Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 To Go! Planning to End Well

Tomorrow is August 1!

5 months left in 2012!

What kind of year has this been for you?
  • Productive?
  • Chaotic?
  • Stressful?
  • Disappointing?
  • Don't ask?

Okay...whether it's been good or not so good one thing is true for all of us: the first 7 months are over. 

We can't relive them.

We can't change them.

We CAN learn from them, be inspired by them, and let them fuel our focus for the next 5 months. 


What do you need/want to accomplish in the next five months? If you don't have a goal you will run in circles, waste time and energy and have little or nothing to show for your efforts. 


What needs to be on your "TO-DO" list? 

More importantly, what needs to be on your "NOT-TO-DO" list? 

Whether it's a writing goal, a weight loss goal (isn't it always?), or some other end you seek:

  • focus on it - write it down and put in on your refrigerator
  • look at it every day
  • set small, attainable goals for yourself
  • identify time and energy killers - name them - write them down so they are identifiable and clear
  • check your progress regularly - at least once a week
  • regroup as needed
First and foremost, don't leave God out of the planning. While your personal agenda may be a good one, it may not look anything like what God has in store for you. Make your lists (to-do and not-to-do) a matter of daily prayer. 

"In all your ways acknowledge Him and
He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3: 6

Commit to ending 2012 well. Run the good race, stay focused and determined, and trust God to bless you and your efforts. 

In His Grip, 


What do you want/need to accomplish by the end of 2012? Leave a comment. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Heart of an Olympian

Have you been watching the Olympics? I have. My favorite summer sports are gymnastics and swimming with a little volleyball thrown in for variety. As I watch I wonder what it must feel like. What is the experience of launching yourself into the air, twisting and turning and flipping around and then landing on your feet - and staying there? What does that feel like? 

What does it feel like to swim fast with strong, steady arms and a body that works in perfect synchronization?  What does it feel like? 

What does it take to be an Olympic athlete?  

Talent, of course. That goes without saying. But I think it's more than that. I think there are more people in this world than we know who have the raw talent and skills to be Olympians. So where are they? Probably sitting at home watching the games on TV with the rest of us.

What makes the difference?


The willingness to choose one thing over many others. 

That's not just true in the Olympics. It's true in life. Leaders are not the only people in the world who can lead. They are the ones who are WILLING to do it. 

Writers are not the only ones in the world who can tell a story or express an idea. They are the ones who CHOOSE to do it. 

Teachers are not the only ones who can shape minds and expand horizons. They are the ones who are INVOLVED enough to do it. 

I watched as some background footage of the gymnasts was shown. Some of the girls have been training together since they were little - 5 or 6. Not playing together - training together.

Imagine the focus. I can't even remember what I wanted - at the age of 6 - to be when I grew up. I can't imagine dedicating my life to anything at the age!

The most profound thing for me is the courage displayed. Not just the courage to do the physical tasks required, although that is awe inspiring. No, I mean the courage to put everything you are into reaching a goal and facing the possibility of failing. 

Personally I think just making it onto an Olympic team would be a dream come true. Not for these athletes. They want nothing less than gold. And why not? When you've worked and sacrificed your whole life for something what is the point of shooting for anything less?

I'm not called to be an athlete - Olympic or otherwise, but I do have a calling to write. Am I working and practicing like an Olympian in training? Am I giving it my all because I want to be the best? Do I work through pain and exhaustion and disappointment? Is it my focus? 

What about you? What is your Jeremiah plan? What has God called you to do? Are you doing it with the focus and determination of an Olympic medalist? 

More about this on Wednesday...

In His Grip, 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

What in the world...



Right at this moment I am 8 days away from taking 60 kids to bereavement camp, and 70 days away from a writer's conference in Dallas where I need to have a manuscript and marketing materials polished and ready for meetings with agents. That's enough to take all of my energy and attention.

So why did I get so excited yesterday when I learned about another writing contest?

Especially when the deadline for that contest is August 1st? Of this year? As in 19 days from now? 

What is wrong with me? Can it be done? Well, anything is possible, but do I really need the pressure? The answer to that is definitely "NO".

But here's the thing...

New projects are energizing to me. The initial excitement alone is sometimes enough to carry me well into middle of something. The newness is like a fresh start.

And it's a challenge. 

Am I going to take it? Maybe. Probably. I've already been making some notes...

We'll see...

What energizes you about chasing your dream? 

In His grip,


Monday, July 9, 2012

Preparing for Dallas (And I don't mean J.R.!)

I am so excited to be heading to Dallas in September for the annual American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference. While there I will attend writer's workshops, meet with two agents about the possibility of representation, mix and mingle with newbies and award-winning authors, many of whom I've come to know on line through the ACFW group, sing in the choir for worship on Sunday, and if all that's not enough, I will listen and learn and try to soak up every minute and every drop of information and inspiration I can get.

 To say that I'm excited is a HUGE understatement. I'm also nervous. I have a lot to do before Dallas:

  •  polishing my primary manuscript, 
  • finishing a second one, 
  • creating one-sheets and book proposals, 
  • reading a craft book

The most important thing I have to do is PRAY. 

For me this is the next step in both my dream to write and what I feel is God's plan for me right now. It is a divine appointment that will be filled with divine appointments - both planned and spontaneous.

I want to be ready. 
I want my heart prepared to see with the eyes of Christ.
I want my mind prepared to work, and
I want my soul prepared to worship and meet Jesus there.

I have already dedicated whatever writing I may do to God. It is His to use as He sees fit. I have to do my part, though, and that means a lot of work between now and then!

 What will be my reward for all this hard work? Well, the day after the conference is over I'm going to Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth to see an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Click Dead Sea Scrolls for more information about that. 

 What else? Well, maybe if it's God's will and his timing, I just might end up with an agent and then...a book contract! Won't that be a post! I appreciate your prayers as I prepare for this and I promise to keep you posted along the way.

 In His Grip, 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

True Freedom

Today as we celebrate...
  • remember to be safe
  • remember those who serve to keep us free and safe and the families who wait for them to come home
  • remember with every privilege comes an awesome responsibility
  • remember that we are never truly free until we are free in Christ

"If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin
and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14

Has there ever been a land as much in need of healing as ours? Will you pray with me today for our country and our leaders and for Christians everywhere to stand firm in their faith and to be the lights set on a hill for all to see? 

Be safe. I have prayed for you today.