Monday, October 23, 2006

Deo Volente

Our pastor had an interesting topic in yesterday's sermon: Deo Volente.

It's from a passage in James, Chapter 4, about the Jacobean Principle, about the Lord's Will -- you know that phrase people use, saying "God-Willing." Now, faithful readers of my blog know that I rarely go off on a religious tangent and never on a political tangent (life is far too short to engage in political debates, IMO) but those who have read interviews with me do indeed know I'm a Christian, and this was an interesting discussion, so it became my blog topic.

It was about trusting in God's plan for your life as opposed to your own. I've always been of the opinion, much more so since my mother died, that I could get hit by a bus at any time, and that whatever God has planned for me is cool. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't like a little control over my future :-) because I am indeed, the kind of person who would like to control everything if I could, but I can't :-).

But lately, in my career, I've become more about putting the future in God's hands. If He wants me to move in direction A, hey, I'm all for it. If He wants me to move in direction B, hey, it might be scary, but hey, I'm your girl. Like the move to more emotional books, especially with RESCUED BY MR. RIGHT and THE OTHER WIFE and the one I'm working on now.


Those books (along with THE LEGACY, which comes out in July), I call my "glutton for punishment" books because I had to write them all, boom-boom-boom right after my mother died and all three had to do with death. THE OTHER WIFE opens at a funeral home, THE LEGACY has a heroine who is a funeral director and works at a funeral home. I might as well have gone around wearing a horsehair shirt for all the dealing with grief I had to go through last fall. It was no fun, to say the least.

But, wowza did it open me up as a writer. Whatever God's plan was, boy-oh-boy did He have some things cooking there. My books have changed and my editors clearly saw something before all that, because they shifted me into more emotional reads (before last fall), even though I went over to that a little reluctantly (hey, I was known for kissing pigs and fainting goats in my books ;-) not tears :-).

So, my motto now is Deo Volente (which is Latin for God-Willing). I'm going to try to hand over the reins of my life, and especially my career (because I'm way more controlling about that) to the Big Guy and let him take it where it might go. I'm always hoping for good things, but hey, who knows what He has in store. It's been a fun ride so far, and I feel incredibly blessed to have written the books I have so far, and to see them in print, and to have received the incredible letters from readers that I have. Thank you to all of you for those. You truly make my day.

That alone has been a gift that I can't even begin to quantify. And if that's all there is, that's more than enough. And if there's more around the corner, then hey, I'm ready for it :-)

Deo Volente...
Shirley

4 comments:

  1. It's great that you're open to God's direction!
    Goes along with our current sermon series on using the gifts and talents God has given us for His purpose.
    It can be convicting when I think about how often I use my art for selfish reasons, or worse yet.. going through dry spell of not using my talents at all.
    (God condemned the fig tree that wasn't producing any fruit. ouch.)

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  2. I would definitely not want to be that fig tree :-) I agree on the talents and gifts thing -- it's so hard sometimes because it can be scary, especially in creative fields, to put your art out there for the world to judge. But you wouldn't have been given that gift, if not for the express purpose of touching a life with it, IMO :-)

    Shirley

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  3. Thank you for an excellent reminder! I struggle with the control thing all the time.

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  4. Someone asked Oprah the other day, too, what her key to staying so humble about her success was and she said something similar -- remember that it is all in God's hands and that she is always submitting to His will and is forever grateful for whatever He has given her (which in her case is a lot :-) and thankfull she shares a lot of that wealth!). I thought that was really nice. That control thing is pretty darn hard, though!

    Shirley

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