January 02, 2016

When it All Seems Wrong by Marcia Lee Laycock

Jumbled Letters

“It has to be here somewhere,” my husband’s voice was annoyingly calm.

“But the road ends right here!” My voice was not.

“Are you sure you have the address right?”

I sighed and dug out my cell phone to find the website and address for the courier again. I groaned when it finally came up. The number was 7476 not 4767. I opened my GPS app. and typed in the correct address. My husband chuckled as it directed us to the right spot.

I always have been a bit dyslexic when it comes to numbers but I couldn’t believe I had gotten the address so wrong. Not just one number out of place, but all of them! I sighed with frustration.

I remember having that same feeling one day when I was editing my first novel. I had put it away for a while, after writing The End, but now it was time to take a close critical look at it. I marked it up with my own unique editing notations and when I reached that last page I sighed with frustration. Many scenes seemed out of order. In fact, it seemed all wrong. I was tempted to just hit the delete button and start again, but there were segments I liked, characters that worked and scenes that had a good emotional punch. If I could just figure out where to put them! It took a while but the hard work of rearranging was worth it in the end. The novel won me the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award and I have had some wonderful responses from readers. In the end, I was glad I hadn’t hit that delete button.

Sometimes life seems like that doesn’t it? Sometimes we look at what’s going on around us, in our world, in our country, in our own local area and even in our own family, and it seems like it’s all mixed up – it’s all wrong. Sometimes we’d like to just hit some kind of delete button and start over. But then we see those shining moments when things do work, when the goodness and kindness of humanity prevail, or when right conquers wrong in a stunningly powerful way. We realize our world, our country, our city, our family and our work is worth the effort.

And then there are those wonderful promises in God’s word: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). And this one: The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged (Deuteronomy 31:8).

2016 will no doubt have many challenges and perhaps even trials in store that will stretch us all in many ways. There will be times when it will seem that everything, including our writing, is all wrong.

But as we head into a new year it is good to remember that “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22,23).

May He bless you and your writing mightily in 2016!

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has two devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon

It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon. Here's a review by Tandy Balson:

"In Abundant Rain, author Marcia Laycock has given writers of faith a tool to challenge and inspire. The devotional journal has stories from the author’s life, each one ending with the lessons she learned from them. I found myself applying these lessons to my life and my writing as I was still reading them. This journal is a valuable resource that will help us dig deeper into our calling as writers."

Her most recent release is A Traveler’s Advisory, Stories of God’s Grace Along the Way. 
Here's a review by Ane Mulligan -
"Marcia Laycock has an inspired ability to deliver devotions that pierce the heart with a message from God. A Travelers Advisory is a unique devotion book, filled with everyday occurrences from travel, and each reached home in my heart."

Sign up to receive her devotional column, The Spur


  1. As I read, I conjured up an image of the delete button being akin to the old fashioned fire place in the writer's corner. I can just see the frustrated author throwing all those pages into the flames! Delete is faster, and I've considered the same action at times. I might hit delete, but hopefully I'll refrain from emptying the trash until I've run it by the Lord. Good caution, Marcia.

  2. Marcia, thanks for the encouragement. This morning I was going over some writing and it seemed all wrong! i read your post and smiled. I could see there were some good pieces, I have not hit the delete button, I am working on editing. Revamping … It happens; it brings a better end product.

  3. Anonymous3:27 pm GMT-7

    Oh that delete button. It is often a wished item in life, period! But there is meaning in it all, isn't there?. Sometimes we just have to fix and re-arrange how we see the story, our story even, unfolding. Happy New Year!

  4. Much needed encouragement from someone who has been there! thanks

  5. Thanks for your encouraging words, Marcia.

    Sometimes we get in too much of a hurry with our writing. Editing forces us to slow down and really think about each word, the nuances, and the pictures that are painted.

    "It took a while but the hard work of rearranging was worth it in the end." May each piece we send out this year be the very best we can make it.

  6. I've been having some of those 'it all seems wrong' moments in family relationships during this past Christmas season...there is in fact much that IS wrong. I like how you compared it to writing (something that I relate to) and how in the end, with God's help and some hard work, it can turn out (maybe not as we planned but still good).

  7. I love your anecdote. Yes, I agree that sometimes it would be nice to hit the delete button and start again--but I am thankful that God gives us those "eucharisteo" moments when we KNOW He is there with us. Your Scriptures are an excellent reminder of His presence and faithfulness. Thanks Marcia.

  8. I'm singing. Great is thy faithfulness! Love it. I have to rearrange my life a lot, too, and because of God's great grace and His unconditional love, it always works out. Great perspective. Thanks, Marcia!

  9. I'm singing. Great is thy faithfulness! Love it. I have to rearrange my life a lot, too, and because of God's great grace and His unconditional love, it always works out. Great perspective. Thanks, Marcia!

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  11. You write so clearly, Marcia, that I could feel and identify with your emotions of frustration and "I've got it all wrong." This may seem funny, but I recognized those feelings so well that it brought to mind Dennis Lee's "children's" poem, "The Muddy Puddle". We can sit there "getting wetter" as we "very slowly settle to the Bottom of the Mud" or we can pull ourselves up and get on with the rewrite.

    We who have read your first novel are glad you chose to pull yourself out of that puddle. You knew that the Lord would go before you and he would help you with revisions. You did not let your discouragement keep you in the muddy puddly. Thanks for showing us that we need not be discouraged and afraid for the Lord will help pull us through our writing and other life crises.


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