Time, Talent & Treasure



'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'

Matthew 6:19-21, KJV

You've been there, I'm sure. You know the place. It's that time and circumstance in your life where you ask God: "Am I doing what You want?" or perhaps: "Is the calling You've placed on my heart really from You, or is it my own wants and desires pushing through?"

Sometimes, like now, those questions crowd my spirit. Sometimes, like now, I find myself in that dreaded land known as Limbo. A disclaimer here: I don't do well with Limbo...which is probably why God uses it to teach me and mold me - but that's a blog post for another day!

Anyway, Limbo makes me question things. Limbo sometimes puts me in a place where I think: "You're not making progress. There's no forward motion. Since that's the case, then you're not doing what God wants. If God wanted this from you, you'd be leaping forward, with his power and might behind you. You'd be beating those swords into plowshares!" Couple that thinking with the success I see others achieve and doubts try to take root - like:

"You're not good enough." "Your message doesn't get through." "You don't reach people as well as that best selling Molly Author." And then there's the worst one: "What's all the effort for, anyway?"

Since that type of logic sounds suspiciously like the Devil talking, these are the times when I step back, and consider and my life, and its path. In other words, I explore 'The Big Three' - my Time, Talent and Treasure.

TIME: I dedicate whatever time I possibly can to the craft of writing. It brings me such joy to create a story! Especially a romance, because there's no better emotion to celebrate than love. For me, James Michener said it best: 'I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.'

TALENT: As Christians, we're challenged by God to make good use of the talents, and circumstances He gives us. I've been blessed to see my works in print and electronic formats - yet I refuse to be secure in myself as a writer. Maybe it's because I fear being prideful and 'me' centered instead of accomplishing my work as a disciple. It's something to keep in mind during my journey, as a writer and a member of God's family...but it's a talent. A talent of which I try to make good, Godly use.

TREASURE: Matthew's Gospel verse at the top of this post says it all when it comes to what we should (and shouldn't!) treasure. It's so simple, yet so complicated in today's results-driven, materialistic culture. Additionally, so much begs for our attention. Friends, family, careers, goals and the fulfilment of our dreams. So what about Treasure? What does 'Treasure' mean to me? I believe it lies in creating Christ-centered romances that help readers feel uplifted and affirmed.

Some day I may be a New York Times best seller. Or not. Regardless, writing has given me the opportunity to touch people, and show them God's unending, unconditional love. So, if my Time and Talent enable me to touch but one life, or turn just one soul toward Christ's love, I've attained Treasure beyond knowing, and beyond price.

That, to me, sounds like a God thing. And from there, I know I'm on the right path, and I can rest much easier - even when I'm in the Land of Limbo.

CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST!

In conjunction with this post, I have a contest going on at my personal blog: A Minute With Marianne. The prize is an autographed, print edition of Hearts Crossing, and entering is as easy as leaving a comment. Winner to be announced on Friday June 11th, so drop by and check it out!

Until next time, be blessed, and be well!

Marianne

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I understand the limbo thing. Actually-- this whole year has been that for me. For my writing, last year I was able to sell four manuscripts. This year a big fat ZERO.

    Then I look at our son that we've been homeschooling this year. Oh, he could do the work, but the effort he put into his studies as minimal at best. So much for keeping him home so he could work to his potential...

    I could go on with a lot of other illustrations to how frustrating this year has been and why.
    It felt like every day I had to get up and fight. It was exhausting. However, God in His mercy hasn't left me there.

    I have renewed hope and joy that He will lead me as He holds me in His hands. A song that has been especially meaningful to me is Your Hands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l3CEMWCxSk

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  2. What a wonderful and inspiring message. I can relate to the Limbo thing. After my wreck when I was told I'd never walk again, someone gace me a card that said "Do not fear what may happen tomorrow, the same loving God who care for you today will care for you every day. Either He will give you strenth to bear it or He will hold you in the palm of His hand." It a quote from St. France de Sales, who is one of my favorite authors.
    Sometimes I have to remember now is not a time for strength, it's a time to be held, and God is doing his job.

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  3. My goodness, you hit the nail on the head with this one. Sorry for chiming in so late. What a great message. Thanks for sharing.
    God Bless,
    Neecy

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  4. Wonderful post Marianne. I know there are times when I wonder if I am where God wants me to be, doing what God wants me to be doing.

    Being children of the King, we know that the gifts and talents He's given us are to be used for His honor and glory.

    Your writing is a treasure and I pray you would see His mighty hand at work in all you do.

    God bless!

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  5. Great post! Relevant to all of us, I'd bet!

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  6. JoAnn, that's a great video!!! Inspired and inspiring! Thank YOU!! And, I've always believed, the effort we put into our children, the time, love and effort, is that "Treasure" I'm talking about. :-) Blessings, my friend!

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  7. Mary, one of my dearest friends and prayer warriors became just that on the first day I started working at my current place of employment, and here's why: As I was given a tour of the office, and was introduced to her, I noticed she had a card tacked to her cubicle that read: 'Don't worry about tomorrow. God's already there.' That message, and her friendship, has remained with me ever since. Strength will come. Be well!!

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  8. Neecy thanks for your kindness and support, my friend! I appreciate the visit!

    Robin, like you indicated, my hope is that others might be able to relate, and maybe see their way through to God's plan.

    It sure is a process! LOL! :-)

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  9. Donna, you're such a wonderful writer and servant in your own right! Thanks for the encouragement and sweet words - it means so much!

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  10. Amen, Marianne.

    Couldn't have said it better myself.
    PamT

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