Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Day #21 – 30 Day Challenge

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c20Today’s section from Thirty Days of Devotion is the final one about passions: identifying them, using them, and deciphering between what is God-given and what is corrupted either from personal agendas or unholy desires.

In particular, this article piggy-backs the one about saying “no” to opportunities and requests to which God is not leading. I find saying no so much more difficult than saying yes!

The story shared in today’s entry in Thirty Days of Devotion is an example of a time when I didn’t say “no.” And from the beginning, my work was a struggle. So unlike the God-directed ministries with which I’d been working. (Not that this new project wasn’t God-directed. I wasn’t being directed there by the Lord.)

I don’t regret my mistake, though. I learned so much from it. Probably my biggest lesson was what life looks like when I don’t follow well.

  • I had no “intuition” about what to do. Usually I could jump right in and fix things, but with this I had to be assigned.
  • I failed at some of the tasks I had. Not because I didn’t do them well, but because I didn’t anticipate how they needed to be done for the purpose.
  • New tasks popped up for me that I wasn’t good at. I’d been great at spread sheets and organizing things, but contacting hundreds of people to ask for volunteers was not my forte. AT ALL!
  • I started dreading every email that came through.
  • Anytime I was asked about the project, I had to paint a smile and fake enthusiasm. That’s just not me.
  • Being in a position of leadership, I had to see a lot of ugliness from folks calling themselves Christians.
  • At the point of fruition, the stress levels were so high, I had trouble enjoying a moment of the big night.

I’m so glad I had that lesson with that particular group of ladies. So full of grace and urging me to follow the Lord’s leading! And I’m pleased that they didn’t get a whiff of the frustration I’d been feeling until we started planning for the next year. But still, I can’t help but wonder at how things would have been so much smoother had the right person been in the position.

Saying “yes” to the wrong project – even a ministry – can be such a trap. Whether the pressure comes from misplaced guilt, friends, or personal agendas, if the leading doesn’t come from the Lord, the answer needs to be “no.”

Your Turn: I know not all of you reading deal with this type of issue. But everyone has a path that they are following. What are you doing at this point in your life that you can tell the Lord is blessing? Maybe educating your kids or making meals for neighbors? Doesn’t have to be a long term project. Maybe God’s been tapping you on the shoulder to try something new?

Tomorrow, we’ll be refocusing on our plan here. Just another week or so to go! Join us for the chat on “I Think I Can, I Think I Can” from Thirty Days of Devotion.

I love the song for today’s section! This song was one of my solos when I sang with a group in college. The sincerity of the message still affects me!

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

4 thoughts on “Day #21 – 30 Day Challenge

  1. Well, I think the Lord is blessing my new endeavor of illustrating. I know that He wants me to write, and He gave me ideas for many picture books for children. So when I couldn’t find an illustrator, I prayed about doing it myself. I am not trained (except for a wonderful art teacher we had in 5th – 8th grade), and I feel like maybe my illustrations live in a bizarre world where physics is defied. lol But, I am enjoying what I’m doing, and I feel that the Lord is helping me. Now illustrating a second book, about 1/4 done. It is something I can do while stuck in bed and is a blessing to me. Hopefully it will be a blessing to others as well.

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    • Exactly what I was thinking of. For me, it’s indie publishing. Having taken this new career, I assumed for several years that the Lord had traditional publishing in mind for me, but He continued to impress upon me the purpose that I had when I began writing. Traditional publishing and the esteem that naturally goes with that was not part of the purposes for my writing. It took a little getting used to, but I’m pleased that I took the step.

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  2. Thanks. Just the right word and song for my aching heart today. Blessings.

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