Last September I volunteered to help a local Christian school with their annual fundraiser. The school development director asked me if I would acquire items and services for the scholarship auction. I cannot remember exactly why I agreed to this. I know I wanted to serve the Lord, Jesus, and my heart had long desired a venue of education that would faithfully center in God’s truth. I was impressed with the world view of Lifegate Christian High School and Middle School, but I wondered if begging for donations from the community was really how God wanted me to spend the hours of my days.
God called me to write. I know this. I stumbled through the logistics of this miss-match of efforts, writing and begging—even for a good cause, and assured myself I would only work with Lifegate a few hours a week, organizing the efforts of many, and continue to write full-time. Didn’t happen. But the lessons I learned while completing the task for Lifegate, will spur me on to more confident writing.
By October I realized that being “Acquisitions Chair” pretty much meant I was it. Parents and staff were busy and volunteers would rather do just about anything before acquisitions. I wrote in the school newsletter that, although I was hoping that the people of the school would be helpful in obtaining items on which to bid, if they couldn’t help, they could at least pray and the “zeal of the Lord” would provide what the school needed to make the auction a success. I remember that the phrase came to mind as I was hastily tapping out the news item for the auction update column.
As I typed, I stopped in mid-stroke. Did I really mean that? That the zeal of the Lord would complete the task? I reviewed the origin of the phrase—Isaiah, I thought. The coming of the Christ to provide out salvation. Yep, I decided. I meant it. I knew He was our only hope in the eternal and in this temporal challenge as well.
The few hours a week became many. My schedule, my house, and my mind became cluttered with tasks to complete, people to talk to, and stuff. Oh, the stuff! Even my car stored boxes and bags of tagged and cellophane covered baskets of trinkets an d treasures. I entered stores and talked to people I never before encountered just to ask for more nick-knacks. Some responded with distain, some with grace, but four times more than both reactions combined, my requests met with bored apathy.
When I wasn’t working actively on acquiring, I dreamed of what could be. Cruises, diamonds, gas grills, and sides of beef. No earthly pleasure was left unconsidered. And when the donations came, I cheered! The things felt like mine, and I rejoiced, even though I began detesting the actual stuff, I felt rich with the satisfaction of the goals being met—our prayers being answered.
I like living in the center of God’s plan. The night of the auction, the school netted almost double the amount they had done in the past. And I realized that God had pulled many people and items together. Living in God's plan gaurantees my efforts as worthwhile.
I'm thinking I want to write with the same focus--looking for God's hand to lead me in His plan. When I first began to write I worried because so little money can be expected in writing. A counselor, Kyle Leitdke, instructed, "Write. Let God worry about publishing,"
Now that I am at the get-it-in-print phase of these books (yes, that's now plural), I consider what efforts I should be making to make this happed. However, if I follow the lesson I have learned with the auction, I realize that God will certainly print these books in His own zeal, not mine.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The bad news is I didn't keep my goal of writing from the last post--more bad news, insomnia has returned, caused by too much pain to sleep. The good news? I am writing in the middle of the night!
When I wake with pain in my ankle, knee and/or hip, I try rolling over to change positions first and sometimes return to sleep. I'll give this process about 20 minutes before I stand up (painful at first, but then the pain goes away as long as I stand--sometimes sitting with my feet on the floor will work too.) I'm detailing the process to explain how I came to think of moving a laptop to the kitchen couter. There I can stand and type, removing the physical pain from my body and replacing the frustration of not sleeping with the joy of having quite writing time. If sitting works, I can sit at my desk and sometimes do that, but several nights this last week I wrote for an hour, once an hour and a half, as I stood in the kitchen.
I consider this progress in my writing "career." Also, the night writings inspire me to continue durng the next day, completing a scene or idea and thinking of "what next."
OK. So, I would prefer to return to writing first thing in the morning, and still hope to do so. But mornings sometimes start at 9:30! That's the equivalent of everyone else's noon to me.
Still, I'm feeling on the rise in the writing process. I like the sequel that I am writing better than the first in the "series." (Wow! That feels so presumptuous to say when I am on the 5th chapter of the first sequel.) Still, good to have dreams.
My next short term goal? To complete writing the story through Christmas before Christmas comes in real life--this year!