Saturday, November 13, 2010

Filling Baskets



I just sent off a proposal to my agent. A process that I've found doesn't get easier with time. Those questions niggle in the back of my mind every time my cursor hovers over that "send" button: "What if she hates it? What if she reads it and regrets signing me? What if all my ideas are tired and predictable? What if I've lost my ability to perceive a good idea from a bad one?" And so on.

So I'm grateful for the story in John 6 of the little boy who helped Jesus feed five thousand. The story is in my preschoolers rhyme Bible, which my daughter constantly reads (seen pictured below) so I've become extra familiar with the events.



According to John 6, there's a crowd following Jesus and he asks his disciples where they should buy bread for everyone to eat. The disciples cannot conceive of how they'll manage to feed such a crowd, but Andrew brings forward a boy who has "five small barley loves and two small fish." We're told that Jesus gave thanks for the food, began to distribute it to the crowd, and miraculously there was even food left over. Enough to fill twelve baskets, we're told.

My entire life, I've read this as an account of what happened that day. Which is a fine way to read it.

But the last time I read to McKenna the story of "The Boy who Shared His Lunch," it struck me as a parable for what happens when we see a need and do our best to meet it while offering our work to Jesus.

The boy sees that there is a need. A huge need. I'm guessing he never dreamed his lunch would feed the entire crowd, but he came forward thinking it might be able to feed somebody. He sacrificed. And Jesus took what little the boy sacrificed and supernaturally met the need at hand.

There's nothing wrong with you wanting to be the best you can be. With wanting to be the best swimmer or the best student or the best friend. Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

But don't worry when you fall short. Don't worry when the need around you seems far too large for you to hope to make even a dent. We learn from the boy who shared his lunch, who sacrificed personal comfort to meet the needs of others, that God can stretch your talents, abilities, time, and riches to go further than you ever could have imagined.

The proposal I sent to my agent isn't perfect. I'll never be able to make it so. But I've done my best and now it's time to turn it over to Jesus. He gave me the inspiration, He sees the needs it can meet, and now the wait begins. Not the nail-biting wait to see if this book will sell, but the eager, joy-filled wait to see Jesus show up and fill some baskets.

-Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com and www.GoTeenWriters.com.

11 comments:

Eddie Snipes said...

I appreciate your perspective and your refreshing attitude toward challenges. Writing by faith is a great challenge. Plus, you are writing in a genre that needs a strong influence from people like you. You may never know the lives you touch, but I'm thankful there are authors like you that can be an influence on my daughters.

vvdenman.com said...

I especially love the pic of your daughter studying her Bible. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope someday to be in your place.

Julie Garmon said...

So well said, Stephanie. I get it! Love it. Also love how your daughter is sitting--the way I used to when I was little.

Stephanie Morrill said...

Eddie, thank you! I love my job.

And, Julie, it's how I sat as a girl too! It's always been more comfortable for me. I think my knees are jointed funky or something.

Jenni Pedersen said...

Stephanie,

I have been so hesitant to start working on this business that I want to start because I have doubted whether I am capable of succeeding. God called me to start a Christian creative website and I haven't been following his call. This is just what I needed to get motivated. I am ready to offer up my loaves and see what he does with it.

I am excited to hear more about how this book goes over with your agent. I agree with Eddie, there is such a need for authors like you.

Thank you.
And thanks for the blog follow a while ago. I would appreciate any feedback on my blogs. I enjoy your writing style, and I aspire to write for teen girls as well someday!

Jenni Pedersen
www.hprainboots.blogspot.com

Stephanie Morrill said...

I'm so glad it helped, Jenni! I find myself in a constant need of reminders that I don't have to do it all. That God can handle it.

And yay for a future YA writer! You'll love writing for teens. They're so fun!

Anonymous said...

That really helped me since I've been trying not to be such a perfectionist or please others all the time. I forget to do things for Him instead of what other would want me to do.
I'd love to read some of your book; where can I get them since my library doesn't have them.

Stephanie Morrill said...

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

You can read samples of my books on my web site (www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com) and the books are available to order at all the big retailers. Like Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

Another option is talking to your librarian and requesting an inter-library loan. I've done that through my library and it's a real easy process.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What are your books about? Are they about teen girls as school, life, relationship with God, all of the above, what? I've been looking for those sorts of things but in the Christian perspective. Lots harder than I thought. I'll forget to write Christian since I'm so used to reading that sort of thing.

Stephanie Morrill said...

Yes, that's exactly what my books are about. The main character in my books, Skylar, is a reformed party girl who's trying to turn from her old ways and follow God's plan for her life. There's descriptions and sample chapters on my site: http://stephaniemorrillbooks.com/books/

Anonymous said...

Thanks.


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