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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Gentle Whisper

"The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 King 19:11-12

I arrived home last evening from the ACFW conference close to 10 PM. I admit to being one tired puppy today. My son and I decided to take a break from our homeschool schedule for the day, so I could try and get caught up with some things. Laundry and unpacking and some mail sorting have been accomplished, but not much else.

I find myself reflecting on my experiences. This was my first opportunity to attend this conference. It was a tremendous blessing to me. Two highlights for me, was that I was able to meet my two favorite fiction authors - Mary Connealy and Vickie McDonough. It took me a while to work up nerve to talk to each of them. I was with my extroverted mother, which for some reason tends to make me crawl a little more into my introverted shell.

I gained a lot of knowledge in my three days of attendance. In fact, I feel like my brain is quite heavy with all of the information! :) I enjoyed the opportunity to serve through helping in the bookstore and also the registration table. I plan to start implementing what I learned once I start writing in a day or two. I feel like I first need some rest to help clear out the fuzziness in my head!
I imagine for many that were in attendance they had a "ah ha" moment when everything seemed to click, or they felt a very clear direction of the next step on the journey that God was directing. This didn't exactly happen for me. I did not have the opportunity to speak with either an editor or agent. This time I was a sponge, just soaking in information.

For me, God showed up like He did with Elijah so many years ago - in a gentle whisper. I felt God reminding me of the calling He has placed on my life to write since I was a very young girl. I remember my early teens when I wrote my first novel. When asked at the conference, I said that I haven't really been published. But as I look back through the years, I realized how much writing I have accomplished. I wrote a teen novel while I was a teen. In my early twenties, I wrote my first historical romance. In the in between years, I have written a children's book, three Bible studies and a full length book on Proverbs 31. Now I'm currently working on my eighth book, which happens to be another historical romance.

As for being published? I had two poems published as a teen and actually received payment for them. :) The past two years, I have written a bi-monthly column for a homeschooling magazine, and still hold that position. Have I ever sought publications of my books? I did enter a contest with my first book, and sent my first adult novel off to one publisher, but that's it. I guess it's time to start being more proactive in this journey to publication.

At the awards banquet on Sunday evening, I was struck by something Terri Blackstock said in her acceptance speech. She mentioned that God has her go through situations, so that she can use it to help others, and she does this through her writing. It made me think about the Biblical truths that I desire to convey through the story that I am writing.

Sometimes we have those 'ah ha' moments or mountain top experiences in our life. That happened to me back in March, when God called me back into the pursuit of writing. But other times we may be in the midst of hard, difficult, dry times and then God chooses to speak in a gentle whisper.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jody for your words and thoughts! As I read this I too reflected on times that God has gently whispered to me even though I was anticipating a more vitalized response from him. He is right and true always!

Vickie McDonough said...

Jodie,

it was great meeting you. You remind me so much of myself before I was published. The first few years I attended the conference, I was in awe of so many of the authors whose books I'd read. It took me four years before I could stand beside Tracie Peterson and not shake. This year I got to meet Janette Oke and had my picture take with her. What a treat that was--and I didn't even shake.