Jacqueline Patterson’s Key to Success

Jacqueline Patterson’s Key to Success

by Jacqueline Patterson @jacpatterson

Frankly, My Dear . . . Jacqueline Patterson's Key to Success

Frankly, My Dear . . . Jacqueline Patterson’s Key to Success

“The more we work to help others,
the more we begin to enjoy the life we’re living.”

I raised my heavy-lidded gaze from the laptop screen and the quote on the coffee cup stared back at me. Like I really have time!

My eyes shifted to the blinking light on the phone, the sure indication that yet more messages were waiting for me.

I couldn’t take care of the rest of the world.

I turned my phone so I could no longer see the blinking light.

I had too much to do, too much to plan and consider and rewrite if I hoped to finish my book by my self-imposed deadline. After all, this was  my story,  my words, and that meant my work was most important, right?

Right.

And I wouldn’t let this distract me.

I turned back to my laptop, but my fingers were lead on the keyboard. I added a solitary word here, a phrase there, but my gaze continued to stray back to the quote.

“The more we work to help others . . .”

“No,” I said, and my voice was firm with resolve. “You will finish this story.” My friends would take care of themselves, the way they had a hundred times before. I would pray for them, then check up on them once I finished these edits. Surely things weren’t so severe they needed me right now.

I started at the half-empty page on the screen, and found myself rereading the words I had added since spotting the quote. Most were repetitions, rambling and distracted. How long had I been locked into this writing frenzy anyway? Days? Weeks? I couldn’t remember the last time I sought out contact with a friend other than with a quick writing question. I had simply burrowed away into my writing shell, where all that mattered was my story . . . and me.

As if friendship wasn’t even important.

But . . . Wasn’t it my duty to put my book first? After all, I was the one who went around reminding everyone they were the only ones who could write their story, and how would it look if I didn’t keep up my reputation for busyness? I shouldn’t step back from my writing. Even for an hour.

I had work to do.

I glanced between my laptop and my phone, my mind rebelling as I made my decision.

There would be time to work on my book later. I would always make time. There were no guarantees that all my friends would last until tomorrow.

The key to success was not to push myself forward, but to care for others. Even my writing was not for myself, as much as I wanted to hold to the comfort of that illusion. Why seek publication except to reach others?

It would be an empty journey without friendship. Without sharing dreams.

I closed my laptop and reached for my phone.

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear: Jacqueline Patterson’s Key to Success.

Jacqueline Patterson

Jacqueline Patterson

Jacqueline Patterson wrote her first book at the age of five: the tale of an assassin hen on the trail of a crafty fox. (OK, so the story wasn’t that epic, but the hen was mean.) That first story hooked her, and she hasn’t stopped since. She is currently editing Primate, the first book in her Forever in Time series, in the hope of publication . . . If she can ever convince herself that she’s found the perfect draft. Talk to Jacqueline about books, and she will be your friend forever. You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

 

Beckie Lindsey: How Blogging Has Made Me a Stronger Christian

Molly and Beckie

Molly and Beckie

This week’s guest blogger is my beautiful friend and prayer partner, Beckie Lindsey.

We met through a mutual friend’s monthly dinner gathering, when I was invited to share my stories of how The Unemployment Cookbook and Penny Parable came about, and how I use them as missionary tools.

Beckie contacted me several months later and asked to take me to Starbucks in exchange for “picking my brain” on writing. Who am I to say no to a free Starbucks, right? Of course y’all know the answer was “Of course!”

And we’ve been friends ever since.

I asked her to write a post about blogging for God. It’s not just for writers. Read on.

How Blogging has Made Me a Stronger Christian

Heart pounding, my finger hovered just above the enter key on my laptop. I drew in a deep breath and clicked “post”. That was almost two years ago and yet I still go through some of the same angst before publishing a blog post.

I started my blog because I have fallen in love with God and His word and desire to share my journey in hopes of inspiring others. When I began writing Spotlight, I never imagined the blessings and trials that I would encounter—and yet it is both that have made me a stronger Christian. Here are a few reasons why.

Teaching Means Learning Double

“To teach is to learn twice over.” ~Joseph Joubert

Every post requires research and study of scripture. Blogging has made me a better student of the word as I teach to others what I have learned.

“Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.” Luke 6:40 NLT

I’m Accountable to My Readers

Research shows that putting a goal in writing along with sharing it with others increases our success by 85 percent. Since my major goal is learning and putting into practice scripture, blogging is a huge benefit to me in my spiritual growth.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24 NLT

Support and Prayers from Others

I cannot express how grateful I am for the support of other writers and Christians. I’ve gained a large community of some wonderful encouragers and supporters whom I’ve also learned a great deal from.

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT

Trials—it’s not all Rainbows and Butterflies

Blogging means making myself more public, and with that have come some difficulties. I have also noticed an increase in spiritual warfare. These issues have occasionally made me want to put a halt to sharing with the World Wide Web, but I know that God has used the trials to strengthen and grow me.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT

You don’t need to be a writer/blogger to benefit in the same ways I’ve listed above. All of us are called to teach, be accountable, support, and pray for others. In addition to these, the Bible states we will go through trials and tests in order to strengthen our faith.

God uses the many things we go through in our lives to draw us closer to Him—IF we will let Him.

“But Jesus replied, ‘My Father is always working, and so am I.’” John 5:17

Even though my heart still pounds just before hitting “post”, the plusses of blogging far outweigh the minuses because God uses the process to lead me closer to Him.

[bctt tweet=”Frankly, My Dear . . . Beckie Lindsey: How #Blogging Has Made Me a Stronger #Christian.” username=”@realmojo68 @lindseybeckie”]

Beckie is a wife and mother of three adult children and two adorable cats. She is thoroughly content with a piece of dark chocolate, a cup of coffee, and a great book. She loves to encourage others to not only know the truths of the Bible but to experience them personally and practically in everyday life. Beckie is a freelance journalist, writer, and blogger with two book projects in the wings.

Author and Blogger, Beckie Lindsey
Connect with Beckie on:
Blog: beckielindsey16.com
Twitter: @lindseybeckie
Instagram: beckielindsey16

 

 

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

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