Friday, December 12, 2014

When God Makes Your Hobby Your Job by Jodie Bailey



Jodie Bailey
Do you think of writing as something creative or therapeutic to do when you have the time? Or do you view it as a calling and a job? Jodie Bailey shares what happened when God confronted her on the place he wanted writing to have in her life.  ~ Dawn


When God Makes Your Hobby Your Job

I was reading a friend’s blog yesterday. She was actually my daughter’s kindergarten teacher, and we bonded, though I’m pretty sure her high school memories lean more toward the Backstreet Boys than New Kids on the Block. You hear what I’m saying?  (Hint: I’m old.) 

At any rate, we share a bit when it comes to writing. See, I spent my whole life writing for fun until, one day, God whacked me over the head and said, “I gave you a gift.  What exactly do you plan to do with it?” Hm. Good question. 

She’s facing the same thing. I can remember her, YEARS ago, saying to me, “I’m not a writer.” And yet… she kept putting words on paper. I’d have told you the same thing. “I’m not a writer. I just like telling stories.” So deep in denial was I that, when God told me to make this a career, I tried to write Bible studies. I struggled for a year until a friend said, “I was praying for you, and God said to write about a real person.” I immediately thought, “God wants me to write about Eleanor Roosevelt?” (Why I thought her by default, I have no idea. Just goes to show how my brain works. It should scare you.)  Then I realized He wanted me to tell my faith story… through someone else. The instant I turned to my first love of fiction and started forming a character, the words that hadn’t come for an entire year flowed. Two books in under six months.

And then I got an agent. And this became work. Guess what? Writing for fun is not the same as writing for work. It’s not the same at ALL. Writing for fun is an outlet. Writing for work can make you cry. Like, real tears. 

The truth is, there are days when I pout and whine and try to bargain with God. “I’ll feed rabid alligators if you’ll let me out of writing this book.” (That’s my default ugly job.) But He tells me no. And those days happen less frequently as I follow His lead.  I have found that when I start my day asking Him to guide my fingers on the keyboard, it goes a whole lot better than when I try to go it alone. 

But here’s the thing…  When God makes your hobby your job, well, you’d better find another hobby so you have something to do for fun.

Oh, writing is fun. I love it. It’s the core of who I am, and to stop doing it would be to deny myself. But realize… when God calls you, Satan sometimes tries to answer. You will meet resistance, even from yourself. But that’s okay. That’s when you know you’re right where you’re supposed to be, doing what God called you to do. Then, even on those days when the words are a chore, you walk away fulfilled and yes, maybe even shedding happy tears.




When Taryn’s grandmother faces a medical crisis, she asks Taryn to sew an heirloom quilt for her cousin’s wedding.  Taryn is forced to accept the help of Justin Callahan, the man she once loved.  The problem is, Taryn still loves him, but she has a secret that will drive him away forever.




Jodie Bailey writes novels about freedom and the heroes who fight for it. Her novels include Freefall and Crossfire, from Love Inspired Suspense, as well as Quilted by Christmas, from Abingdon Press. Her devotions have appeared in Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. She is convinced a camping trip to the beach with her family, a good cup of coffee, and a great book can cure all ills. Jodie lives in North Carolina with her husband, her daughter, and two dogs.

To learn more and connect with Jodie, please visit www.jodiebailey.com



 

10 comments:

  1. "Realize… when God calls you, Satan sometimes tries to answer." Oy, this is so true! Enjoyed reading about your journey, Jodie. And you live in North Carolina?? We moved to a suburb of Charlotte 8 years ago from FL. LOVE it here!

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    1. Dora, I can't find my reply to you! :-) I'll say it again. So glad you like the Tarheel state. It's got everything! Thank you!

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  2. "I have found that when I start my day asking Him to guide my fingers on the keyboard, it goes a whole lot better than when I try to go it alone."

    This is so true! I hate to admit that I sometimes get caught up in the process and forget to do that. It's amazing the difference, though.

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    1. I'm ashamed of how often I forget. OR how often I get so excited by an idea that I charge off after it without checking first.

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  3. Beautiful post, Jodie! Thank you! You've given me a lot to think about. (A good thing!)

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! Hope all is well with you and I get to see you at ACFW again someday!

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  4. It's so true, Jodie! Even when this writing gig becomes difficult, if we know in our hearts of hearts it's what we're called to do, it can still be deeply satisfying.

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    1. Amen to that, Dawn! And even on the hardest days, I can't imagine doing anything else!

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  5. Good morning Jodie! Let me begin by saying I loved your Christmas novella, Homefront a Holiday - such a great story.

    I made the mistake of INSISTING upon calling writing my hobby. What ensued wasn't pretty and I had to repent.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm a big suspense fan so I'll have to read Quilted By Christmas. I'm assuming it is suspense.

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    1. Terri, thank you! I'm so glad you liked the novella. QbC isn't a suspense. I did something a little different, but I hope you like it. I think there's a big difference between a hobby and a job. I can remember telling a professor I didn't care if I wrote forever and kept it in a drawer. I realize now how much I sounded like the parable of the talents! God must have just shook his head and sighed at my dense head that day.

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