Beyond Borders

courage. faith. action.

Just to Finish Well.


31 days a writing challenge


It’s October 19th. This means I should be writing my 19th post for the 31 day series, but I am not. I am only on ten. I would love to say this is because we have been so busy there was barely time to breathe, that my migraines came and I had not felt good in over a week, that my three year old was beyond… well, beyond. And while all of this is true, these are not the only reasons I am behind.

There are two reasons I can name, apart from those listed above, that have kept me behind.

1. On day six, God threw me a curve ball. I know with every 31 days there is a lesson for me, something God wants to show me, but I always miss it. That is, until I write it out.  In the past it’s been nearly the whole month of writing before He reveals it to me, or before I actually see it. But this year, It was early in the writing, His teaching me about our unwillingness. That really took me a couple days to process and then put into words. This is where my behindness began. (I know. I sometimes make up words to fit my situations. It happens.)

2. In all the chaos of the past few weeks, as I began writing this series, I watched my self. Cluing in on my reactions and I learned I am not qualified to speak about finding quiet in the chaos. What gives me the authority to speak on a topic that I fail in on a daily basis?

Hold on. There are three reasons I am behind.

3. Being apart of a Facebook community for the write 31 day challenge. This group is packed full of some amazing and encouraging women, but, it is kind of intimidating. These women have beautiful blogs. Beautiful writing. They talk about their stats and their posts with the highest visitors. About getting comments and not getting comments. And I feel like I am 12 years old.

When reading back through my posts, I see all the misspelled words, grammar mistakes, incomplete thoughts. It’s like elementary school, where you have a topic and you have to write 3 paragraphs on the topic. Then the teacher marks your paper all up in red and you have to write again. Or, even more so, it feels like 5 minute Friday, you know, you write for 5 minutes with the prompt of one word? Five minutes and done. No editing. That’s the rules. Yeah it feels like that, except it’s five minutes everyday, because I just want to make it through the 31 days. I just want to say I finished.

But really, deep in my heart I want to finish well. I want to say out loud… I. Finished. Well. That I wrote the words God gave to me. That they were used for my purpose or even for someone else. I don’t want to write just to write. I don’t want to worry about stats and comments and traffic. I just want to write what God calls me to write. So I can say I finished well.

Ok, number three was a long one I know. And now I give you permission to call me a liar. Because I am. I am such a liar. There are four reasons I am behind. Four!

4. The fourth reason is this, just simply being behind. Because this being behindness (there is that word again) is creating chaos in my mind. Should I write a bunch of posts and get it all caught up at once. Or just keep posting one day at a time? Or write as I feel led to write? Am I being lazy? Am I just afraid? Am I playing the comparison game, again? Chaos, right?

As I ponder all these reasons, it is evident I am listening to voices that want to see me fail. Those that tell me I am not enough. That I am not good enough. And the one that really gets me, why start it because you will never finish. They flashback memories of the past and bind me to it. Bound in shackles of past accusations, long since proven false and my heart races to be free. It beats loud in my ears, reminding me of the only voice that speaks truth. If I would push aside the chaos for just a moment and listen to the quiet I will find the truth.

There are only two reasons listed above that have any merit. The first, I have been really busy. I am learning a new routine, as my oldest daughter is taking baby steps out into the world with voice lessons and dance lessons, and I with my youngest’s new diagnosis we now have 2-3 therapy appointments a week. I haven’t figured out the finesse to juggling a busy schedule and getting things done. This is new territory for me and I can’t seem to find my way through it yet.

The second, God threw me a curve ball. On day six! Wow! Day six! I know I I just said that, but yeah, I was not expecting that one. With this revelation of my unwillingness, I have to learn, I have practice my willingness. Daily. For the only way in finding quiet in the chaos is practice. Practice until it becomes habit. Practice until it becomes an involuntary behavior such as inhaling and exhaling.

All these other reasons are lies infiltrating my mind. Nothing more than my own self created chaos used to fill my already chaotic day. I know I don’t need anymore chaos. It’s not healthy. Nothing good comes from chaos. It’s time to refocus.

Remember the reason He called me to write for 31 days. Remember when I felt Him nudging me to publish my words in a public place. It wasn’t for building platforms or driving traffic, an especially not for me to worry over comments or followers. It was simply to share my story. Whether that be for my healing or someone else, it is simply to share my story. Because really this story is not mine to hold on to, it is His. It is His story that He has given to my life. It’s gospel. And He has called me to share it. He calls us all to share it.


And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11


This is day ten in 31 one days of finding quiet in the chaos. To view the whole series click here.

Author: Shelly Richardson

A stay at home mom, married to my best friend, who loves like Jesus. Together we have four beautiful daughters. One biological, one adopted and two by way of marriage. Our 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when she was 6 years old and our youngest was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. I have dealt with chronic illness most of my life and at times has been debilitating. It is through this illness and the special needs of our children that drew us closer to God. Beyond Borders is the place where I write out my story of living beyond my borders. A place to share of God’s love and grace, His mercy and sovereignty, and what that looks like in my own little world of chronic illness and autism. A place where courage and faith intersect and He moves me to action. My hope in writing is that you find something that inspires you. Encourages you. Makes you smile.

8 thoughts on “Just to Finish Well.

  1. Well friend, I also am behind! But guess what? You are the reason I joined the Challenge. I get emails when you blog and I noticed you were doing the challenge and I thought what is that? So went and checked it out. I also felt the Lord nudging me to do this also. So here we are and we will finish well. Lets do it for the Lord. Keep up the great work you have started. Praying for you.

  2. Love to read your writing. I can so relate to being behind. I know what god has called me to do but I let the chaos wear me out. Then those not so nice thoughts start telling me to do it on another day, or why bother because you are not that good anyway… I know to be strong and do what I need and want to do. ( I paint ) love the idea of this challenge but not to write for me, I have to get back to my painting. This time for God. Time to work it in somehow amongst the chaos of life.

  3. Thanks, Kathy! Chaos is so tiring and when we are tired it is so easy to listen to those not so nice thoughts. I would love to be able to paint! I will be praying you find the time for it in the middle of your chaos.

  4. God will bless your obedience. 😃
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Also, praying for the details. Migraines are no fun .

  5. Hi Shelly! It was so great getting to connect with you at Allume. I came over to check out your blog and wanted to comment. I always second guess myself, especially with grammar (blah!). But, have found that if I am ME. Just ME. Whom God made and loved, and has called to write, then I am good enough. I think your blog looks beautiful, and this post is great. Give yourself some grace. I could never even attempt the 31 day challenge…at least you gave it a try 🙂

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