I don’t know about you, but unless I’m writing something specifically related to the gospel, I always feel a little weird praying about my writing. I guess I just feel like unless I’m using my talents to directly “build the kingdom”, I’m actually doing something selfish- even wrong.
So as I’ve shared before, I’m working on writing my first novel, and it’s a YA paranormal mystery/romance. Nope, no gospel stuff in there. But I’ve been dedicating quite a bit of time to it, so I figured that as long as I go to Institute class during the week and keep up with reading my scriptures maybe it would all even out in God’s eyes. (This sounds totally crazy to me as I write it but I’m just trying to be honest here.)
Well, the other morning I was reading in a book I have called “A Year of Powerful Prayer.” It’s my morning routine to read one entry in this book (there are 365) and then say my morning prayer. On that particular morning the entry was by John Bytheway, and he said,
“Sometimes I’ve wondered if the things I pray about are too trivial or too unimportant when compared with everything else going on in the world. At least I used to think that until I had my own children. Now I think differently. If something is important to my five-year-old, it’s important to me, no matter what other problems are on my mind.”He went on to share Alma 34:18-26, and paraphrased it with more modern language, and identified things we might pray about. He said, “Pray for all of these things because it they’re important to you, they’re important to God."
I thought about all the things that are important to my kids, things that I know are probably not essential to them becoming the people I hope they will someday become, but they are things that make them excited and happy. For example, my son loves Lego Ninjago. I listen to him go on and on about various ninjas, helped him choose which of the massive Lego sets he wanted to spend his birthday money on, got him a Ninjago shirt for him to wear on the first day of school (last year AND this year) and even played some Spinjitzu with him on occasion. It’s important to me because it’s important to him and it makes him happy. Could it be possible that Heavenly Father might feel the same way about me and this book?
After I read the passage in the prayer book I thought, “Hmm. Okay, well maybe it’s finally time to pray about this. Maybe God is okay with it.” I’d always been too afraid to pray about it. What if He said no? But this time I decided to give it a shot- face the music and accept whatever answer I was given.
I tentatively explained to Heavenly Father that I was working on this book. And that I really wanted to finish it because-
And then suddenly it was as if He was finishing my sentence for me.
He said, “because you’ve wanted this ever since you were a little girl. I know.”
I had this overwhelming feeling of peace and joy that brought tears to my eyes. It was as if He was telling me, “I want this for you because you want this for you and I’ll be with you every step of the way. You’ve set a goal for yourself- a worthy goal. I want you to succeed.”
Needless to say, it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I no longer feel like I’m tiptoeing around. (Ha, like that would actually work, right?) I feel like the Lord is my partner in this and He is my biggest fan and cheerleader. I feel like I can do this work with His blessing.
So, speaking of work, I’d like to help us all progress with a WRITING SPRINT again tonight. Again, we’ll start at 10pm EST (9pm CST, 8pm MST, 7pm PST). Just go to the blog a few minutes before and I will have a NEW post up for the sprint. Leave a comment and say hello to let us know you’re participating. NaNo-ers- I can pound out 2,000 words in a 1-hour sprint, so this could be a great way for you to literally SPRINT ahead in your word count! And checking in every 15 minutes really helps you stay motivated. See you tonight!
Oh, and don’t forget to start your sprint with a prayer... ;-)
Have you ever felt a little bit sheepish about what you’re working on? Did you think to pray? ;-)