Friday, January 12, 2018

Your Story Matters (Or... What a Reader Wants You to Know)



Hi, dear Villagers! *waves*

Let me take a brief moment to introduce myself. I'm Carrie, aka MeezCarrie, of ReadingIsMySuperPower. And I LOVE STORY!! I love short stories. I love epic stories. I love in between sized stories. I love contemporary stories. Historical stories. Mystery stories. Amish stories. Even some speculative and YA stories.

But most of all? I love THE Story. The one that starts with the ultimate 'once upon a time' - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1) - and ends with the best 'happily ever after' ever (Revelation 21:4)

Because we are all part of that Story.

Yes, we all have a story in progress that is our own life. But everyone we meet does, too. And all those stories-in-progress are part of the Big Story that God is telling. Let me tell you - that is SO exciting to me!

I'm one of the new Seekerville bloggers, but I'm not seeking publication. I'm content to read other people's stories and talk (incessantly) about them. But that up there? What I just said about being part of God's Story?

That means I'm sorta like all the rest of y'all.

In a small way.

Ok.. not at all the same.

BUT... I am part of the greatest Story in the world. And so are you. That's pretty stinkin' incredible. The Author and Finisher of my Faith is telling a Story about me and about you. And He has promised to keep writing it until it's completed - not when I die or when you die, but until the day Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)

Back in November, I had the pinch-me privilege of speaking with Cynthia Ruchti at the Art of Writing Conference just ahead of the 2017 Christy Awards gala. We talked about the darts of author discouragement and how to dodge them. After our session, a woman came up to me in tears. She whispered, "I didn't know anybody else knew how I feel." And then we both were in tears lol!

Author friends - can I encourage you a moment? You're not alone. Writing may be a solitary career but the discouragements are consistent. Fear of rejection. The reality of rejection. Fear of the  possibility of a bad review. The depths of despair over an actual bad review. Your family doesn't take you seriously. Your friends don't take you seriously. It doesn't pay the bills. It barely pays for coffee.

Oh... wait... I was supposed to be encouraging you. LOL.

I really was headed here, I promise.

You're not alone. And you're not left defenseless.

God has given you each other, and He has given you His Word. Community and grace wrapped up in a safe place like Seekerville.

You want to know another secret? YOUR STORY MATTERS.

Yep. I went there: all caps.

Because it's so incredibly true and so incredibly important to understand.

The story you're writing matters.

That story you've agonized over. The one that's kept you up all hours of the night. The one that may or may not currently be taunting you with a blinking cursor of 'I got nothing'. It matters. Even if no one else ever reads it. Even if no agent or publishing house wants it. Even if your beta readers and editors send it back with more tracked changes than you had words to start with.

Your story matters. Believe it. And believe in it.

But you know what? The story that God is writing in you and through you matters most of all. He is making you more like Jesus every day. He knew you before He formed you in your mother's womb, and He had already had plans for your life. (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1) He created you as a writer before you even had fully developed hands to hold a pen or tap away on a keyboard. Even better - He knew your role in His Story before you ever made your grand arrival on planet Earth. And that story matters on a scale we can't even begin to imagine.

Maybe you're like me and the only thing you write is a blog post... or a grocery list. Your story matters too. God placed you in His Story at just the right time and in just the right place so that you would come to know Him (Acts 17). He pursued you with an everlasting love and has engraved you on the palm of His hand. (Jeremiah 31, Isaiah 49). Think about that for a second - you matter so much to the God of the Universe that those nail-scarred Hands have your name on them.

Your story matters. Believe it. And believe in it.

I know good stories. I'm surrounded by them, à la the Dr. Seuss method of decorating. All the crannies, all the nooks, etc. This Big Story that God is telling is a good story. It's the best story. It's the standard by which all other stories are measured (whether they realize it or not). It's also a true story. This fairy-tale to beat all fairy-tales - a prince on a white horse come to vanquish the enemy and rescue his bride - that's OUR story (Revelation 19).

So when you're tempted to throw in the towel and give up on your story - the one you're writing or the one you're living - remember this:

Your story matters. Believe it. And believe in it.

Leave a comment and let me know your favorite Bible verse for when discouragement hits! I'll toss your name in the proverbial hat (US only) for a chance to win this cute mug that reminds us that God isn't a pantser in this story He's telling. He's got a plan, and He's sticking to it! Check back Saturday for the Weekend Edition to see if you're the winner! (If for some reason the item is no longer available on Etsy when the winner's name is drawn, a comparable substitute will be made with winner's approval.)


Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 - ReadingIsMySuperPower.org. You can also connect with Carrie on Facebook and everywhere else social at @meezcarrie.




149 comments:

  1. May I just say, "what Carrie said!" because I so wholeheartedly agree!!!

    I LOVE THIS!!! You are a blessing, dear Carrie! Thank you for your encouragement!

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    1. Beth, I adore you. YOU are such a blessing & encouragement to me & to authors. Also, why are you still awake? ;)

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    2. I went to bed early last night, remember?! There posts to be blogged and books to be read, my friend!

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    3. I love that our schedules don't matter a whit... and we're all still here as needed!!!!

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  2. A beautiful post, Carrie. Well said.

    "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18

    Have a wonderful Friday.

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    1. Thank you so much, Tina! I love that verse

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  3. If you're a reader reading this comment and you feel that a certain story matters to you, take the time to find some way to tell the author. A few weeks ago I was ready to throw in the towel, and out of the blue some reader wrote me in a facebook comment a simple "Don't stop writing." I don't know what made her say that, it didn't even have any context, I can only say it may have been the only thing that made me decide to keep going that day instead of going to get myself a job at McDonalds, so readers comments are very important, especially random ones with nice things to say.

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    1. Yes!!! Such a great reminder for us as readers! Thank you, Melissa. And I agree with that reader - don’t stop writing!!

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    2. Ditto here!

      But I get it. Mom. Kids. Husband. (Extra kid) No wife. Deadlines. Edits. Revisions. Story doesn't work....

      Glad that reader reached out!!!!!

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    3. I am so glad they did, and I echo her! Reminds me to be more proactive in reaching out to others to encourage.

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    4. Melissa, this is so important, and readers and other writers don't do it enough.
      KB

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  4. Psalm 139:1-18 reminds me that I can't go or be anywhere that God isn't. He's with me everywhere, He understands the thoughts of my mind (scary, lol), is well acquainted with my ways (yikes!), and knew me before I had any substance or life. My days were already written in His book :-)

    So that tells me He knows me, I can't go anywhere away from Him that He can't see me and He knows my heart cry...that gives me comfort in times of doubt, or discouragement. The Psalms are my go-to scripture for those times in my life!

    Carrie I third what you said here,since Beth already seconded it...lol! READERS LOVE THEIR AUTHORS!!

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    1. Amen, amen, and amen!!!! Thank you, Trixi! So glad that He is with us everywhere. And so glad that we get to do this author-loving thing together :)

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  5. Amazingly beautiful post, my lovely BFFF! You have such a way with words.

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  6. You fill my happy cup, Carrie! Thank you for the encouragement. My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 41:10
    Do not fear, for I am with you;
    Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
    Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

    PS I'm still trying to figure out how to get 'muppet flailing' into an historical romance....

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    1. HAHA! Please let me know when you do :D

      That is one of my fave verses too. We don't have to be anxious because HE is with us. So encouraging. And sometimes so difficult to remember lol.

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    2. Erica, parts of that verse are in the classic hymn "How Firm A Foundation." And still true today.
      KB

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  7. My comment disappeared into the dark abyss that is Blogger...

    And it's not in the Spam box.

    So I'll say it again... What a beautiful post. Absolutely wonderful. What a joy it is to have your sweet words and sweet self in Seekerville, Carrie.

    AND WAY TO HIT ONE OUT OF THE PARK YOUR FIRST TIME AT BAT!!!!

    Madeleine L'Engle's quote about Jesus not being a theologian... he was God that told stories.

    How perfect when God can be humble.

    Why then do we find it so very difficult???

    Love this!

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    1. i love that quote! So powerful!

      And thank you, dear Ruthy! Your encouragement means the world :)

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    2. Ruthy, Blogger ate one of my comments on your last post. It doesn't like me either.
      Madeleine L'Engle gave us so much. I was a fan even before "A Wrinkle in Time." She loved writing and had a deep faith.

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    3. Kaybee, we're definitely having blogger issues with speed and things disappearing. It's nothing we've done differently, so we're hoping it will clear itself up soon...

      And Carrie.... I'll be your cheerleader any day, kid!!!!

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  8. Carrie, what an awesome first post! I love it.

    My favorite go to verses are Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future". My second one is 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind." These verses have encouraged me on more than one occasion.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. I know, Cindy... how will she ever follow this up????? :)

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    2. Cindy, those verses are so encouraging, aren't they? We're the ones who go dig up that spirit of fear and carry it around with us like a comfort blanket lol.

      Ruthy - you mean I have to write another post??? ;)

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    3. Cindy W., hope you are feeling better.
      KB

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    4. Hahahahahahaha! We're giving you time off for good behavior. We'll see what that Bethy chick and Annie-girl have to offer!!!!

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  9. Good morning, Carrie! And thank you for the bucketful of encouragement to start off our day!

    Like Cindy W, Jeremiah 29:11 has been "my" verse since 1998 when I'd become extreme ill and any future at all was suddenly very uncertain.

    And while it's not a "verse," I've also had this framed on my desk alongside Jeremiah 29:11: "Don't fear tomorrow. God is already there."

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    1. The safest place to be is where God is! Love this, Glynna - thank you :)

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  10. Good morning, Carrie! Love this post. I LOVE THE story too and your story. ❤❤❤

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    1. Morning, sweet Annie! Love you & YOUR story ❤

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  11. Carrie, encouragers like you are what's right in the world. Good morning!

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    1. Aww thank you so much, Beth!! We're supposed to get some Alaskan-type weather today here in Kentucky and I am THRILLED!

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    2. I will totally agree with this. And glad others see it!!!!

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  12. I love this post, Carrie!! Your heart for others shines through every word. I especially needed to read the part "Even if no one else ever reads it. Even if no agent or publishing house wants it."
    ((hugs)) <3

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    1. oh thank you so much, Trisha! ((hugs)) back to you. Keep writing, dear friend. God's got a plan ❤

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    2. Trisha, I'm so glad you're here... Stop by anytime, keep writing, working, stay focused... we'll cheer you on!!!

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  13. Carrie, I LOVE this post. As in, I might have to revisit it often, every time discouragement tries to set in. Every time I’m banging my head against the wall because the words won’t come. Golly bum... You have truly blessed me, Carrie.

    I would say the verse that’s my go-to is Mark 10:27, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” That last part is what I cling to.

    Thank you again, Carrie, for this wonderful encouragement.

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    1. Amen & Amen! Sweet Mindy, keep on writing and conquering those words! Your story matters! ❤

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  14. Oh Carrie, this made me cry. You really encouraged me with your words. I'm not a writer like the folks here at Seekerville but I do get discouraged (as we all do). Sometimes blogging and reviewing can be discouraging for various reasons. I don't come around here often but I'm happy to see you among these wonderful word weavers because you sure do fit right in!

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    1. Blogging and reviewing can TOTALLY get discouraging, dear Anne. It's hard work. And sometimes it's thankless. And it certainly doesn't pay any bills lol. But YOUR story matters just as much as the stories these beautiful word weavers create. Thank you for your sweet encouragement ❤

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    2. Anne and Carrie, thank you for your reviews. As physical book stores become fewer and farrer between, and as their Christian Fiction sections shirk it even disappear, you make discovering new books and authors easier. I appreciate all you do and have not shared a word about it. Keep at it and know it is appreciated, even if we are silent.

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    3. Thank you, sweet Crystal! We appreciate you so much ❤

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  15. Welcome Carrie! Wonderful post! I am an avid reader who has been around here for 8 yrs. I admire the wonderful authors here, and Seekerville is my community! Will be looking forward to more inspiring words from you!

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    1. Hi Jackie! Thanks so much :) I look forward to getting to know you!

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  16. Oh Carrie! You are such an encourager and somehow I feel as though I've heard this encouragement before? Multiple times? While I've been dangling over the ledge of discouragement? :-)

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    1. Well at least I'm consistent ;) LOL. Love you big ❤

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  17. Yes! I love this so much! Jer 29:11 is one of my go to verses!

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    1. Mine too!!! Love you, my Book Sister ❤

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  18. Wonderful post! What a way to kick off your First post. You are such an amazing, sweet woman. This is going in my Sunshine on Rainy Days folder. As far as verses go, I have two set that really are my strength when I want to give up:

    ““Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans.” Psalms‬ ‭37:5-7‬

    And

    “You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you.’ ””
    ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:17‬ ‭

    Thank you for the encouragement, friend. I don’t need a mug btw, just commenting.

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    1. i LOVE the Sunshine on Rainy Days folder!! I may have to make one too.

      I was just reading a book last night (nonfiction - gasp!) that talked about 2 Chronicles 20:17 and its similar verse in Exodus. Such an encouragement to know that we don't have to fight all our battles! Now if we would only remember to stand still lol.

      Thankful for you, sweet friend!

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  19. Mine is Deuteronomy 31:8. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."”
    ‭‭
    I love the thought that I cannot go where he has not already been!
    Beautiful post, Carrie. I’m not anywhere close to a writer, but I have a story that He is writing and I love getting to tell it even if I don’t write it.

    Now after reading these other posts, I realized there’s an author that I need to encourage!!

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    1. "I cannot go where he has not already been!" Oh! I love that!! Yes!

      And you absolutely DO have a story that He is writing and it matters!

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  20. What a lovely post! Thank you Carrie for reminding me about The Big Story! It's easy to be discouraged when we take our eyes off that Big Story that God is writing. One of my favorite verses to help me stay encouraged is: Proverbs 3: 5 - 6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." My job it to trust Him and walk out my days with Him in my heart and mind. Blessings to you and welcome to Seekerville!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie, for the warm welcome :)

      "It's easy to be discouraged when we take our eyes off that Big Story that God is writing." That's so true. Remembering the plot is key! And that He wins in the end :)

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  21. Carrie, it is good to have a reader/reviewer on the team.
    Jeremiah 29:11 is my go-to, along with the Jabez Prayer.
    I'm in a lull of discouragement right now, so this helped me a lot. It's winter in New England, the worst winter in years, and I'm dealing with a broken snowblower, broken oven, broken but now new washing machine that wasn't installed properly so I can't use it, and frozen pipes that just thawed out yesterday. Plus the usual snow and cold. I had set up a new writing plan for this winter, four weekday mornings, 8 to 12, inviolable, and this is only the second day I've been able to work it. I'm meeting with my crit partner next week and another NH writer in early February. It's important to reach out to people.
    Story is important, and His story for us most of all. This world is NOT our home.
    Kathy Bailey
    Bent but not broken in NH

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    1. Look what Pam found, Kathy! Your post :D I'm so sorry you're having such a discouraging time right now - I will be praying specifically for God's encouragement to meet you where you need it most.

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    2. Thank you, Carrie. I'm glad you're here. Seekerville is a lifeline for me.
      KB

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  22. I MEAN AS IF January in New England isn't enough to contend with.
    KB

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    1. Carrie, Blogger ate my previous post where I talked about WHY January was so tough this year. Do we know why it keeps doing that?
      Best,
      KB

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    2. Blogger is being a booger :) I will check into it and see if I can figure it out... fingers crossed!

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  23. ALL the tears. Can I just add a thousand exclamation points? :) It's one of those things we know that we know that we know. And yet...it doesn't take long for our hearts to wander from the truth that grounds us. Thanks for reminding us to plant our feet on that unshakable foundation. One of my go-to verses is Romans 15:13. When I wander from joy and peace, this verse reminds me it's because I've let my trust wander from the God of hope.

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    1. Oh sweet Crystal - now you've got me crying too! And yes - exclamation points are my fave, so add away ;)

      "When I wander from joy and peace, this verse reminds me it's because I've let my trust wander from the God of hope." - so beautifully said. We all need a go-to verse or two that reorients us when we've gotten distracted.

      Thankful for you!

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  24. Carrie, welcome!! We're so glad you've joined us here at the blog!

    I loved your inspiring post. Such a good reminder about our place in God's story.

    My favorite Scripture is Jer. 29:11. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

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    1. Hi Missy! Thanks for the warm welcome :) That has always been one of my favorite verses. Even when - especially when - we can't see the good in the middle of the hard.

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  25. Do you have a length limit for comments? Or some other reason why the site isn't publishing all of them? inquiring minds want to know.
    KB

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    1. hmm... I'll check into that KB - I'm the newbie LOL

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    2. Kathy, Seekerville doesn't have a length limit for comments, and as far as I know, neither does blogger. Blogger has been slow to upload some comments for the last week or so, but I don't what the holdup is. Hopefully, the kinks will be worked out soon.

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  26. Very encouraging post, Carrie! My go-to verse is Philippians 4:6-7. I love Melissa J's story above and I bet we could all tell tales of times we were ready to quit and received encouragement from the Author of the Universe. That's why I love Seekerville - everyone encourages everyone.

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! Those verses are so special to me too. "the Author of the Universe" - i love that!

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  27. CARRIE, I love your inspiring post! Thank you for the reminder that our stories are still being written.

    One of the scriptures I hold onto during dark days is: Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to me (Israel) from ages past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.

    Blessings and ((((HUGS))))

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    1. Thank you, sweet Caryl. And YES that verse is so special!

      Love you!

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  28. Hi Carrie, thanks for the encouraging words. Here's one of my favorite verses. 1 Peter 1:3-5 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."

    I heard ice and snow are heading your way. Take care!

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    1. Yes! Yes! Amen! Thank you, Jackie for sharing those great verses :)

      I am excited about the snow but wish the ice would stay away. We'll probably end up with all ice lol.

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  29. I love this post, Carrie! I am not an author, but I have made it a goal this year to leave a review for every book I read. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes I struggle. I love the book, but can’t find just the right words to explain why. I’ve decided it’s ok to just say,” I love this book!” After reading this post, I am going to make more of an effort to personally let each author know how much his or her books mean to me as well. One of my favorite verses is Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

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    1. I love this Julia - thank you!!! And that is one of my very fave verses... we WILL reap a harvest if we don't give up. Keep on pressing on :)

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  30. Wonderful post, Carrie! And all the way through it I just kept nodding in agreement. :-)

    Sometimes people ask me why I write romance (they're usually thinking "bodice rippers" and trying to reconcile that image with Amish stories), and I tell them exactly what you said... Christian romances are nothing more than a reflection of the Great Romance.

    Isn't that a great thing to ponder?

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    1. It's one of my very favorite things to ponder. The more I ponder it, the more amazed I am by God's love. And by His love for story. Thanks, Jan!

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  31. Beautifully encouraging post!
    Here's a verse that I read this morning that I think might be my new favorite:
    Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Malachi 3:16-17
    I love, love, love that God puts us in his book of remembrance, and will make us His treasured possession!
    Have a happy Friday!

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    1. oh what a sweet verse! Thank you for sharing that, Rosalyn!!

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  32. WOW! What a great post, Carrie!!! You're so right. Our story does matter. Love this encouraging word, girl. It is right on.
    And you matter. Keep up the good work, cause we all love you THIS MUCH!!! To quote Ruthy. :-)

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    1. aww thank you, dear Melanie! I love you THIS MUCH too! So thankful for you

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  33. Carrie, what a beautiful, encouraging post!!! I'm so motivated that I think I can slay dragons (or at least knock out a half dozen pages of writing) today!!

    And to paraphrase what a wise blogger recently said: I'm so glad God placed YOU in MY story at just the right time and in just the right place. :)

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    1. YAY!! That makes me happy! Go slay those dragons, dear Pam! :) And oh goodness, can I quote you quoting me? Because you said exactly how I feel about you too ((hugs))

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  34. Hi Carrie! What a great post. I love what you said "God isn't a pantser in this story He's telling. He's got a plan, and He's sticking to it!"
    FANTASTIC reminder!

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    1. I'm so glad God's got a plan because sometimes I don't know what in the world I'm doing! :)

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    2. oh goodness yes! And His plans are so much better than our own, even when we would beg to differ :)

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  35. Woops forgot to include my scripture:
    1 Corinthians 15:58 (I like the Amplified version)

    Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].

    I love that NOTHING is wasted with God.

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    1. OH! I love that! Nothing is wasted. What a beautiful thought.

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  36. Wow, Carrie. Just wow. This post. Your heart. You.

    Ditto everything everyone else has already said. (And wow.)

    My go-to verse has already been shared a number of times, Jer. 29:11. I sign it below my name each time I sign a book.

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    1. It's such a touch-point verse, one that we can lean on when life looks hopeless. He has promised us a hope and a future. He is so sweet.

      And thank you for such kind words, dear Karen! I appreciate you :)

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  37. Meez Carrie, aka Super Reader...and blogger...and CFRR amazing organizer!!! Fabulous to see you here as a new Seekerville contributor. Yay!

    Thanks for the encouraging reminders for my stories...both on the page and in life. “Community and grace wrapped up in a safe place like Seekerville.” You got it!

    Scripture for discouraging times: Romans 8:28. He has a plan for each of us who love Him.

    Blessing for your new journey here in Seekerville!

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    1. thank you, dear Sherida! It's always good to run into you :) And yes! That verse is so special. One to cling to in the midst of the 'not good' in life.

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  38. Terrific post, Carrie! It's amazing the positive change just a tiny bit of encouragement can have. I'm thinking we need more encouragers in this world :-)

    Nancy C

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    1. Hi Nancy! The world would certainly be a better place if people used their energy to encourage rather than to tear each other down, wouldn't it?! :)

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  39. Carrie, you DO have SuperBlogging Powers. I love this post. I am a simple reader/reviewer. Your words are incredibly encouraging and something I very much needed. Thank you.

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    1. You are not a simple anything, dear friend! You are a masterpiece :) Love you!

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  40. Great post, Carrie! Very motivational! Thanks :)

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  41. Carrie what a beautiful encouraging blog post. Thank you for this.
    I'm just starting a new story and at the beginning it's impossible (for me) not to get caught up in mechanics. Does the story explode. Do the characters come to life. Have I got a great opening line. Do I set the story in time and place clearly, quickly, without being heavy handed of slowing down my explosion.

    This post helps me keep it right front and center in my writing that the story I want to tell does matter. And God needs to be right in the center of it.

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    1. I'm so glad, Mary! I was praying it would help someone in just exactly that way. Thankful for you!

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  42. Carrie, this post is soooo good that I just had to share it everywhere I could! I have so many favorites, but one is from Psalm 116:2 "Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live." Or at the song says, "Because He is faithful, I call on the Lord, it is because He is faithful, I call on the Lord."

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    1. oh Becky - thank you so much! That's such an encouragement. And what a powerful verse when we really pause to think about it, right?

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  43. Amen! Thank you Carrie for saying out loud what we’ve all thought a time or two. Or a hundred! These authors are lucky to have you. And so am I 😘

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    1. Sweet friend, thank you for saying that. So thankful for you! :)

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  44. You have no idea how much I needed to read/hear this today.

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    1. Jodie, I'll be praying for continued encouragement for you!

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    2. Thank you, Carrie. I really need it. Haven't been this low in many years.

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    3. Discouragement is such a bully, isn't it? The verses that others have shared here in the comments are so uplifting though, and I will be praying that encouragement comes at you from all directions this week!

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  45. This is awesomesauce, Carrie! I might have been a bit teary by the end but then I read your comment about God not being a panster and I burst out laughing. I like thinking of HIm as the ultimate plotter. Hadn't thought of it that way ever! Thank you for being such an encourager and speaking words from your heart. You make a difference in every life you touch.

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    1. Oh sweet friend! You are such an encouragement to me. And isn't that a fun thought - about God not being a pantser? It just hit me while I was writing it so I'm sure it was Him whispering it in my ear. And I think He got a chuckle out of it too :-P

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  46. Lovely encouragement, Carrie. You're so right. Our stories do matter. God placed them on our hearts and gave us the wherewithal to write them...and get them into the hands of readers. If a story touches one reader and makes a positive difference in his/her life, that's reason enough for all the struggle. We do need to believe in ourselves and in our stories. Thanks for the reminder!

    Hugs!

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    1. Beautifully said, dear Debby! HUGS

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  47. Awww Carrie! Just loved this post. So very encouraging. You are amazing. :) My Bible verse for just about everything...especially discouragement it Deuteronomy 31:8 "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
    Seriously...how can I stay in a funk knowing God is going before me and will never leave me?
    Thanks again!

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    1. oh Kelly! Such a powerful verse!! If we really got that??? How much more joyful would our lives be? Thank you, sweet friend!

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  48. WOW! Great post, Carrie! ❤❤❤ Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. Thank you Gail! May God shower His encouragement on you today ❤❤❤

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  49. Carrie, bless your heart! I love posts filled with encouragement. And I'm glad you went ALL CAPS because you are so right - your story matters. God put it on your heart and He doesn't make mistakes.

    All my favorite verses point to God being in charge...no matter how much I think I am, LOL.

    Great post, Carrie. I look forward to many more!

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    1. We do tend to think we're the ones in charge, don't we? And then we get angry when He doesn't do what we want lol. I'm so thankful He loves us :)

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  50. Thank you Meez Carrie for this encouraging post! God bless you!

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    1. Thank you, Dr. Carrie! Love you! :)

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  51. Hi Carrie
    This is a super fantabulous post that is such a wonderful reminder of much God loves us. We're created in His Image, and thus we are little creators mimicking His work however imperfectly. I believe this pleases Him, when we create.
    Like so many others Jeremiah 29:11 is my go-to verse alongside being fearfully and wonderfully made section of Psalms 139.

    You made my day, I am so glad you're a Seeker helping continue/maintain the oh, so needed ministry that is Seekerville

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    1. Thank you so much, Deb. You've made MY day :) And I love the word 'fantabulous' - such a fun word to say lol.

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  52. Thank you for such an encouraging post, Carrie! My favorite verse is Hebrews 11:1. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Laura! I hope you're somewhere warm - it's way too cold here! :D

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  53. Hi Carrie, it is so fun to see you here at Seekerville. I have always loved Jeremiah 29:11
    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    Recently, I found this to be encouraging.
    2 Corinthians 4:8-9
    We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
    Thank you & Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh Connie - I love that 2 Corinthians passage! Isn't it almost like a rallying cry?? :)

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  54. what a wonderful marvelous lovely fanTAStic fabulous post Carrie!! thank you so much for your constant encouragement and your crazy friendship!!!

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    1. who you callin' crazy? ;) So thankful for you and your friendship, sweet one <3

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  55. Thank you! Love ya! Needed this! My verse changes but yesterday I read back through the whole chapter of Isaiah 43. I'm uses a verse from it for each of to my Coastal Hearts series. The chapter was of great encouragement to me. So wonderful how God uses His Word. So excited to see you blog here. You are a great encourager!

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    1. Isaiah has such wonderful verses, doesn't it?? Love ya, Janet! :)

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  56. Hey Carrie

    /waves back/

    I was there! I was there!

    It was a wonderful talk, as I told you and Cynthia after, in person. :D Truly was the best way to kick off a terrific (albeit short) conference.

    WELCOME to Seekerville as a regular blogger. How exciting is THIS?!

    You likely knew this but several of us Villagers met for the first time at that very conference. What a fun time it was. I'm already planning to return.

    Hope your injury is much improved. You were such a trooper. Admired your spunk (is that the right word?) for even showing up, much less a fabulous presentation with Cynthia R.

    (That was a pinch me moment too, meeting the both of you.)

    Thank you so much for this post today. It DOES matter.

    My One Word this year is FOCUS, and that's what I plan to do.

    Anyway - have a great snowy day (at least it is in our area) and thank you for the encouragement.

    Hopefully someone recorded y'all's presentation and you can link to it some time. It really was stellar.

    Byeeeeee for now!

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  57. Thank you, Carrie, for this affirmative post that our stories matter! One of my favorite encouraging verses is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.

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    1. Such a great verse to remind us to lean into Him! Thanks, Marilyn! :)

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  58. I love, love, love this post, Carrie! So very well said. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. :)

    It will probably seem odd, but one of the most comforting verses in the Bible for me is from the book of Job. It's what Job says in response to his wife urging him to give up his integrity, curse God and die (as a means of relief from his suffering). Job replies: "You speak as on of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" (Chapter 2 verse 10) I find it comforting because it reminds me that whether we are currently experiencing a valley or mountain of life, God is sovereign. I find the reminder of God's power comforting because I know He loves us in a way deeper than we can fathom. (Rom 5:8, 1 John 4:17, 1 John 3:1, etc etc) Then I turn to Romans 8:28 which reminds me that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Which of course is far from a promise to be removed from troubles so I find comfort in knowing He is with us through those troubles. (Psalm 23)

    Woops, didn't mean that to come off so sermon-like. It's just the domino-like effect that first verse (Job 2:10) has on my mind.

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    1. Forgive my typo! Here is the correct verse:

      Job 2:10 "But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips."

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    2. preach it, girl! :) One of my favorite verses from Job is 42:5 - "I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes." It goes along with the other beautifully encouraging verses you shared. When we go through discouragement... the tough stuff of life ... it's in those moments that we learn to see God for ourselves instead of just hearing about His faithfulness secondhand!

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  59. Meeze Carrie! You are just the best! Wow do you see all the comments? And all the cool authors who commented? And all the other bloggers and fans you have out there? Thanks for the encouragement! My verse is Romans 8-38&39. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ our Lord! Blessings to you Carrie! Welcome to Seekerville!

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    1. Oh Paula, I'm so honored by the comments and just being part of Seekerville! Still pinching myself. So thankful for you & even more thankful for that set of verses!!

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  60. It strikes me that as I read your blog and the responses of so many authors, that you are very much cut from the same cloth as Barnabas - the Son of Encouragement.This is my verse for YOU: "When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts..." Acts 11:23 You are an encourager to all these authors. I love these authors and read as many of their books as I can, and I pray that they are heartened by your words. Fantastic blog, Carrie!

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  61. Carrie, I missed this post last week, but I am SO glad I came back to check it out -- JUST what I needed to hear, my friend, so THANK YOU!!

    LOVE YOU!
    Julie

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  62. Carrie:

    I believe we are Born for Story.

    My verse is: "I Can Do (Write!) all things through Christ Who strengthens me!"

    Michael Ireland

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  63. Carrie, I read this post for the first time yesterday. I hated being on such limited time. Had it not been that way, I would have cried.
    First of all, the Bible verse I dedicate to my writing is Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV): "And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant, which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." I only had to type this and not look it up in my Bible. I have memorized this, because this is the first prayer I pray every morning before I start writing, something I have done for at least 3 year. It is because I thank God He alone can give me direction in my life, a specific purpose, that will bring glory back to Him. This verse carries me through on the not-so-good days of writing, where I either had loads of time to write but I only had 5 words to put on paper, or the days where the small things get in the way. I only show up the next day and trust in the Lord to make it better than yesterday.
    Right now, I once again have limited time. But I thank God for Seekersville. I love reading about other writers dedicating a blog giving glory to God for this gift He has given us. And it seems that I need to *really know* things in my life are not useless or a waste of time. These can be used in my books for others to read and if they would like, to tell me why they loved it.
    I can never forget the time I was working on chapter 10 of my first book, The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope. Up until that time, I had no idea why I was doing this. Then...it hit me. The content in that chapter was about some dark time in my life.
    To wrap up this post, since publishing that first book, I have been able to write a lot of things I know, including but not limited to:
    (1) Trying my hand at physical therapy, failing miserably.
    (2) The many conversations I had with people in my teens and early 20s, in which I was single.
    (3) My current interaction with hard rock musicians (some of whom are big names and I have given copies of my books to).
    (4) My battle with aggressive Stage 4 endometriosis
    One more thing, this part of your post spoke to me:

    But you know what? The story that God is writing in you and through you matters most of all. He is making you more like Jesus every day. He knew you before He formed you in your mother's womb, and He had already had plans for your life. (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1) He created you as a writer before you even had fully developed hands to hold a pen or tap away on a keyboard. Even better - He knew your role in His Story before you ever made your grand arrival on planet Earth. And that story matters on a scale we can't even begin to imagine.)

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