Friday, December 16, 2016


"And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name
of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks
to God the Father
through him.

(Colossians 3:17)

Last summer, Tree Swallows attempted to take over our Bluebird house, so my husband put a bucket over the house in hopes of them leaving. Instead, they patiently sat atop it, waiting, I suppose, for it to reappear. They never tired of waiting!

We all face disappointments in life. Whether it be an unkind word from someone we love, a job loss, dashed hopes, or a severed relationship. Jesus made it clear that in this world we will have trouble. But that we should "take heart" because He has overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

For writers, disappointment often comes in the form of rejection slips, delayed responses, unfulfilled dreams, or unexpected rewrites/edits. Yet it's these rough spots in our journey that can mold us into the people and fine-tuned writers we hope to become. The ones God designed us to be.

Growth happens when we use these setbacks to shift our focus onto what matters most--our usefulness to God. Following are 4 specific ways to bolster not only one's writing technique, but our journey through life.

PRAY FOR WISDOM: If you've read many of my blogs, you'll note that I often make mention of prayer. This isn't because I've run out of ideas or options, rather it's because prayer needs to be a part of all we do. Asking for the Lord's blessing and wisdom is a vital part of life, and should be a part of our writing journey as well. If you're facing disappointment, seek the Lord's perspective. He can take the sourest of situations and turn them for our good.

REASSESS: When we're discouraged, everything seems a bit grim. Instead of letting the situation get the better of you, take a step back and reassess where you're headed. Ask yourself, Is this the direction God wants me to go, or is He leading me another way? Be willing to prayerfully try various avenues and see what doors the Lord opens or shuts. Remember, when God closes a door, He's sure to open a window.

SEEK ENCOURAGERS: I'm blessed to have some faithful writer friends who regularly speak encouragement into my life. Not through flattering words, but words which spur me to reach into the recesses of my heart and mind and draw out my best. Friends who speak the truth in love, yet whose goal is to build and uplift. Do you have friends like that? If not, I encourage you to pray for the Lord to send some your way. They can prove invaluable assets during life's rough spots!

NEVER GIVE UP: Among my keepsakes, is a picture of a willowy stork attempting to stuff a large frog down his throat. At the same time, the half-eaten frog's hands are clutching the stork's neck, keeping him from being eaten. At the bottom are the words: NEVER GIVE UP! I keep this picture close at hand to remind me to keep trying, even in the bleakest of situations. When things look grim, don't let go of hope. When the rejections keep coming, seek out new possibilities. As someone once said, "The only loser is the one who ceases to try."

Who/what encourages you? I'd love to hear your story. 

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