Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do The Work

If I am not around much these days, it's because I am in the middle of some pretty serious edits for my novel. I have about six weeks to get it completely ready to send in and believe me, I need every hour I have between now and then. This past weekend I lived at my parents' house, holed up in their spare bedroom writing, writing, writing. Morning turned to evening before I knew it. Time flies when you are trying to revise a whole book. I cut 20,000 words from the original manuscript and now my kindly, patient editor is looking at it again to give me further guidance. I am certain she has contacted the publisher to find out what kind of short straw she drew to get me!

Today I was having a serious crisis of faith-- did I have what it takes? Will this book ever be ready? Why oh why did I ever get started with all this and was it too late to take it back? I talked to my friend and She Reads partner, Ariel, via chat and sort of vomited all this yuck on her and she told me to shut up like any good friend would. :)

Then I went upstairs and got on my treadmill, taking the book A Novel Idea upstairs with me to read while I walked my stress away. (I highly recommend this book if you have ANY interest in writing novels, ever.) While I was reading it a verse quoted by Francine Rivers jumped off the page and froze me in my tracks:

I Chronicles 28:20, "Be strong and courageous and DO THE WORK (emphasis mine). Don't be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you." (NLT)

Here's what I wrote to Ariel in our chat after I got off the treadmill:

"It was like God was saying, 'Quit yer bellyaching and DO THE WORK and don't forget I will show up each time, making it better and better in the process. Not so you can boast about your abilities, but so you can boast in Me.'"

And then it gets even cooler. My friend Ariel wrote back that she had been praying specifically for me (after she told me to shut up of course) that God would have a little chat with me, as she put it. She knew that He had done the same for her during her editing process so she wanted me to hear directly from Him.

I share this story for two reasons: 1) If you have a friend who is struggling, pray for her. God answers those prayers. and 2) God will speak to you through His word. Sometimes He shouts, like He did with me. It was like those words DO THE WORK jumped off the page at me. I just needed to stop complaining and keep working.

So my new pep talk for myself goes something like this, "Just do the work and God will be with you." Maybe you needed to hear that today about something in your life. What work do you need to keep doing, no matter how discouraged and disheartened you get? I pray that you will see Him at work on your behalf today as you do the work He has called you to do.
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Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I am excited to hear about the progress on your novel. Any news from our favorite Newbern, NC author?
Can't wait till the book hits the shelves! I have just discovered She Reads - what an awesome resource. I have added to my reading list already.


Lehrerin said...

I love when He makes words jump off the page like that for us!

Marybeth said...

Hey Jennifer-- thanks for asking about our friend. No word yet. I am not feeling real hopeful about it so would love your prayers!

thanks for commenting and for your kind, encouraging words--

amykat said...

First of all, I will totally buy your book when it comes out! I can't wait!

Thanks for sharing your crisis of faith. I did, in fact, need to hear DO THE WORK. I have been putting something off for months and months because of fear...and just flat out disobedience.

Pray that I will DO THE WORK.

tiggerdaisy said...


What a great post! Although I LOVE fiction novels and gobble them up quickly, I have no interest in writing them. However, I do have an interest in writing and this verse spoke to me, too. I first saw it on your Twitter update on the side of your blog and thought, "Interesting. Could this apply to me?" Then, to have you write a post about it that clearly hits the target of my earlier thought process, well I guess it was something I needed to hear. Thanks!


Karen Ehman said...

Praying for you as you "Do the work" and counting the days until Hearts at Home Minnesota when we will "Have the fun" Tell Curt to buckle up and get ready for another wild weekend with his chicks!

Sbyllek said...

Your post made me laugh and ministered to me at the same time!
Thanx for sharing!

Melissa Stover said...

i love that. i think i often expect God to do the work for me.

Wendy Blight said...

Thanks for sharing the power of prayer, Marybeth. I have been where you are and God will be faithful to His Word - He equips those He calls. He will fill you with all you need to complete this incredible privilege He has given you.

Your P31 Sisters are proud of you and praying for you!!!


Kim said...

Marybeth, you can do it. God will help. I will so totally buy your book as soon as it comes out!

p.s. Hi Lysa.

Jackie Roth said...

Good for you and thanks.
I'm not writing a book but trying to lose weight. So I guess DO WHAT I KNOW TO DO and God will be with me.

thanks for that

Ariel said...

Love, love, love you! Even when you need to be told to shut up. :-)

And so glad you can tell me to put a cork in it as well.

You're a GREAT writer and this novel is going to be incredible!

Terri said...

Very encouraging! Thank you!! I am not a writer (yet), but was just given an assignment that is absolutely daunting. But I know that only through HIM can I do it! I am very excited about your book! That is soooo cool!!! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you remember me but you did a Ladies Day for me with a spa theme a little over three years ago in Houston Texas. I know because I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and she just turned three. :) Anyway you were and are an inspiration to me. I want to write and my husband has been so encouraging to me. I get to go to the she speaks conference in 2010. I am so excited and nervous to start this new endeavor. You are an encouragement. Thanks and blessings to you and your family.

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

I so needed that little pep talk too! You go can do it!

Marla Taviano said...

Hi, Marybeth. I haven't been to your blog in awhile.

1. You look FABULOUS.
2. LOVE the family pic!

Wow, wow, wow!!

Victoria said...

I also need to do the work.
Praying God blesses your time that you will get things done sooner than expected!

The Trendy Couple said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I think we all have things we need to work through and this was a great example of how to just do it and God will be there!

Flamingo Mama said...

soooooooo needed to hear that today! thanks.

Clara said...

Thank you for your thoughts. God had been dealing to "stop whining". We're pastoring and church and raising a grandchild, age 9. I was whining about not my life going in a direction I hadn't planned. But I see how I'm being able to help mold her life for God, and how she is also helping me to be more patient, as well as other things. So Thanks. God is always trying to teach us something new.

Mary Beth said...

Yep. These words are for me today: Do.The.Work. Time to tackle my home office.

Mary Beth

Becki said...

Obviously you have been reading my journal, because I have been whining the same words. Hmmm, maybe I needed to hear this today. Thanks for being so open and sharing your struggles. Cannot wait to read your novel.