Friday, November 7, 2014

God’s Plan by Winnie Griggs



Winnie Griggs

Are dreams or goals for your writing career not going according to plan? Maybe your life in general isn’t unfolding the way you envisioned. Does the lack of seeing things coming together make you feel frustrated or anxious? If so, you’ll find encouragement in the experiences shared by author Winnie Griggs.   
Enjoy~ Dawn

God’s Plan

When Dawn asked me to pen an inspirational post, I had trouble figuring out what to write about. What could I offer in the way of inspiration? What I finally settled on was to tell you about two incidents in my life that illustrate how God works in our lives—even when we can’t see it at the time.

The first story comes from my senior year in high school. When I took the ACT test there was a place on the form to list three colleges I was interested in. I’d already picked out two colleges that were close to home and where many of my friends were going. But the compulsive direction-follower in me couldn’t leave a line blank, so, remembering a classmate had made reference to a more distant state college, I wrote it in as my third choice, then didn’t give it another thought. So I was flabbergasted when I received an offer from them for what amounted to a full ride scholarship. My excitement over that offer was diluted by an accompanying terror. I didn't WANT to go to school so far from home. But, as the oldest of four children, in a blue collar family, I couldn't turn it down. So, to my dismay, I ended up in a college 300 miles away where I knew no one, not even my roommate.

My life was changed in so many ways by this—I was forced to stretch and grow in ways I wouldn't have if I'd settled into a more familiar environment. And during my first semester I met the wonderful man who would eventually become my husband. We have gone on to raise four amazing children and are still enjoying our happily ever after. So, because of what seemed a trivial, inconsequential act, my whole life was profoundly and fundamentally changed.

Of course, there are also major life decisions I’ve faced that I did recognize as such when I reached them. I faced these with prayer and careful thought as to consequences. Still, the choices made at those times sometimes took me in directions I never imagined.

My second story illustrates that point. All my life I've enjoyed writing, but I never looked on it as a viable career choice. It was something I did for my own enjoyment, much as others might enjoy sports or gardening or music.

My career goals were focused in a different direction. After college I went to work in the computer programming field. It was a job I loved and I will modestly admit to being good at it. And my efforts were recognized. I steadily worked my way up through the ranks into a management position.

Then, in the early nineties, as happened with much of corporate America, there were rumblings of downsizing. I spent hours agonizing over whether I’d relocate if offered the opportunity. I knew refusing would limit my career opportunities, could even force me to take a step backwards.  I weighed the pros and cons, prayed over it, discussed it with family and friends, and ultimately decided not to put myself and my family through the upheaval of chasing-the-job moves. Ultimately our company went through four major reorganizations, including a buyout, and each time more and more management functions moved from the location where I work to corporate offices in other cities. Through it all, I held to my decision, turning down choice promotional offers in the process. And it affected my career just as I’d known it would, but I remained at peace with that.

But that's not the point of this story.

You see, that decision also had far-reaching, totally unexpected ramifications. Because of the work I was assigned in my new positions, I began taking quite a few business trips. This left me with lots of airport and hotel time on my hands. I decided to use this time to rediscover the joy I’d taken in writing before I got busy with family and career.  I also decided to attempt a novel length manuscript. Two years later, I had a complete manuscript, had joined a local writers organization where I discovered a group of amazing women who have become lifelong friends, and had found a deeply satisfying, creative outlet that continues to bring me joy.
In a very real way, you see, my decision to not chase career advancement at my 'day job' led to the writing career I have today.

So, what’s the message I want to leave with you? I suppose it’s that no matter how well you think you have your life planned out, God has a plan of his own.  Don’t focus on the disappointments—they often lead to something even bigger and better.




What happens when a straight-laced young widow’s home is invaded by ten rambunctious orphans and their handsome caretaker just in time for the holidays...

Reserved widow Eileen Pierce never considered herself the kind of woman who was cut out to be a mother. She wouldn't know what to do with one child, much less ten. But when handyman Simon Tucker is stranded in town with a group of young orphans just before Thanksgiving, she discovers she can't just turn them away.

Simon knows there's more to Eileen than meets the eye. Though his easygoing demeanor immediately clashes with her buttoned-up propriety, Simon's kindness soon melts Eileen's stern facade. Simon and the children have already upended Eileen's quiet, orderly life. Will they do the same to her guarded heart?



Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace.  She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.  Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.

Winnie loves to hear from readers.  You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author  or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com


 

11 comments:

  1. Hi Winnie, I think I've said this before, that you've been inspiring me for years...after I sold my first book, yours was the next one I chose to read. I think the title was Somthing More. Since then, I have had the pleasure to meet you in person and become friends at our all western group blog. This was a beautiful, heartfelt, and meaningful post today as I find myself in some quandaries, both personal and professional...I know the Lord has a plan but I kinda wish He'd hurry up LOL. Thanks, my friend, for your wise words. Xo

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    1. Same here, Tanya, on the personal and professional quandaries. This message sinks soul-deep, Winnie. Thank you!!

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    2. Tanya, Thank you again my friend - you know how very much I appreciate you and the friendship we've formed through the years.

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    3. You're quite welcome Dora - glad my post struck a chord with you

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    4. Dora is another of my "rocks," Winnie. As is Angie Arndt here. This is a great place to be. xoxo

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  2. Loved the college story, Winnie! Isn't is fun to look back and see how God moves? You didn't work for EDS by chance?

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    1. Hi Sandra. Glad you enjoyed the story! And no, I worked for CSW, not EDS

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  3. Oh, Winnie, what a timely post. NOTHING has gone as planned in 2014. But some things have turned out so much better than expected. Better than I could have dreamed. I'm just trusting God the writing will follow. If not, He must have other plans for me.

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    1. Hi Terri. Isn't it wonderful to take the time occasionally to look back over a season in our lives and see God's hand both pruning and nurturing, making us stronger and more fruitful in the process?

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  4. Wonderful stories! There's something about getting pushed out of that comfort zone...

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