Wednesday, July 5, 2017

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?



I hope you all had a nice July 4th. I got to hang out with family and friends, eat tons of food, and watch some fireworks, which, let's face it, is what makes a Fourth of July the Fourth of July.

We are still doing panels here on Go Teen Writers. Today we have a thoughtful question that's not so much about writing, but about life. Holidays tend to make me ponder, so this feels appropriate. 





For what in your life do you feel most grateful?


Shannon Dittemore
My relationship with God. It has been my constant. Through childhood and into adulthood, through marriage and starting a family. Through dreams and goals and careers and hobbies that maybe could be all of the above--He has been faithful. And though I’ve chosen a craft that can feel very isolating, I’ve never been alone. Not once.




Stephanie Morrill
My head went to a totally different place when I heard the question, but then I saw Shan’s answer and realized my initial thoughts about how to respond were embarrassingly shallow.

I’ve had the joy of going to two American Library Association conferences this year. Being invited by my publisher to sign books at ALA was a bucket list career item for me, and I felt honored to go.

But events like that can be hard on a creative’s heart. These things are full of literary celebrities, and comparison creeps in easily. Whose signing line is longer? Who got invited to sit on what panel? Who got the most applause during said panel discussion?

Not only that, but you get an upclose look at how many books are on the market competing with yours. You see all the dollars being poured into elevating certain titles. It is easy to find yourself slipping down a yucky spiral of thoughts: I’m not enough. Who do I think I am? Why does my publisher believe in that book more than they believe in mine? Why does he get an audio book, and I don’t?

On and on.

The moment I notice my brain tipping in that direction, I’m grateful for the hard journey God sent me on several years ago. It was a journey that taught me that I am not my books. I am not defined by their success or failure. That I am enough, exactly as I am.



 
Beautiful answers, girls. I'm with you on both of those. Right now, I feel grateful for the journey. I’ve always been a person who relives the past and strives for the future but never learned how to live in the present. I’m learning that now, and it’s really hard! 

I've lived my life so far in a hurry to get to point B. But as a struggling-to-quit ponderer and striver, I’m finally learning that in living like that, I miss out on a lot of good stuff. The journey is where it’s at. This is life! Right now, seconds are ticking by. And we each only get one life here on earth. So even when it’s hard, it’s good, because I have God and my people (family and friends) and I’m not alone. I’m always growing and changing and developing wisdom, and that’s what truly gets me to point B. Not the daydreaming or the striving. It's the living. I’m grateful to finally be learning how to embrace life and enjoy every moment.


What about you? What are you grateful for?


20 comments:

  1. I'm grateful to have God who has made a plan for me. I'm grateful for my family, who are there to support me. I'm grateful for all the wonderful people I've met through my blog. I'm grateful for the writing and speaking passion that's been put on my heart. There is so much to be grateful for in life. My answer may sound typical, but its the truth.

    God bless y'all. Happy late Forth of July :)

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    1. To know God has a plan for each of us, a Jeremiah 29:11 plan, is awesome.

      And a side note, love your profile pic!

      -Ann


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    2. Oh, thank you!
      God's plans are always amazing. I know He has great things set for me and set for you. God bless you!

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    3. Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite Bible verse. God's promise to take care of us and bring us through every day has immeasurable value. God bless ya'll!

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  2. A family that loves God. They've helped keep me grounded and pointed me toward what is most important in life. Plus, they're built in prayer warriors.

    -Ann

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  3. I love your three answers so much. Thank you for being open!

    Stephanie, your answer in particular was something I needed to hear. Just last week I was browsing in a bookstore, and reflecting on how overwhelming it can be to look at even just the YA section (unless one has a specific book in mind)! With so many titles that look good, choosing is difficult, and I pity the ones that are passed over in the flood of choices. And then I started getting discouraged, thinking about how my books might one day fare in such a crowded market. But the comparison game gets us nowhere, and the sooner my heart latches into the truth that I am not my books, the better. :) Thanks again for such thought-provoking posts!

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    1. Tracey, I've left Barnes and Noble feeling discouraged quite a few times! I know it seems overwhelming, but I also know you're determined and hard working. If you stick with it, I believe one day you'll walk in and see your book on those shelves.

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    2. It's always good to know others share one's struggles. :) Thank you so much for those kind words! *hugs*

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  4. I am grateful for a loving, Christ-centered family. I am grateful for encouraging, supporting friends. I am grateful for God, who I know loves me and has a plan for my life. Even when I get discouraged about my writing, I know that God is with me.

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    Replies
    1. Very well said. To quote Finding Favor, He's on our side, through the highs and lows.

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  5. I am extremely grateful for the Christian kids at my school. I'll show up with a new page (or three) of writing and they immediately line up to read it. They've been helpful in giving me good ideas for characters and events. A couple of them are already trying to show all their other friends my writing. I've been so blessed to have them and wouldn't trade their support for anything else.
    - Kate

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    1. That is such a blessing, Kate! I'm glad you have that support. :)

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  6. I'm grateful for God helping me to know him more. A lot of people say they believe in God but don't really understand what it's like to know him... Recently, though, I feel like I have been a better follower. (The pastors in my youth group are amazing. They help me so much.)

    ~Mila

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  7. I have to agree with all three of you ladies. At first I wasn't sure I would have anything to add; right now, though, I am amazed at God's consistency and His guidance. When all of my life feels like it's crumbling and my hopes and dreams are fading, I can still hold on because I know that Jesus is my constant companion and the Holy Spirit my Comforter. I am grateful that God creates for us seasons of life. We don't have to learn everything at once. He taught me to engage in the Word years ago, and now He is teaching me to pray. I'm far from perfect, but God forgives me and allows me time to grow. Because of that, I can look forward to the future, enjoy the present, and appreciate the past.

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    Replies
    1. Beautifully expressed, Olivia! Love that last line.

      -Ann

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  8. I am most grateful for the struggle I've had fighting cancer over the last 8 1/2 years. I had to be quarantined from the world for three years, and because of that, my imagination is so much stronger and clearer. I also have a deeper understanding of what it feels like to be really, truly lonely, and I am so grateful that I can sympathize with that.

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    1. That is so inspiring, Sada. I'm sure I can't in the slightest understand what you've been through, but gratitude is not the reaction I would expect. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story with us. God bless you!

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