Friday, June 11, 2010
Finding Contentment by Joyce's Client Lisa Harris
I’m pleased to present a guest blog from Lisa Harris who is a missionary in Mozambique and has lived in Africa . Lisa’s newest book is Blood Ransom published by Zondervan. The second book in this series will be Blood Covenant. It will be released in 2011. There has been a huge response to Kathy Macias’s recent blog about human trafficking. Blood Ransom, set in Africa, is the story of a young man who sees “ghost soldiers” killing and kidnapping his whole village including his family. Even though this story is fiction, it is based on fact. Be sure to pick up a copy of Lisa’s book at your bookstore or library. It’s an exciting, suspenseful read.
A few days ago, I opened up my email and smiled. Not only were there two raving reviews about Blood Ransom, but an email from Joyce letting me know that an editor was requesting a series from me for possible publication. Not bad for one day.
But then I opened the last email. It was from a fellow writer friend of mine who was passing on some not so good news. Apparently, we each had a book we'd written that been voted on a site as being the two worst books this blogger had read so far this year.
I was quickly smacked back down to reality, but it also got me thinking. How often do we put our confidence in what we do? We win an award, receive a compliment, and get that pat on the back for something we did at work and we're on the top of the world. But that happens when our boss complains about our work, our best friend is mad at something we did (or didn't do), the kids whine about dinner, and the bathroom scale registers a few pounds to high.
It's like a yo-yo that never stops bouncing. Or when it does, it leaves us feeling as if the world has crashed in around us.
Here is what I was reminded of. I'm more than what I do. Yes, there are people who love my books, but there are also clearly those who don't. I've received awards for my books, but have never reached the best-sellers list in the CBA let alone the New York Times list, but that's okay, because that isn't who I am.
So who am I? Who are you?
We are children of the King of Kings, the creator of the universe. God has called us to follow Him, to serve others through His strength, to find intimacy with Him, and to discover that who we are is not based our accomplishments anymore than it is based on our regrets and failures.
Does that mean I stop trying to make that best-seller list? No way. But in the meantime, I don't ever want to forget who I really am.
Paul put it this way, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
I know there are a number of you who are struggling right now as you dream of signing with an agent. Or perhaps you’re still waiting to sign that allusive first book contract (or in today’s environment, your fifth, or tenth, or twentieth book). It can make finding contentment seem impossible. For today, I'm praying that God's peace, a peace that transcends all human understanding and logic, guards your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
God, we want to be more like you. Content to dream big, but also to enjoy the ups and downs of the journey while we get there. We want to be content to love family, friends, and those around us. We want to be content to serve others in Your name. Content to cry with those around us when our hearts are breaking, but also to never forget that true contentment can not be found in our circumstances, but only through you, because You are the one who gives us strength to get through each day.
Be blessed today!