Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Have you ever heard that one before?

If you have, then chances are you have a talent for storytelling or you lead an interesting life that somebody thinks you ought to share with the world. Whatever the case, maybe you should give it serious thought. All you need, besides a little talent and subject matter that will interest somebody besides your mother, is passion. Yep, that's all it takes, talent, a story that will sell, and passion.

What is talent, you ask? Well, it's something you're born with, but it's also something you can develop. You can be born with a talent, but if you never use it, that talent could well lie dormant for a lifetime. Is it possible to have a talent you're not even aware of? I suppose, but more likely you know it's there; you just don't have the gumption, interest, drive, or determination to develop it. That's where passion comes into play, but more about that later.

What about that interesting story? It could be a plot that nobody's ever pitched before (every publisher's dream), or it could be somebody's intriguing life story. Unfortunately, a lot of people (countless numbers) think their story is the BEST IN THE WORLD, and wouldn't everyone want to read about it, when really it's not nearly as unique as they may imagine. No, this story's got to be gripping, heartrending, life changing, impacting, and the kind of story that won't let its reader go. Do you have that kind of story to tell? Then, what are you waiting for? Sit down and write it.

Now, for that earlier mentioned word - passion. And, no, I'm not talking about the sort that happens between the sheets, so get your minds out of the gutter. (giggle) Instead, I'm talking about the sort that burns a hole in your soul, that never lets up, that eats at your core, that steals your sleep, and sometimes keeps you from remembering to eat and drink. In other words, it consumes you. That's passion.

I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT WRITING, or I wouldn't have a dozen published books. I had to wait till half my life passed me by before I discovered this passion, though, so don't be surprised if you're 35 and you still haven't learned what makes your heart pound out of its chest.

Let me tell you a secret. If you are passionate about something - whether it be working on motors, building houses, drawing or painting pictures, dancing, cooking, designing rooms, sewing, scrapbooking, fishing, hunting, gardening, studying languages, or - or WRITING, whatever it is that gets your heart to pumping, makes your blood start moving, gives you that "alive" feeling in the center of your being, then that, my friends, THAT is God's gift to you. He loves you so much that when He formed you in the womb He started making plans for your life, planting tiny little seeds called talents. Some of those talents he gave you will never amount to much, but some of them will evolve into PASSIONS. Take care that you nurture them when they show up.

Where does your passion lie? Ponder it, play with it, and PRAY about it. Then surrender that passion to God and ask Him to show you the direction He wants you to go with that passion. If you do this, you can turn that passion into positivity and make a lasting impact on others' lives. Yes, you can!

So, get moving. Discover your God-given talents, choose the one that truly makes you bubble up with joy, and then get passionate about developing it so that God can use it for His glory!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


I have never done well with New Year's Resolutions. I think my running record for keeping one is about four days. I don't like that I fail so soon after making them, so I avoid them like I do bad germs. I do, however, LOVE taking down my old calendar and hanging up my bright, shiny new one with the big bold number "2013" at the top. This year my calendar is one my daughters made for me with love. Each page contains precious photos of grandJOYs and other family members. I take delight in new calendars, and I love flipping the pages to the next month. Every month feels like a brand new start.

There is just something exciting about starting over, isn't there? So far, I have had 64 New Years in which to start over, and every one of them has been an adventure!

God gives second chances, you know. And third and fourth and fifth. His patience never runs out and His mercies are new every morning. Isn't that a beautiful thing?

So, on this January 1, 2013, I'm not making any New Year's resolutions, BUT...if I were (and I did say IF), my list might look something like this:

1. Memorize more scripture.
2. Try new recipes.
3. Get on that elliptical machine!
4. Lose ten pounds. (Why do I always have 10 pounds to lose???)
5. Walk the dog more.
6. Spend more time at the beach.
7. Be deliberate about "playing" with family and friends.
8. Write notes and mail them, as in put them in the "real" mailbox, the one the US postal carrier stops at every day.
9. Stick to my writing goals.
10. Read books for fun--not work!
11. Publish a new blog at least once a week! (I have a hard time keeping up with this blog I have to say!)

See? This is another reason I don't make resolutions. My list gets too long. (I could easily have added more items.) It's hard to narrow it down to one thing, which I suppose says something about me. There are lots of areas in my life that need improving. Thankfully, we serve a patient God who gives us many chances to make things better. I like that worship song that says, "Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me."

All that said, tell me, do YOU make New Year's resolutions, and if you do, are you able to keep them? Regardless if you do or don't, have a blessed, God-kissed 2013. May this be your year of years - in a good way!