Thursday, October 1, 2015

Just Gimme Five Minutes

Given the way my blog has nosedived in terms of frequency, content, and pretty much everything, it might seem crazy to sign up for a 31-day writing challenge, but here I go anyway. Every October the 31 Days Challenge rolls around, and I'm usually so busy I don't notice in time to do anything about it. This year though? This year I'm on it.

Not really, because I just committed this morning, but from today forward I'm on it. I miss blogging regularly and sometimes the best way back is found not by dipping your toe in the shallow end, but with a cannonball off the high dive.

31 Days of posting.
One post every single solitary day during the month of October.
Why not?

I know a lot of people have themes and likely have a few posts all ready to go, but I've decided on a different path. I used to love participating in the 5-minute Friday weekly linkup, and like so many things here on the blog, that too has fallen by the wayside. The hostess of 5-minute Friday (Kate at Heading Home) has kindly come up with a list of 31 one-word prompts, one for each day of the challenge, and surely I can manage 5 minutes of writing every day?

It's that every day thing that throws me.
Also, brevity. Not my forte.

Still, I'm going to try, and if you're participating too, let me know and I'll follow along.
Here goes something-

Day 1-Calling

The word is loaded. I think most of us feel pressured into defining our calling, and feel lost if we're unable to clearly articulate what that might be. If you're a 55-year old woman whose children are grown up living the independent lives you raised them to live, then this question of what is your calling can alternately stump and/or depress you.

I looked up the word, because I wondered how the definition differs from purpose, and the difference is subtle. Calling can be as simple as a profession or career, but can also be something you feel is divinely inspired.

In my adult life I've worked and not worked. I've been a speech pathologist, preschool teacher, kindergarten teacher, and the Director of a church preschool/kindergarten. I've held numerous volunteer positions, some of which required more man hours than all the paying jobs I've had put together. And I've been a mother. I am a mother. Mother is the hat I feel born to wear, and the one I'm most comfortable in. The one that is at the heart of who I am, but is not the only thing I am.

None of us want to be defined by a singular term, but if I'm remembered one day only as a mother I'm really okay with that. Of all the things I've been called to do in my life, motherhood is my favorite.

Back to my calling. My life has not been static. I've moved a lot, and as a result opportunities for change have come my way on a regular basis. My calling is to walk through the doors God opens with a willing and eager heart. To follow where He leads and bloom where He plants me. That may involve a job outside the home or not. It may involve a season of quiet reflection and learning or one of packed calendars and feeling there aren't enough hours in the day. It may involve giving my time and experience to a large community or church endeavor or it might mean having a cup of coffee and warm conversation with a neighbor needing a friend.

There are people who I think are called to very specific demanding careers, but that's not my calling. Mine has always felt a bit more ordinary, and do you know what I've learned?

I've learned that God takes the ordinary and He makes it extraordinary.
He never quits calling us to live the life He sets before us.


  1. I really like this post. In fact, I was commenting back to you and ended up writing a lot and decided I may, in fact, just have to write a blog post about it.

    I don't know if I can do 31 days in a row because I'm really not a writer. But I may use some of the prompts and see where it takes me. Maybe I'll learn to be a better writer.

  2. This 31 day posting interests me. I may learn more from what you posted... and perhaps try it too. I especially feel motivated sing the Day One word is CALLING... and tonight is the first meeting of the Call Committee at my church, for which I am one of six members. We begin the challenging task of finding a new pastor.

  3. Excellent post. I have the gift of gab but not sure i could hold out for the while month. Ha!
    Thanks fir visiting me!


  4. I always enjoy your posts. I have resisted these month-long challenges but may have to go check out the list. Thanks for the link!

  5. Is your name Susan? Your life sounds like mine, only I am 63.
    Good luck on the 31 days! Will check in on you now and then.

  6. Perfectly conveyed. I concur. The 31 day posting does sound doable. Kind of. At the very least great prompts might motivate a otherwise nothing to say kind of day. :)

  7. Thank you for sharing, I hope to one day be a teacher, but my schooling is slow as I am raising two kids, that is ok with me though, I love the statement if being a mom is the only thing you are remembered for. And I agree, I am blessed if the only things I am remembered for are my kids. Thank you for sharing and see you tomorrow.

  8. Nice post Joyce. You almost had me signing up for the challenge. I rekindled my love of blogging earlier this year with the A-Z challenge but I've started to slide again. However this month is going to be busy so not quite ready for an all singing dancing challenge but I will be trying to blog each day if I can and following your posts with interest. Have a good weekend.

  9. Great post, Joyce. I never thought of being transferred with a spouse as a calling, but I love the idea. Good luck on your challenge!

  10. I'm not doing the 31 day challenge this year. But I am definitely going to follow yours. I, too, used to write with Kate. I wrote many of my posts whiles caring for Richard. I like your idea of 'calling'.

  11. I have really felt that my blog is in a state of floundeing of late. This 31-day challenge just might give me the direction and exercise of discipline that I need right now.

  12. love, love love this! and yes, it's similar to the post I did on identity:) Thanks for your sweet words about my post!