Tuesday, August 23, 2016

SURRENDERING YOUR WRITING DREAMS TO GOD










"All my longings

lie open before you,

Lord."

(Psalm 38:9)









One of the hardest things I've ever done is leave my college-age son and travel the 3 hours home without him. Yet the first time he returned home, I glimpsed in him a new appreciation for his home and family, and us for him.

Often it isn't until we let something dear to us go, that we discover how precious it truly is. And it isn't until we relinquish control and leave a situation in God's hands that we fully learn to trust.

If you're a writer, you know first-hand the scores of difficult hours it takes to produce quality writing. Recently, I blogged about each of us having deep-seated goals and dreams. I'd like to take that topic a step further by siting the importance of giving those aspirations to God.

Through blood, sweat, and prayers, we writers chisel out words to formulate the stories or messages God has placed on our hearts to share. Then we query, submit, and seek out agents, editors, publishers, and readers to affirm and champion our efforts. In the sea of writers, we pray somehow our work will be noticed.

Yet, many times, when things don't happen as we wish, or don't move as quickly as we hope, discouragement sets in. We begin to doubt our abilities, our calling, and our purpose. As a yet unpublished novelist, I have to continually remind myself God is in control. I must condition myself to give up my own ambitions and entrust my writing to the Lord. He has placed it on my heart to write, therefore, I must trust that if I submit to Him and wait on His timing, He will bring about what's best for me, and for His kingdom. I want to encourage you to do the same.

Whether you're an inspirational writer or not, if you're a Christian, it's essential you dedicate whatever you're hoping for or working towards to the Lord. If you honor Him, He is certain to bless you. Those blessings may come in different ways than you ask or expect. But one thing is certain, if you've surrendered your will to the Lord, He'll work things for your good.

What do you struggle to surrender to the Lord? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/

View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/


                         https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer








Friday, August 19, 2016

5 WAYS TO DRIVE OUT DISCOURAGEMENT | A POSITIVE APPROACH








"Therefore encourage

one another and

build each other up."

(I Thessalonians 5:11)








You don't have to look farther than the 5 o' clock news to become depressed. Senseless shootings, political unrest, threats of war, natural disasters. The list goes on and on.

Discouragement can hang over us like an ominous cloud. It touches each of our lives through financial strain, unexpected illness, job stress, or relational conflict.

Writers face times of discouragement when our careers don't take off like we hope, or we face writer's block or other obligations pull us away from our time to write. 

So what can we do to counteract this onslaught of discouragements? Here are 5 ways I've found that help pull me out of the doldrums.

Seek Out Positive People - When we're discouraged, it's so tempting to just hibernate in our own little corner of the world and not want to interact. But doing so, breeds discontent. Instead, we need to saturate ourselves with positive people who'll do their utmost to encourage us. If you're looking to expel your negative outlook, find someone with an uplifting attitude to help send your negativity reeling!

Treat Yourself - Sometimes we just need a breather, something that refreshes us and can get us back on track. When you're at your wit's end, take time out to do an activity you enjoy. It can be something as simple as going out for ice cream with your family or friends, taking a trip back in time thumbing through old photo albums, or sprawling in a lawn chair in your back yard with a good book. A bit of relaxation can go a long way!

Give of Yourself to Others - Nothing takes our minds off our own troubles than doing something nice for someone else. Do you have an elderly neighbor who'd be blessed by a visit? Is there someone who could benefit from a RAK (Random Act of Kindness)? There are myriad of ways you can give of yourself to others. (see my blog: Making the World a Better Place One Kindness at a Time). Reach out and touch someone's life, and in the process, you'll find your own cares lifting.

Take a Prayer Walk - What's a prayer walk? It's a walk where you commune not only with nature, but with God. While exercising your body, you exercise your spirit as well. Find a place that inspires you and drink in its beauty. (Sorry, city-dwellers. You'll have to search out a park or lawn.) Begin by thanking God for the richness of His creation. Soon you'll find yourself pouring out your heart to Him. And as the prayers go up, the burdens rise with them.

Just Keep Going! - Some days we just want to call it quits. Nothing goes right, and we feel like a hamster spinning his wheel. That's when we most need to rely on the Lord's strength to carry us through. Faith is believing what we can't see. We don't know what the next day will bring, but we do have the promise, that if we're Christians, the Lord's Spirit is within us and will guide us where we need to be. When we can't see what's ahead, we can trust God to gently nudge us in the right direction.

Do you have an idea you'd like to share that helps pull you from the pit of discouragement? I'd love to hear it.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

PREPARING FOR A WRITER'S CONFERENCE | TAKING THE BITE OUT OF STRESS





"Commit to the Lord
whatever you do,
and he will establish
your plans."
(Proverbs 16:3)







Preparing for a writer's conference is stressful in and of itself, but with less than two weeks left to prepare, a virus on my computer nearly sent my stress level off the charts! Instead of the quiet afternoon I'd planned for polishing up my fiction proposal, I spent much of the day on the phone with a technician trying to clean up my compromised computer.

In moments like this, it's easy to give into frustration and feel out of control. But there are ways to combat these uninvited delays that can restore one's sense of peace. When preparing for that long-awaited-for writer's conference, or any important event, try the following suggestions to downsize stress and get the most out of the experience.  

Remember God is in Control. We often fool ourselves into thinking we have it all together, but it doesn't take long (computer problems, finances, health issues) to realize our lives are dependent on the Lord. When we rely on His strength to see us through, we'll have peace in knowing we're in His perfect plan and timing.

Prepare Early. Though my computer glitch spoiled my plans for the day, it didn't throw me off course. Thankfully, I had given myself extra time to account for such delays. Preparing far in advance provides a bit of leeway for the unexpected. Give yourself plenty of time to organize and prepare. Then you'll feel much more cool and confident when you slip into the chair opposite your chosen agent or editor.

Pray. Prayer is vital to preparing ourselves spiritually in face of the unnerving task of baring our souls through our writing. When we humble ourselves before God, asking Him to bless our journey, He is certain to respond. And though His plans may differ from our own, if we allow Him, He'll lead us down the path that is best. 

Get plenty of rest. This may sound counter-productive when there is much to be done, but an overworked mind and body lend to stress and distraction. When we take time to relax and get the rest our body craves, we'll be more alert and ready when the big day arrives.

How about you? Do you have a particular way you take the bite out of the stressful moments in your life? I'd love to hear about it.


Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/
View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/



Friday, August 5, 2016

LIFTING OUR EYES ABOVE OUR CIRCUMSTANCES by Guest Blogger Angela Meyer




 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

(Psalm 121:1-2)




The first time I saw a windmill farm, I was visiting my cousin in California. From a distance, they seem quite small, tame even, yet they are huge. I read an article about a Benedictine monk enjoying some sun and solitude on top of a windmill situated on his abbey’s school grounds. Though not the purpose of the machines, it fit the bill for this man. In the old west, settlers erected windmills to ensure clean water. Today, they generate energy. In the old west, settlers erected windmills to ensure clean water.

There are lots of things I don’t understand about the modern windmill and how it works, but two facts I know. The windmill has to stand higher than any obstacles that would interfere with the blades catching the wind and the windmill must face directly into the wind.

With these two factors in place (and all those other workings I don’t understand), the windmill pumps water and generates power.

The tendency of man is to attempt to supply his own need. All in his own effort. In a manner of speaking, turning the blades of his windmill to pump his own water, turn his own mill wheel, and generate his own energy.

But God has a different plan.

When we lift our eyes above the obstacles and face directly the One who is in control, HE will provide what quenches our (spiritual) thirst, satisfies our deepest (spiritual) hunger and fill us with the power to live life to His glory.

They busyness of our days can distract us from looking to Him. I long for routine for spiritual disciplines, but any schedule I set up for myself seems to be ruined by interruptions. I have found two things to be helpful to stay connected to God.

1.When I establish spiritual discipline routines based on events rather than time, I am more likely to attend to them. For example, instead of attempting my Bible reading at a certain time of the morning, as soon as everyone is out the door to work and school, before I sit down to write, I make time to be with God.

2.On those days when life catches me off guard (oversleeping, sick child, power is out, etc.) I try to have a few minutes of MITs. That’s what my pastor’s wife calls Most Important Things. Those disciplines I will get done no matter what. For example, copy down one verse to carry with me and think about throughout the day, say a prayer of surrender (and plea for help) for the day and a sing a song of worship.

What actions do you take to be sure you are facing directly the One who is in control?



Angela D. Meyer, author of The Applewood Hill Series, lives in NE with her husband of 24 years and their high school age daughter. Their son serves our country in the Marines. Angela enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, connecting with friends and encouraging women to grow in their faith. One of her dream spots to vacation is next to the ocean and someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon.




Connect with Angela:







Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore the growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.

Her brother Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.

The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. They see no reason to trust God.

After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?

To get the latest news about Angela D. Meyer’s newest release, Where Healing Starts, sign up for her Newsletter .

While you’re waiting, pick up the first book in the series, Where Hope Starts, at Amazon