Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Admit it. You’re wondering WHAT ON EARTH can that title possibly have to do with writing?

Well, let me jog your memory. Some of you may remember the story from the Old Testament (Genesis 24 to be exact) about Abraham’s quest for a bride for his beloved son Isaac. Unfortunately for his chief servant, who has been entrusted with finding just the right daughter-in-law for his master, the responsibility entails a journey to distant Mesopotamia (a little more effort than mouse-clicking on eHarmony).

When at long last one evening the chief servant and his ten camels arrive at Abraham’s old family homestead, he’s one tired camper. Has the running-on-empty camels kneel down near the spring-fed well outside town. But now what? How is he going to get these road-weary beasts refreshed? The New International Version of the Bible notes that “chief servant” can also be translated as “oldest” servant. So this guy very likely isn’t a buff twenty- or-thirty-something. The prospect of such a physically gargantuan effort as hauling mega-gallons of water may not even be an option.

So he prays that God will grant him success on his search for a bride---and get the camels watered, too. “See I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’ – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Before he’s even finished praying, here comes the beautiful Rebekah with a jar on her shoulder. Hmm. Surely this pretty little thing can’t be the one to tackle such a task as he needs done. But she goes down to the spring, fills her jar, and when Abraham’s servant asks for a drink, she gives him one. And then—you guessed it—she says: “I’ll draw water for your camels, too.”

Whoa. Now I don’t know the dimensions on a camel’s “water tank,” but I imagine filling up ten beasts of burden isn’t an easy feat for any young woman. But Genesis says she fills the trough again and again, drawing enough water for all of them.

To make a long story short, the chief servant pulls out a couple of bracelets and a gold nose ring, hoping that Rebekah’s kinsmen will let her “Say Yes to the Dress.” Which they do--and off goes Rebekah to her one true love.

Ahhh, happily ever after.

But I imagine there’s more to this story.

Behind-the-scenes stuff, you know?

Like I bet that night wasn’t the first time Rebekah went out to the well. Think about it. You don’t just skip out to the spring one evening and draw enough water to fill ten thirsty camels unless you’ve built up some major muscle. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year.

And I bet it wasn’t the first time Rebekah offered to help a total stranger. The man didn’t tell her he was the chief servant of one of her relatives until she’d already made good on her promise. No, Rebekah’s character had developed to the point where keeping faithful to the daily routine, serving where God asked her to (even in the seemingly insignificant things), had become ingrained in her.

God’s hand was in the bringing together of Isaac and Rebekah—but Rebekah had to do her part, too. She had to cooperate, be faithful to the routine, in order to be in the right place at the right time.

Maybe at the beginning, when the experience was fresh and new, she found herself excitedly trotting out to the well with all the other women. It seemed fun, an adventure, so full of expectation that her Prince Charming would soon put in an appearance. But as the days and months and years passed, had the routine lost its charm? Had there been days when the effort seemed without purpose? Same old path. Same old jar. Same old familiar faces at the well. Same backbreaking work to water those big ugly animals?

Who knows, perhaps that very night--the one that would turn her life upside down--she’d even been tempted to hide out in the tent. Do her nails. Surf the net. Catch the season finale of CSI. After all, wasn’t tonight just another camel-watering night like all the rest?

But she made a choice. Threw off her lethargy and stuck to the routine. Grabbed the jar. And off she went to the well once more. And to her destiny.

I think writing with a dream of publication often has a lot in common with Rebekah’s watering of the camels. You’re filled with promise and expectation when you first feel that tug in your spirit that says “write a book.” The fulfillment of your dream seems just around the corner. So close you can almost touch it.

But oftentimes it turns out to be an unexpectedly BIG “around the corner.” Time passes. The excitement, the inspiration, the immediacy of it fades. The dream becomes worn around the edges. A little tattered, for much about writing a book is routine. Day in and day out. Maybe an occasional contest win. A word of praise from a judge. But those can be few and far between. Most days you’re planting yourself down in front of the computer with no more sense of anticipation than you might have for throwing in another load of laundry. Vacuuming the living room. Cleaning the bathtub.

I know for myself I came THIS CLOSE (thumb and index finger pinched tightly together) to scrapping the routine. I’d been writing for years. Faithfully reading books, taking on-line workshops, and listening to tapes on the craft of writing. Faithfully logging in my word counts. Entering contests. Getting feedback.

But I was becoming weary, from the shores of Unpubbed Island, of scanning the horizon for ships’ sails. Finding time to write in the midst of a demanding day job was no easy task. Other worthy visions beckoned. I was no longer even certain that I wanted to keep trying to get off the island! I mean a comfy hammock strung between shady palm trees, gentle waves lapping on the sandy beach, and all those yummy coconut treats … Life was good, wasn’t it? Faithfully watering island camels seemed less and less appealing as the handwriting on the wall loomed large: MAYBE THIS DREAM IS NOT FOR YOU.

But last year I prayerfully made a decision. A choice. And with the encouragement of my family, my faithful Seekers, and renewed strength and determination provided by my Heavenly Father, I set out once more to water the camels. One more time. And that was the manuscript for which I got the long-awaited “Call.”

If I’d hidden out in the tent, ditched the water jar, refused to be true to the routine, my very first published book wouldn’t be released this month.

So don’t give up. Like Rebekah, make a decision. Keep watering those camels.


Leave a comment today with your email address (remember use “at” and “dot”), and be eligible to be included in a giveaway drawing for a copy of my first book, “Dreaming of Home.” The winner will be announced in the Seekerville weekend edition.

An ACFW "Genesis" and RWA Faith, Hope & Love "Touched by Love" award winner, GLYNNA KAYE'S first published book DREAMING OF HOME is an October 2009 Steeple Hill Love Inspired release.


  1. Glynna,

    Thanks for going deeper into this story about the woman and the camels. It's easy to read a tale like that and just see how perfectly the pieces fit together, missing the fact that life doesn't tend to be that neat and tidy.

    This concept could apply to many endeavors, including 7:15 a.m. conditioning sessions for basketball. : )

    I'm having gooey monkey bread in little lumps laced with cinnamon goop this a.m.. That isn't the best description. Hopefully, you get the idea. Anyone else want a hunk? We've got Zen green tea to go along with it.


  2. Forgot to mention I' m in to win the book.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  3. Wow, Glynna, I loved the scoop on Rebekah. I'm doing the Beth Moore study of Esther right now, so I'm really in the mood for some investigative reporting.

    Somewhere in the last couple of months, I've had the opportunity to really up my writing time and with the encouragement of the ACFW conference and I have to say the Seekerville Plan B discussions, I have decided to make this a job. I'm not just writing when I get a chance, I'm thinking of it as putting in hours at a job to which I'll get paid for.
    Like Rebekah, I am skipping CSI.

    If I get enough done over the weekend, I allow a little Dancing with the Stars and then it's "Back to Work" watering those camels.

    Cathy. Monkey Bread? Oh Yeah!

    Congrats to Walt.
    And please enter my name for your book. Thanks!

  4. Great encouragement, Glynna.
    Thanks for it this morning.

  5. Aw shucks, I'm getting dressed up at Pippy Longstockings this morning and my braids must be too tight -
    my email address:

  6. Glynna, what a great analogy. Yes, yes, yes.

    You have blessed us with this post and I totally see myself in the tent, shrugging off the camels, curled on the couch, enjoying Mark Harmon as Gibbs on NCIS.

    That Plan B was a wonderful thing. A butt-kicker.

    The nudge we needed to stay the course.

    Wonderful post, and Cath, I'm SO IN ON THE monkey bread. Yum. I brought warm, wet cloths so everyone can wash up when done, Chinese restaurant style.


    Coffee's on. I've got Boston's Best Jamaiccan Me Crazy and plain joe in a separate pot.

    Sweet cream.

    And I stayed up late washing the mugs. Or maybe it was taking care of ten newborn Doodles... Yawn...


    Grab a cup. Have a seat. So nice to chat with everyone!


  7. Oh, Glynna girl, what a terrific analogy for writers when the phone seems to have stopped working!

    I've had several moments of wanting to give up, but I"m so glad God kept nudging me and telling me to hang in there. For the first time in my career, I'm getting requests for fulls.

    Oh, and Ruthy honey, nothing wrong with a little Gibbs. We can curl up on the couch--just gotta make sure our fingers are flying on the laptop at the same time...and I don't mean posting to Twitter and Facebook, either. :D

    lisajordanbooks at yahoo dot com

  8. Good morning, Cathy! Thanks for bringing something warm for breakfast!

  9. Thanks for the great post, Glynna -- I love it when people help me look at those familiar stories in a new way.

    Your post plus Sandra's from yesterday make quite the duo -- take the writing seriously and stay the course. I've got to start getting up at 4 again to guarantee some writing time instead of hitting the snooze button for an hour.

    Thanks for the monkey bread, Cathy! I haven't had any in ages and it's scrumptious.

    Hope y'all have a great day!

  10. Good point about building up the muscles and sticking to the routine. Faithfully.

    Water is heavy. Eight pounds to the gallon.

    We had to water Vera the Wonder Cow and her sidekicks Vickie, Lizzie and Rosie at the county fair this past summer.

    Cows in milk drink about 30 gallons a day so we had to refill their buckets about six times a day.

    Good monkey bread, Cathy :-)


  11. Debra--

    Love the story of Esther. How she had to overcome her fear of the near-certainty of death to save her people.

    So cool that you're focused and moving ahead with renewed determination to keep watering those camels!

  12. Pepper --

    Dare we ask why you're dressing up as Pippi today?

  13. Ruthy -- Hard to imagine you, the original camel waterer, hiding out in the tent. You've been one determined lady!

  14. Lisa! How exciting about the requests for fulls!

  15. Glynna,

    Another great reminder that we must treat our writing career with the same respect we give our day jobs or daily tasks. When it's time leave the house for work we are up, dressed and out the door so we're not late.

    That's the same attitude we need to apply to our writing time!


    PS Don't enter me in the contest, I have your book.

  16. Glynna, thank you for a very timely discussion. I've battled with the notion of 'giving up' more times than I care to admit. But then God timing isn't necessarily mine as he'd proved to me time and time again.

    So I continue to plug away, working every day toward my goal of publication, learning to rely on God's timing.

    I'd love to have a piece of monkey bread but I'm going to have to be happy with a bowl of ceral. You know, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on MY hips.

    Patty Smith Hall

  17. Glynna said:

    "Ruthy, it's hard to imagine you, the original camel waterer, hiding out in the tent..."

    Ruthy replied:

    It kills me to admit it, but every now and again I let my human side show through.

    Not often and ONLY IN SELECT PLACES, LOL!


    And it is (as Lisa will attest) GIBBS we're talking about.

    'nuf said.

  18. Oh Glynna, Your writing style comes through with your story of Rebekah. I was so picturing the whole scene and I love the analogy to writing.

    I so am in need of this post. Thanks a bunch. And I loved Dreaming of Home. It is a must read.

    Cathy the monkey bread is to die for. And the coffee Ruthy. Oh my. I need that at this early hour.

  19. Mornin' Leigh! I know how hard that 4 a.m. stuff is. Especially now that it's cold and dark in the morning! Gets less and less appealing. Solution: I got an alarm that doesn't have a snooze button!

  20. Ann -- sounds like you REALLY understand the reality of hauling water! And I just learned something new! 8 pounds to the gallon? WOW.

  21. Glynna, thanks for the adorable, yet right-on post! I love how you tied the search for Isaac's wife to the writing life. The analogy couldn't be more apt. Writing is glorious but hard work, too. Some days are like watering camels! LOL
    But so worth it in the end.


  22. HOLY COW ... or "camel," I should say -- this is one of the BEST posts I've read this year, Glynna!! A lot like a great novel, in fact -- you had me smiling and crying and literally riveted from the title to "the end." WONDERFUL job! AND wonderful encouragement that for each of us, there is a purpose in the mundane ... honoring God with a faithfulness that will reap His blessings in time. Thank you for the reminder and the beautiful encouragement, my friend.


  23. What a great analogy, Glynna!

    I'm such an emotional person. *Sigh* Today I'm fired up after being with Kim Woodhouse yesterday, and after finishing a truly wonderful book last night. Do you ever read a book that, when you finish the last page and close the book, you feel like you're glowing, just good all over, because the book you just read was absolutely magical? What a rare thing that is, but I had that experience with this book and it made me want to keep writing so I can inspire others with that same feeling--hopefully--some day.

    That book, BTW, was A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson. It's a YA romance, and it's wonderful.

  24. Hi, Rose! So true -- we need to give our writing time the respect it deserves. I don't debate each morning whether or not I should--or shouldn't--trot off to the day job.

  25. Patty -- God's timing is everything. And so often I have to come back to the truth that if I don't do my part, I effectively tie His hands from doing his. He might have a wonderful plan for me to be a published writer, but he's not going to come down and physically write it for me no matter how much I wish he would! He's my God, not my fairy godmother.

  26. Glynna, I have my glass of wine and toasting to your accomplishment! Thanks for the encouragment.
    ps I felt like the camel picture was smiling at me this morning!

  27. Thanks for taking time to write such a thoughtful and creative post. I love how you used this Bible story to illustrate your point....I think it makes God pretty happy, too :-)

  28. Hi Sandra! So glad you enjoyed Dreaming of Home! Sure is hard to get out and water those camels as the days get shorter & shorter. I'm SO solar-powered that this time of year is a real struggle!

  29. Oh, yes! I'd love to win a copy of your book.

    jprivette1 at roadrunner dot com

  30. Janet -- kind scary how my mind can twist writing into almost anything, isn't it? Kinda like how Ruthy does with Derek Jeter. :)

  31. Julie -

    Smiling? Crying? Riveted? Sweetie, were you up all night trying to meet a book deadline? :)

  32. Melanie -- tell us about meeting with Kim Woodhouse! And thanks for the good book tip!

  33. Thank you, Kerri! I hadn't noticed the camel was smiling. :)

  34. Thank you, Mary! There's so much truth in scripture that can be applied to our everyday lives if we just take the time to look a little bit deeper.

  35. Ruthy -- I'm glad Seekerville is one of your 'select places' to be yourself!

  36. Glynna,

    WONDERFUL post. So timely too.

    Tina [at] TinaDeeBooks [dot] com

  37. Thanks, Tina! Glad it hit the spot!

  38. Glynna, what an awesome post! I have always loved the story of Isaac and Rebekkah, but now I have a whole new reason to love it.

  39. Glynna, you have no idea how much I needed to read this today. I have been minding camels for so long that I'm "this close" to throwing in the towel. Thank you for the encouragement to keep going. Thank you for putting it into perspective.

    gypsyscribe (at) gmail (dot) com

  40. Thank you, Lorna! You never associated writing perseverance with camel watering!? LOL!

  41. Jen -- I'm glad the post is what you needed today. Amazing, isn't it, how God uses a timely word to keep us on keeping on?

  42. Wow, Glynna, that is beautiful and wise and inspiring.

    And yet, the strongest impression I come away with is........

    ....Rebecca had a nose ring?

  43. Camels.

    Hmm. My husband really wants one.

    I've said no.

    Glynna, this post applies to us as writers AND our heroines. We need to say no to the distraction as does Sally Smart if Sally has any hope of catching the eye of Matt Marvelous.

    No surfin' the Net in the tent!

    Pound out those words! Water those herds!

    Ah, well, thus ends my creativity...

    Beautifully composed message, Glynna! We all have something to learn from your perserverance and philosophy (thought I pay homage to Pam today, LOL)

    Did I hear we have monkey bread?? and a side of Jamacian coffee? Just what this girl needs after waking up so SNOW this morning!!

    No playing in the hot sands of the Sahara today, well, maybe...

  44. Interesting post, Glynna. Just this morning I was laying in bed, debating how I could convince the toddler to go back to sleep, when I got to thinking about the things I needed to do today.

    Watering the camels is back-breaking, time-consuming work.

    I just don't know.

  45. Glynna,

    Thanks so much for the post. I thought it was beautifully done. The visual imagery was great.

    I read it last night and your post coupled with Sandra's gave me a boost, so I sat down and watered a few camels. Got a couple thousand words.

    I also got my things together for a couple of contests.

    and Ruthy...( or FATIMA as we shall now call you.)

    little desert wanderer that you are, next time you sit down to languish away your moments in the cool of the tent with Gibbs we are all expecting a demonstration of the Dance of the Seven Veils.


    Cathy, you're offering Hunks?

    Had to laugh about that, considering all the discussion about male characters and of course, Ruthy and Mr. Gibbs.

  46. I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks for entering me.

  47. Amen. Great post.

    God's timing. God's planning.

  48. Oh, wow, Glynna -- that was great! Just what I needed to hear today. How did you know?

    chays4 at cox dot net

  49. Sorry for the late reply, Glynna.

    Today is the Halloween party at the Brain Injury Clinic where I work, so... thus Pippi :-)

    I have a hanger through my braids so they stick straight out. It's hilarious ;-) The clients loved it.

    Great discussion going on today and so encouraging.

  50. YES, Mary! A nose ring. Check it out!

  51. Hi, Audra! Saw where Denver was under a winter storm warning. Only snow fluries here in my neighborhood.

  52. Gina -- SO MUCH to do when you have a toddler! Then you REALLY have to juggle the writing camel watering!

  53. Congrats Tina P on that word count!!

  54. Cindy -- a little bird told me. :)

  55. Sounds like FUN, Pippi, er, I mean, Pepper! :)

  56. Okay, I guess I'm really tired because I commented on yesterday's post and then I commented on today's post on yesterday's post.

    I meant for this to be here:

    I guess I'm tired because it took me a long time to figure out where you were going with this, but then it hit me and I got all teary eyed. I was very weary from watering the camels when I finally got the call. Very encouraging post and so true. The climb seems to get the hardest right before you reach to top.

  57. Glynna, Kimberley Woodhouse came to speak at my church, at our ladies class yesterday. It was so great. She also sang some songs that she'd written. And we talked writing a little bit, too. It was great fun having her around! She's an inspiration and makes me want to be a better person!

  58. Shannon -- you're so right. Sometimes it can be a HUGE battle to keep on watering those camels right before that "Call."

  59. Neat, Melanie! I can't wait to read Kimberly's book!

  60. Glynna,
    Oh, my gosh! Beautiful post!!! So many life lessons to be learned from Rebekah's faithfulness. Thank you for helping all of us realize persistence and preparation pay off (The P's are for Pam!)!

  61. MONKEY BREAD!!!!!!!! That's my favorite! We haven't made that in ages : )

    Anyway, lol! Glynna, GREAT post, my dear! I really enjoyed reading it. It made me just stop after this crazy hectic day...obviously since I'm just posting at 11:30pm : / That tells you the day I've had.

    You don't have to include me in the drawing because I already have the book and absolutely LOVED it! I cannot wait for many more to follow it, Glynna : ) I'll be waiting, along with many others I'm sure.
    Keep up the great work Glynna, and the other writers!!

  62. Thank you so much for this very encouraging post. The example of faithfulness and constancy set by Rebekah is an inspiration we can apply to many aspects of life. Take the "leap of faith". God's love is more about what you see with your heart than what you see with your eyes.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  63. Thank you Glynna. I needed that.

    Gail Kittleson

  64. I forgot to leave my e-mail address:

    Thanks again for the encouragement, Glynna.

    Gail Kittleson

  65. mThank you for a timely word.

    suedurand at live dot com

    Julie - Smiling? Crying? Riveted? Sweetie, were you up all night trying to meet a book deadline? :)

    That's the sad part, Glynna ... NO!! Unfortunately, this is me ... when I read really good writing, that is. God's truth.


  67. Hi, Hannah! So glad you LOVED my "Dreaming of Home" !!! That's music to a writer's ears!

  68. Virginia - you're so right. We can only see the tangles and knots underneath the quilt of our life, whereas God sees the design he intends from above.

  69. Glynna,

    What an encouraging post! I appreciate your honesty. Please enter my name in the drawing:

  70. Thank you, Edwina! I'm glad others found my "take" on Rebekah's camels encouraging. :)

  71. Lol! Well I'll sing praises about you any day of the week : )