According to our Blog Archives, November 7 marks the thirteenth anniversary of InScribe Writers’ Online. The first blogs in 2006 included book reviews, short stories, essays, devotionals, tributes, and poetry. Marcia Laycock even included the opening scene of her novel-in-progress, One Smooth Stone. (You can review some of the blogs here.)
This month we celebrate our progress. We also celebrate God’s faithfulness in our lives and/or writing, using this verse as a prompt: “…you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you” (Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV).
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|(Free Bible Images)|
My thoughts on celebrating began recently when a friend told me about his Bible study with a group of young teens and pre-teens. After discussing how King David danced as he celebrated the Ark of the Covenant coming home to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:6-19), my friend asked his participants, “What do you celebrate?” Most celebrated their success at school.
“Anything else?” he asked.
They didn’t have much to answer until one teen said, “Celebrating is different from being thankful.” They learned that it takes more thought to celebrate than it does to give thanks.
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Recently my devotions focused on the desert wanderings of the Israelites. There was a repeated theme: God miraculously provided for them to encourage their faith. However, instead of remembering and celebrating, they complained and rebelled at each step of the way until God brought permanent judgment.
Forty years later, with the younger generation on the cusp of reaching the promised land, Moses encouraged his followers, “Remember how the Lord your God led you” (Deuteronomy 8:2, NLT). Moses was reminding the people to focus on God in leading and sustaining them.
Remembering is important because it is easy to miss God and His significant gifts.
So for me to remember, I listed major events in my writing journey. My list pointed out God’s many gifts along the way and how He spoke to me. I share some of them with you.
The gift of His purpose. How often I’m drawn to God’s words to Jeremiah, “I am your Creator, and before you were born, I chose you to speak for me” (1:5 CEV). God has chosen us as writers to speak for Him in the genres of our abilities.
The gift of seed desires to write. When I think of the verse, “He shall give you the desires of your heart,” (Psalm 37:4) I know that He not only gives us desires, He also planted those desires in us in the first place.
The gift of creativity. I think of how God used Brenda Ueland, in her little book If You Want to Write, to expand my creativity. She exudes tenderness and warmth as she encouraged, “You are talented, and you are original…This creative power and imagination is in everyone, and so is the need to express it.”
The gift of practice and breakthroughs in confidence in my writing skills. I noticed specific times when God gave me beautiful breakthroughs—writing became more fluid, I took the next step of faith, and opportunities opened up to me.
The gift of wisdom in knowing which desired projects to leave and which to pursue. We all have unfinished projects in our computer files. I’ve discovered some are unworkable and need to be set aside, while I need to work on others, revise and polish, and submit for publication.
The gift of His presence, especially when we struggle with doubt or uncertainty. Once when I was groping for a solution to a difficult issue, God spoke to me: "I am with you in your struggles." How He lifted my faith through this encouragement!
The gift of His prompting, along with His promises. These two often go together. When He asks us to take steps of faith into the unknown, He promises at the same time to be with us and give us strength. I’m reminded so often of how God commanded and promised Joshua: “I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you…Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:5, 9 NIV).
I next asked: “How can I celebrate how God has led me?” Whereas thanking God often means speaking or praying our thanks, celebrating is a conscious action. Ideas gradually came to mind:
Buy roses or other flowers and design my own arrangement
Write an ode to God for specific ways He has led me
Take photos of God’s beautiful creation
Enjoy art works of the masters
I also decided to borrow ideas from Nina Faye Morey and Susan Barclay who earlier this year wrote on the importance of celebrating each day’s writing successes. (Be sure to read their articles here and here!)
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And now, how about you? How has God led/is leading you? How can you celebrate? Be creative…