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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

There is a time for everything under heaven.

By Jennie Atkns
Have you ever been given a word or what you perceived as a random thought from God that you didn’t quite know what to do with?
That was my situation after returning from ACFW. The word was PREPARE.
Prepare what? And for what? Believe me, after a year loaded with trials, I can honestly say it left me imagining the worst. But I stopped to consider where I was and what I was doing when “the word” appeared on the neon bulletin board of my mind. I was in the midst of struggling with my writing and all the decisions associated with it—traditional publisher or Indie? Agent or no agent? Or perhaps stop writing completely.
I have been striving for publication since 2008. I have completed seven manuscripts and started a dozen more. I’ve received multiple rejections, but earnestly tried to learn from each one. I’ve been told my writing is good, but for some reason I haven’t had the bites from the publishers I’d hoped for. I would like to insert here that I don’t feel my books were so magnificent that they should have been grabbed up immediately. But I had hoped by this time an editor would have showed some interest. My writing journey is no different than any other newbie writer, but it has left me questioning my current path.
I’ve been pushing to expand the exposure of my personal blog. I’ve appeared in multiple other blogs for a broader exposure. I pressed forward with my latest novel in an effort to complete it prior to the conference. Although I have always felt God’s leading with my writing, when I received “the word” I realized I’d only been trying to push my agenda. Not God’s. I was trying to jam a round peg into a square hole. As a result, I felt burned out and confused.
The time has come for me to examine what God wants for me and my writing. I don’t know where I’ll head afterwards, but I must take the time to lean on God and trust in his leading.
From now until the end of March I am abstaining from social websites, blogs, and anything that takes me away from focusing on God’s direction for my life. During that time, I plan to study more, research ways to make my writing better and stronger. Until he sends me in a different direction, I am preparing my heart to receive God’s guidance and my mind for the lessons I will learn.
Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything under heaven. Each of the examples listed in chapter 3 are opposite from each other—they are examples of all or nothing. No fence sitting, no gray area. A time to be born, and a time to die.  A time to weep, and a time to laugh.  A time to love, and a time to hate are a few examples.  
For me . . . this will be a time of growth and making sure I am in the will of God. Although I hesitate to drop everything I’ve been working toward like the proverbial hot potato, I’m determined to take on the approach spelled out in Ecclesiastes and see where God leads.
I’d like to say thanks in advance to Ginger Takamiya who will take my place here on the MBT Ponderers blog while I am away.
God bless you all and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and blessed New Year.

5 comments:

  1. Jennie, I certainly respect and appreciate you and your writing and have been privileged to have some close-up views of your writings. I'm surprised they haven't been picked up yet and keep thinking that the next email from you will be announcing that open door. Your time invested from now until March 1st won't be wasted and I pray God will show you many things but I'm also still praying for good placement of the quite well-crafted ones I've seen. Your plots are memorable and your characters stay with me. I'll be praying for you and with you during this period and send Christmas and New Year's blessings.

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  2. I do not know why I cannot post a comment, but I have tried several times today. This happens to me every time I try to post comments to the Ponderer's blog. Which is why you don't see more of my comments here. Sometimes it's because it has me re-login and it loses everything, or it just stops and shuts down. But I wanted to encourage you Jennie, and I wanted you to know that your post brought tears to my eyes. I understand where you are and I have great respect for your journey. I know that you are in the hands of a loving, gentle, and kind Father.
    The two scriptures that come to mind are Matthew 11:28-30 and James 4:8

    The post just did it again and he raced everything that I just said. But this time I had copied before it happened :-)

    Just know that I am honored to step in for you for a while and look forward to the stories about your journey when you return. God bless you, my friend.

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    1. Regarding comments lost. Same thing happens to me!

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  3. Jennie, I so know where you are. I realized I was pushing my agenda, running around making appointments and submitting to agents and editors because I believed that was what God wanted me to do. But it was such a rat race. I was missing the joy. So I decided I'd quit trying to get published other than to enter contests and attend the Deep Thinker retreats. I would enjoy the journey. It was such a relief to realize it wasn't up to me to get published. That was God job. My job was to learn how to write. For years I claimed Ps. 37:4--Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.--But there's another verse that goes with that one. It's verse 7: Wait patiently upon the Lord. (paraphrasing here). I will miss your posts but look forward to hearing what God does in the next few months!

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  4. Jennie, I agree with Delores, Ginger and Pat. Wishing you the best. Standing in the gap in prayer!

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