Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I have been writing this most recent book for two years. Or more. I actually started it back in 2003, and wrote others in between. So I haven't really been writing it that long, but I keep coming back to it. God asked me to step away from the computer (in the writing sense) two years ago so that I could focus on family. Last January I was allowed to come back to writing. I was so glad. I sent in to a contest and they told me my heroine was weak and shallow. And you know what? They were right!
So I set about changing her. I got way more than I bargained for. She changed occupations and it changed her personality so she is stronger. But that sent the conflict between hero and heroine into a tailspin. I'm digging deeper into her character and background so she is fully three dimensional. And the story is unfolding and I see so many God things abounding in the creation of this book and my life. Including an awesome replacement conflict for the story characters-my life has enough drama as it is, thank you very much.
And yet, when I sit at the computer to write, I am drawn to do anything else but write. And it is more than just the usual procrastination of a creative mind (you know the options are endless, lol). It's much more than that.
I am paralyzed by fear. Fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of getting it wrong, I don't know what fear. I have (through a series of events) lost confidence in my writing. And I think I even lost confidence in God's faithfulness to pull me through. He called me to writing and He wants me to write, and write THIS story. (Another goal for my new year to get this story done and shop for an agent.)
I have realized that the enemy is happy to toss ALL kinds of stuff in my way to keep me too busy to write, too overwhelmed to write, too anything to write. This has been one of the biggest challenges I've had in the last year. (Keeping working transportation is the biggest. Which incidentally means I am looking for dependable work from home since I wouldn't be able to get to a physical job-if you know of anything, let me know.) My brain just can't seem to focus sometimes and when it can focus, I'm no where near a computer. Even my Just Do It mind set hasn't helped. If the enemy can't win you to his side, he'll just be happy to make you ineffective.
But lately God has surrounded me with people who boost my confidence. He's given me an accountability partner who is undergoing much the same thing. I feel so much hope and determination for this year. (I am soliciting prayers for myself and my friend, though. Grin.)
Are any of you out there going through this same thing? Or maybe you went through it and overcame it and can give some tips to those of us suffering?
Or maybe you have another struggle that I can pray about or maybe even know a couple tips to help you out.
Have a wonderful day! Happy writing!
Monday, January 10, 2011
New Year means new resolutions and promises to do better this year than we did last year, right? Well, I stopped lying to myself a long time ago. :) I now make goals and a plan to accomplish those goals (because goals without a plan is the same thing as a resolution, lol).
This year I got the distinct impression that I am supposed to work on TRUSTING people. I thought that I already trusted God, but I'm thinking maybe that could use some work too. You can never trust God too much.
But I keep getting hit with this verse: Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
God has separated his people and to the ones on His right He is telling them they are to inherit the Kingdom prepared for them. And He explains that when He was hungry they fed him, when He was thirsty they gave Him drink, and when He was naked they clothed Him, took Him in as a stranger, visited Him when He was sick and when He was in prison. The righteous wondered when they had seen Him in such undesirable straights and helped Him. But they had done so for others and that is what Christ is telling them.
So when we help anyone we are helping Christ!
There is a song by Matthew West called In My Own Little World. He talks about how nice it usually is in his own little world population: Me. Then he sees a lady in need and wondered how many times he'd passed her by and not seen her. He gives her some money to help her and then he sings In my own little world, population 2. There is another in his world now because he SAW her and helped her.
There is another song by Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes. This is imploring God to give him eyes like Him so he can see those in need. Because let's face it sometimes we get so involved with our own problems and lives that we don't really SEE others. SEE their needs. Nothing better to get your mind off your own trouble than to focus on someone else's. It's like in Avatar when the Nav'ii say, "I see you." they don't mean visually see you, they mean see who you truly are. Like God sees into our hearts. When we look past the visual image, we can see the hurt in someone's eyes, the desperation in their face and actions, and looking from loving eyes, like the Father's we want to do something, should do what we can to help.
That brings me to the other side of the story....receiving help. Now when this verse kept appearing in my devotions, our sermons, and even a friend asking me a verse to help her write a thank you note to a church that adopted her and her three kids for Christmas....I wondered Why me? I don't have much. Now I don't mind sharing what I AM blessed with. My Daddy taught me that. Not with words but with actions. You ask anyone who knew him, he would literally give you the shirt off his back if he thought it would help you out. I saw him many times help me even when he knew it meant he would have to sacrifice something. (Naturally I didn't know it at the time, or I wouldn't have taken it from him.) He literally gave until it hurt. And he died poor in earthly wealth (not even a life insurance policy), but rich in all the way it counts.
What I have trouble with is the receiving part. I do NOT like to ask for help. I'm stubborn and prideful. I have asked for help. And I hated it each and every time. But if there wasn't someone in need, how would the righteous help the least of these like Jesus commanded? Maybe if I let go of my pride and TRUST God, then someday I will graduate to the giving category! Perhaps my lessons are to be learned in receiving when someone else's lessons are to be learned in giving as one of my dear and godly friends once put it.
But don't despair if you are in the season of receiving. There are plenty of things that you can do. Shut-ins would appreciate time and visits if you have a car. You can go through your clothes and see if you have more than you actually need and you can donate (and get clutter free at the same time). You can serve at a soup kitchen or a shelter in addition to listening for the still quiet voice of God so that you may become closer to Him.
So one of my goals for 2010 is to lose the pride! Trust God and let Him use me as He needs. He will provide for me. He always has.
AND I need God to open my eyes more to those in need. Not all help is monetary. There are many ways to give. I need to see into others (just in case someone is as proud and stubborn as me) to see their needs that I can meet. I have no doubt that God will send them my way, I just need His eyes and heart to notice.
What about you? What kinds of goals do you have for this new year? Did God give you a word? Share it with us here. I love to hear those words and verses for the start of a new year and how it relates to your life or how you hope it will relate.