I was pushing through a major block on a novel and my inability to meet a deadline was hanging over me like a dark cloud, sucking joy from two other vocations -- mothering and helpmating. The problem was that not one cell in my body was motivated to write. I was so stuck and discouraged that I checked myself into a monastery's guesthouse for 24 hours. Am I doing the right thing, Jesus? Should I chuck the writing and revel in the fast-speeding minutes of raising teenagers, spend more time in the church doing pastor's wife kinds of things, actually cook dinners instead of defrosting them?
In the silence and solitude, my eyes kept returning to the crucifix on the wall. Staying there was the Creator's act, I thought, staying where it was excruciating. Right now, writing is SO HARD for me, Lord, even though I know you led me to this work. Stay there, I heard, soul to soul. I'll stay with you.
I sat at the small wooden desk, lit a candle, and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Then I went home, cheered my boys on as they battled aliens in a video game, put some chicken curry on to simmer (one dish I can cook that my husband loves), and gave thanks for the unseen Companion helping me with all three of my vocations, no matter how excruciating they can each feel at times.