An Honest Journey
Discouraged But Not Defeated: Enjoying God’s Gifts

Discouraged But Not Defeated: Enjoying God’s Gifts

So, I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him?

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

God promises to provide all that we need and to fulfill our deepest desires in Himself.

Daily Grace Blog

I thought writing would be easier this year, but it’s definitely been a rough start!

Almost four years ago, with a toddler and baby at home, I thought I was busy beyond belief, and I was. But it was a different kind of busy. I found time to write during naps, early in the mornings, or at night when my kids had gone to bed and my husband was still on night shifts. I dreamt of the days when my kids were older and I’d “have more time” without really seeing the time I had been given.

People warned me- it’s not really easier when your kids are older, you’re actually busier. I heard them, but I guess I didn’t totally get it just because I wasn’t in that season of life. Now I’m inching into that “different kind of busy”. My kids still wake up early, they stay up a little bit later, and naps are hard to come by. More often than not, we’re loading up the car for school or I’m driving back to pick them up, we’re headed to the grocery store, activities, health and wellness visits, or just simply running other errands. On top of that, cleaning, meal planning, and general schedule planning can all take a big chunk out of my day.

Busyness has slowly crept back in. And some of it is great, as I love being more available for my family this year and having the ability to help manage things so that our day runs smoothly (for the most part). But if I’m being honest, a high priority for me this year has been to spend more time writing. And that time has already gotten chipped away many times due to life’s interruptions.

Sicknesses popping up (at different times for different family members- which really stretches things out) or other schedule changes have all pushed my patience. I’ve felt trapped at times- trying to squeeze “writing time” in here and there but it’s suddenly seemed like more of a burden than enjoyment.  

I don’t want to be discouraged, but I am. Deep down, I want to stick with my writing and find a way to make it work. I knew this was going to be hard. Interruptions would come. The enemy would want me to be discouraged, to feel rushed, to feel defeated, to question my ability to write and to believe that I don’t have time to enjoy this gift God has given me.

But God is still good even though this isn’t going as “I planned”.

I continue to see God working in and through me in this process.

Through these interruptions and frustrations in the new year, I’ve questioned “why” I write again, which is a good thing. It’s important to re-evaluate and look at where God is working and where He wants our time and focus.

Because writing is something I enjoy, I shouldn’t feel bad about making it a priority. And just because writing is a priority, doesn’t mean it’s going to come easily. It is going to be work at times, and I have to remember to give myself grace.

Taking care of myself is important, and doing things I enjoy is part of living a full life. We aren’t meant to live in defeat and self-loathing, we’re meant to use the gifts God has given us for His Kingdom. And to enjoy them! If God has given me the means and the ability, He is using this for a reason.

And now, God has given me THIS time to write- unexpectedly and unplanned. One child is on the back-end of fighting off an illness and napping, and the other is off with dad for a bit. Thank you, Lord! Isn’t it crazy how God works and provides?

If you’re like me and in this place at the end of January where your New Year’s goals or dreams feel like they’re dying or maybe just on a teeter-totter, turn it over to the Lord. Pray about it. If it’s important to you, it’s important to God.

He’s gladly waiting for you to show up and talk with Him about it.  

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Discouraged But Not Defeated: Enjoying God’s Gifts

    • Author gravatar

      Warm hugs sis! 💕

    • Author gravatar

      Oh Amber, I relate to this a million percent!! But, you’re right, it’s all in the timing, and God’s timing is PERFECT! Thank you for these words and encouragement. God bless you and yours, and your writing goals for this year!

    • Author gravatar

      Great post Amber, and so timely. Here’s something that might help you, or perhaps someone else. I have learned (the hard way) through four and a half decades of ministry that God is constantly taking me through different ‘seasons’. I’ve experienced seasons of tremendous blessings and opportunities. God has placed me in positions that I could never have imagined, often when I least expected it.

      He has also brought me down low to positions I could have never imagined I would find myself in, yet He has been faithful to raise me up again after the ‘season’ of learning was accomplished. Not unlike Moses, I have wandered the back side of the barren desert for an extended season while His love poked and prodded me into submitting to His will.

      Even now, at almost 67 years of age, I am in a relatively new season of ministry. This, after an excruciating and extended season where it seemed that Heaven had closed its ears to my pleas for God to use me somehow, someway, somewhere.

      I am so busy now that I rarely have time for anything but God’s work. This is an answer to those pleas that my last days be my best days and that I finish strong for His glory. How long this season will last is up to the Lord, but I intend to run to the finish line as best as I can.

      In those seasons of waiting and frustration Amber, know that He is at work in you, perfecting in you that gift He has given you to write for His glory. Ministry done right is hard work, but it is Kingdom work. Work that will stand the test of time for all eternity.

      Enjoy your family to the fullest because that is your first ministry: to raise Godly children filled with the love of Jesus. The rest will come in due ‘season’.

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you for your wise words, Ron. I appreciate them very much! I have seen the Lord reminding me time and again that I chose to step away from “paid work” outside of my home to place a priority on my family in this season. And I’m grateful to have that opportunity. It’s definitely stretching me, but it’s a blessing as well. I do need rest & time to re-set so I can properly care for my family, and I’m trying to figure out when & what that looks like in this transition as well. Writing has been a tremendous gift, and I appreciate being able to write this post and reading your response is encouraging and insightful as I transition into this new year. I’m thankful God works through this great platform so that we can remind each other of what really matters in God’s Kingdom and trust in His timing. God bless you, and may we keep our eyes on Jesus!

Go ahead! Leave your thoughts in a comment below. Don't forget to subscribe to the Fish Full Life on my "Blog Home" page.