Let’s just say it’s less than admirable.
Or maybe you have the opposite problem. You sense your mission, even feel it deeply, but can’t seem to move forward. You feel awkward, inadequate, or worry that your mission is self-serving.
You stall. You dream and plan. But you don’t meet your goals.
If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with both extremes.
My poor kids often get the brunt of option #1 when I get on a “I can’t stand this mess a minute longer” mission. Before you know it we’re all stressed and bickering.
But the bigger struggle for me has been the second issue. Am I really a writer/author? Do I have any talent? Is it self-serving to talk about my book? Who am I to promote my work?
God’s been working with me on this attitude for years, but this week a couple of people put it in greater perspective. I share it with you because I believe it is directly related to the ACFW Colorado vision. At its foundation are the concepts of Mission and Humility.
Mission is that thing deep inside that compels you to tell your stories. It’s the God-breathed truths you write that reach out through the power of word to impact others.
As Christians the core of our mission is to love God and people. As writers we love God, in part, by using the gift He’s given us and following boldly as He asks us to share it. We love people as we obey God. We write what we’re supposed to write and give the gifts of laughter, thoughtfulness, entertainment, healing, and/or rest. We’re hospitable. We invite guests to come into the world we’ve created and be refreshed, entertained, and sometimes even changed.
If core mission isn’t central in our thoughts, it’s easy for things to get turned upside down. Our focus is weighed heavily on our sales record, our number of contracts, the good reviews (or bad), or—let’s bring it a little closer home—how many people comment on our Facebook posts.
When we focus on performance we end up giving too much power to both our successes and failures. We become self-centered and plow others over. We became self-centered and beat ourselves up. Both the unkindness to self and the unkindness to others happen because the focus is . . . ME.
But if we redirect our focus to our mission, we become strong writers who aren’t afraid to share our words and market them. We want to use the resources God has given us to love others. We stand up under success and failure because it’s not about us anymore. We promote our work. Speak to others even if we’re shy. Write even when the inadequacy bug bites us. Because we’re on a mission to love God and love others.
And that’s living in humility.
For You and Him,
PS The two people who got me thinking about this post are authors Pete Ritzer and Mary Davis. Pete’s book, Seven Ox Seven, spent a month on Barnes and Noble’s homepage between the works of Jane Austen and James Patterson. Mary Davis has written over 15 romance novels and novellas. Her most recent release is A Carpenter Christmas in the collection A Cascades Christmas.
Paula Moldenhauer is passionate about God’s grace. An author and speaker, she has published over 300 times. Her first romance story, You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch in Postmark Christmas, and her first historical novel, Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal release in 2012. Paula serves as the ACFW Colorado Coordinator and was named Writer of the Year at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She and her husband enjoy homeschooling their four children. (Two down and two to go!) Paula loves peppermint ice cream and walking barefoot. Her greatest desire is to be close enough to Jesus to breathe His fragrance. Visit her at www.PaulaMoldenhauer.com.