Thanks to EVERYONE who participated in the Jen Stephens book contest. I will announce the winner on Friday’s blog post. If your name is the lucky winner, please e-mail me your contact information, and I will make sure the book arrives safely. Jen and I were so blessed by the responses.
If you didn’t get a chance to “meet” Jen, please check yesterday’s post. You’ll be so happy you did.
I couldn’t help but relate to what my friend Bones wrote in her comment yesterday. She mentioned feeling a little “discouraged” whenever she reads about the experiences of writers who have seen their dreams come true. I have to admit I can relate. Time after time, I hear writers comment that writing is like breathing to them, that they simply cannot–not write. Oh, how I can relate. I feel a burning within my soul, and I can’t rest until it comes out.
I have to caution myself during those times I compare myself to other writers. I wonder what I’m doing wrong. I think maybe I am not good enough. I wonder why God can’t just give me a little boost. But God’s timing is always perfect, and ironically—speaking of perfect timing, we discussed this particular situation in our last Sunday School class. There’s a fine line between disappointment and jealousy. It’s easy to allow jealousy and envy slip into our lives when we compare ourselves to others. It’s as if we are saying that God doesn’t know what’s best for our lives—that we deserve better than what He has to offer.
Whenever are jealous of others, we miss out on relationships. God could very well have in mind to use the person we envy to help us grow to receive our blessing. BUT if we allow jealousy’s poison to pollute our hearts and minds, we may never know what we’ve missed. I try to make it a habit that when I start to feel discouraged, I strive to see with my “God” eyes. My discouragement may actually be a poor cover-up for jealousy, so whenever I feel discouraged, I ask God to make me humble and thankful for what I have. I also ask God to help me learn from the person that I envy.
Now that I’m in confession mode, I might as well admit I am not the type of person who takes rejection well. I still remember my first grade teacher sending a note home to my parents because I cried whenever I received a red mark on my assignments. I suppose I thought I had to do everything perfectly. (I still do most of the time.) It has taken me quite a while to realize that we don’t grow unless we meet resistance. That’s a basic premise of weight training, by the way.
And speaking of training, I have recently decided to pursue an extremely challenging fitness routine—and I’m struggling. I’m at the bottom of the class. Fortunately, the only person I’m competing with is myself. It’s not about beating a competitor. It’s about taking myself to the new level. I am getting stronger as a result—not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
I have deliberately decided to try something that I KNOW I’m not good at so that I can develop the discipline and endurance and self-acceptance I’m lacking. I think the lessons I can learn from these physical echallenges can be adapted to what I need to learn about writing and about life. It’s all about overcoming the obstacles as efficiently as possible.
I hope that whenever you are feeling discouragement in your journey that you will stop by Serendipitee Blog. My prayer is that you will serendipitiously stumble upon words that will offer you encouragement. I believe that whatever we give to others is returned to us even more so. Please feel free to share your thoughts.
So many of you have blessed me this week. It’s my prayer that your blessings will be multiplied.