Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Changing the World

In June, I attended the Glen Eyrie Writers’ Summit in Colorado Springs (in a castle – seriously) along with Susan Plett (ICWF Board member and poet extraordinaire). We were inspired and encouraged while gaining practical skills from authors Angela Hunt, Nancy Rue, Katherine Mackel and Alton Gansky. This is one of the most reasonable cost summits (2009 fee was $288 plus accommodation). But to tell you the truth, I was sitting there thinking, “Who am I kidding? Trying to start a writing career at age 51?”

One of the questions posed by another new writer was something like this: "I know God has called me to write, but how do I discover what I should be writing and where I should be submitting?"

The simple but profound answer from Alton Gansky was this: “Go where God is blessing.”

In our church, we’d been challenged to 100 Days of Prayer and Journalling – asking God what He wanted to do in, through and for us. About four days into that process, I woke up with the urging to write a news article. I told God I didn’t write journalistic pieces and he said, “You do now.” He blessed the process through a series of providential events that proved to my fainting heart He was in this, so I wrote the article and it was published in the Calgary Herald (June 20, 2009). Another article was spun off of this exercise and was published on the front page of City Light News (Calgary’s Christian Newspaper) in their July edition.

At the same time, God was working in another area and I was contacted by Maranatha News. This week my first articles have appeared in their October edition, available online here and here.

While these are not the passionate, world-changing poems I dreamed of publishing, they represent obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I’ve been asked to do articles for future issues. This is me, going where God is blessing.

In the meantime, I continue to strengthen my skills, taking classes to hone the craft of writing and studying to show myself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). I also keep trying to do laundry, clean house, cook meals and care for my family. Not that I am perfect (sigh...in my weakness He is strong) but I press on.

Where is God leading you, blessing you, to change the world? Even if it is only one small life or one short word at a time?


  1. "Go where God is blessing" sounds a lot like Henry Blackaby's "see where God is working and join Him". Thanks for this reminder, Joyce, and for sharing how clearly He's been leading you.

    God bless you as you write in service to the King.

  2. The other day I read a Scripture: "Despise not small beginnings." (Zech. 4:10, my paraphrase.)

    You've made a GREAT beginning.


  3. Good for you, Joyce! Congratulations!!

  4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... you bless me, Joyce, with your article! So glad you shared the link on InScribe.

    I myself am 52 and have wondered if I've been truly hearing Him about being a writer.... because what I write seems so far off from the dream I see. But perhaps that's what we all feel as we search for the right thing to say.

    I've been 'writing' for years, but never got much stuff out there for someone else to read.

    But I've been feeling His gentle nudges to get my bits and pieces and journals of drafts into a fashion I can actually develop into something that will minister beauty, joy and healing to others.

    You mention your dream was to write world changing poetry. I always wanted to write about living a beautiful life (home and hearth stuff). Think Alexandra Stoddard or the Nancy Lindemeyer Victoria magazine sense of gentle grace and beauty, and you get the idea.

    I still truly enjoy that, but I was so amazed recently at how often (as I'm putting all my paper drafts online) the articles were about finding that place of healing and wholeness in our bodies, emotions, mind, relationships......

    So that my focus is not so much about having a beautiful home and life, but getting our hearts whole. Which of course, I'm finding out, naturally results in our being more beautiful, gracious and loving in all we touch and say.

    Thanks for those awesome words "Go where God is blessing" by Alton Gansky. A good plumbline!

    Another plumbline I love is from Heidi McLaughlin's book, Unleasing Beauty, where she says Mark Buchanan told her to 'write every word as an act of worship to God.' Yes!!! That really hit me -- of course, it's the perfect way to write.

    Thanks so much Joyce... I'm putting you on my sidebar so I can come back and visit again.

    Blessings.....happy day and happy writing!

  5. Thank you all for your responses. Joanna, yes, it is about Experiencing God, isn't it? Angie, your pragmatic approach to writing has always been a great mile marker for me. Violet, thank you. I read your blog lots and comment little - you inspire where you may not realize.

    And Brenda, that's a wonderful story, such an echo of my own. Keep building those skills - being ready to give an answer and an article/story/poem/whatever to whomever asks or accepts it! :-)