Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don’t Stop at the Intersection: Finding Your Call to Write with Guest Susan Codone

You’ve probably heard the phrase “many are called, but few are chosen”, derived from Matthew 22:14. You also probably know that many people write, but few are published. That’s not actually in the Bible but I’ve found it is usually true.

Some of you are probably wondering now if you are truly called to be a writer. All of us sometimes stare at an empty screen or a blank piece of paper and think, “Am I called to write? Is writing my calling in life? How can I know for sure?” 


Well, I don’t know. That decision is between you and God. But, I can offer a very simple suggestion. Don’t stop at the intersection.


In his book Wishful Thinking, Frederick Buechner wrote: "The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."


To understand this statement, picture an intersection.



At the beginning of our lives, God equips us with Gifts.  These gifts are specific to His purpose for our lives and are the means by which we serve Him, which is our ultimate calling. These gifts usually do not change but are shaped as we grow and learn.

Next, we know the world has deep, incredible Needs. 


The point at which our gifts and interests intersect with the world’s deepest needs is our Calling. When we can use our gifts to meet needs, we fulfill His purpose and find our calling.


But there’s one condition. In order for God to use our gifts to meet needs, we have to give them back to Him first. We have to surrender our gifts, letting Him shape them and use them, or they can’t be used to their maximum potential.


Have you ever received a present, decided you (a) didn’t really like it or (b) didn’t need it, and then passed it on to someone else? We call this “re-gifting”. Don’t tell me you haven’t done this, because I know you have. I’ve received the fake crystal candlesticks you didn’t want.


So, finding our calling works like this. Picture a party – perhaps a gift exchange.



You receive a gift, decide to pass it on, so you re-gift it.

In the same way (but with better intentions) we must give our gifts back to God so that He in turn can re-gift them. He is the ultimate re-gifter. We are not living or working in our calling unless we have exchanged our gifts with God, letting Him give them to someone who needs them more.
Part of my job is to teach engineering students, and I often talk to them about their calling. I ask three questions and receive the same response each time.


1.    Do you believe ministers are called?  All hands go up. Everyone nods in agreement. Yes, of course, everyone knows ministers are called. Everyone knows this.


2.    Do you believe doctors are called? At this question, some students hesitate, they murmur among themselves, but then almost everyone agrees that yes, doctors are called, because after all, they help people.


Then I ask them the third question.


3.    Do you believe engineers are called? Total silence. Students squirm, look around, stare at the floor, or gaze at me with confused expressions. How could engineers be “called”? Engineers are hired, not called.


Then I explain to them a formula for identifying their calling, because engineers like formulas. Today, I’d like to share this formula with you. Like me, you may wonder if God is calling you to write or if you are simply filling pages with words because it’s something YOU want to do.




When G = N, then C is true.


Remember Buechner’s words: "The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."


Our gifts are what make the world glad.


When my students look at me with confused expressions, I tell them sometimes our jobs may differ from our calling. We may be paid to be teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, secretaries, or we may spend our time doing other unpaid work, like spending endless hours watching Little League practice or cleaning the bathroom. We can use our gifts in those ways too (some of you are probably more gifted at cleaning than I am). But if our writing can be re-gifted by God to meet the needs of the world, then writing is our calling.


The formula, though – When G = N, then C is true – this only works when those gifts are voluntarily given back to God. 


And there is one more condition – timing.


We may never know exactly when God wants to use our work to meet needs. We have to give up our expectations, our demands, our desires in order to let Him discern how to apply our gifts to the needs of the world. Our words may meet someone’s needs now, later, or after we’re gone. Consider the writing of Moses, David, Solomon, even President Lincoln. The timing of the re-gifting is up to God alone.


But can our calling change?


Paul says in I Corinthians 7:20 that we should “remain in the calling in which we were called.” This calling is first to salvation, then to service. The way our calling is expressed may change – think of an intersection with multiple routes – but our path remains the same. We’re all on the same journey of service to God. How He chooses to direct our paths is His decision, and may change as we move through our lives.


Some of us are lucky to work in jobs that are the expression of our calling. Others of us work but pursue our calling in other ways. 


Are some writers published who are not called to write? Yes. Are some writers unpublished who are called to write? Yes. Only God knows for sure. Our job is to give our gifts to Him and let Him decide how to meet the needs of the world. At that intersection, our calling is fulfilled whether we ever sign a contract or not.


Are you gifted in writing? Consider these questions.


•    If you were given a block of free time today – say 3 or 4 hours with no commitments, no obligations, how would you spend it?
•    What would you do even if you had to do it for free?
•    How can the words you write meet the needs of others?
•    How can God take your writing and give it to someone else to meet a direct need?


If your answer is yes to any of the above, you are probably gifted in writing. It’s what you yearn to do. It’s who you are. God created you to write. Give that gift back to Him, let Him give it to others, and claim your calling.


Maybe God will use your words to entertain someone who needs a lift. Perhaps your writing will nudge someone closer to Him. Somewhere, someone has a deep need to read the words you write.


How do you know for sure if you are called to write? Apply the formula and give your gifts back to God.


Has God gifted you with the skills and ability to write?


Have you given those gifts back to God?


Is He re-gifting your work to meet needs?


Then G = N and your calling is true. Go through the intersection and own the road. 




So today, before you touch the keyboard or pick up your pen, pray. Give your gift back to God so that He can re-gift it to someone else. Answer your calling, and while you’re at it, put Him on speaker so everyone else will know it too.


Then write, write, write!




 Susan Codone Bio 

Susan lives in Macon, Georgia and teaches at Mercer University (Go Bears!). With a husband, three kids, and a wildly erratic Labrador who often steals and eats both socks and chocolate in the same day, life is often hectic. She has published quite a few academic articles that exactly eleven people have read. In an attempt to drive through the intersection a little faster, she is working on her first Christian fiction manuscript and also writes Thoughts of an Average Christian, a faith blog which posts weekly at http://www.susancodone.com. Her email address is susan@susancodone.com.




Today Seekerville is giving away a ten page critique to assist you as you move through your intersection. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


93 comments :

  1. Great, awesome post, Susan, and so very true! I try not to write a word without seeking God first.

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  2. Susan,

    This is powerful! Thank you, thank you.

    My word for the year is prayer. It's been since I began re-gifting that my writing has been more successful.

    The coffe pot is ready for the early risers.

    Helen

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  3. What a beautiful post, Susan! I've had that quote from Buechner listed as my favorite quote on my Facebook page ever since I started it. It really touched me and continues to do so.

    I've had the most wonderful reader letters that have affirmed my calling as a writer. I also treasure every laugh and minute spent with my kids which has affirmed my calling as a mother. Even at difficult times, I feel at my core that I'm on the right path.

    Thanks for joining is today! Now I'm heading to bed and will see y'all again in the morning for some of Helen's coffee. :)

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  4. BTW I'm also going to share this with my high school senior son who is planning to be an engineer. :)

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  5. Welcome Susan! Thank you for sharing this post with us (lots of wisdom in your words). My "Word for 2013" is Service, so I'm really striving to apply this to all areas of my life--including my writing. ~ You don't live too far from me (I'm in the McDonough area) so I am always delighted to "meet" another Georgia writer!
    Blessings, Patti Jo

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  6. Thanks Missy,Patti Jo, Helen, and Christina. Yes, I woke up to see my post. My word for 2013 is "drive", as in through the intersection -- safely, of course. But to keep driving.

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  7. Thanks Missy,Patti Jo, Helen, and Christina. Yes, I woke up to see my post. My word for 2013 is "drive", as in through the intersection -- safely, of course. But to keep driving.

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  8. took me awhile to work out the formula but I finally got it. I am now a writer and to answer the question if I had a 4 hour block writing wouldn't be something I would do. read maybe.
    But I know many writers will identify.
    going to make the most of this cool night and hopefully sleep!!!!!!!!

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  9. Missy, tell your son to go to Mercer for engineering!

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  10. God morning, Susan.


    Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful post. The times I most question the calling are the times it's hard work. I guess there's a message in that. ;)

    As I was reflecting on your post, I couldn't help but think there is a prayer in that formula. So this morning I offer my words in prayer. that if I put in the time, God will take my words and use them as He knows best, whether that be just for me or for someone else to see at some future time.


    Thank you, Susan.

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  11. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for this reassuring post. You answered at least one question for me.

    I got up today at 5:40 to find time to write.

    Have a great day!

    Jackie L.

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  12. Susan, I do not speak lightly when I say this is one of the best blog posts on inspiration and motivation that I have ever read.

    Wonderful, thoughtful, insightful and amazing.

    ALL FOUR in one package, we should pay you.

    We WON'T, LOL, but I'm just totally impressed by the sensibility and warmth behind this. Your students are blessed to have you and the world of fiction is reaching out to welcome you aboard!

    And I have a daughter working at Duke, so I understand the "wide" breadth of academia papers! Laughing! Bless you!

    Great first blog in Seekerville!

    Ruthy

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  13. Mary, Jackie, and Ruth, thanks for your affirmations. I'm glad you woke up and read Seekerville. Ruth, thanks for the fantastic feedback. I've already had 12 comments (but some of those are mine) -- but that beats the readership of my academic writing!

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  14. Susan,

    What an interesting and true post.

    Thanks for sharing this with us today.

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  15. And of course I wasn't signed in properly.... Oops.

    This being two people business is taxing.

    Helen, I'm in for the second cup of coffee!!! Thank you!!!! And I hung out in 1K1HR the past few days, trying to get back in the habit of checking in to work...

    Susan, really cute hair, too... and I love dog stories, they crack me up!

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  16. Susan,
    Thank you for the timely post that echoes and reinforces a good many of my thoughts over the past couple of days.

    You reminded me to think back over notes I've gotten from readers and how they expressed the effect my words had for them. Gives me tingles. :)

    Simple reminders encourage those steps through the intersection!

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  17. GOOD MORNING, SEEKERVILLE.

    Ruthy is right..and I don't say THAT lightly. This is an awesome and not only inspiring post but it really causes us to pause and consider our writing focus.

    Thank you.

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  18. Now, a question for you..Susan. Tell us what you are writing as far as fiction.

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  19. My fiction manuscript is called The Tour. It is a hybrid Christian/women's fiction story,about a professor (naturally) who deals with a great deal of trauma and thus is very skeptical of the faith she grew up with in church. Through a rare tour of Heaven's Museum where she sees actual artifacts from biblical times and meets biblical and modern believers in heaven, she realizes the Bible and God are very real and she has a dramatic renewal of her spiritual life and in turn affects many others. There are some other plot elements that are pretty important, but that's a very basic back cover blurb. If it's never published it will make a great story for any grandchildren (that I won't have for at least 20 years...)

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  20. "So today, before you touch the keyboard or pick up your pen, pray."

    This is the best writing advice I've ever heard. So true. On the days I've rushed to the computer without taking the time to pray, I've struggled with the words. It’s amazing how prayer clears my head and strengthens the words I write.

    Thank you for this lovely post.

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  21. Oh, and I'm grateful to be a member of Scribes 211, a very awesome and disciplined writing group within ACFW.

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  22. What, Susan, no children? (you did say no grandchildren for 20 years) as you all know, i am a reader, no aspirations or calling to write except for reviews, but this post can be directed to any calling, even being a caregiver. (Though praise the Lord, that calling has been deminishing because Mom is totally independant, except for driving!) i just come for the coffee that Helen so kindly has brewing, and for the comments of my best friends...writers

    Mitzi

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  23. Marianne,

    Children? I have 3. Two daughters, 18 and 14, and a son, 12. And a husband of 23 years. It's busy at my house! My oldest is graduating in May on my husband's birthday. Neat how things cycle around.

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  24. Welcome to Seekerville, Susan! Thanks for your inspiring, thought provoking post! I feel called to write and have received notes that indicate God has regifted my words to a reader who needed them. That's encouraging, but also intimidating. Helps to remember that God is in charge and always gets it right.

    Janet

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  25. Awesome post!

    If I have 3-4 uninterrupted hours, I tend to sleep ;). I don't think that's my calling :D.

    I spent part of yesterday struggling with the whole 'what makes me think I can do this' thing a lot of writers go through from time to time. I know I can't not write, but that doesn't mean it's always easy...

    I'd love a crit...

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  26. Susan, I loved this post. And, though I'm not a math person, I understood your equation. Thanks for the reminder that my writing isn't for myself, but for God to use in "re-gifting." Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here today!

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  27. If I had 4 hours of free time I would write. Ahh, wouldn't it be nice to have 4 hours to write?

    Thank you so much for today's post.

    Happy Tuesday, Seekerville!

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  28. Susan,

    A great post! Thank you for the reminder and for putting a different light on the concept of 're-gifting.' We need to be more conscious of God's plan for our writing work. I think that is one of the reasons my word is persist--I tend to be a little hard-headed about using God's gift!

    Piper

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  29. I love Buechner's quote about vocation. It is one of the truest definitions I have read.

    My word this year is commitment of my time and energy. I know I am a writer but have been thinking about what I need to be writing of late and why.

    I took a break from writing and it was definitely a time when I felt like I had returned rather than given the gift back.

    Thanks for the reminder of all the reasons we writers are so blessed to be writers.

    Peace, Julie

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  30. Jeanne, Carol, Annie, Piper, Julie,

    Sometimes I think my calling should be to build clean water wells in Africa, but that is not my skillset or my gift. I struggle with calling often. I'm glad you resonated with the post.

    I'm not a math person either but I work with engineers, so I have to speak the language!

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  31. From time to time, Carol? Let me tell you how it really is. When you are unpublished you question if you will ever sell. When you sell you question if you were a one book wonder and if you will ever sell book two. When you sell book two you think it was a fluke and you will never sell book three. It never stops. And everything is better with a bit of sleep. :)

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  32. Hmmmm, if i had a four hour block of time free, i would write or read. probably write, since i've a few things rolling about inside my head (in prep for Speedbo [james earl jones]).

    very inspirational post. you've made an equation for what my mom instilled in us, her kids, from the time we were young. she always told us to find out how God wired us and then persue activities that complemented that wiring.

    i'm an artist, first and foremost and have been most fortunate to be employed in that field. i've a talent for writing and am in process of submitting said talent to God to see where it takes me. i'd like to use the gifts God has given me His way and in His timing.

    this post is an awesome summary of how to do that. THANKS!!!!!!

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  33. Very informative, helpful and especially...ENCOURAGING! Thanks, Susan!

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  34. Very thought provoking post.

    If I had 3-4 hours available, I would read. Sometimes I read through 3-4 hours (or 6-8 hours) that aren't available. The guilt that follows such days alerts me that this is not my calling.

    Writing is my calling. But it was such and unexpected calling that I'm still, even years later, struggling to wrap my mind around it.

    I find prayer is the only way I even come close to wrapping my mind around it. When I sit down to write, if I pray I find amazing ideas flowing through my mind to my fingertips. If I don't, I find myself reworking the same stuff over and over again.

    I'm in no need of a critique. But you all are awesome to offer it.

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  35. Beautiful, thought-provoking post, Susan. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. Blessed by the quote from Buechner. My word for the year is finish. I'm moving down the road to the end, some days more slowly than others, with God's help. Again, thank you for being here.

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  36. Thank you for this post, Susan. Due to other demands on my time, as well as the oftentimes slow process of writing, I sometimes questioned whether I should keep pursuing my writing dream. Only when I gave writing to God did He show me that it was my calling. It's nice to have success in the world when it comes to publication, but I know that I would continue to write regardless.

    Your words to those engineer students (and to us) are very wise.

    I'm also a Georgia writer, lol. Nice to meet you!

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  37. Just gotta say, Carol, that I thought the EXACT same thing. Maybe we're BOTH gifted at sleep ;)

    And Susan? I LOVE this post - and, of course, would love a crit :)

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  38. Joanne, if I had 2 hours of free time, I'd nap. If I had 4 hours, I'd nap and then write -- for sure. Sometimes I think I write the best after I sleep on some ideas. But that's another post on cognitive science and the mental healing value of sleep.

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  39. Susan this is such a great blog. You know, as I read it I came up with an idea for the ending of my book that is much more solid than what I had. I write to entertain but I also hope my books have a deeper meaning, at least some of the time.
    You've inspired me to find the nugget that goes deeper, or maybe I always intended to do that, I think so, but this has opened my eyes on just how I want to handle it.

    THANK YOU!

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  40. I had free time yesterday and I went and had LUNCH WITH ROSE!!!!
    YAY!
    I can't believe how long we can talk. :)

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  41. Hi Susan, and thanks for your post.

    (And I'm going to hazard a guess that you'll get many times more than eleven comments today, not counting your own!)

    Where God calls, He equips. If He has gifted us with the call to write, He will place that desire in our hearts. And He will also equip us by putting people and opportunities in our way to help us develop those gifts. And all for His purpose and His glory. Can it get any better than that?

    And I also have an engineering student son - a freshman at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (try saying that 3 times fast!). I witnessed his calling to that field - it was so cool.

    He wanted to be a writer and run a gaming store, so he was planning to major in history and business administration...until we decided to tour SDSMT. He read about the classes on-line before the tour, and that piqued his interest...but when he walked into the first engineering lab and heard about stir welding and laser welding, a transformation occurred. He hasn't looked back.

    I did have to put my foot down when he wanted to make Napalm in the garage, though :)

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  42. Mary, mostly I inspire the purchase of chicken nuggets since my husband works for Chick-fil-A, but I'm so glad I helped inspire your writing nugget!

    Jan, the world has a great need for engineers to build safe cars, bridges, etc. Not sure about napalm, though. Hoping that was not a class assignment!

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  43. If I had four hours of free time, I'd drive to Atlanta and meet you for lunch! But my free time would have to coincide with your free time and then I'd be in real trouble because I'd have used all my free time just to get to Atlanta....

    Awesome post, Susan. I am so proud of you!!! And, as usual, this is something I needed today. Isn't that a funny coincidence? God is so cool like that!

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  44. Susan,
    This was a fantastic post - thank you for sharing!

    Blessings!

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  45. Beautiful words of wisdom, Susan--thanks for being our guest in Seekerville today!

    I just don't feel sane when I'm deprived of writing for very long. And I really don't care much for weekends, because at my house that means two days of not writing so I can catch up on chores, cleaning, errands, and such. Not to mention be more "present" for my husband.

    Jan Drexler--Napalm in the garage????

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  46. Ruthy hears one thing and one thing only:

    YOUR HUSBAND WORKS FOR CHICK-FIL-A????????????

    Ruthy faints dead away, is revived by hungry, smelly children, then leaps back to the computer and says....

    "I will always love Chick-Fil-A and now name Susan Codone a VERY GOOD FRIEND of Seekerville because I love to eat mor chikkin."

    Western New York ♥'s Chick-Fil-A.

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  47. Jan, that's a hoot.

    Carol.... Laughing, we're all there, no matter what side of the great divide, but I will promise you that I've NEVER HAD SO MUCH FUN IN MY LIFE, regardless of the ups, downs, rejections and work.

    EVER.

    I am over-the-top-in-love with what I'm doing.

    Hang in.

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  48. What a great way to bring God into the classroom.

    Great post, Susan:)

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  49. Susan, I needed this today. It reminds me that God's gifts often have a responsibility attached.
    My word for 2013 is "protect" - with one supporting scripture being in Revelation 3:2. 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.' It reminds me that writing is not an option, it is an assignment. I want to be faithful to that calling, and leave the publication timeline in His hands.

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  50. I so love chicken wraps at Chik fil-A. I have snuck them into libraries before. Several times. I am their number one fan.

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  51. Ruth Tredway! Wow. Well put.

    It's not optional. It's your calling.

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  52. Susan,

    Thank you for that beautiful post!

    Yesterday must have been 'writer doubt yourself day', because I had it too! Then I received a lovely email from seeker friend, Christina (Thanks again, Christina!) and it lifted me right up!

    You know it's a calling when you'd keep doing it no matter what - no matter if you make no money, no matter if it never gets published. That's how I knew! :)

    Have a great day!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  53. This was a lovely post. Wise words, indeed!

    I'm not sure what God's going to do with my writing. But it truly is my gift to Him. What He chooses to do with it is entirely up to Him.

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  54. Susan,
    Such an insightful blog. Thanks for being with us and for providing a great reflection on the writing life.

    I'll ditto what others have said...your students are lucky to have you! Tell them Seekerville said so!

    Hope we can meet in the not-too-distant future since you're so close. Love Macon. Love Chick-fil-A!

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  55. Tina, Ruthie, Debby -- I am eating Chick-fil-A RIGHT NOW.

    Ruth, Susan Anne, & Susan (great names by the way) -- thanks for the affirmations about your experiences with writing and calling. We're all on the same journey, just taking different paths.

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  56. Hi Susan, So wonderful to have you with us today. Great post. Have fun. Sandra

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  57. An added thought...

    God kept telling me to start a writing group at my church. I kept telling him no one would be interested.

    He kept prodding me until I had to respond.

    Who knew so many folks were being called to write! The bi-monthly meetings/classes inspire me and provide a way to give-back to my church community.

    Perhaps it's a re-gift!

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  58. >> • If you were given a block of free time today – say 3 or 4 hours with no commitments, no obligations, how would you spend it? <<

    I haven't a doubt that for two hours I would read a Seeker book I just received and then I would write for the remaining two hours.

    Your post has been a gift, Susan. Thank you.

    Nancy C



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  59. Thought-provoking post, Susan.

    Pondering pondering pondering....

    I don't feel called to write. I've never felt God say, "Gina, write this." I have felt drawn by the Spirit into a fellowship with Jesus. I know God told me, "Gina, marry a guy who's going to be a pastor."

    I love to write. I hate to write.

    Deeper gladness for me comes more when I help a fellow writer than when I craft my stories or when I see one in print.

    Deeper gladness for me comes when someone has a need I can meet or a hurt I can soothe.

    Somedays I wish I could take everything involved with writing, melt it into a gold ring, and drop in fires of Mordor. Be done with the burden forever.

    I could grow a garden so I could have veggies to take to friends. Or bake pies to take to friends. Or go small mountain/overly large hill climbing with my friends and we'd talk about God and all He's doing in our lives. We'd even debate what we don't understand about God, love, forgiveness, and grace. Be Jesus with people. Even strangers. Ack! I'd learn to talk to strangers and general acquaintances without feeling panicked about what to say. I'd start blogging about The Bachelor and how much I hate the show but can't stop watching it. I'd become a no-holds-barred book reviewer of Christian fiction and included my thoughts on what would have made the story better. I'd start a writing mentoring program.

    And then . . . well, here I am with that dratted ring back on my finger.

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  60. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for sharing us such a lovely post. I'm not sure what intersection I'm at, but God is really taking me on a ride, lately and I'm just glad to be in the car, moving!

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  61. You know, Gina, I agree. For a very long time I didn't feel called to write. Because I didn't feel authentic. Then I realized that it wasn't about me. It was about Him.

    It took a lot for me to be able to say, I am called. This is my ministry. It's terrifying to say the words. It seems so preposterous and presumptuous but there it is.

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  62. Tina, Gina,
    I think what is hard about saying you are called to write is making that claim without external verification that you are really a writer (like being published). If your words meet someone's needs, though, you are a writer. Doesn't have to be fiction/non-fiction/adcopy/blog/facebook status. Just writing.

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  63. Susan, you're post has come at the perfect time for me.

    What an inspiration!

    Thank you.

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  64. Debby, I love that story, the nudge of God... I totally can see that.

    Wonderful.

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  65. Do you think that the "call" is somewhat akin to the gift of "faith of a child"...

    That it can be there, but we don't recognize it fully until something opens our human eyes and we say...

    "Ahh. Yes. I see it now."

    We're so meager by comparison to so much, and yet so amazing.

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  66. Oh my goodness! This was FABULOUS!!! Thanks so much for sharing, Susan - and being such an encourager through your post.
    God can give us lots of callings too, don't you think?

    He's called me to be a mom, and a speech-language pathologist, and a pastor's wife, and someone who works with families touched by Autism.

    but he's also called me to write!
    I love how you restructure the focus, as it always should be, not so much on the gift - but the Giver. Without Him knowing us and the needs we'll be exposed to in our lives, we wouldn't have those callings.

    THANK YOU for the beautiful reminder!

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  67. Ooo, today I feel 'called' to eat at Chic-Fil-A :-)

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  68. Pepper,

    Thanks for your kind words!

    And don't tell anyone, but right now I'm eating Taco Bell.

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  69. LOL, Ruthy!! Susan, Ruthy reacted like she did because until about 2 or 3 years ago, she'd never HAD Chick-fil-a. She was a deprived person. Now she knows how addicting it can be! :)

    As for my son...he's into aerospace. He's been accepted to GA Tech's program but is also still waiting to hear back from a few more schools. I guess we'll know something in March! :)

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  70. SUSAN!!! I cannot believe it has taken me SO long to come by today because this is EXACTLY what I needed to read!!

    I don't care if a person is published or not, EVERY writer wonders at one time or another if he or she is called to write. I've been wondering that quite a bit myself lately, and your blog has beautifully put my heart to rest.

    For today.

    I probably need to print this baby off to read on a more regular basis. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  71. Now I'm going through Chick-fil- withdrawal. Our closest one to me is in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Over 200 miles away. Not close enough for a quick lunch...

    But hey! If they're in Cheyenne, they might make it to the Black Hills eventually, right?

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  72. We must halt the Chick-fil-A discussion because my tummy is rumbly and grumbly wishing we had a franchise in upstate NY. You know what else was wonderful??? Le Peep... In Omaha. Stuffed French Toast with pumpkin cream cheese. Oh my stars, it was to die for.

    Must get off food and onto writing but too tired.

    Pepper, that's a lot of hats to wear.

    I think God called you to sleep, honey. Nap. As often as possible.

    :)

    There is a toddler baby crawling on my table after the punch bowl for the girls' sleepover.

    Really good punch, btw.

    Susan, I think we need to be friends. Bring chicken.

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  73. I want God's phone number. Is it unlisted?

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  74. Ruthy, I always bring chicken.

    Tina, I'm pretty sure God's phone number is 111. He's number one, and that's a trinity.

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  75. Susan, thank you for your thought-provoking message. I’m sure each person who reads it will be blessed. As for me, I’m a pedal to the metal kind of girl, so slowing down to hear from God is a timely signpost.

    I plan to share the Seekerville link with others in hopes they will ease off the gas pedal long enough to read your post.

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  76. Susan, thank you for your thought-provoking message. I’m sure each person who reads it will be blessed. As for me, I’m a pedal to the metal kind of girl, so slowing down to hear from God is a timely signpost.

    I plan to share the Seekerville link with others in hopes they will ease off the gas pedal long enough to read your post.

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  77. Susan, thanks for sharing God's number: 111! Perfect! :)

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  78. Great post, Susan. Inspiration at its best.

    Thank you for putting the world, writing and God in perspective. What a blessing.

    Thank you for sharing in Seekerville!

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  79. LOL, Jan Drexler! I, too, have a son majoring in engineering.

    His "calling" was not quite so noble. When trying to decide what major to declare, he googled the top ten paying jobs and found Petroleum Engineering.

    He hasn't looked for a turn off to get off that highway yet : )

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  80. Audra, that's too funny! Your son is in it for the money, my son is in it because he gets to manipulate chemicals and materials. To him the money is a nice perk.

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  81. Audra and Jan, mine wants to study it because he always wanted to be an astronaut. :)

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  82. Susan! I'm late but I made it. Great job and I'm so happy for you. =)

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  83. Wonderful,wonderful! Spoke to me in a 'hundred' ways. Thanks.

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  84. Nicely done, Susan- you took something that causes a lot of angst and wringing of hands and demythologized it. I will consider your post for days to come- the re-gifting hit like a ton of bricks...in a good way.

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  85. My 2013 word is action. I find myself praying more about what God wants me to do and as a result I find myself taking more action. Connecting with God moves you through that intersection. Only His pwoer can.

    I posted that Buechner quote to my FB page. I never heard it before but I'll never forget it.

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  86. Your post was challenging and inspiring, Susan.
    My word this year is POSITIVE . . . and I find it impossible to stay that way consistently w/out paying a lot of "divine" listening....

    Bless you!

    Gail Kittleson
    gkittlesonat myomnitel.com

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  87. Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful post. The times I most question the calling are the times it's hard work. I guess there's a message in that. ;)


    the-equation-book

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