Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sharing a Friend's Success

Last night my friend Diane pulled me aside after choir practice and placed a package in my hands.

“I wanted you to have the first copy.” Her first book was finally in print! Over the past few years

I have seen this book evolve as Diane brought individual devotions to our writer’s group, asked me to edit/critique the first draft, and started submitting to publishers. I was almost as excited as I would have been over my own book. After we hugged and screamed like teenagers (well, we didn’t exactly scream), I showed it to everyone that I ran into, looked for it on Amazon, and put a shout-out on Facebook.

The funny thing is that I had been moping about my own stagnant writing career earlier in the day. Things just aren’t happening. But sharing Diane’s excitement reminded me that there is more to this writing thing than MY career. I also have the honor of helping new writers along, cheering on my fellow authors, and spreading the word about all God is doing through His children who live to put words on pages. What a privilege to have the first hot-off-the-press copy of a dear friend’s book. I will always treasure it as I savor what God taught me last night.

So while I wait for someone to grab onto one the proposals that I have circulating, may I continue to share in the joys of others. After all, isn’t that what we are called to do?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thanks to Being Poor: 10 Things I Learned to Make

I’ve always loved to cook, but our reduced income has greatly increased my kitchen repertoire. In the past year I have added the following foods to the “I can make that” list:

Potato chips
Refried beans
Ranch dressing
Hamburger/Hotdog buns
Whole wheat bread
Pizza sauce
Granola bars
Muesli cereal
Granola cereal
Whoopie pies, which are wrapped individually and look just like packaged cakes

All of these things are inexpensive to make, fun, healthier, and taste so much better! Even if our income increases I don’t plan to go back to store bought. Thank you, God, for revealing this benefit to financial difficulty.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I'm finally back after a busy time of work, Christmas programs, and holiday celebrations.

Recently I found myself in a frustrating season of waiting. My son was struggling over a decision that would affect the entire family and I didn’t want to be left hanging. While I claimed to be leaving it between him and God I continued to lay on the pressure for him to “do the right thing.” Finally God allowed me to see how important it was for my son to learn to make choices based on His leading, not whether or not he would upset people. After all, he is an adult who has a deep desire to please God. Some day he might have to choose between devotion to Christ and devotion to family and friends. It was time to let the Spirit guide him and trust him to listen to God.

In the end he made the choice that we’d all been praying for. The answer seemed to come at the last minute but it came. Immediately I recognized the benefits of getting to this moment of praise because God worked in my son’s heart, not because I nagged him into submission. We all enjoyed the results ten times more. I couldn’t help wishing that I’d backed off sooner. But at least I backed off. Of course this provided a humbling lesson in patience. While my son prayed, searched his Bible for answers, and refused to do what I thought was right as long as he had a reason to believe that God said otherwise, I (without meaning to of course) made life somewhat miserable for him, and yes, for myself. Hopefully I’ll do things differently next time. And I’m sure there will be a next time. Looking back, I did do some things that helped:
• I shared our struggle with Christian friends and asked them to pray.
• I admitted to a few that I wasn’t handling the problem well and needed prayer for my attitude and reactions.
• I asked God to help me be content no matter what my son decided. Even if I wasn’t happy, I needed to respect his choice and enjoy life anyway, trusting that he was doing what he felt led by God to do.

Next time I hope I will also:
• Refuse to let my emotions rule.
• Refuse to give in to frustration (which usually leads to lashing out in anger).
• Trust God’s timing.
• Spend more time praying for a gentle spirit as I wait and wisdom for how to handle the situation in a godly way.
• Encourage the one on the other side of the argument (in this case, my son) to seek God, assuring him of my love and trust.

Are you in a similar situation, waiting on someone else’s decision? Maybe you can learn from my experience—including the things I wish I’d done differently.

Cross-posted on Girls, God, and the Good Life