Monday, April 23, 2007

Work Space: 1

Little People1

In The Soul Tells a Story, V.H. Wright reminds me that my work is not the be-all and end-all of life. Because my work is writing (which I am passionate about), and because writing is also a form of spiritual discipline for me, this is a difficult message to embrace. Yet it is true. As she says...

Your family is more important than this creative project. The creative project, after all, is something that comes from you, a product of sorts; your partner and kids are other human beings to whom you have made a commitment. So you will carve out a few times in a year when everyone is out of your hair and you can be near the woods. But the rest of the time you will juggle all your loves, some days more successfully than others. The work will still get done. p.78

The work will still get done. And so will the growth-in-God that my work facilitates. And, I suppose if certain things don't get done, that may be okay too.

Family Sculpture with Big Cat and Goat, by Sara, each figure less than a half-inch high. Photo by L.L. Barkat

Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.


Halfmom's Does My Work Really Matter?

Speaking of work, is going on blog tour over the next three days, to bring you special ideas regarding the work space— including many aspects of work and family; gifts and leadership; excellence; integrity; attitude; professional relationships; and service.

Strikes me as a great resource for sermons, talks, and articles. Also, if you'd like to be encouraged, inspired, or revitalized regarding your work right now, consider these whirlwind tour options...

Membership... become a member of

Clever Parable... A Lens on the World

Inspiring Interview... Eugene Peterson, on hearing God

Awesome Article... A Burning Bush Would Be Nice

Other tour rest stops...

Green Inventions Central
Gordon Atkinson
Gina Conroy
Craver VII
Milton Brasher-Cunningham
Mary DeMuth
Karl Edwards
Every Square Inch
Amy Goodyear
Marcus Goodyear
Al Hsu
Chalres Foster Johnson
Mike McLoughlin
Eve Nielsen
Naked Pastor
Ramblin Dan
Charity Singleton
Camy Tang

Have a Great Trip!!

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Blogger Llama Momma said...

I love the photo...and the sentiment. As a Mother, Writer, Juggler, I simply have to let certain things go and embrace the season I'm in. (Come visit my never-quite-perfect-but-clean-enough house, and I'll tell you more!)

8:56 AM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

i am amazed at how all you moms that are homeschooling and following a profession do it...

i only have one child, and that makes it a little easier...but, even so, i find myself not accomplishing things that i need to.

i definitely feel a calling and gifting to the career i had before having my son...working with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children in a group home or school setting. i will probably pursue it again when he starts school, but i don't know if i will ever do it full time again...

you are an inspiration to me, l.l- being a mom, a writer, an advocate for conscious living, homeschooling and doing it all creatively on top of all that! not to mention cooking yummy, whole-food, vegetarian meals on a regular basis. i must admit to a lot of fish stick and mac-n-cheese nights! :)

10:48 AM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

bluemountainmama, my wife struggles with the same kinds of feelings about her profession. She works at home now, and we constantly remind ourselves that she has a new calling for this time in her life.

Of course, that calling may change when the kids are both in school full time. Just like my calling to teach high school changed to something else.

llama momma, you should know that the webmaster for raises llamas on her ranch!

L.L., thanks for the great links and thoughts. You're the best.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Nice quote. It's like that with everything, I suppose. WE fool ourselves all the time thinking we can get it all done (whatever it is) but the truth is we cannot so God can fill in the gaps.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

Mark -- no way! Very, very cool. Now I'll HAVE to go check out the Higher calling website...

4:14 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Llama... I like that idea about embracing the season (so "mess" is a season, yes?)

Blue...thank you for your sweet sentiments. I think that all this gets done not because I'm uniquely talented, but because it is the weight of years of learning. When we learn new skills little by little, they become habit and not so hard as they appear from the outside. Oh, and I could see you doing such work...quite a heart for children you have.

Mark... oh, you are welcome. Remember too, I link because you first linked me. :)

Andrea... a good point about God's part... I guess when we have gaps it is an opportunity more than a failure!

5:35 PM  
Blogger christianne said...

Great sentiment here, Laura! And I would add that it's the "life" that makes the writing possible. In other words, you are the product of a system of variables that produces grist for the mill. If you don't have a life, you don't have much to write about!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Family sculpture by Sara...
Ah, so that means we finally get to see what you look like!

You know what? It's just as I imagined. (As it turns out, I do all my imagining in clay.)

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this passage from The Soul Tells a Story. I always expect writers and artists of all types to be slaves to the work first of all. In a book about the creative process, I would expect the author to pass by the complicated lives most of us live. But instead, she takes it head-on. This work we do, it's just a part of what God made us to be. Some days it gets priority, but surely not most days.

I LOVE this connection with The High Calling tour. Yes, Yes, Yes.

8:56 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Beautiful thoughts! I was about to say something along the lines of what Christianne did (about life providing the stuff of the work), but she beat me to it. :o)

11:39 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...


Great post. Interesting thing I've noticed - those for whom work is the "end all and be all" are seldom great people to work with, nor do they produce the best work.

Those like you, who strike a right balance or work with a God centered view use their gifts not under compulsion of their own passions but under God's directive. That always works out better.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Halfmom said...

You have been linked at:

Still haven't forgotten your question on "behind the blockade"? and will answer soon - interested to know what you will think.

12:30 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Christianne... absolutely great observation. And not only must we live, we must also pay attention to the details (I got that reminder from The Poetry Home Repair Manual).

Craver... this must explain why your imagination is rather muddled! And, yes, don't you think my doughy appearance is rather striking?

Charity... I liked it too (okay, I guess we know that since I included it)... no more of that "the work comes holds me captive... blah, blah, blah"

Kirsten... as they say, great minds... :)

Every Square... now that's an interesting observation. I don't think I've ever paid attention to this dynamic. Makes me want to be more lightly attached to my own work!

Halfmom... will find you in linkland soon. Thanks!

8:26 AM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

As Every Square pointed out, workaholism is a concept we struggle with at I don't mean we ourselves are workaholics. I mean, we try to be very careful that others don't use our workplace encouragements as an excuse to be workaholics. It gets tricky sometimes.

L.L., I love your recasting of 1 John 4:19. It almost works for the verses around it too!

10:28 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Mark... hmmm... thanks for the compliment. Now, tell me... where did I recast 1 John (did I do this when I wasn't looking?)?

2:04 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Good thoughts here and nice sculpting by Sara.

It is a big mistake to be so busy in our work that we lose our families in the process. But it happens all too often. I wonder if Jesus' time prior to his ministry with his family wasn't a big reason in God that his half-siblings did believe in him after his resurrection. They could look back and all the seeds Jesus sowed then came to life.

7:52 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Mark... yes, I have always wanted to be involved in a bible translation (or interpretation)... maybe someday. In the meantime, I'll truck along on Hebrew and Greek, just enjoying the process for myself. As for the question of being a workaholic, I think the most danger comes for spiritual people when they frame their work in such intensely spiritual terms that it seems to demand their whole selves, to the exemption of family and friends (oh, writing can surely be that way!!)

Ted... I like that idea that our life is a seed-sowing experience. If we refuse to open our hands, the seeds benefit no one, not even ourselves. I shall try to think of myself as a farmer this week, and not just a writer who is chained to her muse!

3:11 PM  

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