Thursday, January 6, 2011

Willing to Share

Hot tea and a frosted cranberry muffin. A tasty treat, but it wasn't the food that had my attention. Historical romance novelist, Jody Hedlund was sitting across the table from me. She had graciously agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to meet with me to discuss the ins and outs of writing for publication. What a wealth of information!

As a newbie to the world of writing, light bulbs continued flashing in my head as Jody shared nuggets of wisdom gleaned along her journey to publication. Although our genres are different, the basics remain the same. By the end of our meeting, not only was my stomach full, but my mind was chock full of ideas I knew I'd need to explore further.

Shop talk aside, I was captivated by Jody's warmth and obvious passion for giving fellow writers a jump start in this daunting industry. She candidly expressed how naive she was when she first started writing. I listened intently as she stressed the importance of knowing your audience and how your writing meets a specific need that's not already being met. Wow! And I had been convinced that if my writing was good enough, I'd have big name agents and publishing houses knocking on my door, contract in hand. Yes, I suppose I need to shed the naïveté, too! A special thanks to Jody for her transparency and candor!

Since our meeting, I've had plenty of time to mull over our conversation. I was reminded of some people in the New Testament who were also willing to share the wisdom they had gained. Aquila and Priscilla. They were willing to rearrange their schedules to reach out and teach others the whole truth of God's Word.

A Jewish man by the name of Apollos had come to Ephesus, and was teaching in their synagogue. He was a good speaker and was well-versed in the Old Testament writings of the prophets. The book of Acts provides a good description, "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John," (Acts 18:25; KJV). Enter Aquila and Priscilla.

After hearing Apollos speak, these two realized that he didn't have the complete story about Jesus. John the Baptist focused on repenting from sin. But the whole message included repenting from sin and then believing in Christ. Aquila and Priscilla were willing to hang around after the meeting, and teach him "the way of God more perfectly," (Acts 18:26). Apollos was eager to learn. He was then able to incorporate Jesus' life, crucifixion, resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit into his future messages. Because of Aquila and Priscilla's willingness to teach Apollos, the Lord was able to use him in an even greater way.

Mentors are much needed in our world today. Mentors who are willing to share their experiences and train up a generation passionate to fulfill God's purposes in their lives. Are you willing to be mentored? Or has your experience in life put you in the position of being a mentor? Determine how God wants to use you today!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Word, and for the mentors You've placed in my life. I pray for a special blessing for them today. As I grow and gain life experiences, help me to be sensitive to Your direction to mentor others. Thank You for Your perfect plan. To God be the glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. I had a wonderful time meeting with you too, Maria!! (And the picture turned out great!) Thank you for sharing a bit of your writing with me. I will be first in line to buy your devotional once it's published! :-)

  2. That is a beautiful picture ladies!

    Maria, I've discovered Jody to be loving and generous with her knowledge as well. It's a gracious quality she bestows.

    I'm glad the two of you were able to meet and chat.

    It excites me when online friends connect like this!
    ~ Wendy

  3. What a great experience. Jody is a great writer. I haven't read her book yet (but it is on my list), but I have read her blog for almost 2 years now. Soon you'll be passing on your knowledge and experience to another yoyung writer! Good post.

  4. How wonderful that you were able to spend time with Jody and soak in all the instruction and counsel she's so good about sharing. What a great mentor you have.

  5. That is a beautiful picture of the two of you!! You are so right. Mentors in this crazy industry are so wonderful to have, and Jody is very generous with her knowledge and insight.

  6. I agree with all here. Lovely picture of the two of you! And mentors are so important in life. It's so important to swallow our pride, our fears, and just ask for help. So many, like Jody, love to give back.

  7. What a great picture, you guys are beaming with joy!!! Talking books and writing over coffee :)
    I have learned to have a mentor and be a mentor, the knife cuts both ways :)
    Awesome post!

  8. PS: I was pondering about being naive... I think that is a good thing in the beginning (for your own protection), otherwise no one would start in this business!

  9. Jody - The unsuspecting photographer DID do a good job - glad the picture is in focus! Your words of encouragement mean more than you know. And don't worry about standing in line to get my book, you're at the top of the list to receive a free copy!! Thanks for all you do! Have a blessed weekend! :)

    Wendy - So good to see you! Thanks for the compliment on the picture! Must say it was a bit surreal to be sitting down with a published author I've followed for about a year! Blogging/writing sure does open up the possibilities! Have a great weekend & God bless!

    Warren - You'll enjoy Jody's book! She's a very skilled writer and a sweet lady! Thanks for the vote of confidence regarding mentoring...I know it's a learning process! So far, I've enjoyed the journey - in spite of the minor frustrations. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. How wonderful that you and Jody were able to get together and she was able to share her knowledge.
    Lovely photo of of you both!
    I am looking forward to buying a copy of your book and recommending it to others.
    Have a blessed day!
    Hugs and blessings

  11. Keli - You've got that right! Jody IS good about sharing. Have a great weekend & God bless! Hugs :)

    Heather - Good to see you! Thanks for the sweet words about the picture. It's neat to see the pattern for mentors in the Bible - those with knowledge teaching those willing to learn. Desperately needed in this day and age! Have a great weekend!

    Lynn - Thanks for the compliment on the picture! I just asked a random cumstomer if he'd take a picture of us - fortunately he was willing! I love talking to other writers about their journey. What a way to learn! Have a wonderful weekend!:)

    Marja - Thanks for the sweet words about the picture! I think you're right about being naive - if I would have known all the steps involved to be published, I'm not sure I would have begun the journey! Can't wait to read your book! Hugs and blessings to you! :)

  12. Linda - You started the trend, my friend! Thanks for the compliment on the picture! Next time we get together, I'm bringing my real camera (forget the cell phone)! I appreciate your encouraging words about my future book - how sweet!! Have a beautiful weekend enjoying the blessings of God! :)

  13. Hi Maria -

    How cool that you and Jody got to spend time together! I'd love to meet both of you. :)

    I'm glad there are Christian writers out there willing to give us the benefit of their experience.


  14. Sounds like you had great time with your mentor; so nice of her to help someone else.

  15. Sounds like a wonderful meeting, and what a blessing! So happy you two got to do that, especially with the distance between both of you.
    Have a wonderful and blessed week,

  16. How awesome that she was willing to meet with you and help you with your adventure in writing. I so agree...we need mentors and need to be mentoring! Love the picture and the post!

  17. Susan - It was a real blessing to meet Jody! And like you, I'm glad there are other Christian writers willing to share their wisdom. I'd love to have the opportunity to meet you, too! Maybe at a conference?! Have a wonderful week! Hugs & Blessings! :)

    Toyin - Welcome! So glad you stopped by! Learning from others is SO beneficial. It can help us avoid pitfalls and keep us on the right path! I post on Mondays and Thursdays and would love for you to stop by again. Have a blessed week!

    Karen - It was very surprising to find out Jody lives in the town where I grew up! Very neat to be able to meet with her - she's such a gracious lady. Wishing you a beautifully blessed week, too! :)

    Elaine - Thanks for your sweet, encouraging words! The meeting with Jody DID give me lots to think about. Now to incorporate it! Hoping you have a wonderful week, full of God's blessings!