Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Waiting Room Revisited

God has been talking to me a lot these days about commitment. I want Him to be in control of things, but have I fully given Him everything? Am I too quick to give everything to Him and then take it back? I just finished reading a Love Inspired Suspense story called Mistaken For the Mob by Ginny Aiken. It's a fun, fast-paced story where through a series of goofy events and a single-focused FBI agent, the heroine is mistakenly thought to be a hit lady for the mob. It's an entertaining read, but the thing that impressed me the most was how the heroine never lost sight of how she was always within the grasp of her Heavenly Father. There were times when for a while she'd try to take control, but always she was brought back to realizing what she had done and asking God to forgive her. That story ministered to me in a lot of ways.

Over the past eight or nine months my life has been filled with a lot of losses. Many of the things that either represented security to me or were precious to me have been taken away or altered. And it doesn't appear that this season of my life is yet over. Yet God has been teaching me about how I need to trust Him with everything, and that includes my writing. Most particularly my writing. As far as my stories go, I'm still in God's waiting room--the same one I wrote about here over a year ago. Back then I talked about the waiting room as a place to wait while the manuscript is out being considered. But now I realize it's more than that. It's what I do in between proposals to make me a better writer. I think this is even more important than being at the place where you are waiting for the all-important word for an editor who likes your work and actually wants to pay you for it. During this in-between time I need to listen for God's voice, listen to the wisdom of other writers in learning the craft, and apply what I learn. The bottom line is I need to commit it all to Him, each and every day.

Now to get back to the waiting room so I can get to work!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Cool Way to Read My Blog

I've discovered a very cool way to keep up with the blogs I enjoy reading. By subscribing to Feed Blitz I have the new entries to the blogs sent right to my email box. If I want, I can read the entry right there in my email...or I can click on the link and go right to the actual blog web site.

I like this service so much that I've added a subscription form to Feed Blitz to my blog. I have no idea how many people read my prose. Maybe it's just one or two of you. Or none LOL. Once in a while someone sends me email and mentions reading it and I'm always pleased to find out they've read it.

I'll be back later to really write a real entry. I promise!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Encouraging Nudges

This past week has had its share of difficulties, some of which I cannot go into here. What I can share is that my proposal for Murder for Breakfast was rejected. When I first read the words of the email I was devastated. I'd been pouring most of my writing time into this story--massaging it, reworking it, developing it more. The day I received the email, I'd already been sitting at the computer reworking the final chapters of the story for at least three hours. It felt like a fatal blow. I reacted by going to the shower and letting my tears mix with the water while I prayed.

Then I went back and reread the rejection note which was, by the way, very gracious. Unlike other rejection notes I've received, this one told me what pushed the story to the bottom of the pile where only two could be chosen. And, not only that, the door was left open for talking to the publisher about more projects. The editor is also open to reviewing MFB again after it's been retooled. **smile**.

So I wasn't given a fatal blow after all, or even a glancing blow. In fact, I look at it as an encouraging nudge. I now know something valuable to make this story zing from the first paragraph. And the door remains open. Someone once said to me that rejection is really redirection. How true that is.

I'll let it rest a couple days then get back on it again. Like I said in my last entry here, "When the time comes, God will allow my work to be published, but only in His time and not mine." And God is faithful.

Monday, June 12, 2006

For Such a Time as This

You know that old adage "time flies." Well it certainly can be applied here. It's been a long time since I've posted here, but God has been using the time well in my life.

In the past several weeks I've completed the rough draft of Murder for Breakfast, spent time helping out the director of the Write to Publish conference in exchange for comped registration fees (a real gift from God), and last week, I attended the conference.

Today I came to an epiphany of sorts. When I was asked to take early retirement last fall, I really had no choice but to do it. It felt as though I had lost control of my life, but in real essence I hadn't because when I came to Christ many years ago I gave over control of my life to God. He was, and is, still in control. Today I spent my devotions in a study guide by Beth Moore called "A Woman's Heart."

You can read in Genesis about God's calling Abraham (then called Abram) out of Ur for Canaan to a place he'd never been. Abram obeyed and God fulfilled His covenant with Abram, by blessing him with many descendants--God's own people. Beth says in her lesson that God often requires us to leave our comfort zones in order to answer our calling. That he rarely hones us within the parameters of the familiar. That hit me like a two by four. Never before have I had the huge block of time I do now for writing and honing my writing ministry. There's a song whose lyrics include the words "for such a time as this." I have been created for such a time as this...time to write for Him, time to hone my craft by attending conferences and reading about writing, time to tithe through the giving of my time, etc. I never would have thought I could retire at this time of my life, but I'm learning I was wrong. It's a different kind of life to be sure, but one in which I can use the time to His glory. When the time comes, God will allow my work to be published, but only in His time and not mine.

I close with a verse. Colossians 4:17 says, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord that you may fulfill it." This is my new scripture for my writing. May God use it to His glory!