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, January 4, 2012

What will you do with the New Year?

It’s 2012, and change is in the air. Everyone is setting new goals and looking forward to making those goals happen. Expectations abound.

But what if last year’s goals resulted in dismal failure? As some of mine did. My goal was to get an agent, then an editor. I got rejections. So this year I was a little fearful about making new goals.

Until I thought about…the farmer.

Yes, the farmer. Think about it. Every spring, regardless of past failures, he plants a new crop, hope and anticipation mixing with the fresh turned dirt. He plants his seed in faith, and then he waits. He’s done all he physically can do. He can’t make the seed grow or control the amount of rain that falls. Those things are in God’s hands.

Like the farmer, we set our goals, do the preparation and look forward to seeing the harvest. But sometimes our goals don’t get the needed rain or they stagnate, and we perceive that as failure. So we quit trying. We become afraid to try new things.

What is fear keeping you from doing? Not writing because you fear you’re not good enough? Maybe you’ve written the story God laid on your heart, but you don’t send it out because you fear rejection, or you’ve been rejected. Or maybe there’s something new you want to try, but the fear of failing holds you back.

A few years ago, my eighty-something mother learned how to program a VCR. Last summer she wanted to learn how to use a computer but was afraid she couldn’t do it. I told her anyone who could program a VCR could learn how to Google. In a short period of time she was Googling and doing Face Book. She even has her own FB page. This past Christmas, she learned how to text.

So, if my ninety-year-old mother can risk failing, so can you. So can I. This week, my proposal goes out to a new agent and a new editor. Then I will wait. The harvest is in God’s hands.

Here at MBT Ponderers we’ve pondered and prayed about our new goals, and now we’re stepping out in faith as we implement a new look.

What new thing will you do this year?

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

Pat Trainum

I asked God to teach me patience and He gave me a book to write


  1. Pat, I love the analogy of the farmer. It's so true!! I grew up on my grandparents' dairy farm and remember the challenges and triumphs they faced every year. Despite the challenges, they kept at it because they were called to be farmers.

    When God places a call on our hearts, we need to be obedient. We are not alone in our journey. He anoints our steps and holds our hands.

    This year I'm challenging myself to write 4 books--1 book every three months. That's a huge challenge because my writing time is limited and I'm not a speedy writer. By plotting my roadmap and knowing my characters ahead of time, I can rise up to meet the challenge!

    Praying for your submissions, friend!

  2. Pat, you are one of the few who can probably understand just how much I needed to read this blog post this week. It was almost like a devotional...or a good, loving kick in the seat. Thank you, my dear friend. Hands back on the plow.

  3. Oh, Lisa, I so admire you. What a fantastic goal. Would you please do a workshop on time management???!!

  4. Pat, this is a beautiful post. Thanks for the words of encouragement, and for reminding me to remember my role in the work God is doing and His role (like the farmer!). This writing business really requires us to keep our hearts yielded to Him, doesn't it? Thanks for being transparent today. :)

  5. Yes, Renee, I truly understand. But keep your hand on the plow and don't look back. You know what happens then, don't you? You plow a crooked row. lol
    Keep on Keeping on, my friend.

  6. Jeanne, thank you for your words of encouragement.

  7. Pat, I'm praying that agent and editor snatch you right up!

    I, too, love the farming analogy. Partially 'cause I'm an Iowan and I love farms. But also because it rings so true. There's a big lesson there...we either learn and grow from those seasons of waiting or, like you said, we get fearful and quit.

    Here's to staying the course and trying new things and seeing a harvest of God's handiwork. :)

  8. Melissa, thank you and Lisa for those prayers! And you're so right about our seasons of waiting. I've learned waiting doesn't mean just sitting down, either. A farmer doesn't just sit and wait for rain, he actively cultivates it so the crop will be ready when it does rain.

  9. Pat:
    I mean ... such a profound truth. So encouraging ... your post brought tears to my eyes even as it brought hope to my heart.
    I've been discouraged as a writer. I know writers who are, at this very moment, discouraged.
    I know this post, this nugget of truth, will speak hope and truth to them!
    Thank you.

  10. Beth, thank you so much for the encouragement. As I wrote this post I was reminded that when God calls you to do something, He will equip you...even down to the waiting. Because I am NOT a waiter. But as I see His hand in the process, I see Him teaching me patience.

  11. Thanks for this fine analogy, Pat! Love it. What new thing will I do? Well, I'm attempting an historical. That's new for this contemporary gal.

  12. Way to go, Teri! I know it will be great. I can't wait to read it! It's so great to see you here. Looking forward to reading your post soon.

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  14. Pat,
    Thank you. I really needed to get back to plowing straight.

    I have to admit, my rows have been crooked.

    This soldier is marching on, celebrating the small victories and picking up the unmet goals from 2011 to (prayerfully), success in 2012.

    Thank you my friend!
    Alena T.

  15. Okay, Alena, no more looking backward. And I totally know what you mean about unmet goals! Working on mine now.

  16. Not looking back but planning and hopeful for tomorrow...and the next day...and the next. In the hands of the Creator all the while.

  17. Amen, Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Pat, your mom sounds like a real go-getter who has taught you well! Praying for a plentiful harvest for you!

  19. Thank you Sandra. My mom is awesome! Thanks for stopping by.

  20. First of all, here's a message for your mom: "You GO, girl!!!!!"

    This is a truly encouraging post, Pat. (I have passed it around.) You were definitely inspired by our great God, and were then faithful to cast out the good seed!!! I join with these other women in gathering and storing your words. They have nourished us all.

    God will surely bless your faithfulness.
    Many thanks!

  21. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Patti. God is my inspiration and my joy.

    I will be sure to pass your message on to my mom.

    Thanks for stopping by

  22. Once again I missed catching a Wens. blog (actually, had computer problems, as in take it to the tech store.)
    Love this, it brought salve & new hope to my heart. I'll keep on planting and watering by continuing writing (working on my historical this time), & as Paul says, "God gives the increase."
    Thanks, Pat. I really appreciate this.

  23. I appreciate this post. So encouraging for those of us struggling with goals. I pray you get an agent!

  24. Pat, this is a fabulous post! Nobody could have put this process better. I love the comparison to a farmer. Lord knows I see this happen everyday from where I live.

    Thanks for the reminder that if we plant the seeds, God will take care of the rest.


  25. Thanks Dee and Roxanne and Kathy! Your encouragement gladdens my heart. Yep, Kathy, we see those farmers every time we get out of the house, lol

  26. Your mom sounds amazing! :-) She and Brandilyn's mom would get along well, wouldn't they?

    Great blog, and a great reminder. Thanks, Pat!