Believe In Yourself

Believe in Yourself

“If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23

 There are times I lack confidence, when I explain my views to others? I make a lot of rewrites , creating a greater lack of confidence in the worth of my writing. God doesn’t want me writing under those conditions God wants strength in my words. I don’t always remember He will help me put conviction in my writing. He wants me to believe in what I am writing. If I don’t believe in my myself or my opinions enough to convince others, how can he support me? I have to do my part by believing and  he will guide my words and convictions.

 If you have this problem in your writing life, remember you have your own private editor. If you feel you are being prompted to edit your words, do so. Be led by the spirit. It will never fail you. Don’t write by countering another’s opinion, to back up your opinion. If we are confident in our beliefs, we won’t feel the need defend them or convince others. Our opinion should stand on its merit. Some people will never believe in what we say, but that’s okay. Give people time to hear the message, time to think and time to understand

 Lord, help us believe you will guide our words. Please give us the confidence in our words and be our guide.

God First in Everything

warm-mouse-heated-keyboardIn everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:6 NIV

I don’t know about you, but when I had a lot to do I used to jump right in and get right to work. I would start one writing project jump to another, and so on. At the end of my writing session, I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment. Nothing was finished, I hadn’t taken time to revise each project, and nothing could be submitted. I felt defeated because I had worked so hard. One day I threw my hands up and said, “What am I supposed to do?” I was totally frustrated. I took a deep breath and took in the quietness around me. “Finish one project at a time,” popped into my head. Now for anyone else, this wouldn’t be a great revelation. We’ve all been taught this, but I get excited when I have more than one idea and I have to get started. I am afraid I’ll forget my ideas before I get to them.

If you’re getting ready to get into a writing session, stop and take some quiet time first. Put on some music, no rock and roll. Try some spiritual or instrumental music and quiet yourself. Take a few minutes and put God first. Ask him what he wants you to accomplish. Let him direct your efforts and he will crown your efforts with success. I’m not saying everything will be published, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment because God came first. He gives you the talent and he will direct your writing.

Lord quiet our spirits and guide our thoughts, as we begin our writing. Direct our writing path and give us the words to guide others. Speak through our writing and help us lift up another person’s spirit with laughter, guidance, and knowledge.

The Spirit’s Nudging

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“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)

When I first started writing after a seven month siesta, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back into the daily grind of writing. It never was a grind before, but my desire and ambition had dwindled to nothing. Even though some silent spirit kept nudging me to get to work. I tried hard to ignore, by only writing, if I felt like it. However, as I began writing, I felt the old excitement more and more. My mood lifted and I connected with my spirit once again. God was in charge because if I had my way, I wouldn’t be writing. God wouldn’t let me ignore the desire he put within me. I am not sure I have anything of interest to write because of the lack of comments, likes or shares on my web sites. I do know someone is reading because my stats go up ever so slowly.

If you are having a hard time writing be confident, God will complete his good work in you. He will carry it on until he feels you have answered his call. He won’t let you ignore your calling. Don’t look at your stats. Don’t wait for praise or comments, though it’s nice to know your efforts are appreciated. Sit and write. Start to journal in the morning. These writings can and will lead to other writing. Ask God for insight when you create your weekly writing schedule. Move at a pace that is right for you. Be wise writers who choose and avoid the trap of rushing, which often leads us in the wrong direction.

Dear Lord, give us Your wisdom as we plan our daily schedule. If we begin to feel anxious because we’re trying to do too much, remind us to slow down. Help us to focus on what we’re doing and help us avoid the trap of rushing in the wrong direction. Amen.

Vulnerability in Service

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Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10-(NIV).

God gifted me with the desire to write. I try to use it to use my thoughts to empower others with some meaningfulness in their journey. I constantly strive to improve on the skills God did give me. Some people find it cathartic to write about their trials. Being an introverted person, I find it extremely difficult. I try to follow through on my commitments but I sometimes fall short of my goals. I let life get in the way, like when my husband became ill. I couldn’t focus. The words weren’t able to break through my scrambled brain or the sadness of my heart. I was only able to use my writing to ask my friends for prayer. For me this was enough, as I went about getting through each day.

If God gave you the skill of writing, do everything you can to improve it. God gave you a gift, but he also waits for you to do your part. You are not a bystander in your life and can only improve by strengthening, reaching out and sharing your faith and journey with others. It’s a difficult process, but it is one that will enrich your life and someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. God will use your words to heal someone’s heart and faith. That is his part in your gift and life journey.

Lord help us to remember you are in charge of hearts. You will lead others in the right direction for their journey. We are only one catalyst in reaching another’s life and journey. Thank you for your many gifts in our life.

Diligence in Writing

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The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5(NIV)

I’ve had trouble scheduling everything lately. I couldn’t eve accomplish straightening up my living room. I would sit in my disarray with my mind racing about all the things I needed to do. In the end, I accomplished nothing. My writing had taken step back. My life was a void without Jim or my writing. I always shared my writing with Jim and it seemed useless without him. The mental activity of online games replaced it. This didn’t leave me time to think. But I did think and remembered that Jim’s encouragement was why I went back to writing.

If you are having trouble scheduling your time, ask God for insight and move at a pace that pleases Him. Be a wise writer, who avoids the trap of rushing. Rushing only leads us in the wrong direction. If we calm our hearts, our anxiousness will wash away. Watch for God’s hand in your writing and walk in His grace. If we please Him with our words, we will please His followers. 

Dear Lord, give us Your wisdom as we plan our schedule each week. If we start to feel anxious because we are behind calm our spirit. Help us to remember we need to please only you. Give us the strength and wisdom to follow your lead.

God’s Gifts To Us Are Our Gifts To Others

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Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).

I am one of those people, who was gifted with the desire to write. I respectfully repeat the desire to write. I can and do make my thoughts understood, but to empower others with my meaning, is a struggle. I am constantly improving on the skills God gave me with classes, webinars, etc. Some people find it cathartic to write-through their trials. I’m learning that despite my circumstances, I can’t let life get in the way. Each time my husband becomes ill, I have a hard time focusing. The words aren’t able to break through my scrambled brain or the sadness of my heart. God is prodding me to share just a little more, in case it can help someone else.

God has given us all gifts to share. It may be the gift of hospitality, music, or being a good friend. Maybe what I am going through can help another. I hope I haven’t missed out on opportunities to share the ups and downs of our journey. I’ve always been a very introverted and private person, so at the beginning of his illness, sharing wasn’t possible. I could only use my writing to ask my friends for prayer. For me this was enough, as I went about getting through each day. I didn’t want to embarrass Jim by putting his personal life in writing. He also is a private person. I am beginning to see the value in sharing sadness, without letting it overpower me or those around me.

Lord, no matter what gift you have placed in our life journey, remind us we are honoring you as we share it. Sharing may be difficult at first, but with prayer, you will always be there to guide our words, actions, and hearts.

Enrich Your Spiritual Gift

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For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. – 1 Corinthians 1:5-7 (NIV)

Sometimes, my shortcomings as a writer weigh me down. I remind myself old mistakes and my rejections loom in front of me like a neon sign blinking FAILURE. It has produced a desire to quit, as I wonder, WHY do I keep writing? I have even stopped for a while. After a cool off period ideas swirl in my mind again. I can’t seem to stop and I remember how much I LOVE WRITING. The desire is in my heart and I won’t ignore my muse.

Along with our desire, God gives us everything that we need to develop into and succeed as the writers he desires us to become. Success is within our reach. He enriches us in every way by putting mentors, programs, and free webinars in our path to enhance our capabilities. If we take hold of what he offers us, we will develop our gift. It is so important to renew our minds and put on the new self. Don’t hang onto your old self, instead grow and change every day with God’s help. He will work through and with us as we adjust our lives to the promises that He gives in His word.

Lord, help us to recognize and take advantage of the strategies you place in our path. Remind us not to look at our past rejections. Give us strength to ignore feelings of discouragement. We thank you for your help and guidance during our writing journey.

 

Workmanship of Good Works

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For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

When I read this scripture, I had an “Aha” moment.  I thought Wow, I am the results of God’s workmanship. I always knew God created me, but being the result of His workmanship struck a different note. I still struggle with this thought because of many health issues, I certainly don’t measure up with the human vision of good workmanship. I know how much workmanship Jim puts into his wood burning and I in my writing. I realized how much time and care God used to complete me. God fashioned something special in me to enable me to accomplish things that only I’m uniquely gifted to do.

Did you know the Greek word for workmanship is poem?  To be a poem is special because poems touch another person’s heart. As writers, we like our writing to touch others. God  empowered us all to do good works, as writers. He led us to be writers and each day he desires us to use our gift as writers. He wants to do something special through us. Touch another’s heart and be a poem to those around you.

Lord, help us to remember despite our frailties, we do measure up. Help us to realize what greatness Your workmanship has created in us. Help us to use those our special talents to become Your poem to those around us.

A Critique is Not Criticism

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Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Proverbs 15:32 New International Version (NIV)

 I was very excited, when I received my first critique from my new critique partners. I never belonged to a writing group before. I was naive enough to expect accolades for my writing. My excitement soon turned to frustration and I was overwhelmed, when so many corrections appeared in my manuscript. I wondered what was wrong with these people. I felt led to writing as my vocation, so I decided to never send another manuscript to a group.  When I calmed down and went through the story, the changes weren’t really so bad. It was just that the red stood out so loud.

If you’re a writer, count each critique as a blessing from God. He sends people our way to guide us toward His goal. In that respect we all have a lot to learn. Writers never stop learning. When you belong to a critique group, accept corrections or I prefer suggestions of your critique partners. You will learn whether to accept the changes or not. Sometimes a suggestion is only another writer’s preference. God doesn’t force us to take the help he sends us. He lets us make or own choices. The consequences of not accepting correction is ours. Don’t be to proud to accept help. You will not only disappoint yourself, you will disappoint God and never become the writer he desires you to be.

Lord, help us to be open to the critiques of our groups. Please help us to discern which suggestions to implement and which to ignore. We thank you for the gift of free will. Help us to accept the results of our decisions with grace.

Wealth Chokes God’s Word

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but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing Mark 4:19 NIV

 Each day, I give my worries to God. When I don’t, too much of my time can be spent mulling over my husband’s health problems, writing that was rejected, or projects that need to be finished. I try to take time to meditate in the morning, but I can make excuses for not doing that, just  as I do for not exercising or taking my meds. I do line things up, but then say I’ll take my meds later, I’ll write later after I finish this game, or I’ll exercise tomorrow. All this disorganization chokes out God’s messages to me. Prayer or meditation opens my heart to God’s word.

 Do you find it hard to not let the cares of the world interfere with your writing? By cares of the world I mean worry about health issues, family problems, money problems or the desire for new and better things. Sometimes the lure for wealth and other things can stop our creative flow. Should our time be wasted worrying about insignificant desires or gaining wealth? Worry cannot change the past or future. The moment we live in now is the most important moment because it could be our last moment. Read God’s word and give God time and He will give you the inspiration and words.

Lord, dreaming of wealth chokes God’s word from our heart. Procrastination chokes the flow of our writing, exercise, or health. Remind us to give our worries to you and that will leave plenty of time to get to the important things in life.