June 02, 2011

In a State of High Dudgeon - Marcia Laycock

I found myself there this past week. "In a state of high dudgeon." -- a state or fit of intense indignation; resentment; ill humour.

A more common word for it is discouragement. It's a nasty word and an even nastier reality. But it happens. We have days when things overwhelm us, when bad news brings us low, when we wonder if God really has given us this task, this ministry of writing. And if He has, why doesn't he let a few others in on the secret?

I had one of those days this week. I'd been fighting it for some time, ever since learning that the treatments I'll have to undergo for cancer may be more extensive than originally thought. That could mean I'll have to cancel a trip to the arctic that has been planned for over a year. Then I got an email from my publisher telling me my next novel may not be published after all. And an attempt to solicit help from friends to promote my e-book was a dismal failure. A phone call from my sister who is watching our mother die in a town on the other side of the country left me on the edge. All of this has left me feeling tired and unwilling to keep trying to roll that huge ball of life uphill.

Discouragement. It can lead to frustration and frustration to anger and anger to lack of faith. It was my husband who reminded me of this. I guess he was seeing the signs. He reminded me that my worth is not dependent on selling millions of books. He reminded me that success does not rest on being on the best sellers list. He reminded me about some of the changes in people's lives because they've read my novel. He reminded me that joy does not rely on the circumstances around me but comes from knowing I am loved by a God who gave his own life for mine.

That lifted my head, made me look up again and realize that God is here, with me. He's the one who gave the ball a mighty heave to get it moving in the first place and I know he's not going to abandon me or let it roll back on top of me.

A friend sent me this scripture yesterday. It helped lift my head up too: "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8).

And then there's this one: "I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber" (Psalm 121 - 1-3).

So I am lifting my eyes to see the gifts of God around me - the burgeoning green of spring; the deep red of geraniums in my living room that just won't quit blooming; the hugs and prayers of friends who just won't quit encouraging me. And I am thankful.

Marcia writes from central Alberta where she lives with her husband of 30 years, two golden retrievers and a six-toed cat. Visit her website - www.vinemarc.com


  1. Loved your post, Marcia.

    Encouraged by your transparency. Enjoyed learning that oh-so-perfect phrase to describe that 'state' we all find ourselves in on occasion.

    Best of all... loved hearing the testimony of all those lovely ways He's been gifting you with encouragement these days.

    I'm adding another verse from 11 Cor... one of my fav's in times like these......

    11 Cor 2:14 Thanks be to God who through Christ Jesus ALWAYS causes me to triumph.

    Your posting is filled with light and hope!

  2. Marcia, Thanks for your honesty and the reminder of where our worth comes from. I'm sure you are very grateful for such a loving husband, and even more thankful for our loving Heavenly Father! Keep looking up.

  3. It must be very hard to go through difficult times as you do now. But take heart, this too will pass. Try to take comfort in simple pleasure and small rewards and awards coming your way. My favorite strenghthening scriptures during hard times are Habakkuk 3;17 and Malachi 4:2. Hope you'll find comfort in them too.

  4. We need to give our heads a shake, don't we, when we question ourselves because we aren't getting the responses we want for our efforts. Even though they aren't as vocal as the publishers and editors, people are encouraged by our writing, and I believe there are many, everywhere.

    Thank you for inspiring me with your devotions, Marcia, and for giving me courage today in my minor health struggle. As a friend of mine said while battling cancer, "Count it all joy when you fall into many afflictions; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" God is the author of our joy each day and He is faithful.


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