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We all have them. Wild times. There are times when our worlds come crashing down around us, when everything falls apart and calamities multiply. Beloved family members need care, someone we love requires focused attention, or death touches our family. A child faces a crisis and is in need of support. A chronic illness may strike us or a loved one, changing everything.

There are also times when so many blessings pile up that our joys multiply beyond our ability to keep up. Blessings overflow. Our family gathers for the holidays. We marry and begin a new life with our spouse. New babies are born to us or to our children. Promotions relocate us to far away places. That novel finally releases, and we must now market it.

The common factor in both calamity and blessing is that our time commitments, our emotions, and our schedules change. We perhaps are taken away from home. We may not receive much sleep. Everything in our lives may be turned upside down. There may be only rare moments of solitude to focus or to even hear our inner voice.

Can we continue to write? Can we finish that work in progress? Or will we simply give up?

Right now my husband and I are relocating. Shortly, he will be on the other side of the country. I will be selling our home, sorting, and packing. There will be two major holidays, both our last in this home where our youngest children grew up. There is chaos. There is upheaval. There are strong emotions. On top of all this, I’m attempting to complete the first draft of my fourth novel.

Will I keep writing?

This is the point when many writers give up. We let go of that story and that dream, put it into a saved file, turn our imagination away from it, and walk away.

Maybe it’s only for a season, as I once did when I discovered that I couldn’t homeschool our large family and be a fiction writer simultaneously. Many can, but I couldn’t. Later, once the children were older, I returned to my writing. But many others never do. Maybe that dream is never pursued again. Maybe decades later it is the biggest regret of our lives.

How do we know what to do when life threatens to crowd out writing? We ask Jesus. We consult the Lord and seek his will. Is he the instigator and inspiration of our writing? Is the desire to tell stories as he did our driving motivation? Listen to his leading.

If this is what the Lord has given you to do, if this is how he has blessed you, if this is where he is leading, you must continue to write.

Call on him for help to do it. Ask him to show you when and where and how you are to write. Seek the openings he gives you, no matter how small the window of time. Squeeze in the writing of mere sentences or paragraphs. Don’t feel as if you must be able to write whole chapters at a time. Write what he gives you in the time he gives you.

These simple steps are what determine who becomes a productive writer and who does not. Follow the Lord. Trust him to provide what you need complete the task that he has given you to do. I encourage you to pursue his will for your life, and do not give up. You’ll be glad you did.