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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stepping Out and Sharing Your Gift

Photo by nota/Stockxchange.com

I would like to continue on Ginger's thoughts from Monday's blog. You have a gift to give others.
Stay with me here.
I prayed about going back to college to finish the degree I started before having children. I fretted about how going back to school would affect my kids. With all my existing responsibilities, my desire to write--could I really do it after being out of school for the last (yikes!) 15 years?
Remember the story of Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)? Do you realize that at the same time he performed this miracle, Jesus was grieving the death of John the Baptist, his cousin? And that when he got to the other side of the water, there were people waiting for him? People needed him.
So it is with you and me. We have responsibilities, families, jobs--and they all compete for our time and attention.
But people still need the gifts God instilled in each of us.
The gifting God placed in you--to write, to serve, whatever it is--God is calling you to do it (Ephesians 2: 10). God has also given you the ability to accomplish what he's called you too. As a writer, you need to know that people need to read the story hidden inside of you.
So, back to my decision to finish college.
Being the researcher that I am, I went to talk to an advisor. I explained my situation: mother of four returning to college after a 15 year hiatus. You know what she said? She waved her hand in the air and said, "You're a mom! You are used to juggling."
This was her response after watching many, many moms return to school! How much more can you and I accomplish with God on our side? He is looking at you and he knows you can do it!
For me, my kids have already been blessed. They have watched me study and they've helped me get things done--and they've even laughed with me.
Now I'm stepping out in faith as I pursue my passion to write.
I know you can too.

Be Blessed!
~Alena Tauriainen

Don't forget to take part in our monthly contest
for a chance to win the PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren!


  1. Oh Alena, I just miss you so much! You always have such encouragement...and your blog post is no different. Juggling isn't an easy thing to do, but my husband tells me that to be successful you must keep your eyes up, be always looking at the "big picture," and never try to watch each individual thing you juggle. I think this makes a lot of sense in real life as well. It made me think about later in the story when Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus. As long as he kept his eyes up and looking at Jesus, he succeeded. But as soon as he looked down, he was sunk. I know I am mixing metaphors here, but we must step out of the boat and then keep our eyes on Jesus as we juggle all of the amazing gifts He has given us!

    Thank you, once again, for being an awesome cheerleader. And you can do it, Alena, all of it...because we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us!! Love you!

  2. Alena, you hit so many important truths here: the risk involved in sharing our gifts; the challenge of juggling competing priorities; the importance of faith; the value of having others who believe in us.

  3. So inspiring, AT. You make me smile, and think I can make it through the day in front of me. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Some of the very responsibilities and commitments you mentioned, Alena, have kept me from the Ponderers blog in the past week. Whew, I'm glad I made it here today - such a message I need to hear. When there's a lot to juggle, writing sometimes feels like a selfish ambition. But you've reminded me it's a gift I really can use for others...the line that hit me hardest: "As a writer, you need to know that people need to read the story hidden inside of you."

    Wonderful post, girlfriend! And congrats on going back to college!

  5. It'a amazing to me just how much we think we are the only ones experiencing these emotions and insecurities. I love this blog ...it allows us to see we are not the only ones! Thanks so much for the encouragement, help and prayers! We can do this...Jesus is cheering us on!

  6. My husband jokes that I was on the "12-year plan" for college. 2 years on, two kids, then back to school 10 years later! Graduated in December 1999 Magna Cum Laude, with my husband and kids watching proudly from the audience. That adviser is right. You're a mom. You know how to juggle. And now I want to write, and sometimes think I can't handle it. What am I thinking? If I got through THAT, surely, since my kids are mostly grown now, I can do THIS? Jesus IS cheering us on. Thanks for the post, Alena!

  7. Risking and juggling can certainly lead to stress--which is why we need the other elements of your post as well--faith and a support team.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Alena,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. You are right, God has given us many, many gifts - which include the Ponderers!

  9. Alena, Thanks for your encouragement! As always, I appreciate your wisdom.

  10. Alena,

    I sure enjoyed your post. I really like how you brought together all the pieces of what Jesus was dealing with when He walked on water, and tied that in with our responsibilities and the calling God has on each of our lives. Thanks also for the reminder about how, when God calls us, He also equips us. I guess I need to first be like Peter (as was mentioned above) and have the faith to step out of the boat. Then, when I begin to feel overwhelmed by all the priorities and "stuff of life," look to Jesus, rather than the stuff causing the waves in my heart. You've given me much to ponder. Thanks so much!

  11. Ditto on the quote Melissa pulled from your post. It's easy to let myself get distracted, especially on this particular wip. Thanks for the reminder, Alena. I think I needed it. :-)

  12. I love to Ponder God's mysteries for me. :D

    I did a blog about that verse from Ephesians not too long ago.

    I am still amazed at the love God had for us when He created us!

    My son said, "I love you more than GOD!" I giggled, "No one can love you more than God, not even mommy. God loved us so much that He created us! He even died for us!"
    That was hard to say being the mommy, but I know how deep my love runs for that kid...but God loves him more...SO much, that He has plans for my baby.

    And for me.

    He's given me a story that I feel like Him and I are developing in the wee hours of the morning (well, 5am is wee enough for me)
    but I feel it inside of me , and even when I don't feel it, that verse is there to remind me that there IS a plan for me, and that God will be faithful and just to finish the good work he's begun in me.

    That includes the story He wants me to share with the world.

    Thank you SO much for the post, Alena.
    God bless, honey.

  13. Alena, thank you for the reminder that through Christ we can do all things. I know that wasn't in your post exaclty but it sure sprang to my mind. Today I've been juggling five 7th grade classes, a scratchy voice, working on a 1-sheet and getting ready to pitch to an editor tomorrow. I am so glad I took time to read your post. It encouraged and lifted me up!

  14. PAT! You are pitching to an editor tomorrow? Congrats! I know you will do an awesome job, especially now that Alena has reminded you that people need to hear your story. Keep us posted! =)

  15. Alena, you filled this so full of practical reality and inspiration. Thanks for building on Pat's so beautifully. Love the part about Jesus had people waiting for and counting on Him, too--so true, and doesn't He still.
    Thank you for the beautiful job you always do.

  16. I pitched, but unfortunately no one told me the editor only took proposals from your agent...which I don't have. Yet.