The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

More Than I Asked or Imagined September 29, 2010

Filed under: Life in General,Writing — Erin Joy @ 12:54 pm
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It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was still searching for a job. It’s even harder to believe that three years ago, I returned home from college, resigned that I wasn’t one of those who found a job as soon as I received my degree.

As many of you know, I’m far from that now. I enjoy my job a lot. I have not only learned a lot from it (like having to give a presentation that scared the pants off me yesterday), but I’ve been challenged to better myself as well (for example, my professional appearance).

And that brings me to a few Sundays ago. That Sunday, someone from our church preached from the book of James. I must be honest that I was a bit distracted while sitting there looking at my Bible, mostly because of the notes I’d penned in the margins.

Almost exactly three years before, on September 30, 2007, I’d written next to James 4:15-17, “God has perfect timing.” That was shortly after my move back in with my parents’. I realized about that time that we don’t always get to plan what’s going to happen next. Now, I’m not saying we ought to sit by and let life happen to us, just that we don’t always get what we plan down the line. At that point, I’d expected to be moved out on my own (or with a roommate) to a job somewhere in the writing/editing field. I had none of that aside from some freelance work I’d been doing.

Completely distracted from the sermon at this point, I flipped through the pages of my Bible to glance through any other notes I’d scribbled on the pages. Sure enough, I found one from August of 2008, right about the time I’d returned from working at the Willow Creek Association for the summer. I was, once again, discouraged that I had to move back in with my parents, but the verses that caught my eye were 1 Corinthians 16:8-9. Next to it, I’d written, “Lord, show me the ‘in the meantime.'”

It’s amazing how God answered that tiny written prayer, by providing random odd jobs, friends who move in and out of town and a wonderful Sunday school class to help teach. That “in the meantime” really did become filled with some amazing blessings.

Last fall, I began temping in the area, and that led me to the job I currently have (and love). Can I continue to say how much I enjoy working at my job? I have caught myself saying on more than one occasion, “It’s more than I could’ve ever asked for or imagined.” Sound familiar? I know! I didn’t even realize what I’d been saying. It’s true though.

I never would have imagined that I get to write blogs, “play” on Facebook and tweet away on Twitter all day! I also recently organized an event for some bloggers and their children. How is that not fun? How can you not enjoy a job like that? Sure, there are days that I’m stressed out or have to work ridiculously long hours for the sake of the team, but to be able to work in an environment that is as quirky and fun-loving as I am or spend time with people who are crazier than I am (in a good way) is such a wonderful thing that I never could have asked for.

It’s funny how a couple scribbles in the margins had such an effect on me over the past three years. I’m amazed at looking back to see where I was when I wrote each of them, and how each one has impacted where I am now.


My Writing Verse October 26, 2009

Filed under: Writing — ashleybarrett @ 2:25 pm
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I’m not sure if other writers have a verse that applies particularly to their writing, but I have a verse that helps me type that next word.

Did God wake me up in the middle of the night with a verse in my mind? No. After discovering my “writing verse” did I hop on the computer and cheerily pound out 50,000 words? No. In fact, God gave me that verse in the midst of my biggest writing struggle and it did not end instantly.

During my senior year in college, I often found myself staring at a blank screen. Any thoughts I’d had before writing drained out of my ears. But I didn’t have the luxury of avoidance because of my writing classes. I had to extract each word like a dentist pulling out a bad tooth.  And of course when I edited my writing, everything seemed terrible. I’d shake my head and say to myself, I should be better by now. Why in the world did I think I could do this?


During my daily Bible reading one afternoon, I stumbled across this verse in 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (The Message, emphasis mine)

3 -5I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway.

I’m not sure how many times I read it, but each time a wave of relief rolled over me.

Paul was scared? Paul felt inadequate? Yes. And despite his inadequacy, God used him to spread the Gospel. And He will use me too. Yes, I need to give my best effort, but after that, God will use my words,  no matter how bumbling, to tell His beautiful story.

That thought makes me brave enough to keep writing. Eventually, as I persisted the words came easier. One day I found myself on the other side of that dark tunnel. I think part of my problem was the pressure I’d put on myself to be perfect. (See my old post on perfectionism.) But when I do my best and leave the rest to God, writing, though still had work can be immensely rewarding.

Do you have a verse that God has specifically give you for your calling? Please share!