April 14, 2018

Ruminating about Roots: Why I Write - Ruth L. Snyder

According to the calendar, it's Spring. In Alberta, that means it could be warm enough outside for the snow to melt into puddles, but also cold enough for fresh snow and freezing wind, still making it feel like Winter. When I was younger, we used to joke that Alberta is the only place you can slip on ice, fall into a mud puddle, and get up and dust yourself off—because the weather changes so quickly in the Spring.

We do know that warmer weather will come to stay sooner or later (Genesis 8:22). Then we will see shoots of green pushing through the sod, pussy willows, and fragile crocus blooms. Everything that grows has roots.

"Roots have two main roles—anchoring street trees in the ground and collecting minerals, oxygen and moisture to supply the tree." (citygreen.com/solutions/managing-tree-roots/)

In other words, roots provide a strong base from which a plant can grow and roots also enable the plant to gather what it needs to grow. As I thought about it, the reasons we write are like roots. Having a clear defined reason to write provides a strong base for our writing. Knowing why we are writing also enables us to sort through material that comes our way and select only those facts, anecdotes, and explanations that will help our story or article grow, blossom, and bless. If we are unclear about why we are writing, we end up with writing that is rambling and ineffective.

This week my husband and I had the opportunity to watch I Can Only Imagine, the story behind the popular song by MercyMe.

The quote that jumped out at me was, "Write about it—Let that pain become your inspiration." 

My first published piece, Gifts From a Loving God, shared how God led my husband and me through infertility and a miscarriage to the place where we adopted our children. My book, Twitter Decoded: Tips and Tools for Authors, shows writers how to use social media and do it without using up precious time they need for writing.

God has been showing me that lately I have been hiding my pain. I choose not to be authentic, because it hurts too much. The problem is, when I hide my pain, my writing comes across as trite and phoney. People around me are hurting. They are hungry for authentic words. The reason I write is to give hope. God wants to use my pain to minister to others:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
I'm working on sharing and being more authentic in my relationships and my writing.

What is God teaching you? Why do you write? Please share in the comments below.

FYI: I wrote this post in a hotel room with four kids around me. Frequent interruptions, a pillow fight, and kids asking me when I would be done.

Ruth and her husband are enjoying the transition to grandparenthood, are working through the struggles of transitioning their twins, who have developmental delays, into the adult world, and are continuing to encourage all five of their kids to grow in grace.


  1. Ruth,
    You created a lovely thoughtful post in spite of all those pillow fights and interruptions.

    I relate to your line: "Knowing why we are writing also enables us to sort through material that comes our way and select only those facts, anecdotes, and explanations that will help our story or article grow, blossom, and bless." It really helps to hone our reasons why we write. Thanks for this.


    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Brenda!

      I still catch myself writing before I stop and think through that “why” and it takes me longer than if I have a clear focus.

  2. I concur with everything Brenda said! I am looking forward to seeing the movie you referenced, too. Our most powerful lessons come out of pain, I think, and so it makes sense that our most impactful writing also comes from that same place...

    1. Yes, our most impactful and powerful lessons and writing come from pain. Knowing that and acting on it are two different steps. I’m grateful for God’s patient interventions in my life ❤️

  3. I find nothing "phoney" or "trite" in your writing, Ruth. You and Kendall definitely have deep roots in your family tree. The commitment you have to your adoptive family is obviously built on the nurturing love of God.

    I pray 16 that ". . .according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

    I believe I've previously read "Gifts from a Loving God," but it touched my heart again. Thanks for sharing your joys, your challenges and your pain. From what I've seen, you and Kendall are "rooted and grounded" in love. Keep on writing, Ruth L. Snyder!

    1. Sharon,
      Thank you for your consistent encouragement and prayer support. Your friendship is a gift that I deeply treasure!

  4. It's not always easy to share our pain. Often we just feel like hiding away from the world and its hurts. But if we allow our pain to inspire our writing, we will find relief and provide comfort and encouragement to others who are going through similar experiences. It is God's desire that we use our gift to share His hope and blessings with others.

    1. You are correct, Nina. Very good reasons to share our pain 😀

  5. Writing from pain to inspire hope. Good going. Always enjoy your content, Ruth. Thought I would write to let you know. Write on!

  6. Thanks for your encouragement, Bob!


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