Thursday, April 2, 2009

And Then Some

I recently attended the American Christian Writers Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Doc Hensley, Chip MacGregor, and Linda Wade were excellent, their instructions settling deep. I absorbed more from this conference than others because I had been practicing the little I knew. Now I find myself on a new step and have a better view of the landscape. Nevertheless I know I have a tall ladder to climb before I can comfortably call myself a writer.

So like life, isn’t it? Whatever craft you are learning, you have to start on the bottom rung. If you look too high and measure yourself by the stars, you might as well slip down the ladder. But… if you look up, appreciate their accomplishments, THEN look back at what it takes to step up to the next rung, it can spur you to practice new skills to excel. I have to remind myself: don’t give up!

When I was a consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics, I learned this motivational saying: “A big gun is just a little gun that keeps on shooting.” Another gem that spurred me to excel in sales was the fact that most people give up just before they have a breakthrough. The phrase was “and then some.” If you were willing to make new sales calls “and then some,” if you served your customer “and then some,” you chose to function a notch above most others. So if I practice writing, submit articles, keep my own deadlines “and then some,” I will be able to develop this fledgling gift to God’s glory.

Can my currently underdeveloped writing glorify God? Most certainly … if I stretch for excellence and my heart is taken with the Most High, not my product. If my focus is on the living Word who creates and sustains, if my desire is to write, speak, and live to His glory, He promises me I’ll have those desires! You will too.

For Consideration

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart”(Psalm 37:4 NIV).

Are you working on a new goal? How can you focus on excellence while keeping your underdeveloped performance in God’s perspective?

Meditate on Hebrews 12:1-3

4 comments:

Kaye Hanna said...

Paula, How fitting that I should be reading this as I am taking much needed time to be quiet.
Keep persevering not because of where it puts you in the 'hierarchy' of writers, but because it is His gift to you that you give back to Him with dividends, thanksgiving and praise. I am so proud of you and so thankful for God's 'transformation' in you and your work. Yeah God!!!
Not only is it a blessing to you (this gift you have been given), but to us all who read your blogs.
Love you lots
K

The Incredible Shrinking Woman said...

I love the phrase "and then some!" It is apparent that our current customer service in the US could take note, but also our churches as well. Heck, people in general should follow this rule!

Jesus always did more than was expected of Him. He healed the body AND the soul. I love the story of the woman at the well. He granted her forgiveness and, in "and then some" fashion, He gave her hope for tomorrow by telling her to sin no more. He gave her a purpose, and He does the same for all of us.

I am looking forward to getting to know you in 11 short days, and can't wait to learn from what God has taught you from His "and then some" glorious riches! I'm praying for you, sister!
Charlie

sundog said...

Paula,

I love this. I too aspire to be a writer and here's another good piece of wisdom from Jon Acuff.

'The secret to being a good writer is the willingness and courage to be a bad writer first.'

Lord, may everything we ever write be to your glory!

Sherri

Paula said...

Sherri... you will. We will. Because we want His glory and God deserves it!! I'll be back to your blog and read more.
May the Lord's presence overshadow you!
Excited for what the Lord continues to do in our lives...