Friday, February 11, 2011
Two Manilla Envelopes
For the past week, between doing posts for my blog, prepping for pre and post Superbowl activities, chasing kids around, and multiple engagements to attend, I have frantically been working on two writing projects that I am sending into a writers contest in Seattle with the due date creeping ever closer. Yesterday, I finally mailed them. They are due next Friday, nothing like getting close to the drop dead date. How does this matter to my journey to holiness? How does any secular work matter to our journey to holiness? I believe it is there; we just need to look for it.
Two years ago, I was captivated by the horror of an article I read. My memory has cobwebs, but I believe the story came from Florida. A young girl was taken from her “mother”. The child was considered a feral child. At the time, I was working on my novel about a young girl becoming a healer. I threw the two concepts together to write a short story. After I finished, I had a couple of my first readers take a look. All of them liked the story. I sent it to a contest, but was disqualified because I did something wrong. Well, my husband encouraged me to dust it off and submit it this year.
Two nights ago, I was going through the story for the twentieth edit and panicking because I missed important details and had to add them. Okay, it wasn’t twenty times. I have an issue with patience and editing. God must want me to learn something, but it is taking me forever! Anyway, a revelation struck me. Two years ago, I loved the story. I thought it could win. In the past week, I found quite a few holes in the story. In fact, quite frankly, it stunk. I must have been learning these last couple of years. Some days I get so overwhelmed by how much I don’t know. I need patience with myself to learn. The last couple years have not been wasted nor will the next couple of years, or five, or ten, or twenty. I need to relax and let God help me on my journey.
After I finished adding the important details, I knew the story needed to rest. I kept debating back and forth whether I should skip my women’s Bible study group in the morning. Our work often does cause us to skip time to be with God and fellowship with our Christian family. I chose to attend the study group. A couple hours away would not hinder my progress. Besides, I was getting nervous about sending the piece.
Sitting down at the computer to do one final edit, the words sat there mocking me. The first sentence looked like a jumbled mess. With butterflies in my stomach, I told God I was finished. I made three prints right then and there without doing a final edit. I may regret the decision later. I packaged the story and the beginning of my novel. With check, paperclips, entry form, writing, and self-addressed stamped envelopes, I sealed the manila envelopes. I held my hope in my hands and said a little prayer. Yes, I want to be a famous author with movies of my characters hitting the big screen. I don’t need to ask. God knows this. Plus, I am not ready. I still have another couple of years of learning before I am even partially good. So, I prayed for God’s will to be done and to bless the people reading my work that they will give me critiques to grow into a better writer.
With a smile on my face, I made another trip into town. I patiently stood in line letting a lady step in front of me. At the counter, I smiled at the mail clerk as he prepared my envelopes to send away. God is now in charge. It is out of my hands. I trust Him in getting me through one more step of my career. Okay, the career I hope will at some point make a tad bit of money…someday.
So, I do believe my manila envelopes are helping me on my journey to holiness. They brought me closer to God in prayer. It may be trivial, but God wants to be a part of our entire life even the trivial.
Blessing to you all.