Last Sunday I had a lesson in church about Talents. We talked about how it's important to seek out our talents and then work on them. Find the time to develop them and then share them when possible.
I really enjoyed this lesson because I'm constantly struggling with my guilt over writing. Sometimes I can't stop thinking that I shouldn't be spending time on it. That there are more important things. That when the second coming happens (or if you don't believe in that, try the Zombie Apocalypse or the End of the World), if I'm still alive, will it really matter if I'm a published author or not? Shouldn't I be spending more time with my kids, or doing service, or genealogy, or something- anything more spiritual?
Then I'll argue with myself. But this is a talent of mine. It makes me happy. It's not something I should just let go. And if I did, I would lose some sort of sense of myself.
I blogged about this awhile back and my sister-in-law said something that I haven't forgotten. We're on this earth to grow- not become stagnant. Yes, I need to be a mother first and foremost. But I can't sacrifice all of myself- I need to grow as well.
The one thing from the lesson that really stood out was that if we don't exercise our talents- we will lose them. I know that's true. I can't play the piano as well as I could at age 16 because I don't play as much anymore. I definitely can't dance as well because I'm not flexible or strong like I used to be when I danced all the time. If I stop writing, I'll lose the talent for it. I'll lose the ideas that constantly come to me. The more I practice, the more I write, the better I get.
The lesson also talked a lot about finding the time to practice your talents. That's the key isn't it. Balancing life as a mother and writer. I think that's where the guilt comes in. I'm spending time writing when I could be spending it playing with my children. I can't help but feel guilty about that. I don't think the guilt will ever go away. I don't think my internal battles will ever stop. But maybe that's not such a bad thing. When I'm not doing any writing- maybe it will help me get my butt in gear and do some. And when I'm writing too much and not paying enough attention to the kids- maybe it will help me to stop, take a break, and focus on what matters most.