Random Thoughts

Guelph Bible Conference CentreDoesn’t this gorgeous setting remind you of the grounds you see in movies of an English asylum where patients can convalesce in a serene setting?

That impression crossed my mind while enjoying these very grounds last week at Write!Canada–an annual conference for Canadian Christian writers. Considering everyone there was a writer and therefore a little crazy…after all, we hear voices in our head, and apparently that’s not normal ;-)…the comparison to an asylum made me smile. 

While at Write!Canada, I chatted with many writers about their novels, and one surprisingly common issue I found was that many couldn’t tell me (at least not immediately) what their hero or heroine’s external goal for their story was. The answers often veered toward the internal and spiritual things the characters needed to learn, a very important story thread, but one that unfolds within the context of the main character pursuing an external goal. Right?

The same is often true in REAL life. Isn’t it?

Without a defined goal, we can wander aimlessly.

Of course…defining the goal doesn’t miraculously reveal the path we should take, merely the destination. 

It also gives us a starting point. A purpose. And God meets us there.

One of my favorite Bible verses is “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” 

It reminds me that I may not know the path, but I know the destination and God will show me the way. It also aptly expresses my experience with each novel I write. My characters often don’t follow the path I first imagine…or the one they do!

Your Turn: If you haven’t already, set a goal for yourself today. And then start. If you have a story of how God has been revealing a path in your life, please share.

For writers: I’m at Seekerville today sharing a tip on how to choose your character’s greatest strength and weakness.



What Are You Waiting For?

Snapped this photo of our Alaskan Husky Saturday morning, which got me to thinking about the question in the title.


Our pup had her eyes fixed on the trees or perhaps the road beyond, waiting for something, and she wasn’t budging.

Her patience was admirable, considering how thick the snow was coming down. After half an hour of peeking out the window at her, every five minutes, it became clear to me that she’d sit there until whatever she was waiting for showed up, or she turned into a snow drift!

Which got me to thinking… What are you waiting for?

It turns out that our dog wasn’t waiting for my daughter to come home (as sweet as that sounded). She was patiently waiting for a black squirrel (yes, we have both black and gray squirrels in our neck of the woods) to come down from the tree so she could chase it.

Now we’ve been told over and over that patience is a virtue. And I definitely believe that waiting on the Lord is always a good thing.

But…she was turning into a snow drift!

Of course, unlike what we sometimes wait for, she was waiting for something she could reasonably expect to happen sooner or later. Emphasis on the later.

So here we are in February, and many folks are already frustrated with themselves for blowing their New Year’s resolutions or for appearing to be no closer to the “goals” they set for themselves Jan 1st or 13 months ago.

Are you one of them?

Make sure the goals you’ve set for yourself are really goals, that is things you actually have control over attaining. Not hopes and dreams such as Mr. Right pounding down your door begging you to marry him or your dream publisher pounding down your door begging to buy your manuscript? 

Using my writing experience as an example… From day one, I knew selling a manuscript was not something I could make happen. It was beyond my control. But I could write the best manuscript I was capable of writing, and the next, and the next, and invite agents and editors to consider them. So finishing a manuscript became my goal.

Selling the manuscript was the dream that kept me working and waiting.

I was determined not to quit. I knew the journey to publication typically took many years and several manuscripts and many more rejections. I didn’t set any deadlines such as if I don’t sell by this time, I’ll quit. I wasn’t interested in self-publishing. I kept doing what was within my control–writing.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on. But I want to urge you to think about what you’re waiting for in whatever facet of life is dear to your heart these days. Don’t get snowed under by confusing dreams with goals while waiting for your dream squirrel to scurry down the tree toward you.

Work toward your goals as the Lord leads, and wait upon Him to make your dreams come true.

Your Turn: Do you have a “waiting”, “goal”, or “dream” experience you’d like to share?

 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. you need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36

open+heartA Valentine’s Read – Over at the Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired Romance blog, we’re telling a serialized romance from Feb 1 to Feb 14th. Click on the link and scroll down to the Feb 1 post to begin the story. Then stop by each day for the next installment. This is being written on the fly by 14 different authors–sure to be interesting. 😉