Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are your roots needing more room to grow?

A few weeks ago my husband helped me to replant my beautiful African Violets. I have three and they are all different colors. My mother bought the first one for me as a gift and I fell in love with these tiny eye catchers. Well, the thing is, they started wilting. The bright color they once held was now gone. Instead of growing they began shrinking.

So, being out one Saturday with my husband, I say, "Lets grab some new pots and feed for my flowers." As I look over at them today they are vibrant, beautiful, flowering and are growing like never before. Their roots needed more room. They needed the right food and soil. They were choking themselves as they were trying to grow, but my little pots were holding them back. Have you ever felt like that?

Sitting in church last Sunday my heart was heavy. Today, my heart is still heavy. Nothing drastic is wrong in my life. In fact, most things are pretty awesome. Except for me. Some how I am losing my vibrant sight. Everything is becoming repetitive. I am doing the same old, same old. Been there with me? I need more. I need different. I need more space. I feel like the Lord is calling me to bigger, and I am just choking in my comfort zone.

I want to dive into His Word like never before. I want to search all He has for me. Last week was a pretty magnificent week for me. I attended the ACFW conference in St. Louis. During that time I was able to attend I stayed with my cousin. I had such a lovely time with her. As our alarms for the day began to go off I got a text from my daughter that said, "Mom, it's time." Yes, during the conference of a life time, my baby girl was having my first grandson. Where else would I be, but by her side. Like any mother, I packed up my bags and I headed for the hospital. There was no way I was missing little Jack's arrival into this world. Into his mother's arms. Oh, to see the joy on her face as she held him for the first time. I must share with you, he has the cutest baby nose I have ever seen in my life. Just as when my granddaughter, Peyton, came into this world, he too has stolen my heart.

Although I experienced one of the greatest joys in life, I knew I too was missing a great experience in my writing career. I had to take a step back and realize, "Everything in God's timing." His timing is perfect and He knows just where I need to be and just what my heart needs to be full and complete in Him.

During my time at the conference I met, Loree Lough, in the bookstore. Oh, she is such a lovely woman and a sweet friend. I listened as Tracie Peterson spoke and I must tell you, Brandilyn Collins, is drop dead gorgeous! My first chat was with, Maggie Brendan, who wrote, "Deeply Devoted". Oh, this woman's southern ascent kept me captivated. Her wise words to me were, "Girl, you write every day and you get yourself a critique group." While in the elevator going up, the doors opened and there stood my friend, Susan. I jumped out and gave her a hug. It was so sweet to meet such wonderful people. I sat through a five hour class that first day and I must say, it was a life changing class for me. I once told a writer I was making an outline and she laughed, saying, "I have never made an outline in my life." For me, it was reassurance that I was on the right track.

So, my novel is coming together. Again, in God's perfect timing. I am taking a few steps back. It seems sometimes to move forward, we must first step back and a get a good look at where we are and where the Lord is calling us. I am seeking Him with all my heart. Maybe the church home I have shared with my family for eighteen years now is not where I am to be. Again, it is that comfortable place. But God is not calling me to comfort. He wants my life devoted to serving Him and with each new door He opens for me, instead of me walking through I am taking a second glance. I am never going to know all He has for me as long as I sit comfortably in my little circle and go round and round. My roots need deeper ground to grow. Sometimes we must say good bye to some areas of our life in order to say hello to the new.

This past week I have been thinking about all I once accomplished before a computer entered my life. We have only had a computer for a few years now. Although, this computer has brought many blessings it too has held me back. I cannot give ten to twelve hours a day writing. For me, this just isn't a time in my life I can give that much time to that one area. Why? I have found myself telling my family way too many times, "Hold on, I just have to finish this and then I am all yours." I have been saying, "Hold on", more times than I can count and I am stopping that. I will no longer tell my family to hold on. That isn't part of God's will. In writing and researching I must find that balance. For me, my family must come first. I have been losing time with Christ too. Instead of getting up and diving into His Word, I dive right into that research awaiting me. How do you balance it all? Where is that line you draw?

I am feeling a little like my African Violets. Who goes to a writers conference and comes home knowing they must slow down and take a step back? You would think it would make me dive head first into that dream. That passion the Lord has instilled in me. As I have shared with many writers, this isn't about me. It will always be about the Lord and when I get ahead of myself it is time for me to step back. This is a journey for me. I want to take it slow and enjoy every minute. I want my writing to grow and I want the Lord to shine through all I do. But first, I must make sure I am right where I am to be with Him.

Friends, don't think you have to keep up with everyone around you. Don't think you must attend the same church you have all your life. Don't let your circumstances bog you down and kill your dreams. Seek the Lord and He will ignite in you a new passion and give you all you need to accomplish His will for your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a step back. It's okay to say, "No." Take each day you have and live it as if there is no tomorrow. Don't look around you and see what everyone else is doing. Do what the Lord is calling you to do. Go where He is calling you. Sometimes, stepping out of our comfort zone is the best thing we could ever do to find ourselves more intimate with Christ and more complete just by seeking Him and facing our fears.

"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." Colossians 3:23-24

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." Jeremiah 29:11-13

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6
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