Worship and Writing

After the blessing of being with so many writers at the recent summer conference, I’ve thought a lot about various things. Being a writer and responding to His leading raises a lot of emotions, doesn’t it? I appreciated how many of the speakers talked about the feelings we might have as writers. Sometimes we feel like we are “not enough.” Sometimes we wrestle with doubts or feel intimidated by the task in front of us. We all have various motives for writing, but as believers, we write in response to His calling on our lives. We write as an offering to Him.
Many people I met write because they love to, as an expression of who they are. I’m sure some write with the hope of publication and also some income. Then there’s a whole industry to try to comprehend and the learning curve may be huge and deadlines and improving our craft become vital. We are His Creation, and our identity is found in Christ. I pray that we never get lost in finding our place in the world or too caught up in how to succeed in this industry. Yes, I have plenty to learn. But “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared forehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).
My prayer is to never lose sight of writing as a way to honor and glorify the Lord, to somehow share His love and grace with a world that needs Him. Rather than feeling stress and pressure to perform well, I pray that I can abide in Him and that writing becomes an extension of that abiding in the True Vine, the source of life and inspiration. Just as the cherry tomatoes grow and ripen on the vines of my sprawling plant in my garden, I pray that any fruit that comes from my efforts reflects the Vine, my source of life and power.
While living in China years ago, I heard a tape of Jill Briscoe talking about how her writing only had power when it came from a heart already worshipping the Savior when she picked up the pen. Oh, Father, please help me to begin my days in worship, finding my identity and hope in You. Help me not to splash the page with ink before I have found myself hidden in You.

do you have a story to share?

Some of you have said you enjoy my posts and missed me during my time away from FB. Others have written to tell me that something I’ve written helped them or gave them hope. I thank God if so. Sometimes I think God has called me for such a time as this, just as He has called many of His children to serve Him in this painful time in history. If God were to help me to publish a book at some point in the coming months (it would be only by His grace and empowerment), and the topic was one that interested you, do you think you might like to read it? (Lately I have felt compelled to write about mental health and the unusual times we are living in. I love to encourage and strengthen people in times of adversity. I believe I’m called to instill hope and to bring healing with words through sharing stories and practical help.) If you’d like to be informed of any upcoming books or other writing I’m doing, feel free to send me your email address. Please include any contact info you’d like to share with me. I will guard it with my life.
Some of the ways that authors share about upcoming books or projects is through blogs, social media, podcasts, etc. But a vital part of that is building an email list to communicate with potential readers. I promise never to share your email or spam in any way. (If you ever were to receive some creepy fake message from me, I can assure you hackers were responsible! I take your privacy very seriously.) We live in bizarre times. I won’t email very often, but I’d love to know how to make you aware of an upcoming book project that relates to the pandemic and how people respond to uncertainty and very tough times in general. I especially want to offer help for the emotional and spiritual issues that arise in times of crisis or uncertainty. I write with empathy and love, aware of the tragedy circling the globe. But I also interject humor and a large dose of grace and tenderness. As a writer and someone who has lived with MS most of my adult life, I have some practice living with uncertainty while maintaining a sense of adventure and holding tenaciously onto hope. As a retired rehab counselor who offered mental health counseling as well, I have some professional insight to offer. As a believer, I know that our spiritual lives are a powerful source of hope, help and transformation. My only motive in writing is to bless others and to instill hope.
As I said, I would only be able to write a book or complete another larger project by His grace and power…I have MS and plenty of challenges to contend with. Sometimes I barely get through the day. So, your prayers for me would be appreciated, and I’d be glad to pray for you, too. I’m also interested in the stories of others going through this pandemic, and how all of has impacted you and loved ones. I have friends in many other countries including China and Japan, and have been touched by the video conversations, emails and very tragic stories I’ve heard since this pandemic began. My heart aches for those who have a loved one in the hospital while they feel so helpless and aren’t allowed to be at the side of their beloved. Know that I will pray and help in any way I can. If you decide to share your story, I would only share any part of it with others if you give permission and your blessing. I believe this pandemic is part of living in a fallen world. God has allowed it, but He sees the suffering and hears the cries of His people for healing and help. He cares. He loves you deeply and will respond to our cries. So, again, please PM me with your email if you’re willing. If you have a story to share, I’d love to read those and join you in praying. And perhaps God would move you to share stories during this time that might be a deep encouragement or comfort to others who desperately need hope. God specializes in bringing beauty for ashes! (Isaiah 61)