Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reading, Writing, Reaping by Sally Shupe

Thank you so much for inviting me to Seriously Write! It’s an honor to be here. I look forward to talking with you today.

Did you pick a word for 2018? My word is reaping. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this word. It sounds like a non-active word, a passive word, one where you sit back and wait for something to happen. How could that be my word, as the whole point to a word is doing something, learning more about it, and putting it into action?

I discussed this with a friend of mine (Hi, Sherrinda!) and she encouraged me to look into this word further. So I did. 

First, I looked in the dictionary. The definition of reaping is: to cut, to gather a harvest, to get as a return. 

Sherrinda had commented: I love the thought of gathering in...taking in what is good...what is best...what is fruitful, and leaving behind the stalks, the chaff, the unnecessary. It's like culling out while harvesting the bounty. 

So far, reaping meant to me, to get as a return and leaving behind the unnecessary. Now the word is active! It’s something I can do and act upon. I’m supposed to be writing, but I can’t reap (be published) without actually writing. And I can’t be distracted by what is going on around me. Each journey is personally specific. 

Then, I looked up some scriptures that talk about reaping. I found a bunch of scriptures but two stood out: 

Ecclesiastes 11:4-He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. If you spend your time watching what’s going on around you, instead of working, you won’t reap. 

2 Corinthians 9:6-But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Your reaping is tied to how much work you put into it. If you put in a little work, you get a little back. If you put in a lot of work, you’ll get a lot in return. 

Finally, a song has been speaking to my heart. Take Courage. “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.” In our Christian walk, God is in the waiting. That’s where we learn who God is. It’s the same with our writing. When we’re waiting to be published, it’s not an inactive time. We’re busy writing, getting the next story ready, and the next. Studying craft. Making connections. Making our story stronger. So when publishing time comes, we’re ready. 

One thing that keeps coming back to me about my word reap is when Boaz reaped he left some for Ruth. Not the scraps but stuff she could reap as well. In our writing journey we do the same when we reach out to help others either with inspiration, encouragement, or sharing knowledge. I’m eager to see how God uses this word in 2018 in my spiritual walk and in my writing. 

This word also ties in with my word from last year: expectation. When you’re expecting company, you clean house. When you’re expecting a baby, you prepare the nursey. You’re not sitting around doing nothing. You’re planning, strategizing, setting goals. You can’t read 300 books in a day. You have to plan throughout the year to do that. You can’t write a book in a day. You’ve got to break it down, tackle it throughout the year. Once you have those daily, weekly, monthly goals in place, and DO them, then you can reap. But you have to put forth the time first. 
 
I have been writing consistently, setting clear goals, and now have three critique partners in place. Just as I’d make a grocery list in order to get groceries to prepare dinner, I write now to become published later. 
 
What about you? What’s your one word for 2018 and how has it affected you so far? What do you do during the waiting times before reaping? How have you been working toward your goals so far this year?

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and three more in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.  

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze; a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and just recently became a PRO member of RWA; loves genealogy, running, and crocheting. 

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

Connect with Sally:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sallyshupewritings/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SallyShupe1
Blog: http://sallyshupe.blogspot.com/
Email: sallyshupe1@gmail.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sallyshupe1/
Website: http://sallyshupeseditingservice.weebly.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sally-schreiner-shupe-8217a639?trk=hp-identity-name
 

31 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for allowing me to visit here today!

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    1. Sally, I'm delighted you are visiting! Reaping is such a unique word and I love it. You brought out some excellent points.

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  2. Sally, I've been encouraging ladies in different groups to have a word for the year. So much better than a resolution. As you said, God use the word to grow us. He did amazing things with my word CALM last year. I, too, am expectant how He'll use BOLD this year. Thanks for your encouragement.

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    1. Zoe, I agree. A resolution seems hard to stick to. But a word for the year? You learn more about it as the year goes on and apply it to different areas of your life, and it helps you grow. I like your word BOLD for the year. I'll be eager to hear how He uses it!

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    2. The above comment is from Sally. I inadvertently deleted it. So sorry!

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  3. Sally, I love this perspective! Your Scripture verses for reaping are so true for writing...and the waiting. Your analogy of leaving some harvest for others as giving along the writing path is perfect. My 2018 word is appreciate. I truly appreciate the people who are encouraging me in my writing and faith walk. Thank you for a lovely post! May this year be full of reaping and gathering for you! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Sherida! Encouragers are so necessary in our life. Appreciate is a great word. Appreciating all things. I can see you growing with this word.

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  4. I love reading your blogs. Your insight and what God shows you have helped me so many times. My word for 2018 is love. You write with your heart and every word has meaning for you as well as your reader. I'm waiting for you to be published so others can enjoy your writing as much as I do.

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    1. Thank you so much! It is definitely God who gives me the words for it to give meaning to the reader as well. God is just like that. He knows what we need to hear when we need to hear it. It's all on His time. Whether hearing a word, or reading a word. Frustrated about not getting published? The right one hasn't read your words yet. I am so glad you enjoy my writing. Without your encouragement, I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am on this journey. I am so thankful for you!

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    2. And I love your word love. There are so many different ways this word could go. I'll be looking for updates on how this word is impacting you!

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  5. Reaping is a great word to have, Sally. Mine is courage (to try something new), so that song's lyrics spoke to me. He is in the waiting...and waiting...and waiting some more! :)

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    1. Sandra, it takes a lot of courage to withstand the waiting, doesn't it? Courage to actually do something new, but then courage to step out because there will be a waiting time to see how it's received. God is definitely in the waiting! That's where we draw close to him after putting ourselves out there. Thank you for your word!

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  7. Hi Sally. What a great word! Reaping can mean so many different things, but you've got it figured out what it means for you. My word is "fearless' and it's not the first time I've been given that word. Perhaps I am a slow learner when it comes to conquering fear. I can't wait to hear about all the wisdom, nuggets of learning, and rewards that you reap this year. May God bless you in your writing journey.

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    1. Cindy, I love your word. There's so many things to be fearless about. Going forth without fear, not reacting with fear when something happens, determining from the get-go fear will not stand in your way. Can't wait to hear about your journey with your word.

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  8. Hi, Sally! I love seeing you here on SW today and learning more about you. Thanks for visiting and for sharing your heart. I'm so glad to know you.

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    1. Hi, Annette! It's great to be here! It's been great getting to know you too.

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  9. Hi, Sally. "One word" was new to me this year, and I've love hearing the different words people have chosen and why. Your choice is inspiring, especially your process for better understanding and choosing your word. Discipline is my first "one word". I needed discipline in all areas of my life. When I signed with my publisher in June 2016, the rest of my life was put on the back burner, especially considering the marketing learning curve I faced. (UGH) Since January, discipline has helped me lose 12 lbs., set a manageable blog schedule, join a critique group to help me be accountable for writing goals, limit the social media rabbit hole, get my finances back in order, be "present" with family and friends, and I'm sure there's more. Discipline has been a filter for my decisions, and it's helped me be more intentional.

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    1. Hi, Karen! Thanks for sharing your one word journey. That's inspiring! Congratulations on losing weight and getting finances in order. Just those two things are huge, along with the other things you accomplished. And using it as a filter does help you be more intentional. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Hi Sally! Thank you for sharing your chosen word for the year. I love the concept of having to sow before you can reap. Especially, when it comes to the return on your investment.

    My word this year is Commit. And it's been an interesting journey, of which I'll share with Seriously Write in a future post.

    In the meantime, enjoy your harvest and the journey along the way.

    ~ Yvonne

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    1. Hi, Yvonne! Thank you so much! I can't wait to hear about your word Commit. So many different directions that word could take.

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  11. Such an interesting, thought-provoking post, Sally. I needed to read this today. Thank you!

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  12. Sally, thank you for sharing your word and the verses to go along with it. I don't have a word for the year, but I am writing. I love reading how others persevere while reaching for their dreams.

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    1. Hi, Tanya! Great to see you here. I enjoy hearing others' stories too. They inspire me to keep on keeping on.

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  13. Hi, Laura! Thanks so much for coming by!

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  14. Wow! What a helpful post. I really enjoyed it. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  15. Hi Sally! I am SO sorry I'm several days late in commenting, but still wanted to say thank you for this wonderful post. My word for 2018 is GIVE. When the Lord kept nudging me with this word, I wasn't sure about it and thought maybe I was mistaken, LOL. But when He continued, I knew GIVE was to be my word. Not just in terms of giving more of my time, gifts, and finances to others, but giving more time to the Lord. So I'm making a serious effort to spend more time in Scripture and just listening to Him. :) Thanks again for sharing (and apologies for my tardiness!). Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Love your word give! Can't wait to see how He uses this word for you this year. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!

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