Tag Archives: Letting Go

My Utmost for His Highest

Kicked off Crave ministry with a barbecue at the leader’s home this afternoon. Great fun with some amazing young adults in such an important transitional time of life.
Brian and I are so blessed to be part of the Colonial College Ministry.
Right before I started writing, I got a strange friend request from a youtube group. When I clicked on the request, I was surprised to see it dealt with something that came up in my manuscript last night. I haven’t researched the topic or anything, so I was kind of shocked.

When I prayed tonight, I thought a lot about my writing. Is it for me or is it for Him? Tat led to thought about school and parenting and even the time I spend on Facebook. I came back to this saying I hear all the time: My utmost for His highest.
But that’s a pretty big statement when you think about it.
My utmost means I give my all every day no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Some days, I definitely give my utmost. But with the budget crisis in education, I can honestly say I’ve NOT given my all also.
for His highest takes it to an even tougher level. It means that every day I give my everything to God. That I do all for His glory.
I’m soooooo far from that place most days. In fact, my reality is more My Utmost for My Highest, I think. I pray, I read God’s word, I serve in my church. BUT I don’t give my everything to Him.
Letting Go and Letting God is something I’ve prayed about for years, and I’m getting better, but I’m still not there.
My current manuscript is challenging me there. Our current study at church is, too.
My Utmost for His Highest.
I hope that I do more than say the words. I want to live them.

Even The Best Plans

I planned on writing from 8-10 tonight, but DD stopped by for one of the first times since she moved out and asked me to go get brownie mix with her.
Family first.
That’s new for me, which I realize is sad.
For years I worked in the newsroom, dragging DD with me, leaving DH out completely. Focused on one thing: success.
And I found success. I love my job. It was fun. But I pushed my family to the side so often it’s crazy.
I can’t get that time back, but I can make the time I have now better.
Lesson learned: I had time to write earlier, but I knew I was going to write from 8-10, so I didn’t take advantage of it. Mistake!
I did get the writing in. But it’s 11 now, and I have no idea how I used to stay up until 1 and 2 a.m.
I’m falling asleep at the keyboard!

Forgiveness

For the last several weeks college ministry has been using an amazing World Harvest curriculum to look at how when we grow in Christ, our awareness of what exactly it is He did for us on the cross grows at the same time as our awareness of our true selves. This week we talked about forgiveness, and how God gave us his forgiveness, but we sometimes have a problem accepting it.
Today, at small group, we studied an Andy Stanley message on forgiveness. It was powerful, and it presented the idea in a new light.
I know forgiveness is really about me. I know that holding on to resentments and angers and hurts holds me back. But Stanley says you should write down what it is you think you’re owed so you can get to the root of the anger. He stressed the anger, and that surprised me because I’ve always thought of it in terms of hurt.
But, he’s right. Ultimately the message is the same.
In the Old Testament, Abraham was on the verge of sacrificing his son for atonement. Thousands of years later God sacrificed His son to atone for my sins.
It’s amazing, really. And if I can’t forgive how can I expect to be forgiven?
Powerful lesson. One that led me to the realization that I have two characters in a book I’m revising that haven’t forgiven. They live in a world of anger and hurt and resentment, but not really. Because instead of facing their emotions, they’ve built these incredibly thick walls. By not facing the realities of the bad emotions, they’re missing the amazing blessing of the good emotions.
It was one of those a-ha moments.
I hope it helps my writing.

I submitted a partial to Love Inspired today. I enjoy the LI line, but this is something I’ve never seen there. It’s a Christian romance, though, so LI it is.There’s no taking the religion out of the book. The heroine’s life change is one of the driving forces of the story. Wish it well.

I’m also revising Prodigal. It made the agent rounds in the past, and I even got to the exclusive stage with one of the big agents out there, but it didn’t make the cut. I looking at it again, I see why (see a-ha moment above.).

I firmly believe God is in control. I don’t know if I would’ve seen the walls had I not been working so much with the college ministry, if I hadn’t spent hours listening to Frances Chan and Andy Stanley. Had we not been through the big, hurtful shakeup at the church.
Brian and I wouldn’t be involved in college ministry, something that has been life changing for us, had DD not gone to university in Huntsville. God is in control. And when we get off his path, He can even use our mistakes for His glory. Thank the Lord for that!

I’m going to hold fast to that knowledge as the cuts come down tomorrow. The news said up to 130 teachers and paraprofessionals will be cut this week. One of the teachers in my hall is moving to another campus next year because they’re letting a new teacher go. He got the news today. More teachers will get the news tomorrow. I’m praying for the teachers moving, for the ones losing their jobs, for the students, for everyone involved. Hopefully, I keep the knowledge that God’s in control forefront in my mind as the devastating effects of this budget cut become something more than rhetoric.

Writing…

I have a partial ready to send to Love Inspired, and I’m working on edits of a full.
It’s funny how very different these stories are.
I don’t know if either of them will make the cut. But I’m learning from both stories.
It’s a whole new ball game. I hope both stories get to see readers other than the few who’ve critiqued for me. 🙂

Next week is D-Day for Texas teachers not on continuing contracts. We’ll know the full extent of projected layoffs then. It’s going to be ugly. Those of us on continuing contracts are safe, but it’s still going to be ugly. Between pay cuts and insurance hikes, it’s going to be a painful year.

But not as painful as it is for the people in Japan right now. Or several other countries. Sometimes I think we have it too easy.

Meeting Goals

I’m loving the new book. And hating it at the same time. It’s been TOUGH, but writing is taking place on a daily basis in the Lee household and that is GOOD NEWS! The new book is about forgiveness, redemption and letting go of the past. It’s targeted to Love Inspired. I hope to have a proposal ready to go within two weeks. I’ll actually have the first three chapters totally done before the end of this week. I hope to have the synopsis completely done by Sunday. Then I’ll let the proposal sit a week while I continue writing. Then I’ll go through the proposal one more time. Goal: to have the proposal on the way to LI editors by Feb. 28.
What changed: A lot. The budget crisis certainly lit a fire under me. I also realized that when DD graduated, something in me switched off. For almost three years, I’ve been treading water in life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In that time, my relationship with God has really blossomed. And DH and I are truly best friends. I’ve learned a lot about me. It’s been a “growing up” time again. Kind of like that time between 25 and 30 was for me.
It’s kind of weird to look back on a clump of years and realize how I sunk into this deep funk.
Menopause certainly didn’t help, I’m sure. The ankle compounded things probably.
You know, God uses these times though. If I hadn’t been in this time of “treading water” I don’t know if we would have gotten involved in the college ministry at church. I think that’s been more of a blessing to us than anyone!
When I went to RRRW this month, I was ready to fully recommit to writing. I’ve been writing again for a while now, but there’s a difference between actively writing and writing. If you’re a writer, you understand that statement.
I’ve committed to writing 1 page every day this week. At RRRW we call this a WWG (weekly writing goal), and we check in to hold each other accountable. It’s been a long time, but I’m glad to have that. I’m writing one single spaced page a day. Yesterday’s page was crap, crap, crap, crap. Today’s was better. The revisions were awesome. (hopefully I still feel that way in a couple weeks!)
That’s the nature of writing, I suppose. Some days are good, others not so much, but even in the not so much, there’s something to learn. I’m glad for that.