It’s the Doing It That’s Hard

It’s the doing it that’s hard.

Not the dreaming it — that comes easy.

It’s the stepping up, picking up pen, shutting down facebook or the streaming movie, and setting aside the laundry expectations. Picking up pen or pulling close the keyboard, I type keystrokes, then words. Sentences follow, haltingly.

Twilight falls, blushing in the darkness before slipping quietly out of sight. Waiting for inspiration, for an intelligent-feeling brain, only leads to more time passing. Days trickle by, waiting for inspiration, and I remember the words of Jeff Goins and others to write, simply write. Show up to the keyboard, and do the time, do the work, the great ones say. Write. Every day, write.

I’ve been researching the ancient book of Nehemiah, a Jewish political exile in Iraq, who returns to his homeland. After a clandestine horseback ride through the city, following the line of collapsed walls, squeezing through on foot when the ruins were too extreme, he returned to speak to the people. In a broken-down world, surrounded by the rubble of their ancient lives and city, he calls the people to action, knowing that God can rebuild lives and situations. We can do this, he urges his people.

It was the doing it that was the hard part for him too. Dreaming it up after time in prayer was easy. It was the stepping up, grabbing architect plans, masonry tools, and a bullhorn that was the hard part. It was the day two and three, and forty-seven, that were the hard parts.

But he stepped up. They stepped up, grabbing mallets, stones from the rubble, and mortar. And as twilight blushed into darkness, they kept working, strapping on swords when needed, and toiling into starlight hours.

I love hearing from you. What do you need encouragement to step up and start this week? (Those in email can click here to join the conversation.)  

Linking with Emily at the Love Dare

Photo courtesy of Dvortygirl, Creative Commons, Flickr. 

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  1. Unknown on May 7, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Dear Jennifer
    Yes, we can have all the noblest plans, but it is the implementation that matters. I have found that even when I start enthuisiatically, if I is not done with the grace of God it is bound to fail!

  2. Cheryl Barker on May 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Yep, yep, it's the doing it that's the hard part. My needed encouragement is to just keep doing it!

  3. Jennifer Dougan on May 14, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Oh Mia, I agree.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  4. Jennifer Dougan on May 14, 2013 at 3:12 am


    You can do it! Hang in there. (Me too)

    Thanks for chiming in.

    Jennifer Dougan

  5. Anonymous on May 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love that picture you paint of Nehemiah!

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