Monday, March 13, 2017

Writing for God Begins at Home

By Lori Stanley Roeleveld


My son-in-law is a chef. You'd think he'd be sick of cooking when not at the restaurant, but instead, we have gourmet meals at holidays. 

My husband is a construction manager. You’d think he’d be exhausted at day’s end (and you’d be correct), but that doesn’t stop him from renovating our home, putting up bookshelves for our daughter, or helping neighbors with projects.

I’m a writer.

Thank God that early in my writing endeavors, I encountered a study in our local newspaper stating that the unhappiest spouses were those in unhappy marriages to good communicators. I flashed immediately on my tirade to my husband just the night before. I’d spelled out in great eloquence the depth and breadth of what I believed were our troubles (largely attributed to him). God took the opportunity to instruct me that the people in my life should be the first to benefit from my gift with words—not become victims of it.

If you’d interviewed my family about what it’s like to love a writer before that awakening, they might have had few positive things to say about it. (What’s there to say about someone shouting through a closed office door: “Not now! Can’t you see I’m writing?”)

After that, though, I took to heart that God likely intended to bless my family, friends, local church, and community through my writing before He unleashed me on the world. I sought opportunities to serve those I love with my words through praise, cards, notes, letters to the editor, church plays, and assistance with everything from resumes to eulogies.

God gave me an expanded vision that my writing ministry could have an immediate impact on the world right outside my office door without ever hitting the best-seller list. I realized that even if I never became a “published author,” He desires to use my words to further His kingdom. That’s when my words began to bless and build up my spouse, children, and extended family. They served friends and fellow worshippers. They provided light to coworkers.

Because God is so great, many of those acts I initially saw as sacrificial (read “time away from my real writing”) became unexpected stepping stones in my writing career. My agent discovered my work through letters to the editor in the paper. Church plays became some of my earliest published work, providing me with initial writing credentials. But, by then, I’d realized that was all beside the point.

The benefits of using my writing gift to bless my marriage, parenting, friendships, and relationships in the greater community are immeasurable. I shudder to think what damage my words could have caused if God hadn’t corrected me early on. Like a superhero gone bad, those of us who are skilled with words need to be sure we’re using them for good and not for evil. Writing for God begins at home.

I learned that lesson just in time.

What lessons have you learned through this writing journey? We would love to hear from you.


(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)


TWEETABLES





Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an inciteful blog since 2009, a pursuit that eventually resulted in two provocative non-fiction books, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) and Jesus and the Beanstalk (Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life) as well as an unsettling novella, Red Pen Redemption. If you don’t find her at her website, www.loriroeleveld.com, know she’s off slaying dragons. Lori lives in Rhode Island with her husband and surrounded by family, absolutely surrounded.




3 comments:

  1. Well said, Lori. Timely and true. A sobering reminder we all need.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post, Lori. Thank you so much for sharing. These are words I need to remember on a daily basis. I love the sentence "I realized that even if I never became a “published author,” He desires to use my words to further His kingdom." So true and so refreshing. Well said.

    ReplyDelete

We value you and your input very much! Please don't hate us for using word verification - we like to keep spammers out. Thanks for taking the time to share your love with each other and us!