It has been too long since my last book update. What I intended to send out in February is now going out in April. But that's OK.The Lord has been teaching me to stop pushing, striving, sweating, and worrying over how I will get everything done. I simply need to rest in Him. When I do that, He works out
the details better than I ever could.
He is also teaching me to slow down in my writing and go deeper, deeper, deeper into the depths of my story. Even more, I am trying to let Him lead as I write and share about His transforming power in my life.
For example, instead of writing chapter to chapter, I began a very detailed outline, in story form, of my physical journey from Colorado to Idaho, on to Tennessee, and back to Idaho. I included, as much as possible, all the events needed to create my story. In the process, I made decisions about what needs to be in the narrative, and what events are a distraction. Those I viciously cut out. I want to have a strong focus.
Once I finished that part, I am now going back through to add my emotional journey. How did those events affect me and change me? What was difficult and how did I react to those hardships? I am over halfway done with this part of the story.
When that is done, I will go back again and add my spiritual journey to the story. How did the events of my life and my reaction to those events affect the way I understood the Lord working in my life? And how did the Lord love me and protect me, even if I couldn’t see it at the time?
As I write these three ribbons of narrative, I am color-coding them so I can visually see how much of my text is physical, emotional, and spiritual. This will help me create a balance to the story. Hopefully, when I get done with this very intricate outline, I will have an extremely detailed work that will gradually expand into the narrative of my book.
It is exciting to see how the Lord leads me each time I sit down to write. But I can't do it alone. I so appreciate when you are praying for me and I can tell the difference in my productivity. Please pray that the Lord would continue help me carve out time from my busy schedule to write, and I would stay focused on what He wants me to say
I am very thankful for you and would love to hear from you. Please let me know how I can be praying for you, too.
Since my book is still in outline form, I have included my most recent devotion below. I hope it encourages you.
Blessings in Messiah,
BethThe Hope B
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
It was one of those days. A humdinger of a day. All three of my kids were causing me angst, and as a single mom, I had nowhere to turn. I went into my bedroom and closed the door but that was no escape from the turmoil I felt. I was overwhelmed. Tears overcame me as I slumped to the floor.
“I can’t do this,” I thought. “It’s too hard to do alone. I have failed them as a mom. My kids are lacking the strong arm of a father and I am weary. I’m not tough enough to finish the journey. I want to give up. Let them do whatever they want because I am tired of fighting for right choices.”
I sighed and looked over at the bookshelf. One of my trinket boxes had the word HOPE written on the side. I knew immediately that’s what I had lost. Hope. As I stared at the box, I realized I would never have even seen HOPE if I hadn’t been sitting on the floor where it was eye-level. The Lord knew exactly what I needed and led me to it.
“You’re right, Lord. I have lost my hope.” I dried my tears and opened my Bible to Isaiah 41:10. The words were a balm to my soul. I had forgotten that He is God and in control of everything. I had allowed myself to focus on my circumstances, and it brought me down to a place of despair. Yet, He was so quick to come to my aid. He pointed me to hope, knowing the ultimate source of hope is in Jesus.
The Lord strengthens me when I have nothing left. He always does. I can trust Him to give me what I need in each and every moment of my day. And when I forget, he puts a hope box in plain sight to remind me.
When life becomes overwhelming, take a step back and see where you are looking – at your circumstances or to the Lord.