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My Stories are Never Finished, Just Like Me.

On a hot and sunny afternoon this week, Sweet Husband and I jumped in his convertible and headed a half hour north to a quiet park on the edge of a beautiful body of water. He took a book, and I took the completed manuscript of the next book in the Zechariah Park series. We were anticipating a quiet afternoon of leisurely reading beside the water. This newest book takes place around a lake in Zechariah Park, and I wanted to hear the same sounds, feel the same breeze off the water and experience the same things the characters experience in the story. It is time to hand the manuscript over to an amazingly talented illustrator and I wanted to make sure it was perfect. I was confident it would be an easy read as we sat by the water, watching the ducks and boats float by. After all, the manuscript had already been edited. This was just a final read through....or so I thought.... As I began reading, I was stunned by the changes running through my mind. I had rewritten these pages numerous times before sending them to the editor and even several times after. What was happening? •The word “perplexed” is not right. Would “astonished”, “stunned” or “amazed” sound better? •Is there too much description in this paragraph? Would it flow better to let the reader create their own mental picture of the scene? I found myself marking out and changing the text on just about every page. Yikes! This morning, after putting a load of laundry in, I am drinking coffee from my favorite mug, listening to the cardinal chirp on my patio and thinking about my book, “Zechariah Park: Adam’s Landing.” Suddenly the buzzer on the washer sounded, signaling the cycle is done. As I walked down the stairs to the basement to move the clothes to the dryer, I thought—it seems like my stories are like the laundry—never completed. My mind went back to the words of an incredibly wise lady I taught with years ago. “I don’t ever want to be a finished work of art.” She was convinced that each student in her class, each interaction with the young teachers she took under her wing, and every experience every day made an impact on her. It was her decision if that impact was positive or negative. I learned so much from her! The Bible tells us in Philippians 1:6: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. I am a work in progress just like my manuscript, always undergoing change to make me a better person and a better reflection of Christ in every area of my life. Just like my teacher friend, I don’t ever want to be a finished work of art. I am grateful that God is not finished with me. He is still writing my story and I give him total creative control. Here is a song by Tauren Wells that sums it up. Enjoy! See Less

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