be at peace with whatever He leads and directs you to do.

    I too am in the midst of choosing what is best and I am also writing my first novel so the information in this blog really hit home for me in more than one way. I am honestly thinking of taking on the challenge of writing a novel in one moth. It will be a draft of course, but at least at the end of the month, I can say I have a draft of a finished product to finalize.

    On top of my book wiring, I am also reenrolling in graduate school, applying for a jobs and building a relationship with God while helping my children adjust to relocation to Griffin Georgia. So there is much on my plate and although I would love to jus do one at a time, I am finding that I have to do them all simultaneously. I know God knows what is best and I am praying that I will do my part in excellence and trust Him to reveal what is best for this season and how to walk by faith and not by sight.

    God bless You and just know that as long as we continue to seek God's best for everyday situations , that he is faithful to answer us and also to guide us. Instead of fearing the unknown I am learning to trust that God will be there with me even if I choose the wrong choice and His grace is sufficient.

  6. I would love to be able to relate. It is a blessing for you to have such prestigious choices to struggle over. My choices usually involve household chores and chauffeuring children.

    1. Hi. Household chores and chauffering children are a given - I do those daily. I have no nanny, and no household help (except my own family). I cook, clean, grocery shop ... I also teach college part-time.

      Parenting and housework are "prestigious" tasks in my view. Many people around the world would love to have the modest home I enjoy. The dishwasher and clothes washer I use. A solid floor rather than a dirt floor beneath their feet to vaccum. A car to fill with gas. I am aware of that.

      And many women struggle with infertility. Or have yet to find a spouse. They long to sit in a carpool line for their child, or to make dinner for their husband.

      By the way, please also understand that writing is my job. In the same way that someone else provides for thier family by working retail, or working a desk job, or working at the hospital, I provide for my family by writing. It's not a hobby or a way I kill lots of free time.

      I went to college and studied journalism. Then to grad school and studied communication. I've worked hard at my craft for many years. And in the process, I've worked my way "up" the publication ladder from writing the occasional newspaper article to now writing books.

      I consider myself blessed to have the life that I have. It is the life I wanted, and went after. But at the same time, I am sure it is less "prestigious" than you imagine it to be. Blessings to you and yours.

    2. Thanks for your response. I understand where you are coming from. Most mothers that work outside the home think it is prestigious to stay at home. Of course, I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been able to do that. I thank God for my husband and children every day and for the opportunity to be able to take care of them. But, I don't consider that prestigious. Working mothers are sacrificing time with their children to go to work. Although, the majority that I see make their decision to work on thinking that a certain life style is necessary, or they are bored being at home. Staying at home is a sacrifice as well,one which I would absolutely rather make. But, the real sacrifice here comes not when your children are young. The real sacrifice comes later, when they are older and starting to have their own lives. It is a bittersweet feeling to be so thankful to have not missed any moments with your kids and to be the one that was always there with them, but also to be left with no career when they don't require much of your time. Which is where I find myself. So, when I came across your blog when I was doing my devotion, I guess instead of finding encouragement, I found myself feeling isolated. I am probably sensitive at this time but, when I saw the title "torn" I was expecting something different.

    3. I appreciate you writing back so I could see where you are coming from. I can understand that. Sounds like you are experiencing a life transition.

      If we were having coffee I'd take this opportunity to encourage you to define it that way in your mind - as a transition, not a dead end. Your task or quest is to determine what you will transition into in this next chapter of your life.

      For instance, will you take up a hobby? Go back to school? Get more involved at your church? Lead a Bible study or small group? Volunteer at the hospital? Knit caps for babies born in the winter? Start a community garden? Work part-time in a shop you love? Or maybe write a novel next November during Nanowrimo? :)

      I pray you will find {create} purpose and fulfillment in this upcoming chapter. (Note: Many people have careers, yet lack purpose and fufillment, so don't feel "behind".) Blessings to you in this transition time. And I hope you'll continue stopping by here.

    4. Thank you for your encouraging words. I'm praying for direction.

  7. Rachel thank you so much for all words of wisdom as keep on praying for my. Children and I ..


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