This month we are asked to share an experience in our writing life when we found that to give thanks in everything was especially difficult.
Last year I had many wonderful opportunities in my writing life. I had several novelettes and a devotional book published and was able to grow my network of writing friends, learn new skills, and try new challenges. Through this process, I received an invitation from an editor to submit a novel I was working on. She told me she really liked what she saw in the first twenty thousand words and she would offer me a contract once I submitted the whole manuscript to her. I was ecstatic about this opportunity and worked hard. However, when I was at sixty thousand words, I knew I needed to put the project on the shelf, at least for the time being, so that I could spend more time with my children.
I found this very difficult, because I was being asked to put aside something I enjoyed doing and knew I could do well. Every time someone asked me how my writing was going, I felt those pangs of embarrassment, defeat, and even anger. Why did God give me the ability and opportunity to write this novel, only to yank it away from me?
Often I find myself focusing on my problems instead of seeing the big picture. If I allow myself to continue doing this, my problems seem to grow and multiply. One thing that has helped me immensely is choosing gratitude. Giving thanks - writing or speaking what I am grateful for - takes the focus off the problem and restores my perspective. So, in my writing life, I am choosing to be thankful for the writing projects I AM able to pursue while my children are still young and at home. I may not be able to write a novel right now, but I can write blog posts and devotionals incorporating lessons God is teaching me through my children. They will sprout up and fly off soon enough. In the meantime, I can use my time to enjoy making memories with them and also share what I'm learning on the journey. This focus keeps me encouraged and also helps other parents who may be struggling.
As I focus on gratefulness, I'm reminded that:
- God is faithful
- God is loving
- God is all-powerful
- God created me and knows me better than I know myself
- God granted me the ability to write
If I truly want to glorify God with my writing, then I need to trust Him to open and close the doors of opportunity.
How have you found gratitude helps you?