All The Things I Do That Don’t Make Money

This morning I realized I’ve been experiencing a lot of guilt when I spend time and resources on things that aren’t paying my bills.  This is partly on me for giving place in myself to this guilt, and partly on this other person who initiated this guilt in me.  It’s not shame, because I’m not doing anything wrong.  It’s just good old misplaced guilt.

As my faithful readers know, I finished my book on Thursday.  It was a big deal to me, but I’ve felt nothing but guilt about having spent so much time finishing it. (And I mean the actual time put into writing, not just the fact that from start to now I’ve been working on it for two years).  According to my resident guilt-tripper, since writing doesn’t pay my bills, I should not spend so much time on my butt doing nothing.  That’s right, folks: if it doesn’t pay your bills, you’re not actually doing anything.

So I composed a list of all of the things I do that don’t pay my bills, applying the same logic from above:

  • Writing doesn’t pay my bills.
  • Spending time with friends doesn’t pay my bills.
  • Ministry and outreach don’t pay my bills.
  • Going to church doesn’t pay my bills.
  • Being ministered to doesn’t pay my bills.
  • Spending time with God doesn’t pay my bills.

Technically-speaking, the job search doesn’t pay my bills either, but I feel guilty every time I participate in an activity that is not job-hunting.  According to resident guilt-tripper, activities like those listed above are things people get to do when all of their ducks are lined up in a row.  Until my ducks get their acts together (or more appropriately, until I get my ducks’ acts together, because you know, this can’t possibly be in anyone’s hands but my own), it’s unreasonable for me to spend time doing things I enjoy, like writing or being with friends.  It’s unreasonable for me to spend time and resources doing things like ministry, outreach, or going to church.  It’s unreasonable for me to spend time being ministered to or being filled by God.

Absurd, isn’t it? And yet I listen to these lies every day.

Well, I’m done.  I’m done with resident guilt-tripper telling me I should accept a crummy life, that I should settle, that I should suppress any desires for great things, that I’m not good enough for great things.
I don’t have any desire to live a small life where I hold myself back, so I’m not going to anymore.



2 thoughts on “All The Things I Do That Don’t Make Money

  1. I think we have the opposite problem. I am moving forward on an endeavor that should actually make me money and a naysayer has already expressed the view that I need to be care I don’t lose my focus and passion of working with kids. Frankly that bites. I work with kids every day. I have pulled out of kids’ ministry right now, because I am daily working with my kids. But that ministry that makes me come alive is teaching. It makes me glow. I love to teach-whether IRL to kids or adults or on my blog to my readers. Anyway. That’s my current frustration.
    I think you need to move forward. It is your life and you are 24 years old. You should move if you feel that is how God is leading. Now is the time to seize your dreams. I say, go for it. After the holidays. Do the ground work now, and pull up stakes then. Go.
    At least-that’s my opinion. =)

    • Lydia Thomas says:

      I think whenever we follow God’s calling in our lives there will be naysayers. It’s discouraging, for sure. I’m not really discouraged to the point of giving up or anything like that, just tired of dealing with people and their expectations. I begin to adopt their expectations for myself, and that’s where the guilt comes in.

      I don’t know whether or not God is leading me to move for certain, and won’t know where He wants me until He provides that elusive full-time job that uses and develops my skills AND pays a living wage, but I am looking and doing what He has called me to do in the meantime. I really believe writing is going to be a big part of wherever I end up, and that’s why I’ve pursued it so much the past several months. I’m doing my part, waiting on God to do His. 🙂 Maybe He’s waiting for after the holidays, like you said. 😉

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