Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Are you carrying a heavy load? Lately so many of my friends have asked for prayer as they wrestle with hard things - illness, upheaval, moving, migraines, divorce, injury, rejection, discontent, waiting, etc. Life is so unpredictable! You're doing well one day and down the next.

Last fall I landed in the E.R. for the first time ever with a stomach ailment. Numerous tests and many, many dollars later, I was discharged without a diagnosis. My little Oriental nurse said to me at one point, "Stress?" I'd just had a book deadline and simply said, "Good stress." She smiled and shook her head and replied, "Still stress." I was wishing I had one of Lael's remedies - some ginseng or sassafras tea or something:)

Sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for something else to slow me down and upset my carefully-made plans. I don't like emergency rooms! Yet I'm finding they're all a part of God's plan. Recently I've been reading some Andrew Murray (love those Scotsmen!). He wrote the following, probably from a few white knuckle experiences of his own:

In time of trouble say,
First, He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this place: in that will I rest.
Next, He will keep me in His love and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.
Then He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He means for me to learn, and working in me the grace He intends for me.
Last, in His good time, He can bring me out again, how and when only He knows.
Say, I am here:
By God's appointment,
In God's keeping,
Under his training,
For His time.

~from Humility


  1. What an inspirational poem. I LOVE it and will definitely have to post it up in various places in my home...and maybe at work too.

    "Then He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He means for me to learn, and working in me the grace He intends for me." That's the part I have a hard time with. I'm just so stubborn!

  2. Laura, I feel for you. I've heard life changes dramatically once a writer sells a book. Before you received your first contract, you could write at your own pace. If life dealt you some difficulties, you could take a break.

    Now, however, you're under deadline and constantly juggling the work on multiple books, both of which can lead to stress. Although it's good stress as you told your sweet nurse, it can still take a toll. I hope you're able to incorporate some time for resting and recharging into your schedule. Perhaps even a cup of tea from time to time--a mini vacation of sorts?

  3. I recently shared this very passage with a friend. I find it utterly comforting. I'm so glad you mentioned that devotional a few months ago. It's been a blessing. And a challenge. We need both!

  4. I'm adding that quote to my list of favorites on Facebook. Thanks, Laura. :)

  5. Oh, I love this quote. It's so important to slow down to read something like this and recognize its truth.

    The nurse was right---Stress is stress! If there is one thing I have learned is that stress (and depression and anxiety, etc.) doesn't come from what happens to us---It comes from how we *react* to what happens to us. Kind of hard to control though, ain't it?

    Praying for all of us to have some rest and peace from whatever our troubles may be!

  6. Keli, So true. Another author told me, "Life will never be sweeter than writing for yourself before that first contract." I didn't understand that then. I'm glad I'm on the other side now but it brings new challenges such as learning to manage my time and myself wisely, in a God-honoring way, and putting my writing down some days.

    The Lord is really opening a window to me into myself. Because I've written since childhood and love it so much, I never really get tired of it and will burn out if I don't use restraint. Glad He's showing me that type-A side of self I never thought I had:)

    Wish I could have a cup of tea with you, Keli! You are such a dear:)

  7. Yes, both are needed, Lori! I've always said God is a gentleman and doesn't give us a hard thing without a sweet thing soon to follow:) Wish I had all of Andrew Murray's books!

  8. Kav, I'm afraid I don't suffer gladly either. And I'm learning I'm not very patient!
    The poem is so deep if you take it slow. So glad you are going to post it up so that its truth is before you. I think I'll do that, too:)

  9. Mary, What a good point - it's our reaction to stress that is the difficulty (or the triumph)! I'm so glad God is in the midst of our trials. I suffer so little in comparison to the friends for whom I wrote this post. Yes, praying grace and peace to all of you no matter what you are going through!

  10. Ruth, That does my heart good to hear this reached you on some level. Friends like you make the burdens so bearable!

  11. you don't know how much i needed this tonight.
    God's timing.......... incredible.

  12. VERY much so....and any spare prayers are welcome ;) the pursuit of selling/buying a nerve wracking. I just keep asking that what is meant to be for us come to be...but the closer we get to getting the house I want...I cant help but get my hopes up. Now I just need that perfect buyer....not sure how long I can keep the super-cleaning up ;)

    I do think that stress does effect our health--- I'll never forget the first day I was able to stay home and left my job...I woke up with a terrible kidney stone. I felt like I was dying! It's happened a few times where literally, I will finish a big project and then become very sick the moment its over. that's why 2010 is all about taking it easy...or it was, until the whole house thing happened ;)

    Hope you're taking it easy and enjoying the process of your story writing! Each book is like a baby...its only little and 'in the works' once!

  13. Lisa, This post must be for you as I was going to wait and then felt the nudge to go ahead. So thrilled it met you when you needed it! Thinking of you and praying for you.

  14. Wow, Heather - you and I are living proof of what good stress can do to the body! My episode also started the day after my deadline. Mercy! May 2010 be good to you! Kidney stones are excruciating.

    I had you in mind when I thought of all my over-burdened friends. Simply getting a house ready to sell is a huge deal. And I know the constant cleaning is a chore. Praying it doesn't interfere with your beautiful art. I know He has the right buyer in mind. And am so happy you've found the house of your heart:) Prayers are with you!

    Yes, my baby went back to my editor yesterday. Yikes - wonder what that means for me today - !LOL, as they say:)

  15. Bless you, dear Laura, as you meander through the stresses of life. I love Andrew Murray's lines, "I am here ... under His training." I'm a slow, stubborn learner, and if I'd only stop and ask myself in the midst of my stress, "What is He training me for? What does He want me to learn in the midst of this?" And maybe, "What is He training me to do with this in the future?"

    Is that a picture of Lake Crescent? Oh, I miss the peninsula so much!

    Congratulations on sending off your manuscript! I can hardly wait to read it!


  16. Linda, I'm thinking you have a treasure trove of stressful experiences of your own, particularly involving your transition to Africa! I, too, love the thought, "What is He trying to teach me through this?" My Sunday school teacher sometimes reminds us that He repeats a lesson if we don't get it the first time!

    Doesn't that look just like Lake Crescent? It's actually a lake in Alaska. But beautiful just like here. Today it's perfectly sunny and almost 60! I've been sitting on the deck this afternoon - surely a first ever for February!

    Bless you for your kind words!

  17. Yes Laura Stress does take a toll on plans. I made appt to take my pups and get them spayed and decided to just visit some other towns in that area (was a 90 min ride 1 way) and I had just walked into a WM and got the dreaded call on my cell from the vet that Maggie had heart worm and worms were in her heart.
    We decided to go ahead with the treatments...I can not imagine life without my girls (dogs) or my pups and sure would never want her to suffer. I am now having a sale in my blog to pay the most wonderful vet ever..I have posted about it so you can read more there if you have time.
    I always look forward to every post you write and this one hit the nail on the head in my life....You are a special lady :)

  18. Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry about Maggie but so glad you caught that in time. Pets are so important - more like family members, really. My boys dote on our dog and cats.

    I'm behind in my blog reading and need to catch up. It's so good to hear from you and I will pray about all your concerns! Bless you and may you feel His presence.

  19. With my moving at full speed ahead, and having been waiting to move since Thanksgiving... the words he wrote fit SO well with how I need to keep my mind set. If God placed me here at this time, in this place, and this circumstance... He has a reason for it. I just need to learn to sit back, listen for that small, still voice, and go from there. Thanks for the reminder!!

  20. Dana, I've been thinking about you and your many changes! This morning I needed Andrew Murray's reminder myself so am off to read it again:) Bless you today!

  21. That poem is an excellent reminder, one to keep nearby.
    Be blessed!

  22. Carla, I thought of you as I posted this though I think you've probably seen it before. I pray this coming week is wonderful for you in every way - and headache free! Bless you right back.