I’ve said this for a long time, mostly because of my kids. I wanted two children. My husband wanted five. We had two girls and five boys. It’s okay. You can laugh now. And yes, they are all as different as their outfits imply.
Recently, I was asked to join several other authors in a boxed set. I wrote a story, but the set coordinator didn’t think it fit well with the others. So she asked me to write a new story. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I didn’t have any fresh ideas. I hadn’t been able to write significant words for months. But I was determined. I would write the story. I mean, how hard could it be? It only needed to be 20,000 words – a short novella.
And then it occurred to me.
God orchestrated that first story NOT to work with the set. I can still release it with some tweaks.
I think He was laughing at me from heaven.
Because He knew.
He knew I wouldn’t have written another story if He hadn’t orchestrated it this way. My words for the year were DREAM BIG. And I had dreamt big. I wanted to release eight books. That’s a lot, even for the most prolific writers. Now, to be sure, four of those would be books that were already written — two previously released in other sets and two that I had written but not released. So that meant I only had to write four more stories. But as the year progressed, that seemed more and more unlikely to happen.
And then God… Two stories written. That left two to go. But it was October. Can we say disappointment – not in God, but in myself?
BUT there was still time. And I believed in the Creator of the universe. I believed He could do it through me. Most seasoned writers know that we cannot and do not write alone. It takes something outside of ourselves to put words on paper. At least words that touch readers and change lives.
We may never know the impact those words have on our readers. And that’s okay. It’s not about praise or glory. Not for ourselves. It’s about HIM. Drawing readers into a closer relationship with Him. That’s my goal whenever I write a book.
So, don’t give up on whatever He has promised. Because if it was doable in our own power, He wouldn’t have asked us to do it for Him.
And while I do think God has a sense of humor, I don’t think He’s up in heaven laughing at our attempts to do what He’s asked within our own power. I’m sure He’s patiently waiting for us to acknowledge our need of Him.
What have you felt called to do, but tried in your own power, only to realize how futile it was? (i.e. raising kids, writing a book, whatever)
Jill Weatherholt says
“So, don’t give up on whatever He has promised. Because if it was doable in our own power.” Loved this, Ginger! What a beautiful and large family you have!
Hi Ginger, you have a beautiful family, what a blessing:) Totally agree- God definitely has a sense of humour. Just before graduating from uni, my (now) husband and I listed the schools/cities we did NOT want to work at- and guess where God sent us? The first school and city on our list of places we did NOT want to go to! 15 years later…sigh…we are still here. I can only say it is God who is keeping us here, so we pray each year for God to lead and guide and to use us, and to give us peace. And He does!
Excited to hear you have been writing!
Ginger Solomon says
I think God sends us to places we don’t want to go to train us to trust Him. It’s hard, but so worth it. Praying that He continues to lead, guide, and use you for His glory.
God indeed has a sense of humor. With four children running around the house, I’m often reminded that it is His Grace, Mercy, and Love that protect and nurture them.
Ginger Solomon says
Definitely all Him. I know there were days that I felt His presence more than others. And then, now that several of them are older and grown, I KNOW that I could never have done it without Him. I think that at times He did it despite my meager contributions. ;)
Hi Ginger! God definitely has a sense of humor and often pushes us in a direction that we may not see at the time. While in college I never wanted to marry a pastor or somebody younger than I was. When I met my husband, he was in premed and he is 14 months younger than myself. We ended up serving 30 years in 4 churches in two states before we retired from the ministry. Our ways aren’t God’s ways. Best wishes on dreaming big and happy writing. Lovely family.
Ginger Solomon says
God is just amazing. I just know you were a wonderful pastor’s wife, Renate, and that God put you EXACTLY where you needed to be to do His will, even if it wasn’t where YOU wanted or expected. ;)
Thanks for the blessings.
You have a very beautiful family. Congrats. Also, congrats on writing so many books this year (regardless of how many you didn’t write)!
Ginger Solomon says
Thanks, Priscila. I think the big goal was to get me to write ANY books. I was on the verge of giving up, but God wouldn’t let me.
Having 6 kids, raising them is definitely something we were called to do, but no way could we do it on our own power! We had to continually rely on God for wisdom, because what worked with one, did not work with the next. Add into that all of our own failures which children are so quick to see. While we continue to pray for them now they are grown up, we also came to realize how much greater God’s love for them is, and that has brought indescribable peace. There is nothing to compare with seeing your grown children’s faith and trust in Him as they raise their own children now.
Ginger Solomon says
It is amazing to watch the grown children be successful (in life and love of God) despite our shortcomings. I marvel at what I hand in making – a little feel of how He must have felt when He created the world. And I know that it was only by HIS grace and mercy that I didn’t screw up every one of them. ;D
Carolyn Lockwood says
Lovely family. I didn’t want children when I got married but went on to have four and ten grandchildren, one of whom is in heaven and I love them all and wouldn’t be without any of them!
God has an amazing way of changing our minds permanently. I LOVE my kids and wouldn’t want to omit one of them. They are so different and will affect our world in unique ways. I can’t wait to watch.
Jessica B. says
I really enjoyed your post. The current sermon series at my church is about chasing God-size dreams and last week’s sermon also included the reminder that if it is doable by our own power then we have probably down-graded our dream because we shouldn’t be able to accomplish it by ourselves. We need God’s help to accomplish God-sized dreams.
I guess you needed to hear it again, Jessica. ;) And so did I because your comment blesses me. I struggle daily with “failing” at this writing thing and disappointing God and my family.
He doesn’t ask us to do something He has not equipped us to do.
God-sized dreams… I love that.
Jessica B. says
Yes, I probably did need another reminder. ☺
Lucy Reynolds says
Beautiful family. God’s blessings abound.
Thanks. And yes they do.
Gail Hollingsworth says
So many repeat the phrase, God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. But He does, just so you’ll ask for his help.
I thought about this while reading your post. Beautiful family by the way!
I agree, Gail. If we could handle it, we wouldn’t need Him. It’s a verse taken out of context.
There will always be a way of escape from temptation/sin, but that doesn’t mean trouble won’t come knocking just the same.
Jesus said it many times… in this world you will have trouble, trials, and tribulations. We are not exempt just because we’re Christians.
God gives us grace as we need it. Family is a blessing. We are enjoying grand children now.
Family is DEFINITELY a blessing (and sometimes a curse, but we love them anyway). I can hardly wait for grands to come along, but it seems I have a while to wait. The current thought among my kids is that my 19 yo daughter will give me my first grandchild (she has no husband or even a boyfriend at the moment). She’s in love with Jesus and is not in any hurry, but they still think she’ll be the first. LOL
Elizabeth Solomon says
Yes, let’s see if that will happen??
For all who happen to read the comments… that’s the aforementioned daughter. LOL
Lori Smanski says
what a lovely phot of your children. They truly are blessings. This is a great post and a wonderful reminder to all of us. Thanks
So tickled to hear you have busted through that writer’s block. (With God’s help, of course.) I look forward to reading your story(s).
Thanks, Jan. I’m tickled too.
Margaret Nelson says
Love the picture of your kids! They look like a great bunch. God is faithful when we throw ourselves on Him, isn’t He?!
Most definitely, Margaret. My life is NOTHING like I thought it would be when I was a kid. It’s SO much better than I ever imagined. I love my kids — EVERY SINGLE ONE — even when they’re not being obedient or kind. I just know God LOVES me and them so much more and it’s overwhelming.
Jackie Smith says
What a beautiful family….thanks for sharing the pic! I loved this…”Drawing readers into a closer relationship with Him. That’s my goal whenever I write a book.”
Exactly why I read Christian fiction…not some shallow, more popular book! And I do appreciate great writers like you! Blessings~~
:D Thanks, Jackie. And we appreciate you.
Merrillee Whren says
Nice family! Love that they all have their own style.
Sometimes it amazes me that they are all so different, though all raised within the same home with the same rules. :o Personalities come through loud and clear. Even more from a different picture where they were having fun — I couldn’t get it to load. :(
Deb Kastner says
I can definitely relate. I realize now fear was keeping me from dipping my toes into indie publishing, but then the opportunity to be part of a boxed set themed cowboys and Christmas came along and I took a deep breath and dove in. The water is warm! Thanks for a great post. And I love that you has your two girls and your hubby has his five boys.
:D Deb, the water certainly is warm. Sometimes a bit suspiciously, but I definitely wouldn’t go back — not that I was ever with the BIG trad publishers, but still… I love being in control.
You have a great family! Congrats!
I also think God has a sense of humor, in a way that amazes us constantly!
Teri DiVincenzo says
I actually wrote a poem called “God Laughs” I was in my early 20s, unhappily married, struggling, working 2 jobs with a toddler & another on the way…and my husband left. I thought my world was imploding, but really it was bursting forth to grow into something miraculous! If I only knew the plans He had for me I wouldn’t have shed a single tear. He makes incredible things happen, and is just there laughing at our attempts to do it without Him!
Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com
I’m not sure He’s always laughing. I’m sure He’s crying as we cry out our pain. But He doesn’t go anywhere; He just waits for us to figure out that we NEED Him to do what He’s called us to do.