finding fulfillment {on what is enough}

It took me thirty-three years to find my enough. Mary Janes

 

In February of 2012 I announced to my followers a semi-planned writing sabbatical. After a year filled with loss, releasing four eBooks, and re-launching a large community, I was spent. My blog had become a place to make announcements, and little more. Every time I tried to sit down and write the keyboard mocked me. My heart had been poured out and my mind turned to mush. I had no direction for my writing and found myself wanting to walk away from it all. I simply could not write. So I stopped.

I thought leaving my online space to take a break would be hard. After all, I'd spent three years pouring out my heart and soul here. But it wasn't. It wasn't hard at all to walk away from A Life in Need of Change and immerse myself in life. It wasn't hard at all to tune out the internet noise and pick up a book. It wasn't hard. And that fact alone confirmed what my heart had been telling me for some time.

I need to close A Life in Need of Change. After three years of calling this beautiful space my writing home, it's time to end the book, not just the chapter, and start a new one.

I'd like to tell you that I struggled and wrestled with God over a topic for my new blog. I'd like to tell you that I reconnected with my inner child and recovered the dream I lost somehow on the road to adulthood. But the truth is, while I did do those things, I already knew what I would write about. That part wasn't the struggle. The wrestling, weeping and gnashing of teeth came over whether or not the blog would actually succeed.

Success

When I speak to writers, the first thing I always tell them they absolutely must do is define what success means for them. Success, I've found, has very different meanings for different people. As a writer, especially as an Indie writer, deciding ahead of time whether you'll find fulfillment in 100 or 100,000 books sold has the power to make or break you. If you're going to feel successful when you hit the big 1-0-0 well...then...amen! Create a plan that will help you meet your goal, and then work hard to meet it!

Pretty simple equation, right? Pick a number that feels right to you and meet it. Bam! You're successful!

Or not.

Here's where I let you in on a little secret friends. Some of you have referred to me as a "big" blogger, but I don't see myself that way. I don't look at myself in the mirror each morning and say, "there's a woman who has a successful writing career!" You look at me and you see half of the MOB Society team, a blog that IS bigger and IS put together and IS focused. You see the woman behind Warrior Prayers and the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge. The woman who knows a little about writing and marketing eBooks, and who has put together a tribe of boy moms who form an incredible and life-giving community. And those things are true. That IS who I am. That IS what God has done through me (and Erin, and the rest of the amazing MOB Society team...lest you think I did it alone).

But I'm really so small.

Enough

Isn't it just like God to speak through the smallness? His voice is the breeze, isn't it? Not the trumpet. Not the thunder. Not the roaring plane...but the fresh blowing breeze. The times where the noise isn't so loud, and the emails aren't so overwhelming, and the to-do list is still manageable.

It was in the small that the Lord brought me these words:

"Before you get hit with that first wave of success, sit down with a piece of paper ... and define what your enough will look like."

In Quitter, Jon Acuff describes a time right before his book Stuff Christians Like released. He was sitting outside with his wife watching a sunset when the following thoughts came to him:

"This is enough. I have a beautiful wife, a house to live in, two wonderful children, a job. This is enough. There's no reason to chase money or material possessions when the book comes out. I have enough."

As I read those words my heart was pierced straight through. The truth of my blessings in this life washed over me as I sat on my couch, late-day sun warming me on the outside as the truth warmed me on the inside. THIS is enough.

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My Jesus. My husband. My two precious boys. A lifestyle I adore. Friendships that run deep. THIS is enough.

I don't need anything else to be successful in this life. My cup overfloweth as it is. I don't live a perfect life...I sin, and I want more, and I lack grace, and I hurt others, and I make mistakes. I'll always want my writing to bring comfort, grace, and peace to others. I'll always have a dream in my heart to write a traditionally published book. But it doesn't have to define me. This imperfect life of mine? It's enough. For the first time...it is truly enough.

If God never gives you your secret dreams...if your job or your blog or your book or your {fill in the blank} never takes off (even if it does) will you always be seeking the next thing to make your life complete? I hope I won't.

What is your enough?

 

 

Once you've seen it, tasted it, hang it in the deep parts of your heart so that when you're tempted to need more, you'll remember...

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When I realized my "enough," the curtain that separated my heart from my writing lifted, and I was able to see a clear picture of what this new space needs to be. I'll share more about my new direction with you over the next few weeks, and I'll officially launch a entirely new community on May 8, 2012.

I hope you'll join me.

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This post is linked to:

Write it Girl

A Holy Experience

The Better Mom Mondays