Estimated reading time: 3 minutes:-)
Something really cool happened to me this week.
I’ve had a long couple of days. I came home from school with a fever on Wednesday, and I felt awful through Thursday night. I’m much better now, but Thursday night I was stressed about catching up on school and I felt horrible. Not only that, but I have an editing deadline in a month, recently extended, so that was on my mind. I was a mess.
But in the midst of my pity party, God was working.
A family friend texted me that night and sent me a picture of a boy, holding a book-mobile. She explained he was her nephew and had read my book for school. The book-mobile had pieces of paper dangling from two hangers, and one piece of paper had “Far Below Human Eyes” scrawled across it, with dragonfly stickers everywhere.
Maybe I was just tired, but I was so touched by the picture, I nearly started crying.
God reminded me of the “why” behind all the hard work that night. The reason I do it in the first place.
Publishing is stressful, as I’m sure any job can be. It’s not as easy as shipping your story off to a building in New York and letting it fly. When I’m not at school or practice or rehearsal, I’m staring at my computer, trying to keep my website updated, formatting my next book, brainstorming unique content to post on social media, or researching book signing opportunities. Editing is one of the most stressful challenges of publishing, mostly because I’m not a trained editor, so it takes me much longer to ‘perfect’ a novel (even though it’s far from perfect). And the deadlines make that responsibility even more difficult.
Being in the midst of that season now, it’s easy for me to forget the big picture. Focusing on all the details of publishing distracts me from the reason I do any of it in the first place.
But this picture, of this incredible young man holding his fantastic book-mobile, reminded me of that reason again.
I shouldn’t write so people can pay attention to me. So I can be rich. So I can be famous or recognized. These motivations only lead to stress and dissatisfaction.
I should write for the glory of God. I should write so He can speak through me. I should write so people can meet Jesus. When Jesus is my motivation, I am so much more fulfilled. And when I recognize that it’s Him who sustains me, my stress is replaced with peace.
Below, I’ve collected a few verses as reminders of where my motivation should lie. Truthfully, these are personal reminders more than anything. I struggle with keeping my focus on God and the lives He wants me to touch. But if you struggle with the same thing, take these verses to heart as well.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
Isaiah 26:3 ~ “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Proverbs 16:3 ~ “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Colossians 3:23 ~ “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
Galatians 6:7-8 ~ “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
This week, I was reminded, in the middle of one of my most stressful days, that I write for God and not for myself. Not for money. Not for fame. For God and his children.
And I hope you’re reminded, too—in whatever you do, whether you’re a mom or a student or a brother or a sister or a teacher—that your strength, motivation, and purpose lies in Christ. Not in the things of this world.
And to that boy in the picture—thank you for reminding me of my reason. Thank you for reading my book and making me feel so loved on a hard day! And thank you most of all for showing me Christ when I was distracted:-)