Thursday, July 18, 2013

30 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 18

Yesterday's winner of Ring of Secrets is:

Abbi Hart

Keep entering for your chance for today's copy of the book and for Friday's drawing of the Tea Light Garden!

I'm also guest posting today on Christian Bookshelf Reviews, which means a whole other giveaway over there! Feel free to come by!!

Thoughtful About . . . Shining On

I'm not used to blogging everyday--just sayin'. ;-) I used to blog 5 days a week, then cut down to 3 once I had deadlines to meet. So this month has been challenging to me--and also so rewarding! As I sat there yesterday thinking about what I wanted to talk about today, I realized that the post many of readers most love and remember sums up perfectly why I do what I do...and how hard it can be.

Those of you who have been around for a while might remember this. But since many of you are newer to Writing Roseanna, let me introduce you to "Shine." (The original post has been tweaked to fit the current context.)

At the start of the year 2011 (two months, as it turns out, before the contract for my first big-press book, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland), I was praying for a word from the Lord,  both for me and our small church. A word that was either something to live up to and strive toward, a goal, or a promise from our Father.

Saturday morning (we're Sabbath keepers) I was making bulletins for church and choosing the songs to sing. My usual method of doing so is to consider time of year, sermon topic, and otherwise just do a quick prayer and flip and pick whatever catches my eye. Said method resulted in our opening hymn being "Shine, Jesus, Shine." I typed the page number and title without thinking much about it.
Then in church, as we sang it, I got that shiver of awareness all through me, and my voice wobbled. My heart welled up inside. I could barely sing, barely play the organ. Because I knew the Lord had just given me my word: Shine.

Still playing, still singing, I started to pray. Was this a private word, just for me, or did it go for the church too? I'd been praying that whatever He gave us for the church, He give to several of us for confirmation. So I asked Him to make clear who all this word was intended for.

After we sang the chorus the final time, my mom (the worship leader) raised her hand and said she wanted us to sing that chorus again. And more, she wanted us to make it our prayer for the year. That the light of the Lord would shine through us, and that we would be the mirror to reflect Christ and his love. My dad (the pastor) added that the words "set our hearts on fire" struck him, and that we ought to pray for that too. And so I also added what I'd been praying for, and how this leaped out as an answer.

I get shivers again remembering. We're a small church, a tiny congregation of mostly-family. Yet in this little body of believers, I've grown closer to the Lord, I've heard from Him more, and I've felt the moving of the Spirit more than in all my life before, combined. And on Saturday, I latched onto this newest whisper of my God.


Shining isn't easy. It means being bright when you feel dull. It means projecting out when you want to huddle in. It means being filled with light and heat when you might want to crawl into a cool, dark corner and sleep for a century or two. 

And not just that--because we are not light in ourselves, because we are, on our own, empty vessels, it means, like my mom said, being that mirror for Christ. Not just when we're "on," not just when we're trying, but always. It means, like my Dad pointed out, having hearts on fire for our Lord and Savior.

I'm not going to claim that I'm this brilliant, shining creature, enjoying the success of the Lord's word. But I choose to share it with you all because I want to be accountable, and because I think it's a word we can all share. If ever you see me stuck in a shadow, remind me to Shine. And if ever I see you in one, I'll point my mirror your way and try to share what light I've got with you.

That's the beauty of being a mirror--we can reflect on others without losing anything. So come on, friends. Shine with me. Let's fill the land with the awesomeness of His presence.

If your year's goal could be summed up in one word, 
what would it be?

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  1. My one word would be "Health". My husband and I have been so sick this past year. Just can't stay well for more than 6 weeks. Don't really know why we keep catching everything but I swear, someone with a could could walk past my house and I'd catch it or my husband would. I can't speak for my stubborn husband but I take my vitamins everyday, try to eat healthy, get enough sleep, wash my hands...I'm just at a loss.

  2. Roseanna, this is a hard goal to give with just one word. Guess will choose "Healthier."
    I have had to miss so much church the past two years because of being sick and the doctors seem to never find the reason. So my goal is to be healthier,. I really hate not getting to go to Sunday School and preaching church. And, having fellowship with all of my Christian friends. Enjoyed you telling us about SHINE. Was good. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  3. My word would be "write". Simple, but it gets my point across. I want to write as much as possible, grow in my writing craft, and complete at least two novels. (Or, complete the first drafts, anyway.)

  4. Enjoy would have to be my one word. I need to do it more with my kids and hubby!

  5. This IS a tough one. I think, for this year, I'm gonna have to say EMBRACE - whether it's my kids, friends, difficult tasks before me, or something else. I need to take life on wholeheartedly.

    Great post, Roseanna :)

  6. "Wait." Hope is the sub-theme, and the theme verse Lamentations 3:26: "It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." Waiting isn't so hard when you have no choice; maintaining hope while waiting is the tricky part. Thus the whole section of Lamentations 3:21-33 has been on my heart, which speaks on how great is His faithfulness and His mercies are new every morning.

    And so I am practicing patience and waiting, hoping for "now".

  7. My word for the year is BELIEVE and then moving forward with God in so many areas of my life. :)

  8. To accomplish more. Especially in the speech and debate competitions I am a part of. I want to do more.

  9. Being Gods light shining in a dark world Shine as you call it
    Look up Matthew 5 16

  10. My word would have to be relax. I have trouble with anxiety. Keep thinking of the verse "Come to me all you who are troubled and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest."

  11. Thanks for sharing your word with us, Roseanna. Such a sweet story and I love the way God revealed it to all of you during the same song. Truly touching.

    Confidence sums up my year thus far. Learning to have confidence in the Lord. My writing. Increasing my confidence in my tutoring job and the way I present myself to the world. God has helped me by infusing my life with confidence from many directions. So many people have encouraged me this year and my confidence level has boosted from that.


  12. I didn't catch this yesterday, and I can't think of an answer for this year, but I was touched by someone else's answer before me about 'rest'. The year of 1994 turned out to be a very bad year for our family that included job insecurity and eventually my husband being laid off his job, as well as other rough situations.

    I was a stay at home mom at the time with a family of 5 children, so this was our only income. After learning about the loss of his job the word 'rest' was brought to my attention by God. This seemed like a strange word for someone who now had no income--shouldn't we be concentrating on looking for a new job for him? But that was NOT what God had in mind for us--instead He had us go to a Christian retreat for a week of 'rest' and family time. There was no TV or telephone, and since it was off season for the retreat there was nothing going on except daily life with staff and a daily Bible study, so there was LOTS of time for reconnecting as a family--hiking, swinging on a tire swing in the woods, etc. The rest of the year turned out to include more 'rough' things to deal with including a diagnosis of breast cancer for me at the end of the year, but God wanted us to take that time to reconnect as a family and rest in him, to prepare for the remaining times during that upcoming year.
    That was almost 19 years ago, and God is still guiding us through His plans for us, even as our family has split into adult children with their own families and now my husband and I traveling all the time for his work. Yes, we now have an empty nest, but it is also somewhat means empty altogether, since we are gone so much. We now depend on Him even more to guide our steps and enjoy the times when we ARE at home with our children and grandchildren now. Hmm...I think I just figured out my word for this year--Trust! We have to trust Him to guide us through our future days, weeks and the remainder of the year.