If you attend Willowbrook, you heard our pastor mention during the sermon about a woman who was writing a book. The woman has small children and is dreaming big but starting small. If you don’t attend Willowbrook or weren’t there Sunday, you’re getting the idea that our Pastor mentioned a woman who is dreaming big but starting small. I knew he was going to make that reference during his sermon because it was me that he was referring to. He said my name in some of the services but in the service I went to he only referred to “a woman”. I guess that was my cue to announce to you–I’m writing a book. I’m not going to lie, typing those words, terrifies me.
I’ve been very hesitant to share with people that I’m writing a book. Only a handful of people knew before I published this post or Pastor Mark mentioned it Sunday. Announcing it to everybody seems to put more pressure on me. What if isn’t good? What will people think of me after I write it? What will people think of me if they find out I’m even writing a book?
I’m not a writer. In fact, most avid readers would hardly consider me much of a reader. I never wanted to be a writer, never longed to author a book.
I think that last part should be the opening for the book. You’d be hooked, right? Well, what can I say, it’s true. I’ve never had an angst to write, to put anything on paper (or the internet).
I’m a Bible Study teacher and speaker. I work with women at a Willowbrook and before that I worked with students. I’m comfortable speaking to a group of women or teaching a Bible Study. Most writers are happy to write eloquent words that move you, but ask them to get up in front of a group and speak, no thanks. But not me. I’ve been at home in front of an audience for a while. I enjoy speaking and teaching.
So, why write? I guess because I feel I have to. [Tweet “God has so stirred my heart for the church that I feel flapping my lips isn’t enough. “]I began praying back in the summer for God to give me clear direction as to steps He wanted me to take to further His Kingdom and allow me to know Him more. It just so happens that number five on the list He gave me was to write a book.
When I felt led to #5 Write a Book, all I could think of was when I make a list for the grocery store and lose it before I get in the store almost every time! How am I supposed to write a book? I can’t even successfully grocery shop! I felt overwhelmed… clueless…well, those about sum it up. I don’t know how to write a book or when I’m supposed to find time to write this book. So, I argued and went to God like Moses and said, “God, I’m not a writer. You’ll need to get someone else.” My husband, Jared, seemed like a good option. Now, he is a good writer. All through our years at seminary, Jared could crank out a paper faster than I could and it was good.
But God didn’t tell Jared to write, He told me. It didn’t take long for me to surrender because I knew enough to know God would eventually win the argument. So, I obeyed. I already knew what God wanted me to write about so—I started to write.
And then He gave me number six. #6 Slow down and let Me move. When God told me to write, I became a bit frantic. I felt the need to write a book within a month, and then, what? Am I supposed to get it published? I panicked. In God’s peaceful way, He spoke to me and told me to slow down and wait for Him. He would show me the next step. He would give me the game plan–as I listened to Him.
Slowing—one of the spiritual disciplines many struggle with the most. We live in a fast-paced, more-is-better culture. But God’s way is counter-culture. God’s way is in God’s time, not ours. So, yes, I’m writing a book, one I feel God is writing through me. I’m writing it slowly. Two mornings a week, I get up an hour early and write on the book (that’s 2 hours/week that I write on this thing). So far, I’ve written three chapters in two months. I’ve outlined the book to be somewhere around 15-20 chapters. So, at this pace, I’ve got a while on this project.
In my mind, it seems like I’m nailing #6. However, I’m glad I’ve slowed. Slowing and waiting on God allows me to hear from Him. It allows me to not get ahead of the message He has to share. It also has changed me from Bobi Ann,
a writer to Bobi Ann, a writer.
For me, slowing isn’t just about this endeavor. Slowing is about hearing from God. Slowing is realizing that the cashier who wants to make conversation when you just want to get out of the store, is an opportunity God put in front of you. Slowing is sitting down and cuddling with your children when you really need to fold laundry or start dinner, because God is using you to build His Kingdom in their lives. [Tweet “Slowing is not about letting God move as much as it is recognizing His movement.”]
Will the book be published? I have no idea. It is true that I have been in contact with some publishers. That has been God’s design, not my own. I didn’t seek it out. God told me to write, so I’m writing, not trying to figure out the publishing thing at this point. He’ll have to show me the next step. What’s the book about? In short, it’s about Philippians 3:16.
Philippians 3:16 “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
Stay tuned as God continues to shape that answer. I’ll post bits of the book through some of my posts. What I know is if I’m going to continue to hear from God, I have to slow down, trim away the excess and be ready for what God puts in front of me.
Question: Why is it so hard to slow down? What ways have you found help you to slow down and hear from God? I’d love your input about what has worked for you.