Cleaning and organizing didn’t fit my idea of God’s calling on my life. A book on the New York Times Best Seller list was more what I had in mind.
Scrubbing floors couldn’t possibly be a vocation, anymore than it could bring in enough money to help get on with my writing, right? Nonetheless, cleaning and organizing are turning out to be my calling during this season – the spring of 2013.
The influx of work came on the heels of much prayer and several discussions with my husband. All the while, I scrambled round and round in the vicious cycle of trying to find a way out of writing just for money, while scrambling for money so I could stop writing what I’d stopped enjoying.
“What do you really want to do?” my husband asked.
“Write posts for my own blog and work on a book,” I said.
“Then, do it.”
Easy for him to say, but by midday, every day, I felt every coherent sentence drain from my brain because of weekly deadlines. I was aware I was justifying not working on my own writing. I was also being realistic. There was little hope I’d get my personal stories on paper while having to turn in a couple of assignments a week.
I read advice about resistance, excuses, making time to write, and wasted hours, only to end up piddling on Facebook after I met others’ deadlines. I was tired by the time I got to my self-imposed ones.
Being published in magazines and newspapers and online had been exciting, fulfilling and fun, but now I was done – not with all of them, but at least the ones that were no longer any of those three things.
Around the same time, my husband and I started a nine-week class offered through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Being eager to hear sound financial advice didn’t mean I was also eager to hear what I was sure Dave would say, “You’re stuck in your job until you pay off all your debt.”
That could take years, maybe even decades, as slow as I write.
Instead, Dave asked me (via video) to write down at least one contribution I could make to bring in extra money for our household budget. He mentioned moving forward with “gazelle intensity” (I clean like a fiend) to pay off debt and “live like no one else,” one of his sayings throughout the course. Since none of my friends clean houses, I figured I must be on the right track – you know, living like no one else. Dave was actually referring to living debt-free, but I got a kick out of my housecleaning joke.
The weekend before I made the announcement at my networking group that I’d be freelance writing and cleaning their homes, our son said, “We weren’t created to sit in an office all day long.” Well, maybe some people are, but he and I are not. Our daughter said, “Weird as it sounds, I think cleaning is what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re so good at it, and you’re busy.”
Without knowing it, their statements made it apparent I was right where I was supposed to be.
The phone calls and messages to clean and organize came in daily, also making it apparent I was right where I was supposed to be.
And when customers said after their houses were clean, “I can feel my stress level lessening,” it was apparent I was right where I was supposed to be.
Wendy Pope wrote “Reshaping Me”, the May 7th Proverbs 31 post about being reshaped by cleaning a beauty salon’s bathroom.
To top off her post, “On Becoming a Janitor“ by Beth Pensinger showed up in my inbox two days later, letting me know, you got it, I am right where I’m supposed to be, even though Beth’s decided janitoring isn’t for her. Not now, anyways.
How well do you accept that you’re right where you’re supposed to be, even when where you are isn’t what you had in mind?
WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – As this plan unfolds, it’s feeling ministerial, it’s making money enough to supplement my writing, and it’s paying off debt. I’m staying tuned. Hope you’ll join me.