Ever Try to Earn Your Worth?


Anybody out there grown worth-weary?

tired-418902_1280I have. I’ve worn myself out, clawing my way through one more task, one more chore, one more word. Truth be told, to earn my worth.

Have I done enough? 

Written enough? 

Spoken enough? 

Enough for what? Another pat on the back or smile? An award? A sense of worth?

sewing-machine-and-thimble-1369661_1280For years I sewed, sometimes until 3:00 a.m. (That’s what Super Mom does, right?) I grabbed a couple hours of sleep and trotted off to work by 7:00 a.m. Trouble is, I had nothing left for my employer. And by 6:00 p.m. I possessed not a shred of energy for my husband or my children. 

book-164758_1280I‘ve been known to write for twelve hours straight. But by bedtime my back aches, my eyes are crossed, and I can’t think straight. It’s all I can do to stumble past my husband and into bed. At those times, I’ve closed my ears to God’s voice enough_ad-nauseum-1562850_1280through His divine megaphone: “Enough, already!”

It’s easier to express my thoughts and emotions in writing than with the spoken word. So at times I regret not speaking up or speaking out enough. I have yet to figure out what’s enough. But God isn’t stumped.

What Does God’s Word Say?

And let us not be weary in well-doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 
Galatians 6:9 (ASV)

The Apostle Paul encourages the Galatian church not to be weary in well-doing. In the past I thought that meant to concentrate on the well-doing and push aside the weary. 

But I have a different take today. God created us to grow weary. Weariness has a purpose. Like pain, a la C.S. Lewis, megaphone-1167348_1280weariness can serve as God’s megaphone

How am I to Respond?

Take Rio’s 2016 Olympic rowing competition for example. The coxswains didn’t hold megaphones as in the old days. They issued calls from their diaphragms in a language their teammates understood and in tones the rowers recognized.

Winners had built more than muscle strength. They’d honed their listening skills, response time, and output. Winners responded to the coxswains in ways that achieved the goal without depleting their strength.

LBD_calling-of-ella-mcfarland-6 copy-enhancedI’m immensely honored to have received ACFW‘s Carol Award in the Debut Novel category for The Calling of Ella McFarland, As I look back on the years of mulling over the idea and researching the subject matter, I can relive a sense of weariness. But unlike my younger days, I recall stopping the press, if you will, to rest. My goal wasn’t to win the Carol Award. It was to leave a legacy of faith in writing for my grandchildren. For Jesus’ sake.

Not to earn my worth but to show God’s. IMG_4784

My spine is crooked from years of bending over a sewing machine or a desk. Had I heeded God’s voice in my weariness, no doubt I would sit straighter and experience less pain at the end of a day of writing. I can’t undo the past, but I can adjust my behavior in the present and consider the future without anxiety. rest-1392482_1280


I can’t earn my worth … only cling to Jesus’. Trust Him with my labor. And obey when He shouts, “You’re weary. Rest!” 

P.S. Excuse me while I take a holy nap.

6 thoughts on “Ever Try to Earn Your Worth?

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us. We’re worthy, alright, cuz Jesus made us so. No need to prove it, cuz He did it all just for me, and y’all. Blessings,

    1. How could He stoop to love us so? We won’t understand until we get to Heaven, will we? Thanks for commenting, Cass. You’ve encouraged me.

  2. Linda, proud of you on so many levels–for your award (but we don’t write for them, do we?), for your work ethic, and most especially for the way you’ve witnessed with your life.

    1. Like Ella, I wonder How is it I’ve come to be so blessed? I so want to be a faithful steward of His gifts and blessings. I know you do, too, Richard. Thank you for commenting. You have blessed me.

  3. Linda,
    This is still so exciting!!!

    1. Yes! Thanks so much for sharing it with me, new friend!


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Writing Hurts



Writing what an author knows isn’t simple. Writing hurts. (Tweet That!)

Has anyone out there experienced a broken heart? Rejection? Betrayal? Desertion? 


How about the death of one so dear you can’t imagine living another day yourself? 

Or the burial of all your dreams and plans alongside your child? 

Smith_Wilson-Lee_gravestone_79bd5963-8773-4a3b-9d4b-b9aaba3d09e6Don’t we long to move from the shock and denial of grief to the ultimate stage of acceptance? Who wants to go back?

How does revisiting pain sit with you as either a writer or a reader? Can you watch such memories morph from black and white to Technicolor without flipping off the switch? How does any author set it out there in all its bitterness and leave it for the world to worried-girl-413690_960_720view?

Writers have a choice when writing. They can revisit innocence, fulfillment, success, love, laughter alone … all the aspects of life that bring us joy and peace … and experience delight again and again and again. 

grief-1022032_960_720Or they can tackle hard places. For words to touch the depths of readers’ hearts, authors must revisit guilt, shame, misery, dissatisfaction, failure, loss, lovelessness, loneliness, depression, grief, and tears. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder *[Public Domain]

As a writer of historical fiction, I appreciate authors like Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote Little House in the Big Woods and the stories that followed, and Catherine Marshall, who penned Christy

Would the “Little House” stories be remembered today without the struggles involved in homesteading on the prairie? Danger from Indians, illness, death, drought, crop destruction, and the foibles of characters like Nellie Oleson?

What effect would Christy have on readers if Catherine Marshall hadn’t exposed Appalachian poverty, illiteracy, 

Ona's husband George Brooks never advanced far beyond dirt poor.

lack of proper hygiene and medical care, challenges to faith, and the destructive nature of family feuds and revenge?

Such hard realities aren’t easy to consider, dwell on, and communicate. Harder still, the “heart” issues that result: rejection, unworthiness, estrangement, hatred, and grief.

But wrestling in hard places produces richer fare. It shows the depth of light-pathway_1345753_960_720darkness and the desperate need for light. (Tweet That!) It reveals pathways the darkness hid. It brings into focus human frailties and our need for power outside ourselves. 

As an author it isn’t easy to write what I know. It hurts. But it’s rewarding. Because it grows me. It forces me to plug into the only Source of Power outside myself, the Light Himself.

darkness_eye-1359234_960_720So, writers, we must take heart. It’s worth it. And, readers, thank authors who take you to hard and dark places and then scatter the darkness with the Light, who is Jesus. It isn’t easy. It hurts.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12 NIV


*[Public Domain] Laura Ingalls Wilder, circa 1885
Unknown photographer – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2511787
File:Laura Ingalls Wilder cropped sepia2.jpg
Created: circa 1885

2 thoughts on “Writing Hurts

  1. You are so right, Linda! The first book I wrote [Party of One — yet unpublished] was a fictionalization of my life as a widow. Good times made for good stories, but tough times makes them richer.

    1. Because of the dark valley you walked, Clarice, you can write reality into a story and make it richer. Thank you for sharing that with us. I hope you’ll publish it.


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