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  • janetmchenry

When You can't get Anything Done

Addicted to doing? Addicted to checking things off your list?

I’m raising my hand. I own all that.

Because I’m goal-oriented and achievement-driven, it’s been tough to cross things off my calendar, such as medical appointments, because I want them DONE. I do not want to think about them anymore. Now they’re floating out there in the great Somewhere/Sometime of life. Ahhhhh!

How are you doing in this uncertainty? Cruising? Cursing?

I decided that for a season I need a new kind of list.

Because I’ve not been able to summon a creative anything, I’ve turned to home care as therapy. This started out with baking–all kinds of cookies, cakes, bread. And well, seven pounds later, that was a mistake.

Then I turned to home improvement. I chalk-painted a headboard in a soft gray. I chalk-painted the base of my former china cabinet in a charcoal gray. I have a set of very old saloon doors (or circus ticket booth doors?) I want to strip and wax.

Then I headed outside this last weekend–several days of cleaning up the front and back yards from debris left from tree trimming. I had to take a pain killer this morning so I could move without moaning.

How do we make a path through this season? Do we keep navigating in the same direction? Do we pull inward and meditate . . . or watch endless stuff on Netflix? Do we just get out the to-do list and check off nineteen things?

I’m plowing through 2 Kings right now. One king after another in Judah and in Israel. One does the right thing. One does the wrong thing. Yet another does some of the right thing . . . but doesn’t have the courage or the fortitude to do ALL of the right thing.

I don’t know about you, but I want to do ALL of the right thing.

Some of the right thing for me right now is to give support and encouragement to the Loyalton High School Class of 2020, which along with other graduating seniors across the country, is paying a toll for these at-home mandates. They’ve lost the best part of their senior year, with all the celebrations and rituals.

Nonetheless, as I am writing short profiles of them for our local newspaper, I have been completely inspired by their maturity and insight. Among other questions I asked them to share the best advice they’ve gotten, along with a life lesson of their own.

Here’s a real gem from a girl named Maggie, who credits her mother with this advice: “Waiting for inspiration is a food’s errand. Creativity, like any kind of work, starts with the actual doing.”

So, even though I FEEL completely uninspired, it is my job as a writer to write anyway. And I will write. I will drag that unfinished novel out of the drawer and bleed words onto my screen. What I am experiencing right now will help me identify with my character anyway. And the writing is what is right for me in the eyes of the Lord.

I pray that you also can know what God would have you do right now . . . and that you can walk in that path.

Janet McHenry loves serving others through her speaking ministry, Looking Up! As with her books, she encourages others with her humor, helps from the Bible, and hope from her personal stories. More about her speaking and books can be found here:

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