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, July 11, 2012

Prayer and Forward Motion Along the Writing Road


By Beth K. Vogt

There are times my journey along the writing road is more of a plod than a sprint. I drag myself forward, determined to focus on the finish line – be it a deadline or a conference or even a 300 word blog post. Interruptions feel like personal affronts meant to derail my dreams … and really, is that my voice? The one snapping at my husband that he doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a writer who works from home – when truly, he is the most understanding of men?

At times like these, when I find myself looking for the exit ramp off the writing road, God always provides encouragement. How? Usually he directs another writer to form a human barrier and block my path, while reminding me that God is bigger than all this. That I’ve been here before. That I’m not doing this writer’s life alone.

Tacked up on the wall beside my desk is a prayer sent to me by one such writer friend. Camille Eide and I met last year at the ACFW conference. (Along with the My Book Therapy retreats, this is a must-attend conference for me.) From the get-go, I liked this woman. She’s talented, yes indeed. But more than that, she’s real. And she writes honest.

Last January I wrote a blog where I apologized to my family and friends for having to live with writer-me. Today I share with you the words Camille prayed for me:

Lord,
Please bless the work of our fingers and the sacrifices of our time with family. Guide the words our hearts tumble out, may they make Jesus a little clearer to someone and be eternally worth every moment spent arranging them on the page.

No matter where you are in your writing journey – pre-published or published, slogging along or running like an Olympian – may you embrace the hope woven through Camille’s prayer. Take time to ask God to guide the words your heart tumbles out. Ask that the words you write are used to bring others one step closer to Jesus. Ask God to remind you that your moments spent writing are never, ever wasted.

How’s it going along the writing road for you? What helps you keep moving forward?


15 comments:

  1. Beth,
    True words of wisdom.
    I keep reminding myself God is in control and His timing is perfect. :-)

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  2. Beth,
    True words of wisdom.
    I keep reminding myself God is in control and His timing is perfect. :-)

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  3. Beth,
    True words of wisdom.
    I keep reminding myself God is in control and His timing is perfect. :-)

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  4. Beth,
    True words of wisdom.
    I keep reminding myself God is in control and His timing is perfect. :-)

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  5. Beth,

    As someone who's been talked out of taking the writing road exit many times, I really appreciate this thoughtful and encouraging post.

    Thanks so much for sharing Camille's earnest prayer.

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  6. Good, good stuff, Beth!

    What keeps me going: The encouragement of family and friends and reminders here and there from God that this is, in fact, the path He wants me on. It seems like every time I start to doubt it, He throws a crazy clear reminder my way. :) He's awesome like that!

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  7. Alena,
    Since the whole "wait, wait, wait" process can be crazy making, remembering that His time is perfect is so important.
    And, Roxanne, I think we've settled the whole "You're not going anywhere but forward" question, haven't we?
    ;)
    Melissa, I love God's crazy clear reminders -- and the people who deliver them.

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing Camille's prayer, Beth. I try to spend some time in prayer each time I sit down to write to remind myself that the reason I'm writing is to share God's love with others.

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  9. Oh Beth, I'm so glad you have continued to hang in there. Your writing is so important to so many people. I'm glad that sometimes even when you may not always think that, you set aside what you feel and think and listen to what is truth.

    Wonderful post!

    Stay at it. We need you so much!

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  10. Great post, Beth. What keeps me going? Knowing this is God's path for me, wanting to see His promises fulfilled.

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  11. Beth, this post is so timely for me. In fact, I read it with tears in my eyes. My takeaway--God is bigger than all of this.

    I received an email with a new opportunity to grow as a writer, but my insecurities and fears threatened to overwhelm me. I put my hand in God's and asked Him to lead the way down this bumpy road.

    Thank you for your transparency!

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  12. Mary,
    It was a delight to share Camille's prayer. I treasure the encouragement of other writers -- you included.
    Ginger, thank you for always cheering me on.
    Paula, I know you focus is on him and that you bathe your writing -- and others' -- in prayer.
    And Lisa, you are such a woman of faith. I know God has bigger and better blessings ahead for you.

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  13. I love the prayer. I think about not writing novels sometimes, but find myself more committed to continuing than I though, and believe God is indicating to continue--pus I think I'm seeing improvement. Will keep giving it my best shot and see where this all ends up.

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  14. Camille's prayer is awesome! And just what I needed. The thing that stops me most times is exhaustion. I over commit and end up too worn out to string any words together. The one thing that keeps me moving forward is knowing I'm on the path God set me on. Great post, Beth!

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  15. Thank you for sharing this. Timely for me.

    How's it going for me on the writing road? Not well. At the moment I'm discouraged and resisting the urge to give up. The phrases I keep hearing in my head? "What difference does it make? Who cares whether you write or not anyway? Why keep beating yourself up, trying to cram writing time into a schedule already full of a demanding more-than-fulltime law practice and the needs of your family?"

    I don't think I'll quit, but sometimes the urge is strong.

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