Monday, June 19, 2006

Encouragement for the Day

Happy Monday, BGs. I have to say, this new blog look is great. Finally I don’t have to explain what BGs means anymore.

Did the men in your life—or you—have a good Father’s Day? We had a good day celebrating my husband at dinner on Saturday in our Coeur d’Alene home (the day our son and daughter could both be with us). Coeur d’Alene—a wonderful family town—always holds it Car d’Alene show on Father’s Day weekend. It’s a big show of old cars and spitzy cars and red cars and blue cars. (How easily I fall into Go, Car, Go.) There’s a driving parade Friday night, with hundreds of them parked on the downtown streets all day Saturday for viewing (the streets are portioned off). Perfect weekend for such a show.

Now we’re back in California (sigh). Although not for long. My daughter (going to be a senior next year in high school!) and I are going to Kentucky on Thursday for our annual family reunion. (Hubby can’t go this year—too much going on at work.) Then it’s back to Coeur d’Alene for July 4th weekend (extended, because it has the nerve to fall on a Tuesday). Fly back to California on the fifth, then on the sixth it’s off to Denver for the ChiLibris retreat and annual International Christian Retailers Show (ICRS, formerly CBA). Somewhere in here I’m supposed to be rewriting Kanner Lake book #2, starting book #3—and the marketing for Violet Dawn (book #1) is really gearing up. I swear I could be doing that full time right now. The Scenes and Beans blog goes live in just a couple weeks. And the book launch party’s at the end of August (in Coeur d’Alene). You’ll be hearing updates on all these things.

Enough rambling. Suffice it to say—welcome back after the weekend, BGs.

And a big thank you to Bonnie Calhoun, who sent me a code for posting photos when blogger doesn’t feel like blotoing. (Hey, we got ourselves another new word.) I’m saving the code for the future.

For today—a couple weeks ago, when we were in the middle of our series on character empathy, I received a very nice e-mail from a new BG. Totally made my day. I was very grateful (still am) that the person took the time to write and encourage me. I’m running the letter anonymously with the person’s permission.
I've been reading your blog and catching up on your "How I Got Here" tale. That's right. All 65 segments. As such, I feel like I know you even though you have no idea who I am. That's the danger of blogs, isn't it? (And it occurs to me that I'm one of those SLs -- Silent Lurkers -- that you see in the shadows. It's because I'm painfully introverted, but I'm not dangerous. I promise.)

I'm so thankful for you and for your gift and for how you share it with the world. It gives me hope and encouragement. I would say I'm sorry for your trials and suffering, but I know you don't feel that way and God does work all things together for good for those who love him, right? :)

For years I've asked myself, "Is it this hard for everyone? Do other writers -- especially those called to write for the Lord -- struggle with EVERY SINGLE line? Do they doubt themselves? Doubt God? Doubt others who tell them a piece is good?" I thought if my desire to write full time was truly from the Lord, He'd make it... well, easier. Silly me. There are things I know in my head and things I feel in my heart. My head says the enemy is going to use every trick he can to stop a blessing from God. To stop a person from serving Him. My heart says, "I've had enough, Lord! I can't do it anymore!"

But I can do it. Like you wrote, I have willed myself to believe in God's strength and power. To believe in His everlasting goodness. To believe in the gift He gave me to use for Him. I'm learning a great deal from you, Brandilyn, in character as well as craft. Thank you for your faithfulness to God. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with readers. Thank you for encouraging scads of people without even knowing you do it. :)
Nice, huh. I read a letter like that, and I’m very humbled, because taking the time to write it—out of the blue—is such a giving thing to do. This person is thanking me for being encouraging, but goodness, that’s just what this letter itself is doing. It makes me think—who should I be encouraging in his or her ministry/career/life/whatever with an uplifting letter or e-mail? A bit of encouragement can go such a long way.

How about you? Who should you be encouraging?

And by the way, if you want to respond to something in the letter, I’m sure the new BG will appreciate it.


Sheryl said...

Boy, do I understand the thought "if it was of the Lord it would be easy." But, as He has so graciously shown me through the years, if it was easy, I'd think it was my own ability or strength or talent (or whatever)that enabled me to do it. Then that nasty pride issue comes in :-)

Dear BG, just remember Romans 5:3-5 (greatly paraphrased) which says, suffering produces perseverence, perseverence produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint.


Gina Holmes said...

Thank you letter writer and thank you BC for sharing it. It encouraged me as well.

Tina said...

Anonymous, thanks for letting Brandilyn post your letter. I can relate to everything you said. Especially the thought, "I've had enough, Lord. I can't do it anymore."

I'm so grateful to have found this blog where we can learn from BC and also encourage one another. Sometimes the only encouragement I need is knowing that most of us here are in the same boat.

Kjersten said...

I can relate with you anonomys. And I'll triplefly the wuchaks to you Brandilyn.

This verse came to me while reading SLs post. Thankk God we've got God.

But resist him, be steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:9-10 (NASB)

This last part gives me hope of hopes. Something I'm clinging to for my life. Wuchaks Brandilyn for sharing your life and your heart.

Indeed your life is an encouragement.

Victoria Gaines said...

Such an encouragement to us as well, this letter from your new BG. Hi Brandy--hope you have a GREAT week. Love the blog!

CHickey said...

Wow! It's letters like this one that keep you going when the writing gets tough!

Gina Burgess said...

I adore getting encouraging words! It makes my whole week and then some. I'm still carrying around a letter written by a friend from 2002. It only takes a minute and it lasts a lifetime. You go, BG! Excellent reminder, Brandi... you are very good at those great questions that spark a reaction.

Tiff/Amber Miller said...

I'm also a new BG on this blog, and I loved this remark:

"There are things I know in my head and things I feel in my heart. My head says the enemy is going to use every trick he can to stop a blessing from God. To stop a person from serving Him. My heart says, 'I've had enough, Lord! I can't do it anymore!'"

Well said! I struggle with this all the time. Especially while I'm still waiting for that first book contract. Making small strides along the way with publications, but my name on the cover for the first time will be the start of something big! Just have to get there!

And encouragement goes a long way with me. It lets me know someone out there is thinking about me, even if the note is just 1 line or a post to my own blog, or even a response to something I write. Makes such a difference in my daily struggle with feeling alone in this business and helps me keep going.

Encouragement is like a battery charger. And when it's given on a regular basis, I feel like the Energizer Bunny! :)

Tiff/Amber Fiction-Filled Life

Tiff/Amber Miller said...

"if it was easy, I'd think it was my own ability or strength or talent..."

Well-said, Sheryl. God gives us challenges so we'll know it's by HIS strength that we will overcome. How great a promise that is!

Tiff/Amber Fiction-Filled Life