The fluorescent study lamp above my desk buzzes fitfully, and I try to ignore it as I struggle to keep my attention on my homework. Week eight of the fall semester is almost over, and I find I still have no attention span for the duties of a student. I used to be so studious, but now I’m simply apathetic.

Normally, I over-think everything. I worry I’m not going to measure up, or that I’ll fall behind. I’m afraid of not caring enough, even when this shows I actually care quite a bit. This semester, however I have been experiencing the mystifying sensation of truly not caring. I find it freeing, fascinating, and concerning all in one confusing mix.

Is it acceptable to be noncommittal? This is a question I have been pondering over the last several months. Is it all right to decide not to force oneself to do something when the right “feeling” just isn’t there? (An excuse I have been using to procrastinate on homework lately.)

Since May, I’ve been attempting to take obligation in moderation, feeling out life and my relationship with God and trying to escape overbearing self-inflicted guilt-tripping. After spending twenty years in a cycle of making plans, attempting to be disciplined, reworking reformed plans over and over again, I think I finally grew sick of it. I was never content, never measuring up to my own standards. I just wanted to learn to be content, which I think is the purpose of this season. I need to learn to operate within my ambitious personality and move forward without feeling so incredibly pressured to improve.

So, essentially, I have been cruising, ignoring the idea that I should be more disciplined. I haven’t really read my Bible in months. I refrain from guilt-tripping myself for not trying to sit myself down to pray often.

But God calls us to be intentional, disciplined, and audacious in our faith, which makes me worry. I feel like I’ve sat myself down in a corner, engulfed by a huge garish sweater of complacency, the collar pulled up over my nose. Does my current lifestyle serve a purpose, or am I just trying to justify being disgustingly self-indulgent? Where does respite become avoidance?

During the summer, the descent into this vacation from life was largely unintentional, and it worried me. I asked God about it, and he replied with instructions to simply trust Him. The way things are going, I think I may finally learn what it means to be content with what I am.

So, though my actions have been making me a little nervous, I will continue to trust God to lead me in this season and to keep me from crossing the line. No matter what happens, no matter how ineffective my attention span becomes or how long these confusing, noncommittal times persist, my heart will always belong to Him.

I blame the art tablet…among other things

I was looking up computer art tablets on Amazon last October.

Innocent and mundane, right?

Wouldn’t it be funny, I remember thinking.  If getting something like this actually ended up changing something?

After all, life-altering events can trace back to the most inadvertent of moments—my watching of the 2004 Olympics, for example, which instilled a love of gymnastics that eventually landed me in competitive gymnastics in high school. Or my decision one day that I didn’t want to dismiss a somewhat bizarre idea for a science fiction story, which ended up leading to  being three-hundred pages closer to my dream of publishing novels.

Anything can change everything, and my random interest in computer art tablets began just as unassumingly. I admired digital art, and I thought it would be fun to be able to draw on the computer too, though I had mostly just played around with drawing most of my life.

What if? I had wondered.

My idle speculations that day might as well have been prophetic.

I came into college fully convinced I would be a physical therapist, but now, just two years later, my interests are leaning quite drastically toward writing and illustration—and I blame my art tablet as an accomplice to the eventual detonation of my prior career plan.

I suppose the first few hints had already begun to materialize during those same months that I recognized an art tablet as a worthwhile financial investment. I found myself drawing more, and casual interest increased to a more concrete bullet point on my list of hobbies.

Receiving a computer art tablet for Christmas that year sparked the crossover from hobby to preoccupation. It became a fervent creative outlet and a stress reliever. With an art tablet, I began to see endless possibility I hadn’t thought to look for before. And then I realized how satisfying drawing was as a storytelling medium.

Spring semester of my sophomore year in college, my interests in drawing increased exponentially, growing to match my already ardent love of writing. I soon became discontent with my prior decision to make writing and drawing side pursuits to a much different profession. I fought with myself for a while, and then finally thought I had come to terms with staying with my original plan. However, whatever stability I had found soon crumbled again, and I launched back into soul-searching to figure out where my heart truly lay.

It was somewhere I had suspected it to be all along.

May 31, 2013, I made a brutally honest list in one of the earlier pages of a new sketchbook, demanding a straight answer of how I wanted to use my time—seeking to ignore all misgivings. At the end of my short bout of aggressive scribbling, physical therapy was not on the list.

And I had mustered the audacity to emphasize an intimidating concluding statement—a leap of faith: 


There. I said it. Let it begin.

The change was gradual, but in the four short months after writing the above declaration in my sketchbook, I have concretely decided to pursue illustration after finishing my biology major at George Fox University. I’m not sure where this crazy dream will take me, but God has brought me this far, and I believe He’ll see me through to the end.