July has been a difficult month for me. Since this is not an anonymous blog, I carefully consider what to share and not share with the friends and strangers who read what I post here. I want to be open but prudent. Interesting balance to maintain.
For weeks leading up to the International Christian Retail Show in Denver, I was feeling stressed about my heavy travel schedule, particularly when added to my writing schedule. I had three trips scheduled for July with a total of 17 travel days. On day six of my trip to Denver, I realized I just couldn’t go to Reno for the RWA conference (a six day, five night trip that would have started yesterday). Why, I asked myself, was I putting myself up for the unnecessary additional stress? I wasn’t up for an award. I wasn’t scheduled to present an award. I was on a panel, but nothing I couldn’t find someone equally qualified to sit on. I had already had meetings with my agent and editors in Denver. My remaining reason for going was so I wouldn’t leave my roommate in the lurch. When I called her, I offered to pay my share of the room costs if she couldn’t find a replacement. Turns out she wanted to cancel too. Whew!
In the midst of all this, I made a tough career decision that had me talking and corresponding lots with my agent as she worked things through. This too was riddled with s-t-r-e-s-s. And yet I have peace about my decision and feel a great sense of relief that I was able to make a choice and stand firm. One of the things that we Christian writers talked about at the retreat in Denver was the difficulty of having our livelihood also be our ministry. (Many pastors suffer burnout/stress for the same reason.) God gave me a talent that I hope to use for Him, and He called me to write for Him in the CBA market so that I can write openly about faith and Christian beliefs. Serving others in the body of Christ is a ministry, no matter what that service is. What I hope to do in my ministry is entertain, enlighten, encourage. But writing is also a business, and with business comes all the “stuff” that most writers would just as soon ignore. Me included.
All the above to say, I’m glad the traveling is over for me until September. I’m glad that I can now settle in and get to work on my next book with a clear view of what I want to accomplish. Oh, and I’m thankful that this was the month when I was reading the Psalms and Proverbs because there is so much praise, wisdom, and comfort to be found in those two books of the bible. That, too, was a God thing.
In the grip of His grace,