Monday, 24 October 2011

Holy Calling

Do you ever wonder what impact your writing has had or is having on the public? The feedback I have had for 'Time to Shine' (co-authored/ co-edited with Jenny Baxter, along with some lovely contributors who had their work previously published in Christian Woman magazine) has mainly come from book reviews or friends, or friends of friends. The feedback has been pleasing but has never quite had the impact on me that a recent one has had.

A customer, I have never met before, came into the library where I work casually and totally floored me. She was looking at my name badge, as I processed her books, and said,"That name... did you write a book?" It was my 5 second moment of fame - and my work colleagues congratulated me (and ribbed me)!!! Someone had recognized my name as the name of a writer!
It was a lovely moment. But fame isn't important, though perhaps it can help with publishing. What was important to me was that this lovely young mother treasures her copy of our book. This book that was published five years ago, and conceived eight years ago (and a great many of the stories that Jenny and I had selected had been written many years before that!). She has it sitting on her bedside table and returns to it over and over again. She told me the stories of the women in the book were a huge encouragement to her. May God bless those women who once felt compelled to write their stories for that magazine.

It is a great reminder that what we put down on paper is ministry - it is the work of God. Surely it is holy. Do we ever recognize it as such? How often do we think we aren't up to it? Or we question the value of what we have to say?

This encouragement came at just the right time for me. For almost three years now I have been working on a manuscript, a unique collaboration with someone very special. There was a time when I walked away from it because I felt vulnerable and uncertain, but it has a message that is very close to my heart and I know God wants me to stick with it. God also brought on board a close friend, who is a well published author (30 plus books) and editor, who kindly edited it for me (free of charge)- as a gesture of friendship and belief in my work.

As we are getting nearer now to submitting our work to a publisher it may be just the time for me to trust that God will use my faithfulness and that of my friend. Maybe it is indeed time to recognize this writing I do as a holy calling. I remember saying to Jenny as we worked on 'Time to Shine' - "God will use our availability and obedience above any skills we might or might not have". He called us and we responded and then one day a young mum with a terrible cold pushed a pram into a country library and delivered a message I needed to hear.

Thanks be to God.


  1. Thanks for sharing Asta. How thrilling it must have been when you were recognised as a Writer! :) Thanks for the reminder of our calling. 'Holy calling' sounds wonderful but also sobering - knowing the task for which we as Christian Writers are called to is one that is a ministry and something entrusted to our hands. May we be faithful.

    Thanks be to God that we have a Holy God who has made us in His image and continues not only to shape us as individuals, but as a church and also gives us a Holy calling to aspire to.
    Thanks for those inspiring thoughts, Asta,

  2. I love 'Time to Shine' too! It's a wonderful book and this post has been a timely reminder to me too.
    Thanks for sharing Asta.

  3. How wonderful to be called to such a thing by God. We are truly blessed, to live and walk in the Kingdom that is just dripping with God's goodness.

    I am so glad that God sent this woman to this encourage you.

  4. A truly uplifting and confirming blog, Asta. Thank you for reminding us that our God given talent is also our ministry to him.

  5. Asta, thanks for your blog. You were encouraged, and I am now encouraged. It's easy to forget how eternal the things are we do today.

  6. Thanks, Asta. A great reminder for all of us. And I definitely agree with Anusha... faithfulness... that's it. Everything we do needs to be first born of faith, and then we need to keep at it faithfully, trusting God to bring it to fruition. I am really glad for your 'Library moment,' Asta, and rejoyce with you. If one member of Christ's body rejoyces, we all do!

  7. Thanks Asta. this reminds me again that we are stewards. We present the work and the Holy Spirits uses it as He will. How exciting that he is still using your book.

  8. I am so encouraged by all these lovely remarks. It is really good to share this writing life with you all! Asta x

  9. Lovely to hear you've been encouraged by feedback about your writing. It's such a blessing when that happens, and such a reminder that God is indeed calling us to write and to touch the lives of others.

  10. I remember when I got asked if I had written something, for me if was just a simple article in a magazine (but it did get picked up for a site for disabled young people).
    Feedback is great and God can use our writing in so many wonderful ways.

  11. Thanks Asta
    Great Post! I love your honesty and openness and I too feel that way many days. I have to keep reminding myself that God has called me to write and encourage other mums as they bring up their children. That must have been so exciting for someone to come into the library like that. Thankyou for sharing your story, I found it very encouraging. :)

  12. What a relief all our hard work, thinking and prayer was worth it Asta! Even if only for this one. We knew it would be a significant book for some - hopefully there are many others.

    Hey and I still have some copies of Time to Shine if anyone would like to buy one cheaply :)

  13. Hi Asta, thanks for your encouraging post :)

  14. That's a lovely story to share, Asta. I love hearing about times such as this, when God, in His grace, allows us a glimpse of some of the hearts He is helping our work to touch.

  15. Thankyou for sharing this beautiful post. Praying everything goes smoothly for your lastest adventure.