Monday, October 21, 2013

A Writer's Harvest

photo by Carlos Porto on  freedigitalphotos.net
The cooling weather and crisp leaves floating all around, announce that it is certainly FALL. And after a long, long summer of heat, my soul praises God for ushering in His design of the harvest season. This year, not only does my family have the pleasure of driving by combines filling grain bins full, but we also have the simple delight of an over-abundant apple tree in our yard. With our bellies happy with the produce, I can't help but think on the fruits of the Spirit...and as a writer in need of inspiration, I chose this post to elaborate on the blessing of each fruit I am given as a wordsmith!
Some of my favorite people,
cheering me on in my craziness!

Love
is the fellowship in this writing community. My friends and Alleycats always have open arms! They remind me of the JOY which writing brings to my heart, as well as give me a glimpse at the Creator's joy in bestowing such precious gifts upon me. Because of the love and joy He brings in writing and friends, I can cling to His Peace in the disappointment and doubt, knowing that I am well-loved and ordained for this journey, no matter what heartache it brings.

Often, I feel as though God's main purpose for this writing journey, is to refine a golden Patience in my naturally impatient heart. With many years of waiting, rejection, and wondering, the old is cast off, and patience has become a fragile blessing, budding ever so slow...but catching the dew of a new morning in the refining process.

As I continue on, Kindness meets me in the encouragement of a crit partner, a contest judge, and a fabulous agent. It is this fruit that gives me hope, and reminds me of the Goodness in the craft, in my purpose, in my God. Writing is only worth it if His goodness shines through on every page, at every turn.

As well as kindness, I find Gentleness in a correcting critique and a judge's suggestion. God uses each and every word to gently nudge me toward maturity in this craft. Gentleness is a comfort to my heart in the most challenging times, because it keeps my defenses low and my mind open to a more enriching journey.

It is only through God's Faithfulness in providing these abundant fruits along the way, that I am assured my path is the right one for me. His faithfulness meets me at every stumble, every victory, and every fork in the road. He never fails me. His faithfulness keeps my word count rising and my doubt falling away.

Of all these fruits, I taste the sweetness of God's journey for me, but the last fruit is one that I so often push aside in my flesh. Self-control is not as ripe as it should be when I begin to allow my thoughts to spiral downward, to take me to places of defeat, doubt, and jealousy. To take my thoughts captive is the ultimate harvest of Self-control on my journey. My basket often runs low on this fruit!

Thank goodness I have the love and joy of friends and writing! And I continue to grow the patience to wait on God to work in His kind, gentle way to show me that He will faithfully provide the promised self-control if I keep my heart open to His abundant harvest!
Had to include my daughter's journey
through the pumpkin patch!
Which fruit do you struggle with most on this journey as a writer? In life in general?

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Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous, mothering days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across historical cultures and social boundaries. Angie is an ACFW member and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.




8 comments:

Jeanne Takenaka said...

What a beautiful post, Angie. We are not truly alone on this writing journey, are we?

I think the fruit I probably struggle most with is self-control. I'm like you in that my thoughts can quickly spiral downward, leading me to a dark place. I am learning to rein them in, often with the help of a friend who reminds me of the truth.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart today.

Melissa Tagg said...

Love this, Angie. Have to echo Jeanne--self-control is probably the one I struggle with most, both in my actions and my thought life at times. How great would it be to up my self-control in the area of social media. Haha!! But even more importantly, my thoughts. I'm not even a worrier by nature, but I am a big planner...and sometimes I can spend SO much time planning and thinking and trying to figure things out writing-wise that I forget I'm not on this journey alone. I need to work more on turning my thoughts toward God and His faithfulness and HIS plan instead of mine. :)

Project Journal said...

Angie,
It has been almost a year since I blogged. I stepped back (in which I really mean completely stepped away lol) from blogging and all the blogs I follow....sad :( It wasn't necessarily a decision, but it's what happened. What a beautiful, uplifting post to return to! It really hit home for me.

Over the course of almost nine of those twelve months I've been gone, I've been on a journey to better myself. I'm 21 years old, have had a lot of health problems since I was little but they were only getting worse, severely obese, and overall completely unhappy with life in general. It started with a focus on my weight, but ultimately has been successful in revamping my life completely! Lol I've lost 60lbs, gotten off a bunch of medications, moving better, feeling a little better physically, am no longer even at risk of becoming a diabetic :D

The bigger change though has been emotionally and spiritually for me. I've definitely worked on all of the things you mentioned. If I had to choose one you mentioned, it might actually be Joy. How weird is that? Even when something good used to happen to me....I couldn't accept the compliment, couldn't SEE the good in the situation, or whatever the case may be. Now, I still struggle with this occasionally because it's a journey and it can be frustrating. However, not nearly as much....I find just going for my morning walk, soaking in the sunshine, listening to my music, breathing in the fresh air makes me happy. I find JOY now in the fact that this small act not only is making me stronger and healthier, but also more balanced and happier.

Oh I could talk way too long lol sorry for rambling! Like I said, this definitely hit home for me today lol :)
Hannah

Angie said...

Jeanne,
I have seen the pictures of you enjoying time with our dear Casey, and my heart aches for the writing community in real life! So blessed to have gotten the chance to chat with you in person, even if it's just once a year.
I think the more we all connect with each other, the easier it might be to push away those thoughts, and lean into God for that self control!
Have a great day!

Angie said...

Melissa!
You brought up a GREAT point with social media! That is definitely a weak area of mine, that needs a great deal of self-control...it is often in social media where my thoughts begin to spiral!!
Thanks for stopping by!!

Angie said...

Hannah,
Wow! What a wonderful testimony!!! Thank you so much for your willingness to share your journey, and what a fabulous example of joy! It reminds me of the book by Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts. Have you read it? She thanks God in every little thing. Slowing down and focusing on each and every blessing certainly does fill us with a supernatural joy, doesn't it? I am so glad you found this post in your return to blogland! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Angie, I was thinking about Ann Voskamp's book as I read your post today. Now I know you've already read it. :) I'm nearing my 1000th gift. :)

And yes, it was fabulous to see Casey yesterday. :) I'm hoping to see her once more while she's here.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

This is beautiful, Ang. Simply beautiful!