Written by Yaasha Hepperle
“Reading my Bible should be a refreshing experience,” I sighed while my child screamed at my ankles.
“I used to be able to win NaNoWriMo!” I groaned as I glanced at the pile of dishes in the sink, the banana smeared on the floor, and the 354 tissues my daughter had pulled out of the tissue box and shredded.
“I miss being able to write an article without interruptions,” I lamented as my daughter voiced her distress that I was not paying attention to her exclusively.
Later, I pulled up Instagram and, in the space of a few minutes, encountered several influencers who declared exuberantly that they would never have kids because kids were just too inconvenient for their lifestyle.
My heart broke a little bit.
Because behind every screaming fit there was a child who just wanted to be with her mama. Behind my failed NaNoWriMo attempts were the moments I taught my daughter to wash dishes, try new foods, and explore new outdoor adventures. Behind the dozens of interruptions in my writing was a kid who wanted me to see and appreciate the world with her.
Yes, she’s a little sinner like me, and her motives aren’t always pure. But when I take my life with her as a whole, it’s perfect. I experience through her eyes the joie de vive and the hope that I aim to infuse into my stories. I encounter an incredible richness and variety that has made me a better Christian, wife, friend, and writer.
All because I embrace the inconvenience of a child.
I think of my writer friend who lost a daughter. She would give anything to have her writing interrupted by that much-missed girl.
I think of my friend who went through ten years of unsuccessful fertility treatments. She would do anything to be “inconvenienced” as I am.
When I move toward my daughter—and all the exhausting and selfless work that she represents—I move toward life and deepest joy. God does a miracle in my heart and a second miracle in my schedule.
I take my toddler on a walk in the stroller to get a few minutes of relief from her fussiness—and my screen-free activity becomes a time to reflect, pray, and plan the next chapter of my novel.
I interrupt my writing to deal with a minor disaster caused by my daughter—and when I return, I realize that the break has given me a new perspective and better ideas.
I give up my writing time to nap with my daughter—and my refreshed body pours creativity into the scraps of writing time that I find later.
This Christian writer mom life can be approached two ways. It can be a battle between two loves—our children and our writing—or it can be a dance between the two of them.
What happens when my daughter “dances” with my writing?
My writing process becomes slower but more mindful. My writing goals become less ambitious, but far more satisfying. In short, because I can’t do everything, I see more clearly what truly matters. I do less, but I do better.
All this while writing God’s story in a precious human heart day by day.
Is there any greater privilege?
As she grows, I want my daughter to desire my resilience. “Mom, I see you writing stories even when you have other responsibilities. I want to be dedicated and strong in pursuing my God-given gifts like that.”
I want her to desire my joyful spirit. “Mom, I know there have been a lot of disappointments, but your happiness isn’t defined by your circumstances or accomplishments. I want to exhibit God’s joy like that too!”
I also want her to see how her very existence influenced my stories. “Mom, this part when the parents help train their daughter to fight the bad guys—is this the same way you believe in me? This part where the mother sacrifices so much to protect her kid—is this the same way you feel about me? This part where the mother believes her daughter’s story even when everyone else thinks the girl is crazy—is this the same way you listen to me?”
In my personal story and in my created stories, I want my child to see that she was not the obstacle that I overcame in order to be a writer. Rather, I want her to see that God used her precious life to help me overcome the real obstacles: my selfishness, my lack of focus, my whining, my insecurities, my surface-level loves, the hundred little idols that I had cherished in my heart.
Through her, God taught me how to make the most of my time, how to love fully, and how to use my gifts fearlessly.
I’m not trading my dreams to have a child, as those social media influencers tried to say.
I’m dreaming bigger because of my child.
Yaasha Hepperle is a Christian writer mom with a mission to share the unexpected good—that is, those gifts from God that are different than the desires we’ve prayed for and yet so, so much better. She writes general-market YA/adult speculative fiction as Yaasha Moriah (YaashaMoriah.com) and Christian encouragement for women as Yaasha Hepperle (theunexpectedgood.com). She lives in Virginia with her husband Paul and her daughter Keziah, and loves good coffee, all things purple, and outdoor adventures
Contributing author to the anthology Faith in Fiction: Divergents, Tributes, Games, and Sandworms
Flash fiction “Forest of Fear” appears in the Havok Season 3 Bingeworthy anthology
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