Giving Glory

      And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown,
      For my reward is giving glory to You.
                                  ---Keith Green, O Lord, You’re Beautiful

I love that verse of the song by Keith Green. It’s taken me a long time to understand that when I do well, my reward is to give glory to Him. He wants me to, I know. But that it is actually my reward, my joy to do so, is an idea that did not come naturally to me. I have always tended to brush away any accolades—after all, I didn’t want to fall into pride. But rejecting compliments is a false humility. The Lord is rewarding me, and I need to embrace it wholeheartedly.

So I am here today to claim my reward—to give great glory to Our God for His wonderful works. You see, not long ago I was wondering if this whole writing thing was something I’d made up, something I wanted, not necessarily what the Lord wanted for me. But last week He told me—no, He shouted to me. Loud and clear. “I’m in this, dear one. Keep at it.” How do I know that’s what He said? Because He used the judges of a major contest to say it. Actually, they said “Your entry in the Genesis contest is a finalist in its category.” But it amounted to the same thing.

So I am working again—frantically preparing my first ever book proposal, with my first ever serious deadline. And it feels so good. It feels good to know I’ve grown as a writer. It feels good to know that His hand was with me as I wrote.

So I am giving glory to You, Lord. They are Your characters. It’s Your story. I could never have come up with these things on my own. And You have gifted me and taught me how to put its words on paper.

And I am reveling in being able to glorify You through the process.


In My Weakness

I went to my once a month writers group last night—and that was a mistake. It made me depressed, wistful, longing for the days I so recently took for granted, days in which I wrote for the majority of the time my kids were at school. It made my heart hurt and my stomach knot to hear one woman’s wonderful recounting of a recent conference where she made good contacts and had good responses to her work.

I want that again. I want to be in that place of fulfillment. Not publication, necessarily, but fulfillment, satisfaction in the doing of what I was made to do, the act of glorifying God through the sliver of His creativity He endowed to me.

So I came home last night with fingers aching. And yet I can’t do midnight writing. My eyes refuse to hold my contacts without extreme pain for more than 17 or so hours and I can’t see with my outdated, coke-bottle glasses. At least not unless something is up in my face. So I wrote longhand, ideas for a one sheet, although I still struggling with how that is the same or different from a project sheet. I summarized my three “finished” novels (is anything ever REALLY finished?), as well as my two most crystallized ideas for new works. It felt good to do a little something and yet it again made me sad, made me want to run away for a week—even two—and do just what I want to do.

But somehow I don’t think that’s what God intended with His gift. Somehow He intended me to use it in the midst of life, to show not only His creativity but His strength manifested through my weakness. Can I step back, acknowledge my frailty, my exhaustion, and yet walk forward by His power?

I don’t know yet. Right now I just feel weak.

So I packed three boxes, cleaned out my car, and hurled this question into cyberspace, a question I’m sure five bazillion other writers in the course of time have asked. Did they get an answer? They must have. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many books.


Real Me and Writer Me

Sometimes I feel like two different people as I maneuver through life. One is the human person who laughs and cries, who loves and hurts. I’ve been this person a lot lately. We’ve been in crisis at my house. My tiny, six-week-old nephew had open heart surgery. My best friend moved from the house next door. My own house is for sale—with few showings. And I want desperately to move to the city where my kids attend school and do all their activities.

And in the midst of all this humanness—in the midst of all the crisis and emotion—I find another person popping up. The writer person. The writer person is a fascinating creature. In the midst of one recent crisis, I found the writer in me analyzing my reactions, applying them to a character in one of my stories. This is how ____ would feel; this is how she would react. The writer in me noted emotions, physical movements and manifestations, even listened to the words coming out of my own mouth. It’s a strange feeling, that—to be in a situation and yet be detached from it. But as students of human nature, writers have that tendency.

I found myself last week noting how it felt to be in a hospital, watching doctors, nurses, other patients and their families. Tonight, I found myself staring at the empty house next door, reliving the years of next-door-neighboring as well as exploring the pain of separation. I don’t do it to be masochistic. In fact, when the writer person in me takes over, there is little pain.

It isn’t conjured up, this writer person in me. I don’t have to stop and say to myself “Hey, I should take note of this.” It just happens. The writer person wrests itself away from the wrung out, emotional me, takes over of its own volition. After all, the student of human nature never stops learning—even from itself.