Tag Archives: prayer

Sunday Morning Musings: Why Is God The Last Resort?

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)I’m sitting here writing in my journal asking God for help building my new web site and starting my newsletter.  Can I do it? Yes. Do I want to do it? No. But, like with a lot of other things, I know with God’s help I can. I don’t know why I haven’t specifically asked him before for help with this. My best answer is I didn’t think of it. But why didn’t I think of it?

Why don’t I turn to God for guidance for every single thing in my life? Why do I believe I can do even the smallest things on my own? Because I can. But am I doing the right thing? The thing God wants me to do? Or am I making up my own mind and taking action without consulting Him? Of course I am. Then I wonder why my ideas don’t always work out very well.

God has helped me with tiny things, like finding lost files and with big things like how to handle tragedy. Why can’t I remember that God is always there for me? That he doesn’t change? That he cares and wants what is best for me? Why do I put so much faith in people when years of experience on earth have shown me that people will let me down whether they mean to or not?

I don’t know why I can’t get into the habit of asking for God’s help first instead of screwing it up on my own and then asking Him to help me fix it.

And I don’t know why, probably because God is at work, but I’m going to leave you with this:

YOU ARE CHRIST’S HANDS

God has no body now on earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

No feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes through which he is to look out

God’s compassion to the world;

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about

Doing good;

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

                                        –Teresa of Avila

intercessory_prayer

#God #prayer #faith #guidance

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Sunday Morning Musings: Silence Please

Do you think God doesn’t listen to you? Maybe you’re not listening to God.

Do you think He’s not answering your prayers or helping you with your problems? Maybe His answers just can’t get through all the noise and obstacles you’ve created.

I find my car is a good place to pray. I often work very early in the morning. It’s dark and quiet and there’s little traffic. It’s peaceful. It isn’t a long drive to work, but it’s long enough for my prayer ritual.

The drive home is very different. The sun’s usually out. There’s lots more traffic. I watch the inattentive drivers. They text at the stoplights. Their heads are down and they miss when the light turns green to the annoyance of everyone behind them. Or they’re talking on a cell phone. Music is blasting from their speakers.

Not that I never listen to music when I drive, but often I turn my radio off. Rarely am I on my phone. I like the quiet. I think that’s an opening for God to give me ideas. It could be any random thing. A kindness I could do. A reminder of something I forgot. Writing inspiration. Another nudge to do something I’ve been resisting.

There are so many sad and frustrated people out there in the world. I’m sure they think God has abandoned them or that He doesn’t listen to or care about them. But maybe it’s just that they’ve filled up their world with so much noise and activity that He can’t get through to them.

We’ve created a go-go-go environment for ourselves. If we aren’t doing something every waking moment, we’re doing something wrong and we feel guilty. We fill our lives with cell phones and video games and music and television. Work and school and a million other activities that fill up our days and exhaust our energy. And maybe, for some of us, we fill up our lives with church-related activities. But are we really creating a relationship with God? When do we talk to Him? When do we listen to Him?

And The Universe Conspires

universe-backgrounds-51Oprah Winfrey has famously said, “I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

Well, what I think about constantly is getting my books published so that I can get them in front of a reading audience who will appreciate them. Those readers will then post rave reviews so even more appreciative readers will buy them, read them, love them, post more reviews and that will lead to more sales. And pretty soon I’ll have what I wanted since I started writing about a hundred years ago: an income from book sales that will pay for more than my monthly phone bill. Ideally, I’d also be on bestseller lists around the world, my books will be made into movies, and everyone will think I’m wonderfully talented. (Although to that small number who always has, THANK YOU!)

For the past six months or so, I have been a little discouraged with the path my writing career has taken. (You have no idea what it took for me to not put “career” in quotes just then.) I’m published, yes, and not just on my own. There is an actual real life publishing house out there and an editor who sees something worthwhile and keeps offering me contracts. For that I am deeply grateful. But it’s taken me so long, not only to learn how to write saleable books, but to get them sold, to finally, thank you Jesus, to see them in print!

thSXGLZBZ7Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. It’s the journey not the destination, but my inner child is constantly whining, “Are we there yet?” and my inner mother is sighing in resignation and saying, “Not yet, dear.” Meanwhile, my inner writer just keeps on writing and signing contracts and waiting for the next book to come out.

I just had this argument with myself a few months ago as I listen to all the indie pubbed authors discuss marketing and the big bucks they are making. Of course it helps that a lot of them already had a following and the rights to their backlists to re-release while writing and selling their new stuff on their own.thCS477IGC

If you’ve followed this blog at all, then you know the motto of my life: “A day late and a dollar short.” I have always felt that I am lagging behind everyone else. Especially now. I didn’t grow up with technology. I don’t understand most of it. I could teach myself but it would take hours and hours and then I’d forget most of what I learned the next time I need it. To me, indie pubbing means I’d need to pay an editor, a cover designer, a tech person, a marketing expert. If I want to make any money from it, that is. I’m in the hole before I start. And then it’s really up to the universe what happens after my book is out there. Isn’t it? Because all the editing, the cover, the IT aspect and marketing isn’t going to mean a thing to me unless the book is good. Making money off a lousy book would cause me to lose every ounce of respect I have for myself as an author.

My editor has had a submission of mine for four months which he hadn’t read until probably last week. In spite of the digital age, publishing can still be a slowwww business. Maybe he’ll like it. Maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll offer me a contract. It’s a game of wait and see. He thanks me for my patience, but I’m not patient at all. I’m annoyed that it takes so long. Even though I know I’m not his only author and that he’s in the process of acquiring and editing and answering probably a hundred emails a day for his stable of authors. Still, my inner child is whining, “Come on, already.”

Meanwhile, of course, I have been writing. In fact, at the end of June I became obsessed with a book whose working title is ANIMAL. I may have mentioned it a time or two here or elsewhere. It’s a modern-day twist on Beauty and the Beast. It practically wrote itself in about two months. I’ve been going back to it and reading it and refining it and sending it to beta readers for feedback, because what’s the rush? I haven’t even heard on the book I submitted FOUR MONTHS AGO. And it could be another four months before I hear on this one if I send it to my editor. You see my frustration? For the first time in my writing career, I’m writing faster, apparently, than my editor can keep up. And it’s driving me crazy.

Inside I’m tingling because I think ANIMAL could be “the one.” The book that gets me noticed. The book those readers and movie makers will love and rave about and option. A year or eighteen months from now.

Then I angst some more over what if it isn’t handled just right? What if the cover is bad? What if no one gets it? What if, what if, what if? And where will I find another editor who gets my writing the way Noah Chinn at Samhain Publishing does? Okay, I’m now resigned. I’ll have to wait. It’s okay if we’re a long way from “there” yet.

Except today, in my email inbox is a notice from Noah on his authors’ loop which basically says, “Hey, I’m reading and acquiring and slotting for 2016 and early 2017 so if you’ve got anything ready, send it.”

intercessory_prayerOH. MY. GOD. He heard me! The universe responded. I am in awe because sometimes God lets you know He’s listening and then he lets you see His hand at work in your life. What you think about is not just what you become. It is active prayer.

Letters to God

9/2/15

Dear God,

I think I’m invisible. At least that’s how I feel. Who do you tell that to, though? No one. Except you. Because today I realized you must feel invisible a lot of the time too. Probably no one gets ignored as much as you do. You make an awful lot of effort and an awful lot of people are going, “Meh.” They aren’t impressed with anything you do. In fact, they don’t even notice what you’ve done. They’re mostly too busy “living” their own lives. They don’t have time for you.

Sometimes I think I get blamed for things that are not my fault. I’m sure you can identify. Everyone likes to blame you for every bad thing that happens. “It’s God’s fault. How can he be so cruel? Why doesn’t he care?” But those same people never say thank you to you when something good happens. They never think it had anything to do with you. You don’t deserve any credit. Maybe someone who loves them was praying to you on their behalf but they just didn’t know it.

It’s good that I think I’m invisible. That’s how it should be. Because it isn’t about me. It’s about you. And anything that draws me closer to you is good. So maybe when I feel these ways it’s you saying, “Uh huh. Now you know how I feel.”

I know you see me. So it’s okay if no one else does.

Love always,

Barb