"FAITH and Unfinished Business"

Comments about God, faith, joy, sorrow and growth

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I wrote the following for my website, a place for writers resources. Though the tips below are intended for writers, many of the examples apply to any vocation or ministry. Insert where it says 'writer'. After whining about frustrating events in my life recently, a dear friend pointed out that there are seasons we pass through. She included the story about the lads who were sent out into the world and found beauty in a tree; all in a different season, all beautiful and new to them. I hope this article means something to someone, or that you will share it. It seemed relevant to use it here. Come visit my website too when the new issue is out - mid to late May.

Is writing still right for you? Certainly, every one of us has asked that question.

Recently, I read words that caused me pause. Words that were meant as encouragement and motivation, strong words that bit to the core. Is there a time to re-evaluate? If God works in His own season, can the season for writing pass?

Here are some tips for examining your progress as a writer. Yet, remember that God has a plan for you, and that plan may not fit into our own ideas of success or into our own time table.

1. Successful writers can set and stick to a schedule.

2. Successful writers don’t require interaction and enjoy working independently.

3. Successful writers handle the business end of writing and publishing.

4. Successful writers are professional

5. Successful writers don’t procrastinate.

Copied from Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen’s “7 Personality Traits of a Successful Writer”

http://theadventurouswriter.com She is author of five "Quips and Tips" blogs, and is writing a series of "Quips and Tips" eBooks.
She also wrote “Four Signs that You Need to Re-Evaluate Your Writing Goals”

that includes these points:

(1) lack of forward momentum,

(2) boredom or lack of motivation,

(3) low return on investment of your time and energy

(4) negative or no feedback. Descriptions of each symptom were given in the article.

She also warned to watch for : 1) losing your joy for writing, 2) losing your creativity 3) talking about it more than doing it, 4)resentment of time and energy, and 5) lack of self- discipline.

Her suggestions are valid and the books are excellent motivation.

Yet many authors admitted to succumbing to most of these traps , and fell short of the list for success.

There are many interferences in life, and some are not interferences at all but God’s plan. We are, after all, servants of God, mothers, dads, parents, employees and employers. We may wear many hats, and they may all be ordained by God. At the very least, God allows for mistakes we make in life. Our decisions may be off the track God has set for us, and so we are derailed.

Some of the interferences in life call for our full attention, or at least a large portion of it. For a season, illness takes precedence. For a season, a child needs you. For a season, God calls you to another ministry, one in which you feed someone who is hungry, who needs clean water, or medical help . For a season, you may fall victim to serious misfortune. For a season, God calls you to give care to your aging parent.

God never promised that as writers, we would always write. He didn’t promise that we would always publish our works for the world to see, or that we would ever publish works for more than a few to see. He never promised fame and fortune, or that we would always be successful. What He has promised you in your life is a personal promise that He will fulfill. He promised that He would complete a good work begun in you, until the day of His return. How he will make that happen, is yet to be determined.

Max Lucado wrote in a powerful message: “The Write Stuff” how Paul did not set out to be a writer. He accepted the role of “Kingdom Scribe” as God given. Paul wrote to the churches, and he wrote to individuals. He could sound like a poet of honey-filled words, but at other times he merely sounded frustrated; sentence beginnings without ends, “lumps of ideas” instead of lyrics.

Max continues the example by telling of the church sister who thanked him for his words on prayer. When another brother passed out copies at his company, he smiled. When his daughter in India, saw his books in store windows, he glowed. Writers enjoy hearing that their work is successful in this world.

But there’s more. Max speaks of the exhausted single mother who needs just a word or a phrase, or the businessman who stops in his pursuit of numbers to read a blog, and of the teenager whose been led by images of vampires and fantasy who now wants truth. Max reminds us that we are writing for the soul.

His story is motivation. Yet, all that we do, we do for Christ Jesus; if we love Him. All that we do is for the soul - one soul, or two or many. http://www.maxlucado.com/articles/topical/the_write_stuff/

Maybe we aren’t writing, perhaps for only a season, or perhaps God has another plan for us. If we are not writing, think about the reasons why. Don’t beat yourself up thinking you should be accomplishing more. What is God doing in your life now? Is He touching someone through your life, through your service, through your attitude ?

Are you doing what you are doing for the soul- one soul, two, or many?

1Cr 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

(c) April Boyer April 29 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GOD in the Blogish Details

Life will always take precedence over Blog. I’ve been looking for a topic to share for –gee- a few weeks now. And I went into blogging knowing that issues and care for my mom, stepdad and life in general would interrupt. Still, I am disappointed in myself for not being able to post here every few days.

Ok, I do need to give myself a break. Get real. Life does not allow for smooth sailing. It is a bumpy ride.

Though I understand that running a blog is a little bit like publishing an open journal, I did not want to use this one for venting.

Yet the most I have to share lies in my personal experiences in the last week. God shines in the end.

The day before leaving on a trip, I checked to my mother’s bank account and found that SS had only deposited half the expected amount. This was a crippling blow to her very limited income. She stressed out, making herself ill and looking for reasons to blame herself.

My mother and step dad who now live with us, were taking a trip to Tennessee to be with family. I drove the 600 miles, which I should be well used to after 20 or more trips in my (ahem) more-than-that years. Yet, I missed turns and stressed during high traffic areas. Step dad (of 4 years) was in a particularly snippy mood the whole trip. God was gracious.

His mood and habits have been a continuous bone for my mother to pick at. This trip was not the exception. Their relationship is on shaky ground.

To give the poor man some credit, he comes from a strange family, with only a compassionless son and ailing sister left. He has had little support, and was not so eager to visit. Perhaps he was taking his frustration out on us, instead of on the real problem .

He was to stay with said son through the weekend. He stayed nearly the whole week, which was a blessing. However, on the son’s arrival, I lost my cool and my Christian constitution. Though my family team cheered me on in agreement, I was not proud of my outburst.

Mom and I stayed at a cousins home the first night, and mom then stayed at her youngest granddaughter’s home for a couple of nights, while I remained at cousins. Said cousin talks non-stop, while running the tv and complaining or praising this program or that. God was gracious, but mom was stressed out over the noise level. We then went to visit another cousin 40 minutes away. My car had been having some issues before leaving home, off and on, but was judged safe. The same scenario played out at this home – loud noise level including tv running much of the time, and non-stop talking. Add 2 chihuahuas . Add very high ceiling and long seating area, making mom- who is hard of hearing - strain to understand over noise made from talking, barking and tv. We did have a restful nights and genial hosts, however, and enjoyed some dining out.

God was gracious. He allowed me some alone time on the fifth day. I did a photo journey of area barns and old cotton-era houses.

What I gained from the experience at this point was a love of quiet. (smile here) I also gained a love for my mother’s cousins, whom I had not interacted with much throughout my life, an appreciation of their different personalities and how they developed, and a desire to record more of my mother’s history. Mom is one of only 5 cousins left in the entire family. Two others died only just recently. I wrote about our experience in my journal, an exercise good for my soul.

My mother’s cousin at the second home, had just been recovering – miraculously, from a serious stroke after by pass surgery. He was left crippled on his right side, including his peripheral vision and a little hearing loss in that ear. Yet, he has learned to adjust and does not dwell on his disabilities. His biggest regret has been his memory loss, leaving him without the funny stories and voices he used to entertain us with. Now, he has to learn new ones, sometimes over and over again. This man’s spirit was not drowned, but merely given new life. His faith stands firm.

I admired his wife’s determination and dedication as well, and her ability to rise above. We learned just recently that cousin had been found with a spot on his lung, and will need a biopsy next week. They are both fearful, since cousin has now only 25% of his heart. To lose even a part of his lung would be devastating.

Wife dove into arranging a trip to see cousin’s family (of 6 children and many grandchildren) in Oregon, planning to leave only 2 days after we did. Wife has had health issues and also emotional issues, but because of her husband’s devastating illnesses, she has left her own problems behind and focuses solely on him. It was good for her to have this occupation at this time in her life.

Life is stranger than fiction.

Mom and step-dad flew out from TN on Monday to go and spend a few weeks at my sister’s home. She is now resting. Quietly.

I could have left out these details. But then you would have missed God-in-them.

Yes, He was there. He was there as we enjoyed the beautiful view of western Ky., going through the gentle foot hills just that week expressing spring in big explosions of color. He was there while my car delivered us safely to every destination, and seemed healthy and calm. He was there when Mom and Bob needed some apart time, when sleep and rest came, when I needed alone time, meditation and reflection and even – a time to write. God was there when he gave me insight into family member’s lives and problems. He was there as he reminded me about loving unconditionally, and how not to take things at face value. He was there as he allowed me to see faith and miracles in action.

God was in the details. And I am so glad he is.

April Boyer (c) 4-13-2010