Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Expectations by Laura V. Hilton

Laura V. Hilton
Recently, my Coastie (Coast Guard) son moved to his first station. It’s across the country from where I live. Literally on the opposite end of the country. He can see Canada on a cloudy day. I can’t exactly see Mexico even on a clear day, but I’m a lot closer geographically to the Rio Grande than I am to Canada.

He loaded his vehicle full of most of his earthly belongings and left. Rented an apartment. And had nothing but his bed to put in it. Not a thing more.

Suddenly he—and I—realized how much we’d forgotten. Maybe he expected to find a fully outfitted apartment and kitchen, and I forgot how it was when I was on my own for the first time. I’d even forgotten to include basics such as flour and sugar and toilet paper. I did remember plates, silverware, and a church member gave us his mother’s cabinet full of spices. Oh, and I found him an iron skillet. But other than that? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

He was a bit unimpressed by his duties at his new station. He was the newbie. Nonrate (as in not qualified in anything). In order to earn his first qualification, he was assigned the unenviable duty of being the chief dragon slayer — aka spider slayer. He hates spiders. With a passion. He never came out and said this, but I could hear the despair in his voice when he called. A close-to-tears disappointment. “I joined the Coast Guard to save lives. Not to kill spiders.”

It made me think about expectations. We tend to expect it all when we start. We don’t want to start at the bottom. We want to start at the top. Already arrived, important, VIP type status. We feel we’re entitled to everything that the other person gets/wants/does.

I have fourteen books published and four more contracted and I still feel (cringing as I write this) a bit resentful or jealous when the "Queen of All Fiction" wins all the awards. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not writing because I want to usurp the Queen. I’m not writing because I want to be in the royal court. I’m writing because God called me to write. He has a message He wants me to tell. But I will admit my pride is a somewhat battered when people list their must-read, favorite authors and my name is nowhere on the list. I expect to somehow be there, even though I am not <insert name of your favorite author>.

But God didn’t call me to be <insert name of your favorite author>. He called me to serve Him, even if the only one who reads my story is the one He intended to read it. He didn’t call me to win coveted awards. He called me to obey.

Maybe I’m starting out with nothing to my name except a chair and a laptop computer and a burning desire to serve. God has assigned me the duty of "killing spiders" while I learn the ropes, serve my time, and show that I am faithful — even when conditions are less than favorable and I’m scared of the spiders. (They stare at me with their eight little beady eyes.) I'm called to start at the bottom of the ladder, even if He doesn’t intend for me to step on the first rung.

The parable of the ruler who gave talents to his three servants comes to mind. I may not be the one He has given the most talents to, but I’m also not the one burying them. I’m faithfully trying to kill the spiders—um, write the stories—He sends my way.

(Note: No spiders were injured or murdered during the writing of this article)

God, help me to continue to faithfully serve You even if my job description is spider-slayer. Help me to be grateful for what You’ve given me and to keep using the gifts, even if I’m not doing as well as <insert name of your favorite author>. Amen. 
 I’m writing because God called me to write. Click to Tweet
About the Author
Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015. See below for information on Laura's latest, The Amish Firefighter. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Laura_V_Hilton or @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

The Amish Firefighter
by Laura V. Hilton
The Amish Firefighter

A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home
Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she'd never heard about, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She's desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody's making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn't seem willing to help.

A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own
Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. When local barn fires escalate, everyone suspects arson. And since the Miller family are among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.

A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross, at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or extinguish. And they'll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.


  1. Great wisdom, Laura. It's so easy to compare ourselves with others and think we're lacking, either talent-wise or success-wise. Like you, I try to remember that God may only have one person in mind to read my stories.

    1. Yes, that's really been hit home with me lately.

  2. Love this post, Laura. As I'm preparing to launch my first two novels, I've been experiencing moments of "stress," worrying how they'll be received. Thanks for the reminder of who I write for - and how to keep things in perspective.


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