The Ladies’ Winter Bible Study, held in January and February on Tuesday mornings was nearing. “I don’t have time to go,” was my response to some friends. “I am so busy with writing and all that it entails. After all, just daily living is a full-time job!”
But, I lectured me, should I procrastinate and take the morning off just because…?
1. My faith could use some strengthening
2. Relating to friends is refreshing
3. Being with 4-500 women is energizing
4. The setting in the panoramic mountains of western North Carolina is breathtaking
5. The history, meaning and purpose of the Cove (Billy Graham Training Center) are significant
6. The prayers, music, Bible study, worship, are awe-inspiring
7. The presentation of the lunch food line is mouth-watering and eye-feasting
8. Devouring the food is gratifying, to say the least
9. Struggling up the 60 steps instead of taking the shuttle to parking burns calories
Well, I talked me into it and made the sacrifice.
The leader, Jane Derrick, who has led these studies for 22 years, told of when she began to speak. After her second time, a woman came to her and said, “If you don’t get any better, you’re going to lose your audience.”
If I don’t continue to become a better writer, I will lose my reading audience.
Speaking about a worship service, she said, “What good is the message if it leaves us just as we are?”
What good is my story, if it leaves the readers just as they were when they began reading it?
She had us pray about any problems or needs.
We give problems and needs to our characters. Then it’s up to them (ME) to solve those problems. Then, perhaps I’d better pray for my characters (ME) to find the right answers.
How can my character live a full life if I don’t?
How can they entertain if I’m not entertained?
How can their faith be strengthened if mine isn’t?
Jane mentioned the glory of people worshipping, praying, singing in one accord. That reminded me of the analogy I used in my novel, The Gift, in which a music teacher explains that 100 pianos in a room may be of one accord, not by being tuned to each other, but being tuned to the tuning fork. We, as a group, are in one accord because each is tuned to our Creator and Lord.
We’re all alone when we write. Perhaps we should think of the hundreds, and thousands, and more, writers doing what we are doing daily. We have a common purpose – to learn and grow in the writing profession and to worship God through our writing and make a difference in the world. We may be alone, but at the same time we are in one accord with a multitude of other writers.
Yes, I could stay home on Tuesday mornings and exercise the craft of writing. But, I not only write, I live. If I live life fully, then my writing will be enhanced and more creative.
Incidentally, that study was on the beatitudes. Well… talk about being blessed!!
Great Plains Prairie – Omaha, Nebraska 1910
Katie McKenzie left the prairie to further her education in Omaha, but when she returns for a visit, she finds her feelings for Daniel Wentworth remain. Pushing aside her reservations, Katie extends her visit as she tries to help a young woman grieving over her sister’s death. Determined to conquer that schoolgirl crush she had on Mr. Wentworth before she left, Katie pours herself into helping sixteen-year-old Mary Frances resurrect her love for singing. When Daniel comes calling with an invitation for Katie to remain on the prairie, she wonders if her gift of hospitality and help might be a second chance at love.