What support looks like

I’ve been thinking …

Have you ever signed up for an event and had no expectations?

Have you ever attended an event and had no expectations?

On Friday, I did both.

JOT Writer’s Conference is a low-key meet-up that meets-up a couple times every year at Baker Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In that sentence is wrapped the whole bundle of what I knew before I arrived.

As I entered, my thoughts turned to journals – but first coffee. In that sentence is wrapped the whole bundle of what I do as a writer. Isn’t that what writers do? Write in journals, coffee by their side? You see, I’m not really a writer – but I love to write … and therein lies the dilemma. If I have no aspirations to write a book or monetize my blog, can I be a writer?

At the JOT Conference I was impressed by the authors I met, who are serious about their craft. I met a poet, an editor, a few published authors, a project manager and felt the overwhelming support they had for each other and for men and women within writing communities. As I chose a seat near the front of the venue, I looked around and discovered friends from my past and friends from my present beside me, behind me, and before me.

As the speakers took the stage to talk about their parts of authoring, editing, and publishing, the bond was obvious. They talked about how they supported each other through the writer’s drought and blank page panic. They shared their experiences with supporting budding and seasoned authors through the jungle of edits, rewrites, and design.

I’m not a writer – but if I were a writer, I would search out fellow writers to support me and talk me off the ledge when I wanted to quit.

Anyway … that’s what I was thinking.

This is a 5-minute Friday article. The word for this week is SUPPORT and I wrote for 5 minutes, no edits, not over thinking – just shoot from the hip prose.
Are you a writer? Join the 5-Minute Friday group and get support even before you need it. http://fiveminutefriday.com/



to be amazing, just start

I don’t quote people very often. I feel that in some way, I’m taking credit for their articulate way of conveying thoughts when I write them as my words – even though I give the author full credit.  Today is one of the days that I have to share the words of another. If you know me, you understand why I’ve been diagnosed with Information Junkie syndrome. I read! Blogs, magazines, books, labels, and yes – I’ve been known to read junk mail, just because it’s there. I read the Bible and at least one, usually more pages of a devotional every day. Someone once referred to me as a human sponge. Hmmm…only true to the extent that once saturated, I have to be wrung out. You see, as obsessed as I am with reading, that obsession carries over to sharing what I’ve learned. I’m sure 90% of what I share in email gets deleted before opened – not everyone has the same obsession that I have. Perplexing as that may be.  (OK that was where you laugh.)

But back to my story and what I read today that caused me to read and re-read the few paragraphs in Seth Godin’s blog. “If you set your bar at “amazing, it’s awfully difficult to start. The only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now. There’s a big difference between not settling and not starting.” I don’t remember how I happened to read Seth Godin’s blog, but when it comes to social media he’s a pretty smart guy.  This is how Wikipedia describes him. “an American entrepreneur, author and public speaker.” Well that’s certainly characteristic of about one million breathing people today.

Just prior to reading that, I had been focused on Colossians 2.  I wish I could copy the entire chapter here, but read with me a few meaningful highlights – then go back and read the entire chapter for yourself.  Think of this as The blog of the Apostle Paul. Seriously! I am certain he had a blog. He wrote these words in a letter because as he says in the very first verse, “Not many of you have met me face-to-face, but that doesn’t make any difference. Know that I’m on your side, right alongside you. You’re not in this alone.” Scattered throughout the remaining chapter are these encouraging lines. “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God…. My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given…. Live out your faith in the Master….be deeply rooted in him….do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! … grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.”  Much of the chapter is missing from that paragraph. But it spoke to me.

Have you ever listened to a speaker’s challenge to have the life you’ve always wanted or been given advice on how to assure your future, do work you love, enjoy each season of life, and make your life amazing? Are there any other kinds of messages shared from a platform? As Seth Godin said,  “We can’t start at amazing and amazing has no chance if we don’t start.” That’s how it works. That’s how it’s always worked.  Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul – the ultimate encourager – counseled in his blog, Start living in faith, what you already know to be true.  In Colossians 2:19 Paul says “God is the head and we are the body.” With God as the head, we can be amazing – but we have to start.

I hope this raises you up for today and for always.  Ephesians 3:20 I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.

I haven’t posted a song for a long time, but today, here’s You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban https://youtu.be/aJxrX42WcjQ?t=3s