Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Writing Through – The Emotional List by Angela E. Arndt


Angela E. Arndt
This began as a post directed toward those writers who struggle with chronic illness, but as I wrote, I realized that these points apply to any writer. There comes a time in our writing life when we think we've reached bottom. We want to quit. We think there's no place for us. But before we throw away our adverbs and delete our weasel words, let's try focusing on these nouns for just a bit:

Contentment
We all have a tendency to compare yourself with others: number of books published, awards and good reviews received. (And yes, Christians do this, too!) Something I’ve learned is that everyone doesn't produce at the same rate. Some may produce two books a year, while other may take two years for one book.

But what if we looked at our writings another way? What if we were grateful for whatever we're able to write? A very wise woman (waving at Reba J. Hoffman) once told me that if your glass is half-full, drink what you’ve got.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Patience
We have a rescue dog that has been abandoned more than once. Whenever we leave, we have to put the trashcans away because she’ll dig through them for food if we’re gone too long. (Her definition of “too long” is anything over fifteen minutes.)

I wish she knew that while she’s digging in the trash for scraps, I’m bringing home the expensive all-protein, best-thing-next-to-filet-mignon dog food that the vet says she needs. She just needs to wait for me to come home.
 
The picture of patience ... um, no.
Don’t we act like that sometimes? Rather than trust our Creator for what’s best for us, we panic and grab what’s available. 

"Wait upon the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart." Psalm 27:14a (KJV – because that’s the way I memorized it.)

Perseverance
We doubt our gift. We doubt we’re called to write. We doubt that anyone would want to hear what we have to say. The key to overcoming such derogatory self-talk is to keep writing. (If God has put this dream in our heart, we have little choice anyway.) If we just persevere, some day we'll accomplish His purpose. 

 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6. (ESV)

So, if you struggle with the writing life, how do you cope? Do you have any favorite verses or quotes that help you? Please share them with us below. (Don’t forget, comments are moderated, so it may take a minute to show up.)

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If your glass is half-full, drink what you’ve got. @rebahoffman Click to Tweet
Do we scramble through the trash or wait for the “good stuff?” Click to Tweet
Do you ever doubt your calling? What helps? Click to Tweet

Update:
This was waiting for me when I got home from choir practice tonight. A picture says a thousand words.

21 comments:

  1. I love everything about this post, Angie! You have been, and are, such an encouragement to me, how you keep on keeping on, even while you suffer tremendous pain. Thanks for being the encourager you are, sweet friend. :)

    Oooh, that photo makes my heart break. How could someone abandon that little cutie?

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    1. Oh, sweet friend of mine! You have been an encourager for me from way back! You have helped ease my pain so many times and kept me going. Thank you so much for your friendship.

      I know! She's such a joy and thinks she's a lap dog, even though she weighs 75 pounds!

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    2. Your doggy is precious! LOL--we used to have an oversized lap dog, too! At her healthiest weight, she was about 95 pounds, but since I started letting her onto my lap as a two-month-old puppy, she just figured she could keep right on climbing up there.

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    3. Thank you, Myra! :)

      Oh, my, that was a big lap dog! Big dogs (and little ones, too) love with all their hearts, don't they? I just scoot over and let her have as much room as she wants. LOL!

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  2. Great, inspiring post, Angie. I especially related to the analogy with your dog. We tend to forget the need for patience when we let anxiety gain a foothold.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sandy!

      You're right. I finally understood how crazy it was to be so anxious about things after I cleaned up one of her "buffets." I just have to trust Him like I wish she'd trust me. (Did I mention that "trust" was my word for 2014?)

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  3. Great post, Angie! Full of wisdom! I especially loved the portion on waiting on God (like your dog waiting on you). Patience, that's one of the important ones, right? ;) Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you so much, Annette! It is so hard to wait on him. Yes, patience is on of the important ones. I once saw a t-shirt that said, "I want to be patient right now!" I feel that way so many times. :)

      Thanks so much for commenting!

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  4. A truly meaningful post, Angie! The verse from Philippians is one of my favorites, too. I have quoted it often in inspirational talks about my writing journey.

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    1. Thank you so much! I cling to that verse a lot. It touches my heart every time I read it. And I'd love to hear that talk sometime.

      And I really appreciate your comments, too. :)

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  5. Hi Angie, oh I love your pup! And a rescue girl at that. God bless you.
    This is a great post, as all of yours are. One thing I need to remember is that sometimes God says no. I made what I thought was a decision He guided me to, but somehow I misread Him. My favorite verse is Ps. 121: 1 . I go to the horse rescue on Tuesdays and today I will see the hills and one has a white cross on it, and that will give me comfort.

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    1. Thanks so much, Tanya! :) She's been a blessing to us. You're right, sometimes He does say no. But I think He doesn't waste any experience we have, even when we make the wrong choice. Love that verse and Casting Crowns' use of it in the song, Praise You in This Storm, too. Give those horses an extra pat for me, please. :)

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  6. What a great post! Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura! I'm so glad it spoke to you. :)

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  7. What great thoughts, Angie. Love the doggie visual! Sometimes sticking with it is the only way through it!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I really like your way of stating it. I'll have to remember that. Thanks so much!

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  8. This post spoke to me, as well. Often I panic and grab what's available, letting my plan rule the day instead of waiting to see what God has in store for me. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. Thank you so much for leaving your comment, Heidi! I know what you mean: I do the same thing. When will we ever learn? :) Until then, let's encourage each other, okay?

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  9. Angie, excellent post! I love Jeremiah 29:11. We have a rescue dog who is so afraid of making us unhappy. I wish she could understand she'll never do anything to make us not want her. Then again, I imagine God wishes we would realize the same thing.

    I'm rambling!

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    1. As the old Nat King Cole song said, "Ramble on!" :)

      I'm so glad the post spoke to you and good for you for rescuing your dog. It takes a little more patience, but they're worth it.

      You're so right, I bet He does too!

      Thanks so much for visiting SW and commenting! :)

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