I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sharing the Load




For the past four summers, I have helped my husband direct a week-long church camp for 3rd-6th graders. Every year I head into camp thinking of all the ways I can impact the kids who attend, and every year I come home amazed by all the ways they impacted me. This year was no different.

Let me start by pointing out that the book of Galatians (6:2) tells us to bear each other’s burdens, and that by doing so we are fulfilling the law of Christ. (Remember, when Jesus was asked about the law he said that we were to first love God and then love each other.) Next let me mention ever-so-gently that as adults, we can get so caught up in all of our own burdens that we forget about those around us. (What? I’m the only one? )

I would be completely misrepresenting the over 300 kids that attended our camp if I said they didn’t come with burdens. Because they did…some too many and too heavy for any child to have to deal with alone. And for the five days they shared at Silver Lake Camp, they didn’t have to. Every night for four nights I watched whole cabins gather together in clusters around the giant chapel to pray together, to stand together before their Heavenly Father and petition Him on behalf of each other for relief, healing, understanding, peace, deliverance, and every other need you can imagine. And make no mistake; this was not just adults praying for kids or kids praying for each other. I watched the tiniest kids praying for the biggest adults and I have to be honest, it wrecked me.

Most of us know that writing is notorious for being a very solitary undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can’t be. Like any predator, Satan needs only separate his prey from the pack for a successful takedown, but there is safety in numbers. God was pretty clear about us caring for each other, no matter what we do for a living or in our spare time, to help keep us from being easy prey. But we have to be aware of the burdens of those around us as well as those of our own.

I am blessed to have a wonderful group of writer friends who would carry my burden in a heartbeat if I needed them to, and the feeling is mutual. We share our burdens with each other and as a result they become lighter and easier to bear. I hope that you have a group like that, but if not, I strongly recommend My Book Therapy or American Christian Fiction Writers. Both are awesome communities. Like church camp. For adult writers! =)

~Heidi Larson Geis

P.S. Don't forget to click on our Contest! tab for details about the August contest and how to win Susan May Warren's PJ Sugar series!

17 comments:

  1. I always push back against the belief that writing is a solitary pursuit. Yes and no. Yes, I spend a lot of time with me, myself and I in front of my computer. And no, because I need the community--the encouragement I find when I spend time with other writers. And, yes, that encouragement can be find from online friendships too!
    Great post, Heidi!

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  2. I think writing is as solitary as we make it. Personally, since I started writing, I feel like I interact MORE with other writers than I do with people in other walks of my life. I have a writing group online that started out when I wrote fanfiction. They led me to ACFW, and this year, I go to my first conference! We share one another's burdens, cry for one another when called upon, and always, ALWAYS pray for one another.

    Thanks for this post, Heidi. Sometimes we just need to step back and realize what a great God we have, and what He's provided for us!

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  3. Nothing like great writer friends who get you!

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  4. Thanks for the post, Heidi! I have heard that writing is a solitary "thing," and I can see why people say this. What I hadn't considered in this area of writing (though I had in the general sense of our walk with Jesus) was that Satan can use even the desire and walking out of our desire to write as a way to isolate "his prey." Thank you for the exhortation to deliberately become involved with others in this area of my life. I will be pondering how to be more proactive in meeting this need in my life.

    For the record, it is so fun for this reader to see how "connected" you MBT Ponderers are!

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  5. Beth~ I don't know many writers in my area, so my online communities are my life line. I think that like you, we have to choose to push back against the solitary thing and surround ourselves with other writers. Thanks for being one of those who constantly encourages me!!

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  6. Regina~ My writing journey was just the opposite of yours! I found and joined ACFW before I really got serious about my writing. I attended the Denver conference (maybe we met there!!) and it was what sort of launched me into a more serious pursuit of writing. On the heels of the conference, I attended the My Book Therapy Story Crafters retreat (I HIGHLY recommend it!) and that is where I met my Ponderer friends who have become my writing group.

    And I am so thankful every day for God's gifts and provision...He spoils me rotten!

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  7. Terri~I appreciate that you GET me! Thanks for riding over the bridge with me...I will ever be grateful that God (and your brother and Paula) orchestrated that awesome carpool!

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  8. Jeanne~ I am so glad I could encourage you! I am constantly amazed at what Satan can use against us...he is a cunning predator. I will be praying that God will bring you other writers with whom you can connect. And hey, you already have us!!

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  9. Great post, Heidi! I just love it when kids teach us adults!

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  10. Fellowship with other writers...good.
    Fellowship with other Christians...better.
    Fellowship with other Christian writers...priceless!

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  11. Melissa~ thanks! Since Craig is a full time children's pastor, we get schooled by kids on a regular basis! There is a reason Jesus tells us to come like children!

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  12. Ava! I LOVE that...so clever and so true. It made me smile. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Heidi, I'm glad I could cross that bridge with you too. I'm still marveling over the way the Lord worked all of that out!

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  14. Heidi, Don't ever let anyone or anything tell you you are not a writer. This was so well-expressed and so straight from your heart that it was deeply impacting. Who knew summer camp was sacred ground, but it is. In fact, that's where I became a Christian...but maybe I'm supposed to blog on that sometime.
    THANK YOU for a wonderful post!

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  15. Heidi, how did I miss you at the Denver conference? So sorry we didn't connect then. There is something super special about Christian writer friends. The bonds are often instant and go so deep. Priceless.

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  16. Delores, thank you so much for that awesome word of encouragement. I appreciate it more than you may ever know! And I can't wait to hear your summer camp story!

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  17. Jenness~ I didn't know one single soul at the Denver conference! I decided to go the Monday before, got on a plane all by myself, and had to stay at a nearby hotel because the conference hotel was full. And then, I missed almost all of Friday because my car accident injuries decided to flare up. That and the fact that there were over 500 people attending, make it no surprise to me that we didn't connect, lol! But I'm glad we are now connected...and it was almost instant (and priceless) once I finally met you! =)

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