Wednesday, November 26, 2008


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

In WHATEVER you do . . . give thanks? Hmmm. . . . guess that includes our writing?

Why, God, didn’t my story final? At this very moment the finalist entries are sitting on the desk of that hard-to-get editor. I’ve worked hard, improved my craft, and paid my dues—haven’t I?

How come her husband is so supportive of her writing—and mine couldn’t care less?

Another rejection? Come on, Lord, you’ve got to be kidding. I was so certain this is a story YOU want me to tell. The one that would open the door to publication.

Why do the kids always get so needy when all I’m asking for is a single hour to write?

Why does she get to stay home and write while I still have to work like a dog at the day job and, exhausted, squeeze writing into the wee hours?

How did she nab my dream agent? Walk off with a juicy advance? Land another three-book contract? Garner a jump in royalties? Get such a fabulous cover? Rate such awesome promotion? What about ME? ME? ME?

Yikes. Doesn’t sound much like giving thanks, does it?

Now, am I saying it’s WRONG to share our heart’s deepest desires and disappointments with our Heavenly Father—the Father who loves to hear our voice, just as we love to hear the voices of our own loved ones?

No, I’m not saying that at all. In fact, God wants us to express our heart’s desires to him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:16)

Yes, it’s a long, grueling haul to publication for many of us. And once we get there, we may very well wonder why we were in such a hurry to jump into the never-ending stresses of a writing career! As far as I know, however, no one is holding a gun to the head of any of us, demanding that we must write stories or else. We made a choice. But oftentimes we forget the thanksgiving part of our petitions. What weaves through our mind and comes out our mouth can sound kinda whiney. Unappreciative. Ungrateful for this special gift—this love of words and storytelling—that God’s given us for His purposes (which may or may not involve publication).

Ephesians 5:4 says “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or course joking, which are out of place, but rather THANKSGIVING.”

Now I’m not given to obscenities or course joking—but couldn’t the negativities I sometimes dwell on be considered “foolish talk?” And God says that’s out of place every bit as much as the other two!

So here at the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the coming new year, I invite you to join me in stepping back, ditching “foolish talk,” and truly giving thanks for all we’ve been given as writers . . .

. . . the capacity to derive beauty and enjoyment from the melody of words.

. . . the skill to hone our craft and unleash its power on paper.

. . . the ability to bring the worlds of our imagination to life so that others may share them with us.

Pretty awesome gift, isn’t it?




  1. Glynna ... it's six o'clock in the morning and I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes! You have no idea how much I needed this post this morning -- from God's mouth to my ears ... or, I should say "heart."

    I'm having 25 people for Thanksgiving tomorrow and instead of getting ready, I'm spending the day at pre-op testing in a hospital, going to a funeral, visiting my 90-year-old aunt, last-minute grocery shopping and errands. I woke up whiney and not particularly looking forward to my day. God forgive me! I am a blessed woman, and yet I have such a gift for whining. You have my word that "your word" today has sealed my lips to all but thanksgiving.

    Bless her, God, big time, for delivering such a timely message.


  2. Glynna,
    This is a lovely post and a wonderful reminder. I know some contests that are weighing on my mind.
    And some offenses *grimace*

    Thanks! It's always wonderful to have such a hearty dose of the Word :-)

  3. Julie,
    Will keep you in my prayers for your busy day. :-)

  4. Bless you, Jessica!!! I will take ALL the prayers I can get!! :) And I'll send some right back at ya!

    I'm off and running ...


  5. Wow, Julie. You have a lot on your plate today. (I can see why you might be just a tad 'whiney'!) You're in my prayers!

    And since Ruthy's not here this morning, I've fixed a batch of pumpkin bars(with pecans)and sugar-dusted molasses cookies. Hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkles, too. So everyone, please make yourselves at home.

  6. Jessica - I just felt God convicting me this week about being 'whiney' about my writing. I mean it's MY choice to write, and I LOVE to write.

    But I do get discouraged sometimes. Not so much about not being published (I firmly want it to be in God's timing, not mine, so that's not usually an issue), but about struggling to find more quality time to write, to write faster, to write better--and juggling the day job and all the other things life throws at us and we have to find time for.

    We can get ourselves all out of balance thinking it's up to us to sort it all out. But God says all we have to do is humble ourselves, ASK, and GIVE THANKS--which allows him to work out for us the "everything works together for the good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose" promise.

    So I've posted a reminder note by my computer and on my bathroom mirror and on my nightstand: PRAISE AND GIVE THANKS! Amazing how much more at peace and closer to God I feel when I do that.

  7. OOPS. I just re-read a paragraph in my post. Don't trust spellcheck late at night. Yes, I really DO know how to spell "coarse." :)

  8. Beautiful, thought-provoking post, Glynna. Whenever I get whiney about a particularly tough set of revisions or line edits, God reminds me that there are a hundred thousand aspiring authors who would dearly love to be in my place.

    I am truly thankful for the privilege of being able to write as worship. That I'm published. That I get to use my creativity in a manner that not only pleases God but entertains people.

    And I'm thankful for the people (like you and the other Seekers) who encourage, exhort and challenge me to keep a right heart.

    I never want to take any of this for granted.


  9. Wow, Glynna, you nailed me!

    Thanks for the reminder. Yes, I'm thankful for that rejection, because that must not have been the right publisher for my book. I wasn't thankful a few days ago. . . :-)

    Julie, I'm going to pray for you today. I pray everything goes well today, and that your Thanksgiving is joyful!

  10. Thanks for posting! Colossians 3:17 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, but it can be hard to live out! Right now I'm actually satisfied with my writing and all that goes with it, but I'll keep that verse in mind when I do feel unthankful ;) OK, my timer is screaming at me to get the pumpkin rolls out of the oven. LOL. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  11. Cheryl -- I've always loved your attitude toward writing as "worship" -- that everything we do should be done for the glory of God.

    Melanie -- Sometimes being thankful takes a bit of doing, doesn't it? But I imagine your 'twist' on that rejection relieves a lot of the stress and anxiety. Reminds us that God's in control.

  12. Arianna -- Oooh, pumpkin rolls! Yum! Yes, Col. 3:17 is quite the challenge. Especially when we're tired or things aren't going exactly like we'd like them to go. That's why I need reminders.

  13. Glynna - this post was a blessing to me today! I know I am thankful beyond expression for the many stories I've read this year and the many godly writers that God has introduced me to! I am also thankful for the encouragement and knowledge I gain from being able to visit Seekers!

    Thank YOU for this post!

  14. Glynna, your post touched my heart and destroyed my whiny thoughts. Why can't I remember I'm writing for God and leave the outcome of proposals, sales--all things totally out of my control--to Him? Bless you for the lovely reminder.

    Your molasses cookies made me think of Williamsburg's delicious treats. Yum.

    I'm cooking tomorrow, but only for our immediate family, nothing like Julie's huge gathering. They're not coming until around 4:00 so I'll have all day to prepare. Once we wrestle the turkey into the oven, it should be a relaxing day.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving all!


  15. Hi Glynna

    What a perfect Thanksgiving message!

    After reading your post and all the above comments, I am thankful that the writing of the Inspirational stories, that so many of us draw strength and comfort from all year, is in such capable hands. I will never be able to look at an Inspirational book again without seeing the love and sacrifices that went into its creation.

    Thank you for all the good you do. Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!



  16. What a great post!

    I thank the Lord for His prompting me to write. I never would have expected to walk this path, but I'm on it and through the tough times and the happy times, it's HIS call.

    This was an encouraging post to me, today. Thanks!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  17. Kim -- I'm glad the post served to be a blessing! I,too, am so thankful for my Seeker friends. God brought us together a little over three years ago, and I love each and every one of them! So generous with encouragement & prayer, and so willing to share the many things they've learned along the road to publication.

  18. What a beautiful reminder, Glynna.

    Thank you.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  19. Lovely, inspiring post, Glynna! A very timely reminder during an extremely busy week.

    Blessings to all for a love-filled Thanksgiving and holiday season!

  20. Good morning, Janet! It's been ages since I've been to Williamsburg and enjoyed that early American cooking!

    What is it about our human nature that makes us so quickly forget WHO gave us the gift of writing? And that we can relax and enjoy it and not get all tied up in knots over it?

  21. Hi Vince! Glad you could join us today. We do take for granted so many things, don't we? Including living in a country where we have the freedom to write and publish inspirational fiction.

  22. Hi, Lynn! I'm glad you found my post encouraging. I'm enjoying being off work today so I can visit with Seekerville visitors. (Normally I can't access the internet during the daytime.)

    Patricia - thanks for popping in at this super-busy time of year!

    Hey, Myra! Just want to say again how excited I still am about your Abingdon Press 2009 release, "One IMperfect Christmas"! Now THAT makes this an extra special Thanksgiving, doesn't it! And Janet's "Courting the Doctor's Daughter" will also be out in 2009. Tons of other Seeker books, too!

  23. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:16)

    Oh. My.

    Glynna, did you know you wrote this JUST FOR ME?

    Last night, we had a visiting evangelist who preached on this same topic. He read 1 John 5: 14-15

    “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

    His entire sermon was focused on ASK.

    I have a hard time with that regarding my writing. I should be praying for my children, my friends, real NEEDS, not my writing.

    After church, we talked about it. (He’s an old friend who always asks how my writing is going.) He encouraged me. Prayed for me and told me to have confidence, to pray, and to ask. He mentioned opened doors, gifts, talents, so many things you’ve talked about today, Glynna.

    Thank you for this affirmation.

    Thank you, Lord, for sending Glynna and Bro. John David to speak to my heart within 24 hours of each other.

  24. Wow, Pam! Sounds like God's trying to make a point, doesn't it? (I don't think I've ever been teamed up with an evangelist before!) It IS hard to outright ASK for things for ourselves, though, isn't it? We sometimes kinda work around it by "whining" about what we don't have rather than flat out ASKING. :)

  25. Truly a post of Thanksgiving, Glynna. Why is it so easy to say, Thanks, but-- ? I am so blessed, yet my heart can't help but yearn a little, okay a lot, when I see someone else walking away with the prize I wanted.

    Coveting. Plain and simple.
    And not pretty.

    Thank you for reminding us how many blessings we have and how someone else may be looking at us and saying, *why does she get all the breaks...?*

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  26. Julie, you and your hectic pre-Thanksgiving Day schedule are in my prayers!

  27. Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to thank everyone who said a prayer for me today, because it was truly a blessed day! The pre-op session at the hospital was actually wonderful (such nice people!), I had a great lunch with my cute, little 90-year-old aunt, finally talked to my surgeon who does NOT think the tumor on my appendix is cancer (yeah!! Let's pray she still feels that way after she biopsies it!!), and I got to the funeral home, store and two pumpkin pies made to boot. Now we are simply waiting for my son and daughter-in-law to drive in from Omaha -- a most blessed day, indeed! Twenty-five people coming tomorrow? Who cares -- I got a son and DIL, a daughter home from college and three dogs in my house tonight -- live just doesn't get any better than that!! :)

    You guys are the best!


  28. Yes, Glynna...yes, yes, YES!

    So true and I'm as guilty as the next guy (or gal) maybe more so.

    Thank you for such a lovely reminder to be THANKFUL for this gift and talent He has given us!

    God BLESS you ALL here at Seekerville.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  29. This was a wonderful post. Just the thing I needed to read the night before Thanksgiving. I think this attitude of gratitude about our writing is going to be especially important in the coming months. It seems to be a "walk by faith, not by sight" time in publishing!
    Kristi Holl
    Writer's First Aid blog

  30. Hi, guys, busy all day and tonight??????
    I made three pies.

    All my hard work is done now. Too bad it's almost 9 p.m.

    Good thing I'm an insomniac.

    Happy thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Julie, I'm EXTREMELY relieved at your news. Couldn't have come at a more symbolic time...thanksgiving. Your get-up-and-go despite everything you were facing amazes me.

    Glynna, every time you post I'm convinced all the more that you have a great gift of encouragement.

    Blessed Thanksgiving to all my Seeker sisters and all of our faithful blog readers.


  32. Glynna, wow--were you listening to me? What a fabulous reminder on Thanksgiving Day, that "in all things give Thanks." I have to admit there are times I am grumbling to the Lord, why me??? I loved reading your blog. It's so easy for all of us to fall into that "why me" trap! Thanks for your perspective. Today in addition to my "other" thank you prayers, I am also thanking the Lord for you.
    Blessings to you my friend

  33. "So here at the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the coming new year, I invite you to join me in stepping back, ditching “foolish talk,” and truly giving thanks for all we’ve been given as writers . . ."

    I'm in! We are so blessed to have the privilege to pick up our pens and script the words God gives us each day. Thank you for the reminder. I'll take you up on the offer!

    Happy ThanksLIVING (i heard this catch phrase somewhere yesterday, and I thought it was so insightful.)

  34. Excellent points, Glynna!! Thanks so much for the pep talk.

    I'm so thankful for the fun of writing. And for the work (yes, hard work!) of writing.