Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Writer's Life - God's Best

When I first started creating stories it was just a hobby. I never dreamed it would be anything more. But after being side-lined by an auto accident, God gave me a new vision, a new way to serve Him through the gift of writing. Though I didn’t fully understand what I was saying yes to, I was committed to the call. God threw open every door, and it was clear that writing novels was part of His plan for me. I vowed to remain faithful until He led me elsewhere.

I often hear writers speak about weariness of spirit. The job of writing (which is huge) along with discouragement and the general difficulties of living can wring the energy and joy from their lives. Writers work hard. Not only do we create stories, but there can be mountains of research to do before we can even begin. And the editing process can feel endless. Plus there’s marketing, which begins long before we’ve completed a book. It eats up huge chunks of our time.

Often, what is required is more difficult than we’d imagined. I’ve heard writers voice thoughts of walking away. I’ve been there myself a time or two. Each time the Holy Spirit calls me back, reminding me of what God asked me to do and of the vow I made to Him. Ultimately my spirit is refreshed and I continue this unpredictable adventure ... for now ... until I am called elsewhere.

God has a purpose in choosing the paths He places us on. We each have a journey and commission chosen by Him. If we walk away we lose something precious—God’s Best.

 When we set out on this writing quest did we really believe it would be easy? If you’re new to the world of writing get ready to be surprised by its joys and its sorrows. And if you’ve been traveling this road for a while, I pray you’ll hold fast to the dream, remembering God has a bigger picture in mind—it’s not about sales numbers, awards won or achieving fame. It’s about doing what we love and doing it with intention. It can be grueling, but it’s also full of fun, discovery and remarkable people. I know no greater sense of accomplishment than writing “The End” when I’ve completed a novel.

Expect rough patches, dry places where we thirst and valleys so dark we fear passing through them. Tribulations can throw us off track, but there is always a way back. Reach out to God. He will set us back on our feet.

I’m grateful that I get to write. Despite poor wages and long hours, it’s fantastic fun to create characters and leap into their stories. And what a blessing it is to do something with my life that makes a positive difference in the world. I’ve received many letters thanking me and my characters for being an encouragement or helping someone find their way, even some who discover Jesus for the first time.

When we find ourselves worn out or uncertain remember God is our Father.  Seek Him. Talk with Him. Rest in Him. Lay your troubles, your disillusionment, your fatigue and sorrow at His feet. He will reach out with love, mercy and wisdom. His strength will lift us up and once again help us see the path laid out for us and know the joy of serving others.

Sometimes we need rest. Don’t push forward when God says stop. Resting is not deserting our call. It is good to be a wise steward of the gifts given. If we keep going when God says stop, we’re working in our own strength not His, which is no strength at all.

Turn your hearts toward Christ and find joy in service. Remember that as writers we have the privilege of glorifying God through our gift of writing. No matter how difficult it may seem don’t miss God’s best.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, April 08, 2016

The Writer - Have We Arrived?

I've been having fun mentoring this month. I've met new writers and I've been learning ... yes ... learning ... from them.

Open minds provide space for growth. A young writer I met this week provided a special opportunity for me.

While going through her synopsis and first chapter I came across a point of view (POV) I'm not familiar with - First Person Present. Though the writing was good the POV felt awkward to me. I spent a bit of time maneuvering the POV into First Person, then sent it back to the writer with suggestions. Courageously she asked me about the POV change and pointed out that teen books often use this POV.

Hmm. I decided to check it out and did some research. I also asked some of my writing friends what they knew about it. I discovered that First Person Present is often used in teen books. I was also told it is difficult to do well. I doubt I could master it. I went back to the manuscript and looked at it with new eyes, accepting the POV. The beauty and power of the writing emerged.

Learning never ends. We never arrive.

How amazing are our minds and our hearts. They can be fertile soil if we embrace changes and creativity ... cultivate growth. We can continue to improve, but first we need to be brave and put aside our pride. There is so much wonder waiting for us. We need to go after it.

Growing and learning makes life more fun. I can't wait to see what's in store for me today. How about you? Have you learned something new this week?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, April 04, 2016

A Day of Rejoicing

Today is a day of rejoicing!

Matthew 10:29-31

"But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." 

Don't you love these verses? God is so good all the time. He sees us, everyone. Even when we are invisible to the world, we are never invisible to The Father.

A friend sent me a note of encouragement today and reminded me of these verses. How precious are the words of the Lord. They uplift me. They remind me of who He is. They make me strong.

We have had a couple of really awful years (so many challenges), but today, is a day to rejoice. 

My grandson was badly injured in an ATV accident two years ago.

Day of Ezra's First Surgery

Two years later, riding bikes with his Mom.

He is struggling with a traumatic brain injury and when he moved to Central Oregon his nightmare intensified. The kids in the new school just didn't get it ... and it appeared they didn't want to. Ezra suffered from indifference and brutality. It was a grueling year.

Today is different. Ezra has come home to Glide where he is known and loved. And the kids and teachers at school let him know how glad they are to have him back, that they love him, care about him, and will support him. Bless you Glide!

God never took His eyes off Ezra and He never will. 

God loves His children. He cares about us and for us. We can count on Him. Even on the darkest day we are never alone. He is the one who gives us courage and hope ... and a new day.

I have no idea what Ezra's future holds, but I am certain God does and He has already laid down the foundations for the rest of his life, just as He has for our lives.

Praise you Lord.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon