Ordinary Thanksgiving Day 6

Today, I’m thankful to live in a world with flowers. I don’t garden much, but I do love to have flowers everywhere in the spring and summer.

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Thanksgiving 8: A Texas Cousins Adventure

Courtesy of Google.

Courtesy of Google.

Today, I’m thankful for all my wonderful, super intelligent, cute-as-can-be nieces and nephews: Jules, Constance, Bruce, Joshua, Ellie, Imogene, Jude, Remi, and soon to be Shannon. My brothers and sisters have some really great kids and I love them so much. This story and all the others are for all y’all!

Texas Cousins (Picture stolen from Liz)

Texas Cousins
(Picture stolen from Liz)

Once upon a time, three nephews and six nieces, hurried over to Grammie and Grandpa’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. They gathered into the warm home with many trampings, stampings, and hollerings. Boots, sweaters, and scarves piled around the front door while aunts and uncles, and mommies and daddies carried in many dishes of sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries, and pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin pie!

Soon everyone settled in with mugs of coffee to wait for the turkey to finish cooking. Toys filled the living room, laughter and sarcasm rang through the rafters, and a roaring fire warmed several backsides.

Suddenly, a loud voice broke through the holiday cheer: “I don’t like these toys.”

Then someone else said: “I’m tired of waiting to eat.”

Two little complaints opened the flood gates.

“Go away, I don’t want you to play with me.”

“I want to watch a movie. I hate playing with trains.”

“Why do the girls have to be here?”

“Why won’t the boys go away?”

“I don’t want turkey for dinner.”

“I don’t want pumpkin pie.”

“I’m hot!”

Complaining, complaining, complaining. Nothing was right. Everything was wrong. No one was getting what they wanted.

Grammie gasped and stormed into the living room, her eyes blazing.

“Stop this right now!”

Nine cousins cowered. Grammie frowned hands on hips. “It’s Thanksgiving Day! Today we’re supposed to be thankful, not complaining.”

“What is being thankful?” Remi asked tears in her eyes.

“Everyone up on the couch.” Grammie sat down in the middle and the cousins climbed up around her.

All the mommies and daddies, and aunties and uncles gathered around the edges of the room smiling to each other. They remembered when Grammie had frowned at them as children.

“Did you know complaining is wrong?” Grammie asked.

“Wrong?” Bruce crossed his arms. “Why is it wrong?”

“Because it is saying in your heart that God is not good and the Bible says He is good. Instead of complaining, we’re supposed to be thankful. Let’s try it.”

Silence. Not one cousin had one reason to be thankful.

“I’ll start.” Grammie smiled. “I’m thankful for all of you and all of you being here today. Not everyone gets to be with their family on Thanksgiving, but I do. I’m very thankful.”

“I’m thankful for you Grammie!” Jules hopped up and gave Grammie a hug.

Now, everyone wanted to join in in being thankful.

“I’m thankful for horses, and books, and my baby Shannon,” Constance said.

“I’m thankful for movies and tractors.” Bruce uncrossed his arms and smiled.

Joshua jumped off the couch and grabbed up a dinosaur. “I’m thankful for dragons and swords!”

Ellie looked from Jules to the dinosaur and back. “I love Jules!” she shouted joining in the Grammie and Jules’ hug.

“Remi! Mommy! Daddy!” Imogene chanted excited by all her cousins yelling.

“I think Imogene is thankful for her family,” Aunt Abby said.

Jude growled and held up a fireman’s axe.

“And I think Jude is thankful for Vikings,” said Uncle Jason.

Everyone looked expectantly at Remi and Shannon. The two little girls stared back at their large, loud family. They grinned and gurgled.

“That means they’re thankful for pumpkin pie.” Aunt Emily translated.

“Now do you understand being thankful?” Grammie asked. “Instead of seeing what you don’t have, you need to see what you do have. You need to see all the ways God has been good to you. They far out-weigh all the things you don’t like.”

“Thanksgiving Day.” Bruce spread his arms wide. “The day we’re thankful for all God has given us!”

‘And God bless us, every one!’” Grammie said.

“Silly Grammie.” Jules kissed her cheek. “That’s Christmas.”

“I’m thankful for Christmas,” Aunt Liz and Aunt Abby and Uncle Matt said in unison.

Several family members groaned.

The End.

My inspiration! Photo by Elizabeth Groves

My inspiration! Photo by Elizabeth Groves

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2: My Health

Courtesy of Google.

Courtesy of Google.

Today, I’m thankful for this year and my struggles with my health. God, in His goodness, has used it to let me tangibly see the love of my church as woman cooked, cleaned, and shopped for me. He has used it to strengthen my marriage as I’ve had to rest in my husband’s help. He’s used it to slow me down and examine much of my life. He’s helped me see that this life is empty and He is all. These are the big things and there are countless small things. It hasn’t been easy to struggle with chronic fatigue, but it has been very good for me. I’m so thankful for the blessings the Lord has brought out of these afflictions.

Two Years Later…

Ladies and Gentleman, dear readers, on Sunday, I marked the 2 year anniversary for the Gentle and Quiet Spirit blog. What a year it’s has been. I’m two years old! Seeing as one of my nieces was born just before my blog went public, it should be easy to remember how long I’ve been working on it in the years ahead.

Imogene's second birthday! (Picture stolen from Liz.)

Imogene’s second birthday! (Picture stolen from Liz.)

In October 2014, I found myself convicted about my writing. I needed to change course. Did I served my church and my home before myself and the rest of the world with my writing gift? No. My writing didn’t line up with the direction my husband was leading our family. It didn’t specifically encourage the saints. It didn’t lay up treasure in heaven.

The conviction to wrap myself more firmly in the Lord and less in the world didn’t come easy. (Does it ever?) It meant laying aside things that I loved and a place I felt comfortable trusting the Lord would provide for me. Trusting Him, as I set aside something I treasured, hurt. By grace alone, I clung to Him and His Word 100% convinced changing my writing was the right thing to do. Christ is my all. He saved me, adopted me, and sanctifies me. He laid aside everything to suffer and die for me and me in the body of Christ. How could I not, in a small way, do the same thing?

The Lord has shown Himself trustworthy in many tangible ways this year. I stand amazed.

In 2015, I developed a chronic issue, Epstein-Barr Virus, that made it impossible to maintain the writing schedule I’d had last year. Instead of multiple posts each week, I barely kept up with a few posts a month. I didn’t even really have the energy to care. What little writing I did get done revolved around the books I was reading. The Lord has seen fit to continue to bless me with readers and, as I’ve started to feel better, time to write.

I had two funny situations this year:

One, I actually introduced myself to Tom Chantry as “A gentle and quiet Spirit” at the ARBCA-GA.

Two, a pastor-friend pointed me out at our SBFC-SW as the woman who wrote My Church is a Failure. I almost had a heart attack as that is the article that I got the most negative feedback over, but at the same time I felt so excited.

Life as a writer, right?

Now, let me share some numbers with you!

  • Followers: 206
  • Top Commenters: Robakers, WriteFitz, and Strokemanswoman followed by Cindy V, and TheGatheringFire.
  • Top Viewing Country: United States, followed by Brazil, the Untied Kingdom, Canada, and Germany.
  • Top Posts: Being a Childless Wife with 1,356 views. Followed by Lessons from the Boutique 5: Red Heels with 376. And My Church is a Failure at 272. I have no idea why the Red Heels article is so popular. The Childless Wife article was shared by several other friends and blogs. I think it hit home for many women. Plus, it providentially went up at Mother’s Day.
  • May 2015 was my highest traffic month with 2,130 views followed by Sept with 1,058. While my numbers are lower over all than last year, it’s not by much, which is very encouraging.
  • This year, I also redesigned my blog to fit my personality better. I think it has also made it easier to navigate.

Last year, I submitted my first writings to a publisher. I submitted two Texas Cousins stories to Solid Ground Publishing for consideration. Those stories got lost in cyberspace, so I touched base with SGP again this year and we’ve started down that road again.

This year, I also finished up the major plot re-write of my YA Fairy Tale Book 1: The Cost of Two Hands. And, I finally started Book 2: The Sparrow and the Star. Book 1 is in the hands of some excellent beta readers. It is my goal to finish Book 2 and Book 3 before starting in with heavy edits. I’m so thankful for all the dear women who have agreed to read the Cost of Two Hands and help me see the good, the bad, and the ugly.

God is good. God is trustworthy. Dealing with chronic exhaustion has challenged my commitment to God’s goodness as many things I love had to be set aside, many opportunities to serve had to be passed on, and many things I wanted to do had to be postponed for the foreseeable future. God is still good. He has used this sickness to grow me, grow my relationship with my husband, reprioritize my life, and enjoy the service of others.

Thank you for reading, sharing, liking, commenting, and supporting this blog. I look forward to another year of Sunday Thought articles, movie and book reviews, news about my books, and more children’s stories.

Here's to another year of blogging.

Here’s to another year of blogging.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on how I could improve the blog, articles you would like to see, stories you want to hear, movies/or books you want reviewed. Thank you for all your support this second year!

Being a Childless Wife

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Before going into this, I want to make it clear that this article didn’t arise out of some Mother’s Day anxiety. God is my hope and comfort. I love my Moms, they are two of the most amazing women I know, and I love the mother’s God has put around me. They are a delight to me.

I want to try and put into words what it’s like to be a childless wife, specifically as a Reformed Baptist. I honestly can’t write outside of who and what I am, so I thought I’d just be up front about that.

Reformed Baptists tend to lean towards big families. They tend to connect well with and be saturated with large, home schooled, ridiculous children. I can say that because I’m second oldest of five, home schooled, and moderately ridiculous myself. We were an average-sized family within the early Reformed Baptist movement surrounded by families with 7, 8, or even 12 kids. Now, more and more people cling to the 1689 and Confessionalism causing the Reformed Baptists to become more . . . interesting. We are growing to represent many different walks of life including childless couples. Looking around my own church, I see how much more diverse it is now than it was when I joined it almost twenty years ago. And I am, as a childless wife, part of that diversity.

I don’t want to share this so that women with children suddenly walk on egg-shells around us few childless wives. I don’t want people to suddenly feel like they can’t ask a woman about having kids for fear of offending her. I’m not looking for pity or political correctness. This is born out of a desire to gather my own thoughts and experiences and communicate with other childless wives so that the feelings of aloneness are lessened. Being alone is a terrible place and when you realize you’re not alone it can help you carry on for another hour or day or year. I’ve found encouragement in not being alone. I hope you do too, and I hope you mothers out the will look on us with love and know we are cheering you on every step of the way.

Growing up, my main goal in life was to be a wife and a mother. That’s all I wanted in life. I believed and still believe motherhood is the most honorable profession for women. I grew up in a large family and I wanted one of my own. Not to mention, we all know the push, be it subtle and subconscious, within the Reformed Baptist/Home Schooled movement for big families. It’s there and us childless wives feel it. We feel it all the time.

So, here I am now, 35, with about two solid pregnancy scares under my belt in 13 years of marriage. My time, my window, is coming to an end. It’s not the end. I could still get pregnant, but it’s becoming less and less likely. I must seriously face the fact that it may never happen. That’s a hard thing to look in the eye and not fear.

But, look I must.


These are my struggles and my hopes. I trust that other childless wives will find themselves here. I pray you may be encouraged in your trust in our mighty God.

Contentment: Just like when I was single and struggling with contentment, so I’ve struggled with childlessness. I have wept often before the Lord seeking to bring my will captive to his. Has the Lord answered that prayer? Yes. He has blessed me with a measure of contentment. I may never have children, but my hope in this life isn’t wrapped up in having children. My eternal significance isn’t wrapped up in having children. It is all in Christ. In him only do I find my all. This isn’t easy. And sometimes it hurts so deep inside. Even after years, and with seasons of peace, the fact that I don’t have children and may never have children still rises up with intense pain. Yet, God is good. He chose this for me and I trust him in it. It isn’t what I would have chosen. Not in a million years. But, I trust him in the choosing. So, every time the empty hollow of childlessness tears open, the flow of sorrow is stopped by the tender hand of the Father who sent his only Son to die for me and the Holy Spirit who comforts me.

Time: Without children, a wife finds a certain amount of time on her hands that other women may not have. Believe me, most of us would give up all that extra time in a heartbeat for just one set of chubby cheeks to call our own. My struggle is to use the time I’ve been given wisely. It is easy, and largely encouraged by our day and age, to use your time for you. Yet, we childless wives have a unique opportunity to serve. We can serve our church and our families in a way mothers can’t. For each of us this will look different. Some of us pour that time into a career and use the extra income to serve our church. Others of us use the time to physically serve with extra meals, an extra pair of hand, and sometimes just an extra set of shoulders to cry on. Some of us use the time to pray and read and study. Every childless wife has to evaluate her use of her extra time to avoid selfish laziness and worldliness. I have found that this time can be a great blessing if it is used in the service of the Lord.

Feeling Outside: I’ve had single friends complain about women’s books and conferences focusing only on married women and mothers. As a childless wife, I know exactly how they feel. It is no fun to read book after book, or attend conference after conference, only to feel like nothing exactly applies to you. The childless wife struggles with feeling outside the group. She can understand all the parts about marriage but what is she supposed to do with the parts about children. The temptation to shut down when other women talk about raising kids is real. Instead of indulging in self-pity, we need to file the information away so we can better pray for and understand our dear sisters who are raising kids. Let’s be honest, there are a far greater number of couples raising kids than the small minority of single women, childless wives, and single mothers. While we may all feel on the outside, we should never let that be an excuse to withdraw from the body of believers. It may not affect you right now, but you never know when that will change and the more you understand, the better you can pray for others. But, the struggle of feeling on the outside looking in is very real for us childless wives. The struggle to control tears and emotions while others talk about how to raise children is real.

Childless Husbands: Husbands of childless wives can contend with feelings of failure and guilt. They can feel helpless and weak. Some of them vacillate between contentment and deep sorrow. Regardless the reasons for the state of childlessness, both spouses are affected. A couple can go through seasons of regular discussions about children and they can go through seasons where the discussions are so painful they are just easier to avoid. As a wife, you never want to be the source of a husband’s sense of failure. For us it can become easy to just bottle up all the emotions and struggles. We’ve all been over it again and again and more tears isn’t going to change anything. The struggle is between letting this trial grow you together or grow you apart. It requires prayer, honesty, and an understanding of the purpose of our lives. We aren’t here for ourselves but for the glory of Christ. If he chooses for our lives to be childless, we must trust him in that.

Questions and Pressure: There is a certain point, a certain age where people stop asking when you’re going to have kids. When you first get married, you get asked about kids almost every day. Most of the time, if not all of the time, this is just your friends and families way of expressing love and excitement about your life. It should be taken that way. But sometimes it builds into a great pressure. It makes you feel like without kids you’re behind or just failing at life. As you get older, people just assume you have kids. It can be uncomfortable to explain, yet again, that you don’t have children. I try to take questions about my childlessness in stride. Of course people are going to ask if I have kids. That’s normal. The majority of Reformed Baptists my age have children. Most of the time I have no problem with this question. But, every once in a while it takes every ounce of self -control to answer questions about kids with a smile and a gracious attitude.

Worldly Selfishness: The questions about your childlessness generally leads to the desire to explain that you want kids because you’re suddenly afraid you’re going to be lumped in with people who are choosing to not have children for selfish reasons. It’s hard to tell someone you don’t have kids but want them when you’re not getting any younger. You want to wear a t-shirt that says, “No. I don’t have kids. Yes. I would love to have kids even if they ruin my furniture, destroy my body, take up all my time, and empty my bank account. I didn’t choose to be childless to have a comfortable life.” It’s hard when you pick up from mothers that they think you have it easy. Comparatively, we probably do. But, it’s not because we choose to have it this way. Our house may be tidy most of the time. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t give up our tidy homes in a heartbeat for fingerprints, toys, and general destruction. Don’t assume we just have such an ideal life where everything is always in control. You have something we would gladly sacrifice everything to have. You have the one thing we must fight our biggest battles of contentment over. Don’t look at us and think we have the better life or that we can’t understand why your house isn’t spotless. We know why it’s not and we wish we had the same problem.

Fear for the Future/Disappointing Parents: As a childless wife, it is easy to fear for the future. You picture your husband dying and no one being around to take care of you like your parents take care of your grandparents. Like the rest of life, this comes down to trusting the Lord. He has commanded his church to take care of the widows. He has always had a tender compassion for widows. Coupled with this is a fear of disappointing your parents. As much as you want kids, your parents want grandkids. They have to struggle with contentment just like we do. It’s easier when you have several siblings and some of them have kids, but if you are the only children, I can see where this could be a huge burden. Again, trust the Lord. Be content. Look towards the heavenly treasure.


My inspiration! Photo by Elizabeth Groves

My inspiration! Photo by Elizabeth Groves

There are some real blessings in being childless, just as there are in being single. You can dedicate your life to the Lord in ways families with children can’t. You can serve where others can’t. You can adopt and foster where others can’t. But, with childlessness also comes great sadness and constant battles for contentment. I have found these to be lessened as the Lord loosens my grip on this world. The King has come. He even now rules and reigns. This world is not the end but the beginning. This is just the start of my life, most of which will be spent in heaven, not here. This is my hope. My anchor. Christ alone. He comforts the broken hearted. He will wipe away ever tear. He has loved and cherished many childless wives before me and will continue to do so after me. I’m also blessed by a plethora of nieces and nephews. They give me a chance to love those little hands and feet, see first steps, hear first words, answer questions about why this and why that, and make the house a mess. If you don’t have your own children invest in your nieces and nephews. If you don’t have any of those little treasures, find a family in your church and adopt them. There is always a need for someone who can love little people. If you don’t have a desire for this, pour yourself out somewhere else. I know childless wives who take young women under their wings. I know others who serve the church by helping with visitors and open their homes for hospitality. Don’t waste this life by sitting around waiting to have children, or get married, or for your children to grow up. Us childless wives may have children someday. We may never have children. We should all find ways to serve with or without them.

God is so good. Over all the struggles with this life, he has never once left me alone. He has never once made a struggle pointless. Each tear, each cry of my heart has been answered gently, kindly, and with promises, with hope. I may not have any biological children, but I have sisters and brothers in Christ who are young. I have nieces and nephews, and most of all, I have the hope of heaven and my Christ. I hope this has encouraged other childless wives to remember they aren’t alone, and has helped others to see how they can pray for particular parts of their church, for we are one body.

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Yes, this is probably my favorite quote. “All we have to decide is what to so with the time that is given to us.”

 

One Year Later…

Ladies and Gentleman, dear readers, on Saturday I marked the 1 year anniversary for the Gentle and Quiet Spirit blog. What a year it’s has been. I’m a year old! Seeing as one of my nieces was born just before my blog went public, it should be easy to remember how long I’ve been working on it in the years ahead.

My blog and Imogene share a birthday!

My blog and Imogene share a birthday!

In October 2014, I found myself convicted about my writing. I needed to change course. Did I served my church and my home before myself and the rest of the world with my writing gift? No. My writing didn’t line up with the direction my husband lead our family. It didn’t specifically encourage the saints. It didn’t lay up treasure in heaven.

The conviction to wrap myself more firmly in the Lord and less in the world didn’t come easy. (Does it ever?) It meant laying aside things that I loved and a place I felt comfortable trusting the Lord would provide for me. Trusting Him, as I set aside something I treasured, hurt. By grace alone, I clung to Him and His Word 100% convinced changing my writing was the right thing to do. Christ is my all. He saved me, adopted me, and sanctifies me. He laid aside everything to suffer and die for me and me in the body of Christ. How could I not, in a small way, do the same thing?

The Lord has shown Himself trustworthy in many tangible ways this year. I stand amazed. I have had more views this year than I had in the total run of my previous blog. I have made some good online friends, connected with other Confessional blogs, and I may have made a few enemies. That was terrifying interesting.

Let me share some numbers with you!

  • Followers: 160
  • Top Commenters: Robakers, WriteFitz, and Strokemanswoman followed by Claudiajswain, Cindy V, and Lizzigroves.
  • Top Viewing Country: United States, followed by Canada, the Untied Kingdom, Brazil, and Australia.
  • Top Posts: My Church is a Failure with 1,376 views. It is followed by Happy Mother’s Day! with 291, and Lessons from the Boutique 5: Red Heels with 221. Look at the difference. That’s quite a jump from 291 to 1,376. One of my friends said the My Church is a Failure went viral. I don’t know that it went viral as a whole, but maybe amongst Reformed Baptist.
  • August 2014 was my highest traffic month with 2,384 views followed by Feb with 1,564 when a guest post I wrote for Strokemanswoman was shared by Tim Challis. This guest article has gotten as many or more views as My Church is a Failure.

This year I also submitted my first writings to a publisher. I submitted two Texas Cousins stories to Solid Ground Publishing for consideration.

God is good. God is trustworthy.

You might think that’s easy to say with the limited success I’ve had with my blog. Of course, I think He’s good when things are going better than I could have ever imagined. God is good, not because this change in my life has rewarded me with better blog success. God is good because He has saved me and made me His child, then He slowly and gently worked in my life to bring me to the point where I could lay aside what I wanted for Him. Seeming material or no material reward, I would still praise Him for He is mighty. He owes me nothing for the sacrifices I have made for they are just a happy following after of my elder brother, my heavenly husband, my Standing Lamb. If the blog had flopped, I would have experienced His sanctification in that and by grace would praise Him still. The success of my blog or lack thereof doesn’t change the joy I have at the great mercy He showed me. I trust that He would still use the gifts He gave me even if it’s not how I expect. He has given me everything and owes me nothing. These aren’t rewards. These are graces. These are a kind gift from the hand of a kind Father, not a debt He owed me for my great sacrifices.

I’m very thankful He gave me some tangible gifts when I switched my writing course. He didn’t just give me some, He richly gifted me. Its humbling and all I can say is use me more Lord. Pour me out for your sake.

Thank you for reading, sharing, liking, commenting, and supporting this blog. I look forward to another year of Sunday Thought articles, movie and book reviews, news about my stories, and more children’s stories.

Here's to another year of blogging.

Here’s to another year of blogging.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on how I could improve the blog, articles you would like to see, stories you want to hear, movies/or books you want reviewed. Thank you for all your support this first year!

God’s Generosity Praised

All that is gold does not glitter

All that is gold does not glitter…

I don’t usually post on Thursdays, but this struck me so strongly this morning that I just had to write about it and share it now.

There have been several times in my life when I’ve had a choice between what I want to do (also what the world would tell me is following my dreams) and what the Lord commands me to do.  This has happened three big times in my life.  In these three big moments, God has blessed me beyond anything I could have planned or imagined.  God isn’t beholden to bless me with things or events that make me happy, but I’m thankful He does.  Of course, God is multi-tasker, so while He blesses me with a happy providence, He also sanctifies me through that providence.

I want to share one such situation for our mutual encouragement.  I’m a writer.  I would love nothing better than to hide in my house day after day and write stories of imaginary people.  Then, I would like to be able to take those stories and share them with others.  To be honest, I long for a day when I can walk into Barnes and Noble and pull a book off the shelf with my name on it.  I long to write a story that millions of people read.  I long to write a story that reverberates through people’s’ lives.   I long to write a story with the impact of Tolkien, Lewis, King, and Koontz.

But God.  God has providentially placed me in a life where that is going to take time, and lots of it.  First, we had a business were I was the face.  My husband was the brains and I was the brawn, so to speak.  Now that we’ve sold that, my focus is serving my church and maintaining my home.  (Clean, cook, upkeep, remodel, budget, etc.)  This is a full-time job.  My writing has changed, further hindering publishing.  I’ve gone from medieval fantasy, to urban fantasy, to YA and children’s stories without a book to hand to a publisher.  I’ve switched blogs and I’ve switched focus.  These things  set me behind every time I get close to the publishing wire.

God has commanded me to submit to my husband as to Christ.  Part of this submission is working to stay on board with his life.  His life, my husband’s, has changed focus in the last year or so.  It has gone from business to theology.  To be able to serve our church through study and teaching, he needs me to tend to lots of matters.  He has also asked me not to make writing a second career.  I’m in full agreement with him.  But, this leaves me with being a writer who can’t spend her days writing and marketing.  I get a few hours here and a few hours there.  I have limited time and resources.  This struck me when I tried to share my blog on Goodreads and realized I can’t unless I have a book published.  There are limits to what I can do.  I read other successful writers who talk about the amount of time it takes to be a published author and I think to myself, “I can’t do that.  Not now.  That’s not my focus.  God has called me to serve my church and obey my husband.  I can’t do those things well if I’m also trying to have a career in writing.”  So, I leave it alone.

Don't let me fool you, this is not me.

Don’t let me fool you, this is not me.

Please don’t think I left it alone like some Elsie Dinsmore type.  It wasn’t a calm folding of the hands.  It was a storm raging in my heart.  It was a battle between desire and command.  It was a weaning from this world.  It was a war of trust.  On one side sits my yearning to be a published author.  On the other side sits the commands to put the church and my husband first, to pour myself out, and leave this world.  I so want to go to the published author side.  I so want to forsake everything and do what I want.  The world screams at me that anyone standing in the way of what I want is an enemy.  But over on the other side, stands my humble Savior who gave everything for me.  Over there, stands my mighty Captain who died for me.  With Him stands all of eternity.  With Him stands my family, my church and my husband.  With Him stands everything I would forsake for my own gain.

This is more what I feel like inside.

This is more what I feel like inside.

The world shouts, “But this is your dream!  Follow your dreams!”

Christ holds out His hands, scarred for me.

Only by His grace, only because of Him and nothing else – family, church, husband – do I take His offered hand and flee to Him ignoring the world’s cacophony of noise.  And what do I find on the quiet, gentle side of the war in my heart.  I find love.  I find hope.  I find joy.  I find peace.  I find my friends, my family, and my church.  I find my husband.  And in God’s grace, I find people to write for and to.  God is so good to me.  Early this week, through His providence, a guest post I wrote was shown to a well-known reformed writer (Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Vidal!).  This writer shared my guest post with his audience.  So many people came to read what I wrote.  So many to me anyway. 🙂 The next day a blogger who only posts quotes from men like Calvin and Bunyan posted my article on his blog.  I was dumbfounded.  I was elated.  I was humbled beyond belief.  (Which is funny cause the article was about humility.)

God didn’t owe me one single reader.  I would have happily followed my Brother, my Captain, my King without another word written or read.  But God.  God who is rich, rich in mercy, saw fit to do this for me.  How can I not love and trust Him?  He not only saved my soul, not only adopted me, not only sustains me, which is far and above anything I deserve, but He also blesses me.  He takes care of me when I obey Him,  when I trust Him, just like a tender father.  How mighty a King, how kind a Lord, how generous a Brother, I have.

He has preserved me and is continuing to make me more like Christ.  I lay all that I am, all my dreams and desires, at His feet and trust Him to do with them as He will.  I praise Him now for the increased exposure and encouragement, and I will praise Him still even if no one ever reads a word I write.  It’s not about me.  It’s all about Him.

Just had to share it.