Awesome God!

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:19 NKJV

 The Lord sure workethed my patience on this one.

In the spring I noticed it was getting harder and harder to see clearly. The problem was cataracts. Simple to fix. Just have them surgically removed.

Getting the surgery scheduled, however, wasn’t so simple. It wasn’t until mid-October that both eyes were finally done, ending five months of having poor DH drive me everywhere I needed to go. So I thought.

After the surgeries, my vision was brighter, clearer – but still out of focus. The doctor wanted to wait until my eyes were healed up before prescribing new eyeglasses. DH would have to be my chauffeur for another six weeks.

So last Monday, at long last, I went to get my eyes measured for new glasses. Clear vision was just around the corner.

But a funny thing happened before my appointment.

Now, this past summer I began a decluttering project to reorganize my study. Boxes and bins of stuff that need to be sorted through still wait in the dining room.

Sunday afternoon I decided to rid the dining room of one large bin and put the books back on the bookcase shelves. However, not all of them would make the cut. So I asked DH to please bring me an empty bin. I knew there was at least one downstairs.

But instead of an empty one, he brought me one filled with documents, files, check registers, and duplicate checks dating back four to five years. So instead of putting books back on the shelves, I began shredding.

Among the outdated papers, I found an eyeglass case. I have several of those around, mostly empty because you never know when you might need a nice, sturdy case. I was about to drop it in the garbage but put it on my desk instead.

The next morning I got up early to work on my novel before my eye doctor appointment. I spied the eyeglass case on my desk and opened it. It wasn’t empty. It contained a pair of glasses I’d worn at least 10 years ago.

“I’ll take these to the eye doctor,” I thought, “and donate them to his collection of used eyeglasses for Third World countries.”

On a whim, I put them on.

Glory be! I could see! Clearly! Everything was in focus!

I wore them to town, loving every second of seeing clearly what I hadn’t been able to see for months, and had the eye doctor determine the lenses’ strength. When he tested my eyes for my new prescription, he noted the measurements were close to what the old lenses were.

“Do I even need new glasses?” I asked him. “Or can I use these old ones?”

I mean, they don’t look retro or anything, wire frames and all.

“It’s up to you,” he answered.

Well, I’ve been praising the Lord ever since. I mean, He saved me hundreds of dollars.

I imagine God must be chuckling up there.

You see, just the day before I preached a sermon in which I challenged my little flock to trust God for all their needs.

“God has never let me down,” I told them.

But never did I dream He’d provide my new glasses with old ones that I almost discarded.

Only God.

What do you need to trust Him for today?

Dear God, you are just awesome! Thank You for the wonderful surprises You bless me with every day. Amen.

 Read and meditate on Matthew 6:25–33 

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

 

Work-In-Progress Problems

 

I am sure that God Who began the good work in you will keep on working in you until the day Jesus Christ comes again. Philippians 1:6 (NLV)

GhostMountainFrontFinalI’ve written and rewritten the first few chapters of my current work-in-progress so many times, I’ve lost count. I do save what I’ve deleted from the working manuscript, just in case there’s something I want to put back in the story. There are probably as many words in the deleted files that are in the “keep” files.

When I wrote the blurb for Ghost Mountain, the second book in the PennWoods Mystery series, I had a clear idea of what the plot would be. However, as I wrote, the story took on a life and direction of its own, and, seven chapters into it, I have yet to introduce the antagonist (the bad guy) and get to the events mentioned in the description.

Since I published the blurb in the back of the first book and readers are expecting that storyline, I can’t change it. But tell that to this stubborn story. So it’s back to revising the first chapters so I can weave in the villain and set up the main conflict of the story, which I already described.

The other problem I’m dealing with is my own perfectionism. When writing the first draft, I’m supposed to let it flow and lock up the editor in me. But she wiggles out and takes charge, interrupting the flow of the action and calling attention to things that are supposed to be addressed in the revision phase. She wants it to be perfect now and doesn’t want to wait. I don’t know why I don’t bind her with imaginary duct tape, lock her up in one of the closets of my mind, and throw away the key.

But I want this book to be better than the last one—writing-wise and story-wise. I want to grow as a fiction writer and become a better writer with each novel I produce. Hence the editor trumps the muse.

Nothing wrong with improving yourself, right?

But I’m splitting the proverbial hair, and my focus on perfectionism only stymies me.

I need to follow the advice of countless published novelists: write first, revise next, polish last. I need to let the muse dance. It’s her time to shine.

This manuscript and me have a lot in common—we’re both works in progress.

But often I’m like my stubborn manuscript—wanting to go my own way instead of following my Creator’s planned storyline for me. My manuscript, however, doesn’t give me permission to change it. I just take charge and do what I know is best. God, however, waits for us, His manuscripts, to give Him permission before He begins to revise.

Another way I liken my growth as a Christian to writing is my tendency to perfectionism. I want to be perfect now. I don’t want to have to go through the things that will transform me into the masterpiece my Creator has planned.

E.B White, the author of the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web and a much-acclaimed stylebook on writing, once said, “The best writing is rewriting.”

God is the Master Wordsmith.

He’s the One who’s writing and revising me, one chapter at a time.

When I become impatient with myself, remind me, Father, that I’m still a work-in-progress. Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 138:8Isaiah 64:8, and Ephesians 2:10

 Ghost Mountain, Book 2 in the Pennwoods Mystery series, will be released this fall.