meadowrueflowerHow not to write a book:

First, DO NOT home school your children. Better yet, don’t have children at all.

Do not write two books in two different genres for two different audiences at the same time.

Do not spend seven years leapfrogging between two such writing projects while turning down actual, check-in-the-mail, bill-paying jobs.

Definitely do not let your husband lose his own job. Twice.

Don’t bury a child. Ever.

Had I the ability, I’d change many of the above. Yet, as I look back I see how God used each experience to make me who I am today.

A dozen years of reading great books aloud to my children? The best education a children’s writer could want.

Writing two different books at the same time? A chance to learn the art of fiction and apply those same techniques to non-fiction.

Seven years of leap-frogging? An opportunity to rest from one project while returning to the other with fresh eyes and ears.

Losing a job? A time to seek God and see him provide through friends and family.

Burying a child? A wound so great, it is hard to make sense of, other than seeing more clearly what really matters–a life poured out in serving other.

This week I’ve been reading I John, which exhorts believers not to love the things of the world–the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of riches–but to be caught up in loving others.

The love of lesser things conflicts with the love of higher things. If we set our affection on things above, our affection for things below will diminish. Most astonishingly, God wants to touch others through us.

“If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us,” I John 4:12b says.

“To be perfected,” explains my NRSV Study Bible for Women, “means to be brought to its proper end or fulfillment.”

In other words, God completes his love through us. Amazing!

No matter what our occupation, we are the physical presence of God in a hurting world. He calls and enables us. He fills and works through us. But his love is not complete unless we give it away.

So here I am at the end of seven long years of work with two different, nearly finished projects and not one clue what comes next. Other than a new job for my husband. A new baby in our family. New summer writing projects. And every day a new chance to share God’s love with others.

After all, this is the most important story that matters.

What do you think?