Talent is a Seed

In his article, How Important Is Talent to You as a Writer?, twenty-one time New York Times bestselling author, Jerry B Jenkins, refers to himself as a journeyman, as opposed to a superstar talent in the field of writing. Wow. Okay, this means there’s hope for the rest of us aspiring writers. 

Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_dreams_accomplishments_hard_work_Talent_is_a_Seed“Regardless where you start, your work ethic will determine your success.”   -Jerry Jenkins

Worthy pursuits cost something. They often require hard work and take long term investment to reap a good return.

“Who are you as a writer, and what are you willing to invest in your dream?” -Jerry Jenkins

I am a journeyman, the least of these. I love God and I love writing. So yes, I write for the love of God. I love people too. Except for when I can’t stand them. Just kidding; I love them anyway. Even when it’s hard—help-me-Jesus. 😉 God loves us all in spite of ourselves and calls us to care for one another accordingly.

I am a member of the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and of a local writer’s group. I have a summer reading list. Sometimes I forgo other activities so I can invest time to learn the craft and write.

Talent is a seed. A seed hidden in my pocket will not take root, mature or bear fruit. It must be planted in good soil and nourished.

My neighbor and I planted the same kind of trees simultaneously. He planted three foot trees; mine were seven feet tall. But in a few months, his surpassed mine in height and vigor. When I consulted my gardener friend, Robert, he smiled and said, “Buy the $2 plant, but put it in a $20 hole.”

I am the $2 plant, but I am rooted and established in the priceless soil of the Gospel. The most important investment I will ever make in my life and my dream, is to maintain a vibrant relationship with Jesus through prayer, reading the Bible and seeking His direction. I can’t give to others what I don’t have. I can’t water the seed God has given me or the lives of others  if I fail to first draw and drink from the well. I will not have the strength to carry sustenance to others if I don’t first nourish my soul. Only then will I bear fruit and have anything to offer. Whatever I do will flourish in direct proportion to how much I invest in my relationship with God. My writing will be an outflow. God will give the increase.

Sometimes I get discouraged with my writing. It seems like a mountain I will never be able to climb. I wish everything didn’t take so long:

  • Learning,
  • Editing,
  • Being heard in this noisy world, and building a following
  • Submitting my work, and someday actually being published
  • Jesus, I just want to make you smile, and touch other lives for You

But life is a marathon, not a sprint.

“Slow and steady wins the race.”  -The Hare and the Tortoise, Aesop’s Fables

I have a responsibility to tend  the seed God has given me. Edward Bulwer-Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I am blessed with an awesome gift. My job is to continually develop my skill, and life has a way of providing abundant opportunity and inspiration.

What seed of talent has God given you? 

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

Shut Up, Satan! (Overcoming Writer’s Doubt & the Voices in My Head)

I am participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt, hosted by Bryan Hutchinson of Positive Writer.  To Visit Bryan’s blog and read more entries in this contest click here.

Oh, the angst over writing this essay, and how I have procrastinated. Yes, life is like a steamroller lately, but reasons aren’t excuses, right? For me, writer’s doubt is an everyday wrestling of the mind and soul.

“You’re out of your league. You don’t fit,” he said.

Well, that’s exactly where I need to put myself. If I am to get better and figure out where I’m going, I need to have someone ahead of me who knows the way. Sometimes if something doesn’t fit, it needs trimming, right? Which is why I joined The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and I follow his blog too. Yes, #JerryJenkinsIsMyMentor. I also fill my mind with the doctrine of other writers by following Positive Writer, Writer’s Digest, The Write Life and I’m a member of a local writer’s group. Jerry taught me, “Show, don’t tell.” So, here goes.

“You don’t have what it takes,” the accuser says.

Who God calls, He equips.

“Who is going to read your words? You will never get the attention, the amount of followers, you need to be published.”

For now, I will write for the one heart who is listening and needs to hear what I have to say. “God, give me a word in season for someone.”

“Who do you think you are? You are nobody. You are no Super Woman, Super Christian, mom or wife!”

You are right. But I am Jesus’ nobody, and He specializes in making nobodies into somebodies. What I am is super ordinary. I’m done with waiting for perfect. I am weak, but His strength is made perfect in weakness.

“There are others far greater than you who are qualified to speak.”

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.                           I Corinthians‬ ‭1:26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬  

So, I qualify. “God, breathe on my words; let them be like arrows, piercing hearts and infusing life and hope.”

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.   ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT  

“You don’t have the time. Look how far behind you are, all the other things you have to do. If you put your heart out there, and your children do foolish things, everyone will know what a failure you are. By testifying about Him, you are setting them up as targets. I will attack them.”

“Shut up Satan! I don’t write just to fill pages. I don’t write for myself. This is my legacy for my children. I write for them, to bring glory to God, and so others may know Him. I don’t negotiate with terrorists, and I am not responsible for others’ decisions. I am responsible to obey God and speak the truth.”

“This is hopeless, too hard. Just quit. You can’t attain such lofty goals.”

Jesus, give me a teachable spirit. Help me to hone the craft you have gifted me with. Excelsior! Ever higher! Ad astra per aspera. Through difficulties to the stars, to excellence. With God all things are possible.

“What if you run out of words to say? What if you have started something you can’t finish with this site of yours?”

I won’t pursue inspiration. I will pursue You, Jesus.

As the deer pants after the water brook, so my soul pants after You, oh God.   Psalm 42:1 NKJV    

rachael_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_looking_for_inspirarion“Give me words to praise You, Lord; speak to me, so I can speak to them. Jesus, I want to shake the world, show them Your love, and who You are. But I am so small. Here’s my five loaves and two fishes, Lord.”

So, how do I overcome writer’s doubt? I pray; I listen. I obey my calling, and write myself out of it.

 (Inhale. Exhale… Post.)

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

Waiting for Perfect

I was waiting for perfect, but it never showed up. So I decided I’d better start the journey without it. I thought I needed to be the perfect Christian, wife, mom, have the perfect family and coin the perfect phrases. Then I’d have something to say. Then God could use me. I mean, who am I?

But it’s not about who I am; it’s about who Jesus is. I am made for His glory. It’s Christ in me. I’m His work in progress, and His mercies are new every morning.

This doesn’t mean I can succumb to slackness, for I believe good enough is not good enough. My work needs to be well done. God doesn’t expect me to give what I don’t have, but when I obey His calling, He makes up for my lack. He equips me. The question is, am I willing to be honest about my shortcomings, and let Christ change me?

Sometimes, there is pain in the process, but there is joy in the journey, as I allow Him to change me from glory to glory. My God is a restorer. That’s why He likes to show up when things are broken. But we have to give ourselves to Him.

“So, here’s my mess, Lord.”

Parchment cloud-009 (2)

The Preacher said the power is in the going. The Bible says faith without
works is dead. And when God says
“Go,” we need to start walking.

Do you hear Him?

“Come. Walk with Me.”

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

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