Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A little whine

Earlier, I thought of about three things I could blog, but they escaped from the funny farm known as my brain while reading email and other blogs.

In the midst of blog reading, I read my brother's, sister's and sister-in-law's. Also looked at pics from my California cousins and their kids. Now, I'm bluuee.

I WANT A FAMILY REUNION. I miss everyone, especially (no offense adult family people) the kids. Three of my neices and one of my nephews is under 3. They are so funny and cute. I love this age. I might have to borrow Anika, a curly headed three year from church, and take her out to McDonalds or something.

In light of this, the reality of devoting one's life to the Lord becomes a harsh one. Tony and I are not free to move where we want. I suppose we could, and God in His lovingkindness would bless us, but we are called to Here. Where we live now.

I used to be so sure of it too, waiting for God's move in our county. Now, I've lost a little bit of sight, a little bit of faith. (Lord, help my unbelief!)

Since we no longer do youth ministry, it's hard for me to find my purpose in the city. There's the Friday night prayer ministry, Fire Dweller, but I think I'm at a loss here.

Tony is doing well with the downtown ministry to the poor, drug addicts and wounded hearted. He's also moving out and meeting with business people, asking how we can pray for them. It all got started while I was busy writing and it developed a support staff of it's own where little ole me is not required.

Still, I do want to reach out of myself and minister to the community. Find what God has for me here, as well as what He has for me writing wise. (Writing is going v. well, btw!)

So, there I am, transparent. It's a flaw of mine.

Anonymous poster - Yesterday, I read a comment by Anonymous (it's becoming a very popular name these days. I expect to see it in the Baby Name book soon) over on a multi-author blog called Charis Connection.

The poster, admittedly in an off mood, responded to a post about the "other side of writing" after one is published. Being published may seem like the Holy Grail, but no, it's only the beginning. The "concerns" after being published expand to cover multiple fronts.

"Will I get another contract?"
"Can I find an agent?"
"Do I have more than one or two books in me?"
"Will I have sales?"
"How can I handle marketing?"
"If my publisher drops me, will another pick me up?"

Add to that reviews and comments about your work. Disappointment over low sales after having great reviews. Not wanting to disappoint the publisher. It can be stressful and worrisome.

Anonymous found this whole concept appauling and told published authors who found the published life stress at times, to move aside and make way for the talented, unpublished.

After getting past Anonymous' stinging tone, I felt for him/her, understanding how it feels to be on the other side.

I remember wanting published authors to help with ACFW stuff back when I was on the Board and feeling rankled by their no's because of deadline.

At the time, I was working 50 hours a week, writing my first Heartsong, leading worship and other ministries, and coordinating ACFW's 2003 conference.

Hey, who is busier than me, I thought?

But the truth is, writing is more than busy. It's time consuming, emotionally consuming. If the word count isn't made in a day, it has to be made up. There's no end of the day, no end of thinking, planning, rewriting in your head.
Author Susan Meissner wrote in an advice email, "There's no natural plateau."

She is so right!

Never mind the added burden of entering a contests and no even finaling. I was sad not to final in a contest I didn't even enter! I'm pathetic, say it.

BTW, congrats to all the RITA and Golden Heart finalists! Big kudos.

All that to say, I've gone back to my core. Jesus is my reward. His plan for me is perfect. I am so very blessed. I am honored to be published and I'll take the ups and downs of it any day over my corp life. Writing satisifies a very deep core part of me like nothing ever has outside of the covenant of marriage.

If I one day find myself without a contract, I'll cry, but move on. I'l probably create two more blogs so I can keep writing. I'll pray for God's next phase of my life. I won't stop dreaming.

But, I won't get my identity there. My life is hidden in Christ. I no longer live, but Christ in me.

Published or longing to be published, this must be our mainstay. I had to get back to that focus this week, spend some time in His presence.

The words of the old hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus ring true.

Look full in His wonderful face/And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.


Katie said...

Wow Rachel,
You're just about the most open person I've ever known. Well, I'll know you when I meet you at the ACFW conference. I so appreciate how refreshingly honest you are-I work toward that.

I've always noticed that when I'm at my most emotional and the whole world suddenly seems wrong somehow and I don't have a proper place in it anymore, that I'm on the verge of something wonderful that God has in store for me to do-whether I want to do it or not. A direction in life that I never considered.

It feels as if I'm adrift and confused, but it's at these times when I am most open for God to show me a new path; the old one isn't working anymore.

I have to work to sort through the feelings, but it sounds as if this is exactly what you're talking about. How exciting for you to get the chance to re-evaluate and recenter your life. I wonder what wonderful things are just right around the corner for you?

Katie Johnson

Julie said...

I want a family reunion too! Let's plan one!!!!

Great post, BTW.


Kristy Dykes said...

Wow, you blessed me today, Rachel. You always do. Your "double post" was so transparent, as you said, which made it so touching and so encouraging. Thanks for an uplift today. God bless--
Kristy Dykes