10 years…

A decade. A lifetime of journals, but a decade ago, I put the words top ring and started distributing them. Groundswell began as a church women’s newsletter of short articles to encourage, empower, and equip the people of God to pursue and achieve the life God has planned for each of us.

Ten years. There are ups, there are interesting moments when your ideas are taken by another trying to present them as their own. I have struggled with how to write, what to write, where to write, where to publish, what to share here, what to keep for a future book. Who to let in my circle, who to let remain a measure removed.

The insecurities, the cruel words of the enemy roaring, trying to distract–sometimes temporarily succeeding, sometimes the taunts being laughed out of the room.

If you look at the long road of ministry, the road of using your gifting for the purpose God has provided, just start walking. If you stand nervous, walk it out. If you keep looking up, looking down, looking to the side, walk it out. If you trip in a hole, get up, brush off, and walk that out as well. Because, in wisdom from my father to my mother when she wanted grad school, “in ten years, do you want to have that degree or do you want to still be wishing you had it.” Walk it out. Keep swinging. That is what I share with you–just start walking. And in ten years, you’ll look back and be amazed at all that happened in the meantime.

–image credit: unknown

Editorial discretion…

As I write, and find my words published with other publications, I see myself growing, changing in how I view Editors. The first time a work was published in a particular publication, I was of course excited. And when I read it, felt a bit of embarrassment for the amount that was pruned, cut. The next one, still published, still excited–and still a shade of blush for the words that were changed.

The next, a smoothing. They were my words, but polished. Cleaned up. Like a good spring pruning. And my analytical mind went into overdrive, trying to figure out how to write exactly what the editor wants.

The next, I let go of the analyzation. Because only the editor knows what is in the editor’s mind. I cannot write like he can. I can, however, keep writing like I write. And apparently that is enough. Because he will polish it. He will make it exactly what is needed for each publication.

And now. Again, another work published. No embarrassment, no analyzing. And as I read words I know were not mine, but added impact, added more sensory notes, all I feel is grace. The grace of an editor, to take the words my fingers put to electronic paper. To see the bits, the pieces, that will make the whole piece better. The sentence needed to fill out the story, to give context to the analogy. The reader will never know which words were mine, yet my byline gives me all the credit for each word. I cannot imagine–it is with humble gratitude I receive the grace given by editors who choose to be behind the scene.

And I realize, Jesus is our great Editor. He polishes up our contribution. I have left meetings at work knowing that the words that came out of my mouth were polished up and put together in a way my sinful self could not have done. Going in frustrated and walking away in reconciliation–because I gave my care to Jesus, He polished it up, and presented it in the way my deepest heart really meant underneath the humanness getting in the way.

He gives us grace, shines up the attempt, and in this world, people will look at us–give us the byline. And if we’re wise, we will recognize the grace and nudge our neighbor with a, “Hey, look what Jesus did today!” We know without Him, we would stumble more than we already do. What a grace He gives us. We would be wise to keep sharing our weakness, the ways in which we couldn’t have done what He did with a situation.

It’s all grace.

Published: Let the Little Children Come

“Children are unruly, not yet practiced in culture and politeness. They can be unintentionally rude. They do not conform to the society around them. Their hands are sticky as they run up and grab your pant leg, pointing at something they want you to see…” –read the rest on page 4 of the March 2017 issue of The Christian Journal 

Published: Life is Flat-Out Hard

Catching up on sharing items published elsewhere…

“Life is hard. Chatting with a woman who was stuck, I realized she waited for the same thing many of us do: for life to get easier. Obstacles and failures piled one on top of another in her life. Her excuse was she was still in a hard place. When this hard place moved, she reasoned, she would make the changes needed…” –read the rest on page 5 of The Christian Journal