Friday, December 25, 2015

The Power of Small

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Have you ever attended a writers’ conference where they gave an award for “Smallest Blog in the Blogosphere”? How about a gold-embossed certificate for “Fewest Pageviews”? “Lowest Royalty Check”? “Subterranean Amazon Book Rating”? “Facebook Post with No Shares”?

Some of my writer friends have blog posts that have gone viral. Others have subscriber bases numbering in the Ks (15K, 20K). Some have dozens of books to their credit, and others actually get advances on their publishing contracts (I know, what’s a publishing contract?). They have editors pitching books to them instead of the other way around.

But they are exceptions.

The majority of writers will never have a viral blog post, a book contract, or an editor chasing them down at a writers’ conference. They won’t make a living from their writing or see their names on the New York Times’ Best Seller List. They may never even see their writing in print.

If this describes you, are you a writing failure?

Maybe. Maybe not.

If you’re writing for fame and fortune and haven’t accomplished it, perhaps you are a failure. But if you’re writing because the Lord has placed a message on your heart and told you to share it, then no, you are most certainly not a failure.

If your writing world is small, then you may be just the person God wants to use.

How do I know?

Today is Christmas. Over two millennia ago, God executed the most important step in his plan of redemption—he sent his son into the world.

And God used small to make it happen.

He used an unknown teenaged girl to carry his son.

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant’” (Luke 1:46-48).

He sent her to a tiny town to give birth.

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).

And he revealed Messiah’s advent to those insignificant people society overlooked—mangy shepherds, a faithful widow, and an old man (Luke 2).

And what does he think about you—small, seemingly insignificant, and certainly not a rock star writer?

“Though the Lord is on high, yet he regards the lowly . . .” (Psa. 128:4-6).

Last week I received a royalty statement from an anthology that contained one of my stories. Each writer was to earn one percent of the income generated by the book. My statement read: “Net due to writer, -$.02.

Don’t miss the minus sign. It’s not a dash. It’s a negative. I thought zero was small, but MINUS two cents? What does that even look like?

On the same day, I received an email from a woman who read my blog post, “How to Know It’s God Speaking to You.” The Lord used it to give her the courage to apologize and ask someone she’d wronged years ago to forgive her. “I thought the Lord was speaking to me, but reading your blog post confirmed it.”

Wonder of wonders, God didn’t choose a mega blogger to touch this lady. He didn’t use a bestselling book off Lifeway’s shelves. He didn’t use a viral post off Facebook. He used my small blog post, on my small blog, to encourage one small woman to take steps to repair one small relationship.

All for his glory.

A small town in Israel. A small teenaged girl. Mangy shepherds, a faithful widow, a little old man—and our small writing lives—all tools in the Master’s hands.

Will you surrender the small in your life for God’s use? There’s no telling what he’ll do with it.

May you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of writing that brings God glory.

Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She’s the editor of South Carolina’s Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women and  Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. An award-winning Toastmasters International speaker and Christian Communicators grad, she uses her speaking and writing ministry to help busy women connect with God in the craziness of life. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time (www.LoriHatcher.com).

8 comments:

  1. Lori, This is a life changing post. Thank you so much. I cling to the fact that I am His servant. I don't want to invest the time and energy to write; I am compelled by my Savior to write. My blog has changed me, and in turn I am a healthier vessel to be used by Him. I have only a handful of followers, but I am content knowing that He will expand the territory in His perfect timing according to His will. Merry Christmas, my friend. You should frame that check.

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  2. This post is a blessing and encouragement--thank you, Lori, and Merry Christmas!

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  3. Thank you so much for this post! Awesome!And LOL we probably both submitted to the same book, I got that same letter about the -$.02 cents:)

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  4. Thank you, Lori. Your post encourages me with my writing and also in another 'small' area of life. To God be the glory. I appreciate you, and I have a sweet memory of you asking to pray with me after we met at Writers Advance 2014. That meant so much to me and still does. Love to you in Christ.

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  5. Reminding myself of this very thing today. The philosophy of the world tells us success is in the numbers. It's a fight to pull away from that and work solely for the Lord. The numbers might be in the negative on earth, but not in heaven.

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  6. Lori, thanks for this reminder. In reviewing my 2015, it's easy to despair in not quite hitting the mark you thought you might hit. However, the Lord has shown me the power of rejoicing in my half FULL glass. I am not overwhelmed. I am precisely where I ought to be--double digit blog views and all. Discouraging--yet each soul who has read me is a SOUL WHO HAS READ ME! Glory--I labored not in vain in crafting those words. They hit their mark because the Lord guides the arrows and it's all good. Never stop believing for more . . . but be sure to celebrate the where you're at, even if it is small potatoes.
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  7. When all is said, done, and written, I serve an audience of One. And whether my words bless a handful or a roomful is entirely up to Him. He made all of us different sizes for a reason, and we all fit perfectly into the plan.

    Lovely reminder, lovely words...xoxoxNancy

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