Everyday lately, I think about quitting my work. I think about finishing this book I’m contracted for, and being done with writing forever.

I think about shutting down the blog, closing down the Twitter account, and burning my laptop. I would be free of the critics, especially the ones who live in my head, but also the ones I imagine who exist out there, invisible, waiting for my book to come out so they can hate it and tell me so.

I’m not going to quit making art. But I still think about it, because it’s been one of those the-kids-have-all-been-sick, the-dog-chewed-up-the-couch, I-cried-myself-to-sleep weeks. And when those weeks come, quitting the art feels like the answer, because the art is the optional thing, right?

I shouldn’t spend time on the art when all this serious living needs to get done. Right?

I think about the mystery – Christ in you, the hope of glory – and I hear myself pray out loud in the car, Lord, show me the mystery. Remind me. What should I do differently?

I listen quiet for an answer. He offers love instead.

He does not manage me, to-do list me, or bullet point me. He loves me. Is with me. And believing Him feels impossible, until I do, like a miracle, like luke-warm water turning merlot red right there in the cup. And then I sense the hope again.

Because – oh yeah – God doesn’t tell me what to do, he invites me into what he has done.

That’s why there’s freedom, even in the blah. Hope, even in the dark. Love, even in the fear. Trust, even though the critics. And believing in the midst of all that? It feels like flowing skirts and wildflower spinning; it feels risky and brave and underdog winning. It feels like redemption. It feels like art.

Want even more encouragement to continue to work even though there are critics and hope even in the darkness? Check out my book, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live.